Do we have a choice as to how we engage with our mind? Yes!
And I choose ally. Why? I choose peace.
How is that possible? Meditation...daily, consistent, whether I like it or not.
Through meditation I have accepted this as true: we learn so much more from our struggles than from our successes. And yet, some of us will continue to stay in struggle...and endure suffering without ever learning the lesson and applying it to make our life more peaceful, loving, joyful. I call learning and applying the lesson as the process of burning our pain and using it as fuel for the journey.
Why do we resist seeing lessons in struggles? Lots of reasons. Conditioning. Fear. Laziness. Doubt. And it takes courage to create peace...both inner and outer peace. And yes effort to. Anything worthwhile requires effort.
When we refuse to make sense of/give meaning to/learn from our struggles/bunr the pain for fuel, we end up in the same "classroom" again and again. The people may look different, yet the subject matter is the same. We will stay in that classroom until we have had enough. When we have had enough we surrender...befriend our mind...choose our mind as our ally...change our perspective... learn... apply the wisdom... and move on. Or not. If not, we stay in that classroom for our entire life and end up feeling dead even though we are still alive.
I get it. I did that for many years as I share in my book, Reclaiming Joy. I still do it and happily much much much less. Why? Lots of practice and I have decided my mind must be my ally rather than my adversary.
What do I mean? Quite simply, how we experience life is a result of how we see, (also known as our perspective) what is happening. When I am in struggle, my suffering is reduced, and passes much more quickly, when I treat the struggle as a lesson.
How am I able to treat the struggle as a lesson and not get "stuck"? Practice and refinement over the years :) And more importantly, my willingness to change my perspective -- to choose to see the struggle as a lesson and my mind as my ally.
I must make my mind my ally. Through daily meditation I retrain my brain to witness the struggle, get the lesson and then focus all of my energy only on that which I want to create. After all, if I want to create something, the "assumption" is that what I am creating will be what brings me peace, love, joy. Having said this, if I am "creating" unconsciously, I may be my own adversary (think self sabotage). In other words, when we get far enough along the path of mindfulness and healing, we realize we are own ally and we have to be if we wish to experience peace, love, joy...ease.
And our mind? Our mind becomes a tool we consciously use to support us as an ally.
As may of you have heard, what we focus our thoughts on will grow. Where our attention goes, our energy flows. Thoughts are things. Pay attention. Choose yourself as an ally and choose your mind as your ally in support of yourself.