I was hosting a group call recently and when I opened my mouth to speak I heard this sentence spoken:
We’re under the impression that we’re looking out our eyes through clear glass and seeing life as it is, when in truth we’re looking out our eyes into a mirror that’s reflecting thought back to us.
Where that came from, I have no idea. (Okay, I have some idea. It came from the unknown. So like I said, no idea.)
But even though I’ve never discussed it using that analogy before, it points to something fundamental about how the mind works. We live in a world of thought that’s so pervasive that it’s invisible to us.
It so seems like we’re looking through glass; that our mind is picking up thought, feeling and experience from the external world.
It looks like we’re seeing life as it is. It looks like we’re seeing reality as it truly exists, independent of us. It looks as though things are solid and fixed. But it’s simply an illusion.
That’s not how the mind works. We can’t ever see life as it is, we can only see it how we are.
We’re like a fish in water, born into the very thing that we’ll live in until we die. It’s so rudimentary to our experience that it goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and unseen even though it’s a constant.
Because we misunderstand this, we tend to get ourselves stuck believing that what we see actually exists.
We think seeing is believing; that if something looks a certain way to us that it must actually be so.
We assume that we’re seeing life accurately, and all of the things that look real are real.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made this point. But the reason I’m bringing up this friendly reminder is because I see people refuse to look in the direction of their innate well-being simply because they have a lot of thinking that they must not have it.
They have all these very logical-sounding (though fundamentally untrue) reasons why they’re not wise, well and healthy by nature.
They believe what I share about how human beings universally operate doesn’t apply to them; so they try to explain to me why they’re the exception.
I’ll hear things like:
“Well having a homebase of peace of mind, well-being and wisdom is all fine and good… but I suffer from past abuse/low-self esteem/a shitty childhood/severe anxiety/messed up brain chemistry/emotional baggage/panic attacks/controlling people/PTSD/extreme phobias/unfair life circumstances/medical diagnoses/any other problem you can possibly think of/ therefore I’m the exception. Sure, some people may have innate health… but not me.”
If this sounds familiar I invite you to consider that your very sensible, logical, common sense reasons why you’re the exception is simply misguided thought that you don’t have to take seriously.
It feels compelling because we’re under the misunderstanding that we’re seeing life through glass; that what we see simply is.
I know the reasons seem real, look real and feel real. I know they seem very perceptive, sensible and socially agreed upon.
But they’re not true. The mirror is reflecting what’s behind it (thought) and making it look like we’re simply seeing life as it is.
The only thing keeping you from seeing how absolutely fine you truly are is all the thinking you’re listening to about why you’re not fine.
It’s a mirror, not a pane of glass.
Once you catch on to the trick, you’re home free.