Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Mark 2:8
I frequently wonder these days what my thoughts would have been like if I had been raised in Russia, or Buddhism or Islam, or as a Black American. Surely I say to myself that I won’t be thinking the way I do now. My concept of right and wrong would have been entirely different from what it is now. What if I was raised in Mars or Jupiter? My beliefs about life would have been completely alien to what I now see as right or wrong. What does this simple lesson teach me? Reality is not what I think it is. Death is not what I think it is. My concept of happiness isn’t what I think it is. Failure and Success is not what I think it is.
About a month ago, after several attempts to secure an appointment with the CEO of one of these banks in Lagos, I finally got one. When I entered his office, he was obviously not his best self; he had something else in his mind to discuss with me, different from the reason the appointment was scheduled. He told me about an occurrence in his office and how a General Manager in the organization had publicly and verbally cursed him in a meeting because the GM felt a particular action he took was wrong. He told me he did not deserve to be spoken to like this by someone that he had for the last eight years had keen interest in and has been a career sponsor to. This man was certainly in pain. I looked at him and wasn’t sure what to tell this fellow whom I have adored for most of my life. Then I said inside me, his pain is his own creation. How do I tell him that the GM only said something that assaulted his reality and the way he had constructed how he should be talked to?
After some brief moments, I decided to do what I thought I should do and not play to his emotional pains and the emotions of the moment. I told him subtly that his mental pain was a disconnect between how he expected to be talked to and how he was talked to. He stared at me as if I was out of my mind and speechless. Without commenting on what I said, he continued to re-tell the story of what this GM did to him, and the more he talked about what was done to him, the more the tears in his eyes appeared to well up. This executive has been very helpful to me financially when I was in real distress some years ago. For 30 seconds, we stared at one another without uttering a word. Then I summoned courage and went back to what I had said to him before. Your pain is that you expected to be talked to a certain way, but if you just accept that the way the GM talked to you is the way he was supposed to talk to you, the pain will vanish.
Without saying another word, this powerful company executive went to the reason for my appointment with him. We had a normal discussion for about seven minutes, devoid of the usual banter in our meetings, and I departed. I kept wondering if what I said was done at the right moment and whether the executive even heard me in the first place. Then I immediately started working on myself – what I said, I have said, and that was what I was supposed to say. Three weeks later, I was again with this executive in a social function. As we talked, he said to me, “I don’t think you understand the impact of what you said to me three weeks ago……”. I was curious; I had no idea what he was referring to; he had shown nothing in his looks to even show me that he had heard me, so I waited to hear what he had to say about what I said three weeks ago. He went on, “For days, I kept muttering what you said, that if I could see that the way the GM talked to me was the way he was supposed to talk to me, that the pain would go. And that I was the one who designed my mind for a different way to be talked to. As I re-echoed what you said in my mind, the ENTIRE PAIN DISAPPEARED, and I could meet the GM one on one without the feeling of any pain whatsoever the day after”.
This man’s story totally swept me off my feet. I was shocked that this executive, who didn’t seem to have heard the words I spoke, was now teaching me and re-echoing the very words I had spoken to him three weeks ago and which I had totally forgotten.
We all have a model of what right and wrong is or should be. We learned all of these growing up from religion, culture, political ideology, history, constitution, and all sorts. We have this inbuilt dictionary that we go to explain life to us. We cede our very life to this dictionary or what I call artificial intelligence in my book, Realizing Mental Resilience. Everything we feel and experience is judged by this model of reality. We cannot really do much about this inbuilt dictionary. It unconsciously makes decisions for us 95% of the time. The freedom is to realize what is happening, and once you do, free yourself.
The Pharisees constantly reasoned about what Jesus was doing. Their anger with Jesus was that He was UNREASONABLE. What does it mean to reason. The online dictionary says that it means to compare as the basis for action. What were they comparing with? They were comparing what Jesus did with what they knew to be true. Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath; for folks like us who did not have their model of reality, Jesus did a good thing. But not the Pharisees; for them, Jesus should not have done this on the Sabbath. We are ever comparing what is before us with what we have stored in our dictionary as TRUE. If the same words that the GM spoke to the Bank CEO were spoken by the Central Bank Governor, he would feel differently. In effect, the words really did not cause him any pain – it was his model of reality that caused him pain. As humans, we are ever trying to change how people will speak to us – from children to spouses, to bosses to colleagues, etc. What we need to do is set ourselves free from this prison.
Nothing has us imprisoned like REASONING. But for reasoning, the event would have come and gone. Think about driving from Ikoyi to Victoria Island. You don’t remember everything that you experienced on the way. Why? The things you experienced and let go of immediately agree with your dictionary. The once that did not agree with, you kept thinking about. Why was he just standing on top of the bridge? Why was she wearing such a short skirt? Why does the Governor have such a long convoy? These are all the things that could not go through your filter of reality. If any of them is causing you pain, go to the reality you saved and change what you wrote there. These REASONINGS are debris that reduces the flow of your life, the very source of all the mental pains in your life. You don’t want your life clogged with this debris. Release these blockages and go on to live a free life. The speech you gave yesterday is the way you should have given it. The way the lecturer spoke to you is the way he should have spoken to you. AT SOME POINT, YOU ARE GOING TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE LIFE UNREASONABLY OR WITHOUT REASON
GO ON, LIVE A LIFE FREE OF WORRIES AND ANXIETIES. But for your thinking, you are just where you are supposed to be at this age.
My writing interest is in how to help people experience a better life. I write on Self Development, Change Management, Coaching, Spirituality, and Leadership. My Book” Realizing Mental Resilience is available on Amazon https://amzn.to/3w81P1b, Audible, Apple Books, and Okada books https://bit.ly/2RfN3aa. If you are interested in attending any of my zoom webinars or you wish to be on my mailing list and see all the articles I write, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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