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The destructive impact of rumination

The reality is that although ruminating thoughts are destructive, they also gives us a false sense of control, for in our minds, we are attempting to fix what we perceive to be broken. I have seen it often enough, where highly intelligent, sensitive beings retreat within to seek answers to questions that cannot be illuminated by the mind. It may provide us with a momentary sense of comfort and control – when we are engrossed in these thoughts, we feel as though there is something tangible we are holding onto, that these thoughts provide a light on our dark path, preventing us from getting swallowed up by the unknown. To the ego - the unknown is a space of darkness - appearing as a void or a black hole, which then conjures up emotions of loneliness, abandonment, or even death. Hence, we are even more afraid to continue on our path of awakening – for fear that this path might cause us to lose what we have - even if what we have is not really worth holding to.

Meanwhile, Reality unfolds, moment by moment, presenting us with true solutions, possibilities, great freedom, and joy. Reality doesn’t distinguish between the subject and the object. In reality, the experiencer and the experience become as one. We experience this when we are engrossed in a task, like the artist who is creating, or the athlete who is performing. We forget ourselves when we are in this zone, and in this forgetting, we are totally present.

What makes us reach for our minds, then, instead of being present? It is simply habit/conditioning and a lack of awareness. We believe that engaging in these thought patterns gives us a solution. We believe that we have control over what happens – but in reality, thoughts don’t give us the outcome we want, especially destructive, ruminating thoughts. They just obscure reality, making us feel as though we are failing, and that our goals will remain forever out of reach.

But there is a balance to be struck. When we use thoughts as a tool, for strategic thinking, applying a controlled process to a logistical problem – then we are using them in the correct way. But when we are identified with our thoughts, in other words, when we use our thoughts as a means to fix something within ourselves and our lives, they turn into ruminations, and we mistakenly believe this state of ‘unconsciousness’ to be reality. It is easy to go on for hours, days, months, or even years in this state, and the impact can be truly devastating on our lives.

So the question is, how do we break this habit? There are several ways to approach this, but in every approach, the first step is to be aware, to be the witness. It is like a muscle, the more consistently aware we are, the more subtle our noticing becomes. Then it becomes quicker and easier to catch ourselves when we are engaging with a rumination - we can feel it instantly in our energy, in our bodies. Our vibration is lowered, and our experience of reality starts to feel heavy and constricted. In fact, that sense of heaviness is an immediate sign that you’ve gone too deeply into your thoughts – conversely, a sense of lightness, ease and flow, are signs that you are grounded and present in reality.

If you're ready to free yourself of these destructive, ruminating thought patterns, please feel free to connect with me, and we can discuss solutions.



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