Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is the Sky Blue?

Pink Flowers, Blue Sky
Key West, 2000

Quote of the month:
What people really want is to be fully themselves. 
They want the sense of aliveness.  
But they want it through this, that, or the other. 
They don't realize that nothing can give it to you 
because you already have it. 
And not only do you have it, you 
are it, you are what you're looking for already. 
You don't know that because you're always looking somewhere else. 
You can only know that in the Now by aligning yourself with the Now 
and with the power that is there within you.
- Eckhart Tolle

Is the sky blue?  

It's a simple question.... or is it?

I've been wanting to write about this for a while and it seems to have repeatedly shown up lately, so it seems like an appropriate time.  Here is what it looks like when it plays out in life.....

John:  She said I am stupid.....
me:  Did she really say that?
John:  Well, she implied it.
me:  Ok - well tell me this - are you stupid?
me:  If you believe that, why would it bother you if she said or implied that you were? Do you really believe that you are not stupid?
John:  Of course - it just burns me up that she thinks I am.
me:  But you KNOW that you aren't....?
John:  BUT she thinks I am!!!!!!!!!

John missed the point.  I can't blame him, I missed the same point for a long time.  I will attempt to share it here with you as it has brought me a lot of peace in my life.

Here is the key -  Whatever you are looking for someone else to give to you (in this case - not feeling stupid) is what I am suggesting you should give to yourself.  In fact, I would go so far as to suggest you already are it as the Tolle quote says above, but one step at a time.... that may be another post for another day!

We all like to hear compliments and good things - but I'll let you in on a little secret, we don't NEED to hear them when we believe it ourselves.  It is only when we do not believe it - inside ourselves - that we crave hearing it from outside ourselves. 

So, I'll pose to you, the next step in my conversation with my friend above.  What color is the sky?  Take a look at the photo above.  Most people would agree that the "normal" color of the sky is blue.  (I know there are all kinds of arguments to be made here theories about why the sky only appears blue.... it is gray on cloudy days.... white on snowy days.... black at night..... red and orange at sunset.... and can even turn green when bad weather approaches, but humor me please and play along for a moment.)  

So - the sky is blue.  You have a KNOWING about this.  No one can tell you that the sky isn't blue.  Right?  

So, now, I am going to tell you that, "The sky is purple."  What would you do?  You would say, "No, it's not, the sky is blue."  I am then going to protest - "No - it's purple.... PURPLE.... PURPLE!!!!!!"  Then what would you do?

My guess is that your response would be along the lines of, "Ok - whatever!" and you would then assume that I am crazy!!!!!!  Whatever your response, you would NOT change your opinion to the sky is purple!  Remember, you have a KNOWING that it is blue.... just as it is in the photograph above!

Going back to my friend above, if he had a KNOWING that he wasn't stupid, if someone made an implication that he was... he would say, "Ok, whatever!" assume they were wrong and go on his way.

This could show up in numerous ways in every day life!  How many of these do you recognize in people around you or even in yourself?
This could be....

the person who seems to need compliments from those around them...
the person who needs to know that they are the most important person to someone....
the person who needs to have a shiny car to feel they are special....
the person who needs to have a significant other in their life to feel that they are worthy....
the person who likes to be surrounded by "things" to feel validated....
the person who needs validation from those outside themselves to feel that they exist.....
the person that needs to buy the newest fashion each season....
the person who wants to be the center of attention....

These are a few examples.  The list is really endless.  Gary Zukav  calls this external power.... that is looking outside oneself and attempting to manipulate and control the world in a way that makes them feel a certain way.   

I will use myself as an example.  When I started writing this blog (2 years ago!!!!)  I wanted everyone to say it was wonderful!  I wanted to hear from everyone who read it.  Of course this is not even realistic! The first month or two, I did NOT have a knowing about it.  I wanted it to come in from the outside.  Know what happened?  I got a little bit upset in the beginning because everyone did not say it was wonderful.... and I did not hear from everyone who read it.  [I was making assumptions and taking them personally!  Another post for another day... inspired by The Four Agreements!]

I was very fortunate because very early on I realized I was doing this (looking outside.)  This is the good news because when you become aware of something like that, you can then set about changing it.  I only write what I have a Knowing about.  Sometimes it comes to me at 3 AM and I feel like I have to write.... other times it comes after a meditation and still other times after a conversation with someone that triggers an entire post (or in this case conversations with at least 4 people!!!!)  Since I only write from that place inside of me - today, I know that what I write is Truth for me.  I now know the sky is blue!  I do not ask it to be Truth for someone else.  If it resonates with someone else - all the better!  

In all of our lives there are those things that we have a Knowing about and those times when we might wonder if the sky really is purple.  The nature of each of those will vary for each of us, depending on our background and life experiences.  The simple suggestion that I will make this month is that if you find yourself looking outside yourself for validation, for meaning or even for love.... take a moment to reflect on a time when you felt confident, knew you were loved or even better, a time when you truly loved someone else.  Remember how that felt.  Use that as a reference point to help you remember that the sky is Blue!  

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, questions or ideas!  

Until next month,
Keep it simple!


Mark & Laura Anderson said...

Hi Penelope,

Read it three times and got something new out of it each time. Very appropriate for where I am in life right now. See you soon.

Laura said...

Wonderful explanation for how to trust what you know about yourself and not let anyone or anything disrupt that. We have to sometimes be our own reminders about who and what we are even when others insist on seeing us differently. What also helps is understand how others sees the world, people and situations differently then we do ourselves. So even when they are calling us stupid, it is something within them that is seeing this no about us at all.

Thanks Penny for the reminder of who I really am!!!


Kent said...

Thanks Penelope, for these words that are a valuable reminder to me about the temptations of codependency...and experiencing myself as less than I am.

Penelope said...

Thank you to everyone for your comments. After using myself in the example, I was hoping that people would not feel the need to now comment, simply because of what I wrote and wondered if maybe I should have used a different example. In the end, the decision was to go with this example, as it fit so well, the point I was trying to illustrate. After reading the comments you have posted here and several sent directly, I am pleased to hear that it sounds like the message was received. I do appreciate hearing when something resonates with you.

Penelope said...

We are on a journey of becoming that which we already are. That is the impossible paradox of our lives. -Leonard Jacobson

Penelope said...

Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. -Lao Tzu