Last week, I opined on one of the MKMMA fora that my electronic devices were distracting me. Then, as I continued reading the Master Key System and I realized something profound: all external conditions are simply manifestations of one’s internal world (Master Kay, Lesson 1, Paragraph 8). Therefore, if my devices were distracting me, it’s because I was internally distractible.
Oh no! I had to take ownership of all the distracting elements of my current life. They’re there because I created them. My iPad can only distract me insofar as I desire to be distractible. My computer or TV likewise.
This is great knowledge, but it’s a little distressing. I mean, really!?! I have to take ownership of every aspect and condition of my life? I can’t just sit here and be a victim? Well, clearly, if I really want what I say I want (achievement, success, etc.), then I have to own my life, starting from my internal world.
The good news here for me, and for everyone, is that taking ownership is the beginning of real (and relatively easy) change. For example, I was almost instantly able to tell myself that morning is not the right time to play iPad solitaire. And, of course, it is never time for that until the day’s work is well and truly done.
More importantly, I can now begin to improve myself in ways that will immediately improve my primary interpersonal relationship: my marriage.
Case in point: conflict. Reasoning from the foregoing, conflict flows from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Application: as I remove (and/or stop sowing) the seeds of marital conflict, I should see a dramatic drop in the frequency and intensity of conflict in my marriage.
Conclusion: I will be immediately better off the sooner I find and eradicate in my internal world the seeds of marital conflict.
Result: I began almost immediately to perceive feelings in myself that were previously inscrutable. For example, in a certain case, I felt put-upon by the possibility my wife would leave to me alone the execution of a planned event. That came across in my communication. Though the words of the communication were innocent enough, the unexpressed accusatory emotion underlying them was incendiary.
Here, then, is the key to the Arbinger Institute’s “box.” Harmony within can never manifest in disharmony without. And I can create harmony within by taking full ownership of my inner world. Thank you, God, for giving me the insight to understand at least this much of the Master Key System!by