If you live in the north and / or eastern parts of North America I don’t have to tell you it’s been a long cold winter. In New York, as in most of the country, there are many conversations about the weather. Here, we get to hear each other’s conversations. On the bus people talk on their cell phones, on the subway to their friends, and sometimes, walking down the street, head bent to the bitter cold being carried on gale force winds, to themselves.
It is a lively town and filled with complainers. Most of us don’t think of ourselves as complaining. We think what we’re saying is the Truth. As in the sky is blue, water is wet, and this winter is brutal.
But the weather isn’t what we’re really talking about. What we’re talking about is our experience of the weather. We are talking about our thoughts and feelings. There is nothing wrong with this, and most of us think we are talking about what is happening instead of our experience of what is happening.
The distinction I want to illustrate here is this: something happens and we think and feel things about what happened – then we confuse what we think and feel with what actually happened. So our thoughts and feelings about what happened become (to us) what happened, or our reality. Then we repeat that to people, gathering agreement, making it that much more real.
Except it is not. It is only our perception.
So what if you consider, for just a moment, that the weather is doing whatever it is doing, separate from you and your thoughts and feelings. What opens up for you when you look at the weather as just what is happening separate from you?
Now apply that same distinction (what’s happening from what you think and feel about it) to other areas of your life, like your job, your relationship, your bank account.
What opens up for you when you look at these things as they are and not what you think and feel about them? What do you see is possible now?
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