OPINION - THE ENEMY OF CONNECTION
Updated: Apr 19
I find the incessant arguing and attacking each other on social media platforms thouroughly draining. It makes me sick to my core and I salute those who disabled their profiles to escape the destruction that hides under the pretense of 'the discussions we ought to have to better our society'.
To step outside the insanely addictive nature of the worldly buzz, it requires us to be truly determined, resolute. Feeling torn, at a great disadvantage whilst unplugged from the forever trending information source, with the best of intentions we never lasts long. To resist the pull of our curiosity and deepest existential fears is like trying to slow down a train that has long left the station. The warm and fuzzy feeling from finally getting our shot of media realness then quickly recedes thanks to the icky feeling of rising cognitive dissonance...
Can we avoid the social media hangover? Can open-mindedness save us from drowning in the sea of opinions? To avoid emotional injury when entering a mindfield we ought to better understand how it is laid:
Thoughts are the products of our story telling machine and the imprints in our memory-based imagination.
A thought is not a snapshot of reality but it’s distorted copy which serves as a template for the mind's future story telling. Even though they are based in our memory (our version of what happened) our stories aren’t exactly what happened, and even less so what will happen next. But we don't see it that way...
When we aren’t aware of our mind’s ability to forever create new realities, captured through our emotional filters (rooted in our often false beliefs), our attention gets caught in these, for us, totally believable stories. If we are to ever get closer to the truth we must learn to strip ‘our reality’ of the part that is mostly made up. But letting go of the part that our Ego mind has created under the premise of keeping us safe feels like exorcism. There really isn't a way of letting go from the mind. To succesfully escape a sure migrane we must learn to step outside our mind by recognising just how much we are stuck in it. Everything is a mad rush! All the rewinding, or fast forwarding, and editing is triggering inner unrest. Viewing the situation through a certain lens a boring story turns into a suspense. It is not by chance that certain minds attract more drama into the lives of their owners.
For us to step outside the circus in our heads we ought to refocus our attention by starting to observe the position of our body, it’s sensory input (smell, taste, touch) and what’s around us (sight, hearing), shifting into the only reality which is that of the moment. Finding peace away from the buzzing head is easy when we can learn to switch from the thinking (or virtual reality) mode into a physical one. How long we manage to stay in it greatly depends on the setting of our phone's notifications or the next opinion which manages to wind us up...
Opinion is simply a very personal perspective of reality.
The more complex issue, the more opinions and the more people contributing, presenting their imprints as the hard truth. Social media is a hive of buzzing minds. Engaging in a discussion can become a painful game for proving who is closer to the truth in order to avoid the lousy feeling of congnitive dissonance. The further away is someone's view from our personal perspective, the more inner conflict we experience. Naturally, we then work hard to seek solace in the cells with others of a similar view. This is called seeking confirmation bias. To further reinforce our version of reality is to judge and pumell those who are far from it.
What is the point in showcasing our view when we know that our mind holds a very individual perspective that can never be a copy of someone else’s imprint? Why do we feel the need to convince others of the validity of our personal experiences when theirs cannot ever match our own?
The mind can be so arrogant and corrupt that in its desperation 'to see' it can totally blindside us.
We blame social media for our community segregation, yet it was us who failed to acknowledge the mind’s limits and that our past and very personal experiences, our thoughts on the matter, don’t matter after all. Sharing our views all day long we cannot make a real change in the world besides further dividing people and perhaps partly altering someone’s movie. Driven by our intention, it is our physical contribution that makes a real difference. If our intention is to make others see our point of view by arguing (as mad as it is to know what we know now) we may convince others to agree with us, but what practical change will this bring? You may say that altering one’s thoughts may lead to their actions changing. But how much action has been delivered through simply changing another’s view?
Why is it so important for us that others saw the details of our movie? What’s behind us obsessing about what happened and why? We may say ‘well I want them to understand me to feel connected’ but really it is about something else. Two things in fact! Identification and importance. We want others to validate our experiences and acknowledge our emotions. Like magic when others can do (or pretend to do) that, we feel a sense of belonging. We feel understood and seen in that moment. It turns our trust barometer up, our walls fall and our whole Being relaxes in the presence of a new found 'ally'...
The moment we make ourselves our greatest ally we become authentic.
Authenticity is nothing else but seeking validation against our inner barometer of truth. It is the symptom of a healthy connection to our Self and the limitless well of feeling good no one can disrupt. I have learned time and time again that when something doesn't feel good it is ought to be acknowledged and investigated because the mind lies all the time! Our expectations (the imagined cells detaining others) must fall if we are to ever unite. It simply isn't fair nor realistic to think that if others aren't sharing our view they are against us! True connection (beyond our mind's illusion of our unimportance) is created when we are capable of respectfully holding someone else’s view of reality free of judgment. The Ego will always broadcast its opinion to assert its identity. Open-mindedness is us cracking down on the mind's limitations by finding ways to relate to what we have in common, rather than fighting out our differences in mind blowing ways. The only way to avoid the interrelational headache is to stay present observing those who aren't, instead of pouring more oil onto the opinion bonfire, comforted by knowing that our personal contribution may not be useful, nor valid, after all...
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2022 Michaela Patel