Your Mind: From Survival to Living Life to the Fullest!

What a machine this is – a virtual, non-tangible, extremely vague object. We refer to it as if it were something we could, see, touch, smell, taste and feel. The Mind. The master of our Being, one of the proofs of our existence and the source of all our joy and suffering. The Mind. The Mind. The Mind. The Mind. What a machine that is in constant flux. It is constantly triggered by impulses of the past, present and the future. It is the essence in which we exist. The realm of which we propagate. The dimension which it allows us to know in its raw state. Everything else, is an illusion, a wish, a trick of its own existence, a mere mental wish to exist beyond that. The Mind. How beautiful and ugly it can be and how grey it can become shattered between the two worlds.

You happen to carry this mind of yours everywhere you go. During the daytime, nighttime, during your sleep, awake and the moments in between. Yet, it does not really exist in a shape or form. It exists, somehow, somewhere in between realms, in between dimensions, in between what is there, and isn’t there. It is a non-tangible, non-factual, non-existent object of your Being. Yet, untamed, it drives tangible forms of self-destruction, self-hate, anger, agony and resentment. But the question is, what is it about your “self” that is so very realistic? If the Mind – does not really exist in the forms and shapes you expect(ed) it to exist, then, what is your “self”? What is the “self”? Who is it? What does it resemble and how does it interact with you on daily bases?

Happiness, sadness, anger, peace, compassion, love, hate, lust, wars, murders, mental sicknesses; literally everything that you encounter in your life, is a direct result of your state of mind. This state of mind that imposes on you certain feelings through thought generation and thought structures that are a cause of your direct unawareness of your own Mind and the state of it, implicate you in troublesome behaviors, thoughts, feelings, emotions, discussions, wars, fights, and every other aspect of life that you encounter. You drown into wells filled with mud, dirt and underground creatures, the heaviness of it, the spiraling down format of it, the complete immersion of yourself in your Mind with the lack of awareness on its state keeps pulling you downward. You keep falling downward until you reach the bottom. Every time you think you have reached rock bottom, the ground opens and you keep falling further. Food, alcohol, drugs, sports & hobbies that go to the extreme, thoughts that go to the extreme, sickness, wealth, greed and the list can go endlessly just like the bottomless ground you fall into. Until, one day, one day, you reach a place where the light has become extremely dimmed, you realize that the downward spiraling is endless and you see no way out. No way out. Your mind gives you the illusion that there is no way out. That’s when you take your precious lives away from this existence.

What a powerful machine, kept untamed can become a source of destruction towards yourself, your loved ones and your society. Your Mind is just like a horse. Tame it and it will take you miles into the wild, it will keep you company, love you, cherish you and be loyal to you. Keep it untamed, and it will kick you off its back, drop you on the bottomless floor and abandon you in the middle of the battle. Well, then, how can you tame your Mind? Obviously, no one wants to keep their minds untamed if these are the consequences of an untamed Mind. But where do you begin? How do you start? And What is the right motivation for you to ensure a continuation of taming your Mind, befriending your Mind, and not being afraid of it but realizing that it is an undivided part of your existence that cannot be separated from what you call “self”.

What is expected from you as an individual a clear understanding of your own mind patterns. Each mind acts differently and you have different patterns that have evolved over time based on your experiences. You as an individual have had multitude of different experiences, even under the same roof, with the same people, you have experienced the experiences differently. This, you must understand and realize the impact of events on each of you is considerably completely different and differ in their impact, magnitude and feelings, emotions and thoughts attached to them. From there, you have made the first step.

The way we behave towards these experiences, the adaptation to situations and longer circumstances and the actions you take based on these adaptations, done repeatedly, resemble your patterns. The patterns that begin as defense mechanism and end up sabotaging your lives. You develop involuntary defense mechanisms to short lived situations and longer term circumstances to enable you to survive. Survival mechanisms are essential in vulnerable states of Being. These mechanisms allow you to get by, defend yourself and continue your life out of your innate will to live. The will to live is born with you. You are genuinely happy to be alive. To experience life.

These survival mechanisms ensure the continuation of your life, a bare minimum of happiness during these situations and circumstances which looks like a protective layer around your core Being. Imagine yourself walking around with an invisible shield that fends off unwanted people, bullies, abusive parents, partners, friends, war, rape, and all kind of harmful events that could happen to you. Imagine this shield is covering your existence. It covers the most vulnerable parts of your Being and allows you to deal with it, while you adjust and become adapted to your capabilities. The traumatic events are usually out of our control: Rape, war, abusive parents, bullies (emotional and physical) and the list goes on. What we do with it, when and if it happens to us, is up to us. The shield you wear, will protect you. The shield you wear will protect you, for a brief period of time and then it will expire. And when it expires, your mind, is reset. It is untamed. It goes rouge. It wants to be a victim, take revenge, abuse your body by excessive sex encounters, sexual extremities, drug use and abuse, sports extremities, hobbies that go beyond healthy habits and so on of destructive behaviors. These destructive behaviors can be in disguise. You could spend your whole life reading books, stories, and novels and shutting yourself out from the outer world. A habit that goes beyond a moderate form can become destructive and can be a result of a form of survival mechanism that has developed as a survival mechanism. This does not mean that survival mechanism are bad, wrong, evil or whatever you want to call them. On the contrary, survival mechanisms are extremely healthy, for a brief period of time until you pick yourself up, decide to live and figure out your strategy to actually start living. Survival mechanisms are not meant to exist your whole life because surviving, is not living. And is not a way to associate with it your whole life. Then you stay surviving your whole life as a victim of your trauma. You associate with yourself being a victim. Your identity becomes associated with the victim role. Your behaviors become associated with the victim role. Your name, looks, words, breaths become associated with the victim role. You, as a person who experienced the horrifying horrors of your trauma are not a victim of your trauma your whole life. You have been, you survived it and now, it, is over. How are you going to start living your life? How are you going to tame your mind? Ask yourself, what do I need to start living my life? What do I require from my mind? Do I want to live on survival mode all my life? Do I want to be a victim all my life?

