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.
In my line of work, not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me about how to recognize and avoid false prophets. A false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration or who uses that gift for evil ends. Here in we run into our first problem, often someone who is considered a "true prophet " by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others. I am no exception to this rule. In fact there are people who think that my stance on this particular subject is just more proof that I, myself am a false prophet. So what exactly is my stance on false prophets? There is no such thing as a false prophet. You cannot be separate from this united consciousness that people call God or Source or The universe, because you are indivisible from it. Every being on earth is an extension of “God”. Therefore, everyone is a prophet whether they know it or not. God/The Universe is not being selective about whom it inspires or whom it talks to. What language does Source speak to people in? It speaks to people in many ways most especially through synchronicity and through reflection. But what you are hearing from people, including myself is a translation. An INTERPRETATION of the information conveyed by God/The Universe. Interpretations are completely dependent upon perspective. Every person has a perspective to offer and perspective is not truth.
No teacher that says that they represent the absolute truth is helping you, because in asking you to adopt their truth, they cause you to stray from your own truth. They wrap up truth for you in a tiny little box and hand it to you so you will never have to feel confused or uncertain enough to think for yourself. I can do no more than anyone can do, which is to offer you my perspective. Try it on. Wear it around. If it fits you, keep it. If it does not, try on a different perspective. If you like parts of my perspective, keep those and discard what does not suit you well once you have considered it and questioned it fully for yourself. Here is my perspective, if I were the only singular God there is, I would send down many false prophets to confuse people. I would send down false prophets by the thousands so that people would become so disillusioned by teachers that they would begin to look for their answers within themselves. It is the false prophets that cause us to set ourselves free from the powerlessness of having to go to church to access God or having to talk to a priest to access God or from having to get our answers from someone else. All prophets are true and cannot be false because they give us the opportunity to know ourselves and know our truth completely. And that is the doorway to self-trust. If a prophet does not teach self-trust, you can be sure that they are coloring the information they are receiving with their own shadows, which are currently driving them towards control. But that is teaching in and of itself. All prophets teach self trust whether they are directly teaching it or whether are providing you that teaching indirectly by providing you with so much contrast that you, yourself are the only thing you have to hold on to.
Your job is not to find a static truth that everyone will agree on and conform to. We only need people to agree with our truth if we need validation for our truth because we are not convinced that it is truth yet. Your job is to find your own truth. Nothing more and nothing less. And you will know if your truth is working for you by the quality of your life. You will know if your truth is working for you by the way that your life feels.
We have an addiction to truth because we have an addiction to being right. We need to find and hold onto truth in the same way that a frightened child needs to find and hold on tight to their pacifier at night. Why do we want truth so badly? We want it ultimately because we think it would make us feel good and safe to know the truth. We can’t stand the idea of being wrong. We are convinced that there is no difference between being wrong and being forsaken. We are convinced that there is no difference between being right and being loved.
Right and wrong will only ever be a matter of perspective. The person who once said the earth was flat was correct from their perspective. Standing on the earth, the horizon looks flat and so from that perspective the earth is flat. When you change perspectives, the earth is not flat it is round. And so only when you change perspectives does the previous truth become wrong. The person, who thought the earth was flat, will only change their truth if they change their perspective. The perspective that Teal is a fraud is as true from the perspective that some people hold as the perspective that teal is the true prophet.
We are all searching for the ultimate perspective, but we do not understand that the ultimate perspective is the unification of all perspectives. The ultimate truth is more close to what I have just said; that all perspectives are true and that if you put them all together, you end up with the ultimate perspective or the ultimate truth. What matters is your truth. Not anyone else’s. You are never going to be able to round everyone on this earth up and get all of them to agree with you. You need to treat all things on this earth including teachers (and the things that teachers say) like ingredients. Let your life become a cocktail made especially for you of only the ingredients that resonate with you. And let those ingredients become flexible and change over time because your perspective (and therefore your truth) will change over time. If you do not want mint in your cocktail, don’t put it in your cocktail. If you do not like affirmations don’t put them in your cocktail. If you like lemon, put it in your cocktail, if you like the idea that you are part of God put it in your cocktail. I want you to start to think of life like an enormous game of go fish. In the game go fish; your prerogative is to collect from the other players an array of specific cards (with fish on them) to make a complete match. Start to pretend that in life, every single being you cross paths with (human and non human) has a huge deck of cards. It is your prerogative to collect from them the cards that make your deck more complete.
Knowing that one-day you may let go of cards that you once treasured because they no longer make your deck complete. Your prerogative is to remain open to recognizing those cars that are meant for you. Without exception, if you come into contact with someone, they have a card for you. They have an ingredient for your perfect cocktail. Be aware that some cards are what I call the “Not cards” or the “Surety Cards”. This means by interacting with some people, you will know much more of what cards you do not want and so you will become more sure of what cards you do want. For example, if you met a person who was really closed off and lonely and that reinforced in you the desire and motivation to be open and connect with others, you just collected a “Not Card/Surety Card” from them. People who fear false prophets distrust themselves, but more than that, they fear malevolence. For that reason it is important to know that there is no such thing as evil. Every single thing on earth is done for one reason, because the person doing it thinks that they will feel better in the doing of it. Murder is not evil; it is done because the murderer wants to feel better. That doesn’t make murder right or good; it simply shows that behind every single action lies a positive intention. All hateful acts are misguided attempts to carry out a positive intention. The ultimate example of what most people consider to be a false prophet is Jim Jones, leader of the People’s Temple. Long story short plastic cups, Flavor Aid packets, and syringes, littered the area where the 909 bodies were found at the largest revolutionary suicide in modern history after Jones urged his followers to die in support of apostolic communism. Do not believe for a second that Jim Jones thought that he was harming people. From his perspective, he thought he was helping people. He was convinced that life on the other side of death would be the only way they could all be free. This example does not show us how evil people can be. It shows us just how dangerous perspectives can be. It shows us how crucial deep questioning is and it shows us how important it is to remain flexible in our beliefs so we do not get hurt as the result of fixating on a specific truth. It shows us above all how important it is to put your trust in yourself and not in a teacher or leader. To use an aggressive metaphor, by taking all a person says as truth and abandoning your own discernment in favor of any prophet, you may end up swallowing the poison with the Kool-Aid.
If you are concerned with false prophets, it has nothing to do with the prophets themselves. It has to do with the fact that you distrust your own discernment. Because self-trust is such a problem for people who feel resistant to false prophets, I recommend that you watch my YouTube video titled ‘How to Trust Yourself”. Discernment needs to be your new focus in your spiritual practice. So, here are some tips for how to get in touch with your own power of discernment. Discernment is nothing more than the ability to chose what is right or wrong, true or false for you specifically. So naturally
Tip #1 Comes in a form of a question: Why do I not trust myself to chose or know what is right vs. wrong or true vs. false?
Tip #2 Is to get in touch with what is true for you. To do this, you have to be willing and brave enough to consider that your truth may be the opposite of what you think it is or want it to be. You have to be willing to be brutally honest with yourself. Getting in touch with what is the most true for you is as easy as imagining that there is a rod running through the center of your body. This rod is like a core. All you need to do is to feel for the truth or emotion or answer that is the closest to this rod. For example if I were to ask you “do you love the person you are married to?” You might automatically want to say “yes” after all you are probably convinced that yes has to be the correct answer to that question if you are married. But if you check in with the answer and feeling that is the closest to this internal core rod, the answer might in fact be “no”.
Tip #3 Is to stay open when it comes to truth, including your truth. This also applies to counter arguments. New perspectives that are even more comprehensive than the ones available today are coming to fruition every day. Next time you see a group of little kids pass you, let yourself smile and know that the perspectives and truths that they might offer one day are going to be more amazing than what you can possibly imagine today. Science reveals new things every year that revolutionize our understanding of the world. If we stay committed to the truth of one religion or one teacher or one scientist, we will miss the opportunity to expand even further. If we stay committed to the truth that the world is flat, we have no room for the truth that the world is round. It is best to hold firmly to your trust in your ability to discern and hold very softly to any and all specific truths that you currently hold. Be open to your opinion changing tomorrow.
Tip #4 When it comes to logical processes, use deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning together. Work from the bottom up and the top down to test truths. An example of deductive reasoning, working from the top down where we begin usually with a general idea or hypothesis is: “I create my reality with my thoughts”. We then narrow it down to even smaller things that can be tested like “I can manifest 100 dollars this week”. And then we work on that and find proof for that and the outcome either proves or disproves the original theory. An example of inductive reasoning, working from the bottom up where we use proof to create a theory would be “I found a hundred dollars, therefore I create my own reality”. We need to use both styles of logical reasoning when it comes to mentally aligning with our truth.
Tip #5 The very best teachers will direct you back towards yourself and help you to develop your own discernment and self trust. They are also open to being questioned and questioning. They will not expect you to take their word for it and they will not punish you for questioning.
Tip #6 Test things for yourself. If they appeal, try them on and try them out for yourself. You should not accept anything as true for you unless it has proven true for you. For example, don’t take someone’s word for it that doing inner child work is the way to solve emotional wounds. Try inner child work out and see if it heals something inside of you. give it some time and work with it for a while asking questions that may come up during the process and getting second opinions and decide for yourself if it solves emotional wounds or not.
Tip #7 Develop your intuition. And trust your Gut. Getting in touch with your emotions and being honest about how you actually feel is step one when it comes to developing your intuition. Make sure that you are doing an ample amount of shadow work because fears and suppressed shadows in our own psyche can interfere greatly with intuition. For example, we could have an intuition that someone is unsafe to be around and on one hand that could be true, on the other hand, we could also be reacting to them because they smell or look like someone who hurt us once and so it has nothing to do with intuition and everything to do with unhealed aspects within ourselves. When in doubt, especially in the heat of the moment trust your gut and follow your intuition. You can always question it later. Often times what you’ll find is that upon reflection your intuition was spot on. There is no such thing as a false prophet because all people are prophets. And all prophets have different perspectives. The trick is to find the hidden prophet within you and to make that prophet’s knowing the most important knowing to live your life by.
To understand how The Law Of Attraction applies to the human shadow, we first have to know what the human shadow is. So, what is the human shadow? When you first come into this life, your ego (the fancy word for separate identity) is not fully formed yet. The ego is primarily formed in relationship to others and so the majority of your ego comes about during the process of socialization. This is the time that you learn about the concept of good and bad right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. Most importantly you learn about the aspects of you that are acceptable and unacceptable. It becomes very clear that love and reward will come in response to what is acceptable and abandonment and punishment will come in response to what is unacceptable. As a result, we begin to ignore, deny and suppress what we think is unacceptable about us; we split our consciousness meaning, we divide ourselves. And this is how the subconscious mind is born. We could call the subconscious the shadow because we cannot see it clearly and thus are not aware of it and the conscious the light because we can see it clearly and are aware of it.
Separation and division is not a natural state, it is an unhealed state and so the shadow aspect strives to be integrated again regardless of how much we wish that it would “go away”. Our shadow rears its head whenever something in the subconscious is triggered into our awareness by circumstances in our life. For example, if our partner doesn’t show up on time, which triggers a deeply suppressed feeling of abandonment that we are not even aware of, we might spend the next 45 minutes flipping out in what seems to be a massive overreaction to the situation at hand.
Shadow work is nothing more than the process of making the unconscious conscious and the unacceptable, acceptable. And the integration of unconsciousness leads to complete and total awareness. Even so, shadow work is popular with some spiritual teachers, psychologists and life coaches and very unpopular with others. Even channels and spiritual guides disagree on the subject of shadow work. The top arguments against shadow work are “If you focus on your shadow all you will get is more shadow” and “If you focus on needing to clear yourself of your shadow, all there will be is more shadow to clear.” These arguments come from a very limited and elementary understanding of consciousness, resistance and The Law of Attraction.
If it were true that positive focus creates a pure positive person then a person who is petting a puppy or focusing positively consistently would have a pure energy field that is clear of “wounds”. But this is not the case. When I am observing someone’s energy fields and they are focused on something that is positive like a puppy, parts of their energy field become lighter as if they are allowing more energy in while parts such as aura tears and rips and imprints remain unhealed, especially in the emotional body field. No matter how positive someone’s focus is, if their subconscious aspect contains trauma imprints, those aspects do not just go away. When we experience something traumatic on an emotional level, it works the same way as it does with physical trauma. To use an aggressive example, if you are involved in a head on collision and you end up with a compound fracture, for the average person (who does not bend the laws of this time space reality), no amount of pure positive focus is going to put the bone back together again. And if you begin to focus positively chances are that positive focus will simply lead you directly to a doctor who can put the bone back together again. It’s not a comfortable process. It’s a process that demands that we admit that the bone is broken and put it back in place and put a cast on it and focus deliberately on creating the healing state of that particular ailment. If we get a compound fracture and we attempt to distract ourselves from the fracture by thinking positive thoughts, we are now in a mental and emotional tug of war between the aspect that has awareness that this is a serious issue that needs conscious attention and the aspect that doesn’t want to admit to the reality that this is a serious issue that needs conscious attention. Why would we be focusing positively in this scenario where we have a compound fracture? To avoid something. There is an enormous difference between focusing on something positive for the sake of focusing positive and focusing on something positive for the sake of trying to escape from, ignore or get away from something negative. What is the result if we try to escape from, ignore or get away from our compound fracture? It festers. We become incapacitated if we survive at all. In short, when we try to avoid something, the thing we are trying to avoid gets worse. And things we are trying to avoid are the premium content of the human shadow.
This is the exact scenario we face on an emotional level. If we suffered an emotional trauma and we ignore, suppress or deny it in favor of positive focus, we are using positivity to get away from negativity. The emotional wound does not get better; it festers. If you do focus positively, chances are that your positive focus will simply lead you straight to someone who can help you heal and ultimately integrate your emotional wounds. When we are resistant to the idea of shadow work, we are trying to avoid something. When you realize that you are using positive focus to avoid something that feels negative to you, it is time to release resistance to whatever you are trying to avoid. To release resistance to something, you have to turn in the direction of it instead of away from it because turning away from it is done from a space of resistance to it.
When I say, “don’t think about lemons” you think about lemons. This is what we’re ultimately doing on a subconscious level by trying to use positive focus to avoid negative emotions. We’re saying, “Don’t focus on the way you actually feel”. It only serves to magnify the way that you actually feel until the reflection is so big, you can’t escape it. It manifests itself in more aggressive and more aggressive ways hoping that you will come to terms with it and release resistance to it. We are already in resistance to our shadow aspect. This resistance is why it is subconscious in the first place. So what do we do when we are in resistance to something? We must release resistance to that specific thing. But by obsessively focusing positively and trying to ignore it and divert our attention from our shadow, we only resist it further. Because we are trying to avoid it, we are in essence focusing on it and sending it energy without even being aware that we are doing so.
The perfect example of this is Jerry Hicks. Jerry Hicks, who I happen to love, as many of you know ended up getting cancer. This turn of events created massive doubt in the Abraham community. Here is a person who promises in accordance with Abraham that if you focus positively, you can’t get ill. Well it just so happens that cancer is the unfinished business disease. It always comes about as the result of childhood trauma. For Jerry, growing up extremely poor and having been discouraged again and again from his far-reaching ideas made several imprints in his consciousness that despite his positive focus did not go away. Whenever he got close to those shadows, he did what he thought was best and simply diverted his attention away from those shadows. They festered because that “avoidance” was in fact resistance. And that ultimately manifested in a condition that took his life. This is not an uncommon story. The most common turn of events when we repeatedly ignore or deny what is real for us but that is unwanted by us is that it manifests physically as an illness or another physical condition that we cannot ignore. We don’t only suppress and deny and banish unacceptable bad things into our subconscious; we also suppress unacceptable good things. This is what idolization is about. Idolization is nothing more than the projection of the suppressed positive attributes within one person, onto another person, so that they may admire the reflection instead of the source. But for the sake of this video, I’m going to focus primarily on the unacceptable bad things we suppress.
When it comes to suppressed aspects of our being, the first step from a lower vibration to a higher vibration is not finding a thought that feels better; it is awareness. Awareness is always the first step towards vibrational increase when we are dealing with something we were not consciously aware of. It’s the first time you shine light in the dark closet to see what is there. Awareness in and of itself will feel like immense relief. It will cause you to feel authentic and grounded within yourself. We fear our shadow this is why we resist it. By becoming aware of it, we come to understand it and understanding is the #1 way to diminish fear.
Positive focus works; end of story. But there is one enormous caveat to that rule. There is one massive exception. Positive focus works on everything except for the things you’re trying to use positive focus to avoid. Another way of saying this is positive focus works on everything except for when positive focus is used as a tool to enable our resistance.
Many of us are excited to find the power of positive focus because it seems like a get out of jail free card. Positive focus seems like a magic pill that will make it so we can escape and avoid all of our unwanted things. And unfortunately because of improper understanding of law of attraction, many teachers back up the idea that all it takes to create a perfect life is perfect positive focus. Consider this, if we are enthusiastic about positive focus because it feels like a get out of jail free card, it means that we have big things we are trying to avoid. If we have big things we are trying to avoid, like it or not and conscious or not, a large part of our consciousness is dedicated to past traumas. We are like emotional cripples who on one level know we are really hurt and on another level don’t want to admit to it. We’d rather believe that if we focus positively enough, we will miraculously be put back together again. The law of attraction is essentially the law of mirroring. Whatever vibrations are contained within you are being matched exactly by experiences in your external world. And like it or not, your shadow aspects are vibrations within you that are attracting experiences into your life that match them. These shadows must be integrated in order to cease being points of attraction.
I often use the analogy of the radio dial when I am talking about the Law of Attraction. Basically whatever station your dial is turned to, dictates what signal and therefore radio station you will receive. On an emotional level, this means if you are tuned to joy, you receive joy. But this analogy only works if you see yourself in your entirety as one dial. In reality you are more like a switchboard of a multitude of dials. The various frequencies that are being received by these dials, add up to your overall vibration. You have a dial relative to every subject in your life. My dial relative to relationships could be set on despair and so I receive relationships that cause me to despair. While simultaneously my career dial could be set to elation so I receive career opportunities that makes me feel elated and I love my job. If you improve the frequency of the signal being received by just one of these dials, your overall vibration increases. But to say that any positive focus in any area of your life will cause positive improvement in all areas of your life is not accurate. Regardless of how much you positively focus on your career or on your friends or on your body, you can still have a terrible vibration about romantic relationships and so you still experience negative romantic relationships. Then you start to feel like positive focus doesn’t work.
What discourages people the most from doing shadow work is that they have the idea that because focus creates, if they focus on shadow work there will always be more shadow work to do. This is also inaccurate. If we acknowledge that a person is made of pure source energy and pure integrated consciousness when they come into this life, you could imagine that this pure consciousness is a light much like our sun. As the person develops through life and experiences traumas, they do not gain darkness. The light does not go away; rather their light is obscured. When you do shadow work, you will notice that it is as if you have wiped a dusty film off of a window. You do not need to work at creating light, more light simply streams into the room because you have removed what was obscuring the light. You could alternatively see your subconscious aspects as anchors that are holding you underwater. If you turned in the direction of the anchor and unhooked yourself from it, you would not need to swim towards the surface. You would naturally begin to float upwards. This is what your vibration does when you do shadow work, like a buoy it naturally increases because the things that were decreasing it, are integrated, the no longer weigh your vibration down.
Saying that “if you focus on shadow work, there will always be more to do” is like saying that if you stand at the sink and begin to clean dishes, there will always be more dishes to clean, as if a new one will pop up in your sink the second you finish cleaning the last one. People who have dedicated some aspect of their practice to shadow work know from personal experience that over time less and less shadow work has to be done because you have become more and more integrated. But there is a reason why some people feel the opposite. A great many of the people who are against shadow work have experienced what I call an emotional healing crisis or a catharsis. When they first give themselves permission to open the closet to their subconscious, their subconscious comes rushing out like Pandora’s box. It can be likened to an energetic or an emotional flu. Because so much of you was deemed unacceptable while you were growing up, a great portion of you was banished to the subconscious. Because of this, a great deal of shadow needs to be integrated. If you are one of these people, your closet is so full of denied and suppressed aspects that your closet is bursting at the seams. As a result, it feels like your shadows are never ending. Every day there’s a new shadow and you feel the same way you do when you have the flu; like you’re leaning over a toilet and you can’t stop throwing up. It’s easy and tempting to think that your life has gotten worse since you started shadow work. But this is a healing crisis. This is a purge. And ironically, this is the point that most people stop shadow work and turn back from where they came, when it is actually the time that they are passing through the eye of the needle and if they would keep going, instead of turn back, they would integrate if not attain an enlightenment experience. They would experience freedom and wholeness and peace for the very first time.
Why is it important to turn around and face your fears? Because if you turn around to face your fears they no longer hold power over you. You are no longer resisting the unwanted by running away from it. Instead you are shifting into a state of allowing by accepting it. And by doing that, it cannot hurt you or haunt you anymore. Like a ghost, your shadow will follow you to the ends of the earth begging for the light of consciousness to turn towards it. No amount of positive focus will make it disappear. And long story short, focus upon the shadow does not create more shadow because the shadow that is exposed to the light of consciousness ceases to be shadow.
Spiritual argument so often whittles down to an argument about semantics. But we must play with semantics in order to facilitate our mental understanding of Spirituality 3.0
Thousands of years ago, it was said that desire is the root of suffering. Is this true? No. It turns out that it is not true. The word that was used was Tanha. What is the translation of Tanha? Thirst. What is the difference between desire and thirst? A whole lot. Think of choice as a two-sided coin; on one side is desire, on the other is thirst. Thirst is the shadow side of desire on this coin called choice. Thirst implies that there is a lack first and that the lack is what is motivating the craving we are calling a desire. Thirst is an attachment (craving of something) motivated by an aversion to something. The root of suffering therefore is the state of perpetual movement from aversion towards it’s opposite, which is attachment (the thing we crave because of our acute awareness of the lack of it). Attachment is nothing more than an addiction. The desperate wanting of something because of something you are lacking or trying to avoid. There is a difference between a craving and a desire. Craving is the shadow aspect of desire. The shadow of desire stems from a perceived deprivation. Desire is not bad. In fact, you cannot escape desire in this lifetime, nor would you want to if you really understood it. You can however, transmute it. You can exalt it. Desire in it’s pure form, absent of shadow is like a “yes” to an experience. It is the “yes” that occurs from sorting through contrast. But it is a yes that is not the byproduct of a no. In other words, it is a yes to an experience or the choice of an experience that is not motivated by aversion and thus it does not take on the form of attachment. Desire in its pure form is absent of resistance. It is a tool of the true self. It facilitates expansion, self-awareness and self-realization. Craving on the other hand is a tool of the ego.
Are you ready for a bitch slap? Ego is not a term that the Buddha even knew. It is a Freudian term, which was adopted into modern Buddhist circles and applied to the teachings of Buddha. It was simply the best word we could come up with to describe the difference between the enlightened perspective of no separate self and the illusionary perception of the separate self. Later, Jung called this the “shadow aspect”, meaning conscious versus not conscious. When the Buddha accurately described his enlightenment experience, what he was trying to explain was that he had observed a polarity inherent within himself; a polarity like truth and illusion, conscious and unconscious, suffering and happiness. And that enlightenment transcended all polarity. Enlightenment is not happiness any more than it is suffering. It is liberation from polarity. Up to now all movement within this universe is done to move towards something because you want to move away from something. To move towards what is wanted because of the desire to move away from something that is unwanted. This is the painful and eternal human condition, until it is no longer the human condition. When you live your life moving away from negative towards positive, you are always in motion; you can never stop to smell the roses in the present moment so to speak. All decisions are made by pain. All desires are the byproduct of trying to move away from pain. Imagine a life where there is nothing you wish to move away from. Life is lived for joy in total non-resistance to pain. In order to end this trail of tears, this perpetual movement away and towards away and towards, and in order to end this movement from aversion towards craving, which is all attachment really is, we turn in the direction of our aversion. We sit with it completely. We embrace it. We are unconditional towards it because we let it know that we are willing to experience it without needing it to change. We are set free because of our willingness to bring the light of the presence of our consciousness into the shadow of the absence of our consciousness. We no longer have an aversion to our aversion and so it is no longer our master. Desire is transmuted because it is free of its shadow. And free of its shadow, there is no longer a need for reincarnation. The craving for reincarnation is gone from our very soul. The soul now chooses from a place not motivated by aversion or craving. The process of spiritual awakening happens in three steps, I have named these steps spirituality 101, spirituality 2.0 and spirituality 3.0. Indeed, in the future there may be many more steps. But like the holy trinity, let’s explore these three principal steps that add up to awakening. First, comes spirituality 101. In spirituality 101, you see the possibility that you may be free. You are confronted with the idea that you just might create your reality. So you start to create! You go in direction of what makes you feel joy. You become less powerless. For once, you do not resist your own happiness. You go in the direction of your positive emotions. You prioritize how you feel above all else; in fact your life is dedicated to feeling better. You finally let yourself have what you want. But still, you want those things because of aversions to other things. You are still running from feeling crappy. You begin to feel deep down that this is an endless cycle of aversion and craving, unwanted and wanted. No matter what you get, you want more. This is no longer as satisfying as it once was. So, it is time for the second step, Spirituality 2.0.
In spirituality 2.0, you realize that the answer is to turn around and walk towards your aversion instead. You learn the art of allowing (and thus non-resistance) relative to your negative emotion. You integrate and you start to become whole. The unconscious is becoming conscious. Craving is becoming pure desire. You are becoming whole as the shadow is no longer separated from the light of consciousness. Instead of feeling better, your aim is to get better at feeling. When you feel negative emotion, you do not immediately try to think or do something to feel better, you remain open to what that “negative” state has to teach you. You end up in the present moment. With no aversions and thus no craving the past ceases to motivate you towards the future and you are left squarely in the present moment. You catch a glimpse of peace for the very first time. And then you are ready for spirituality 3.0.
In spirituality 3.0 you can choose to create your reality through the use of deliberate focus but now your choices are no longer the byproduct of aversion and so there is no craving. Instead of craving, we recognize our infinite creator nature and CHOOSE. We choose to be wealthy or not. And we do not choose from a place of pain. In other words, I don’t want money because I’m poor; I want it because I am saying “yes” to that perspective in much the same way that I would say yes to strawberry ice cream. I don’t want strawberry ice cream because I so so so so don’t want chocolate ice cream. Inspiration is what causes our movement towards things that we choose. We are completely in the now. No past is projecting into our present or future. This state of spirituality 3.0 arises organically, as a result of shining the light in the shadow.
To begin with, you start in the state of unconsciousness. You are not aware. You are asleep. You begin to wake up. You begin to realize polarity and see that there is a light and a shadow to that which is you. You realize you are operating entirely as a result of your shadow and so you do anything you can to get into the light. Spirituality 101 is that process. And by doing that, you have climbed out of the abyss of unconsciousness. Then, you harness the light of consciousness to descend back into the unconscious. You shine the light of consciousness into the shadow of unconsciousness. Spirituality 2.0 is that process. And thus the unconscious becomes conscious. Polarity dissipates. You are whole. You experience true peace, which is the transcendence of opposites. Peace is not what we think it is. It is not “getting along”. Peace is much more than the absence of war. It is the absence of internal and thus external conflict. It is the absence of opposition and polarity. It is the center point in the symbol of infinity. No opposites, only one, unified being-ness. That is the state of enlightenment. And the state of enlightenment is not a state of retirement. It is more like the byproduct of the ongoing process of becoming conscious. As the universe (source) becomes more conscious of itself, there is more to become conscious of and so we, a microcosm of the larger universe, must to become more conscious. Because of this, there are always further enlightenments to experience (so far).
The three steps of awakening can be seen in the infinity symbol. Because of how I have named these steps, it is easy to see one step as more advanced than another. But this is not true. They are equal to one another like two sides of a scale; it just so happens that we tend to visit one side of the scale before the other. Looking at the infinity symbol, we can see that there is polarity. On one side physical, on the other side non-physical, on one side life, on the other side death, on one side light on the other dark. But in between them is a point, the still point. This is the part of the infinity symbol that represents infinity. It is not the balance between opposites; it is the union and thus transcendence of opposites. So here we have spirituality 3.0, on one side, spirituality 101, on the other side Spirituality 2.0 and in the middle, spirituality 3.0. It is tempting to rush the steps of awakening. After all, we would love to rush to the state of transcendence, where we have no resistance at all, where we are living in the present moment and are free to choose whatever experience we wish to have. But these steps will not be rushed, because to rush is to be in resistance to where you are. Most often this desire to rush, takes place during our spirituality 2.0 process. Progressing through Spirituality 2.0 requires that our motivation is to be with ourselves completely exactly as we are rather than to change ourselves or our feelings into a better feeling state. If we are doing Spirituality 2.0 so we can get to Spirituality 3.0, we are missing the point of spirituality 2.0 and will never experience Spirituality 3.0. Some people spend years upon years practicing spirituality 2.0. In this awakening process, like life, you learn how to crawl before you learn how to walk before you learn how to fly. They are different techniques, and each leads to the next. You don’t get upset at the process of crawling once you learn how to walk. You don’t get upset at the process of walking before you learn how to fly. You realize there are different techniques needed to facilitate your expansion. Spirituality 3.0 is the beautiful fusion of spirituality 101 and spirituality 2.0. One could say that spirituality 101 is largely about allowing the light and that spirituality 2.0 is about allowing the shadow. And spirituality 3.0 is the transcendence or fusion of those seeming opposites. To use religious terms, spirituality 101 is the Father, spirituality 2.0 is the Holy Ghost and spirituality 3.0 is the Son. In other words, if light is god and shadow is goddess, the fusion of light and shadow, is the child.
In spirituality 3.0, the techniques that we learn in spirituality 101 about creating our reality and choosing thought and deliberate focus begin to be added back into our practice, but because of spirituality 2.0, they have been purified. They are motivated by entirely different intentions. The shadow, now integrated, is no longer driving us away from anything, towards anything else. And so, we are free. Free to consciously chose. It is the state of living godhood. It is the state of self-actualization. It is the state of awakened-ness.
You have heard it before, in order to reach a state of health, health must be addressed on all three levels, body, mind and soul. This triad has long been considered the pillars of a complete life. But what if I told you that we got it wrong. When we think of soul, we think of the soul as an etheric or intangible energy. Likewise, because of the ethereal, intangible nature of feelings and emotions, (which we do not understand) we called them “soul”. This is why advice about how to feed and heal your soul, is designed to help you to emotionally feel better.
In truth, our soul aspect is innately healthy. It cannot be in an unhealthy state. Soul, which is pre-manifested energy, creates feelings and creates mind and creates body. All three levels of a person are in fact comprised of soul. A body is a soul projecting itself physically. A mind is a soul projecting itself mentally, feeling is a soul consciously perceiving. Because of this, we could look at it one of two ways, the first is that the three pillars of health are body, mind and emotion. The second is that emotion is the language of the soul. If you choose to see it this way, then the key to what people are calling soul health is your emotional health. Part of emotional health, is the conscious acknowledgment of our non-corporeal consciousness, which we could call spirit or soul. When we use the word soul, we are referring to the core aspect of a person’s being. In the English language, soul and heart are interchangeable concepts. This is why someone, who is speaking from the core of their being, may say “I know it in my heart that (fill in the blank)”. What this means is that deep down, we know that the very heart of our experience in life is not mental and it is not physical, it is feeling and emotion. When we first come into this life, we experience the world entirely through felt perception. We feel the world before we see the world. Feeling and emotion is not only the heart of your life here on earth, it is also the heart of your relationships. Because feeling and emotion is the heart of relationships, it is also where the most damage is done.
Over the centuries, our ideas about good and bad ways to raise a child have changed. For example, in the medieval days, childhood did not really exist. As soon as a child could physically manage, they were put to work, often in roles that would be seen as slavery today. Children were not seen as pure, in fact they were seen as evil and the extraordinary corporal punishment used (which was of course considered normal and commonplace), was used to grant a child salvation and goodness. In this era, even in the most aristocratic households, instead of valuing and adoring their child, some parents took to despising their own children and deliberately belittling and abusing them, thinking it was for their own good. In the late 1600s, history saw the birth of the punishment and reward style of parenting. Instead of pure corporeal punishment, philosopher John Locke suggested that the better way of training a child to be good would be to withdraw approval and affection by “disgracing” a child when they are bad and to “esteem” the child by rewarding the child with approval and affection when they were good. In the early twentieth century, not much had changed. Child-rearing experts still formally denounced all romantic ideas about childhood and advocated formation of proper habits to discipline children. In fact, a 1914 U.S. Children's Bureau pamphlet, Infant Care, urged a strict schedule and urged parents not to play with their babies. John B Watson’s Behaviorism argued that parents could train children by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior, and by following precise schedules for food, sleep, and other bodily functions. Who could forget the bible proverb that so many parents have lived by and still live by today “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” As if discipline and corporeal punishment are one in the same.
In the twentieth century, corporeal punishment began to fall out of favor in the western world. Many parents became conscious enough to see corporeal punishment for what it is, which is abuse. And so, today, while sadly there are still pockets of unconscious parents that still abuse their children in the name of discipline, the larger majority in the western world use parenting practices like timeouts as tools of discipline. It is easy to look back over time and say that we were living in the dark ages in terms of parenting. But I will tell you that in the years to come, that is exactly how history will see parenting today. History will see many of today’s common practices as barbaric and cruel. We now know how to create a healthy physical climate for our children and for each other. But I am here to tell you that we have no idea how to create a healthy emotional climate for our children or for each other. Of course there are rare exceptions to this rule, but over the course of human history, the emotional climate of a household, has not even factored into the idea of good parenting. Today, we are emerging from a new dark age. We are emerging from the dark age of emotions and feelings. And what we are awakening to is that it is possible to be a good parent to a child on a physical level and a terrible parent to a child on an emotional level. This has vast implication when we acknowledge that emotion is the core of our life and the heart of our relationships. In today’s world, most parenting advice ignores the world of emotion entirely. It focuses on how to correct misbehavior whilst disregarding the feelings that underlie and cause the misbehavior. Regardless of how far we have progressed, the goal of parenting is still to have a compliant and obedient child, not to raise a healthy adult. The goal is to raise a child who is “good”. Our justice system takes the exact same approach with regards to misbehavior. We are concerned with correcting misbehavior and creating good citizens whilst being unconcerned with the feelings that motivate such misbehavior. Good parenting involves emotion. Good relationships involve emotion.
Today, most parents make three crucial mistakes. 1. They disapprove of their children’s emotions 2. They dismiss their children’s emotions 3. They offer no guidance to a child with regards to their emotions.
The parent who disapproves of their child’s emotions is critical of their children’s displays of negative emotion and reprimand or punish for emotional expression. The parent, who dismisses their child’s emotions, disregards them as important, ignores their child’s emotions or worse, trivializes their child’s emotions. And the parent, who offers no guidance, may empathize with their child’s emotions, but does not set limits on behavior or assist the child in understanding and coping with their emotion. To give you an example of how this works out in practical terms, imagine that William does not want to go to school and begins to cry when his parent takes him to school. The disapproving parent might scold William for his refusal to cooperate. The disapproving parent may resort to calling him a brat or punishing him in some way with time alone, or with a spanking. The dismissive parent may brush off William’s emotions by saying “that’s silly, there’s no reason to be sad about going to school, now turn that frown upside down”. The dismissive parent may even resort to distracting William from his emotions by giving him a cookie or pointing out a cow in a field on their way to school. The parent who offers no guidance may behave in an empathetic way towards William by telling him that it’s ok to feel sad or scared but would not continue to help William decide what to do with his uncomfortable feelings, instead, they would leave him in a space where he feels as if his emotions are an all consuming force that he is powerless to. Children who are raised in unhealthy emotional environments are not able to soothe themselves. They also tend to develop health problems. On top of this, children who are raised in unhealthy emotional environments, fail to emotionally connect with their family. They often feel as if they do not belong. They fail to develop intimacy with their families and as a result, they feel isolated and alone. This of course carries on into adulthood. They grow into adults who are not capable of managing their emotion. They grow into adults who struggle to make relationships work. They develop powerlessly co dependent relationships and they develop a deep need whilst simultaneously an extreme fear of intimacy. In my opinion, the number one cause of sociopathic and psychopathic behavior in adults is the result of unhealthy emotional environments in childhood. Keep in mind that it is more difficult to recognize emotional dysfunction than it is to recognize overt abuse. Many of the serial killers and school shooters who reportedly came from “healthy homes” did not in fact come from healthy homes at all. They may have come from physically healthy homes, where they were fed and clothed and given many advantages, but underneath that lovely looking exterior, was extreme emotional dysfunction, emotional dysfunction that disabled them from connecting with other people.
Emotional dismissal and emotional disapproval are forms of emotional abuse. But the future will soon teach us to never underestimate emotional dismissal, emotional disapproval and emotional abuse. In my opinion, having experienced all the different forms of abuse, emotional abuse is the very worst and also the hardest to heal from. And now we come to the most damaging aspect of emotional dismissal and disapproval. When a parent disapproves of their child’s emotion or dismisses it, the child begins to accept the parent’s estimation of the event and learns to doubt his or her own judgment. As a result, the child loses confidence in himself. When emotional dysfunction rules the relationship, the child learns that they have no right to feel how they feel. They learn that it is wrong to feel how they feel. In short, they learn that it is wrong to feel the way that they feel. Now here’s the crux, the child believes that if it is wrong to feel the way they feel, but they feel that way, something must be wrong with them.
If I were to choose one single thing that is wrong with the mental health system, it is that there is an idea within the mental health system that there is a certain way that people should feel and if they do not feel that way, something is wrong with them. Psychiatrist offices are full of people who were raised in emotionally dysfunctional homes. These people grow up to believe that there is something wrong with them because they “shouldn’t feel how they feel”. When the actuality is that they should feel exactly how they feel. They have perfect and sound reason to feel how they feel and the idea that something is “wrong with them” is a fallacy. A fallacy that is the byproduct of having their emotions invalidated again and again. This is in fact one of the key causes of anxiety. Anxiety disorder is so often the result of extreme self- doubt and self-distrust. Self-distrust, leads to fear of the self, which is the result of being led to believe that you should not feel how you feel. When you fear yourself, you have constant anxiety. It’s like living with an enemy inside your own skin. Long story short, because this is how our parents taught us to treat emotion, this is how we treat each other’s feelings as adults. Our friendships and romantic relationships are painful because we do not know how to emotionally relate with one another. We fail to develop true intimacy with one another. We dismiss each other’s emotions. We disapprove of each other’s feelings. We tell other people how they should and shouldn’t feel. We have no patience for the emotional needs of others. We see emotions and feelings as weakness. We call people who display emotions, sensitive. And as a result, our adult relationships are emotionally unhealthy.
Here are three examples of adult relationships that are emotionally dysfunctional.
A woman goes to lunch with her friend. She is disappointed because she did not get promoted at work, like she thought she would. Her friend tells her she is just being negative. That she needs to look on the bright side and see that all she is doing, is creating more disappointment in her reality because she is so negatively focused.
A husband gets home late from work, his wife starts crying the minute he walks through the door. The husband sees her crying and immediately says “you always overreact. I was only a half an hour late. Maybe you are just menopausal. You need professional help” and then withdraws to his office to watch television.
A man is facing divorce. He tells his friends about what is going on and they convince him to join them at the bar. When he shows up, none of the acknowledge that he is going through a difficult time emotionally with his relationship. Instead they encourage him to not think about it, have a drink, watch the sports game and look at pretty girls at the bar.
Regardless of whether it is a friendship or a romantic relationship, emotions and feelings are the heart of every healthy and meaningful relationship. Without a healthy emotional life, a relationship is not a relationship it is a social arrangement.
Intimacy is not about sex. Sex may be a byproduct of intimacy, but it is not intimacy in and of itself. Intimacy is knowing and being known for who we really are in all aspects of our lives. It is the bringing forth of the truth of who you are to the center of the relationship and being received for who you are and the other person bringing forth the truth of who they are to the center of the relationship and being received for who they are. It is a meeting at the heart center where empathy and understanding can then occur. I have said it before, but I’m going to say it again, intimacy can be broken down into “into me see”. Intimacy is to see into one another so as to deeply connect with one another and to know one another for who you truly are. And if the core of who you are is feelings, if the language of the soul is feelings, then the most important part of intimacy is emotional connection and understanding each other’s feelings. The bottom line is, emotions matter. We must see the importance and value in each other’s feelings. We must show respect for each other’s emotions. We must listen for the feelings behind the words. We must open ourselves to being understood and open ourselves to understanding others. Statements of acknowledgement and understanding should always precede advice. If you tell someone how they should or shouldn’t feel, you are teaching them to distrust themselves. You are teaching them that there is something wrong with them.
Because we struggle the most with negative emotions, the way we deal with negative emotions, dictates how healthy or unhealthy our relationship is emotionally. When we are dealing with negative emotions, there are concrete steps we can take to address those emotions, develop emotional connection with the other person and enhance our intimacy. This goes for our children as well as the adults in our lives. This is solid gold in a relationship when we are facing conflict.
#1. To become aware of the other person’s emotion
#2. To care about the other person’s emotion by seeing it as valid and important
#3. To listen empathetically to the other person’s emotion in an attempt to understand the way they feel. This allows them to feel safe to be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, instead of to agree.
#4 To acknowledge and validate their feelings. This may include helping them to find words to label their emotion. To acknowledge and validate a person’s feelings, we do not need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct, instead we need to let them know that it is a valid thing to feel the way that they feel. For example, if our friend says, “I feel useless”, we do not validate them by saying “you’re right you are useless”. We could validate them by saying “I can totally see how that would make you feel useless and I would feel the same way if I were you”.
#5. To allow the person to feel how they feel and to experience their emotion fully before moving towards any kind of improvement in the way they feel. We need to give them the permission to dictate when they are ready to move up the vibrational scale and into a different emotion. We cannot impose our idea of when they should be ready or when they should be able to feel differently, on them. This is the step where we practice unconditional presence for someone and unconditional love. We are there as support without trying to “fix” them. Do not be offended if they do not accept your support at this time. There is a benevolent power inherent in offering, that is love in and of itself regardless of what someone does or does not do with it.
#6. After and only after their feelings have been validated and acknowledged and fully felt, help the other person to strategize ways to manage the reactions they might be having to their emotion. This is the step where you can assert new ways of looking at a situation that may improve the way the other person is feeling. This is where advice can be offered.
Now we come to one of the most important part of emotional health. The fact of the matter is that we are in a relationship with ourselves. This means, our own emotions must matter to us. This means we must acknowledge and validate our own emotions. This means we must not dismiss or disapprove of our own emotions. Therefore, the six steps I have outlined previously in this video, we must apply to ourselves.
Aside from the way you manage negative emotion, when it comes to creating a healthy emotional environment in a relationship, here is a list of some things you can do:
Express love to the other person. You can express your love to them physically by touching them if they are receptive to touch. Many people are touch starved in our todays’ world. You can express love verbally by complimenting them or affirming them. You can express love through service by doing something for them like the dishes or offering to help them with something. You can express love through gifts, which lets them to know that you care enough to think of them and secure a token of your affection for them. And you can express your love to them through quality time. Make sure to spend quality time where you are prioritizing time to be focused on them without distraction, doing something you both love to do, such as having a deep conversation or hiking together or going out to eat. Make sure that your expressions of love are done for the right reasons, because you genuinely want them to feel good, not because you want anything FROM them.
Never ignore their presence. There are very few things that are more emotionally hurtful than being treated like you don't exist. Even if you're angry at the moment, it's no reason to give the cold shoulder to the person who loves you.
This tip goes hand in hand with the last one. Do not physically or emotionally withdraw from them, especially during a conflict. People, who are afraid of intimacy and connection (and thus vulnerability) tend to cope with those feelings by becoming an island unto themselves. They become emotionally unavailable and disconnect from the other person as a defense. To withdraw in a relationship is to commit emotional divorce. And the #1 symptom of withdrawal is lack of communication. That being said, we are led to our next tip.
Communicate, communicate and communicate. By engaging in a relationship, whether it is a friendship or a romantic relationship, we commit to connection. Communication is a huge part of connection. Communication takes place in many ways, not just verbally. In fact, most of our communication is taking place through our body language. Do not suppress your emotions and try to avoid, deny, dismiss or numb them away through distraction. We need to be willing to acknowledge our own emotion and communicate it in healthy ways to the other person. When we are confused about how to do this, a helpful tip is to take the thoughts we are having and imagine bringing them down to our heart space and then speaking from there. This technique is called speaking from the heart. When we do this, we tend to be more willingly vulnerable and thus, more authentic and less defensive and attacking in our communication style. Put your feelings into words. There is almost nothing worse for a relationship than remaining silent about how you are feeling. Not communicating how you feel creates a canyon between you and your partner. They can feel when you are emotionally upset. If you are not talking or if you are denying the way you feel, when they can feel that you are emotionally upset, it makes your partner feel crazy and confused.
If you make promises, follow through. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Make good on your words. Do not blow it off or forget about it. This systematically destroys trust in the relationship. And trust is a big part of emotional safety in a relationship.
Admit to mistakes and commit to changing your behavior. Continuing to apologize over and over instead of changing a behavior sends the message that you don’t actually care about how the other person feels as much as you care about getting them off your back. But genuinely saying, “I’m sorry” when you recognize that you’ve made a mistake goes a long way.
Get a handle on your priorities. If you want a relationship to feel good emotionally, you are going to have to value it enough to prioritize it. There is no such thing as a right priority or a wrong priority. But if your work or hobbies are a higher priority than your relationships, chances are your relationships will suffer because if you have to choose between them, you’ll choose work or hobbies. This will make the other person feel unloved and insignificant. It will also make the other person feel like it is unsafe to connect emotionally with you. When you are facing a conflict of interest between one thing and another thing, you need to be able to consciously decide what your priority is. In the healthiest relationships, the health of the relationships and the way your partner feels is the number one priority.
Encourage them. When we get encouragement, we no longer feel alone. We no longer feel like it is us against the world. Encouragement, allows us to know that we have emotional support. Encouragement is the opposite of criticism and discouragement. It builds a person up instead of tears them down. This also allows people to be emotionally safe to share their dreams and desires with us.
Express your wants, needs and expectations clearly in your relationship. This is a big part of developing healthy boundaries in a relationship and healthy boundaries are a big part of a healthy emotional relationship. If you feel confused about boundaries, feel free to watch my video on YouTube titled “Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness, How to Develop Healthy Boundaries”. It is not fair to keep the other person guessing about what you want and need. It is also not fair to expect them to read your mind by expecting things of them that that they are unaware of and have not agreed to. It is also important to take time to understand the other person’s wants needs and expectations. Ask for what you want and need and encourage them to do the same. And assuming that their wants and needs don’t conflict with your wants and needs, put forth energy to meet those needs and wants.
Laugh and play together. Laughter and fun has the power to bond us with one another, in the same way that going through tough times together has the power to bond us with one another. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac. Prioritize doing things together that feels good and that are exciting. This also ensures that conflict and struggle is not the undertone of the relationship.
Become an expert on the other person. Knowing as much as you can about the other person, who they really are and how they really feel (provided that you have good intentions for doing so), is the key to intimacy. It will help you to make the right choices about how to interact with the other person so that the emotional environment of the relationship is healthy and supportive. It also helps us to be experts at loving them in the way that they would feel most loved. Like all things, we need to apply these tips to ourselves. The one relationship we cannot end, except potentially through death, is our relationship with ourselves. This means that our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship in our life. This also means that the heart of our relationship with ourselves is our emotions and how we take care of those emotions. Never be ashamed of how you feel. Your feelings are valid. If you feel an emotion, there is a good reason that you are feeling that emotion. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel. You deserve a relationship where your feelings matter. And the fastest way to get to that relationship is to decide that your emotions matter to you.
To help or not to help, that is the question. Contribution is one of the six basic human needs. We need to feel as if we are able to lend energy to others and as if that energy that we lend is of use and value to others. As people, we are inherently giving. If we cannot give our energy towards a collective creation, we feel as if we are living an empty life. Even the studies done on altruism in young children prove that we are driven innately to help each other. Over the course of our lives, sometimes several times a day, we feel called upon to help someone else. In fact, some of us consider helping others to be the central role and purpose of our lives. Society considers helping others to be a virtue that is synonymous with being a good person. And I am not doing this episode to debate whether helping is good or bad. We can all agree that helping in general is a very high vibrational endeavor. But helping others is not always a good idea, especially when we are helping people for the wrong reasons. When we are confronted with the opportunity to help others, we need to make sure we are doing it for the right reasons before we seize the opportunity. Natural helpers are people, people who we think of as selfless givers, even to the point of self-sacrifice, are people pleasing, empathic, warm hearted, sincere, sentimental and generous. Their most basic driving desire is to be loved. But there is usually great childhood sadness in them, a result of emotional neglect in their early relationships. They were often the "parentified" child in their family, the little adult or peacemaker that parents counted on not to give anyone any trouble. They learned that the way to be noticed and gain their significance was to be extra good and always be there for other people. Unfortunately, since the real meat of their empathy is based on the projection of their own emotional deprivation, they exaggerate the helplessness and neediness of others. And because emotional deprivation is rarely labeled as such, these people have no idea why they feel a lifelong, chronic sense of being overlooked. Deep down, helpers fear being unwanted and unworthy of love. And it is because of those desires and fears that the shadow side of the helper begins to show its face. The helper will often help purely to get love and to be wanted and needed. They can slip into self-sacrifice; play the role of the martyr and trap people in states of powerless dependence on them. An aspect of their emotional self has not evolved past their childhood experience. Beneath the surface, helpers fear that they are without value in themselves, and so they still think that they must be extra good and do things for others in order to win love and acceptance from others. Because of this extreme emotional deprivation lurking beneath the surface of the helper, their efforts to help in order to be noticed and loved often dead end and instead of being loved and accepted and appreciated for their help, they go unnoticed and are even resented for the help they try to give. When we consider ourselves to be natural helpers who dedicate our lives to the service of others, we tend to contain all of the shadow aspects of helping. But any and all of us, need to be aware of these shadow sides to helping before we help others or accept help from others. The shadow aspects of helping people revolve around helping for the wrong selfish reasons. We cannot actually ever help someone for unselfish reasons. Every motive in the universe is inherently selfish. This is because at our most basic, soul level, we know that there is no such thing as separation. Making the collective happy makes us happy. Making ourselves happy makes the collective happy. If we are honest with ourselves, seeing other people feel good, makes us feel good, so even though we may care about them, we are ultimately helping others to feel good because it makes us feel good. Ultimately there is no good and bad, but for the sake of understanding, lets say that we can help for the right selfish reasons, or the wrong selfish reasons. If we are helping for the wrong selfish reasons, we are using help to manipulate others.
The first shadow aspect of helping others is helping when the other person has not asked and then acting angry, resentful or passive aggressive when they do not show appreciation. It is tempting, when we want appreciation (which is a form of love) to leap on an opportunity to help someone. We are sure that the help will be well received. But we do not understand that our hidden motives can be felt by the other person. Our help does not feel genuine and when we are not appreciated for offering help, we become resentful and angry. It is easy to see how unfair this is from the outside looking in; to be resentful that we were not appreciated for something we were never asked to do in the first place.
If you volunteer to help someone, you are offering help where you see an opportunity to help, you have not been directly asked to help and so, gratitude is not a part of the arrangement. If you are shown gratitude as a result of volunteering, consider it a nice but unexpected bonus.
Be honest about whether you are an appreciation or gratitude junkie. If you are a gratitude junkie, like an addict, helping is just another way to get a fix. A good rule of thumb is that if you need or want appreciation for helping someone, do not help them in the first place because you are about to help them for manipulative reasons. Your reward for helping should be what you are getting out of the helping itself, not what other people give to you because of it.
On that note, the second shadow reason for helping is the need to be needed and likewise the fear of abandonment. When we need to be needed, we help people whenever we see the opportunity to do so, because our subconscious mind knows that it binds them to us. It forces them to become dependent on us and thus be unable to leave us. On the extreme end of the scale of this shadow, we see people who disempower others and who like to keep them sick or unhappy so that they have a guaranteed role in their lives. One example of the extreme side of this shadow is Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy whereby a person fulfills their need for positive attention by hurting someone else (usually their child) so as to keep them in the role of being “sick” so that they can gain support and personal attention by taking on a fictitious hero role. If we make people dependent on us, we can ensure that because they need us, they will never abandon us.
The third shadow reason for helping is the desire for leverage. Helping can be done in order to put people in a kind of prison, whereby we now have the power. We may help someone and thus consider him or her to be indebted. We may help people so that they can owe us. This is especially common if we want something from them. It is very common for people to help people because they want something in return. For example, a company may donate money to a politician, not because they actually want to help the politician, but because they expect the politician to help them pass a bill through government, which reduces their import, export taxes. One thing that we may want from others is their guaranteed alliance and compliance. We have all kinds of sayings in our society, such as “don’t bite the hand that feeds”, which reinforce the idea that if we help people, they are not allowed to oppose us. When alliance or compliance is what we want, we can use help to put people in a guilt trap. If they oppose us, we can use the help we gave them as leverage. We can use it to get them back into place by holding it over their heads and guilt them back into a place of gratitude, allegiance and compliance. We can even make them responsible for making us happy by reinforcing the idea that they owe us something for the help we gave them. The fourth shadow aspect of helping is self-sacrifice. People who self sacrifice, give up what is in their own best interests for the best interests of others. Many people would have you believe that self sacrificers are self less people. This is not the case. Self sacrificers are in fact some of the most self centered people around. Self Sacrificers are more addicted to getting love from other people than anyone. They play the martyr so that other people will see them as good and therefore approve of them and love them; they often times even play the martyr so that other people will pity them. Pity can feel like love to people who need badly to be seen as good. By being the victim, they get to be the “good one”.
Self sacrificers tend to feel used. They fall into the victim role of being used by everyone, sometimes because people are using them, but most times because they continually volunteer themselves to help, even when they are not asked to and feel put out as a result. The self sacrificer projects their lonely, deprived child-self onto others, imagining a neediness that may not actually exist.
The fifth shadow aspect of help is that those of us, who feel motivated to help, often have a hyper responsibility complex. We do not just take responsibility for ourselves; we also take responsibility for others. We tend to max ourselves out trying to be everything to everyone. We are eaten alive by guilt. We help people to absolve ourselves of this guilt. If we do not help, we feel as if we are being irresponsible and bad and we fear that we will be punished for it. We need to realize that it is not our responsibility to help others. But it is our capability to help others.
Nothing in this universe obligates you to help others. You are not even obligated to raise your own children. Nothing is forcing you to raise them. You technically could drop them off by the side of the road. I’m using this extreme example to demonstrate that if we choose to do something for someone else, it should be because we are capable of doing it and chose to do it willingly, not because we are obligated to do it because of some illusion of responsibility that we have invested in.
The sixth shadow aspect, which we have touched on previously, is that those of us who feel the need to help, are often projecting the need for help within ourselves onto others. Helping others serves as a distraction from our own dysfunction. If we are projecting our own problems onto other people and then helping them with those problems, we do not have to acknowledge them within ourselves. By exaggerating other people’s neediness and problems, we can ignore our own neediness and problems. Most of us with a helper complex are in denial of the fact that our childhoods contained deep levels of deprivation. We have an internal emptiness where love and significance should be, that needs to be filled up. We can feel this childhood aspect of ourselves within us that so badly needed love, approval, appreciation, support and connection, but was overlooked, disregarded, unsupported and conditionally loved. We want to get away from that inner childhood self. We want to gloss over it, deny it and make sure that no one else ever sees it. We project this overlooked and helpless, underdog childhood self onto others and then try to help that reflection. It doesn’t work. It’s like trying to clean the mirror to get rid of the reflection in the mirror. The internal anguish does not go away. There are of course more shadow aspects to help. I have merely listed the most common ones. Beware when you are exploring your motivations for lending a helping hand that motivation for helping can be mixed. It is possible to have pure conscious motivations for helping while also having shadow motives for helping. One thing that confuses helpers the most is why people have such bad reactions to being helped sometimes. Assuming that your motivation is completely pure for helping and that they are not reacting badly to you because they can feel your impure motives, one potential is that they are reacting badly to help because of the message that help so often sends. It is possible to help someone for the pure sake of love and because we want to see them achieve their desire. It is also possible to help someone because we see them as incapable. Often when we help someone, the subconscious message that we are sending him or her, is that they can’t do it. If this is the case, we disempower them by helping them.
Have you ever tried to help a five year old in the “do it myself” phase to tie his shoes? The notion of help most likely sent them into a fit because by saying, “let me help you tie your shoes”, you reinforced the fact that they were powerless to do it themselves. Disempowerment doesn’t feel good to anyone. Sometimes when we get help from other people, when we don’t ask for it, we are almost thinking, “way to tell me what you really think about me, thanks for the vote of confidence” (in a sarcastic tone).
People don’t want help sometimes because in order for them to ask for help or acknowledge that they need help, they have to acknowledge where they are, which can be really grim. Coming around to the realization that they are powerless or compromised is scary. Scary enough that many people would rather deny the help and believe that they are better off than they are. All this being said, when you are presented with the opportunity to help someone, question you true motives for helping. To do this, you will have to be brutally honest with yourself and capable of acknowledging your own shadows. It’s tempting for us when we want to help to go into denial and justify helping with the ever so popular “Because they need my help” or “because I love to see other people happy” excuses.
As far as when to help people and when to not help people, that is completely up to your own personal discernment. To enhance your own discernment, ask yourself these questions:
What do I want to see happen as a result of my help?
Am I lending my energy to the problem or to the solution?
What are the positive reasons I have for helping them?
What are the negative reasons I have for helping them?
Am I projecting my lonely, deprived child-self onto others, imagining a neediness that may not actually be there, or may only be partly true?
Do they really need my help, or am I subconsciously pushing my own agenda onto them?”
Once you have owned up to your motivation for helping, you probably already know whether it is a good idea to help or whether it is a bad idea to help. No one can make that decision for you. But here are 6 good tips that will help you to decide whether to help or not:
Is the person you are helping receptive to your help? Sometimes people will ask for help outright, other people (especially those who have a difficult time asking for help) will not. If it is not immediately obvious how you can help them, ask them how you can help. If it is obvious how you can help them, and you know they will be receptive to it, just do it. Do it without explaining yourself or expecting gratitude in return.
The best kind of help empowers people. Is your help going to empower them or disempower them? Is the help going to make it easier for them to reach their own goals? The best kind of help puts tools in other people’s hands so that they can achieve what they desire. These are the gifts that last a lifetime.
Get informed. Don’t automatically assume that you know what is best for someone. The more informed you are about the other person and what the other person needs and wants, the easier it will be to decide whether or not you can help them, and if you can help them, how to best help them. Assuming that you know what is best for someone, often causes us to lend help that is not helpful at all.
Make sure that your boundaries are healthy before you offer to help someone or say yes when someone asks you for help. If you struggle with boundaries, watch my YouTube video titled “Boundaries vs. Oneness, How to Develop Healthy Boundaries”. A strong sense of self will enable you to know what is right for you and what is wrong for you; it will also help you to know whether helping someone is in alignment or out of alignment for you.
Look yourself in the mirror. Acknowledge the aspects of you that “need help”. Acknowledge the aspects of you that feel like the underdog and that feel overlooked. Own up to the emptiness inside of you. Find out what you feel deprived of. Come out of denial. Be willing to see your childhood clearly enough to recognize what you were deprived of as a child. If you are thinking, “they need my help”, turn that thought around on yourself in two ways, the first is: “I need my help”. The second is “I need their help”. Open your mind to discovering how you need your help and how you need their help. And get help for that aspect of yourself. Your main focus should be healing the wound within you. If you do this, those wounds will cease to reflect externally in the world around you.
Know that you can help someone just by being there and being supportive by offering your unconditional presence. The most damaging part of struggle is not the struggle itself, it is going through that struggle alone. Other people often do not need us to fix their problems. What they need us to do is to unconditionally be with them while they navigate their own problems. Think about it, when you were young, you did not need your parents to fix your problems. When they did try to fix your problems, the message you got was that there was something wrong about you. The message that you got was that you needed to change in order to be loved or approved of by them. What you needed was for them to be with you as you navigated those problems unconditionally. You needed understanding and empathy and their presence. And don’t forget, you can also help someone by connecting them with someone else who can help them better than you can. Contributing your energy to someone else in the form of help is an exalted demonstration of love. But this universe is all one, and because of this you are not helping someone if you are hurting yourself in the process.
One would think that receiving is as easy as someone giving something to you. Don’t we all wish we lived in a world as simple as that? The reality is that regardless of whether or not someone gives something to us, we cannot always receive it. All the various positive things that people give to us could fall under the category of love. Attention is a form of love, gifts are a form of love, help is a form of love and the list goes on. So when we recognize that we can’t receive, the thing we have to acknowledge is that the thing we really can’t receive is love. We can’t receive love because we were never loved unconditionally. There were always conditions placed on love and conditions placed on receiving. This makes love and receiving feel bad instead of good. The first ingredient to learning how to receive love is recognizing the barriers that we have to receiving love. For people who have a hard time receiving, the number one barrier to receiving is distrust of the giver’s motives. When we distrust the giver’s motives, we fear the consequences of letting down our defenses and so; we cannot open up to receive anything from them. For a thing to be given genuinely, the motive behind it needs to be pure. For so many of us who have a difficult time receiving, the people in our early lives did not give love freely and in pure ways. They hurt us instead. This makes it so we either do not see or feel love at all, or when we are offered love (instead of feeling good), we feel a sense of panic or vulnerability. To let ourselves be loved and valued for who we really are would be to violate our parents' verdict that we are flawed. Their belief that we are flawed (a belief which we adopted), justifies the way they treated us and helps us to believe that we were not victims and were instead loved to the degree that we deserved. To let ourselves be loved and valued for who we really are, we would have to admit to the reality that we were not unconditionally loved. To let ourselves be loved and valued for who we really are arouses our fear that if we do, feel, or think certain things, we'll be neglected and abandoned and in the most primal sense, left to die. "So to receive love is to both face a grim retrospective reality as well as to risk death"
People, who can’t receive, have an especially hard time with help. They don’t ask for help and they don’t get much help, not because no help exists for them, but because they feel like the world is against them. They feel as if to get what they want, it will be an uphill struggle alone. This belief blinds them to even seeing help when it is offered to them. And on the off chance that they do see help being offered, they distrust it, thinking that there is a dangerous anterior motive. In other words, they see help as nothing more than a drawback disguised as help. Deep down, they feel unworthy of help or as if help means that they are incapable.
All too often, our motive for giving love is selfish. We give because we want to get. In other words, giving is our way of taking from others. Selfishness is defined as concern only for ones own welfare, benefit and interests regardless of the impact on others. Selfishness is not a natural state. It only occurs when a person is focused on and convinced of the lack in their life. We often confuse self-love and selfishness. But there is a big difference between the two. Selfishness is created when a person, who does not know how to love themselves and meet their needs, feels that internal deprivation and then spends their lives trying to fill in that hole externally. It is very uncomfortable to spend time around a selfish individual because it will constantly feel as if that person is taking and taking from you. They do not know how to get or create what they want without taking it from someone else. They do not know how to love themselves, so their life depends on getting you to give them those things. If you don’t, they are at a loss of what to do, they feel powerless and they get angry because they are scared. But when we take a step back, compassion will show us that they come from a space of internal starvation. Expecting them not to jump at the opportunity to take what they are starving for is like expecting a starving child to not steal food.
Most of us who struggle with receiving love spent time around selfish people growing up. Now beware, the most selfish people will often pride themselves on being the most selfless. Self sacrificers, people pleasers and helpers will have you believe that they are doing everything for you; when in reality they are doing things for you only to get what they want. Maybe what they want is a sense of goodness or your indebtedness to them or something else they want you to owe them. Basically, selfish people have awesome disguises so you’re going to need to look beyond the façade. I’m going to give you one example of thousands that could create a person that can’t receive love.
Brian grew up with a mother who told him that she sacrificed everything for him. This caused Brian to feel a sense of guilt and debt to his mother. She would often use that guilt against him when she wanted him to do something for her or for the family. When Brian left to college, he was excited to start a new life. But a few months in, Brian’s mother called and said “I need you to move home to help us with the family business”. Brian did not want to. When he resisted initially, his mother retorted by saying “I fed you and clothed you and gave up everything so you could have a better life than I did, I did it all for you; why can’t you do this one thing for me, you’re so selfish.” Brian’s guilt and sense of debt forced him to quit college and go home to run the family business, where he was ultimately miserable, all in the name of love.
This example highlights a truth. Love that is given to get something back is not love. In fact when people teach us that love comes with a catch or an expectation, it makes us confused about love and it makes love a dirty thing.
There are five main barriers we have to receiving love. I’m going to list them now for you. All of them are the byproduct of being hurt.
We can have a barrier to receiving love because when people give us things, it feels like they have power over us and we are vulnerable to them. We feel this way when the people in our life used love as leverage. We have this barrier to receiving if love comes with a side dish of guilt, duty or debt. We saw how this plays out in the previous scenario with Brian and his mother.
You know the saying, “with strings attached”. This saying is exactly what we are talking about when it comes to our first barrier to love. When someone gives something to you with strings attached, it feels like entrapment. And in truth, even if it happened on a subconscious level, they gave something to you, so that they could have power over you and guarantee that they would have the upper hand. If you suffer from this barrier, let yourself feel a sense of compassion for yourself because the people in your world made love like a Trojan horse.
We can have a barrier to receiving love because we feel unworthy. When our parents treated us in any way that was short of loving, we came to the decision that something was wrong with us. After all, unless something really was wrong with us, why would we be treated that way? Because of this, we do not feel good enough for someone to love. We do not feel good enough for someone to love enough to give their energy to us.
This barrier goes hand in hand with the previous barrier; we can have a barrier to receiving if we think that we don’t deserve it. Those of us who have deserving issues when it comes to love think that we have to earn love or achieve something in order to be loved. We think that if we didn’t earn something enough to deserve something, we are bad and will get punished by the universe for it. If we do not understand what we did to deserve something that someone is giving us, we start to panic. For those of you who suffer from the deserving barrier to love, watch my videos on YouTube titled “Deserving vs. Entitlement” and “Strike Deserve From your Vocabulary.” And also ask yourself this question, “What is wrong with getting something you don’t deserve?”
We can have a barrier to receiving if we are addicted to reciprocity. Reciprocity is the idea that something must be exchanged for mutual benefit. If you are addicted to reciprocity, you believe love must be equal. As good as it sounds for love to be fair and equal, it is a misunderstanding of how love works and it is not done for good reason. For example, for a person who fears that love is leverage, reciprocity guarantees that the other person does not have the upper hand and cannot guilt or entrap them later as a result of showing them love. We can know that have a barrier to receiving when someone gives us something and we automatically consciously or subconsciously think, “what can I give him or her in return?” or “what do I owe them in return?”
We can have a barrier to love if we fear loss. A common reason for being unable to receive is previous experience with losing a loved one or losing someone’s love. Whether it is someone disapproving of you, or someone withdrawing from you, or losing someone you love to death, or experiencing a break up or something else, one of the most painful experiences we can have is having love and then losing it. This experience creates a scar and on a subconscious level, we believe that it is better not to have love at all than to lose it. We believe that it is better not to accept something at all, which could be taken back.
If you distrust love, do not expect yourself to trust love when it is given to you. The idea of trust is a nice idea, but you can’t just decide to trust. You have learned not to trust because people have hurt you. If you say, “I trust this love I’m receiving”, you will be lying to yourself and a part of you will be saying, “You must think I’m some kind of absolute idiot”.
The rehabilitation process of receiving begins with total and complete transparency. Make it your practice to get people to OWN what they are getting out of giving and OWN what you are getting out of giving. This makes it safer to receive. It also allows us to be able to decide whether or not to accept something that is laced with motives other than love. Beware that mixed motives are a possibility. It is possible to do something because you really like seeing the other person happy, but also because you want something in return. Let me give you an example of how transparency works in a relationship.
Let’s say Graciela made me some homemade chocolates. If I asked her to expose her true motive for making them for me and asked her what she hoped to gain from the gesture, it would be tempting for her to just say, “I want you to be happy”. But if she was really honest, she would say, “I want you to feel good because you have been wanting chocolates all week and also, I’ve been jealous of how much time you’ve been spending with Lauren and I figured that if I did something like make you chocolates, you’d feel like I was a better friend than she is.”
Now lets say that I made breakfast for Graciela. If Graciela asked me why I did it and what I hoped to gain from it, it would be tempting to say, “I thought you’d like it”. But if I am totally transparent, I might say “I knew you would like it and I also have been feeling super guilty about the things you’ve been doing for me and so, I figured that by doing something for you, I could get rid of that guilt.”
Make a habit of exposing what people hope to gain from giving, what people want you to gain by receiving, what you hope to gain from giving and what you hope they will gain by receiving. Often, even if the motives are not completely pure, knowing those impure motives makes it so you are safe and able to receive.
We have to begin to recognize the specific ways that we turn away from receiving. Some examples of how we turn away from receiving are: I only get things from others by giving first, I get stiff when people hug me, I withdraw emotionally, and I deflect attention away from me by changing the subject. I assure you the list of ways that people turn away from receiving is endless. If you have a difficult time receiving, ask yourself “How do I turn away from receiving and love and support?” And “How do I undermine love?”
It is important to note that all people must get love in some way. If we can’t receive, we try to go through the back door to receive. We think we must give to get. So we may help others to get love or we may look our very best to get love or we may achieve to get love or we may act super nice to get love etc. What are you doing in order to get love?
Once we find out why we don’t recognize love, why we can’t take love in and why we can’t hold on to love; learning to receive starts with three basic steps, the first step is recognizing love, the second is taking love in and the third is holding onto love.
Recognizing love. Think about what love in its purest form means to you. Think about the ways that people show love to one another. For those of you who really struggle with recognizing love, I suggest reading the book “The Five Love languages” by Gary Chapman. Pretend that you are like a birdwatcher, but a birdwatcher for demonstrations of love. All day, keep on the lookout for love being given to you as if you have to count and keep track of it. Solicit the help of another person to help you recognize love. Sometimes, when we don’t recognize love, having a friend observe us in our lives and tell us, “this is love” or “that is love” helps us to become aware of it. Some time ago, I had solicited the help of a friend to assist me in recognizing love. That day, someone came up to give me a long hug. I unconsciously emotionally recoiled from the hug as usual. And my friend said, “that’s love” under her breath. Without her help, I would never have seen that gesture as love.
Taking Love In. Once we recognize love being given, we have to consciously allow it in. To do this, we can practice feeling the somatic experience of it. Spend time in the feeling of it. I spend a lot of time talking about the value of feeling your negative emotions. It is also important to feel your positive ones. This means when someone shows you love, experience the feeling of that experience in your body. This can begin with the question “What might it feel like if I could feel (fill in the blank)”. For example, what might it feel like if I could feel that compliment or feel the feeling of having done a good job? Where in your body is there a sense of accepting the love being given as true or real? While your chest may have a resistance to it, your hands or knees might be wanting and accepting of it. Allow the feeling of acceptance of love to permeate your body. This means, once you identify that your hands feel wanting and allowing of the love, consciously imagine spreading that sensation all across your body. Spend time immersed in that good feeling, abundant sensation. The longer you experience that sensation, the more it becomes ingrained in your brain and the easier it will be to receive in the future. Another good way to take loving gestures in is to consciously imagine taking it in. If someone gives you a gift, close your eyes and imagine pulling that energy straight into your heart. If someone compliments you, take a deep breath in and imagine breathing that compliment into the core of your being, like a drag off of a positive cigar. If someone hugs you, imagine yourself softening to let that embrace go all the way through you. Chose to mentally dissolve your own barriers to let love in.
Another aspect of letting love in is to find your missing experience and allow yourself to get it. This begins with a universal truth. You can get what you need and want and you deserve to have your needs met. On a side note, one of the best things you can do for another person is to discover what experience in life they are missing and provide it for them. For example, I might be missing the experience of knowing that it is ok to be exactly as I am. Or I might be missing the experience of having my emotions validated or I might be missing the experience of being helped to achieve something or I might be missing the experience of play. My job is to take steps toward having that missing experience.
Spend time observing people who are good at receiving love. And remain open to hearing new and different opinions about love so that you can begin to see love differently. This will untangle love from what love isn’t. One of the best ways to learn how to receive love and gain insights about love is to watch children. Small children are still living in a state where giving and receiving love is natural and pure.
Holding onto love. Once we take love in, we need to learn how to hold on to love. For some of us love is fleeting. It is as if there are holes poked in our being and the love leaks out the minute it is put in. When we feel unloved, we tend to withdraw. When we do this, we cap off our ability to receive love and all the reserves of love that were within us, drain way. Instead of withdrawing and isolating yourself when you feel negative emotion, seek out connection. Don’t lie and say, “I am fine”. Express yourself. Practice the art of allowing yourself to be vulnerable. This ensures your internal love container will not be like a water well in the middle of the Sahara desert. One aspect of holding onto love is developing self-support. Self-support is something that you can permanently rely on. Some examples of self-support are: Showing love to yourself, taking good care of yourself physically, being who you really are, processing, seeking insight, surrounding yourself with people who are loving and who increase your self worth and Initiating finding help. Remember that you are helping yourself by finding support. A good way to develop a long-term hold on love is to learn to love in another what you hate in yourself. If you begin to open your mind to approving of what you hate in yourself by approving of it in them, you will automatically feel more lovable and thus be able to take in and hold onto love.
Keep reminders of love near you. Even if someone does die and even if you do break up with someone, the love between you was real. The love is not nullified by the passage of time or by changing circumstance. What reminds you that you are loved? Is it a picture, is it an item, is it a quote? Keep anything that reminds you that you are loved within plain sight. Look for proof that love is not scarce and is not going to go away. Is there love in your life that is permanent? Is it possible that if someone withdraws their love, someone else will fill their space and offer you even better kind of love? Those of us who have a resistance to receiving love live lives of desperation and deprivation. Even people who are perpetually starved of food and water do not suffer like those who are starved of love. You deserve to live a life free from deprivation. As the legendary Sufi mystic Rumi once said, “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”.
The sexual response cycle is divided into four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. There is no distinct beginning or end to each phase; they are all part of a continuous process of sexual response. This article is going to focus on orgasm. Orgasm can be achieved through many means. Orgasm can even be achieved through modalities like visualization and through breathing, techniques that are entirely unrelated to masturbation or sex. Orgasm, also called sexual climax, is the sudden release of accumulated sexual energy. As far as the body is concerned, the orgasm is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, the same part of the nervous system that controls your heart rate, breathing, perspiration and digestion.
When Men Orgasm: First, seminal fluid collects in the urethral bulb. This is when a man may have the sensation that orgasm and ejaculation is certain. Next, semen is ejaculated from the penis. Contractions occur in the penis and pelvic region.
When Women Orgasm: The vaginal walls contract rhythmically every eight-tenths of a second. (The number and intensity of the contractions vary depending on the individual orgasm.) The muscles of the uterus also contract.
When Both Orgasm: Breathing, pulse rate and blood pressure continue to rise. Muscle tension and blood-vessel engorgement reach a peak. Sometimes orgasm comes with a grasping-type muscular reflex of the hands and feet. The orgasm activates the pleasure center of the brain; releasing endorphins it also causes our minds to temporarily “lose control.” One study from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found that when men and women reach orgasm, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex temporarily shuts down. This is the region of the brain that is responsible for behavior control. We are essentially in a deep state of surrender to the experience. During orgasm, our brains are also flooded with oxytocin, which is the powerful brain chemical that inspires feelings of intimacy. Known as the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin makes you feel connected to your partner. It bonds you to each other. Orgasms, especially the really good ones can sometimes consume the entire body, not limiting themselves to the pelvic region.
As far as your health is concerned, orgasm leads to feelings of euphoria and pleasure which reduces stress, depression and anxiety levels, it boosts the immune system, For those of you who like the effect exercise has on the body, orgasm burns calories, it promotes relaxation and release of tension which helps you sleep better, it increases circulation in the body and also the brain leading to increased mental sharpness, it helps alleviate pain, it helps the cells in the body regenerate and it inhibits the aging process.
All of these physiological happenings I have just briefly described are of course the physical translation of what is happening on an energetic and spiritual level. On an energetic level, the flow of energy is sped up within the body. The body opens up to a state of receptivity, whereby the meridians and chakras of the body are receiving an unrestricted flow of energy. Alignment is occurring between the vibration of your physical perspective and your non-physical perspective. And thus you experience a blending between the physical aspects of you and the non-physical aspect of you.
During orgasm, the awareness of the identity or ego is dissolved so you can touch your infinite nature. This is why sex and orgasm has been used as a tool in spirituality to reach higher states of consciousness. Orgasm is in fact one practice you can use to experience enlightenment. Tantra is the most well known example of sexual practice being used as a doorway to enlightenment.
There are two main types of orgasm, explosive and implosive. There are a great many theories on both types of orgasms. Some people think explosive is healthy because it releases energy and implosive is unhealthy because it builds pressure in the body. Some people think that explosive is unhealthy because it drains your energy and implosive is healthy because it builds energy. My opinion is that both can be healthy and both can be unhealthy. In an explosive orgasm, the energy moves out of the body like it does during an explosion. In an implosive orgasm, the energy moves inwards so that it is retained within the body. An explosive orgasm is the best kind of orgasm to use for manifestation. It also creates the greatest release and therefore decreases stress levels the best. But it can cause you to feel depleted and it is usually a shallower form of orgasm. The explosive orgasm is the one most natural to men. An implosive orgasm is the best kind of orgasm to use for healing or unity work. It pulls the partner’s energy into you. It is restorative because it nourishes the body and soul and increases your energy levels. Instead of exploding outwards from you, it expands you from within. The implosive orgasm is the one most natural to women. But it can boost energy levels to an uncomfortable degree and allows people who are contained and who fear extending themselves towards others in any way, to stay that way. It is best to be able to develop the ability to choose what kind of orgasm to have based on your current desires or needs. Every body is like a unique instrument. The time it takes and stimulation it takes to achieve orgasm is different from person to person. The only way to learn how to play an instrument with no manual is to experiment. I could do an entire episode on why people (especially women) struggle to achieve orgasm. But for the sake of this video, I will tell you that most of it has nothing to do with the orgasm itself. It has to do with the fact that some people struggle with their relationship to their own bodies so much and some people struggle with intimacy so much.
It is true that for many of us, the craving for orgasm is the craving for relief, relief in the form of release. This feeling of relief becomes it’s own addiction. This is a big part of what we are addicted to if we are addicted to pornography. But ultimately on a higher level, the progression towards orgasm and the craving for orgasm is the progression towards and craving for oneness. Just like love is the movement towards oneness. To love someone, is to include them as you. To orgasm with someone as a byproduct of love, is to become conscious of the experience of being one. It is to move beyond the physical world, which separates us from one another. Orgasm in and of itself unites us with our own infinite, multi dimensional soul. We find alignment between the physical and non-physical self. And orgasm with a partner we feel love for, unites us not only with our own non- physical self, but also with them. It is therefore an amplified experience of oneness. Love that is added to sex, transforms sex so that it is no longer sex. Instead it is a bridge to the great beyond.
You will forget yourself in the experience of oneness. For a moment you will touch the experience of unity. But beware, until you learn to maintain that unity through love in your day-to-day life, a vast division suddenly occurs. As you settle back into the experience of yourself, you will feel the contrast between the oneness and unity you just experienced and the separation that is currently the undertone of your life. You have gone to and from source. That's why, for many of us, after every sex act, a frustration, anxiety or depression sets in. We feel that we are so far away from the love. We are so very alone. We feel worse after sex than we did before. Orgasm involves the total self; mind, body, soul together. You are no longer in control; existence itself has taken possession of you and you don't know who you are. It is momentary enlightenment. It is a mini death so that you can experience being fully alive. Human life on earth is the byproduct of the orgasm. Orgasm and conception goes hand in hand. And so you can see that the orgasm has an element of extreme creative force to it. The question is, what are you conceiving? What does this mean for those of us who are practicing the art of manifestation? It means that the orgasm is one of the most powerful tools for manifestation that you can possibly imagine. Nothing matters more than what you are focusing on and feeling the experience of in the moment of orgasm. What you focus on, especially on a feeling based level, is what you will conceive.
Here’s what I mean, if I’m having sex or masturbating and focusing on my partner with my eyes, but focusing on insecurity about my body with my heart/emotions, I will begin to immediately manifest scenarios in my life that cause me to feel insecure about my body. If I’m focusing on a bondage type fantasy in my mind and feeling the feelings of being dominated, I will begin to immediately manifest scenarios in my life that cause me to feel dominated. This is a crucial realization because we live in an era where our sexual practices are becoming increasingly deviant. When our sexual and orgasmic practices become more deviant, so does our collective reality.
There is a very corny way to visualize what is occurring during orgasm. Think back to the old kids movies you used to watch. The fairy or wizard would focus intensely, repeating an incantation and with the wave of their wand and a huge energetic release, the thing they were trying to conjure would manifest before their eyes, usually in a cloud of sparking smoke.
In the minute of orgasm, the accumulated energy that is building up is released. And you can aim and lend that powerful burst of energy towards what you desire, thus manifesting it into reality. It is best that during orgasm (and if you can during the build up as well), focus your mind and emotions on whatever you wish to manifest. We can use sex to manifest loving relationships or deepen the bond with our specific partner, by focusing emotionally and mentally on the sensation of bonding, unification and harmony with them. We can also use sex and masturbation to manifest things that are entirely unrelated to sex. For example, some people like to use orgasm as a tool for career advancement. When it comes to sex, we are habitual. Once we relate something we have focused on to the feeling of climaxing, that becomes our modus operandi for achieving orgasm the next time. For this reason, many people use what turns them on already during the excitement and plateau phases of the sexual response. But right as they feel the inevitability of orgasm, they focus on whatever they want to manifest and maintain that focus throughout the course of the orgasm and resolution phases of sexual response. For example, a man who is masturbating (before he learns to gain sexual excitement and plateau from the idea of a job promotion) first focuses on scenes in his mind of a woman having sex with a man, after all this usually turns him on. But the minute that he feels the inevitability of orgasm, he switches his focus to the experience of standing in a boardroom, accepting his new promotion to the job position that he wants. He will allow the feeling of the climax to amplify the sensations of achievement and glory and relief and pride of promotion. He will allow the feeling of the climax to enhance and focus the image in his mind of the people that are there and the way the room looks and smells. He will use his orgasm to make the scenario as real as possible on all levels as if he is living it at that vey moment. And he will hold onto it as his mental and emotional focus as long as he possibly can, completely through the resolution phase. And if he drifts off to sleep, he has then added the state of allowing to the manifestation and amplified it further.
Another example is, a woman who is having sex focuses on the physical attributes of the man on top of her, enough to feel the sensation of sexual arousal within her body. She is conscious of the fact that she wants to have a deeply committed and loving permanent relationship with a man. So instead of worrying about whether he is the one, or focusing on the ceiling fan or thinking about whether her legs are shaved, she begins to focus on the feeling of him deep inside of her. She feels of the sensation of his energy reaching into her heart space. She closes her eyes and begins to imagine what it would feel like to be with a man who is utterly committed to her. She sinks into the feeling of security of having his energy fully and unconditionally invested in her. If she needs, for the sake of reaching climax, she can transition back to focusing on whatever creates arousal. When she feels the inevitability of climax, she shifts her focus entirely back to the feeling and experience of long-term relationship commitment. Maybe she looses herself in the feeling of the complete connection with the man she is with. Maybe she imagines the scenario of getting married in detail. The most important thing is that in the moment of orgasm, she emotionally experiences the feeling of emotional security and love and being wanted. She maintains that focus throughout the duration of the orgasm and resolution phase. Either this man she is sleeping with will become that partner, or the universe draws him away to make space for the one who is a match to that committed love that she has been wanting so desperately. We are energy. We can use that energy that is inherent in and of us and focus it so that the energy gives shape, form and substance to our desires. All that is left to say is be conscious of what you are wishing for.
It is common for people who have been hurt to build walls between themselves and others. These walls are designed to keep pain out, but the downside is that they also keep love and happiness out. Numerous experts talk about this kind of wall. But there is another kind of wall that is built by those who have been hurt even more. This kind of wall is designed to keep good feeling things like love and happiness out, but to keep pain in.
There are two kinds of people who erect walls to keep love out, the first have been hurt by their connection to other people. For this kind of person, things like enmeshment and unhealthy co-dependency and guilt traps made incoming love painful. They don’t want to let love in because letting people too close means getting used or hurt by them. They have suffered from incoming boundary violations. The second kind of person, who erects walls to keep love out, has been hurt by the withdrawal of love by other people and the loss of happiness. Their lives have been tormented by loss. They experienced the loss of love and support and happiness. They see happiness and love and support as transient and unpredictable, it taken away just as easily as it is given. And the trauma of losing it, makes it smart to not become attached to it at all. People, who are in this category, cannot receive love and cannot trust happiness. What I want to focus on for this episode is the other feature of this wall. The feature that lets and keeps pain in. Unlike traditional walls that are impenetrable to insults and injury and people who hurt you, this wall welcomes in insults and injury and people who hurt you. I know what you’re thinking, who on earth would build a wall to keep pain in? The answer is a great many people for a great many reasons. Multiple studies, including a very famous study from the University of Oslo in Norway, proved that pain is experienced as pleasant if something that is expected to feel worse (or more painful) has been avoided. The subjects in the pain studies that were prepared for the worst, felt relieved when they realized the pain was not going to be as bad as they had feared, In other words, a sense of relief can be powerful enough to turn an obviously negative experience as pain into a sensation that is comforting or even enjoyable. You can apply this idea to each of the following reasons why we would hold onto pain.
I’m going to list some of these examples for you now.
The most common reason why we would let and keep pain in is a dynamic that begins in childhood. When we are young, we are rewarded for being good and punished for being bad. We learn very quickly that the only way to be loved is to be good. Since we need food more than we need food or water, our very survival depends on us being good; but that there is the problem. What if we come down into a family with parents who show a great deal of love and support and even reward us when we are hurt emotionally or physically? We learn that pain is good. We learn that since love and support and reward goes to the person who is hurting, there must be goodness or virtue in pain. It is good to show support for children who are in pain, but this support goes sour when we are only shown support when we are in pain.
Some of us came into families where our parent’s statement “I want my kids to be happy” was just lip service. If we had parents that were hands off and ignored us when we were happy, if we had parents who were threatened by us feeling good, parents who would become irritated with our energy level when we were happy, or who would stop our play to make us do chores or who seemed perturbed by the fun that we got to have, or even worse who actively punished us when we felt good, we got the message that feeling good means being bad. We begin to feel shame and fear in association with happiness. Being bad means being unloved and thus ultimately dying and so we begin to see feeling bad as good and feeling good as bad. We think that without pain, we will be forsaken completely.
Now before you pin this entirely on faulty parenting, lets look at the real culprit for this damaging and faulty belief… Religion. Think about it for a minute, how many religions around the world propagate the idea that you have to suffer to be good or that there is virtue in suffering?
I want to give you an example of this pattern in real life. I had a client some years ago with this exact pattern. Her mother, who was a devout catholic, saw some degree of virtue in suffering, just like Jesus Christ had. When she would play and laugh, her mother would be consumed by the fury of not being considered. She would become aggravated and send her to her room or remind her of something that she had to do. However, when she skinned her knee or got sick or was bullied, her mother would hold her on her lap and give her a treat. Remember that our brains link being loved to survival. Needless to say, the only way for this child to remain loved and therefore alive was to be unhappy and hurt. She began to gravitate towards situations that made her unhappy and towards people who hurt her and even began injuring herself in the subconscious attempt to be good and therefore loved. All the way into adulthood, she believed that only hurt people deserve to be happy and be loved and supported. Her “good is bad and bad is good” wires were so crossed that she came to me, fresh from seven years spent in institution for self harm and multiple suicide attempts.
This pattern is especially common if we grew up in homes with a narcissistic parent. Remember of course that a narcissistic parent will never recognize him or herself as such and will almost always identify with the exact opposite, being a completely selfless giver and making you feel guilty for it.
Another reason why we might build a wall that lets pain in or keeps pain in, is that we feel like we need it to remember the part of ourselves that we lost. When someone dies, moving on and being happy makes us feel like we are betraying them. When we feel like a part of us died or was lost, especially in childhood, subconsciously we feel like we are betraying ourselves by moving on.
Another reason is that pain may feel like the only thing that you can count on. We all want stability and a sense of certainty in our lives. This is why as people, we are so habitual and like familiarity so much. We like it because it is predictable. The basic human need of certainty simply put is the certainty that we can gain pleasure and avoid pain. But if we get hurt so often and disappointed so often, we feel as if it is impossible to be certain that we can gain pleasure. So we turn the tables. We hold on to the only certainty that we have in our lives which is pain. In our lives pain is certain, so it feels more real than happiness or love. The very knowledge that we can count on it or predict it or even choose to consciously perpetuate it makes us feel a sense of relief. In other words it feels good to be able to predict and be able to count on the permanence of pain. How sad is that? The only certainty we have of feeling good is the feeling of the predictable certainty of pain. We see this pattern of pain retention so often in people who suffered from chronic disappointment. If we get disappointed enough in our lives, we avoid the shock and let down of disappointment by expecting pain. We keep ourselves low to avoid the climb and the inevitable fall. Pain is safe because you may be hurting, but you aren’t losing anything precious. You aren’t crushed by the loss of happiness or love. In this way, pain becomes a buffer or padding from further pain.
Another reason we might build a wall to keep pain in is that we do not trust good feeling things, because they were used against us. And so, conversely we learn to trust bad feeling things. In our world, people have been trained to sugar coat pain. For example we may say, “I love my husband but…” Or “I think you’re a really great person, it’s just that…” Compliments are often used as primers for insults. This is sheer cruelty. The compliment opens a person up so that the insult gets in deeper. If we had people in our lives that maintained this habit, good was used against us. We started to distrust good. We learned that the good is not really genuine. I spoke about this pattern of good being used against us in my YouTube Video titled “How to Receive”. If the people in our lives used love as leverage, love and happiness comes with a side dish of guilt, duty or debt. For this reason, we feel the only thing we can trust is pain. Pain is our stable, reliable, true companion.
I touched on this earlier, but I want to take it further. Often for those of us who suffer chronically, pain is our buffer. We are using it to keep ourselves safe. Not only does it prevent us from feeling loss and prevent us from feeling shock, it also acts like a cushion. Some time ago, I was trying to find out why I kept pain close to me and I realized that I was trying to use pain to keep me safe from further pain. Happiness and love made me feel exposed and open to more hurt. Many of the decisions we make on an emotional level, make no sense to us logically. But I emotionally decided that if I could only get myself to hurt bad enough, nothing else in the future would hurt. This is sort of like the idea that having a broken bone, makes a tummy ache seem less bad. The image that came to my mind relative to other people hurting me, was that if I caught all the pain sent my way and started to collect it, and pad myself with it, every new arrow sent in my direction would dissolve into the vast ocean of pain that was already there and wouldn’t penetrate as deep or hopefully wouldn’t be felt by me at all. Look again at the society we live in, we love the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Let’s just say that some of us really take this to heart. We get hurt so bad that we try to accumulate pain to become stronger so we can try to prevent ourselves from being hurt in the future. We use pain to build up immunity to pain. Pain can also increase our self worth. Heroes have to endure extreme pain. So, we can keep pain in and propagate it so that others see us as a hero.
Another reason we may keep pain in is because we are trying to get mercy from a world that hurt us again and again. If the universe at large feels like a perpetrator to us, we can use pain like a white flag. Here’ the logic, if I’m already hurt, you will be less tempted to hurt me. It’s like a yield card. Sometimes this technique worked with the people who were authority figures in our lives, and so now that our authority is the universe at large, we use the same strategy. If we hurt, it is like a “mercy” call to the world. We think if we cry mercy, it just might stop hurting us; in fact it might just show us a little love.
Another reason we might let pain in or keep pain is if we want to avoid feeling the pain of blame or negative responsibility. If you are exhausted or alone and don’t want to take responsibility for yourself because of what taking responsibility for yourself might mean to you, pain can be used as a scapegoat for responsibilities. We might think we have to be in pain for others to help us or be kind to us or give us things or let us off the hook or take responsibility for us. Pain can be a powerful excuse. We feel terrible about ourselves when things are our fault, especially if we were punished for things that were our fault when we were young. When we don’t take responsibility for things that caused us or other people pain, we get to feel good about ourselves still. We can use pain as a good way to maintain our self-esteem by excusing ourselves from the responsibility of things we did to ourselves or others in our past.
Another reason we might build walls that let in pain is that we find our good feelings through the removal of pain. Both general negative emotion and pain-induced negative emotion are processed in the same areas of the brain. This means that pain relief and emotional relief is essentially the same thing. The relief that occurs when something that causes acute, intense pain is removed is enough for those of us who are struggling with extreme levels of emotional or physical pain to deliberately let pain into their lives, or cause ourselves pain so that we can feel the relief of that very same pain. Self-injurers are particularly at risk for this attachment to pain. I’ll give you an example; pretend that someone called you to say that your house was being repossessed. And then fifteen minutes later, called you back to say it was a paper work mix-up. You would feel the relief not because you got good news, but because the painful stimulus was removed. Sometimes if we experience pain in our lives or let it in, the rest of our life seems to feel good by comparison. We actually feel the relief of experiencing what was previously experienced as painful because now it feels good by comparison. 9. Another reason we would let and keep pain in is if we were the Identified Patient in our family. The Identified Patient or “IP” is a person within a family group, usually a child, who is unconsciously selected by the other family members to play out the family’s inner conflicts as a diversion from their own pain. The IP is the split off carrier for the family’s disturbances. Simply put, the Identified Patient is the scapegoat of the family. They are the “family problem”. The IP is seen as the cause of the painful feelings of the other family members.
The IP child is usually the one whose personality is the least validating to the parents personality structure. In the face of the invalidating child, they either have to face the negative within themselves or turn against the child and make the child the problem. By making the child the problem, they get to see themselves as the victims and as the philanthropic helpers and thus avoid facing and dealing with their own problems. If you suspect that you may have been the IP in your family, I suggest doing some research about the Identified Patient dynamic.
