When I began to look into mindfulness and conscious reality creation, I was initially struck by how the subconscious could get control and do the driving. Then, when you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, they differ rather dramatically.
For me, I was more of a thinker than a feeler for a long time. As I commenced to explore this further I began to open myself up to feeling.
As I started working with this, it occurred to me that thought (the mind) and feeling (the heart) frequently speak different languages.
In a recent conversation with a friend, a wholly new idea about these principles of human existence came to me: If you equate humans to computers, and many people do, then what we have here are two completely different operating systems in place.
While there are crossovers between these, they differ enough in their fundamentals that they do not entirely communicate so well with one another.
I have often explained the operating systems from Apple versus the operating systems from Microsoft thus: Intuitive versus Counterintuitive.
With Apple, you point, click, and go. Done.
Microsoft, however, you point, double-click, but then maybe click again or double-click again or have to do some other thing to make shit happen.
How does this track with the human mind and heart?
Exploring the OS of the Mind
Thought is much simpler to clarify and explain than emotion. Yes, thought can get totally complex and into some really-deep and difficult topics. Yet thought is, overall, straightforward.
When you practice mindfulness and become aware of what you are thinking, you can see that your thoughts tend to be relatively to the point. Granted, you may be thinking about something super out-there and odd, but it’s still just thought.
Maybe you are thinking about the weather. Or what to have for lunch. Perhaps you are thinking about a conversation you need to have with someone. Or politics. Maybe your thoughts are outward, and maybe they are inward.
Ideas, concepts, beliefs, tenets, general knowledge, and every word you know are just some of the things that make up your thoughts. But overall, thought is simple. Hence, Apple’s operating system. Point to the thought, click on it…and there you are.
Thoughts, all by themselves, simply are. However, no matter how unemotional you may prefer to be, thoughts frequently get tied to feelings.
Exploring the OS of the Heart
Emotions are complex on even their most base level. For example, no two people experience emotions in precisely the same way. We may give an emotion the same name, but what it looks like and how it feels is wholly unique to each of us.
When you practice mindfulness you become aware of both what you are feeling and how you’re feeling. And just in case the difference in the what and the how of emotion between each person were not sufficient, emotions themselves can feel different to you in different situations.
What does that even mean? Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you have fallen in love more than once. From personal experience, I can tell you that being in love with one person is distinct from being in love with another. Both the what and the how of the emotion is different depending on whom it is attached to.
Fun, right? Then you get into something like depression. This is an emotional state that can be different every time it manifests. Not only that, but how it feels and what it appears as can be totally variable. You can feel sad, angry, infuriated, flustered, annoyed, hurt, distraught, and many other negative emotions in a state of depression…or all of these and more all at once.
Emotions are utterly counterintuitive. Hence my comparison to Microsoft’s operating system. Point to the emotion, double-click…oh wait, now you need to click on that emotion…and then double click that one…and then…what the hell do you do now? Where are you?
Getting thought and feeling to communicate
If you know anything about computers then you know that Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Windows might have some similarities, yet also have some pretty key differences. When you network a bunch of computers together, it is easy to do so when they all share an OS. Networking an OS X Macbook to a Windows 10 PC? Now there are issues.
Hence why this is the perfect metaphor for how the heart and mind differ in how they operate. In truth, they do not even use the same basic operating system software. Thus, communication between them is challenging.
Not impossible. But many people do not see how the mind and the heart differ as much as they do. Logic and reason often conflict with faith and emotion because of the difference in the operating system software.
So why does this matter? Because when you understand that these are two very different functions of yourself that you are becoming aware of, you can better work on bridging the gaps between them.
This is like saving docs in Google so that they can be easily opened on any machine, whether employing the Apple or Microsoft OS. Google, in this instance, acts as a bridge between these operating systems.
Mindfulness of your thoughts and feelings doesn’t create a bridge between them. But the awareness of them allows you access to the necessary tools, or apps in this analogy, that can make this possible.
This is not your problem alone
I know that I am not the only one who has struggles with getting thoughts and feeling into alignment. It often feels like I am all on my own, but the truth is that I am not.
You are not alone in this issue. EVERYONE struggles with finding and creating bridges between thought and feeling. Yet for some reason, we often ignore, neglect, or deny this for what it is. Then we get stressed and stress others out when we create or hold onto expectations for certain behaviors.
Take grief for example. There are certain accepted models for how one should grieve, and how long it should impact them. I can’t tell you what they are, though, because until it is perceived that you have surpassed or exceeded them nobody tells you so.
The truth is, of course, that everyone experiences grief uniquely. This is in part because not only do we all feel the what and the how of emotions differently, but our thoughts on this matter differ, too. Now you are crossing different programs in the OS (equating the what and how of emotions to programs). Then, you are coping with two different operating systems in understanding and communicating this experience.
This is where expectations, real or perceived, can be problematic. Because we are all different with how we think and feel, let alone variations within ourselves, expectations are pointless and can often get in the way of necessary actions.
Be mindful of your mindset
Before you judge anyone else on this, and more importantly before you judge yourself, keep this in mind. You want to be understood both by yourself and other people. Your complexities are both unique to you, and though unique in other ways are also similar to everyone else.
Yes, this is some rather circular logic. Sorry, but this shit is not simple nor easily explicable. But just being mindful of yourself can improve how you interact with other people, too.
On the plus side, there are many ways and means for bridging the gap and getting the heart and mind to communicate with one another. When you recognize they are different operating systems, you can better find and create necessary bridges between them.
Finally — whatever you do, don’t try to use Linux here. Adding a third OS will most likely just crash the whole system.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter.