Our life is affected by other people. With each interaction, different aspects of self are magnified. Perhaps you can think of people in your life who make you laugh, or make you sad, or make you angry. Perhaps there are people that frequently stimulate certain feelings, either positive or negative. We tend to associate others with our feelings and will often anticipate an interaction before it happens.
If you can manage to step back and observe your interactions, you discover that all feelings are created internally. While someone else may act as a stimulus (even aggressively), our reactions always come from within. This is much more noticeable when you meet many people that you do not know well. Since we attach strong feelings to our long-term and close relationships, observing our own behavior with strangers allows us to bypass emotional attachments and simply observe personal reactions.
Many times, we project our feelings and beliefs on others. When we meet someone new, judgments can form quickly based on cultural training and biases. By looking rather than listening, we overlook the soul of the newcomer and instead create our own story about who they are and what they want from us. We tend to project expectations and then recognize feedback that supports our expectations.
When someone talks about an issue that disturbs us, we can learn by focusing more on the issue than the person. Why is it that a particular topic generates feelings within us? Why can thoughts of a person change our mood, even when they are not present? What is going on inside that you need to be aware of?
If we recognize how external input creates reactions, we begin to understand the connections within ourselves. When we become aware of responses from within, we have a deeper understanding of self. Once our responses become evident, the element of choice enters. Awareness allows choice, and choice allows us to direct our future according to our desires.
Consider the possibility that every person enters your life for a reason. The reason may be a growth opportunity for you, it may be of benefit to the other, or it may be a combination of both. Every interaction of souls can have a positive, negative or neutral effect, and the outcome has as much to do with you as it does with the other person.
Our connections to others are strong and exist to support and enhance our desires. There are also many connections within, including triggers that influence your reactions and behavior. Awareness of these connections can help you create the world that you desire.
1. List five people who awaken emotions; someone who makes you smile, feel angry, feel irritated, feel respectful, and feel protective.
2. Make another list, with five new names, and match them to the same emotions.
3. What does each pair have in common?