I recently watched a short video clip by Eckhart Tolle. He shared the following: Whenever you have become defensive about something, know that you have identified yourself with an illusion. [course of miracles]. The knowing is not part of the illusion. In the knowing, you are free of the illusion.
I've had a lot of episodes of defensiveness in my life. Wanting to be right, wanting to be heard, wanting to make a point.
All of these are ok, except when I begin to lose myself in the actions. Identifying and escalating my position through anger, hostility, frustration. Infusing my actions with this energy.
Yet, I can also make a point, take a stand, be heard, without losing myself. In fact I'd have a lot more clarity in my approach, interactions with others, and peace, when I don't lose myself.
What are some triggers that have brought me to losing myself, and identifying with the thought? It's almost always what someone says, or so it seems. If I take a step back I will recognize it's not what they said, it's what I'm thinking or believing based on what they said (as how Byron Katie puts it).
If it was what they actually said, then that would mean they are controlling what I think and how I feel. Then I'm ultimately losing myself, at the mercy of someone saying something that makes me happy, makes me sad, makes me angry, etc.
Once I see it's not what that person says, it's what I'm thinking and believing, I can have a handle on the situation. I can choose how to react or respond.
I can take a few conscious breathes, see the numerous thoughts coming and going, and choose the thoughts that resonate with my spirit. While letting the other thoughts go. Recognizing not all thoughts are true, and the ones that unnerve me, shake me, scare me, are always not true. The ones that bring peace and comfort are true.
Inner peace, love, harmony, is my true self, and from that place I can recognize old thought patterns that go against this, and create and develop new patterns.