What if there was one principle about human feelings that would enable you to control your own experience of life?
Well, there is, and here is the principle: The meaning you give to what happens to you totally determines your reaction to what happens to you. One meaning can lead to upset and suffering; another meaning of the same event can lead to excitement, challenge, and happiness.
Take a moment and think about this. … Because events in the world have no inherent meaning, when you give meaning to events it seems as if your meaning (how the event is occurring to you) is what is actually happening. In fact, however, your occurring exists only in your mind.
This very important principle is relevant in two ways.
Our meaning creates our beliefs
First, all of our beliefs about ourselves, others, and life itself are nothing more than the meaning we have given to meaningless events. I’m not good enough is the meaning we have given to parental criticism or dissatisfaction with what we do as a child. Relationships are difficult is the meaning we have given to our parents arguing all the time or to our first couple of unpleasant relationships. Life is difficult is the meaning we have given to difficult childhood experiences where we and our family struggled a lot. Etc.
So our anxiety, procrastination, concern with the opinion of others, lack of confidence, difficulties in relationships, stress, etc. are all primarily the result of beliefs: the meanings we gave earlier in our lives to meaningless events. (Conditionings also play a role.)
Our meaning determines how reality occurs to us
Second, the meaning we give events determines how they occur for us at the moment. One meaning can lead to a positive occurring; another meaning can lead to a negative occurring. Unfortunately, most of the time most of us never distinguish between what is actually happening and the meaning we are giving what is happening.
For example, your boss asks you a question. If you give it the meaning that your boss is dissatisfied with you, you likely will feel anxious or angry. If you give the same question the meaning that your boss is just trying to get some information, you will feel calm and provide the information.
Another example: Your spouse asks you to do something. If you give it the meaning that he is asking because he doesn’t trust you to do it on your own, you will be angry or upset. If you give it the meaning that she is just telling you what she wants, then you probably will feel nothing at all.
Meanings that turn into beliefs are generalizations about ourselves, people, and life that stay with us forever, unless we eliminate them. Meanings that determine how an event occurs for us disappear as soon as we stop thinking about the event.
When people eliminate all the beliefs that cause a given behavioral or emotional problem, the problem disappears. People who have done this have reported profound changes in their lives. And yet the changes reported by people who have learned how to dissolve their negative occurrings and be left either with just the unvarnished facts or a positive occurring are even more profound.
Here are just a few stories from people in recent Lefkoe Occurring Courses to show how powerful it is to be able to control the meaning you give events.
“Occurrings dissolve instantly”
I’ve found that almost all of my occurrings dissolve instantly this week, that there was nothing to really stop and work through except for the one incident above. I feel much lighter emotionally now and a LOT less reactive – I find myself looking at situations fairly dispassionately now with a little bit of curiousity as to what may be going on. LOVE IT!!
“I’ve continued to shift my occurrings fairly quickly”
This week I’ve continued to shift my occurrings fairly quickly. If something happens that triggers a negative feeling, I’m able to distinguish that it is due to my occurring. I then look at alternate meanings, preferably positive ones, and am able to shift to feeling pretty neutral or sometimes more positive. Practicing this technique definitely puts me into the creator space, where I know that I’m creating my reality at every moment.
“In the past I would have been angry. This time, nothing.”
I experience negative occurrings less frequently now and those that do arise are often removed with little or no conscious effort. Here are some examples from this week’s experiences.
My body is shocked by an unexpected loud noise caused by someone dropping a heavy object. In the past I would have been angry. This time, nothing. No occurring. No emotion. Just awareness of the noise and the bodily sensation. Pleased by this I take the chance to put in place a positive occurring – I’m getting good at this.
I’m about to buy the latest igadget when the occurring that is pushing me to do so, the sense that it is a must have, just dissolves leaving me easily able to make the more reasonable decision to not buy. (The ability to dissolve occurrings and the habit of dissolving ones that aren’t useful provide great protection against increasingly sophisticated and manipulative marketing strategies)
“It has made my life a lot easier”
So much has happened with my husband and our relationship. He is very negative about everything and is feeling powerless. His eyes are going bad and his walking is very bad as well. He feels his control is gone.