Taming the mind after recovering from a situation or a circumstance can be challenging, yet, it is not impossible. A side note here, I do not want to focus on the notion of Trauma – Trauma is just another label we put around unfortunate events, actions and situations that affect us negatively and we shield up. Another side note, I will be using the term “shield up” regularly while typing my notes. Taming the mind and reprogramming it to adapt to your needs to serve your Body, Soul and existence in general can start by (1) acknowledging to yourself that what you have passed through is unfair, unjust and should not have happened to you – This is an easy part because it activates the victim in you and allows you to take actions whether using your body or your mind by generating thought patterns to feed the victim in you, yet it is essential (2) acknowledge to yourself that what has happened to you has happened and you cannot change it, alter it or twist it around in any shape or form – (3) acknowledge your role as a victim in this situation and make a conscious decision using your mind to step out of the situation and the mental victimization towards liberty – This is challenging and require restructuring of your thought patterns (4) make a commitment towards yourself that you are not a victim of your experiences and choose to be liberated from the feelings, emotions and thoughts of your experience and move towards the Living part of your life (5) start putting the building blocks for self-love – Without finding self-love within yourself towards yourself even a wizard cannot solve the most complex human Mind problems. I hesitated whether this step should be the first step or the last step. For now, it comes in last to maintain the gains from the first four steps.

Note[[ Generating a list of four bullet points is easy, what is easier is to read them in one night and forget about them the next day. You will feel good when you read them and commit to go back to it, but that won’t happen because your mind won’t allow you to do that. The comfort zone of being in the victim role is too rewarding to initiate the change in your life from a list of four bullet points. In the coming sections, I will be talking about each bullet point separately. This way you can take your time and allow yourself to immerse yourself in each phase. Each phase can take weeks, months and years to develop towards helping you re-taming your mind or taming your mind for the first time ever!]]

1- Acknowledging to yourself that what happened to you is unfair, unjust and should not have happened to you: Giving yourself the comfort of acknowledgment that whatever you have passed through is not something that was “Okay” to pass through and realize you have been through a lot because of this incident is essential. It is important to look yourself in the mirror and say “what I passed through was not “Okay”. No one, including myself, should ever pass through this. Doing that does two things: (1) It shows you how magnificently strong you are for standing face to face against the mirror with yourself, acknowledging your strength and your pain and acknowledging that this is not the norm in which life goes for anyone including yourself. (2) It helps bring your stuck emotions that have been buried over the years from the fear of: breaking down, collapsing, feeling devastated as a result of retrieving the thoughts associated with the incident. When these emotions come in form of screaming, tears, shivering, or any other form, allow them and accept them to materialize. You can scream, you can cry, you can shiver, you can be angry, you can… You must not do anything. You should not do anything. There is no prescription for your Mind. There are ways in which you can work on befriending your mind and taming it.
This first step is a sword with two edges. The first edge is that you could fall back to the victim realm and stay stuck there. The second edge is that you accumulate a sense of anger that evolves to action by taking revenge on the person or people whom have hurt you or the same criteria of people whom have hurt you in the past. This last edge comes as a result of extremely suppressed feelings and not allowing this first step to take its time and space. Weeks, months and maybe years. You might want to cry from this pain that you have been carrying with you all your lives. You might want to scream, to shout. You might want to go for a soul searching trip in nature for few days or whatever suits you, in this particular situation and state of mind.
Once you have given this phase its time and space it needs you prevent falling back to either extremes. You reach an understanding with yourself that (1) what happened is not the norm (2) allow your Mind to accept this reality and the feelings that come with it. And then feel the relief of it all.

2- Acknowledge to yourself that what has happened to you has happened and you cannot change it, alter it or twist it around in any shape or form. Having this deep realization that whatever happened was beyond your control is important. You did not choose this to happen nor did you intentionally want it to happen to cause this whole situation where you become the victim of it. This does not mean that you think of “poor little me, I am helpless and I cannot change my reality”. In fact, this is totally the opposite. This means that you accept your experience and embrace it, however painful it is. You do not want to become one with your trauma and structure your whole life around the fact that you have been traumatized by your experience. This is not the case. You are not a victim of your own experiences. You, as an entity are capable of detaching yourself from your experiences because you are separable from them. What your mind and body experience does not resemble you. It can be a part of who you are, but it doesn’t create your identity. Acknowledging that your situation was inevitable and there was nothing you can do about it Now is essential to overcome the feelings associated with it rather than further revolve your life around it.

