In one of my favorite movies of the '80s, Aliens, the monsters are bearing down on two soldiers. One of them blurts out, "This ain't happening, man!" His response reminds me of the scared child who hopes that closing her eyes will change what she fears. On this theme, Richard Rohr writes:
People with a distorted image of self, world, or God will be largely incapable of experiencing what is really real in the world. They will see things through a narrow keyhole. They’ll see instead what they need reality to be, what they’re afraid it is, or what they’re angry about. They’ll see everything through their aggressiveness, their fear, or their agenda. In other words, they won’t see it at all.
From my own inner work, I struggle with seeing things as they are. But what I've come to understand is that strong, mature people see reality as it is, whether favorable or not, whether it suits them or not, whether what is seen brings joy or tears. Most of us, however, have too much of the ego in the way and either fight with reality or try to tame it through naming and judging.
We need support in unmasking our false self and in distancing ourselves from our illusions. In a zoominar last year, I spoke about how it's helpful to install a kind of “inner observer” or what some call a “fair witness.”
When you catch yourself (over)reacting to something you have seen on TV, online, or on social media, turn off your inner namer and inner judger and watch your self. Then ask a series of questions:
Do I need to merge my emotions with what I'm seeing?
Can I merely notice what I'm feeling and then let that go?
What would change in me if I could read or hear without having my emotions kidnapped?
If you find it difficult to understand this, need help in sorting out feelings or thoughts, give me a call (813-815-1518) or email me. This is what I do and I'd be honored to help you.