Even though life is not perfect, that doesn’t mean that one can’t create the perfect life online. Along with this, they can also make it so that their experience online is also perfect, and as a result of this, it can make it harder for them to face the real world.
Now, this is not to say that this is something that will take place overnight, as it is something that can take a while to occur. For example, if one was around before social media was available; they may find that it has taken them a while to experience life in this way.
However, if one is a lot younger and they have been able to use social media from a young age, it may have been a lot easier to them to adapt. In this case, one may find that it has been possible for them to use it for the majority of their life.
But regardless of how long someone has been using it for, each person will be in the same position. The life they experience online could be as important as the life they lead offline; in fact, it might be even more important.
And although this could be a sign that their life offline is not very fulfilling, this might not be the case. What it could come down to is that they experience a lot of pleasure through using social media.
The Perfect Life
So during one’s time online, they could find that it is relatively easy for them to have the perfect experience, and this is without even creating the impression that their life is perfect. This is something that will take place through being in front of a screen, and this means that one will be on the sidelines, so to speak.
And as one is not engaged in life, it will naturally be a lot easier for them to control how they feel. On the other hand, if one was engaged in life, they are less likely to have the same level of self-control.
The Right Responses
In order for them to get the responses they want, there will be a number of things that they can do. And they can receive these responses no matter where they are or what they are doing.
One thing that one can do is to share a picture, and this could be of themselves or it could relate to something or someone else. Through doing this, it will enable one to receive comments and ‘likes’, and this is likely to have a positive effect on their mood.
Along with this, one could also leave a comment or message one of their ‘friends’. And while there is the chance that it will take them a while to hear back; there is an even greater chance that it won’t.
Thus, in most cases, they will end up getting an instant reply. The responses they get during these interactions are also likely to have a positive effect on how they feel.
A Negative Effect
However, if this wasn’t the case and one was to have a negative experience online, they could soon put this to an end. What this shows is how much control one has when it comes to what they experience online.
For instance, one could be in a position where one of their ‘friends’ leaves a negative comment, and the only thing they would need to do would be to delete it. They could even go one step further and unfriend them, and through doing this, they won’t need to hear from them again.
Yet if they were to do that, it could cause them to worry about how someone would respond. Therefore, as a way to stop themselves from lowering their mood, they could simply unfollow them instead.
And if a ‘friend’ or someone they don’t know was to say something that they disagreed with and this caused them to have a strong reaction, they could also have them banned. On one hand, this could mean that someone has shared something that is inappropriate, but on the other hand, it might not be this black and white.
Freedom of Speech
When it relates to something that is inappropriate, it could be said that one will be doing the right thing. But if someone is simply sharing their opinion or talking about what is actually taking place in the world, for instance, they are going to be doing a disservice to humanity.
The Right Impression
Whilst this is taking place, one can also upload pictures of themselves that have been heavily edited, and share things that don’t reflect the life they lead. Creating the right impression online will allow them to feel good and it will allow them to receive positive feedback from others.
If they were to take a step back from social media, they may find that they start to experience discomfort. The reason is likely to come down to the fact that the life they lead online doesn’t match up with the life they lead offline, and they might not look as good as they do online.
Harder to Handle
And through being able to control the kind of experience they have online, they may find that it is harder for them to handle the real world. This is because they will be exposed to things they don’t like or agree with, and it won’t be possible for them to use the same approach offline as they would if they were online.
This is just one of the ways in which ones life can be influenced by using social media. It could be said that it can condition people to have an idealist as opposed to realistic outlook of life.
Through experiencing the perfect life online, they can believe that the world should also be perfect. Now this is not to say that one should put up with abuse online or offline, for example; what it comes down to is that one is not always going to get the responses they want in life.
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Oliver JR Cooper
One thing that can be said about human beings is that we all want to feel good. This need is something that can enhance one’s life, and at the same time, it can also create problems. It can cause someone to grow and to evolve, and it can also cause them to stay stuck or to regress.
For example, pain can be used in such a way that will allow one to be propelled forward in life. And through this, there is the chance that they will feel better. This could be the result of them changing where they live, a relationship or their career for instance.
But at the same time, one could end up feeling better by avoiding the pain that they feel. Here, one could development a pattern of avoidance and then end up: over eating, using drugs or drinking too much alcohol amongst other things.
Black And White
And this is not to say that one person will always channel their pain into something constructive and other will always end up numbing their pain through some kind of escapism. It is not that black and white.
It will depend on many factors; as to what defines whether someone embraces their pain or not. As while human beings are creatures of habit, there are always exceptions.
However, in order for someone to feel certain way in the first place, their mind will have needed to have made a certain interpretation. Said another way - how one interprets what happens will play a big part in how they feel.
Of course no one is their own island and we are all affected by what happens around us. This is part of having empathy and having the ability feel. But this doesn’t mean that how one feels is therefore completely defined by what is happening externally.
Each and every one of us has their own personal reality. There are some things that we can all relate to, such as the planet we live on, the laws of the universe and other such things. But with these things aside, we are all having our own unique experience here.
Most human beings, especially in the west, are working with the same ‘ingredients; metaphorically speaking. But when it comes how many of them are used and quantity of each one that is used, it is something that varies from person to person.
For example, everyone on this planet has the potential to feel depressed. And some people will be all too familiar with depression, whereas others might have only experienced it a few times in their life.
Other people might be familiar with what it feels like to feel appreciated and loved, whereas other people could wonder what’s it is like. This doesn’t mean that they can’t create a life where this is the case; it is just that these ‘ingredients’ are yet to be utilised.
So when it comes to how one feels, as a result of how they have interpreted something, there are going to be different factors involved. There will be what has taken place and there will be the meaning that their mind adds to what has taken place.
This meaning can be taken from what is currently going on in their life, what their childhood was like and what the people around them come up with. And while these sources can define what something means, there is the chance that they have no relevance to what has taken place.
Feeling Good Or Feeling Bad?
Not only will ones interpretations define how they feel, they will also define how they behave. And this shows how much of an impact they can have on someone’s life. Let’s say that someone contacts a friend and doesn’t hear back from them for a few days.
This could be interpreted to mean that they don’t want to talk to them. Based on this interpretation, one could feel: ignored, rejected and/or abandoned. When in reality, it could be nothing personal and simply reflect what is going on in the other person’s life.
Another example could be when someone experiences the end of a relationship or something else comes to an end in their life. One might naturally come to the conclusion that their life is about to get worse and feel a certain way because of it.
But at the same time, it could also be a sign that one is going to attract someone who is a better match, or that one is moving into direction that is better suited for them.
On one side, there is the fact that the mind doesn’t know everything. And just because a certain interpretation is made, it doesn’t mean that it is accurate. This is why ones intuition is so important when it comes to knowing what is going on.
And on the other side is the fact that, although ones interpretations could be wrong, as they influence how one feels and therefore how they behave, they are going have an impact on one’s personal reality.
So with this in mind, one thing that one can do to alter how they feel and behave, is to pay attention to how they are interpreting what is going on in their life. And if an interpretation is causing them to feel down or disempowered, then perhaps it would be better for them to change the meaning they have created.
Another thing that can cause one to form interpretations that are ‘negative’ or disempowering, are when someone has trapped emotions in their body. These interpretations are then being supported by what is going on in their body and not just what is taking place in their mind.
In this case, it will be important for one to release the trapped emotions from their body and as this takes place, the tendency to interpreted things in a ‘negative’ way will begin to subside. And this can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
While one can think in ways that will enhance their life or at the very least not cause any harm, they can also think in a ways that will limit their quality of life. And the mind is like any other kind of tool out there; with one needing to know how to use it, in order to utilize its capabilities.
Without the right understanding, one can end up being their minds slave and not the master of their mind. One approach might be to blame the mind and to see it as the problem. But that would be like one using a piece of machinery that they don’t know how to use and then blaming it for the damage it has caused.
In this scenario, it would be clear that one simply needs to learn how to operate the piece of equipment and then they will no longer create any damage, or if they do, it will be minimal.
One reason why this approach is not taken when it comes to the mind is probably due to the fact that people are not educated on how their mind works. Ones parents or the people around them may have served as good role models and were therefore a source of guidance.
However, if this wasn’t the case and one simply had to rely on the education system for guidance, they are likely to end up disappointed. That’s if they were looking for guidance in the first place; as unless they were expecting to learn about how their mind works, they might not know that anything is missing.
They could come to the conclusion that their mind is not something that can be understood and appreciated over time. And what it could end up as something that one does their best to run away from and avoid.
If one doesn’t learn during their childhood years and through the education system about their mind, then these consequences and many others, are to be expected. The self development industry, along with the internet, has given people the option of educating themselves in how the mind works.
For if one has not been educated on how their mind works or on certain ways that it functions, they could have come to see the mind as being who they are. Based on this outlook, what the mind says is taken as the truth and not questioned.
This can make one feel trapped and controlled by their mind, especially if what it comes up with is disempowering. The ideal will be for one to question their mind and to be the observer of it.
Here, one doesn’t resist or try to change what the mind comes up with; they simply observe what is occurring, neither accepting nor trying to change anything. This ability can take time to develop and will surely be something that one will continue to develop for the rest of their life.
When the mind is unobserved, it is inevitable that one will end up being taken for a ride, as opposed to being the ones that decide where they would like to go. And one thing the mind does is create meaning around everything that happens.
This meaning doesn’t have to have any relevance to what is taking place and it can lead to one feeling better or worse about something. The mid will draw upon ones history in order to create this meaning and this will be through association.
So the present experience will end up merging with the previous experiences that one has had and to the experiences that one has heard about through others. And while something similar could have happened in the past and ended up going well for instance, the mind can locate a time when something didn’t go to plan.
Therefore, it won’t matter that they could have had other experiences that were different or that the present situation is nothing like what took place in the past, as the mind will project what took place in the past onto the present moment.
It will then not be possible for one to come to a balanced outlook and to embrace all sides of their current experience. And this is because the mind works in absolutes and this means there are no grey areas.
Black And White
To say that seeing life in this way is bad might sound accurate and yet that would be another absolute. There are going to be times when seeing life in this way is appropriate and there will be times when it is not. It will all depend on what it relates to and if having this outlook is enhancing one’s life.
If one’s mind was to come to the conclusion that all door handles turned in the same direction, it would save them time and energy. It wouldn’t limit their life in most cases, unless they were to come across a door handle that turned the other way.
However, when this kind of thinking is applied to the opposite gender, there is the chance that one will suffer. Through labelling the opposite sex as being a certain way, one won’t have to think and will therefore save a lot of mental energy, but their chances of meeting people who are different will end up being greatly reduced.
So while these ways of looking at life might not help someone, they will be what are classed as familiar to ones ego mind. And what is familiar is what is classed as safe, regardless of whether it is empowering or accurate.
The ego mind will end up filter one’s life so they only see what their mind believes to be true. One then ends up being right and this is important, because being wrong is associated as death. But just because one ends up being right, it doesn’t mean that they will be happy or that there is not another way of looking at something.
It will be important for one to monitor their mind and to see when it is using black and white thinking. To generalise might feel comfortable and even normal, but it doesn’t mean that it is in ones best interests.
And as certain as the mind may be about all men or all women being a certain way for example, there will be plenty of men and women out there who are completely different.
When one begins to change their point of focus and uses their mind, instead of letting their mind use them, they will gradually begin to see themselves and their life in a new way. A therapist, healer or a coach might be needed to assist one with this process.
Although change is part of life and is something that can’t be stopped, our minds don’t always embrace change. At times it is going to be necessary for one to hold onto what they believe and know and at others, it will be important for them to change what they believe and to learn something else.
Just because something was true at one point in time, it doesn’t mean it will always be true; beliefs are just that, beliefs, they are not the absolute truth. And the same applies to knowledge; what was relevant at one point, might not be the case at another.
This outlook could be classed as logical and even obvious. And yet even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that is what always happens. The trouble with the mind is that it holds onto things.
It is then not always as simple as one realising that something is not longer accurate; as the mind can be so attached to it, that it won’t let go. And anything that goes against what the mind has identified with will be filtered out in some way.
So with this in mind, it illustrates the importance of being the observer of the mind and not the mind itself. To be completely identified with the mind is going to mean that one is a prisoner of it.
Unless one has this ability or is naturally curious for example, they are going to go along with the minds tendency to hold on. And then it won’t matter if what they believe is wrong or if the information they have is of no use.
So without this, the mind will remain fixed and resist anything that goes against what it believes or is different to what it knows. Having an open mind and therefore being receptive to new ways of looking at life and taking in new information is not going to occur.
But to due to how the mind is, one might have no idea that there are other ways of seeing life or that the information they have is outdated. The mind can be so sure of itself and all self doubt can disappear.
These beliefs can end up defining ones whole life and while they are just beliefs, they will shape ones experience of life. This will include what one can or can’t achieve and what other people are or are not like.
Ones reality will reflect these beliefs and even is something happens that goes against what one believes, the mind can still block it out. It could be dismissed or minimized in some way.
There was a time when people thought the world was flat and now this is no longer the case. And there are numerous others examples like this and this is something that is always likely to take place.
To not question what one knows and to stand by it when it has been proven to be wrong is not only going to affect one’s life, it is also going to impact other people’s lives. And at times, this might create consequences that are easily overlooked, but at others, this might not be the case.
It could be said that it is normal for one to think they are their mind and that what their mind comes up with is the truth and that’s the end of it. But even though this is what is generally accepted in today’s world, it is far from the truth.
Ultimately one is the observer of their minds and this means they are part of the flow of life; whereas the mind is fixed and resists the flow of life when it is not being monitored.
When one is completely identified with their mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they acted as if they were the centre of the universe and are always right.
If one is in this position, it is going to be a challenge to see that there are other ways of looking at things or that what they know might not be correct. Being right is incredibly important and that is because it is connected to ones survival or so the mind thinks.
To the mind, being wrong is interpreted as death. And so the more invested one is in something, the harder it is going to be to let go and to embrace something else. It won’t matter if this is not assisting one’s life, the mind doesn’t work that way.
It could be limiting one’s life and causing one to suffer, and yet the mind will hold on regardless of this. So even though change might allow one to avoid death, it would rather hold on and experience death; even though this is what it is actually trying to avoid.
If one has been identified with their mind for as long as they can remember, it might take a while to detach from it. And this process will involve letting go of certain ideas and this could be painful.
However, all one is doing is getting back in touch with their true nature and part of this involves realising they are not their mind. One might need the assistance of a therapist, healer or a coach to develop this ability.
Beliefs can always be changed and if they are not assisting one’s life, then it will be the empowering thing to do. The mind will always find evidence to support any belief that one has, so with this in mind, one may as well have beliefs that enhance their life.
As today is the information age, it is only natural that ideas and outlooks will change and at a faster rate than they have before. However, it doesn’t mean that what’s new or different is always accurate. This is why critical thinking is a vital skill to have.
When something is not working in life, it is common for blame to appear. And this can be towards: things, individuals and organisations. The opposite of this would be to take responsibility and to find out what the problems are and then to take the appropriate action.
Through doing this, progress can often be made and although some things might not be able to be repaired or changed, there is likely to be some kind of resolution. This would generally be classed as a more mature approach, whereas using blame would be seen as a sign of immaturity.
To just use blame is unlikely to allow any kind or progress to be made or for closure to take place. Movement will not occur and something could stay exactly as it is or get far worse.
And when one wants to move on with their life or a whole group of people want to move on for example, blame might be the initial reaction, but some kind of responsibility will have to appear if they are to fulfil their real intentions.
One might have started to wonder what this has to do with the ego, and rightly so. It could be seen as a separate area of discussion and have very little to do with it. But upon closer inspection, one will see that there are parallels.
In recent years, the word ego has become widely used during certain situations. And these typically relate to when one has done something that doesn’t serve them or when someone has behaved in a way that is negative or dysfunctional.
And when this happens, deeper questions are rarely asked; the ego then becomes a word that is used to label behaviour that is unsatisfactory.
In the public domain this could apply to someone who acts as if they are better than others or comes across as too confident for instance. They would be described as having a big ego, but that’s about as far as it goes.
When it comes to the area of self development or ‘spirituality’ there is often a lot more to it. Labels are still used, but they are often supplemented with information as to why the ego is unnecessary and needs to be dealt with in some way.
At times, this could mean that one needs to remove or even ‘destroy’ their ego. For some people, this sounds like what is meant to happen and for others, this is going to sound completely ridiculous.
If the word ‘ego’ is put to one side for the time being and this is looked at from another angle, it is clear that one is experiencing inner challenges or they are experiencing them externally through other people.
The cause of these challenges is then the result of the ego. And based on this outlook, if one were to remove the ego, then all would be well. So if one has formed this perspective of the ego, it is natural for them to see it as bad and to be the reason for the problems in their life.
Once something has become associated as problem, it is normal that one is going to want to do something about it. The need to grow and to remove pain is part of being human, so to simply put up with it is not going to be an option for a lot people.
And if the ego is bad, then surely it has no purpose and one must do all they can to somehow remove it. But what if the ego does have a purpose and the reason it is causing so many problems is because of something else?
The ego is often described as the part that keeps one alive and is it is situated just above the stomach. Another name for the ego is the reptilian brain and this brain is part of what has been described as the ‘triune brain’ and this also includes the limbic system and the neo cortex.
And as it wants to keep one alive, it means that its sole purpose is survival and nothing else. So anything that doesn’t relate to survival will not interest this brain. Higher aims, ideals and ideas will be a consequence of other two brains.
The ego is not something that is fixed and unaffected by life; it is programmed by what one has experienced in their life. And so, what one person’s ego associates as safe is going to be different to another and vice versa.
