My experience with my untrained mind.
My childhood days are still vivid in my mind. Sad moments scared me too much that they spoiled the rare fleeting times of joy I used to experience. I didn’t accept that. I really hated myself. I always asked the question: why should I suffer? Why shouldn’t happy moments last forever and their sad counterparts be eliminated for good?
I had a constant struggle with myself secretly. I never revealed my hidden discomfort and confusion to anyone. After all, I never heard any family member talk about that. So, "that may be a personal problem" I wondered. Of the fewest things that used to bring me joy was watching movies, especially Indian ones. While watching an Indian film, I used to lose track of time and sometimes I found my heart pounding and my breath speeding as if the events were real and happening to me. I felt happy when the hero felt happy. I felt sad when he felt sad.
Coming from a very poor family, I always wanted to move forward in life. From time to time, I would feel happy, motivated, and ready to embark on the journey of changing my destiny. I knew deep down my heart that I was a smart person and could get ahead in life. However, these moments didn’t last too long. The motivation, determination and my readiness to change my situation always faded away and were replaced by doubt, lack of self-confidence and deep sadness. I always wondered about the source of these negative emotions and I also wondered if that was personal or general. I never dared to ask any other person about that. I observed my father, my mother and my siblings. Moodiness was obvious in their behaviors, too. They appeared very calm and peaceful at times, but aggressive and confused at other times. But I wasn’t sure if they were also engaged in a constant battle with their minds.
I had a strong desire to become an excellent student. So many a time I decided to study hard, read books and write articles regularly, because I knew that that was the only way to excel at school and in life in general, but my determination rarely exceeded two days. I always came back to my old habits of procrastination, laziness and pessimism.
Before the end of every single academic year, I always made the decision of working and saving money during summer. That was the case of many pupils; during summer, we would sell cigarettes, plastic sacks, or carry goods in handcrafts. We used to make some change. The other guys used to persist in work and save money, but I couldn’t. The moment I earned the amount of money with which I would be allowed to sit in the café to enjoy watching two Indian movies without drinking anything, I used to stop working. This situation saddened me and made me feel that I was an escapist. The blame of parents added to my situation. I wanted to tell them that a hidden voice kept telling me to quit whenever I started working. I wanted to tell them that I wasn’t a normal person. I wanted to tell them that I was not in control of myself. However, two things prevented me from displaying my worries and confusing thoughts. The first was the inevitable truth that they would not understand. The second was my vanity. Demonstrating your worries and fears was a sign of weakness in my family. You should always appear strong and invincible. So, instead of revealing my feelings, I defended myself by saying that the work was inappropriate and humiliating.
I remained in struggle with myself and lived in confusion until I had access to internet. The first time, I knew how to search in Google; I typed all my confusing questions one after another. I read with a strong interest like a starving man when given food. I devoured articles, books, and novels. I read every piece of writing related to psychology and self-improvement. I also listened to motivational speakers. I read comments on forums. I felt relieved when I found out that the matter was general.
Through my reading about the topic, I came to the conclusion that it’s our human nature to feel sad and experience negative thoughts. I knew that the only way to live peacefully is to stop fighting against sad moments. I also knew that instead of escaping and ignoring your mind, pause and listen to it and talk to it as if you were speaking to a little child. Make talking to your mind and listening to it a practice and soon it will stop disturbing you with negative thoughts. I also knew that my mind falls in the category of untrained minds which wander aimlessly and in an uncontrolled way and the best way to train and educate it is to deal with it gently just like a little child.
With time, practice, persistence and insistence, I can say I’m in control of myself now. Whenever I set my mind to something, I get it done.