I like to think of myself as simply observant, although my better judgment knows it’s something more than that. I like to narrate what I see. I give people voices, assess their attitudes, and define them based on a single glance. These verbal decrees that pass in and out of my mind are not always nice sentiments either. It’s something that I’m aware that I do, and something that I wish I didn’t, but I also know that I’m not the first or the last person to struggle with the will and way of my subconscious.
Today, though, was the first time in a while that I caught my subconscious in the act and silenced her, for at least a short while. I won’t go into the details of the person I saw that triggered such a snippy mental jibe, because that just seems like it defiles the entire point of the exercise, but I will say that seeing this person and feeling my subconscious poise for another verbal onslaught made me feel extremely empathetic for this individual and regretful for my own bitterness.
The entire situation reminded me of my favorite quote from Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I know I am outwardly kind, but I need to work on being inwardly kind as well. I need to work on censoring my thoughts with the same vigor that I censor my words. Because even though my thoughts can’t hurt anyone else, they can hurt me, and I need to treat my own mind and my own self with the same kindness I offer to others.
I need to work on a combination of Ahimsa (non-harming) and Satya (truth) to better my mind and my subconscious. I would like to extend this need to my audience, my general “you,” but I’m not necessarily comfortable in making such a bold demand of anyone but myself. I will offer this however: you’re not hurting anyone but yourself when your mind is unkind place.