As much as minds love to solve problems, compare and contrast, pro and con, and create “someday” carrots to dangle in front of us with the promise of lasting fulfillment, perhaps the thing they do most naturally and most often is dramatize.
Ironically, the drama can be hard to notice. Minds have been adding color commentary, backstory, and emotion to their narration for so long that it usually doesn’t sound all that dramatic or exaggerated. It looks like the drama is in life, out there, not in our mind. A mind says, “Who, me? I’m just telling it like it is.”
My daughter Willow participates in youth theater. Everything about youth theater reminds me of a mind.
The kids don’t just speak loudly in their own voice, they practically scream in their stage voice. They overact. Their lines and movements are exaggerated, full of dramatic inflection. They don’t just wear makeup; they cake on layers upon layers of stage makeup so they are sure to be seen. They don’t just turn the lights up; they are blinded by the biggest, brightest stage lights.
Everything is exaggerated for effect on stage. And in our mind.
I’m not suggesting that it always sounds like West Side Story in your head, I’m just saying that your mind is a storyteller by nature. It brings fluctuations of energy and story together with the sensory information you’re taking in, resulting in quite a display. It’s a brought-to-life, real-as-can-be experience. It’s virtual reality that doesn’t appear virtual.
-Excerpt from Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to End Self-Doubt and Make Peace with Your Mind is available for pre-order now.