Half Full, Half Empty
A meme I saw on social media said, “Glass half empty? Get a smaller glass and move on.” Then I started thinking about it, and there are some profound truths in there somewhere.
Because we’re participants in this arrow of time, we are not trained to experience One Big Now moment that encompasses all creation. This could get socially awkward, if not spiritually overwhelming. We tend to experience time as a series of moments strung together. Within each of these moments we have expectations about what’s going to happen next. When those expectations are unmet, we can get stressed out, especially if these unmet expectations include threats to our safety or the safety of our family and friends.
We don’t usually automatically look to see how an apparently negative situation can have positive outcomes, but instead see an outcome as negative because it didn’t meet our expectations.
We tend to gain perspective only after a negative situation resolves. We lick our wounds, restore our energies and reflect upon what we could have done, or not done, to avoid or prevent that negative circumstance. We try to learn from history–we make conclusions about our self-worth and personal power. But this is of limited value, and only tends to reinforce negative beliefs about self and the world.
Although we try to keep our expectations positive (as long as things go our way), we allow our interpretations of events to drive our conclusions about how positive or negative things are, and in a worst case, take it personally.
On the other hand, were we to set our expectations aside, step back, entertain positive meanings to negative events, we neutralize the psychological impact–we maintain a “philosophical” viewpoint, where nothing is actually wrong, and benefit is attained by all, regardless of appearances.
My spiritual guide once told me, “If something is getting you down, always ask, ‘What’s perfect about this I’m not getting?’ and you’ll peek out from behind those dark clouds.” Maintaining this perspective is perhaps the trickiest work spiritually we have at hand. We observe our creations, interpret them, and then decide whether or not they are good. Perhaps a better approach is to observe our creations, step back, admire the effects, and leave it at that.
We can always choose to experience something else. Our response to a situation or circumstance determines our mental and emotional state, and this we have some semblance of control over. If there is an initial and immediate shock, or disappointment, that is the moment to step back and realize there are forces at work here that require a wider perspective.
I believe that the more real our own eternalness is to us, the easier it is to embrace the perfection in all things. If we see life as an 80-year crapshoot and then you die, we’re not going to be in the headspace of seeing the perfection in the world. This life is a very dense and intense matrix of experience, requiring a high level of allowance and compassion to get through it without damage. Damages are sustained when we commit to fighting our fears, instead of having enough compassion for ourselves to know the source of our fear, and embrace what that fear is reminding us about our personal power.
Lowering expectations because of negative outcomes is the exact psychology at play in the master-slave matrix. Controllers want you to question your personal power, and adjust down your spectrum of choices. Without the intervention of perspective, we will inevitably arrive at the desperation of “no choice”, and then we lose all freedom. Freedom, just like happiness, is a choice. We choose our responses, we choose our decisions, and we choose what we have compassion for, and whom we love.
Rather than asking if the glass is half empty or half full, let’s feel gratitude for having the glass.
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