Note: This story was originally published on 11th May 2017 on Facebook. The content remains unchanged.
Experiencing the transformation of reading an email
Recently, I received an email from a friend. As I was reading, it became clear that it was a critical letter about my recent actions. During the reading, I began to think about the person who wrote it, such as, “how can you be so nasty?”, “I thought you were a good, kind, and sensitive person!”, “I can’t believe how wrong I am about you!” I could sense that I was having a feeling, an imploding kind of feeling, and it was ramping up to resentment and anger.
I imagine you will know those kinds of thoughts when you have letters and emails of a similar vein.
After I finished reading it, I felt compelled to respond straight away to the sender, giving them a piece of my mind, which, suffice to say, was oriented towards returning the criticism more strongly as well as adding some character assassination that lawyers love to dish out in court cases, especially on TV!
Familiar? I bet you know this happens with colleagues at work, family members at home, and even friends in any social activity.
What actually happened next took me by complete surprise. I had been learning about the Single Paradigm over the last 18 months and learned a few surprising facts about how feelings work.
I had the thought, “I am having thinking. And I am having an feeling.“ Both of them were two completely separate entities happening. My next thought was, “Brett, you are feeling your thinking here.” Mentally, I responded saying “Yes, I know, I’ve been teaching this for a while too!”. Next thought: “Brett, take another look – the thinking and feeling are connected!”. “No, no, I have evidence to prove they are not connected!”
“Brett, you really are feeling your thinking here!”
“Hmmm, maybe there is something in it.” At this point, I began to see if there really was a connection between the thinking I was having and the feeling I was experiencing. I was getting curious about this connection, because it looked for all the world there wasn’t a connection!
But somehow, I really began to wonder what if there really is a connection. Another thought popped to mind: “Brett, that connection is 100%!”
And an insight suddenly occurred, which revealed to me what was actually happening. What I was feeling as I was reading the letter was not because of the letter of the person who wrote it, but it was my THINKING about the letter and the person who wrote it! I realised, “well, no wonder I was getting a feeling of implosion and anger!” It emphatically ruled out that there was a connection between the letter and the person who wrote it and the experience I was having, which rendered illogical the thinking I was having based on that connection that was no longer there. It just fell off, as it’s impossible to believe any thinking that is not logical to believe in the first place.
It turned out, 100% of the thinking I was having had everything to do with 100% of the feeling.
I started to feel different, which is not surprising because of the thinking that had fallen of my mind!
A lot happened, yet it all took place in just a few seconds. There was no technique, strategy, mechanisms to make it happen. Just an in-the-moment realisation of how thinking and feelings work.
I started to re-read the email again. Even though the email is identical, it was completely different.
The email was actually very helpful, and it helped me learn something about myself that I didn’t know I needed to hear, and I benefitted from it. I was able to reply to the email with a neutrality, perspective and gratitude a few moments earlier would have been unthinkable.
Isn’t it fascinating, that what I thought was happening with such conviction, turned out to not to be what was actually happening: I had no idea that an email that in one moment seemed to enrage me, could actually be so helpful.
There was no positive thinking required, no attempt to manipulate my thinking, or try to see things from the other person’s point of view, no waiting for the feeling to pass or find a better state of mind, but an immensely practical understanding that collapsed my raging ego and took both myself and my friend forward in a way that was productive and led to constructive solutions.
Imagine if this was prevalent in the business world, where communication is often an issue. What about partnerships and families? Can you see how this understanding can be practical in what you do?