Fake News: Lies your brain tells you
Friends I was in court last week, for the case of a man who allegedly hit me in his car last year when I was cycling.
The defence lawyer shocked me with a very valuable lesson.
After I had described the car coming DOWN the hill behind me and turning LEFT straight across the front of me, he divulged that the car had been coming UP the hill and turned RIGHT across me. He had witnesses and a confession.
My mind spun out. I may have gaped.
I replayed my video of the accident in my mind. Nope, the car’s still coming down the hill.
[Too long? I saved the best til last]
How the brain makes truth
I guess my mind made the best sense it could of the information available. When I saw this huge car looming in front of me, my brain filled in the missing bit of the story – where it had come from. It edited my video memory, injecting its own bias of beliefs.
My brain patched together its own story. Which I later believed 100%.
What is your truth?
So, my point is – imagine how YOUR brain is fooling YOU. Stuffing you full of fake news. Can you see that, based on this, you form strong opinions and act them out deliberately?
What if you’re dead wrong?
Some things you might be wrong about:
- Your status at work
- What your boss thinks of you
- What your partner values most about you
- The basis of any grievance or resentment you have
- Why your Mum didn’t give you <x>
- Why your Dad berated you for <y>
- What’s really important to you
- What other people’s opinions mean
- Why you are not “successful”
- Where your contribution lies
- What makes you happy
What’s bugging you right now, that you might be wrong about? Is there any wiggle room in your thinking on it, that would serve you better?
Because if you’re brain’s going to make shit up, it might was well be good shit, right?
Choosing your own new, better, delusional thoughts is actually a great idea, if they serve you.
How to work with two versions of the truth
My teacher Brooke Castillo talks about solving arguments by abandoning your need to be right.#1 If you’re married, you will be familiar with this.
If you can listen deeply to the other person and try to relate to why they hold their belief, you will see that you have merely a conflict of thought. Of opinion. So, if your brain has been feeding you silly stories that you are now defending – ask yourself why? Can you instead brainstorm solutions?
Clue: to resolve any situation, you only need to change ONE person. You.
A practical tool you might like to try is Byron Katie’s Judge Your Neighbour Worksheet#2, which asks these questions of your opinion in a dispute:
- Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
The truth about life and death
Let’s switch gear for a moment. Let’s think about our basic beliefs about ourselves, our lives and our deaths. Can we consider whether even our most fundamental beliefs are sound?
Think about near-death experiences, where people commonly report feeling unadulterated love – realising that only the limitations of this body, this brain, are what create misery. The inner reality is pure love.
In that moment I felt completely accepted for the first time in my life. #3
This comes from an interviewee of Zach Bush MD who studied near-death experiences. Zach adds:
I think we’re all walking around right now lonely as hell. [Death] is a transformation moment. It’s an expansion beyond limits of this frail, biological shell that we carry around. And the instant that we step outside of that, we find out that the universe embraces us in every single second of our existence, in complete acceptance of who we are. #3
Freedom of acceptance
How beautiful it is to know that we create our own limitations and fears, because this gives us a choice about maintaining them or simply letting them go, as finally we must. As a student of Buddhism, I aspire to the spiritual goal of letting go of all attachment to the ego-self and resting in natural joy and peace.
BUT… I sought peace for a long time in all the wrong places – how about you?
By the way this means you are already perfect as you are
Each person is fundamtentally perfect and has the right to find out who they really are and to be exactly that. Our perfection has only been externally marred, by our thoughts about our life experiences.
If we clear away the debris of our thoughts, like clouds from the sun, our innate perfection will shine out.
Seeing people connect with this inner perfection is why I love working with clients and on myself.
If you have read this far, you are seeking answers. Just know that a better life is already there for you. I can help you connect with it.
#1 https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/166/ Brooke Castillo – Difficult Conversations
#2 http://thework.com/en Byron Katie – Judge Your Neighbour Worksheet
#3 https://nexusnewsfeed.com/article/consciousness/an-end-of-life-caregiver-has-a-message-about-death-that-you-need-to-hear-right-now Zach Bush, MD
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