“Your sense of who you are determines what you perceive as your needs and what matters to you in life – and whatever matters to you will have the power to upset and disturb you. You can use this as a criterion to find out how deeply you know yourself. What matters to you is not necessarily what you say or believe, but what your actions and reactions reveal as important and serious to you. So you may want to ask yourself the question: What are the things that upset and disturb me … the car is stolen… the trip is canceled… they say it’s your fault… Suddenly there is a surge of anger, of anxiety. A harshness comes into your voice… You accuse and blame, attack, defend or justify yourself, and it’s all happening on autopilot. Something is obviously much more important to you than the inner peace that you wanted, and you’re not an immortal spirit anymore either…”
~ Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth (pg. 187-188)
Or, as another example, think of your encounters with others. When someone says something to us that seems to come out of left field, or we “know” isn’t true, it rolls off us, like water off a duck’s back. But what about when someone says something that hits closer to home? It’s usually connected to an insecurity, a past hurt that we haven’t let go of/worked through, or something about ourselves that we don’t like. Usually these things are buried just under the surface of our subconscious. So when we feel ourselves reacting to something/someone, it’s the perfect opportunity to turn that energy inward and dig deep. Be introspective. It’s amazing the things that you learn about yourself. And awareness is power over your life. You can’t always control what happens to you… but you can control how you perceive the events around you… and how you react.