There are always “two voices” in my head. The “thought” and “the evaluation of the thought”.
I believe the “real me” is not my “thoughts”, the real me is the part of me that “hears” the thoughts, evaluates them, and speaks or performs some action. I also must accept that my thoughts do not affect reality. My thoughts are not “reality”, only “thoughts”.
However, these thoughts lead to feelings, and these feelings strongly influence what I say and do to other people. The thought does not cause the feeling, the part of my mind that “hears and evaluates the thoughts”, triggers the emotions and the feelings.
I believe the part of the mind, that “listens” to the “thoughts”, is the only part of the mind that has “memory”.
This “memory” is what allows this part of my mind to “listen with context” (have I heard this before? What happened time? Does this even make sense?).
I have a family member that has advanced dementia. He no longer remembers us or knows who we are. If introduced to him today, he won’t fully remember us tomorrow. His mind still operates, he has limited speech, he can eat if assisted, and he can sometimes walk if guided.
However, his inability to remember prevents him from taking care of himself, and must now live in a home with professional care. The way we perceive him now, is that his “personality” has completely changed. He is no longer, to me, who he once was. I realize that without memory, he cannot listen to his mind with “context” (provided by “memory”).
However, his mind, like mine, is always “turned on”, always thinking. I believe that “the real him” is still bombarded by the “thoughts” of the mind, but he is no longer able to “evaluate the thoughts”.
How I listen to my mind, using my “memory” to provide “context” is what I believe separates myself (today) from his current situation. However, even with the ability to objectively evaluate my thoughts, I find that most of the time I allow thoughts to directly control my perception and emotions.
Why does this matter?
My words and actions do affect the outside world, and my desire is to be of service, family, friends, and the outside world. Therefore, several times each day, I picture the real me, listening to the thoughts in my head…
…and discounting most of them.