WHEN YOU TRULY SEE THIS, YOU’LL ENJOY A FRESH START
In understanding this essay, and I don’t mean intellectually, but rather at your core, you will have already transformed your relationships: the good ones, the troubled ones, even the terrible ones – all of them. You have no choice.
If you only understand this essay intellectually, you are but one extraordinary experience away from transforming each of your relationships.
Why? This essay puts forward the solution to what ails any relationship – and solves it exclusively from the only side from which you can fix it: your side! Achieving that can be the catalyst for the transformation of the other side. In any event, relationships can only ever change when one side is willing to transform their reality – how they see and experience their interrelation with Life.
If you are willing to explore this phenomenon with me, you will discover what’s behind the headline statement: ‘YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF YOUR RELATIONSHIPS – 100%’. Doing so, if you open to Possibility, will transform your relationships. All, from your side, will become kinder, more understanding, and imbued with wisdom and common sense.
But hold on! The other party may still not love you, or even like you. They may hate you. That is not within your remit. What is, is that you can transform each relationship you have, from the most fleeting – say, at the checkout – to the most crucial: your life partner. This occurs when you discover, by piercing the camouflage in your mind, that you are the creator of each relationship you have.
My intention here is that you will come to see that the other person – your boss, colleague, client, customer, neighbour, in-law, out-law, child, parent or partner – is the innocent bystander in the relationship you have with them, no matter what they say or do, or don’t say or fail to do.
And yes, the much maligned ‘left-wing loonies’ and the ‘right-wing nut-cases’ are all included. No relationship is exempt. I’ll also address ‘them’, ‘those’ and ‘the other’ in their relationship with you later.
WHERE ARE RELATIONSHIPS CREATED?
Although it doesn’t appear as though they are, every relationship you have is formed in your mind – not out there in the world. The ones you experience with everyday people you come across, the ones you experience with politicians on the TV news are also your 100% responsibility. So are those formed in newspaper and social-media reports – the people you violently disagree with: those relationships, too, are your 100% creation, despite the things they say and the actions they may take.
You may find this confronting. It may fly in the face of everything you think to be true.
Stay with me, please. As whacky as it might sound, this may be the most crucial piece of writing you ever read.
ON THAT NOTE, LET’S PAUSE FOR A MOMENT
You might be thinking that this sounds absurd, nuts, crazy! This guy is away with the fairies. Worse, he’s dangerous!
Crossing your mind might be thoughts like:
You’re not married to my partner, you don’t live next door to my neighbour, work under my boss, deal with the clients I deal with, have my set of relatives or your kids aren’t on drugs.
Are you stating that I could have a kind, understanding relationship with [fill in this space]?
Are you implying that I could have a wise, common-sense relationship – even virtual – with people whom I violently disagree with?
Enough. I’m sure you get my point. That is: you are the creator of your relationships – 100%.
When I present this alien perspective on how we create reality for the first time to a client or a group, the responses come from the same line of thinking: disbelief and the certainty that I’m bonkers. Or, if I’m given the benefit of the doubt, the response is scepticism at best.
Please, I ask you again, hang in with me. I trust this will start to make sense to you – and potentially be the catalyst for transforming your life. It can’t be more than the catalyst, because only you can facilitate your transformation—no one else.
THE FIRST QUESTION MOST PEOPLE ASK IS: ‘HOW CAN I BE 100% RESPONSIBLE WHEN THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE INVOLVED? At best, it’s got to be a 50 – 50 deal. Right?’
Among the most difficult or challenging of our relationships can be the one with our nearest and dearest – our life partner. Proof of the degree of difficulty lies in the stats. Around 50% of marriages in Western countries end in divorce. The second time around, it’s higher; and the third time, higher again. Check it out on Google if that seems unbelievable.
I’ll address that relationship specifically, but first, some groundwork before that ‘biggie’.
HOW WE CREATE OUR RELATIONSHIPS – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
To the degree that we truly understand how to create a ‘healthy’ (kind, understanding, wise, common-sense) relationship with one human, we automatically know how to get our relationship right with all the others.
If we do create a healthy relationship with one person, we are fit-for-purpose in being in a healthy relationship with as many people as we encounter – with all others, no exceptions. And when we realise that level of understanding, we will be in a healthy relationship with Life itself – even with that person we currently can’t stand.
Here is how we create what we call a relationship:
- We, you and I, and every Tom, Doreen and Harriett, create our personal reality from the moment we are born.
- It, our personal reality, does not exist outside of our mind.
- We create our personal reality via the mysterious life-giving energy sometimes called impersonal Thought (with a capital T).
- We transform that energy into our thinking (with a small t) within that most amazing human organ – our brain.
- You could call that miraculous process the creation of God, as many do. You could say it is an evolutionary process, as do many. The source of that life-giving energy is not under review here.
- Under the microscope here is how we function in relationship to and with another human. Or for that matter, with the whole of Life, via that life-giving energy, Thought.
