How Do You Tame Your Mind?

Unable to escape our toxic memories, people adapt to memories, adding one layer after another of impressions. The bottom layers, laid down in childhood, keep sending out their messages.

Stored memories are like microchips programmed to keep sending out the same message over and over. When you find yourself having a fixed reaction, the message has already been sent: It does no good to try to change the message. Yet this is exactly how the vast majority of people try to tame the mind. They receive a message they don’t like, and their reaction is one of three things.

1. Manipulation.

2. Control.

3. Denial.

If you look at them closely, it becomes clear that all three of these behaviors come after the fact. They deal with the mind’s disorder as the cause of the distress rather than as a symptom. These supposed solutions have tremendous negative effects.

Manipulation is getting what you want by ignoring or harming the desires of others. Manipulators use charm, persuasion, coaxing, trickery and misdirection. The underlying idea is, “I have to fool people to make them give me what I want.”

Control is forcing events and people into your way of doing things. Control is the great mask of insecurity. People who use this behavior are deathly afraid of letting others be who they are, so the controller is constantly making demands that keep others off balance. The underyling idea is, “If they keep paying attention to me, they won’t run away.”

Denial is looking past the problem instead of facing it. Psychologists consider denial the most childish of the three behaviors because it is so intimately linked to vulnerability. The person in denial feels helpless to solve problems, the way a young child feels. Fear is linked to denial, and so is a childlike need for love in the face of insecurity. The underlying idea is, “I don’t have to notice what I can’t change in the first place.”

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2004). Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2004).

88 comments

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se3 years ago

Thanks

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good reminders

jayasri amma
jayasri amma4 years ago

Thankyou

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Ta.

Mikaila H.
Mikaila H.5 years ago

Thankyou - but how do I fix it?

Don S.
Don S.5 years ago

This article is about what not to do. No where does he talk about how to tame your mind.

Danielle Herie
Danielle Herie5 years ago

Deepak is always so helpful!

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

I must live in denial, some things I'm so afraid of but would not knowingly want to hurt others or do anything hurtfull to them.

Becky Y.
Rebecca Y.5 years ago

How do I tame the toxic memories in my mind? First, I acknowledge that I have them, then I try to use them to help others who might be suffering from the same kind of experiences...mainly children....by letting them know it is possible to survive bad things that happen, not only survive but be a better person than the ones who did you harm. I tame the toxins by not repeating them; I treat others with respect even if I don't agree with them. I also speak up for myself (and lots of children) when things happen that need to be taken care of. Life is not always easy but we must learn not to let it drag us down but to rise above the situations and the toxic experiences
and shine through. We can all shine, all we have to do is polish ourselves as often as we need to.

Sarah n.
m G.5 years ago

I liked this excerpt so much I looked up the book on my library site and found it !! Awesome, libraries are such a great resource.