Everything in your life is a reflection of what's going on for you
This is so hard to believe. I know because I battle with this idea all the time. I blame the other person or persons for every obstacle I have to face. I blame my circumstances and the environment and make all kinds of excuses and reasons why I cannot and could not have contributed to my present and past situation(s). On the other hand, I readily take credit for the good things that come my way. I claim a 100% credit for all the successful outcomes in my life and scarcely ever think of all the people that could have contributed to my success story! That is simply being human and yet, I have recently learned that everything happening in my life is a reflection of what is going on within me. My thoughts about myself, conscious and subconscious all contribute to both the way I experience life as well as my experiences in life.
I attended a workshop about a week ago organised and ran by a well-known TA Trainer and Psychotherapist, Ken Mellor on “Expanding in Spirit”. The last part of the workshop emphasized the importance of using every situation and experience in life to get to know ourselves better; a way to discover who we are and most of all as an indicator that we still need to dig deeper to learn what the situation is teaching us about ourselves as a person. This is crucial for people who really want to know who they are and since I am one of those people, I decided to put it to the test. His advice was that we see past the situation/problem/circumstance and look within to find out how we attracted and became part of the experience.
I followed his advise and did just that! In fact, I took the advice literally and decided to explore what I could learn about myself. My first test was to find out the ways in which I was contributing to some complaints made re my person and my work. It was a difficult choice considering that the same complaint had been made more than once by my colleagues to my supervisor. It was definitely difficult getting past the thought that my co-workers disliked me because I was “different” and did things differently and that because of this supposed dislike for me they would make up all kinds of negative stories about me! I am that important right? There was my ego completely inflated to the max that I could barely see past this idea that they had it in for me; and would do or say anything to bring me down; that I was right and they were completely wrong in their judgement of me. I spent so much energy figuring out how I could convince them to see and do things my way. I tried minimally to change my attitude and way of thinking but still found myself thinking, there must be something wrong with them if they cannot see things the way I see them!
The complaints about how I did my job within the team simply would not go away and when for the third time my supervisor brought it up I boldly and fearlessly said, “well, as long as my conscience is clear and those complaining are unable to come up with concrete examples of the unacceptable actions they are complaining about, I am going to continue doing what I am doing”. Yet, I could not stop myself from thinking about the complaints and how I could resolve them by resolving the conflict it was causing between me and my colleagues.
I am not saying that some of my colleagues are not really nasty and would sometimes tell little fibs and even big lies just to make themselves look good while painting me and others black! No, that’s not what I am saying. You will always have people like that not only at work but in most places; people who think it is by putting others down that they can become successful and respected. What I am saying is that, there was and still is something about me, something going on in my thoughts about myself that attracts people, situations and experiences like these. That part of me was what I was determined to find out.
After long and endless, unsuccessful “thought-full” days, attempting to decipher my contribution to the conflict, I decided the only way forward was to make an official request through my supervisor that my team sat together and openly discuss why some team members felt so strongly opposed to my way of doing things. None of them had complained to me directly and I felt an open platform with a facilitator will ease the process and also allow me to express my point of view. I was going to do this by sending an email to my supervisor requesting her to set up such a meeting so we could all clear the air once and for all. As soon as I got to the point in the email where I was explaining that I felt I had done no wrong and that my way of doing things was right until it was proven otherwise, something clicked in me. I remembered a childhood experience where I’d been in a similar position.
I remembered and felt the feelings that came with that experience and the decision I’d made at that time as to how I would behave from then on. At that instant, my behaviour and resistance to change at work all made sense. I cringed at the thought that all this had been playing out in my life all this while, yet, I was so happy that I finally understood how I could have been attracting some people and situations in my life and most of all that the persistent complaints from my colleagues had pushed me into looking into myself to resolve the conflict. Needless to say I never sent the email! Even if I do ask for a team discussion, I will be fully present to negotiate my corner having understood myself better! I am however, not going to run to my colleagues and declare to them that I finally realised they were somehow right all along!! Far from it! I am still keeping some of my ego, thank you very much!! However, I am confident that as my thoughts and beliefs about myself change, the situation, conflict and relationship with my colleagues will regulate itself positively.
On my part, I am going to do something even harder – re-live those feelings and thoughts and clear them from my system once and for all! Yes, the hardest part for me is to face the truth about myself and how my false self has been influencing my behaviour and then replace the beliefs and thoughts that created and attracted the situation in the first place with positive thoughts and beliefs. Painful memories are usually blocked and locked away in our subconscious mind. Little do we know that they still influence a big chunk of how we live our lives. The memory that I recalled was an emotionally painful incident which I locked away and hoped that I would never re-live and/or re-experience it. Unfortunately, I have been subconsciously re-living it with others who replaced the actual people with whom I had the first experience. I guess I just have to consciously do that now in order to make peace with myself and those who became substitute actors and also unconsciously got involved in the game! After all I am an adult now with updated data to help me understand and see things differently.
Yes, I will continue to use my experiences, especially those that come in the form of obstacles, as an indicator that there is a blockage of some sort within me (especially in my subconscious mind), that needs to be removed so I can live a fuller life!
We all have our own obstacles in life! Remember that obstacles, whatever form they take, are not opposing you, but merely and gently re-routing you! Everything happening in your life is a reflection of what is going on within you! Rise to the occasion and change your life for the better!