As I write this blog post, I’m feeling a bit “down” and have been for a couple of weeks after yet again losing someone very near and dear to me. But even in the midst of a temporary mental fog, I can still see the truth very clearly.
Today I wrote the following post on my Twitter account — the thought just came to me out of the blue.
“@LoveLynnGee: The chains of mental slavery are the most difficult to break free from #LoveLynn”
One of my followers must be on the same frequency because she responded right back asking: how do you break free from mental chains? I decided to write a blog post about this because it’s a message I need to hear myself at the moment.
Let’s start here: “The definition of insanity (a form of mental bondage) is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.” – unknown
Oftentimes we stay mentally imprisoned by a counterproductive routine or action. We’re stuck doing, saying or thinking something that we’ve been doing saying and thinking every day for the majority of our lives.
If that action or thought process isn’t effecting positive change in our lives, we have to do something else. But many of us choose to stay chained to those same routines because it’s “comfortable” or because we’re afraid of what could happen if we step outside of it.
So I believe this is one key to breaking free from mental slavery — being brave enough to step outside of a comfort zone and try something COMPLETELY new.
The next is this: “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” – Marianne Williamson
Fear is possibly the most negative emotion that someone can have. Living in fear is what keeps many of us in mental chains for the whole time we’re here.
As the quote from Marianne Williamson says, we learn fear from other scared people. It’s not a natural emotion.
Where did you learn to be afraid? I learned it from family members, teachers and peers who meant well and only wanted to keep me safe. They may have been afraid of losing me. But they were slowly helping me into mental chains strengthened by fear. You become afraid to act, think or even feel as time goes on. As I mentioned early, you’re afraid to step out and do something different.
Fear inspires us to make irrational, rushed choices and actions that can alter the entire course of our lives. It erases logic. So I would also say that another key to breaking free from mental slavery is to conquer fear. Stare it in the face and do it anyway.
And then there’s this: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha
Many of us are stuck in mental slavery because we’re really angry at someone or something. We feel slighted by a person, a circumstance or even the Universe / God for not being fair to us. We feel that someone or something has FAILED us in life.
When we hold onto anger it eats us up from the inside out until it has taken complete control over our lives.
It’s hard as hell, but we have to come to a place of genuine forgiveness in our hearts for people who we feel have wronged us. You have to come to a place where you accept the fact that as an adult no one is obligated to you BUT you. We design and create our lives. We alone decide if we’re going to remain chained to a negative mentality.
There may be other solutions, but I believe that these three are the keys to breaking free from mental slavery. As they say in rehab programs, the first step to getting free is admitting that there’s a problem in the first place.
Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.