Spiritual bypassing is the cancer of the spiritual world. It is a disease that has run rampant in both religious and non-religious circles. Spiritual bypassing (or whitewashing) is the act of using spiritual beliefs to avoid facing or healing one’s painful feelings, unresolved wounds and unmet needs. It is a state of avoidance. Because it is a state of avoidance, it is a state of resistance. I personally, consider Spiritual bypassing to be the shadow side of spirituality.
The spiritual beliefs of any spiritual tradition, be it Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, New Age, Islamic, or even Self Help, can provide ample justification for living in a state of inauthenticity. They can all provide justification for avoiding the unwanted aspects of one’s own feelings and state of being in favor of what is considered to be “a more enlightened state”. Even the non-affiliated and unanimously beloved saying “keep calm and carry on” is in fact a glorification of spiritual bypassing.
Some examples of spiritual bypassing include anger-phobia, exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, using cognitive reasoning to escape emotional feelings. Debilitating judgment about one's negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, avoidance of physical day to day life, delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being and my personal least favorite, overemphasis of and attachment to the positive to the degree that there is a high level of resistance to anything negative. Every religious practice propagates its fair share of spiritual bypassing. For example, Catholic confession, which is expected to just wash away sin and effortlessly alter someone’s negative behavior. Buddhist premature transcendence, which is to act as if one is above and beyond the messiness of life’s drama, when the truth is, one is not. Christian unconditional love, which is to espouse love that is false. It is to say, “I love them” when in truth, one harbors prejudice and resistance to them and only wishes they could learn to love them. Meditation is also frequently used as a form of spiritual bypassing. It is used to avoid uncomfortable feelings and unresolved life situations. For those in denial about their personal feelings or wounds, meditation practice can reinforce a tendency toward detachment, disengagement, or interpersonal distance. Spiritual drugs can be a form of spiritual bypassing.
The use of spiritual drugs can be a tool to avoid getting ones’ hands dirty in the work of resolving emotional issues. It is easier to spend time in an altered state of consciousness than to spent time facing the pain of one’s current state of consciousness. And in the spiritual community, no form of spiritual bypassing has become such a widespread disease as “positive focus”. Here is a prime example of positive focus spiritual bypassing; person A is really struggling with grief because their romantic relationship just ended. Person B feels incredibly uncomfortable about the fact that they are suffering and so, they wish to help the person A avoid those painful feelings. Person B tells person A that she creates her own reality and that she should therefore just quit thinking about what she is thinking about and “be positive” instead. Not only does this condemn the thoughts, which are being thought by person A (and therefore shame them), it also requires them to do something that they are not actually capable of doing. It requires them to jump from a purely negative thought to a purely positive thought; and that cannot be done. It is too far of a vibrational gap to jump. The result is, Person A feels shamed and powerless to their own thoughts. They feel as if where they are, is not ok. There is a big difference between being authentically positive and forcing positivity in order to try to avoid negativity. In today’s world, we have little tolerance for working through our pain. We much prefer instantaneous solutions that involve numbing out pain. Low and behold, Spirituality itself has become it’s own avoidance strategy. When we turn away from our pain or away from “wherever we are”, we abandon ourselves. We resist the very thing we are trying to avoid and so, we guarantee that it will come up in our realities again; only it will come back bigger next time.
Authenticity is the highest state of being for the spiritual practitioner. In fact in the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice. When we use spirituality to whitewash over our issues and try to avoid them, we use the goal of spiritual transcendence to try to rise above the raw and messy and real side of human life before we have fully faced and made peace with it. This can be seen as premature and false spiritual transcendence. It is one of the major pit falls or occupational hazards of walking the path of spirituality. Spiritual bypassing isn’t just an annoying facet of spirituality. It is in fact very dangerous. Why is spiritual bypassing dangerous? It is dangerous because it sets up a major division between the physical self and the higher self. It creates a definable split between where one really is and where one thinks they should be. It enables us to lie to ourselves and delude ourselves and live our lives through the projection of a false self. We cannot heal unless we are willing to admit to where we are and who we are. Spiritual bypassing is like breaking your leg, but being unwilling to admit to it, putting a band-aid over the compound fracture and trying to continue forward anyway. You can easily see how much harm would come to someone physically if they did that. That is exactly the same amount of emotional damage we do to ourselves when we use spirituality to bypass the truth of our emotional self. We need to take time to face and move through and heal our emotional pain in the same way that we need to take time to face the fact that our leg is broken, re-set the bone and spend time healing the leg before we are truly able to move forward.
Spiritual bypassing also leads to a one-sided form of spirituality where one aspect of life is elevated at the expense of its opposite. For example, objective truth (being valued more) is used to invalidate subjective truth. Non-physical is valued over form, 5d is valued and 3d is devalued. Transcendence is valued over physical embodiment, and detachment is valued over feeling. This behavior of valuing one side of polarity over the other gives rise to extremely damaging experiences. For example, one might, try to practice emotional detachment from others by suppressing one’s need for love and becoming independently self loving, but this only drives the need to be loved by others underground, so that it often becomes unconsciously acted out in covert and manipulative ways instead. Being a good spiritual person can become a substitute identity that covers up and defends against an underlying deficient identity. The spiritual idea we have of ourselves is used to whitewash over the truth of our true concept of ourselves, which is that we feel badly about ourselves. We feel that we are not good enough. We feel that we are innately Bad. Then, although we may be practicing diligently, our spiritual practice can be used in the service of denial and defense. And when spiritual practice is used to bypass our real-life human issues, our spirituality becomes compartmentalized. Our spiritual life and practice remains separate and un-integrated with our day-to-day life and our overall functioning. We feel like we have split personality disorder. We can never truly become the embodiment of the higher self, because we are still thinking of our lower self as our lower self, or as our unwanted self. Our spiritual practice cannot ever fully penetrate our life and make us feel good if we are using spiritual principals to avoid ourselves or avoid pain. Ask yourself these questions: Are you avoiding the fact that you feel like you are deficient and not good enough or bad by creating a “persona” of a spiritually transcendent person? Do you use spiritual beliefs to avoid your pain or problems? Do you feel like the spiritual you is different than the embodied you? Do you use spirituality to justify an insecurity within yourself? Do you use spirituality to avoid looking at things in your reality that you would rather think didn’t exist?
Now I’m about to make a bold statement, most of us alive today struggle with spiritual bypassing. Do you want to know how to know if you struggle with spiritual bypassing? You struggle with spiritual bypassing if you espouse, “I create my own reality” and then you worry. You struggle with spiritual bypassing if you espouse unconditional love and feel emotional resistance to someone. You struggle with spiritual bypassing if you espouse the idea that the universe is benevolent and good but then demonstrate distrust for others or the world at large. You struggle with spiritual bypassing if you espouse loving kindness and then berate yourself. If there is any kind of split within you between spiritual principal and the actuality of how you feel or act, then you struggle with spiritual bypassing. And if you struggle with spiritual bypassing, the order of the day is authenticity. We are not just physical beings waking up to our spiritual essence; we are also spiritual beings waking up to our physicality. Physical life is not clean. It is messy. Physical life is a life of contrast. It is an experience that involves both what is wanted and what is unwanted. Spirituality is not an excuse to run away from physical life. The soul is not a justification to deny the human side of ourselves. Spiritual principals are not an excuse to avoid the unhealed aspects of your psyche and your pain. Spiritual principals are not meant to serve as a justification to support your defenses.
In order to avoid the trap of spiritual bypassing, we need to be brave enough to admit to how we feel, what we want and don’t want, what we like and don’t like. We need to be willing to risk admitting to where we are and who we are, even if we think that where we are and who we are isn’t good or ok. If we want to avoid the pitfall of spiritual bypassing, we must express and allow our emotions, wounds, traumas and pain to surface healthily and with compassion.
Make a conscious effort to allow instead of suppress your emotions and not judge them when they arise. We often turn to bypassing to cope with our internal pain and suffering. Examples include addictions to food, drink, drugs, shopping, sex, work, focusing on others and diverting attention away from yourself etc. Make peace with being uncomfortable. If you are numbing yourself inside out this energy lingers and creates a breeding ground for other issues to arise and manifest. Get down to the root of your problems. The journey through life is not always one of bliss. And you haven’t gotten life wrong if you are not in perfect bliss. Sometimes the path through life leads you to breakdowns where you are curled up on the floor in tears.
In order to avoid the trap of spiritual bypassing, we need to apply what we learn to our life. Spiritual and Self help information is relatively abstract. Attending workshops, talks, reading books, going to yoga and meditation classes, etc. are good tools. However, tools are of no use if they aren’t used. Take action by applying what you are learning from these modalities consistently. Integrate them into your life daily. If these ideas remain abstract and merely intellectualized, they aren’t going to help you to create long lasting and permanent change.
If we are to avoid the trap of bypassing, we need to let go of the idea that something must be terribly, “wrong,” or dysfunctional about us if we have problems of negative beliefs or negative feelings or negative thoughts. Everyone has personal, “struggles,” to work through. I mean EVERYONE. When we judge our problems or feelings or negative-ness as wrong, we suddenly have a motive for spiritual bypassing. We make where we are “not ok”. We want to be good and right but we can only achieve that goodness or rightness by being inauthentic. We put on a false façade because of it.
You cannot avoid your pain because you cannot avoid yourself. Anything you try to avoid will haunt you. It will return again and again until it is so large that you cannot avoid it. The thing about spiritual practice, is that we turn to it because we are in pain and we want to feel better. But then all too often, we wind up using spiritual practice as a substitute for facing our psychological issues. When we do this, our spiritual progression is halted. We cannot move forward on our path of spirituality by lying to ourselves any more than we can reach our destination on a map, if we are unwilling to admit to where we are first. For this reason, true spirituality must incorporate the practice of shadow work and if we want to progress, we must face our psychological wounds. If you want to feel better and enjoy your life more, dare to face your pain. Dare to be… Authentic.
All of your relationships are a reflection of your relationship with yourself. The way you feel in your relationships is a reflection of the way you feel in your relationship with yourself. Self help gurus and Spiritual Teachers often teach their disciples this lesson and then proceed to guide people towards total responsibility for the state of one’s own life and relationships. But then, extending this responsibility further, they guide their disciples towards the state of complete self-sufficiency and independence from others. They tell you that everything you need from others, you must provide for yourself. This expert advice tells you that happiness and love should come from within and should never be dependent on what anyone else does or does not do. It tells you that your well-being is not anyone else’s responsibility, it’s your responsibility. It tells you that every person needs to look after himself or herself and that we need to learn to distance ourselves emotionally from others so that we can remain undisturbed by other people.
This modality teaches us that if we can’t keep an even keel, remain emotionally detached from them and be completely independently happy, something is wrong with us and we are enmeshed with others or “codependent”. All forms of dependency are seen as deficiency. Need for other people, is seen as an addiction to other people.
Following this traditional model, one begins to build a model of the world that is for lack of a better word… lonely. We begin to feel as if we are in this life alone and like it is inappropriate to ask others for what we want and need. We begin to believe that it is wrong to rely on other people or depend on them in any way. We are told that if we need other people, it is codependency. From a biological perspective, dependency is not a preference it’s a fact. Putting the fact that we depend on the earth and it’s resources for our survival aside, lets take a look at the biology of relationships. When we become attached to someone, the two of us now form one physiological unit. In truth, we have this relationship with all that is. But it is now proven that our partner is able to regulate our heart rates, breathing and the level of hormones in our blood. Our partner’s availability and proximity to us, influences our stress response. Our sense of differentiation is reduced, even on a biological level when we develop a relationship with them. This reduction of differentiation is the reflection of the fact that when we are in a relationship, we come closer to understanding and experiencing oneness. There is also a psychological phenomenon called the dependency paradox. We act more independent when we have the security of depending on someone else. If you observe a two year old in a new environment, they will crawl around and explore as long as they are assured of the presence of their primary caregiver. If the primary caregiver leaves the room, they will become distressed and insecure and stop exploring. As soon as their primary caregiver returns, they are back to independently exploring the environment. Adults are no different it turns out. If we feel secure that we can rely on the person or people that we are attached to, we are able to take risks, be more creative and pursue our goals. The self-help community and the spiritual community is littered with people whose needs were not met by their primary caregivers and by successive relationships in their life. After all, look at the word self-help. One only turns to self-help when there is no one else there to help them, but themselves. And one turns to spirituality for solace, when that solace is not being provided for them by the physical dimension or by the people in their physical reality. These people already operate under the unhealthy belief that their needs cannot be met by others because they have never known a day when their needs were met by others. They have had to grow up in an atmosphere of survival. And they have figured out that the only way to survive was to disconnect from others, turn inward and become completely self reliant for everything. This is a problem when they still desperately crave intimate connection and symbiosis with others. They must convince themselves not to want what they want and to ultimately avoid what they want. Contrary to popular opinion, these people do not actually trust themselves fully. There is a big difference between trusting oneself and distrusting others. It is very easy for people who have been forced into a position of self-sufficiency to use spiritual truths to bypass this original pain in their lives and use that suppressed grief to justify a state of avoidance to attaching to and depending on others. This belief blinds them to the truth of interdependence and it prevents them from seeing the bigger picture. A bigger picture where the universe is trying to provide us with the opportunity to heal our relationship with ourselves by mirroring the pain contained within our relationship with ourselves through our relationship with others…instead of trying to push us into a state of independent self-sufficiency.
It is also very easy for people who were convinced early in life that they could not trust themselves or rely on themselves, to use spiritual truths of interdependence and oneness to justify a state of turning the responsibility of their lives, over to other people and becoming completely powerlessly dependent on others. They, having abandoned themselves over the course of their lives, are constantly looking for someone to heal the internal loneliness and grief that they feel and “adopt” them. They too, have grown up in an atmosphere of survival. They have figured out that the only way to survive is to completely hook into others, and become completely reliant on others for everything. This is a problem when they still crave an intimate connection with themselves and still crave an empowered state where they can trust themselves. This is a problem when they continue to abandon and avoid themselves when they look for someone else to be there for them. The universe will mirror your resistance to yourself by turning you back towards yourself. The universe will mirror your self-distrust and lack of self-reliance by putting you in situations where you cannot rely on others and must only rely on yourself. We misinterpret this mirroring to mean that the universe is telling us that we cannot rely on others and that it is inappropriate to get our needs met through others. It makes us believe in independence instead of in self-trust. Independence is a hardened state that is closed to others.
Self-trust is a soft state that is open to the self. Independence is a state of resistance to others and resisting the relationship with others. Self-trust is a state of allowing of the self and allowing the relationship with the self. It is not wrong to get your needs met by other people. But when you do not trust yourself and when you are resisting yourself or the way you feel, you will run into the reflection of that. The universe will seem to push you towards self-sufficiency and towards being alone with yourself. You will probably begin to feel like the message is that you are alone and that you can only rely on yourself. It is trying to help you heal by mirroring that you can’t trust others to meet your needs so that you are forced to re-establish the relationship with yourself, be completely with yourself and the way you feel, release resistance to yourself, be there for yourself in your grief or anger or fear, feel empowered in and of yourself and begin to trust yourself.
If you don’t trust yourself, you will continually try to get other people to take responsibility for you and for your life. You will constantly try to get them to “adopt you” by taking up the void that exists where you abandoned yourself. But you are not a match to a person who can do this, if you are in resistance to (and therefore focusing on) running from yourself and resisting the responsibility for yourself. All you will manifest is people you can’t trust and can’t rely on. This forces you to heal the relationship with yourself. If you were running from yourself and resistant to yourself and didn’t trust yourself, and you could manifest a person to take care of you and take responsibility for you and make you feel better and who you could rely on, you would remain incomplete, un-integrated and unhealed forever. That defeats the purpose of life completely.
If you continually try to get other people to take responsibility for you (especially by asking them to make you feel better), you are perpetuating a state of powerless dependence, self-avoidance and self-distrust. The universe doesn’t hate you. You are not alone and the universe is not telling you that you can’t depend on others. The universe is merely trying to put you in a position where you can learn that you CAN trust yourself, be completely present with yourself and depend on yourself. It is trying to help you heal your relationship with yourself by leading you towards a relationship with yourself that is good. To do this, it must lead you away from your current pattern of avoiding yourself by powerlessly depending on others. It is trying to lead you into self-trust and empowered symbiosis.
When it seems like the message that the universe is trying to cram down your throat is that you can only rely on yourself and that you cannot get your needs met by others (which is a message that feels lonely and like the weight of the world is on your shoulders alone), remind yourself that this is not the universe’s message or intention. It is simply the reflection of the fear (and early life experience) that you are alone and that your needs can’t get met by others and that the weight of the world is on your shoulders alone. It is simply the reflection of your resistance to yourself, your resistance to the truth of how you feel and your self-distrust. From there, begin to take more of a proactive and engaged role with yourself (this is what society calls taking responsibility for yourself), not because you are your own burden to bear and you must bear that burden alone and not because the universe values independence, but instead because you will live a happier life if you begin to show yourself that you can trust yourself. Instead of using people to feel better, take time to be completely with yourself and with the truth of how you feel right here and now without trying to change how you feel. Your emotions are valuable. They always have something important to convey. If you avoid your emotions, you avoid the truth of yourself. Taking responsibility for yourself in this way reunites and reintegrates you with yourself. It is only meant provide proof that you can trust yourself. It is not meant to reinforce the belief that you are “in it alone” and “can only rely on yourself”.
It is difficult for people to remove their own pain, fears and negative beliefs from the perspectives that they offer to the world. Sometimes an entire group of people who have had similar painful experiences, propagate a perspective that reflects more fear and pain than love and joy. This is the case with many of the people in the self-help and spiritual community that teach independent self-sufficiency instead of self-trust and symbiosis. The truth is, this is an interdependent universe. When we feel as if we need other people to meet our needs, because we can’t meet our own needs, that means we want to escape ourselves or we do not trust ourselves. If this is the case, it is healthy to learn to reunite with ourselves and take responsibility for ourselves and thus learn that we can meet our needs. When we hate ourselves, and resist ourselves, it is healthy to learn to give love to ourselves. When we are powerless in our dependence on others, it is healthy and empowering to learn that we can be self-sufficient and depend on ourselves. But this has nothing to do with other people. It has nothing to do with whether we can or can’t rely on other people to meet our needs. If we have the tendency to avoid intimate relationships with others and resist interdependence with others, it is healthy to learn that we can depend on others. It is healthy to learn to ask others for what we need and learn that other people can meet our needs if we let them. When we distrust others and resist others, it is healthy to learn to trust others and allow others into our hearts and our lives. When we are ‘independent’ it is good and empowering to learn that you can depend on other people and develop symbiotic relationships with them. The sweet spot of health in this universe rests squarely in the center of two seemingly opposing truths. We live in an interdependent universe, where our needs come to us through other people and things; because in a universe that is one, those other people and things are ultimately US. But because they are us, we are not powerless to those people and things. As creators, we attract those people and things into our lives in the first place. Our relationship with them, is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves and so, we can ultimately trust and rely on ourselves. We are at our healthiest when we have a loving and trusting relationship with ourselves. We are at our healthiest when we are integrated and whole in and of ourselves. We are at our best when we feel enough self-love and self-trust to feel empowered in our own lives because we trust ourselves and our relationship with ourselves to reflect out in our reality as symbiotic relationships with people who are loving, dependable and trustworthy.
In truth, there is no high or low in this universe; but for the sake of our understanding, lets say that at the highest level in this universe, all is integrated. All is one. At a lower level however, there are different dimensions and facets of this universe that is ‘one’. And you, like the universe, are also multi dimensional and multifaceted.
At your highest level, all is integrated. Your physical, etheric, feeling, thinking and spiritual bodies are all one. They are all just energy expressing itself. At a lower level, these aspects of you are like different dimensions of you. They are overlaid upon one another. They are different expressions of the same consciousness. Your feeling body (what most people call the emotional body) is the truth of who you are at a feeling level. This layer of you contains the imprints of the emotional aspect of your memories as well as your current emotional state. It is the bridge between your physical self and our thinking self. The feeling body interprets and translates the thoughts projected forth by your eternal consciousness perspective and also by your human perspective into feeling states or “feeling signatures”. This translation is the first step that takes place in order to enable a being to have a first hand experience of a thought. This enables the thought to be actualized instead of remain abstract. This actualization of thoughts enables us to learn and gain awareness better and faster and this in turn enables personal and universal expansion. Because of the emotional body, man is able to experience their own thoughts. The thoughts are converted into feeling impressions. The physical body interprets those feeling impressions and as if translating the message, converts those feeling states into the neuropeptides and hormones that cause the physical reactions in our body that we call “emotions”; emotions ranging from fear, anger and stress to love, compassion and happiness.
The feeling body specializes in feeling. Feeling is not only about emotion. It is about sensation and perception. Even though emotion does not exist beyond the physical body, feeling does. An emotion is a physiological experience of a feeling. A feeling is a sensation-based perception/form of awareness. The feeling body is not an actual body. It is etheric in nature. But it can be understood and visualized symbolically like an actual body (in fact it often is both out of body and in dream time). You can ask to be shown the visual representation of your feeling body in meditation of you like. With practice, you will no longer need to facilitate an altered state of consciousness like meditation to switch your perspective in order to see the layer of a person’s emotional/feeling body at will. You could observe it as energy, or you could observe it as the representation of an actual body. Here’s an example of one such experience: I have a male relative that is stoic, has a confident, independent heir about him, who belongs in hard work and has a “got to break some eggs to make an omelet” attitude about life. When his feeling body revealed itself to me, it was grey blue in color. It has hunched over at the shoulders. It was leaning lopsidedly to it’s left. Its gaze was towards the floor, its movements were constricted and most shockingly of all, it was covered (especially the left side of it’s face) disfiguring raised scars, scars bad enough that it was as if they had been caused by a meat grinder. Its energy was the energy of suppression and deeply imprisoned grief. Inherent in this experience is a general tendency that has become more and more obvious since then. When there is ‘damage’ which weakens one of the levels of ourselves, another level compensates. This compensation leads to a severe a lack of integration within the self. The self becomes fragmented and fractured. The
Physical body and spiritual body are the ones that most often compensate for the emotional body. For example, say someone’s emotional body is weak and fearful and appears to collapse in on itself, often that person will exaggerate their physical posture to seem strong, confident and outward moving. Or that very same person might instead be particularly spiritually developed with a great talent for withdrawing their consciousness and perceiving things from a more objective perspective.
