Your Brain is Lying To You (And you didn’t even realize)

Dec 02, 2020

Inside that noggin of yours, is a big, beautiful world.

It may look all grey technically, but trust me: there are fabulous things going on in your head.

Thoughts, imagination, ideas, insights; they’re coming at you a mile a minute, one after the next, without you even trying.

But some of those thoughts might not seem so fabulous.

And some of them might even make you upset, uncomfortable, confused, overwhelmed or frustrated.

But what if I told you that your brain was lying to you - that not all of those thoughts were true?

Where thoughts come from

Have you ever tried to stop thinking about a certain thing? Or tried to make yourself be in a certain mood, only to have it fail miserably?

So many of us try to force ourselves to think differently, or stop thinking a certain way or about a certain thing - only to be frustrated when it just doesn’t work

But there’s a reason that it doesn’t work. 

And that’s because, contrary to popular belief, we don’t decide what thoughts come into our heads.

Our thoughts - whether an image, a scene or a word, are things we’re sent from Hashem. And we are constantly getting new thoughts - think of it like a river: constantly flowing, always renewing.

What was here one second ago, may not be here the next. 

And, simultaneously, as the thoughts just keep coming and coming, we have zero control over the thoughts that come.

We can choose which ones to hold on to (more on that later), but we don’t choose what comes into our brains.

What are thoughts made of

So what determines what our thoughts are made up of? A whole chulent of factors.

Of course, our experiences in life are a big part: the ideas, concepts and realities we’re exposed to, messages we see or hear, people we interact with, and our surrounding culture all play a role.

There are some current things that may be on the top of our mind, or there may be old thought processes (that we didn’t even realize were happening) that our brains go through on a regular basis.

And, of course, there are some things that don’t originate from anything that we’ve experienced, seen or heard of before. Our intuition, insight, or whatever other word you want to use to label that gift from Hashem: that flash of clarity, sudden good idea, something new that pops into our heads.

All of these factors come together to create the potpourri of thoughts we know and are used to.

Says WHO?

But here’s the thing about these thoughts: not all of them are true, in the objective sense of the word.

Nearly all of them feel true. They may seem true when they pop into your head.

But just because you’re thinking them, and they seem and feel true, that doesn’t mean that they’re actually true.

Because the question becomes: who says?

My baby is just the type that’s not going to sleep well.” Who says?

This is all too overwhelming for me!” Who says?

Uch, I’m such an incompetent housekeeper.” Who says?

There’s just no way that I’m going to be able to manage” Who says?

(Getting the hang of it?)

Noticing that that thought is there, but allowing your (rational) self to choose whether or not you want to believe that will enable you to call your brain out on those thoughts that aren’t actually true. 

So how do you know if it’s true or not? Stick around for the posts over the next couple of weeks for more!

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