To love is to take something as part of yourself. It is impossible for there not to be a state of connectedness when we do this with something. Love naturally inspires us to meet someone else’s needs because we feel that our need is to meet their needs. But for many of us, we ended up in households with people who did not experience genuine love, so they did not give us genuine love and as a result they could not remain connected with us through love. Instead, they had to forge connection with us in the same way that a spider forges its web to catch flies.
People who were not loved feel unlovable for who they are. They live in a permanent internal atmosphere of shame. As a result love, as a gift seems impossible. Someone simply wanting to be connected to us seems impossible. Instead, we have to get these things by giving something. The things we want from others must be entirely transactional. Love becomes transactional. Connection becomes transactional. The meeting of all our needs becomes transactional. However, because we have such poor self-esteem, we often don’t feel like we have something that is of value enough that if we offered it, someone would want to accept the transaction. When this is the case, we have to trap people into giving us the things they need. And our relationships are always painful and are always full of the feeling of betrayal and resentment as a result.
In many houses around the globe, children are not parented with love. Many cultures in fact simply do not parent with love. The Indian and Asian cultures are perhaps the most perfect example of this. So you can understand what I mean, I will use the example of these cultures. To generalize, in Indian and Asian culture, a person is not seen as a unique individual with free will and their own purpose who exists to be loved and enabled to follow their own path. A person is seen as a thing that belongs to their family and to society and that by virtue of being born in the first place, he or she is already in debt to family and society and will repay that debt through serving whatever role and identity that has been decided for them.
In these kinds of homes, a parent often believes they are sacrificing everything for their child when in fact they are not sacrificing anything. They are simply wearing the façade of sacrifice so they can trap their children with shame and guilt and the sense that they owe their parents in some way. The things these parents give always come with invisible strings attached. They are always giving in order to get back. They are engaging in a transaction that the child did not even agree to in the first place. They are simply putting the child in a state of debt to them. They are giving things to the child simply so they can get things back from the child. And any time the child does something that displeases them, the child’s debts (the things the parents have done for them) are hung over the child’s head so as to get the child to surrender their free will and conform again to what the parent wants. These parents give their time to a child and potentially even give up their own dreams to get the sensation of being good and righteous and receive gratitude and praise from others. In this way, they are martyrs. These parents put a roof over their children’s head to get loyalty and alliance. These parents feed their children to guarantee that they can be taken care of by the children when the children are grown. These parents give their children opportunities so that they can gain status. These parents say “I love you because look at everything I do for you”. But the reality is that it doesn’t feel like love, because it isn’t. It is a spider web that the children have been trapped in.
Each time the child accepts something that is given or allows one of their needs to be met by their parent (which they can’t not do, because their survival depends on their parent), an invisible string is attached to them and then another and then another. Until they are literally completely controlled by that parent and must simply let themselves be controlled or else there are serious consequences.
You don’t have to be born into the Indian or Asian cultures to be raised like this. Transactional love and the twisted web it weaves to trap people is a human epidemic. It is present in any dysfunctional codependent and narcissistic home for example. These types of relationships are based on manipulation. So much so that we could say that the plaque that should belong on the wall of the family home is not “there is great love in this house” it is “there is great manipulation in this house”. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: Meet Your Needs.
The problem with being raised in a transactional way is that you believe no other way to be in a relationship exists. You see everything subconsciously as if it is a business deal. All business deals have strings attached. The reason this isn’t a problem is because in business these strings are visible instead of invisible. If I do this, then they will do this. All of life is tit for tat. Expressions of love are synonymous with the pressure of owing someone. And you always have to stay the one who is owed and not the one in debt. After all, the one who is in debt is the one who is trapped in the spider’s web under the control of the spider. You will actually feel worse the more loving someone is towards you. Each thing they do for you, makes you feel more and more enmeshed (trapped in a spider’s web), less and less free, more and more in debt and eventually like you are going to have to give away your free will and your desires and your needs in order to repay that debt. This is when your enmeshment trauma kicks in and you have to withdraw to maintain your sense of free will and identity. At this point, you wither push the other person away or have to create a situation where the debt is paid off entirely and you can put them back in debt to you. You are doing this because what you learned in your childhood is that Love = Being Trapped.
Those of you who want to believe that the spider’s web analogy is extreme, think again. On an energetic level this is the actual relationship that is occurring. The spider either simply catches the fly because it flew into the web (the same as a child just being innocently born into the family) or because it finds a way to lure the fly in (the same way that a person offers something to someone else). But in either scenario, there are strings attached. Either way, the fly gets stuck by the webbing. The person is trapped in the same way the fly is trapped. Then the spider feeds off of the fly. This is the phase where the person gets his or her needs met through the forced transaction. They are taking what they believe they deserve but that the person didn’t agree to giving as an exchange in the first place. For example, a mother has a child and decides that she needs that child to be a professional athlete so she can have status and significance through that child. The transaction is that she will give her hours to drive the child to classes and spend money so that the child can become that thing. The child never agreed to this transaction. But any time the child expresses his or her own free will, the mother will remind the child he or she is trapped in debt “I gave up all this money and time for you so you could be a professional athlete, you’re so selfish.” The guilt makes the child continue and become a professional athlete. The mother feeds on the status and significance through the child. She is literally eating her child that was trapped in her web by virtue of being born to her and having any needs at all.
Here is another example, if we are a rescuer, we have worked out that rescuing someone is a perfect way to put them in debt in a way that they are unable to leave and must repay the debt through commitment, positivity towards us, loyalty and the meeting of our needs. If we ever feel like the person we rescued has paid off their debt or is putting us in a position where we may be in debt to the things that they are giving to us, we must create a situation where they are crashed and in need of rescue again. Someone can’t show love to us without us feeling in debt and controlled. And so, we do something to cause them to collapse so we can come in as the rescuer again and often we chose mates who already have a dysfunction so we can play out this cycle. This is often why codependents choose alcoholics or people with mental illness or personality disorders. If a person tried to cause a collapse in someone who didn’t have a dysfunction already, it wouldn’t work. That person would immediately feel the pattern at play and would leave the relationship as a result. But the person with a dysfunction can’t because they have a very real and genuine problem and need. This kind of desperate dependency is the closest that a person raised in a transactional way can feel to the guarantee that they will never be abandoned. They believe that being left by a person without a dysfunction is inevitable because they don’t have enough to offer someone who does not desperately need them for the transaction of meeting their needs because they have already learned that they cannot be loved for who they are.
If this is the way that you were raised, the name of the game in your relationships is to do what your parent or parents did. Get other people in a position of being in debt to you. The problem is that you did not disclose any of these subconscious contracts that you had with them. These were agreements that were never agreed to by them. You didn’t express these contracts you forged outright any more than your parents expressed that by being born to them and by having them meet your needs, you were not expected to give up your personal identity, be loyal to them and owe them and take care of them for the rest of your life.
You did not express these contract because you are not consciously aware of the terms and you know somewhere deep inside you that they would never be agreed to. Here are some examples of the subconscious contracts you forge without other people knowing that they are agreeing to it: You figure out quickly how to meet their needs so that you can guarantee that you will bee indispensible to them (this is called hooking someone). You give up something in your life with the expectation that they give up the same thing for you. You show them physical affection with the expectation that they are going to give it back to you. You give them freedom and space so you can get that from them. You pay for dinner so that you can avoid being in debt to them and instead you can put them in the position to owe you. You help them out in a time of need by doing something for them so that you can guarantee their alliance and loyalty. You do things for them so you can get appreciation. You give them a gift with the expectation that they will never say something bad about you. And you are always counting score.
Using the previous scenario, they did not know that by accepting your gift, they could never say anything negative about you. So when they do that and you remind them that it isn’t fair for them to do that because of the gift you gave them, you feel betrayed and they are frozen under the weight of realizing that you didn’t actually give them a gift out of love, you gave it to them to use against them later as leverage. It is a repeat of what was done to you as a child. Only this time, you’re playing the role of your parent and they are playing the role that you used to play.
