When your painful emotions seem to be caused by something outside of you, you are in an illusion. For example, your child falls from a tree, and you feel fear, anxiety, and panic. The fall seems to have caused these emotions, but if you look inside yourself, you will see that they are not new. You have experienced these emotions before, even before you had a child! The fall activated dynamics inside you and they cause the painful emotions that you experience. Other events will continue to activate them until you become familiar with these internal dynamics and move beyond their control.
The fall brings your attention to what you must change inside yourself. Chopping down the tree, scolding your child, and becoming angry at the neighbor who planted it will not change the dynamic in you that caused your painful emotions. Only you can change that dynamic in you. The illusion pulls your attention outward and demands that you change the world. In order to grow spiritually you must direct your attention inward and change yourself. The illusion is that someone or something outside you is responsible for your emotional pain. The reality is that you are responsible for continuing to experience it again and again rather than challenge the source of it in yourself and cultivate the source of loving experiences in yourself. This creates authentic power.