The World We Believe In Becomes The World We Live In
This is so true.
Unless you don’t believe it.
I mean, the world is just the world, isn’t it?
But your world might not be my world.
And do you only inhabit one world? How about the leagues of people that love shows like Game of Thrones?That world isn’t my world.
You might argue that this is a fantasy world; it isn’t real. But I’m guessing that it feels real when you’re engaged with the plot and characters.
That’s the world you live in when you’re engrossed in what’s happening on the screen.
But how about what’s happening in your head? If you’re caught up in an emotion, that becomes the world you live in.
For example, if you’re suffering from jealousy, that’s your world.
A world of Jealousy
I have clients who are jealous of anyone their partner talks to.
They torture themselves with images of their partner shagging other people or imagine that their partner wants to shag other people.
They constantly look for signs that the other person is cheating and check their partner’s social media and phone.
And you know what happens when you look for signs? You see them.
If someone believes they have reasons for feeling jealous, that’s all they see because that’s the world they live in.
And who wants to live in a world full of upset and anger? To be on constant high alert. It’s exhausting.
When you separate what is happening in your head from what is happening at the moment, you can see that you’re creating the images that cause you to suffer.
What you believe becomes the world you live in.
A world of addiction
When someone spirals into severe addiction, this becomes their world.
One of my clients, Jane, who is in recovery, told me how her world looked when she was addicted.
She worked the streets to get the money to feed her crack addiction and then hunkered down in squats to get high.
And when she didn’t get the rush she anticipated, she blamed the constant arguments that happened in squats. She believed that these people and their arguments stole her high.
So she returned to the streets to get the money to repeat the behaviour.
To my client, the world looked full of people who were out to get her, to exploit her. Dangerous people and damaged people.
She lost her children. Her youngest was taken in by members of her family who banned her from visiting because it upset her young son so much to see his mum like that.
So Jane’s family became part of the problem. Jane believed the world was full of people against her. This was the world she lived in.
Now, in recovery and back in regular contact with her children, the world seems less harsh. Strangely, the people in her world are now kinder, and the world isn’t so scary.
I have another client, Katie, who has a daughter who will always have a mental age of 8 years old. Katie’s daughter sees the world as a fun place. She will never be in a romantic relationship and never have children of her own.
But she doesn’t feel this lack. Katie feels this lack keenly, which is one of the reasons she came to see me. She misses her daughter’s future.
But, of course, she doesn’t.
She can’t miss something that hasn’t happened. She misses the future she imagines her daughter should have.
But now she sees how she can share her daughter’s love of life and excitement. Her daughter still gets excited about Christmas and visits to the cinema or theme parks.
Her daughter believes the world is fun, and that’s the world she lives in. And Katie can too.
‘We live in a world of thought, but we think we live in a world of external experience.’ Michael Neill.
Think about how our worlds changed during the pandemic and lockdown.
If your world had been busy, busy, busy with international travel and back-to-back meetings, this was your external experience.
But when lockdown started and all travel finished, what did your world look like?
If you thought that pausing your trips was a terrible thing to happen, maybe your world shrank down to the size of a postage stamp.
But if you saw the enforced stay-at-home as a blessing, your world didn’t feel small.
This demonstrates how our experience didn’t have anything to do with the physical world but was entirely influenced by our world of thought.
So what does your world look like now?
You know how one day your world will seem pretty ok. You enjoy your work, you like where you live, and you struck lucky with your partner.
All is well.
But the next day, you might wake up and feel very differently. You hate your work, you wish you lived somewhere else, and your partner is a pig in a wig.
So what changed?
‘A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.’ Marcus Aurelius
The only variable is the way you’re thinking at the moment. When you’re happy, your world looks lovely; when you’re pissed off, your world is the pits.
You might believe that changing your circumstances is the answer. You could change your job, move somewhere else and dump your partner.
And your world might look brighter for a day, a week, or a month. Until you wake up and feel the same as you used to feel before the changes.
There are only so many times you can change all the major elements in your life, so it might be time to look in a different direction.
To change the outside, you have to change the inside. And the only way to do that is to notice the type of thoughts you habitually have and let them go.
‘If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.’ Eckhart Tolle
If your world isn’t the way you want it to be, remember that you’re the only one who can change it.
Look at which world you believe in. Dr Bruce Lipton, Cellular Biologist, says that if you want to know your beliefs, look at your life.
Believe in the world you want to live in.