The worst part of all is that because of the shame underlying personal unconscious transactional relationships, you can only stay feeling like you are a good person who does the right thing and stay on top of the debt game by staying in a place where what the other person did is unfair. You are dependent on a state of resentment (being unfairly wronged) to escape your deep-seated core of shame. And you are full of anger that you most likely cannot express because of this dynamic.
I want you to see what parenting is supposed to look like. Parenting with love. In this kind of a scenario, the parent sees that the child did not ask to be born. They are not doing the child a favor by having them and so the child does not owe them anything. This child is the gift that has been given to them. This child is a unique expression of source consciousness. This child has been encoded with his or her own desires, needs, essence and purpose. The universe has trusted the parent with this incredible gift knowing that the partnership between them will lead to the expansion and spiritual progression of both parent and child. This child is meant to be seen by the parent as part of him or her. This love will naturally inspire the parent to demonstrate his or her love to the child through affection and gifts and quality time and acts of service and appreciation. When these demonstrations of love are done, they are not done to get anything back. They are done because it feels good to demonstrate love to something tat you love. You do not need incentive. Doing something lovely for them feels like doing something lovely for yourself when you have taken something as part of yourself. All beings, including children, naturally demonstrate love back when they feel reciprocal love, which a child always will. Both parent and child are free and so they are free to love each other and demonstrate that love to each other. The child didn’t have to do anything for the parent or be anything for the parent to feel this love and demonstrate it to them. This is the kind of love you wanted with your parent. This is the kind of loving relationship you still want. The kind with no invisible strings attached.
Having a relationship with no invisible strings attached begins with you. Start becoming aware of the hidden, subconscious expectations you hold. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: Priceless Love Advice, (Expectations and Assumptions).
Become aware of the contracts you are forging without even telling someone that they are signing it. When do you really want to be giving something with no idea of what you will get in return? Notice the betrayal and unfairness you feel in all of your relationships, especially when it arises. Betrayal is the breaking of a presumptive contract. The question is, which one? Transaction works in business because it is mutually expected and assumed. The transaction is disclosed and genuinely agreed to. The reason it takes so long to settle a business deal is because it takes a long time for both parties to agree to a fair transaction. A company that does not bother to be fair about their transactions ends up getting sued. A transaction is ok, provided that it is agreed to. But the rules that apply to business are not the same that apply to personal relationships. In personal relationships that are based off of genuine connection, what people really want is giving and receiving inspired by taking someone as part of you, not a transaction.
Become aware of the discomfort of feeling subservient and in debt when someone does something nice for you. Feel the pressure of having to even the score to feel free. Make a vow to not do something for someone unless you genuinely want to without expecting anything back, even appreciation. Find that place in you that loves something to the degree that doing something nice for it feels like it is the same as doing something nice for yourself. Keeping in mind that at first, this may be an animal or a plant and not a person.
Develop Healthy Boundaries. Give in alignment with these boundaries. Non transactional (unconditional) love always makes space for you to be in alignment with yourself first and foremost. Most people have no idea what boundaries are or how to develop them. For this reason, I ask you to watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries).
Give other people what you always wanted from your parents. Do not make your demonstrations of love conditional upon anything. It is better to simply acknowledge, “I don’t want to give anything to them at all” and to not give someone anything than it is to give someone something with an invisible string attached. It is better to accept that you do not want to give anything than it is to tell yourself that you have to give without expectations even when you don’t want to, otherwise you are being transactional about it.
There is a big difference between getting something that someone gives us because they love to see us happy and paying for something we want to get from someone. The sad thing about this transactional way of being about love is that if we have to pay for everything we get, if we have to give to get anything, we can’t stop from seeing ourselves as not good enough for someone to love enough that they can simply want us or care about us enough to want to meet our needs and see us happy.
Notice the ways you are conditionally giving with yourself. Do you only give yourself a day of rest so you can be get more productivity or performance out of yourself tomorrow? Do you nurture your body or give it what it needs with the expectation for it will never get sick or break down? Do you let yourself have fun with the expectation that you will work to deserve it? Do you only feel appreciation for yourself when you give yourself an achievement? Begin to notice these subconscious contracts you have with yourself. Notice how they mirror the transactions you had with your parents growing up. Practice demonstrations of love towards yourself without any expectation of a return from yourself.
Unconditional demonstration of love is caring for the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. Loving in this way is the act of extending yourself, vulnerabilities included, into uncharted emotional territory with the intent that regardless of the outcome, we want to benefit another person. When someone else’s happiness is experienced as your happiness, you know you have found unconditional love.
It is one of the most expansive feelings on the planet. It is pure ecstasy. And all beings on the earth deserve to be on both sides of that ecstasy.
There are many ways that spirituality can turn abusive. Spiritual beliefs can be used to justify abuse, cover up abuse and be abusive in nature in and of themselves. I am going to be talking about these abusive friendly aspects of spirituality in depth over the course of my career. But today, I’m going to start with the abuse surrounding standard beliefs about reactivity.
The first thing to understand is that most people in the world today don’t differentiate between a reaction and the actions inspired by a reaction. It is all lumped into the same category. For example, if you see a nasty comment from someone posted on your social media post, you may immediately react with feelings of being hurt, feeling shame, flushing red, feeling anger, the impulse to fight back. This is a reaction. If you act on that impulse by posting a mean comment back, that is an action that was inspired by the reaction. We need to make the distinction between reactions and actions inspired by reactions.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that unconscious reactivity causes a lot of problems in the world. For example, if a woman cheats and her husband becomes jealous and is unconscious of his powerlessness and rage to the degree that his reaction escalates into the action of the murder of his wife, it is easy to see that reactivity can lead to dangerous things. If we have been hurt by someone’s reactivity inspired actions in the past, we are likely to make an enemy of reactivity entirely. We see reactivity as the bad guy.
Traditional spiritual gurus have projected a persona into the world of being individuals who either have no reactivity or who have entirely mastered their reactivity. They set the standard of not only what is expected of any master or teacher, but also the standard for what being a perfect human is. Therefore, our idea of what we all are striving to be and must be in order to be perfectly loved is non reactive. We imagine that in a state of non-reactivity, we are constantly open, unconditionally loving and perfectly in control of ourselves. The bottom line is, if we subscribe to these ideas and faiths, non-reactivity is what we expect from ourselves as well as each other.
So, what if I told you that you cannot control your primary internal reactions to something? Feelings do not exist in a vacuum. They always arise as a result of something else. They are always about something or towards something. When you came into this life, you were essentially operating through felt perception. You come to this world already encoded with reflexes, which are reactions. An example of one such reflex is that if you hold an infant on its back with its arms loose; it will react as if it is bracing a fall. This is called the moro reflex. The child doesn’t have to be thinking about being abandoned in a cognitive way to feel the terror in their body of being separated from their mother and to cry and reach out for her in response to that separation. What we are dealing with here is cause and effect. Can you imagine expecting a dog to not react to being kicked? Can you imagine poking a sea anemone with a stick and expecting it not to close up? Can you imagine expecting a baby calf not to cry out when it looses its mother in a field? Unless you are dissociated or disconnected, you will have a reaction to things in the world. It is called being alive.
Our reactions to things also happen in proportion to our previous life experience. It is really tempting for us to say that someone overreacted to something because they didn’t react like we would have reacted. But even then, someone who was at war with explosions going off around them is going to react differently to fireworks than someone who has been safe all their life and has no association with explosions and death imbedded in their nervous system. There is no such thing as an overreaction. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: Drama (How to Avoid Drama and Drama Queens).