What is classed as safe to the ego is what is familiar and anything can be familiar. This could be what is functional and it could be what is dysfunctional and it can go back to what happened to them when they were a baby and a child. The ego doesn’t make judgments as to whether something is good or bad, it just accepts them.
So nourishing experiences can program the ego and become familiar and so can experiences that are traumatic. And if these experiences cause a certain amount of pain, one can end up being trapped in this brain.
One is then not operating from a place of wholeness; they are fractured and are either stuck in survival mode or they are in this mode for certain periods. And when the other two brains are out of action, their abilities will also be lost.
Being aware, thinking critically and observing won’t be possible and empathy, compassion and a sense of oneness will also go missing. What the ego has associated as safe is what one will continually attract into their life and when this relates to something that was traumatic, it is not going to be too pleasant to continually re create the experience.
What can cause problems here is when ones awareness of each brain has been lost and this can lead to one brain being against the other. So through one having their awareness firmly in the neo cortex and being out of touch with their reptilian brain (ego), they can come to the conclusion that this other brain is the problem.
When in reality, they are all on the same side; they have just lost contact with each other. So to blame the ego is to blame one’s own nature and the only way it could be removed is by someone ending their life.
And as the ego mind is programmed by experiences that are both nourishing and traumatic, it would make sense to take a look at these experiences in order for change to take place.
The experiences that one has that are traumatic will have created emotional consequences and these would have created a preset that became associated as familiar. And this would have then created certain thoughts and behavioural tendencies.
And as these are seen as what is familiar, one will continue to manifest a reality that reflects them. It won’t matter if they relate to what happened many years ago and have very little to do with ones present reality, as the ego mind will still interpret reality in the same way.
But once the trauma has been dealt with, what their ego classes as familiar and therefore safe will change. The original preset will be reset and if one has been stuck in this lower brain for most of their life, they will be able to experience a whole brain connection for the first time.
One way of doing this is to release ones trapped feeling and emotions, also known as trauma. And this can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
In the world of psychology and personal development, there is a term that is often used called secondary gain. This is a gain that is often hidden and unknown at a conscious level.
And although the word ‘gain’ is typically used in a positive manner, in this instance, it is not a positive gain. This gain could be creating all kinds of problems and dramas in one’s life.
But due to how important this gain is to the unconscious mind, it is irrelevant that it is in conflict with what one consciously wants.
What Is It?
So with the term secondary gain aside, what it comes down to is survival. The ego mind forms associations around what is familiar. And what is familiar is then interpreted as what is safe.
This can relate to anything and just because something is associated as being familiar and safe to the mind, it doesn’t mean that it is either healthy or functional.
It could be something that is dangerous, dysfunctional and unhealthy. And one of the reasons for this is that the ego mind will hold onto these associations no matter what happens. Once they have been formed; they can stay there for ones whole life.
At One Point
During a time in ones history, these associations would have been formed to protect one and to keep them safe. And yet as time has gone by, what was beneficial at one point in time is now creating problems.
So time may have passed, but the ego mind still has the same associations. These can cause one to experience reality in the same way. The people who they attract into their life and the situations that they experience, will then either validate these associations or one will interpret them so that they match.
These associations will also trigger feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations. This will help to make the experience real. It could be that one manifests the same experience again or that their mind makes one believe that it is happening again.
This can cause conflict in all areas of life, from attracting money, healthy relationships, losing weight, gaining weight and being happy for example.
It could be that one only feels safe when they are broke or that it is not safe for them to be slim. And based on how the ego mind works, to have these things will be interpreted to mean death.
The experiences that one has had as an adult and what happened during their childhood years will all make a difference. What happens in childhood is often what matters the most and this is because ones brain is so malleable at this time.
And what one was exposed to on the odd occasion or on numerous occasions as a child, will often be what feels familiar and therefore safe as an adult.
Here one may have been brought up in an environment where there was no money; where people were miserable; where it wasn’t safe and therefore gaining weight allowed one to feel safe or where people related to each other in an abusive way.
This was then normal and what will unconsciously feel safe and normal. And if one goes against these, it can lead to fear and self sabotage.
The Forgotten Past
As so many years will have passed since one was a child or since one had a certain traumatic experiences as an adult; it can make secondary gain hard to understand. Now it is causing problems, but then it was a natural consequence to the environment that one was in.
Consciously one can create all kinds of reasons why something is not happening for them and end up feeling like a victim, powerless or that it is out of their control.
The desire to have healthy relationships, attract more money or to lose weight may be there, but if one doesn’t feel safe having them - it is highly unlikely to happen.
It will only lead to struggle, strain and frustration. If one feels that it is safe to have these things, then one will either already have them or it won’t take much to attract them.
And this is why a coach, therapist or healer can be so important. They can help one to let go of the past and to embrace what is truly right for them.
We all live on a planet called earth and are all effected by the natural laws of this earth. And while there are some things such as these that we can all relate to, when it comes to our own lives, there can be radical differences.
How people experience and perceive life can vary from person to person. And that is without comparing people from extremely different parts of the world. One person for instance can walk through a populated area and have one experience and another can have an experience that is very different.
For one person it might have been something that was pleasurable and pleasant. And for another it may have induced anxiety and caused unpleasant feelings to arise
While the example above may seem fairly insignificant and not very dramatic, there are plenty more examples that emphasise this point. And what often gets in the way of seeing them is that one can think that their reality is reality. So how one experiences the world, then becomes what the world is like. This then becomes the truth and how life is.
A big part of this relates to relationships and how the opposite sex is seen. For a man it could be that all women are seen as being one way. And for a woman it could be that all men are a certain way. But even though there will be other perspectives on what men and women are like; it can be normal for one to see their perspective as being the truth.
It might not be seen as just how one experiences men or women, it will be seen as how they are. And that there could be another possibility will then be dismissed and rejected.
One thing that one can do to prove that this is the truth is to seek out people who have the same experience of reality. Here their perception will be validated and mirrored by others.
Another thing that demonstrates a difference in how one experiences reality is religion. There are numerous religions around today and some have been around for aeons and others for only a number of years.
Now to one person one religion will often be seen as the truth and for others this may be wrong; with their religion of choice being very different. And the same process of getting together with others who have the same view and dismissing those who don’t can occur.
When it comes to what people are like, some people will say that they can’t be trusted. And as a result of this they either have to be watched all the time or that one has to watch their back all of the time. To be trust another would then be naive and a dangerous thing to do; unless one wants to be taken for a ride or taken advantage of.
For others, people will generally be seen as trustworthy and able to be relied upon. Although some may well be untrustworthy, this doesn’t completely influence how they see other people.
So this causes them to typically attract people who are trustworthy. And the people, who are not, get filtered out due to being outnumbered by the people who are trustworthy in ones reality.
Possible And Impossible
There are some achievements that were classed as impossible by some people and then one person or a group of people came along and proved them wrong. This has happened in the past and will continue to happen.
And this doesn’t have to relate to something that will go into the history books or something that will be seen on the mainstream media. It could be relate to a personal situation in one’s life.
A situation could be created where it appears that there is no solution available. And based on this viewpoint, one gives up and says it’s impossible. But when the situation is looked at through another person’s eyes, it is not long before a solution is found.
Who’s Right And Who’s Wrong?
Through going through each of these different examples, it would be easy to label one person as being right and another person as being wrong. But based on each person’s reality, they are both right.
And the reason for this is that we are all interpreting reality through our own filters. How one experiences life and perceive others is based on their own perceptions of life. So while one thing may seem obvious or perfectly clear to one person, it can be seen differently to another.
Through being surrounded by so many things that validate ones views of life, it can be easy to conclude that this is the absolute truth.
These allow one to feel safe to be themselves. To know where one begins and ends and where another person begins and ends, is what boundaries lead to.
And when these are in place, one will have a sense of what is their reality and what is another person’s reality. The need to be right will not be as strong and simply because one understands that their reality is not the reality.
The Ego Mind
It is incredibly important for the ego mind to be right and this is the result of what it means to be right. At the deepest level, being right means that one is safe and to be wrong means death.
And what is classed as familiar is what is interpreted as safe to the ego mind. So at a deeper level, we are pulled to situations and people that resonate with what is familiar to our ego mind. And repelled by situations and people that go against what feels familiar.
To be aware of how of how the mind works, will enable one to see if what is right in their reality is assisting them or limiting them. And this then creates the opportunity to change ones reality to a version of reality that assists them.
When it comes to living life in the present moment and being free from attachments to the past and to specific outcomes in the future; letting go is often spoken about as the ideal. And through letting go, one can then allow life to flow. Also, as a result of this, a lot of the stress that can accumulate by holding on will disappear.
However, while this sounds like a wonderful idea and one that is extremely appealing; it is often far from what feels comfortable and natural. In fact, to do this can feel uncomfortable and something that has the potential to be extremely dangerous.
So although letting go can make life a lot easier, more effortless and allow even better things to happen than one would have expected; It might seem strange that letting go is not the naturally approach to life.
