“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.” Eckhart Tolle
Many times that suggestion is easier said than done, but I do know that it is possible to do it.
Throughout the day I’ve begun asking myself WHY I am thinking what I am thinking, or WHY I am feeling the emotion so strongly that is affecting me at that time.
I don’t always get an immediate answer (Maybe that’s a good thing because then the question is WHO would answer me?) but it does help me shift my awareness that “I” am more than the thoughts and emotions that are trying to affect me on so many human levels: physiologically, mentally, and behaviorally.
And the most interesting thing that I’ve realized in this questioning is that if you take away external sources of input and simply relax into a calm and quiet inner state, you can more easily discern the actual outside influences that are attempting to sway you one way or another. You can then see through their influencing façade.
When you can successfully do that, you stop automatically “reacting” to everything you hear or see. Instead you start to assess and analyze WHY you are seeing and hearing those input sources before you simply ‘respond’ to them in some way.
So you might say, ‘Hm-m-m, that sounds like an awful lot of work’. But in a sense, if throughout your day you can better determine WHO and WHAT are influencing your daily thoughts and behaviors, then you can more easily decide whether or not you wish to allow those external sources to continue to influence you or to cease entirely.
I mean, I like Eckhart Tolle. I enjoy listening to him on YouTube, and I’ve enjoyed his book The Power of NOW, but sometimes he comes from such a barely recognizable state of peaceful mindedness that you want to say, ‘Okay. But what about the rest of us who are still living here in the REAL world?’
But then I stop and accept my reactive “frustration” at having to be more cognizant of all influences attempting to affect me in some way, and I can acknowledge that Tolle’s premise is probably accurate: The very act of intentionally ‘stepping out’ of a situation (shifting my perspective from the ‘personal’ to the non-personal overview) for me to better consider my options at the moment, is all that I really need to do.
I keep reminding myself that no matter what I am seeing or hearing: Don’t take it personally. Whatever you are thinking and feeling because of something someone said or did is just that—one attempt to influence your responses/reactions in one way or another for a reason you may not understand. So DON’T REACT TO IT! Just let it go.
You can acknowledge anyone’s attempt to sway you with: ‘Hm, …good try, but NO, I’m not taking the bait,’ and move on with your life in the direction that YOU choose.
Always keep in mind that non-reaction IS indeed your option, and after all, choosing your own path direction is the key to finding your own truth.
In fact, I’m not sure you can find your TRUTH without first choosing your own path.