The most abusive hallmark of an abusive home environment is when one of the parents (classically we call this the narcissist) hurts someone in the home but when the person has a reaction to that injury, the reaction is instantly made the problem and not what was done to cause it. So you can understand this, I will tell you a part of my past. When I was younger, the man who abused me for years had tied me to a hitching post to rape me. The force of the rape caused me to have a bloody nose. When he finished and saw me both crying and also bleeding, he shamed me for both crying and bleeding. Just so you can get how twisted this was, in his mind, the problem wasn’t the rape that caused the bloody nose and the crying… the problem was that I had those reactions.
The reality is that in our universe, there is cause and effect. It is inevitable that if someone punches you in the nose hard enough that your nose will start bleeding. It is inevitable that when someone sets up to punch you, you will flinch and feel your body release adrenaline. I want you to imagine for a moment someone punching you in the nose and then, when it starts to bleed, acting like something is seriously wrong with you because your nose started bleeding. Perhaps they tell you, “you have such weak capillaries in your nose, we really need to take you to get you checked out”. This may seem like an extreme example, but it isn’t. In spiritual communities, we are doing this to ourselves all the time and we are doing it to each other all the time.
We can’t own the shame of having done something that caused a negative reaction and so we immediately make the person wrong for having a negative reaction and even more wrong for any action inspired from that negative reaction. This is called shame deflection. To learn more about this dynamic of shame deflection, I ask you to watch my videos titled: Deflection, The Coping Mechanism From Hell and The Number One Relationship Obstacle And How To Dissolve It. If people refuse to feel or own their shame, they can’t take any responsibility. This is true if someone is perpetually in the victim role to escape responsibility or if someone is doing something to hurt others and will not accept that fact and thus makes the victim the one to blame for his or her reactions.
We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when someone betrays us (it’s just a part of us betraying us and so, if we focus on that, we wont get mad back). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when horrible memories are triggered (it’s the past it’s not now, if we can just be in the now, we wont feel those feelings). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when someone says something painful to us (try to see them with compassion instead, they wouldn’t be doing it if they weren’t in even worse pain). We expect ourselves and each other to have no reaction when we lose our loved ones (there’s no death and if you feel loss, you’re stuck in illusion). Do you see how this goes yet? I could make a list 5,000 miles long about how spiritual beliefs are used to suppress reaction and to make reaction wrong. They are used to shame you if you have a reaction. In other words, if you have a reaction, you are falling short of the standard of human perfection and something is wrong with you.
How many times in social circles have you heard this “How people treat you is their karma and how you react is your karma?” Or “It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to it” or “How you react emotionally is your responsibility?” Like I said, it takes an idiot not to see that if we simply react unconsciously and as a result take actions inspired by those reactions, it’s going to cause a lot of problems for us and other people. But for the sake of awareness, look at the potential danger in these teachings. We can use these teachings to avoid looking at and owning the impact we have on others completely. That can lead to a wickedly painful world… One where as if it isn’t bad enough that we did something that had negative impact on someone that hurt them, we also made them feel like something is wrong with them for feeling bad or getting hurt or having a negative reaction when we did that thing. We can use these beliefs to completely avoid seriously looking at what we are doing to other people and what we need to do differently. And we can use these beliefs to shame ourselves on top of our pain, which creates even more reactivity.
Aside from the obvious external cruelty that this belief and expectation can open the door for, it can lead to self-abusive shame. If we operate in the world with the belief that we should not have a negative emotional reaction to anything or that, any time we have a negative reaction to something, we will believe that we are bad and wrong for having it. Or that something needs to be fixed in us if we had that reaction. Therefore, instead of being able to address the very valid reaction that we had, we will immediately unconsciously invalidate it. That belief that something is wrong with us that needs to be fixed or bad about us will slide over the top of the initial reaction like a thousand pounds of more pain. The shame will in essence suppress our reaction, but the pressure of it will cause so much pain that we will either explode or collapse. And so often when we overreact with an emotional crisis or have an emotional breakdown, this is the tormenting process that is occurring within us. These beliefs can lead to bigger reactions, instead of smaller reactions.
I must mention at this point that if this is a chronic pattern in your life, it is a guarantee that in your childhood, the adults in your life could not own that they caused any negative reaction in you and so, if you ever had a negative reaction to anything, they took no responsibility for causing it and instead decided that you were the one with a problem for having a negative reaction where a negative reaction was not warranted. And if any of you are bulimic or are cutters or have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, you can thank this pattern for it.
I know that many of you who are watching this are going to feel like if we make reaction ok or normal, then it is the same thing as condoning reactive abuse. If we make reactions ok, then revenge is ok and things like screaming and violence and murder ok and so it will happen more. What I will say to that is that we have to separate out the concept of reaction from the action the reaction inspires and stop judging reaction as not ok. Instead we have to accept that we are always going to have an initial reaction and that the initial reaction is often going to happen at a level far more primitive/instinctual than our cognitive processing level. And that there is no such thing as overreacting at that level. And so, we have to begin to care-take our reactions as if there is a real reason for the reaction… A real reaction that was either caused or triggered by someone else. This is the real responsibility we have. Face it as if it is valid because it is. If we sink into victimhood, we avoid taking responsibility for caretaking our pain, which might not only involve finding ways to heal and feel better, but also asking a person to change a behavior toward us. If we sink into the opposite, which is shame for having a reaction to being hurt, we also take no responsibility for caretaking our very real reaction.
We need to adopt the mentality that any reaction we have is warranted because it is always coming from a real place. We just have to figure out where that real place is. You are going to have to accept that as long as you are alive, you are going to have reactions. So is everyone else. If we can see those initial reactions as valid and real, so as to not add shame on top of them, we can figure out what that reaction is telling us about our truth in the moment and our past unresolved pain and about that we need in the moment. We can use them to become more aware. We can address them like we would address real wounds. And by doing that, the actions we take towards others as a result of our reactions will change.
If a trigger is to blame in a situation where you are having a reaction, it is probably not the other person’s fault that you have sensitivity in that area. But that trigger still exists for a very valid reason. Blaming them for the trigger isn’t fair. But neither is expecting yourself not to have it or telling yourself that something is sick or wrong with you because you have it or telling yourself that because this is a trigger, you shouldn’t have the reaction towards this new situation. If a dog who had been battered, hid in its cage despite being placed in a loving home, we wouldn’t get upset at the dog as if it has no good reason to be doing that. So why do we do that to ourselves and each other?
We have the tendency of believing that if we just changed our perspective or the way we were thinking or the way we interpret the things that happen or were enlightened enough, we wouldn’t have the reactions we have in the first place. Can you see that this puts us at war with reactions in the first place? We can’t take care of something we don’t think should be there in the first place. We’re already pushing it away, so how can we pull it close enough to explore it, examine it and care-take it?
When we have a reaction, we need to treat the reaction as if it is a thing to be deeply understood because it is valid. It exists for real reasons. If your leg was hit by a lead pipe, it would break and the pain you would feel would exist for a very real reason. It works the same way with emotions. We have to look at the cause. We have to look at what it caused us to feel in our bodies and feel emotionally and what it caused us to think. We have to ask what it is letting us know about what we need. We need to meet those needs and this includes communicating needs that we have to the people around us. Action actually comes after reaction. We have made an enemy or reactions because we confuse actions that are taken as a result of a reaction AS a reaction. We can intercept this chain from reaction to action. But we need to stop expecting ourselves to intercept this chain from external event to reaction. It is futile. Let things like altering your perspective and attitude and interpretation be part of the caretaking process of your reaction. Not a way to try to convince yourself you shouldn’t have had the reaction in the first place. Your reaction is always legitimate.
If we want to learn to intercept the chain between reaction and the action it inspires, the game we have to stop playing with other people is the game of treating them as if their reaction is not legitimate. And even if we don’t use words to convey this, if we are thinking it, they will feel it. They will be 1,000 times more likely to carry out an action in response to their reaction that will be escalated because we have given them no opportunity to address the reaction they are having if we judge it as something that shouldn’t be happening in the first place.
