You are not your thoughts.
Adam and I are thinking of adopting a pet. Last weekend, I fell halfway in love with both a white bunny and black cat at the San Francisco SPCA. Of course, I've been obsessively researching and swooning over pet videos since. The bummer: I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to cats (full stop) and the hay that makes up 80% of a bunny's diet. So, I'm doing the mental gymnastics required when you want a pet but your immune system casts its vote by way overreacting.
I know, a compulsive, oxytocin-fueled fact-finding mission. One that led me to an ah-ha moment about the brain.
Think of your brain as a pet.
Anyone who's had a long-term meditation practice will know what I mean. My brain often has a life of its own. Actual things that came up in meditation for me today: word salad like "carte blanche", "rigamarole...blasphemy!", and "What about sous vide tacos?". Overall, it tends to: loop over the same event obsessively; get on a soapbox about something, rehearse sentences that I might use later, judge myself, plan ahead, and want to jump up and do something that very second ("doing mode").
It bears repeating: You are not your thoughts.
Your thoughts come from your pet brain. It's spastic and not always irrational. You don't give your pet whatever it wants (right?) and you don't think of your pet as "who you are" (right??) and yet we do this with our brains.
Love it like you'd love a pet, just for a day. You'll be so tickled you might start sneezing.