We’ve come to expect our mind to behave the way we want it to rather than pausing to understand how minds naturally operate.
It would be like bringing Jelly home for the first time and after a few hours saying, “This one’s too hyper. Her bark is too squeaky. She doesn’t work the way we imagined.”
It’d be like us complaining to our friends, “Ours is always chewing things. There’s no way other puppies chew this much. She has to be outside the normal range.”
Or taking her to the vet, saying, “This one’s broken. Can you fix her? Can she be rewired? Can we willpower the puppy out of her?” Or asking the vet, “Why is she doing this to us? What did we do to deserve this?”
This is what we’ve done to our mind. While it’s just doing what minds do, we’ve taken it personally and much too seriously. We’ve tried to rewire and retrain it. We’ve tried to ignore it into silence and shame it into submission.
We’ve called it broken, out to get us, too much, too loud, too active, too negative, too…and then we’ve wondered why we feel worse. We’ve wondered why our self-flagellation doesn’t lead to change.
I’ve done these things too. We all do, until we wake up to what minds do.
– Excerpt adapted from Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to End Self-Doubt and Make Peace with Your Mind. Available now.