We should be using any reaction we have in order to become aware. But be aware the risk of believing it is possible not to have a reaction. Beware of the risk of feeling shame or being shamed for having a reaction.
Intimacy is the most important part of any good feeling relationship. When most people hear the word intimacy, they immediately think of sexual interaction. Sex may be a byproduct of intimacy in some cases. But this is not what intimacy is.
Intimacy can be broken down into the three-word phrase “into me see.” First and foremost intimacy is to see into one another so as to deeply connect. Intimacy goes beyond just seeing someone though. Intimacy is seeing into, feeling into, listening into, perceiving and understanding someone. To have genuine intimacy with someone, we have to be willing to commit to becoming an expert on them.
Some people are absolutely terrified of intimacy. They are terrified that intimacy is not going to lead to something that feels good. It is going to lead to something that feels bad. For example, we might be terrified that if we let someone really see the truth of us, they will not tolerate it or accept it. If they know the truth of us, they may use it against us later. If they know our weaknesses or vulnerabilities, they can capitalize on them to our detriment and conversely for their own best interest. If they know what we really want, they can use that as leverage to control us. If they give us closeness, we may feel like we are obligated to make them happy in return, which is a kind of indebtedness and have lost our freedom as a result. If they find out things about us that they might judge as bad or wrong, they might increase our shame, abandon or reject us. If we let them in, they might find a way to engulf us completely so that we do not even have ourselves at all. We need to spend some time imagining being completely close to someone and having no distance between ourselves and another person so that they can see, feel, hear, understand us and be permanently linked to us and see what deep imprint of fear arises in us as a result.
When a child is born, it is born with a natural compulsion and instinct to be close to its parents. Intimacy comes naturally to us all. Being close to one’s parents is how one guarantees having one’s needs met and protection and comfort in times of distress. But how a parent responds to being wanted and needed by the child as well as how the parent uses this need for closeness for their own aims, dictates how safe closeness and intimacy is or isn’t. If we have a fear of intimacy, our parents either dismissed our neediness of them and shamed us for it and/or used our neediness against us.
In households like this, parents usually respond to feelings, thoughts or desires with intolerance and non acceptance as if the truth of how the child feels and how they think and what they want is a challenge to the parent. For example, if a mother is going to take the child to school but the child expresses any anger or fear about having to go to school as well as the personal truth that they don’t want to, this parent will react harshly, scold the child for being disrespectful or ungrateful and minimize or invalidate their feelings. The message that the child gets is that the way he or she feels, thinks as well as what she or she wants or doesn’t want is invalid, shameful and is in direct conflict with the parent’s feelings, thoughts and desires. The message here is “you can’t have you and have me too, because our truths conflict and I’m the adult, so you are wrong and bad”. Instead of seeing how ridiculous this is, we decide that the parent must be right and for the sake of ending the terror we feel to be in conflict with the parent that we are dependent on (who is the god of our reality) we try to disown our feelings, thoughts and desires and idolize the parent because viewing them negatively, overwhelms us with anxiety. Our own personal truth is swallowed by them in the same way that a prey animal is swallowed by a predator. And we allow this to happen. It is a strategy to try to keep ourselves safe from conflict and to keep ourselves from being abandoned. But we feel swallowed. We feel engulfed. We lose ourselves.
Another form of intolerance for our personal truth happens when a child expressing his or her actual truth including feelings, thoughts or desires causes a parent to be so reactive that the child perceives their own truth to be the cause of the collapse of the wellbeing of the parent. In this scenario, the child learns to withhold themselves so as to preserve the wellbeing of the parent. This is common in situations where one parent is sick, dysfunctional or to distressed to parent. For example, if a parent is suicidal, a child learns to never share their negative feelings because if they do, it may push their parent over the edge and cause them to kill themselves.
What we have to understand is that if in our childhood, our need for our parents, as well as our personal truth (meaning feelings, thoughts and desires) was not tolerated by our parents, we learn to fear intimacy. We learn to avoid going to our parents and then to other people for what we need. We avoid showing ourselves to them. We close up and keep them our instead. And because we have learned that our parents and other people cannot accept our emotions, thoughts and desires and we cannot tolerate them in that situation, we learn to disconnect from our personal truth as well. This includes disconnecting from our feelings so we don’t feel them. This includes disconnecting from our thoughts so we aren’t thinking them. It means disconnecting from our bodies so we don’t feel our bodies and it involves disconnecting from our personal desires.
One thing we have to accept if we had this experience in childhood is that our heart is broken. It was broken long ago and it has never healed. It never healed because we never found a way to resolve that pain and have a different experience relative to being seen, felt, heard and understood so as to feel close to someone who can meet our needs in a consistently loving and warm way. Instead, we simply forged forward with a broken heart and as a result of not even knowing what we needed in order to mend that heart, simply entered into scenarios where we experienced more heartbreak.
Closeness inevitably involves feelings of vulnerability. Because the person who fears intimacy has learned to cope with their own feelings with avoidance, this naturally leads to suppressing needs, feelings, and desires as well as avoiding anything that would induce these feelings. Closeness is to be avoided at all costs, even though closeness is their most suppressed need. And they cannot dismiss their own needs, feelings and desires without doing the same to other people around them. They don’t want to see or feel or deeply understand someone because this brings up the deep feelings of unfairness that they must accept and tolerate and take care of who someone else is but they will not receive the same treatment in return… just like in childhood. For this reason, the people involved with those who fear intimacy feel as if they are not seen, not heard, not felt and not understood. They will feel like the person who fears intimacy doesn’t see the obvious ways that they hurt them or do anything to remedy the situation. The person who fears intimacy seems to be totally void of empathy because the truth is he or she is not connected to the other person enough to perceive their feelings or thoughts or needs or desires.
If you are struggling with the fear of intimacy, here is how to approach that fear:
Get in touch with your feelings. Your emotions are like a compass leading you constantly to see the truth of yourself in any given moment. In the same way that a compass tells you where you are located in space and what direction to go, your emotions tell you what vibration you are currently holding and what direction to go to improve that personal frequency so that the circumstances of your life are in alignment with your desires. Your emotions are also the doorway to discovering the subconscious limitations you have which are preventing your happiness in life. Not being in touch with your emotions in life is similar to being stranded in a foreign wilderness without a compass. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How to Feel (Learn How To Start Feeling). Learning to feel after having deliberately cut yourself off from emotions begins with the conscious choice and decision that you want to feel. That is not a decision that you have made yet. Once you have done this, label how you feel and communicate how you feel to other people. Consider this a process of re-owning you personal truth.
Discover the part of you that does not want to be intimate with someone (the part of you that was wounded by your parents refusing to accept and tolerate your feelings, thoughts and desires as a child, as if it were a personal challenge to them as a person. Once you find this part, talk to it, understand it, feel it, see it and give it the intimacy that has never been given to you. From this space, that part of you will tell you what you need to do and what it needs other people to do in order for it to allow for intimacy in its life. To understand how to do this process, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
Make a practice of noticing social cues. When you decided to shut people out because you decided that you could never be acknowledged by them or be supported by them, you tuned other people out. This means you either ignore or dismiss subtle (and not so subtle) cues from other people all the time. This is a vicious cycle because it makes the world and intimacy more dangerous. When you don’t pick up on social cues and adjust your behavior accordingly or dismiss them, other people feel like you do not have their best interests at heart. They perceive you to be heartless and cruel and to be someone who can’t be trusted. As a result, they decide to be in defense mode against you and not care about your best interest either. It becomes an antagonistic relationship and thus not safe to either party. This only reinforces your belief that other people cannot be trusted with your vulnerability and that you cannot be close to them. The more you notice social cues so as to respond to them in a way that makes people feel safe near you, the more they will want to care take your needs and personal truth and best interests. Throughout your day, in every social interaction, practice reading their emotions and checking in with them about whether what you are perceiving is accurate or not.
