The F*ckery of Mindsets
Recently, I have come out of another round of cognitive purgatory, a nefarious place where I go round and round in circles and sink deeper into the toxic fuckery of my negative mindsets. A place, over the years I have come to love, hate and perseverate on the most random things. A place, I can see, often leads to no productive place or outcome.
So recently, having come out of my last “trip” I have had an epiphany. Significant to me, though not new or mine to take credit for. It’s as if all the things I have read and learned over the years have snapped into place. Dare I say, finally…. because that is part of the epiphany… let me explain.
I have realized that our realities are made up of whatever mindset filters are in place. Each comes with a set of thoughts, feelings, realities, histories and projections. It’s almost like playing dress up. When kids put on a costume, they assume the role, character and scripts. These mental filters are no different. I frequently have found myself believing these filters, as if they are true; which then becomes my “TRUTH.” That leads me to act on that truth, and it determines the space (mental, emotional, physical) I inhabit. Whether that is a “productive” or a “ shit-storm” space to inhabit, my actions then follow.
One such mindset I struggle with at the moment is “ I am lost.”
This mindset is likely due to the place I am in my life, with tremendous change afoot but in this mindset there is a cascade of thoughts, feelings, and actions that follow. I get wrapped up in thinking how lost I am, I have no direction, I am making mistakes in my choices, and the list goes on… and on… I thus feel lost, powerless, anxious, regret, shame, insignificant and the list goes on… and on… My actions are those of defeat- I stop doing the things I know are helpful and wallow in my powerlessness. And the cycle continues endlessly until I switch filters. Sometimes the switch is intentional, and sometimes this mindset seems like it switches by happenstance.
Another such mindset, is my “I am strong” mindset.
When in this mindset, I have thoughts of being capable, successful, determined, and powerful…. I have feelings of being productive, confident, and self-assured. Then my actions are filled with motivated, healthy and productive choices.
As I was reflecting on my last “shit-storm” mindset and I was able to take a step back and realize none of it is true and at the same time all of it is true. If these filters are interchangeable, and my actions and feelings are determined by my mindsets, then what is actually “TRUE?” Is there a universal “TRUTH- mindset” that guides my life or is it dependent on what mental filter I am donning at the time.
What I realize, is that the trick is to recognize which mindset filter is in place, and actively participate in choosing which mindset I inhabit. All the while recognizing that “good mindsets” are not better than “ bad mindsets.” This allows me to transcend the game of attaching to any mindset. See in the past, I would always sigh with relief once the mindset shifted to a better one, and feel like ok I have learned my lesson and don’t need to do that again. HAHA what trickery!!! Most of the time, over days, weeks or months, my mindset filter would inevitably change, the fuckery would continue.
As Buddhist philosophy goes, attaching to these mindsets is what causes my suffering, causes the chaos. As I see it now, if I can maintain a neutral feeling about my mindsets, and take them for what they are, subjective and interchangeable, perhaps then I am able to transcend the fuckery. The challenge then becomes, I believe, to be in an “observer” place where I am able to notice which mindset filter is in place, and whether my actions are helpful or not helpful in the moment and to be able to actively participate in the choosing of which mindset I want to wear. While at the same time, not attaching to the good or bad mindset but seeing them as transitory and interchangeable. Seems simple right? But as I know… the most simple things are those that are sometimes the hardest to practice.
I would love to hear your thoughts about your own mindset fuckery and ways that you are able or not able to deal with this human condition…