8 Common Expressions of Frustration

And the secret spiritual meaning behind them

Hopefully, in a dictionary somewhere…

  • Antigen (n): A substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it
  • Anti-Zen (n): An article that sticks to your mind and helps produce antibodies against it
Photo by Indrajeet Choudhary on Unsplash

I was recently talking to a friend about some problems she was facing, and it became a deep discussion. We dived into new areas, explored ways of looking at things. All considered, it was an excellent psychoanalysis session (between friends). And then she said, “You are not a very emotional person, are you?”

I was flummoxed — I mean we had been discussing nothing but emotions for the last hour or two, but in an objective way. I told her that to even analyze emotions objectively, one had to feel emotions. She wasn’t convinced. She believed that to truly understand emotions, one had to sink into them.

When you sink into your thoughts and emotions, you lose control, flail around and drown, instead of floating on top in a boat. Our mind produces thoughts at random — you really can’t control your mind. It is just an organ, an instrument- a TV aerial capturing signals from all over the place. We should use our mind, not join its randomness.

I realized there are many other statements that we make in frustration, but provide secret advice when decoded (deep deep down)…

1. Have you lost your mind?

This made me reflect. “You” and “your mind” have to be separate, or you couldn’t lose your mind. You can only lose something you have. So if you have the ability to ‘lose’ your mind, it means you possess a mind in the first place.

‘Possessing’ means owning. It means ‘you’ are the ‘owner’, the mind is your ‘ownee’ or possession. When you act crazy, people think you have lost your mind. The logical conclusion is that when you are acting normal, your mind works as some kind of filter to keep the ‘crazy’ out.

Perhaps it is not a filter, but a prison… Perhaps the ‘crazy’ you is the real you. Perhaps your mind is like cocaine- keep sniffing enough of it, and you will be a ‘good boy or girl’ unable to put your thoughts together, unable to form your own opinions, unable to stand out from the crowd.

It seems very important to everyone that you not lose your mind. They want it to be safe with you. Keep it with you.

2. Put your thoughts together

Did I just say above, you would be ‘unable to put your thoughts together?’ This means there is a “putter’ who puts thoughts together and ‘thoughts’ that have to be joined by this person. This can only imply the thoughts are outside the person, or the person wouldn’t be able to play with the pieces.

You are not your thoughts — you may think of suicide, doesn’t mean you are suicidal. If you get an accidental dream of murdering someone, it doesn’t mean you are a murderer. If you dream of yourself having an affair, it doesn’t mean you want to (without going into dreams here). You are not your thoughts, you are the product of the thoughts you choose to follow.

Drinking or drugs basically turn off your ‘put my thoughts together’ switch. They destroy the connection — you press the button to weld ‘thought pieces’ together and it doesn’t work.

Your mind is free now…it can go where it wants and do anything. You can say “Hey, that wasn’t me— my mind acted on its own. I wasn’t even pushing the buttons to join thoughts in the right order, the plug wasn’t even connected!”. That is like allowing your cows to eat your neighbor’s grass, telling your neighbor that it is the cow’s fault, and getting surprised when you, the cow’s owner is asked to pay a fine. You own the cow- letting your cow free doesn’t release you from ownership.

You own your mind. Drinking or drugs don’t cancel your ‘mind ownership’ license — they only make you forget about the purchase contract (before you were born). So if your mind plays tricks on you, or if you drink and drive, your mind won’t get fined by the cops — you, its owner will.

3. You are out of your mind, dude!

Disagree with someone and they will say you are out of your mind. Clearly it means two things: (a) if you were ‘in’ your mind, you would have been okay with whatever they said, and (b) if you are ‘out’ of your mind, you are wrong.

Tell your parents or partner you want to become an artist and live on the streets, they will say you’re out of your mind. Clearly, without our mind, we are seen as rebels or crazy. Our mind helps us avoid such rebellious creative thoughts.

