The Creation of Reality

The concept that we each create our own reality is one that I’ve always enjoyed contemplating. The more I’ve worked as a therapist and done my own personal emotional/spiritual work, the deeper meaning this statement has taken. On a very basic level, the thoughts we entertain shape the beliefs we hold and the perspectives we carry through our life. These perspectives in turn shape the meaning we make about each situation we encounter. In short, we really do create our own reality. If I hold a belief that people are fundamentally selfish and self-serving in their behaviors, I will interpret the actions of others from this frame of reference and confirm my bias. However, if I chose to hold a belief that people are generally kind and thoughtful and are doing the best they can in any given moment, I will view the behaviors I witness from this perspective. In short, I can chose how I want to interpret any given moment, thus changing my experience and encoded memory of it and in turn directly influence my immediate and long term emotional response.

After enough repetitions of these perspective creating experiences, I begin to reinforce my view of the world (for better or worse), as well as my general approach to the world around me. In short, I create a reality–engage in the world based on that reality and thus continue to confirm my hypothesis with my own self-serving reinforcing feedback loop.

Now, if you can begin to see how you create your own reality, let’s go one step further. If each of us creates an individual reality within a larger socio-communal network, we begin to influence each other’s perspectives and in many cases begin to form a collective view or a shared reality. The negative version of this process, called “group think”, accounts for many of the prejudiced and irrational behaviors that historically and currently exist.

So here is a thought…what if we each, individually, followed Ghandi’s lead to be the change we wished to see in the world?

If we each committed to creating a compassionate, loving, beautiful reality in our personal world and refused to converge with any limiting beliefs or negative realities around us. If each person were able to create an individual reality of lovingkindness, the collective reality would certainly be impacted for the better. If the collective reality shifted just enough, it would most certainly result in concrete world changes.

Waiting for change to occur outside of ourselves as a catalyst for our own internal change may leave us waiting forever. Are you prepared to challenge your views and habitual ways of engaging to improve your existence and the existence of those around you?

Don’t know where to start?

Start with meditation. No matter your religion or lack thereof. Meditation begins to reduce reactivity and create supportive neural structures to allow for greater acceptance of self and other. Meditation helps us become more mindful of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors and to observe how we impact those around us. Meditation leads us to connect, in an experiential way, with the fact that we actually do create our own reality—by increasing mindful awareness and move toward higher consciousness.

There’s a day of hope

May I live to see,

When our hearts are happy

And our souls are free.

Let the new day dawn,

Oh, Lord, I pray.

We’ll never get to heaven

Till we reach that day.


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