Archives for posts with tag: self love

How you see the world can change so quickly based on the clarity of your perception. 

What once was a bad thing can be later seen as a blessing. Sometimes when people behave badly it’s a simple sign that they are where they are and are unprepared for the kind of truthful engagement that you might need from relationships or interactions. And most of the time, it isn’t even personal. 

The world is full of people with their stories. For many, they would be lost without them.

Some tragedies are remedies in disguise. Finding the good is a powerful act of self care and love.
My best to you….

Healing work can only come through a brutal self honesty….also referred to as “radical self honesty.”  This is because of how  adept we are at ducking responsibility for how we react and respond to others around us.  Until you are able to get to this deep level of honesty about what is happening, you will be unable to heal. It seems that only this kind of self examination is the prerequisite to true healing.

Not long ago I was able to heal something pretty important in my life.  I had been told for years that I might just have to find a way to forgive the person who was part of the issue that has been involved.  It sounds reasonable to think this, and I think that in some cases, it works.  But what I have found is that the only path to true healing is by forgiving yourself.  Why?  It seems that karma has to do with you, not the world.  This is the radical side to being honest.  If something was your problem, then forgiving another person would not heal the karma.  The only way is to inquire within not without. If the problem really is about how you felt, then forgiving another is like lying to yourself, the same act as projecting all of your junk on another when that junk should be examined as your own baggage, not the other way around. On a karmic level, it is dishonest to try and saddle another person for your own shit, but sadly this is what we all do at some point or another.  My recent healing was in learning not to be reactive to those who would try to make their own shit my problem.  I simply stopped responding, stopped reacting.  This small simple thing gave me enough breathing room in my spirit to effect the release of something that has dogged me for so long.  It worked because it was true.  The soul knows the truth even when the personality does not.  You can’t bullshit yourself into the truth.  You just can’t.

I was also talking with an old friend and teacher from my college days today.  I had reached out to see how she was after she had gone through a PhD program and went from doing art to a big change into mediation work with inner city kids.  Something told me that something was up and that I needed to check in after a couple of years of being out of touch.  I recently contacted another old teacher in the same way recently to express to him how his teaching had impacted my creative life.  He died about six months after I told him this.  Life waits for no one.  So I jumped on this and acted because, well, you just never know.

We wound up in a conversation about the trials she has been going through with family.  She explained how this other person was the source of so much pain in her life.  Gently, through a series of turns, I explained how important it was to learn to see these things in a different way.  I began with a simple quote by Wayne Dwyer which states that how someone else acts is their karma, and how YOU react to them is your karma.  Do you get that small but important difference?  No one ever makes you feel any way at all, except that we each choose, yes choose, to feel the way we do.  After all, I explained, she could easily have a sibling who, going through the exact same thing might just wave off the same behavior as something not worth worrying about when it comes to that other person.  I see this all the time. I saw it in my family, I have seen it in class mates in college, and I have seen it in my children, too.  Two children living the same kind of life see and react completely differently.  The difference is in how we choose to feel.  Simple.  But people continue to want to see that it is the other person’s fault for HOW they MAKE them feel.  No, no one MAKES you feel anything.  YOU make YOU feel.  That is how things work.  Knowing this and living this truth is the only way to get out of the emotional and spiritual prison that we often find ourselves in, in our lives.

The problem with how we normally go about this way of relating is that we make everyone around us responsible for our feelings.  Normal sensitivity aside, we each have a choice.  I explained to her that by thinking and acting this way she not only misdirected her awareness, she also gave her sibling the power that she now has over her, which she has such a glitch now in dealing with.  It has resulted in a pretty big block emotionally for her, and she wound up revealing the severity of how she felt (which wound up being the most honest thing she could have done during our talk).  But the challenge is that she has this block that goes way back to her past, an issue she knows comes from when she was a small child. And the problem with these old repressed and blocked emotions is that they emerge in our adult lives with the same level of maturity in them as when they were shoved down and repressed to begin with.  Now imagine having a feeling that haunts you that was designed by a three year old. No perspective, lots of drama, and me, me, me. That is the kind of thing you get over and over until the issue is healed.  Can you imagine just how hard it would be to have to deal with the merry go round of feeling  something like this?

Until we can get really honest with ourselves about what is at work within ourselves, these repressed emotions simply keep playing themselves over and over seemingly with no end in sight, no resolution.  People die or move away and so often we feel like they are the people that we need in order to work this out with.  But this is the trick that keeps every  one of us in the game of our karmic entanglements.  She even asked me if she could clean this mess up if one or more of the people involved had passed from this life.  The answer was a firm “Yes!” because even though someone does die in the body, their soul lives on (and besides, the karma is not on THEM, it is on the person who owns it).

