The most important thing I find nobody ever really talks much about, is the war within, the mind. There’s no doubt our minds have been instrumental in the incredible growth of mankind. But there’s also no doubt that our minds have been instrumental in the growth of suffering. And I don’t even want to start on the industries built on human suffering, so I’ll stick to the brain itself.
Our brains have some very primitive ways of protecting us. Take for example the way pain programs us. When we experience pain, our brains will seek to avoid or be cautious of situations that could cause us that same pain again. This is rather useful of course, because if you lose an arm to an alligator, you probably won’t try to pet the next one. Your brain will tell you “all alligators can bite off your arm” and you will proceed with caution. Unless of course, you’ve really lost your balance since the first alligator, and you want to even things out.
But if you apply this programming to more complex things, like relationships for instance, your brain can work against you. Let’s say you were cheated on or mistreated in a relationship that has ended, and that it hurt a lot. Your brain is going to apply the same survival instinct, and tell you “all partners can bite off your feelings”. So then maybe, your next relationship, you protect your feelings so they can’t get bitten. But then your relationship can’t be as deep as you want it to be, because you’ve built a vault to keep partners from getting deep. The very idea of opening yourself up to complete vulnerability is like sticking your arm in alligator’s mouth, you need to trust that fucker.
If no one ever tells you to check what your brain is saying, you may just wind up following the primitive program. Sometimes if you protect yourself from harm, you might protect yourself from joy as well. My advice: don’t date alligators, they’re always on their stomach so they never want to cuddle.