I’m sure this concept has been around since the creation of philosophical teaching itself, but I credit Eckhart Tolle for much of my personal understanding of the “ego” vs. the “true self” when it comes to matters of the mind, or in his words, the “compulsive thinker” vs. “being.”
It’s interesting how on a higher level I get that most of the thoughts that flow through my mind are nothing more than mental chatter, frequent visitations from the ego with nothing better to do than just be there; and yet, I still find myself entertaining them. I also understand and believe in the grace of the voice that makes an appearance to talk to the “compulsive thinker” voice. That voice is my true self speaking – tasked largely with the goal to keep things in perspective and keep the mind present.
Now, this is not to cause alarm that I’m some sort of mental case that needs to get out her head (though maybe it is that simple!), but I think on some level we can all relate to this. I often wonder what truly goes on in other people’s minds as they go about their day. (Then again, maybe it’s best we don’t get that kind of access to each other.)
We all have a journey or a life lesson or two to learn before our time is up. I truly believe one of mine is to learn to better manage the internal dialogue that can take place in my head as a result of external forces (read: things I can’t control anyway!) and learn to stay centered and present, in a state of pure “being.”
As I’ve gotten older, I do think I’ve made progress with this, but I still have an “active” imagination. Depending on the day (and admittedly the mood I’m already in) what was a simple “hey, he just cut me off!” could translate to “hey, he just cut me off because he’s an asshole who thinks where he needs to be is more important than everyone else!” Ahhh! Aren’t those ego thoughts just grand? Wouldn’t it be quite funny if I later found out that he had just gotten a call from a man holding his wife for ransom, and his cutting me off was really to get to the bank ASAP before someone killed her? This would clearly be a case where I’m okay with being cut off. It’s a more important destination than my trip to Target…to spend money on things I don’t need anyway. (And there’s that active imagination again!)
Experts say that we think on average around 50,000 thoughts a day, and apparently, that’s a conservative number. I thought I would dedicate a post toward writing down some of them. Now I realize the contradiction here: I’m essentially still entertaining my “ego voice” by doing so, rather than just letting it go and being present, but bear with me – somehow putting my random compulsive thoughts out there, may release them into the ether to make even more room for that true voice….at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. And let’s be honest, it just helps to rant!
Oh, and rave too.
A few random compulsive thoughts as of late:
Rants & Raves: Volume #1
Rant: Do us all a favor who paid the ridiculously over-priced $15 to actually watch the movie while “at the movies” – if you’re going to talk through it as if you’re sitting in your living room, then stay home….or go to a bar and talk over drinks. Thanks! (P.S. The occasional comment if it’s related to the movie is fine…and I mean occasional.)
Rave: Boy, do I worship people who honor their word. It’s how I am in my life, but have learned that not many people you encounter are this way unfortunately. There’s one person I have in mind at the moment who is and has always been this way and I adore him dearly for it.
Rant: Condescending, passive aggressive people. 1). You don’t know it all; and 2.) if you have something to say, I’d have much more respect for you if would just find a diplomatic way to speak your mind, than be passive aggressive about it. I could go on ad nauseam about this, but I’ll leave it at that.
Rave: I do most “salon-like” services myself at-home (mani/pedis, facials, etc.), but I treated myself to a quick visit to S.H.A.P.E.S for the 1st time in 9 months and got my eyebrows threaded (still boggles my mind how they do this!). It’s amazing what a little clean-up can do and how it changes your face for the better. Best $12 I’ve spent in weeks!
Rant: As a person who writes incessantly, why oh why does spell check suck so much sometimes? Do you ever find yourself having to spend absorbent amounts of time trying to re-misspell a word better to help the spell checker find a more accurate selection of words that you’re trying to spell? WTH? At that point, I might as well just Google the word. It conveniently auto-populates the correct spelling before I even finish typing it! Horray for Google! Boo for spell checker! End rant.
Rave: Just a general thank you to the kind stranger who holds an elevator or the door for me. Don’t you just love those people who sense someone is behind them and seemingly speed up so that it would now be passed the limit of required kindness toward pure inconvenience to have wait for you now? Yeah, I don’t either.
I feel better already. This was too much fun. I think I’ll turn it into a series!
Do you have any rants or raves to share? I’d love to hear them. As I mentioned, you have 50,000 to choose from on any given day!
Happy hump day!
*images courtesy Pixaby.com used under CC0 1.0. Final design is mine.*