We live in two worlds
We live in two worlds, don't we? One is the real world out there where we can physically touch things, people, smell the different aromas, hear the varied sounds and of course, see the colourful world. The second world we constantly inhabit is the world inside our heads. Although in this world too all the senses can be a part of it, the dominant part of this world is WORDS. The world in our head is a highly VERBAL world.
The 24-hour tape
In the outside world, we can have times when we are completely absorbed in an activity and no words are swirling on our heads. We are solving a problem, listening to music, watching a performance, talking to a friend etc. In all the above activities flow of words can get suspended. In our mental world, the flow of words just never seems to get suspended. The tape runs 24 hours and is full of words, words and words. It can get so frustrating, that you desperately seek one switch which can turn the tape off.
We may be rehashing a conversation or an argument we had with someone. We are making them say the words again and again in our heads varying our responses to it. The conversation may have happened yesterday, last month or a few years back. The world in our head appears so real to us. We don't think for a minute that we are putting words in people's mouths and then responding to it!
The addiction to analysis
The internal world of words is good when we are thinking through a problem, evaluating a decision, planning for the future etc. But it is no good for the replay of the events of the past. Every time we argue with someone in our head, we are reliving the emotions and often it is an emotion that upsets our real life. The human mind loves to analyze the past endlessly in the hope that we might get a new insight into someone else's behaviour or our own. “Why did mom say that?”, “Why did my friend insult me that way?” Why was my sister in law so rude?” Insight is never a solution and often our insight may not be the correct explanation for the event that had happened. Complex events have multiple causes (and all events are complex) and our mind searches for the one “WHY?” that will explain it.
Moving past the paralysis
Real change in our lives happens when we do real things in real life not analyze them interminably in our head. We cannot change one bit of our past from analyzing it in our minds. The mental analysis gives us an illusion of working on our issues without actually giving much of a result. Endlessly analyzing a past situation does not solve any problem but paralyzes our real life. Often we have to shake ourselves from living in our head and come back to the real world. We need to stop the mental chatter and get into action mode to get going in our real life.