Unsticking the Stuck Mind

When our mind is glued on something, love can be a formidable anti-adhesive.

I spent a recent winter weekend grinding over the same pesky issue, my brain like a car driving back and forth on a short road with no off-ramp.

It’s as fun as a root canal, with none of the promised ease at the end.

I talked the pesky issue over with a few folks; it helped to hear myself outside of my head. What came to light was an awareness: I was suffering. And not really from the pesky issue itself. The taproot of my suffering was how I was handling the pesky issue.

A word on suffering. It’s customarily used for catastrophic pain, especially loss - of money, work, home, health, near and dear ones. But it is also the more common hurts, slights, stucknesses. Suffering is anything that causes us pain, even if we are the ones causing ourselves the pain. And we only amplify our suffering if we kick it aside, deem it too small, too insignificant for our care.

That recent winter weekend, I had felt my suffering. But it was when I named it that, that I could begin to alleviate it.

Oh, I turned to myself, you’re in pain, Jelly Bean. All this grinding and whirring really hurts, doesn’t it?

This got me out of my head and into my heart. Because it is our brains we get stuck so tight in, but our hearts that we get spacious relief from.

My whole self shifted from grinding over the pesky issue to bringing love to the aches that stuck thinking can inflict.

I would have to do this many times. It is neither seamless nor effortless.

But when our thinking is going back and forth on the same short road, love can be our off-ramp.

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