Prisoner of the Mind

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Lately, I have started to really inquire every story or belief that triggers and bothers me through Byron Katie’s The Work method. And honestly, to be able to be free from beliefs and thoughts that anger, frustrate, irritate or bother me, there is a real sense of freedom and liberation.

Recently, for three days in a row, I either saw a fly or bee trapped inside our living room window. It would stop for a bit, then flap its wings and attempt at flying out the window again. At one point, I even opened the window for the fly so that it could easily get out of the house. But no matter how many attempts it made at escaping, it failed.

I looked at the window and thought, “freedom was so close, but why couldn’t the fly see the way out?” The next day, the same thing happened again, but it was a bee this time and just like the fly it perched on the inside of my house window and attempted at getting out. If only he were to fly back and see the bigger picture, he would be able to see that even though he saw outside through the window glass, that wasn’t the right way.

Then suddenly I got the message. All along, I’ve been like the fly, perching on the window looking out, trying to find freedom through the window of my mind. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t escape and why I couldn’t get out. I thought I could see the way out; happiness and freedom was outside right? It was right out there, but why couldn’t I reach it? If only I lived my life purpose, if only I moved back to Vancouver, if only I was enlightened, then I’ll truly be happy and free. I was so wrong. All along I was looking for freedom and liberation in the wrong place, I was looking for something outside of myself to save me. And now as I write, I simply laugh at the absurdity of my striving and suffering. When you read books that tell you that happiness is not outside of yourself and the only way to stop suffering is to detach from your thoughts you may think yes I know but how do I really do that?

And honestly it wasn’t until this moment that I finally saw the simplicity of it. When you don’t identify with your thoughts then you are free, when you question the truth of each thought, story or belief you have, then you see that you can’t be certain that its true. And I can’t help but laugh at how I’ve been holding onto all these things that are actually a construct of my mind.

My mind is like the window and for my whole life; I’ve been looking out into the world through the window of my mind, unable to see the way out. Maybe freedom is that simple; perhaps its simply about taking a step back and stop living your life from the window of your mind. I feel such gratitude for the realization that happiness is really within me, and that I am the only person that can both cause myself to suffer and save myself from suffering.

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