The society we live in isn’t conducive to being truly human.
It wasn’t designed with our happiness and satisfaction in mind, but to instead keep us depressed. It puts us into debt, it makes us sick, it surrounds us with violence and hate, it keeps us lonely and disconnected, while filling our minds with a skewed vision of what humanity’s potential is.
It imprisons our human spirit.
So it isn’t a surprise that as a survival mechanism, we’ve put up walls around our heart to stop ourselves from feeling. When we’re taught that the world is cut throat and we need to be tough in order to survive, feeling is not an option.
We’ve learned to instead suppress all of that and escape to the mind where we can be more analytical and play our lives like a chess game. “Who do I have to be in order to fit in with this person/situation/society? And what do I have to do to avoid getting hurt?” The goal is to always be one step ahead of what could go wrong.
The entire purpose of the mind is to constantly look for problems to solve, so if we allow it to, it will always find one. Or better yet, create one.
This idea, I believe, is the entire basis of our modern civilization. We’ve given the mind full control to run wild with ideas and intellect. All of our major systems are built around problem-solving, knowledge, information, understanding, analysis, physical security, speed and productivity. Just look at modern agriculture, the Internet, our economic systems, scientific knowledge… It’s a sea of data and information needing to be processed. Don’t get me wrong, all of these systems have been incredibly beneficial up until now, but what they lack is the human touch. They don’t take into account feeling, or emotion, or heart, or meaning, or fulfillment. They lack true human connection, which comes from the heart and soul. By living through these systems, it’s created in us a feeling of distrust, greed, disconnection, lack of empathy, feeling and basic human decency.
The problem is, this current world moves much too fast for the heart to keep up, so in order to survive, we’ve given all of our power to the mind. And mental energy is intense. Anyone with an overactive mind can tell you how fast they can jump from one thought to another, until they’re spiraling out of control. I believe this is at least partly why there is such a huge epidemic of anxiety and depression in our society. We’re not meant to keep up this pace, or to live in this way. We’re unable to truly process and release the immense amount of information we’re taking in, so our bodies are burning out in an attempt to slow us down.
It knows that when we finally do slow down, we can then get out of our minds and connect more to our hearts. While the mind keeps us in either the past or the future, the heart connects us more to the present moment. The here and now. And when you learn to live more from this place, you’ll notice that the energy moves much more slowly. It’s a calmer, more loving, supportive and accepting energy, content to be where it is. It allows us to feel our intuition and to connect more deeply with others. True connection, after all, can’t be felt through the mind. Only the body and heart are capable of that.
Unfortunately, due to all of our past experiences and traumas, a lot of us aren’t even able to fully feel (or at least we don’t allow ourselves to). We know that once we get more into the body and feel what’s actually inside of us, we might not be able to handle the deluge of emotion that will flood our system. After a lifetime of suppressing and ignoring our feelings, the thought of expressing them feels incredibly scary because we haven’t had enough experience doing so. Or perhaps we’re still locked into an outdated model, which tells us that emotions are wrong and to “just be happy” or “suck it up.”
This suppression then causes us to move back into our minds and to keep feeding into the same anxiety loop. But speaking from experience, until we actually give these emotions the space to release and to truly feel what we’re feeling, they will never go away. And I honestly believe that a lot of the negative self-talk and mind chatter that we get is actually caused by suppressed emotion in the body. In the last few months, I’ve allowed myself to feel and release a lot of the past emotion I’ve been holding onto, and by doing that, I feel entirely different. My confidence is up, I’m not as worried about what people think, I feel more grounded and connected to myself, my thoughts are more positive and easier to manage… Talk therapy might help us work through some of our issues, but if we don’t release the emotional charge that’s connected to it, then we haven’t fully healed it. We can’t think an emotion out of existence. Only feeling it will.
Now how can one actually do that? Again, from my experience, meditation has been absolutely essential for this process. Its literal translation actually means, “to become familiar with” and it can act as the bridge between the mind and the body. It allows us to objectively understand how our mind works and to focus it on sensations and feelings in the body, which help to bring these emotions to the surface. The trick, however, is to learn how to focus the mind, because it doesn’t like to be limited to one single task. It will resist and try to bring you out of the moment, telling you that meditation is pointless or that you can’t do it so you should quit. The mind is connected to ego, so it knows that once you gain control over it, it’s lost its full power over you. And it does not like that. To be able to meditate takes a lot of practice and self-discipline. It requires you to sit in discomfort, battling the thoughts in your mind but not letting them win. It requires you to show up day after day, even just 5 minutes at a time, until the ego finally starts to release its control and surrender. I believe this is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your well being.
The mind is a tool that we need to learn how to use more effectively. It isn’t about silencing the mind. It’s about gaining control over it and making it work for us, not for itself. As much as we believe that it’s the mind that steers the ship, it’s the heart that holds the map. The heart knows where it wants to go, but it’s our thoughts that get in the way of hearing its wisdom.
And I believe this is first step to figuring out who you truly are. When you learn to control the mind and instead focus it inward on yourself, you’ll be able to use its immense power to build from the inside out. Dismantling past conditioning and beliefs, releasing old emotions, and peeling back layers in order to get to your true, authentic self.
The meaning of life is found in the parts that make us human. We are not a closed system or a cookie-cutter program to be figured out by an algorithm. We shouldn’t have to mold ourselves just to fit inside a box. We are much more multi-faceted and complicated than that, which our current societal systems don’t take into consideration. Our external world is simply a manifestation of our collective internal world, so the more we connect to ourselves and our hearts, the more the external world will start to shift and reflect that change.
I believe that we’re actually in the process of a “heart-awakening” right now, where we’re realizing that the way we’ve been living isn’t satisfying enough anymore and that there is way more to life than what we’ve been told. Unfortunately, a lot of this is new to us so we don’t really know how to handle and express our emotion, which is why there is so much turmoil and anger and insecurity in our society at the moment. All of our suppressed emotions are coming up to the surface faster than we’re able to deal with them. They’re explosive and reactionary and raw. To be human is messy. But I also believe that this will eventually level out. IF you’re into numerology, 2020 is certainly going to be an interesting year! But it’s all a process that we need to go through, a collective cleansing of sorts, in order to release the past so we can move toward a better suited future for the next stage in human development: a more fulfilling, heart-centred world.
But it all starts with healing & loving yourself.