Here is the tricky part of how we have the human experience of being in a relationship with another:
- We have, as said, this impersonal Thought energy we use to create our personal thinking.
- Via our five senses, we experience our personal thinking as feelings.
- That thinking and feeling experience translates into our behaviour.
- In brief – the above is how we create our moment-to-moment experience – our personal reality.
It gets even trickier.
We have, since birth (some say before that), via our Thought-thinking-feeling-behaviour process, created an inner context within our mind. That context is what determines how we see and experience our personal reality – and consequently, how we create our relationships.
- I repeat, from the moment we are born – even before – we are creating, moment by moment, our inner context, our personal reality – or in other words, our personal world.
- Whatever we see, watch, read, study, hear, taste, smell, touch, intuit, feel or experience in any way, shape or form becomes part of our context – called our conditioned mind.
- We also call that context our memory (conscious or unconscious).
- Call it whatever you like – our accumulation or our lifelong depository of useful and useless information.
- It includes all of our learning, education, training and experience.
- It is our knowledge base.
- It is our psychological ‘life story’.
- We write or rewrite our story the instant we experience something, anything in any moment, and that becomes a part of our conditioned mind – our context of living – at the conscious or at the unconscious level.
- No matter. It’s all ‘stuff’ that we have experienced through Thought – via our thinking – made real via our senses, at one time, one way or another.
- This accumulation of memories continues to form our life story and is our personal reality until we die. There is no escaping that.
- That, for many, is the bad news – it’s not always life-affirming. But wait: our conditioned mind can be transformed. We can create a new story – an increasingly life-affirming one. And that is the ‘good news’.
But first, let’s look at the result of that lifelong process and the story we live from if our personal reality is left unexamined and unexplored, is not seen for the illusion it is, and therefore is left untransformed, remaining the ball and chain that it is.
- Our conditioned mind is the mirage, the illusion, the very inaccurate memory, through which we see and experience life.
- It forms at or before birth. It is the lens through which we look and experience our relationship with Life and everyone and everything in it. It is our likes, dislikes, loves, hates – the sum of how we see and experience our personal reality.
- In experiencing Life through our conditioned mind, we are unable to see what is. What we see is what we are conditioned to see. We see our life and relationships through that accumulation – our beliefs, opinions, judgments and knowledge; our self-constructed personal reality; our story, which – we become certain – is ‘the truth of the matter’.
- In a sense, you could say we become robotic – a living, breathing, stimulus-response machine.
- We are self-programmed by our conditioning, and we function accordingly.
- We cease to have a direct experience of others, of nature – of seeing what is. We experience what we have been conditioned to experience since our creation as a human being.
- We have become incarcerated within our conditioned mind – within our accumulation.
IS THERE A WAY OUT OF THE PRISON OF OUR CONDITIONED MIND? CAN WE GET A FRESH START?
Yes. What follows explains ‘the good news’.
Getting a fresh start requires you and me to take a step into the yet-to-be-seen. To see beyond any and every story we believe to be ‘the truth of the matter’. To bypass every belief we have created about our self and around others and Life.
What does that mean?
Explained so far is that we see our life and relationships through our conditioned mind. And we will continue to do so, but we – you and I and all human beings – have the potential to undergo transformative moments of insight – at their peak, revelations – that upend our personal reality in a way that serves us and the common good.
These moments are sometimes involuntary. Sometimes they come about from our intention to seek out and discover the unknown – the yet-to-be-seen – to experience a new reality – to create afresh our existing relationship.
WHAT OCCURS WHEN WE SEE INTO THE UNKNOWN?
In that process, our mind undergoes a reconditioning. It’s like a makeover, a remodelling, a renovation of our mind. We see and experience our own life and Life itself anew.
We see through the illusion we have lived in till that point in time. In a sense, we are reborn, we experience a new beginning.
Depending on the intensity of that insight, we may also see and experience our beliefs, opinions, judgements, and our knowledge for the impediments they are to our relationships. As said, we experience a new dawn.
If we see, in those moments of renewal, with sufficient clarity, we will understand that we have created a new story – albeit a better story – but we will also understand that we have not discovered ‘the truth’. We see it’s just a new reality that we can, once again, become trapped in. We might be entering a new prison – a better one, maybe, but also one that can turn into as tough a prison as the one from which we escaped.
Realise, as you read, that I’m doing my best to explain the inexplicable.
What follows is a summary of how we experience our life and relationships from two states of mind. One, our prison. The other, the gateway to our freedom.
- Is when we see (no italics for ‘see’) and experience life through the veil of our conditioned mind. For want of a better descriptor, I call that state seeing Life from a state of impossibility.
- Is when we see (the word see italicised) and experience Life beyond our conditioned mind – seeing our life anew. For want of better terms, I call that state seeing Life from a state of Possibility.
