Reality is Neutral

“Tis a hard life. We’ll be lucky to get out of it alive..” One of my late Father’s favourite sayings.

He used it in response to any whinging about something we perceived as unfair or any challenges we faced. I found it frustrating at the time and didn’t realise the wisdom of his irony for many years.

Life is experienced in our minds. We receive information in the form of sensations and our brains digest this information. We forget this fundamental fact so often. On receipt of a stimulus such as the sound of someone ‘insulting’ us or giving us a ‘compliment’, we need to make a decision as to how we view this experience. Is it positive or negative? We need to remember that events or actions in our lives don’t have a pre-defined value attached to them. We decide how to view these events.

We are therefore in control of how we view events in our lives. ‘Good’ or ‘bad’ things don’t happen to us. Events happen in our lives and we add a value to that event. Sometimes, in retrospect, we change the value we gave an event. A difficult or awful experience changes to the best thing to have happened. What changes? Our view of the event.

“When you are distressed by an external thing, it’s not the thing itself that troubles you, but only your judgment of it. And you can wipe this out at a moment’s notice.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

As the year comes to a close, there are many who describe the year 2020 in negative terms. If we accept what Marcus Aurelius says above, our own judgment is causing the distress. Not 2020. If we don’t realise this, the New Year won’t be any ‘better’. We’ll be at the mercy of whatever happens in 2021.

You can’t control many things. But you can control your reasoned response to events as you perceive them in your mind. You can decide now to have a Happy New Year. You can even look back in retrospect and view 2020 as the most life-affirming year you’ve ever had. It really is up to you. Reality is neutral.

So, choose your life-view. Choose how you see the events of the coming days, weeks and months.

And have a Happy New Year. 😀

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