The meaning of letting go can sound very good through reading about it in a book, in an article or through a teacher and at a conscious level. But, this is not to say that it is associated to be positive at an unconscious level.
And this is the meaning that makes the difference in one’s life; the personal meaning. Other people can describe it as the ideal and as what one should aspire to. And yet, this is unlikely to make any difference if it is in conflict with what’s going on at a deeper level.
A Deeper Level
Here, the ego mind forms associations around everything and once these have been formed; they will define what is classed as familiar and therefore safe. These are often formed during ones childhood and through certain experiences that one has as an adult.
Now, at the time, these would have been what allowed one to feel safe. The challenges are created when what kept one safe at one point in their life; go on to create unnecessary pain and suffering.
So let’s take a look at some common emotional experiences that can occur when one thinks about letting go. The ideal meaning of letting go is to feel supported, safe and that one can trust in the whole process. However, letting go can also mean the following:
· That one will be taken advantage of
· That one will have no power
· That one will be abandoned
· That one will lose all control
· That one will be forgotten about
· That one will be ignored
· That one will end up being controlled
· That one will end up alone
· That one will lose everything
· That one will lose themselves
These are some examples of what letting go can trigger for people. And upon seeing what some of these are; it is then not much of a surprise as to why letting go can be such a challenge.
For as long as the ego mind associates letting go to mean any of the above or to mean anything else for that matter; one will continue to avoid letting or they will have a hard time doing it.
Internally these associations will be fired of and lead to uncomfortable sensations, emotions and words for instance. And externally this can result in one attracting situations that will mirror and validate these associations.
And before one feels comfortable letting go, it may be necessary for one to let go of what has accumulated within. If these associations are operating within, one is going to find it difficult to trust in the process.
The best way to do this will depend on many different things. And one of those is how challenging this is for someone. It could be that some kind of therapy, coaching or healing is needed. Or it may be enough for one to simply become aware of what letting go means to them and then choosing another way to be.
The power that words have cannot be denied or dismissed. And there are many points and areas to look at when it comes to words. However, the primary focus of this article is going to be the role that the ego mind plays.
Words have certain meanings in the dictionary and socially for example; and they can also have a meaning that is subjective to the person that is using them.
One can have certain words, sayings and phrases that they use. These can be either empowering or disempowering and made up of generalities that are beneficial to ones growth or have the opposite affect and lead to one feeling trapped.
At a personal level, we all have our own language that is used inside our own head and that we use when we talk to other people. To the outsider these can be the same words that numerous other people use, but when it comes to what they mean to this person, they could be very different.
Because although words can have general meanings that are associated to them, through one’s own personal experiences in life, there can also be different associations that have been added over time. They may have removed the old associations. So that now a word means something completely different to what it generally means to most people.
An example of this can be found in the area of giving compliments. Here, one can say to another person that they look good or that they are intelligent. These words could be described as positive and are intended to make the recipient feel good.
And yet, based on the associations that one has of these words, they could feel humiliated and made fun of. The receiver will then appear to be offended and the person who gave the compliments is then likely to feel confused.
Language Of Choice
The words, phrases and generalities that one has will play a massive role in how they see life. These will often be the result of habit and used without much thought. It may be said that one is using these as they appropriately mirror what is going on. And from one point of view this may be so.
However, to look at it another way, the words that one is using is actually shaping their experience of what is happening. The ego mind will interpret a situation to mean something and this meaning is likely to be absolute. No alternatives or opposing views will be considered by the mind.
Due to the ego mind working in polarities and seeing only black or white, it can lead to the mind interpreting situations to be all or nothing and as everyone either being one way or another way.
This can have a big impact on relationships. So here, all men or all women could be seen as being a certain way. That all men cheat or all women cannot be trusted for instance. Or that people who are successful or wealthy have got there only through manipulating others.
Another area could be how competent one is at something. These descriptions can consist of; I always get things wrong, I’m not good enough or other people are better than me
And while the ego mind can make these generalisations; they are unlikely to make one feel empowered. They are also highly unlikely to be accurate.
Once one has come to use these words on a regular basis and therefore uses them to define what an experience often means; there is unlikely to be any alternatives.
The ego mind will then perceive these experiences to mean one thing and will filter out anything that could go against these interpretations. And it won’t matter if they are making one feel empowered or not. To the mind, these words have become familiar and that’s all that matters.
It could be said that the mind, through its familiarity to these word, is actively looking to interpret situations through words that will mirror the perspectives that it already has.
