So...is the glass
half full or half empty?Whichever way
you answered, are you really sure?Do
you want some more time to think about that before answering?
We are taught to
perceive the world, and all that is around us, in a certain way, and by and
large we never ever question those perceptions.
The drawback is that often those perceptions,
and the conclusions we draw from them about our lives, are based solely on an
artificially static state that has no bearing on reality, a reality that is in
constant ebb and flow, and changing from moment to moment.Even we are constantly changing, and the you
that just read these words is not even the same you that read the first line.
In our example, we
claim that the glass is in a certain state and assume that state never changes,
nor can it be changed. Yet, the glass is
never half empty or half full, it is only ever 100% full, perhaps not full of
the exact same substance, but nonetheless, it is always completely full.Even when the glass appears to us to be
completely empty, it is still 100% full of air.
We lock into a
particular way of viewing the glass and its contents, and are hard-pressed to
view it in any other manner, even though there are unlimited ways of looking
at, and describing, the glass and its contents.
And the state the
glass definitely has the ability to change, and is constantly changing.The glass can be filled with liquid, it can
be filled with a solid, it can be filled with a combination of materials and
substances, it can be filled with only air, it can be filled an unlimited
number of times without changing the essence of the glass at all.
But, the one thing
the glass cannot be is emptied.We can
remove the liquid, solids, or the air, but the glass hasn’t been emptied, its
contents have merely been replaced with other contents.
When we experience
a “loss” in our lives, our lives haven’t been “emptied” at all.We’ve merely had the contents of our lives
shifted and replaced with other contents, so that our lives are always filled
Earlier this year,
I was watching some old movies, including some great cinema classics. Almost
each one had the following line somewhere in the movie: “If you really love [him/her],
While that line is
great for creating tension and drama in movies and books, it is extremely
dangerous when used in real life.
The line gives the
impression that the speaker loves, and is concerned about, an individual (or in
some instances, it refers to themselves) and it is out of this love and concern
for that individual that they are addressing the other person. However, what
the line really reveals is the speaker's fear.
If they truly cared
so much, they wouldn't be trying to manipulate another person into making a
decision, or taking an action, that the person obviously doesn't want to make,
and that would only be in the perceived best interests of the speaker, not the
other people involved.
others out of fear, the speaker tries to either keep the status quo, or ensure
an outcome that will make the speaker - not the other people - happy and
feeling secure.In fact, the true
feelings and wishes of the others are not even a consideration for the speaker,
despite what they may profess, because this line is usually brought out during
a “secret” conversation between the speaker and other person that must be kept
hidden from the individual in question.
Now, the speaker
could fear any number of things, depending on their relationship to the
individual: that the individual will abandon them for someone else, that the
individual will make a horrible mistake, that the individual is growing too
independent and doesn’t need their guidance or assistance any more, that the
individual is not willing to fulfill the speaker’s dream for them and their
Any time that line
is used, and fear prevails, it is to the determent of all parties involved, and
creates more problems than whatever the speaker is trying to prevent.
“If we did not
believe in fear in the first place, no one could control anyone.” - James van