Every time I put this book down and pick it back up again, it blows me away. Introspection and self-awareness are critical to me. Reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer literally agitates my constant ruminations. In a good way.
We live in a neurotic society. One where people everywhere are pained and plagued by self-inflicted and obsessive thought. Many of us are walking time bombs – ready and willing to explode the moment someone or something disrupts our psyche. But your reaction has nothing to do with the trigger. Your reaction has everything to do with your inner problem – the fear.
I think about how we mull over our past mistakes. We beat ourselves raw over things that no longer exist. We give power to notions that are no longer true (or never were true) and as a result, enslave ourselves to false beliefs. It’s incredible the burdens and incessant questionings we inflict upon ourselves. In chapter 10 of The Untethered Soul, Singer illustrates how ridiculous it is to cause our own pain.
If you mistreat an animal, it becomes afraid. This is what has happened to your psyche. You have mistreated it by giving it a responsibility that is incomprehensible. Just stop for a moment and see what you have given your mind to do. You said to your mind, “I want everyone to like me. I don’t want anyone to speak badly of me. I want everything I say and do to be acceptable and pleasing to everyone. I don’t want anyone to hurt me. I don’t want anything to happen that I don’t like. And I want everything to happen that I do like.” Then you said, “Now, mind, figure out how to make every one of these things a reality, even if you have to think about it day and night.” And of course your mind said, “I’m on the job. I will work on it constantly.” p. 91
To burden your mind with such an impossible task is reckless. But we do it everyday. Instead of accepting situations and people the way they are, we stress ourselves with fear-based thoughts.
It is okay to be imperfect and not to have everything figured out. As Singer says, “you should never have to figure out how to be okay, or how to not be scared, or how to feel loved. You should not have to devote your life to your psyche.”
You are HUMAN. You are the Self. You are the observer. You are not the mind, the machine.
When we take the time to properly access our inner pain, when we stop obsessing over our thoughts, we will truly be free.
Set yourself free.