There’s a lot of talk about fake news these days.
A good portion of what we hear is untrustworthy. Untested. Not just biased—flat out untrue.
But what about the fake news in our own heads? So much of what we hear from our own thinking is also untrustworthy, untested, biased and untrue.
My friend Craig Bissell recently pointed out this spot-on metaphor. He says:
“As I woke up this morning I found myself doing the mental equivalent of searching for a ‘fake news’ story – I began searching my memory for something to worry about; a sick loved one? pending responsibilities? etc. Then I had a thought: There’s absolutely nothing to worry about, and those thoughts I was searching for are not even real to begin with. How often do my fears come to fruition? Almost never.”
Sound familiar? Yep, to me too.
Craig goes on to say:
“In this day and age many of us have developed the habit of constantly checking Facebook or Apple news for the latest buzz. I just want to point out the similarity between scanning for drama on our phones and scanning for drama in our heads.”
We scan for drama in our heads. It seems like a safe thing to do or a helpful thing to do. Or maybe it seems like a painful thing to do but we find ourselves habitually doing it anyway.
“Thanks to a recently deepened understanding of thought and the principles behind the creation of my experience, I’m usually able to see these ‘fake news’ stories for what they are – just buzz being generated by my imagination, a mental habit of contaminated thinking, innocently developed from a place of misunderstanding.”
I love that: “buzz being generated by my imagination”. Sounds like fake news to me.
“So instead of letting the fake news consume my mind throughout the day, today I was able to recognize and dismiss these fears, and proceed to enjoy my morning. For that I am grateful.”
The inner news reel isn’t much different than the outer one. We don’t need to hang on every word or take it too seriously. It’s all contaminated to some extent. Knowing that helps enormously, just like it helped Craig.