In the name of protection and survival, minds look for unsettled business they can resolve on your behalf. When you’re lying in bed, unable to sleep, your mind could create any number of happy memories, but it focuses on problems it can solve, as Matthew’s mind was doing. It replays misunderstandings and has conversations with people who aren’t there. It replays past disagreements and argues your side as if the debate were actually happening. It finds the things with which you are least comfortable and tries to help you feel better about them. Your mind seems to forget that you were just fine a few minutes ago, before it decided to resurrect the past in order to fix it.
A mind can’t leave well enough alone because to a mind, there is no well-enough. There is always more—more to do, more to solve, more to fix. More of your identity to solidify, more security to safeguard.
Fresh, new ways of seeing things didn’t come from the mind’s repetitive rehashing. Your mind didn’t think its way to clarity.
Clarity came from beyond the monotonous, chatty mind, from the formless space beyond reasons and repetitive stories. It came from the expansive essence that is who-you-are.
– Excerpt adapted from Just a Thought: A No-Willpower Approach to End Self-Doubt and Make Peace with Your Mind. Available now.