Thinking about the second law of thermodynamics, if the natural order of things in the universe is to be disordered (the high entropy of a natural balance of things) then isn’t what we commonly call order (the low entropy of a highly unstable thing such as life) really DISorder?
Because the human mind is extremely creative and clever and excels at making connections and finding patterns, we humans are capable of believing pretty much anything and everything, at least for a while.
Which means that if what you’ve believed up to now isn’t allowing you to really enjoy your life, then you have the power to see how something else is at least as true and take that new belief out for a test ride for a while to see what it does for your quality of life.
Think of some truth you know that has disturbed you in the recent past, and phrase it in the form of if X then Y. For example, “If my partner ignores (X) me then they don’t love (Y) me.” Or “If I don’t have a normal full time job (X) then my life will suck (Y).” Then insert your X and Y statements into the following reversals to see how true they are, as compared to your old idea. This process and my explanation might not be totally clear and obvious, and that’s ok. Just keep playing and trying different things, and see what happens.
Starting out with your old idea that you believe is true
if X then Y
use the following list to create your new possible ideas to see if you can find the evidence of them being at least partially true. (Note, the negative sign ( – ) means to make that part of the statement into the opposite of the original, so a positive statement becomes a negative, or a negative statement becomes a positive):
if X then -Y
if -X then Y
if -X then -Y
For the previous examples, these would give us the new results of:
if X then -Y
“If my partner ignores me then they DO love me.” The evidence I can find where this would be true is that when someone is feeling destructive and they don’t want to hurt those they love they might choose to avoid their loved ones to protect them from possible harm. Also, when someone is overwhelmed with taking care of their own problems they don’t have the ability to pay attention to their loved one, even though they want to.
“If I don’t have a normal full time job then my life will NOT suck.” The evidence of this being true is that people constantly complain about their job, and vacations are highly valued, and people are always saying “Money can’t buy you happiness.” so not having to go to a job all the time can give you the freedom to do more of what you love and that makes you happy, at least for a while.
if -X then Y
“If my partner DOESN’T ignore me then they don’t love me.” The evidence I can see is that when someone spends ALL of their time paying attention to someone else it’s usually called obsession, and that’s usually thought of as unhealthy objectification rather than healthy love.
“If I DO have a normal full time job then my life will suck.” Clearly there is plenty of evidence of this! Lots of people who have jobs are miserable. And often the more they work the more miserable they become.
if -X then -Y
“If my partner DOESN’T ignore me then they DO love me.” This one often seems similar to the old statement of if X then Y, but it’s not always exactly the same, so try it out anyway to see if you find any surprises. For example, “not ignoring me” includes the set of actions such as yelling at me, lying about me, and “stalking” me, and it is true that people who love each other do sometimes yell, lie about each other, and follow each other around. :-)
“If I DO have a normal full time job then my life will NOT suck.” Again, remember that “not sucking” isn’t necessarily great, as “just kind of boring” is in the set of things that don’t suck, but also isn’t really what you’re aiming for, is it? Having a normal full time job doesn’t guarantee a great life, but it is definitely possible to have a non sucky life with a normal full time job, as evidenced from some people I know who really do love their very normal full time jobs.
So now that you have a general idea of the possible truths available to you when considering what to believe, you can try to find even more, based on your own previous beliefs, especially the ones you’ve been complaining about the most, lately.
Also, for even deeper exploration, consider the other factors in your statements. In the first example I’ve given here, you can also define X as “my partner” and Y as “me/I” so that -X becomes “me/I” and -Y becomes “my partner”, for the possible new truths of “If my partner ignores me then they don’t love themselves.” and “If I ignore me then my partner doesn’t love me.” “If I ignore me then I don’t love my partner.” And you can look at how and when these things might be true. You can do the same for the second example, except use yourself for X and your boss for -X!
In general, inverting the I/me/we vs. you/they/them factors in a statement is often really interesting when it comes to thinking about the complexity of the various relationships in your life.
If you enjoyed this and you want even more of this kind of exploration, check out Byron Katie’s inquiry process called The Work, or NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), or even some math and logic. And if you want help with reordering some of your own truths, feel free to contact me, and I’ll see what I can come up with for you.