So why is the feeling body so important? For starters, the feeling body is the translator between physical experience and non-physical experience. It is the translator between the observer-based consciousness of the mind and the first person physical experience based consciousness of the person. It is what makes us able to experience thought as “real”. In fact without your feelings, nothing about your physical reality would seem real. Your sense of life and feeling based conclusions about life are a part of the feeling body. Your interpretations are a part of the feeling body. Your emotional trauma is a part of the emotional body. If your interpretation of life is experienced as painful and if your sense of life is painful and if the feeling based conclusions you’ve drawn about life are painful and if the feeling state of your memories are painful (and your feelings dictate what is real and what is not), your feeling body will continue to convey those painful messages to the body, which will be interpreted as unpleasant emotion within the body. This leads to an unhappy life. This leads to addiction. This leads to failed relationships. Basically, this leads to the physical reflection of any of those painful emotional states. And the worst part is, you cannot stop living and re living that original trauma. You cannot be in the present moment because the emotional trauma keeps coming up over and over again in an attempt to integrate itself. In other words, if I felt like Dad abandoned me in some way when I was young, I will keep manifesting situations that make me feel abandoned over the course of my life.
If healing must occur on the emotional and feeling level of your life, you must address the emotions and feelings themselves. You must address the causation of those emotions and feelings. Here’s the catch. The minute you say, “I need to heal” something, this implies that you have to change or fix something, which means that you disapprove of something. The best way to damage yourself emotionally is to look at yourself through the lens of ‘something needs to change’. You know how painful it is to have someone tell you that you are not ok the way you are and that you have to be different. This is how the feeling body feels when you convey that it is not ok and that it needs to be different. If you approach your feeling body with an attitude of “I need to fix you”, you have just taken a serrated knife to a wound. You have not healed anything. And so, what is the alternative?
The alternative to trying to fix or heal the emotions is to embrace the feelings and emotions entirely, no matter how painful they may be. Be with the feelings and emotions instead of trying to change them. Listen to them and what they need you to know. We can call this process integration instead of healing. Every day for 20 minutes at least, as well as any time you have a particularly intense emotional reaction to something, find a quiet and comfortable place to completely be with how you feel. Observe the sensations and feelings and emotions in your body. They will intensify as you focus on them. Breathe continuously without unnecessary pauses between breaths. Breathe in and out of your nose. Notice the way you feel. Your entire goal is to be with your feelings, which is to fully be with yourself. If you like, you can repeat this one sentence to your emotions like a mantra… “I am completely here with you now”. Keep in mind that this process is not only for negative emotional states. It is also for positive emotional states. Some people in fact find that they are much more comfortable being with their negative emotional states than with their positive emotional states.
After you have been with the emotion completely no matter how uncomfortable it is and you feel like you want to know more about the causation of the emotion, ask yourself three questions:
How do I feel? This is your opportunity to bring the feelings to your conscious awareness and name what is occurring within you.
When did I last experience this exact same feeling? Without looking for the answer, allow your being to offer up the answer, like a stream washing something downstream to you
When did I first experience this same feeling in my life? Again, without looking for the answer, allow your being to offer up the answer, like a stream washing something downstream to you.
If nothing comes, be patient with that. Trust the process. Trust that you will receive the exact experience you need at this time. If you find yourself experiencing an emotionally traumatic memory, observe the memory and then mentally alter the memory in a way that feels emotionally positive. This is what they call “inner child work”. For example, if you are taken into a memory where your father left you, imagine the adult you approaching the child you, consoling the child and finding a way to meet the child’s needs. For example, you could become the stable parent for your inner child. Or you could give the child a reliable father figure of their choice. Or you could explain the whole situation objectively to the child and help them to not take the action personally. Altering the memory in this way changes the causation of the trauma. This alteration ensures that all that has transpired as a result of that trauma is altered as well. You are affecting the very blueprint of your emotional life.
Writing about your experience of ‘being with your feeling body’ is a good idea because it will not only make your emotional body feel as if you care about it, it will also help you to understand and integrate the experience you’ve just had. Keep in mind that trauma which took place before you developed the capacity for language, is not likely to be something that you can verbalize. Just remember that you do not have to verbalize it or conceptualize of it in order to integrate it.
When we have a strong emotional reaction to something, the strong reaction means that our past trauma has been triggered. This practice of being with the emotion allows us to take our attention off of the “messenger” which is the physical event or person or thing that is triggering us. It allows us to step back from the story that is urging us to react so strongly and detach mentally from the trigger. And it allows us to place our attention on how we are feeling so that we can recognize what deep unresolved past wound is unhealed within us and is thus continuing to mirror itself in our lives. It enables us to integrate our emotional body with ourselves. This is true “emotional healing”.
Humility is one of mankind’s most widely loved personality traits. Social groups, whether they are religions or cultural, nearly all preach the necessity of humility. It is a widely held belief that to be humble, is to be good. Being good is crucial in a society where those who are good are rewarded, whereas those who are bad are punished.
Humility is defined as a modest or low view of one's own importance. Modesty is defined as the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities. Looking at these definitions, silence should fall upon you. What you should be thinking is… are you freaking kidding me? Take a good look at this definition and try hard to come up with a justification for how humility and modesty could possibly be a good thing.
Humility is not a natural state. Children are born inherently feeling their own importance. Children, who are naturally self-loving and whom naturally take pride in themselves and their abilities, must be educated into humility. And this “education” into humility, is an emotionally barbaric practice. It’s like the emotional version of Chinese foot binding. How is a child educated into humility? They are shamed for being proud of themselves, they are shamed for having wants and needs if they conflict with other people’s wants and needs. They are told things like “The world doesn’t revolve around you” and “who do you think you are”? A child’s self-esteem must be corroded in order to become humble. Humility is in fact a contradiction to one of the six basic human needs, the need of significance. This means that for someone to become humble, they have to deny a basic human need. People, who lack the primary need of significance, live in a perpetual state of covert self-hatred. They live unhappy lives, which they think they deserve. People who lack the primary need of significance are in fact at high risk for suicide.
When we are afraid of someone feeling important, it is because we don’t think it is possible for someone to feel important without simultaneously feeling more important than others and thus causing problems for other people. This is the main reason (besides cultural and religious programming) that parents humble their children. When children have all of their needs met by their parents in their first years of life, they become habituated to this arrangement. Until one day when the child asks the parent to do something for them that the parent doesn’t want to do or that the parent thinks the child can do for himself. This imposition makes the parent feel as if the child has become entitled or self-important. This makes the parent feel like the child thinks he or she and what he or she wants is more important than the parent and what the parent wants. And the shaming begins. The child then wonders why his or her importance has been downgraded. The child personalizes the way they are being treated. The child begins to think “maybe there really is something wrong or bad about me”.
Years of humbling does exactly what you would expect, it creates a humble adult. But at what cost? It creates the epitome of a self-defeating person. It creates an adult with a perpetual internal conflict, who will probably fit into society well and who will not affect others and who will maintain emotionally abusive relationships, who will self sacrifice and who will accomplish a fraction of what they truly wish to accomplish in their lives. But yes, you can bet that everyone will like them! Everyone will treasure how kind and humble they are.
Humility serves three kinds of people...
Those who are already in positions of power, whom want to maintain power over others and who want to remain in positions of higher importance than others.
Those who want you be modest about yourself so that they don’t have to feel bad about their shortcomings. People whom would rather you had low self-esteem than to actually be pushed by your self-confidence to admit to and work on their own shadow of low self-esteem.
Those who believe this is the only way to ensure that keeping everyone in a place of lowered self-importance, maintains social order. Many of the people in this category, seek to stay comfortable and avoid change no matter what the cost.
And here we see the birth and origin of humility as a virtue… RELIGION and SOCIAL ORDER
If I want other people to behave in a way that allows me to maintain my level of importance and maintain my power, what should I do? Convince them of their unimportance and teach them that the only way to be good (and therefore loved) is to not be too confident about themselves or their abilities. Punish them when they act self important or proud about themselves. And scare them that a punishment awaits those who think highly of themselves after this life. Humility is not a virtue. It is a beautiful but thin, sparkling sugar coat for Servility. Servility is an excessive willingness to serve or please others. Excessive willingness as it applies to servility, means that the servile person is a self-sacrificer. Servility serves those who wish to maintain positions of higher importance than you. Servility serves the government and it serves religious institutions because it maintains social order. Servility serves parents who wish to maintain the seat of power over the household. Servility serves those who do not feel capable of feeling good about themselves; people who want you to behave in a way that makes it easy for them to feel good about themselves without doing the work on their own self defeating tendencies.
Every single atom of this universe is an aspect of God itself. It is an expression of God. You are not only God’s masterpiece. You are also God itself. Do you think that God should or would be in a place where it had a low opinion of its importance? If the answer is no, then you should not either. Guess what? Seeing as how you are not only a creation of God, but are also indivisible from god, humility and modesty are in fact true blasphemy. Any act that is not self-loving is true blasphemy. What is importance? Importance is the state or fact of being of great significance or value. Importance has nothing to do with comparison. Importance doesn’t have anything to do with being more or less valuable or significant than anything else. Are you not important? Do you not have significance or value? Think of a baby that has just been born. Is that new life not important? Does that new life not have significance or value? Why not be confident in yourself and about your abilities? Why not be proud of yourself? You have been taught that being confident in yourself and your abilities hurts people, but it doesn’t. It only hurts you when you do not value yourself and your abilities. It keeps you small forever. It means that you will live half of the life you came here to live, if you are lucky. The truth is, you have more significance and more value than you could ever know. There has never, is not and will never be another you. You are like a unique angle of colored glass in a stained glass painting. The picture could not be complete without you. The universe depends on you for it’s own expansion. The universe depends on you to know itself. To say that you are a child of God is an understatement because you are indivisible from God. But how important are your children to you? What if you are as important to God (this universe) as your children are to you? Your point of perspective is completely unique. It cannot and will not ever be replicated. And it’s about time that you knew it.
Strike humility from the record. It never did anyone a crumb of good. It only kept you from yourself and prevented you from knowing your own divinity. Replace humility and modesty with significance and self-confidence. Watch what happens to your life when you become aware of your own significance. Watch what happens to your life when you allow yourself to feel as important as you really are.
All of you have heard the statements “I’m tired of all the drama” and “he/she is a drama queen”. Drama is a word that is used to invalidate the validity of an emotional experience or of an overly extreme reaction to an experience because the onlooker thinks it is blown out of proportion, unnecessary or uncalled for. Drama is a word that originally meant, “to act”. This is why the word made its debut in the world of performance art or theatre. As it relates to emotional life, drama is a state, situation, or series of events involving intense conflict. Put these two things together and you have the definition of a person who is dramatic. A person who is dramatic is a person who acts as if they are in a state of intense conflict. Why do they act as if they are in a state of extreme conflict? Because they ARE in a state of extreme conflict.
No one overreacts. There has never been a person on earth that has ever overreacted. People react exactly in accordance with the reality that they alone perceiving. And our perspective and realities are not the same. When it comes to the human emotional experience, there is no such thing as drama. There is a perception that a person who is dramatic or who is a drama queen, is either over-reacting or is acting for the sake of attention; much like a performer on stage. If this is the case and they are over-acting for the sake of attention, they are in a state of extreme conflict because deep down, they feel desperate for attention. Deep down, they feel unseen, unheard and un-loved. Deep down, they distrust and dislike themselves and so there is no inner peace. Deep down, they are screaming for other people to save them from themselves. So the question must be asked, are they really overreacting if what they are really doing is playing out their desperation to be saved from themselves and to be seen and heard? Most likely if you invalidate other people’s feelings by telling them that they are being dramatic, you have learned over the course of your life to invalidate your own feelings. You impose this expectation on others as a result of it. Even though you wish you didn’t feel how you really feel, it is time to admit to how you truly feel and not be ashamed of how you really feel. Feeling deep levels of shame for feeling the way you feel is the real reason that you want to deny and invalidate the way you feel. It is also what is causing you to invalidate how other people feel by making the judgment that they are dramatic. If you have a resistance to drama, it is crucial to remind yourself that no one overreacts, including you. You always act in perfect accordance with the reality that you are perceiving; but now let’s go deeper. For the sake of understanding, lets call drama the state of being on an intense roller coaster ride of perpetual conflict. When we can’t seem to break free from drama, it is because we are stuck on the surface of our conflicts. We need to dive deep within ourselves internally to see the true cause of our emotional pain instead of arguing about the surface “triggers” of that pain.
When we want to feel better, we try to change the surface circumstances of our experience. We end the relationship, we move to a different city, we put ourselves on a diet, we sign up to a gym, and we take a medication. But by doing only this (by looking for and taking a physical action to feel better), we can never escape the conflict. It simply resurfaces in the new relationship, in the new city, regardless of our diet change or how much we exercise or what medication we take. We perpetuate drama in our lives if the changes we try to make focus on changing the physical effects of a problem instead of the root cause of that problem. For example, let’s say that I’m overweight. Emotionally, I feel terrible. The fatness I’m experiencing, is an effect of the root cause. It is in essence, a surface symptom of the problem, which is much deeper. If I dive deeper into myself and my pain, I will find that I feel a deep sense of shame and that as a child I could never live up to the demands of other people. I will find that my body tried to protect itself by walling itself off to the demands of others by putting on fat. If I change my perceptions surrounding the demands of others and begin to replace the shame with self-esteem, there will be no need for the fat anymore. Then, I may feel inspired to get a gym membership or eat better, but those changes will be inspired from a shift that was made on a much deeper level. However, if I simply started going to a gym and put myself on a diet from the get go (without being aware of and integrating the blocked emotions of the shame), there would be no end to the internal conflict causing the fatness in myself. There would be no end to the drama in my life. I would be trying to change the physical, surface effect of my problem instead of impacting the causality of the problem. How do we “dive deep” within ourselves? We start by recognizing triggers. A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma. It is called a trigger because like a trigger on a weapon, once it is pulled (shows up in our reality) it sets off an instantaneous and immediate emotional response within the body. We can call this response an “emotional charge”. We witness triggers most often in conjunction with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The return veteran from war jumps under the kitchen table in a state of panic because the “trigger” of Fourth of July fireworks reminds them of the past trauma of fighting for survival in a gunfire shootout in Iraq. But triggers are not solely experienced by people with PTSD. In fact, everyone on earth has triggers. You have triggers regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with PTSD or not. Let’s look at another trigger to understand what we mean. A woman gets into a new relationship. Everything is going great. The relationship is full of promise. Until one day, her partner decided to go see his friends after work at a bar instead of “checking in” with her and prioritizing seeing her in his off time. Upon discovering that he prioritized his friends over her, she feels instantly overwhelmed with feelings of anger and powerlessness. She feels neglected and worthless. She doubts the relationship and lashes out verbally at him. The event itself was a “trigger” for a deep unhealed grief within her. At face value, it would seem that she overreacted. In fact, this is exactly what her partner thinks that she did. Her partner thinks she is a drama queen. And now, he starts doubting the relationship as well. If she was to recognize the extreme emotional charge as evidence of a trigger and use the trigger of the event to dive deeper within herself, she would have discovered that the reaction to the event was a surface symptom of her deeper unresolved and un-integrated grief. If she had used the trigger to dive deep, she would have discovered that she felt neglected and worthless when her father would prioritize everything else over her when she was a child. She would discover that he was disconnected from her and that the disconnection and perceived lack of love that she felt from her father was a deep wound within her. It was in fact the thing that caused her to feel worthless and powerless in the first place. When we experience a trigger, we will instantly feel extreme negative emotion. For example, we feel instantly enraged to the point where we want to smash something or kill someone. Or instantly panicked to the point where we want to hide. Or instantly so overwhelmed with the feeling of powerlessness and sadness that we can’t hold back the tears. Drama, being a state of intense internal conflict, is in essence a reactive projection. It is designed to get the attention from others that we do not yet feel capable of giving ourselves. We can end drama in our lives by using our “triggers” as flags to dive deeper within ourselves to find the root of our emotional reaction. We can use them to dive deep to find our buried, unresolved and un-integrated grief. Once we find the causality of our emotional conflict, we can adjust that. In fact, finding the causality of our conflict changes it. Think of it like digging up a buried corpse. Just ask an archaeologist, similar to exposing a buried corpse to air, exposing your buried grief to the air of awareness, changes it forever. The surface behaviors, appearances and circumstances of our lives will automatically shift as a result of adjusting the causality of our buried emotional pain. This leads to permanent relief and change, instead of temporary relief and temporary change.
I am not saying that we should stop taking any kind of physical action to change external circumstances. What I am saying is that if we take action to change the circumstances surrounding a trigger before we use the trigger to dive deep within ourselves and alter the original cause of that trigger, we are in essence “skipping a step”. The trigger will always hold the same emotional charge and if the trigger holds the same emotional charge, we will continue to feel as if we can’t escape drama in our lives. We can’t stop suffering. When we experience a trigger, we feel an intense emotional charge. An emotional charge might bring up different emotions but those emotions are always perceived as uncomfortable. Step one is to recognize our extreme emotional reactions as “triggers”. And name them as such. Recognizing “I am triggered”, instantly causes us to take a step back emotionally from the event and the reactivity the event is producing within us. It enables us to observe ourselves reacting instead of simply react.
Next, we need to ask ourselves three questions…
How do I feel? Name the feelings and emotions and sensations within you. Allow yourself to feel the aspects of your experience that you’ve long suppressed.
When did I last experience this exact same feeling? Let yourself visualize that experience fully so that the emotional state becomes very real
When did I first experience this same feeling in my life? Let yourself go all the way back, even if it makes no sense whatsoever to you. What images do you see? What feelings? What smells? What sensations are taking place within your body? Why are you feeling what you’re feeling? What is the circumstance?
If nothing comes, be patient with that. Trust the process. Trust that you will receive the exact experience you need at this time. When we are taken back to the memory in which we experienced that original trauma, we are provided with an opportunity to alter the original experience. The adult us can help the child us. We can remedy the situation. We can observe the memory and then mentally alter that memory in a way that feels emotionally positive. This is what they call “inner child work”. For example, if you are taken into a memory where your father left you, imagine the adult you approaching the child you, comforting the child and finding a way to meet the child’s needs. For example, you could become the stable parent for your inner child. Or you could give the child a reliable father figure of their choice. Or you could explain the whole situation objectively to the child and help them to not take the action personally. Altering the memory in this way changes the causation of the trauma. This alteration ensures that all that has transpired as a result of that trauma is altered as well. You are affecting the very blueprint of your emotional life. The circumstances of your life will change on their own as a result of altering the cause of those circumstances, which is always past trauma. This practice allows us to take our attention off of the “messenger” which is the physical event or person that is triggering us. It allows us to step back from the story that is urging us to react so strongly and detach mentally from the trigger. And it allows us to place our attention on how we are feeling so that we can recognize what deep unresolved past wound is unhealed within us and is thus continuing to mirror itself in our lives. We need to start treating drama (otherwise known as intense states of charged negative emotion) as what they are… as triggers asking us to dive deeper.
All of your spiritual practice up to now has led you here. In fact, all else is in fact just a preparation for this one thing. Spiritual practices and principals are designed to wake you up from the dream of time and physicality a little bit more and a little bit more until you are really ready to fully wake up from the dream called life; until you are ready to wake up to your true state of being. Most people are not ready for a true state of being. That is why this answer does not show up in their reality. And it is why even when it does, most people do not take the next step and apply it to their lives consistently. What I am about to share with you is the true Holy Grail. It is the answer, which all of your questions have been leading to. I cannot tell you the answer with my voice. But I can tell you exactly where this answer is hidden. I cannot tell you the answer with my words because this answer cannot be conveyed through mental concepts. It can only be told to you organically as an experience. I can lead you to the door. You have to be the one to walk through it. It will feel like you are walking through this door alone. But on the other side of this door, you will see that it is not possible to have ever been alone and so all you really did, was walk head first through an illusion.
What does it feel like to walk through an illusion you ask? It feels like all unnecessary aspects of your being are scraped and burnt off in a violent furnace. It feels like walking straight into the eye of the storm. This process is not something that you do. Rather, it is something that you undo. We have one spiritual truth to lead us through this process of undoing and that is: The way out is in. The way out of our negative emotions is into our negative emotions. The way out of our illusions is into our illusions. The way out of our suffering is into our suffering. We spend our lives in a state of resistance. This is why we suffer so much. We resist what is, with a fervor that guarantees that we will not ever really live. We resist the thoughts we think, we resist the feelings that we feel and by doing so, we resist our own spirit. We are at war with ourselves. We resist ourselves even with processes that we think are good for us. In the beginning of our practice, coming out of the sheer powerlessness that has us all in this state of sleep, we wake up a little bit by realizing that we have the capacity to help ourselves to feel better. We feel as if we have been set free. Our entire spiritual practice is designed to help us feel better and think better. And there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it just may be a crucial first step. We fall in love with manifestation. We chase what we want; we chase our bliss. And by doing so, we allow ourselves to come into alignment more and more. We want to heal ourselves because we know that something about us is in need of fixing. And for the very first time, we feel capable of doing that. The Spiritual Apex we pursue is still this external thing called enlightenment. Enlightenment is an idea that appeals to our minds when we live in linear time.
And then something astounding happens. We are confronted with the fact that the very thing that liberated us is now the thing that holds us prisoner. We realize that in wanting to feel better or think better… We are asking ourselves to feel and think and be different. We discover that by trying to feel better or think better, or be better, we are resisting ourselves. And then, the whole game changes. We leave behind the desire for manifestation. We replace all wants for the want for oneness with ourselves. We stop wanting to heal because it no longer feels good to think that something about ourselves is broken. Instead, we begin to crave integration. The spiritual apex we begin to pursue is authenticity.
Authenticity is an idea that appeals to us when we begin to live in the present moment. We fall in love with what is. We realize that the reason we have wanted what we have wanted is because we are fractured. We are walking around with open wounds that have never healed. The criticizing and ostracizing we experienced has made us want fame. The abandonment has made us want companionship, the conditional nature of the way we were loved, has made us want unconditional love. And we have chased those things and maybe even attained those things externally, but the feelings never changed. And so, we trade the practice of going in the direction of what we want and chasing our positive emotions for the practice of going the opposite direction. And we begin by dropping into our wounds. We spend our time being with those unpleasant emotions and sensations and feelings and memories with a listening and caring ear. We are present with ourselves with absolutely no conditions. We do not want to change the way we feel. We do not want to make the negative sensations and feelings better. We simply give them the attention that we never gave them before, back when we were so busy running from them with numbing drugs and distraction and endless self help techniques. We stop arguing against them. We become present fully with them and by doing so, these aspects integrate into our being. We learn that the reason we suffer so badly from anything, is not because of the thing itself, but because of our resistance to it. We learn that when we no longer resist any aspect of our being, when we let ourselves fully feel our feelings and fully think our thoughts, and thus we let ourselves fully be ourselves in this very moment. As a result, we become whole. If we resist any part of our experience, we are not whole. We become whole and complete in this moment and the whole of the universe joins us in this moment. The illusion of separation is torn down. This is the real reason that the Buddha experienced what he did beneath the Bodhi tree. He stopped resisting himself completely. He did not try to change anything about the experience. He did not try to feel better. Instead, he was fully present with himself.
