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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Thoughts Before Going to Sleep By Greg Scott

Monday, 27 June 2011 at 23:27

Before I go out to act in the world, I like to clean up my own backyard. I'm referring, of course, to my own internal space, the very existence of which I denied for many years. I used to think that only the outside world exists. My inability to accept responsibility meant that often the world seemed a dark and gloomy place, evil and beyond redemption.
Stepping from this delusion has been an act of courage, which I thoroughly recommend. I have found the enemy and it is me, what a relief. Me, I can change, the world is another matter. I have lived inside out most for my life.
"So," I hear you say, "What's different?"
Well, not much really.
Before, I had a voice in my head that was so pervasive I almost didn't know it was there. It provided a running commentary of criticisms and judgments everywhere I went, and, I thought it was me. "The weather is bad", "He's a dick', "you stink", "the world is fucked", on and on and on, twenty four seven , like a nagging school teacher.
This me I will call 'thing 1'
"So," you say again, "what now?"
 Now I have 'thing 2'. Thing 2 sits back and watches thing 1, like thing 1's kind and wise Dad. When thing1 makes a value judgment thing 2 merely asks, "Is it true?".
Guess what? It hardly every is.
"If it's not true" goes thing 2 "What's happening now?"
To answer this I take a peek and, what do I find? I find that feelings are happening, and happening almost all the time. Feelings are happening that color the way I view the world. The judgments I make are more about my own internal weather than any thing in the world outside.
This is called "projection", and it's something we all do. If someone comes out of nowhere and yells "YOU SUCK" it's probably not about you at all. They're just giving you their internal weather report and, if you need to feel anything at all, you should feel compassion because they're telling you they feel like crap and don’t know what to do about it. Don't say "You made me angry" because they didn't. You made yourself angry because you didn't realize it wasn't about you! It hardly ever is!
This brings me round to blame, which is definitely a thing 1 thing. If we blame others for our own internal weather, we then have to forgive them, so maybe not blaming in the first place is the easy way out.
"But" I hear you say, "People do bad shit"
This is true of course, and if they do they should be punished, but what if they're trying to tell us something but they're so confused the only way the can find to do this is to do something really awful? What if we could get them to tell us in a less nasty way? What if we could get them to control of their internal weather so they don't ever explode?
 So how do we tame our internal weather? I don't really know but I think it might have something to do with values. I don't know about you but I value laughter, and friendship, and family, and helping people, and good times, and thinking, and working out the world, and good food, and more things than I could ever possibly mention. When I do things like this I feel good and I even feel good if I  just think about doing them. Values keep my ship on an even keel and , with an even keel , the world is a wonderful place.
So what about thing 1 and thing 2?  Thing 1 almost never says anything anymore because criticism and complaint are not things I really value. Thing 2 runs the show and, as thing 1 is redundant, spends most of his time asking questions of the world outside and simply just observing. He finds the world a source endless wonder and entertainment and it isn't ever boring, not even for one minute. When I meet a stranger, thing 2 asks millions of questions like "who are they?" "Where have they come from?" "What makes them smile?" "How can I help them?' and most importantly "What can we do together that's in line with our values?"
Everyone knows that bad shit happens and when it does thing 2 goes "What really happened?" , "How can we fix it?”, and "How can I help now?" This beats what thing 1 would have said. Thing 1 would have said "Things like this always happen to me." That only applied when everything was about me.
 This is just a whimsical note that I thought of last night when I was going to sleep. It seems to work most of the time but if you don't get it that's OK too.


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