If we were the Identified Patient, our earliest identity is that something is wrong with us. Our earliest identity is pain. Our family depends on us staying in the role of the Identified Patient because the family structure will unravel if we don’t. If they have to face their own shadows and pain and stop projecting it onto us, they will be miserable and in pain. We are the ultimate scapegoats. And our family wants to keep us that way. They quite literally will do anything including hurt you and abandon you to keep you in this role so they can avoid their own pain. So isn’t that funny? To keep their love and support, and keep the family together, you have to keep hurting and keep having problems. You’re hurting so you can be loved. You’re convinced that getting happy, means loosing them all, because often that is exactly what it does mean. If you are the IP in your family, you subconsciously feel like you need to let pain in and keep pain. You need to stay unhappy and hurting because you not only lose your own identity if you get happy, you also lose your family.
If you suspect that you might have a wall that is impermeable to love and happiness and support, but that is allowing and even retaining of pain, ask yourself these questions:
Why do I need to be in pain?
What would be so bad about being loved?
What would be so bad about being happy or feeling good?
If we have the kind of wall between ourselves and the world which lets and keeps pain in, the first thing we have to do is to recognize that we developed this way of being as a strategy to help us cope with pain. All pain strategies are created to keep us alive and functional. It actually suggests a high level of emotional intelligence to develop a way of coping with pain in the way that you did. Develop empathy and understanding for yourself and know that you do not deserve to berate yourself for building a wall like this wall. It was the most intelligent way to survive the trauma of your particular life. Just the awareness alone that we have built a wall that lets pain in and keeps pain in as well as the awareness of why we might have built this kind of wall, puts cracks inside this wall. Awareness, like a sledgehammer, destroys the strength and longevity of this wall. Part of the reason it was there for so long is because it was invisible. Now that you have seen it again clearly, it cannot function in your subconscious anymore.
The second thing we need to do is to begin to let love and positive feeling things in. I’ve mentioned it before, but my YouTube video titled “How to Receive” is a really good one if you’re learning how to let good feeling things in. Another good one to watch is my YouTube video titled “How to Raise Your Frequency and Increase Your Vibration”. If you begin to let in positive feeling things little by little, the positive emotion will begin to dilute the negative emotion within you so it doesn’t hurt so bad anymore.
The third thing we need to do is to make a choice. The choice is dependent upon whether we are ready to sink into our pain in order to find the origin of the trauma so that we can integrate it, or whether we are not ready and instead wish to dis-identify with the painful feelings. If you choose to integrate your painful feelings, I explain exactly how to do that in my YouTube video titled “Healing the Emotional Body.” If you choose to dis-identify with the painful feelings, you must become acquainted with the concept of the pain body.
In certain spiritual traditions, the pain body is essentially the collective manifestation of all of the emotional, physical and mental pain that a person has gone through over the course of their lifetime. It’s as if you could take all of your pain and put it together to create a separate person out of it. To see the pain as a different person (like a separate personality) you can separate yourself from your own pain and dis identify with it. Then, when painful feelings arise, you can become aware of it and dis identify with it by saying “That’s the pain body, not me”.
The fourth thing we need to do is to fall out of love with pain (by seeing what it is doing to us) and then to re-sensitize ourselves to our positive emotions and practice deliberately going in the direction of what causes us to feel positive emotion. Simply put, follow your joy. Develop strategies to help yourself feel safe. The pain has now become safety to you. To let go of it, you need to find other methods for making yourself feel safe. Make a list of things that help you to feel safe and pin it up in your house. When you feel unsafe, go to the list and pick something off of it to do.
Another thing we can do is to take advantage of somatic psychotherapy. If we let and keep pain in, we are desensitized to pain and we are disconnected from our bodies. In order to access our personal truth and become fully embodied and heal, we need to re-sensitize ourselves and reconnect with our bodies. Find someone you resonate with who offers somatic therapy.
The fifth thing we need to do is to dedicate our life to the practice of softness, softness with ourselves and with others. We need to do this with our thoughts, words and actions. Always choose what feels softer. For example the thought “I know I should do that” is hard. The words “I’m ridiculous” are hard. The act of doing something you really don’t want to do is hard. We have a choice relative to all things, softer or harder. Every decision we have to make can be made according to this question, “Is it softer or harder?” The immediate answer is the correct one. We need to recognize how we are keeping pain close to us by maintaining hardness towards ourselves and towards the world. And we need to make different choices, so that we can become softer instead.
The sixth thing we need to do is to look over this list of reasons that we built a wall that lets pain in and keeps pain in and try to discern what need is unmet in each scenario. If we can find different ways to meet those needs, we can let go of the pain strategy we are currently using.
Take your answers to the three questions asked previously in this episode and apply this same process as well. Look at those reasons and figure out what need is not being met and look for alternative ways to meet those needs so you can let go of the habit of letting pain in and holding onto pain.
If you are a person who can’t seem to stop suffering you probably feel like something is wrong with you. You have also probably heard people say that you must like being depressed or that you’re mentally ill or that you have bad karma. I promise you that none of this is the case. All that has happened is that your life experience has caused you to hold onto pain in order to prevent even worse pain. In your life you are driving forwards. You cannot help but do so, but if you are using pain to prevent future pain, you are driving with the parking brake on. It is cruelty to expect yourself to simply let go of the parking brake. After all, it is what has been keeping you safe for so long. But the energy it takes to keep the parking brake on is holding you back from a new life. If you can just gradually begin to release the hurt more and more, you will soon be living the life that you came here to live, which I promise you feels so much better than this.
It is a common pattern for some of us in relationships to be rescuers. It is as if we are on the look out for someone who we can save or rehabilitate. A rescuer often feels a duty or obligation to maintain a relationship as it is even when we are feeling used. A rescuer often makes excuses for someone else's behavior even when it is self destructive or harmful to us. The rescuer, like everyone else, has needs. But rescuers don't feel worthy enough to ask for what they want. Instead, they convince themselves that if they give enough to others the recipient of their giving will clearly appreciate the rescuer so much that the taker will begin to give back to the rescuer, which is what the rescuer secretly wants all along. They want to be loved, nurtured and cared for. That is the hope and fantasy of the rescuer. But, because the rescuer has chosen someone who needs rescuing, someone who by definition takes and does not give, the rescuer never gets what he or she really wants, which is to be rescued. There is no such thing as a rescuer that doesn’t want to be rescued.
If we are a classic rescuer, we need to learn to expose our needs and wants to others in a straightforward way. As rescuers, we have a difficult time receiving and so it benefits us to examine the resistance we have to receiving and asserting our needs and wants. We can then begin to learn how to receive. Now if you are thinking, “Thank God that isn’t me, I’m definitely not a rescuer”, think again. I’m going to take you a little deeper and show you how most people are rescuers and they don’t even know it.
Attraction is simple. It is either there or it is not there and yet it is a much more complicated thing than you have been led to believe. Many things that draw us to a specific person are savory and many are unsavory. But it is to be understood that when we are searching for a mate, we are looking for a match, an equal. We are in fact looking for ourselves in another.
In the big picture, opposites do not actually attract. One could say that the fact that males attract females is evidence that opposites attract. But the male and the female are both human. Humans attract humans, so same attracts same. In many ways it could be argued that duality and non-duality is just a matter of perspective. However, as it applies to humans, the way people usually deal with pain is to swing to one extreme style of coping or the other. But the baseline vibration beneath the surface expression is exactly the same.
For example, take two people, both of which have social anxiety. They both want to hide. One hides by becoming a wallflower; the other hides by creating a persona and becoming the class clown. If they fell in love with each other, we could say “opposites attract” but it wouldn’t be accurate because if we look deeper, the vibration inspiring their personalities is exactly the same. It is social anxiety.
Most of the process of attraction is happening on a subconscious level. We are looking for the person who mirrors us the very best. This is the way that the universe or collective consciousness ensures the most expansion. Self-actualization is facilitated by our relationships. Because of the law of attraction, the universe draws us to the person who mirrors us the best. It feels great when our partner mirrors good feeling things within us, like our caring or our depth or our intellect. But that is not the only vibration that is resident within us. We also have bad feeling things within us as well, like our inability to receive or our self-centeredness or our closed mindedness.
I have yet to meet a person who has not experienced some kind of trauma in their lifetime. Even if parents were capable of providing a perfectly loving experience for their children, the very experience of being born into a self that is separate from the whole is traumatizing. So, we have all experienced varying degrees of good feeling things and varying degrees of traumatizing things. These traumatizing experiences cause wounds in us emotionally and mentally and even physically. And sometimes these wounds go unhealed. Your number one desire (whether you are conscious of it or not) is to become fully healed. Rather than healed, lets say whole and fully integrated. But if you are not conscious and aware of these wounds because they happened so long ago, you attract partners who make you aware of those wounds because they mirror them. And by mirroring them, they exacerbate them.
In other words, the people we are inexplicably drawn to have the same wound that we do. And because they have the same wound that we do, it causes a flare up in the wound we both share.
Here’s where the rescuer dynamic comes in. On a subconscious level, you have always wanted to heal your wound. But you are unconscious of that wound. And so the only way to see it is to step in front of a mirror. The mirror is your partner. And when you step in front of your partner and recognize the wound, you then start to try to heal the wound in the reflection. Thinking subconsciously, “If I can just heal that wound in this other person, I’ll have healed it in myself.” You are insatiably attracted to people who provide you with the opportunity to become aware of and heal that wound, thus becoming a rescuer to that hurt aspect of them and you.
Those of you who have recognized painful patterns in your relationships would benefit by becoming especially aware of this dynamic. Chronic painful patterns in relationships suggest that a deep unhealed wound is resident that you keep trying to unconsciously remedy through your relationships. You are trying to love yourself through them.
Take a very objective look at the patterns inherent in what you are attracted to about the people you have been in a relationship with or are in a relationship with. What are you drawn to again and again? Rather than get lost in how any of them were different, begin to look for what they had in common with each other. Then ask yourself, “What am I drawn to that keeps causing me problems?”
For example, a woman might have dated a great many men, all of whom were very different at face value. But when she asks herself “What am I drawn to that is common among all of the men I’ve been with?” she might realize that she is attracted to athletes who are loners. She notices that is insatiably attracted to outcasts who are lost with nowhere to belong.
She recognizes that the fact that they are athletes does not cause her pain. But the thing that she is attracted to that is causing her problems is that they are loners. The reason it is causing her pain is because she has found out the hard way that loners are often loners for a reason. They keep people at arms length and are emotionally unavailable. As a result, they make her lonely.
You see, the reality (if this woman was to look deep enough) is that she, herself is lonely. Her wound is that she feels like a loner who is lost with nowhere to belong. She is attracting men with her exact same wound. She is subconsciously convinced that if she can get a loner who is lost and doesn’t belong to feel lovingly connected to her and feel like they belong with her, she has solved her own loneliness problem. When this woman thinks about the prospect of being with a man who is not lonely and who is not lost and who feels as if he belongs in the life he is living, she feels as if there will be no space for her in his life. She fears that he will only make her feel like she does not fit in and thus feel lonelier and more outcast than she already does. This woman is trying to rescue herself through the men she is with. She is trying to rescue and heal the parts of herself that need healing through him. We look for others who have the same wound that we have so that we can heal our own wound externally. We are rescuers. But we are trying to vicariously rescue ourselves. Here’s another example, a man might discover that all the women in his past, though different in many ways, were all very beautiful and were unstable and dark and negative. Also, every one of them wanted desperately to be famous. Which means that they all lacked a sense of significance. He is not caused pain by the fact that they are beautiful. But the problems arise for him as a result of the fact that they are unstable, dark, negative and attention seeking. The reason it keeps causing him pain is that these common personality traits in the women he has been with always end up making him feel emotionally unstable, hopeless and like he is sinking into a dark space. You see, the reality (if this man was to look deep enough) is that he, himself is emotionally unstable, dark, negative and lacks a sense of significance. That is his wound. He is attracting women with his exact same wound. He is subconsciously convinced that if he can get an unstable, dark, negative woman who lacks a sense of significance to feel stable, light, happy and self confident, he has healed his own problem. When this man thinks about the prospect of being with a woman who is stable, light, happy and self confident, he feels a sense of panic. He feels as if he will be exposed and cannot hide his dysfunction. He also feels like he is ultimately not good enough for her. This man is trying to rescue himself through the women he is with. He is trying to rescue and heal the parts of himself that need healing through her.
If your relationships are chronically painful, chances are that what you have in common with your significant other is your wounds. You are trying to save yourselves through each other. And as the other person exacerbates your wounds, you will beg them to solve the problem and make you feel better. But the pain just gets worse. The more time you are with them, the bigger the mirror becomes. I will give you a hint that the thing we most often try to rescue in others is the very deepest pain within ourselves. I made a YouTube video a while back called “Find your Negative Imprint, Find your Life Purpose”. We usually try to rescue ourselves by finding people who mirror our negative imprint. So watch that video to get deeper awareness of what you might be trying to rescue in yourself through others.
Once we become aware of this pattern, we can go to work on the real issue… the wound within ourselves. For example, the woman in the previous scenario can take steps to feel less lonely and begin to let love in. She can also choose different partners who do not up the chances of her ending up lonely within a relationship.
The man in the previous scenario can change his life in ways that cause him to feel stable. He can work on cultivating positivity and building his self-confidence to the degree that he feels his own significance.
Awareness causes integration and healing to occur spontaneously so sometimes awareness of the wound within you is all it takes to stop being attracted to people who mirror that wound. So now, all that’s left to do is to ask you a question… What is within you that is in need of rescue?
I was born extrasensory. I did not teach myself how to be extrasensory. For this reason, I usually have no idea how to teach people how to perceive things that are outside the range of the normal human senses. It would be a bit like you trying to teach a colorblind person how to see the color red. However, over the last two years, I have had so many people asking me to teach them how to see auras, that I took it as a sign and I went out of body to communicate with a few of the beings that have chosen to facilitate incarnation on this planet. I wanted to gain enough knowledge about the difference between those who see auras and those who don’t that I could teach those who don’t see them, to see them. The article that is to follow is the result of my learning. The first thing you must grasp before moving on is that you do not have to be “special” or “gifted” to see auras. All people have the capability of experiencing auras. The aura is essentially a field of subtle, luminous electro magnetic radiation surrounding a physical thing. The word surround gets us off track when it comes to understanding auras because in reality, your aura is entirely in and of you. When you are observing the physical body and the aura at the same time, the aura merely appears to surround the body. Really, it is just another dimensional layer of a being and the body is an overlay of sorts. We associate auras with only living things but in truth, all things that are physical (whether they be living or not) have an aura.
Now here is the thing most people don’t understand about auras, even though you can emanate or radiate energy, you are not in fact giving off or creating your aura as much as your aura is giving off and creating you. When you see an aura, you are seeing a multi dimensional aspect of someone. The aura is projecting itself into the physical dimension as the person you see in the mirror every day.
An aura simultaneously contains information that it puts off, and has highly sensitive perception of information that it absorbs. This electromagnetic energy field is constantly lending to as well as emanating from your physical body and to anything you interact with in the physical. You could think of it like an electromagnetic form of consciousness that both transmits and receives. Some people with energetic vibrations that are high enough to find resonance with thought forms can interpret them through their normal senses. Most people think that auras are just about the colors. But someone like myself will tell you that auras can be interpreted as having different sounds, sizes, shapes, patterns, textures and colors. They vary greatly in color in terms of hue and value. The aura colors are perceived because the distribution of light particles versus the wavelength in an electromagnetic field varies greatly and is therefore perceived differently by the human eye. Any or all of these characteristics of an aura can tell a practitioner of energy work what areas need to be focused back into a beneficial resonance. They can tell a nearly complete story of who you are and what led to you being who you are. Your aura will respond to the thoughts you are thinking and change its characteristics to match those thoughts. If you are thinking a negative thought with enough regularity, it will show up in this “thought form” we call the aura first, and then it will show up in your physical body.
You could think of your aura as the visible blueprint mirroring the thoughts you are thinking and the feelings you are feeling (plus the thoughts you have thought and the feelings you have felt) that lead to your current manifestation in this moment. This includes attitudes, memories, beliefs, experiences etc. Basically the aura displays anything this life, as well as past lives, have caused you to become.
The aura contains all colors within it. But when we say something like “your aura is blue”, that means blue is the color that appears the closest to your skin. That color is the most essential to who you are and authentic to who you are. It is your energy signature. That color most reflects your manifested being and life intention. A person’s primary aura color is usually the most dominant color in their auric field, unless they have had to suppress their authenticity in order to fit into their culture, family or social group.
So why should we learn to see auras? For some people, seeing auras is really about being able to feel special and more legitimately spiritual. For some people, it is just about the excitement of how cool it would be to see those kinds of things. For some people, it is a promise that there is more to life than meets the eye. No matter what your reason is, whether it comes from a shadow aspect of yourself like an insecurity or whether it comes from the conscious aspect of yourself, it is important that you know what your reasons for wanting to see auras are and to be very honest about that with yourself. So, for those of you who want to see auras, the first thing you need to ask yourself is: Why do I want to see auras?
If I were to make a case for why it is a good thing to see auras and for why the human race will evolve to the point that everyone sees them, I would say that not only does it make the world even more beautiful and even more colorful to behold, it allows you to perceive the multi dimensional universe. Not only that, it allows you to really see into others. We are playing a guessing game with each other because we do not really know each other well enough to see the full picture of what is going on. There is too much room for projection in a state like that. Seeing auras, allows you to develop greater levels of intimacy with all people. It allows you to fully understand them and see the effect you have on them as well. Most of the conflicts in today’s world are the result of misunderstanding between people. Most of the inability to heal chronic illnesses is because we do not see beyond the physical body. Let your mind ruminate on the implications of a world where people perceived the unified quantum field, perceived the multidimensional aspects of each other and understood each other completely. So why can’t we all see auras? For the sake of understanding this concept, we need to think of the physical dimension (the place where our consciousness is currently focused) as a 360-degree, panoramic learning hologram. Like a video game designed by source for the purpose of it’s own self-actualization. It is one thing to conceptualize of connection, it is quite another to fully experience it physically through a first kiss. Also, the only way to really comprehend oneness is to become so separated that we are separate physical individuals. The best way to fully learn from this hologram or video game is to forget that anything outside of it exists. This is the difference between watching a movie in a movie theatre and temporarily forgetting your own life and watching a movie in your own house in the middle of the day when there are distractions everywhere, so you can’t forget your own life. Which experience causes you to feel more? Which experience causes you to care more? I rest my case. In order to fully participate in this physical dimension, we have to close our awareness to the other dimensions in the same way that to fully participate in a video game, we must close our awareness to the room we are sitting in and the cars outside etc. Only in this video game called life, we become the avatar. It would be like being able to literally become the character in grand theft auto that is stealing cars and running away from the bad guys. This process of focusing physically begins before conception and it merely intensifies throughout our life. As a baby, your senses though they have the capacity to perceive the physical dimension fully, need to be exercised into perceiving. At first the world is fuzzy. Most babies see auras and other dimensional things still, but as their mom or dad begins to teach them to call things by certain names, like this is a ball or this is a dog, they learn to see the object by ignoring the rest of the quantum field. In order to see the pen, you must ignore what is not the pen. In order to distinguish a pen, you must stop seeing it as potential energy and start seeing it as a static object called a pen. This is when most people stop seeing auras and stop perceiving things that vibrate at any other frequency than physical. It’s like most people turn their radio dials to the channel called physical and all the other channels are no longer received.
As the frequency of the physical dimension increases or as our awareness of the multi dimensional reality comes back, we begin to tune our dial so that we can receive other radio channels besides the physical and we learn to see what we learned to ignore. Some people, like myself, have chosen to come into life but not focus purely physically. In other words, my radio dial was never committed to the channel called physical life on planet earth. I’m in the earth video game, but I’m the player who never became involved in it enough with my consciousness that I ignored the room I was sitting in so to speak. This is a pre-birth decision. An intention that had a lot to do with the purpose I intended for my life. But that pre-birth decision (being a point of attraction) then attracted many conditions that disabled me from closing my awareness to the other dimensions of this universe; conditions like zodiac arrangement, genetics, the way my brain and body was formed and the list goes on.
It is funny that from a physical perspective, those like myself, who are born clairvoyant, are considered to have a special ability where as from non-physical perspective those who are born clairvoyant are seen to have chosen a convenient disability. Disability is not seen as a misfortune though from a non-physical perspective. In the years to come, science will point to a great many factors that cause people to be extrasensory. In truth, these are all just manifestations of the choice to not close the eyes to other dimension in order to open the eyes to the physical dimension. Of course the fully story about why we collectively felt the need to close our eyes to other dimensions and be fully physical goes much further than what I have just described. But it is important to know that from source perspective, nothing has gone wrong if you can’t see auras, in fact, something has gone right. We are only now evolving into the collective desire and need to be able to perceive multi dimensional realities.
Whenever we want something that is not coming to us, we must ask ourselves if there is something in our way. There is always a subconscious positive intention for the negative things we are experiencing. So we need to step way outside the box to see that not all of us may really truly want to see auras. For example, someone might be afraid that if they start seeing auras, they will go crazy or be seen as crazy by their family and peers. Someone else might be afraid that they wont be able to succeed at a corporate career. Someone else might be afraid that if they see auras, they might start to see scary things along with it too. So before you watch the rest of this video, ask yourself honestly, why might I not want to see auras? What is the subconscious positive intention I have for not seeing them?
So, you’ve done all of that… Now, let’s explore how to see auras.
Let’s differentiate between seeing auras and perceiving auras. All people incarnated on this earth come with a predisposition towards perceiving things that are beyond the senses in a certain way. The primary ways people perceive extrasensory information is by feeling it emotionally, feeling it physically, seeing it, and knowing it. It is best to figure out how you already naturally perceive extrasensory things and to capitalize on that. What I mean by this is that some people find it natural to feel auras emotionally, some people will find it natural to physically feel them, some people will find it natural to see them and others will find it natural to know what they look like and contain without even seeing or feeling them. As you get better and better at perceiving auras, you will be able to perceive the aura in all of these ways. But people, who are obsessed with seeing auras, often close themselves down to perceiving auras because they are so focused on seeing them that they ignore the way they already do perceive them. We can capitalize on the way we already perceive auras and practice perceiving them in that way more and more and when we do that, a funny thing happens that I call “the spill over effect”. Once we have allowed ourselves to fully perceive the aura in the way that comes most naturally to us, our other faculties of perception begin to open and we begin to perceive the aura in other ways as well. For example, when we notice that we feel auras and so we practice feeling them even more, we may one day suddenly see our first aura because we have become so open that the only way for our being to become more open, was to become clairvoyant.
Seeing the aura is just one way to perceive the aura. Look for the ways you most naturally perceive energy and get even better at that. Work with the ability you already have. Develop that talent even more and it will spill over so that you will begin to see auras. Most people feel the aura long before they see the aura.
There are some techniques that will help you to see auras easier. Using these techniques will help you to become familiar with the feeling of “tuning into” auras. Doing these exercises first will help you to be able to “tune into” auras all the time and see them, no matter what the circumstance is. So to begin with we’re going to be very controlling about the variables. Have someone stand 6 feet to 10 feet away from you and against a white background. When you are just starting out, auras are much easier to see against a white background. If this is hard, try a black background because some people find it easier to see them against black instead of white. The key here is that you do not want to try to observe the aura against a backdrop that has any patterns in it.