This path is not for the faint of heart. This path is the path of feeling what you never let yourself feel. And this path is for the brave, because this path cannot be walked for you. You must walk into the storm of your own being for yourself. This is the art of allowing 2.0. The answer you have been looking for will be revealed to you like this: Stop trying to feel better or trying to get what you think you want. Do nothing to change your thoughts. Do nothing to change the way you feel. Instead, when you think a negative thought, let your focus rest up that thought. Watch that thought roll into another similar thought and another. Bring the presence of your being there with it. Be with that thought without trying to manipulate it in any way. When you feel an unpleasant or even excruciating feeling, whether that feeling be physical or emotional, while breathing continuously with no unnecessary pauses between the in breath and the outbreath, drop into that feeling and be with that feeling completely. Do not run away from it. Do not try to change it. Do nothing to make yourself feel better. Instead, be with that feeling completely. Explore it. Breathe this feeling into your being. It is in and of you. It is your current truth. Be with yourself exactly how you are with no conditions. It’s what you’ve been asking for from others all of your life. The day you betrayed yourself completely, was the day that you decided you would only be with yourself based on the condition that you felt good. So you have been trying to feel good all your life, so you could be with yourself and feel whole again, without realizing that you could just decide to be with yourself here and now, regardless of how you feel. You do not need to go looking for insight so you can understand the way you feel. You do not need to go looking for wisdom so you can understand life itself or the universe at large. Insight and wisdom is the automatic byproduct of being fully present with ourselves. Feel free to ask questions of yourself, and allow your being to offer you the answer without you mentally searching for it. The capacity to understand is all too often, the byproduct of resistance to the confusion that we feel. When you stop running from yourself, (which is what you never knew that you were doing), you will see things as they really are.
We have not been willing to feel life. In fact, we use the present moment to try to distract us from the way we feel! We try to focus on our physical surroundings right here and now, to distract us from the fact that we feel badly. This is a trapping of the ego. It is an escape from presence disguised as presence. True presence, is a presence that embraces the fire and thus, cannot be burnt by flame.
These thoughts and emotions, like dying children, are begging to be mothered and fathered. They are begging to be heard and sat with. They, like you as a child, do not want to hear that they shouldn’t be the way they are. They don’t want to be changed. They want to be given permission to be the way they are. They want to be loved exactly as they are. And we love them by being willing to think and feel them. This is the key to finding the answer you have been looking for.
People don’t know any better than what they do. They follow in the footsteps of what did not work for their parents, because no one knows what else to do. And then comes the “hundredth monkey”; the one that changes the game for everyone, the one that spreads a new idea. For thousands of years, we have all had one reaction to things that cause a negative feeling reaction in us… We have tried to desensitize ourselves to it and we have done anything we could to feel better about it. We have tried to lessen the impact of those feelings by getting ourselves to feel differently about it. We have made a practice of escaping our feelings. As a result, we infuse our children with the idea that “feeling negative emotion is not ok”. This is why we call it feeling bad. We believe as a society that feeling anything other than positive emotion is not ok. I was two years old the first time I came across a deer carcass strewn across the side of the road. I remember every last detail down to the sickly sweet smell of death on it. I remember vividly the sinking, constricted, powerless feel of tragedy as the feeling signature of that sight impacted my body. I remember the feeling of horror. My father’s response in a sad sounding tone of voice was “don’t cross the road deer”. I was shocked into a kind of buzzing numbness at the response and at the sight of people driving by as if nothing was out of place. I was shocked into the realization that I was “supposed to” feel like this was all in perfect order. This was “supposed to” feel normal and I was perhaps even supposed to understand that this was a fair consequence for having crossed the road. My mother, being a highly empathic person who also could not cope with the insensible cruelty did what all caring mothers do and attempted to explain the scene to me in a way that would make me feel better. She tried to help me “make it ok” so that I did not feel so bad about it. She explained that the deer’s spirit was not there anymore and that the deer’s body will feed other things so that the energy is recycled. Today I find that this event at two years old has become an imprint within me… as all suppressed emotion does. That same feeling signature of tragedy and horror has played itself out across my lifetime begging for integration. Now, I attract road kill everywhere I go because ever since two years old, I have been trying to not feel the feeling I encountered that day.
It is very dangerous to propagate the idea that it is not ok to feel negative emotion. I’ll use myself as an example of why. The day my parents tried to help me feel better about the deer carcass instead of allow themselves to (and encourage me to) feel the full impact of it (as if that feeling was correct and valid), a harmful belief was born within me. And the belief was this: “If this is supposed to feel ok and if this is normal, when what I actually feel is that this is so not ok, that means there must be something seriously wrong with me and I am not equipped for the brutality of this world.” The whole world felt like a horror film to me in that moment. I started back pedaling from life itself. Think about this for a minute, we all do this to our children! Even I have tried to “make it ok” for my son when he has felt badly because I cannot stand to feel the way that I feel when I see him upset. I have been manipulating him into feeling better so I can escape the negative emotion that arises within me when I see him upset. We invalidate and desensitize our children when we try to make them feel better instead of helping them to feel like it is valid and ok to feel exactly how they feel. We do an immense disservice when we teach them by doing this to resist their own negative emotions. Anything we resist persists, and so we trap our children in their negative emotions when we try to help them avoid negative emotion by showing them how to run in the direction of positive emotion. We need to validate (mirror) their feelings and allow them to befriend the way they feel entirely before any action is taken to improve a situation or the way they feel.
This is why we live in a desensitized world. This is why we have created a society full of people that are so out of touch with the way they feel that they are capable of killing each other. To survive in today’s world and really feel everything, takes immense bravery. If we really let ourselves feel, this entire world would be different. It could not stay the way it is. To survive in today’s world the way it is, one practically needs to “shut down” their feelings. And so we do. We numb our feelings out with prescription drugs. We try to change our feelings with endless self-help techniques. We try not to feel our feelings by indulging in our porn addictions and liposuction surgeries and televisions. We are running from our authenticity. We are trying to not feel life.
No one really feels equipped to live in this world. This is the secret we are all keeping from each other. We are under the impression that we have to desensitize ourselves to live in this world. We have to make ourselves feel like things are ok that don’t actually feel ok. We are anything but authentic. We are afraid to feel. We are afraid of what will happen when we let ourselves feel exactly how we feel with no conditions. What we find when we allow ourselves to feel how we feel is that our feelings are valid. What we find is that nothing is wrong with us. A deer carcass on the side of the road is tragic and it is completely appropriate to feel horrified. Just because something is commonplace, does not make it “fine”. It is easy to allow our positive emotions. The real art of allowing is the art of allowing our negative emotions.
In the west, Uinta ground squirrels are considered crop and lawn pests. They are poisoned and shot with shotguns and ripped apart by farm dogs. We have been raised with the idea that this is normal and therefore should feel ok. But it does not. I am watching them graze and dig and roll in the dirt and enjoy the morning sunlight and affectionately rub up against one another. These are sentient beings. These are infinite creators just like you and me. Their birthright is to be allowed to carve out their lives here on earth in accordance with their value to the universe. Humans need to learn that humans are not the only species with value. Humans need to learn that humans have no more value than the weeds they pull out of their front yards.
We have made the look of manicured lawns more important than the entire lives of other sentient beings. I find it painful to see the hypocrisy in people. We lock the sociopath away for the rest of his life in a state of punishment for not feeling any connection with or empathy for his fellow human beings. When this is how the natural world and many extraterrestrial species see us. We breed animals and imprison them in pens specifically to kill and eat them. We decide what plants are worthy of life and which one’s aren’t. We call them weeds and we rip them up by the root. We see a spider and we step on it. We see a bee and we swat it to death with our fly swatters. Never mind the fact that the bee is responsible for the food on our dinner plate. We use animals of all shapes and sizes to test our cosmetics and pharmaceuticals on before we wear and take them. We drain the blood of the earth to power our cars. We are entertained by films and video games in which we steal from and injure and kill each other. And to live in today’s current society, there seems to be no way to escape participating in this sociopathic escapade. We participate whether first hand or second hand. All of us, including me are part of this horror. And these children who shoot their fellow students in their schools are not freak anomalies. They are symptoms of society’s greater illness; they are created by us all. They are byproducts of suppression and desensitization.
Our world will not change and people will not begin thriving until we are willing to re-sensitize ourselves. We must start with ourselves. We need to be willing to feel life and make adjustments to society as a result of really feeling it. It is painful to feel this world in its current state. But it is more painful to spend your life running from feeling the state of the world. To do so, is to run from and abandon yourself. You will find that suffering is not the result of feeling pain; it is the result of resisting feeling pain. The world will remain as brutal as our level of desensitization to its brutality.
I am asked often to share my opinion about mass shootings directed at peer groups. I want to begin by saying that there are victims on both sides of the gun. This is always the story without exception. We must cultivate understanding for the internal hell that causes such a person to behave in such a way. Without this understanding, we cannot alter the causation of such events; we will simply go on tinkering with effects. Without proper understanding of causation, we will simply increase our gun laws and can crack down on threats. This will change nothing. The real change must happen at a much deeper level. The way we raise our children must change and the world we are bringing them into must change. These “mass shooters” have specific elements in common. They are intellectual outcasts. They are involved in violent media (like movies or cartoons or video games) as a way to both escape and express the suppressed rage that is covering their deeply suppressed grief at being rejected. The question is, rejected by whom?
These shooters will often explain who they want to kill and why. But they are doing so from a place within them that is unconscious of who they really want to kill and why. The target of their rage is in fact only a reflection of a deeper wound within them, their relationship with their primary caregivers. Our relationship with “people” and with “the world” is nothing more than a reflection of our relationship with our primary caregivers. All of us are children who never grew up. We are all un-integrated children. These mass shooters are in fact reacting against the pain of the rejection they felt from one or more of their primary caregivers. They did not get the affection or attention they needed. Because of this, they lack two of the most primary human needs, loving connection and significance. This painful emotion within them was invalidated and they could do nothing about it and so it was covered over with rage and it was suppressed. They spent the rest of their lives (especially from the onset of external orientation at puberty) trying to gain approval from other people. The mind does this to try to gain closure and resolution for the old wound. The subconscious motivation goes something like this: “If I can get a girl to love me then mom loves me. If I can be significant to a girl, I am significant to mom”, If I can get a girl to pay attention to me than mom pays attention to me etc.” But the buried emotional pain is what needs healing. That pain needs to be allowed and fully felt, like it wasn’t when they were a child.
And so, the universe continues to match the vibration of the pain in hopes that they will one day integrate it. In their reality, this takes the shape of continuing to be cast out by the peer group. They copes the same way they coped as a child. They indulges in the “cover emotion” of rage and revenge. They become preoccupied with violent video games and movies and fantasies because we all know it feels a lot better than the time stopping grief of rejection. Each time they engage in this cycle of suppressing the pain and grief, the pain and grief gets bigger and louder and they get rejected a little bit more until they find themselves at a crossroads of no return. They have only one option, to reject what rejected them. The “void” look you see in the eyes of these mass shooters is the look of realization that they will never get the loving connection they need. Their connection with love is severed. Their connection with the human race is therefore severed. Because love is the closest vibration to source energy itself (otherwise known as the soul), when they reach that point where they give up the search for affection and submit to their disconnection with love, they now hold a vibration that is so vibrationally different than source itself, they appear soul-less. Instead of the presence of source consciousness that we are used to seeing in the eyes, we see void. Because one cannot remain disconnected like this from their own soul and remain alive, they now become a match to death themselves. But they still need significance. And it occurs to them that the way to get this significance (if they can’t get it through being loved) is through being feared. The best way to become significant to someone if you can’t become the object of their affection is to take their life. The best way to become significant to the world if the world wont love you is to make the world fear you. The ego (identity is being threatened and so it becomes preoccupied with the feeling of superiority that occurs when you are capable of controlling a person and the world to such a degree. The ego (identity) is sick and tired of how insignificant and inferior it feels because of the painful relationship (or lack thereof) with it’s primary caregiver(s). Because the ego (identity) sees the world vertically, it sees only inferior and superior. It seeks to escape inferiority by becoming superior and having power over others. The rage that is the result of this suppressed pain mixed with the loss of hope for love mixed with the drive for significance (to be noticed) mixed with the relief that is felt when one seeks revenge, mixed with that relief being provided by violent media, leads to a definitive decision… To kill the reflection of that suppressed pain. In most cases, an offending peer group. By doing so, they are in fact killing their primary caregiver and/or anyone else in their family that got the attention that they did not get. And in fact, some mass shooters do kill the parent that they felt rejected by as a part of their killing spree, though they are not consciously aware of why. These events are not isolated. They are happening more and more often. These events are not even surprising. In a society like the one we have today, our collective suppression of awareness will result in outbursts like this. Consider these incidents eruptions at the weakest point. And until we understand human emotion fully, we will still be telling the lie that some people are just born this way. The question we should all be asking is, how do we structure our society so that all children have access to their primary emotional needs, especially love, connection and significance regardless of what their parents do or don’t do?
Your child is the progression of your consciousness. A child’s consciousness comes into life as the culmination of the consciousness accrued at that time of both its mother and father. This is one way that consciousness expands in our universe. The purpose of children is not just the expansion of universal consciousness; it is also the expansion of our consciousness as parents. We are prevented from expanding when we are emotionally stuck in our own childhood. All adults still have an inner child. If we have not re-parented our inner child yet, we are at the mercy of our childhood needs and impulses. Our emotional selves never grow up. Our emotional selves are always children, so the leaders of our world are essentially angry, fearful 5 year olds with nuclear weapons. A child gives us an opportunity to externally parent our own inner child. Our children will reflect us specifically so that we can heal ourselves. Except instead of heal ourselves (because that implies something is wrong), let’s say integrate ourselves. Having a child give us the opportunity to parent the child within ourselves externally through our child. Love becomes distorted if we do not address out own pain. For this reason, we need to be willing to address our own childhood wounds. We need to be willing to “integrate our emotional body” in order to ask ourselves the question “what did I need from my parents that I did not get?” It is easy then to see the mistakes that we are making with our own child. It is easy then to see how to parent instead. If you parent in the same way that your parents parented you (which is the way you’ll parent unless you become more conscious) there is no progression of consciousness. It is in fact a state of ended-ness.
The number one most important thing we will ever do for our children is to dive into our own emotional pain, integrate our own un-integrated inner child; and parent that child in a more loving way. If we do not, we will pass those wounds on to our children. We pass the baton from generation to generation until someone decides to use the presence of their consciousness to become aware of themselves and integrate the inter-generational trauma. Pass only the baton you want to pass to your children! If you are not brave enough to sink into your pain and move through it and become conscious of it, you will not see how much trauma was caused by your parent’s treatment of you and so you will treat your child the same way. You will default to raising your child the exact same way that your parents raised you. This means, you have passed on the wound. Wouldn’t you rather say “the buck stops here” and be the one to deal with intergenerational wounding then to hope your child figures out how to do it? We project our own wounds onto our children and externalize our pain this way, making it about what is wrong with the child instead of recognizing our own projection. Fiddling with and trying to “fix” the child is like trying to fiddle with the reflection in a mirror, it changes nothing because it never addresses the cause of that projected image. It never addresses the source of the reflection, which is you. I demonstrate a process to use in order to do this in my YouTube video titled “Healing the Emotional Body”. If I had my way, all parents would incorporate this process into their daily routine. The truth is, when you shift, your child will shift. This is why I do not do work with children. If a child has a problem, I work with their parents. I understand how hard it is to hear what I have just said; it makes you feel immediately defensive. But think about this for a minute, if you blame your child for your child’s behavior or problem, what kind of an environment do you think they are growing up in from their perspective? What kind of self-image is this growing within them? If you have an issue with your child, it is nothing but a mirror of what is unhealed within you. If the parent shifts, the child shifts immediately. There are no exceptions to this rule. When we are approaching parenting from the angle of “parenting our own inner child, if your child is upset, it is easy then to ask yourself “what did I want from my parents in this same scenario when I was a child? I’m going to give you a hint though. As a child, you did not really want anything other than unconditional love. You did not want to have your parents become obsessed with trying to make things better or different, you wanted them to be with you unconditionally no matter how you felt. This brings us to the next important part of parenting, which is (as far as I am concerned), the pillar upon which parenting stands. Validate emotions. One of the worst things you can do to your child is invalidate their emotions. This is sad of course because it is a super common behavior amongst parents. A lot of it stems from the rather selfish fact that we cannot stand to see our children upset and so we try to do everything to make them not upset. We do this not because of love and consideration for them, but because of a drive for self-preservation. We do it because we don’t want to feel upset when we see them upset. Just like we need to be fully present with ourselves no matter how we feel, we need to be present with our children no matter how they feel. Here’s a common scenario. A child experiences negative emotion because his parents decide he cannot have something at the store. The child is crying, mom or dad gets angry and then proceeds to repeat “no” or start arguing with the way the child feels by saying things like “stop that crying right now, there’s no reason to do that. Money doesn’t grow on trees you know. We already got the pop sickles you wanted” etc. In this scenario, the child is being taught that how they feel is wrong. The child is being forced to suppress the feeling they are feeling. The child is not allowed to experience and move through the feeling and so the feeling is stuck in them. That feeling will now become an imprint in the child’s emotional body, which will mirror out into his adult life as situations that make him feel guilty or situations that make him feel poor. The parent has in that seemingly small moment set up the child’s future in a negative way.
Every emotion a child has, no matter how extreme it may be, is appropriate. Even though an action taken as a result of an emotion may not be a healthy way of expressing that emotion, an emotion is always valid. If you have just come from a perspective of unconditional love and unlimited abundance, coming into a world where love is conditional and abundance seems limited, is like being locked in solitary confinement. An extreme reaction is appropriate. It will never work to impose your adult perspective (with all of your years of experience and all of your years of suppressing your own emotion) on your children. You will not be able to get them to see things your way. The point is not to alter your child. The point is to be there with them for their experience unconditionally. Unconditionally means no matter if they feel good or bad. In the previous child in the store scenario, the thing to do would be to kneel down at their level and express genuine empathy. By saying something like “I know lovey, it’s ok to feel really upset. I feel that same exact way when I want something that I don’t feel like I can have.” And then you can encourage the child to express to you verbally how they feel or where they feel that feeling in their body. By doing this, you allow them to have feelings and not suppress them. You allow them to move through that feeling. You cause them to know that no matter what, you will be there with them and for them through everything. They are not alone. You are raising an emotionally intelligent child instead of disfiguring their emotional capacity. Notice we did not rush to make the emotion better by giving the child what the child was asking for? We didn’t try to rescue them from their emotions, thus causing them to believe that negative emotions are bad or wrong or to be avoided. We didn’t immediately buy the child what they wanted and give in. The child did not become a dictator of the household who everyone is now a slave to. Instead, the child was treated as an equal member of the household. In this exact scenario, It may be good to explain to the child while you are on one knee that “mommy doesn’t have the best abundance mentality and mommy also isn’t the only source of your abundance.” Depending on the child’s age, this may even be the perfect time to explain manifestation. Your children are not served by thinking that you are perfect. Allow them to be aware of your “imperfections”. If you don’t know the answer to something, demonstrate asking someone else for the answer or meditating in order to ask the universe for the answer or say “I don’t know but maybe you’ll find out one day”. Instead of following ego down the path of needing to be a god to your children, empower them to be the progression of you.
All emotions should be understood and validated. We are not validating that the child’s belief is right. We are validating what they feel. We are mirroring it. The concept of mirroring emotions can be seen in this scenario. A child falls down and is crying and instead of whisking the pan away, we say “Oh I bet that felt really scary didn’t it? I know I used to feel really scared when I fell down when I was your age” We just mirrored how they felt. By doing this, the child is not fighting against their negative emotion and as a result, the emotion blows over quickly. All to often, children are shamed for the way they feel and the way they act because of how they feel. This leads me to the next point. Do not shame your child. Shaming is emotional abuse period the end. You can’t argue otherwise. And children will only respect and love those who respect and love them. Shaming creates humiliation and it makes the parent the enemy. The child cannot learn if they are shamed. Shaming is as good as pouring acid on a child’s self-concept. Children are more than capable of learning from their own actions. I am constantly explaining to parents the value of letting kids make mistakes. As parents, we have to deal with lots of criticism for this and also flack from teachers. But we want to raise children who feel free and loved and who are responsible for themselves, not children who are just parts of our societal machine that do things purely to avoid conflict with authority figures. This means for example that if your child does not go to sleep on time after being informed of the potential consequence (feeling too tired the next day at school), let them find out for themselves. Let them experience the consequence, without ever saying “I told you so” and they will eventually decide to go to bed on time themselves. Shame is worse than guilt. Guilt is believing that one has done bad whereas shame is believing that one is bad. Those of us who are conscious of what our own childhood did to us are well aware of just how damaging that belief can be when it is carried on to adulthood. We think a parent can only traumatize their child if they are hitting them or neglecting them etc. This is not the case. In fact much more damage can happen on an emotional level as a result of things we have become acclimated to, things that that we call “normal parenting behavior”. Shaming is one of them. I’m going to make a bold statement, having myself been the victim of a multitude of different abuses. Seeing the damage to my adult life that was caused by abuse in childhood, by far the worst kind of abuse that a person can suffer is emotional abuse. emotional abuse, including shaming, is worse than physical abuse and it is worse than sexual abuse. And it is a tragedy that we have created a society that has accepted the practice of the worst form of abuse, while widely condemning all other forms of abuse. If the emotional aspect of yourself is wounded and if your self-concept is corroded, all other aspects of your life are a living hell. These behaviors that we think are “normal” and that we are in fact desensitized to, cause trauma in the child’s being and result in a dysfunctional adult who cannot thrive. I love this term “failure to thrive” that they use when dealing with children of abuse and neglect. There are a great many people who fail to thrive that are “functioning” members of society. But what does it mean to thrive? I can tell you it means a lot more than just surviving into adulthood.
The more you integrate your own childhood, the more you will see just how damaging the so called ‘normal good parenting’ of our time is and just how many long term negative effects have to do with this popularly accepted style of parenting. We need to question everything we have come to believe about parenting and how a parent should and shouldn’t be with their child. It is frightening just how much we parent on autopilot. We become acclimated to the status quo and we adopt the beliefs of other parents (especially our own) about the right and wrong way to raise children. But conscious parenting is about waking up. Conscious parenting is about being aware enough of ourselves and of our children that we can change the status quo and facilitate both expansion and progression in this world.
Self trust can be summed up as the assured reliance on your own character, ability, strength, and truth. This sounds straightforward enough. The problem is, most of us have spent our lives listening to our parents, our government, our teachers and our bosses. We have been raised with the idea that we do not know what is best for ourselves. Instead, we are taught that other people who “know more than we do”; know what is best for us. Because of this, we choose what we think we are supposed to choose. We try to live according to what our society says is “right”. We allow ourselves to be who we are told that we are; and we are caught in an endless struggle of seeking approval and reaching for recognition. The result is that we loose trust in ourselves.
