Before I knew how the thought-feeling system worked, I found myself in this predicament a lot. It was not only when my life partner was angry, it was also happening when I was angry.

I was so angry and hurt, I didn’t know I was feeling my thinking. I thought I was feeling something my partner had done. After all, he didn’t get home in time so I could go to my meditation group! And he didn’t even bother to call to tell me to say he would be late!

Now, the world looks very different to me. When I hear another, or myself, pointing fingers and saying, “I would feel better if you would just…” Or “I don’t understand how you can treat me this way!” Or my favorite one, “I am not enjoying our interaction, we need to work on this issue.”

When I hear words along these lines, I remind myself “the world only looks this way because I am feeling my thinking.” When my life partner says, “I am not enjoying our interaction” that is a reflection of his thinking and his feelings about his thinking. It doesn’t mean anything about me.

So here is when the words of the great spiritual teachers really come in handy. The reminder to love your enemy is so much easier to feel, in the midst of his glare, when I know he is reflecting his own thinking.

Since I know what it is like to be caught in my own thinking, to look out at the world and feel the darkness of the lens I am looking out of, I know that I am no different then him and he is no different then me. We are human, human beings with a system that brings our thinking to life. None of it is real, none of it means what we think it means.

So the next time you are in the middle of a heated discussion with the person you share your life with, ask yourself, “How do I know what I am seeing is real? What if the only thing I can experience is my own thinking of this person? What if my thinking is way off?”

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