2009-02-20 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand

We often hear the expression, "Is the glass half empty or half full?"

This shows us whether the person is supposedly an optimist or a pessimist. It illustrates that two people can look at the same object and see it differently through each one's lens of perception.

How we choose to look at life is up to each of us. I was walking on the beach one day last week, and it was raining and sunny at the same time. I could pull my hood on for when it rained, and then take it off when the sun was strong.

It pointed out to me how I wanted to view life - that life is about ups and downs together all the time or about moments of quiet followed by moments of crisis.

I want to always have a jacket with a hood in life for when I need it for rainy moments, and also be able to enjoy those good sunny moments when they occur. But my expectation is for rain and sun to both always be there. It is the way of life.

I am the one that determines which is a rainy or sunny moment. When I first started on my path, I realized that there were many obstacles in life. As I learned more, I realized that I was on an obstacle course with lessons to be learned by me. As I continued, the obstacle course became challenges given to me for growth. As more time went by, I realized that those challenges were really opportunities given to me to help me overcome insecurities of doubts and fears.

We try to control our own energy by being able to recognize our emotions and then making sure that they do not control us.

Intellectual thoughts provide the basis for these emotions whether they are the way I see the world, the expectations or life scripts I create, or values I accept from the outside world. If I believe that my thoughts are real, then I feel I know that I am right as opposed to someone else's perspective. I get disappointed if I don't get what I want or I lose trust in a trustworthy person because his or her behavior was unexpected. I must be aware that these thoughts are only illusions ofreality.

My version keeps changing as I learn more and more about life. Does itmean that any of my views are real? They are my views, and I am aware that I can create my own suffering when I let my emotions get out of control.

Rather, it would be good to acknowledge to myself how I am feeling, then stop and keep my energy cleansed and open to receive intuitive messages. This way I have a link to the big picture of my life which is more accurate than my intellect. I want to be sure that because of my emotional state, reality is not blocked by me.

If I can step away from my own feelings, I will be able to more accurately ascertain if someone is truly in pain or in need or if someone is just complaining. I can be compassionate and helpful to someone who really needs it, but also calm enough to realize when it is not necessary.

I can be genuinely compassionate because I have removed my own script of not getting what I want now and then making myself miserable. I can take care of my wants later on. It is truly one of life's challenges to remember that my thoughts are just my own and to be able to get beyond my own strong emotions.

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