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The Minds Narrative

Updated: Mar 3

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how our minds want to create a narrative for us to live by. Our mind will set a stage we then project onto our life experience. Our mind wants us to believe specific scenarios for whatever reason. For control or out of fear, I am unsure why. I say this because of an experience I had the other day. I was stuck in traffic looking at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant. Then, all of a sudden, I realized I had been seeing McDonald’s a particular way all of my life. I saw for the first time my version of McDonaldness that I had projected out onto it. This is difficult to explain because it was outside my usual perception; however, the feeling was solid. It was as if there was the restaurant, me, and a film of experience all at once. I say film because my perception seemed like a light haze of projection. I realized this franchise was not what I had been seeing my whole life; it was a McDonald’s but not the one I was/had been perceiving; there was a difference. I also want to say that it has nothing to do with the restaurant; I could have been looking at anything. For whatever reason, it just happened to be this fast food chain. 

I know this because this is not the first time this has happened to me. It usually occurs when I am with another person. It is as if my mind stops, and I see for the first time that I really know nothing of the person I’m talking to. I realize I have been projecting onto them a sense of my own, let’s call it karma, and it is not them. At these times when my mind stops, I see for the first time I have no idea of the depths of this person. Or who they are. It is the most freeing feeling because I don’t have to know. There is a beauty to it all; I am free not to know. But my mind is not sure it likes this newfound freedom. Because of this, it wants to hold onto these images of projection. After these experiences, I become more judgmental and self-righteous because my mind needs to be in the know.

I want to give an example of how our minds set the narrative. This is not a judgment, just an incident that happened to my family that represents what I am talking about. My family and I were coming out of our neighborhood’s pet store, and a woman pulled up and parked next to our car. My husband and I must have been staring at her without realizing what we were doing. We were waiting for her to park so we could get into our car. She got out of her car and told us to stop judging how she parked. She then said she knew she didn’t park it straight. Then she marched into the pet store, upset at us. My husband and I looked at each other and were taken aback. I know my husband well enough to know he could care less about how this woman parked her car. I was not paying any attention to how she parked. But we were both upset that she was mad at us; we felt we had done something wrong. My husband and I don’t like to upset people. We both go out of our way to be accommodating, which is our narrative and a story for another blog post. Her thought was entirely off, and she was not questioning herself or her perception at that moment.

I have been wanting to write about this for a long time. I have been afraid to do so because I don’t completely understand it, and this freedom is not my constant state of mind. In other words, I am not an authority. But because I have had these moments of clarity, I know it exists. If people could at least question what they perceive as a question and not a truth, our minds would get a little breathing room. It is not an easy thing to do. There is no manual to follow. Our minds don’t want to be changed, not in the way I am describing. I only have a sense of what I am saying here, but I still think it is important for me to say it. In a way, it is not about changing our minds; it’s about freeing our minds because they don’t even know they are in prison.

We can all go to therapy and try to be better people. But without this fundamental shift in perception, as my teacher used to say, “We are just rearranging the furniture.”

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