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As you’ll see below, even when it really doesn’t look like it, the mind works only from the inside-out. Really.
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All of us at Insight Principles
The Mind Really Works Only One Way
As the movers carried boxes and furniture from the moving truck to our new house, I found myself holed up on the floor in an empty bedroom with tears streaming down my face.
First time parents, our baby was just 12 weeks old when my husband earned a big promotion at work. Great news, but accepting his new role required a move from the small town we both loved to a giant city full of strangers and traffic. On top of that, just before moving day, I suddenly lost hearing in my left ear.
Popular culture likes to tell us that stress is an externally created phenomenon. A quick google search unearths tons of articles detailing life’s “10 Most Stressful Events.” According to these, I was facing three of the top ten – a new baby, a significant relocation to a new city, and a major health issue – at the same time.
As we packed our house in the week leading up to our move, I did a pretty good job of leaning into some pretty negative thinking, momentarily forgetting the fact that life is experienced from the inside-out. Most days, it really, truly looked like motherhood, the move to a city, and my hearing loss were causing my stress and sadness. Worried about my ability to be a good mom with one ear and dreading living in a dense metropolis, I found myself in a self-focused pity party of one, innocently blaming the events around me for causing my distress.
However, even in the midst of this, differently charged thought would sometimes pop through and surprise me. “I’ll still be a good mom even if I can’t hear,” the thought would say. And super quiet, but still there: “I am blessed to have such a great hubby and beautiful baby, and they are all that really matter, in the end.”
Those “Top 10 Causes of Stress” articles are missing the world’s best-kept secret: even when it really, really, really seems like the external world is the source of our experience, the mind works only one way.
Positive or negative, neutral or charged, and regardless of my “stressful” circumstances, my experience was coming from my thinking. I wasn’t trying to think my way in or out of anything. But I was thinking. And my feelings followed that thinking directly.
We’ll be living in the city for at least a couple years, I still have a new baby, and I still can’t hear well out of my left ear. In fact, my circumstances are basically the same, but the thinking that landed me on the floor of an empty bedroom already feels foreign. Did I actively do anything to change it? No. My thinking shifted on its own, as thinking is apt to do when we leave it alone. And when my thinking shifted, life looked different.
Thank goodness the mind works this way.
©Insight Principles, Inc.