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The Mind Can Be a Terrible Thing

7/22/2012 8:43:00 AM

Tags: self deception, self image, truth, mindfulness, denial, seeing the truth, Dan Chiras

The mind can be a terrible thing 

Several months ago, I decided to get serious about losing the 20 pounds that had stealthily accumulated around my midsection.   

By careful attention to my diet, basically, eating tons of vegetables, I slowly whittled away at the excess weight.   

In a month or so, my weight crept fallen from 184 to 174 pounds. After that, however, I seemed stuck. I just couldn’t seem to drop any more weight.     

Then one day, I climbed on the bathroom scale and discovered that I had dropped another 5 pounds overnight.  Confused by the sudden loss of 5 pounds I reweighed myself and, sure enough, I was down to 169!   

Needless to say, I was ecstatic, and a bit amazed.   

To answer that little voice inside my head that said it couldn’t be true, I looked in the mirror to confirm the reading on the scale…Sure enough I was noticeably thinner.  Hot damn! 

The next day, I weighed myself again. I smiled when the scale read 169.   

Later that day, operating on a hunch, I pulled the scale away from the wall and set it in another location, one that was more level.  

Much to my dismay, it read 174 pounds.   

Dang, I hadn’t lost the weight after all. The scale had not been even. 

I looked in the mirror and, again to my dismay, the slimmer me had vanished. 

How could I have looked in the mirror a few hours earlier and seen a trimmer version of myself? 

The answer is that my mind was playing a trick on me.  

It happens to all of us and more often that you can ever imagine. 

Truth is, we often see what we want to see.  

Our minds bend and reshape reality, fooling us in many ways about many things. 

Watch that little trickster. It may not be telling you the truth about a wide assortment of things. Shockingly, many of your beliefs may be dead wrong. 

Over the years, I’ve witnessed this phenomenon many times. Things I thought were true, turned out not to be. I have found that believe about myself, in particular, the negative things I held to be true, were wrong.   

Even some positive self-perceptions can be wrong.  Regrettably, many of us view ourselves through rose-colored glasses. We judge ourselves for what we want to be, not what we are. We live in a state of self-denial 

Things you believe about others can be dead wrong, too.  Arrogant braggarts, for instance, may actually be terribly insecure and diligently working to enhance your image of them. 

To live consciously, mindfully, be on the look-out for those things you hold to be true that are dead wrong. You will find a peace of mind in erasing falsehoods and leading a life that is more truthful to the core.

Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on .

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