January 9, 2012

The Reality of Your Reality

“Your reality is what you make it to be.  You have the choice to change what you know and pursue what you don’t.  When you make that shift, you create a new reality.”

One of my bigger struggles is getting out of my own way.  Many people struggle with the notion that their situation is what it is, they are limited in what they can and cannot do, and that they would love to change their life if only they could – except there is something that we just don’t understand that makes their situation unique.  Truth is they have embraced their perception of reality to the point where the only thing in their way is them.

We often look at things from the perspective of how we feel, how we see ourselves, the beliefs we own about ourselves, and what occurs around us.  That single source picture becomes our world view.  Our reality is defined by what we make it to be.  Since we have defined it, we own it.  It does not make it accurate, it just makes it so.  In fact it likely stays an incorrect perspective because we do not allow other outside influences to alter or change our reality.  As a result, our reality becomes our reality when there is little opportunity to change or alter it.  The more we own it, defend it, and protect it, the more real it becomes.

Changing your reality requires a significant step – get out of your own way.  Getting out of your own way involves allowing, encouraging, and embracing the introduction of a new set of viewpoints and perspectives.  Discovering a new reality means letting go of and believing in the potential for a different outcome and passionately pursuing that course of action.  Accomplishing this requires accepting, receiving, and embracing the perspectives, insights, and vision of others while releasing your hold on what you believe to be true and valid in your current reality.

The process of committing to defining a new reality – completely letting go of the old one – puts you in a position to creating a new one.  That shift alone from stuck in the old reality with a determination to embrace a new one, creates the shift that moves you out of your current reality.  What causes most people to go back is the fact that they do not believe that anything is really changing and as a result see the lack of progress as an indication that their old reality was, in fact, valid.  Were they to embrace a commitment that their old reality is invalid they would be able to successfully move forward into a new and vibrant change.

What inspired me to focus on this was the fact that I recently found myself stuck.  I was determined to relax and enjoy some of my accomplishments during the end of the year.  After a few weeks, I started having difficulty getting fired up again.  I started to head down that road of feeling and believing that nothing had really changed and I was back in the same spot.

Then, I started focusing on what I had learned and discovered in the past year.  I gave myself credit for what I had accomplished and reminded myself of the actions I had taken that enabled me to move forward and be successful.  Once I grabbed hold of those banners, I found myself moving forward again.  Rather than embracing the falseness of my old reality, I re-engaged in moving forward toward all the exciting changes and opportunities associated with my new reality.

There is very little we do not have control over when it comes to change.  The choice has been, and always will be, ours.  We can choose to believe in the reality of our situation or embrace the shift and change to a new one.  The only thing getting in our way is us.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.