Have you ever said to yourself, ‘I’ve fucked up’?
When we make a mistake a thought like this will often crop up.
And that thought can start a train of thoughts that leads to self-recrimination.
‘I always fuck up.’
‘Why did I do that?’
You start telling yourself off for the mistake.
Telling yourself you’re not good enough.
Telling yourself you’re clumsy, stupid, naïve, silly, an idiot, a failure…
A simple mistake that can easily be brushed off or perhaps learnt from if you took a moment to think about it, has now turned in to a whole negative story about yourself.
And we start to get attached to these thoughts.
So attached that we start to believe WE ARE our thoughts.
And this is where meditation can help, because it will teach you that YOU ARE NOT your thoughts.
Becoming the Witness
When we focus our attention on the breath in meditation, at some point the mind will naturally wander off into thought.
It may be for a brief moment or a few minutes, but eventually you’ll notice you’re lost in thought.
And that moment when you notice you’re lost in thought is called awareness.
You’re aware that you are having a thought.
And when you experience that moment of awareness, you realise YOU are not the thought.
YOU are the WITNESS of the thought.
And you can choose to let the thought go.
To watch it drift away as you return to the object of focus, the breath.
So by building this awareness in practice, you gain the strength and ability to detach from your thoughts.
So rather than allowing a thought to snowball out of control, what will start to happen is that you’ll be able to BE THE WITNESS of your thoughts.
So that when the inner critic arrives to bombard you with negative feedback or criticism, you’ll be aware of when he shows up.
And you’ll have the strength and ability to wave him goodbye.