101 Things I Don’t Know How To Teach My Son (But Wish I Could) #8 You Are Not Your Thoughts

Dear Son,

One of the most difficult things you’ll ever get your head around is that you are not your thoughts. That voice in your head is not you.

Here’s an analogy: you would probably agree that you have hands, you have have lungs, you have have a liver (and so on). In the same way, you have thoughts. You wouldn’t say that you are a hand, or lungs or a liver.

The implications of this are extraordinarily profound.

One of the first questions raised, at least for me, is “well what am I then?”. I don’t pretend to know. But the answer lies in the observing you – the part of you that can observe your thoughts, that knows you’re having them.

Once you see your thoughts in this way,  you’ll become aware of thoughts you didn’t realize you were having (!) and how they might be affecting you. You’ll come to recognize that not all thoughts are true. Above all is the liberation that comes with being able to focus your mind the way you want, in the same way a performance athlete can focus their body.

Love Dad

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