I was struck recently by the passion of people towards an event that did not involve them. It was the news that Ronaldo was being accused of rape. I was in the car with a couple of people and they started talking about this incident. They are ardent football supporters and Ronaldo is a particular hero of theirs. Needless to say they took his side with determined loyalty. What interested me was that without ever having met him they were so sure of his innocence and of Ronaldo’s accusers malicious intent. Needless to say they were then dragged into a conversation about reality and illusion.
I call our opinions illusions because we tend to think that what we believe about something really matters. In the course of this article you might begin to see that it doesn’t at least when you are trying to change reality.
This conversation made me think how often in life we think that our opinions are the truth. That the truth is the truth because we wish it so, but there are two things to remember about indulging in our opinions (illusions);
1, It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are they can never change reality. Reality is and nothing you think about it
will change it.
Lets look at the above example - Does how my friends think about the Ronaldo’s rape accusation change the reality that someone has accused Ronaldo of rape? No, no matter how passionately they believe and argue that Ronaldo has been wrongly accused it does not change the reality that he has been accused.
Lets pick another example - Donald Trump - one of the most controversial people alive today. Love him or hate him your emotions are all based upon opinion. The fact is that what you think of him does not change anything. Does how you feel stop him from being President of the USA? No. Does whether you think he is right or wrong in his actions change what he does? No. If you are able to feel/sense or picture this situation how does it make you feel energetically? For me it makes me feel tight, anxious, enraged, and ultimately powerless. Not a pleasant experience and one (should I be fixed on my opinion) I would have created entirely on my own.
2, When you form an opinion you make yourself right and then automatically someone else needs to be wrong. When
you think you are right and someone else thinks you are wrong this leads to a need to defend your position. All conflict
in life comes from this, our need to be right.
Imagine how different things would be if we were to look at the reality of a situation without the need to make it right or wrong. Lets take the Ronaldo incident again. What were the facts? Someone has accused Ronaldo of rape. Other than this there are no facts that we were aware of. So what is to be done. If we were to accept reality we would not get emotionally invested in the event. To accept that we know nothing of the details or of the people and to allow the courts and police to get on with evaluating the evidence. The event would pass without much notice and we would all get on with living our lives. The people involved would go through their experience without the added pressure from all sorts of people all around the world judging them and making a tragic situation even more tragic.
Taking the Trump example if we were to resist the urge to make him right or wrong how would this change your interaction with the situation? Would you feel the way you did initially? Or would you feel calmer and more centred?
When we are emotionally charged (like we are when we are opinionated) we lose access to our higher thinking and are more likely to be rash. This is a physiological reaction to stress and when we feel over emotional about a situation we become stressed. The way we are created when our body experiences stress it goes into survival mode. In survival mode there is no need to think of philosophical outcomes and our brain redirects our processing to our more base animal survival reactions such as fight, flight or freeze.
When we are in a calmer place (acceptance) we are able to make more impactful choices that will take us towards an end result that we really want rather than a reaction based action that would lead to the opposite.
Our thoughts about a situation can never change a situation the only thing that changes reality is ACTION.
If the example with Ronaldo is upsetting for you, you can choose to do something about this by either working with men to find a way that positively empowers them in this new world or work with woman who have been sexually abused to support them past this.
In the Trump example you could march in protest, start a career in developing conscious leadership so that there are more conscious leaders to choose from in the future and so on, by the way although Donald Trump was not around when I started my career there were enough ego driven leaders to inspire me to do something about it.
I am not saying you have to take these particular actions but if you brainstorm you will be able to come up with some that feel right to you. Taking action does not change what has happened but it can energise your actions going forwards and help you create a future you would want to be a part of.
This is only one step in creating greater self empowerment if you want to hear a few more join me on Tuesday the 4th of December at 12.00 midday. If you can’t make it sign up anyway and I will send you a recording. Just email me by clicking here CLICK and I will send you the link to sign on with.