Friday, July 7, 2017

Do We Create Our Own Reality?

Do we create our own reality?  I've been thinking about this lately, so I went digging for some information on the topic.  What I found was a mix of "thoughts become things," and "we participate in creating our reality, but we don't have the power to make things happen just because we're thinking in a certain way."  Just because we are thinking negative thoughts, doesn't mean we caused our plane to crash.  Similarly, just because we are thinking positively, doesn't mean that our life will be perfect.  There are other forces involved.  Other people may block our progress, make us angry, lead us down a questionable path, bring us laughter to change our mood for the better, and so on.  We have no control over what others do, and what they do may influence what happens to us.  We also can't control environmental forces.  We may have this awesome outdoor wedding planned, but it could very well be flooded out by a summer monsoon.

What we do have control over is our reaction to what happens to us.  Our attitude is everything.  Rather than avoiding or denying things in life that don't set well with us, we meet them head on, accept them for what they are, and remain empathetic and compassionate toward ourselves through the difficult process.

To me, our attitude colors our perception of what reality is.  Positive thoughts can cause positive actions, just as negative thoughts can cause negative actions.  If we are positive and take on challenges with a can-do attitude, I think that affects our reality, making it better.  If our attitude is negative then we will perceive a negative reality.  And that affects outcomes.  Say you are walking along, thinking of a concert you'll be attending on the weekend; it brings positive thoughts that result in you humming the tunes you'll hear at the concert, smiling at everyone you meet, holding doors open for people, and the like.  On the other hand, if you are thinking negative thoughts about a fender bender you were involved in, getting madder and madder by the second at the incompetence of the  driver who rammed into your car, then as you walk along that same street you might very well scowl at people and slam doors in their faces. 

I spent a lot of time in an alternative reality when I was growing up--my daydream world.  Without it, I don't think I would have been able to deal nearly as well with the reality of my health issues, surgeries,  and people staring at me and teasing me.  Yes, the health issues were my reality.  I couldn't change that.  But the daydreams helped me figure stuff out, have practice dialogue with a doctor about a question had, deal with health issues, solve problems in a safe, fun environment, or just chill out and have fun with my imaginary friends, laughing, being confident and successful, and imagining myself healthy.  I was in charge of my fantasies, so I was in charge of how it helped shaped my reality.  So I did make my own reality by the way I acted and handled crises, and the fantasies helped me de-stress and learn to cope healthily with my chronic health issues.  

What is your take on this subject?  Do you feel as if you create your own reality, or are other forces at work?  Have you ever had a daydream world you escaped to now and then to help you cope with health issues?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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