Not Upset

You are not upset about what you think you are upset about.

It’s a key ACIM motto, based on the basic premise of a Miracle being a change in perception towards a broader view of the world. Miracles happen when you learn to see them, not when something you wished happens.

It’s easy to think we are upset because “they” didn’t do they right thing. But in the end, we are upset because we are frustrated or angry or hurt somewhere deep inside of us.

Sure, others could have acted in a way that didn’t trigger us, didn’t push our buttons, but they acted from their own reasons, their own fears, their own limits. Their actions weren’t about us, even if they acted out and tried to hurt us. Their actions were about their own pain and rage and unclear thinking.

Our buttons, on the other hand, are all about us. They are the tips of the icebergs of subsumed fear we hold inside of us, and when they get jostled, they jostle everything inside.

We can’t directly control how “they” act. But we do have some control over how we feel, using the miracle of perceptual change to understand ourselves in context.

You are not upset about what you think you are upset about. You are upset because what you think you are upset about brings up deep and unhealed stuff in you. When you use your own mighty view of the world to tell others how they are wrong, for example, you aren’t angry at their actions, rather you are upset by how their actions bring up the hurt and deep pain inside of you.

Even if someone changes their actions to not push your buttons, that doesn’t take away the fear beneath them, the fear of separation and disconnection that lies within us. That discomfort stays real, ready to rear up at the next disappointment or frustration.

This makes it almost impossible for people to engage you, because they can’t get to what is really upsetting you because you can’t get there. They try to put the aggravation into context, but as long as you think you are righteously upset at someone who wronged you, rather than upset because something deep was irritated and reopened, you can’t get a handle on the real pain and frustration and rage, can’t see it in context.

When people get angry, they always have a reason, and that reason always has roots in reality. “They” really did something stupid, did something they shouldn’t have done, did something that was inconsiderate, rude or even destructive. There is always bit of reality there.

But the deeper reality is that what you are upset about isn’t what you think you are upset about. Being upset about them can’t get you disturbed to the core; only being upset about you and your feelings can touch you that deeply.

You have the right to feel that pain, rage and frustration, of course. You just don’t have the right to take it out on others, however you do it, from flying fists to a cutting tongue. Your pain is real, but you have no right to create pain in others because you are hurting.

You are not upset about what you think you are upset about.

You are upset because you hold deep wounds that tear at you everyday and are very hard to heal in this fast paced, surface oriented world. You really do suffer, especially when you expect people to respect your space, your dignity and your pain and they do not. They think of themselves, because they don’t have the compassion and wisdom to see through your eyes. Heck, they barely have the compassion and wisdom to see through their own eyes and understand how they hurt.

The world will always disappoint and surprise us. The ego wants to deal in shoulds and expectations, projecting a future, but the only thing we can control in this world is our own choices. Weather, disease, rudeness and more will come our way, but so will love, affection, affirmation and delight. To be open to the world is to be open to the good and the bad, knowing that we can’t tell which is which at first. Our expectations will always be frustrated, so holding them causes suffering as the Buddha says. And when we suffer, we can lash out, even in elegant ways.

You are not upset about what you think you are upset about. And it’s your job to go deep and engage your own pain so you can engage your own healing. No one else is responsible for your healing.

When you get the miracle of new seeing, well, thats when you can get the miracle of new and freer life, even if others see that life as less driven than they would like.

You are not upset about what you think you are upset about, no matter how your ego finds good and rational reasons to convince you your upset is about “them” and not about your own deep upset.

You just aren’t.