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Shifting Your Attention Inward

We all know the outside world is crazy. But did you also know that the outside world isn't the problem?

There's no denying that it's chaotic, tense, and volatile. Nations are literally on fire, civilizations on the brink of war, and a whole slew of daily tragedies that go unnoticed around the world. It sure all seems bad. But it's not the problem.

Things are, well, just things - atoms in time and space, coming together to create certain temporary conditions. If we think things are bad - we're literally saying we cannot respect the unfolding of the universe. Are you willing to challenge science?

The truth is, despite how tragic things might seem, it's not the outside world that we actually care about when we're upset. It's our inside world. More specifically, it's our inner reaction to the outside world which disturbs us.

Events aren't the problem. Your reaction is.

This is why we can't handle certain events. In fact, that's what it means to not be able to handle something - that it disturbs us so much inside that we're not able to focus on what's happening outside, and instead are fully consumed by the storm of thoughts and emotions.

Look at war, for example. Some people enjoy war! I bet you could think of some high profile politicians and world leaders who take pleasure in seeking out conflict. Some people, as twisted as they are, get satisfaction in harming others. One person's nightmare is another person's fantasy. The point is, different people have different reactions to the same events.

This ought to prove to you that things, events, and people are only problems if we experience them as such within ourselves.

When we shift our attention inward, we begin to see the natural unfolding of life where we used to see problems.

Eventually, if we use this knowledge wisely, the challenges we face will feel less personal, because we realize we have nothing to do with what's happening outside. What we deem problematic today will eventually dissolve into a natural, mindful approach to life, where the only thing that exists is what's here and now.

What life looks like when we turn inward

When we no longer blame reality for our problems, and instead take responsibility for our internal state of being, our experience of life improves in the following ways:

  • We'll start to work with what life presents us rather than fight with it.

  • We'll start to understand that everything is the way it is because of everything that's ever happened since the beginning of time. Just because our minds don't like it doesn't mean it shouldn't be happening.

  • Finally, we'll start to understand that it doesn't matter what should or shouldn't be happening right now, because what's happening is what's happening. Things cannot be otherwise.

With this knowledge, we can now take a wise approach to interacting with reality. Being able to start from a place of acceptance allows us to better serve what's in front of us. Our involvement with life becomes more harmonious and less hostile.

We begin to recognize that our purpose is merely to live fully. And we live fully by turning our consciousness away from the melodramas of the mind, and into the experience of life right here, right now.

Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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