The cost of shaping ourselves to fit the desires, preferences, and expectations of others, is losing ourselves; and when we loose ourselves we become frozen without direction, unable to make our own choices. The two most painful states in this universe are self-hate and self-distrust. It just so happens that one comes from the other. Self hate comes from self distrust. Life is torture when you don’t trust yourself and without exception, people who suffer chronically, suffer because the root of the dysfunction in their lives is that they don’t trust themselves. They don’t trust themselves to be able to influence how they feel, they don’t trust themselves to not give into others they don’t trust themselves to create their reality, they don’t trust themselves to make the right choices. They don’t trust themselves to know. The list goes on and on.
So here are some tips for how to begin to trust yourself
Build your self-confidence. Self-confidence and self-trust are a married couple. When we use the word confidence, what we mean is your ability to depend upon yourself. If you don't have self confidence, you won’t feel able to depend on yourself. When we understand that lack of self trust, goes hand in hand with lack of self confidence, we can easily see that not trusting ourselves is a self worth issue. It is an issue of devaluing and invalidating ourselves. If we don’t trust ourselves, we lack self esteem and we do not perceive our own value. One of the reasons that we do not trust ourselves, is that we do not accept our own abilities, talents, intentions, and value. Take time to acknowledge your abilities, talents, positive traits, and thus value.
Allow yourself to do what you are good at and what comes easily to you. Everyone is good at something. We don’t often allow ourselves to do what we are good at however because we have all been raised in a society which values effort. Most of us think it is weak to do the things that come easy to us. But for us to learn how to trust ourselves, we need to allow ourselves to do what we are good at and what comes easily to us. If we always feel as if it is a struggle to do things, we will always feel behind the pack. So own up to the things which you excel at, and then focus on designing your life around those things. Give yourself permission to take pride in them and give yourself credit for your successes. These steps will give a hefty boost to your self confidence and subsequently, your self trust.
Let go of the idea of “the” right answer and just look for “your” right answer. Those of us, who don’t feel as if we can trust ourselves, are preoccupied with the idea of right and wrong. It paralyzes us. We fear making the “wrong” choice so much, we procrastinate making any choice, and we trust everyone’s opinion except for our own. It is important for us to realize that when we are facing a problem or decision, there is no such thing as one right answer that we have to somehow find. Gain perspective by eliciting other people’s opinions, but do not “weigh them” in order to make your final decision. Instead, make your own decision. Use inquiry to question your current perspective and consciously choose a perspective, which serves your highest good. Every single person, experiences the world in their own way. So we make decisions about what is right based on our own individual assumptions, judgments, perceptions and past experiences. No two perspectives will be the same. And no one can see the situation from your perspective. You are also never going to have all of the information that you would like to have in order to make your decision. You can’t know everything and so sometimes you have to take a risk by making a choice anyway. You cannot find a “right” answer. All you can find is your right answer.
Take risks, even if taking those risks results in making “mistakes”. We have to be willing to take risks and make mistakes in life. One day during my sports career, I was in a panic about racing as usual. At that point in my life, my self worth was completely tied up in performance. As a result, I had the habit of getting such bad performance anxiety that I did terribly in races and sometimes didn’t even show up for them. But on a chairlift on the way to the starting gate, I had an epiphany. The epiphany was this: I have lost 100% of the races that I didn’t run. This is the case when we don’t take risks. We like to think that if we don’t take risks, we don’t fail. But the truth is the exact opposite of that. If we don’t take the risk, we have already failed. While it can be scary for us to take risks in life, it is one of the best ways we can build our capacity for self trust. Taking risks takes courage, and courage makes us feel better about ourselves. It allows us to see what we are really capable of, which in turn helps us to trust ourselves. You wont know that you can trust yourself unless you take a risk and see that you can.
Own the responsibility for your own decisions and their consequences, both the positive consequences and negative consequences. Owning the responsibility for the decisions we make, is crucial when we are developing trust in ourselves. We need to experience both the process of making a decision and the process of directly experiencing the results of that decision so that we can learn. If we fall into the trap of denying our part in the decision or blame others for the decision we made, we end up depriving ourselves of the opportunity to learn. Likewise, if we try to escape from the consequences of our decisions, we miss the opportunity for getting the feedback we need so that we can make better decisions in the future. This is the same thing as robbing ourselves of an improved life in the future. Also, we cannot blame someone else without simultaneously acknowledging our own powerlessness to them. Thinking of yourself as powerless, does the opposite of encourage self trust. It makes you feel like you can’t rely on yourself.
Live your life according to your own personal sense of integrity. Those of us who don’t trust ourselves often struggle with our own sense of integrity. If you are not living with integrity, your goals become hard to reach, you attract people who are also not living with integrity, your self concept disintegrates and you lose your trust in yourself. Lack of integrity can reflect out into the world in big ways such as intentionally sabotaging someone else or stealing from them. It can also reflect out into the world in small ways, such as telling little white lies, gossiping or not standing up for yourself. Any lack of integrity erodes your self-concept. Identify what it means to you personally to have integrity. No one can decide this for you, because no two people have the same values, morals and ethics. Identify the areas of your life in which you are not living with integrity. Then pick three changes you can make right now to restore your integrity. For example, your answer may be to write an apology letter, or to “come out of the closet” to your family by telling them that you are gay, answer may be to stop gossiping or to re pay money that you stole.
Compile a list of all the ways that you do trust yourself. Our level of trust is often different relative to different things. For example, we may trust our instincts relative to some things, like driving our car; while we doubt ourselves relative to other things, like making a good impression in an interview. Take some time to compile a list of all the ways that you currently know you can trust yourself. Compile this list by filling in the blank as many times as you can. “I trust myself to________”. For example, “I trust myself to be loyal to the person I have committed to”. Or “I trust myself to be loyal to my own happiness regardless of whether or not that means breaking a commitment that I have made to someone”. Some other examples might be, “I trust myself to care for my pets”. Or “I trust myself to do exactly what I say I’m going to do”. Or “I trust myself to make a breakfast which tastes good”. Nothing is too small or too large to include in this list. Any kind of trust, no matter what it is in, is important because it is trust. We have the tendency to ignore the ways that we actually do trust ourselves, when we become aware of the ways that we don’t trust ourselves. This corrodes our self-concept. It disables us by making us feel bad about ourselves, instead of simply allowing us to incrementally build trust in the things we don’t currently have trust in.
Listen to your feelings. They always have important messages to share. If we want to trust ourselves, we need to learn to trust our own feelings. Feelings are the truth of who we are. Most people who are alive today have forgotten their most acute and accurate sense of all—their emotions and sensations. The average person views feelings as a menace; something to fight, something he or she is powerless to, a drawback, and even something to distrust. The average person does not know what purpose they serve. The result is, many of us are living in a tug of war between being a slave to them and flipping around to wage war with them. We have a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry set up to make a profit from chemically aiding people to suppress their feelings and change them. This is especially sad considering that your feelings are the compass guiding you through this venture called life. They are all the guidance you will ever need. That is why intuition speaks to you via the route your feelings. It is only when we ignore our feelings (the compass) that we become convinced that our feelings have ever failed us and are ever negative in nature. In effect, we ignore our internal compass while it is screaming at us louder and louder, and then we blame the compass itself for the reason that we are upset, because it feels so unnatural and miserable to us to be going in the wrong direction.
Now we come to the last and most important tip it comes to self trust… The reason that you don’t trust yourself is because you abandon yourself. You do this by not listening to and honoring your feelings (we call this violating your boundaries) and you run from your negative emotion. The holy grail of self trust is learning to STAY, which is an acronym for STop Abandoning Yourself.
The first way we learn to STAY is to Stop running from our negative emotions. Can you count on yourself to be there for you? For most people on earth the answer is no. The reason is, they keep trying to feel better. When you start to feel negative emotion, part of you feels really worried and afraid because it knows that the other part of you is going to try to run away from you if you feel that way. You keep trying to get yourself to feel differently so you will want to be with yourself.
Most of us only want to be with ourselves if we feel good. We do anything we can do to feel differently so we will want to be present with ourselves and our lives again. Sometimes we even engage in destructive addictions to escape the way we feel and therefore ourselves. This does further damage. It reinforces the idea that if you feel bad, there is not only a consequence of losing yourself, but also of being hurt by yourself intentionally as punishment. Every time you try to feel better, you try to escape yourself and in doing so, you abandon yourself. Can you trust someone who abandons you? No. In order to trust ourselves we need to prove to ourselves that we will not try to escape ourselves when we feel negative emotion. We will sit with the emotion and be with ourselves exactly as we are unconditionally. I teach a way to do this in my video titled “healing the emotional body. If you begin to stop abandoning yourself when you are experiencing negative emotion, you will come to trust that you will always be there for yourself. You will feel a deep sense of inner peace arise within you.
The next part of the equation of STAY (stop abandoning yourself), is to develop healthy boundaries. The holy grail of self-trust is boundaries. Having a sense of self vs. other is part of participating in this physical dimension. The individual perspective and experience is what is currently serving the expansion of this universe. And so, we perceive a difference between ourselves and the rest of the world. This individual perspective is a kind of boundary that defines us from everything else. We have heard again and again from self-help experts and psychologists that it is crucial to our wellbeing to develop healthy boundaries. But what are boundaries really? Boundaries are guidelines for how someone relates the self to the rest of the world. They are rules of conduct built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. Personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes and what is right for them personally or wrong for them personally. Defining these things helps us to know how we will and wont allow ourselves to be treated by others.
Here are some signs that you have unhealthy boundaries
Saying no when you mean yes or yes when you mean no.
Feeling guilty when you do say no.
Acting against your integrity or values in order to please.
Not speaking up when you have something to say.
Adopting another person’s beliefs or ideas so you are accepted.
Not calling out someone who mistreats you.
Accepting physical touch or sex when you don’t want it.
Allowing yourself to be interrupted or distracted to accommodate another person’s immediate wants or needs.
Giving too much just to be perceived as useful.
Becoming overly involved in someone’s problems or difficulties.
Allowing people to say things to you or in front of you that make you uncomfortable.
Not defining and communicating your emotional needs in your relationships.
The biggest issue related to boundaries isn’t that other people violate our boundaries, it’s that we violate our own boundaries. By letting someone violate our boundaries, we violate our own boundaries. This is self-betrayal. If you go against your personal boundaries, you violate yourself, you abandon yourself and you allow self-hate to rule the day.
I’m going to simplify the concept of boundaries and make them very easy for you to understand. Your boundaries are defined by your feelings. Your feelings will always tell you whether a boundary of yours has been violated, no matter what kind of boundary it is. For example, if someone said something that hurt you, it means they crossed an emotional boundary and you will feel hurt, which is your indication that your boundaries need to be re assessed. Another example could be, someone asks you to a party and you feel as if you don’t want to go, but you go anyway, you feel bad, which is your indication that you have violated your own boundary. This is why it is so crucial to be in touch with how you feel all day every day.
We can think of a boundary as an imaginary line that uniquely defines and separates your personal happiness, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. He, who does not listen to and respect what he himself feels, violates his own boundaries. He, who does not listen to and respect what others feel, violates other people’s boundaries. It is as simple as that. So practice really listening to and feeling how things feel. Listen to what your feelings are telling you. They are speaking to your personal truth. It is crucial that we not only know who we really are and what we really want but also that we know that we are known for who we are and what we really want by others. When we are ashamed of who we are and what we want, we have poor boundaries and we are shamed for whom we are by others all the time. The person who has no self-trust, was the person whose feelings were invalidated as a child.
Here is a common scenario: A child begins to feel angry because their parent is always working and never has time to be with them. The child expresses that anger and is invalidated, the parent says “I spend more time with you than any other parent that I know spends with their child” and the child is shamed for being ungrateful. The child learns that the way they feel is not true and that they should be ashamed for feeling the way they feel. Anger is not acceptable. So the child creates a false self that is cannot express anger and who says “thank you” all the time. Over time, he or she believes that who they really are is happy and grateful. They have never really admitted to the fact that deep down, they truly feel angry. So how do you know if you have set up a false self? You fear other people thinking negatively of you. Ask yourself these questions: Do I know what I really want? Do I let other people tell me what to think or believe and how to feel? Do I do things I don’t really want to do and say yes when I really want to say no or say no when I really want to say yes? Am I afraid to let people know how I really feel? Am I afraid of people thinking negatively of me?
Beginning to care how you feel, pay attention to how you feel and honor how you feel, is like Pandora’s box. You will not only begin to trust yourself, but your life can never be the same once you do. Trusting yourself is a process. So let it be a process. Trusting yourself is not something that you can suddenly wake up and decide to do. It is the inevitable byproduct of gradually making changes to the way you think and the way that you live your life.
As people, we become addicted to knowing. We become addicted to the acquiring of knowledge. When we grasp a new concept, our brain releases a dose of chemicals similar to opium. Knowledge addiction gives the physical human a strong evolutionary advantage. We are guaranteed to progress if we are hard wired to learn. The human biological system, being a reflection of the greater universe (which is geared towards expansion), is essentially designed to maximize the rate at which new but understandable information is acquired. Once you have acquired a new bit of information, you spend your time learning something else. Without thinking about it, we pick out experiences that are new; experiences which cause us to know more. A biological addiction to know more is perfect design because it endows the physical human with a perpetuating beneficial learning behavior, even if misery and negative consequences are experienced along the way. This is helpful in an environment of contrast such as this.
This desire for knowledge is not in and of itself negative. But there is a shadow side to the quest for knowledge. The shadow side is that knowledge is often used by the ego as a security blanket. The ego uses knowledge to avoid things that it fears. Things like insignificance and worthlessness and pain. Knowledge is worshipped by cultures the world over and knowledgeable individuals are valued. They command respect within their society. In society, knowing more about something than somebody else boosts one’s social status. We become significant to others when we know something more than they do. We become significant when we are the venue through which they can get their knowledge “fix”. It is easy to see then how the ego could use knowledge to avoid insignificance, personal insecurity and worthlessness.
Knowledge also helps us to avoid future calamity. If we know the winter is coming, we can stock up on food and survive the winter. If we do not know it is coming and do not stock up on food, we may die. If we are a person who worries about the future and most of all who does not trust ourselves to create a reality that feels good to us, knowledge becomes a tool for self-protection. Knowledge is the worrier’s best friend. Knowledge is often used by the ego to keep itself away from the rocky seas of uncertainty. Cognitive closure makes us feel safe. If we look at the ego for what it is, which is an identity (the identity you call by your name, which is temporary and also illusion), we quickly see that the ego’s goal is to stay alive and serve as contrast for our true self. The ego serves us by facilitating our expansion. And one way it does this is by keeping you alive in the physical long enough to learn/progress. And if the ego’s goal is survival, knowledge is more essential than even food or water is. After all, knowledge is what allows us to find food and water in the first place. All humans are knowledge junkies as long as they are identified with themselves. We are set up to go after the goal of realization or the goal of grasping a concept. We go after the goal of knowing instead of the process of learning. This makes the learning experience uncomfortable. This makes learning something that we have to “get through” in order to get to the mental carrot we are chasing. You’ve heard it gain and again, we fear the unknown. Guess what? The idea that we fear the unknown is total Bull Shit. We don’t fear the unknown. If we truly feared the unknown, babies would fear everything and they do not. What we fear is what we project into the unknown based on our previous experiences. When we are facing the unknown, the mind goes to work projecting it’s already acquired fears into the unknown to try to predict what lies in the unknown and then goes to work trying to figure out how to avoid those fears. It’s those projections that we fear. For example, if we quit our job that we have been working at for 10 years to do something radically new and different with our life, we are venturing into the unknown. But we don’t fear that unknown in and of itself. We fear the potential failure and fall from grace that we could experience socially by venturing into the unknown. We fear this because we have experienced the feeling of failure and fall from grace before and wish to avoid this feeling at all costs. We do not fear the unknown in and of itself. We fear the potential unwanted things we predict that the unknown could contain. If we learned to not project our fears into the unknown, the unknown would no longer be scary. The ego is obsessed with the quest for truth and knowledge because it’s convinced that knowledge and truth will keep unwanted things from happening to it. But the unknown holds a glaring truth; like a clam holds a pearl and that truth is that the state of learning is a higher state than knowing. The open state of inquisition and questioning is a state open to all possibilities. The closed state of knowing shuts the door to further learning. In a way knowing is ended-ness. You can’t know everything about everything. Source doesn’t even know everything about everything. There would be no reason for life to exist if source knew everything. Source only knows what it knows up unto this point. You, being a microcosm (a fractal) of the larger universe, only know what you know up to this point.
Most of us fear not knowing because we fear that as a result of that lack of knowing, we will end up going through a “bad” experience. Your worry will greatly be reduced when you train your focus to see that value is contained in every single experience. There is a Zen master that once said, “the barn is burnt down, now I can see the moon”. Inherent in that statement is the idea that even the things that we would identify as a tragedy contain value. If there is value in all experiences in our lives, we will not run around trying to avoid certain experiences. That in and of itself is liberation. Bad experiences or Unwanted experiences are only what we call experiences, whose part in our growth and integration we do not yet understand. The minute we understand that all experiences enrich our life because they all cause learning and growth, we cease to see any experience as bad. We begin to see experiences from source perspective. Source does not see “bad experiences in life” as bad. Source sees every experience, no matter how uncomfortable as an integral, valuable experience. The experiences we go through are open to interpretation. That’s the beauty and the pain of it. We can interpret any experience in a way that causes us to suffer or we can interpret it in a way that causes us to grow and integrate, thus becoming more whole in and of ourselves. You cannot know everything about everything.
Expecting yourself to know everything about everything is cruelty. It is also the result of fear. The universe works like this, questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions which lead to more answers, which lead to more questions and no one, not even the universe at large, knows if there will ever be an end to this cycle of questions giving rise to answers giving rise to questions giving rise to answers. The progression of thought may be eternal and it may not be eternal. You have heard the expression “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. What If I was to tell you there is no destination? Now it really is only about the journey and all life is nothing more than a journey. All life is based upon exploration, expansion, adventure, the progression of discovery and learning. So how do we come to love learning without becoming attached to knowing? We release the fears we have surrounding the idea of not knowing. We admit to what we are really afraid of. For example, I might be afraid of not knowing because I have chosen a career that is built upon the expression of information. I might be afraid that if I do not know all the answers to everything, that I will lose my value to the people who come to seek my knowledge. I may fear that if I lose my value to them, I will fall from grace and be rejected by the very people who profess to value me now. Or I might be afraid of not knowing because if I don’t know, I could make a tragic mistake. And if I make a tragic mistake, I would feel bad about myself and it would revive my childhood feelings of shame, which are painful. We need to be brave enough to face what we are trying to avoid by knowing. We need to own up to and face what we are really afraid of. We need to turn around and face the fears that we are projecting into the unknown. Because the unknown has become a scapegoat that keeps us locked in a vicious pattern of avoiding what we are really afraid of, which I can assure you is not the unknown.
Cutting is one of the most misunderstood human behaviors most especially because of how much it scares people. People assume that cutters are dangerous. The common thought is “If they could do that to themselves, what could they do to me?” And like any addiction, cutting is an extremely difficult thing to stop. For this article, I will be referring to people who engage in self-harming behaviors as cutters. I use this term, because it is the common term used for those who engage in self-harm. But let it be known that cutting is not an identity, it is a symptom. And cutting is only one form of self-harm. There are also people who burn themselves, intentionally imbed objects in their body, poison themselves, bruise themselves, intentionally break their own bones, pull out their own hair, freeze themselves and the list goes on. Each method of self-injury is preferred by the person doing it for certain reasons. For example, a cutter may prefer cutting because they feel like the trapped emotion in their body is being washed out or released with the blood that they spill. The first thing we must understand is that cutting is not the same thing as a suicide attempt. Though some cutters are suicidal, some cutters are not. Cutting is a coping mechanism. The second thing we must understand is that cutting is addictive. It is an addictive compulsion. For anything to meet the criteria of addiction, it has to adhere to the “3 Cs’”
Craving for the substance,
Loss of control once the thought to use arises and
Continued use in spite of negative consequences.
Cutting fits these three criteria and a lot of the addiction to cutting revolves around the addiction to endorphins.
Endorphins block pain and also play a part in our ability to feel relief and pleasure. They affect us much like codeine or morphine does. When endorphins reach the opioid receptors limbic system (including the part of your brain called the hypothalamus), you experience relief, pleasure and a sense of satisfaction. You also feel more calm and positively energized. Here’s the thing, when your body experiences pain your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins both soothe and energize you so you can get out of harm’s way. For this reason, cutting soothes negative emotion. It is a coping mechanism which provides temporary relief of intense feelings such as anxiety, guilt, depression, stress, emotional numbness or a sense of failure or self loathing and low self worth or the pressure of perfectionism. We can become addicted to the chemicals that our own body produces in response to certain things with the same veracity that we become addicted to a street drug. And as soon as we associate the action of cutting with the corresponding feeling of relief, we create neuropathways in our brain that automatically compel us to seek relief when we feel negative emotion by cutting. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
To understand the motive for cutting, we need to go even deeper. Self-harm is not a behavior solely demonstrated by humans. Animals who are captive also engage in self-harming behaviors. What does this teach us? It teaches us that the human cutter feels as if they are captive. Without exception, like a caged animal, the cutter is in a prison where negative emotion (especially despair and hatred and rage) cannot be expressed. And so those emotional states are internalized. There is nowhere for the energy to turn but inward towards the self. And so they are expressed upon the self. The emotional states that compel a person towards cutting are the result of childhood traumas. For example, one of the most common causal situations that leads to cutting is that a child perceives themselves to be emotionally rejected by a parent that is supposed to love them. This is common of course if the child is born to a critical or perfectionistic parent. The child develops hatred and rage for that parent and experiences a deep level of despair but when the child expresses those emotions, they are shamed for it. Their emotions are invalidated. Their parent turns the emotion back on the child by implying that the emotions mean something is wrong with the child because there is no other valid reason for them to feel that way. Because of this, the feelings are internalized. The child becomes hyper-critical of themselves and that hatred, now internalized becomes focused at the self. To further understand this causal scenario that leads to cutting, imagine a fish in a fish tank. Imagine the fish projecting emotion outwards. The emotion will hit the glass walls of the tank and ricochet back towards the fish. As a cutter, it may take you years to realize that no child is born hating themselves. That instead, some aspect of you was rejected or hated by those who were supposed to love you and that because you were never allowed to expose that truth of you lives without it being invalidated, you internalized it and now treat yourself the way that they treated you; like something is inherently wrong with you and that you are bad and thus need to be punished. Cutters exchange emotional torture for physical mutilation. All cutters are self-loathing. All cutters are self-critical. You did not learn to view yourself this way by chance, you were seen this way by other people and that is how you learned to see yourself this way. I challenge you to look beyond the surface of things, beyond the myth that because your parents are your parents, they love you and instead look deep within yourself and admit to who should have loved you but didn’t or couldn’t.
