There is a little boy. His mom was a stay at home mom and his dad was a lawyer. His parents have decided to get a divorce. They move into different houses. The boy has to go back and forth. Because they got a divorce, the mother had to start working and so the boy is put in daycare. He only sees his dad on weekends.
In this little boy’s reality, he has lost his parents and his sense of home. His dad is now inaccessible to him. And so is his mother. He has no stability. He is now forced to spend the day with strangers. He has lost the life that he loved. He is in pain and he is afraid. But there is no resolution for this. There is no resolution because in his parent’s reality, they are both still there for him. They are both accessible to him. They have gotten a divorce, which hurts, but it was for the better since they were both unhappy in the marriage. In their reality, everything between them and their son is fine. He is being taken care of. Because this is their reality, when this little boy starts getting nose bleeds (the non physical cause of nosebleeds is needing one’s pain that is not being acknowledged to be seen) and when he starts acting differently, they assume that something must be wrong with the boy. They can’t see what is actually causing these reactions in the boy because what is actually happening to him doesn’t fit into their perception of his reality. They are not actually seeing his reality. They are only seeing their own. And in their reality, the boy’s actual reality cannot be accommodated.
There is an emotional grand canyon between this child and his parents. In fact, there is no relationship between this boy and his parents because they occupy different realities. In a world where we can have different experiences of the same situation, we have different perceptual realities. If we cannot acknowledge, see, feel, hear, understand and accommodate each other’s realities by seeing them as real, There is no relationship. There is only the illusion of a relationship. There is only the promise and potential of a relationship.
For this Grand Canyon to go away between this boy and his parents, his parents would have to see that from his perspective, the fact that he has lost his home and lost access to his parents and lost stability and is now in lots of pain because of what he lost is REAL. Just because they are right that they still love him and they haven’t abandoned him and the divorce was for the best doesn’t make his reality any less real. If they can’t do this, they cannot make any of the changes necessary to help this boy to feel better. They cannot resolve the rupture in their closeness. Anything they say or do will merely be an invalidation of him. Anything they say or do will simply condemn him to being stuck in that pain and that fear with no resolution. The entire relationship is a gaslight. The parents inability to see, hear, feel and understand their son’s reality makes it so they constantly make him believe what he sees, he doesn’t see accurately, what he hears, he doesn’t hear accurately, what he feels, he shouldn’t feel and that his reality is not real.
I want you to imagine that your right leg is shattered. Your left leg is fine. Your left leg’s reality is that it feels fine. Your right leg’s reality is that it is in agony. If the left leg is unwilling to acknowledge that the right leg’s reality is agony, it may try to run a race. It does this because it wants to run. To acknowledge that the right leg is shattered and is in agony would mean that it would have to change something. It couldn’t go forward with running without making some kind of change first. And if it did, it would have to live with the reality that it is an abuser of the right leg. To avoid seeing itself in that light and to avoid having to change, it simply decided not to see the reality that the right leg is in agony and is shattered.
I did a video a while ago called “The Most Dangerous Parallel Reality”. In this video, I explain the mechanism of parallel perceptual realities and why they are so dangerous. I want you to watch that video when you are done with this article.
The unwillingness to occupy the same reality or accommodate each other’s reality is an epidemic in our relationships. Because our own realities were not seen, felt, heard, understood or accommodated, we either live our lives in torment (and some of us do) or we disconnect from other people’s realities too and become the problem. We cope by solidifying our own reality to the degree that we do not perceive the realities of others. We decide they aren’t real. Our relationships become a battle of reality vs. reality. And if we have grown up in this kind of split reality where no relationship actually exists, we become a match to relationships in our adulthood where there is also a split reality between ourselves and our partner. There is no actual relationship at all.
Using the previous analogy, if the parents try to get the boy to accept their reality as his reality in the divorce scenario, not only is it an invalidation of his reality, the reality is that he will not be able to because doing so does not address any of the pain he is in. It brings no resolution.
From the outside, we can see that the parents are right from their perspective and the boy is right from his perspective and neither perspective invalidates the other. They are playing different roles and these different roles come with different experiences. But we can also see that if these parents don’t accept his reality, the relationship between them is doomed.
I did a video called get on the same page. I strongly encourage you to watch that video if you haven’t already or even to watch it as a refresher. The unwillingness to accommodate each other’s realities and respond directly to those realities is the greatest from of different page you can be on in a relationship.
Now this is where I’m about to give you the holy grail of this concept… A relationship is actually only ever as good and strong as the perceptual reality of the person who is in the most pain in the relationship. This is the reality that matters. The negative perceptual reality is where the separation in the relationship actually exists. It is not the positive perceptual reality that is the problem. It is not the positive perceptual reality that needs something to be done and needs resolve. By not accepting that person’s ‘relationship reality’ so to speak you are condemning them and thus yourself to that separation. You are choosing to keep the Grand Canyon.
We must take the reality of the person who is in the most pain and address it directly as if it is real because it is real and therefore needs our care and attention and needs changes to be made. We need to decide on those changes and make them so there is resolution to that pain. If we are unwilling to do that, we are condemning them to their pain and to their pain alone. We are choosing to be in a relationship on different pages. We are choosing a physical relationship with no emotional relationship. You are choosing to exist in different parallel realities under the same roof. This is a relationship that is actually doomed to fail.
Doing this means you must be willing to face your own shame. Doing this means you must be willing to make changes. Doing this means you have to come out of denial. Doing this means you cannot live in your own comfortable bubble reality to the exclusion of everyone else.
Here is an adult example. A husband decides that he wants to start a business. He decides he is not happy being a support person for his wife, it makes him feel unfulfilled. He has to go out and create something. When he does this, when he puts his focus elsewhere, his wife feels abandoned. She feels like her husband is not available. She feels deeply hurt. She is forced to find her emotional support from one of her friends. He is convinced this is a perfect scenario. He gets his needs met and she gets her needs met this way. This is his positive reality. This is not her reality. Her reality is that her husband has vacated a spot and feels happy that someone else is meeting her needs instead of him. Her reality is that this marriage is painful. By seeing that he feels happy and seeing the reason why happiness is his reality, she is accommodating his reality. It doesn’t make her pain go away. But this means she is in the third reality, which accounts for both people’s realities without one person’s reality invalidating the other. He is not in this third reality. He has not accommodated her reality. He is alone in his reality and he has left her alone in her reality, but does not see it, so he does nothing about it. She sees his reality as real and he does not see hers as real. She cannot force him to see her reality as valid. And so she is stuck. If he does not see this reality of hers as real, which will require him facing the shame of seeing that he has created this scenario and it will require making some kind of change; if he doesn’t find some way to remedy these feelings with her, the relationship will eventually end.
We must be brave enough to attune to other people in our relationships. To learn about how to do this, watch my video titled: Attunement (The Key To A Good Relationship). And we must address a person’s feelings and perceptions as if they are real. Only then, can we actually make the necessary changes to create repair in our relationships. For this reason, I ask you to watch my video titled: The Emotional Wakeup Call.
We must be brave enough to see, feel, hear and understand someone to the degree that we can perceive their reality, no matter how painful it is. Closeness must be more important than maintaining our own personal comfort. If it isn’t, then we will be doomed to be comfortable up until the relationship inevitably ends. And then repeat that cycle over and over. We must be willing to see the Grand Canyons between us. We must be willing to see each other’s reality as real so we can address it in a way that resolves it. Otherwise, we are the left leg, telling the shattered right leg that it is just a drama queen or is just too sensitive or is actually fine and just doesn’t know it. Otherwise, we are condemned or we are condemning our partners to being in pain, alone in our relationships with them. We are condemning them to being unsafe with us because if we don’t see them and feel them and understand them and see their reality, we will consistently say and do things that cause them pain.
I started off this episode with an example of a little boy because we have gotten to this place in our adult relationships because this was the nature of our relationships growing up. It is the extreme rarity to have parents who could conceive of the idea that their child could be having a different experience of reality than they did. It is the extreme rarity to have parents who were even willing to see their child’s reality at all, much less to see their child’s reality as valid. Therefore we were in so many painful situations that we just had to live with. There was no way to resolve anything. We were forced to became accustomed to distance between us. We were forced to become accustomed to relationships that were not actually relationships at all. And this is the real reason that our relationships are the greatest source of pain in our human lives. This is the real reason that most relationships today don’t work.
In spirituality you hear constantly about a person being made up of body, mind and soul. This is not actually accurate. The soul, which is the non-physical stream of consciousness in fact splits itself into three when it projects forth into a physical incarnation… Body, mind and heart… Feelings, thoughts and matter. This is the real holy trinity.
The split between these three aspects when they are opposed is in fact the root of suffering for a physical human. It is the integration of them that creates true peace in oneself and consequently as a result, true peace on earth. We cannot achieve a state of peace or joy or achieve anything we truly want if we are in a state of fragmentation. And if at our core, there is a split between these fundamental aspects of ourselves, body, mind and heart, we will always suffer. But herein lies the problem within spirituality and within the world. Number one, people do not even see that these three aspects within themselves are split, divided and in an abusive relationship with one another. And number two; integration of these three aspects is not what people are teaching in the world or practicing. In fact, what is being taught and practiced is the exact opposite.
Depending on where you look in the world, people hold one of these aspects to be more important than the others or more powerful and supreme. This enhances fragmentation and therefore suffering. In the academic world, the mind is considered to be supreme. Logic must rule over emotions and the body is a side-note. In the sports world, the body is considered to be supreme. The emotions are of next to no importance and the mind is only as good as it serves the body. In the spiritual world, the heart is considered to be supreme. The mind is expected to be a servant to the heart and the body is often seen as a complete illusion.
Look at every spiritual quote you ever came across about the heart and mind or heart and body. Things like “problems are in your mind, solutions are in your heart” or “the heart must be the master and the mind the servant for the mind makes for a terrible master.” Or “The heart is the new mind” or “follow your heart, not your mind.” Or “Sometimes the heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows”. Or “Remember that all is eternal, all pain is an illusion.” Or “The body is an illusion, this body may die, but my soul carries on”. Long story short, most of them fuel the imbalance of power between them. And most of us read those quotes and react positively instead of being horrified.
I want you to be horrified. I want you to do something and I mean now. Go look up quotes about the heart, mind and body on the internet. But I want you to replace one of the words in the quote, heart, mind or body, with your own name. For example, if a quote said, “follow our heart not your mind” it would change to either follow your heart, not Teal or Follow Teal, not your mind. You could also change all of the words, heart mind and body to your name so it would be “follow Teal, not Teal”. This exercise will show you the truth about what we are doing to ourselves. This is the relationship we are culturing inside of ourselves. All three parts are equal parts of ourselves. And we are creating separation and opposition and power imbalances between them. We are creating abuse between them. This is a split that all of us who are currently embodied possess today and must see inside ourselves.
The shape that defines their relationship is meant to be an equilateral triangle. The absolute and whole truth is the space or fusion between all three… A space of perfect connection between all three. No leader and no follower. The ultimate manifestation of the soul into the physical dimension where divinity can express itself in the physical fully is achieved by creating this perfect integration of body, mind and heart. Each part manifests the whole; it is the true holy trinity.
We need to regard each of these three aspects as an integral part of who we are. See each for its inherent limitation and inherent gifts. We must see each as equally important as the other two. There can be no leader among them. They must decide together upon a course of direction and action. There must be harmony and agreement between them. Each must take care of the other. They feed into one another and cannot be separated from one another. Each is critical to the health and wellbeing of the other two. It is a three-way marriage. All of them are real and valid. You are not here to transcend any one of them. They are the perfect manifestation of your soul. None of them can be your enemy. Each of them is your partner here in life. The harmony of the relationship between them is the core of our life experience here on earth. Today, I ask you to commit to that integration… To commit to that harmony.
When it comes to success and happiness, nothing is more important than being ‘in the flow’. We hear ‘being in the flow’ as a buzz word phrase around the world today and it sounds like it would be a good feeling thing, but most of us have no idea what the hell being in the flow actually means. I’m going to clear that up for you today so you know exactly what it means and how to do it.
To get your mind on board, I want you to imagine that your soul is like a current of energy water that is flowing from a higher dimension into this physical dimension. Just like the current of a river, it has momentum as it flows down here into the physical dimension. Your physical self that you call by your name was in essence a thought created by your soul. It is a second point of perspective and it has free will. Because of that free will, the you that you call by your name in this life can consciously (and more often than that, unconsciously) choose to think and say and do things that cause you to go with your souls’ current or to think and say and do things that cause you to go against that soul current. When we are going with that current, it can be said that we are in alignment and when we go against that current, it can be said that we are out of alignment.
When we are going with the current, we know it because of the way we feel. We feel relief. We feel the same sensation that we would if we were to just let go and let ourselves float in a river with a current that was headed towards everything that we want. This emotionally translates in our bodies as things like inspiration, excitement, joy, passion and appreciation. We can then say we are ‘in the flow’. When we are going against that current, we also know it because of the way we feel. We feel tension and resistance. This emotionally translates in our bodies as things like feeling stuck, frustrated, powerless, depressed, anxious and other painful emotional states. It can literally be compared to facing upstream against a very powerful river. If any of you have done that, you know that it ends up exhausting you, stressing you out and in some cases drowning you.
I’ll give you an example: Lets imagine that the intention that your soul created your physical embodiment in this world with was for it to be a teacher. But in your life experience, you adopted thought like ‘it’s critical to be respected and the only careers where you can get respect are those where you make a lot of money’ so you take the action to become a lawyer. You are thinking and doing things that are against the current of your own soul. You will know you are going against that current because you will feel resistance. You will feel unfulfilled. You will feel uninspired. Your actions will take effort. It will be so much harder for you to pass law school than it will for people for whom being a lawyer is actually in alignment with their soul current. You will not be ‘in the flow’.
Being in the flow also applies to things in the external world. These currents exist all over the place and being in the flow in the world is about aligning your own current to the external currents around you. For example, the weather may decide to create a hurricane. It’s not then possible for you to ‘be in the flow’ if you continue to push against that and demand for an outdoor wedding to take place despite that fact. You would then be fighting against the external current that exists. This always ends very badly. It requires a re-adjustment so that you can stay in alignment yourself according to what you desire, but without going upstream against that external current that is occurring in the world. Relationships are essentially all about this. Relationships are about two people staying in alignment with themselves, while staying in alignment with each other.
Being in the flow, which is also referred to as ‘the zone’ when it comes to activities, causes us to enter a psychological and physical state where when we are doing something, we are completely present with it instead of divided in any way. There are no contradictory energies interfering with the flow of our focus either internally or externally. Nothing is preventing us. We feel focused, completely energized, and in full enjoyment of the process of that activity. It takes almost no effort to do that thing and our productivity goes through the roof. The energy that extend towards something feels good and fulfilling instead of depleting. It is as if the doing in and of itself actually renews you. When we are in this state, it is almost like our soul is saying, “Yes, this is what I came here for”. The most successful people on the planet in every field have managed to think and say and do things that cause them to be ‘in the flow’ and as such, they have the current of the universe at large and their souls backing the actions they are taking in the physical dimension.
How To Get In The Flow:
The single most important piece of being in the flow is prioritizing how you feel over anything else in your life. Do not act from a place where you are out of alignment. Get to a place where you feel relief before you take any action whatsoever. Your emotions will tell you whether you are in the flow or out of it. They will indicate whether there is something in you that is working against the current or not. Any action taken from a place where you don’t feel good or are feeling prevented in some way is going to line you up with undesired results and even potentially no results at all. The most successful people in the world will make this piece more important than anything else. For example, one reason these videos are so successful is that I have decided I will never write one if I feel bad or like I am forcing anything to writing one. I will not sit down with my computer until I can feel that I am in the emotional space where I feel inspired to write one. The same goes for any of my events. Everyone on my team knows this. I will not move forward if there is resistance. I will stop and become aware of the resistance that exists and care take it so that all the momentum of every member of the team is going towards doing the event. As a result, there is no contradictory energy going into an event.
Get a handle on what you desire. Desire is what creates the momentum of the stream of energy we are speaking of when we talk about flow. What we have to accept is that the universe at large knows our desires intimately. It is always taking us in the direction of what we truly desire. The more conscious we are of what we desire, the less we interfere with that current. The more we trust the current. We begin to trust that if something changes, or falls through, it is actually in our best interests ultimately. So many of us are not living in the flow because we are too scared to truly prioritize the way we feel and follow our joy and desires. We may have wanted to be a musician, but we decide to take a job we hate. This is a very simple example of being out of the flow. We cannot think and say and do things that contradict our desires and be in the flow at the same time.
We need to become aware of and seek to integrate our own fragmentation. One of the reasons it is almost impossible for people to live in the flow is because their own consciousness has broken into many parts. When this is the case, the flow of our souls’ energy is going in one direction but then we have many parts of our physical embodiment that are going in different directions from not only that soul steam of energy, but also in different directions from each other. For example, one part of us wants to be on stage, another wants to hide. One part of us wants a relationship, the other hates people. Noticing contradictory energies whether they come from inside you or outside you is the best way to identify that you are not currently in the flow. This creates a state that is not conducive to achieving anything. It is like being in a boat on a stream where one person in the boat is paddling upstream and another is paddling downstream. We have to get these contradictory and polarized energies within us to a place where they can align and agree upon a singular direction. To understand this concept in depth, I want you to watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
Be like a fish in ocean currents. In reality this entire universe is a single organism and everything is connected. Responsiveness to other things within this universe needs to be a normal part of daily life. Most people think they are above this need to be responsive. When conditions change, we don’t want to change with it. We want to be independent agents. We are like fish that encounter a shark and keep on swimming towards it because we’ve decided on that course of action before the shark was there.
The topic of commitment is a totally different thing. Being flaky is something else entirely. But our commitment needs to be to staying in alignment with ourselves and staying in alignment with the people we are in relationships with more so than to anything else. And this requires flexibility, like a fish in the ocean whose direction changes if the tides change. To be truly successful, you must be able to change plans at a moments notice so that you are always working WITH your own internal current, the currents of the universe at large and the currents of other people instead of against any one of these currents. To be in tune with ourselves and in tune with others and in tune with the universe at large, you have to be willing to stop dead in your tracks and re-evaluate and change course if it becomes obvious that something is out of alignment. This is exalted spontaneity. Some people who like control think that this is unsafe because it ads an element of unpredictability and uncertainty to life, but this actually is the safest state to commit to because it guarantees that you are not the fish that is swimming towards a shark for the sake of your own pre determined plans. You are connected to everything in the universe, everything is interdependent and so responding to the shifts in those currents is responding to your own current. There is not actually a contradiction between yourself and the universe at large. We are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Act fast on inspiration. One major mistake that people make is that when they feel inspiration (which is like a wave) they do not get up immediately and ride that wave to shore (the shore in this case is manifestation). When you get inspired, you have literally 5 seconds to take your first action, even if it is writing something down to carry out the action you feel inspired to take. To do this is to work with the currents and to ride them like a surfer and it will take so much less energy on your part to make thoughts become things and manifest what you want from this state. People who are successful don’t wait on inspiration ever. They capitalize on it immediately. They ride it like a wave all the way to the completion of an action.
Practice being completely present. We have to make a practice of focusing our consciousness and attention into our bodies and into whatever activity we are doing fully. This is best seen through the analogy of an athlete. Imagine an athlete whose focus and attention is completely on the game. He is allowing all of the energy of his own consciousness into this moment doing this sport that he loves in the physical dimension. Now imagine that same athlete worrying about whether or not he is going to win or lose. Or imagine that athlete stressing about whether his relationship will last or not. You can see that those thoughts rob energy and therefore presence from his game. They may cause him to take an action that sabotages his game. Because of the contradictory nature of the directions his energy is going, he cannot be fully in the flow. The same principal applies to relationships. If we are in the room with someone, we need to be fully there with them and immersed in them. If we cannot be, we need to address any resistance that is preventing us from doing so, so that we can be fully present. In this state, all doing naturally arises as a result of being and the doing is therefore much more powerful and effective.
Become familiar with the feeling of ‘rightness’. This is not a concept. We may think with our mind that something is right but when if we feel into it, it feels all wrong. You see this in the movies all the time when a person ends a relationship when you can tell that they know it feels all wrong and to the rest of us in the audience it feels totally wrong. The feeling of rightness is like an internal YES with no internal NO. It will feel expansive. It will feel like relief. It says says to us, I don’t necessarily know why this thing feels right, but it just does. Keep following that feeling of rightness. It is an indication you are in the flow.
The road marker or quern for flow is synchronicity. The more in flow we are, the more synchronicity occurs. These are meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained in the physical dimension by cause and effect. We cannot do anything to directly cause synchronicity to happen and yet it does and it does so to meet our needs. In these moments you can see the interconnectedness in the world. You can see that your own internal flow is part of a larger flow. These often show up as fortuitous events. For example, someone you love has cancer and you end up sitting on the airplane next to someone who is a cancer specialist with a radical new treatment. Notice and follow synchronicities. They mean you are in the flow. When you get adept at living in flow, your entire life will become a series of synchronicities. Flow allows you to be in the right place at the right time. You will feel good to act at exactly the right time to act in alignment with universal timing.
Meditate daily and/or do some kind of introspective activity daily with no distractions. When we are caught up in the routine of life and when we are identified with our thoughts and lost in the word of action, we tune out the ‘subtle’ internal currents that are occurring within us. We are completely out of alignment and unaware of ourselves and also others. You cannot live in alignment like this. You can’t be in the flow this way. Introspective awareness exercises are one of the best maintenance tools of flow in your arsenal. It is my promise that these internal currents will not feel subtle when you become adept at flow. Instead, they feel like internal tsunamis.
Accept that the flow is a moment to moment thing and will be for the rest of your life. Like a current, it is constantly in motion, constantly changing and mutating. It is not something that is static ever. Every moment of the day is an opportunity to be in the flow or out of the flow with yourself and with other things. The waves of life never stop coming. Desires never stop arising. Conditions never stop changing. Self-discovery and increasing awareness never ceases. So being ‘in the flow’ is not something that you do and then you can stop focusing on it because it is done. It is more like surfing. A surfer never stops becoming aware of the flow of the water and adjusting his or her thoughts and actions accordingly. The surfer simply gets better and better at it. There will never be a day where you will stop having to find alignment with yourself and with other people and the world around you. You will simply get better and better at it. It will become like second nature.
Follow your joy. How you feel matters more than anything else and more than that, thinking thoughts and speaking words and taking actions in the direction of your personal joy is the north star of achieving a state of living in the flow. Your purpose on this earth in this life cannot be separate from your joy. It is a vibrational impossibility because of the way this time space reality and life itself was designed. Therefore, the way to find your purpose and continue to stay in alignment with it is to follow your joy. It is worth every risk there is to take in this world.
I cannot tell you how successful in every sense of the word and how beautiful and full of meaning and feel good your life can become if you commit to being ‘in the flow’ in a state of alignment within yourself and with others and with the world. Every video I have ever created or will ever create is created to help you get closer to this state of being. You really can have the life of your dreams. In fact, you were meant to.
Even though people live with their thoughts every single day, they have no idea what thoughts actually are. This is the main reason why people can’t figure out what to do with them and either don’t value them or give them too much power. What people don’t realize is that thought is a sense. It is a sense just like the sense of smell, sight, hearing, touch and taste. One could in fact call thought the actual sixth sense and intuition simply the capacity of any of the senses to perceive stimulus that exists beyond the vibrational range of the physical dimension.
A sense is essentially a faculty by which a being perceives external stimulus. It is reactive in nature. What makes thought so confusing is that we don’t perceive ourselves to be ‘perceiving ‘thoughts. We perceive our thoughts to be solely our own creation. This would be similar to perceiving that we are always the creator of every sound that we hear in the world; or that we were the creator of the sensation of burning when we touch a hot stove. Thinking that every thought is our own is one reason that we believe every thought we have is true and become so attached to them and overpowered by them.
Something that we need to understand is that thought is an observational response to external stimulus. It is a response that we have, like every other sense. We can observe a thought in the same way that we can become conscious of a nearby smell. We can be conscious of ourselves only because we can sense ourselves. We know ourselves and are authentic only to the degree that we can sense ourselves, which is something that most people are not really trying to do.
Thoughts differentiate. They bring definition into the quantum field so to speak. The universe is energy and energy vibrating in different ways. The universe can be seen as a seamless sea of vibrations. And every stimulus that can possibly be sensed in the universe is a vibration, including and most especially a thought. Since the first thought, every successive thought has been in essence a reaction to those that came before it. This is why it is best to consider that thoughts simply arise. You do not even know where they arise from. It is possible for the energy of your consciousness to formulate thoughts in the same way that your body formulates the sensation of hot when we touch something hot. And we can formulate thoughts in response to other thoughts, not just things in the world. It is also possible for you to perceive formulated thoughts that were created by ‘someone else’. For example, when I drive across a really high bridge, I see people perceiving the millions of thoughts that people have had about driving off the bridge. They are perceiving those residual thoughts in the same way that a person would hear music.
This universe is governed by the Law of Attraction. Things of like frequency coalesce. Thoughts attract other thoughts, not just physical manifestations. When a thought is fueled with enough energy (which trust me is almost nothing) it attracts another thought of similar frequency and that thought attracts another and another. And this is the chain of thought we perceive ourselves to be thinking. Because this process or chain reaction is occurring within our mind, we perceive the thoughts to be created by ourselves internally instead of by external stimulus.
Most of our senses are tailored to the physical dimension so that we can navigate this learning hologram called life on earth. But it is possible to expand any of our senses to perceive beyond this physical dimension. As many will attest to, on the path of awakening, every sense begins to widen. Eventually, you can taste color and see sound and visually see things like auras that technically belong to other dimensions of this universe, which are overlaid with this one. Seers and fortunetellers perceive thoughts consciously that resonate at a frequency well beyond the physical dimension, where time does not exist. Mediums hear things well beyond the physical dimension, which is why they can talk to dead relatives. But even people who are not particularly open in terms of their perceptual capacities often perceive thoughts that are not theirs and are not a response to something tangibly physical. A good example is that when people sell houses after an unhappy marriage that ends in divorce, you can walk a perspective byer into that house and without telling them anything, they will begin to have thoughts about loneliness, feeling trapped, overall unhappiness and they will turn down the purchase even if it makes the most perfect rational sense for them to buy that house.
Because thoughts are a reaction, just like any other sense, you can see them as a kind of chain reaction. And feelings are most responsive to thought and thus your emotional faculty reacts immediately to the thought that it comes into contact with. To become conscious of this chain reaction, next time you catch yourself in a chain of thought, stop and backtrack and see if you can figure out what started the train of thoughts. What you will notice is that something you interacted with, whether it is the sight of something or something you hear or a thought you coalesce with, is a stimulus that causes a chain reaction of thoughts. Your attention follows each thought that arises until some other stimulus occurs and that either continues to add momentum to the chain of thoughts or causes an entirely different chain of thoughts in a totally different direction.
To complicate things, at the second to the highest dimensional level of this universe, all is one. This means that every thought that has ever been thought or will ever be thought is your thought. But here in the physical dimension, you perceive yourself to be separate from other things in the world. It is at this dimension that we can talk about the fact that you are perceiving thoughts that are not even your own. We can also go further. In this dimensional field, you are not your thoughts any more than you are your hearing or you are your sight. These are simply capacities that you have. The very fact that you can witness your thoughts means that you are not the same as your thoughts. They are other than you. You are the perceiver of them, the same that you are the perceiver of the music being played. But even if you are the creator of the music and perceiver of the music, you would not look at the music and confuse it AS yourself. If you are more than your thoughts, you have the capacity to use them and influence them.
You can use your free will to focus and thus have influence over what you are perceiving. That is to say, you can focus on something, which acts as a different stimulus, which will cause a chain reaction of different thoughts. You can chose to focus on certain thoughts that arise in the consciousness and thus fuel them with the energy of your own consciousness, or let them pass. You can choose which thoughts to directly interact with and which ones not to. And if you feel like your consciousness pulls you to interact with a certain thought, there is some form of awareness you have to gain through the interaction with that thought. It is time to realize that just like any other sense, the conscious witnessing of your thoughts can be used to awaken you to truth. We have an idea that thought is the enemy to awakening. This is not the case at all. Any sense can limit you and any sense can be what sets you free. For this reason, I highly encourage you to watch my video titled: Is Your Mind Your Friend or Foe?
It is important that along with using the awareness of this sense to gain awareness in general and awakening, that we focus energy towards bringing pleasure to this sense of ours in the same way that we do to our other senses. For example, we buy perfumes to please our sense of smell; we eat delicious foods to please our sense of taste. We decorate our homes to please our sense of sight. We need to deliberately focus on thoughts and things that cause a chain of thought to occur that feels pleasant to us. When we do this to nourish ourselves and maintain our wellbeing, as opposed to doing this to escape from thoughts that are unpleasant, it is perfectly in alignment. It is part of a healthy life. Most people never do this. Most people never consciously deliberately look for stimulus to please their sense of thought.
Using positive thinking to escape from negative thoughts and feelings is like sleeping on dog poop, but spraying the dog poop with perfume first and convincing yourself that you are sleeping somewhere sanitary. The negative smell of dog poop was an indication that you had to clean up. Avoidance of negative thought can really get you in trouble in life, especially when it comes to awakening.
Our senses tell us so much about ourselves and about the world around us. They provide so much value. It is possible to use thoughts to escape from awareness. It is also possible to use thought to enhance awareness. If we touch something hot, we know to take our hand off the stove. If we taste something bitter, we spit it out. If we think a thought that causes us to feel pain, we have the capacity to figure out what stimulated it and make changes either to our angle of perception or to the circumstance itself that is serving as the stimulus for those thoughts. This is what meditation does in fact. It purifies the sense called thought. It slows the momentum of chains of thought, it can introduce new stimulus to create a new chain of thought, it allows us to become aware of the origin of certain thought as well as what to do with the awareness we gain due to the thoughts we are perceiving. It allows us to discern thoughts that resonate at the frequency of truth and which resonate at the frequency of illusion.
Because thought is a sense, we need to treat our sense called thought with as much care and discernment as all of our other senses. Our senses can tell us great truth. Our senses can also be fooled. Our senses can be limited. Our senses can lead us to awakening. Given that thought is a sense, whole books can be written on the topic. The many implications of people having this realization are vast. But rather than explain every implication, I’ll leave you to discover it instead. I’ll leave you with the question, If I accepted that thought was a sense, just like any of my other five senses, what would be different for me; what would change about my life?
As people, we have the tendency of avoiding discomfort and structuring our lives in a where we can consistently avoid discomfort. But there are a great many things that cause discomfort that are actually good for us. Awareness is not comfortable, because it entails accepting things we would rather deny. But it is good for us to be aware. Exercise is uncomfortable, but it is good for us. Growth is uncomfortable, but it is good for us. And perhaps most of all, change is uncomfortable, but it is good for us.
In this effort to avoid discomfort, we tend to trap ourselves in situations that are comfortably unsatisfying. For example, we often get stuck in routines, we stay in unhealthy relationships, we stay in a job we hate, we use coping mechanisms that make us feel better in the short term but ruin our lives in the long run. We do not make changes that are necessary to make in order to really live the lives we dream of. The best analogy we can use is that in order to avoid the discomfort of really high heat that would cause us to make changes to get off of the flames, we build our lives on top of embers that burn us eventually, but slowly enough that we don’t realize it until we’re fully burnt.
There is a technique that we can use to turn up the heat in advance, so we can have the motivation and awareness necessary to choose the discomfort that is actually good for us instead of staying in the coals so to speak.
I want you to do an exercise. Set aside some time and go through the following process: Close your eyes. I want you to look at your life right now from where you are right now. Look at how life feels right now, what you’re thinking right now, look at what you do everyday. Look at the people that are in your life. Look at what causes you the most distress today and joy today. Imagine that nothing changes at all; you’re still doing the same things and are still in the exact same place in one month. What does your life look and feel like if you are in the exact same circumstances in one year. Has anything gotten worse? Now imagine that you are in the same place doing the same things in one year. Spend a few minutes experiencing this. And when you have done that, spend a few minutes imagining that you are in the same place doing the same things in 5 years. Then do the same thing for ten years. Then imagine 20 years. Then imagine 40 years. Them imagine you on your deathbed. Having played out your life, having made no changes to yourself and what you are choosing and doing every day, what did you realize? This is the fate you are headed towards if you make no changes and live your life accepting mild dissatisfaction to avoid discomfort.
The benefit of you doing this process is that I do not have to tell you anything else in this article. Having done this exercise, you already know what needs to change. Now, all that is left is to do is to ‘get out of the coals’.
You have heard me say over and over again that oneness is the ultimate truth of this universe. You will continue to hear me say this because it is the thing that people who are coming from a perspective of separation need to come to understand. But what if I told you now that oneness was really not the ultimate truth of his universe?
If you struggle with the content that is to follow in this video, I encourage you to watch my video titled: Why Are Spiritual Teachers So Contradictory? In that video, I explain that spiritual teachings are contradictory because spiritual teachings must take into account a multi dimensional universe. The rules change on each dimension. What is true for one dimension is not necessarily true for the next.
At a higher level than oneness in this universe, oneness is in fact the greatest illusion there is. The truth is that what we have been calling God or Source cannot actually be named. The minute that you name it, you make it and it. You give it definition and therefore suggest that there is something that isn’t it for it to be in relationship to. When most people awaken to the experience of oneness, they experience every separate thing, whether it is a person or a lamppost or a flower or a dog or a section of pavement as simply being them… only them expressing in a different form. Therefore all these different things in the world are actually just a part of ONE much larger thing. We call this larger thing Source or God or even The Universe. But that is the problem. What we are perceiving as the ultimate truth of God Or Source or The Universe, is actually simply the Ego or the “I” of “that which cannot be named”. Oneness is the ego, the one-self of that which cannot be named. There is no “one” self at the most objective level of this universe. And that which cannot be named created “I” being the oneness that all things that are a part of the perception of separateness are apart of so as to know that about itself. There is a truth beyond oneness because there is separation of the largest component inherent that concept. But it is corrupted by language and defining of any kind.
It is critical for people who perceive separateness to expand their perspective far enough to see that actually we are all one. All things in existence are one. And then, it is critical for people who perceive oneness to expand their perspective far enough to see that actually there is no “one”. Oneness is the illusion/perception of an identity belonging to that which is beyond oneness.
As a race, human beings are experiencing a huge transition right now in their consciousness. They are going through a ‘hundredth monkey’ experience. The hundredth monkey is essentially a condition where one monkey discovers something new (like a new tool to use) and that monkey teaches it to another and that one teaches it to another until by the hundredth monkey, there is a shift in the entire species and they all are using the new tool. The transition that is taking place within the human consciousness is in the sector of relationships.
Up until today, relationships have been dysfunctional. So many relationship experts talk about insecure human attachment styles and relationship dynamics like the classic codependent and narcissistic relationship. But they talk about these things as if they are the rarity. They aren’t the rarity. Insecure attachments and narcissistic, codependent dynamics are in fact the past and current human condition. They are the way we do relationships. And all of that is about to change.
This old way of having relationships (and consequently our subconscious definition of love) has been passed down for thousands of years. To understand it, we need to look at how we adopt this style of relationships and definition of love. Because our parents did not receive true love, long before we were born, they entered a kind of self-centered bubble where they had to fight for their needs in all kinds of covert and overt ways. As a result of this, most parents have children in the first place for these self-centered reasons. We are born with the thought and expectation that we will serve a need they have. They do not really take us as a part of themselves and they cannot really embrace us as our unique selves as opposed to what they want us to be. Most of the things they give us are transactional in nature. Because of this dynamic, it is not a true partnership that we have with our parents. They can treat us any way they like without really being attuned to the impact they are having on us. They can treat us in any way they like, whether it is incoming abuse (like shaming) or outgoing abuse (like emotional neglect) and still we are expected to be the one that maintain our connection to them, stays committed to them and puts their needs and desires first. If we do not, we are made out to be the problem child. We are made out to be the self centered one that hurts them. What we learn is that true love is staying committed and connected and putting the other person first no matter what they do or don’t do to us. This is mankind’s current definition of love. It is our definition of unconditional love, so it is the love we are all looking for. Sit with this definition for a minute and see just how erroneous and dangerous this definition is. See just how wide it opens the door for abuse. See how it leads to the emotional experience that love is abuse.
This definition sets up a dynamic whereby we chase unavailable people and abusive people and if they commit to loving us and being connected to us, in order to feel loved, we have to turn the tables. We have to start abusing them and neglecting them and even abandoning them to see if they are going to stay with us and love us and put us first still. If they do, we know that we are loved. There is no safety in our relationships as a result. We are caught in an endless pattern of erratically hurting each other, withdrawing from each other, pushing each other away and desperately clinging to each other.
This definition of love is wrong. To love something is to take it as part of yourself. Love is inclusive. It is the energetic movement towards oneness. When you love something, you energetically pull it towards you and include it as you. If you have grown up with a self centered parent (and I’ll warn you, the parents who say they are selfless and consistently remind you about everything they are doing for you are the most self centered), because they aren’t really concerned with your needs, you inevitably have to fight for your own self-hood as well. You cannot conceptualize of a way to merge; you can only conceptualize of being swallowed by something else. In love, you take the other person’s best interests as part of your best interests and they take your best interests as part of their best interests and closeness is the primary priority in both of your life. This creates the only true safety in relationship. You cannot hurt something that you take as part of yourself without hurting yourself. But not being able to conceptualize of this true form of love, we avoid merging. We build relationships around power struggle. We can only see the potential of us taking the other person’s best interests as our own and prioritizing their needs and desires and them being happy about it, while our needs and desires are unimportant to them. We can only see one-way relationship. We can only see one-way relationship because that is all there was between us and our parents. Because of this, we actually prevent love. We fight to keep ourselves separate but in relationship. We cannot risk the trust of giving ourselves to the other person and them giving themselves to us, so we can never experience the feeling of symbiotic love. We are trapped in Ego and society supports it. It is not love to stay committed to and connected to someone regardless of what they do or don’t do to you. It isn’t love to expect someone to stay connected to you regardless of what you do or don’t do to them.
The actual definition of love is to take something as part of yourself. To do this out of your own free will is not to lose yourself. To do this is to take their best interests as part of your own best interests. It is to commit to the other person. It is to end the war between selves. When we do this, we can see the third option in a needs conflict. We can see the exact decision we need to make for our mutual best interests. This gives rise to trust and security in the relationship. This brings an end to both loneliness and abuse. We are in the process of learning how to love. And the first step is to let go of our faulty definition of love.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that as far as human society is concerned, this is a man’s world. For thousands of years now so many men have exercised their dominion over human society in abusive ways. In some places around the world, this imbalance of power between men and women has started to shift. But it is embarrassing that even in America, it is only so far back as my own mother’s generation that women were struggling with the women’s rights movement. For thousands of years, women have been facing powerlessness. And so many women in the world still do face powerlessness every day. Powerlessness is the reason that women have become so manipulative. If you would like more information on this, watch my video titled: The #1 reason you can’t reach enlightenment for men and for women.
Women had control and power over almost nothing. Their roles were restricted to the home and specifically to raising children. It is with this in mind that in the interest of awakening, I’m going to expose one of the most dangerous shadow manifestations that has emerged (especially in the modern day) in women in society as a result of the tyranny of men and that is: The Castration Dynamic. So often, women exact their unhealthy power and manipulation in the area of the home with a special emphasis on the children and though there are many unhealthy ways that this manifests, one of them is affecting human society profoundly.
Feeling like they had no control over the men in their lives who were exercising their power in unhealthy ways (maybe it was their society at large, maybe it was their father growing up or their brothers or uncles or husbands) women became afraid of men and resentful of them. They could do very little about it. They could not be seen as equal. Many were deeply hurt by men. And so, having no control over the actual source of the problem, they turned their sights on their sons. The one thing they could control. They sought to eradicate the man in their sons. They made their sons totally dependent on them so they couldn’t grow up. They taught their sons to be afraid of their own manhood. They taught them that there was something shameful and harmful about being a man. They sought to raise them in a way that it would be impossible for their sons to grow up to dominate them or any other woman for that matter. They set up a dynamic where in order to get the love they wanted from their mother, boys had to disown their own masculinity and personal power. This is a form of castration. What this has done is that it has castrated men on an energetic level.
It was not conscious on women’s parts that they have done this. They did not intentionally decide that the way they would exact revenge upon the men that have tormented them is by castrating their sons. What they were after was safety. But that safety came at the expense of everyone involved. It has had devastating effects to our society at large, including to women.
Because of this castration dynamic, the divine masculine cannot shine through. Instead, the pendulum has swung within men from shadow tyranny to shadow passivity. You cannot make an enemy of manhood without causing a man to deny all the positive manifestations of masculine energy. Things like initiative, action, purpose, direction, movement, responsibility, strength, focus, fatherhood, generosity, encouragement, material abundance, transformation and growth. We have created men who are miserable because they have been turned against a huge part of themselves and as such, cannot fully embody their essence and therefore purpose. Many of them are developing emotional, mental and physical disorders that are a direct result of disowning their masculinity. We have created men that we, as women, are not attracted to; men whom leave us to play both the roles of the man and the roles of the woman. And then we hate them for that too. Many women are developing emotional, mental and physical illnesses as a consequence of this outcome as well.
For human society to be genuinely healthy, there must be a balance between masculine energy and feminine energy. This is not done by women gaining more control than men and it is not done by men losing some of the control they have. It is done by men embracing the full power of their own divine masculinity and women embracing the full power of their own divine femininity. When this occurs, a natural balance occurs. When this is done, we do not see the shadow expressions of either gender. For more about this, I encourage you to watch my video titled: The Divine Masculine, How To Awaken The Divine Masculine Within You. And Divine Feminine, How To Awaken The Divine Feminine Within You.
The time has come for women to see that this is what we may have done or may be doing currently or may do in the future to our sons if we are not awake enough to face our own pain relative to men instead of preventing our sons from becoming men. The time has come for men to see this dynamic clearly so they can break free of it and own their masculine energy for the first time.
It is right to feel angry and betrayed and used as an accessory and denied to become who you really are. This pain you are now feeling is the pain that women have in fact felt for thousands of years as a result of men. Women have felt betrayed, angry, used as an accessory and denied to become who they really are. It is human nature when we are not conscious of ourselves to set other people up to feel exactly how we feel. But if you have the power to own your masculinity, it will not only save much of your life, it will also mean you can be one of those rare men on the planet who can teach women that it is not being a man in and of itself that makes a man hurt a women or dominate the earth.
We must help our girls become women and we must help our boys become men. We must question our societal concepts about femininity and masculinity in order to do this well because so much of these concepts like men don’t show their feelings or women shouldn’t do sports etc. are total BS. But if we do any less than helping our children embody their essence, which more often than not includes the gender they came into this life with, we are failing to help our children unfold into their true potential. Failing to help our children become the embodied expression of their essence, which includes gender, is something that will drastically affect their adult lives.
Words are a beautiful thing. There is no denying that verbal language can be one of the best parts about having a relationship with someone and when verbal language is missing, it’s hard to have a relationship. Words can be a way to express who you really are, how you really feel, what you really think, want and need. But today we are going to talk about the dark side of words. Words can easily blind you. Words are one of the biggest barriers to authenticity. They can hide almost everything about you.
There are so many people on this earth who are not in a place of integrity. Their words and true thoughts, words and true intentions, words and emotions, words and personal energy, words and actions etc. are completely out of sync. If we make decisions in our relationship with them based off of what they say, we can get ourselves into a whole lot of trouble. Here are some examples: A man pursues a woman and tells her that he will do anything it takes to be with her and make her happy because he loves her so much. But he is consistently emotionally unavailable and focuses his energy on his work. A friend pledges her never-ending support, but deep down she is jealous and that emotional energy is just waiting for a time to take usurp you. A father promises to stop drinking and apologizes profusely and it hasn’t been the first time, but deep down he has no intention of doing that, he’s just telling you that so you’ll forgive him today. A mother says “I’ve always loved you and it’s so hard for me when you don’t see that”, when she spends her time scolding her child and shaming him and looking at her child like he is the reason for everything that went bad in her life. A person is critical of someone, but is constantly trying to find ways to help them and make the other person like them. A politician gives speech about his support of minorities but deep down, he hates minorities and is actively signing bills that take away their rights and targets them. You get the point.
I’m going to give you a little trick for figuring people out and really seeing them without the illusion of what they say like a veil between you and them. I want you to close your eyes and watch your memories of them. Go back and watch your interactions with them and their interactions with other people as if you were watching people in a movie from 3rd person perspective, like being a fly on the wall. Only this movie is silent. Even if you see them speaking in your memories, imagine them on mute so you have no idea what they are saying. Notice their body language. See if you can tell what their true feelings are. What actions are they actually taking? If you were watching them as if you had never met them before and you were just observing them, what is the truth about this person? A person is much more likely to feel and act in accordance with their actual truth. Do you see any discrepancies? Play this out for at least 10 minutes and see what you notice that you may not have seen or admitted to before.
Often, we want to believe something so badly about someone that we let ourselves be blinded and consistently blindsided and disappointed. We are not in a relationship with what is real; we are in a relationship with illusion. You can do this exercise with any person who ever was or currently is in your life. Try it out for yourself, you will be blown away at what it will reveal.
Commitment is a state of dedication. To commit to something is to give your energy to something. It is to put yourself into something. The more committed you are to something, the more of your energy and therefore yourself you put into that thing. Whether we know it or not, we are always committed to something. When it doesn’t seem like we are committed, it simply means we are committed to something else. For example, a person may not seem committed to working on something because they may actually be committed to relaxing or committed to escape. We are always committing to something, whether we are aware of what we are committed to or not is another thing.
People have several commitments in life, but all people have a core commitment in their life. This commitment is very much like a primary value and because it is their core and primary commitment, it is the one that will have priority over everything and anything else. Understanding this core commitment in ourselves and in others is critical.
Often our commitments (even our core commitment) are subconscious. This is a problem because we have not consciously looked at it to see whether we want to consciously commit to that thing or whether we don’t. Subconscious core commitments are to blame for so many problems in our life. For example, if we have a subconscious core commitment to freedom and we take a job that makes us feel like we aren’t free, we will start to clash with our boss, we will act passive aggressive and we will sabotage our job. If we became aware of that commitment we had and decided to consciously commit to it, we would make different choices in our life such as not taking a job that contains elements that would make us feel not free. When we are not aware of our core commitment, we are so often out of alignment with our own integrity. We say we are committed to something, but our actions do not reflect that and everyone suffers because of it, including us.
The biggest issues that I see relative to subconscious commitments however are in the sector of relationships. If someone does not have a core commitment that directly corresponds with commitment to the relationship and creating harmony with another person, relationships are almost impossible to maintain. For example, if one person’s commitment is to connection, relationship and creating harmony in that relationship is necessary and therefore, relationship will be the person’s top commitment. On the other hand, if someone’s core commitment is to personal happiness, the minute a relationship becomes uncomfortable (which it will because of what relationships essentially are and the purpose they serve) the commitment to the relationship is gone. So many people have core commitments that are a direct contradiction to harmony in a relationship. This is a disaster if the person without a core commitment that dovetails with togetherness in a relationship is in a relationship with someone whose core value does dovetail with togetherness in a relationship. They essentially put people in a zero sum game with them, which means I win, you lose. The person whose commitment is togetherness has to give in constantly and let the other one have their way in order to keep togetherness because that is not the commitment of their partner.
Knowing a person’s core commitment actually makes that person very predictable, which provides a kind of safety in a relationship. For example, if you knew that a person’s core commitment was to safety in a relationship, you would know that if they are ever cornered, they will chose whatever option feels the safest to them. If you understand this deep motivation in others, you know exactly what you need to provide in order to be in alignment with them and add to their happiness. You have much more awareness about what the potential danger is with someone and thus how to avoid it or if it is even impossible to avoid it. You know what the incompatibility actually is.
To discover your core commitment in life, you have two options. The first option is to totally let go of any idea about what you want it to be or think it may be. Go into this with a totally blank slate. Close your eyes and ask from your soul (like setting an intention to intuitively see something) to become your core commitment. Then surrender as if you were letting your identity be taken over completely by that commitment. What does it feel like in your body? What images do you see or words do you hear or feelings do you feel? See if you can you define what you are feeling.
The second option is that you can have someone else who is willing to totally let go of their idea about you accept to embody the energy of your core commitment as if they were being possessed by it and to tell you what images they see, what words they hear and what feelings they feel so they can tell you what your core commitment is.
Once you discover your core commitment, look at your life. See how so much of your life and your relationships make sense now. See if you can figure out why this commitment is so strong. The core commitments usually reflect something traumatic we have experienced. They are reflective of our deepest desires, which come from experiencing what is unwanted or from not having experienced something that we need and want.
From here, get rid of your ideas of right or wrong. It doesn’t do any good to not commit to something that you actually do want to commit to, just because you think it’s not ok to do so. It doesn’t do any good to commit to something just because you think it’s the right thing to do. Decide whether you want to commit to that subconscious commitment you discovered, but consciously this time and what choices you are going to make differently as a result. See the benefits and consequences of that commitment on each sector of your life. If you do not want to commit to that, become completely aware of why. What is your new commitment going to be? What changes are you going to make to your life in alignment with that new commitment?
The thing that manifests will be whatever has the most energy flowing towards it. Our core commitment simply has too much energy flowing into it to deny. Life is just too painful when we are consciously committed to one thing and subconsciously committed to another thing. By being aware of this commitment, we can get all of our energy going in the same direction and we cam make the right decisions according to that committment.
Intimacy is the primary ingredient of connection. Intimacy is about knowing yourself and being known by others for who you really are in all aspects of your life. It’s the bringing forth of the truth about who you are and being received while, at the same time, the other person brings forth the truth of who they are and is received for that. Intimacy is a meeting at the heart center, where empathy and understanding occur.
Intimacy can be broken down into the three-word phrase “into me see.” First and foremost intimacy is to see into one another so as to deeply connect. Intimacy goes beyond just seeing someone though. Intimacy is seeing into, feeling into, listening into, perceiving and understanding someone. To have genuine intimacy with someone, we have to be willing to commit to becoming an expert on them.
It is tempting to think that a person can do without intimacy. The truth is, they can’t. Without intimacy in childhood, we do not develop a sense of ourselves or a sense of our existence. We begin to feel as if we exist in a parallel reality. It is this parallel reality that is so deeply isolating and that causes us to feel like we are alone, no matter how many people might be around us.
Most people only really become conscious of the isolation of parallel perceptual realities when they go through something like the death of a loved one. In intense experiences of grief, your world stops. You are in a reality of pain and terror about what could happen in the future and time moves differently. Meanwhile, everyone else is going about their lives. They are smiling, laughing, talking about their jobs or vacations. They are telling us to come with them to cheer up at the bar. They are in a totally different reality, even though technically our bodies are in the same place. The worst part is, they don’t even notice. They will not notice what conflicts with their own realty.
I will never forget a time when I was at a public park. There was a girl on a park bench whose arms were bandaged from self-inflicted cuts. She was crying. People passed by her laughing and jogging and listening to their music in their headphones. Not one person noticed her or the state she was in. She might as well have been a ghost sitting on that bench. And all I could think to myself was, if these different realities can be upheld even if someone is cut up and crying, people who are less demonstrative have absolutely no hope.
There is no parallel reality that imprisons a person quite like the one that is set up by abuse. Something that all survivors of sexual abuse and incest can attest to is that what will happen is the abuser will rape you or say something super emotionally abusive and then an hour later, they will ask you whether you want mayonnaise on your sandwich. They will act like it never occurred. It creates a double life; a parallel reality. In one, reality is torture and pain and danger and dad is the enemy. In the other, it is mundane, you go to school and you have thanksgiving dinner and dad is dad. The mundane life starts to feel like a total lie. It feels fake. It feels like a cover for “reality”. When you are at school or at thanksgiving dinner, it feels like you are in the matrix. Other people don’t know about the other reality, the one where dad is the enemy and where everything is dangerous and painful. And because this is your “reality”, it absorbs you and you belong to it and so they can’t see you or feel you. It feels as if people talk at you. It feels like you are just a ‘thing’ in their world and it feels like your inner world is trapped behind a one way mirror inside yourself. All they can perceive is your body. This is the real kind of parallel reality that we need to be concerned with in our lives here on earth. It is this kind of parallel reality that makes it so that people perceive themselves to be so alone with no hope of that changing that they commit suicide.
The foundation of parallel realities between people is emotional invalidation. I highly suggest watching my video titled: The Emotional Wakeup Call if you haven’t seen it already to understand the role of emotions and relationships. This can happen in a home that is not considered abusive.
To understand how emotional invalidation creates parallel realities, we have to go back to the beginning. I want you to imagine a little girl who is unhappy. She is in pain because her family had to move to a different town. She has no friends here. She is lonely. She is afraid of the harshness of this new place. She misses so many things about the old place. If she looks unhappy or acts unhappy, if her parents can’t create intimacy, the will respond in one of two ways. They will disapprove of her emotions, 2. They will dismiss or ignore her emotions
The parent who disapproves of their child’s emotions is critical of their children’s displays of negative emotion and reprimand or punish for emotional expression. The parent, who dismisses or ignores their child’s emotions, disregards them as important, ignores their child’s emotions or worse, trivializes their child’s emotions. They may even interact with the child as if she is fine.
This creates a parallel reality between the parents and the child. The child is now in a reality that hurts. In her reality, tragedy and loss has occurred. In her reality, her parents are not even there even if they are in the room physically. In the parent’s reality, they are meeting their child’s needs and everything is good. The move was a great one because it provided a new opportunity for better things. Because they can’t actually see her or feel her or understand her, they can’t actually make any changes that would improve the way she feels. This little girl is isolated completely in her own parallel reality and her parents don’t even notice. In a subconscious attempt to be seen, this girl may develop nosebleeds. The parents may then decide she is having nose bleeds is because the air is dry, having no clue that this is her being’s way of trying to have her reality of pain be seen. Later she may resort to cutting and/or accidents because that is the only time there is a cross over between their realities. There is a cross over because in those moments the parents will decide that her feelings of pain are valid and therefore exist.
As life goes on, society will begin to mirror this split reality. She will perceive herself to be in one parallel reality and everyone else is in another. The torture of not only being in pain, but being in pain alone and worse, watching people who are together and happy, is so painful that she will most likely develop addictions. She will do anything to escape that pain and to be honest, the pain of that condition is worse than any drug or addiction she could ever chose. Because she is unconscious that she is experiencing a different perceptual reality, she just feels torment that she has no clue how to resolve. She has no clue how to resolve it because resolving it would entail breaking down the separation between these parallel realities. She feels powerless to do that, because she was powerless to do that with her parents. In that powerlessness, her option is to either escape from the pain through an addiction or to commit suicide.
These parallel perceptual realities can be created through much less extreme situations than overt abuse. We are at risk of developing them any time we do not experience people seeing us or feeling us or hearing us. You can think of the extremeness of these parallel realities as existing on a kind of sliding scale. The more drastic the difference was between the realities that other people were perceiving as opposed to the one we were perceiving, the more severe the isolation and pain we experience in conjunction with having these differing realities. Some people only experience mild separation and only sometimes feel like they are in a separate reality. On the other end of the scale, some people feel so isolated by the intensity of their parallel perceptual reality that the reaction (or lack there of) that they get makes them doubt if they even exist and leads to so much pain that committing suicide is the only way out.
Most mental illness is actually caused by these parallel perceptual realities that we have not managed to integrate because the rest of us judge their reality as false and invalid. If we judge them this way, we can never join them wherever they are so as to make any improvement. We can never find a way to integrate their reality with our own. We are just doing the same thing that parents do when they ignore, dismiss or disapprove of their child’s emotions.
In the same way that doing that makes it impossible to actually work with the emotions so as to improve them, approaching the perceptual realities of people who we judge as “mentally ill” as if their realities are wrong, bad, or false makes it so we can never actually work with them. I’ll give you some examples of what I mean about mental illness really being about parallel perceptual realities. A paranoid schizophrenic lives in a different perceptual reality… A reality where people are after him or her. Someone suffering from PTSD is also living in a different perceptual reality, one of anger and trauma at every turn. Someone suffering from depression is in a perceptual reality of hopelessness where life is pointless. Someone who has panic attacks is in a different perceptual reality, one of immanent doom. They are looking out at everyone else who, in the moment they are having a panic attack, are in a reality where everything is normal and fine. This is the most gas-lighting experience on earth. To gaslight someone is to lead them to believe that their reality isn’t real. For example, what they see they didn’t see. What they feel, they shouldn’t feel or don’t feel. What they hear, they didn’t hear.
I cannot explain to you the despair and terror that being stuck in these parallel realities creates. They don’t just create torture for those who are stuck in parallel realities of pain. They eventually create torture for people who are not because the relationship between them deteriorates and they often lose the person they love because of it. The pain of different perceptual realities that involve one person suffering alone is in fact the worst form of suffering that a person can actually experience on earth. It is the real hell on earth. The degree of pain experienced by people who are in pain because of wars and natural disasters and famine does not compare to this pain for one primary reason, they are suffering together with people who are experiencing the same painful reality.
It is a tragedy when people say, “we never saw it coming” when someone commits suicide. When people say this, my internal response is always, “and that is why they did it right there.” We are not attuned to each other enough and we do not commit to developing intimacy or dealing with emotions like we should enough to guarantee that we are not living in parallel realities in the same physical world with one another.
It is ignorant and cruel when people say, “misery likes company” in a derogatory way. We need to cut this phrase out of our vocabulary completely. Misery likes company because misery needs company. Connection is what people need in order to feel good and to feel like their world is worth living in. The real hell on earth is not being in pain. The real hell on earth is being in pain alone. And this is the hell we commit one another to when we are unaware of the parallel realities that we are stuck in. When we are stuck in a parallel reality of pain, often the only time we actually have anyone in our reality at all is if they are in pain too. This is because all too often, people who are in pleasure, cannot accommodate the reality of someone else feeling pain.
It is in the developing of genuine connection that we can tear down the separation between these realities so that these realities can merge. One reality must begin to account for the other and vice versa. Denial is like a veil that serves as a divider between the two realities. It is within our capacity to accommodate polarities that our consciousness will find true progression. Pain must accommodate the reality of pleasure. Pleasure must accommodate the reality of pain. To understand this concept fully, I want you to watch my video titled: And Consciousness, The Modern Day Replacement For The Middle Way.
There is no possibility for two people to stay connected and close if they are in different parallel perceptual realities, no matter if their bodies are in the same place. And it is intimacy and attunement that will bridge the gap between these different parallel realities that make us so utterly alone.
To love is to take something as part of yourself. It is impossible for there not to be a state of connectedness when we do this with something. Love naturally inspires us to meet someone else’s needs because we feel that our need is to meet their needs. But for many of us, we ended up in households with people who did not experience genuine love, so they did not give us genuine love and as a result they could not remain connected with us through love. Instead, they had to forge connection with us in the same way that a spider forges its web to catch flies.
People who were not loved feel unlovable for who they are. They live in a permanent internal atmosphere of shame. As a result love, as a gift seems impossible. Someone simply wanting to be connected to us seems impossible. Instead, we have to get these things by giving something. The things we want from others must be entirely transactional. Love becomes transactional. Connection becomes transactional. The meeting of all our needs becomes transactional. However, because we have such poor self-esteem, we often don’t feel like we have something that is of value enough that if we offered it, someone would want to accept the transaction. When this is the case, we have to trap people into giving us the things they need. And our relationships are always painful and are always full of the feeling of betrayal and resentment as a result.
In many houses around the globe, children are not parented with love. Many cultures in fact simply do not parent with love. The Indian and Asian cultures are perhaps the most perfect example of this. So you can understand what I mean, I will use the example of these cultures. To generalize, in Indian and Asian culture, a person is not seen as a unique individual with free will and their own purpose who exists to be loved and enabled to follow their own path. A person is seen as a thing that belongs to their family and to society and that by virtue of being born in the first place, he or she is already in debt to family and society and will repay that debt through serving whatever role and identity that has been decided for them.
In these kinds of homes, a parent often believes they are sacrificing everything for their child when in fact they are not sacrificing anything. They are simply wearing the façade of sacrifice so they can trap their children with shame and guilt and the sense that they owe their parents in some way. The things these parents give always come with invisible strings attached. They are always giving in order to get back. They are engaging in a transaction that the child did not even agree to in the first place. They are simply putting the child in a state of debt to them. They are giving things to the child simply so they can get things back from the child. And any time the child does something that displeases them, the child’s debts (the things the parents have done for them) are hung over the child’s head so as to get the child to surrender their free will and conform again to what the parent wants. These parents give their time to a child and potentially even give up their own dreams to get the sensation of being good and righteous and receive gratitude and praise from others. In this way, they are martyrs. These parents put a roof over their children’s head to get loyalty and alliance. These parents feed their children to guarantee that they can be taken care of by the children when the children are grown. These parents give their children opportunities so that they can gain status. These parents say “I love you because look at everything I do for you”. But the reality is that it doesn’t feel like love, because it isn’t. It is a spider web that the children have been trapped in.
Each time the child accepts something that is given or allows one of their needs to be met by their parent (which they can’t not do, because their survival depends on their parent), an invisible string is attached to them and then another and then another. Until they are literally completely controlled by that parent and must simply let themselves be controlled or else there are serious consequences.
You don’t have to be born into the Indian or Asian cultures to be raised like this. Transactional love and the twisted web it weaves to trap people is a human epidemic. It is present in any dysfunctional codependent and narcissistic home for example. These types of relationships are based on manipulation. So much so that we could say that the plaque that should belong on the wall of the family home is not “there is great love in this house” it is “there is great manipulation in this house”. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: Meet Your Needs.
The problem with being raised in a transactional way is that you believe no other way to be in a relationship exists. You see everything subconsciously as if it is a business deal. All business deals have strings attached. The reason this isn’t a problem is because in business these strings are visible instead of invisible. If I do this, then they will do this. All of life is tit for tat. Expressions of love are synonymous with the pressure of owing someone. And you always have to stay the one who is owed and not the one in debt. After all, the one who is in debt is the one who is trapped in the spider’s web under the control of the spider. You will actually feel worse the more loving someone is towards you. Each thing they do for you, makes you feel more and more enmeshed (trapped in a spider’s web), less and less free, more and more in debt and eventually like you are going to have to give away your free will and your desires and your needs in order to repay that debt. This is when your enmeshment trauma kicks in and you have to withdraw to maintain your sense of free will and identity. At this point, you wither push the other person away or have to create a situation where the debt is paid off entirely and you can put them back in debt to you. You are doing this because what you learned in your childhood is that Love = Being Trapped.
Those of you who want to believe that the spider’s web analogy is extreme, think again. On an energetic level this is the actual relationship that is occurring. The spider either simply catches the fly because it flew into the web (the same as a child just being innocently born into the family) or because it finds a way to lure the fly in (the same way that a person offers something to someone else). But in either scenario, there are strings attached. Either way, the fly gets stuck by the webbing. The person is trapped in the same way the fly is trapped. Then the spider feeds off of the fly. This is the phase where the person gets his or her needs met through the forced transaction. They are taking what they believe they deserve but that the person didn’t agree to giving as an exchange in the first place. For example, a mother has a child and decides that she needs that child to be a professional athlete so she can have status and significance through that child. The transaction is that she will give her hours to drive the child to classes and spend money so that the child can become that thing. The child never agreed to this transaction. But any time the child expresses his or her own free will, the mother will remind the child he or she is trapped in debt “I gave up all this money and time for you so you could be a professional athlete, you’re so selfish.” The guilt makes the child continue and become a professional athlete. The mother feeds on the status and significance through the child. She is literally eating her child that was trapped in her web by virtue of being born to her and having any needs at all.
Here is another example, if we are a rescuer, we have worked out that rescuing someone is a perfect way to put them in debt in a way that they are unable to leave and must repay the debt through commitment, positivity towards us, loyalty and the meeting of our needs. If we ever feel like the person we rescued has paid off their debt or is putting us in a position where we may be in debt to the things that they are giving to us, we must create a situation where they are crashed and in need of rescue again. Someone can’t show love to us without us feeling in debt and controlled. And so, we do something to cause them to collapse so we can come in as the rescuer again and often we chose mates who already have a dysfunction so we can play out this cycle. This is often why codependents choose alcoholics or people with mental illness or personality disorders. If a person tried to cause a collapse in someone who didn’t have a dysfunction already, it wouldn’t work. That person would immediately feel the pattern at play and would leave the relationship as a result. But the person with a dysfunction can’t because they have a very real and genuine problem and need. This kind of desperate dependency is the closest that a person raised in a transactional way can feel to the guarantee that they will never be abandoned. They believe that being left by a person without a dysfunction is inevitable because they don’t have enough to offer someone who does not desperately need them for the transaction of meeting their needs because they have already learned that they cannot be loved for who they are.
If this is the way that you were raised, the name of the game in your relationships is to do what your parent or parents did. Get other people in a position of being in debt to you. The problem is that you did not disclose any of these subconscious contracts that you had with them. These were agreements that were never agreed to by them. You didn’t express these contracts you forged outright any more than your parents expressed that by being born to them and by having them meet your needs, you were not expected to give up your personal identity, be loyal to them and owe them and take care of them for the rest of your life.
You did not express these contract because you are not consciously aware of the terms and you know somewhere deep inside you that they would never be agreed to. Here are some examples of the subconscious contracts you forge without other people knowing that they are agreeing to it: You figure out quickly how to meet their needs so that you can guarantee that you will bee indispensible to them (this is called hooking someone). You give up something in your life with the expectation that they give up the same thing for you. You show them physical affection with the expectation that they are going to give it back to you. You give them freedom and space so you can get that from them. You pay for dinner so that you can avoid being in debt to them and instead you can put them in the position to owe you. You help them out in a time of need by doing something for them so that you can guarantee their alliance and loyalty. You do things for them so you can get appreciation. You give them a gift with the expectation that they will never say something bad about you. And you are always counting score.
Using the previous scenario, they did not know that by accepting your gift, they could never say anything negative about you. So when they do that and you remind them that it isn’t fair for them to do that because of the gift you gave them, you feel betrayed and they are frozen under the weight of realizing that you didn’t actually give them a gift out of love, you gave it to them to use against them later as leverage. It is a repeat of what was done to you as a child. Only this time, you’re playing the role of your parent and they are playing the role that you used to play.
The worst part of all is that because of the shame underlying personal unconscious transactional relationships, you can only stay feeling like you are a good person who does the right thing and stay on top of the debt game by staying in a place where what the other person did is unfair. You are dependent on a state of resentment (being unfairly wronged) to escape your deep-seated core of shame. And you are full of anger that you most likely cannot express because of this dynamic.
I want you to see what parenting is supposed to look like. Parenting with love. In this kind of a scenario, the parent sees that the child did not ask to be born. They are not doing the child a favor by having them and so the child does not owe them anything. This child is the gift that has been given to them. This child is a unique expression of source consciousness. This child has been encoded with his or her own desires, needs, essence and purpose. The universe has trusted the parent with this incredible gift knowing that the partnership between them will lead to the expansion and spiritual progression of both parent and child. This child is meant to be seen by the parent as part of him or her. This love will naturally inspire the parent to demonstrate his or her love to the child through affection and gifts and quality time and acts of service and appreciation. When these demonstrations of love are done, they are not done to get anything back. They are done because it feels good to demonstrate love to something tat you love. You do not need incentive. Doing something lovely for them feels like doing something lovely for yourself when you have taken something as part of yourself. All beings, including children, naturally demonstrate love back when they feel reciprocal love, which a child always will. Both parent and child are free and so they are free to love each other and demonstrate that love to each other. The child didn’t have to do anything for the parent or be anything for the parent to feel this love and demonstrate it to them. This is the kind of love you wanted with your parent. This is the kind of loving relationship you still want. The kind with no invisible strings attached.
Having a relationship with no invisible strings attached begins with you. Start becoming aware of the hidden, subconscious expectations you hold. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Priceless Love Advice, (Expectations and Assumptions).
Become aware of the contracts you are forging without even telling someone that they are signing it. When do you really want to be giving something with no idea of what you will get in return? Notice the betrayal and unfairness you feel in all of your relationships, especially when it arises. Betrayal is the breaking of a presumptive contract. The question is, which one? Transaction works in business because it is mutually expected and assumed. The transaction is disclosed and genuinely agreed to. The reason it takes so long to settle a business deal is because it takes a long time for both parties to agree to a fair transaction. A company that does not bother to be fair about their transactions ends up getting sued. A transaction is ok, provided that it is agreed to. But the rules that apply to business are not the same that apply to personal relationships. In personal relationships that are based off of genuine connection, what people really want is giving and receiving inspired by taking someone as part of you, not a transaction.
Become aware of the discomfort of feeling subservient and in debt when someone does something nice for you. Feel the pressure of having to even the score to feel free. Make a vow to not do something for someone unless you genuinely want to without expecting anything back, even appreciation. Find that place in you that loves something to the degree that doing something nice for it feels like it is the same as doing something nice for yourself. Keeping in mind that at first, this may be an animal or a plant and not a person.
Develop Healthy Boundaries. Give in alignment with these boundaries. Non transactional (unconditional) love always makes space for you to be in alignment with yourself first and foremost. Most people have no idea what boundaries are or how to develop them. For this reason, I ask you to watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries).
Give other people what you always wanted from your parents. Do not make your demonstrations of love conditional upon anything. It is better to simply acknowledge, “I don’t want to give anything to them at all” and to not give someone anything than it is to give someone something with an invisible string attached. It is better to accept that you do not want to give anything than it is to tell yourself that you have to give without expectations even when you don’t want to, otherwise you are being transactional about it.
There is a big difference between getting something that someone gives us because they love to see us happy and paying for something we want to get from someone. The sad thing about this transactional way of being about love is that if we have to pay for everything we get, if we have to give to get anything, we can’t stop from seeing ourselves as not good enough for someone to love enough that they can simply want us or care about us enough to want to meet our needs and see us happy.
Notice the ways you are conditionally giving with yourself. Do you only give yourself a day of rest so you can be get more productivity or performance out of yourself tomorrow? Do you nurture your body or give it what it needs with the expectation for it will never get sick or break down? Do you let yourself have fun with the expectation that you will work to deserve it? Do you only feel appreciation for yourself when you give yourself an achievement? Begin to notice these subconscious contracts you have with yourself. Notice how they mirror the transactions you had with your parents growing up. Practice demonstrations of love towards yourself without any expectation of a return from yourself.
Unconditional demonstration of love is caring for the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. Loving in this way is the act of extending yourself, vulnerabilities included, into uncharted emotional territory with the intent that regardless of the outcome, we want to benefit another person. When someone else’s happiness is experienced as your happiness, you know you have found unconditional love.
It is one of the most expansive feelings on the planet. It is pure ecstasy. And all beings on the earth deserve to be on both sides of that ecstasy.
There are many ways that spirituality can turn abusive. Spiritual beliefs can be used to justify abuse, cover up abuse and be abusive in nature in and of themselves. I am going to be talking about these abusive friendly aspects of spirituality in depth over the course of my career. But today, I’m going to start with the abuse surrounding standard beliefs about reactivity.
The first thing to understand is that most people in the world today don’t differentiate between a reaction and the actions inspired by a reaction. It is all lumped into the same category. For example, if you see a nasty comment from someone posted on your social media post, you may immediately react with feelings of being hurt, feeling shame, flushing red, feeling anger, the impulse to fight back. This is a reaction. If you act on that impulse by posting a mean comment back, that is an action that was inspired by the reaction. We need to make the distinction between reactions and actions inspired by reactions.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that unconscious reactivity causes a lot of problems in the world. For example, if a woman cheats and her husband becomes jealous and is unconscious of his powerlessness and rage to the degree that his reaction escalates into the action of the murder of his wife, it is easy to see that reactivity can lead to dangerous things. If we have been hurt by someone’s reactivity inspired actions in the past, we are likely to make an enemy of reactivity entirely. We see reactivity as the bad guy.
Traditional spiritual gurus have projected a persona into the world of being individuals who either have no reactivity or who have entirely mastered their reactivity. They set the standard of not only what is expected of any master or teacher, but also the standard for what being a perfect human is. Therefore, our idea of what we all are striving to be and must be in order to be perfectly loved is non reactive. We imagine that in a state of non-reactivity, we are constantly open, unconditionally loving and perfectly in control of ourselves. The bottom line is, if we subscribe to these ideas and faiths, non-reactivity is what we expect from ourselves as well as each other.
So, what if I told you that you cannot control your primary internal reactions to something? Feelings do not exist in a vacuum. They always arise as a result of something else. They are always about something or towards something. When you came into this life, you were essentially operating through felt perception. You come to this world already encoded with reflexes, which are reactions. An example of one such reflex is that if you hold an infant on its back with its arms loose; it will react as if it is bracing a fall. This is called the moro reflex. The child doesn’t have to be thinking about being abandoned in a cognitive way to feel the terror in their body of being separated from their mother and to cry and reach out for her in response to that separation. What we are dealing with here is cause and effect. Can you imagine expecting a dog to not react to being kicked? Can you imagine poking a sea anemone with a stick and expecting it not to close up? Can you imagine expecting a baby calf not to cry out when it looses its mother in a field? Unless you are dissociated or disconnected, you will have a reaction to things in the world. It is called being alive.
Our reactions to things also happen in proportion to our previous life experience. It is really tempting for us to say that someone overreacted to something because they didn’t react like we would have reacted. But even then, someone who was at war with explosions going off around them is going to react differently to fireworks than someone who has been safe all their life and has no association with explosions and death imbedded in their nervous system. There is no such thing as an overreaction. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: Drama (How to Avoid Drama and Drama Queens).
The most abusive hallmark of an abusive home environment is when one of the parents (classically we call this the narcissist) hurts someone in the home but when the person has a reaction to that injury, the reaction is instantly made the problem and not what was done to cause it. So you can understand this, I will tell you a part of my past. When I was younger, the man who abused me for years had tied me to a hitching post to rape me. The force of the rape caused me to have a bloody nose. When he finished and saw me both crying and also bleeding, he shamed me for both crying and bleeding. Just so you can get how twisted this was, in his mind, the problem wasn’t the rape that caused the bloody nose and the crying… the problem was that I had those reactions.
The reality is that in our universe, there is cause and effect. It is inevitable that if someone punches you in the nose hard enough that your nose will start bleeding. It is inevitable that when someone sets up to punch you, you will flinch and feel your body release adrenaline. I want you to imagine for a moment someone punching you in the nose and then, when it starts to bleed, acting like something is seriously wrong with you because your nose started bleeding. Perhaps they tell you, “you have such weak capillaries in your nose, we really need to take you to get you checked out”. This may seem like an extreme example, but it isn’t. In spiritual communities, we are doing this to ourselves all the time and we are doing it to each other all the time.
We can’t own the shame of having done something that caused a negative reaction and so we immediately make the person wrong for having a negative reaction and even more wrong for any action inspired from that negative reaction. This is called shame deflection. To learn more about this dynamic of shame deflection, I ask you to watch my videos titled: Deflection, The Coping Mechanism From Hell and The Number One Relationship Obstacle And How To Dissolve It. If people refuse to feel or own their shame, they can’t take any responsibility. This is true if someone is perpetually in the victim role to escape responsibility or if someone is doing something to hurt others and will not accept that fact and thus makes the victim the one to blame for his or her reactions.
We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when someone betrays us (it’s just a part of us betraying us and so, if we focus on that, we wont get mad back). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when horrible memories are triggered (it’s the past it’s not now, if we can just be in the now, we wont feel those feelings). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when someone says something painful to us (try to see them with compassion instead, they wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t in even worse pain). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when we lose our loved ones (there’s no death and if you feel loss, you’re stuck in illusion). Do you see how this goes yet? I could make a list 5,000 miles long about how spiritual beliefs are used to suppress reaction and to make reaction wrong. They are used to shame you if you have a reaction. In other words, if you have a reaction, you are falling short of the standard of human perfection and something is wrong with you.
How many times in social circles have you heard this “How people treat you is their karma and how you react is your karma?” Or “It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to it” or “How you react emotionally is your responsibility?” Like I said, it takes an idiot not to see that if we simply react unconsciously and as a result take actions inspired by those reactions, it’s going to cause a lot of problems for us and other people. But for the sake of awareness, look at the potential danger in these teachings. We can use these teachings to avoid looking at and owning the impact we have on others completely. That can lead to a wickedly painful world… One where as if it isn’t bad enough that we did something that had negative impact on someone that hurt them, we also made them feel like something is wrong with them for feeling bad or getting hurt or having a negative reaction when we did that thing. We can use these beliefs to completely avoid seriously looking at what we are doing to other people and what we need to do differently. And we can use these beliefs to shame ourselves on top of our pain, which creates even more reactivity.
Aside from the obvious external cruelty that this belief and expectation can open the door for, it can lead to self-abusive shame. If we operate in the world with the belief that we should not have a negative emotional reaction to anything or that, any time we have a negative reaction to something, we will believe that we are bad and wrong for having it. Or that something needs to be fixed in us if we had that reaction. Therefore, instead of being able to address the very valid reaction that we had, we will immediately unconsciously invalidate it. That belief that something is wrong with us that needs to be fixed or bad about us will slide over the top of the initial reaction like a thousand pounds of more pain. The shame will in essence suppress our reaction, but the pressure of it will cause so much pain that we will either explode or collapse. And so often when we overreact with an emotional crisis or have an emotional breakdown, this is the tormenting process that is occurring within us. These beliefs can lead to bigger reactions, instead of smaller reactions.
I must mention at this point that if this is a chronic pattern in your life, it is a guarantee that in your childhood, the adults in your life could not own that they caused any negative reaction in you and so, if you ever had a negative reaction to anything, they took no responsibility for causing it and instead decided that you were the one with a problem for having a negative reaction where a negative reaction was not warranted. And if any of you are bulimic or are cutters or have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, you can thank this pattern for it.
I know that many of you who are watching this are going to feel like if we make reaction ok or normal, then it is the same thing as condoning reactive abuse. If we make reactions ok, then revenge is ok and things like screaming and violence and murder ok and so it will happen more. What I will say to that is that we have to separate out the concept of reaction from the action the reaction inspires and stop judging reaction as not ok. Instead we have to accept that we are always going to have an initial reaction and that the initial reaction is often going to happen at a level far more primitive/instinctual than our cognitive processing level. And that there is no such thing as overreacting at that level. And so, we have to begin to care-take our reactions as if there is a real reason for the reaction… A real reaction that was either caused or triggered by someone else. This is the real responsibility we have. Face it as if it is valid because it is. If we sink into victimhood, we avoid taking responsibility for caretaking our pain, which might not only involve finding ways to heal and feel better, but also asking a person to change a behavior toward us. If we sink into the opposite, which is shame for having a reaction to being hurt, we also take no responsibility for caretaking our very real reaction.
We need to adopt the mentality that any reaction we have is warranted because it is always coming from a real place. We just have to figure out where that real place is. You are going to have to accept that as long as you are alive, you are going to have reactions. So is everyone else. If we can see those initial reactions as valid and real, so as to not add shame on top of them, we can figure out what that reaction is telling us about our truth in the moment and our past unresolved pain and about that we need in the moment. We can use them to become more aware. We can address them like we would address real wounds. And by doing that, the actions we take towards others as a result of our reactions will change.
If a trigger is to blame in a situation where you are having a reaction, it is probably not the other person’s fault that you have sensitivity in that area. But that trigger still exists for a very valid reason. Blaming them for the trigger isn’t fair. But neither is expecting yourself not to have it or telling yourself that something is sick or wrong with you because you have it or telling yourself that because this is a trigger, you shouldn’t have the reaction towards this new situation. If a dog who had been battered, hid in its cage despite being placed in a loving home, we wouldn’t get upset at the dog as if it has no good reason to be doing that. So why do we do that to ourselves and each other?
We have the tendency of believing that if we just changed our perspective or the way we were thinking or the way we interpret the things that happen or were enlightened enough, we wouldn’t have the reactions we have in the first place. Can you see that this puts us at war with reactions in the first place? We can’t take care of something we don’t think should be there in the first place. We’re already pushing it away, so how can we pull it close enough to explore it, examine it and care-take it?
When we have a reaction, we need to treat the reaction as if it is a thing to be deeply understood because it is valid. It exists for real reasons. If your leg was hit by a lead pipe, it would break and the pain you would feel would exist for a very real reason. It works the same way with emotions. We have to look at the cause. We have to look at what it caused us to feel in our bodies and feel emotionally and what it caused us to think. We have to ask what it is letting us know about what we need. We need to meet those needs and this includes communicating needs that we have to the people around us. Action actually comes after reaction. We have made an enemy or reactions because we confuse actions that are taken as a result of a reaction AS a reaction. We can intercept this chain from reaction to action. But we need to stop expecting ourselves to intercept this chain from external event to reaction. It is futile. Let things like altering your perspective and attitude and interpretation be part of the caretaking process of your reaction. Not a way to try to convince yourself you shouldn’t have had the reaction in the first place. Your reaction is always legitimate.
If we want to learn to intercept the chain between reaction and the action it inspires, the game we have to stop playing with other people is the game of treating them as if their reaction is not legitimate. And even if we don’t use words to convey this, if we are thinking it, they will feel it. They will be 1,000 times more likely to carry out an action in response to their reaction that will be escalated because we have given them no opportunity to address the reaction they are having if we judge it as something that shouldn’t be happening in the first place.
We should be using any reaction we have in order to become aware. But be aware the risk of believing it is possible not to have a reaction. Beware of the risk of feeling shame or being shamed for having a reaction.
Intimacy is the most important part of any good feeling relationship. When most people hear the word intimacy, they immediately think of sexual interaction. Sex may be a byproduct of intimacy in some cases. But this is not what intimacy is.
Intimacy can be broken down into the three-word phrase “into me see.” First and foremost intimacy is to see into one another so as to deeply connect. Intimacy goes beyond just seeing someone though. Intimacy is seeing into, feeling into, listening into, perceiving and understanding someone. To have genuine intimacy with someone, we have to be willing to commit to becoming an expert on them.
Some people are absolutely terrified of intimacy. They are terrified that intimacy is not going to lead to something that feels good. It is going to lead to something that feels bad. For example, we might be terrified that if we let someone really see the truth of us, they will not tolerate it or accept it. If they know the truth of us, they may use it against us later. If they know our weaknesses or vulnerabilities, they can capitalize on them to our detriment and conversely for their own best interest. If they know what we really want, they can use that as leverage to control us. If they give us closeness, we may feel like we are obligated to make them happy in return, which is a kind of indebtedness and have lost our freedom as a result. If they find out things about us that they might judge as bad or wrong, they might increase our shame, abandon or reject us. If we let them in, they might find a way to engulf us completely so that we do not even have ourselves at all. We need to spend some time imagining being completely close to someone and having no distance between ourselves and another person so that they can see, feel, hear, understand us and be permanently linked to us and see what deep imprint of fear arises in us as a result.
When a child is born, it is born with a natural compulsion and instinct to be close to its parents. Intimacy comes naturally to us all. Being close to one’s parents is how one guarantees having one’s needs met and protection and comfort in times of distress. But how a parent responds to being wanted and needed by the child as well as how the parent uses this need for closeness for their own aims, dictates how safe closeness and intimacy is or isn’t. If we have a fear of intimacy, our parents either dismissed our neediness of them and shamed us for it and/or used our neediness against us.
In households like this, parents usually respond to feelings, thoughts or desires with intolerance and non acceptance as if the truth of how the child feels and how they think and what they want is a challenge to the parent. For example, if a mother is going to take the child to school but the child expresses any anger or fear about having to go to school as well as the personal truth that they don’t want to, this parent will react harshly, scold the child for being disrespectful or ungrateful and minimize or invalidate their feelings. The message that the child gets is that the way he or she feels, thinks as well as what she or she wants or doesn’t want is invalid, shameful and is in direct conflict with the parent’s feelings, thoughts and desires. The message here is “you can’t have you and have me too, because our truths conflict and I’m the adult, so you are wrong and bad”. Instead of seeing how ridiculous this is, we decide that the parent must be right and for the sake of ending the terror we feel to be in conflict with the parent that we are dependent on (who is the god of our reality) we try to disown our feelings, thoughts and desires and idolize the parent because viewing them negatively, overwhelms us with anxiety. Our own personal truth is swallowed by them in the same way that a prey animal is swallowed by a predator. And we allow this to happen. It is a strategy to try to keep ourselves safe from conflict and to keep ourselves from being abandoned. But we feel swallowed. We feel engulfed. We lose ourselves.
Another form of intolerance for our personal truth happens when a child expressing his or her actual truth including feelings, thoughts or desires causes a parent to be so reactive that the child perceives their own truth to be the cause of the collapse of the wellbeing of the parent. In this scenario, the child learns to withhold themselves so as to preserve the wellbeing of the parent. This is common in situations where one parent is sick, dysfunctional or to distressed to parent. For example, if a parent is suicidal, a child learns to never share their negative feelings because if they do, it may push their parent over the edge and cause them to kill themselves.
What we have to understand is that if in our childhood, our need for our parents, as well as our personal truth (meaning feelings, thoughts and desires) was not tolerated by our parents, we learn to fear intimacy. We learn to avoid going to our parents and then to other people for what we need. We avoid showing ourselves to them. We close up and keep them our instead. And because we have learned that our parents and other people cannot accept our emotions, thoughts and desires and we cannot tolerate them in that situation, we learn to disconnect from our personal truth as well. This includes disconnecting from our feelings so we don’t feel them. This includes disconnecting from our thoughts so we aren’t thinking them. It means disconnecting from our bodies so we don’t feel our bodies and it involves disconnecting from our personal desires.
One thing we have to accept if we had this experience in childhood is that our heart is broken. It was broken long ago and it has never healed. It never healed because we never found a way to resolve that pain and have a different experience relative to being seen, felt, heard and understood so as to feel close to someone who can meet our needs in a consistently loving and warm way. Instead, we simply forged forward with a broken heart and as a result of not even knowing what we needed in order to mend that heart, simply entered into scenarios where we experienced more heartbreak.
Closeness inevitably involves feelings of vulnerability. Because the person who fears intimacy has learned to cope with their own feelings with avoidance, this naturally leads to suppressing needs, feelings, and desires as well as avoiding anything that would induce these feelings. Closeness is to be avoided at all costs, even though closeness is their most suppressed need. And they cannot dismiss their own needs, feelings and desires without doing the same to other people around them. They don’t want to see or feel or deeply understand someone because this brings up the deep feelings of unfairness that they must accept and tolerate and take care of who someone else is but they will not receive the same treatment in return… just like in childhood. For this reason, the people involved with those who fear intimacy feel as if they are not seen, not heard, not felt and not understood. They will feel like the person who fears intimacy doesn’t see the obvious ways that they hurt them or do anything to remedy the situation. The person who fears intimacy seems to be totally void of empathy because the truth is he or she is not connected to the other person enough to perceive their feelings or thoughts or needs or desires.
If you are struggling with the fear of intimacy, here is how to approach that fear:
Get in touch with your feelings. Your emotions are like a compass leading you constantly to see the truth of yourself in any given moment. In the same way that a compass tells you where you are located in space and what direction to go, your emotions tell you what vibration you are currently holding and what direction to go to improve that personal frequency so that the circumstances of your life are in alignment with your desires. Your emotions are also the doorway to discovering the subconscious limitations you have which are preventing your happiness in life. Not being in touch with your emotions in life is similar to being stranded in a foreign wilderness without a compass. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How to Feel (Learn How To Start Feeling). Learning to feel after having deliberately cut yourself off from emotions begins with the conscious choice and decision that you want to feel. That is not a decision that you have made yet. Once you have done this, label how you feel and communicate how you feel to other people. Consider this a process of re-owning you personal truth.
Discover the part of you that does not want to be intimate with someone (the part of you that was wounded by your parents refusing to accept and tolerate your feelings, thoughts and desires as a child, as if it were a personal challenge to them as a person. Once you find this part, talk to it, understand it, feel it, see it and give it the intimacy that has never been given to you. From this space, that part of you will tell you what you need to do and what it needs other people to do in order for it to allow for intimacy in its life. To understand how to do this process, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
Make a practice of noticing social cues. When you decided to shut people out because you decided that you could never be acknowledged by them or be supported by them, you tuned other people out. This means you either ignore or dismiss subtle (and not so subtle) cues from other people all the time. This is a vicious cycle because it makes the world and intimacy more dangerous. When you don’t pick up on social cues and adjust your behavior accordingly or dismiss them, other people feel like you do not have their best interests at heart. They perceive you to be heartless and cruel and to be someone who can’t be trusted. As a result, they decide to be in defense mode against you and not care about your best interest either. It becomes an antagonistic relationship and thus not safe to either party. This only reinforces your belief that other people cannot be trusted with your vulnerability and that you cannot be close to them. The more you notice social cues so as to respond to them in a way that makes people feel safe near you, the more they will want to care take your needs and personal truth and best interests. Throughout your day, in every social interaction, practice reading their emotions and checking in with them about whether what you are perceiving is accurate or not.
Notice your disconnection from other people when it occurs within you. Notice how it feels like your heart is gone and like you are only a brain. Notice that you don’t really feel what is happening in terms of emotional sensations in your body. Notice how other people are responding to you with anxiety and neediness and rage. Rage is a cover emotion for powerlessness. This is happening because you are disconnecting from your own feelings of anxiety, neediness and fear in this moment. You feel that by disconnecting from the other person who you perceive to be causing those feelings, you can escape from the feelings themselves. They then become the carrier of your suppressed and disowned emotions in that moment and will become even more anxious because you are making them responsible for both their own anxiety and yours. Try to choose to drop into and feel the feelings of anxiety, powerlessness and neediness that you are trying to avoid. You are terrified of strong negative emotions. Forcing yourself not to distract yourself or leave the physical vicinity of the other person and choosing to drop inside yourself to let yourself feel the real feelings underneath that disconnection is the only real way to not create a vicious spiral of lost connection with the person who you genuinely want to be connected with.
With a willing partner, who can understand the trauma you have experienced relative to showing yourself as a child, practice dropping into these emotions that you are terrified of and allow them to do what your parents did not do for you. Have a new experience of them acknowledging those feelings, tolerating them and supporting you through them.
Commit to authenticity. If you fear intimacy, you have not been living authentically. Trying to be authentic around your parents, which is an intimate thing because you are trusting someone with the truth of you, had consequences. But notice the pain involved in living an authentic life. Anais Nin once wrote that the day came that the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful that the risk it took to bloom. Have you reached that point yet? Has that day come? If so, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic.
Your fear of intimacy has made it so you subconsciously prioritize areas of your life where you don’t experience vulnerability and strong emotions or needs, things like work and hobbies. A life of achievement is useless if you have no one to share that life with. What you really want and need is connection, closeness and to be truly seen, felt, heard and understood by someone. To get this, you are going to have to prioritize your relationships instead. You need to see that you can be loved for who you are, not for what you can do or for what you achieve.
Notice that positive feelings trigger your fear of intimacy even more than negative ones. When you feel another person loving you and demonstrating love for you and wanting connection with you, it conflicts with what you think is possible and with your own view of yourself. As a result, you will feel suspicion and distrust for them and it will unwittingly trigger that deep-seated feeling that you developed in childhood that who you were was not to be tolerated. And as a result, it arouses all of that pain. To get away from the pain of that trigger, you will disconnect from those feelings and create problems or tension in the relationship or push the person who is loving you away.
Face your shame, own it and deal with it directly. Shame is a sense of oneself being bad or wrong, deficient or defective in some way. And what else are you to conclude about yourself if the truth of how you feel, think and what you desire is not tolerated by the people who are supposed to love you the most in your life – your parents. For this reason, I want you to watch my videos titled: How To Overcome Shame and The #1 Relationship Obstacle and How To Dissolve It.
Be aware of when you are pushing people away. Play a game with people in your life. Ask them to tell you when something you say or do feels like a push away to them. You need to see this reflection of yourself in order to become more self-aware. If you have cut yourself off from your feelings and thoughts and desires and body, you are not very self aware. And self awareness is the key to recognizing your behaviors before they are acted out and damage your relationships.
Commit to becoming an expert on the people in your life, especially your significant other. If the only person you practice closeness with is one person, that is good enough to start. To be close to someone and to develop intimacy with someone, you have to be willing to make a constant study of them so you can become a expert on them.
Practice the connection process. In this process, you will be journeying into someone’s internal world and you will be letting them journey into yours. To learn how to do this process, watch my video titled: How To Connect With Someone.
Discover your needs and even though it is scary, express them to other people and allow them to choose when and how to meet them. If you can’t express them directly, express them indirectly. Write the various needs you have on a piece of paper and put the paper somewhere in the house where they are easy to see. Instead of expecting them to meet those needs or manipulating them to meet those needs, surrender into the vulnerability of letting others meet those needs because they want to and because your happiness is their happiness. When you were young, your needs were not met with warmth and consistency. Your needs were either not met at all, or they were met with inconsistency, anger and resentment and often with strings attached. You learned not to depend on others to meet your needs, but to swing between manipulating them to meet your needs and meeting them all by yourself. You need to let yourself have the experience of having your needs met by others because it brings them pleasure to do so.
Accept that you will be learning how to be intimate and close and connected with someone for the first time from scratch. It is best to start with the idea that you have no idea how to have a good relationship and so you have to prioritize learning it now. You did not have role models for a good relationship and thinking that the poor example you had was how it ought to be, your past relationships have most likely not shown you how to have a feel good and close relationship wither. So how could you know how to do it? You don’t. Become ok with starting from scratch and throwing your old paradigms away. This is the moment that the scientist realizes his current theory is rubbish and so he has to crumple it up and throw it in the trashcan and be open to entirely new ways of having a relationship.
Become comfortable with vulnerability. The more tolerant of vulnerability and the discomfort it causes, the closer we will be able to be with people and the less we will push them away. Vulnerability is not weakness. Instead, it involves great courage to be willing to be vulnerable. If we can choose to acknowledge and share our vulnerability in a situation instead of cope by pushing people away, creating conflict or disconnecting, we can remain connected to the person we want to be connected with. We can bring resolve to what is real. We can meet the needs that are real. We can make the relationship feel good again.
Realize your tendency to repeat what was done to you as a child in your relationships. Recognize the way you meet other people’s wants, needs, feelings, thoughts and desires with intolerance. If you can remember how painful that was, you can recognize what you needed instead, and provide that experience to other people. Imagine that every time you are giving that to them, you are giving that to the child in you that had to suffer in that way and you are helping to create a world where that kind of pain no longer exists.
Intimacy is an act of courage. Courage cannot happen without fear. Courage implies fear. If we want connection and intimacy, we are going to have to step forward and commit to connection and intimacy with our fear, not in spite of it. We are going to have to bring the vulnerability of that fear with us into the relationship. The good news is that if we have found a partner who wants to be connected and intimate with us as well, by dong so we will have a different experience than we had in the first place in our life. We will experience someone who is able to not only accept but to love the truth of you and meet your needs because it brings them pleasure to do so.
You would have no idea of what you looked like physically without your bathroom mirror. The bottom line is, you come to know yourself through reflection. People in the external world are like a giant mirror. When someone says, “Why are you so angry all the time?” You come to consider yourself to be an angry person. If people look at you like something is wrong with you, you come to consider yourself as defective. If people tell you that you are beautiful, you come to see yourself as beautiful. We see the way people react to us as a reflection of who we really are and when we are children, we do not question the reflection we are being shown through other people at all. We do not question the accuracy of the mirror. Instead, we swallow the mirror. Our internal concept merely becomes the same as what is being reflected from the outside.
Let’s imagine that a child has a mother who actually does not want a child because she wants to live a life around what she wants to do and have no obligations. The mirror (which is the mother) will not be accurate. It will be tainted with “I don’t want you”. This mother will not be able to reflect to a child that he or she is important and valuable. The reflection the child will see in the mirror is that he or she is a burden and is not important and is an unwanted burden. Instead of questioning the mirror, he or she will swallow the mirror and will see himself or herself as someone who is a burden and unwanted and unimportant and not valuable. In order to ensure his or her survival, he or she will then adapt his or her behavior according to that self-image. For example, if he or she sees himself or herself as intrinsically worthless, he or she may decide they cannot get connection for being who they are because no one would inherently want them in that way given that they have no value. Therefore he or she might instead choose to get the connection they need from others through codependent strategies.
Because of our early childhood environments, many of us adopt a self-image of shame. We swallow the mirror, which is reflecting that we are bad, wrong, hold little or no value and are unwanted. We swallow the mirror that something is wrong with us. This usually happens the strongest if we grew up in households where our caregivers made us the problem. They deflected their own shame by blaming us for everything. The mirror we swallowed held the reflection that we carried all the responsibility for anything negative. As a result, we develop into adults who take everything personally. Meaning that any time someone reacts to us in a negative way or any time something negative happens, it was our personal fault. We are the ones who carry the responsibility for that fault or wrong. We do this because we have instinctively learned from our primary childhood relationships with people who refused to carry any responsibility for anything negative themselves, that it was personal.
We end up being people who take everything personally because we were raised by people who could not face and resolve their own shame, so they passed it on to us and that shame became our self-concept. For this reason, I need you to watch my videos titled: The #1 Relationship Obstacle (And How To Dissolve It), in which I explain the mechanics of shame deflection, as well as Projection (Understanding the Psychology of Projecting).
Responsibility is the opposite of the state of victimhood. In victimhood, one feels that they do not govern themselves or their own life. One feels no ability to choose and one has lost touch with their sense of free will. They are in a state of powerlessness relative to themselves and their life. Responsibility is when someone healthily claims their power over themselves and their own life. This causes them to feel a sense of their own free will and to consciously choose. If you have responsibility, you are leading your own life. But what about toxic responsibility? Responsibility is actually at the opposite end of the vibrational scale from self-blame, which is toxic responsibility. But it takes a high degree of emotional awareness to see responsibility and self-blame as opposing states because both states recognize the self in a position of causation. For this reason, self-blame can disguise itself as responsibility like a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing. But one is self-hating, the other self-loving. One condemns the self and the other saves the self. If you are taking responsibility, you are feeling empowered. If you are self blaming, you are feeling bad about yourself and disempowered. But self-blame is in fact how we escape a feeling of genuine powerlessness to someone else.
Sometimes, we are so powerless to something that taking blame for something is the only way we can avoid feeling powerless and victimized. For example, often children who are abused feel less powerless and terrified and victimized if they believe that they are somehow at fault for the abuse or did something to deserve it. When this is the case, we have a toxic attachment to responsibility. To be responsible so as to see and own your part in the causation of events in your life is a great thing. Up until the point where you are seeing and owning not just your part in the causation of events in your life but also everyone else’s part in it… Or potentially not seeing their part and what is theirs at all.
When we believe down deep that we are bad, we automatically assume that any negative thing that happens is because of us. We take any negative reaction that someone says personally and our deep, visceral sense of shame is instantly triggered. And many people take advantage of this by either allowing you or forcing you to own that blame, whether or not something is actually your responsibility. They get to avoid their own shame by doing this. But taking everything personally leads to a super painful life and it reinforces shame, which leads to things like broken relationships, addiction, and even suicide. So what should you do in order to not take things so personally?
Question The Mirror. If we are imprinted with a deep, visceral sense of shame, we swallow the mirror. We accept the reflection of ourselves that we are perceiving in other people’s reactions without any question. We need to learn to question the accuracy of the mirror itself and consider that there may be something distorting and warping the mirror itself, which might make the reflection different than the thing it is actually reflecting (you). Ask yourself in a situation where you are taking something personally, is there something in them that could be distorting the reflection? For example, if they are acting rude, could they be stressed with something else in their life, like a failed relationship? If they are furious at me, could I have triggered some unhealed wound from their past? If they are treating me like I’m a slut, could it be because they have disowned their sexuality? If they are treating me like I’m worthless cause I have no money, could it be because their father traumatized them into feel like they held no value unless they were financially successful?
If we struggle with shame, and as such seem to inherently take all the blame in any given situation regardless of whether we want to or not, we have an impossible time separating what we are responsible for from what other people are responsible for in any given scenario. For this reason, I want you to get in the habit of doing an exercise where you discern what’s theirs and what’s yours in any given conflict or negative situation. Alternatively, you could do what’s mine and what’s not mine, if your situation isn’t directly about an interpersonal conflict. To do this exercise, take a piece of paper and make two columns. Put ‘Mine” at the top of the first column and either “Theirs” or “Not Mine” at the top of the second. Now, close your eyes and witness the negative situation from third person perspective. Witness it as if you were a genuinely objective bystander who is able to see and know all. And pick apart the situation for what part of the situation belongs to either column. Here is an example that a client did relative to herself and her husband post divorce:
His His parents have a classic codependent and narcissistic relationship and have raised him to relate in that same style in relationships.
He was a child at the time and was not ready for marriage.
He doesn’t want to be there for a woman, he told me so himself.
He is un-attuned and has said he doesn’t care whether he hurts people emotionally. His ‘honesty’ is cruel.
He decided to marry me even when he knew I had clinical depression… Assuming he wouldn’t or shouldn’t have to deal with that in the marriage.
He “just gave up” with the pressure of taking care of me and didn’t even communicate about it or even put effort into getting us help with it.
He makes himself feel good by putting people down. LOVES shaming.
He didn’t try to remedy the marriage at all, no therapy or anything, just filed for divorce.
He made it about me being too hard to handle instead of admitting that he really doesn’t want a serious relationship, he wants a trophy wife.
He spins everything that he does to hurt relationships into good things… for example, “It’s good that I run in relationships, it’s them who need to be run from. He can’t and won’t see anything bad about himself.
He is not committed at all. The minute the going gets tough he gets going.
He can’t be in a relationship with someone who has needs and who needs anything from him. As he puts it “He will not sign on to be leaned on”. He wants an independent woman who does not depend on him at all. He sees dependence as ‘sickness’.
He was so self centered that when I was in Labor, he was focused on how much discomfort he was in because of feeling “sleep deprived” because I needed his support.
Mine I was so desperate for belonging that it didn’t matter what man I was with. Because of this, I have NO discernment with men. I get like a starving person willing to eat poisoned food. I wasn’t in love with him. I wanted to belong and I really wanted to belong with his family.
I struggle with clinical depression. This is too much for some men.
I married him one month after meeting him.
I was obsessed with pregnancy and whether I was pregnant or not and even lied to a few boyfriends that I was at that age because that = getting the belonging I was so desperate for to me. I wasn’t concerned with whether the man I was with wanted it.
I feel ashamed that I can’t cope like ‘normal people’.
I didn’t have the money for therapy at that time, so I didn’t go to therapy which put a lot of pressure on my partner.
I told him I could be a stay at home mom when I had no support system. This wasn’t true. I didn’t realize I couldn’t do that – I couldn’t see that as a limitation of mine.
Deep down if I’m honest, I do feel I need a man to take care of me.
Do a meditation where you give back what isn’t yours to hold and keep only what is yours to keep and be responsible for. You can either invent your own way of visualizing this or you can listen to the guided meditation that I have designed for doing this. You can do this only once to relieve yourself of burdens you’re carrying from situations that have happened in the past or situations that are currently happening. Alternatively, you can do this any time you are in a situation where you are feeling like you are to blame for everything. To access the guided meditation that I offer for this process, visit my website www.tealswan.com and click shop on the menu.
If you are taking everything personally, you are trusting other people (or their reactions to you) tell you everything about who you are, instead of relying on what you know to be true about yourself; what really defines you as a person without any outside influence. For this reason, commit to the practice of authenticity. To learn how to be authentic, watch my video quite literally titled: How To Be Authentic.
Put yourself in the other person’s perspective. Often, when we are limited to our own individual perspective, as well as the inherent shame we feel, we are blind to seeing the reality that the other person is observing so we can’t actually see what their reaction is actually about. Doing this exercise makes it much more clear and also helps us to discern what is ours and what isn’t ours. Pretend to be them but interacting with you. If you want an awesome technique for how to do this, watch my video titled: The Octopus Technique.
Face your own shame. You now know that the root of taking everything personally is shame. Therefore, make focusing on and resolving your shame, your top priority. To learn more about how to do this, watch my video titled: How to Overcome Shame. We all take things the most personally when people hit our sensitive spots. For example, if I feel confident that I’m doing something right, I won’t feel insecure or take it personally when someone says I’m doing it wrong. If I’m insecure that I’m overweight, I will take it personally if someone makes a joke about weight. Recognize that when we are taking things personally, often a deep wound (sore spot) that is unhealed is being triggered. To learn how to heal these old wounds, try out my process called The Completion Process, which is outlined in detail in my book titled “The Completion Process”.
Question the meaning that you are adding to the experience. We encounter various experiences in our day-to-day life. Some we could consider positive and some we could consider negative. But the quality of our experience relative to those experiences is flavored by one thing and that is the meaning that we assign to the experience. When we are taking things personally, it is an indication that we are adding painful meaning to an experience. We need to ask ourselves, what am I making this mean? And then question that meaning that we have assigned to the experience. For example, imagine that someone ignores you when you try to get their attention. You could make this mean that they are currently absorbed in their own thoughts or you could make it mean that you don’t matter to them. We need to make sure that the meaning we have assigned to an experience is actually the meaning of the experience. Allow people to clarify if you are confused about their actual meaning. To learn more about how this works, watch my video titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.
Recognize the egocentric worldview. People in general are prone to seeing themselves as the epicenter of the world. Everyone sees the world this way because everyone is experiencing the world through his or her singular perspective. Therefore, if you walk into a room, chances are everyone is really thinking about themselves. We’re thinking about our own insecurities, flaws, weaknesses, feelings, thoughts, experiences and realities. We often think everyone is thinking about us or judging us (because we see ourselves as the center of the world) when in fact, often they are not because they see themselves as the center of the world as well and are concerned that everyone is thinking about and judging them.
A miniscule part of what people do and how they act towards you is personal. So throw up the mirror you swallowed long ago. Throw up the mirror whose reflection shows that you are to blame for and are thus responsible for everything negative. And as a result, you will see not only yourself, but also the world more clearly.
Compassion is a form of connectedness that goes beyond thought and language. It is spontaneous. Compassion is a form of connectedness because it arises when we feel a sympathetic commonality with someone. In other words, we experience a shared felt experience of pain. There is a harmony inherent in shared feelings, as well as shared understanding. When we feel compassion, we feel sorrow and understanding and concern for the suffering of someone or something else. And having that shared commonality of pain and therefore sorrow and concern for them, then compels us to alter our actions towards that thing. We show mercy and love towards it instead of cruelty and separation from it.
Think back to a time when you were watching a movie or a show where a character experienced something that caused them to suffer and instantly you got a physiological sensation of connection with that character. You instantly related to that person and understood them as well as what they need. This is compassion. Compassion immediately arises when someone experiences pain that we relate to.
When we do not relate to something, because we feel separate and different from them, we do not feel compassion. This is why our meat industry is alive and well. We grew up with our family dog and because we have a bond with it, we relate to its experiences. The idea of eating the family dog appalls us because we feel compassion for the dog. However, we feel separate from a cow and do not have a bond with it. We do not relate to it and so the idea of eating hamburger does not appall us. We feel no compassion for the cow. A person, who experienced a commonality of pain with something else and was aware of it, would be incapable of inflicting that same pain on that thing. This is why it is so common for survivors of severe abuse to stop eating meat all together.
We feel no compassion and therefore propagate cruelty towards things we do not feel a shared commonality with. If we identify ourselves as totally sane, we will have no compassion with people who are mentally ill. We will treat them as if they are a danger to society and get angry that they can’t just “snap out of it” and ostracize them and having no sense of their needs (because we do not relate to them), we will do all kinds of things with them that increase their suffering instead of decrease it.
We feel no compassion towards spiders. We will stomp on them to crush them with the heel of a shoe and think the action is a good one. Many wealthy people have no compassion for people who are poor. They do not relate and so they imagine them to be lazy and keep changing laws and increasing the cost of living without increasing salaries, thus making it harder to thrive financially. The bottom line is NO real positive and effective change can come to a person, from a person who does not relate to them deeply enough to understand their perspective and subsequently needs.
Today, I’m going to make the idea of how to develop compassion so simple for you; you will not be able to forget it. Compassion will no longer be an abstract concept. Compassion naturally arises as a result of relating to someone’s suffering. Therefore, all we must to in order to feel compassion and know what action to take towards that thing is to DELIBERATELY LOOK FOR HOW YOU RELATE TO THEIR PAIN. If we are terrified of deliberately looking for how we relate to someone, we need to ask ourselves WHY? What bad thing do I think will happen if I relate to this thing or feel close to this thing or am the same as this thing? And we need to compassionately challenge the thoughts that arise as a result of asking this question. We need to find the part of us behind those thoughts that is afraid and have compassion for it.
Compassion only happens when you are maintaining the idea that you are different from something. Having compassion begins with looking for how you are the same as something. Do the opposite of what your ego naturally does, which is to look for how you are different to something. Therefore, if you are struggling to have compassion for something, dedicate time to being present with that thing, learning about that thing and understanding it. From there (if it has not naturally happened already) deliberately look for ways that you are the same as that thing. From there, see if you can look for ways that you relate to their pain. How is your pain the same as their pain? Can you identify their pain? Look back over the course of your life. When did you experience pain like that? Remember what that felt like. Remember what you thought. What did you really need back then when you were in that pain?
The connectedness of compassion naturally arises when we assume this perspective instead of a perspective where we are separate from them and different to them.
If we have a bankruptcy of compassion for things that are external to us, it is because we have a bankruptcy of compassion for things that are internal to us. As people, we have no compassion for ourselves. The reason for this is fragmentation. If we do not have a way to resolve and thus integrate the trauma that we experience when we are young, we must dissociate from it. Our consciousness splits when we do this as a matter of self-preservation. We push an aspect of ourselves that is experiencing that pain away from ourselves and we reject it and deny it and disown it and identify with the aspect that does not feel that vulnerability. But because we have no way of becoming two different people at that moment, instead, our sense of self becomes fragmented. So even though we have one body, within that body, we end up with multiple internal selves. Some of which we bury in the subconscious and never allow to see the light of day. To understand how this process happens in depth, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The World Wide Disease.
By splitting off from and dis-identifying with the aspect of us who feels the vulnerability and suffering in that moment, in favor of identifying with an aspect that doesn’t, we consider ourselves to be ‘different’ from that part of us. We no longer relate to it. This is why we are capable of propagating the same abuse that was done to us as children. It is why our parents can force us to abandon our true dreams in favor of doing something rational and practical of their choosing and then, we can force our own children to do the same, no longer relating to the kind of torment that caused in us and therefore not relating to the kind of torment that causes in our children.
In order to release ourselves from suffering, we need to re-integrate these aspects within us that we have pushed away from ourselves so as to split off from and dis-identify from. We need to include them as part of us again and do the same thing that we would do to develop compassion towards another part of us, but with the parts that are internal to us. The inner child is just one example of many of these inner selves that exists. Therefore, we develop self-compassion when we are present with the inner child within us, when we are learning about him or her and understanding him or her. The next steps are very easy because you will naturally relate because it is already a part of you… From there (if it has not naturally happened already) you can deliberately look for ways that we are the same as our inner child. From there, see if you can look for ways that you relate to his or her pain. How is your pain the same as their pain? Can you identify their pain? Let your inner child show you your past. Remember when you experienced that pain. Remember what that felt like. Remember what you thought. What did you really need back then when you were in that pain? How can you provide that for yourself and for other people now? The connectedness of compassion with this part of ourselves naturally arises when we assume this perspective instead of a perspective where we are separate from our inner child and different from them and worse, when we assume the perspective that we are adults and so a child within does not even exist. We must do this process with all the parts within us. When we do this, the light of compassion will cause an integration of these fragmented aspects of us. We will feel more whole. Our shame will evaporate in the light of our compassion, like sunlight melting ice. We will take actions toward ourselves that are in alignment with compassion.
I will give you an example. Imagine that we have a politician who is cruel and dictatorial. Imagine that way back in his childhood, he had a father who shamed him and rejected him any time he was not the very best. Perhaps his father called him a loser. Having no way to resolve the pain of that experience and in order to keep the love of that father, he had to cut off from the aspect of him that felt like a failure and from the pain of his own feelings that he might not be good enough. He had to identify with a side of him that is winner. He had to cover up the side of him that never felt like it was good enough with achievements so he could no longer even see it. He had to push away any feeling or thought or action or person that his father associated with being a looser. He had to consider himself different to them. Now, because he has pushed them so far away, the aspect he is identified with cannot relate to them. Now, he is the one calling them all losers. He is the one taking actions that increase their suffering and thinking they deserve it. And until he re-owns the side of himself that feels like it is not good enough, so as to feel compassion for it (the side that suffered the pain of the rejection and shaming of his father) he will not relate to the people who he has sorted into the category of ‘different from me because they are losers’. He will continue to propagate separation of and cruelty towards these people and not be able to meet their needs.
This world functions like a mirror. The fragmentation in the world, which is evident through things like wars and prejudice and slaughterhouses, is merely a reflection of our internal state of fragmentation. When compassion is the condition of our internal selves, it will be the condition of the external world. And integration within the world will spontaneously follow suit.
It is often much easier to feel a sense of connectedness when someone is suffering as opposed to when they are feeling joy. Our suffering makes a big impact on our being. Seeing someone suffer in the same way immediately establishes our sense of commonality. And to be honest, it is not our joy on this planet that needs our compassion because it is not our joy that is creating the problems here on earth for one another. It is our lack of compassion. It is the way that we have not made the decision to relate to each other deeply and see ourselves as the same.
Compassion is the single most critical thing for the human race to develop. And quite honestly, the survival of our own species depends on it. We are no longer in a place where we can wait for compassion to spontaneously occur. We now have to take steps to help it to arise.
Do you frequently find that you need space to yourself? Do you identify yourself as someone who likes to be alone? The human race is a social species. Our species survival depended (and still does depend) on each other. Technically the top human need is connection and the single biggest threat to our wellbeing is isolation. So how can it be that you need space, how can it be that you need alone time so badly?
I want you to notice that when you need to be alone or need some space, this never includes being away from plants. It never includes being away from your dog or cat. You don’t look down at your dog and say, “I just need some space right now and time to myself” and then close the door to your room with them outside of it. So what makes people so different for you? What is it about being with people that makes you need to get away and be by yourself?
I am going to tell you today that if you need space to yourself and identify yourself as someone who needs alone time, it is because you are struggling with inauthenticity. The difference between your dog and a person is that you feel like you can completely be in alignment with your unique desires, needs, perspectives, feelings, thoughts and do what you want to do when you are with your dog and you don’t feel like you can do any of that with a person. There is a big incongruence between your internal self and your external self when you are around people. This leads to both pressure and exhaustion. It is hard to act differently than you feel. It is hard to do what you don’t want to do. It is hard to tailor every word and action to the response you want to get from them.
Enmeshment trauma is a common thing in the human species. Enmeshment trauma is distress that is caused by boundaries not being acknowledged, seen as valid or respected. It is most common in households where one adult (or more) refuses to see a child as his or her own person and instead regards them as an extension of themselves… The child is not allowed to have their own desires, needs, perspectives, feelings or thoughts. There were consequences for that. In order to maintain the secure connection they needed with this adult, they had to lose their sense of themselves. They have to forfeit their autonomy. Therefore, the desire to develop a sense of self is as strong for them as the desire for merging is for people who have suffered abandonment.
If you have suffered from enmeshment trauma, the minute that a person steps into the room, you will instantly feel as if you need to cater your every thought, word and action to their desires, needs, perspective and preferences. You will instantly try to create connection with them by anticipating the reaction they will have to anything you do or say so you can only do and say what will get you a positive reaction and avoid doing or saying anything that will get you a negative reaction. You will immediately lose your authenticity for the sake of the connection. It is like walking on broken glass. The tension and pressure you feel as a result of not being able to be natural will be immediate. And it does not matter whether the person is someone who can actually welcome the totality of you as a separate person or not, you will feel this way anyway because it is the way you’ve been conditioned to be in your early life. The other person is essentially a trigger for you to not be yourself. The way your boundaries dissolve is a bit terrifying. It’s as if around other people, you can’t figure out how you feel, you can’t figure out what you really think, what you really want, what you really need and you can’t act in accordance with any of this personal truth. You have lost access to your personal truth.
When you are away from people, away from the trigger of another person, you can have yourself. You have access to how you really feel, what you really need, what you really think and you can act in accordance with that. You are in touch and able to live out your own personal truth. Sometimes you may even wish you didn’t need connection at all because the ‘price’ of connection is the loss of your sense of self, loss of a sense of free will and freedom and incredible degrees of pressure.
The people who are in relationships with you often suffer because they feel constantly pushed away by you. They feel like this because they are right. They are being pushed away. They feel like this because the problem is that to get a strong sense of self, you feel like you have to push people away in a multitude of different ways. When you are unconscious of this dynamic, it is only through that friction of defiance and rebellion to another person that you have a sense of yourself as an individual. And this feels safer to you. It does not feel safe to lose yourself because losing your self in this sense is not the same as becoming one. Instead it is becoming the other person but them not becoming you. It feels like you are being consumed or absorbed by them and losing your free will. So you constantly vacillate between pushing people away and needing them. Relationships do not feel safe to you if you are too close. You can get just close enough to not lose your sense of self. But the second you feel you’re losing yourself, you push them away and then when they go away, you chase them. And then the pattern repeats. This leads to a painful relationship where there is always a gap between two people.
Pushing people way is not a good thing, especially if you are pushing away people that you love. This hurts them and ultimately you as well. It is a reaction you have to the threat of absorption. Being alone can be a good tool to use to get in touch with yourself. But remember that it is a tool. It is not actually necessary for a physical human. Feel the resistance you just had to that statement. That should tell you something about yourself. It would not be necessary if you felt like you could have boundaries and be authentic around people. One of the hardest things for the human species to learn is “I can have myself and have you too”.
If you struggle with this issue of needing space in your relationships and from the people in your life, the first thing you need to work on is boundaries. When people have a poor sense of self, they will think of boundaries like a fence or something that other people don’t get to cross. This means you will think of a boundary as being anything that represents a “NO” for you. Do you feel how this is in opposition to someone? But boundaries are every bit as much about whatever a personal “YES” is for you as well. When one person says they like vanilla ice cream and the other says they like chocolate that is a boundary. When one person says they like vanilla ice cream and the other says “I like vanilla too”, that is still a boundary. A boundary as the imaginary line that uniquely defines your personal happiness, your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. This means, regardless of whether people are or aren’t there with you, you need to start consciously getting in touch with your personal integrity, desires, feelings, thoughts, needs and truth and then communicate that and act in alignment with that. There will be boundary conflicts in any relationship. There will be times when your needs conflict and desires conflict and personal truth conflicts. This is ok. This will simply be a time for conflict resolution. It will not be a time for either of you to simply give up your boundaries for the sake of remaining connected to the other. To understand more about boundaries, watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries).
The second thing you need to do is to commit to a path of authenticity. Notice and mend the incongruences between your inner self and outer self. To understand how to do this, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic. Commit to authenticity regardless of whether you are in the room with another person or not. If you let it happen, any people who do not belong with your true self will gravitate away and leave the space open to be filled by the people who do belong with your true self and in turn; you will feel at ease around them. You will not feel like you need space from them any more than you feel like you need space from your dog because you can be completely yourself around them. And you will know true and genuine connection for the first time.
After all, unless you are willing to show who you really are, how you really feel, what you really think, what you really want and start acting in alignment with your personal truth, no one can even see or feel or touch your core so as to really love and connect with you. Be brave enough to take this step.
Authenticity is a word that you hear flying around spiritual communities and self help gatherings and psychology offices all the time. I myself am leading an authenticity movement. But what does authenticity really mean?
Something that is authentic is not copied. It is genuine and it is real and it is true. As authenticity applies to a human being, we must swallow the reality that each and every person comes into this life as a unique expression of source consciousness. This means each person comes in with a unique essence, like an energetic signature and our unique purpose and unique thoughts and unique feelings and unique desires and unique needs and unique role within the greater universe is embedded in that essence.
Our life experience is a process of unfolding. You could picture that essence as a unique pearl that is contained inside of a lotus flower that is tightly closed. In a perfect world that lotus blossom would bloom naturally to reveal the pearl within to the world. The parenting and socialization process would be a process of enabling a child to unfold in that way. If we did not interfere with this process and simply met the unique needs of the unique child in front of us, it would naturally happen this way. But this is not the world that we live in. We live in a world where the process of socialization and therefore parenting, is quite often an impediment to this process of unfolding.
When we come into the world the people around us do not look at us like gifts to nurture so we can unfold so they can see the unique pearl within us. The people around us look at us as if we are a raw substance to mold into what they think is best for us and for them. They tell us that certain things are acceptable and if we are those things, we will be loved and safe. They tell us that certain things are unacceptable and if we are those things, we will be rejected and unsafe. Anything that remotely resembles something that will meet with disapproval is then something that we feel vulnerable about. And we begin a process of splitting ourselves. We put forward only the things about us that make us loved and safe in the world. The rest, we keep hidden. It is as if we will not let certain lotus petals open and therefore keep the pearl hidden so as to fit into the world, be loved and feel safe.
This means that our personalities are in essence, fake. Our personalities are merely the parts of us that we identified with or developed so as to stay safe and away from vulnerability in the very specific situations that we were raised in. We suppress, reject, deny and disown the aspects that make us vulnerable or get us disapproved of in the world. By doing this, they become subconscious. They are buried outside of our awareness and we don’t know they even exist. To understand more about this process, I encourage you to watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
We can only be authentic to the degree that we currently know ourselves. Better said, we can only be authentic to the degree that we are currently aware of ourselves. And because so much of us is denied, rejected, disowned and suppressed into the subconscious, we are not aware of very much of ourselves. We are copies of other people. We are not genuine. We are not real and we do not reflect what is true at our core. Our commitment to unfolding usually ends up being something that we have to take charge of and allow to happen in spite of the world. We end up having to sort through illusion to find what is real about us.
The process of becoming authentic, which is finding your essence again and allowing that to be shared with the world is no different that the process of awakening. And so, for the sake of awakening, I will give you some tips about how to be authentic.
The simplest way to understand authenticity (beyond it being an uncovering of your personal essence) is that authenticity is the conscious mending of the incongruences between one’s inner self and outer self. Authenticity is when your inside matches your outside. You have most likely heard the term “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. This is an example of inauthenticity. The wolf is not a sheep; he is showing a sheep to the outside when inside he is a wolf. It would be no better if a sheep was in wolfs clothing. There are all kinds of incongruences between one’s inner self and outer self. When a person is working at a job they hate, this is inauthentic because their outer work does not match their inner desires for work. When a person says they like someone or acts as if they do, when the truth is they hate them and want to be nowhere near them, this is inauthentic. When a person says they are not artistic, because they suppressed that inside themselves long ago, this is not authentic. When a person denied how they feel because they have learned certain feelings are not acceptable, this is not authentic. When we care so much about seeing ourselves as good that we cannot admit to aspects within us that wouldn’t be seen as good, we are inauthentic. When we have two Facebook accounts, one for the people we know from work and family and one for the things we are actually interested in that they would negatively judge us for, we are inauthentic. When we are gay but we pretend to be straight, we are being inauthentic. To be honest, our entire society today is based on pretenses. But the time has come for this to end. It is one of the greatest barriers to awakening. So the question to live by is: Is there any incongruence between by outer self and inner self?
It is a far bigger deal to not even realize or admit to yourself that an incongruence exists between your inner self and outer self and that therefore you are being inauthentic than it is to consciously choose to be inauthentic. In an ideal world, we could all be transparent, honest and authentic 24 hours a day. This is the world I want to create. But it is not the reality of the world we currently live in. For some of you, there may be times that call for you to be consciously inauthentic. These scenarios, which force us to question our own potentially limited perspective and also consult our own conscience, are a dramatic call for us to awaken. But proceed into authenticity knowing that becoming authentic is much more about becoming aware of what is REAL and from there, you get to consciously choose how to share that realness with the world and even what part of it to share according to your own continually evolving and expanding perspective. The most dangerous adversary to authenticity is not pretending. It is denial. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How to Call Bulls#!t on Denial.
Be willing to look bad to yourself and others. Or at least be willing to confront the incredible terror you have of doing this. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid shame. Shame is the number one enemy to the human ego. But this means that we are constantly avoiding anything that is real about us that could possibly make us look bad to ourselves or bad to others. So we are never actually able to face and work with what is real about us. Most often, we only stop this when we are in so much pain as a result of being inauthentic that we can’t be inauthentic any longer and so we are willing to deal with the negative consequences of our authenticity.
I’m asking you to make this leap before you get pushed up against a wall like that. Accept what is real about yourself, regardless of whether you judge it as bad or good. To a certain degree all people wrestle with what is. We have an intolerance for things the way they are and so we want to change it. We fight what is as if our survival depends on it. Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance. What does it mean to accept something? To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct. Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in. Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something. It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not. It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out.
The heart of being authentic is being vulnerable. The reason we aren’t authentic is because we are afraid of what will happen if we are. We are afraid that we will be rejected, unloved, not received because we have been taught either intentionally or unintentionally that we will be. Many people think they are being authentic when they aren’t because they are only exposing part of what is true. Here is an example of what I mean: You could think it’s authentic to express “you know what, you’re just too self centered to pay attention to anyone except yourself and where you want to go.” But this is actually just defense. And it only represents our anger, when that is a small fraction of what is real. Being authentic might look something more like this… “That was really scary, it made me feel like I was invisible and didn’t matter.” One of the best ways to figure out how to express authentically is to ask yourself, what is the opposite of being defensive in this scenario? Whatever you are trying to defend is in fact the vulnerability that you need to be authentic about. Relative to authenticity, expression is about telling the whole truth, not just parts of it. And that includes a whole range of emotions. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How To Express Your Emotion.
The root of authenticity is knowing how you feel and admitting it to yourself and subsequently others. Your emotions are like a compass. A compass that is bringing you straight to awareness. In the same way that a compass tells you where you are located in space and what direction to go, your emotions tell you what vibration you are currently holding and what direction to go to improve that personal frequency so that the circumstances of your outer life are in alignment with your essence. Your emotions are also the doorway to discovering the subconscious limitations you have which are preventing your authenticity. We do not collectively understand what emotions are and what purpose they serve. We are essentially living in an emotional dark age. For this reason, I want you to watch my videos titled: How To Feel and The Emotional Wake Up Call.
Become aware of your thoughts and beliefs and question them. Our thoughts and beliefs can either be true to our essence or they can be the very thing that is preventing the un-covery of our essence. The reality of me is that I may be thinking a thought like “no one will ever love me”. That thought may be preventing me from uncovering my essence. The thought itself may be an illusion, but it is still real because I am really thinking it. And I can only question it and discover that it is an illusion if I can admit that it is there. I can only change a core belief once I know that it is there. I want you to become conscious of the fact that truth and illusion are both part of what is real.
Most of us do not see ourselves objectively. We are not aware of our actual actions. We aren’t aware of whether our inner world matches our outer world because we are inside ourselves. We are looking through the telescope of our own perspective. We watch other people, but not ourselves. Get into the habit of ‘objective viewing’. This can be done easily in meditation where you imagine stepping outside your body and watching yourself from bird’s eye view. Watch as if you are literally a bird who has no attachment to the human (you) it is watching. The human (you) is just a thing in the world that it is observing. Re-witness arguments you’ve had from this perspective, what you did over the course of an entire day, watch yourself in the shower, watch yourself at work, watch yourself making love. The sky is the limit for situations you can watch yourself in. Just notice what you see. If you really want to be committed to seeing yourself objectively, film yourself. But notice the tightness in your body when you know someone is or could be watching you. Notice when you alter your behavior or tailor your response to what you know will be approved of when you are being filmed. We always see the truth of the discrepancy between our inner and outer world when we don’t know we are being filmed.
You can only work with something that is real. Unless you know and admit to what you really think, really feel, really want, really need and actually do, you are working with illusion and you are not going to get anywhere. It is like building a castle on thin air. It will crumble. Anything in life can either be true to our unique essence or the very thing that is preventing us from uncovering that unique essence. Literally anything you do that makes you more self-aware is a step in the direction of authenticity.
Authenticity is the highest state of being that one can achieve. In the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice and more than that, the true goal of life itself. And as such, our society will be an expression of our collective human essence instead of the very thing that molds it, corrupts it, keeps it hidden and shuts it up.
I’m going to start this article by just telling it like it is… People suck at relationships. Not that I blame most people for this. Relationships are the central part of life and also the hardest part of life and yet our schools teach us a minimum of 13 years of math and science and geography and history, but nothing about relationships and how to make them work.
The level of miscommunication that takes place in relationships is so extreme that it is a wonder we can manage relationships at all. So often we feel like we’re caught in a losing guessing game in relationships about what we need to do in order to make the other person happy. Today I’m going to end a big chunk of that guessing game for you.
I want you to consider that the minute you enter into a relationship, there are now 3 entities, you, the other person and the relationship. The relationship is the third entity. At any given time, your energy (which feeds whatever it is given to) can be given to yourself, your partner or the relationship. At any given time, their energy could be focused on themselves, you, or the relationship.
Sometimes, energy focused towards the relationship bleeds over and feeds one of the people in the relationship. This is especially true if energy focused at the relationship takes pressure off of one person. But more often than not, it doesn’t. For example, when we go to relationship therapy or to a couple’s workshop, this strengthens the relationship but it does not feed energy to either person. Instead, both people are feeding their energy into the third entity of the relationship.
One of the biggest problems in relationships is that one person isn’t getting fed with enough loving energy. This happens for one of three reasons.
We are putting lots of energy into the relationship but not into the other person we are in a relationship with.
We are putting lots of energy towards things we think are for the other person, but they don’t feel loved that way. Essentially there is a miscommunication about what feeds the other person with love.
One person in the relationship is genuinely uninterested in giving, and is only interested in taking from the relationship and from the other person. This is a parasitic relationship, not a symbiotic one.
It is rare that we are with someone who is genuinely only interested in taking in a relationship. More often than not, if someone seems self-centered or a relationship seems like a one-way relationship, it is because they are either feeding the relationship and not the other person in the relationship or because they are feeding the other person in ways that don’t feed the other person.
What needs to happen in your relationship is a 2-part process.
The first part is that each person needs to write a list of the things that make them feel loved and fed with energy from the other person. Make this list as long as possible and then score them from 1-10, with 10 being the most important and the things that make me feel the most loved and emotionally/energetically fed by the other person. And arrange them in order of most important to least, so that your partner has a reference for the things that will make the most impact. But write it in third person.
Here are some examples…
10 Buy her gifts that say “I care” for no reason other than that you love her.
10 Take her on a date that you plan by surprise
10 Put effort into Holidays/Family days/ Community Gatherings and creating Tradition (This is mostly for the family/relationship… but it would mean so much to her to have the pressure taken off of her by you driving the ‘togetherness’ ship.
10 Help her through her anxiety in the morning/ help her process issues she has with other people.
10 Help her set up and devise ways to create passive income
10 Be a gentleman (opening doors, carrying things, walking on the street side of a walkway, help her on with her jacket, lead her with your hand and being attuned to her ‘state’ and needs as if she were a prized possession).
10 Make sure she is protected. Shield her from unnecessary problems, lock up the house at night. Make sure she’s safe wherever she goes and defend her.
10 Become a Teal Swan expert. REALLY put effort into understanding her and her inner world.
9 Take her to Ballet or Opera
9 Act excited/enthusiastic about things she creates or does or is passionate about. Mean it when you do it. Give her an “I really care” reaction.
7 Hold her tummy
8 Take her to a restaurant… but specifically for her (not just let’s go get food)
8 Tell her she’s beautiful and go into detail.
8 Keep your beard shaved so the stubble doesn’t hurt her face
8 If you know she is struggling with something or is wanting to get into something, put the initiative forward to make it happen for her to get help with it or to do it.
7 Foot rubs
7 Take her to the movies, but a movie you know she would like
7 Make her food you think she’d like or make her tea or some other drink that she’d like or even just get stuff at whole foods for dinner and bring it home for her.
7 Rub her shoulders and neck
7 Post something nice about her on your Facebook account for everyone to see.
7 Hug her from behind
6 Plan a romantic get away where the things that are done on that getaway are FOR her.
6 Do something to make the house even more beautiful for her… like a project you know she would love.
5 Take her shopping using his money wherever she wants or to a place you know she’ll like
5 Love notes
5 Take her to dance class
4 Take her to do art somewhere
3 Make her a rose petal bath
3 Pack a picnic and take her somewhere to eat it.
3 Send her sweet texts during the day
3 Drive her places that she needs to go so she feels ‘supported’ and not on her own.
2 Read books and watch programs on being a better husband/spouse… Take those type of self improvement actions that benefit her and the relationship
The second thing is to give this list to your partner and to have your partner give you his or her list. And to have a conversation about each item on the list so that you can both arrive at clarity about it. From there, you need to talk about the ways that you feel each of you gives to the other person. What do you do that you think you are doing for the other person? Pretend the other person isn’t even there and you’re telling a neutral third party the things you do for them. And with each item, you get to tell each other whether you actually feel like that is giving to you or not.
Here is an example, for most women, sex is a transaction. It is a way that women get relationship security. So they give a guy sex, which feeds him so that they can get relationship security. So, pretend a man says “I give to you by making love to you”. This would not make a woman feel nourished because it is transactional. She is in fact giving first in order to get. We can debate the health of that state of being later. But for the sake of this episode, a man could feel like he’s giving to her when in fact she feels like she is giving to him.
So much of the time when partners feel like the other is self centered it is because they are both doing something they think is for the other partner at the same time. For example, I worked with a couple that went running in the morning together. The husband listed going running with her as something that he did for her and the wife listed it as something she does or him. On that same list, the husband listed going to art fairs as something he does for her and she listed it as something she does for him. By the end of the day, each person felt depleted by the other and it was because they were spending energy towards the other person in ways that the other person didn’t actually want it. When they figured this out, they stopped running together and they agreed that if they went to art fairs, they would go with the mentality that is was mutually interesting, not giving to the other on either of their parts. Their focus then turned towards what things they could do specifically FOR each other that would have maximum impact. What you find when you do this is lots of time and effort spent running up against a brick wall and instead, by stopping that losing strategy, the space is actually there to put energy into things that actually work. Often they require much less effort as well.
Sometimes, we can do things for the other person or for the relationship that we like as well so it can be something that feeds them and feeds us too. But I’m going to teach you a trick, doing something for the other person specifically in a relationship, always feeds the relationship in the same way that feeding a mother, always feeds the baby in her womb. People who are being nourished by someone else, feel good about the relationship. It makes the relationship secure. So the best way to create a good relationship is to feed them with energy and do loving things for them specifically and in a direct way, not an indirect way.
An example of an indirect way of loving someone is commonly seen in men and their families. A man may focus all of his energy on his work, saying that he is earning money for his family specifically. But they do not feel loved in this way. After all, his financial success is something that means a lot to him. So it seems more self-serving than other-serving to his family. Perhaps a better way of showing love to his family is to set up at least one day a week where his attention is entirely on them without the cell phone.
We must consider that the way we are giving to someone is not the way they receive. We have to strategize different ways to do things for the other person and organize our lives so that what we are giving to our partner is something that they value and receive. Sometimes this changes day to day. We have to be tuned in enough to feel this shift. For example, I may have ‘being taken to the movie theatre’ listed as a way I feel the most loved. But if I get sick, I will feel more loved if my partner brings me hot soup and watches a movie on the couch with me than if he takes me to the move theatre. In fact, in this scenario, taking me to the movie theatre would make me feel unloved because it would mean he isn’t connected with me enough to feel how bad I feel. For more information about developing the capacity to attune to people, watch my video titled: Attunement (The Key To A Good Relationship).
Become crystal clear with your partner or friend about what you are doing for yourself, what they are doing for themselves, what you are doing for them, what they are doing for you and what you are both doing for the third entity of the relationship. Don’t make it a tit for tat type of relationship. That isn’t what this is about. But a relationship is made good by mutual nourishment. You can and will do things for yourself throughout the day. But if you wake up with the attitude of “what can I do to make my partner or friend feel loved and nourished today” and they wake up with the “what can I do to make my partner feel loved and nourished today”, you will both be feeding each other. Some days more of the focus and nourishment will go towards one of you, another day, more of the focus and nourishment will go towards the other. But no one will be starving and both will feel good about the relationship.
From there, every time we go to do something, we become clear as a couple who we are doing the thing for. Is the thing we are about to be doing for ourselves, for both of us, for the relationship, or for the other person? And based off of that information, do we need to make any changes before we go do it? Do we want to go do it at all? Do we want to do it together? Either way, we can consciously see where our energy is flowing so as to create the most harmonious and mutually nourishing relationship possible.
When a child is born, we look at its size and its inabilities and lack of experience and we think therefore that our job is to lead that child. We think the child is a thing that belongs to us. That it is our duty to mold it into what we think will be the best for it. We think it is our job to lead the child. We think this because we have no memory of the way that progression and expansion actually works in this universe.
I want you to imagine that the consciousness of a specific family line is like a current within the ocean. If the ocean is the totality of united consciousness, including all people and all families and all societies and all worlds. When you come into this life, you come in as part of that current within the ocean that is your family. You come in as an embodiment of the progression of your family’s consciousness. Each generation that is born is the next step of evolution of that specific family’s consciousness. For this reason, you can see that you are the born as the evolution of your own parents consciousness.
Expansion is created through desire. Desire that is conscious as well as desire that is subconscious. Every desire that has arisen, both consciously and subconsciously from you, is added to the source stream current that is your family’s consciousness. That desire is calling you towards it every day. Sometimes, you line up vibrationally with that thing you desire, and it manifests physically in your life. Sometimes you don’t. The desires that cannot be actualized by parents come through their children. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Happiness Is The Purpose of Your Life, Want to Know Why?
As your parents lived their life, they gave rise to desires. Some desires they knew about. For example, perhaps they always wanted to be an artist, but they were forced by their parents to do something more practical. Some desires, they forgot about. The process of socialization teaches us that some things are acceptable and some are not. The things that are seen as not acceptable become suppressed, denied, disowned, and rejected and eventually become a part of the subconscious. A basic soul desire within us all is to become whole again. In a more straightforward way, down deep, we desire to re-integrate with parts of us that we learned were unacceptable and experience them being loved and wanted and part of us. Therefore, lets say that a woman is born into a family that is not ok with anger at all. She has an angry self that is suppressed deep within her. Her subconscious desire is to have that part of her be accepted and loved and be a part of her. After all, this part of her might actually be the one that holds her boundaries and right now in her life, she has no boundaries. She’s a living, breathing doormat. If she cannot line up with her desires in her life, they will come through her child. Her child will be born as the embodiment of her desires for herself. The conscious and subconscious desires of the family line. Her child is likely to be angry.
The child, being born as the expanded form of consciousness within the family line, is born as the single biggest thing that is calling the parent into his or her own expansion and awakening. If in the previous scenario, when a child comes in with an angry disposition, it is an offering for the woman to re-own her own anger. By doing so, she had access to her own boundaries and thus, her life improves. She will actualize her desires. However, we do not usually recognize that this is what is happening with children. Instead, we try to crush in them what we cannot own within ourselves. We treat them with the same rejection, suppression, denial and disapproval that we gave to those aspects in ourselves. This is especially true for subconscious aspects of us and desires. We inflict the same wound on our children that our parents inflicted on us.
The dynamic that is occurring is that there is a vibrational distance between where the parent is and where the child is. And instead of the parent closing that energetic distance by progressing forward toward his or her own expansion (which is the vibration the child is in), they try to drag the child backwards to join them in their less expanded vibration. The unhappiness between parents and children is entirely about this process. And in doing this, we prevent the expansion of not only ourselves, but also our entire family line.
The parent and child relationship was always meant to be a partnership in expansion and awakening. We cannot do this if we take an attitude of superiority towards our children and do not realize that they, being incarnated with the essence of our desires and thus expansion, are our biggest opportunity to expand and become fully conscious. Parenting cannot be hierarchical for this to occur. The parenting process is something that must happen hand in hand. You must let them lead you into the expanded place. And your parenting of them must be designed in a way where by parenting them, you are parenting yourself into the expanded place that they are calling you to.
For example, lets say that you always had a subconscious desire for your parents to be fully present with you when they were with you, not preoccupied with work or the television. Chances are you had to suppress that desire and you had to become a “doer”. Your children will come in then with the full capacity to be completely present and fully engaged with other people. There will start to be friction in the relationship because they want this presence from you and you will fight with them about how busy you are, instead of realizing that this is your opportunity to become what you always wanted and get what you always wanted. If you became conscious of this, you could practice parenting them with presence, being completely engaged with them when you are with them. By doing this, you would not only line up with your own desire, but you would be enabling that expansion of your own consciousness that is embodied within them.
Your conflicts with your children are always an opportunity to recognize an area where they are trying to call you into the place of your own expansion, which is the place where you can best meet their needs and teach them how to carve out their own life here in the world. And when you do that, the conflict with your child goes away.
Our children do not belong to us. They belong with us, but not to us. They come in with a unique life purpose and mission. We fail to recognize and tune into each child’s unique essence. We don’t listen and see and feel them with all of ourselves so as to make the right decision for them. We don’t see how doing this is actually the best thing for us. Separate who you are from who each child is. When you impose what you think is best on your child, what you are often doing is cutting them off from their own unique calling and unique spirit and unique signature. They are already in touch with who they are and what they want. Our job is to help them actualize this. And the only way for us to do this is to realize that they are the embodiment of our own expansion. The only way to parent them so as to help them actualize their innate essence and desires and purpose is to line up with our own desires, both conscious and subconscious. To do this, we must consider that we hold beliefs, values, thoughts, assumptions and motivations that we have never questioned or examined. We inherited them and pass them on, regardless of whether they are chains that imprison us or keys that set us free.
I want to offer an idea that every interaction with your child is an opportunity to examine these beliefs, thoughts, assumptions, motivations and values so as to become more conscious and give to our children, keys instead of chains. Every interaction with your child is an opportunity to either bolster their spirit or diminish it and in doing so, either support your own expanding consciousness, or hold it back.
For example, say a child comes into the house holding a frog that is covered in mud, super excited to show it to you. At this moment, you are at a crossroads. What you say can either support their spirit or crush it. If you recognize their openness and excitement to share with you at that moment, you may decide that reacting in an excited way will increase their self-esteem and enhance their openness towards life and towards you. You may decide that is more important in this moment than a dirty floor. You may see that keeping the house clean can be a lesson for another day because if you get upset at them for getting the house muddy, you will shut down their excitement and openness and connection to you in this moment. The parenting process is nothing more than an accumulation of moments that are opportunities for us to be present and conscious like that. That is the only way we will parent them in the way that causes them to become self-actualized adults who are happy. When we take this approach to parenting, even discipline will take on a form that adds to a child instead of diminishes a child.
From this day forward, I ask you to take this understanding of the actual dynamic occurring at a higher level between parent and child. I ask you to realize that each moment with them is a crossroads of enabling their spirit or disabling it and by its very nature, enabling it, is enabling your own expansion. And every time you get into conflict with your child, consider that they are merely calling you into your own expansion and often by reflecting to you, something that you disowned within yourself long ago and need to learn how to re-own and accept as part of yourself and eventually love. To discover these unconscious aspects, we need to ask ourselves WHY we are reacting the way we are reacting to them when they are exhibiting the certain behaviors that cause us to react negatively to them. They will continue to mirror aspects of your own unconscious to you so that you can become conscious of them and integrate them.
Take note of how your child is making you feel in the moment of conflict and realize, they are making you feel exactly how you are making them feel. Children always set us up unintentionally to make us feel the exact same way that we have been making them feel. They are a mirror. Focus on what you can do differently to change that way that you now know that you are making them feel instead of asking the reflection in the mirror to change.
Every moment we answer the call of our children by witnessing our unconsciousness, we become more conscious and the answer about what to do differently, how to best parent them, naturally comes to us as if it were always knocking on our door and we were simply not letting it in.