I hope and trust that you had a wonderful New Year’s Day! And today we move into the third part of the Triad Formula, which is the First Step in a Three-Step approach to dealing with change in one’s life.
In the third part of The Triad Formula I decide that I am who I say I am, and my experience is what I say it is. This may all seem circular, but there is a method to the madness.
I have a vivid memory of a woman who spoke up once at one of our Conversation with God Foundation’s ReCreating Yourself retreats. She had been sexually abused as a child by her uncle, and she spoke about it in very calm terms. She spoke also about a woman’s support group that she had attended on a regular basis, and remember how, when she told that group about her experience, its members raised their voices in concern. “You should be furious about this!” they told her. “How can you speak so calmly?”
“Well,” she had said, “that was a long time ago, and besides, I understand why he did what he did, and I’ve forgiven him. So I’m not angry anymore.”
“Not angry anymore?”, they protested, “How could you be not angry anymore? Don’t you know what happened to you?” Then they told her that she had apparently “sublimated” her feelings and buried her rage, and was angrier than she knew. “A walking time bomb,” they called her. The only problem was, she didn’t feel that way. Her experience is what she said that it was, and she became unwilling to “buy into” the way others in her group told her that she was supposed to be feeling.
I never forgot this example of Personal Creation. The exterior experience of this woman was not different from the experience of many other women who have been abused as a child, but her interior experience was remarkably different. She simply chose to hold the experience in another way.
In my own life, when something crazy or unwanted happens, I never ask myself, “Now, why did that happen…?” Rather, I ask myself, “If I could give that a reason for happening, what would it be?”
I assign everything a reason, rather than looking for one. And I decide how I am going to feel about things, rather than looking to see how I feel. And I choose with great deliberation my responses to everything, rather than watching my responses from the sidelines as if I was not the major player in my life.
The Triad Formula is the first of three steps in The Change Process. That is, it is one of those teachings that, once internalized and utilized, can turn around one’s entire life. Yet it is clear that understanding, accepting, and integrating the three statements of The Triad Formula into our lives is not easy for many people.
Those three statements again are…
1. Nothing in this world is real.
2. The meaning of everything is the meaning I give it.
3. I am who I say I am, and my experience is what I say it is.
In order to embrace and effectively utilize these truths, you would have to change everything in the way you look at, and experience, life.
Tomorrow, we continue our exploration of The Change Process.