“At other times, the fault may be there, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.”
What the …. is he talking about here, right? I mean, here is some more of that new age esoteric spiritual stuff so many are talking about nowadays. Well, my interpretation of this quote from spiritual leader Eckhart Tolles’s hit book, A New Earth, is that basically what you focus on is what you become. Not so different from the classical and more new age versions of cognitive theory, which is extremely popular in psychology today. Try to find one school that hands out degrees in psychology (graduate or even undergraduate) that does not even mention cognitive theory and its founder Aaron Beck. Cognitive theory, in a very condensed format, says that your thoughts effect your behaviors and feelings, and vice versa. But this post isn’t about cognitive theory. I just mention this to show you the similarities in what various disciplines such as modern psychology and spirituality preach.
In this quote, Eckhart Tolle is basically saying that even though there may be fault in a situation or experience, focusing on it, to the exclusion of everything else, amplifies the negative in yourself as well. Focusing on faults and negatives just brings more faults and negatives in your life. When you focus on negatives and faults in life, whether it be an experience or another person, we start ignoring the positives in that situation or person.
Why is it that some people seem to just go around everywhere being happy and getting so lucky? I am sure we have all had this thought before. “Oh, look at that jerk over there. He is just so lucky and I hate him.” Well, he is not JUST lucky. He is also probably not focusing on faults and negatives. These types of people choose to spend their time being optimistic and focusing on the positives in people and situations. They seriously are looking for that silver lining in every situation.
This is why this type of person is also so nice and sweet all the time, even to the point where it angers other people. “Why are you so calm and level headed when …… happened? Why aren’t you pissed off like I am?” We say these things because we unconsciously want to be like this person in that moment, but we feel that we can’t because we are so blinded by negative feelings such as anger.
“…what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.” So why don’t we make a conscious effort to stop reacting to the perceived negatives in others and thus strengthening these negative feelings in ourselves? Why don’t we start focusing more on the silver lining in difficult situations and the positives in happy situations? My feeling on this is….who cares why we don’t do this already! Just start doing it! Start doing it and trust me you will start feeling SO much better. You will start feeling better to the point that you are even surprised in yourself!
We direct our own lives and what you focus on you become. So let’s start focusing on more positive things in life instead of spending all of our time complaining and yelling about what others are doing wrong or what is not perfect in our lives. Let’s start making an example of how to focus on positivity instead of negativity for others to hopefully one day follow our lead.
I believe in you.
Namaste. God Bless.
— Greek Guru Guy