Thoughts and Beliefs
Your Interpretation Rules Your Experience,
Your Destiny and Your Life
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
I’ve known firsthand that “It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s what you do with it that matters most.” And “what you do with it” is essentially based on the interpretation you bring to it. That’s right. It’s all about what it means to you.
Your Greatest Asset Is Your Power to Choose
While you don’t get to choose all that life delivers, you do choose how you react to it. You select—consciously or unconsciously—the thoughts you have about it...the interpretation you attach to it...and to everything.
You see, nothing really exists for you beyond your interpretation of it. So, it’s in our interpretation of life’s experience that we can find our freedom.
Your Partner and Your Head
Let’s say that you believe your partner is cheating on you, yet you have no concrete basis for your assumption. In your heart, you tell yourself that this is happening. And as things arise in your interaction with him/her you insist that what you see confirms what you “already” know.
I see so many couples in therapy insisting that they know things about their partner that in actuality they cannot know. And without challenging their beliefs, they remain imprisoned by their interpretation of event after event.
And then the day comes when they realize that they have so much distance between what is fundamentally true for them and the “dream” (interpretation) they live that they forget who they themselves are.
Your Partner’s Verbal Abuse and Your Beliefs
Your partner may be verbally abusive, bombarding you with rant after rant about how defective you are…as a mother, housekeeper, wife, woman, person. You could even start to believe that what he/she says about you is true. It is as though you interpret his/her verbal abuse as inspired by something in you, rather than in him/her.
Not only do you find yourself believing that you are responsible for that which is said, you may also believe you are responsible for the battering itself. In time, you find yourself doubtful and defensive, and ultimately lacking in personal inner confidence.
Your Job and Your Thoughts
Or, maybe it’s your boss or place of employment. You expect to be treated in a particular fashion, yet what you get contradicts your expectation. He/She promises you ABC, but the fact is you receive XYZ. What do you tell yourself about the disappointment you experience?
You could say, he/she has no integrity, and externalize the whole situation. Or, you could believe his/her actions are due to some deficiency in you, thereby internalizing the situation. In either case, you must realize that your belief about what has happened is the place of your power...and your freedom.
Your Body and Your Beliefs
Let’s take another example that doesn’t involve another person. You wake up one day feeling less than par...sluggish in your body, scattered and cloudy in your thoughts, and aimless in your soul.
The belief you have about this status has more to do with your ultimate status than the status itself. If you convince yourself that you are “ill,” you go down one path. If, on the other hand, you see your physical and emotional state as reflective of your inner existence, you could interpret this same set of symptoms as your need for a restive “vacation.”
Your Interpretation and Your Freedom
I could give you thousands of examples of the way in which our thoughts and beliefs about things focus our direction more than the so-called things themselves. And as diverse as these examples are, they all say the same thing…
It’s not what happens to you in life, it’s what you do with it that matters most. And what you do, in large part, is more about how you think about what has happened then the “happening” itself.
Most importantly, you get to choose your thoughts, and thereby your experience. Now, please don’t walk away from this article thinking you “should” pick pleasant thoughts and all will be well. More importantly, challenge your thoughts and beliefs until you find the one that expresses your highest truth. As you do this, that which is not true for you no longer exists…and with this, you experience your freedom.
For more information about healing from abuse, visit http://www.enddomesticabuse.org/healing_from_within.php and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals and couples nationwide end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.