Notice your disconnection from other people when it occurs within you. Notice how it feels like your heart is gone and like you are only a brain. Notice that you don’t really feel what is happening in terms of emotional sensations in your body. Notice how other people are responding to you with anxiety and neediness and rage. Rage is a cover emotion for powerlessness. This is happening because you are disconnecting from your own feelings of anxiety, neediness and fear in this moment. You feel that by disconnecting from the other person who you perceive to be causing those feelings, you can escape from the feelings themselves. They then become the carrier of your suppressed and disowned emotions in that moment and will become even more anxious because you are making them responsible for both their own anxiety and yours. Try to choose to drop into and feel the feelings of anxiety, powerlessness and neediness that you are trying to avoid. You are terrified of strong negative emotions. Forcing yourself not to distract yourself or leave the physical vicinity of the other person and choosing to drop inside yourself to let yourself feel the real feelings underneath that disconnection is the only real way to not create a vicious spiral of lost connection with the person who you genuinely want to be connected with.
With a willing partner, who can understand the trauma you have experienced relative to showing yourself as a child, practice dropping into these emotions that you are terrified of and allow them to do what your parents did not do for you. Have a new experience of them acknowledging those feelings, tolerating them and supporting you through them.
Commit to authenticity. If you fear intimacy, you have not been living authentically. Trying to be authentic around your parents, which is an intimate thing because you are trusting someone with the truth of you, had consequences. But notice the pain involved in living an authentic life. Anais Nin once wrote that the day came that the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful that the risk it took to bloom. Have you reached that point yet? Has that day come? If so, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic.
Your fear of intimacy has made it so you subconsciously prioritize areas of your life where you don’t experience vulnerability and strong emotions or needs, things like work and hobbies. A life of achievement is useless if you have no one to share that life with. What you really want and need is connection, closeness and to be truly seen, felt, heard and understood by someone. To get this, you are going to have to prioritize your relationships instead. You need to see that you can be loved for who you are, not for what you can do or for what you achieve.
Notice that positive feelings trigger your fear of intimacy even more than negative ones. When you feel another person loving you and demonstrating love for you and wanting connection with you, it conflicts with what you think is possible and with your own view of yourself. As a result, you will feel suspicion and distrust for them and it will unwittingly trigger that deep-seated feeling that you developed in childhood that who you were was not to be tolerated. And as a result, it arouses all of that pain. To get away from the pain of that trigger, you will disconnect from those feelings and create problems or tension in the relationship or push the person who is loving you away.
Face your shame, own it and deal with it directly. Shame is a sense of oneself being bad or wrong, deficient or defective in some way. And what else are you to conclude about yourself if the truth of how you feel, think and what you desire is not tolerated by the people who are supposed to love you the most in your life – your parents. For this reason, I want you to watch my videos titled: How To Overcome Shame and The #1 Relationship Obstacle and How To Dissolve It.
Be aware of when you are pushing people away. Play a game with people in your life. Ask them to tell you when something you say or do feels like a push away to them. You need to see this reflection of yourself in order to become more self-aware. If you have cut yourself off from your feelings and thoughts and desires and body, you are not very self aware. And self awareness is the key to recognizing your behaviors before they are acted out and damage your relationships.
Commit to becoming an expert on the people in your life, especially your significant other. If the only person you practice closeness with is one person, that is good enough to start. To be close to someone and to develop intimacy with someone, you have to be willing to make a constant study of them so you can become a expert on them.
Practice the connection process. In this process, you will be journeying into someone’s internal world and you will be letting them journey into yours. To learn how to do this process, watch my video titled: How To Connect With Someone.
Discover your needs and even though it is scary, express them to other people and allow them to choose when and how to meet them. If you can’t express them directly, express them indirectly. Write the various needs you have on a piece of paper and put the paper somewhere in the house where they are easy to see. Instead of expecting them to meet those needs or manipulating them to meet those needs, surrender into the vulnerability of letting others meet those needs because they want to and because your happiness is their happiness. When you were young, your needs were not met with warmth and consistency. Your needs were either not met at all, or they were met with inconsistency, anger and resentment and often with strings attached. You learned not to depend on others to meet your needs, but to swing between manipulating them to meet your needs and meeting them all by yourself. You need to let yourself have the experience of having your needs met by others because it brings them pleasure to do so.
Accept that you will be learning how to be intimate and close and connected with someone for the first time from scratch. It is best to start with the idea that you have no idea how to have a good relationship and so you have to prioritize learning it now. You did not have role models for a good relationship and thinking that the poor example you had was how it ought to be, your past relationships have most likely not shown you how to have a feel good and close relationship wither. So how could you know how to do it? You don’t. Become ok with starting from scratch and throwing your old paradigms away. This is the moment that the scientist realizes his current theory is rubbish and so he has to crumple it up and throw it in the trashcan and be open to entirely new ways of having a relationship.
Become comfortable with vulnerability. The more tolerant of vulnerability and the discomfort it causes, the closer we will be able to be with people and the less we will push them away. Vulnerability is not weakness. Instead, it involves great courage to be willing to be vulnerable. If we can choose to acknowledge and share our vulnerability in a situation instead of cope by pushing people away, creating conflict or disconnecting, we can remain connected to the person we want to be connected with. We can bring resolve to what is real. We can meet the needs that are real. We can make the relationship feel good again.
Realize your tendency to repeat what was done to you as a child in your relationships. Recognize the way you meet other people’s wants, needs, feelings, thoughts and desires with intolerance. If you can remember how painful that was, you can recognize what you needed instead, and provide that experience to other people. Imagine that every time you are giving that to them, you are giving that to the child in you that had to suffer in that way and you are helping to create a world where that kind of pain no longer exists.
Intimacy is an act of courage. Courage cannot happen without fear. Courage implies fear. If we want connection and intimacy, we are going to have to step forward and commit to connection and intimacy with our fear, not in spite of it. We are going to have to bring the vulnerability of that fear with us into the relationship. The good news is that if we have found a partner who wants to be connected and intimate with us as well, by dong so we will have a different experience than we had in the first place in our life. We will experience someone who is able to not only accept but to love the truth of you and meet your needs because it brings them pleasure to do so.
You would have no idea of what you looked like physically without your bathroom mirror. The bottom line is, you come to know yourself through reflection. People in the external world are like a giant mirror. When someone says, “Why are you so angry all the time?” You come to consider yourself to be an angry person. If people look at you like something is wrong with you, you come to consider yourself as defective. If people tell you that you are beautiful, you come to see yourself as beautiful. We see the way people react to us as a reflection of who we really are and when we are children, we do not question the reflection we are being shown through other people at all. We do not question the accuracy of the mirror. Instead, we swallow the mirror. Our internal concept merely becomes the same as what is being reflected from the outside.
Let’s imagine that a child has a mother who actually does not want a child because she wants to live a life around what she wants to do and have no obligations. The mirror (which is the mother) will not be accurate. It will be tainted with “I don’t want you”. This mother will not be able to reflect to a child that he or she is important and valuable. The reflection the child will see in the mirror is that he or she is a burden and is not important and is an unwanted burden. Instead of questioning the mirror, he or she will swallow the mirror and will see himself or herself as someone who is a burden and unwanted and unimportant and not valuable. In order to ensure his or her survival, he or she will then adapt his or her behavior according to that self-image. For example, if he or she sees himself or herself as intrinsically worthless, he or she may decide they cannot get connection for being who they are because no one would inherently want them in that way given that they have no value. Therefore he or she might instead choose to get the connection they need from others through codependent strategies.
Because of our early childhood environments, many of us adopt a self-image of shame. We swallow the mirror, which is reflecting that we are bad, wrong, hold little or no value and are unwanted. We swallow the mirror that something is wrong with us. This usually happens the strongest if we grew up in households where our caregivers made us the problem. They deflected their own shame by blaming us for everything. The mirror we swallowed held the reflection that we carried all the responsibility for anything negative. As a result, we develop into adults who take everything personally. Meaning that any time someone reacts to us in a negative way or any time something negative happens, it was our personal fault. We are the ones who carry the responsibility for that fault or wrong. We do this because we have instinctively learned from our primary childhood relationships with people who refused to carry any responsibility for anything negative themselves, that it was personal.