Our mind keeps us in check. Our mind is very important to those around us. When they are not around to control us, our minds will do the job (they have programmed it for us). So when we are ‘out of our minds’ we become uncontrollable and dangerous (to whom I wonder?).

Ask yourself this, do you want to be ‘IN your mind’ or be yourself?

4. My mind is driving me crazy!

You say this as you unwind at a bar or sauna after a long day of work. You wish your mind would stop zig-zagging around for a second. You find your thoughts have become erratic…not matching your speed at all. You find your‘self’ slower than your mind. Perhaps ‘you’ are not moving at all. Perhaps ‘you’ are still and your mind refuses to stop jumping around.

The mind is a very uncontrollable immature pet — always running in random directions. When it wants to run, it doesn’t care for your opinion. Ask it to stop and it will jump some more. Ignore it for a while and it will come sit at your feet.

Watch your thoughts, and do nothing. Don’t try to control anything. Your mind will follow your lead and lie still.

Surprisingly, the moment you need to start that very important project, it will refuse to move (!). Even our mind seems to have a mind of its own (😊 ). Which brings me to…

5. He never listens! He has a mind of his own!

When someone says this to you, they don’t want you to have your own mind. They want to own your mind.

This is as odd as your neighbor coming and telling you, “You like to have your own wife/ husband eh? You are so selfish”. It is odd that others constantly want your mind. The same people say they ‘don’t have your ear’, when you are not listening. Or ‘they want your hand’, when getting married. People like collecting parts of you for some inexplicable reason.

Once someone else has your mind, they can do things with it. Here’s a sample recipe:

  • They tell you you have a mind of your own. You surrender and give it up.
  • They powder 5mg of their ideas,
  • Add it to your mind in a steady pour,
  • Stir it slowly 4 times clockwise so you don’t notice, and
  • Watch as your remaining independent thoughts die away
  • They can now tell you what to do — they own your mind

If you don’t own your mind, someone else will.

6. Why are you roaming around mindlessly?

It’s a warm day, golden sunlight dappling the footpath. A woman with two dogs (perfectly groomed) strolls past you. Birds chirp above you. Trees wave lazily in the breeze. Cookie smells waft at you from the bakery. The buildings are friendly, your mood is light. You feel relaxed. This is the perfect setting for a rom-com movie. Ah, a beautiful day and a mindless soul.

Side note: Such is also the scene in many a horror movie, just before the tinkling music stops and the happy people turn into zombies.

But I digress…back to the weather. You feel like taking a walk. You feel free of worry, rid of all anxiety. You wonder about nothing- your job matters no more. You can handle anything. You roam mindlessly.

If you had roamed with your mind, you would never appreciated this wonderful day. If you had taken your mind with you, you would have felt heavy- hearted, ready to jump into the nearest fountain.

Many times, mindlessness implies recklessness. But sometimes, mindlessness can also mean freedom.

7. You blew my mind!

Which is what you might say when you encounter genius. Or the other extreme. Clearly after your mind has been blown away, you are still able to stand, surveying the wreckage of what was once your mind. You survived! A situation we should fear is often embraced with open arms.

You don’t need your mind to keep standing. You don’t your mind to be still.

8. (You should) be more mindful of others

Taught to children all over the world by well-meaning parents. They encourage you to fill up your mind with everyone else’s worries. You start as a child with an empty suitcase — then your mother may say, “Dear, pack your sister’s things in it too”. Your friends say, “Don’t you ever keep us in mind?”, so you pack them in too.

After a while, it becomes a heavy suitcase — filled with others’ thoughts but carried around by you. You have become their (mental) bell-boy (or girl). Life loses meaning and all lightness, but you don’t want to be selfish. You still own your mind, but you have rented all the rooms out.

How do you handle it? Learn to manage your mind-hotel. Rent out your rooms, but be firm with your tenants. Put up a sign, “Rights to admission reserved”. If your tenants play loud music, start changing your decorations or make trouble — throw them out.

You own your mind. Everyone else is there on rent, at your invitation.

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