Social Zen

Experiment: Say the phrase “Hell is other people”.           

Experiment: Say the phrase “Hell is how I think about other people”. 

Wait a minute and see what your heart says about which one of these is truthful for you.

I am not fond of having to look at this issue. Recently I found myself going through one of those nights where you keep waking up with another person living in your head. Ego was angry and I felt as though “I” needed to do something about the situation. I felt betrayed and used and diminished.

But, and it’s a big but, the only thing that was happening was that my ego was making up a story about something someone had done that it decided to take personally. What was happening was that Ego was torturing Ego in order to stay in the center of the universe.

Really I have no idea why this other person does what they do but I have a ton of stories about when, where, and why.

I took the time to realize that what I took as a personal swing at me could be taken in other ways. And, even if it was a swing at me who cares? It actually wasn’t about me or the other person. The whole thing was about my EGO asserting itself.

How many times in the past has this happened? Hundreds if not thousands. Ego makes up a story about the evil “Other Person” when in reality I don’t have a clue as to what other people are thinking, meaning, wanting, or caring about. I have a general idea of how they feel. That’s it. So what do I do? My training says redirect. I got up at three and started writing and working. I deflected that fantasy and delusion that I needed to respond to the other “person.”

So today as I write this I have a changed perspective. I am starting to see when Ego gets defensive and redirect. Because no matter if the other person meant it personally or not it’s up to ME to decide what frame of reference I am going to view it from and how much I want the experience to impact my world.

Know what I’m really starting to see more and more?

That compassion, forgiveness, deflection, and redirection are really all about the quality of life that I want to have, not about other people. People aren’t hell, my thinking about them is what is hell. And, more importantly, my thinking is actually something in my domain that I can work with. Yes I may have to redirect my attention a thousand times but soon it becomes easier and Ego has nothing to hold onto.

I encourage us to practice changing the focus of our attention on purpose. Try it. Try it on small not important stuff, if you find yourself thinking about something that is causing suffering, intentionally redirect your focus of attention. No it doesn’t stay redirected, you may do it over and over, but you will notice that sooner or later Ego wears out instead of your sanity. You will notice that we already do that by using television, or books, or games, or socializing. But we can also redirect without losing our genuine self.

I had get this out today. I feel somehow it earmarks a little bit of growth in my spiritual cycle.

Love you


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