You probably wouldn’t know it by reading this blog, but I think I do a lot of reflecting about personal growth and spirituality. I don’t often blog about it because, quite frankly, I really don’t think I have anything new to say about it. In short, I can’t explain stuff like that when I have so much trouble applying it to my own life.
There are entire libraries worth of self-improvement literature. I’m not the guy to add to it.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking deeply about it. I am.
And somewhere along the line, a hint of that must have slipped through here because the other day I received on this blog the most interesting and profound comment. It’s more an essay than a comment, really. And I’m sharing it here as it’s own post because it’s good stuff. Helpful stuff. Smart stuff. And it’s good writing.
What you are about to read has not been edited by me in any way except to bold headings that appeared to me to be obvious headings. Anonymous Commenter, if you’re still out there, I hope I did your writing justice. And thank you so much for sharing.
If this is evidence of the kind of thinking people who are reading this blog, all I have to say is, Damn. I’ve got the coolest readers on the internet.
So, without further ado, I present what I can only call, The Comment.
Unfortunately you have no email available to send this to, so I’m just commenting on a somewhat related entry in hopes you will see this relatively soon.
In a nutshell, the following fell together for me last night and I knew two things for sure – I needed to write this down and I needed to share it. You seem to be in your writing a somewhat kindred soul who likes things that make sense. When you come across this please read the essay, try the content if you think it makes sense, and place it in your blog or anywhere else you think it may help someone if you believe it works for you. I personally can’t believe there’s anyone it won’t work for.
Thanks for giving it a chance.
Eliminate Conflict and Find Peace – RIGHT NOW!
I am not a psychologist, a writer, nor am I an active member of any religion. I’m just an individual who has recently come across what I believe to be the absolute easiest and fastest solution to drastically increase one’s well-being through the dissolution of conflict and enjoyment of true Peace. You can begin and start seeing results immediately, and the only requirement is honesty.
The details of how this solution evolved and became apparent to me are unimportant, but suffice to say I have always been one to look for a better (read: shorter, faster easier) way to do things and have a knack for sorting through loads of information in an effort to find those core essentials that truly make sense. Well-researched laziness, if you will…
This solution is far too short and uncomplicated to write a book about, so it is apparent that it is meant to be shared with all for free, and the sooner the better.
I want nothing save your happiness. I am not asking you to purchase anything, nor am I asking you to acknowledge me for sharing this with you. This solution is not about me nor does it belong to me. It simply offers what I believe to be a better way which focuses on essentials and I hope makes as much sense for you as it makes sense for me.
You have absolutely nothing to lose. I sincerely hope that if you continue reading you will have enough “Wow, that really makes sense…” moments to put the solution into practice. Once you start doing so and experience the immediate benefit, you will find it so easy and enjoyable you will employ the solution more and more. At some point if you are honest with yourself and believe that you have made a change for the better, hopefully you will want to share it with someone else.
If you want to experience the happiness of true Peace, have an open mind and are prepared to be completely honest, the time is now.
Everyone has mental images which are stored as memories of a time, however brief, when none of his/her perceived problems mattered and he/she was free to just enjoy the Unqualified Happiness of the moment.
This memory should have nothing to do with achievement, nor financial/material gain, as these are merely examples of qualified happiness. Being happy just for the opportunity to enjoy the moment is what we’re looking for here. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know which memories I’m referring to strictly by the distinctive way they make you feel when you recall them. Memories of the unconditional love of a smiling partner or the beautiful innocence of a child are prime examples of this, but life is full of them, and you will recognize them easily when you search.
We are going to start paying attention to those memories starting right now. Pick a favourite memory of Unqualified Happiness and the mental image that accompanies it. Commit it to memory to the point where you are instantly able to recall it and invoke that distinctive feeling in yourself. This will not take long at all.
Now that you have committed a benchmark as to what Unqualified Happiness feels like and can recall it for reference and comparison at any time, it will be much easier to recognize, whether specifically looking for it or not. You will recognize this feeling much more frequently than you think you will. Every time you do you must hold on to it, and you must act fast!