Why Possibility and impossibility? These two words came to me when having an experience of intense mental clarity. In that moment ‘all things’ seemed possible: our world in perpetual peace – the common good being served by all – planetary sustainability supported universally – and relationships across the globe thriving in a context of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense. The distinction between the states of Possibility and impossibility, and how we think, feel and act in each state, and the transformative power of one state of mind, Possibility, over the other, a state of impossibility, became crystal clear.
SEEING BEYOND OUR CONDITIONED MIND AND EXPERIENCING LOVE (UNCONDITIONAL KINDNESS), UNDERSTANDING, WISDOM AND COMMON SENSE
Each of us quite innocently becomes lost in our conditioning, in our accumulation of beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge – the story from which we live our life. In that state, we see impossibility. We experience our personal reality through the thickening veils of our accumulating yesterdays.
As stated, – our personal reality has been created via what we are told, taught, discover and believe. Our teachers say: That is a tree. That’s a good tree. That’s a bad tree. That is a good person. That is a bad person. I like. I don’t like. That works best. That doesn’t work at all.
We grow into living a life of assessment – good, bad, indifferent. We become a walking, living, breathing repository of beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge. We, as a result, and to varying degrees, become disconnected from the direct experience of what is. Instead, what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell is what we learn and believe is ‘the truth of the matter’. We live a pre-programmed life.
Conditioned in that way, we can’t see what is. We see, hear, smell, taste and touch what we have been conditioned to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.
We see Life through the indoctrination of our culture. That is the limited and limiting reality we see – the only reality we see.
That is, until we wake up and see beyond that conditioned reality and into The Realm of Possibility. That is when we see anew, get a fresh start and transform our relationships.
Below are some dot points on how we move beyond our conditioned mind and see and experience a new reality – how we get a fresh start – how we abandon the past and recondition our mind in more loving, understanding, wise and common-sense ways.
Below outlines the process that has transformed my own life and that of many of my clients:
- Have and hold your clear intention of seeing beyond your existing beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge – beyond your present worldview, your current personal reality.
- Be patient with yourself and hold your intention as feather-lightly as possible.
- Even if, ‘deep down’, you don’t believe it is possible to see life afresh, remember, that is because we live in a conditioned mind that is certain we already see the actual reality.
- I repeat, do your best to hold as gently as you can, all of your beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge.
- Hold a question mark above the way you see and experience the world, and keep in your mind it is just your personal world you are experiencing – not the world.
- It’s your ‘personal reality’, not ‘an impersonal reality’ you are experiencing.
- As you go about your life, notice that you seek out news, information, friends, watch movies, TV shows and read books that align with what you already believe to be true.
- Try to recognise how you seek reinforcement of your existing reality – your current worldview.
- Try gently to see how confined you are. How you avoid anyone or anything that questions, challenges your beliefs, your values, your way of seeing the world.
- Notice the following: what you like and dislike, love and hate, things you think you know for sure and are certain to be true. What you see is right, and wrong. OK?
- Put a question mark rather than an exclamation mark over all those beliefs as well.
- Become aware of how you strongly support or equally strongly oppose specific movements, beliefs, opinions, judgements.
- And how readily you agree with those you support and automatically disagree with ones you oppose.
- Experiment with taking the stance of ‘not knowing’, ‘not believing’, ‘not having an opinion’, ‘letting go of your judgements’, ‘recognising your knowledge as simply being the best you have available right now’.
- Be consciously open to there being a discovery around the corner that may question, or even undermine, your current beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge, and provide you with a more enlightened perspective.
- Start to suspect that your current understanding of any aspect of your life might be simply a stepping-stone to a deeper understanding. A fresh look that may turn on its head your contemporary take, and that might invalidate its efficacy.
- Consider the idea that in ‘not knowing’ lies your freedom to see beyond belief to a new impersonal reality of love, understanding, wisdom and common sense and, above all else, peace of mind and peace of action and harmony in all our relationships.
As a personal, relevant, in-the-moment example of what I am pointing toward, I state this: I do not present this article to you as being ‘the truth’. I offer it as the most unambiguous expression of how I see and see my life and relationships at this point.
I hold the intention of seeing beyond whatever my current reality is and intend to do so till I leave this mortal coil.
SO, WHAT ABOUT ‘THEM’ – THEIR ROLE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
In case you think I’ve forgotten ‘them’, ‘those’ and ‘the other’ in their relationship with you, I haven’t. You can probably guess what I’ll say, anyway. Each one of ‘them’ is equally responsible, 100%, for the way they create their relationship with you.
If you’ve got this far and are hoping that last statement lets you off the hook of being 100% responsible for your relationship with ‘them’, ‘those’ and ‘the other’, it does not – not even to the 0.001th degree. Bummer! No – the buck stops with you.
And the excellent news is, we humans have an innate desire to ‘find our way home’ to that state of Possibility. We innately desire better relationships and a life that is richer, fuller, truer to our deepest selves. It is a driving force in all human beings, no matter how lost they may appear to be.
This naturally occurring innate state of Possibility is the hidden hope for humanity.
Warmly … John