So much suffering. I see it everywhere, and every time I do it makes me grateful for what I have learned.
Recently I have been witnessing and hearing the manifestations of the same thoughts I used to carry as gospel: the world is a cruel, competitive place and everyone is out to get me. When I lived with this belief it proved itself to be true every opportunity it had. “If I’m not good enough for you, then you’re not good enough for me,” used to be my catchcry. And as it turned out (of course) nobody was good enough.
Today it has transformed into something more like, ‘everyone’s a winner.’ And again, unsurprisingly, it proves itself to be true as often as it can. It is all just a question of perception: whatever I choose to perceive will manifest for me – such is the nature of looking at an illusion.
I have been yelled at by someone I had formerly feared. It was fascinating to watch the love grow inside of me as compassion where the fear once dwelled. Instead of seeing someone angry at me, threatening me, I saw someone angry – really angry – at themselves. I saw myself in a past life. In that past life I would either fight back or shrink away; this time I stood and watched in remembrance of the child who once despised himself this much as well. Now that child knows that the world was never against him – he was against the world, and most significantly, against himself.
It is so strange to watch the reflections. A dozen years ago I managed to alienate myself from the entire music industry in Perth; then I moved to Melbourne, where I repeatedly set myself up to fail, and continually succeeded in doing so; then in Brisbane I ensured my unemployability in the commercial music industry; and I finally moved to a community where I could never earn respect. Throughout this time I was demonstrably competent and capable and decidedly unpleasant to be around. But somewhere underneath it all I was growing and learning, and that seemed somehow to manifest in my travels, where all of a sudden I found people welcoming and loving me. It was literally a whole new world.
Which is why this homecoming is so invaluable. Perceptions being what they are, they often don’t change. So I repeatedly see people responding and reacting to the man they knew, and it is most educational. I am seeing clearly that how people respond has absolutely nothing to do with me – we are all just seeing what we want to.
I was told yesterday that I haven’t changed at all. It is true: only my perception has. It’s all that ever can.