When we contemplate, we don’t always do so consciously or by choice. Contemplation can namely also be triggered by what we experience. We can be well on our way of over-thinking the reality of our existence before we realize we do.
This mostly happens when we consciously or unconsciously consider what we go through as being unwanted. When all is well, no one will have reason to think about it; when things are bad, the mind will, almost like an automated defense mechanism, initiate an inquiry into the cause and an exploration to find the way out.
Unlike the type of contemplation where we deliberately deliberate on a subject – in which we are free to inspect all aspects of it, both black and white – unguided contemplation mostly focuses on the dark side of the matter … that which made us ponder it in the first place.
There’s a great danger in this, because when the light side is unintentionally kept out of the spotlight because of this, we end up with an unbalanced view on life. A darker one. And when our views go dark we will automatically help manifest a darker reality to live in, which then only solidifies that view. And with it we indirectly create more things to be unhappy about, and more situations that provoke unguided contemplation.
This is why it’s important to first and foremost consider the positive side of life; to prevent the negative from uncontrollably overtaking us. Use it as a shield; prepare it beforehand when you intentionally meditate or build it up afterwards when you’re caught up in a state of unpremeditated reflection.
The first step however is to become aware of your unguided contemplation. We’re often eased into it, especially as unwanted situations last or even intensify. So, ask yourself. Are you endlessly ruminating? Do you lie awake at night, lost in deep thought? Do you have a negative attitude that came out of nowhere and won’t seem to leave?
The only way to do something about it is to change our unwanted situations. But in order to do so we must firstly know what we want to change and secondly know what we want it to change into. That’s what the contemplation process is for. But it’s easy to get stuck in between those two steps. What we don’t like will present itself by itself. What we would like in its stead, and knowing how to reach it, actually requires the more direct kind of contemplation. It’s a step we have to actively take.
Aimless and erratic reasoning will dissipate once a change for the better has been made. The reason for its existence will have been eliminated. Just know that a change can mean an adjustment in the conditions around you as well as a change in the way you see things.
A general positive outlook on life is the best armor in defense against negative impacts. We must all construct our own shield of beneficial and constructive beliefs for our protection against the growing presence of fruitless and harmful ideas. But in order to do so we must change the way in which we think. We must guide our thoughts, instead of letting them mislead us. We must once again take over and become ruler of our own mind. In order to do so, we are required to actively contemplate. Think about it.
A philosophical dreamer with a passion for self-reflection and contemplating life. He’s serious about helping people with the insights he gathered, but playful in the way he communicates his wisdom. He left a career as environmental engineer behind, in favor of becoming a personal development coach and thought-provoking writer.