Your thoughts are going to trick you. Your memories change your opinion on what really happened. You can (somewhat) control where your mind wanders, thus your state of mind. I only just discovered how utterly wrong I was about a situation in my past and how much I had conditioned myself to remember the feelings I had.
The ‘revelation’ came as I was reading old things I’d written. It was dated quite a few years back. (Keep in mind that this is not a significant revelation, nor changes my life in any way today).
Moments before reading it, if someone had asked me about my feelings toward this certain…incident, I would have replied all blasé. I would have acted as if that time in my life hardly had an impact on who I am today, I would have just seemed… cool about it.
Which I’m just not. Ever. Not when it comes to the feelz train. My opal card is permanently topped up for that shit. I am a gold, honorary member of the feelz train association.
Reading it brought these weird little butterflies in my stomach. I had completely squashed the significance of this event, the importance of the people involved.
And I was, for lack of a better word, amazed.
Amazed at how successfully my thought pattern had warped my opinion; how much I had convinced myself that it didn’t matter, that they didn’t matter, that I was okay. It was then, and only then, I truly realised the power our thoughts have on us.
I have beaten myself up in the past (on so many occasions) on what I should have done, what I should have said, how I should have handled myself. I should have laughed a little softer, talked a little quieter, cried a lot less.
It was only my thoughts (and a few insensitive assholes with the inability to let things go) that was doing so much harm. The way I was remembering things.
I had managed to remember – right down to the very feeling – how people had hurt me. I had (conveniently) forgotten – right down to the guilt – how I had hurt people.
“We keep secrets from lots of people, including ourselves – and that we call forgetting.” Trance (2013), Dir. Danny Boyle
The best way to adapt to being conscious of your thoughts – and not allowing them to take over – is to realise that moments are fleeting. And you are only giving significance to those moments that you choose to give significance to.
You can read steps, self-help articles, self-help books and blog posts from some gal who had a “life-changing revelation” that will probably conveniently be forgotten by this time next week, about changing thought patterns and choosing how to think. But the change will only come when you make the decision to change. And work at it. Every day.
(not in conjunction with those who suffer any type of mental illness)
(also don’t expect you to suddenly have complete control of your thoughts)
(I certainly won’t)