Don’t Let Your Reality Dictate How You Think And Feel
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” — Lao Tzu
Do you have a habit of reacting to situations in your environment? Or do you observe your thoughts and emotions before getting carried away with what is occurring? Most people react to their external world and allow it to dictate how they feel. And I get because I used to be the same until I discovered my external environment needn’t dictate how I think and feel. In other words, when chaos is apparent in our life, it needn’t shape how we think and feel unless those thoughts are already present within us.
Are you satisfied with this idea? I trust by the close of the article, you will come to understand that your life’s experiences needn’t unsettle you. You see, if the seed of anger, fear, anxiety, or other negative emotions are present within us, we will resonate with them when the same experience occurs outside of us. Why? Because we already have the seed of the emotion active within us. We are choosing (whether consciously or unconsciously), to align with what is taking place outside of us. In contrast, if we have the seed of peace and harmony within and chaos is present in our reality, it is less likely to disrupt our inner peace. I understand you might find this hard to believe, but this is what enlightenment and waking up describe. Although it varies from person to person, it is a sense of oneness with life and not allowing reality to shape how we think and feel.
For instance, when my nephews were young, they would often play-fight with one another. However, it soon turned into tears because one of them would use excessive force on the other. They often complained to their parents that their brother made them cry. I would chuckle because, in my coaching practice, I still hear adults use this as a form of victimhood. They believe other people cause their pain and suffering. When I explain how their pain and suffering are already active within them, they are unsure why this is so. It echoes the sentiments that personal growth and self-improvement are an inside-out job. It starts at the level of our thoughts and as far back as our childhood; to process and heal our childhood wounds. Only then can we develop healthy relationships with others and ourselves.
The Many Facets Of Healing
“The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it.” — Cheryl Strayed
How are you feeling about the ideas conveyed? It’s important you understand that everything in your external world reflects what is occurring inside of you. And I admit, it’s difficult to make sense of it because if someone triggers us, we believe they are the source of our pain and suffering. Where in fact, the person is the trigger for the pain already present within. Moreover, I help clients see how this person can be their teacher, showing them the source of their pain, so they can heal and transform it. It’s a big revelation when you can meet your pain with openness and compassion instead of resisting it. It’s a revelation when you recognise the person who hurt you is a friend, not your foe. And let’s be real here: I’m not suggesting you make friends with those you dislike or who trigger you; that would be insensitive of me. I’m suggesting, through forgiveness of oneself and others, we realise there are no mistakes within a purposeful universe and everything is orchestrated for our highest development.
So, as you’re reading this article, bring to mind a person you’ve had a difficult relationship with in recent months or years. Try to get a sense of the difficulties they have caused you. What emotions has it brought up? Is it anger, anxiety, fear, hatred, or anything else? Have you experienced these emotions with other people in your life? If this is a recurring theme, maybe you need to free yourself from these negative states by processing your core wounds. I don’t know and neither will you until you undertake self-enquiry or work with a trained psychotherapist. Maybe it goes back to your childhood where you hold repressed memories or emotions that require healing and transformation. Healing is an endless string because there are many layers and facets of the healing process. But once we heal, we peel back the fragments of our conditioning to arrive at the source of our true nature.
So, could you do it? Could you undertake the journey into yourself and discover the true essence of your core self? Are you willing to embark on the journey and, if not, what is stopping you? When will you be ready to heal aspects of yourself that are triggered and traumatised often? These are the questions I would ask you if we were meeting for the first time in my coaching practice. It’s about becoming authentic with ourselves because if we want to live a remarkable life, which is available to each of us, it requires digging up the past and choosing to look at it with renewed optimism. It is choosing to look at it through the lens of compassion, understanding, curiosity and a heartfelt openness. It is choosing ourselves foremost and dropping any resistance we have accumulated over the years.
So as an exercise, I invite you to go through the questions I asked you throughout the article. If you keep a diary or journal, use the questions as journal prompts and answer them as best you can. This could be the beginning of your healing and transformation journey. It could put into motion the healing required to help you transform your past. After all, if our experience of life depends on what is going on inside our head, we have the power to shape our inner world, so it corresponds with the reality we wish to bring into existence.