Being thunk by thought

Image: Martin Sattler

What if we aren’t the ones doing the thinking, but instead, are being thunk by this thing — this phenomenon — called thought?

How would that change the way you see your human experience?

Would it seem lighter? More intimidating? Neither?

I used to think I could release bad thoughts.

Until I tried. And they grew in intensity.

Seeing thought as a type of mental heartbeat changed things for me (and made a lot of sense). Here’s how it seems to work…

Thoughts come through the screen of our awareness.

Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump.

We cherry-pick certain ones and add intensity to them. We create drama around them. We start trying to manipulate them. We take them personally. We even attempt to suppress them.

But on the heartbeat continues…

Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump.

We’re not beating our hearts. Our hearts are beating us. 
We’re not thinking our thoughts. Thought is thinking us.

Each beat/thought shows up and is followed by another one as if they have a life of their own.

Letting go of thought is a futile attempt. But meeting it with understanding allows it to let go of us.

Have you ever tried arguing with, suppressing, or releasing a heartbeat? What would that experience look like?

The way I see it, we’d soon be obsessed with our heartbeat...

Stop! Beating!
Slow down!
Beat faster!
Why are you beating so much?
Can’t you beat to the tune of my favorite Justin Bieber song?
Why does it have to beat so fast when I run? How inconvenient.

This doesn’t help.

A much better experience would come of not trying to control it so much. Sure — eating healthy, sleeping well, and getting exercise might help our heartbeat issues. But to sit there and bitch/obsess/mentally thrash about it seems insane, doesn’t it?

Our quality of living would increase dramatically if we could just acknowledge and accept our heartbeats as the mostly uncontrollable phenomena they are and live happily with them going on in the background.

Maybe we should see thought as the same kind of thing…

Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha…


I’m Jonas Ellison — a motivational messenger and transformative coach who writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox every day, click here.

If you enjoyed this piece, proclaim your love to the world by recommending it below and sharing with your people. Thanks!