Staying connected to others can be challenging when we’re becoming aware because when we start to pay attention to the stories we tell, we become aware of what stories other people are telling. We can recognize when they start to tell a story of something they don’t want. It’s hard not to interrupt and bring this to their attention.
It makes sense, of course, that as we start becoming aware of how our friends or family are contributing to their suffering through the story they are telling, we would naturally want to stop them and point this out. However, most people don’t appreciate it when you interrupt them to challenge their version of reality. Or they half hear us with a “yeah, yeah … but.”
If possible, it’s great to find a friend also focused on being aware to support each other. You have an agreement to point it out when one of you says something unconsciously. It’s a wonderful way to have your own thinking reflected, since often it’s easier to hear the beliefs or assumptions other people make, but not our own.
With most of us, I’d venture to guess, there are initially only a few people around us who sort of get it. Therefore, as we cultivate our awareness and begin challenging assumptions, there may be a time of adjustment and possibly discomfort.
If we can choose to stay with it and keep going forward, then eventually some of that will fall away. We will learn to more quickly identify when we are moving in a direction we don’t want to go, and we will learn how to more gently redirect the people we love when we see them doing so.
The practical application of all this is potentially in every moment. Because each moment is offering up opportunities for choice. We miss so many of them because we have conditioned reaction … our habitual ways of thinking and seeing the world.
As we grow in awareness our conditioned reactions become less and less. We catch ourselves faster when we veer off and are able to return more quickly to the use of our tools for living our best life. The more we can do this, the more changes we will see in what we have constructed as our reality.
It’s important to keep a long term perspective on this process. External reality isn’t necessarily going to change overnight. We will be offered up contrary evidence to this belief and it can be easy to give it up as something that is not working.
For so many of us this is what happens and we have allowed the contrary evidence to derail us over and over again. We become aware and so we start to change our stories. But then something happens in our world that contradicts the story that we are telling. We give up, thinking that our new story wasn’t working.
Because we live in an age where everything is so fast, we are not accustomed to having patience. If the first few times we try to put these principles into action and they don’t hold up, it’s really easy to abandon them. If we can, however, hold on to our new version despite contrary “evidence”, and continue to return to the story of what we want to create, then my theory is that things will begin to change in this direction.
I’ll write more on a good analogy of all this soon. For now, keep paying attention to where your thoughts are taking you and make sure it’s a direction you want to travel!