In the article, Modulating Thoughts, I laid the foundation for this particular topic of focusing and de-focusing thoughts, so you may want to check that out. There are many ways to describe this phenomenon, but in simple terms, we have the ability to perceive ourselves from different perspectives, from a very focused, personalized view, to a “de-focused”, impersonal view. Both viewpoints have their uses, and (like pretty much everything else) operates on a spectrum.
One of the most important realizations you can make is that you are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts, and beyond that, you are the consciousness in which the thinker thinks. There are people who never realize that they are not their thoughts, so to me that’s the first step to awakening from the illusion, and aligning with your True Self.
When you have thoughts such as “why is this is happening to me” or “why is (a specific person) doing that to me” then it means you’re very focused on external details. You’re seeing yourself from the outside in, the effect of life rather than the cause. This can be called identifying with your thoughts. In essence, you’ve become a concept, a label, a thing.
De-focusing (or zooming out) from your thoughts is a way of seeing things from the perspective of your “observer self.” From this perspective, thoughts are just thoughts. They come and go like clouds in the sky. Even the concept of “me” is seen as a thought. I’m not here to suggest that one way of seeing things is superior to another. I think it’s useful to be able to focus and de-focus our thoughts whenever we choose.
Focusing thoughts is about making specific choices and judgments, and defining things. De-focusing thoughts is about widening the lens of our minds so that we can see more choices and options. Like I said, they’re both useful, and the criteria is whether the way you’re thinking is serving you or not.
There’s much more for me to write about this topic, but this gives you some interesting things to think about for now.