Thinking about thinking
If you think about it, it’s about how you think about thinking.
So I’ve been thinking, about thinking.
I’ve been talking about thinking.
How I think, how you think, how we all see things from such a unique perspective.
How sometimes it’s great and adds color into our lives, and how sometimes it creates rifts, frustration, and problems.
If you think about it, I mean really think about it….(I legit just lost my train of thought because I was so deeply thinking about thinking) It’s really about how you think about thinking.
Oh no, *insert eye roll*. Am I reading one of those millions of articles about the half glass full or empty or maybe it’s not a glass as in cup but glass as in material and it doesn’t even matter because it’s just flat glass and everything just slides off anyway.
Okay, maybe you are and maybe you aren’t, and maybe I’m not sure what I’m writing either anymore, so all in all were all on the same page.
I’m not just referring to seeing things in a positive light or negative light, I’m also referring to just how we think. If I say “store” some think of torture and others of lights and glitter. It goes farther than that. When I say “You’re shirt is really cute” it might be something I’ve said to 100 people in the past hour, but to you it might be something you haven’t heard in a few weeks. If someone asks me “How much of this world is in our hands or God’s?” I may think of that as an interesting question but take it as a passing thought, and another will go into an in depth analyzation about hishtadlus and Emunah.
Lately, that’s all I can think about.
How do I think? What are the thoughts behind my actions? What do I believe? When something happens to me what is my reaction? What do I think about x, y, or z? Why is different than what a, b, or c think? Can we think opposite ideas but still be right? How does that work?
It’s like an endless barrage of questions.
And like I said before, the more I think about how thinking works and I realize it’s more about how we think and not what we think about. You all know that if you think positive it will be positive. But it’s not just what you’re thinking about, it’s your perspective, your state of mind. What creates that state of mind? Is it simply the absence of negativity? Is pleasure a state of mind where you are accepting to gain and growth or is it simply the absence of thinking about negative things?
Do I think good?
Do I believe things will work out?
Perhaps I am an optimist. I’m cheery, happy, and I love the world.
Perhaps I am a pessimist. If I think about what’s going on, everything seems bad.
I fall in between. Everything is going crazy in this world. In my world. I try so hard and I want to just give up since I keep on failing. I know there must be a better way. That’s the way I think…sometimes.
Sometimes I think otherwise.
But whatever I am thinking, perspective is a really big part of it. As we go through life we see that not everyone will always have the same perspective as us, and it can lead to problems.
Whether it’s a boss at work who thinks it’s okay to tease you a bit, or a teacher at school who tells you something hashkafically that is totally off in your book.
It’s not really about who is right or wrong, because if we go down that route, things usually get worse. It’s about how you look at the situation, if we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes we can build a bridge. Yes, sometimes (ahem) okay, many times people can act in ways that are borderline abusive, a boss teasing you to the extreme and belittling your work, or a teacher who outright tells you that you are undoubtedly wrong and continuing on your path will lead you to a living death. What do you do then? Where does thinking take you when you can’t build bridges and you don’t want any roads to burn?
Thinking takes you to your own world, where you can discover what you really believe and what you really think. When you are confident in that world, you can stand up for yourself, assert yourself, what you need, and how you should be treated, without burning anything.
And instead of pushing those people down, and going down on their level, you can raise yourself up higher. Don’t think about what they need to do, think about what you should do. The two aren’t always related.
It’s not simply about shifting your focus on building yourself, but rather shifting how you think.
What do you think? Let me know….in the comments below!
– Hadas Bat-el