I have been thinking about how amazing it is that we each live in our own separate reality that we create. We see our thinking and feel it. Each of us experiences the world uniquely. Our reality looks very solid and consistent, but we are creating it moment to moment. As one of my clients said recently, reality is paper-thin. In fact, it is even thinner than that. Thought has no weight and can shift in an instant.
That is how easy it is to change. We have a fresh thought, an insight, a realization. We see something new beyond the projection of our habitual thinking. We look further than what we know. This new thought feels different. It is a light bulb moment that can be large or small, but it changes everything we have seen before.
The veil of our projected thinking needs to incorporate this new thought, and every thought that is incompatible with it dissolves and disappears. Our reality shifts like that, and we change with it.
For example, I used to live in a reality that included the judgment I was less than because I felt unworthy at times. This was a catch-22. My unworthy thoughts would prove my unworthiness, and my feelings of unworthiness justified my thoughts about being unworthy. It was an infinite loop with no exit. There was no beginning or end, only the certainty of my thoughts and feelings. I had no way out.
Then in a moment of cognitive dissonance, my belief crumbled. I saw something new. This happened simply by having a conversation with someone who did not make the same assumption about my unworthiness as I. In that conversation I had the new thought, “Your feelings of unworthiness are not proof of your unworthiness.” My mind started to explode, “What?!” I felt confused and disoriented.
An inexact rendition of the conversation was something like this:
“Your feelings of unworthiness don’t mean anything about you? They are just thoughts.”
“Yes, but I have these feelings a lot, and when I have them, I can’t change them. In fact, the more I try to change them the worse I feel.”
“So, that is why there is something wrong with me. I have times when I feel really insecure, and I can’t stop myself. I can’t make myself feel good. I can’t get rid of the thoughts or the feelings. I feel lost and worthless when this happens.”
“Yes, that happens. That is human. Me too. It doesn’t mean anything about you. You are like the rest of us. No matter what, you will eventually come back to experiencing your wellbeing. You can’t find happiness in unhappiness. There is no point in trying. It doesn’t mean anything about you. You can relax. You will always come back to feeling yourself again. There is nothing to do.”
At some point in this conversation I was flooded with relief. I let go. I stopped trying to be different than I was. I felt waves of emotions move though me. I had a glimpse beyond my projected reality and saw that my worth is independent from my feelings of insecurity. I felt the truth of this. It impacted me to the core of my being. I understood I am enough even with my human frailties. I experienced a power surge of relief and dropped into an ocean of peace. “I am” is all that mattered. I saw beyond the limitation of my self-judgment and fell into the experience of peace of mind.
I had a moment outside of my projected reality and saw something new. In seeing this, my whole projection changed. The old one could not accommodate the new understanding. It had to shift to include the understanding that my worth and value is innate and independent from my feelings of unworthiness. I could not see myself, or other people, the same way again.
This is how change happens. It results from new thought. We don’t control when new thought happens. I do, however, find it helpful to understand that I am creating the reality I experience. This allows me to take it less seriously, to be more open-minded, and to be more skeptical of my thoughts when I feel distress.
According to Sydney Banks, our job as humans is not to escape the highs and lows of our experience, but instead to learn how to move more gracefully between the separate realities we create. I can create a reality that is looking away from my true nature that is painful and limited, or I can create a reality that allows me to experience more deeply the oneness of all things. That is the learning curve we are all on, navigating being human and divine. It gets much easier when we understand that we create our experience from the inside out.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. Rohini facilitates personalized three-day retreats for individuals, couples, and professionals to help them connect more fully with their true nature and experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.