To change the world, you must first begin with yourself

words by Brian Thompson, photo by Jennifer Picard Photography.

“Pay close attention to the particular thoughts you use to deprive yourself of happiness.”
—Byron Katie

The only thing that keeps us from experiencing the ongoing beauty of peace, love, and happiness in this life... is ourselves.

We distract ourselves from much of the beauty in this world by being so wrapped up in our thoughts. We get so confused by all of the unnecessary emotions that cloud our minds, which then shut out the natural joy of our being.

We’re stuck in a cycle of harmful thinking that we just can’t seem to get out of. The problem is, we don’t see our thoughts for what they are—mistruths, misguided beliefs and false perceptions.

You see… we all have a habit of creating stories out of thin air about every person, place, thing and event that we observe and experience. We often wish for things to be somehow different than what they currently are, and because of this we suffer, due to our inability to accept the present moment for what it is.

Whenever we find ourselves unable to accept the reality of whatever the present moment offers, we cause ourselves to suffer. Our unhappiness is our own doing.

We blind ourselves from the beauty of things by casting projections of our inner worries onto everything we perceive. For example, if I’m feeling guilty, then all of a sudden I think you’re guilty too. We reflect these false perceptions of ourselves onto the world around us, and then we wonder why we’re so unhappy. It is our own doing.

We convince ourselves of countless non-truths about everything we experience, and then we reflect them back onto ourself, which then discolours our view of the natural world.

Continuing to live in such a way is a no-win situation. As long as we continue to live inside our heads, in a dreamland that doesn’t actually exist, no amount of self-help or spiritual practice will ever cure us.

We’re unhappy because we’ve created a world—that exists only within our minds— in which nothing is ever able to meet our so-called standards. It is our thoughts alone that limit our joy and well-being.

We must endeavour to quieten our judgemental minds!

Begin by watching your thoughts. Sit and be silent with yourself. Observe the nature of your mind—you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Your experience of the outer world around you will never be able to change until your inner world changes first. To change the world, you must first begin with yourself.

What you suffer from is a human disease of misguided perceptions—but our perceptions change as quickly as the wind, so this is a very solvable problem!

Begin within. Find your untruths, one by one, as they occur, and squash them with the light of your conscious awareness and mindful attention. Let no untruth remain in your mind.

When you abide in the ever-present truth within, unclouded by mind, happiness abounds.