Cutting is so often a sign of abuse, especially sexual abuse because it is a manifestation of the despair and self loathing that arises from internalizing the despair and rage that occurs when we are not loved by someone who we wanted to love us. It is also an attempt to gain control over our body, which we did not have control over when it was being used by other people. When it comes to our negative emotions, we do not feel the capacity to feel the feelings we feel, especially if our feelings were treated as “not ok” and “not valid” growing up. So, we are after two things: Sedation and Control. To sedate our emotions means to numb or drown out our awareness of our uncomfortable or painful feelings. To control is to gain power over our discomfort and pain. When we feel negative emotion, we feel out of control, so we gain back out control by exerting control over the way we feel. All addictions without fail exist to either sedate or control the way we feel. Cutting accomplishes both sedation and control. Endorphins sedate our feelings. The act of cutting, gives us control over our bodies and control over causing a sensation of relief within our bodies by causing an endorphin release. There are two main types of cutters, those who keep the cutting secret and those who are demonstrative about it. Whether a person is secretive or demonstrative about cutting says a lot about whether they are more desperate for sedation or more desperate for control over themselves. Those who keep their cutting ritualized and secret are more desperate for control. They often cut in areas that are not visible to society, like the inside of the thighs. They feel no control over their bodies or their emotions. By doing what they like with their body and keeping it secret, they keep something for themselves. This gives them a sense of control over themselves, which they have been lacking.
Those who cut in areas on their body that are open to public view like the wrists or arms, are more desperate for sedation. They are desperate for the sedation to come through other people. These cutters are desperate for rescue. Society shames them for cutting by saying that they just cut for the sake of attention. And so, they cannot admit to anyone or even themselves that what they want is for someone to notice. They are in a prison of a torturous situation, unseen by society and the people around them. They are shamed for wanting the attention that subconsciously they do want so badly. They want attention because they want someone to save them from the hell that they are living in. Think of it as a visible SOS. Shaming a cutter for wanting attention is like shaming a person in a hostage situation for trying to get attention by writing SOS on a wall. The dream is that on top of the sedation of the endorphin release, someone will come to sedate our pain by loving and caring about us enough. Of course cutting has the opposite effect on people; it drives them away.
When it comes to cutting (like any addiction), stop making healing about stopping the behavior itself. The behavior of cutting is just a symptom of a deeper cause. Symptoms disappear only when their root cause disappears. When I work with cutters, we do not make the healing process about cutting at all. We view the behavior of self-mutilation the same way we would view a rash. It is a symptom. We get down to the business of addressing the root cause. Cutting is done to avoid and escape from the way we feel, but as long as we avoid the way we feel, we cannot find healing. We have to be willing to go in the opposite direction when we feel upset and use the compulsive energy we feel to propel us deeper within the very emotion we are trying to escape from. We set out to integrate the emotional body. For this reason, I ask that anyone who is struggling with cutting watch my video on YouTube titled Healing the Emotional Body. There are many techniques that are designed to end the cutting behavior itself. For obvious reasons, I think this is an artificial solution. It is treating a symptom instead of a cause. That being said, I will tell you the single technique that worked to end my own cutting. The cause of your cutting is rooted in very early childhood. No exceptions to this rule. This is why all good emotional trauma techniques to some degree put you back in touch with the child within. And once you have begun to interact with the child within and recognize the childhood place where your negative emotions come from, you have the single best tool to thwart your cutting behavior. It can be summed up in one sentence. IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO CUT THE CHILD IN YOU.
Most cutters have a ritual spot that they cut. My spot was in the bathroom. I found the most adorable childhood photograph of myself that I could and taped it up on the wall of my bathroom. If you don’t have a picture of yourself, imagine yourself as an adorable child. When you go to cut yourself, imagine that you are cutting the small child you. When I began doing this, every time I went to cut myself, I would imagine grabbing the arm of this little childhood self and cutting her. I’d imagine her crying and not understanding why she was being hurt and punished in this way. The first few times I did this exercise, I collapsed into tears on the bathroom floor. I could not do that to a child. And so, because that child is within me, I could not do it to myself. And I will say that if you are able to cut despite the presence of this child within you, you are still not in touch with the child within on an experiential level. You are conceptualizing of a theoretical child you do not feel within you yet. If you know someone who is cutting, you must know that you cannot stop their behavior for them. They have to want to stop cutting and to want to stop cutting, cutting has to not serve them anymore. And as long as they have un-integrated emotional trauma within them, the cutting still serves them because it allows them to escape those painful emotions. Keep in mind that the worst thing you could do to a cutter is to shame them for cutting, this does nothing more than add fuel to the fire of why they are cutting in the first place. If you want to help, don’t react to the cutting behavior itself. Demonstrate your unconditional love to them by drawing attention to and desire to understand the emotions that they are trying to escape from by cutting. On some level, every cutter wants you to know how much pain they are in. They need to be acknowledged and they need their pain to be validated instead of invalidated. They need to be loved regardless of how they feel instead of be led to believe that they are only lovable and wanted if they feel good. What they need is the opposite of rejection. They need to know that something is right with them instead of wrong.
If any cutters are reading this now, take this last sentence I have said to heart. What you need is the opposite of rejection. Nothing is wrong with you. Instead, something is right. Your emotions are reflecting deeply suppressed emotional trauma. Traumas you may not even be willing to admit to yourself yet. Identify your triggers. The scenarios that cause you to cut are a hint about the emotional trauma you suffered at the hands of other people in your childhood. Your emotions are telling you exactly and accurately how you have been emotionally treated by others. Just don’t expect the people who treated you this way… to own up to it.
Psychic attack is a fancy name for negative energy being focused you with the conscious or subconscious intention to inflict harm upon you, or any aspect of your life. Focus manipulates and moves energy. Harm can be focused towards your emotional, physical, spiritual or mental state. Those negative energies are projected in the form of thought and intention. They are a byproduct of the psyche. At the extreme end of the scale of psychic attack, we see the deliberate practice of hexes and curses; in other words, spells that were created to harm instead of benefit an individual.
The reason people feel so intimidated by psychic attack is because most people do not understand what it is fully. Because of the name it was given, people associate psychic attack not with the psyche, but with psychics, magic and the supernatural. We have the tendency to call anything that we do not understand supernatural. The minute we understand it however, it becomes natural. Psychic attack can involve ritualistic technique, but by far and away the majority of psychic attack is not ritual and involves nothing other than the thought and intention for harm to come to someone. Psychic attack has long been associated with voodoo and with a kind of witchcraft called black magic. Black magic is considered to be magic that is done against the free will of another person. In reality, you cannot do anything against the free will of someone else because in order for him or her to experience you harming them in the first place, they would have to already be holding a vibration that matched that experience. This is seen universally as an invitation and thus in accordance with free will. The way that people feel towards us and think about us as well as their intention towards us produces strong energy signatures. When we become a match to these strong negative energy signatures, like anything, they affect us. Here are some symptoms that we commonly see in association with psychic attack.
Experiencing frightening nightmares
Seeing your attacker in a devilish way, either in your dreams, your meditation or in your thoughts
Suddenly acting totally out of character
Major changes in clarity of thinking or analytical ability
Sudden ongoing fatigue for no apparent reason
A drained feeling
Icy cold feeling on part or all of your body
Strange or recurring accidents
A discomfort or fear in a specific room or area in your home or office
Sudden illnesses that elude diagnosis
Feeling someone touch you or bump into you when nobody is present
Sudden depression without an apparent cause
Seeming ongoing bad luck
Disturbing Visions or hallucinations
Irrational fear, anger or sorrow
A negative obsessive thought, desire or fetish that won't go away
Having thoughts and images of your attacker creeping into your mind constantly
Feeling that you are being watched and seeing shadows around you from the corner of your eye, even when you are alone
That being said, nothing can assert itself into your reality against your will. For anything to show up in our reality that negatively affects us, we have to have already been either consciously or subconsciously offering a vibration that called it to us. Awareness of what is happening diminishes the effect of the psychic attack significantly. And awareness of the occurrence of psychic attack involves much more than realizing that someone is projecting negative thoughts in your direction. It involves an understanding of the psychic attacker and of why it is occurring in your reality.
Psychic attack in truth has everything to do with the “out of alignment” state of the attacker, as well as the “out of alignment” state of the victim. Psychic attack is based mainly upon feeling of jealousy, anger, revenge, perceived powerlessness to you or fear of you. The psychic attacker, just like the victim they choose is a person full of trauma. They view the world through the eyes of trauma and create a lot of drama because they engage with the world as if the world is a hostile environment. They live in a state where they vacillate between attack and defense. It is important to remember this; no one will ever attack you psychically unless they feel somehow attacked by you first. To understand this, take a look at jealousy. If someone is jealous, they perceive your presence as attacking their self worth and so this perceived attack on their self worth puts the into a state of defense, where they wish to strike back. As far as the victim of psychic attack is concerned, it is important to understand that when you are really in alignment, no one could do anything that could cause you to feel negatively. You would be so far outside their vibrational range that you would never encounter someone with negative intentions towards you. You would be so open to the flow of infinite energy, that no one could ever take enough energy from you that you would feel a deficiency. We cannot discuss psychic attack without discussing victimhood. The victim does not know that they are the initiator of those experiences. All the psychic attacker is, is a vibrational match to unhealed aspects of us, mostly that reside in the subconscious that we are not yet aware of. You cannot be a match to psychic attack unless there is a point of attraction to it within you. So universally, this point of attraction to it is seen as an asking for it. If you do not have any idea how things are coming to you because you are unaware of your shadows and you are unaware of the fact that your reality always comes in response to your vibration; and you’re looking at your world and seeing bad things happening to you or other good people (things you don’t think you or they deserve), your logical assumption is that there must be outside influences that have the power to assert themselves in your reality. Then you think “I had better defend myself”. “I had better push against these influences”. “I had better protect myself”. “I had better get better weapons to fight that”. But this is a misunderstanding about how this universe works and like all things; you cannot push against psychic attack and not draw it to you. When you give your attention to someone or something else that causes you to feel negative, you, yourself are pinching off the flow of infinite energy to you and yet you blame the way you feel on them. They are the “reason” you unintentionally cut yourself off from your own alignment. You blame them for how you now feel because the way you feel happened in response to placing your attention on them. The problem is that you cannot blame someone else for how you feel and not simultaneously acknowledge or activate the vibration within you of your own powerlessness. Powerlessness increases our victimhood vibration and thus increases our manifestation of psychic attacks. Prolonged states of anger, rage, resentments, bitterness, vindictiveness, fears and suppressed trauma from childhood will draw and attract people who are so not self aware that they carry out psychic attack. Ongoing repressed negative emotions will always eventually turn into a physical reflection of those emotions.
To understand psychic attack further I’ll share a personal story. Last year, I had flown to the east coast to hold a synchronization workshop. The day before the workshop, I hosted a frequency art gala to explain, showcase and sell my frequency art. A woman who was very disturbed attended the gala that day. She attempted to deceive me into thinking that she loved my work and wanted to collaborate one day. But her energy conveyed quite the opposite. She was threatened by me. Most of it was jealousy. She considered herself to be a shaman and felt as if it was unfair that someone my age (with such obvious inexperience) could draw the large audience that she had always desired but never experienced. To justify her jealous hatred towards me, she decided that I was illuminati and was intent on saving the world by preventing me from continuing with my work. That night, as I was talking to people and teaching a trauma release process, she walked around the room picking up crystals and used them in conjunction with her walking cane to “hex” me. Then she diligently proceeded to invite groups of people into the hall where she explained to them that I was illuminati and provided them with sound reasoning for her claim. One by one, she tried to convince people not to attend my workshop the next day for the sake of their own safety. She managed to convince about ten people to abandon my teachings and not attend the workshop that night. I felt completely targeted. My energy level collapsed. If I did not understand psychic attack, I would have convinced myself that I needed further protection and that I was the victim of attack. But when you understand your own shadow side, psychic attack can no longer be seen as attack. It can only be seen as reflection. In truth, that experience was a reflection of the pain I felt as a child when the Mormons in the town I grew up in (despite my desire to do good), labeled me as evil and ostracized me from society, separating me from the children I wanted to play with. Because that vibration was still present within my emotional body, it was still a point of attraction, which invited this woman into my experience. She was not an attacker; she was a messenger for an unhealed aspect of my being. She was a messenger of unhealed aspects of many people there at the gala that night. Everyone who interacted with her came face to face with the reflection of their own various suppressed trauma. Use the contrast of psychic attackers to do two things. 1st recognize the reflection of someone projecting negative energy in your direction as a reflection of a deeply suppressed trauma within you; a reflection of past feelings of powerlessness, despair, desperation, hopelessness, fear, unfairness etc. Explore the feelings you have about being a victim or experiencing undeserved harm. This is what the revolutionary psychologist Carl Jung would have called shadow work. Prod around in the subconscious and integrate unresolved traumas. 2nd use it to design your reality by identifying your desire. Realize that what you want is to be more in control of your own vibration than this. What you want for example might be empowerment and allowing. Then, intentionally go in the direction of that. Do more things that cause you to feel empowered. Pay attention to anything or anyone that causes you to feel more allowing of other people and how other people choose to behave. Focus on anything that diminishes your resistance to and your fear of others.
Understand that you can’t arrange the circumstances of your reality enough to control everyone else’s people’s behavior. You can’t protect yourself without simultaneously activating the idea in your reality that there is something that you need to be protected against. When you get control of your own vibration, you are exempt from the experience of other people dictating the way you feel.All other techniques for dealing with psychic attack must come second to this.
There are multiple techniques for dealing with psychic attack that can be used in conjunction with intentionally integrating your past trauma and unhealed shadow aspects and increasing your vibration. The ones that I think are the very best for psychic attack are:
White sage. White sage has been used for thousands of years for neutralizing energies. You can dab the essential oil on the pulse points of your body. You can also use the smoke of a smudge stick of white sage to neutralize energies in your home. By pulling the smoke gently around your body and into your auric field, you can neutralize the discordant energies in your auric field. You could also benefit greatly by planting it around your house.
Carry the minerals, whose frequencies are the best at deflecting negative energies, transforming negative energies and cloaking. In my opinion, these are back tourmaline, obsidian, pyrite, moldavite, spirit quartz, fire agate, and chiastolite.
Use herbs or plants whose frequencies are the best at deflecting negative energies. In my opinion, these are: Sage, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Oregano, Clove, Lavender, Juniper, Ylang Ylang, Tea tree, and Sandalwood.
Visit energy worker professionals that you feel drawn towards, who are adept at auric cleansing and who specialize in assisting people with psychic attack.
Visit open minded, spiritually aware psychologists that you feel drawn towards who are adept at helping people integrate the subconscious and become aware of painful emotional and mental patterns within them.
Now I’m going to share with you an old spell formula that was used back in the day for protection. Today, we have the understanding that protection invites something that needs to be protected against, but nonetheless, this formula creates a very strong vibration that can deflect negative energies. To create this formula, we put 8 oz. of water in a spray bottle. Make sure the water is obtained from a natural, pure fresh source such as spring water, lake water, river water or artesian well water. If you absolutely cannot find natural water, use bottled spring water. Put 6 drops of rosemary oil, 6 drops of sandalwood oil, 8 drops of frankincense oil, 5 drops of juniper oil, and 3 drops of lavender oil into the water. Add 8 fennel seeds and 3 whole cloves. Drop 3 small protection stones of your choice into the water (my favorite is black tourmaline). Expose the mixture to the color violet. To do this, you can imagine the color violet being diffused into the mixture or you can cover the bottle with a violet colored cloth for an hour. Then, by projecting your intention into the mixture, mentally ask the ingredients to awaken. Ask them to help keep you clear of negative energies and deflect negative energies directed at you. When you feel as if the time spent focusing your intention towards the creation is sufficient, or when you feel as if the ingredients are coming alive, shake the mixture 28 times and spray yourself (as anything else you want to shield) with it. Shake and re spray it anytime you feel like you need it. This mixture will last for about several months before it looses its potency and will need to be replaced. Store it in an area where it is shielded from absorbing other energies in the house.
Another thing you can do to thwart psychic attack is meditations and visualizations. There are many options available on line, but my favorite meditations and visualizations for psychic attack are done with the intention of cleansing. Cleansing is quite simple to do. Spend fifteen minutes imagining washing the inside and the outside of your body as well as your aura with clear white liquid light. Or, imagine bathing in a pool of sacred cleansing water. Imagine watching the toxic, negative energy and debris flowing out and away from you and being absorbed into the soil, where it will be claimed and transformed by earth element. These visualizations can be greatly enhanced by doing them while taking an actual bath in water that has been diffused with Himalayan salt or sea salt.
When you have successfully addressed the shadows within you that have attracted this experience into your reality and when you are feeling more empowered, work on viewing the experience from a higher perspective. This allows you to develop compassion for the psychic attacker. Vibrations of love and compassion and peace and joy are instant disablers to any negative energy focused at you. Chances are you do not yet realize how painful their life truly is. You see, any vibration you hold, including an intention you project outwards, is reflected in your own reality. For this reason, a person who consciously or subconsciously desires your harm is a match to harm themselves and so they will experience harm coming to them. This is why in the practice of witchcraft, there is a thing called the law of three. The law of three basically states that whatever intention you send out into the universe, is sent back to you times three. And this is true on a vibrational level because this universe operates according to the law of attraction. And the more you focus on something, the stronger it becomes and the more dramatically it shows up in your reality. Those who engage in psychic attack on a subconscious or conscious level live acutely painful lives. Psychic attack is not something to be afraid of. It is not something mystical and supernatural that is beyond your control. It is just the natural result of living in a world where people, including ourselves experience trauma and find ourselves out of alignment because of it. The most crucial step to dealing with psychic attack is to recognize that psychic attackers are not attackers, they are messengers for parts of your unconscious shadow that craves to be seen, felt and integrated. They are a call to “heal” unhealed parts within you.
Before we come into this life, we set an intention for the life that we intend to experience. That intention sets in motion the entire chain of events leading to this specific life itself. Without this intention, we would not have this life. We would not be born into this incarnation. While it is true that we intend to have a great variety of experiences in this life, and intend many things for each life, we opt into each life with a core intention. This core experience is the root from which everything will grow. We always choose this core experience before birth. It is the foundation for choosing the parents we choose and the way we will look and the people we will grow up around and our astrological alignments etc. Let’s say that this intention we set forth is to experience unconditional love. Just like we cannot understand white, unless it is compared to it’s opposite, which is black, we cannot understand unconditional love unless we experience it’s opposite. And so, we opt into a life where we can experience conditional love and even rejection. We opt into a life where we can experience the very opposite vibration from unconditional love. And we experience this vibration as a feeling, a feeling signature to be specific. This feeling signature is like a specific flavor in the form of emotion and sensation. Our soul comprehends perception in terms of these feeling signatures, not mental concepts.
The time space reality we are currently experiencing is one of contrast. It is a dimension of duality. We come into this contrasting experience of life on earth in order to experience the black so we can then know and experience white. So we choose into very specific conditions in order to experience the opposite of our ultimate desire for this life, knowing that the experience of it’s opposite will give rise to the awareness and experience of it. When we experience it’s opposite, we do not understand it at first, instead we feel it. The feeling signature of the “opposite” of your ultimate desire for this life becomes your core imprint. It is the thing you came into this life to transform. It is your main purpose for life to use the contrast of that particular feeling signature to find and become it’s opposite.
Once you have adopted this core negative imprint, until it is integrated (potentially for the rest of your life), it will reflect again and again into your adult experience, most specifically in your relationships. You will think that you are in a relationship with different people and you will think you are having different experiences and that the relationships end for different reasons. But this is not the case. What you are missing, is that the FEELING is always the exact same in all of these seemingly differing situations. This core feeling signature, keeps repeating itself as if crying for integration over and over like a skipping cd. If we want our relationships to be different, we must recognize this core imprint, we must become aware of its role in our soul progression. We must use it to find out what we are doing here. If you already think you know what you’re core negative imprint is, suspend judgment. You may just be surprised. I have always prided myself on being completely self-aware. Looking at my life logically, I assumed that my intention was to experience freedom. After all, I have experienced so much powerlessness and captivity. But once I removed myself from the realm of the mind and went into the feeling instead, I found that the core imprint that I came here to transform was the vibration and thus feeling of being forsaken. I came here to experience reclamation. Reclamation of myself and of love, which is total union with source energy. I came into this life to return home. It is easy to see then how all movement that has occurred in my life has been away from the feeling of forsakenness and towards reclamation. And my career as a spiritual teacher falls in line perfectly with this core intention. I now teach people how to progressively attain reclamation.
Our purpose for this life, will almost always feel like the hardest thing for us to align with, because to truly experience it we must first immerse ourselves in it’s opposite. For someone who has felt forsaken all his or her life, full reclamation feels out of reach. It feels like an impossible dream. But our desire to experience this intended purpose is a desire we cannot deny and so, despite the perceived difficulty we will be moving forever in the direction of this experience we intend to have no matter what gets in our way, until we either reset back to source perspective by dying or manifest it in this life. To find this core negative imprint, begin by watching your breath and calming your mind; much like you would with any other meditation. Once you feel the mind quieting it’s activity, consciously recall every significant relationship you have had in your adolescence and adulthood (especially the romantic ones). Recall the circumstances that occurred to make these relationships fail. Now, dive into the way you felt when these relationships were beginning to sour and when they failed and ended. Ask what did I feel after they ended? Notice that no matter what the circumstance or whom you were with, the feeling is always the exact same one. Just feel this feeling. Feel its sensations within your body. Observe it and fully experience it. It may just be the most excruciating feeling you’ve ever tried to be present with and allow yourself to feel. When you have spent enough time with the emotion to feel yourself surrendering to it completely, letting go of all need to change it, ask yourself when was the first time I experienced this feeling? You may or may not have images come to your mind at this point. If not, just stay with the feeling (which will intensify upon asking this question). If you have images, observe them like you are re experiencing a memory. Which is in fact what you are doing. And ask yourself how do I feel? Be patient with this process, instead of looking for the answer, let your soul offer it to you. As if it is a bubble rising up from the deep water. The answer should come in the form of I feel _________. Not I feel like _____________.
If you say I feel like… it means you are conceptualizing of what the feeling feels like instead of experiencing the feeling 1st person. For example, I feel destitute instead of I feel like I have no money. If it helps, you can keep that feeling active in your body and look over a large list of emotions to try to find the feeling and thus vibration that most closely describes your core imprint. If you feel ready, you can apply my emotional body process to this feeling at this point with the intention of welcoming and integrating this particular feeling signature. To remind yourself of that process, watch my video titled Healing The Emotional Body on YouTube.
Now, with the knowledge of this core imprint, consciously think back on your life. See how this is the most familiar frequency you have experienced in this life. And use that to become aware of it’s opposite. Use that to become aware of what it is that you might be doing here on earth. Keep in mind that what people consider to be the opposite of something, isn’t necessarily the opposite of something for you. For example, though traditionally the opposite of panic is considered to be calm, the opposite of your feeling of panic might be trust.
Most of us conceptualize of purpose in terms of what they are supposed to do for a living, “doing” being the key word here. This is not how the larger universe views purpose. So keep that in mind. That being said, your “what I am supposed to do for a living” version of purpose, will most always fit in with this original core imprint and thus intention for this life. The best example of this can bee seen in the movie Stranger Than Fiction. In the movie, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the owner of a bakery shop. The main character finds out to his surprise that she went to Harvard law school. And that she wanted to make the world a better place with her law degree. She started baking for her study session. Soon she was baking more than studying law and so her grades dropped so far that she dropped out of college. She decided that is she was going to make the world a better place, that she would do it with cookies. The point being that if you examined her core imprint, and the opposite vibration she intended to experience in this life, something like disconnection and kinship, owning a bakery shop facilitated this intention and thus fulfilled her purpose for this life much more so than a Harvard law degree did.
The feeling signature of the core imprint is the ultimate thing we have come here to overcome, because it is the core vibration preventing us from experiencing unconditional love. Becoming aware of your core negative imprint is the first step towards integrating it and it is the first step towards consciously discovering your main purpose for this life. So get ready for your life to make sense. And get ready for changes.
You probably know that the negative unwanted circumstances of our past prevent us from moving forward with our lives or even from being present with what is. But an often-overlooked fact is that our fantasy about what we wished would have happened also prevents us from moving forward with our lives and from being present.
If we build our life on fantasies or if we cant escape our fantasies because we keep trying to make them come true in our now or our future, we are stuck in life. We have no stable foundation for creating a life that we enjoy. We continue to try to turn our parents into what we wish they would have been, we continue to try to try to achieve the successes that we wished we would have achieved. This is a painful state of desperation. It is “living in the past” to the exact same degree as we do when we are haunted by the reality of what actually happened. Subconsciously, you think that if you achieve that fantasy, your past will be remedied and healed and you can be complete. But if we have any hope of healing, moving forward or being fully present with all of our energy in the here and now, we must stop trying to chase and create that fantasy. Instead, in order to work with what we identify as “real” we must bury our fantasy of how we wish the past had gone. For that reason, I want to introduce a process that will help you immensely. To begin this process, I want you to close your eyes and connect with your heartbeat. If it helps, place your hands over your chest and imagine it beating. Do nothing more than listen and feel for it’s pulse. Breathing in and out deeply and naturally. Continue to do this for approximately 4 minutes. When you feel yourself settling into the experience, think back on the parts of your past that caused you pain. Instead of deliberately going looking to remember specific events, let them surface of their own accord, trusting that the ones that surface are the parts of you which are eager to be released. As if you were looking backwards and observing over your life, where do you feel stuck? What, if you were being honest could you never really get past?
Maybe you were given up for adoption Maybe you were abused Maybe your parents got a divorce Maybe one or both of your parents did not love you like you needed to be loved Maybe you did not fit in with your family Maybe you were bullied at school Maybe you got hurt Maybe you got sick Maybe you missed a crucial opportunity Maybe someone who you loved, died Maybe you struggled for money Maybe you didn’t feel seen or significant Maybe you felt jealous because of what someone else had Maybe you lost a job or didn’t get a job you desperately wanted.
I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down these past events and think about how you would have wanted them to go differently. I want you to write down your fantasy for how you wanted your life to go and how you wanted the people in it to be. Here is an example:
I was born in France where I was surrounded by artists and geniuses. I felt like I belonged.
We lived in a Venetian style mansion overlooking a Parisian street full of markets and cafes.
My mother was a creative, beautiful, stylish, warm and openhearted opera singer. She loved to wear long velvet dresses and she loved me exactly the way that I was. I was the daughter she always wanted. She looked at me like I was the light of her life. I remember her holding me and empathizing with me when I was upset and telling me that I could trust myself and that she would always be there with me.
My father was a powerful businessman who made so much money that I could do whatever I wanted. He was loving and gentle towards me but he was protective and hated the idea of me growing older and moving out of his house where he couldn’t watch over me every day. He would buy me presents all the time. I remember the Christmas when he bought me a horse. It was sitting in the stable with a red bow around its neck.
My parents sent me to a private arts school. My teachers were excellent mentors who made me feel seen and helped me to be fearless to express myself. I got to focus purely on my areas of interest and talent. I studied arts and English and physiology.
I had a group of really close friends, we did everything together and we even wore matching friendship necklaces as dorky as it sounds.
I lost my virginity when I was sixteen to my high school sweetheart on a camping trip. It felt like the closest I have ever been to someone in all my life.
I went to Harvard University and graduated when I was 25 years old with a medical degree. I set the world on fire with my new theories about integrative medicine.
I was healthy and I was excited to be alive.
I was on a ski trip in Alaska when my high school sweetheart proposed to me. We were at the top of a mountain in a ski lodge when I turned around and noticed that he was on one knee holding a beautiful engagement ring. I said yes and the whole room went wild. We called everyone to tell them. His mother cried and said “finally”.
We had a perfect beach wedding, our families (who were already friends) were so happy, the celebration lasted long into the night.
I opened a clinic, where I employed so many other physicians that I could take time off.
So, after a year of marriage, we decided to have a baby.
I got pregnant that very same month.
I surprised my husband by making a cop pull him over on his way home and pretend to give him a ticket, but giving him the pregnancy test instead.
The pregnancy was a complete joy. I stayed at home to write and publish my first book. It was completely stress free.
I had a natural orgasmic birth; in our own home with a midwife it was one of the best days of my life. I felt like I experienced the power of my divine felinity for the first time. It was a boy, we were in heaven.
The three of us were so connected that I felt a sense of belonging that was even deeper than the closeness and belonging I felt with my parents growing up. And so on… Add as much to this fantasy past list as you wish. Some people will only write one page, other people will be drawn to write pages upon pages.
When you are done writing this list, I want you to close your eyes again and imagine this fantasy in depth. For example, Imagine your parents keeping you instead of giving you up for adoption. Imagine your parents deciding not to get a divorce, but instead loving each other Imagine your fantasy father exactly how you would wish him to be Imagine your fantasy mother exactly how you would wish her to be Imagine you taking that opportunity and becoming an instant success Imagine yourself being popular in school and the other children including you and wanting you to play Imagine yourself as rich as a prince or princess Imagine your life exactly how you would have wanted it to be And then, imagine a coffin or a funeral pyre. One by one, imagine laying each fantasy in that coffin or on that pyre.
If you feel like it, once you have collected everything you want to put into that coffin or funeral pyre, mentally say a eulogy, which will help you to release these fantasies. Something like “I hereby lay to rest my fantasy of the mother I wanted. It wasn’t in the cards for me. It did not happen and it wasn’t my fault. I am ready to release you now and live my life from this day forward; doing what I can with what I have from where I am.”
Now, mentally close the lid and place a flower on top and go through the entire process of burying it in the earth. Or light a match and imagine setting the funeral pyre ablaze and watching all of it turn to ash. Feeling grief during this process is natural. Let yourself cry if you feel like you need to cry. Let yourself sink to the floor. Let yourself get angry. Be present with whatever happens inside you emotionally, without trying to change it. And when you feel like you are ready to come back to the here and now, wiggle your toes and fingers and take three deep breaths before you open your eyes. After you open your eyes, take the sheet or sheets (plural) of paper that you wrote all of your negative experiences and fantasies on and find a secure place to set them on fire. Watch the fire consume the words on the paper, knowing that they are now released back to source. You are now free. You are no longer burdened by these past events or weighed down by fantasies that did not come true.
I know that some of you might be confused about why I am introducing this technique seeing as how I teach that mind creates reality and that you could technically manifest anything you like. The thing is, if we are completely honest, we do differentiate between our fantasy and what we know actually happened. The minute we differentiate the fantasy from the reality, we acknowledge the fantasy as not true and the reality as true. You cannot lie to yourself. You cannot actually lie to yourself that something is or could be true if you don’t believe it is true or don’t believe it could be true. Lying to yourself keeps you in a state of self-hate and self-distrust. If we keep trying to undo what was done, we miss opportunities in the here and now. We may not even see them. And when it comes to people, if we keep trying to turn them into what we always wished they would be, we are running into a dead end. We inevitably find out that we have no control over them and that they constantly disappoint us. The reality of who they really are and how they really act is constantly shattering the fantasy we have of how we want them to be.
As morbid as it is, think of being attached to the fantasy of how we wish the past had gone like trying to revive a dead body. It is much the same because we are trying to revive a dead past. How long are you going to prop this dead body up at your dinner table and talk to it and give it baths and pretend it is alive, before you admit to yourself that you know (but don’t want to face) that it isn’t alive. How long before you let the body go? How long until you decide to own up to what was and what is and grieve your losses and set yourself free to move forward with what you do have from where you actually are?
You may feel like doing this process alone, but I have also found that doing this process in groups can be particularly healing, especially if you share your process with each other afterwards and collectively burn your lists. It is natural to grieve the death of a fantasy. And so it is a good idea and healing in and of itself to support one another as you move through this process. This symbolic burial is a perfect way to put to rest the “if onlys”. After all, chasing a fantasy wreaks havoc in our lives. And it prevents the universe from bringing us the beautiful, feel good reality that we have been looking for.
Today I’m going to talk to you on a very grounded, human level about one of the most common and fatal relationship dynamics that occurs in today’s world. I am going to describe this dynamic in its most usual form, where a woman plays one part and a man plays the other part. Keep in mind though that it is possible for the roles to be reversed and keep in mind that this same dynamic occurs in same sex couples. I am going to call this dynamic the “please love me” dynamic. Usually in the please love me dynamic, the woman is continuously trying to capture and keep a man’s attention (and therefore love). And a man feels like he can’t please the woman (and therefore be loved by her) so he withdraws.
Let’s start with the woman’s part. This is a widespread epidemic. We have all seen those movies, movies like Romeo and Juliet or The Notebook. We crave that level of intimacy. We crave the connection. We are jealous to the point of rage of those women who somehow manage to manifest men who are crazy about them; men who would climb walls and forge oceans and be there for them through thick and thin. We want men who are masculine enough to not be threatened by us, and who are masculine enough to take the lead; men who appreciate us for exactly who we are here and now. But what’s the reality? The reality is that we find men who are never “all in”. We find men who are apathetic towards us. We spend every minute of our lives trying to come up with ways to entice them into the center of the relationship. We try to inspire them to put effort into us. We feel like we have to do backbends to try to capture their interest and keep it. We end up exhausted. We end up feeling lonely. We may be in the same room, but we are alone and in the same room. We start to feel desperate. Desperate becomes the emotional status quo. This desperation for love and attention, this desperation for energy to come towards us, makes us feel utterly powerless to our partner. We start to get angry. We start to criticize. As a result, the men in our lives feel unloved. They feel like we have made a turnabout from loving to hating and as a result, they withdraw. They find ways to distance themselves from the relationship, which makes us angrier, which makes them withdraw more, which makes us angrier, which makes them withdraw more. It is essentially a snowball headed for hell.
And now for the man’s part, men dream of being with a woman who is vivacious and carefree, who can enjoy loving and enlivening moments without stress. They want a deep connection with a woman who is self assured enough to let them be what they are and do what they want to do yet feminine enough to let them take the lead. They want a woman who can love and appreciate them exactly as they are here and now. But what’s the reality? The reality is that you find women who are constantly displeased with something about you. You find women who nag and you find women who criticize. Your life is riddled with stress, a stress that doesn’t exist when you are away from her. You feel like whatever you do isn’t good enough and you can’t figure out what she does want. It’s like you are communicating in different languages. You start to feel trapped in a situation where you can’t win. You don’t know how to make the other person happy. So you start to withdraw. And you start to build a silent resentment. And where does your pent up frustration and energy go? It goes into fantasies, into drugs, into pornography or into other women. As a result, the women in your lives feel more unloved. They start to criticize you more. They start to beg for love in the only way they know how. They pull on you and that makes you want to withdraw more which makes them criticize and pull you towards them more, which makes you withdraw more and like I said before, this is a snowball headed straight for hell. This vibrational dance can be visualized easily by imagining that intimacy and a committed relationship is like a kitty pool between two people. In this dynamic, one partner (usually the female) is trying to entice and pull the other into the kitty pool with her. The other (usually male) is trying to exit the kitty pool. When it comes to what created this dynamic, we must look to childhood. Keep in mind that yet again, there are exceptions to the scenario I’m going to put forward. For example, the same sex parent may have been the offender instead of the opposite sex parent. It just so happens that it is usually the opposite sex parent that sets the vibrational stage for our expectation of romantic partners.
We begin with the girls. As girls we had fathers who could not develop intimacy and emotional closeness with us. We had fathers who always had something more important to do. They were always working at the office or working on a project around the house or engaging in a hobby or lavishing their attention on our mothers. Our fathers did not initiate quality time with us. They did not get to know who we were or what we liked and disliked. We had to literally do backbends to get their attention. They did not extend their energy towards us in any way. Instead, they made us feel like we had to capture and earn their attention and then work doubly hard to keep that attention. As much as we wanted to be, we were not daddy’s girls. This feeling is compounded if our fathers were also not protectors and did not keep us safe from physical or emotional harm as children. People outside the family or people inside the family, like siblings or our mothers, could have inflicted this harm. This feeling is also compounded if our relationship with our mothers was bad because they did not love us well either. If we did not have an unconditionally loving mother either, our desperation for our father’s love increases because we are trying to escape loneliness and also fear through gaining his attention and energy. It is quite common that if we felt like we had to compete with our mother or another sibling for our father’s attention, we will find ourselves involved with an apathetic mate, whose affections stray towards other women. It is also quite common that if we had to compete with a career or a hobby for our father’s attention, we will find ourselves involved with an apathetic mate whose attention will be taken up with work or a hobby. It is hard for us to recognize that the exact same feeling we had in our relationship with our fathers is the exact same feeling we have in our romantic relationships because we have buried this pain of desperation for attention and love from our fathers deeply beneath our craving and wanting of them. We glorified them in our minds and so we cannot admit to how much they hurt us.
Now for the boys, as boys you had mothers who were so enmeshed that they could not let you be free. Your mothers smothered you with closeness, but not a kind of closeness that felt good. You had mothers who mistook worry for love. They nagged you and criticized you. It was a closeness that came with judgment. You had mothers who had a vested interest in how you would turn out, what you would wear and how you would behave. You had mothers who guilted you for making them unhappy. You had mothers who were controlling. Their love felt like poison because it wasn’t given freely. It was only given in response to pleasing them. And it never seemed like you could please them enough. Your mother was unpleasable. She approved of only what you did for her. She loved you only for what she wanted you to be, not for who you actually were. Your relationship with her was stressful. Your mothers made you responsible for their happiness and so; you learned that the only way to survive her was to shut down to her emotionally. You learned that intimacy was dangerous. You want it, but you also see it as an open door for entrapment. You may have been momma’s boys. But the truth is, you didn’t want to be. It didn’t feel good to be a momma’s boy with this mother. This feeling is compounded if you had an overly passive, escapist or addicted father figure who did not fulfill the role of supportive husband when you were young. When this is the case, mothers often use their sons as substitute husbands. Which saddles the son with having to provide emotional support for their mother. This adds even more fuel to the fire of this particular condition.
It is hard for you to recognize that the exact same feeling you had in your relationship with our mothers is the exact same feeling we have in your romantic relationships because you feel guilty for seeing your mother in this light. You feel sorry for her or you feel disloyal to her. To some degree, you are still committed to her wellbeing and so you cannot let yourself see the relationship for what it was. This is one of the most common dynamics in relationships today. We develop the same dynamic with our boyfriends and husbands that we felt with our father. We develop the same dynamic with our girlfriends and wives that we felt with our mother. So what do we do about it? First, we have to recognize that we are trying desperately to heal from our suppressed past pain with our parents by recreating it in our adult lives. Just realizing that you are doing the same thing and are feeling the exact same feeling goes a long, long way. This helps you to pull your energy back from feeding the dynamic. Ask yourself this question, am I trying to turn my apathetic father into the involved, loving, protective father figure that I wanted by trying to turn my apathetic partner into the involved, committed, protective and intimate lover that I want? Am I trying to turn my unpleasable mother into the unconditionally loving, approving, carefree mother figure that I always wanted by trying to turn my impossible to please, critical, clingy partner into the self assured, unconditionally loving, approving partner that I want? As women we have to be willing to let the relationship end and stop pulling at his energy or begging for attention. Our number one fear is that if we stop pulling a man towards us, that he will not come toward us of his own volition. And I am here to tell you that it may just be true. But it is better to not be with a man at all than to spend your time pulling him towards you. There are a great many programs for women that teach you how to train a man to love you like you need him to. One of the number one techniques is called mirroring. You withdraw when he withdraws. You come close when he comes close. And it may work yes. But it also guarantees that you will spend your life living on your toes. Instead of relaxing into a supportive intimate relationship with a man who WANTS to and is WILLING to be committed to a relationship and invest energy in you, your relationship will turn into a highly manipulative game. And you will be doing nothing more than you were doing with your father. You will be doing nothing more than trying to structure your behavior so you can get the reaction you want from him. Pour all the energy you would pour into trying to get him to want to be present with you, into yourself instead. Tell him what you need and want and if he doesn’t follow through, live your own life as if he is not present. If he fades out of your life, that is your indication that he wasn’t supposed to be in it. To some degree you need to accept that if he wanted to be there, he would be.
As men, you need to decide if you really do want to be in the relationship or not. There is no wrong answer to this question. If the answer is no, then cut it off. If the answer is yes, then you’ve got to be brave enough to learn how to initiate and show love. You’ve got to be brave enough to come to the center of the kitty pool and not withdraw. There are people who can teach you how to love someone. There are so many suggestions about how to show love to someone else on the internet alone. Go looking for them. Ask your friends and ask Google how to show love for someone, research romantic ideas. If you can’t figure it out, ask your partner. They will be able to tell you what kinds of things make them feel loved. And you also have to pay enough attention to your emotions to recognize when you are withdrawing and choose to do the opposite. It is a choice that you are making to withdraw and prioritize other things. If you wanted to be with her, you would be. So make that decision.
We also need to do inner child work to rescue the inner children who are actually still stuck in these fatal relationship dynamics with our parents. Girls, you need to mentally create better fathers for your inner children. You need to validate your inner children and give them unconditional attention. Boys, you need to mentally defend your inner children against their mothers controlling and critical behavior. Defend them against the guilt. Mentally create better husbands for your mothers and let your inner children be free. Validate them for who they are and help them to feel loved and seen for who they really are.
Another thing we need to do, is to be clear and brutally honest with our partners about what we want and need from them and we need to be brutally and severely honest about whether we can provide those things for our partners. If not, we need to end the relationships instead of trying for years to force ourselves sideways. We need to let ourselves find people who want to meet those needs. This next tip goes hand in hand with the last. Both partners need to learn how to value themselves. When we do not feel loved because our partner is apathetic towards us or our partner criticizes us, that is our indication that we are not valuing ourselves enough.
The only sure fire way of ending this relationship dynamic so that it does not continue to be a staple of adult relationships in future generations is to parent differently. Mothers, we need to stop nagging and criticizing our children. We cannot make them the substitute for our absentee husbands. We need to separate our fear of how other people will think of us from our children so we can stop controlling them or trying to turn them into what we want them to be. Pretend that your children are unique flowers, you have no idea what they are going to turn into and that is the fun of it. Your job is to unconditionally be present with them. Let them be free. They do not belong to you. They are not extensions of you. Practice positive focus towards them. They are individual beings with their own destinies, their own wants and their own needs. You are setting them up for what to expect from a girlfriend or wife in the future. You are setting them up to be with women who nag and criticize and who are never pleased with them. Fathers, you need to start taking an active role in your daughter’s life. Let go of the apathy. Get to know who she is. Show her that you value and love her. Spend time with her. Let her know that you will keep her safe. Put your energy into her and put effort towards her. Don’t expect her to know that you love her because you are her dad. Intimacy is more than sexuality. Do not be afraid that by being close with your daughter you are crossing a line with her. You can have an intimate relationship with someone that doesn’t involve sex at all. Let your heart touch hers. Intimacy can be broken up into “into me see”.
Intimacy means seeing into someone completely. And showing them that you love them as a result of seeing them completely. You are setting them up for what to expect from a boyfriend or husband in the future. You are setting them up to be with men who are apathetic towards them who do not value them and who withdraw from them. You are setting them up to desperately run after men who do not really love them. This dynamic is so common in today’s world (because of the common dynamic between parents and children) that one could say it is a vibrational epidemic. But the good news is we have the power to end it. And the road to ending it, as always begins with recognizing it.
One could argue that success and lack of success is just a matter of perspective. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that success means someone whose actions and choices demonstrate a passionate about their progression and as a result they have become financially successful and have attained both personal and career achievements. Let’s assume that unsuccessful means someone whose actions and choices demonstrate apathy about their progression and as a result they have become financially unsuccessful and have atrophied on a personal and career level. I receive e-mails every week from people who are successful asking me why they keep falling for unsuccessful people. From the outside looking in (and to put it in societal terms), this relationship takes the form of the catch dating the loser. So what makes the ‘successfuls’ such a match to the ‘losers’ when it comes to relationships? The answer is low self worth.
‘Successfuls’ are achievers, if you are an achiever, you are an achiever because you were expected to achieve. More often than not, successful people only got love from their parents or caregivers for accomplishments. They only got praise when they were impressing someone. The rest of the time, they were either ignored or were treated like a burden. The ‘successfuls’ needed to earn love. Your parents often saw you as the difficult strong willed child and instead of treating you like you were cherished; your parents treated you like you were something to “put up with”. You go on to try to earn love from your parents and then from society by achieving. You try to accomplish in the hopes that the accomplishment will make you worthy of love. You have a very poor sense of self worth and deep down; you do not believe that you deserve the love you want. You believe that love is a transaction and so subconsciously, you believe that if you are not offering enough (through the way you look or the things you do for someone or the social status you give them or the money you make), there is no incentive on the other end to stay. By securing a partner that has a lot to gain by being in the relationship, you can guarantee that you will not be abandoned. Subconsciously, you believe that if a person was as successful as you were, or even more successful, there would be no incentive for them to stay and be an “all in” partner. Also, if you were to be with a responsible, successful, attractive partner, subconsciously you feel that you would suddenly be demoted and look bad in comparison. Being with them would make you more aware of your shortcomings and your self worth would sink even lower. To begin with, when you first get into a relationship you feel secure in the relationship because you feel that you can trust the commitment of your “lesser” partner. But soon, the love transaction turns sour. It turns sour because suddenly, instead of feeling valued and supported, you feel as if you have caught a parasite. The apathy of your partner and subsequent lack of success, saddles you with all the responsibility. And all that needs to happen is for the other person to relax and “settle” into the relationship (therefore not putting effort into you or their own success) for you to feel as if you are being taken for granted and taken advantage of.
As for the ‘unsuccessful’, unsuccessfuls are self sabotagers. They are self sabotagers because they were sabotaged. If you are an unsuccessful, more often than not, you had parents that only gave you love when you were meeting their needs and wants. You were discouraged from finding your own success. Secretly, you resent that your life has to revolve around other people and what they want and what they need, but you don’t know any other way to live and you don’t know any other way to get love. You have been discouraged so much and disappointed so much that you figure “why try”. Deep down, you don’t believe that you have what it takes to succeed and subconsciously, you’d rather not try. You’d rather say that you could have succeeded, than try to succeed and fail instead, thus finding out that you really are incapable and really are a loser. Your life is a self fulfilling prophecy, where your apathy is accomplishing the very thing you are trying to avoid by not trying. To you, love is a transaction. Subconsciously, you believe that if you are not living your life for someone, you do not serve a purpose to him or her and so there is no incentive for them to stay with you. By securing a partner who needs you to cater to them, you can guarantee that you will not be abandoned. Subconsciously, you believe that if a person did not need you to support them and their success for any reason, there would be no incentive for them to stay with you. To begin with, when you first get into a relationship you feel secure in the relationship because you feel that you will be needed and serve a purpose for your “greater” partner. You also tend to sell yourself to your partner by talking a big game about your ambitions and current situation. But soon, the love transaction turns sour. It turns sour because your walk doesn’t match your talk and when your partner figures that out, they feel put upon by you and by your lack of success and they begin to criticize you. Deep down, you feel guilty. Deep down, you feel bad about yourself. Instead of feeling valuable and needed, you feel like you are a parasite. And all that needs to happen is for your partner to begin criticizing you for you to feel as if you are being taken for granted and taken advantage of.
If you are a ‘successful’ who continues to dates ‘losers’, you need to ask yourself this question “What bad thing would happen if I were to date someone who was responsible and successful and attractive?” You will often find that the successful feels that if they were to find a good catch that was equal to them or better, that there would be no incentive for the other person to be in the relationship. Successfuls feel that they are inherently unlovable for a great many reasons. For this reason, it is important to ask yourself, “What about me would a responsible, successful, and attractive person not put up with?” You will often find that the very things you think they wont put up with are the very things your parents or peers criticized you for. For example, if a mother tells her daughter, “if it weren’t for your good looks, no one would put up with your moods”, she is bound to think a good catch wont put up with her moodiness and would therefore leave her or not enter into the relationship in the first place because of it. If you are an unsuccessful who continues to date successfuls, you need to ask yourself this question “What bad thing would happen if I were to become responsible and successful and attractive?” You will often find that the unsuccessful feels that if they were to become a success, there would be no incentive for people to be in the relationship with them. Unsuccessfuls feel that they are unlovable for a great many reasons. For this reason it is important to ask yourself, “If I were responsible, successful and attractive, why would people not want to be with me?” People who are unsuccessful and people who are successful are a match made in heaven because the difference between them is only skin deep. Looking deeper, we see that they share the exact same vibration relative to the way they see themselves. Also, in this universe where expansion is the order of the day, they perfectly mirror each other’s shadows (unhealed aspects) so that each may be aware of what needs to be integrated within themselves. Developing self-approval is a must for both the successful and unsuccessful. Every morning when you first wake up, pick one thing (to be brutally honest with yourself about) that you don’t accept or approve of about yourself. It is especially good when these things come from your list of answers to the questions you were asked earlier in this episode. Then, challenge yourself to think outside the box (and elicit help from others to think outside the box) and write a large list of things that make you feel better about that thing. Chose things that enable you to approve of that thing instead of disapprove of it. For example, let’s say I think I am dark and I hate that I am dark (and therefore think that it renders me unlovable to an ideal mate),my list may look something like this: Dark looks exotic and therefore people think it is sexy. It is mysterious and intriguing I’m incredibly good at shadow work I go into places inside myself that most people never go inside themselves, which means I know myself SO much more than other people know themselves. I have courage I’m not afraid of the dark side I fear less in life because I’m familiar with the darkness You must have darkness of night to see the light of the stars I have a better Idea about what happiness is, because of the contrast. I break people out of their monotony and captivate their attention. I am not surfacey, I’m deep I can accompany people through their most difficult and real issues, so I am a REAL partner. I don’t have fear about delving into other people’s psyches I am a brilliant therapist/guide/psychologist. I can be with people wherever they are. I am so good at mental chess that I can outwit people’s egos and make people aware of what they cannot see Black is source energy, it gave birth to the light. Alchemy… I transform the dark into light Dark is the most transformative energy. All frequencies are contained within dark. I am always peering into the shadow of life. This means, I live a more real life than most. I like to have fun, but my life is not all about fun. I use this life for my expansion. I use it as the tool that it is. If I am dark and I live in the dark, I have released resistance to the dark, and so, I am pure light. I am cultured, knowledgeable, I have seen so much first hand… I KNOW!!! If I identify with suffering, I’m compassionate. I can befriend those who are lost in the shadow and guide them through it. Because I am dark, I can form deep connections with people on all levels, not just the pretty ones. *I make people feel like they are not alone. The darkness makes you feel like you are alone. Suffering makes you feel like you are not alone. The way I am and the way I look (dark) is an advertisement that I’m there with them… I’m of the dark, So you are not alone here, lets come together, we are together in this expedition through the dark. I make it ok for people to go into the darkness and be where they are. Cleaning up the past, cleaning up the subconscious. It’s wisdom It’s not boring!! The most expansive respectable and lovable beings are of the dark energy… like Thich Nhat Hanh and Osho, Carl Jung, Byron Katie, Echart Tole, If I am honest about it, I love delving into the shadow. It is my passion. I’m a self awareness junkie. He who knows the dark within him, is self aware. Etc. The more you can think of the better.
Aside from the lack of self worth inherent on both sides, the main problem with this relationship is that successfuls and unsuccessfuls both suffer from their perspective on love. Both people believe that love is a transaction. A transaction is like a business deal. It is the reciprocal exchange of one thing for another. They believe something must be given to get love. They do not understand that love is not something that can be earned. They do not understand that love is something that can be given freely without incentive. What they seek in love relationships is not love; so much as it is mutualism. Mutualism is not love. But providing something beneficial for someone can be a good excuse for him or her to focus positively towards you. That’s just the problem. It’s conditional. This mutualism is inherently painful because it makes unconditional love impossible. The second you receive love for something you do; you acknowledge subconsciously that you are unlovable for your being. Love is a unilateral experience. It is the state of unconditional presence. It is the state of positive focus towards something. In fact, the vibration of love and the vibration of appreciation are so identical that there is no need to differentiate between the two. That positive focus unites one with their eternal self and also with the person they focus positively towards. That positive focus does not have to be dependent upon what the other person does or does not do. After all, it is possible to focus positively towards and have positive feelings for an autistic child who is throwing a fit. Positive focus is about the giver, not the receiver. We did not get unconditional presence and positive focus when we were young, unless we were doing something that caused our parents to focus positively towards us. So we do not know what love is or how to give or receive it, any more than they knew what love was or how to give or receive it.
Love is the word we use, when what most of us are talking about in our relationships is mutualism. There is nothing wrong with mutualism. Mutualism supports oneness and unity. But love and mutualism are two different ingredients to partnership. And if love is conditioned upon mutualism then neither partner can be assured of love unless they have something good to offer and keep up their end of the transaction.
If you really thought about it, I bet you could come up with a description of what your perfect relationship would feel like. The relationship that you consciously want would be unconditionally loving and supportive, intimate and fun. But no matter what you do, you can’t find that relationship. It’s like you are cursed. You keep ending up with partners who make you feel unloved, unsupported, undervalued, unseen and stressed. You keep asking yourself “why do I deserve this?” Well guess what, it has nothing to do with deserving. It has everything to do with your subconscious mind. We are creatures of habit. In this world, which feels chaotic and unsafe to us, we feel as if we can guarantee stability, continuity and a sense of certainty by returning to what is familiar. Instinctually we eat at that same restaurant every week or month. We sleep on the same side of the bed. We assign specific spots to our kitchen utensils. We wear the same style of clothing. We watch the same television shows, we have sex the same way… do I need to go on?
Here’s the thing, when you were a child, with no conscious idea about what love is, and with a cerebral cortex that was not developed yet, you were interacting with the world purely through felt perception. You felt the world long before you intellectualized it. And the way you felt about something, set up your expectations and then beliefs about that thing. Even if you had a violent, abusive or lonely childhood, your home was still “home”. It was where you went to sleep at night. It is where you were fed and clothed (or not fed and clothed). It was where you got your attention (or lack there of). Children are born loving their parents. And they are born assuming that their parents love them. The relationship with the family they are born into is their first taste of human connection and thus, their first taste of love. It doesn’t matter if we, in our adult perspective look backwards and say “that was not a loving household”, a child doesn’t know any different than this version if love that exists in their home. Because of this, they associate LOVE with HOME. The way that they felt in their home and in their relationship with their parents becomes their definition of love. This means, if your home felt like chaos and confusion and loneliness and deception, you think that is what love is supposed to feel like. As we grow up, we become conscious of what is good and what is bad. We banish things we think are bad to the subconscious mind. We try to deny them, we try to avoid looking at them and we try to forget them, and often succeed. This is why so many people do not remember their childhoods. The minute that we develop a conscious definition of what love is and how we want love to feel, we create a rift between our subconscious definition of love and our conscious definition of love. Consciously, we know love should feel loving and supportive and open and trusting. Subconsciously, we know love should feel unloving, unsupportive, constricted and fearful. On a conscious level, we think we are going after the partners who will make us feel that conscious definition of love. But, our subconscious mind (the one that is in charge of our instant biochemical attraction to someone) which is much more primal and much more in charge of our emotions, only allows us to become attracted to someone who fits it’s definition of love. Your mind will link any associations you have with home, with what love is supposed to feel like. And when you consciously decide you want love in your life, your subconscious compels you towards partners who satisfy those associations you have with love. Your subconscious mind takes you back to your childhood home. So this is how it works, if love equals home and home equals abandonment than love equals abandonment.
Let’s say that when you were growing up, you were born to an alcoholic father and an enabling mother. Home to you, felt like anxiety and it felt like crisis. You were always trying to avoid your father’s raging hot temper and you felt like nothing you could do was right. To some degree, everyone’s focus was on your father and so you were ignored whenever you were not being yelled at. You felt lonely in your childhood home. You wanted to run away, but you didn’t know how. When you grow up, even though you consciously want a partner who is there with you and who is kind and gentle and who makes you feel complete inside, you keep ending up with partners who make you feel anxiety. Life with them is one crisis after another. You are drawn to people who at first seem cool and collected, but who turn out to have extremely hot tempers. They ignore you when they aren’t yelling at you. And to some degree, you feel immeasurably lonely, you want to end the relationship, but you don’t know how. The thing is, despite your suspicions, it’s not that all men or all women are this way. You meet plenty of women or men who are loving and who could make for great, supportive partners and who seldom (if ever) get angry. But when you meet them, you don’t feel that “spark”. Your subconscious mind says, “This is not what love feels like, so I don’t think its love”. Whereas, when you meet someone and your subconscious mind senses that they are an unstable person with a hot temper, who is emotionally distant, it says, “Ah, this must be love”. Your subconscious mind, compelled by instinct, takes you right back to your childhood home in the same way that without your conscious notice, it compels you to sleep on the same side of the bed at night. And three months later, you’re kicking yourself asking “why me”? So we are going to do an exercise. Take out a piece of paper and think back to how you felt in your childhood home. Write down what it felt like to be at home and what it felt like to be around your parents growing up. For many of us, home was a mix of good feelings and bad feelings. But it is the painful associations that we have with home that causes the problems in our love relationships. For this reason, when you write this list, I want you to make sure to write down all the negative things and negative feelings you can remember about being in your childhood home and in your relationship with your parents, siblings and/or or primary caregivers up until you left home. When you have completed this list, cross out the word love and in it’s place, write LOVE. You are looking at your subconscious definition of love; do your relationship make more sense now? There is a famous psychologist and self-help author named Barbara De Angeles. She is most known for her work with relationships in the 90s. During some of her seminars, she would have people in the audience do an exercise called the “Wanted Ad”. We are going to do that exercise today. You have seen the “wanted” relationship ads in the newspaper that go a little something like this: Wanted: Sensitive, caring man (or woman) who is capable of a deep relationship. Sense of humor is a must. I’m looking for someone who is successful but is not a workaholic. And most importantly, I seek someone who is emotionally available. If you are honest, healthy, trustworthy and ready for a commitment, then I am the one for you, call (insert number here). However, if you were to match your emotional wants ad to the partners you actually end up with, it is as if your “wanted” ad must have read like this: Wanted: Self centered, insensitive man (or woman) who is incapable of a deep relationship. Seriousness and no sense of humor is a must. I’m looking for someone who is dead broke, regardless of how much he works. And you must be emotionally unavailable. If you are dishonest, unhealthy, untrustworthy and afraid of commitment, I am the one for you. Call (insert number here).
So obviously, as we saw in the previous exercise, what our conscious minds say we want and what our subconscious minds say we want are two different things. So take out another sheet of paper and write down the names of any romantic partners that you were emotionally attached to, including the relationship you are in now. These should be significant relationships. The ones where you felt that you were really in love or at least seriously attached to them in some way. Now, next to each person’s name, write down all of his or her negative qualities. What did you dislike about them or how you felt around them? For example, Mike: jobless, dishonest, controlling, manipulative, moody, used me for money, made me feel like I was worthless, impractical, flirted with my sister, could not communicate, made me feel completely alone. Or Mary: Emotionally unstable, crazy, whiny, insecure, drama queen, victim, made me the bad guy, hated sex, negative, critical, closed minded. Once you have finished, go over your lists and circle any qualities that repeat themselves. For example, if every person you were with was critical, circle critical. These circled aspects will tell you what your subconscious definition of love really is. Now, with the words you have circled, write a creative wanted ad. By doing this, you will come to understand what “advertisement” you are subconsciously putting out for a partner; as well as the kind of people you are actually attracted to. This is the kind of person you have been seeking. This is why relationships are painful to you. It is good if we can learn to laugh at our choices. So, try to make this want ad as funny as you possibly can. Try to write something that makes you laugh. For your viewing pleasure, here are two examples of “truthful want ads”, one written by a female and one written by a male.
Female Version Wanted: Are you looking for a relationship where you don’t have to take care of your woman, where you don’t have to invest any energy into the relationship whatsoever (including money)? Do you want a relationship where you don’t have to think of romantic things to do and can avoid emotional intimacy all together? Then I am the woman for you. I am looking for an apathetic man, someone willing to forsake me, because being forsaken is my secret fetish. I want a man who can make me feel like damaged goods. I want to watch the sun set with a man who is broke, lacks ambition, will only tolerate me when I’m positive and only wants to have fun. No responsibility required. If you like to give up on your woman and you’re trying to find someone who doesn’t feel taken for granted and unlovable when you do that, call me at: (insert phone number here)
Male Version: Wanted: Antisocial bachelor with intimacy issues seeks a dark, vampiric witch who is both crazy and unhinged. I can deal with the craziness as long as you're hot. Sex appeal fixes all problems, until a little while later when problems REALLY blow up. I usually say I want a quiet, simple, stable homemaker; but I actually don't because let’s be honest, I'd get bored of you super quickly. Instability makes me feel at home and I love power struggles. Drama is a must. What I really want is someone that keeps me on my toes like an exhausting and strategic game of chess. If you've had a really fucked up childhood this gives me the chance to 'rescue' you and then I'm all yours. Emotional volatility wins my heart and attention every time... Well, at least my attention. Call me at (insert number here)
When you are done, compare the findings from this exercise and from your previous “home” exercise to gain more awareness of your subconscious definition of love. What you will find is that the same negative qualities you find in a mate, perfectly mirror the way you felt in your childhood home.
Becoming aware of our subconscious emotional drives, is the first step towards becoming vigilent about the partners we choose. And, it clears up the confusion we feel in our current relationships by allowing us to see our relationship dynamic for what it really is. The more awareness we have about something, the easier it is to make changes according to that expanded awareness. Our relationships will improve if we can become aware enough to make our relationship problems (and the discussions that come from those problems) about what they are really about.
The feeling of looking forward to things in the future is one of the best feelings we experience in life. It makes us feel like we are excited to be here. It makes us trust that our future holds good feeling things for us. It makes us move forward without fear. It makes us feel like we are headed towards the light and that our desires are meant to be ours. But what about the people who do not feel this way? For a great many of us, instead of looking forward to things, we expect the worst. When we expect the worst, it makes us distrust and fear our future. It makes us feel like we are destined to suffer and that the future holds tragedy for us. Instead of heading into the light, it feels like we are walking around a blind curve and potential indescribable darkness. For us, it feels like our desires are not meant to be ours.
Why do we expect bad things to happen? We expect bad things to happen because bad things did happen to us. To one degree or another, tragedy did strike for us. And when it struck, we felt so blindsided, so powerless and so unable to explain why it happened, that we decided we had no control over our lives. We decided we were at the mercy of a cruel world that could harm us at any moment. We decided that the only control we did have and the only way to ensure that we would not get blindsided again, was to prepare for the worst. Preparing for the worst, is a coping mechanism. It is a survival strategy for those of us who feel deep down as if we do not create our own reality. It is a survival mechanism for those of us who have been hurt and especially for those of us who have been hurt again and again. The most painful part about expecting the worst is the feeling of grieving for things before they have even happened. We miss people before they are even gone. We feel disappointment before we have been let down. We feel the crushing weight of the loss of people we love, even when they are alive and well. So how did this all begin? By the time we had graduated from babyhood into childhood, most of us had forgotten that we selected this life (and our family of origin) because of the way it would facilitate our soul progression. We had no idea that we were creating our reality with our thoughts and that our feelings were reflecting back to us what we were a vibrational match to. And so, we did not recognize the emotional and mental pre-conditions that made us a vibrational match to painful experiences, especially our most tragic experiences. This is why we felt blindsided by tragedy and came to expect the worst-case scenario. For example, lets say that we have forgotten that we chose into this life with a mother who could not love us like we needed to be loved. Lets say that we experienced losing the love of this parent and being ostracized by them and turning into the black sheep of the family. The deep levels of grief that we felt as a result (but tried to suppress in order to survive within the family), is a strong vibrational point of attraction. So, it makes us a match to tragedy, without us even knowing it. We are a match to tragedy because we are not letting ourselves grieve the loss of the connection we had with the person who was supposed to love us the very most. We are trying to deny it, trying to ignore the feeling, trying to feel differently, and doing anything we can to escape that feeling. By doing this, we are resisting and suppressing the feeling. We are stuck in it and it is stuck within us and it intensifies. Then, we experience the manifestation of a tragedy. This tragedy will usually be a magnification of the first tragedy. We will lose the connection with our loved ones even more. For example, one day we are at school and we get a phone call saying that our parent has died. Or we get kidnapped and thus separated from our family to an even more extreme degree. Because we do not acknowledge the way we felt prior to this tragedy, we feel blindsides by it. We do not recognize that this tragedy in fact did not blindside us at all. We felt blindsided only because we were living in an unconscious state. We were unconscious about how we truly felt prior to the incident, and even if we were conscious of what we felt prior, we did not see the connection between the way we felt prior and the way we felt as a result of the incident. Also, we were unconscious that we create our reality. We did not know that we could tell what we were creating in our future by virtue of how we felt today. So, we decided that the only way to ensure any emotional survival was to prepare for the worst so we would never be blindsided again.
It’s not like society looks down on preparing for the worst; in fact preparing for the worst is a glorified idea within our society. Even the military adheres to the philosophy “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”. But does that tell you what kind of mindset you have to be in to be a “prepare for the worst” kind of person? You have to be in an attitude of war and opposition. You have to feel as if the forces in the world are out to get you. To some degree, you must believe that there is malevolence in this universe and that it has its sights set on you. In a universe based on the law of attraction, we essentially experience whatever we expect. For those of us who expect the worst, this becomes a big problem. If we learn that we create your own realty by virtue of what we focus on and believe (we could call focus+believing expectation), and we are chronic worriers who expect the worst-case scenario, we start to fear our own negative focus and our own negative creations. This compounds our worry about the future. We are now worrying about worrying. We don’t know how to stop worrying and how to stop expecting the worst-case scenario, but we want to so badly because we are scared that we are creating the very thing we worry about. But the law of attraction is a very misunderstood concept. Law of attraction works like an impartial mirror. It merely reflects whatever you’re feeling in the form of a physical scenario. This should help you with this fear you have about creating the very thing you’re worrying about by worrying about it. Law of attraction as it applies to worry, means that if you worry, you will not necessarily attract the thing you are worrying about, what you will attract, is more worry. Worry is a match to worry. You will attract more things to worry about and more circumstances that cause you to worry. Tragedy is not usually a match to worry. Tragedy is a match to lower vibrational emotions, like loss and like grief. Lay the mind creates reality to the side for just a minute and pretend that we don’t create our reality. For those of you who don’t fully trust that you create your own reality and who expect the worst-case scenario, the following statistics may just help you out. 40% of what we worry about never happens – so in essence we are wasting our time by worrying about it. 30% of what we worry about has already happened. You cannot change the past – no one can. So in essence, we are wasting our time worrying about it. 22% are needless worries, what we call “petty worries” unrelated to catastrophe, such as we worry what someone else thinks about us or we worry about what’s for dinner, we worry about being late, or we worry about what to wear. 8% of what we worry about actually happens. And of this percentage, 4% of our worries that happen are beyond our control. We cannot change the outcome, no matter how much we plan. These worries may include illness, the death of a loved one or an impending natural disaster. And I can tell you personally that often times the reality of these events are more bearable than the worry. This means, 4% of what we worry about, we have some if not complete control over the results of. And it is the consequence of our action or inaction that creates the problems and challenges we face relative to this worry. Things like “I worried about getting injured in a car wreck, but didn’t buckle my seat belt.”
So what should we do if we are constantly preparing for the worst?
We need to stop suppressing the feeling of worry. We need to allow ourselves to grieve for the original tragedy that we experienced in our lives. Usually, this one is not one that we have conscious memory of. Usually, this one came before the tragedy that we consciously recall. To do this, we need to begin to allow ourselves to feel our feelings and fully allow them. We contain deep wounds within our emotional body. For this reason, I want you to watch my video on Youtube titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body” and apply the techniques suggested in that video. The more willing we are to feel, the less resistant we become to negative experiences, the less we worry about them happening and the less we try to prevent them from happening.
We need to acknowledge that part of what is so scary is that we do not know what is going to happen. This is terrible on one hand because it means that bad things could happen. But we can use this uncertainty to our advantage by the simple acknowledgement that good things could happen too. If we can acknowledge that we do not actually know what is going to happen, we cannot say that we know 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that something bad will happen. Just this simple acknowledgement can release our conviction that something bad will happen and thus, change the way we feel and thus raise our frequency.
It is time to take a look at deserving. If you expect bad things to happen and if you prepare for the worst, to some degree you do not believe that you deserve good things to happen to you and yours. After all, subconsciously you think that if you deserved good things to happen, bad things wouldn’t have happened to you. For this reason, I want you to watch my YouTube video titled “Deserving”. And my YouTube video titled “Strike deserve from your vocabulary”.
It is time to acknowledge the disappointment that overwhelms your life. So much of expecting the worst, comes in the package of disappointment. We don’t fear disappointment until it happens to us. So, we need to alter our perspective about disappointment. For this reason, I want you to watch my YouTube video titled “Disappointment”. And or gravitate towards any books or materials or programs that are designed to help you with disappointment.
Begin to design your day around things to look forward to that you can control. Your day belongs to you. If you fear the future because you expect the worst, begin to place good things in your future by planning things that feel good to you and doing them throughout the day. Think of this like placing gold coins in your future and collecting them. Start very small. If we really expect tragedy to strike and expect disappointment, we will tend to feel like the bigger the thing is or the more we want it, the more likely it is to fall through. So start with things you would enjoy and things you think most likely will happen if you want them to happen. For example, I may believe that a vacation with friends will fall through and end in disappointment, but a lunch meeting with them will probably happen. So, I plan an enjoyable lunch meeting for today. Get in the habit of actually actively planning and scheduling into your day lots of little things that you can look forward to. Things like watching a movie or eating a treat or going on a walk or sitting on the beach or going swimming, or visiting someone etc. The more comfortable you get with expecting things to pan out and go well, the easier it will be to plan bigger things to look forward to and the less you’ll fear catastrophe.
Keep a synchronicity journal to record synchronicities in every day. A synchronicity is anything that seems divinely orchestrated. For example, I was talking to someone about unicorns and then I was stopped at a stoplight and a man in a unicorn costume walked right in front of the car. Or, I was listening to an episode of ask teal that said I needed to work on deserving and here I am in the bathroom stall and there’s an advertisement for an upcoming event stuck to the back of the bathroom stall that says “you deserve”. Take note of every little synchronicity in your life. Not only will this help you to see that you are creating your reality, it will also help you to see that there is a purpose to everything. This exercise can even make you feel much less alone; like some unseen force is actually looking out for you and like all things are interconnected. When I’m teaching people to manifest, one of the first things I have them do is to keep a synchronicity journal.
Spend time every day in an attitude of appreciation. To appreciate something is to acknowledge something that you enjoy. It is essentially pure positive focus. This time, is time spent observing and acknowledging the things that you do like about your life and that have gone well about your life. Some people carry an item in their pocket, like a stone or a dice and every time they reach into their pocket and touch it, they search for something to appreciate or feel gratitude for. Other people, like myself, wake up and write gratitude lists. To write a gratitude list, list everything you like or love about your life. Both past and present. The sky is the limit; this list could contain personality traits, actual items, people, circumstances, or events etc. For example, I could feel grateful for the book I’m reading, for the way it feels to hug my son or watch him while he’s sleeping, for the way that my cashew ice cream tastes, for how warm and cozy my bed is, for the fact that I get to set my own schedule. The point is, it’s impossible to expect the worst at the same time as focusing on things that have gone well for you or good things happening to you. When you acknowledge that there are things in your reality that feel good to have and to experience, it weakens the belief that bad things always happen. And on top of that, it feels really good to focus on things that feel good to focus on and so; you are increasing your vibration when you do that so you are no longer a match to worry.
Reflect back on times when you thought that the worst-case scenario would happen, and it didn’t. Maybe you were convinced that a loved one who was hit by a car would die or slip into a coma, but they didn’t. They made a full recovery. Take note of these times, the brain must be allowed to see proof that it’s chronic worry is not always accurate. We can use doubt to our advantage this time, by letting the brain doubt itself and doubt it’s conviction that the worst-case scenario will happen.
Let yourself go to the worst-case scenario intentionally. Most of our pain relative to worry is that we worry while trying to resist thinking about the worst-case scenario. It’s kind of like me saying to you “don’t think about lemons” Lemons are what you thought about the second I said not to. When we’re worrying, we are thinking about the worst-case scenario already, we are just resisting what we are already thinking about. So, intentionally let the reigns go and let yourself think consciously about the worst case scenario. Do not suppress your fears. It is important to acknowledge what you are afraid of. Just the simple awareness of what you’re afraid of increases your vibration. I suggest writing down your fears and allowing your brain to work with you towards alleviating your fears by planning. You are expecting WAY too much from yourself if you are expecting yourself to just stop expecting the worst overnight. Take control of your life by writing your fears down. Now separate your fears into two categories, things you can do something about and things you can’t do anything about. For the fears that you can do something about, start to strategize concrete steps that you can take to reduce those fears. For example, if I wrote down “failure on my career project” as a fear, I might set out concrete steps I can take today to succeed at that job like complete the project by June 1st, pick up supplies at staples, hire a consultant, or start today on the first draft. Then, one by one execute and cross off these steps as you do them. For now, the more control you feel over your reality and life experience, the less you will worry and the more you will start to expect things to go well. For the items in the “cannot control” list, practice the art of surrender or letting go. If you cannot do anything at all about something, worrying about it only hurts you in the here and now and does nothing to prevent anything. It may not be enough to stop you from worrying about it all together, but it is easier to stop worrying about something once our brain sees that no matter how much it thinks about it, no amount of strategizing is going to work. This brings at least some acceptance. Some people may assume that by doing this exercise, you’re focused on things going badly and thus are creating that for yourself. But here’s the thing, for people who are chronic worriers, we tend to worry and not take steps to alleviate our worry. We tend to worry less (and thus create less catastrophe) when we actually let ourselves do what is within our power to do to prevent the worst-case scenario. And if we can eventually go even further and make peace with the worst-case scenario, we will no longer worry about it at all.
Begin to think positively about whatever you are worried about. This is not the same thing as lying to yourself. Manifestation experts, spiritual teachers, psychologists and even scientists agree that the things you center your attention on, shape the way you experience life. If you focus your attention on all the painful things that might happen in your future, you are not only calling more of that into your life, you are subconsciously self-sabotaging. Your fears will hold you back. They will harm or end relationships unnecessarily. Your low sense of self worth will prevent you from getting what you want. You may miss opportunities entirely because you are fixated on the painful possibilities of what could come.
Start to acknowledge things that actually make you feel better about whatever you are worrying about. For example, if I’m worried that my son is going to get into a car wreck, I might intentionally acknowledge “car seats are made very well these days, he’s being driven by a really diligent person who is a defensive driver, he has an entourage of spirit guides with him at all times to help him, cars are built impact resistant, they are designed for collisions, my son is no exception to the law of attraction, he creates his own reality and since he is a very trusting and playful kid, he is probably not a vibrational match to a car wreck, he is so excited to go on this trip that even though it involves a risk, letting him follow his bliss is worth the risk. I want to stress that you should not lie to yourself while doing this exercise, too many people try to focus on thoughts and affirmations that they think should make them feel better, but that don’t. You only want to focus on things that genuinely make you feel better about whatever you are worried about.
As much as it may not seem like it, you did not come to this life to suffer. You do not deserve to suffer. The universe you are living in is indivisible from you and thus loves you as itself. And having experienced tragedy in the past is no guarantee that you will experience tragedy in the future.
As living organisms, we are designed to move in the direction of pleasure and to move away from pain. Our entire nervous system is highly attuned to pain stimulus and pleasure stimulus. We move away from the cactus thorn, we move towards the pretty flower. We want to maintain our positive feelings for as long as possible. Most of us love to feel happy and we will do anything to avoid feeling unhappy, but what about the small percentage of people who can’t feel happy? It is easy to think that happiness is always a good thing. But the truth is, the subconscious mind does not always agree. The truth is for some of us, happiness is like a pot at the end of the rainbow. It hovers in the future like an unreachable goal that we dream of, but don’t think that we can reach. How did we end up this way? We ended up this way because we suffered so much in our lives that happiness began to feel false. We ended up this way because we felt blindsided by painful experiences. When we are blindsided by painful experiences, especially when we are feeling good, we start to feel like happiness turns us into sitting ducks. We start to feel as if happiness is vulnerability that leaves us open for attack at any moment.
This belief system can ride on the back of seemingly insignificant events in childhood, for example, the three year old child is laughing hysterically while running and is not looking where they are going only to fall and hurt themselves. They might make the subconscious decision that happiness is unsafe and find that the emotional fall from elation to utter powerlessness and injury is so unbearable that they would rather just stay on guard and not let themselves feel elation for the sake of their own safety. Another example is a child who gets super excited only to be disappointed. They might make the subconscious conclusion that excitement inevitably leads to disappointment, so they would rather just not get their hopes up in the first place.
Another example is a child growing up with a parent who is a chronic worrier. This child may be playing joyfully when their parent repeatedly and in a panicked tone warns them about bad things that could happen. This instills the child with fear of the world and teaches the child to distrust their positive emotional states as if happiness and fun were a dangerous illusion.
If we take this deeper to what we would consider a significant event, it is even easier to see how this pattern is developed. Let’s say that a young boy is joyously playing with his toys in the house and is making a lot of noise. Let’s pretend that this boy has a violent father who is annoyed by the noise and so, the father angrily approaches the boy and takes him by surprise with a slap to the face. This child then associates joy with the feeling of being blindsided by pain. The positive emotion becomes linked with negative expectation and negative emotional states. And if we take thus even deeper, if we had people in our lives who were upset by our happiness and joy (maybe because they were jealous of it or because it inconvenienced them in some way, or because they felt resentful of us for some reason) then chances are that they deliberately sought to make us unhappy when we were feeling happy. What we learned then is that the only way to get love from them or keep the peace, was to be unhappy. This pattern is especially common in families where a parent is particularly resentful of a child and families where a parent gains their validation through having a child be dependent on them. When a child being happy makes a parent unhappy, the parent will often seek to re establish unhappiness in the child. As a child begins to grow up and become independent, they are most dependent upon the parent when they are unhappy (such as I skinned my knee and need a hug or I’m sick or I can’t reach something). If a parent needs their child to be dependent upon them to feel valid and loved, that parent is likely to subconsciously but deliberately keep the child in a state that is hurt, unhappy, sick or incapable.
As a result of our childhood experience, many of us feel as if there is always a give and take in life and so, if we are happy, we are convinced that it means that unhappiness is inevitably around the corner. For example, if we had a parent who would punish us for “selfishly doing something that made us happy”, we come to learn that if we do something to make ourselves happy, we deserve punishment. We posit this expectation that was developed by our primary authority figure parent over the top of the primary authority figure in our adult lives, which is god or the universe. We expect that there is a give and take when it comes to god or the universe as well. We expect that if we are happy or doing something to make ourselves happy, god or the universe will achieve balance and even the score by inevitably dealing us a pain or tragedy. Here are some important questions to ask yourself if you can’t hold on to happiness: Did it feel like the happiness of one or both of my parents, conflicted with my happiness as a child? Did it feel like my happiness competed with their happiness? Did it feel like there was no way that both of us could be happy at the same time? Did it feel like either I was happy and my parent was unhappy or my parent was happy and I was unhappy? When we feel as if our happiness conflicts with the happiness of our primary authority figure as a child, we grow up to feel as if our happiness is at odds with the universe at large. We feel as if we are in a giant chess match where the universe is against our happiness and wants to punish us for our happiness. We feel as if in order for the universe or God to be happy, we must be unhappy, therefore it will make us unhappy at any cost. When we cannot feel happy no matter how hard we try and we feel as if happiness is false and only negative emotions are real, what is really happening is that we have learned to FEAR happiness. We think that Happiness is dangerous; most often because we have been blindsided by emotional, mental or physical pain when we were enjoying ourselves. And perhaps even more than that, we have repeatedly been blindsided by emotional, mental or physical pain when we were enjoying ourselves. Basically, what is happening for many people who cannot be happy is that the very feeling of joy and happiness itself becomes the trigger for a post traumatic stress response. Why is this a problem? It is a problem because you are now fighting with your own survival instinct to be happy. The wires in your own mind have become crossed to such a degree that your own being is trying to keep you feeling good by keeping you from feeling good. The strongest instinct in the physical body is the drive to avoid pain for the sake of survival. The minute your mind associates pleasure with pain, your brain now wires itself to avoid positive feeling states for the sake of feeling positive. When this has happened, we start to feel like our own mind is working against us. We feel like we are being prevented from happiness in every way, as if our being is an enemy living within. But understanding this dynamic should give you a bit of relief in and of itself because it means that your own being loves you so much that ironically it’s motivation for keeping you unhappy is so that you will feel good. For most beings on earth, joy is their baseline and they experience temporary bouts of unhappiness and pain. But for some of us, especially those of us who find our way to self-help and spirituality, the tables are often turned. Suffering is our baseline and we experience temporary bouts of happiness and pleasure. When this is the case, happiness feels like a fleeting, temporary illusion. Happiness begins to feel not real where as unhappiness feels like a more permanent, inevitable truth of life itself. If suffering is your baseline, I want you to ask yourself two very important and personal questions. Try to answer them with as much brutal honesty as possible.
What is my positive intention for being unhappy or suffering?
What bad thing would happen if I were always happy and full of joy?
Most of us think that we are trying incessantly to be happy but are not even aware that we have a subconscious motivation to be unhappy. We are in essence engaging in a tug of war between our conscious mind that wants happiness and our subconscious mind that doesn’t want happiness because of what it thinks that happiness entails.
It is essential if you feel like happiness is not something you can hold on to, to sit with your feelings when you feel positive emotions. This means, next time you feel yourself getting excited or happy, sit down and close your eyes and sink deep into that feeling and the sensations of that feeling within your body. Pretend that you are exploring that feeling like a scientist for the very first time. What you will notice is that immediately, when you feel pleasure or joy, the feeling of anxiety or fear or grief or sorrow will begin to creep up within you as well. It is creeping up in response to the fact that you felt positive emotion. Now, as if you were exploring a new cavern within yourself, allow yourself to sink into whatever negative emotion arose as a result of the positive emotion. Repeat the mantra in your mind; “I am completely here with this now”. Breathe in and out in a rhythmic pattern with no unnecessary pauses between them. Once you feel yourself really experiencing the physical sensations of this negative emotion, ask yourself, “when was the first time that I felt this feeling?” Any experience you have as a result of asking that question is valid. Don’t go looking for the answer; instead let it float into your consciousness like a bubble rising from the depths of the ocean. The feeling may intensify. You may get images or memories, or none at all. If you are taken to a memory, spend time observing the memory then imagine that the adult you is entering the memory. Kneel down in front of your childhood self and hold your childhood self. Validate the way that the child feels. Allow the child to feel the way they feel because they are right to feel that way. And when it feels as if your child self is feeling a bit of relief, take action to make positive changes to the memory and re-parent your child. Explain to them that you will keep them safe from negative things so they can play and be carefree and feel happy. Explain that happiness isn’t unsafe. Allow them to do whatever they need to do in order to be able to trust that they won’t be blindsided by pain when they are happy. When I was leading a disciple of mine through this process, she was taken to a memory of herself at four years old. Her childhood self was in the backyard, feeling sad. Earlier she had been playing and laughing in the back yard with her dolls. Her mother, who was a highly stressed out woman who owned a busy cleaning service had seen her playing in the yard and instantly felt put upon by her own child. Her mother felt like an indentured servant to her daughter because here she was slaving away cleaning the house while her daughter played. Long story short, her mother came out of the house exasperated and yelling for her to get her butt inside and help out. She felt punished for playing and for being happy. She made the decision that in order to keep her mother’s love, she had to stop playing and stop being happy. She knew that her happiness instigated emotional attacks from her mother. Her adult self sat with her childhood self and held her. She told her childhood self that what her mother was doing to her was unfair. She explained to the child why her mother was doing it and told her that even though it wasn’t about her, the way she was treated was not ok. She explained that there is no consequence for being happy. After her inner child seemed to feel some relief, she asked her if she wanted to stay with her mother or come with her. Her childhood self said “come with you” and so, she created a perfect little home for the two of them, where her inner self could play and laugh and feel happy with absolutely no consequence. In my opinion, nothing is more important than this particular process when it comes to true healing, because it addresses the causation of the unhappiness, not just the symptom of the unhappiness. Being unable to hold on to happiness is a symptom.
People, who fear happiness, expect the worst. For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube called How to Stop Expecting The Worst. People who expect the worst tend to catastrophize. And no one catastrophizes like people who expect things to go badly when they feel happy. Catastrophizing is the ultimate lethal “what if “ game. Catastrophizing involves a chain of “what ifs”, where each what if leads to another what if, until we are led to the most painful conclusion we can think of. It’s an if A then B, if B then C scenario. For example, if we don’t get a call from someone when we expected them to call us, then they do not love us and if they don’t love us, then they will break up with us and if they break up with us then we’ll have to move out of the house and if we have to move out of the house, then I’ll have no way of supporting myself and I’ll be all alone. We basically assume that every link in this chain of expectation will inevitably occur. The way to break this cycle is to break the catastrophe chain. With each link in the chain, we need to consider the opposite and try to prove to ourselves how it may not necessarily be true. For example, using the previous scenario if the “what if” is ‘they don’t love me’, we could list the things that they have done to show is that they do love us or the reasons that it isn’t true that they don’t love us. Or if the “what if” is ‘they will break up with me’, list the reasons that this wont happen. Do this with every link in the chain leading to the worst-case scenario.
For people who have a posttraumatic stress response to happiness, it feels like the universe is against you, especially when unwanted things happen to you. It is extremely hard to see the roses through the thorns and so perhaps the most beneficial exercise is to keep a positive aspects journal. Every time a negative thing happens, or you encounter something that feels bad, you write down the event or thing and open your mind to noticing all the positive aspects about that negative thing. For example, say I wrote down “I am sick”, some examples of positive aspects could be: I’m taking “me time” I’m spending more time in the present moment The cat is cuddled up with me I’m realizing how much stress I’m in on a daily basis, which has encouraged me to make some changes to my life It’s an excuse to watch movies I have more immunity now that I did before My immune system is working; otherwise I wouldn’t have these symptoms I got to have some really comforting soup This blanket feels good against my skin etc.
And at the end of each day, write a positive aspects list for the day about positive things that happened or things you liked about the day. Doing this enables you to see that unwanted things are not necessarily punishment and that the universe is not deliberately trying to make you suffer. Another thing that is very good for those who have a post traumatic reaction to positive emotions is exposure therapy. Do things that feel good. Prioritize happiness every day at least once, so that you are doing something just because it feels good. This is going to trigger you. It won’t feel good at first. It will feel like an invitation for tragedy and disappointment. But remind yourself like a mantra “It is ok to feel this way”. “It is ok to feel good”. And pay attention to see if anything really bad happens as a result of feeling good. The more times that you consciously notice yourself feeling good and consciously see (and take note of the fact) that nothing bad happens as a result of feeling good, the more this trigger will diminish and the more comfortable you will be allowing yourself to feel good without fear of feeling good.
If you have had negative experiences piggyback off of positive experiences in your life, optimism and positive focus will only seem like naivety to you. For those of us who feel this way, we have to stop caring about whether positivity is true or false and start caring about how we feel. We need to acknowledge and admit to the amount of pain we are actually in; that pain is the truth of where we are. And then we need to begin to pay attention to things that make us feel good and seek out things that make us feel good for the sole reason that they make us feel good. Why do we need to do this? Because we are tired of living our lives this way. We need to begin to treat ourselves like we deserve to be happy.
Ask yourself these questions: Why am I unworthy of happiness? Does me being happy really take away from other people’s happiness? Does me being happy really take away from the universe’s happiness? If I were God and I had unlimited, eternal resources and could do anything, and if someone was happy, would I want to take away their happiness or hurt them in some way? If so, why? If not, why? If I were God and I had all the energy in this universe at my disposal and someone asked me for something that would make them happy, would I give it to them? So then why would the universe or God not want me to be happy and give me the things that would make me happy? We need to challenge the way that we are thinking about this universe and happiness when happiness is a trigger. The way we were seen and treated as children is not a good indication about how the universe at large sees us or will treat us.
If you have suffered most of your life, it seems like the purpose of life is to suffer and so when people say “the purpose of your life is joy”, or “choose to be happy” you feel incapable, unlucky and imprisoned by your pain. Be compassionate with yourself. You are not a negative person, you were hurt. You are not a Debbie downer, you were hurt. You did not deserve to suffer, you were hurt. You are not so mentally ill that your brain chemistry makes you incapable of feeling joy, you were hurt. You are not consciously choosing to be unhappy, you were hurt. What do you do if you were hurt? You slowly get back up again and take little steps to nurture yourself into a place of health. You take baby steps into happiness and you learn by experience that bad things don’t necessarily happen as a result of feeling good. If you can’t seem to be happy no matter what you do, it is not your fault. Stop expecting yourself to suddenly feel good. This is as cruel and unreasonable as expecting a person who has been in a high-speed car crash to suddenly walk. If you can’t touch happiness, reach instead for relief. Think and say and do anything that helps you to feel a little bit of relief and like a person following a yellow brick road, without knowing where it is going to lead, take baby steps towards allowing yourself to go in the direction of what feels just a little bit better and a little bit better. The universe wants only good things for you and in reality, all things we experience, even the unwanted experiences come imbued with invaluable gifts. You don’t have to recognize those gifts right away; in fact it is most likely that you will not recognize them right away. But know this… You didn’t get blindsided as a child by pain because you were feeling happy. You were blindsided because you were not in a safe environment growing up. Maybe you were unsafe emotionally or maybe you were unsafe mentally or maybe you were unsafe physically or maybe you were unsafe in all of the ways listed above. You were blindsided because you did not have the awareness you do now about the fact that you were in fact in an environment that didn't feel safe to you while you were growing up. It had nothing to do with happiness at all. Awareness plus happiness makes happiness a safe place to be. And even if you cannot believe it yet, you deserve that happiness. You deserve to feel safe when you feel happy. It is my hope that you will come to know that one-day. Until then, know that you are not alone. Many of us distrust positive emotion. Many of us cannot touch joy and do not have the slightest idea what happiness is, or what it feels like. And for us, we have one choice and that is to go in the direction of what feels better, nothing more and nothing less.