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Gabor Mate ⏐ We respond to a perception of what happens

(Video in English, subtitles in Portuguese and Spanish)

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- I ask people to tell me some recent episode when they get upset with
somebody with their lives and something that they’re open to sharing
so it doesn’t have anything stored it everything but just sending out
whether it’s a spouse partner or the bus driver I don’t care
- Sure!
- ... or a friend… So what happened?
- All right! There were a number of issues in my home and I had hired
someone to do these things right while I was gone and I came back and
none of them were fixed.
- OK. And your emotional reaction was?
- Anger!
- Anything else besides anger?
- I was disappointed.
- Disappointed is sadness.
- Let’s go with that.
- So I’m going to ask you a silly question. What we you certainly angry
about?
- Well, angry that someone had made commitments to me and not fulfill
those commitments.
- What does that mean that they didn’t fulfill their commitments?
- Uh… It meant that they didn't care about me; that they didn’t
respect me.
- So they didn’t care about you and didn’t respect you. What kind of
person doesn’t get cared or respected?
- I don’t know. Someone who doesn’t deserve to be cared for respected.
- Exactly. Are there other reasons why this other person might not have
done the work that has nothing to do with him or her not caring about
you or not respecting you? So what those reasons might be?
- Uh… He had a flight delay got caught in Puerto Rico during
hurricane…
- … and he’s got ADHD and he can’t follow through and any number of
possibilities. Now, of all the possibilities that you just outlined,
including that they don't care about you or respect you,
which is the worst one?
- The one I immediately defaulted to.
- So let’s notice something. First, you... I should say “we” because
we are all like this, we don’t respond to what happens. We respond to
our perception of what happens.
- Right!
- After what Buddha said: “It is with our minds that we create the
world”. Number two: of all the possible interpretations, we choose the
worst one. Third: what I just said isn’t true; we didn’t choose it.
It’s not like you went through all these possibilities and you said…
- It was a multiple choice and I choose option D.
- Oh no, he doesn’t care about me and he doesn’t respect me.
You didn’t do that. Your brain jumped there automatically, right?
My question is why? First time in your life that you felt hurt and angry
that you perceived somebody didn't care about you
and didn’t respect you?
- It is not the first time.
- Very good. And most people I talk to, it goes back way back.
- Yeah, this goes way back.
- Into childhood. And that’s what trauma is. We don't respond to the
present moment. We respond to the past. So who’s the one that doesn’t
care about you and who is the one that doesn’t think you are
worthy of respect?
- Oh, it would be me.
- It would be you. So that’s the learning, and that’s the beauty of healing,
is that when you reframe things and you actually see the source within
ourselves, all of a sudden that is liberating. Because guess what?
If you’re feeling that way because this guy did this or didn’t do that,
that makes you a victim. But if you see that you are the source,
now you’re powerful.
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