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TIP 3: YOU Play a Very Important Part in the Solution of YOUR Problems

Why are you unhappy?

Only 3 possible sources:

-The situation

– Other people

– Yourself

Not convinced with the third option? Read on.

Most of us feel that our emotional suffering and pain are created by situations or people. However, the only one who has any power to make you happy or unhappy is YOU. Our emotional responses are triggered by our own perception of a situation or event only.

Reality is subjective. For e.g., if 2 students score passing marks in an examination, one might be deeply upset for scoring so low while the other might be joyous in relief that he managed to pass! Or, while in an argument, a child may feel that he is standing up for his rights, while the parent may feel that the child is disrespecting their authority. The reality is simple and undisputable – the students achieved passing marks and the child is disagreeing with the parent. The meanings we attach to these physical realities are the source of the emotional charge.

The same factual event is viewed and perceived differently by different people, and hence evokes different emotions. Therefore, the obvious inference is that our emotions are created by something internal in us rather than the external situation. The external reality is the same for everyone, while the internal reality is unique to each and every person.

Understanding this and taking responsibility for our emotional problems is the very first step in healing. This is also one of the most empowering things one can do. How? Well, in the words of Spiderman – With great power comes great responsibility; similarly, with great responsibility comes great power. While initially, it might be unsettling to suddenly realize that the root cause of all the suffering is only our own perception and not have anyone else to blame it on, it also implies that you do not need to depend on others for the problems to dissolve. If the problem lies with you, the solution can also lie only with you. So we don’t have to wait for the situation or the people to change to allow us to be happy. Not that those things are in our hands anyways. But now, instead of feeling helpless at being unable to control your outer world, simply take charge of your inner world. Reclaim your power.

Post contributed by: Mahima Gupta (Psychologist, Inner Space, 2010-2012)

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