Today, this quote came across my desk: “Remember, you can’t be stuck in traffic; you are the traffic.” — Kevin Slavin

What this speaks to is our tendency to blame the world out there for things we don’t like without stopping to consider our role in considering them.

“You are making me unhappy.”

“Trump is destroying our country.”

“The rich are controlling our government.”

“My boss is keeping me from getting a promotion.”

“Those people are ruining our neighborhood.”

“People are destroying the planet with plastics and fossil fuels.”

….and on and on we go ‘blaming’ some other out there. As much as we don’t want to look at it, we play some role in the creation of the conditions we complain about.

Now, before I continue, let me stop and negate some misuse of New Thought principles. New Thought does teach the concept that is frequently (and inaccurately IHMO) truncated down to the words “your thoughts create your reality.” That shortening of a concept that is in reality much more nuanced can lead to bunch of NT BS (New Thought Bull S…).

Misapplication of the New Thought idea of our consciousness creating our circumstances can be seen when folks blame someone for their thinking (“what’s in your consciousness that you cannot fix the problem you are experiencing (such as illness, poverty, etc.?). Misapplication can be seen too when someone says that the whole idea of thoughts creating reality is false simply because they “thought and thought something” and it didn’t happen!

Now, I addressed these and other misunderstandings of the power of our consciousness in a recent YouTube video (see “When the Law of Attraction Appears Not to Work“) Although it’s covered more completely in that brief video, let me simply say here that our “conscious thoughts” do contribute to our reality but also at play are other factors…our inconsistent conscious thoughts, our subconscious thoughts, our collective consciousness beyond the individual, etc…..therefore the use of conscious thoughts by one individual “pocket of consciousness” (i.e., you and me) in the universe are mixed into the big Mind of All that incorporates all Consciousness. Sometimes our conscious thoughts have a noticeable impact giving us evidence of the power of our thinking…sometimes we cannot see any impact giving us evidence our thoughts don’t “create our reality”.

Yet, even if our conscious thoughts did not lead to the outcome we desired, that’s not to say that we did not play a role in the creation of the circumstances we don’t desire.

What is ours to do in such situations? Well, it certainly is NOT to BLAME our thoughts and consciousness! Instead it is to evaluate what role we have had in the creation of it….and then consider what we can do to create a course correction. What we can do can be to change our thinking….and to change our behavior.

Let’s consider once again those statements of blame that I opened with:

“You are making me unhappy.” —Well, first off, our emotions are not victims of the world. Yes, we may experience things that may not be what we want….but we choose (consciously or unconsciously) whether to be happy or not. We can choose happiness in the face of adversity.

“Trump is destroying our country.” —We may not agree with the actions of Trump….we may not have voted for him….but when he ran for President, did we tune into the news to watch his candidacy in disbelief (leading to higher ratings and more coverage of him)? Did we do all in power to voice our concerns over his actions? Have we written our representatives? What is ours to do in this moment if we disagree with his actions…and are we doing that (or simply whining)?

“The rich are controlling our government.” —Yes, we are experiencing income inequality and an unfair voice by the wealthy in the decisions made in the running of this country….but again, have we sat back and allowed this to happen? Did we inform ourselves and voice our opinions when decisions were being made? Did we vote with our pocketbooks when corporations exhibited overreach in their influence? Where have we been silent and inactive when we should be noisy and acting in the world?

“My boss is keeping me from getting a promotion.” —Your boss may or may not be a jerk….but have you performed at work in a manner that is the best you could do in all circumstances? Is there something in you that doesn’t give discretionary effort to your job because your heart is not in it? Is there some part of you that wishes to change careers, employers, etc?

“Those people are ruining our neighborhood.” —First off, determine what you mean by “those people”…..is there some category that you just naturally label as the “other” (just as those who are different by age, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.)? If so, is there a lesson that your soul is calling to learn in tolerance? Alternately, even if “defining of the other” is or is not in play in this situation, have you remained quiet and inactive as things changed….or have you been involved in voicing and acting upon your desires with your neighbors and any association? Is there something you are being called to learn here?

“People are destroying the planet with plastics and fossil fuels.” —Where are you destroying the planet with your actions? Have you done all you could to wean yourself off of fossil fuels and the use of plastic?

Again, we could go on…..but we need to remember that in all of the circumstances that we whine about, we are the ones that we may be secretly whining against. As it’s often said, when we point “out there” with our hands……four of our fingers are pointing back at ourselves.

Maybe it’s time to do some personal reflection and change our thinking and our actions?

Mark Gilbert