The mind constructs the world we live in. There is an objective, implacable and uncaring brute reality, but that is not where we live — where we live is in the mental representation of that base reality — and we construct that representation around us, before us, and behind us.
The past is, as we remember and experience, a story we tell ourselves. The future even more so. The present is rarely considered, being as it is an instant and therefore less amenable to storification, stories relying as they do on progression through time. The present can only be experienced not constructed, and that is why meditation is both useful and difficult.
But the representation we live is deeply imperfect. We make it and remake it, forget most things, embellish others, and distort and edit as the mood takes us, each new mood creating a new reality, that reality in turn creating new moods.
The seminal points, the themes and characters, the underlying narrative structure of our created world are dictated most by what we pay attention to. We see what we expect to see even if it isn’t really there and we ignore what we are not looking for even when it would be obvious to impartial eyes.
So we can change our world, and thereby change ourselves, by changing what we pay attention to.
The time has come for me to start paying attention to progress and to the good things and people that I have in life. That is what is called “gratitude” and really it seems to be that it is a sort of deliberate use, or at least habitual use, of confirmation bias to reshape the reality we live in.
So today I am grateful for that insight.
I am grateful that I will get to talk about it should I wish.
I am grateful that I have been able to apply for jobs, and through that may be closer to having some income.
I’m grateful for the pain I have felt because it can teach me to be other than I have been.