The human mind is curious. In spite of usually holding the answers to all our questions, it often has us groping in the dark for those very answers.
The darkness within emanates when our minds get cluttered with too many thoughts. When we get caught up with many of the thoughts arising in our minds, we often forget to discard what is irrelevant to the moment and retain only what we need in the “now.”
As a process, thinking needs space. Space gives our mind energy and, consequently, the power to reflect over all the aspects of a thought. When we try to divide the energy of our mind over a plethora of thoughts, each receives very little attention. As a result, we feel fatigued, as though caught up in a conundrum. In simple terms, we fail to see the way out.
Sails need to be reset
The obvious remedy to this state of confusion would be to detach ourselves from wasteful thoughts and focus on the essential. But, at times, when we get so involved with a multitude of thoughts, we need to be gently steered back on track.
Steering the mind is an art [Sometimes, it gets hard to navigate a sea of thoughts – even if it is of our own making]. Only a few manage to do this on their own. Most of us occasionally need external help by way of a pointer and/or a new perspective. In fact, the best possible assistance when we constantly fail to hit the bull’s eye is the understanding ear of a person who has nothing to gain, or lose, from alleviating our distress.
A person who isn’t embroiled in your worries will be able to listen to you without saying, “See, I told you so!” and aggravating your mind still further. S/he will be able to point out your mistakes without fear of your turning nasty, or feeling insecure, because of your imminent success! An intuitive listener will gently indicate your wrong turns and guide you in the right direction.
Talking things over, provided we choose the right person, can be very useful when thinking things over by ourselves no longer works. When we are worried or distraught, we are most likely to miss the point – the answer sitting in a corner of our gloomy mind.
Talking things over is also a means to heal. We’re not all born equally adept in dealing with personal trauma. Take the perfidious Mumbai train blasts. Every person who experienced pain, either because of the loss of a loved one or in feeling a setback to the spirit of humanity, expressed his/her grief in a different way.
Sadly, some chose not to express their grief and, instead, bottled things up within, causing a wave of uncontrolled sad thoughts to linger in their mind.
Thoughts must be dealt with. If we can’t put them away ourselves, we need to talk things over with a counsellor. Every tragedy is associated with a process of recovery. By talking things over, we allow the pain associated with sad events to pass through our minds as opposed to being retained within.
It all helps
Firstly, making your feelings vocal helps empty your mind of all the waste – negativity is always wasteful within. It, thus, helps lighten your mind of a load of emotional thoughts that prevent you from thinking clearly.
Secondly, talking to a supportive person helps pin-point which aspect of your loss is giving you the most grief. It is a myth that talking compounds sorrow by forcing a person to relive their grief. Talking helps express grief and a grief counsellor will prod your mind during the process to ensure you start thinking in terms of recovery. In a sense, talking things over is a dual-process. You empty your mind of energy-depleting wasteful thoughts and take in positive, strengthening ideas. This is why talking things over helps afflicted persons get a grip over life after any upheaval.
Talking things over is not for those who desire to wallow in self-pity. It is for those of us who realise they hurt within, and yet care to grow out of sorrow through a simple, useful process of expression and exchange.
It is also immensely useful when seeking a second opinion. Talking is a tool for those who recognise that they do not know, yet desire to learn from someone they identify as being wiser. Such a conversation does not imply intense discussion, or a vociferous plea, but just a collected practice that evokes the best from within as the intellect expands in its vision.
Need to resolve an external conflict? Talk, instead of staying silent. Be courageous enough to take the first step towards resolution.
But, coming to think of it, you can only talk things over if you have something to say, right? Irrespective of whether you seek to express turbulence within or resolve an external conflict, words will only flow after you open your heart.
Opening the heart is not always easy. But, opening your heart is the key to initiate this process of exchange. Have you ever noticed how children spontaneously come up with words, without being afraid to say what comes to their mind? As we grow, we often build walls around us to safeguard ourselves from being hurt.
In your mind, visualise yourself as a child. Close your eyes if that makes you feel more comfortable. Now reflect on whatever needs resolution – a simple work-related problem or a personal tragedy – and, begin offloading your thoughts.
See the problem or hurtful event in your mind and allow yourself to express confusion, or grief. Don’t be afraid of expressing sorrow. If tears follow your words, that’s fine. Allow your counsellor to gently steer your healing process.
Slowly, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle will fall into place.
Spot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!