When Thoughts Are Like Glue
If you think about it, your thoughts are like glue. So sticky in fact, you can't even get unstuck from them. You may even be at the point where you're not sure what the difference is between you and your thoughts. Are you not the same thing?
Being overly identified with the content of our minds - thoughts, that is - is a sickness. Unfortunately, one could even call it a pandemic. It's a worldwide disease from which we all suffer. But unlike some diseases that require scientific breakthroughs for eradication, this disease requires one innate quality that you already have: your attention.
The first step to untangling yourself from the gluey mess of your thoughts is to recognize that you're stuck to them in the first place. Of course, to do this, you must understand that there's a subject-object relationship. If you are stuck to your thoughts, then surely you cannot be your thoughts, right? You must be separate. That understanding alone can take you a long way, but let's not stop there.
After you understand that there's some form, some quality that makes up the you that is stuck to the thoughts, you can sit back and become the watcher of your thoughts. This is different than thinking. Watching the thinking is to see thoughts come and go, whereas thinking is getting lost in the thought without awareness.
Your thoughts exist, but in what space? Where do they arise and subside? If you can access this dimension, that's how you get yourself unstuck.
Don't you see that you're way, way more than your thoughts? Think about how fickle, frantic, and short-lived your thoughts are. Not only that, but how evil they can be too. Do you really think that's you? Of course not!
So learn to come back into who you really are, and form a wiser relationship with your thoughts. They're not quite as important as you think. After all, more times than not they're out to sabotage you.
Isn't it true that you could be enjoying your time, and then a past conversation will pop into your head, and all of the sudden you're stressed out, or angry? Why? Well, because of your glue-like attachment to the thought.
Now, let's be clear. There's nothing wrong with thought in and of itself. In fact, thoughts can move mankind forward. But to what extent? At what point does our thinking move us backward?
You could argue we're seeing a lot of that today. Not so much because thought is bad, but rather, because of our ignorance to it. Our relationship to thought, or lack thereof, is really a prison sentence for humanity. The only ticket to freedom is to sit back into the space of awareness in which thought exists.
As your thoughts arise day to day, try to remember to see them as such. When the thought pops in your head, say to yourself, "Ah a thought," and see if you can remain the watcher until the next thought comes into view. Then, do the same. "Ah, another thought." Nothing more, nothing less. Just a thought. And then watch it go.
It's almost like sitting on the edge of a highway and watching the cars go by. Normally, if the cars were our thoughts, we'd latch our attention onto a single one and follow it for hours. Instead, just see the cars come and go, without giving too much weight to any particular one. They're all different, colorful, some loud, some quiet, some driving erratically, some under the radar. Doesn't matter. For you, they're all just cars, none better or worse than the other.
Treat your thoughts like passing cars, and watch how their glue-like effect gets less sticky.
Live with substance!