Have you ever felt like you continuously experience similar things happening to you? There’s a reason for that. It’s all about perspective. Let me explain.
What are your worries in life? Do you worry that someone is always out to swindle money from you? Do you worry that you will be disrespected? Do you worry that you will be discriminated against? Do you worry that you will get sick? Do you worry that you will lose your money? Do you worry that your spouse will leave you?
These are all worries that feel very valid in our minds. “It has happened before,” you might say, “and I just want to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” It feels like the worry is going to help you be in control of something that really isn’t in your control.
Or is it?
I’m going to argue that it is much more under control than we think and it has nothing to do with worry.
I invite you to close your eyes for a minute. Think of something that is a constant worry for you. How does it feel in your body? Do you feel it in your chest? In your stomach? In your back? Pay attention to where the sensation is showing up and how it feels.
Now I want you to close your eyes one more time and imagine not having that worry anymore. Imagine that feeling disintegrating and zooming off into space never to return. Imagine that feeling being replaced by complete peace. How do you feel now?
Sometimes we get so used to feeling something that we don’t even notice it. We don't recognize the impact that it's having on our relationships, experiences, and our bodies.
So now that you have identified how the worry feels in your body, let’s look at how we might have control over that feeling and what that might have to do with our perspective.
When something happens to us, usually when we were young, our ego takes a snap shot as something it needs to protect us from. As children and young adults we appreciate that protection or defense. Often it helps us get through some very challenging and difficult situations that may even be life or death.
But as we get older, those protections end up hurting us more than helping us. The problem is, we have already created a story in our minds (that we can get VERY attached to, I might add) that says that we NEED that protection and can’t live without it. This becomes our paradigm from which we live our lives. This protection becomes the lens with which we view our world. We look for people and situations that require us to go into that protection/defensive mode. It becomes the paradigm for which we live our lives.
Imagine you have sunglasses with yellow lenses. You put them on and everything looks yellow. You have another pair of sunglasses that have red lenses. You put them on and everything looks red.
Do you see what I’m getting at? The same thing happens with our protections and defensive mechanisms. Whatever we are attempting to protect ourselves from becomes the lens that we see all of life through and whatever it is we are trying to protect us from tends to show up. “Of course this happened to me,” you say.
You see what you look for.
Are you ready to take off those sunglasses and put on another pair that brings you something that helps you instead of hinders you? Here are some steps that you can take to change your paradigm:
1. Identify the Pattern – In order to create any change you’ll need to identify what patterns show up in your life that you would like to change. Do the men that you date always end up treating you the same way? Do your business deals never work out? Do things always get stolen from you? Do people always disrespect you? Write the things that come to mind in a journal.
2. Explore the History– See if you can figure out when these things first started happening in your life. Was it something that happened as a child? Did you feel you never had enough? Did you feel you weren’t good enough? Did your dad treat you a certain way? Your mom? What rules were you given to live by in your culture or society? When is the first time you felt like a victim?
3. Choose a New Paradigm – This is most likely a pattern and paradigm that you have been living in the majority of your life. Are you willing to let it go? You may conscious feel that you are, but how does it feel in your body when you think about letting it go? It might not feel good. It might feel like you are leaving yourself exposed and as if you won’t be safe without it. After all, the reason you have this belief in the first place is to protect you, so it would make perfect sense that there is a part of you unwilling to part with it. It will take a conscious choice to adopt a different perspective, different paradigm, different way of being in the world.
Going through the three steps above will start a process of awareness that will start to bring change into your life, even if you aren’t fully committed to letting it go, at some level. Once you see something, you can’t un-see it. So if you have an experience that fits the old perspective that you identified, you will see it for what it is. You can then say to it, “oh here’s that old paradigm showing up for me again. This person just disrespected me. Okay, I see you.”
Instead of going down the victim spiral of, “see?! It happened again,” you can choose to look at it differently. You can say, “I see you as the old perspective and paradigm that I’ve been living and despite this showing up right now, I choose to believe that there are lots of good people out there that won’t disrespect me and I will continue to look for those people instead. I know that I am worthy of experiencing life in a different way.”
Change doesn’t happen overnight. Patterns, perspectives, and paradigms take time to change. But if we stay aware, we can start to shift our perspectives to match the experiences that we wish to have in our lives.