Me, myself, and the bitch

Written by Amie on January 30, 2011 – 11:34 pm -

Negative thoughts and who they really are

I thought I would share this because maybe it could help you like it helped me. Most spiritual teachers tell us that the negative voices in our heads are not really us, and other similar messages. I try to remember this, but honestly, most of the time I don’t. It’s hard to remember much of anything when we get “stuck” in the continuous loop of negativity that sometimes (or often) fills our minds. When these messages are flowing through, so often we may not even realize it until after the cloud has lifted. Many times we don’t even realize these voices are there, and even more importantly, that they are thoughts, they are NOT truth. Some people have had negative thoughts playing  for so long, it has become their truth. This was me. I believed everything my mind said. I “knew” it was all true. Or at least I “thought” I knew it was true.

Me vs. I

And then, one day I was listening to Eckhart Tolle talk about his book, The Power of Now, which I have read multiple times. I truly thought I understood what he was saying about our thoughts not really being who we are. But sometimes we can hear or read something many times and then the next time we hear it, something just “clicks”. An awareness that I am two separate “identities”  came over me. There is the “me” and then there is the “I”. How do I know these are not the same? Because one of them is really judgmental and nasty mean, and the other is love. “I” is the one observing the “me”. It can get confusing. However, the way I can tell them apart is to pay attention to what is being said. If the commentary is mean, I know it is the “me”, the one that is not real. “Me” is the conditioned version of myself. “Me” is the one that has been conditioned to hate, to judge, to ridicule, to harass, to bully, to coerce, you get the picture. We all have this conditioned version of ourselves. Some much worse than others. This version of ourselves is the one that keeps us stuck in depression.

The “bitch”

The “I’ version of myself is my truth. The truth of who I really am. This version loves me for who I am, and tries to encourage me to live from this place of truth. The “me” version has been there so long it is sometimes difficult to hear the “I” version. However, the “I” version has gotten a lot louder and bolder these past view months. I am grateful for this. I want to share what I do to distinguish between the voices and also how I extinguish the “me” voice. I truly treat the “me” version of myself as a completely separate entity. I talk to it as though it is a person standing in front of me saying mean things to me. I would cower to the lies previously. Not anymore. I call the “me” version the “bitch” version. You can make up any name that feels appropriate for your “me” version of yourself. When I observe a negative thought in my head, I get forceful and I tell the “bitch” to stop. Stop. Right.Now. What you are saying is not true. Amazingly, it does the trick. It is because it changes the way my brain reacts. My brain is accustomed to me listening and believing the negative thoughts. It controlled my moods by lying to me.

The pathways in our brains

Our brains have neural pathways that have been developing since birth (or before, depending on what you believe). Each time we respond  the same way to the same thoughts, we deepen the neural pathways in the brain, making them stronger. When we react differently, we lessen the pathways, and change them.  It is an awareness. It is a practice. It takes a lot of practice. The empowered feeling when I do this is amazing! I hope you will try this to see how it feels to you. When you notice negative thoughts, talk to them as if they are a person. Become awareness of what is really being said about you in your head. Remember, they are thoughts created by conditioning, they are NOT you, and they are NOT true. You DO have the power to tell them what to do, even if you have to keep repeating yourself. The more we shut down this voice, the less power it has over us.

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