How do we know that the thoughts we think are sane? Who taught us how to differentiate between sanity and lunacy? When were the thoughts that we think every single day labeled as normal? Who draws those lines and how?
Recently when I had (what I considered) a very lucid line of thought regarding our connection in this world to every other living thing, I dared to share it in response to a newsletter I received. The person who writes the newsletter was touching lightly on the subject, but I wanted to take it deeper and more pointedly. He warned me that my thoughts might be misconstrued by others as bordering on lunacy, and therefore, though he agreed with me, he was hesitant to share them with others. Since then, I’ve had time to think about that. Whenever someone calls me the “L” word, I usually thank them, which only reinforces their label for me in their mind. But in my estimation, it points out that I am learning to think without boundaries. Now, admittedly, I don’t think like this 24/7. I’m not entirely convinced it is possible. My “aha’s” come in short but very intense bursts with little or no warning. When they happen, it is as though I am thrust into another reality or dimension in which all things are clear and distinct and all things are known. It is so brief that I barely have time to blink before the moment has slipped from me and I am left to try and make sense of it the best I know how with the experiences I have had since the day I was born. I used to ignore these moments. I would feel them and let them go, where they lodged some place deep in my brain where such things hibernate, sometimes seemingly to never waken again. But more recently, I’ve begun to grasp at them with an insatiable hunger and, wishing to squeeze every little lesson from them!
And so turning back to the original question I posed: Who makes the rules? Is a person labeled with lunacy when his verbalizations (which come from his thoughts) don’t jive with the “norm”? If a person expresses ideas that go against social and political customs of his world, is he insane? If someone is sharing ideas with you that make you question your own beliefs, do you dismiss him (along with his thoughts and perhaps your thoughts as well) as “nuts”?
What if: The judgment of others upon your thoughts began to lose its hold on you?
What if: You let go of the lines you trusted and were told were “normal” and “sane”?
What if: You begin to draw your own lines?
What if: You give yourself permission to think freely and without restriction about the things that matter most in your life?
If any of this interests you, you may be asking, “yes but how do I begin!?” Inside each moment is an opportunity. Take it. Listen to what you tell yourself about your own thoughts. Pay attention to your mind chatter about it. If you find (as I did) that you are always telling yourself “that’s just nuts” and changing thought courses, then you are really holding back on yourself. If you catch yourself squelching a random “crazy” thought, just turn it right around and ask “yes, but IS it nuts??” And then give yourself the freedom to explore! It really is fun. Practice at this takes time, but it is well worth it! You will find yourself opening up and becoming increasingly more comfortable with your own thoughts and views. Let it come! After all, your thoughts are the one thing that can never be taken from you. Know without a doubt that your ideas and thoughts belong uniquely to you. Don’t be ashamed of your thoughts when someone else might try to pass judgment on them, should you verbalize them. Let them say what they will; they are living under the lines set forth by others. They have not begun to draw their own lines!
Let’s leave the term “lunatic” for someone who intentionally puts his thoughts into action to cause harm to others