Updated: Apr 4, 2022
I was delighted to get an email from a regular client today, retelling what could have been a very different story, but for the time we have spent engaged in the Inside Out understanding of where our experience is always coming from. This story is too good not to share.
Yesterday I had a vehicle accident. At the time, I was aware I had no brakes as I headed down a steep hill. I intuitively drove the vehicle alongside a bank to slow down, and ended up riding up the bank as it petered out, tipping off it onto my side, careering across the track and down into the rough, coming to rest on all 4 wheels.
I remember sitting behind the wheel incredulous that I was still alive!!!!
I felt a sense of calm that I was still alive and so grateful. Not a scratch, still behind the seatbelt, still in the vehicle – how can this be??
I calmly sought out my phone which was initially no where to be found, and rang my husband to let him know what had just happened and that I was fine.
Because I was unharmed – albeit a little stunned, I thought I would carry on to join my husband at the job, on foot, having now exhausted the usual fleet of vehicles. My husband heard my attempts at “being ok to walk” yet he insisted on coming to collect me. While I was waiting I collected all the items strewn across the track that had come off in the tumble.
A small shake in my knees now obvious.
Not much was said other than me calmly relaying my experience, and then incredulously I carried on with the crutching job for the rest of the day – not giving much more thought to what had just happened. The day was such that I had dinner alone before heading to bed to read – no opportunity to talk about it further with my husband, and actually not feeling the need to.
It wasn’t until the next day when I walked past the scene, the vehicle having been DRIVEN out of the predicament by my husband overnight, albeit a lot worse for wear physically, that I noticed my mind trying to make sense of it all.
I watched as my mind started making up stories about what must have really happened for the vehicle still to be driveable. Those thoughts, created feelings of blame, guilt, and self doubt. My mind then went to why hadn’t my husband been upset about it and what that must mean about his feelings towards me. He must be thinking that I’m lying about the brakes. My mind went onto make stories about him avoiding me last night, what he was thinking and what this will all mean about our future. My mind went onto “maybe he doesn’t love me anymore, why didn’t he hug me when he picked me up, he must be having an affair and was meeting her last night…….”
Thankfully I’m onto Thought! I know now it comes often habitually through my mind. The stories my mind tells, the assumptions it makes, the conclusions it comes to, the future it predicts, the blame it places. And all the feelings that come with the stories that feel really uncomfortable and feed more stories. The stories that can invite habitual behaviour of food or alcohol to escape the discomfort of the felt thinking.
The truth is – Something happened in my day and I dealt with it in the moment. Im grateful to be alive. It felt so good yesterday to be calm in the Knowing that there was nothing more to do and that I didn’t have to think about it. When the time was ready, the vehicle would be recovered and steps will be taken to have it repaired. End of story. This greatly changed my experience. Life carried on regardless of what thoughts my mind put on the made up movie screen. I cant go back and change the past. Listening to stories the mind creates only causes suffering, about something that is no longer real.
I am so grateful to have the Awareness that Thought tried to come in and make a bigger and more dramatic story about the event, 24hours after it happened, that actually wasn’t necessary, factual or useful. I then had the choice to engage in (believe) the thoughts or not.
Thank you thank you Jenny for helping me see the role of Thought in creating my every experience of life. Its so freeing to realise the voice in my head is not me.
Suffering only ever occurs when we identify with personal thoughts and take them to be real and true. The mind keeps the past alive by continuing to replay and make up stories even though time has moved on. It throws predictions about the future based on past personal experiences and we suffer with uncomfortable feelings when we believe this thinking to be real. The mind is just a biological machine that records information and throws it back as rehashed recordings that appear real.
Bottom line – we only ever experience our OWN thinking about people, situations or events. There is only ever the present moment that is REAL and it is constantly changing moment to moment. What a relief!
By Jenny Malcolm
MindBody Well Being Coach