To do this, you just need radical honesty perhaps for the first time ever.  Take a moment and stop thinking about how someone pushes your buttons or upsets you and focus on how you wind up reacting to them. It is here, in how you actually do choose to react, that the problem emerges….for you.  Trust me, the way to healing all of this is by doing this.  When you hear yourself saying the words, “But he made me feel so rotten, so terrible….” STOP!!  Stop right there and back it up a little and look at what is happening here.  No, they are not the one who has power over you.  You have the power.  You have the power to find a way to release this so that YOUR issues cease entering into the marketplace of emotion.  You can go from being upset to realizing that this is just their stuff and has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  Pity the soul who must make another responsible for how they feel.  How powerless a state is that to be in?

The first step in authentic healing work is to clear up this one issue first.  If you are used to being the victim in life, this will be a hard one to overcome.  It will take time and training your mind to see things differently. But as you do, you will increasingly begin to breathe the fresh air of freedom instead of the stale air of dependency.  We have to be very clear about whose stuff is whose stuff.  My friend described a dream she had in the wake of a difficult encounter with her sibling that involved someone having pooped all over her yard.  Even in her dreaming she was aware that bad stuff was happening, but she was focused on the poop coming from someone else.  In the end, the shit was hers.  By going back into the dream, I explained, and imagining herself cleaning it up without making it anyone’s problem but her own, it would be one important way to cement just whose poop is whose, and then it would change the terms of engagement forever.  But I know how hard it is to shift so radically in order to see it this way.

Now mind you, I was the gold standard in shifting the blame at one point in my life.  I saw where it got me: nowhere.  Even though I did believe that others were responsible for my happiness, I learned that there is a different way, a more realistic way, and it is in our grasp.  When you can do this, this radical reorientation of the self, then things can change pretty quickly.  We each deserve this honesty even as we fear what its implications might be.  But the fear is unfounded.  Why we fear being honest might come from the fear of the unknown, or of upsetting others, or getting hurt by those who cannot or wont hear the truth.  But those who cannot bear the truth are probably not anyone that you could stand to be with in any significant way.  In the end, it is the greatest compassion you can pay yourself, something that might be hard, but is the greatest act of self love you can give yourself.  This really isn’t about anyone else but you, and the buck must stop here.

May you cast a great light in your life….

No teacher can provide you with what is not already within you.  No one confers anything that you already are.  The great illusion of teachers and authorities is that they hold something that you, yourself, do not already have.  We fool ourselves into thinking this is so through our belief, that we must “get” something from another when all along, it is within us.  By no longer seeking to allow another to be the harbinger of that, we actually free ourselves in a way that goes beyond all the old paradigms that place each of us at a disadvantage, however small or seemingly inconsequential.  Doing so leads to authentic personal power.  This is something so incredible, no one can ever take it from you, for you never entered into any kind of agreement that sought to share that power, or borrow it, or rent or loan it in any way.  Some want to call this the warrior path because of how it is so clear, how it takes what is its own, but it is not that.  This is the human path.  It is the greatest truth never told.  To find it, you must search for it yourself.  Not just search, but find, then hold and embody it.  You do not look beyond yourself for the glory that is your own being.  There is nothing quite like it in anyone on this earth.  I ask you; why cheapen it by leaping over the fence in your own backyard in favor of the grass next door.  Yet we do this constantly.  You don’t have to, not anymore.  What you win from doing this is immeasurable.  And it is yours.

When you get this, you free yourself to see clearly how what is within is without.  The world is a mirror of you, for you.  You need only look.  You need only bear awareness in the moment and really see the world that turns in your day-to-day.  What do you see?  Now as you see, feel into what you see, seek its innards, its soul, its heart.  Seek the world from its insides and what you find there is you.  It isn’t that there isn’t anything there but  you, but that this universe is just that miraculous a thing that energy attracts its own.  Don’t like it?  Be the change you wish to see and I promise, it will indeed be. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, for moving out of the prison of your own feeling is but a breath away.  What is it that is in us that needs the crutch of others?  We do not believe in ourselves.  We do not honor and love and even cherish ourselves enough in order to see it, or find it.  But it is there.  Always.

Not long ago there was a movie about this very issue.  I have not seen it, but I know others who have. I know enough about it to know that it is a story about an ordinary man who was a maker of documentary movies who dressed up like a guru and people flocked to him, believed in his made-up stories.  He transmitted a blue light to them as a kind of blessing and the people saw the blue light.  He told them that the guru was within, all the while his students would ask him, “Yes, but what do you think?” This is the story of Vikram Gandhi.  This is perhaps the hardest of lessons for us to learn.  It is so engrained in us, to wake up from it is what we each will resist, many of us, until the moment happens.  And then it happens again, and again, until we have shed that which keeps us separated from that one great light that exists within ourselves.  Knowing it leads to imperishabillity.

kumare

The way to living an authentic life begins very simply. It has to.  there is a lot of BS you have to sort through.  But start, you must.

Authenticity is not about fear.  fear, even the smallest niggling fear of how the neighbors might interpret your intense love of plaid as being WEIRD, so you hesitate buying plaid wall paper because you think other people think you are crazy to want or like that.  This is not authentic. A big part of being authentic is not being fearful or letting your reflecting on what other people think get in the way of what you do, how you feel, who you are, and what you ultimately become.

But it’s also not about rebelling and taking a giant machete to your surroundings.  You don’t hack off arms and the limbs of those hanging out in your plaid-less jungle.  No.  You change. If those who were there before the change do not like it, they will move on. It could be a very peaceful transition.  Most often, it isn’t.  People want to hurt you or say things to hurt you because they are simply so dysfunctionaly cast into their memes that they can’t honor that it’s not plaid-ville (or whatever it is that you need to do to change your life for the better, for the more authentic).

Second, don’t expect the authentic life to be some granite edifice to your unwavering greatness.  Your authentic life will change.  Perhaps

Image © Stafford Artglass, Parker Stafford

Image © Stafford Artglass, Parker Stafford

day-to-day.  Week to week. Maybe it changes once and NEVER changes (okay, you are an unusual dinosaur bird and welcome to the 21st century, we want to study you….from a distance!)  Give yourself the flexibility to do whatever changes you need to do.  Allow yourself to be wrong.  Allow yourself to be right.  Don’t pretend to know everything that is in this enchilada because that, too, will change.  All of it.  Tomorrow we might be eating kabob or something.  Lamb.  Quail.  Cactus fruit.  Tangerine and coconut.

Authenticity lies in you.  I can tell you all sorts of things but unless you find it, you haven’t found it.  You are always seeking it if you are indeed seeking it.  Otherwise, maybe not so much.  What I am saying is that this is a constant state of becoming, so be ready for that. Be ready for what that means.  It means not taking yourself so seriously.  Besides, it makes you look stiff and that kind of brittleness does not look good on you (holds up a different colored suit and dress to compare and ushers you into the dressing room quietly to try on the new pair of clothes).

Be ready for people not liking you and not seeing what you are doing as anything worthy.  However, those that matter will see that what you are and who you are as being authentic is a good thing not because you are somehow different but simply because you are being you.  For you.  And the people who are attracted to that kind of person for that kind of reason are a rare breed of animal, different from the vast masses of followers and pretenders.  Lost children.  Angry.  Frustrated.  The people who like you for you….who do not feel any need to change you but to see you be all the more you are more of the same.  Authentic.  Not everyone is ready for the awesomeness of this.  Don’t let it trouble you. I have people who wont speak to me because of this.  Too bad, but really, if I spent my time pacing the halls and weeping, where would that get me?  Nowhere.

Life is not a popularity contest.  Any great artist who was ahead of his or her time will tell you this, each of them from the grave.  Its not about being recognized for your greatness, its just being YOU as the greatness that you are. So maybe that means plaid wallpaper and maybe it doesn’t.  I am hoping maybe it doesn’t, but then, that shouldn’t matter to you, right?  Your greatness will not be because of any other reason than you are THAT.  Don’t go looking for recognition because you have already recognized it in the only way that really matters.  the world, what does it know?  When does the world know cool when it sees it, or awesome, or marvelous, or beautiful or handsome? As soon as the world has caught on, its like disco was in the 70’s.  It was so yesterday.  If we worry about a trend or catching on, we wont every really authentically live in the moment.  Most recognition, then, comes at the very tail end of an era just as those who were there in plaid (or whatever else they were being authentic about) was getting ready to change.  That’s why you really can’t go chasing things.  No chase.  BE.  Butterfly come to you, not you chase butterfly. Wax on, wax off.

If you follow this and not worry about outcomes, you are going to find yourself and really that is all that matters.  When you can find yourself, you will find others who have also found themselves.  You do not find the found amongst the lost.  Are you lost?  You aren’t going to find those who have found themselves in the sea of lost swimmers.  Their time will come when it occurs to them to give up whatever it is they are doing that is keeping them from authentically swimming or living in this vast sea of everything.  I know; it is simple: just be yourself.  Be ready to watch as vast skeins of yarn comes unraveling off of you.  It has to.  It no longer fits….and now must be rewound or chucked completely. So much stuff that you thought was you….sitting like the old objects in your attic that you could never bring yourself to get rid of.  And yet, in chucking them, they are never missed.  Really, why were you carrying all that baggage anyway?

Oh, and I almost forgot; this authenticity thing, it is also a path toward self-love.  Not selfish love, not narcissism, but rather honoring the self you are in the very best way it deserves.  Okay, you can now take off the plaid and try on this new suit to see if it suits you….

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