It’s so easy to get caught up in the external events of our lives that we feel we’re the product, the result, of circumstances beyond our control.
“There is no spoon. It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.” – The Matrix
What if we rewrote those lines from The Matrix to read:
“There is no real circumstance, truly nothing in your external environment. Therefore, it’s not the circumstance that can be controlled, only yourself.”
It is for me.
Someone cuts us off in traffic, what do we do?
Curse? Honk our horn and pound the dashboard?
Flip them off?
Whatever we do, however we respond, our actions will be the result of our thoughts.
We cannot perform any action without first thinking of doing it, either consciously or subconsciously (as in a habit).
In essence, as Marcus Aurelius wrote, our thoughts become our life. And the easiest way to find out what our thoughts are at any given moment is to look at our actions.
If our knee-jerk reaction is on the negative side, then our thoughts must be negative. They have to be, because we can’t get anything good out of something bad.
Gregg Braden (as well as many, many others) says that all thoughts are generated by emotions. Emotions are to the heart, as thoughts are to the mind. If our thoughts are negative, then there must be some underlying negative emotion within us.
Why do we harbor such negative things?
They serve no good purpose. They consume energy by diverting our true selves to higher things.
If we’re thinking of revenge because someone did us wrong, then we’re spending our valuable time (emotions and thoughts) on something negative, something dark, and something completely external to us.
Instead of cursing at someone for cutting us off in traffic, let us smile and welcome them into the lane. But we can’t really do that if there are underlying negative emotions within us.
If we truly love everyone, accept people as they are (because we cannot control their actions anyway), then when something like this happens to us it will not negatively impact us.
Gossip in any negative form is probably up there in the top-50 (or pick a number) list of destructive actions we can participate in.
We all know we shouldn’t gossip. There have been thousands of writers who have tackled this subject. Business coaches, personal development gurus, seminars, typically for the business client, still include this topic as part of their presentations.
Talking is an action. What we say has to first be formed in thought. And our thoughts will be dictated by our emotions, how we feel.
If we don’t like (emotion) something someone said or did, we get it in our mind (thought) to tell someone about it. We gossip (action).
Again, why waste our time doing this?
It’s not suggested that we avoid gossiping because it’s mean or hurtful to others. It’s certainly that. But the bottom line is that if we’re talking about others, we’re not talking about ourselves (we’re thinking of someone else and not thinking of ourselves).
Basically, we’re focusing on something external to ourselves. Or, in the theme of The Matrix, we’re trying to bend the spoon.
We have complete control, but only over our thoughts and emotions. If we get irritated from someone’s words or actions, then we have allowed ourselves to be influenced by that person. In essence, we have given them permission to change what’s inside us. And what they have changed, what we have allowed them to do, is affect our peacefulness.
Refuse to allow anything external to you to rule your thoughts and emotions, your peacefulness.
If we can’t control anything external to us (and we can’t), then why waste thought energy on it? Why waste our time thinking about something we cannot change?
Whenever there’s an altercation between people, there will always be a victor and a victim.
We need to choose to be the victor. We need to keep control of our thoughts and emotions; and by doing so, we will have complete control over our actions, including how we react and what we say. Failure to do this means we end up being the victim.
Wayne Dyer said it perfectly:
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
Stay in your place of peacefulness today.