Week 33 – Distorted Realities
“The thoughts that most frequently occupy your mind, are like the hands of a sculptor, constantly shaping and modeling your mind into the person and life that you will eventually experience and become” – D. Cunliffe
The title, “Distorted Realities” is a fallacy within itself. Primarily because there is no such thing as a “distorted reality.” Every person on this planet creates their own reality. “Reality” is unique and personal to an individual. How we think, act, analyze, interpret, justify, live, speak and view the world is all based on a reality that we as individuals have created. For the most part, there are views that we hold as “true” from a collective of people. For example, most of us collectively believe in having order in society, while a few people’s realities covet disorder and chaos.
Recently on the news I heard about a man who called 911. The man was inside of his home with a shotgun. The man told the operator that there were “hoodlums” next door and in the street as there was a party going on. He told the operator he had the right to protect himself and he was “locked and loaded.” As a 19 year old man was walking to his car, leaving the party, the man shot the boy from inside his house. He killed him. The question I asked myself is, “what type of distorted reality is this man living that suggests he needs to shoot and kill someone who did nothing to him or his property?” My answer is…”this man created a reality that told him he was entitled to kill, or that he needed to protect himself from some threat that only he saw, or that he was justified in ‘making a point’ to his community.” His reality does not align with mine. However…it IS his own reality to own.
That example may seem drastic, but we’ve seen more and more acts of violence and killing recently which suggests something deeper is happening here regarding the realities people are creating. Why is that? What type of thoughts have been occupying the minds of these people that have shaped their minds to experience life in such violent ways? My answer to those questions…think about the information we receive on a daily basis and how that information comes. Intense, dramatic, hyperbole, bombards our senses. The news media chases the smallest of incidents only to exacerbate and bastardize a situation all in the name of “reality.” If it is not sensational…it is not necessary to report. Ratings will suffer. And these sensational thoughts, presented in dramatic fashion, become “the thoughts that most frequently occupy your mind.” However, alignment with your soul, your authentic being, the true you, offers a genuine perspective of truth and the reality you create.
How often do we disagree with someone, have an argument with a spouse, debate with a co-worker, have a falling-out with a friend all because we have differing views? Is the other person truly “wrong” and we are truly “right?” Or are we weighing someone else on the scales of our reality? Sifting through what we consider distorted reality first begins with an understanding that every person’s reality is as unique as their finger print or as a snowflake or as the patterned stripes of a zebra; no two are just alike. From this point of understanding it becomes easy to respect another’s point of view. That point of view is unique to that person. As your point of view is unique to you. Conflict occurs most often when that understanding is lost or not realized in the first place. Then we hand down the verdict of that person having a distorted sense of reality.
Aligning with our souls allows us to be free. Free of judgment. Free of conflict due to differing opinions. Free from drama. Freedom to simply be and let be. This is not to suggest everything in life is all roses, unicorns and fairy tales. However, exercising a true understanding and a real awareness of how the thoughts we let occupy our minds shape our lives and experiences, offers empowerment to our desired outcomes.
A friend of mine suffers from depression. Depression is his “reality” and it is not to be taken lightly. It is very real to him. Recently he expressed his thoughts and feelings of suicide to me. He mentioned how he felt that people only used him for his goodness but didn’t truly want to know him. He talked about how he always felt like an outsider no matter how much the people around him expressed their love. He told me about the pain he felt deep down inside that he could never shake. This pain is authentic to my friend. It is his reality. My friend sees a therapist and has also been prescribed medication. But sometimes, the pain is overwhelming for him. I love my friend dearly and I asked him one day…”what do you want to feel like?” I asked him this not expecting to “fix” or “cure” his depression. I sincerely wanted to know…”what do you want to feel like?” My friend responded, simply saying, “I want to be happy.”
I asked him to search his mind to find thoughts and things that make him feel happy. And I asked him to share those things with me. When he did, I asked him, “can we focus just on this one thing that makes you happy right now and push aside all of the other thoughts in your mind?” He did. Then I asked him to be extremely descriptive of the things he shared that made him happy. “Tell me all the details about that” is what I said. The more he talked about those things that made him happy, the lighter his demeanor became. Then I asked him, “do you feel any better now than what you felt before?” He did. Then I asked him to write down those things he had shared. And every single day I asked him to read those things…focus on those things…envision those feelings of happiness…bombard your thoughts with the joy and excitement of those things that make you most happy. As we ALL are, my friend is a work in progress. But what I know for sure is “the thoughts that most frequently occupy your mind, are like the hands of a sculptor, constantly shaping and modeling your mind into the person and life that you will eventually experience and become” – D. Cunliffe Our realities are not distorted. They simply need adjusting to align with our true desires from time to time. Stay in alignment with your authentic self. And you will create the reality you truly desire. I love you KB.