Let’s hearken back to the early days of email.
You dial up. You listen to the squeaky scratchy noises. You wait for the AOL man to say “Welcome!” You wait to see if he’s finished his greeting, or if he’s simply pausing before telling you the exciting news: “You’ve got mail!”
These were the days when email was exciting. Each one mattered.
Fast forward to now. Email is ubiquitous. If you have your own website and domain name, you can open up your computer in the morning and find 198 new emails. Most of them spam.
This week alone, even with my spam filters working like crazy, hundreds of spam email got through.
What if we sat down, opened each one of them, took them very seriously, and even spent time clicking through the links? What if we actually believed these emails?
If that were the case, here’s a fraction of what I would’ve believed this week (and I am making none of this up):
• that I can get a genuine (yes, genuine!) university degree in 6 weeks.
• that my penis needs updating.
• that there are major errors and breaches in my NatWest, SunTrust and Halifax bank accounts, and I no longer have access to these accounts I never knew I had.
• that I am inadequate and can choose not to be inadequate anymore and that Viagra could help with my feelings of inadequacy.
• that my website looks good but my traffic sucks.
• that nothing impresses business colleagues more than a classic Chanel strapped around my wrist.
• that Mrs. Roesel Kunie’s late husband left her $24 million, but she has no children to give it to, and she’s got cancer and she wants to give this money to me. (Oh, and I am to trust in the Lord.)
• that I can boost my confidence with a larger organ. (No mention of the size of my piano or guitar.)
• that many many nice girls are bored tonight and would like to chat with me.
• that es gibt keinen einzigen Grund, auf einen Schuhputzautomaten zu verzichten!
As you can see, it was quite a week for me. And that’s only a small snapshot.
Of course, I do not click on any of the links. I do what we all do…
I hit delete as fast as I can.
Okay. So, we all get spam. We all ignore it. It continues to come. So what?
Well, ponder something here.
Let’s hearken (yes, we’re doing that again) back to the early days of thoughts – say, when you were two or three. A thought was a simple thing. (“You’ve got thoughts!”) A thought here. A thought there.
“I like dad.”
“That is mine.”
“I want the earring on her ear to be in my fist right now.”
As you got older, however, your mind became like Mrs. Roesel Kunie, the nice girls who are bored, Viagra, and the luxury watch warehouse.
In other words, your mind became a spammer. It began to generate thoughts constantly.
And admit it. You encouraged it.
You gave attention to those thoughts. You took them seriously. You’ve clicked those links every time. And your mind – being your mind – convinced you that the thoughts were the truth. It kept churning out the thoughts, and you kept clicking the links, and now the spam filters can’t be updated fast enough.
Here’s how mind spam works:
You’re driving home after a party. It was a great party, and you’re happy inside.
Bink! Your mind spams you. (“You’ve got mail!”)
The spam subject heading is: “You’ve always been a moron. Here’s how…”
You’re curious. (“I am?! Do tell!”) You click.
The body of the spam is: “You know, that woman named Rachel seemed to avoid you after you made that stupid remark to her.”
Rather than rolling your eyes and hitting delete, you do the very thing your mind wants you to do. You click the link! You pore over the details of that spam thought. And before you know it, you’ve entered the actual website of that thought. (www.101reasonsyou’reamoron.com.)
Now you’re in trouble. You begin clicking links like a madman. You’ve followed that spam and are now putting that whole story into a shopping cart and clicking BUY! Before you know it, you feel awful. And you believe all of that mind spam like it’s the truth.
Probably your mind spam takes an angle that’s just right for you. Maybe yours is a thought like, “I’m going to end up broke and in pain.” Or, “The Republicans have ruined everything.” Or, “I’ve failed before, so now I have to hold on tight to what I’ve got so nothing bad will happen again.”
No matter what the thought, it’s just that: a thought. You can believe it. Or not.
Should you bombard your mind spam with affirmations? Should you try to smile and pretend your mind doesn’t do this kind of thing? Should you try to clean up all of your thoughts so that they don’t happen ever again?
Well, you can work on that stuff, sure. But the mind will keep churning it out. And my advice is this:
When mind spam happens, do exactly what you do when email spam happens.
See it as the spam it is. Roll your eyes. Click “delete.”