“I am determined to see things differently.”
Part 1: Lesson 21
The idea for today is obviously a continuation and extension of the preceding one. This time, however, specific mind searching periods are necessary in addition to applying the idea to particular situations as they arise. Five practice periods are urged, allowing a full minute for each.
In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present or anticipated, which arouse anger in you. The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage. The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.
Try, therefore, not to let the “little” thoughts of anger escape you in the practice periods. Remember that you do not really recognize what arouses anger in you, and nothing that you believe in this connection means anything. You will probably be tempted to dwell more on some situations than on others, on the fallacious grounds that they are more “obvious.” This is not so. It is merely an example of the belief that some forms of attack are more justified than others.
As you search your mind for all the forms in which attack thoughts present themselves, hold each one in mind and tell yourself:
“I am determined to see _____ (name of person) differently.”
“I am determined to see _____ (specify the situation) differently.”
Try to be as specific as possible. You may, for example, focus your anger on a particular attribute of a particular person, believing that the anger is limited to this aspect. If your perception of the person is suffering from this form of distortion, say:
“I am determined to see _____ (specify the attribute) in _____ (name of person) differently.”