Every so often I get into my car on a cold morning and the windows are covered with dew. I can’t see in front of me. I can’t see behind me. If I tried to back out, I wouldn’t see a pedestrian in my driveway. If I tried to drive onto the main road, I wouldn’t see if a car was was ahead of me. I’d probably crash into something.
So I get out of the car, wipe down the windows, then get back in before I take off.
It’s pretty obvious. You wouldn’t drive your car if your windows weren’t clear. But how many of us live our lives with our vision of reality obscured in one way or another?
I’m talking of course about the meanings-in-the-moment we all give to reality, something we call occurrings. These meanings keep us from being in touch with what’s actually happening and cause us to have negative feelings such as fear and anger.
For example, a past student in the Lefkoe Freedom Course, told me the following story.
While I was leaving a parking lot, a woman pulled out of her space and crashed into my car. I noticed the meaning I was giving the event “this woman is an idiot” and only partially dissolved it, so I was still annoyed. But in the past I would have been screaming and yelling, so a minor annoyance is a big improvement.
Instead, I just stood and looked at the damage, and then chatted calmly to the woman, eventually giving her a hug and telling her ‘It’s ok, you didn’t mean to do it’.
What can we tell from her story?
That being in touch with reality allows you to respond more effectively to events. It’s like clearing your windows before you drive. When you can see reality you can navigate your life much more effectively … and formerly “stressful” situations become something you can handle with greater ease. You gain a quiet mind.
So how do you dissolve a meaning that’s causing you a negative feeling of your own? Use the following steps of the Lefkoe Freedom Process:
- Think of an event that you still have negative feelings about.
- Uncover the meaning you’ve given to the event.
- Notice that the meaning and the event are two separate things. Focus your mind on this distinction.
- Notice if the meaning goes away. If the meaning is gone, look inside to see if the feeling has gone as well.
Of course there are many nuances to this technique. There are ways to troubleshoot if you notice that the feeling has not gone away. But this is the starting point.
So try the Lefkoe Freedom Process and see if it works for you. Then post a comment about how effective it was.
Also, if it didn’t work for you, please post the details of the exercise so that I can give you some coaching to improve your results.
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