As I enter my mid-forties, I am noticing some awesome changes in my life. I am learning that these changes are a natural transition for all humans. These changes are to be welcomed since they are part of our journey. The changes I write about have been getting more pronounced with each passing year. Those changes that have begun to mature and strengthen my being are self-confidence, acceptance of my body, empathy for others, decision making abilities, patience, and forgiveness. All of these changes have culminated into less stress in my life. However, those changes can also be defined as states of being; and when our states of being are understood and managed, we can attract more happiness into our lives.
States of Being as I See Them
In our lives, there are many states of being that can occur throughout the minute, hour, day, week, month, or year. States of being, in my eyes, consist of anxiousness, confidence, depression, powerful, attractiveness, usefulness, loved, and any other state of being you can think of. Previously, my state of being would change like the wind which would affect my emotions of happiness and sadness. Funny, I actually could not think of any other emotion. (Is it true that there are only two emotions, not states of being, but do we as humans only have two emotions? For the sake of this article, lets assume that we only have two states of emotions---I will ponder the number of emotions for later articles.) As I age, I see more and more that my state of being is like the seasons; and, in stating this, I too understand so are my emotions. With each passing year I become more accepting of the seasonal aspects of my emotions which are influenced by my perceived state of being.
Perception's Impact On Our State of Being
How do you know what fear is? How do you know what loneliness is? How do you know what love is? These states of being can only originate by having experienced the opposite state of being. I remember, some years back, reading a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer on the Tao Te Ching. In that book, Dr. Dyer explained that his interpretation of a scripture or statement in the Tao Te Ching revealed to him that we only know what happiness is if we have experienced sadness and visa-versa. I thought that was so true; however, that statement only makes sense through maturity and wisdom. And, wisdom is only obtained when you have decided to learn and grow from the lessons learned, whether good or bad. So, for you to know love, you would have to have experienced not being loved. For loneliness, you would have to know what it is to not be lonely. Does that make sense to you? I hope you accept my understanding; for what I will say next will bring everything together.
Perceptions are the key to your state of being at any moment in your life. Um, please explain you may be saying. If you are not saying that, you may be ready to move on to something else; however, I hope you stay with me. And, if you already understand these concepts, then I hope you will post enlightening comments below this article. So, if I perceive that I am ugly, then that can influence my state of confidence, love, worthiness, etc. Now, the question is how did I reach this perception which is influencing my state of being? Depending on the state of being, there are many perceptions one could have to affect their state of being. Let's talk about one who perceives themselves as ugly. How do they reach that state of being? Well, that can be the results of a combination of a lot of situations. Let's say you have an abusive parent or spouse who states you are fat and ugly time and time again; would that not influence your perception? What if you watch TV or read magazines that indicate another view on what beauty is; would that not influence your perception? I am sure together we could come up with even more influential scenarios that could affect ones perception on ugliness or beauty; however, I feel you get the point on how these events could affect your perception.
Developing Empowering Perceptions is like Recovering from Alcoholism
First off, let me state that I have not struggled with Alcoholism; however, I have talked to persons and read articles discussing the process of recovering from alcoholism. Now, they have steps to follow in assisting one through the journey of recovery; and in no way should you interpret any comments I state in this article as a way to beat alcoholism. My comparison is to help us transition into an understanding as I see it. Ok, with that disclaimer, let's continue with the message. :)
When one is recovering from alcoholism, they state 12 steps to recovery are required to kick or control the habit; however, I want to use a few of these steps to transition into developing empowering perceptions that will control your state of being.
Admitting You Have A Problem
Problems are not bad. Problems give us an opportunity to grow if you have to face them to get to a higher step in your life journey. Some problems, you can avoid. However, you need to understand why you are avoiding the problem. (This is another subject to explore later.) If the problem, once resolved, can get you to happiness; then you will want to face it. So, let's go back to the person who thinks they are ugly. That is a huge problem that is impacting their state of being. They must admit that is a problem. They must write it down; and state this is a huge problem that has consumed my life. Own it!
Understand the Story of this Admitted Problem (Take an inventory)
How far back can you go to realize the birth of this admitted problem. For some, that journey may hurt. It may be easier and less painful if you would just avoid that journey. However, this painful journey will plant a new seed in the dirt (history behind the problem); and that seed, with water or positive nourishment, will grow into a rose with thorns (new abilities developed by you for protecting your empowering perception).
Once again, how far can you go back? When did you form that perception which impacts your state of being? Back to the person who thought they were ugly. They have to go back and take a look at the inventory (all the false confirmations and validations) accumulated over the years to enforce their false perception of themselves. Every experience that happened to them over their life to re-enforce this false perception of being ugly. They need to write those experiences down because reading them will help neutralize their impact on your life. Also, before moving on, I know I am using the example of a person who thinks they are ugly; however, this taking of inventory can be used by a person who thinks they are fat, unworthy, selfish, too nice, etc.