The eye is designed to focus. It is through this focusing that the eye learns to ignore what is in its peripheral vision. Usually, like a camera, whatever you focus on is clear whereas whatever you don’t focus on is blurry. In order to begin to see auras, we need to become aware of what is out of focus to our eye. To do this, we pick a spot on the person’s upper body like a person’s third eye or a person’s Adam’s apple or their sternum. I find that focusing on the third eye, or the middle of their forehead works best for people learning how to see auras. Practice focusing hard on that one point on their body and then relaxing your focus with your eye muscles by mentally repeating relax in your head while consciously letting go of any tension in the muscles behind your eyes. It is much easier for the beginner to see auras when the muscles behind the eye are relaxed.
Now, without shifting your focus and without shifting the actual position of your eyes, shift your attention and awareness to what is out of focus. Shift your attention to what you are seeing with the periphery of your eyes. The scientific theory about why this works is that because of the shape of your eyes, you can see a different spectrum of light with the periphery of your vision than you can in your straight line of vision. The edges of your eyes can see a higher frequency of energy. I think this explains why it’s easier to see auras for the beginner in this way, but I can assure you that the better you get at perceiving auras, the easier it will be to look straight at auras and you will soon be able to perceive them in your straight line of vision, no matter how tense of relaxed your focus may be. When you do this exercise, you will begin to see a transparent energy, an electric buzz or a cloudy fog around the person’s shoulders and head. Most people see this energy as clear, whitish, silverish or bluish when they first begin. What you are actually perceiving is the mantle of the aura. The mantle of the aura is the perimeter of the auric field, which is like a white light. And most people only see this as a thin inch or two of energy around the body. Hues that are close to the blue spectrum and white spectrum are the easiest for the eye to see. Keep in mind that at first, the aura will look very transparent, like heat waves on a hot summer day. Once you see that transparent halo around a person, keep your attention exactly in that place and keep looking at it in exactly that way. Just notice and observe it. At first, this may feel tiring to your eyes. This is normal. As you keep looking at it, you are tuning into the frequency of perceiving it and in this universe, anything you give your attention to, you will get more of and so what you’ll start to notice is the aura will come more into focus and the mantle will begin to expand outward, making it seem like the aura is growing in size and you may start to see color appear closer to the skin as the mantle of the aura moves outward. Color may not be the only thing you perceive. You may start to see different textures or movements in it or patterns in it.
Some people can see the aura straight away with this technique; others take a few minutes to see it. Don’t get discouraged and stop trying if it doesn’t happen immediately. Learning to see auras is like learning to walk again. Turn it into a meditative practice, where you are open to observing for as long as it takes. Whatever we resist persists and this will help you to release enough resistance to not seeing the aura that you will begin to see it. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you and it doesn’t mean you are any less spiritual if it takes a long time for you to see auras.
You can learn to see your own aura by using this exact same technique, to begin, extend your hand out in front of you fully in front of you in front of a white or black background with your fingers comfortably apart and focus in the center of your hand then relaxing your focus and keeping it there while shifting your attention to the periphery until you begin to see that same haze in between your fingers and around your hand. You can also pull a mirror to a place where you are able to stand in front of a solid white or black background and repeat the exact same technique for seeing someone else’s aura, but with your own reflection in the mirror.
Seek to become as healthy and as present as possible with yourself. The more emotionally and physically and mentally healthy you are and the more present you are with yourself, the greater your level of peace. The greater your degree of peace, the more you will become like a pond of still water where you can see the world clearly reflected in it. The distortions will go away and there will be nothing between you and your perception of others. Most of my teachings and most of the spiritual teachings in the world are dedicated to teaching you how to do this. But seeing auras is only a party trick unless it becomes a part of a much deeper and more meaningful spiritual practice. You have to raise your frequency to be a match to frequencies that are vibrating at a higher and faster frequency than the physical dimension and a faster frequency than the subconscious mind. So ask yourself this question… What do I know I need to do to become healthier?
Let go of negative and positive judgment. If you wish to see auras, this is probably the most important spiritual practice you can commit to. Every time you criticize or judge something or say it’s no good or it is good, you are quantifying the world around you and as you do that, you restrict it to your expectation of it. You cannot see anything beyond it. The best way to say this is that the minute you judge something, you’ve become attached to whatever you are observing and thus you cannot be objective about it. This judgment is how you learned to ignore the non-physical world in the first place. Practice receiving energy from people and perceiving information about people without being affected by it. If you observe something impartially, you disengage from the physical world and so you can really see it.
Let go of the idea of right or wrong. This goes hand in hand with the last tip because right or wrong is a judgment. But it needs to be it’s own point because so many people discourage themselves back into a state of non-perception by wondering if they are seeing an aura right, or if they are seeing the right color. According to a person’s own vibration, they will perceive different things about the aura, even color. And guess what, they are all right.
For example, because of one person’s inclination, they may see the emotional aspect of someone’s aura as dominant and perceive a lot of orange in an aura where as another person, because of their inclination, may see the spiritual aspect of someone’s aura as dominant and perceive a lot of purple within an aura. The more objective you become in and of yourself, the better mirror you become for others and the clearer you become about them. You will then have a much fuller picture of the comprehensive totality of someone’s aura. But you are never wrong about what you see in an aura.
When you are ready to try to see auras around people or things no matter what background they are behind, go outside at dawn or dusk and pick a tree or a person that isn’t moving. Stand 30 yards away from them and look at the person’s third eye or at the top of the tree. Then move your eyes slightly to the right of the person or tree about where one o clock mark would be if they were standing in front of a clock. Then, staring at the area at one o clock mark around the person or tree, without moving your actual eyes, move your mental attention (that is mind’s eye only) back to the person’s forehead or back to the top of the tree. And you will see the aura of the person or tree emanating from them. Essentially, you are receiving light at a different angle and because of this, you will be able to perceive different dimensions of energy.
Practice this technique for as long as you need and then begin to practice it at different times of day and practice it inside and outside. Doing this will cause you to become adept at tuning your own frequency to the frequency of auras and then gradually, you will be able to see these energy fields all the time without needing to do any specific technique.
The more you practice becoming aware of the aura, the more clearly you will perceive the aura. Like anything you practice, your ability to see auras will just keep getting better and better. And then, auras will become a muti-sensory experience, which will expand your understanding of, and wisdom about the universe around you even more.
Welcome to the practice of spirituality. For thousands of years, it was believed that to get to the spiritual level of reality, the hallmark of which was the soul, you had to separate yourself from your body, separate yourself from your emotions and separate yourself from your mind. We missed the truth that was right in front of our noses. The truth is, there is nothing but the spiritual level of reality. There is nothing but soul. The spirit or soul manifests itself in the form of thoughts, it manifests itself in the form of emotions and it manifests itself as body. Therefore, the more in touch we become with our mind, emotions and body, the deeper we penetrate the spiritual. Your emotions, thoughts and physical structure must be integrated into your life if you wish to progress. But how many spiritual teachers have you listened to that have told you that you need to disconnect from these aspects of yourself to become enlightened or to feel good? The answer is way too many. And the aspect of embodiment that most of them seem to be the most concerned with separating from is the mind. Many of us on the spiritual path have taken spiritual bypassing to a whole new level. Not only are we trying to bypass negative thoughts; we are trying to bypass our mind entirely.
It is a spiritual truth that you are not your mind you are not your emotions and you are not body because you are more. And yet you are your mind, you are your emotions, you are your body because you have manifested as all of those things. And these things are not your enemies. Your mind is not an antagonist you were born with that is intent on keeping you away from enlightenment. Guess what? Your mind wants enlightenment and it wants to stop suffering just as bad as the rest of you does. It is actually helping you to do that in the only way that it knows how.
Just like a child, the mind is deeply knowing in some ways and is naïve in other ways. Ask a three year old to help you to clean up a mess. Chances are, as good as the child’s intentions are, they are going to smear the stain deeper into the carpet. They don’t know how to clean up the mess yet. Your mind is like that. Often the thing it thinks is helping you is actually hurting you. Your mind has learned how to operate from your parents. It only knows as much as they know about what works and what doesn’t work. That means that if your mother thought (even on a subconscious level) that worrying worked, your brain learned that worrying was the correct way to operate. And the thing is, a body can procreate, when the mind is still in a state of infancy or even completely unconscious. Your parents can give birth to you, even if their minds do not know the difference between a beneficial way to operate and a painful way to operate.
How many times have you heard statements like these: “Calm your mind”, “Your mind is like a monkey or a wild horse, it’s your job to tame it”, “Don’t listen to your mind”, “Don’t believe your mind”, “The mind is Mara”, “Your mind makes you lose touch with the present moment, don’t let it”, “Thoughts will only lead you in circles”, “Your thoughts are not your own.” “Your mind is your instrument, learn to be it’s master and not it’s slave”. “Your mind is not the real you”, “If you correct your mind, the rest of you will fall into place.” Your life is difficult because your mind is undisciplined”. “The biggest obstacles in our lives are the barriers our mind creates.” Etc. Basically there is a feeling among people, which trickles out into spiritual teachings, that the mind is somehow against us and against our progression and is deliberately hurting us. This belief causes us to treat our minds like the enemy. We develop extreme resistance to our own minds. This is torture because we cannot escape from our mind. It is like living with an enemy inside our own skin. We resist the mind to our own peril because instead of becoming whole, we split ourselves apart and and try to separate from that part of ourselves. We need to be very conscious of what causes us to have resistance to our own mind and gravitate towards practice that facilitates an embracing kind of harmonious union with our mind rather than a separation or divorce from our mind.
Your mind is not your enemy. It was created for a reason. The mind molds the energy in this universe into form. It takes what was potential energy and makes it become actuality. It molds the clay of this universe into form. It creates a world that you can perceive and also the faculties to perceive. The mind is the artist. The mind holds much of the responsibility for the creation of the you that you call by your name. Everything you love in this life, is a manifested thought. Therefore, everything you love about this life owes itself to mind.
I think it is sad that we feel collectively as a species like the only thing that is valid to nurture is a child. We can all somehow understand how a child needs to be loved and validated. But we cannot connect to the idea that an adult needs the same thing. But because we have this conceptual disconnect, I’m going to stick with our current understanding. I have talked about the concept that the emotional self is like a child, needing to be valued and held and nurtured. But we need to see that the mind is also like a child, needing to be valued and held and nurtured. The mind would not speak if it did not think it had something important to share with you. It wants you to hear it.
Instead of separating yourself from your mind, embrace your mind. It is self loving and it is the opposite of self abandonment, especially when your mind is causing you to feel pain. When your mind is doing something that causes you pain like worrying or focusing on painful beliefs, see this as the mind hurting. Do what you would do with a child that is hurting… Help it into a better feeling state.
You can do this in four straightforward steps.
Become aware of what you are thinking about or paying attention to. Notice and name what it is that the mind is doing… Let’s call this step recognition.
Care compassionately about what you are thinking and what your mind is doing by seeing it as valid and important, do not judge the thoughts you are thinking as right or wrong to be thinking. Seek to understand your own thoughts instead of to agree or disagree with them.
Acknowledge and validate your thoughts. To acknowledge and validate your thoughts, you do not need to validate that the thoughts you have are correct, instead you need to let your mind know that it is an ok thing and a valid thing to have those thoughts. It is understandably WHY it would have those thoughts. For example, if your mind starts thinking of worst-case scenarios, you do not validate those thoughts by saying to your mind “you’re right those things are definitely going to happen”. You could validate your mind by saying “ I see that you are worrying, I can totally understand why you are thinking about the worst case scenario, because you want to be prepared.”
After and only after your thoughts have been recognized and acknowledged and validated, help the mind in a loving way to focus on something that feels better to focus on. This is the point at which it is appropriate to use any techniques designed to steer thought or change thought or stop thought. I like to teach people to imagine their mind either in their head or in the space around them or above them and imagine enfolding their mind in a warm, loving light in the color of their choice, like a comforting embrace. This works especially good for people who worry or who feel like they are the victim of chronic negative thought.
We need to acknowledge the mind as valid and loved before it will be ready to move with us up the vibrational scale and into a thought space that feels better. You are not here to fix your mind any more than you are here to fix a child. You are here to love it and guide it. You are here to love and guide it into a state where it is integrated with you and is helping facilitate your happiness and purpose and expansion and progression here. Once you have compassionately acknowledged and validated your thoughts as valid to think and you are feeling like the mind would appreciate being helped into alignment, there are many techniques we could use. The first is to question the thoughts you are thinking. This is not the same as invalidating your thoughts. It is showing you that you do not have to be afraid of what you think. It is helping you to become constricted by the pain of the idea of truth. My favorite technique for doing this was actually created by Byron Katie. Her process is called “The work”. I highly suggest trying it as a tool for lovingly questioning your thoughts.
Meditation is a technique that works for stopping thought or guiding the mind. These meditations could be guided if you enjoy guided meditations more than solo meditations.
You could sit down and deliberately change your beliefs. For anyone interested in a process to change beliefs, I made a video on YouTube called “How to change a belief”. You can refer to that video for an idea about how to go about doing that.
You could use your mind like a tool to move your way up the vibrational scale by using the feeling of relief to guide you deliberately towards the better feeling thought and the better feeling thought. For example, if you’re sick, you could think of any thought that causes you to feel better about being sick.
You could take out your positive aspects journal and begin to write down anything that feels good to think about relative to any specific subject that is causing you pain. Or else you could write down positive aspects about the room you’re sitting in or the day you’re having. You could do a feel good scavenger hunt. To do this, you pretend you’re like a small child hunting for Easter eggs. But instead of finding Easter eggs, you’re looking for things that cause you to feel better when you look at them. So if I’m driving, I might say “I like the way the light reflects off the car”. “I like the fact that cars let us get places fast”. “I like the way the music sounds in the speakers”. “I like the color of the steering wheel”. “I like the feeling of humor in my body when I see the driver next to me picking his nose”. There are so many techniques designed to get your mind to work with you instead of against you that I could never list them all. The point of this process though is not to “deal with the mind” as if it is an unwanted burden or an antagonist that is getting in your way. It is to in fact give the mind something else to work with. Something that feels better to work with.
I want you to start to think of your mind as the sculptor of your life. It can only work with the energy you are feeding it; the same way that your body can only work with the food you are feeding it. Focusing on things that feel good to focus on, like beautiful things or things to appreciate or words of affirmation is like giving a sculptor pristine, warm clay to work with. Focusing on things that feel painful to focus on, like horror films or things to criticize or painful words is like giving a sculptor molded and cold clay to work with and shape. Obviously what that sculptor would create, would be much different than a sculptor who was given pristine, warm clay to work with. This is super important when we consider that this sculptor is molding your life.
Now that we have covered that, there is an idea that the only way to reach the present moment, is to separate from the mind. I disagree completely. The goal is not to become fractured or separated out to enter the present moment. The mind often will not enter the present moment because it is afraid of the present moment. It has experienced hurt in the present moment before. If you do what is needed to help the mind or to let the mind be less afraid of the present moment, the mind will naturally enter the present moment with the rest of you. Trying to force it to be present is like throwing a frightened child into deep water.
In tandem with that, there is also an idea that people cling to which is that it is possible to calm the mind. In the spiritual field and in the psychology field we say “Calm your mind” all the time. The problem is that it isn’t actually possible to force your mind to be calm. All you can do, is offer it things like love and offer it things like different things to focus on or different thoughts to think, which allows the mind to come to a state, which is calm. But for the sake of expansion, let’s all ask ourselves, what is so bad about a mind that isn’t calm? What if I told you that the mind’s most natural state is not a state of calm.
The state of calm is only one state of mind and all states of mind are created equal so the calm state of mind is no more or less valuable than any other state of mind. The calm state of mind is no more or less spiritual than any other state of mind. Ask yourself these questions, what was the purpose of the mind when it was first created? If the mind had an important and beneficial role to play in life itself, what role would mind play?
Calm by definition means nearly or completely motionless. But the mind is the artist. It is no more natural for the mind to always be calm than it is for the artist to always be motionless. Motion and lack of motion both play an important role in the perceiving or conceiving and expressing of art. Energy movement is the medium of the mind. When the mind is calm, the mind is in a state of perception and has allowed other aspects of you to lead, like your heart; this is not a bad thing, it is a great thing. When the mind is calm, you can perceive your eternal essence. When the mind is calm, you can enjoy all the benefits of motionlessness.
Movement and non-movement both have a place in this universe. They both play a very spiritual role. The key is being able to consciously decide when to be motionless and when to embrace movement. We need to stop worrying about making the mind be calm. We only worry about the mind being calm, when we feel like the mind’s movements are agitated by negative thoughts. But that is not about calm or not calm, it is about what the mind is focused on. It is about giving the mind different clay to mold. We only worry about the mind being calm when its movements prevent it from perceiving. Everyone’s mind is a little different artist. I like to compare different minds to different dog breeds. For example, one person might have a mind like a Springer Spaniel; it has lots of energy and is happiest when it has an outlet of expression. It is happiest with movement. One person might have a mind like a pug. It is playful but it has an easy time settling down. One person might have a mind like a Golden retriever. It is only active when it has a project to do, the rest of the time, it allows the heart to lead. You get what I mean. And to realize enlightenment, you do not have to have a mind like a golden retriever. We have to stop trying to get our minds to be the same and instead work with the mind we do have in the way that suits it best so it can help us with what we truly want it to help us with. For example, if someone who has a mind like a springer spaniel wants to help their mind to step out of the way and allow their heart to lead, moving meditation like tai chi may be the best idea because it allows the mind to focus on a task so the heart can step forward. If we have what we consider to be a hyperactive mind, we should never try to force our mind to be calm. Instead, we need to give our mind what it needs so that it can come to a resting state. And trust your mind to let you know what it needs. Have you ever considered asking it? Next time you want to have a calm mind, ask your mind “what do you need in order to become calm?” I had a client ask his mind this and the answer he received was to run. So, he let his mind run. He just let it go crazy, almost like letting the reigns go on a horse or the leash go on a dog and let it do and think whatever it wanted with fierce vengeance. He appreciated his mind in the process of doing this and watched it with loving amusement. And soon, the thoughts slowed, the mind stopped racing and jumping this way and that and he was able to slip into the calmness of a deep meditative state for the first time in 5 years of trying.
It is time that we stop making an enemy of our mind in our spiritual practice. We cannot become whole and we are not living in accordance with oneness when we try to get away from the mind to become spiritual. Integration needs to happen on the level of mind as well as every other level of ourselves, we can’t do that if we’re trying to distance ourselves from our mind or dis-identify with our mind. See and treat your mind like your ally instead. Develop ways to include it in your spiritual practice and use it as a tool to assist your spiritual development. Work with it, instead of against it because even when it has unintentionally hurt you, it has been trying to work with you instead of against you all along.
A great many of my teachings are about how the mind creates the reality you live in. I teach people how to create their own reality. Many spiritual teachers do. The benefits of doing that are obvious. I’ve spoken about it in many videos and seminars and workshops. But what I want to talk to you about today is the shadow side of manifestation. The shadow side of “create your own reality”. I want to outline some common pitfalls that we might unintentionally tumble into once we have committed to the path of manifestation. Keep in mind that there is a lot of nuance in spiritual practice.
The first pitfall is that once we find out that we can make whatever we want to be true, become true for us, we will actually make true whatever we want to be true for us. We enter lala land. That may not at face value sound like such a bad thing. But take a look at the downside to this, if we have not fully questioned WHY we want something to be true, or WHY we want something to happen for us, we could be manifesting directly from our suppressed shadow side. For example, one woman who was an avid manifestation practitioner, but who was also an environmentalist, started dating a man who was an off-roading enthusiast. She loved this man, but the thing that was preventing her from being close to him was that he did not seem to care about harming the environment. He was not open to changing his principal past time so she was in an existential crisis. She decided that to be with him, she needed to have an open mind to off-roading. So she went with him on an off-roading trip. On the trip, they ended up killing a small sapling that was in the middle of one of their steepest routes and they ended up driving over some cryptogamic soil. She was thrown into a guilt spiral. She wanted desperately to be free of guilt. So she began to subconsciously and also consciously manifest proof that what she did wasn’t all that bad. Sure enough, she was a match to a meditation experience where she saw that death must occur for anything that is created and that the destruction of the environment was inevitable because it was created. She began to see proof that by adding to destruction, she was clearing the path for new creation and that death could not be wrong so inherently, killing cannot be wrong either. She was right. That is one perspective about destruction. But it is not the only perspective. It is not the only truth. And it is certainly not the full objective truth. She decided to invest further in the past time of off-roading in order to be close to her boyfriend.
Did any of that feel off to you? If the answer is yes, here’s why… You can manifest whatever you want to be true. She wanted it to be true that what she did wasn’t a bad thing. So she manifested proof of it. But the thing to consider is why did she want it to be true? Because A) she wanted to not feel guilty and B) she wanted to be close to her boyfriend. Instead of asking for those two things directly from the universe, she began to manifest justification for something being right that she in fact knew felt wrong to her. She was unaware completely of the shadow aspect behind why she wanted it to be ok to go off-roading. The shadow aspect must be COMPLETELY unveiled for a manifestation to actually be completely in alignment. A serial killer can convince himself that by killing women, he is keeping them safe from an even worse fate. He will be able to argue that this is true. He will make it true for himself. But does that make it objectively true? More importantly, is it healthy or in alignment for him to make that thing he wants to have be true, actually be true in his own reality?
Being able to convince yourself of anything is only as good a mental tool as it does. In order to really create well, you need to come out of denial and use the shadow to enhance the light. Use the awareness of what is unwanted to design your perfect life and move towards that instead of trying to change the unwanted into wanted. We need to question why we want to manifest the reality we want to manifest, especially the shadow reasons. This is how to avoid becoming a serial killer who can justify killing people because in his reality, he is keeping them safe.
The second pitfall is that often when we practice manifestation, we begin to disbelieve in objective truths that we don’t want to have be true for us. We go into a state of denial. For example, many of us don’t want to believe in danger. But danger exists for people on earth. We may not want to believe that children are sold as sex slaves but they are. We don’t want to believe that there is radiation in the ocean, but there is. We don’t want to believe that the holocaust happened but it did. We don’t want to believe that corporations sway the government, but they do. There’s a great many things that exist on earth that are real and objectively true that people don’t want to include in their subjective reality.
Is there an objective truth outside of subjective truth? Yes. Everyone and everything’s subjective truth combined into one big picture is objective truth. To be aware and enlightened, we need to remain open to seeing that truth. Regardless of how tempting it may be, you cannot progress on the spiritual path and live your life inside a bubble reality made for only one. It is a disconnection. We live in a consensus reality. Even though we absolutely can create a reality that is separate from everyone else’s reality, we came here to this consensus reality to co-create, not exempt ourselves from the co-creation. Why might I say the opposite to someone who is in a state of victimization and why might you hear me contradict this last statement while talking to someone in the future by telling them to “create your own reality without caring what is objectively true?” I might do that because they are currently thinking they have no hand in creating reality. They are powerless. But that is not where the truth ends.
Ask yourself these questions, is it a virtue to disconnect from the consensus reality to the degree that you are not even experiencing the same things as anyone else? How do we maintain a view of objective reality while living in our own subjective realities? Last week, I was over at someone’s house and I saw multiple low vibrational beings there, feeding off of someone’s energy field. But the owner of the house is a positive focus junkie who is unaware of the suppressed shadow aspects of himself. Because of his ‘everything is awesome’ vibration, he could not perceive them. The fact that he couldn’t perceive them does not mean that they weren’t there. It just means that he could not perceive them being there.
You could ask why it is important to see what is there if it is unpleasant. I will tell you that awareness is the answer. Consciousness is the answer. When we discovered enlightenment and discovered how to create our own reality and started teaching it to each other, we did not mean create your own reality by willingly becoming ignorant. I will tell you that it is important to open up and become aware enough to see all of what is there, the FULL picture. Not just half of the picture. Not just the light half and not just the dark half. What causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the light half. Not that they see the dark half. Likewise, what causes many of us pain is that our eyes are closed to the dark half, not that we see the light half.
