Day 178: Who is Ultimately Responsible?

How we think about things is a HUGE indicator of how we will experience those things. Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts about a subject are always a match for our experience of it.

For instance, think about someone you REALLY like. Do you feel good as you think about them? Does thinking about them conjure up positive-feeling thoughts, memories of times you’ve laughed together, or nice things they did for you? Given the positive-feeling thoughts you have about them right now as you think about them, which is more likely, that your next interaction with them will be positive or negative?

Let’s add a twist to this thought experiment. Is it conceivable that just as you like this person so much, someone else could feel exactly the opposite about them? Have you ever known someone who disliked someone you really liked? (We all have). When they think of that person, is it likely that their mind conjures up negative-feeling thoughts, just as your mind conjures up positive-feeling ones?

How can it be that one person can evoke such different thoughts and reactions from two different people? Is it that person’s “fault” that you like them and someone else doesn’t? Who caused your positive reaction to them, and someone else’s negative reaction? Who is ultimately responsible, the thinker of the thoughts, or the subject of those thoughts?

Let’s look at this from a different angle. Since I am my own best test-subject, I’ll look at how I think about running. In the past two months, I have hardly run at all. It has been perhaps the most significant running break since I began regularly doing it fifteen years ago. This week I “get” to run a total of forty-five minutes. From the point of view of my previous running routine, this is very restrictive. Frankly, it could be seen as sucky.

I do not feel sucky about this, however. Here are my thoughts: “I am healing myself, I am taking care of myself, I am taking a break from running so that I can find my alignment and balance, and when I get back to running I will be happier than ever. Meanwhile, I get to enjoy swimming with my wife while also doing some running. I’m already having a good time, all in all, and I expect things to evolve nicely.”

What is the mood or feeling of these thoughts? Optimistic, appreciative, and peaceful. I have positive expectations of things going well. Is it coincidence that I happen to have a positive attitude in this area while the area is progressing in a positive way? I think not. I think my thoughts are directly linked to the experience I am having. I already feel like a success in this area. It’s not about how much I’m running, it’s my belief that things are going well. My thoughts are calibrated positively, so my experience results from that. I love seeing how this works.

But wait, you say. If my own thoughts directly affect my experience, does this mean that any negative experiences in my life are ultimately my responsibility as well? Yes, indeed. But that doesn’t have to be upsetting. We may have drawn those negative experiences to us as well, yet that means we have the power to draw something more positive instead. Personally, I am seeing that in certain instances I only drew negative results out of lack of awareness and understanding. Now that I understand better how this process works, I am cleaning up my thinking. Ultimately, this will draw all good things to me 🙂

And that doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me!

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