February 21, 2012
Rise And Soul
How often do you believe that the source of your discontent, angst, anger, sadness, agitation, or other negative emotion is owed to the actions of another? How often do you project blame to someone else for those feelings? If we could live the simple realization that no one outside us can cause our suffering, imagine how our world would change. Imagine the energy we’d free up in our lives. Energy for greater love, connection, and creativity.
It is commonly known that we make others wrong in our attempt to feel “right”. We essentially pawn off our internal life, consisting of our negative thoughts and emotions, onto a bystander. Our decision frequently finds support and agreement from our friends, family, and even society at large. Someone says something apparently negative to you or otherwise appears to have brought harm your way, and we have a full cast of characters that support our belief that this person is “wrong” in their action and has caused us a less than desirable experience.
This is of course a fallacy. No one can dictate our experience or cause our emotions. This is an internal matter. Any negative view we hold of another has its life in us and can only destroy our sense of peace and well-being. In fact, a negative view of another has very little to do with the reality of what they have done (as they have only generated their experience by their thoughts and actions–an experience that can be a far cry from what we might think it is). However, our thoughts and beliefs about the other person and our actions in response has everything to do with how we experience ourselves and ultimately the world around us.
This is not to say that the actions of others are always desirable or even constructive. It is simply to say that our experience of suffering and our being “wronged” is a personal matter. It is our state of mind and our own thinking that generates our emotions and experience. The instant we believe a thought that centers on how someone has wronged us or how they were otherwise not “right” in their actions, we become the culprits of our own suffering.
Next time you believe that the source of your problem and angst is another person, stop and take a look at where it all generated–a thought in your mind. With that understanding, wouldn’t we be called to choose our thoughts more wisely?