We need to expand on the idea that ‘create your own reality’ can lead us into the pitfall of denial. Mankind is one of the species on earth that is the most objectively self-aware. This has its upsides and it’s downsides. One upside is, with such a strong sense of “self”, enlightenment is often realized in human form. One down side is, with such a strong sense of self, there is strong motivation to have a positive sense of self and world, this means anything about the self or world that is perceived as negative is often denied.
The human consciousness becomes unaware of what is negative because the human consciousness has developed many beliefs which have made negative not ok. When we make something “not ok” we cannot admit to its existence. We must think we are good to such a degree that we cannot open up our vision wide enough to recognize aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment. Denial prevents us from moving forward as a species because we cannot even admit to what there is to transform. Denial is so much a part of the human consciousness since our species gained the ability to objectively conceptualize of identity, that denial is now a self-preservation function of the human brain. Denial is a defense mechanism. It is fascinating to me (when I am not directly suffering because of it) that human consciousness tries to protect itself from itself.
Why are we unable to admit to an obvious truth we see? I suppose I should say, why, (when we are in denial) is obvious truth not obvious to us? Denial allows the ego to protect itself from things that the ego is convinced it cannot cope with. For example, if we are attached to the idea of being the best mother, we usually develop extreme resistance to the idea of not being a good mother. We feel as if we cannot cope with the possibility that we are not a good mother. This is where denial kicks in. The ego protects you from objectively seeing yourself because of the potential of pain. It sweeps the times you were a “bad mother” under the rug and only allows you to selectively remember the times when you were a “good mother”. You have stopped seeing the truth of yourself objectively. Your reality now consists only of what you want to believe. You have whitewashed over everything unsightly. A great many manifestation experts would tell you “good because your reality should only consist of what you want to believe is true”. I do not agree. I think your reality should consist of things you want to make true for yourself and beliefs that work for you whilst being acutely aware that other equal truths do exist in this world.
Many of our spiritual practices are in fact not spiritual practices, they are excuses not to see or feel certain things that down deep we are afraid exist or are true. We call this spiritual bypassing, which is the next pitfall. Selective focus for the purpose of manifestation is not the same thing as denial. But selective focus for the purpose of manifestation serves as a very good excuse to go into a state of denial. You do not have to deny something to validate something else.
Denial is not only about flat out rejection of an evident truth. It is also about minimizing the importance of something that is already evidently true in your reality. If we are bypassing by denying or suppressing something, it means we are resisting something. So by encouraging someone to bypass, deny or suppress, we encourage them to resist. We need to allow and explore whatever we feel the need to deny, even if it is just a possibility. The longer we are in denial, the harder it is to come out of it. It is possible to positively focus on something without denying the negative.
The rule of thumb is that if we have extreme resistance to the idea of something being true, we are probably in denial about something. And the more committed we are to AVOIDING our painful emotions, the more in denial we will be. We need to practice non-aversion.
A very common thing to see in the manifestation community is people putting a positive spin on everything. While doing that can help you to see the full picture, and discover the more objective truth behind what happened to us (and thus not get stuck in negativity), positive focus should not be used to avoid or whitewash over the negative side of the picture. When we do this, we are using positive focus as an analgesic. This is symptom relief, not real and lasting change. Our car broke down because we were supposed to see the pretty sunrise. We are smoking pot because it expands our consciousness. We are proud that our friend stabbed us in the back because she was getting her suppressed anger out. Our mother was a good mom to have because her addictions helped us to find out who we really are. We ignored our own intuition about going somewhere dangerous because we were the hero that was meant to ward off the bad guy. There is a very big difference between creating the kind of world we would prefer (which involves admitting to the full truth of how the world is currently for us) and covering a murder scene with yellow paint so it does not feel so bad. Are you manifesting an improved world for yourself and others? Or are you manifesting yellow paint?
The third pitfall is spiritual bypassing. Spiritual bypassing is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs. Never has a spiritual belief system been invented that opens the door to spiritual bypassing wider than ‘you create your own reality’. Rather than go on a spiritual bypassing tangent, I will simply suggest that you watch my You Tube video titled “spiritual bypassing”.
The fourth pitfall is that Manifestation allows you to step into a judgmental state that is void of empathy and compassion because you have convinced yourself that people bring painful experiences onto themselves. I’m not going to go easy on this one. How many times have you heard the following… “They brought on their cancer. They are choosing to be depressed and focus negatively. They created poverty. They could just as easily change their mind and create something different”. It is easy to convince yourself that people either want to experience the painful things they are experiencing, or that they are ignorant to creating their own reality and that’s why they are experiencing painful things. This is a disconnection in and of itself from others. And a kind of piousness. Just because someone was a match to cancer because of thoughts or childhood pain, doesn’t mean they deserve the cancer and doesn’t mean that the cancer is not real. It also does not mean that they are deliberately consciously choosing it. Much of what occurs in people occurs subconsciously and to act like it is just a matter of attachment to pain or stubbornness or ignorance that makes someone create negative experiences in their reality, makes it feel terrible to spend time around you. Just because you know that you can create your own subjective reality that feels good to you all the time, does not mean that others (who do not currently know that or who have not perfected that art) are less evolved or less spiritual or are choosing to be attached to their pain and egos. In other words, the fourth pitfall is the risk of invalidating people, trivializing people’s experiences and loosing compassion by becoming an egotistical and holier than thou manifester.
The fifth pitfall of manifestation is the avoidance of negativity. Once people learn that they create their own reality, the very next step people take is to avoid all things negative. You can’t think it if it’s negative, you can’t look at it if it’s negative, you can’t acknowledge it if it’s negative, you can’t do it if it’s negative or else you will create negative things in your reality. When we teach people to use their emotional guidance system by following their joy, people do set themselves free to create the reality that they envision. But the trap of this particular path is that all other emotions become “unacceptable” and one runs from unacceptable feelings.
Denial keeps these unacceptable feelings out of one’s consciousness. While our emotions are a guidance system, they are absolutely not guiding us to avoid all things negative. Suppression and denial of the negative abounds as a result of create your own reality. We avoid our entire shadow side. You don’t need me to tell you just how dangerous that is. Suppression and denial will do nothing but make your shadow larger and make it manifest even more intensely externally, regardless of how aware or unaware you may be of those manifestations.
The sixth pitfall is that critical thinking (not to be confused with criticism) goes right out the window. The baby goes out with the bathwater. Critical thinking is the act of awakening the intellect to the study of itself. It is an open-minded stance. Critical thinking allows us to see multiple viewpoints before deciding what is actually in alignment to manifest. Many manifestation gurus are directly opposed to critical thinking. But the reason they are opposed to it is because you can and will manifest proof for anything you believe and then call it reasonable proof or reasonable thinking. But I happen to be of the opinion that our capacity for critical thinking actually makes us better at manifesting. It means we can develop awareness of all viewpoints before deciding a course of action in terms of creation. The more information we have, the better decisions we make. The more awareness we have, the better chance that our manifestations will be in alignment manifestations instead of out of alignment manifestations.
The seventh pitfall is never being able to access the present moment. If we are always focused on creation, we are never in a state of stillness and peace. We never really truly experience the now-ness of life or how the now-ness of life feels. We are never really present with ourselves. When we are using the unwanted to move towards the wanted, we are in a state of perpetual movement, always after the next best thing. This can be a kind of suffering in and of itself. It also makes it so you cannot fully be present with someone else unconditionally as they are right here and now so it can be a barrier to intimacy. If we are living only for what is coming and if we are living in our own LaLa land, we cannot really connect with other people. We can potentially even manifest a reality where we cannot really relate to them and they cannot really relate to us.
We need to practice present moment mindfulness and embracing what is, along with manifestation. We need to stop using manifestation to avoid the current state of ourselves and instead join ourselves in the now with our own unconditional presence. If you are interested in expanding on this concept, I suggest watching my YouTube videos titled Spirituality 2.0 and Spirituality 3.0. Even the most exquisite spiritual methodologies can become traps of unconsciousness. You are practicing the art of manifestation. It is a practice that is full of nuances and complimentary contradictories. As frustrating as it is to navigate that minefield with no real solid truth to hold on to, it is an art form that brings you back to the awareness of being the infinite creator and teaches you to sculpt reality itself.
Some of us are fortunate to have had the experience of a good feeling life. Others of us have had more painful experiences in our lives than we have had good feeling experiences. As a result, we have a limited experience with positive feeling states. When this is the case, it is difficult for us to feel positive feeling states because they seem alien to us. We know we want them, but we don’t know how to create them for ourselves. Here’s an example, if we have had the experience of feeling unsafe as children, chances are that we are so acclimatized to the feeling of danger that we don’t know what safe even feels like. Or if we have been disappointed over and over, we may settle into a feeling state of pessimism to the degree that we do not know what optimism or joy feels like. When people tell us to do what makes us feel safe or to do what makes us feel joy, we find ourselves confused. Everyone else seems to think it is so easy, but we feel like we’ve just been told to solve one of Einstein’s equations without a single science or math class under our belt. The problem is that we keep trying to work with what we don’t have instead of what we do have.
We have to drop the idea that we have to know what the thing we want to feel actually feels like in order to feel it. We don’t have to know what happiness or love or optimism or safety actually feels like in order to get to the point that we feel it. Instead, we need to find the feeling of the experience that we think might be the closest to that thing we want to feel. And we need to consider all feeling states that we currently know, whether they be physical or emotional or both.
Every little feeling is unique, like a signature. The way it feels for you to be kissed by someone you have a crush on feels a very specific way in your body physically and emotionally. And it feels differently to be kissed by someone you have a crush on than it does to be hugged by a friend as they are saying goodbye. These individual feelings, though we may give them names, are ultimately something we feel. We know and remember them by how they uniquely feel inside our body. I call these feeling states, feeling signatures. Right now I want you to close your eyes and imagine eating a lemon in as much detail as possible. What just happened to your body? You probably felt that reaction to sourness in the back of your jaw, like a sharp cramp. You probably started salivating a bit. Your body reacts as if you are really eating the lemon. But open your eyes. You aren’t eating a lemon. You experienced the feeling signature of eating a lemon. That means your body does not know the difference between what you are thinking about and what is really happening. And we can use that exact mechanism to our advantage.
Here’s an example, when I escaped at nineteen after years of torture, I had no example of what safe felt like. When people asked me “what makes you feel safe”, honestly I felt confused and a bit ashamed because people expected that I should know what safety felt like and I didn’t. Because I didn’t know what safe felt like, I asked myself what I imagined it might feel like. I figured that if I ventured a guess, safety would feel somewhat cozy. So I thought to myself. “I don’t know what safe feels like, but what feels the most cozy of anything I’ve ever felt before?” When I looked back through the years and through all of the feeling signatures that I had experienced up to that point, I discovered that I felt the most cozy when I was sitting down in front of a steaming warm bowl of creamy, thick soup. When I closed my eyes, I could imagine that feeling of coziness. That feeling had it’s own feeling flavor; it’s own feeling signature. It was a sensation in my body that made me feel like everything was ok. And so, I focused on taking that feeling and spreading it throughout my whole body. I discovered that I could create that feeling of being filled with the feeling of warm cozy soup no matter where I was or what I was doing. That feeling became my resource for feeling safe. From then on, if I felt unsafe because I was triggered, I would imagine that feeling of soup and I would spread it throughout my entire body and out into my auric field as if it was not only in me, but also around me like a cocoon.
Two years go I was working via correspondence with a man who was in prison and had been for almost ten years. He wanted to feel free, but he had no idea what freedom felt like. When I asked him to venture a guess at what freedom might feel like, or when he thinks he felt the closest to freedom ever, he told me it was when he was riding his motorbike across the country. When I asked him to imagine that feeling as if he was doing that right now, he could feel that feeling of expansiveness and being without burden and the feeling of being untouchable and invincible in his body. He had found the feeling signature. I told him to spread that feeling (as if that feeling itself was a substance) through his whole body and out so that it surrounded him. For him, that feeling was his resource for feeling free. Even though he was not currently on a motorbike, he was in a jail, when he imagined that feeling, his body did not know the difference between where he actually was and where his mind was telling him that he was. It responded accordingly. From then on, any time he felt powerless to a security guard or another inmate and any time he felt stuck and imprisoned, he would conjure up that feeling of being on his motorbike and spread it through his whole body. Because of this, he was less combative and ended up getting his sentence reduced significantly. Long story short, we need to work with the resources we do have and the experiences we do have when we are trying to experience a feeling state that we have no experience with. I want to mention though that we do not have to have directly experienced things exactly in order to use the feeling state of it. For example, I may never have pet a unicorn in real 3-d life, but imagining the feeling of doing that may be the closest reference that I have to joy. I may not have ever been floating through space, but imagining floating through space, might be the closest feeling to being stress free for me. So we can use feeling states that we have actually experienced in our 3-d life, or things we have experienced the feeling of imagining in our 3-d life. Your imagination is literally the limit because there is no way to do this wrong. Now as it applies to your own life, think about the feeling state that you want to have. Maybe it’s love or abundance or friendship or self esteem.
What do you imagine that feeling state you want to experience might feel like?
When do you remember feeling the closest to that feeling? What experience or circumstance do you imagine might feel the closest to that feeling?
Imagine that experience or circumstance in as much detail as you possibly can. Make it real to yourself as if you were experiencing it right now. When you feel the sensation of that specific feeling signature, imagine spreading it through your entire body and out into your aura so that it is not only inside you but also around you like a cocoon. Spend as much time there as you need. Eventually you will not need to close your eyes to perform this exercise. Realize that you can call on this feeling experience at any time by imagining it. Just like a medicine you can use it any time you feel the need for it. Another perk to using this exercise is that in a universe that essentially functions as a mirror hologram, when you focus on those feeling states that feel the closest to what you want to experience, you are a match to them being mirrored in your reality. In other words, the more I imagine the coziness of soup with the desire to experience safety, the more experiences that mirror and reflect and match the vibration of coziness come to me and thus, the safer I feel and the safer I feel, the more experiences that feel like safety happen to me and then I will know what safety really is and really feels like.
You may not know what friendship feels like, but you may know the feeling of having a cat curl up on your lap. You may not know what trust feels like, but you may know what it feels like to imagine being held by Jesus and to know that he will always have your best interest at heart. You may not know what joy feels like, but you may know what it feels like to lay in the grass at sunset, listening to the crickets. You may not know what confidence feels like, but you may know what it feels like to get to experience a victory on your favorite video game. It is an empowering thing to realize that you are not at the mercy of the way you currently feel. It is empowering to realize that you do not have to know what something like happiness feels like, to get to the place where you feel happiness. You can work with what you do know instead of what you don’t know to feel the way you want to feel in this life.
You’ve been in that situation where you’re looking at the person who is upset at you thinking “now isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Projection is the ultimate form of hypocrisy. But most of us don’t understand the mechanism of projection or how to stop doing it ourselves. Hence why we are having this discussion today.
We are born whole, but that wholeness is short lived because we are relationally dependent. Being born relationally dependent into families that socialize us into a society that is not fully evolved yet, spells trouble. Basically we learn that some aspects of ourselves are acceptable, and others are not. What is acceptable vs. unacceptable depends on the perspective of the family you’re born into. The aspects of us that are seen as unacceptable (both positive and negative) are rejected by our family and the aspects that are seen as acceptable are not. So, being relationally dependent, in the name of survival, we do anything we can to disown and deny and suppress those aspects in ourselves that are disapproved of whilst exaggerating those that are approved of. We dissociate from what we disapprove of. This creates a split within the person that we call the conscious and the subconscious. This self-preservation instinct is in fact our first act of self-rejection.
For example, a child is born into a family where anger is not an ok emotion to express. When the child gets angry, they are shamed for that anger so the child suppresses and denies their anger for the sake of survival within the household. But the anger doesn’t go away. They just consciously deny it. It becomes subconscious. As an adult, this person will most likely not have any awareness that they have any anger in them at all. They will not and cannot see themselves clearly because they have denied that aspect of themselves. So when people tell them that they are angry, they will not relate to that at all. They will probably only relate to themselves as easy going. When we deny, suppress or disown something, it doesn’t disappear. It just fades from our awareness. To acknowledge it, brings up the same fear of rejection and so it makes us feel like we are going to die… No wonder self-awareness isn’t so easy to attain. Every human in existence that was ever socialized (which is everyone), went through this process of splitting themselves into parts. Parts that are owned and parts that are disowned. This self-rejection is the birth of self-hate. The emptiness that we feel is the result of those missing rejected or disowned parts of our self. And the soul wants one thing, to make us whole again. We will be provided every single opportunity to become whole again. But in order to become whole again, we need to see and accept the aspects of ourselves that we disowned and denied and rejected. This is painful. Self-awareness does not come naturally to those who avoid pain because to become aware of those aspects, you must stop trying to escape the pain and emptiness within you where those missing parts should be. So where does projection come into all of this? We often overcompensate for whatever trait we have denied. For example, the person who suppressed the aspect of themselves that is a striver, becomes apathetic. The person who suppressed the aspect of themselves that was apathetic, is such a striver, they excel at everything.
So what do we do? We attract people into our lives who mirror BOTH extremities within us, so that we can have the opportunity be aware of our own dichotomy. The law of attraction responds to both extremes. We are a perfect match to them, even though they seem to be the opposite of us, because that denied self is still part of us and is still therefore, subject to the law of attraction. But our partners (or those that are the very closest to us) tend to be our opposing mirror. They reflect the attribute we suppressed and we reflect the aspect that they suppressed. This means the person who is apathetic will end up with a success freak and both of them will be caused pain by the other because each is a reminder of the rejected aspect of themselves. They reflect to each other, each of their lost selves.
The crucial thing to understand is that we can see the things in other people that we are totally unaware of in ourselves. This is the essence of projection. When we see negative aspects of ourselves that we denied in other people, it causes us to feel triggered. We have the same reaction to it that we had to it in us long ago. Reject it, hate it, get rid of it, avoid it!
When we see positive aspects of ourselves that we denied in other people, it causes us to fall in love. It feels like our opportunity to become more whole. We want more of it. We become addicted to it. We glorify it and put it on a pedestal and even idolize it. This is what is happening when you see crowds of screaming girls at Justin Bieber concerts. They are all projecting the positive aspects that they have disowned in themselves, onto him. Mostly a sense of significance and sexuality, which they of course disowned in order to be good, obedient, humble little girls who obeyed their parents. The main characteristic of the disowned or denied self is its complete invisibility to you. And it’s complete visibility to other people. Guess what? This is how it is supposed to work if you’ve suppressed an aspect of your wholeness. You are supposed to not be able to see it in yourself and only see it in others. So projecting doesn’t make someone wrong or bad. It makes them normal.
Any extreme aversion to a trait in another person is a reflection of the level of rejection you developed towards that trait or the potential of that trait within yourself. The more we hate something in someone else, the more we rejected it within our self long ago. The more we love something in someone else, the more we disowned it in our self long ago. Now there is a misunderstanding when it comes to projection. The current concept of projection suggests that someone who is projecting, is projecting their own denied self onto someone who doesn’t have those traits at all. But projection is a two way street. Often what we project onto someone IS actually a trait that they possess as well and we only recognize it because it causes a flare up of the wound of that rejected aspect within ourselves. Also, to have someone project upon us, we have to be a vibrational match to that experience, meaning that the experience of being projected upon is also reflecting something that is being denied within ourselves.
On that note, it must be said that projection has become the biggest, most obnoxious cop out and deflection technique of all time. It’s a really good way to never have to take an objective look at yourself to simply say “you’re projecting” to anyone who approaches you with a negative aspect that they see in you.
You cannot consciously see someone clearly until you are completely conscious of yourself. If you aren’t, you will continue to see everyone through the filter of your own subconscious mind. Every time we cop out of looking at ourselves by saying “you’re just projecting” we miss the opportunity to see ourselves clearly and we miss the opportunity to see our world and each other clearly.
Every one of us projects. Every one of us becomes aware of what we have rejected and dissociated into the subconscious through its external reflection, whether that thing is positive or negative. Our goal should not be to stop projecting. Our goal should be to become as self aware as we possibly can be, and our extreme negative and extreme positive reactions to others, are the perfect opportunity to do develop self-awareness. Also, the more we reject something in someone else, the more we perpetuate our own wounding because in rejecting or disapproving of that thing in them, we are re-rejecting and re-disapproving of it in ourselves.
How to uncover your current self-rejection by using projection to your advantage:
In order to stop the process of self-rejection, we need to do two main things, the first is to find approval for those aspects of other people that we currently have a strong negative emotional reaction to. The second is that we need to start giving the positive aspects we love in others, room to express themselves in us.
1. Look at negative traits that you hate in others, especially in your partner. What bothers you in others?
2. Discover the positive intention behind the thing you hate. What is that trait trying to keep them safe from? What is its positive intention for being here? The answer of course is always going to be in line with trying to keep them from getting hurt.
3. Why was it dangerous to be the opposite of those negative traits? For example, if I’m lazy, why was it dangerous or not ok to be driven and motivated?
4. Recognize that no matter how much you want to deny it, these traits are a mirror of what you’ve rejected in yourself. The more you’re trying to protect yourself from yourself, the more the aspects you hate in others, will look nothing like you. You will tell yourself, “I’m not that way at all.”
5. Be willing to choose to be vulnerable and open your mind to gain full awareness of how you are like the traits you dislike in other people, especially your partner, children and parents. There are two possibilities here. Either you are very much like those things you hate in others, or it is so buried and rejected in you that you NEVER do that same thing to a degree that is unhealthy. 6. If you are struggling with this, involve other people in the process. This is a humbling step to take I’ll warn you. A good way to tell if you have suppressed something within yourself is if it has been reported to you by more than one person. So think back on common complaints people have had about you. Another good idea is to have the people that are the closest to you write down your negative traits and take special notice of the things more than one person said. Especially pay close attention to the things people say about you that bother you.
7. Just as you did with your partner, ask why it was dangerous to be those negative traits for you? For example, why is it not ok to be lazy?
8. Begin to find approval for the traits that you dislike in others and in yourself. Without lying to yourself. You can’t say you like something you do not like. But there may be things about that negative trait that are positive that you do like. For example, a person who is cruel may have no problem caring what other people think of them.
9. Adopt the aspects of others that you hate that are suppressed aspects of yourself in a way that benefits you. This doesn’t mean become lazy or become cruel. What it means is, take time off, or quit saying yes to everyone. What is the positive aspect of someone who is lazy? They are not afraid to rest. So adopting that disowned aspect of yourself could take the form of you taking a rest. This will bring you closer to the state of wholeness.
You can do this entire process I’ve just described with positives as well. To do that, you simply need to figure out what you admire, envy or fall in love with in other people. Especially your partner, kids and idols. And discover the positive intention behind suppressing those things inside yourself. Discovery why it was dangerous to have those positive traits. For example, if I am lazy and I envy people who are driven and motivated, why was it dangerous or not ok to be driven and motivated growing up? Give yourself the opportunity to own and express more of those traits within your self in your day-to-day life.
Judgment doesn’t have to be such a bad thing. You can’t stop yourself from doing it by simply telling yourself to stop. What you can do is to use both your positive and negative judgments, most especially of your partner and those closest to you to discover and integrate what you’ve rejected in yourself. This causes our judgments to turn into observations. So, what do you judge?
Projection is the ultimate tool for self awareness and the ultimate way to avoid self awareness. It is a great tool to use, so long as we are willing to stop avoiding ourselves. We cannot be authentic if we remain fragmented and fractured, disowning and rejecting negative and positive aspects of ourselves. If you’re willing to be uncomfortable enough to fully see yourself (most especially what is missing from yourself), you are well along the way to authenticity and well along the way to wholeness.
