“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha
Have you ever heard the phrase “your thoughts create your reality”? Have you ever wondered what this means?
Go back to your childhood and recall a time when you got into trouble. I am sure you have at least one of these memories. This doesn’t have to be a major event. It can just be a time where you were scolded for knocking over your drink.
Now remember your parents’ reaction. Were they angry or frustrated? Did they yell or give you an annoyed look? Did they send you to your room?
How did it make you feel? Most likely you felt like you did something really bad or that you were bad.
This feeling, multiplied by all your other similar experiences, created a belief within you. Through this belief you probably, without your knowledge, created a reality of being bad or not good enough.
Now fast forward to the present and watch these memories from a new perspective. Have your friends join in. What are your thoughts now? What reactions do they have?
Through different eyes, through different perspectives, we see and experience different realities.
Here is a personal experience of mine. I was maybe six or seven, and my family and I were sitting around the kitchen table frosting cookies. This was an annual event at our house. We had all the colors of the rainbow of sugary, spreadable, delectable frosting.
I was using the green frosting, spreading it oh so carefully on my cookie. When I was finished with the green I set the knife back into the frosting bowl. The knife, not secure in its vessel, tipped backward, sliding gracefully out of the bowl with a loud and splattering of green onto the linoleum floor.
I don’t remember exactly what my mother said but I do remember her being upset, and I remember feeling like I really messed up and ruined things for my mother and the rest of my family.
This experience, along with other similar childhood situations, created a belief that if I did something wrong I would make someone angry or ruin a situation—essentially, I would be bad.
So what did I do? Whatever I could to not elicit a reaction, including staying silent.
Now we are going to fast-forward to the present. I can look back at this situation with new eyes. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t ruin the situation, and my mother wasn’t mad at me or even angry.
The knife was too heavy and long for the shallow bowl, which caused it to tip. It was beyond my control.
My mother’s reaction was one of frustration not because of green frosting on her easily moppable floor, but probably because she had a long day taking care of four kids and a house and was stuck in an unhappy marriage.
Similar scenarios often happen to us as adults. I am a natural introvert. Walls are my friend.
In a crowd of people I usually remain in the shadows, merely observing the happenings around me. In my observations I will notice groups of people maybe glancing in my direction while continuing to talk.
My thoughts then go into super sensitive mode and create stories of being talked about. My thoughts go on an imaginative ride of insults and attacks, all on me, by those people across the way.
Now I feel attacked. I am no longer having fun. I no longer want to be where I am.
My thoughts created a false reality out of nothing. My thoughts had no basis in fact, yet they created a reality for me, true or not.
Perspective can change the reality of any situation. Really, what is reality but an experience? And if everyone has a different experience from a different perspective, then doesn’t that mean there isn’t just one reality? That reality results from the arbitrary thoughts of many people?
If we can acknowledge that each person’s thoughts and memories of a same experience are different, then can’t we admit that our thoughts of our experience are no more valid than the next person’s?
If we have formed opinions about ourselves through the eyes of our thoughts and we have concluded that thoughts have no basis in truth, then aren’t our opinions of ourselves based solely on our thoughts, not truth?
Is it possible to re-look at our thoughts and see them as just thoughts formed from different perspectives of memories?
Are you willing to redefine your opinion that you’re not good enough with re-formed thoughts of being more than enough?
Can you choose to see your thoughts as the controlling factor of your self-worth?
If you can acknowledge that they are arbitrary thoughts, then the reality formed by said arbitrary thoughts are no more valid than a stranger’s thoughts about you.
From here on out choose your thoughts wisely, because in some way they will be your reality.
Insecure man image via Shutterstock