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Why Your Mind Acts Like a Personal Torture Chamber
Your mind inflicts suffering like no other person can.
Other people can hurt you, but only your mind can take that hurt, magnify it, extend it over time, give you bad dreams, stress you into oblivion and drag you through the mud until the cows come home.
Can you tell I speak from experience?
What is it about the mind that makes it act more like a personal torture chamber than a tool for survival and happiness?
Worse, your mind resists attempts at changing. The minute you think you have learned a valuable technique to calm it down, it shifts gears and beats you up from a different direction. Slippery little devil…
How is it possible that the part of us that should be our best friend often acts like our worst enemy? What advantage is there in anyone spending a lifetime enduring self-sabotage?
Here’s why: Attachments
Attachments are unconscious tendencies learned in early childhood that stick with us for life, unless we become conscious of them.
In the throes an attachment, we cling to feelings of rejection, hurt, helplessness, emptiness, or apathy and avoid a sense of fulfillment, such as the fulfillment that comes from a calm mind and connection to the present moment.
Amazingly, we can get so accustomed to living in our negative attachments that we just stick with them, giving up all hope of change. This is as good as it gets, we tell ourselves.
At best, we are left with a conflict. One the one hand, we want to be motivated and succeed. On the other hand, we don’t seem to care. This is a perfect set up for self-sabotage. We get all pumped up to get some great things done, then before long – poof – the motivation disappears or we find some reason to sabotage the effort. Rinse and repeat!
As if the picture couldn’t get any bleaker, you must also admit that in the moments of sabotage, you are choosing it. At some deep level, you prefer the torture. Or, you just don’t care that much.
This is the Great Glitch of human nature. At some level, we choose negativity, heaping it upon ourselves like so much dirt.
The good news is that there is hope, real hope that goes far deeper than second-rate psychology and ticky-tacky personal growth techniques. Deep change happens when you achieve deep insight. When your level of self-awareness is as deep as the change you need to make, then you have the right choices available to you.
If you remain ignorant, confused, frustrated and in denial, you will remain powerless to change your life at a deep level. It courage and effort to learn, but that does not mean the education is unavailable.
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.