As soon as you know you’re experiencing the feeling of Unqualified Happiness, create a mental image for it. In the case of a memory this has been done for you and there is already an image which invokes this feeling. If you are experiencing the feeling real-time, just be aware of the moment. Any sight, sound or smell around you is potentially an easily-recalled mental image. Simply decide what you want to associate with this feeling and commit to memory.
The Happiness File
Every time you have created a new mental image associated with the feeling of Unqualified Happiness, recall your original ‘favourite’ image and mentally attach it to the image you just created. Enjoy the feeling of the Unqualified Happiness, which is now stronger because you not only were experiencing it, but at the same time you invoked more of it by recalling this original mental image you now associate it with. Every time you recall your original image, which I am going to call your ‘Happiness Icon’, the feeling you invoke will be of this new, stronger Unqualified Happiness. By recalling your Happiness Icon you have no choice but to also recall all the mental images you have attached to it and of course the stronger feeling associated with them. The more often you recognize the feeling of Unqualified Happiness and take a moment to commit to memory, the better it will feel every time you do and the more often you will want to do it. The more often you do it the easier it will be. It’s really that simple.
What you are doing is creating a ‘Happiness File’, an ever-growing collection of mental images and most importantly the feeling of Unqualified Happiness which is instantly available just by recalling your Happiness Icon. Continuing to add to this File will be so easy and the resulting feeling every time you access it so enjoyable you will start habitually looking for moments of Unqualified Happiness to add to your file on a day-to-day basis.
All That Matters
Here’s the tough part.
This Happiness File of yours? That collection of memories and (most importantly) the feeling of Unqualified Happiness that it invokes?
This File is ALL THAT MATTERS. Not one other single thing in your life matters a whit except for what you’re storing in your File.
I’m happy to be the one that breaks it to you, because it is so important to your happiness, but I know you’re going to have a hard time with it. You have your hard-won accomplishments and most times you believe you have done or are doing something to make a difference in your life.
You haven’t. You’re not. You think I’m wrong, but it’s the truth. You think what I’m saying is terrible, but it’s wonderful. Please bear with me and I hope to make enough sense to keep your interest.
Let me put it this way. Regardless of who you are, where you come from, the nature of your faith or lack of faith, I am certain we can agree on one point. When you are facing the end of this life, the ONLY thing you will personally have to show for all of those hours spent upon this Earth is a lifetime of memories and the feelings that are associated with them. Nobody wants their final moments to be moments of angst and regret, so having a wealth of memories through which one can invoke and enjoy Unqualified Happiness is undoubtedly of paramount importance. Wouldn’t you agree?
It is for this reason that unless what you are doing will result in a feeling of Unqualified Happiness to add to your file, it’s not going to matter. Period. Be honest with yourself and you will agree that it is true. The good news is that anything you can do to achieve that feeling and add to the file matters A LOT. This being the case, why would anyone not want to spend their time doing something that matters?
By the way….This feeling of Unqualified Happiness that you have learned to store up, increase and invoke at will? I’m going to start calling it by a less-clumsy name. I believe many people refer to it as Peace.
Hard, Fast Rule #1 – PEACE IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!!!!!!!
Conflict is the opposite of Peace. Since Peace is all that matters conflict naturally represents that which does not matter.
Conflict arises frequently in an attempt to distract you from what matters. Quite often it is so relentless that moments of Peace which should be enjoyed and stored in your file are lost. When you forget what matters by engaging Conflict I guarantee that no good can come of it, as you are futilely embroiling yourself in something which does not matter!
‘Handling’, ‘dealing with’, or even ‘resolving’ Conflict is not the answer. If you are going to spend your time doing what matters (finding and retaining Peace), the conflict must be eliminated. If you eliminate what does not matter, what are you left with?
The first step to eliminating conflict is to recognize it at its onset. Many times Conflict is not recognized for what it is early enough and manages to engage and distract you before you know it. This is because most people only think of Conflict in the context of relationships between people. Although this is a leading symptom of conflict, it is actually far more grass-roots than that.