Some people seem to have very thick skin. Now the verdict is out still about whether those people are quite literally unaffected by disapproval or whether they are just very adept at suppression. But some of us on the other hand, have thin skin. Like a bullet, every disapproving thought or word or action directed at us by others penetrates us straight to our core. We are more than affected by it. We feel destroyed by it. We would love to be unaffected by other people’s thoughts and words and actions, but let’s face it. We’re affected BADLY. If you’re that kind of person, this episode is for you. If you know that kind of person, this episode is for you.
If you really do care what other people think, telling yourself that you shouldn’t care or should stop caring what other people think isn’t going to make you actually stop caring what other people think. And if you know someone who cares what other people think, telling them they shouldn’t care or should stop caring what other people think, isn’t going to make them stop caring what other people think. Don’t we all wish it were this easy? Also, there’s a great many people who will say you have to stop letting what other people think hurt you, as if it’s a choice you are making to let them hurt you. If you care what other people think it is not a conscious choice to not be hurt by something someone says. And thinking that it is a conscious choice, will simply make you feel bad about feeling bad. In scientific experiments, laboratory animals, like rats, are conditioned using sugar pellets, and electric shocks. Sugar encourages a desired behavior. Electric shocks stop the animal from an undesired behavior. Humans are not different from rats. In fact, many of us were conditioned in similar ways. We were rewarded for desirable behavior with treats, and punished for undesirable behavior by for example being yelled at, which produces a physical response in the body that is almost identical to an electric shock. For some of us, there were big consequences when the people in our early lives disapproved of us. Our boundaries were violated. We were either hurt by incoming boundary violation, such as spankings or insults or shaming. Or outgoing boundary violation like time outs and parental withdrawal hurt us. I find that people who have the biggest issue with caring what other people think, were most often damaged by outgoing boundary violations. They were punished in ways that felt like abandonment as children. The message we learned is that we did not deserve love if we were not pleasing our parents and everyone else for that matter. This is a big issue when we remember that love is survival for the physical human, especially when we are relationally dependent on others like we are when we are children. To our little minds, disapproval meant death. When we grow up, it doesn’t change. Disapproval still means death. How do you stop caring whether people disapprove of you or not if disapproval means death. A lot of people will tell you to "stop taking it so personally," which is a dismissive cop-out that minimizes how you feel. But why do we take things personally? Because back when we were children, when we did something wrong, we were taught that we were bad. When we did something that our parents disapproved of, our parents disapproved of us as people, not just the action that upset them. We learned it really WAS about us. Doing something wrong, made us wrong. Doing something bad made us bad. So now, we have serious issues with rejection, disapproval and negative criticism because our self-esteem was and still is essentially dependent on approval. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he states that next to food water and shelter, love and belonging is the strongest need. No offense to Maslow, but I disagree. The single highest priority need for the human is actually love and belonging. This need is actually more of a priority than basic survival needs. How do I know this? Because when the physical human is deprived of love and belonging, they often stop eating and drinking and stop meeting their basic survival needs and sometimes go so far as to take their own life. Any of you who have had a particularly painful breakup know exactly what I mean. Before we go further, we need to ask ourselves, should we stop caring what other people think? I want you to ask that question of yourself, because I’m not going to claim to have the right answer to that question, but I think the answer is No. Try reversing the statement “I shouldn’t care what other people think” to “I should care what other people think”. How is it true? Also try reversing “I shouldn’t let what they say get to me” to “I should let what they say get to me”. How is that true?
If we stop caring what other people think and stop caring what other people think of us, we are meeting a distancing behavior (which is what disapproval is) with another distancing behavior. We separate ourselves from each other by not caring what each other thinks. We also deprive ourselves of the opportunity to see things from another perspective and we also deprive ourselves of the opportunity to see ourselves in a different light. Self-awareness will be much more difficult if we stop caring what other people think. So I think we should care what every person thinks and feels in our reality. We should not be belligerent or defiant to what other people think. That is just defense. But there is a difference between caring what other people think and letting our entire self-concept ride on what other people think. That there is the real problem. It's normal to be happy when praised or defensive when insulted but it isn’t healthy when someone’s insult spins us into self-doubt and self-hate. So what should we do? Here are ten steps to take if you care what other people think to the degree that what people think, puts you in a tailspin…
1. Acknowledge that you take everything personally, can’t take criticism, care what other people think and have terrible self-esteem. We can’t move forward until we admit to where we are. You would not believe how many people spend their lives trying to suppress and deny this truth about themselves because they think these truths are unacceptable. Ask yourself personally “Why do I care what other people think?” Not one person exists that doesn’t care what other people think. Everyone has at least one person whose opinion seriously matters to them. 2. We need validation. People assume that validation is the same things as praise or encouragement. It actually isn’t. Validation is to confirmation that something is logically or factually sound. Basically to validate someone is to say that they are truthful or right in their experience of a thing. Validation is the recognition and acceptance that your feelings and thoughts are true and real to you regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else. This develops a strong sense of self that is not dependent on other people. When we are children, validation from our parents helps us to feel and express our emotions, develop a secure sense of self, gain confidence, feel more connected to our parents and have better relationships in adulthood. But parents who are concerned with approval and disapproval, right and wrong, punishment and reward, are not concerned with validation. So for those of us who are demolished by what other people think, our parents (in their lack of awareness) really did a lot of damage and now it is up to us to validate ourselves. And validating ourselves is just what the doctor ordered.
To validate yourself, you need to acknowledge the truth of your internal experience, and validate that it’s normal and okay to feel that way or think that thought. Drop the idea of right or wrong. Here’s an example, if you killed someone, you are not validating that it was right to kill someone. You are validating that the feeling of wanting to kill someone is valid and understandable in this circumstance. There are two Ask Teal videos on YouTube that I want you to watch in order to start this process of validation within yourself, the first is Emotional Wakeup Call. The second is, IS Your Mind Friend or Foe? In the first video, I put forth a step-by-step process for addressing emotions. In the second video, I put forth a very similar process for addressing thoughts. Apply these processes to yourself. Remember, you always have a very good reason to think what you think, feel what you feel and be like you are.
As a side note, people who have trouble feeling validated, have resistance to disagreement. Expect that you will hate when people don’t agree on truth, especially when they don’t agree with you. It makes you feel invalidated, misunderstood, separated, alone, and worst of all… like something is wrong with you.
3. If we are injured by what other people think, it is because there is already a sore there. That sore that vibrates at the frequency of injury, is attracting injury into our life. Other people’s opinions are hitting up against a pre-existent bruise. This is an unhealed wound from childhood. When we feel hurt by someone else, it is the perfect opportunity to do inner emotional healing work. We need to use our charged emotion, especially the emotions like shame, mortification and humiliation that relate to the self worth, like a rope leading back to the original wound. Watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. Apply the process I put forth in that video to heal and integrate the real source of your poor self esteem; experiences in your past. As we heal there are less and less raw spots for others to hit and hurt. There are less opportunities and reasons for us to react. Heal your wounds and it wont hurt.
4. If you really care what other people think you are living a life where you criticize the hell out of yourself and strive for perfection and rightness so no one else has the chance to disapprove of you. Become ok with being disapproved of. Easier said than done, but if we are no longer running away from the demon, it can’t keep chasing us. We must develop a willingness to feel. This is probably the most important part of this whole video. Quite naturally, we are trying desperately to get away from discomfort and pain. We are living our lives trying to avoid it. A life lived to avoid something, is no life at all. We have to stop trying to not get hurt, and instead, unconditionally sit with the feeling of being hurt. Shift your attention from what someone said or did to how you feel. It’s no longer about avoiding disapproval; it’s about sitting with and in the feeling of being disapproved of as it arises within your body when people disapprove of you. You will soon find that if you become ok with discomfort, because you realize (contrary to your current fear) that it isn’t going to kill you, you will become ok with whatever life throws your way. There is an unparalleled inner peace that arises as a result of knowing that you can trust yourself to be able and willing to experience and feel anything.
5. Anything you can do to increase your self-esteem will make other people’s opinions have less of a detrimental impact on you. Focus on approving of yourself. Write a list that you can keep adding to of things you approve of about yourself. Don’t involve anyone else’ opinions in this one. If you base your self-worth on how often people compliment and validate you, then you're allowing others to decide how you feel about yourself. Obviously it boosts our self-esteem to consider things other people have said they like about us, but this is part of the problem isn’t it? We’re dependent on other people’s approval. Pretend that you are an alien who just traveled to planet earth and you are observing an earthling called (insert your name here). What do you, as an alien approve of or appreciate about this earthling and this earthling’s life. Also assume you can peer into this earthling’s past as well. We were not born in doubt of our self worth, so we did not need approval to develop self worth; it was already there. It was simply covered up by the people in your life. This means your self worth is still there; you just need to uncover it. If you’d like to see more on this topic, watch my You Tube video titled How Do I Discover Self Worth.
6. Find the positive intention behind taking things personally, letting things hurt you, being dependent on what other people think, and giving your power away. What do you get out of it? This is a very individual thing that starts with the willingness to consider that your being is subconsciously getting one of it’s needs met by doing this thing that ultimately harms you. For example, one person might find that depending on what other people think, keeps them included by others. This person may feel that unless they are involving other people and their opinions in the process, that they would be all alone. A good way of finding out what the positive intention is, is to find out what bad thing you think would happen or what bad thing it would mean if you didn’t take things personally, didn’t let things hurt you, weren’t dependent on what other people think and didn’t give your power away.
7. Recognize how critical you are of others. Of course being critical of others is just a reflection of how critical you are of yourself, but recognizing how critical you are of other people and making a conscious effort to replace that criticism with a desire to understand them will go a long way. A great many of us become critical of others because it is the only way we can feel a sense of our own rightness. We are drowning in the pain of self-doubt and self-hatred. Notice how you feel when you’re being critical of others. Are those feelings draining or empowering you? Would you rather be right or happy?
All people, including us, do the things we do in order to meet a need. That means that the 'story' you've been telling yourself about how they or you could - or should - have done things better, or that their actions were a deliberate attempt to hurt, sabotage or damage you is fundamentally flawed. They (and you) had no knowledge of a better way to meet their own needs. Find out what those needs are. Try to understand them and even potential meet those needs for them or for yourself if you can.
On one level, when you sense disapproval from others, you are really just experiencing your own feelings about yourself and projecting them onto other people. After all, most of the time you have no idea what they are thinking, so the thoughts you attribute to them are speculation, so they come from your own mind. When someone disapproves of you or is critical of you about something, ask how you disapprove of that thing in yourself. If you are feeling defensive, that means there is a wound to defend. What wound are you trying to defend?
8. You will hear people say that how people act, is never about you. This is a very good deflection strategy that helps you not take things personally. But deflection is a defense strategy. We are looking to evolve beyond that. So rather than saying that what people do or say to you is never about you, it’s about them, let’s say that it is actually about both of you. We want to understand both how it relates to us and how it relates to them. If we are able to take care of ourselves through the emotional discomfort we feel, we can open up wide enough to see if there is truth to what they are saying about us and we can see if there are any useful aspects to their criticism. We can use it to gain self-awareness. If you’re interested in this concept, watch my video on YouTube titled Projection.
The other thing you can do however is to change the focus of the interaction by putting yourself in this other person’s shoes. Try to understand what the other person is feeling, thinking and trying to convey to you. How is what they are saying or doing really about them? A good technique is to change “Why did he or she do or say that to ME?” to “Why did they do or say that to THEMSELVES?” Consider the person's insecurities. Could they feel threatened by you in some way? Is this the way they treat all people? Perhaps they lack certain social skills and feel the only way they will be heard is by being rude or aggressive in their language, or by bullying to get their way. Is it a fear that is coming up for them, a jealousy, or a suppressed aspect of themselves being projected onto you? Perhaps they feel that by making you look bad, they will seem good and thus win other people’s favor.
Imagine that there's an inner child acting out, because the person hasn't learned how to deal with problems in a mature way. What is this inner child in need of and trying to get in this circumstance? Figure out their needs in the situation as well as their fear and hurt. If you figure those things out, their actions will make sense and you will see that their actions really weren’t as much about you or something that you did wrong as you thought.
When someone hates us, it isn’t about hate. It’s about hurt and pain. It’s about their hurt and pain. We shouldn’t use this as an excuse to cop out of looking objectively at ourselves, but we can use it to understand where they are really coming from better, rather than letting ourselves take full responsibility for it and succumb to a serious downward spiral.
9. If you are someone who is easily hurt by what others say, practice the art of letting the mud settle. When you disturb the mud on the bottom of a lake, the waters become cloudy. We have to wait in stillness and let the mud settle before the water becomes clear again. So don’t take immediate action if you’ve been hurt. You’ve got to cradle yourself through the hurt before you react. You are prone to knee jerk reactions, which will only hurt you even worse in the end. When you are less emotionally charged, respond in order to gain clarification and tell them how their words or actions are making you feel. Seek to find a meeting of minds.
If it becomes clear that a person can’t respect you and insists on creating a situation over and over again that’s meant to make you uncomfortable, feel badly about yourself, personally attack you, devalue and belittle you, and constantly attempt to bait you, this is abuse and you need to rethink the relationship, regardless of whether this person is family or not.
10. Meet your needs. Ask yourself “what do I need right now”, especially when you are feeling wounded by someone’s opinion. When we feel rejected or disapproved of, we immediately begin to reject or deprive ourselves. We exacerbate our feelings because we then feel bad about two things: The original incident and feeling bad about the incident. Those of us who feel bad when others express a less than favorable opinion of us, tend to feel bad about feeling bad about things. We need to figure out what will make us feel relief on a physical mental and emotional level. For example, You might need to take a walk to feel more energized, write to gain clarity or organize your thoughts, eat to feel more grounded. This is self validation in action.
You are not going to heal your wounds, learn how to validate yourself and stop being negatively affected by what other people think with one technique or with a magic pill. This is a healing process which gets better and better every day. Everything begins with the knowledge that it is valid and ok to feel hurt because of what someone has said or done. You can’t control what they do, what they say or what they think. But you can consciously choose how to treat yourself and what to do with yourself when you have been hurt by someone. And if you chose to approach that task differently, being wounded by others can open the perfect window to healing and self-integration. And once we pass through that window, we will not have the same painful reaction to what other people think, say and do.
No one is going to be able to tell you how much time you should spend on the Internet and how much time you shouldn’t spend on the Internet. But what we need to do is individually decide whether our Internet use or time on the computer, is interfering with our life detrimentally. After all, pathological use of the Internet can result in serious negative life consequences such as job loss, relationship breakdown, financial debt, academic failure, apathy, and an un-lived life.
If the Internet does have a detrimental effect on our life, and we would like to change that, we need to admit that we have an addiction to the Internet and take steps to move beyond the addiction.
The well-known addiction psychologist Mark D. Griffiths' created the six criteria of Internet addiction. They are: 1. Salience: When the use of the Internet becomes the more important activity in an individual’s life and dominates their thinking (pre-occupations and cognitive distortions), feelings (cravings) and behavior (deterioration of socialized behavior). For example, even when the individual is offline, they are thinking about the next time they will be online. 2. Mood modification: This refers to the subjective experiences that people report as a consequence of engaging in Internet use and can be seen as a coping strategy (i.e. they experience an arousing “buzz” of a “high” or paradoxically tranquilizing feel of “escape” or “numbing”). 3. Tolerance: This is the process by which users increase the level of Internet use they partake in to achieve mood modification effects. So, for someone who is engaged in Internet use, they tend to gradually increase the amount of time online, to increase further the mood modification effects. 4. Withdrawal symptoms: The unpleasant feeling states and/or physical effects, which occur when Internet use is discontinued or suddenly reduced. Examples of withdrawal symptoms could include shakiness, moodiness and irritability etc. 5. Conflict: This refers to the conflicts between the Internet user and those around them (interpersonal conflict), conflicts with other activities (job, social life, hobbies and interests) or from within the individual themselves (intrapsychic conflict and/or subjective feelings of loss of control) which are concerned with spending too much time engaged in Internet use. 6. Relapse: The tendency for repeated reversals to prior patterns of Internet use to recur and for even the most extreme patterns typical of excessive Internet use or addiction can be rapidly restored, even after periods of abstinence or control.
In my opinion, if you feel like you meet any one of these criteria, it is important to consider what is to follow in this article.
The Internet can serve as a facilitator or masker for multiple addictions because so many dependencies can be fed via the Internet. We can feed a porn addiction through the Internet, we can feed an information addiction through the Internet, we can feed a gaming addiction through the Internet and we can feed a gambling addiction through the internet to name a few. So the first thing we need to do, after we’ve admitted to ourselves that we have an addiction to the Internet, is to take a seriously objective look at what we chronically do on the internet. What are we really addicted to? What fix are we getting via the Internet? Keep in mind that we might simply be using the Internet to distract ourselves from something we would rather not feel or see or do.
Every addiction, no matter what it is, is the result of a need that is not being met. The question is what need? The answer will change depending on the person. We also use addictions to get away from things. Basically, we use them to move away from something unwanted, towards something we need or want to experience. We have to figure out what we are trying to use our addiction to get away from and what need we are trying to use our addiction to meet. Unless we stop running away from what we are trying to run away from and begin to meet that need in healthier ways, we will always have reason to relapse back into the addiction. Even though it is beneficial at a certain point to start physically weaning off or eliminating the thing you’re addicted to, it does no good to do so, unless you have addresses the underlying cause of the addiction.
Before we go further, it is incredibly important to understand that something does not have to be what the scientific community calls a physiologically addictive substance, in order to be addictive. This is especially because on a physiological level, we can become powerfully addicted to the chemicals our own body produces in response to something. It must be said that Internet addiction is particularly common among people who have social phobia and fear of intimacy. Basically, if you have a fear of connection and intimacy, but you need and want it, the Internet (especially social sites like Facebook and Instagram) provides a safe way to get it. You can be honest and close, while still maintaining your distance. Virtual online friends start to gain more communication and importance over time to the person becoming more important than real-life family and friends. This is why it is so important for our social healing, to begin to take our meaningful online relationships and making them physical or three dimensional in nature. We need to physically interact with other people.
People who are currently struggling with depression and anxiety are also at risk for Internet addiction because the internet provides a plethora of distractions from the pain of your own physical life. It must be said, that Internet addiction is a form of life avoidance.
So what should you do if you are ready to admit that you have an Internet addiction and you wish to move beyond the addiction?
1. As I said earlier, the most important thing is that we discover what we are trying to use our addiction to get away from and what need we are trying to use our addiction to meet. The true addiction that is at the heart of the Internet addiction, whether it is gambling or social networking or porn must be addressed. 2. Once we discover what we are using our addiction to get away from, we need to do the opposite. We need to dive head first into the thing we are running from. We need to be completely present with the negative emotions that are trying to get our attention. There are deep inner wounds in need of healing. There are fractured aspects of us that are in need of integrating. We abandon ourselves (the part of us that is hurting) every time we try to get away from what we are feeling. We have to stop the cycle of self-abandonment. We begin with practicing emotional Vipassana. To learn this process, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. Practice this process when you feel the compulsive need or craving to get on the Internet or engage in your addiction. Any and all shadow work that you do will benefit you immensely when it comes to addiction. We have to make the subconscious conscious in order to have any choice as far as our actions are concerned.
3. We need to honestly ask ourselves if we want to commit to life or not. This may seem like an odd thing to ask ourselves, but just because you’re alive, doesn’t mean you’re committed to living. Our life will never really be lived unless we commit to being here and commit to doing the most that we can with our lives before we die. Take the time to answer this question. There’s no right or wrong way to answer. 4. If we wish to commit to our lives, we need to start making changes in our life. We need to ask ourselves, what am I missing out on as a result of spending so much time on the Internet? Internet addiction is a form of life avoidance. What is it about your life that you want to avoid? At some level, if we are addicted to the Internet, a part of us does not want to participate in the living of our physical lives. Do you feel powerless to your life? What has prevented you from making changes to your physical life so that it feels better? What has prevented you from making changes to your physical life so it is actually a life you want to live and are excited to wake up to every day? Now here’s the most important question… What changes would need to happen to my life for me to really want to live it and wake up to it every day? Start making those changes in your life. Involve other people in the process if you want to. Consider this a life crisis.
5. Find ways to meet your needs and wants that are healthier than the way you’re currently meeting those needs and wants. For example, if I’m using the Internet to facilitate my addiction to information because new information satiates me and makes me feel full or whole, what could I do instead to make myself feel satiated, full or whole? Maybe I could attend a meditation retreat. Maybe I could get a gym membership and exercise. Maybe I could find a way to contribute, like help someone or volunteer for a charity. Maybe I could pick up a new hobby. Maybe I could start going to therapy. Don’t be afraid to try new things. 6. Notice the urge. We have to commit to having awareness. When you notice the urge to get on the Internet, ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this, and why do I really want to do this?” Be aware that when you are addicted, you are very good at justifying your behaviors and at convincing yourself you have a good reason to be on the Internet when it is really just about being addicted to it. Don’t make a habit out of lying to yourself through justification. After you answer the question honestly, you can then decide whether to get on the Internet or not, but the important thing is having awareness of the urge and of why you’re getting on the Internet.
7. Notice your triggers. Assuming you’ve started to notice the urge and have started to pause to ask yourself why you’re getting on the Internet, start to recognize your most common triggers. Your triggers are the things that cause you to go check something on the Internet. For example, the idea of starting a work task might be a trigger (so you may be getting on to avoid or procrastinate it). Some other triggers might be feeling lonely, having arguments, other people arguing, eating, getting a notification on your phone or computer, being bored, stress, feeling guilt, feeling like a failure, or thinking of something you want to look up to name a few. Pay special attention to the trigger that causes you to get on the Internet the most. In the future, when you notice the trigger, you will be ahead of the game. You will know that you’re at risk for having the urge and so being ahead of the urge, you can either go straight into emotional healing work/shadow work or you can replace the urge to get on the internet with another behavior like doing pushups, drinking water, going for a walk, journaling or something else.
8. Limit your time on the Internet. You can do this however feels best to you. Commit to a time limit that feels doable and promising to you. Maybe you can only commit to taking a break for ten minutes every hour. Maybe you can limit yourself to only getting on the Internet two times a day and at certain times. Maybe you can limit yourself to only getting on the Internet certain days of the week. Commit to whatever feels doable to you and then hold yourself to it, or involve other people to help hold you to it. Having accountability helps when it comes to addictions. Admit you’ve got the problem publicly. Solicit people to help you maintain awareness of yourself so you can make the right choices for yourself. There is also content control software that can help you with this, should you want to buy it. Remember that a change that is not fully committed to, will not work. And no one can become a substitute for your own commitment.
9. If internet use is a particularly big issue for you, instead of limiting your time on the internet, you may benefit by scheduling things throughout the week that are not internet related or where you have no access to media. Stay as connected as you can to the offline world.
10. Reduce your Internet resources down to the most crucial and important for you in your life at this point in time. Some of us spend inordinate amounts of time on the Internet because we have so many things on the Internet to distract us. Delete the ones that don’t add to or enrich your life. Trim them down to the essential. You may need your e-mail account but not need your Facebook account. You may need your Facebook account but not need that computer game you’ve been playing. Limit yourself online to the things that are really important to you. But don’t forget to ask yourself why those specific things are indeed so important to you.
And when you do get on the Internet to do important things, treat the Internet like a tool. The Internet is a means to an end. The question is, what end is it a means to this time? Each time you go to get on the Internet, plan your strategy, regardless of whether you’re looking for entertainment or looking to do something related to work. And don’t let yourself deviate from the plan.
The Internet is an incredible manifestation. It facilitates the expansion of human consciousness in unparalleled ways. We should rejoice in the many gifts that it has given to the human race. But let us not forget that we have come here to live our physical lives and let our direct experiences become the platform for what we ultimately become. Let the Internet enrich your life, do not let the Internet become a way to escape your life. Your attention matters give it to the things that make your life better.