We end up being people who take everything personally because we were raised by people who could not face and resolve their own shame, so they passed it on to us and that shame became our self-concept. For this reason, I need you to watch my videos titled: The #1 Relationship Obstacle (And How To Dissolve It), in which I explain the mechanics of shame deflection, as well as Projection (Understanding the Psychology of Projecting).
Responsibility is the opposite of the state of victimhood. In victimhood, one feels that they do not govern themselves or their own life. One feels no ability to choose and one has lost touch with their sense of free will. They are in a state of powerlessness relative to themselves and their life. Responsibility is when someone healthily claims their power over themselves and their own life. This causes them to feel a sense of their own free will and to consciously choose. If you have responsibility, you are leading your own life. But what about toxic responsibility? Responsibility is actually at the opposite end of the vibrational scale from self-blame, which is toxic responsibility. But it takes a high degree of emotional awareness to see responsibility and self-blame as opposing states because both states recognize the self in a position of causation. For this reason, self-blame can disguise itself as responsibility like a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing. But one is self-hating, the other self-loving. One condemns the self and the other saves the self. If you are taking responsibility, you are feeling empowered. If you are self blaming, you are feeling bad about yourself and disempowered. But self-blame is in fact how we escape a feeling of genuine powerlessness to someone else.
Sometimes, we are so powerless to something that taking blame for something is the only way we can avoid feeling powerless and victimized. For example, often children who are abused feel less powerless and terrified and victimized if they believe that they are somehow at fault for the abuse or did something to deserve it. When this is the case, we have a toxic attachment to responsibility. To be responsible so as to see and own your part in the causation of events in your life is a great thing. Up until the point where you are seeing and owning not just your part in the causation of events in your life but also everyone else’s part in it… Or potentially not seeing their part and what is theirs at all.
When we believe down deep that we are bad, we automatically assume that any negative thing that happens is because of us. We take any negative reaction that someone says personally and our deep, visceral sense of shame is instantly triggered. And many people take advantage of this by either allowing you or forcing you to own that blame, whether or not something is actually your responsibility. They get to avoid their own shame by doing this. But taking everything personally leads to a super painful life and it reinforces shame, which leads to things like broken relationships, addiction, and even suicide. So what should you do in order to not take things so personally?
Question The Mirror. If we are imprinted with a deep, visceral sense of shame, we swallow the mirror. We accept the reflection of ourselves that we are perceiving in other people’s reactions without any question. We need to learn to question the accuracy of the mirror itself and consider that there may be something distorting and warping the mirror itself, which might make the reflection different than the thing it is actually reflecting (you). Ask yourself in a situation where you are taking something personally, is there something in them that could be distorting the reflection? For example, if they are acting rude, could they be stressed with something else in their life, like a failed relationship? If they are furious at me, could I have triggered some unhealed wound from their past? If they are treating me like I’m a slut, could it be because they have disowned their sexuality? If they are treating me like I’m worthless cause I have no money, could it be because their father traumatized them into feel like they held no value unless they were financially successful?
If we struggle with shame, and as such seem to inherently take all the blame in any given situation regardless of whether we want to or not, we have an impossible time separating what we are responsible for from what other people are responsible for in any given scenario. For this reason, I want you to get in the habit of doing an exercise where you discern what’s theirs and what’s yours in any given conflict or negative situation. Alternatively, you could do what’s mine and what’s not mine, if your situation isn’t directly about an interpersonal conflict. To do this exercise, take a piece of paper and make two columns. Put ‘Mine” at the top of the first column and either “Theirs” or “Not Mine” at the top of the second. Now, close your eyes and witness the negative situation from third person perspective. Witness it as if you were a genuinely objective bystander who is able to see and know all. And pick apart the situation for what part of the situation belongs to either column. Here is an example that a client did relative to herself and her husband post divorce:
His His parents have a classic codependent and narcissistic relationship and have raised him to relate in that same style in relationships.
He was a child at the time and was not ready for marriage.
He doesn’t want to be there for a woman, he told me so himself.
He is un-attuned and has said he doesn’t care whether he hurts people emotionally. His ‘honesty’ is cruel.
He decided to marry me even when he knew I had clinical depression… Assuming he wouldn’t or shouldn’t have to deal with that in the marriage.
He “just gave up” with the pressure of taking care of me and didn’t even communicate about it or even put effort into getting us help with it.
He makes himself feel good by putting people down. LOVES shaming.
He didn’t try to remedy the marriage at all, no therapy or anything, just filed for divorce.
He made it about me being too hard to handle instead of admitting that he really doesn’t want a serious relationship, he wants a trophy wife.
He spins everything that he does to hurt relationships into good things… for example, “It’s good that I run in relationships, it’s them who need to be run from. He can’t and won’t see anything bad about himself.
He is not committed at all. The minute the going gets tough he gets going.
He can’t be in a relationship with someone who has needs and who needs anything from him. As he puts it “He will not sign on to be leaned on”. He wants an independent woman who does not depend on him at all. He sees dependence as ‘sickness’.
He was so self centered that when I was in Labor, he was focused on how much discomfort he was in because of feeling “sleep deprived” because I needed his support.
Mine I was so desperate for belonging that it didn’t matter what man I was with. Because of this, I have NO discernment with men. I get like a starving person willing to eat poisoned food. I wasn’t in love with him. I wanted to belong and I really wanted to belong with his family.
I struggle with clinical depression. This is too much for some men.
I married him one month after meeting him.
I was obsessed with pregnancy and whether I was pregnant or not and even lied to a few boyfriends that I was at that age because that = getting the belonging I was so desperate for to me. I wasn’t concerned with whether the man I was with wanted it.
I feel ashamed that I can’t cope like ‘normal people’.
I didn’t have the money for therapy at that time, so I didn’t go to therapy which put a lot of pressure on my partner.
I told him I could be a stay at home mom when I had no support system. This wasn’t true. I didn’t realize I couldn’t do that – I couldn’t see that as a limitation of mine.
Deep down if I’m honest, I do feel I need a man to take care of me.
Do a meditation where you give back what isn’t yours to hold and keep only what is yours to keep and be responsible for. You can either invent your own way of visualizing this or you can listen to the guided meditation that I have designed for doing this. You can do this only once to relieve yourself of burdens you’re carrying from situations that have happened in the past or situations that are currently happening. Alternatively, you can do this any time you are in a situation where you are feeling like you are to blame for everything. To access the guided meditation that I offer for this process, visit my website www.tealswan.com and click shop on the menu.
If you are taking everything personally, you are trusting other people (or their reactions to you) tell you everything about who you are, instead of relying on what you know to be true about yourself; what really defines you as a person without any outside influence. For this reason, commit to the practice of authenticity. To learn how to be authentic, watch my video quite literally titled: How To Be Authentic.
Put yourself in the other person’s perspective. Often, when we are limited to our own individual perspective, as well as the inherent shame we feel, we are blind to seeing the reality that the other person is observing so we can’t actually see what their reaction is actually about. Doing this exercise makes it much more clear and also helps us to discern what is ours and what isn’t ours. Pretend to be them but interacting with you. If you want an awesome technique for how to do this, watch my video titled: The Octopus Technique.
Face your own shame. You now know that the root of taking everything personally is shame. Therefore, make focusing on and resolving your shame, your top priority. To learn more about how to do this, watch my video titled: How to Overcome Shame. We all take things the most personally when people hit our sensitive spots. For example, if I feel confident that I’m doing something right, I won’t feel insecure or take it personally when someone says I’m doing it wrong. If I’m insecure that I’m overweight, I will take it personally if someone makes a joke about weight. Recognize that when we are taking things personally, often a deep wound (sore spot) that is unhealed is being triggered. To learn how to heal these old wounds, try out my process called The Completion Process, which is outlined in detail in my book titled “The Completion Process”.
