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Making a Uie

What on Earth would happen if instead of focusing 90% of our attention, energy and reactions on what is happening to us, on how the world treats us, we would spend all that on how we treat the world around us?

Although the 90/10 ratio and suggested inversion is based on anecdotal evidence – my impression of what people around me talk about, deal with and react to – it must hold some water. If for no other reason than its commonality, its ubiquity, having permeated every aspect of daily life.

People talk much about how their environment treats them – prices are going up, the roads are getting worse, the weather is getting weirder, people are getting ruder and more aloof, and so on without end. Very little attention is paid on how we treat the environment, our world and each other.

Would it change anything if we were to invert that ratio, pivoted 180 degrees, made a U-turn, or in the new street vernacular, made a uie? Would you then have a different experience of life than the one you keep harping on? Could the experience of “not enough” become an expression of gratitude for all that we have?

It seems that we create the world we see, get to experience. We keep expressing, in so many ways, that we are separate from it, when in fact we are a part of it. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. Yet, so many of us behave as if we were the audience.

Detached, separate, looking on, sitting quietly in the rows and pews of the theater of our mental construct, watching and reacting to the unfolding events. Mostly complaining. It is safer out here. I don’t want to get involved. One could get hurt in all the drama, why take the risk? Where is the benefit in that?

The benefit of experience is self-confidence, which is the first essential ingredient of our relating to our world in a new way. It is key in all relationships. Self-confidence means that we are comfortable in any situation, with anybody, under all conditions. We feel just fine in our skin and we actually like who we are. We make it clear what is okay with and for us and what is not.

Before we return to how we relate to the world around us in more specific ways, there is another premise to be addressed. We cannot change anything we are not willing to accept. What we resist (and give energy to) persists. If we do not accept the few extra pounds or kilos on our body, we cannot lose them.

This all-encompassing acceptance includes ourselves, of course. We must accept ourselves just the way we are or there is little hope of change. We even have to learn to love ourselves unconditionally. Without self-love, there is little chance of truly loving another. I am talking more about self-respect than narcissistic love.

The next step is self-responsibility. Self-confidence comes from making our own decisions and taking full responsibility for the consequences. Once we accept all responsibility for everything we create, there will be no need to give up the power over our emotional reactions to someone or something external.

The person we are and the way we behave affects the world we experience. A loving person lives in a loving world, a kind person lives in a kind world, an honest person… you get the point. If we approach every experience with “I am going to enjoy this” and “I am going to like this person”, perhaps we will encounter more kindness.

What sort of world would we find if acted with more kindness, concern, and compassion towards people, places and things? If we became more willing to genuinely express who we really are? If we were so self-confident that we were even willing to be vulnerable? I can already hear you say, “Everyone would take advantage of me”.

Would you take advantage just because someone is vulnerable, just because you could? Probably not, at least not if you are sufficiently evolved as a human being, if you see yourself as a part of a greater whole. Perhaps this is exactly the behavior we must model to others; this is what we need to teach our children.

Self-confidence also gives us the strength to define and defend our personal boundaries, what we can accept and what we cannot. I don’t envision a world of “doormats”, the “anything goes and nothing matters” society popularized by the western world but one of self-confident, self-responsible, loving people.

Visualize such a world. See yourself making fewer judgments and accepting more, being kinder to others. How does it feel? Now, I didn’t say the transformation is easy or quick. I am only saying that it is really worth it.

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