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  • Writer's pictureSherise Schlaht


It has been a moment or two since my last #thoughtfultuesday post. To begin, I would like to express my appreciation for those who take the time to tune in and/or share my weekly revelations. Aside from flattering my ego, it is a pleasure and honour to present a voice that others may resonate with or benefit from. I have been encouraged by my mentor to consider compiling my reflections into a book. Initially, inadequacy and insignificance arises. In awareness, I am reminded that I am not my thoughts. The thought selection process is rather fascinating. Out of the trillion thoughts that flash through the mind each day, there are a select few that we latch onto and believe. The rest are ignored or pass by unnoticed. Even more interesting, is how these thoughts evolve into belief systems and concepts of self. The case I am making is that we all move about with a constructed version of self. On a simplified level, the utterances of the mind we believe end up defining us. This leads me to the question, can we radically change by divorcing ourselves from our thoughts? In my opinion, the answer is yes. The path to doing so is paradoxically complex, yet straightforward. Stop believing your thoughts. The mind cannot perceive its non-existence, so when I tell myself this, more thoughts arise. If I am not my thoughts, then who am I?

The seeker’s journey is founded upon this one inquiry: Who am I? I will be the first to admit that my existence has predominantly been driven by this fundamental question, although I have rarely been aware that this has been at the root of my relentless quest for external validation. I compare this persistent quest to the children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. In this book, a baby bird falls from its nest while its mother is in search of sustenance. Each object or organism the baby bird encounters, it asks, “Are you my mother?” In my situation, I am the baby bird and the mother I am in pursuit of is the validation of my ego/identity. If you can predict how disastrous it is to place one’s inherent worth in the perception of others, you are leaps ahead of me and will save yourself from a series of painful rejections. To incorporate some theory, the individuation process all beings undergo is founded in a need for positive mirroring from others. My extrapolation of this theory is that the “need” for mirroring lies on a spectrum, meaning each being has a varied requirement and drive for external validation. As I write this, I wonder, are there individuals who feel they have received enough validation? Although I cannot speak on behalf of others, I am cognizant that for me, a feeling of enough validation in the external is non-existent. Even when I receive that which I thought I wanted, it fails to satisfy. Before I am aware, the mind has moved on to the next pursuit. In this way, we are all addicts.

What is the way forward? I am not a divinely enlightened guru, but my path has been to co-exist with the mind chatter, without defining myself by it. This is a momentary practice and has been a process of cultivation. I am improved at recognizing a thought as a thought, knowing all thoughts are conjured illusions, but still repeatedly struggle. I have discovered that letting go of what I believe defines me is not nearly as frightening as imagined. It also allows me to “try on” different ways of being. As easy as it is to buy into a thought, I see that I can, as easily, make up another. Accordingly, thoughts quickly lose their credibility. It is almost as if life is a play and in it, I am an actor. Whatever event arises, I spontaneously step into a character and respond. Once that situation has passed, I allow that avatar to go. For me, this is the fountain of freedom.

Of course, I am human, which means I too readily find myself trapped in old wounds and thought patterns. In these circumstances, I sit with the discomfort and ask my intuitive self what is needed to return to freedom. Looking inward has been a welcome shift in my quest for wholeness. During my time as a baby bird continually looking for its mother, my own thoughts would become muddied with those of others. My default to seek outwardly continually diminished my internal voice, so much so, that it was lost. Each outward encounter was a painful contribution to the void that existed inside. In contemplation yesterday, it became apparent that each of these painful encounters were life’s way of urging me to let go of my external pursuit. I suppose to a certain extent, we arrive at what we are only by learning what we are not.

Regardless of your faith or the status of your existence, I am here to assure you that deep within there is an intuitive knowing. This is the entity to befriend; not an arbitrary external solution or person. It is my mission to encourage you to use your internal knowing as your guiding force as you participate in the play of life.



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