Yesterday, I came across and shared a quote by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the national best-seller “The Four Agreements.” He posted it on his Facebook page – “When we discover that the mind is controlled by the Judge and the Victim and the real “us” is in the corner, we have just two choices. One choice is to keep living the way we are, to surrender to the Judge and the Victim, to keep living in the dream of the planet. The second choice is to do what we do as children when parents try to domesticate us. We can rebel and say ‘No!’”
This post resonated with me so deeply that I thought I’d blog on why. So many times we have a hard time reconciling our heart and mind, as we think the two are in conflict. There is that saying that “the heart has reasons that the mind does not know.” I think in one way that is true. The heart seems to be where our core authentic self and its guidance system reside. And sometimes our mind seems miles apart from our loving core. Since our mind is governed by the newest addition to our brains, the neocortex, it spends an inordinate amount of time running simulations of what may be good or bad for us based on experience. On top of that, the mid-brain amygdala is continually scanning for negative threats to our safety, security, livelihood and image while what we’ve deemed as ‘the ego’ is judge and jury, busily placing labels on everything, everybody, including ourselves – “Oh that guy’s an idiot,” “God, I’m such a goof. Did I really just say that?” “Geez, you’d think she could be just a tiny bit conscious and let me merge onto this freeway.”
Even though they at times feel miles apart, we come to know that the heart and mind are inextricably joined and are eventually used together for our personal evolution. As we get wiser and start to question our thoughts, we begin to make progress back to our authentic self (back to the place we started as innocent children, lol). When we look at egoic thoughts of The Victim mind and think to ourselves “What a waste of time and energy! Why do I want to waste any of my time or mind-space creating resistance in myself to something that ‘is’?” or look at The Judge within us and ask “Really?! Do I really want to put a label on that person? They are a multi-faceted human with the same basic desires I have,” then we start to grow an understanding. The mind helps us grow an understanding of ourselves. And, until we understand ourselves we can’t understand ‘the other.’
The great thing about how this works out is that understanding is the cornerstone to compassion, which is the cornerstone to authentic happiness and being our core authentic selves (love). As we grow our compassion, we create an open space within us that allows us to be more present, more in the moment– what freedom, no labels or thoughts of judgment – and more present and available for others as well.
So, coming full circle (in possibly a roundabout way), the mind and heart are not miles apart. Eventually, when we begin to awake and use them in tandem, we start to question The Victim and The Judge voices (and deny them as Ruiz pointed out). When we do this, we grow, we evolve, we develop an understanding of ourselves and others and begin to recognize those egoic voices as a universal force that we all have to reckon with and come to terms with if we are to find real peace, happiness and serenity. The mind is key to understanding and until we understand, we can’t grow our compassion and fully open our hearts. Blessings!
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Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet” & personal coach