May I suggest that the next time someone causes you to feel defensive, you make it a point to observe yourself and what button just got pushed. It can be an eye opener into your own personality and what’s important to you, sometimes very revealing and an opportunity for growth.
The irony is that what we feel we need to defend, ultimately, is only an illusion. No two people see the same thing in any given situation. When people say life is but an illusion, I don’t think they mean there’s nothing actually there, they mean, whatever is there is seen as something different by each observer. Unobservable by others, therefore an illusion. Everyone sees and understands things from their own perspective which is drawn from a very complex back story which is uniquely their own. Evidence of this is in our own personal experiences.
As one of four daughters in my family, I can say for sure that my sisters and I grew up in completely different households, even though we lived at the same address. We reminisce and compare histories and it’s often shocking to me how we saw our childhoods so differently.
Hot button emotional upset fizzles out when we allow for illusion. For example, in an effort to be as honest as possible with my readers, I have to admit that my biggest hot button is my self image. There, I’ve said it (not easy). When someone says something that causes me to recognize that they’re seeing me in a lessor light than I want to be seen, I experience mind numbing humiliation and irritation. How dare that be what they see or heard me say? What’s wrong with them? Can’t they see what I see?
No, they can’t. They can only see what they can observe through their own life experience and knowledge. I’ve spent a lifetime thinking that people were seeing a lot of good things about me because I received a lot of positive feedback. I’m grateful for that. But, the truth is, people were giving me feedback on what they saw, not on what I thought they were seeing. Because the feedback was mostly positive, I thought I was being understood. I wasn’t, I have no idea what they were seeing. I was just living in my illusion. Everyone is living in their own illusions, it’s just life.
So, what is the benefit of observing your HOT BUTTONS? In my case, self observation taught me that my self image is unimportant to anyone but me. A completely useless waste of life’s energy. What is important is how I live my life without needing the approval of others. Just do what I believe is right and good and let the chips (illusions) fall where they may. It has also caused me to be more generous and understanding of others. After all, what I’m observing of their lives is only an illusion of my mind. Not their reality. None of my business.
The great thing is, since it’s all an illusion, we can choose how we live life. We aren’t stuck in anyone else’s illusion!