Monday, March 30, 2009

What You Are Is What You Get

There is a bible verse that people like to paraphrase that basically says whatever you sow, you also reap. The concept here is that your actions have consequences, and you will have to face those consequences in the future. It seems somewhat similar to idea of karma, which appears in various Eastern religious and spiritual practices.

Over time, I've come to take the fundamental principle of this as "what you are is what you get". I understand it to mean that whatever thinking is going inside you also becomes your way of being affected by things outside you, and in actuality, it's all an extension of you. In my last post, I wrote about learning not to judge, and how if we can learn to accept our own feelings without resistance, then we are also learning to accept the feelings of others without judgment. Therefore, our relationships with others will become different, just because we've changed something inside ourselves.

Another example linked with judging is that being judgmental creates self-consciousness. Why is this so? Because if you are constantly judging other people, you will assume that they too are constantly judging you, and you will try to imagine what their judgments of you are like. Then, you react to those imagined judgments by trying to manage your "image", that is to say, by worrying about how others see you. And if you stop judging others, what happens? You forget to worry that they might be judging you. In fact, the whole concept of judging begins to disappear from your mind, and the result is that you will have much less self-consciousness about how others perceive you.

All of the "insides" and "outsides" have similar linkages. If you're a deceitful person, you will start to wonder if others are deceiving you too, and you will grow suspicious and have trouble trusting anyone. So, if you want to build trust with others and feel like you can rely on them, work on becoming a completely honest person. If you never really listen to anyone else at work, but just look for opportunities to promote your own ideas and plans, you will begin to feel like no one is taking you seriously. Why? Because to convince other people of the merit of your ideas, you need to form ideas that fit with their understanding of what's going on. If you don't listen to them talk about what they think is happening and why, you can't refine your ideas in appropriate ways nor be persuasive in explaining why your ideas will succeed. In other words, if you want to be listened to and taken seriously, you will want to learn to listen to and take others seriously.

Really everything that irritates or frustrates us about others or about our situation is a clue to something we need to pay attention to inside ourselves. Once we figure out how to address our own thoughts and actions from the inside, then the outside problems will heal themselves.

Have you ever changed something in yourself and found that your reality changed as well?

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