3- Acknowledge your role as a victim in this situation and make a conscious decision using your conscious mind to step out of the situation and the mental victimization towards liberty. The most important part of the process is this: How can you get out of this mental conditioning that you only exist through your negative situation or circumstance? This mental conditioning that, you can only get the attention from Yourself and the world around you through your victim role play? This mental conditioning that, because of your negative experience, your essence is the victim and you do not have an identity but that victim? How can you step out of this conditioning towards a present moment that lives in this particular Now? Your conscious mind has the key to all of this. The first step is to acknowledge that at that moment when the situation took place, you have been a victim of it. You have endured the pain be it mental or/and physical and/or emotional. Do not indulge in this moment. For brief seconds, think of it, acknowledge yourself as a victim and come back to this particular moment. Now! Now, look at your current state, this instant as you read these words and ask yourself: Am I still a victim of that situation? If the answer is no, then you have just made the jump. If the answer is yes, get a piece of paper or in your dairy and state in bullet-points, what makes you currently a victim of your previous negative experience? Can you come up with some reasoning for it? Is your situation still ongoing? Then you want to answer this question: What is hindering you from pulling yourself out of your situation?
If your answer was no, then you have made a realization that the negative situation that happened in the past, it has affected your present but you no longer associate or want to associate with it. Your behavior over the months, years and in some cases decades have been shaped to accommodate the victim role you have been associated with your whole life. This behavior is not going to change over night but you have already made the shift. Reassess your behavior. The best place to start with is retrieving memories from the very close past that witnessed conflict with your partner, kids, parents, coworkers… Assess how you behaved and what kind of behavior was that? Retrieve a few of these memories and start drawing some patterns for yourself.
For example: In conflict situations, I tend to do: (1) (2) (3) – State what your conflict behavioral pattern is on a piece of paper. This pattern is how you have associated with your negative experience that you have allowed to shape your life up till few moments before reading this.
Look at situations where you are in sync with your loved ones, your parents, kids, coworkers and so on. How do you behave and what do you say? How do you express it? And follow the same exercise.
Look at situations when you are happy, sad, angry, mad, feeling down or at a high and write down what thoughts emerge and how do you treat the people around you?
When you create this behavioral pattern map for yourself, you begin to learn how this experience has shaped you. And then, ask yourself, is this really how I want to live my life for the rest of my life? Or is there something I want to change? Remember, your mind is one of the most powerful machines the universe has witnessed (thus so far). Begin by making tiny changes one step at a time. Write your progress down and follow it. Reprogram your mind based on your truest essence. Sit with yourself. Feel who you truly are, not through thoughts and words that emerge onto your mind while you are sitting with yourself but through complete stillness, things start to emerge. You begin to get a sense of clarity. A sense of oneness with yourself and maybe start realizing that your current existence in this form does not necessarily resemble who you truly are nor do your experiences good or bad (those are relative too).

4- Make a commitment towards yourself that you are not a victim of your experiences and choose to be liberated from the feelings, emotions and thoughts of your experience and move towards the Living part of your life. Once you have gone through the third point, you might want to start thinking of ways and strategies for yourself to implement a road-map for your own recovery. You will require to have a strong commitment from yourself to this recovery plan which you will put together. Think of the things you have jogged down in your dairy and start drawing actionable items from them. What do I want to change? How do I want to change it? When do I want to start with it? Remember, your patterns and themes will always remain with you (just like everyone else), the difference now, you are aware of them. The watch out here is to keep an eye for a sabotage when you start stalling or pushing goals further down with time lines.
Choosing to be liberated from the feelings, emotions, and thoughts of your experience and choosing to move towards the living part of your life and forgoing surviving is a courageous step forward. This means, you are prepared to face the your fears, your buried feelings and your acknowledge that you deserve to begin living! This is the beginning of self-love! Congratulations.

5- Start putting the building blocks for self-love – Without finding self-love within ourselves towards ourselves even a wizard cannot solve the most complex human Mind problems. Self-love is difficult to establish if you have lived your life with negligence from the dearest ones to you. To feel that you deserve self-love is difficult in this situation and at the same time essential and crucial for your full recovery. At this stage, you have written down many different acknowledgments in your diary. Go through them. Read them and take your time. Spend time with yourself. Meditate or practice mindfulness on some mobile applications available. The important part is, spend time with yourself. Live with your notes. And when you realize that you are good with them, there is nothing left unwritten, start treating yourself to things you’ve always wanted to do or to have. Small things. Take baby-steps towards building that relationship with yourself again, because you are at the stage where you are deeply in touch with yourself and you have established this connection between your body and mind. From these small things, you can shift to feelings, “I want to feel better” and “I deserve to live a happy life” and “what does a happy life look like for me?”. Learn about yourself by giving yourself time and space to do so.

After you have finished reading this blog, I hope that you have found it beneficial. Please leave a comment, or drop me a message if you have any questions.

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