In this entry I will not be telling anything you don’t already know. Think of this entry not as something novel but as a reminder of the obviousness that is all around us. We can witness evidence of the following commentary in our every experience.
It is your direct experience that you must listen to, not the writing. Wait for the message to ring true for you. If it does not resonate with you, move away without judging the encounter.
I do not respond to anything directly, but rather to my interpretation of the event. Many people tend to understand this statement on a general surface level but where most stop is the application of it. We tend to forget the meaning of this statement when we encounter something that triggers an emotional charge for us. When we are experiencing the event, it appears that what is causing us trouble is outside of us. In truth, it is our own filter that effects how we see something.
We then use our interpretation of the event to justify our response to the event. When one truly understands that they do not respond to anything directly but to their interpretation of it, they will understand that what is causing them trouble is not outside of them. This can be liberating for many people because at this point they stop trying to control other people to find peace.
The interpretation of an event is always coming from me, therefore the grievance I perceive is coming from me.
The next step involves looking at where I am hoping to influence change. Most of us get caught up in the old pattern of trying to change another’s behavior so that you feel better.
Listen to me more so I feel different.
Desire me so I feel different.
Stand up for me more so I feel different.
Start helping with the housework more so I feel different.
Dress sexier so I feel different.
Don’t yell at me so I feel different.
There is a pattern here. The only reason we ever want people to be different is so that we feel different. There is a problem in this thinking. 1) I have no control over another person. 2) Refer back to the statement “I do not respond to anything directly but to my interpretation of it”. The problem is not in the other person it is in your perception of that other person.
For some this way of thinking is very frustrating. “Are you telling me that my partner does not have to listen to me or show me respect?!?!?”, is a comment some will retaliate with. When I hear this retort I know that they have not yet comprehended what I am attempting to communicate.
We often will not interpret a situation correctly because we are looking through an old filter. Instead of seeing what is in front of us we look for evidence that supports a belief we already have.
If I have a belief that I am unlovable I will be seeing the world through this filter and look for evidence to support this belief. A lot of time we will be completely unaware of our internal beliefs. If someone were to say to you, “You have the belief that you are unlovable”, you’d might say, “You’re nuts”.
We have a difficult time seeing what beliefs are influencing us because they are so engrained. It’s like noticing the air, or a fish noticing water.
We see our unconscious belief by the way we interpret our external world. You can always tell how a person feels about themselves by how they talk/feel about others.
We color our world by our internal beliefs. Everything in this world that happens is a fact, it does turn good, bad, happy, sad until it goes through my own filter of interpretation. Here is an example of what I mean:
Fact: You tell your husband about an event that is important to you. Your husband does not look up from his newspaper or respond to what you just said.
Event seen through one filter: He never listens. He is rude for not listening to something that is important to me. I don’t understand why I bother to share important things with him.
Same event seen through a different filter: He does not appear to be listening to me. He might need this time to decompress. Him not listening to me is not a personal attack.
The way we interpret an event has everything to do with what is going on in our internal world. I am not saying that it isn’t great to have a partner who listens, is supportive, and helps. What I am saying is that we often will base our emotional stability on something that we have no control over, another’s behavior. Additionally, what I am saying is that your happiness is not dependent on the other person being different.
Cleaning off our emotional filters is key. We begin to do this when we begin to see what is happening and how we are pulling into our old belief system time and time again.
You can begin to clean out old emotional baggage when you start to see that you are not responding to the event, but your interpretation of the event. Then, when you forgive the person for what they are not actually doing. What I mean by this is, what is causing you difficulty is not their behavior but your own filter.
They might tell you they just cheated on you with your best friend, but even in this situation what is giving you trouble is your interpretation of the event. This does not necessarily mean that you stay in any situation. What it does mean is that your emotional wellbeing can stay intact regardless of what appears to be going on outside of you.
When you see the innocence in another you are reminded of your own innocence. When you are reminded of your own innocence you will remind yourself of your true nature, which is whole, complete and infinitely lovable. When you remember your true nature you will not fear what you perceive going on outside of you.