As we dive deeper into personal development and the spiritual world, we often hear how our mind is a liar and our ego an enemy.
As I started to practice Vipassana meditation, I became aware through first-hand experience that I am indeed not my mind. I am the conscience that observes it.
However, one thing I can never fully agree with is how our mind is our enemy. It can be packed full of limitations and illusions, but is it really intentionally working against us?
I don’t believe that our mind is our enemy. But I do believe that this can be a limiting belief that can lead to self-sabotage.
Challenging the belief of our mind being our enemy
Many of us are familiar with this voice inside who often says critical things such as “I’m not really good at this” or “this would probably fail so why bother”.
If we pay enough attention, we’d soon realize how we, or more specifically, our minds, seem to work against us. It criticizes, makes wrong assumptions, and even lies to ourselves in different situations.
But our mind does all these not to sabotage ourselves. It does all these because it actually believes in how these can protect and ensure our survival.
For example, if someone grew up with a critical parent who often said things like “you wouldn’t be able to do this” or “you are only fit for doing that”, this person might unconsciously develop a critical inner voice that tells themselves similar things. The mind integrated these limitations as it believed that it would protect its owner from doing things that won’t work out. However, since the person was never exposed to a healthier version of this kind of protection, the mind simply took this less healthy version as a reference.
When we are born, we are all equipped with preprogrammed base capacities for learning and adapting to this world. These inherited learning capacities depend on our genetic makeup, and then what we learn depends on what is available in the surrounding environment.
Our mind is our vehicle to navigate this world as our consciousness drives it. By its own capacity and over time, it starts to change its features to adapt to this world. The more conscious we are of how these changes happen, the better we can direct them.
When we are not conscious of them, our vehicle simply grabs what it assumes to be the best, given its limited capacity of assuming what is actually best in a given moment or situation.
It might create a few extra tires or breaks by assuming that the difficulty to move might save its owner from perceived danger. But when we finally understand that this is actually not working for us, we can start to revert these changes and implement what would actually work better for us.
As we become more conscious of how the mind works, we can direct this vehicle better.
It was never intended to work against us. It looked like it is, just because of its limited (but ever-expanding) capacity that it simply made the wrong assumptions of what actually works better.
How this misleading belief leads to self-sabotage
When we assume the belief that our mind is our enemy, we have a tendency to see it as something to defend against rather than working together with.
If I see a knife as only something dangerous that could potentially hurt me, I would not be able to see in what ways it can actually be useful and enhance my life. I would start to avoid using it as much as I can, and yet by doing so, I won’t be able to master handling it, which would eventually lead to accidentally cutting myself whenever I have to use it.
Our mind is our vehicle in life. If I see it as something to be understood, customized and mastered, subconsciously I’m already working with it instead of rejecting it.
It’s important to keep in mind that there might be many limiting beliefs and unhealthy patterns to detangle from. But simply dismantling the limiting belief that it is our enemy, can disarm the resistance we feel towards it.
Mónica Valverde is a daydreamer navigating the experience of human life. She’s in love with Spirituality, Inner Work and Relationships.
If you find this interesting, feel free to check out other related articles:
4 Limiting Beliefs that Might Be Delaying Your Success and Abundance
Mind, Body And Negative Patterns Stored in the Subconscious
Different Types Of Counseling That Can Help Improving Your Life
This post was previously published on medium.com.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Photo credit: Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash