One of the principal elements of awareness is thought, especially new thought… concepts. But relative to concepts, people have a tendency that is really dangerous… They ‘get them’ without ‘owning them’.
It is one thing to grasp a concept and another to say that a concept is your truth. For example, I may do a video in which I present the truth that ‘there is no such thing as self-sabotage’. People will listen to the concept and grasp the idea in and of itself. But not stop to find out if it is true for them yet. They don’t consciously figure out how it applies to themselves. They don’t stop to try it on for size and become aware of where and why it does or doesn’t fit for them specifically. Instead, they either reject the concept entirely, forfeiting the opportunity to really question and potentially shift their current truth. Or they accept the concept as the truth, even though parts of themselves don’t agree and so they bulldoze forward even when those parts aren’t on board and don’t actually agree. The first is a recipe for ignorance. The second is a recipe for the loss of selfhood in the realm of personal truth.
To really see this in practice, look no further than super religious households. When most children are born into a religious community, the adults in that community do not usually care if the concepts that are part of their religion align with the child’s personal truth or can be owned by the child. They are not open to any concept that contradicts their current concepts. They only care that the child swallows these concepts and accepts them as true whether they feel it or not. The child learns there are rewards for doing so and consequences for not doing so. When they reach an age where parts of them resist those concepts, that resistance is not directly worked with. It is shamed. So the child learns to let go of personal truth and instead parrots the adult. No aware adult should enjoy it when a child does this. It is critical that a child is able to find his or her truth and if you want what is best for your child, that should be far more important than feeling in confluence with and validated by your child.
Let’s look at both approaches a bit more in depth…
People who simply deny a concept and say it is not the truth straight out of the gate simply because parts of themselves are resisting it, tend to do this most when they perceive that a concept is going to threaten them in some way. For example, a co-dependent is someone who has high levels of shame and therefore is addicted to the feeling of being perceived as a ‘good guy’. When a co-dependent is presented with the idea that co-dependency is covert narcissism, they may immediately, defensively deny it. But in denying it, they will never become truly conscious of the manipulative strategies they have developed in order to get their needs met and will stay trapped in dysfunctional relationship behaviors. Or for example, a person says they were abused by someone else in the family. This contradicts the experience that other family members had with this accused person and threatens to disrupt their sense of a safe reality and concept that the family is ‘the best’ so, they immediately reject the validity of the claim. I don’t need to teach you a lot about this response to concepts or how damaging it can be to yourself and others, because most people really do ‘get’ this one and it is their truth that it isn’t a good response to have to concepts.
People who simply accept a concept as the truth, despite parts of themselves resisting its validity, tend to do this the most when they perceive the person giving them that concept to be superior. Such as more intelligent or excellent in whatever field that truth is coming from. For example, if they see a spiritual teacher as more aware than they are, they will take a spiritual concept and simply accept it as true, without trying it on for size so that concept becomes their truth.
People who do this, tend to keep telling themselves “One day I believe I will understand and embody this,” in essence, creating an ideal that they must grow into that truth because they believe it’s the right thing that a super aligned and integrated human must eventually embody. So, until they do, they see themselves as being in a state of imperfection and aim towards it someday being true for them too. People who do this believe a truth that is given to them by someone they see as superior has to be right for them, regardless of any other part of them protesting. They also tend to feel there is going to be a consequence or reward waiting for them as a result of either succumbing to or not succumbing to the concept they are presented with. In fact, right now, you see a lot of people doing this relative to the Covid-19 safety measures debate. Many people are simply going along with masks and social distancing because someone else said so. Or they feel so much fear and shame to “go against” the concept that masks and social distancing are necessary because people will think they’re an idiot or bad if they don’t just accept that concept as true.
But people who do this end up feeling controlled. They are playing a zero-sum game with themselves internally by suppressing resistant parts and so, they begin to feel unsafe and tend to deflect that unsafety onto the person who presented the concept to begin with.
Also, when things go wrong because of whatever concept they swallowed, instead of taking responsibility, they blame whoever gave them that concept in the first place for ruining their life. This pattern is rampant in spiritual and self-growth circles, especially when someone follows a specific guru. For example, if a psychologist or a spiritual teacher tells you that you’re in an abusive relationship, and you swallow it as true, even though you don’t really see, feel, hear and understand it to the degree that is is your truth that you are in an abusive relationship, you may end the relationship because you “should”. Later, when you miss having a partner and regret it, you will them blame the psychologist or spiritual teacher for causing the break up. To own a truth as your truth, is to take that truth from someone and to make it your own; so that any decisions you make based off of that truth, are your own responsibility. There is a personal solidness and a personal strength to it.
The pattern of accepting a concept as the truth, despite parts of yourself resisting its validity, tends to be a behavior in those who rely on a social strategy of confluence for safety. To comprehend confluence, imagine two streams flowing together, so they are merged as one and in harmony. Confluence feels good to people, however a person who relies on confluence for social safety, does not have a grasp of personal boundaries. For more information about boundaries, watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries Vs. Oneness (How to Create Healthy Boundaries). They are so afraid of any threat to their sense of togetherness and sameness, that they deny any truth that might put them in that position and won’t work with (so as to resolve) any resistance that might indicate opposition, difference or conflict. They tend to be children who coped through conformity with their parents and abandoned their self-hood to do so.
Neither denying a concept straight out of the gate nor accepting it straight out of the gate is healthy. Denying a concept and calling it wrong and false simply because parts of you say ‘it doesn’t resonate’ or isn’t true for you’, makes you stuck and makes you unaware. For more information about this, watch my video titled: The problem with “what resonates” with you. And guess what? Some people do see things you don’t see and are more excellent in a field than you are and are smarter and do know more. To not respect their knowledge enough to really ask “how might this be true” and try it on for size, is superbly unaware. That being said, you should not simply accept what’s supposed to be right and true as right and true. You need to check in with yourself and work with the resistance you have to a concept in order to own it as a truth or not for you personally first. This is the process of trying on a concept for size in order to decide whether or not to own that concept as part of your personal truth. This is what having an open mind is all about. It isn’t having no mind. It is having a mind that is open to change and to the adoption of new truths.
A while ago, I did a video on resistance. If you want to take a look at it, the title is: Urgent! Deal With Your Resistance Before You Do Anything Else. In that video, I explained that resistance is nothing more than opposition. It is any oppositional force. What we do when we feel this opposition either internally or externally is that we either completely go along with our resistance or try to push through it. When we try to push thought it, we ignore it. We do not deal with the resistance directly. Because of this, we actually enhance the resistance because we are in fact resisting our resistance. The rule of thumb is this: If you have any resistance taking place within your being, you must directly deal with the resistance first before doing anything else. No action should be taken from a place of resistance. When you feel yourself putting the breaks on or when you feel yourself not being able to feel fully on board with something, you need to seek and find and understand and resolve your resistance. You have to be honest enough with yourself to admit to it, regardless of whether you feel shame or not.
So here is a concept to try on: Whenever someone presents a concept, you need to take the actual time to sit down with yourself and see if you can own it as true for you or not, before moving forward. It doesn’t work to hope that it is possible to one day succumb to truths that you are presented with by people who are more excellent than you are. For example, if you were to start to learn tennis, just because your tennis instructor is excellent and knows way more than you doesn’t mean that when he teaches you something that you get conceptually, that you need to just do as he says and accept what he says, even if you don’t really ‘get it’. In fact, you should stop and take the time to really get it, so you can own what he is trying to teach you and have you do… So you can make it yours. This way, you can proceed in a state of alignment instead of in a state of resistance. You can’t actually accept or succumb to a truth that you can’t own as your truth. When you try to, you don’t feel good. You feel out of alignment with yourself and whoever is presenting that truth.
It is not fun to try to convey a concept to someone who is simply fully giving into their resistance. But I can tell you that if your intention is to accept assistance in working directly with your own resistance to a concept that is presented, most people will have incredible patience for that process. People who expect you to simply accept what they are telling you, no matter how it lands with you can be very dangerous people.
Another reason that you need to really try concepts on for size rather than to simply accept them, is because you are disowning your own personal truth. When people say “he or she is brainwashed” it is usually because they feel that someone has not owned something as their personal truth and is instead simply repeating someone else’s concepts and ‘saying’ that it is their own, despite internal resistance that everyone else can clearly feel.
Own your free will. You have a self, and thus you have the intrinsic capacity and right to decide what’s really true for you. You are not meant to succumb to concepts or truths. You are meant to try them on so as to decide whether to own them. A truly wise person wants to try on new concepts and really, really work with their own resistance to them so as to arrive at a stronger sense of truth, which they can then own. A truly wise person will not accept a new concept unless they can really own that concept as part of their own truth. And this acts as a safety net.
It is a safety net to commit to not moving forward until you can own a truth as your own. It is to own your power instead of to give it away. It makes it so you are no longer vulnerable to ignorance, nor individuals who would love to have you accept a truth, no matter how it lands with you, so they can manipulate you in their favor, such as cults. If you say, “Teal Swan says” or “Eckhart Tolle says’ or “Jesus says” “Justin Bieber says” or “Donald Trump says”, you are presenting their truth instead of your truth. What people really care about and what you should really care about is: what is your truth and why.
Ask yourself, is it my truth or is it their truth? You should not care whether you ‘get’ a concept. You should care instead whether you ‘get’ that it is true. In other words, what is important isn’t that you ‘get it’ it’s that you ‘own it’. And you should not move forward emotionally, mentally or physically until you arrive at a concept that you can really own and take responsibility for; because in really seeing, feeling, hearing, recognizing and understanding it, you can say that it is your truth. When you try on a concept and work with it (as well as your resistance to it) you arrive at stronger and higher truth. This is what all great philosophers understand. If two people are genuinely interested in arriving at truth and one presents the other with a conflicting idea, either one lets go of their concept and owns the other, or a higher truth evolves out of objectively looking at both concepts. I expect you to open your mind to really try the concepts that I present on and to look deeply into resolving any resistance you have to them. I do not want you to accept what I am saying to you, if it isn’t your truth and if you cannot own it. After all, you can’t actually apply something to you, if you don’t recognize something as your truth!