Do you worry about the prospect of events you judge as negative or the possibility of future suffering? How about past events and the way you responded to them? Perhaps your concerns relate more to a current self-perception—in terms of being right or wrong, perfect or imperfect—and how others see you now. You worry about whether your self-images are getting validation, or not. In any case, you’re worrying about things that don’t really exist.
The past is gone. Worrying about it isn’t going to change it, but holding on to your regrets will certainly prevent you from enjoying the present moment. Think about it, you wouldn’t be where you are now without previous experiences and so-called mistakes, which are also just experiences. Similarly, the future doesn’t exist yet, so worrying about it not only robs you of the present; it also blocks better possibilities and feeds unconscious, self-defeating impulses that may lead to actions you could later regret.
Furthermore, your current self-images are imaginary yet unclear versions of yourself that arise from past experiences as well. They’re not who you really are but the mental constructs you hide behind that, again, disconnect you from the flow of your life. They distort the clarity and authentic self-expression you need to navigate life without fluctuating between anxiety and depression—that is, without unconsciously punishing yourself for being human.
Projecting our fear into the future produces anxiety. You spin in your mind, so to speak, feeling like you’re floating in space with nothing to hold on to, and ready to die. The problem is, you’re more focused and invested in the external appearance of things than in anchoring yourself in what’s stable within you. But you’re not alone. Everyone is more likely to worry about things that aren’t real than actually getting crushed by the experiences they’re so afraid of. Or as the ancient philosopher Seneca put it, you suffer more in imagination than in reality.
Overcoming the Revolving Quality of the Mind
This results from a revolving principle inherent to the mind. The same aspect that grants you cognitive capabilities—to churn ideas, comprehend and share concepts, process emotions, or clarify goals—turns your thoughts, feelings, and actions repetitive, creating patterns of thought, perception, and behavior. It is further activated by the fluctuations of life that cycle karmic dynamics in your life-movie. The ego-mind uses it to rob you of your concentration and full presence, making you spin your wheels without really moving forward.
For instance, when you attempt to write something, you’ll notice you tend to repeat certain ideas and words over and over throughout your endeavor. When you talk, you circle around the main point you’re trying to make. When you argue with someone you love, you focus on the same issues, and with the same reasoning, which can go on for years. If you get emotionally triggered, you think and talk about the situation over and over. And when you get lost, you also go in circles for a while till you break the pattern by choosing something different.
Now, this revolving quality can easily transform your thoughts and emotions into a growing mental snow ball that takes over your perception, making everything fuzzy and confusing, further disconnecting you from your intuitive, discriminating wisdom. This is why you need tools and methods to bring you back to your center and stop the snow ball from crushing what you hold dear, or rolling you over.
More than anything, you need a spiritual anchor that allows you to discern what’s real from what’s imaginary, because your ego-mind is a trickster that traps you in the illusions that block the higher reality of your Inner Self—where there is no fear, no attachment, no aversion, and no guilt, so there’s no room for the anxiety or depression with which you tend to punish yourself. Your ongoing self-reflection and meditation are the cure for anxiety (see 3 Reasons Why Daily Meditation Is Essential and How To Survive the Age of Anxiety).
Both depression and anxiety arise from past unresolved impressions, from this and previous lifetimes; you need to look within to understand the patterns that still hold them in place. But they’re your own disempowering tendencies, so freeing yourself starts by relinquishing things you may be holding on too tightly to, both consciously and unconsciously. To begin with:
- Taking life too seriously, forgetting to laugh and play.
- Repressing your own feelings and desires, thinking they need to be ‘fixed.’
- Feeling obligated to please everyone.
- Taking responsibility for other people’s emotions and reactions.
- Lacking discipline and clear boundaries of self-love and self-care.
- Depleting your energy or pushing yourself to exhaustion.
- Setting goals too high with ideals of perfection.
- Believing you have to resolve things at once rather than with a step-by-step process.
Clearly, you can’t starve your own tendencies toward fear and guilt without understanding where they come from and how the revolving quality of the ego-mind keeps them in place, to remain in control of your perception, reinforcing them with more self-defeating patterns. So contact me today to start unraveling what holds you from discovering who you truly are, fully expressing yourself, and developing emotional and spiritual freedom!
© 2019 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.