Mr. or Mrs. So and So makes a statement.
We begin to react to the statement.
We suddenly morph into a mind reader and now know, without any verification from them, what Mr. or Mrs. So and So really meant by their statement.
We begin ruminating and stewing, agitation building...
Instead of allowing for the possibility that those words just traveled through a filter of a life time's worth of experience that most likely influenced how we heard what was actually said, we stubbornly cling to untruth. There are times that we allow ourselves to become so convinced of our misconception that even if Mr. and Mrs. So and So were to explain themselves, we continue to refuse to accept anything that doesn't align with our view.
Now very few of us are set out to be proven wrong, but when it comes to suffering unnecessarily, wouldn't it be better to be wrong rather than to suffer?
Begin the retreat from untruth.
Once we catch ourselves in an agitated mind state (some times it takes time, right?) we take a look at the thought(s) giving rise to it. We then ask ourselves the simple question "is this true?"
The majority of the time, when we're being completely honest with ourselves, the answer comes back as "nope, not true".
Ahhh, sigh of relief, that's over...
Welllllll...the thought mostly comes back, and we retreat from untruth again, again and again and again, until the pattern has been exhausted.
It can be a long and patient process, but every time we become aware of and debunk the problematic thought, we free ourselves from the suffering that arises due to it.
The practice of meditation provides all of the skills needed in the process, and when practiced regularly, will allow for the early detection of problematic thoughts, shortening or altogether eliminating the suffering that could follow.