How does your world look to you? Is it scary and uninviting? Filled with people who complicate your life? Does it leave you with a sense that something’s missing?
As a formerly unhappy and confused person, now recovered, here’s what I’ve learned: It has nothing to do with the world.
Our worlds are a projection of our inner state. That’s right. There’s no objective world “out there.” Take two people with two different histories and two different perspectives. They’ll see the exact same situation in two completely different ways.
It’s like you’re looking out through a window. If your window is layered with programmed habits that define your experience, your inner state is limited and edgy. If your view is pristine and clear, with nothing in the way, you’re open, expansive, and available to what is.
What is your window onto the world? Is it murky, filled with the smudges of emotions, fears, and distorted beliefs and expectations? Then you’ll find a disappointing world out there where people are driven by their own emotions and situations will fail to meet your needs.
Is your window clear? You’ll engage with open, loving people who aren’t steeped in drama. You’ll find fulfillment and happiness effortlessly.
How It Works: An Example
Say that your intimate relationships just don’t go well. Somehow you end up with someone who creates conflict, who triggers you unendingly, or who doesn’t treat you with love and respect. It’s no mystery as to why these patterns recur for you, and it has nothing to do with the other.
It’s about your own inner experience.
- Maybe you believe a sad story that you’re not deserving. Then you’ll choose someone who doesn’t appreciate you.
- Maybe you have lots of ideas about what your partner should say and do. There will be no way he or she can possibly satisfy you.
- Maybe you’ve been burned by relationships in the past. Your protective walls will prevent you from experiencing true intimacy. Your partner will want more from you than you’re willing to give.
And if you show up with a loving heart, with preferences but not expectations, you’re already fulfilled. You’ll choose wisely and flow like water when difficulties arise.
The Sacred Path to Clarity
I’m going to go out in a limb here and assume that what you want is ease and clarity. You want your window to be clear so you don’t get knotted up by situations that leave you spinning to try to figure them out. You want to feel okay about yourself, others, and the things that happen.
It may be easier than you think to experience this way of being.
There’s a spiritual practice called “neti-neti,” which means “not this, not that.” You take everything that arises in your experience, and you see it as not really you. A thought that you’re not good enough? Not you. A feeling of fear? Not you. A belief that you’ll get rejected if you get too close? Not you, as it’s a projection into the future and not about what’s happening now.
Neti-neti invites you to see what is actually true. And it’s not these distorted experiences that muck up your window.
Underneath all your patterns, your fears and hurt feelings, your rigid expectations is peace. When you see these habits as simply objects that pass through your consciousness, you don’t need to make them your reality, and you’re peaceful. The smudges come, but you don’t grab them so they don’t stick to your clear window. Neti-neti—they’re not you.
Experience this right now, if you can. Take an old familiar thought you’ve been thinking about yourself for decades. Now, imagine it floating though your mind without taking hold of it. There it goes…and here you are, free of it in this moment.
Now, feel a familiar impulse to lash out or pull away. Let it move through, and it doesn’t disturb.
You can inhabit the space of presence, the stable ground of being, where you’re free of these personal complications. Here, your window is clean. There may be shadows that cross it, but they move through without creating trouble.
See past them, and here you are…so crystal clear that your inner light shines brightly, everywhere. Let your life emerge from this clarity. It’s a blessed life in true service to love.
What About You?
How’s your window? Can you find the space of clear seeing? I’d love to hear… And if you’re reading by email, please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.