Just thought I’d put that out there before writing this post.
“I Don’t Think You Are ‘Mr. Perfect’; Why Did You Just Tell Me That?”
Because of something yucky I’m about to reveal about myself.
I do enjoy actively and purposefully changing my beliefs when I notice they don’t serve me. Or when they cause me pain.
You already know how to do that – by telling yourself the best-feeling, believable stories about any circumstance. And, sometimes, by actively not putting yourself in the position to tell the bad-feeling stories you may be familiar with.
Allow me to illustrate.
Drivers Can Make Me So Mad…Anyone Else Feel That Way?
My wife and I just drove back from some time in Charleston, SC (one of America’s most beautiful cities, by the way). That amounts to nine hours in the car. And I’m sure you can imagine that I encountered plenty of irritating drivers.
- People driving slowly in the passing lane (My reaction – “Are you oblivious or just ignorant of the traffic rules?”)
- People braking for no reason (My reaction – “Is driving really that scary?”)
- People tailgating (My reaction – “Are you putting us all at risk for your own personal amusement?”)
- People not using their turn signals (My reaction – “That makes perfect sense; after all, why would you want to alert us to your intention to switch lanes?”)
Here Comes the “Yucky” Stuff I’m Not Proud to Admit
Because of all of this, I had a lot of opportunities to practice a tried-and-true method of avoiding telling old, bad-feeling stories (and, thus, reinforcing painful beliefs I’ve suffered):
“When another driver angers me, never look at him/her”
Because, no matter who the driver is (what age, sex, gender, appearance, ethnicity), I will, in my moment of anger, be prone to attach a negative, stereotypical, prejudiced label upon him/her.
- “Oh, of course! It’s an old person; they don’t know how to drive!”
- “Oh, of course! It’s an rich person; they think they own the road!”
- “Oh, of course! It’s a woman; they don’t know how to drive!”
- “Oh, of course! It’s an black person; they don’t know how to drive!”
- “Oh, of course! It’s a kid; they don’t know how to drive!”
- Etc., Etc., Etc.
I’m sure you get the picture; it doesn’t matter who or what the offending driver ends up being or representing – I’ve got some label for them in my moment of anger. And because of that moment of anger, I’m prone to lash out at the driver with an ugly stereotype. A painful stereotype.
Okay, I’ve Admitted That I Can Be Ugly – But I Also Don’t Condone or Encourage My Ugliness
I’m ashamed of those thoughts and it wasn’t easy for me to reveal such ugliness to you.
What I’ve found is that, by not looking at the offending driver, I don’t have to suffer them. My little bout of irritation passes and, very quickly, I’m no longer telling such horrible stories. And that feels so much better.
Those stories aren’t true anyway. Unless I want to make them true for me by repeatedly telling them. And why would I want to do that?
All those stories do is reinforce mean and negative stereotypes which distance me from you. They reinforce the illusion what I am separate from you. And that is a painful and scary illusion I no longer wish to suffer today. (Click that link to Tweet it)
This is How I Remain “Ugly-Free” While Driving
George Carlin wrote a brilliant joke where he said, “Everyone driving slower than you is an idiot and everyone driving faster than you is a maniac.” How often is that true for any of us? And, since we’re prone to live out that joke because we spend so much time behind the wheel, why not eliminate the painful stories which build or reinforce negative beliefs?
So if you see me in traffic and I don’t look at you…you’ll know I thought you were driving too slow. 😉 (Click that link to Tweet it)
And please stay tuned to this blog for more techniques to use new paradigms from quantum physics to align your life with your desires…