A few days ago I had an insight about makeup. It was quite an innocent, small thought but it led me to see again that what I think isn’t necessarily true.
I was thinking about a friend of mine who I know to be confident, grounded, strong, independent and resilient. Yet she always wears quite a lot of makeup. As I was mulling this over, I thought “That makeup must just be hiding insecurity”. And then the next thought that popped into my head was “On some days I wear makeup because I feel insecure” and “Other days I wear makeup because I fancy it”.
Then I had the insight that just because on some days I wear makeup because I am experiencing insecure thinking, it doesn’t mean SHE wears makeup due to insecurity. I’m just making that up, placing my judgments & beliefs onto her. (Note: this doesn’t mean I AM an insecure person, only I sometimes experience insecure thinking. The same applies to you as well. There is far more freedom in knowing that I experience insecure thinking, than believing I am an insecure person. If I believe I am an insecure person then this looks like it needs to be fixed). Anyway, I digress….
So if we took 100 women, let’s say that 50% of them wear makeup because they feel insecure without it (those who live in the ‘I can’t be seen without makeup camp’). There could be another 10% women who wear makeup only sporadically when they go out of an evening. For these women they perceive makeup as a ‘going out’ thing.
We could have another 20% who wear it some days, other days not. They wear it simply when they feel like it. We could have another 15% who never wear makeup because they can’t be bothered or may have strong views that women shouldn’t have to wear makeup at all. And finally 5% who have thinking about makeup that I can’t even perceive of!
We can see from this that makeup itself is ‘neutral’ in the world. It is only our transient thoughts, beliefs and judgments that can turn it into a positive or negative thing for us.
If we can see this can be true of something as small and innocent as makeup, it is also true of the bigger things in life - like the reasons a marriage breaks up (each partner will have a different perception of why this happened), or the state of the world (some people feel despondent, others feel powerful to make change). We can see this very clearly in the world right now as we deal with a global pandemic. Some people are living in fear and anxiety, whilst others are busy creating what we need to get through this. The system of how we create an experience life works the same way, whether it is about makeup or world peace.
We paint the canvas of our life with different coloured paints (thoughts) and make up a picture that we call reality. When in fact it is just thought-in-the-moment creating a momentary perception of how life looks. Innocently, we believe this to be true & fixed.
I would like to pose the question - what if nothing we think is true, as in capital ‘T’ True? What if it’s simply thought in the moment passing through, brought to life by our consciousness, making it feel real? What if it’s a momentary perception that we take to be true, a filter through which we experience life?
What freedom would this truth bring for us all? How much more peaceful would the world be if we saw that we live in 7 billion different realities, and that expecting someone else to have my thinking about something is like expecting them to have the same fingerprints as me. Not possible!
Lindsey Elliott is a Wellbeing & Resilience Coach (three principles) working in Brighton and online. She offers one to one life-changing coaching that enables people to experience life with less stress, overwhelm and anxiety, and more connection, ease and freedom.
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