I was told by a professor that we must learn to externalize what ‘happens’ in our life and watch moments pass by us, as though you were watching a move-of your own life. Lets say for example that you are injured. Instead of saying that “I am injured”, you should say “this leg is injured”. See how it gets externalized? Its not ‘your’ leg anymore and now you have to take care of ‘it’. You no longer have to bear the burden of feeling the pain anymore, because it is ‘a’ leg, not ‘your’ leg.
On a similar note, have you ever found yourself talking to yourself and discouraging yourself from doing something: “no, don’t you dare do that”, “this is your last chance, do it right missy”, or “wow, you’re are such an idiot”. I find myself speaking to myself when I want to see a different perspective on an issue. I know it sounds like a case of split personality, but its pretty normal. I speak to save myself to get myself out of the locked box.
Recently I found myself in a situation where I had to take an opposing stand against an office administrator. There were moments in my argument when I couldn’t help but personalize the issue. I remember talking on the phone and thinking whether or not she even knew me by face. Then I reminded myself that even if this person knew me personally, it would not effect the situation because at the end of the day, she was following policies and procedures set by the organization and I found myself trapped in those procedures. If anything, I would have to work with her, not against her to come to a solution. I felt like I was playing a role and it was ok to play that role-it was nothing personal. The situation had to be externalized in order for me to manage it emotionally.
I have come to realize that as a human, I have been trained to ‘react’ to my environment: react with an emotion. You see a snake, you scream-with fear. You see a movie, you enjoy-with joy.You hurt your leg, you cry-with pain. Now I have come to realize that not every situation demands a reaction and even if it does, it need not have an emotion attached to it. Remember, it is your leg that has been injured, not you. Give it some thought.