Creative Thinking: How ‘real’ is your life?

Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan

Published — Monday 16 July 2012

Last update 16 July 2012 8:28 pm

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Today ... Questions galore! How do you want the rest of your life to be? Are you planning to proceed as you have been doing up to now, or are you forecasting some changes? Have you ever really asked yourself such questions? Maybe it’s time you did. Look at your past, quickly, with neither judgment nor regret. Now look at your present. Is it similar to your past? Do you like it? Is there anything you would like to be different? And now... ask yourself how you envision your future. The same as your past? Similar to your present? Is there anything you could do to create a future that could be better than the present? Can you think about any “adjustments” to make? I know... I know... It’s a lot to think about. But, as your mind is always thinking anyway, can’t you dedicate just a few moments to reflect on something that is of paramount importance? Your own life? Assuming that you have taken a little while to ponder about those questions, at least superficially, let’s talk a bit about the main function of your mind: “thinking.” Thinking is certainly indispensable and undeniably useful because you need to organize and live your life according to a logical pattern. You believe your brains to be in charge of the decisions you make and you trust the direction you are led toward.
But (here comes the tricky part!) sometimes — don’t deny it — you have the sensation that your life is not unfolding according to a “logical pattern.” You might even feel that — to a certain extent — it is not totally “real.” You mysteriously feel that things might and even “should” be different. You experience a sensation of unreality, as if it were not you who was acting, as if things were happening to someone else. As if this was not “your” life.
However, this is “your” life. You live it intensely, you feel joy and pain, love and resentment, satisfaction and depression… the whole range of feelings and sensations that make your life fully “felt.” So what? Is it possible that at times you create a world for yourself that is different from the real one? As in a dream, you undergo experiences, which seem to be real but actually are not; you meet people, you see places and things that do not exist in reality. You experience life in such a way that, even when you are awake, you behave as if you were dreaming. How come?
I believe that the deepest part of our own “self,” our intuition, tries to suggest that the way we are used to looking at the world around us is possibly incorrect. Why? Because we usually refuse to accept to see things and people as they are and prefer to “interpret” them according to our own point of view “only.”
Analyzing, comparing and judging is what we all, therefore you, too, usually do. You were taught to do so, this is the example you were given, that’s why you cannot do otherwise. In order to think of something (it can’t help doing it!), not only does the mind make you miss the experience of fully enjoying the beauty and goodness that surrounds you, it also makes you create real “monsters” in your imagination, absurd fears, poisonous snakes that are just harmless ropes.
It’s impossible to say if, in spite of your willpower, you will ever be capable of freeing yourself from this habit of always having to think in an “interpretative” way.
It has become a second nature to you but, if you are really willing to do something about it, you can at least start looking at things with “new” eyes, and try to see people and situations as they actually are and not as you judge (imagine) them to be. One little step at the time might help you achieve rewarding changes in the way you live your life.

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