A couple of days ago I noticed that I was missing a small wallet I carry with me at work. It contains a credit card, my employer’s discount card, some cash and some coupons. Naturally I was concerned when I discovered it missing. I asked my co-workers, looked in my purse and car, but couldn’t find it. When I came home I looked there in all the possible places, but couldn’t find it. Rather than getting all worked up over it, I tried to calm myself, did my rebounding exercise and tried to relax. The key was to keep my mind calm, not allowing any of the negative thoughts and accusations to come in. While I relaxed I thought back of when I used the wallet the last time. It became clear that the wallet must be in the car since I pumped some gas the day before. Sure enough when I looked in the car again, I found it in between the front seats. I wish I could say that I had a convincing feeling that I would find it. The victory was more that I could control my inner self-talk and trust myself to find it.
Another experience involves a feedback I received from one of my Amazon.com sales. One customer proclaimed that the book that she received was not the way she expected, in fact it was stained. She gave me negative feedback which lowered my overall rating. I told her in an email that I could refund her money if she was not satisfied and she should return the book. After thinking about for a few days, she demanded refund. No problem, I told her, and refunded, even though I haven’t received the book yet. I was tempted to ask her to erase her negative feedback but didn’t say anything about that. I just added a note that I had refunded her at her request as a response on her negative feedback. To my surprise she erased her negative feedback. I felt that was a victory for me, since I didn’t speak my mind to her or requested the removal of her feedback. I became sure within me to not get emotional or react to her negativity.
Somehow I feel that these two incidences are related. I am working now on becoming sure within myself, not identifying myself with any external circumstance or person for who I am or what I do. Eckhart Tolle, in his book A New Earth, writes extensively about the Ego in chapter 3. As long as we state facts and not complain, being the watcher of circumstances rather than reacting to them, we can keep the ego in check. He talks about the ego taking everything personally. When emotion arises or perhaps aggression, the ego is involved and tries to defend itself. The ego confuses opinions and viewpoints with facts. It is a master of selective perception and distorted interpretation.
Through awareness – not through thinking – can we differentiate between facts and an opinion.