Conflict is trying to distract you any time you feel anger or judgment of ANY KIND rise inside you. I don’t care about the scenario that led to the rise in Conflict, and you don’t either. It doesn’t matter.
Hard, Fast Rule #2 – CONFLICT IS NEVER JUSTIFIED
Part of Conflict’s distraction technique is to fill your mind with rationalizations of your anger and/or judgment – all kinds of arguments as to why you’re justified in feeling this way. You’re not. People are often easily deceived by these rationalizations and end up running headlong to engage Conflict, feeling justified in their motivation but inevitably spending hours, days, even years hopelessly flailing in a quagmire of that which does not matter.
Thankfully you recognize Conflict for what it is and you want to eliminate it as quickly as possible so you can get back to what matters.
You’ve recognized Conflict trying to distract you, felt the anger and judgment rise inside you, now how do you eliminate it as soon as possible? As long as you follow these few simple steps, keep the two Hard, Fast rules in mind and are prepared to be completely honest with yourself you can eliminate conflict every time regardless of the circumstances, which of course don’t matter. It will take no time at all to seamlessly and almost instantly eliminate conflict and move on to what matters every time.
As soon as you are faced with Conflict’s distraction, you should immediately access your Happiness Icon and invoke the feeling of peace. Buoyed by the reaffirmation of what really matters, it is easy to see Conflict as truly being of no matter at all. It will do everything it can to keep you distracted, likely with an onslaught of rationalizations hoping to make you forget what matters and engage, even disparaging you for ‘backing down’. You’re too smart, though – You’ve already figured out there’s nothing of consequence to ‘back down’ from.
Once you have de-powered Conflict by remembering what matters, everything will change and the idea of engaging the conflict won’t be attractive at all.
The next step is where the honesty comes in, and it’s harder than you might imagine. You are awash in a feeling of Peace and feeling good about stopping Conflict in its tracks. Now is the perfect time to ask yourself WHY this situation caused Conflict to try and distract you.
Knowing that Conflict is never justified, we can immediately discard any stray rationalizations that present themselves. There is no blame to be assigned here. Ask yourself WHY the conflict arose outside the context of the scenario, think about your feelings at that exact moment, and BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF.
You may come up with the answer “I don’t know”. That is because you’re not prepared to be honest with yourself. Try again. Don’t be afraid to look closely. It really doesn’t take as long as it seems.
I am willing to bet that if you examine those feelings of conflict at the moment they arise, they may follow any number of routes in any number of forms in order to get to you and distract you, but in the end the answer will be along the lines of the following:
The circumstances that initially appear to have brought on the Conflict have actually directly or indirectly reminded you of a moment in the past in which your actions, attitude, or behaviour left you hurt, embarrassed, guilty or self-critical.
So there it is. Much like you have learned to do with feelings of peace, Conflict is very adept at storing up memories and the negative feelings associated with them as well, using them to distract you and lure you into engaging something that doesn’t matter.
Conflict arises because you’re angry with yourself. You may not like hearing it, but I know that you’ve been honest with yourself and you know that it makes sense.
Here is where we get the opportunity to really strike a blow against Conflict by eliminating one of its root causes. Whatever your answer when you were being honest with yourself about why the Conflict arose, you can now easily take that negative memory and remove its power, recognizing it for what it is and acknowledging that IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Just like that you have one less negative memory for Conflict to dredge up and distract you with! Since you’re now concentrating only on what matters, you shouldn’t be building any more, and with enough eradications eventually Conflict will have no place in your life at all.
So that’s about it. I told you it was short and easy. In a nutshell, just remember the two Hard & Fast Rules:
1) PEACE IS ALL THAT MATTERS
2) CONFLICT IS NEVER JUSTIFIED
Simply be completely honest with yourself and apply those two rules to every decision, action or reaction. It’s really that easy.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I wish you nothing but the best.