Is the story that lead to your false perception entirely rock solid?
Is your story or items listed from the inventory you have acquired over the years entirely true? You got to ask yourself this. I mean.... you have to sit down and rack your brain for every situation that was opposite of the stories that lead to your false perception. Please, write it down. You need to read these stories regardless of how many you can recall.
Back to the ugly person....no wait.... um.... let's switch it. Can I switch this to a person who thinks they are unsuccessful or a loser. Great, I actually wanted to tackle the subject of a person who thinks they are fat; however, that is a great story for another day.
So, a person wrote down all the reasons to validate there false perception of them being a loser or unsuccessful. I mean.... they wrote a dang book on the subject. All the reasons they have believed validated them as a loser over the years. They got divorced, they are a dead beat dad, they missed the winning shot, they are single, they are unattractive, and whatever other stories you can come up with. Now, I know I mention false perceptions when referring to a dis-empowering perception; however, I know for us that believe those perceptions it is real and not false. So, I get that. But, has it always been true? Is it a rock solid truth? Will it hold up in the court of law? Let me ask you a very important question; when reviewing your life story, are there moments that go against your perception?
For instance, you feel you are a loser because you lost a job; but before you lost that job you had to be hired. You feel you are a loser because you got divorced; but before you got divorced you were married. You feel that you are not smart in math, but you know what 1 + 1 is. What I am trying to convey is that you have to always know that there is an opposite to every perception. You had to feel smart at one time in your life to know that you weren't smart at another time. You had to have felt skinnier than you you are now to feel that you are really fat or over weight or pleasingly plump (to be politically correct).
You Decide the Perception You Choose to Believe
For recovering alcoholics, they are instructed to stay away from environments that can tempt them to drink. They also understand to take sobriety one day at a time. They do not say, "I am going to be sober for ever!" Recovering alcoholics understand that it is easier to focus on today than it is to focus on tomorrow when attempting to stay sober. You too will have to strengthen your empowering perceptions one day at a time. You will have to understand the story that gave you false perceptions; so you understand the symptom. Next, you enforce the times in your life where the stories are opposite of your false stories. Some days you may slip and other days you will maintain an empowering perception; however, you are a winner because you have decided to change your perception on a daily basis to one of empowerment. You have a situation that causes you to experience a false perception; then quickly replace it with an experience that validates your empowering perception. One day at a time, you focus on strengthening your empowering perception until it becomes habit. For some of you, it will become habit in 21 days; but for others, it may take years and even some counseling. But regardless of the time it takes to develop the habit of maintaining empowering perceptions; the biggest accomplishment is that you have recognized that perceptions impact your state of being.
What Season Are You In?
I am really grateful that we have gone on this journey together; and of course, the statements in this article may take some persons time to digest. Some readers, may feel this is hogwash while others may feel empowered that over time they can make this journey through life less stressful. Regarding seasons and the connection to state of being as discussed in the introduction to this article, I have come to realize that you will experience different states of being. These states of being are like seasons and will pass. By understanding how to change your state of being through empowering perceptions, you can shorten seasons of winter. We will have times of confidence, fear, empowerment, jealousy, love, unselfishness, and other states of being; however, the goal is to sustain or work towards moving to Seasons or States of Being that will allow the emotion of happiness to become your dominant emotion. Can one be in the emotion of happiness all the time? In my eyes, No; and you should not want to be happy all the time. We must have balance; therefore, sadness is healthy as well. Prolonged sadness is not healthy, but there is a time for sadness. (That is another subject.) Since your emotions are controlled by your state of being, you will have times where you are confident; as well as times, where you are not confident. These are seasons. You can add any state of being. Some seasons will be autumn, harsh winters, spring, hot summers, or mild summers; but you will have various states of being that will occur. Remember, to understanding the perception that has you in the season. If it is an empowering perception; that is awesome! However, if it is a dis-empowering perception, use the strategies discussed here or read other material to assist you in changing to an empowering perception. Once empowered, your season will change along with the energy around you (this is another subject) which will allow for you to attract people and opportunities that can flourish in your season of spring and summer.
Recently, I have started considering Yoga as a discipline to managing stress. I am not sure if I will wear the skin tight shorts or just settle on some baggy shorts and a t-shirt....Lol. Nevertheless, Yoga has many benefits to one reducing stress and strengthening their empowering perceptions that will affect their state of being which will impact their emotions. So, whether it is Yoga or some other discipline; I feel the pursuit of controlling my state of being is an empowering discipline worthy of my time and effort. If you have made it to this point in the article, then give yourself a pat on the back; and together, lets continue to strive towards mastering our state of being!
|About The Author|
Gerald Woods is Director of Operation at Solace Connect, LLC based in San Antonio, TX. He has written many articles on various topics dealing with online streaming, fashion, fitness, and a host of other topics. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a B.B.A . in Finance. Follow his team and him at Facebook or by subscribing to our News Letter at the bottom of this webpage.