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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

I can’t find the wristwatch that I use as a timer while I meditate.

Only two weeks ago, I had inexplicably lost my old wristwatch somewhere in the recesses of my office. Just like today, I had also discovered that that old wristwatch was gone while I was preparing to meditate and use it as a timer.

That last time, I’d gotten so frustrated that I punched a bookshelf hard enough to knock books off it. That last time, I had to order a whole new wristwatch, and I never did find the old one.

Now, I can’t find the new wristwatch, either. As I dig for it, my frustration again begins to rise, just like last time.

How can I keep doing this? How can I be so goddamn stupid and disorganized?

What the hell is wrong with me? Why do I perpetually fuck things up? No, oh no, that’s not even the half of it.

The problem is not that I fuck things up. The problem is that I AM a fuck-up, right to my core.

I’m a fuck-up and a loser. I’m an incompetent jack-off. I’m a useless piece of shit.

My frustration is mounting, and I’m ready to punch that bookshelf. I’m ready to hit something. I’m ready to curse out loud and smash glass. I’m ready to burn the whole fucking world to the ground for what it’s done to me.

I’m balling my fist and getting ready to hit that bookshelf, which is too sturdy for me to break and so always my preferred target, when I catch a voice in mid-sentence in my head.

The voice is saying, “Goddamn idiot, if you lost your watch again then…” It stops in mid-sentence, as though sensing that it’s been caught in the act of speaking.

First I became aware of the voice. Then, the voice became aware of me. Now, it is silent.

Only seconds ago, I’d been hearing that voice as though it was my voice. But then suddenly I’d heard it, clear as a bell, as somebody else’s voice inside my own head.

I stand at my desk. Still and silent, I listen.

“If I lose my watch again, then you’ll do what?” I ask.

The intruder doesn’t answer.

“Who are you?” I ask.

Still, no answer.

I’m no longer angry. I don’t feel anything, just calm and alert as I listen for the intruder in my head.

“Who are you?” I ask again.


It won’t answer. No matter how many times I ask, it’ll never answer. Like any other bully, it relies upon fear for its power. It shrivels up and dies under observation. The bully doesn’t like to be looked upon, because the bully doesn’t like to look at itself.

The bully is afraid to look at itself because if it does it will be forced to acknowledged its own emptiness.

The bully waits for its victim to be distracted, angry, or scared. In those times, it has the element of surprise. Without the element of surprise, it can’t win a fair fight.

I don’t hate the bully. I don’t hate the intruder inside my mind. I don’t feel much of anything for him, really. I only acknowledge that he must be banished, for the good of the village.

I sit down and close my eyes to meditate.

Meditation is the silence that kills brain bullies.

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I’m not in the Matrix. I AM the Matrix.

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