- Mental Health»
Choose Your Reality
What is Reality?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines reality as being "the quality or state of being real". This leads to the question, what is real? Some objects are "real". You can see it, feel it, smell it. Others around you will agree with what you see. If it is a chair, they will agree it is a chair. You can call it what you want, but, as Shakespeare said, "a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet". These things are real in an objective sense.
Some things in life, although just as real, cannot be touched, seen or smelt. Things like love, loyalty, happiness each have different meaning for different people. These things are not objective they are subjective. Does not having an objective independent existence make these less real than the chair you can sit on?
Reality is the essence of personal existence. While living and experiencing life our realities can change. My reality may not be your reality. Reality is more than all the objects our five senses can perceive. Reality also includes our opinions, our feelings and our morals among other things. Our reality includes both the tangible and the intangible.
What Reality do You Choose?
You already have a reality you live in. Are you happy in your reality? Are people loving and supportive, or cruel and unjust? Are you living your dream, or a nightmare? If your reality is not everything you want it to be, change it!
Many people think it is impossible to change their reality. What is real and true does not change. I say it does change. I say it depends on what you look at and notice. I say our reality is made up of all the things our five senses can perceive, and all those non-perceivable things also. How we feel about love, trust, happiness and hate color our reality.
We choose how we want to interpret the reality of our world, whether we do it consciously or subconsciously. And in our interpretation, we make our reality. If you can consciously guide what you pay attention to, your reality can change. If you just go one subconsciously paying attention to things your reality will stay the same.
What is your reality? Do you want a happy and wholesome reality. See the happy and wholesome in the world. You choose what to pay attention to. No one else can tell you what to pay attention to. You choose what to read, what to watch and who you are friends with. Do you choose consciously? Or do you choose subconsciously?
Make a Choice
I know many would say there is not anything happy or wholesome left in this world. I will tell them that there is much happiness and wholesomeness, it just depends where and how you look.
Many people focus their thoughts on all that is wrong in the world. I say focus your thoughts on all that is right. Do not focus on the bad, focus on the good. Do not focus on the ugly, focus on the beautiful. The more you focus on what you want, the more you will find what you are seeking.
If you do not consciously choose what you want to see, you will end up seeing the things the news focuses on. The news focuses on the bad and frightening because they want people to come back and see if it's still bad. When we are frightened we will remember to check back to find out if it's OK now. You do not want to focus on the bad. It is good to be aware of what is happening on a local to global level, remembering that it is not all that is happening. All around us goodness, kindness and love are happening. We just need to see it.
What is Stopping You?
We are unhappy when we think unhappy thoughts. When we think unhappy thoughts we should examine them and come to the root of what is making us unhappy. At times we may feel life is making us unhappy. We need to find out exactly what part of life is making us unhappy so we can change it.
Part of the problem is change. Most people dislike change. Better the devil you know than the one you don't. If your job is the root cause of your unhappiness, you should find another. This is a scary thought for most people. Being interviewed is an unpleasant experience to many. Putting yourself out there may result in rejection. It is hard to remember that it just may lead to acceptance and respect. Embracing change will help lead to a better reality.
We Have the Power
We think someone made us sad. Or we may think that so and so made us angry. The truth is no one can "make" you sad or angry. Others do what they do and we have no control over that. What we do have control over is how we respond. But you need to be conscious in your response. Do not subconsciously accept your feelings as correct.
The power is our own. Only we can “make” us feel something. Others can do things that may hurt us or disappoint us, but only we can decide how we want to feel. Has someone hurt you? You can either dwell on the hurt, or forgive them and move on. Did someone "make" you angry. Look at the reasons why you became angry. It may be some fallacy that you have had since being a child.
We need to examine ourselves. Examine how we think, why we think as we do, to discover the biases we learned as children. Some beliefs we hold are illogical. But, since they have been part of our reality since we were young, we have never questioned them.
I was taught self-sufficiency. I took this too far, never asking for help. I had to examine my thoughts on self-sufficiency to discover that never asking for help is illogical. I loved to help others, but I did not know how to ask for help for myself. I did not believe the others were in the wrong to ask for help. I believed that just I could not ask for help. Luckily I examined this issue and now I can ask for help.
See the Good
Our reality is made from a combination of our memories, experiences and knowledge. This is how we make our reality what we want it. As soon as we see something, hear something, smell something it becomes a memory. Most memories involve feelings alongside the tangibles. The feelings are the thread that weaves our memories and existence together.
Do you want to feel good? Then think good. Choose to think of good things. Focus on the positive influences. Remember beauty. Be thankful. You may think you have nothing to be thankful for. Here is where it is so important to pay attention to the little beauties in life. Remember that sweet smile on the child in the store. Remember the flowers growing in a yard. You need to find these little things and be thankful you were able to experience it.
Control Your Thoughts
You need to consciously choose to control your thoughts. So often we just go along, day in and day out, not realizing that we are in limbo. Remember, choosing not to choose, is still a choice. Each one of us has the power to control our own destiny. Each of us has the power to make our own reality.
Examining our thoughts and choosing our focus are not as easy as they sounds. It is difficult to remember to put your intention, your focus on what you choose. I call it training your mind. All things, all people want to take the path of least resistance. Our mind does not want to examine itself. We must consciously make our minds examine our thoughts and feelings.
Examine yourself, look for the biases and misconceptions you have held since childhood. I would not eat steak for the longest time because of a misconception. One time I read loin as lion and assumed that all steaks were lion meat. I was not going to eat lion meat! I was a teenager before I discovered my mistake. However, my dislike for steak did not instantly disappear with the knowledge. It took some time.
How will you choose? Choose a smile. It is a proven fact that smiling will make you feel better. Choose to laugh. Laughing together connects us and allows us to share. Choose happiness and make your reality. The choice is yours and only yours. Have fun!
Only You Can Choose Happiness!
© 2009 Kari Poulsen