Your mind is a place full of thoughts. Your consciousness controls the weight of each thought and has the power to change them. But can it control which thoughts are produced? There are many factors: your subconscious, patterns and behaviors you learned in childhood, your traumas, your experiences, the outside world, drugs, and alcohol. Life comes at you in good and bad ways and your mind processes it and stores it.
If you were wronged, it is not your fault. But it is your responsibility to deal with it.
If your mind is like a house then all your negative experiences are like clutter. It is easy to have the clutter and shove it in a corner. It is easy to ignore the clutter by leaving your house. When you are working, involved in an activity or hanging out with friends, you leave your house. You leave the inside of your mind and focus on your outside experience. When you drink, smoke, or do drugs, you escape your mind as well.
The less time you spend inside your mind, the more the clutter builds. The more the clutter builds, the more you feel like you need to escape it. Mess is uncomfortable. It is not pleasant to be inside a dirty house with trash, dirt, and things thrown around. You don’t want to be there. When you see the mess, it is overwhelming. Where do I start? Just like when your real house or your room is messy, you rather ignore it than spend the time organizing and doing laundry.
Sometimes you don’t even notice that your house is becoming messy because you are never home. You never take the time to sit inside for a while. You keep the doors and windows shut and no one notices the mess either.
But just like a nagging mother, your inner voice tells you to clean up. Some find ways to silence the inner voice and it works for a while. Maybe a few months, a year, or you could go 30 years without cleaning up. But, eventually, your house becomes infested and overflows with dirt and bugs and trash out the windows and doors. Everything around you begins to crumble: your job, your relationships, your finances. You are forced to deal with it now.
It is natural that your mind becomes dirty. Dirty from anger, sadness, hopelessness, negative thoughts about others or oneself, a stranger who was rude to you, getting cheated, losing money, a death. It is not fair, but its your mind and you are the only one who can make it clean.
What can you do?
First, sit inside your house. Open the windows and doors. Just be inside your mind. If you haven’t spent much time there, then first focus on seeing where the mess is. This means being alone with yourself, without outside distractions like an activity, other people, or your phone. This is sitting alone with yourself, thinking, inside your mind. If you’re afraid, this is normal. Push through the fear. Practice this for as long as you need. In this stage, you will process and reflect. Let your mind do the work and trust that it knows how. All you have to do is allow yourself the time and space to let your brain figure out its mess.
When you are ready, begin cleaning.The most difficult part is realizing that you need to clean. The second is where to start. Start at the top, with the things that are easy to clean. At home, maybe it is your dishes or your laundry. In your mind, maybe its a disagreement that you had with a friend or the fact that you left your wallet at home. Start with the easy things first. Once you clear those messes, you can slowly go deeper and deeper like fixing more complex issues such as childhood trauma, bad habits, discovering your life’s purpose, etc.
What does it mean to clean your mind?
First, you reflect and realize oh yes this situation here has bothered me and I am feeling like this because of it. Feel your feelings. Let them rise to the surface. The quicker you deal with it and allow yourself to feel your emotions, the quicker and easier they fade. Emotions are so temporary. If you are experiencing an emotion intensely and drawn out, then its because you had been ignoring it and it has been building inside you for some time like a tumor or cyst. If you have repressed certain issues for long stretches of time, do not expect them to be healed quickly. Healing is a process.
Reflect, feel, understand, and then change your thoughts. For all the times that I have felt wronged or treated poorly, it is because I did not understand fully. A person who is rude to you or reacts to you in anger is like this because they have been hurt. If you are angry, it is because you are in pain. If you are frustrated, it is because your needs are not being met. If your parents abused you, it might be because they were abused. When you understand people’s actions, it is easier to be more empathetic towards them. Forgive them and let it go. Understand your behaviors, forgive yourself, and move on. Be gentle with yourself. You are human.
Ask yourself why. Why am I depressed? Why do I feel guilty? Why do I regret? Why am I angry? All the feelings you have are necessary because they are telling you something. Everything you feel is for a reason. Listen to them and hear what they are saying. Work on getting to that place of understanding so that you can change, act, or move on.
To be resilient is to be able to turn every hardship into a lesson.
If you can learn something from all your negative experiences, then you will be happy. When something bad happens, you can smile and say wow I am so lucky to be able to have another experience to learn from. No matter how terrible the circumstance, you can grow.
Clean your house. Do it in your own time and in your own way. If you have never tried meditating or spent time alone with your thoughts, it can be intimidating. The main thing that you have do is just give your mind the time to process. It will all come together on its own. You will heal. Quicker than you might imagine. Just start.
Once you’ve cleared the clutter, you can start decorating your house. Your mind will become a place that you enjoy spending time. You won’t feel the need to escape so often. You will be content. Life is never going to stop bringing in mess. Your mind will get dirty again and it’s okay and natural. With awareness, you can see it and clean it up immediately. Life will become easier this way.