Head Trips

Head Trips

We humans are a complicated species. How we think is the crucible of our lives: our thoughts direct our reason, perceptions and emotions which thereby determine how we treat ourselves and others.

The problem is that most of us tell ourselves lies, and we believe them. All day long, we have thoughts, judgements and feelings, living in the world according to our minds. We often differ in our interpretations of a single event with very little middle ground. We may feel hurt or angry for something that is imagined. We get caught up in insanity – the insanity of cultural trends, interpersonal craziness or false beliefs. It’s a miracle that we can agree on anything.

My reality is different from yours. Because of our myriad of subjective perceptions, there is no irrefutable litmus test for reality, no jury to adjudicate what is real or what is fantasy. We’re all on head trips, flying around by the seats of our pants, limited to the only reality we know, which is preordained by our mental and emotional functioning.

This is the ground zero of communication. Building bridges between us, choosing to understand, make allowances, forgive and love is the ultimate challenge. What if my daughter-in-law could find a way to change her thinking about me, from condemnation to allowing and forgiveness? What if my son could become aware of his erroneous thinking and consciously address his choices? If this were possible, many lives would be quite different from what they are today.

That said, the most important thoughts are my own. I have to live with myself, and accept what others have said and done. I have brandished my light saber when I felt the need to fight injustices and lies, but I lost most of the battles. However, I am winning the war by tapping into my inner jedi’s pluck and determination and working to create thoughts that govern my life in a loving way. I have learned to like myself, no, to love myself, and that is a war that has been raging all of my life – until now.

In ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz, one of the teachings is: ‘Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’

This has been an important practice for me. Understanding on a deep level that everyone has their own thoughts and perceptions is liberating. They don’t have to agree with me nor I with them. People have their own legitimate reasons for their words and actions, whether they are conscious or unconscious. I can let it all go and relax. I finally get it.

Because I am increasingly mindful of my thoughts and have greater insights into people’s behaviors and motivations, I feel more optimistic than I have in a long time. It’s not because my son and grandchildren are suddenly back in my life, but because I’m back in my life. For too long, I abandoned myself, crying for them and missing them. I let sadness dominant my thoughts and emotions, but over time, I began to turn away from all that darkness. Grieving is natural and necessary after such a loss, but then you gotta suck it up and get on with it. Change your thoughts, begin to invest in yourself and create a vision for your own life.

7 thoughts on “Head Trips”

  • Hi Nancy 🙂
    As a man thinketh!
    One of the first things my therapist addressed with me was how to change my negative thoughts into positive ones. I could not believe just how bad that loop of lies had gotten until I actively and consciously paid attention and retrained my thoughts. She told me to replace a negative thought with a positive one and it really was that simple.
    When this nightmare began I was so devastated and allowed myself to entertain thoughts that added to my pain. I started believing that there must be something wrong with me if my own daughter would cut me out of her life and withhold my grandson from me. But like you, I have learned to LOVE ME! And as much as I love and miss my grandson, I wouldn’t trade this time and the work God has done in my life thru this ordeal for anything.
    So, yaaay us!
    Hope your move goes well. Take care!
    P. S. Still haven’t seen my grandson or daughter. She texted me and said we can get together this Friday so finger’s crossed she doesn’t flake. I won’t let my heart get too excited just in case she does.

  • Thank you for that inspiring quote!

    I haven’t forgotten you re our cyber chat. I’m in the midst of moving, so it’s a bit busy right now.
    If you’d like, you can write to me at grandmothererased@gmail.com. I check in regularly as I do some coaching, so feel free to write anytime.

    Wishing you continued healing and blessings!

  • Oooh- Don Miguel Ruiz, such rich food for thought! Two favorites-

    “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

    “Be aware that even if you meant your words as honey, other people can turn what you said into poison.”

    I hope September is good to you Nancy. Wishing you every healing and strength!

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