“Are you an idiot?”
That moment…was an unforgettable moment. My lecturer had called me an idiot in front of her whole class – all because she was exasperated that she was called to teach at the last minute, felt inadequate and rushed and irritated and she took it out on me. For me, I was just the unlucky blub that needed to ensure that the computer lab is locked before I leave SO THAT NO COMPUTER GOES MISSING.
I recall someone (let’s call him Mr. A) screaming into the phone at me, because apparently I had screwed up his plans to buy for a special person an expensive watch, because, in his opinion – the person is old now, “should enjoy having luxuries”. Unbeknownst to the person receiving the gift, Mr. A has emotionally blackmailed other parties to share with him the gift by promising the recipient that everyone else will share – which I disapprove of. If Mr. A wants to buy the gift, go ahead. No one’s stopping you, but don’t promise on behalf of another.
Just the other other day in church, I was seated with my wife during a regular service when I realized that a person on my right was shifting uncomfortably and trying her best to move as far as she can from me. Hey, all the chairs are connected, I’m seated as close to my wife, so there’s nothing weird that I was doing to her – but she seemed genuinely uncomfortable, and sat such that she would be the greatest distance from me, and eyed be super suspiciously, even though I was holding my wife’s hands and taking notes of what the preacher was saying.
Event 01 happened in 2003, but I had since forgotten about it as it’s been some time. Event 02 happened around July 2013, but had remained unresolved at this point of writing. Event 03 happened on 7/9/2013.
When those events happened, especially the earlier events 01 and 02, I had gotten so angry to an extent that I decided to smother and hide them deep into my heart, so that I won’t have any outbursts of anger or disappointments. They were rather painful events to me then, and I think they were unnecessary and unwarranted – there seems to be no real purpose for the perpetrators to do that, other than to hurt me, out of spite.
Yet, when Event 03 happened, initially what went through my mind was a flurry of defensive thoughts, such as:
- what’s wrong with this person?
- did I do something wrong to irritate her?
- did I or my feet smelled bad?
And gradually, and I pondered a little more, perplexed…something started to unravel and clicked within me.
I realized this: their subjective reality was not mine, and thus I need not align myself to realize their subjective and perceived reality. I don’t have to react nor become like what they do, because it’s their reality, not mine.
I think this is a very powerful revelation and concept to me, personally. It’s liberating. In a nutshell,
I reject your version of reality, subjective or perceived, and replace it with my own.
That’s really it.
- I don’t have to feel anxious when another is anxious.
- I don’t have to get angry when another person tries to make me angry.
- I don’t have to lie when I know the other is lying to me.
It’s all subjective, and I don’t have to follow or listen to their subjective or perceived reality. What intrigues me is that when I got into this “awareness of subjective reality” mode, my anger and frustrations immediately melted away, leaving behind a peace and understanding.
It’s currently still a new understanding and ground for me, and I’d like to explore this a little more.
Anyone has an idea of what I’m talking about? What do you think?
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I’m the founder and writer here at NigelChua.com; as well as serial entrepreneur, therapy business entrepreneur, digital entrepreneur, investor and also happy husband, father and Christian.
Started and sold off a business for 7-figures; built another 7-figure one and growing it further, plus building/investing into other businesses and investments as well as advisory works.
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