Question the meaning that you are adding to the experience. We encounter various experiences in our day-to-day life. Some we could consider positive and some we could consider negative. But the quality of our experience relative to those experiences is flavored by one thing and that is the meaning that we assign to the experience. When we are taking things personally, it is an indication that we are adding painful meaning to an experience. We need to ask ourselves, what am I making this mean? And then question that meaning that we have assigned to the experience. For example, imagine that someone ignores you when you try to get their attention. You could make this mean that they are currently absorbed in their own thoughts or you could make it mean that you don’t matter to them. We need to make sure that the meaning we have assigned to an experience is actually the meaning of the experience. Allow people to clarify if you are confused about their actual meaning. To learn more about how this works, watch my video titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.
Recognize the egocentric worldview. People in general are prone to seeing themselves as the epicenter of the world. Everyone sees the world this way because everyone is experiencing the world through his or her singular perspective. Therefore, if you walk into a room, chances are everyone is really thinking about themselves. We’re thinking about our own insecurities, flaws, weaknesses, feelings, thoughts, experiences and realities. We often think everyone is thinking about us or judging us (because we see ourselves as the center of the world) when in fact, often they are not because they see themselves as the center of the world as well and are concerned that everyone is thinking about and judging them.
A miniscule part of what people do and how they act towards you is personal. So throw up the mirror you swallowed long ago. Throw up the mirror whose reflection shows that you are to blame for and are thus responsible for everything negative. And as a result, you will see not only yourself, but also the world more clearly.
Compassion is a form of connectedness that goes beyond thought and language. It is spontaneous. Compassion is a form of connectedness because it arises when we feel a sympathetic commonality with someone. In other words, we experience a shared felt experience of pain. There is a harmony inherent in shared feelings, as well as shared understanding. When we feel compassion, we feel sorrow and understanding and concern for the suffering of someone or something else. And having that shared commonality of pain and therefore sorrow and concern for them, then compels us to alter our actions towards that thing. We show mercy and love towards it instead of cruelty and separation from it.
Think back to a time when you were watching a movie or a show where a character experienced something that caused them to suffer and instantly you got a physiological sensation of connection with that character. You instantly related to that person and understood them as well as what they need. This is compassion. Compassion immediately arises when someone experiences pain that we relate to.
When we do not relate to something, because we feel separate and different from them, we do not feel compassion. This is why our meat industry is alive and well. We grew up with our family dog and because we have a bond with it, we relate to its experiences. The idea of eating the family dog appalls us because we feel compassion for the dog. However, we feel separate from a cow and do not have a bond with it. We do not relate to it and so the idea of eating hamburger does not appall us. We feel no compassion for the cow. A person, who experienced a commonality of pain with something else and was aware of it, would be incapable of inflicting that same pain on that thing. This is why it is so common for survivors of severe abuse to stop eating meat all together.
We feel no compassion and therefore propagate cruelty towards things we do not feel a shared commonality with. If we identify ourselves as totally sane, we will have no compassion with people who are mentally ill. We will treat them as if they are a danger to society and get angry that they can’t just “snap out of it” and ostracize them and having no sense of their needs (because we do not relate to them), we will do all kinds of things with them that increase their suffering instead of decrease it.
We feel no compassion towards spiders. We will stomp on them to crush them with the heel of a shoe and think the action is a good one. Many wealthy people have no compassion for people who are poor. They do not relate and so they imagine them to be lazy and keep changing laws and increasing the cost of living without increasing salaries, thus making it harder to thrive financially. The bottom line is NO real positive and effective change can come to a person, from a person who does not relate to them deeply enough to understand their perspective and subsequently needs.
Today, I’m going to make the idea of how to develop compassion so simple for you; you will not be able to forget it. Compassion will no longer be an abstract concept. Compassion naturally arises as a result of relating to someone’s suffering. Therefore, all we must to in order to feel compassion and know what action to take towards that thing is to DELIBERATELY LOOK FOR HOW YOU RELATE TO THEIR PAIN. If we are terrified of deliberately looking for how we relate to someone, we need to ask ourselves WHY? What bad thing do I think will happen if I relate to this thing or feel close to this thing or am the same as this thing? And we need to compassionately challenge the thoughts that arise as a result of asking this question. We need to find the part of us behind those thoughts that is afraid and have compassion for it.
Compassion only happens when you are maintaining the idea that you are different from something. Having compassion begins with looking for how you are the same as something. Do the opposite of what your ego naturally does, which is to look for how you are different to something. Therefore, if you are struggling to have compassion for something, dedicate time to being present with that thing, learning about that thing and understanding it. From there (if it has not naturally happened already) deliberately look for ways that you are the same as that thing. From there, see if you can look for ways that you relate to their pain. How is your pain the same as their pain? Can you identify their pain? Look back over the course of your life. When did you experience pain like that? Remember what that felt like. Remember what you thought. What did you really need back then when you were in that pain?
The connectedness of compassion naturally arises when we assume this perspective instead of a perspective where we are separate from them and different to them.
If we have a bankruptcy of compassion for things that are external to us, it is because we have a bankruptcy of compassion for things that are internal to us. As people, we have no compassion for ourselves. The reason for this is fragmentation. If we do not have a way to resolve and thus integrate the trauma that we experience when we are young, we must dissociate from it. Our consciousness splits when we do this as a matter of self-preservation. We push an aspect of ourselves that is experiencing that pain away from ourselves and we reject it and deny it and disown it and identify with the aspect that does not feel that vulnerability. But because we have no way of becoming two different people at that moment, instead, our sense of self becomes fragmented. So even though we have one body, within that body, we end up with multiple internal selves. Some of which we bury in the subconscious and never allow to see the light of day. To understand how this process happens in depth, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The World Wide Disease.
By splitting off from and dis-identifying with the aspect of us who feels the vulnerability and suffering in that moment, in favor of identifying with an aspect that doesn’t, we consider ourselves to be ‘different’ from that part of us. We no longer relate to it. This is why we are capable of propagating the same abuse that was done to us as children. It is why our parents can force us to abandon our true dreams in favor of doing something rational and practical of their choosing and then, we can force our own children to do the same, no longer relating to the kind of torment that caused in us and therefore not relating to the kind of torment that causes in our children.
In order to release ourselves from suffering, we need to re-integrate these aspects within us that we have pushed away from ourselves so as to split off from and dis-identify from. We need to include them as part of us again and do the same thing that we would do to develop compassion towards another part of us, but with the parts that are internal to us. The inner child is just one example of many of these inner selves that exists. Therefore, we develop self-compassion when we are present with the inner child within us, when we are learning about him or her and understanding him or her. The next steps are very easy because you will naturally relate because it is already a part of you… From there (if it has not naturally happened already) you can deliberately look for ways that we are the same as our inner child. From there, see if you can look for ways that you relate to his or her pain. How is your pain the same as their pain? Can you identify their pain? Let your inner child show you your past. Remember when you experienced that pain. Remember what that felt like. Remember what you thought. What did you really need back then when you were in that pain? How can you provide that for yourself and for other people now? The connectedness of compassion with this part of ourselves naturally arises when we assume this perspective instead of a perspective where we are separate from our inner child and different from them and worse, when we assume the perspective that we are adults and so a child within does not even exist. We must do this process with all the parts within us. When we do this, the light of compassion will cause an integration of these fragmented aspects of us. We will feel more whole. Our shame will evaporate in the light of our compassion, like sunlight melting ice. We will take actions toward ourselves that are in alignment with compassion.
