The world is both personal and impersonal. Caroline Myss teaches this concept but some people find it very difficult to understand. For example, if a car crashes into you, it’s not because the person driving deliberately chose to crash into you, they didn’t stalk you for weeks and target you and then smash into you. It was impersonal, they happened to be speeding and you happened to be there, and it happened. But it is also personal – for example you get a shock when you are in a car crash, it’s your back that gets hurt, your car that gets damaged, it’s you that doesn’t want to drive anymore, and that impacts on your life in a deeply, personal way.
I was watching Star Wars VI with Mya, my nearly 8 year old. I had seen it already, I brought my 15 and 13 year old with me, but I decided that my 8 year old could handle the experience of it, and I wanted to see it again so she was a good excuse! The story illustrates this concept beautifully. There is a war, that’s impersonal. People get hurt, that’s personal. We zoom in to follow the lives of Fin, Rey and the old favourites Han Solo, etc, and then we zoom out to watch what is happening between the First Order and the Rebel Alliance. What is happening to the main characters is deeply personal, however it has an impact on their worlds that is impersonal. Zooming out (impersonal), zooming in (personal).
Can you apply this idea to your own life? What are you taking so personally that you cannot get away from the details of to see the bigger picture? What are you holding onto for dear life to help you make sense of your world, when you could let it go and step into a bigger universe and just see it as a bunch of stuff that happened, rather than something that happened to you?
Eckart Tolle talks about this too. He says that your life situation is, well, a bunch of stuff that happened. It’s how you deal with it that matters. Ok the exact quote could be this one – “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”
And yes, so did Wayne Dyer – “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
And now, here I am saying it to you, too. Maybe it’s because it’s a truth. But knowing a truth is one thing, applying it to your life is another thing. Can you have a try this week? Use the Zoom in and Zoom out idea, like you’re stepping into a movie, your life doesn’t have to be as epic a story as Star Wars, but if you think of the idea that “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances”* where are you in it? And what would change in your attitude, if this is how you held your energetic self?
*Shakespeare, from As You Like It
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