Today was a much-needed day of accomplishment. All this hard work and stress is finally turning into something more pleasant and fulfilling. The list of things to do to help Mom become more independent have dwindled down, and have also been lessons on how wonderful life can truly be. Apparently, it’s all in the way we look at things.
Not too long ago, the subject of the way we look at things came up during conversation with my husband. His views on life are very interesting and intelligent to say the least. He goes to a certain music forum almost everyday to read others posts, and observe and take in their stories. On this particular evening, we were discussing something about our attitudes on life and how we look at our daily activities.
The mention of some not so great tasks came up, and he brought up ‘Pronoia’, which had recently been read about, and even conversed with someone about other than him. Someone in the forum he visits, was posting about this book and talking about our language, and the way we perceive and discuss our daily activities. Complaints were being made about some activities concerning a not so desired task at hand for that day. What was discussed is how we say things like – “I have to go do the laundry.” vs, “I get to go do laundry.” Now this may seem silly or trivial, however, hold this thought for a few minutes. How often do we think about how we use our minds, and our speech to make life more difficult? Do we even give it a thought?
Now, keeping this in mind, let’s go on. As a guest on a friend’s webcam show recently, we were discussing Eckhart Tolle and his book, ‘A New Earth’, which happens to be my favorite book. I was asked to read something from the book, and this is what came up when opening the book – CONTENT AND STRUCTURE OF THE EGO: “The egoic mind is completely conditioned by the past. Its conditioning is twofold: It consists of content and structure. In the case of a child who cries in deep suffering because his toy has been taken away, the toy represents content. It is interchangeable with any other content, any other toy or object. The content you identify with is conditioned by your environment, your upbringing, and surrounding culture. Whether the child is rich or poor, whether the toy is a piece of wood shaped like an animal or a sophisticated electronic gadget makes no difference as far as the suffering caused by its loss is concerned. The reason why such acute suffering occurs is concealed in the word “my,”and it is structural. The unconscious compulsion to enhance one’s identity through association with an object is built into the very structure of the egoic mind. One of the most basic mind structures through which the ego comes into existence is identification. The word “identification” is derived from the Latin word idem, meaning “same” and facere , which means “to make.” So when I identify with something, I “make it the same.” The same as what? The same as I. I endow it with a sense of self, and so it becomes part of my “identity.” One of the most basic levels of identification is with things: My toy later becomes my car, my house, my clothes, and so on. I try to find myself in things but never quite make it and end up losing myself in them. That is the fate of the ego.”
Another guest on the show mentioned that we should try to spend “one day” without uttering the words I, me, my, and mine, in all communications. This was very powerful, and we all agreed we would try that. Here we are, four days later. Not only is it hard to think about how I “get” to do things vs I “have” to do things, but trying to express yourself without saying any of these words in conversation is extremely complicated, and almost impossible. Writing like this, is much easier than letting our language flow without any of these things coming out of your mouth. So… the journey continues. Not only does it continue, but it now got much more complicated and much harder. But we’ve got this, if we push through it.
Going to Mom’s to clean, do laundry and be around her as she is in her stage of life she is in, is usually hard. Yesterday, it was “getting” to go to her house, and keeping in mind that we are both still here on this earth, and able to enjoy life. The concept here is to understand that we are here with everyday tasks that we can either choose to enjoy, or begrudgingly just “get through”. It actually worked, and we had a wonderful day. This will be the mantra from now on. It just has to be placed in the brain as a reminder during meditation. Well, actually…constantly.
As for using none of these words in our speech. Still working on this one. Posting on social media, keeping this in mind is hard. Writing this blog just got more complicated. Now, try doing this while you speak with others. It’s really, really, NOT easy at all. We are complicated beings. More so than we ever think about. More so than we ever care to practice.
So much reading, and so much to learn. We “get” to do this though, but only if we choose to.