What is familiar to the ego mind is what is equated as being safe. So although these words may not lead to growth or personal wellbeing, the ego mind feels comfortable with the meaning that they have. If one was to use a different phrase or word to describe something, it would be unfamiliar and there for unsafe. Here the ego mind also gets to be right; for to be wrong would mean death to the mind.
And as the words that we use are generally automatic and are therefore not consciously chosen; it can mean that one is not even aware of how their words are shaping their experience of life.
It can then seem that the meaning of an experience is then set in stone and unable to be changed. And if certain experiences or situations have been interpreted to mean one thing then it is inevitable that one is going to feel that they have very little influence over their life.
By changing the words that one uses, there will be the chance for change to take place. Instead of seeing things in the same way: a more empowering or neutral view point can be attained. And here, one’s life can begin to open up to new possibilities.
Through a change of focus and meaning; what one experiences can also change.
There are often many descriptions of what truth is and what truth is not. Absolute truth is often used when it comes to religion or spirituality. These are all fascinating areas to study and to then form one’s own opinion.
And there is also another form of truth; which comes from the ego mind. This is where absolute truth can come into the equation; because the ego mind only sees in polarities. So this means that whatever the ego mind perceives as the truth will not be open to interpretation. It will be something that is completely black and white.
This doesn’t only relate to so called ‘bigger truths’ it can relate to anything in one’s life. While this can relate to questions about whether a god exists or not, it can also include everyday situations and conversations that could be described as more mundane.
The Ego’s Truth
When it comes to what is true and what is not, the ego mind has its own way of coming to this deduction. Once something has become familiar and therefore interpreted as what is safe; it then becomes what is classed as the truth.
Here the ego mind will hold onto that it believes to be true and like a dog with a bone – it won’t let go. And the reason it won’t let go and therefore alter what it believes to be true, is that through the minds association of it being familiar, to change it would mean death.
Life And Death
To look at this logically it is clear that to change what one believes to be true will not lead to death and yet that is how the ego mind functions. Any change, no matter what this change is has the potential to lead to the ego minds end; or so it would seem to the ego.
And unless this truth was to do with putting ones hand in a fire for example, it is seldom likely that it is the truth. But when it comes to the ego mind, it can associate any outlook or opinion as being what is true; it doesn’t matter how functional or dysfunctional it is.
All it has to do is to create an association of familiarity and this leads to what is safe and what is not. So to the mind, it’s a case of either holding onto this perspective and surviving or letting go and dying. Even though to hold onto something as the truth could ultimately lead to death or to a life that is not worth living; it is irrelevant to the mind.
Now, what the ego mind does perceive as the truth may have been for a very good reason at some point. At a stage in one’s life during stress or trauma, it may have lead to ones survival. And although this was the case at one point, it may have resulted in one simply creating their own prison as life continued.
But, as the ego mind will interpret life through these early associations that were formed, it can create the illusion that what was associated as the truth during those stressful moments is the absolute truth.
This can also be done through projection and the same process is occurring; one is interpreting what is happening through their ego minds associations. What was vital for ones protection at one point in life is now leading to unnecessary suffering and pain.
Above I mentioned how truth can relate to questions such as whether god exists and other big questions. But this also relates to so many more areas of life. What the ego mind believes as the truth can include: what men are like and what women are like; what one is capable of and what they are not; how people see them and how they don’t and if they are lovable or if they are not.
There are many other examples and these are just some of the important areas when it comes to what the mind can associate as being the absolute truth.
Once ones ego mind has formed an association of familiarity around a point of view and is now safe with this, it will automatically look for anything that will correspond to this ‘truth’. This can then mean that anything that goes against this ‘truth’ will be filtered out of one’s personal reality.
The saying “We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are’’ by Anais Nin comes to mind here. Here the ego mind can dismiss, deny, edit and cut out all that goes against ‘the truth’. Attracting people who mirror this truth will be part of life and if they don’t mirror it, they may well be avoided altogether.
Being Right Or Being Happy
While the ego mind will do all it can to prove that its right and other views and outlooks are wrong, one can get caught up in holding onto these truths’ and trading in their happiness at the same time.
And as being wrong would be interpreted as the same as death to the ego mind, this is not much of a surprise.
Questioning what one believes is true and what is not is then incredibly important when it comes to being happy. Something may have happened to lead to one perceiving themselves in a certain way or others of a different sex or of the same sex in the same way.
These perceptions may no longer be relevant and although this may be the case; the ego mind is still holding onto them. So even though times have changed, the ego is still interpreting life in the same way.
As one changes what they believe to be true, it can lead to more possibilities in life and to the world opening up. Simply questioning these truths may be enough and for others some form of coaching may be required.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.
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