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Archive for March, 2020

THE PLAN OF ‘ACTION’. . .

Act as if what you do will make a difference. It does! –William James

Consider Gentle Reader that I-You-We see people, situations, and things not as they are, but as we are.  How do I know this?  Think about it.  When two people look at the same person, or experience the same situation, or encounter the same thing we get two different responses from them (this raises the interesting question of ‘What is really real?’ ).

The mystics have always reminded us that ‘All is good.’  When we love (self, the other, God) everything turns into good.  The paradox: ‘I can’t ‘make good things happen – everything that happens, however, is good.’  A question, of course, is: ‘Do I really believe this to be true?’ 

I can only change what I can control.  I can ‘control’ who I am and who I am choosing to become.  I can ‘control’ how I interpret all that happens to me.  I am now thinking of a person many years ago that I tried to change – I failed.  Then a wise person suggested that I change how I relate to the person. . . WHAT?  At first I ‘tried to change’ how I related and failed.  The wise person reflected that perhaps I really did not want the person to be different and that I really did not want to relate differently to that person.  ‘What is the benefit to you of having that person be the same?’  ‘What is the benefit to you of having yourself refuse to relate differently to that person?’  The wise person said, ‘Don’t try. . .Do!’  She demonstrated this to me by placing a box of tissue in front of me and then told me to ‘try and pick it up.’  I picked it up.  ‘NO!  I said, TRY to pick it up.’   So I tried and tried…and failed.  Then she said, ‘Pick it up.’  And I did.  When I stopped ‘trying’ to relate differently to the person and when I began to actually relate differently something wonderful happened – my view of the person changed and in response to me, the person also changed.  When I related differently and when I then saw the person differently, I changed and when I changed the person responded differently to me (the person ‘changed’).  In this case the person who seemed rude, now seemed to be fully human (not a ‘label’).

It is so easy for me to accuse another, to blame another, to blame ‘them.’  It is so easy for me to hold an attitude that ‘if it weren’t for. . .’ all would be o.k.  The wise person offered me the following ‘plan of action;’ a plan that would require me to put it into practice a thousand times (as I recall): (1) identify (physically) and name (emotionally) the negative feelings inside, (2) accept that they are inside of me, they are not in the world – they don’t exist ‘out there,’ (3) do not accept them as ‘essential’ to who I am; they do not truly define who I am – they come and go, like all feelings, (4) understand through experience that when I change, all changes.

OH. . .this is so easy to write and it makes sense and. . . and I can hear the little voice: Go ahead, give it a try!

We become our thoughts. –Aristotle

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