In the last few years, many have felt in a state of alarm more often than they did previously. However, for many others this is just their base state of existence. Do we realize how much this affects the way we interact with the world around us? Probably not.
So, what can we do about it? Firstly, we can simply be aware of the fact that our state of being directly affects how we perceive everything going on around us. Frankly, some of these perceptions may be incongruent with what was intended or the true severity of a situation. This awareness is more powerful than you might imagine.
Let’s take a simple example. You go to the grocery store to buy something for dinner. You had a very difficult day at work, your family is grieving the death of a close friend, and no one else seems to remember that they can actually open the dishwasher and put the dishes in without your help. You feel depressed and exhausted.
When you get to the checkout line, the checker doesn’t make eye contact or smile. Despite your best efforts to put on a smile and be polite, the interaction is cold and impersonal. As you leave the store, are you thinking, “What a jerk!”?
What you don’t realize is that when you smile, you remind him of his mom, who died a year ago. He can’t bring himself to look at you because he’s afraid he’ll cry and there are some kids from his school in line behind you.
Each of you was hurting. Each of you reacted to the world around you in the best way that you could at the time.
Simply realizing that this is the case for ourselves and for others, can help us to begin to change our experiences. We can begin to notice that this is what’s happening in the moment. This will, in turn, empower us to change it. It is not always easy. In fact, it’s painfully difficult sometimes. However, it’s a start. It’s a foundation.
I invite you to notice the connections between how you’re feeling and how you interpret what happens around you. No judgments. No obligation to change anything. Simply notice. You may be surprised at both what you notice and what you feel inspired to change. Comment below or message me to tell me about your observations. I’d love to hear about it.