One of the things that I have come to realize over the years more and more is just how plentiful the options are that I have in every situation.
What keeps us from seeing all of these options is our humanness. Our human brains tend to think very linearly and we mistakenly think our thoughts are the experience, when really they are just our thoughts and not the actual experience.
Have you ever listened to someone give a personal review of a movie for which you had an opposing opinion? The way they describe the film and characters and scenes will sound very different from how you would describe the film.
Our life experiences are just like movies in this way. Our reality is shaped by our thoughts about each experience, not by the actual experience. What one person perceives as good another one will see as bad. What one person seeks out in life another may actively avoid. This is not because the actual thing is desirable/undesirable but our thoughts make it so.
Just as a single movie can have lots and lots of different reactions from different people. We can choose from lots of different possible thoughts in response to any circumstances in our life.
We tend to default to modeled behavior. For example when I leave the kids home to go out, for whatever reason, when I return, more often than not, the house is messier than when I left it. My initial response, without any intentionality, is to do what my mother modeled for me. This is to lecture about how we should do better in keeping the house clean and we should know better…blah…blah…blah. It never worked to produce a different result for my mom and it doesn’t work any better for me. Ha!
My brain thinks that a messy house upon my return home is unacceptable, but that is just a thought. The actual circumstance is that items are out of place upon returning to my home. The unacceptable part is just my take on the circumstance. The circumstance doesn’t have emotions and thoughts, we add that with our brain.
I am NOT suggesting that we should change all of our initial thoughts about situations in our lives. I can choose to be irritated when I come home to a “messy” house and there is nothing wrong with that, just realize that it is just one choice. There are always various different thoughts we can have in regard to any situation.
I am also NOT proposing that we should only have thoughts that produce comfortable happy feelings in our life. That is not the human experience either. I want to feel sad when my pet dies. I want to feel nervous when I do something new. I want to feel scared when I am watching a scary show. I want to feel excited when I know I get to eat my favorite dessert. Feeling is essential and WE NEED TO FEEL!
What I AM saying is that when we live life thinking that life happens to us we are living a lie. We are dismissing our power and we automatically become a forever victim of whatever life “throws our way”.
Reality is created in our individual power of choosing our thoughts. There are so many options of thoughts one can choose in EVERY situation.
Getting intentional and observant is key to help the linear, pattern-driven brain see the options. With the messy house, I can see different options by thinking about all the different ways a person could choose to respond to a messy house. I could make a messy house mean that I have happy and healthy kids. I could decide not to care. I could choose the status quo. They are just choices. The question is which one is serving you better and you get to decide.
Thoughts are the tools of power that create the feelings you desire, which in turn create your reality and experience within this world. By getting intentional and mindful we claim that power and choose our experience on purpose and with purpose.