When we were young, our parents introduced us to the concepts of right &wrong and good & bad. In effect, we ended up inheriting a lot of theirjudgments about the world. When we complied with their view of what wasappropriate, they applauded us and we were rewarded - when we veered offcourse they pronounced us wrong and punished us. The work ofindoctrinating us continued at school.

Over time, most of us decided that applause and reward was preferable tocriticism and punishment so we unwittingly became programmed intobehaving in a certain way and developed the need for approval from thosearound us. Whether we realize it or not most of us want desperately tobe liked and approved of by our teachers, our class mates, our workcolleagues, our friends and of course our families.

We have become 'hooked' on a approval rather like we would do a drug;and provided we continue to get our supply from the people around us, weare happy! But if someone disapproves of us then ... Yes you have it -we upset ourselves! We upset ourselves because we have been programmedto do so when someone disapproves of us, leaves us, divorces us, firesus and of course dies on us!

People have been taught to depend on others for their self worth and notto not value themselves unless they are valued by others.

But there is method in this madness; we live in a culture that is basedon consumerism and the need for approval is what drives us to succeed.To succeed (to be approved of in the eyes of society), you need to keepup with the fashions, to be the best, to have the latest, the largest,the prettiest, the most expensive, the most exclusive - this is whatdrives a society based on consumerism! Of course those that cannotafford to participate in this 'mental construct' otherwise known as'Social Consciousness' are not approved of and therefore judged to belosers!

Take responsibility; think about your life, the relationships you havewith you loved ones, your friends, your work colleagues. Are you able tobe yourself with these people or are you manipulating yourself and themto get what you want from them, be it sympathy, a job or love &affection? Until you stop needing approval from others you will never befree to be yourself.

I would like us to dwell for a moment on another curious quality that isbuilt into our larger reality.

'What goes around comes around.' 'As you sow - so shall you reap.' Thesemetaphors hint at a powerful underlying truth which, like The Law ofAttraction, acts to shape and influence the quality our life experience.I call it the 'Hall of Mirrors' effect!

I do not want to get too deeply into metaphysics here - the furtherstudy that I am going to recommend at the end of this recording willexplain some of these concepts more deeply, if you are interested - fornow I want to give you simple ideas that you can grasp and useimmediately.

Imagine standing in the center of a room whose walls were covered withmirrors. This would mean that wherever you looked all that you would seeis your own reflection.

It would also mean that every time you made a movement or a gesture itwould be reflected back at you. It seems that reality too, is set up inthis way - that is to say - what you do 'out there' to others, isreflected back to you, and what you do for your self, is reflectedoutward to others.

This quality of reality is what Jesus was alluding to when he said "Whatyou do for another you do for yourself" and "What you do for yourselfyou do for another." And more subtly "in as much as you have done forthe least of these my brethren - you have also done for me!"

The underlying truth that I was referring to just a moment ago is - "Weare all One!" And the 'One' is made up of myriad aspects which are 'Us.'The feeling of separation (from each other) is a big and powerfulillusion which causes us to believe that we are disconnected from eachother. This disconnection allows us as individuals to decide who we wantto be in relationship to each other.

YOU cannot define who you are in a vacuum; you are only taller, thinner,fatter, shorter than - someone else. In other words, you need otherpeople so that you can decide who and what you want to be - in relationto them! It's through your relationships with them that you get to bewho you are.

Beneath the illusion of separation we are all very much interconnected,which is why you cannot 'do for another without doing for yourself,'which is why 'what you do for your self you do for another.' Or 'whatgoes around comes around' and 'as you sow so shall you reap.'

To get back to our 'Hall of Mirrors' analogy everything is about YOU andall that you do, think and believe is reflected back to you. You maybelieve that the twenty or so people that you regularly interact withare completely separate from you and superficially they are butfundamentally we are all very much connected.

If you know that reality behaves like a 'hall of mirrors' then you arein possession of another immensely powerful tool with which to fashionyour life experience. Because in any given moment if you want to own andexperience a feeling, be it love, generosity, compassion etc all youhave to do is cause that particular quality to appear in another.Believe me this actually works!

Author's Bio: 

John Watson was a successful financial consultant and owner/CEO of alarge service company. He has spent over 25 years in business. In 1996he decided to teach personal development with special focus on the aimof eliminating stress from people's lives. John was born in London,England but now resides in Montana, USA with his wife, Lisa. The abovearticle is an excerpt from his audio CD entitled 'Reclaiming Your Power'which can be purchased from his website www.themastersjourney.com alsoavailable are individual telephone counseling sessions.