Like most people, I’ve experienced life as my individual self, interacting with others. I’ve witnessed other’s do things and say things, to which I respond. Sometimes situations and people make me upset, and sometimes they make me feel uplifted. Or so I thought…
I’ve had a realization that has changed the way I experience, and interact, with the world around me. Would you like to know what it is?
It’s only yourself you’re ever really dealing with.
Situations and people can’t make you feel anything. They don’t compel you to respond in a certain way. It’s your own thoughts, about that situation or person, that compel you to feel and respond in the way that you do. More specifically, it’s your own thoughts which you choose to believe, that enforce how you’ll respond.
So you see, you’re not dealing with the situation you’re in, you’re dealing with the thoughts which you’re having about that situation.
Your thoughts are reality. You’re not dealing with anything else. You’re dealing with your thoughts. What reality are you willing to create? (To clarify, I’m not talking about “Attaining What You Want the Most.” I’m talking about seeing reality for what it is, without injecting potentially misleading thoughts.)
You can keep this understanding in the back of your mind, all the time! Here are a few instances:
- When you’re interacting with the world around you – you’re only really dealing with yourself.
When you’re driving and an aggressive driver cuts you off, what thoughts will you allow yourself to believe? Hopefully, thoughts that don’t cause you stress; because after all, that other driver has nothing to do with you. Plus, “Who Knows What is Bad and What is Good.”
No one has the power to cause you stress in the first place. Only your thoughts do.
- When you’re thinking about yourself (or about someone else) – you’re only really dealing with yourself.
The reoccurring thoughts you have about yourself, they form your story – your perception of yourself. Are they true? Perhaps they’re very old beliefs which have remained unquestioned, yet you’ve carried them throughout life. Or maybe they were someone else’s beliefs about you, which you’ve accepted as your own. Remember, you’re only ever dealing with yourself, through the thoughts you have about yourself. Are they true?
- When you’re thinking about someone else’s perception, of you – you’re only really dealing with yourself.
When people have an opinion about you, they don’t really have an opinion about you; they have an opinion with who they believe you to be. They have an opinion about their projection of you. This is true for their both their negative opinions and their positive opinions of you. Their projections actually have nothing to do with you. (Slice of humble pie anyone?)
In honesty, and desire to honor my teachers, this realization didn’t miraculously come to me in the middle of the night. One of my teachers, Byron Katie, shared it in her book, A Mind at Home with Itself. She said, “If you realized that the mind is one, that everyone and everything is your own projection (including you), you would understand that it’s only yourself you’re ever dealing with.”