Wait… It’s Not What You’re Thinking!
Thought is a capacity we all have, that we often take for granted, or perhaps we never “think” of our thinking at all. In fact, it might seem a bit weird to “think” about your thinking, but it is amazing what you might discover.
For example, if we were thinking about our thinking, we might believe that:
- Our thoughts are accurate
- Our thoughts are an exact reflection of reality
- Our thoughts can be trusted
- Our thoughts are current with what is happening now
And we would be wrong!
1. Let’s start with our thoughts being accurate.
How many times have you not been able to find something, even though you specifically remember putting it in a particular place? Recently I lost the Bluetooth for my cell phone. I remembered putting it on my nightstand where I charge my phone every night. I searched everywhere. I looked in my car, on my desk, on the living room tables, on the kitchen counter. The next day I went to work and checked my office, still no Bluetooth. I couldn’t figure out how it had disappeared from my nightstand when my phone had been right there where I had placed both it and the Bluetooth the night before. A few hours later, my husband called to tell me that he had found my Bluetooth – in the clothes dryer. He washed and dried a load of laundry including the slacks I had worn the day before. Then I remembered. I had put my Bluetooth in my pocket. Ooooops.
2. Our thoughts are an exact reflection of reality
But thoughts are an accurate reflection of reality, right? What you see is what is real, and that is what you think – very simple. Not so much. Sometimes our thoughts can be tricky. Have you ever stopped at a red light and when the vehicle beside you started to move you pushed harder on your brake, thinking that your car was rolling? Inaccurate thinking.
3. Our thoughts can be trusted
And as for trusting our thoughts, show of hands, how many have said something awful to someone they love? Yeah, lots of hands up, mine too. When those awful words came out, it seemed like a really good idea, for about two seconds. Almost immediately we realize that the thinking that preceded those words was not trustworthy, and we wish we could take back the ugly thing we said.
4. Our thoughts are current with what is happening now
But our current thinking is accurate because it is about what is happening right now, isn’t it? Much of it is not current at all. Quite often our thoughts are dwelling on things from the past, which are just that, things that have passed. We can also go in the opposite direction, using our thoughts to predict future events as if we had our crystal ball, worrying about things that we can’t control in the future. Spending too much time getting caught up in the past, or thinking about the future can cause us to miss what is happening now! And right now is where we live – all the time!
Our ability to think is an amazing gift, but sometimes it plays tricks on us. So if you are going to think about your thinking, maybe it is best to recognize it as a wonderful gift to help us navigate life, but there are times when you can’t take it too seriously. At least, that’s what I think!
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