When you really think about the person who causes you the most misery, sadness and worry in your life, it isn’t who we would first presume.
It isn’t your partner. It isn’t Mum or Dad. It isn’t your boss. Or the annoying person in your friend circle that bugs you for no apparent reason.
It’s you. It’s your thoughts and perceptions about those people and indeed, about yourself.
In most cases, it isn’t actually those people and circumstances that make us angry or sad, worried or fearful, envious or jealous.
It is our judgements of those things as being wrong or attaching to our opinions as being right that influences us to experience these negative feelings.
These judgements and opinions we attach to develop into emotions that distort what is actually happening into being somewhere on the scales of ‘Wrong <–> Right’ and ‘Bad <–> Good.’ These categorisations of what is happening are what make us feel a certain Happy or Unhappy; not the action that the other person is doing.
Therefore it is our filters and perceptions of what is real that affect us – not necessarily reality itself.
Many people struggle with this concept because they feel as though adopting this approach means that all their suffering is ‘their fault,’ and to view things this way would result in even more suffering and self-pity. Just like a wild stallion, the egoic mind, when left untrained, can rampage out of control. While a stallion may kick and buck, our minds spiral into waves of anger, sadness and frustration.
But there is a massive difference between something being ‘Your Fault’ and accepting responsibility for your part in things. If you choose the latter, you can productively use that information for a brighter future, instead of being stuck in the regret and guilt of the past.
Our ego’s want something to blame; even if that thing is ourselves. This validates our identity as a hardly done by person. If you’ve read this far in this article, chances are there is a part of you that thinks this way about yourself, or has done so in the past. The beauty of accepting this is that you can change it. You cannot fight a hidden enemy.
There is a technique in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) called Reframing. It is where you take an event and see it from a different perspective.
Most people don’t need any help with taking something good and seeing what is wrong with it. They do this automatically as a result of their conditioning, and it gives them an energetic or ego boost to do so. The problem is, this boost is often at the expense of somebody else. In relationships and families, this is completely unsustainable. Somebody is always losing, which creates resentment and disharmony, then eventual fractures and rifts in the relationships.
It is much more difficult (yet more rewarding) to take something ‘bad’ and see what is good about it. The magic of this type of reframe is that everyone gets an emotional or energetic boost; not just the person doing the reframe.
As such, there are two types of people in the world. Those that look for what is wrong, and those that look for what is right.
Be honest. Which group are you in?
This week, try to view other people in your life through a different lens. Instead of being annoyed or judgemental towards their behaviour, try to appreciate that they are doing the best they can, given their view of the world and what they know.
It is impossible to feel animosity towards anyone (including ourselves) when we choose to think this way.
And this directly benefits us, because without negativity, we don’t suffer within ourselves. After all, if we’re feeling awful based on somebody else’s behaviour, it isn’t them that suffer as a result of those feelings. It’s us.
Shift your perception, and the negativity goes away. The key is in remembering to do so.
About the Author: Dale Ingram is the Business Development Manager of Revival and General Manager of Papilio System. He is trained in various Mind/Body/Spirit and subconscious reprogramming modalities such as PSYCH-K, NLP, Reiki, Light Dynamics and others. He speaks publicly and is passionate about raising awareness of the Power we have within ourselves to make Change in our lives.