I will give you an example. Imagine that we have a politician who is cruel and dictatorial. Imagine that way back in his childhood, he had a father who shamed him and rejected him any time he was not the very best. Perhaps his father called him a loser. Having no way to resolve the pain of that experience and in order to keep the love of that father, he had to cut off from the aspect of him that felt like a failure and from the pain of his own feelings that he might not be good enough. He had to identify with a side of him that is winner. He had to cover up the side of him that never felt like it was good enough with achievements so he could no longer even see it. He had to push away any feeling or thought or action or person that his father associated with being a looser. He had to consider himself different to them. Now, because he has pushed them so far away, the aspect he is identified with cannot relate to them. Now, he is the one calling them all losers. He is the one taking actions that increase their suffering and thinking they deserve it. And until he re-owns the side of himself that feels like it is not good enough, so as to feel compassion for it (the side that suffered the pain of the rejection and shaming of his father) he will not relate to the people who he has sorted into the category of ‘different from me because they are losers’. He will continue to propagate separation of and cruelty towards these people and not be able to meet their needs.
This world functions like a mirror. The fragmentation in the world, which is evident through things like wars and prejudice and slaughterhouses, is merely a reflection of our internal state of fragmentation. When compassion is the condition of our internal selves, it will be the condition of the external world. And integration within the world will spontaneously follow suit.
It is often much easier to feel a sense of connectedness when someone is suffering as opposed to when they are feeling joy. Our suffering makes a big impact on our being. Seeing someone suffer in the same way immediately establishes our sense of commonality. And to be honest, it is not our joy on this planet that needs our compassion because it is not our joy that is creating the problems here on earth for one another. It is our lack of compassion. It is the way that we have not made the decision to relate to each other deeply and see ourselves as the same.
Compassion is the single most critical thing for the human race to develop. And quite honestly, the survival of our own species depends on it. We are no longer in a place where we can wait for compassion to spontaneously occur. We now have to take steps to help it to arise.
Do you frequently find that you need space to yourself? Do you identify yourself as someone who likes to be alone? The human race is a social species. Our species survival depended (and still does depend) on each other. Technically the top human need is connection and the single biggest threat to our wellbeing is isolation. So how can it be that you need space, how can it be that you need alone time so badly?
I want you to notice that when you need to be alone or need some space, this never includes being away from plants. It never includes being away from your dog or cat. You don’t look down at your dog and say, “I just need some space right now and time to myself” and then close the door to your room with them outside of it. So what makes people so different for you? What is it about being with people that makes you need to get away and be by yourself?
I am going to tell you today that if you need space to yourself and identify yourself as someone who needs alone time, it is because you are struggling with inauthenticity. The difference between your dog and a person is that you feel like you can completely be in alignment with your unique desires, needs, perspectives, feelings, thoughts and do what you want to do when you are with your dog and you don’t feel like you can do any of that with a person. There is a big incongruence between your internal self and your external self when you are around people. This leads to both pressure and exhaustion. It is hard to act differently than you feel. It is hard to do what you don’t want to do. It is hard to tailor every word and action to the response you want to get from them.
Enmeshment trauma is a common thing in the human species. Enmeshment trauma is distress that is caused by boundaries not being acknowledged, seen as valid or respected. It is most common in households where one adult (or more) refuses to see a child as his or her own person and instead regards them as an extension of themselves… The child is not allowed to have their own desires, needs, perspectives, feelings or thoughts. There were consequences for that. In order to maintain the secure connection they needed with this adult, they had to lose their sense of themselves. They have to forfeit their autonomy. Therefore, the desire to develop a sense of self is as strong for them as the desire for merging is for people who have suffered abandonment.
If you have suffered from enmeshment trauma, the minute that a person steps into the room, you will instantly feel as if you need to cater your every thought, word and action to their desires, needs, perspective and preferences. You will instantly try to create connection with them by anticipating the reaction they will have to anything you do or say so you can only do and say what will get you a positive reaction and avoid doing or saying anything that will get you a negative reaction. You will immediately lose your authenticity for the sake of the connection. It is like walking on broken glass. The tension and pressure you feel as a result of not being able to be natural will be immediate. And it does not matter whether the person is someone who can actually welcome the totality of you as a separate person or not, you will feel this way anyway because it is the way you’ve been conditioned to be in your early life. The other person is essentially a trigger for you to not be yourself. The way your boundaries dissolve is a bit terrifying. It’s as if around other people, you can’t figure out how you feel, you can’t figure out what you really think, what you really want, what you really need and you can’t act in accordance with any of this personal truth. You have lost access to your personal truth.
When you are away from people, away from the trigger of another person, you can have yourself. You have access to how you really feel, what you really need, what you really think and you can act in accordance with that. You are in touch and able to live out your own personal truth. Sometimes you may even wish you didn’t need connection at all because the ‘price’ of connection is the loss of your sense of self, loss of a sense of free will and freedom and incredible degrees of pressure.
The people who are in relationships with you often suffer because they feel constantly pushed away by you. They feel like this because they are right. They are being pushed away. They feel like this because the problem is that to get a strong sense of self, you feel like you have to push people away in a multitude of different ways. When you are unconscious of this dynamic, it is only through that friction of defiance and rebellion to another person that you have a sense of yourself as an individual. And this feels safer to you. It does not feel safe to lose yourself because losing your self in this sense is not the same as becoming one. Instead it is becoming the other person but them not becoming you. It feels like you are being consumed or absorbed by them and losing your free will. So you constantly vacillate between pushing people away and needing them. Relationships do not feel safe to you if you are too close. You can get just close enough to not lose your sense of self. But the second you feel you’re losing yourself, you push them away and then when they go away, you chase them. And then the pattern repeats. This leads to a painful relationship where there is always a gap between two people.
Pushing people way is not a good thing, especially if you are pushing away people that you love. This hurts them and ultimately you as well. It is a reaction you have to the threat of absorption. Being alone can be a good tool to use to get in touch with yourself. But remember that it is a tool. It is not actually necessary for a physical human. Feel the resistance you just had to that statement. That should tell you something about yourself. It would not be necessary if you felt like you could have boundaries and be authentic around people. One of the hardest things for the human species to learn is “I can have myself and have you too”.
If you struggle with this issue of needing space in your relationships and from the people in your life, the first thing you need to work on is boundaries. When people have a poor sense of self, they will think of boundaries like a fence or something that other people don’t get to cross. This means you will think of a boundary as being anything that represents a “NO” for you. Do you feel how this is in opposition to someone? But boundaries are every bit as much about whatever a personal “YES” is for you as well. When one person says they like vanilla ice cream and the other says they like chocolate that is a boundary. When one person says they like vanilla ice cream and the other says “I like vanilla too”, that is still a boundary. A boundary as the imaginary line that uniquely defines your personal happiness, your personal feelings, your personal thoughts, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. This means, regardless of whether people are or aren’t there with you, you need to start consciously getting in touch with your personal integrity, desires, feelings, thoughts, needs and truth and then communicate that and act in alignment with that. There will be boundary conflicts in any relationship. There will be times when your needs conflict and desires conflict and personal truth conflicts. This is ok. This will simply be a time for conflict resolution. It will not be a time for either of you to simply give up your boundaries for the sake of remaining connected to the other. To understand more about boundaries, watch my video titled: Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How To Develop Healthy Boundaries).
The second thing you need to do is to commit to a path of authenticity. Notice and mend the incongruences between your inner self and outer self. To understand how to do this, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic. Commit to authenticity regardless of whether you are in the room with another person or not. If you let it happen, any people who do not belong with your true self will gravitate away and leave the space open to be filled by the people who do belong with your true self and in turn; you will feel at ease around them. You will not feel like you need space from them any more than you feel like you need space from your dog because you can be completely yourself around them. And you will know true and genuine connection for the first time.
After all, unless you are willing to show who you really are, how you really feel, what you really think, what you really want and start acting in alignment with your personal truth, no one can even see or feel or touch your core so as to really love and connect with you. Be brave enough to take this step.
Authenticity is a word that you hear flying around spiritual communities and self help gatherings and psychology offices all the time. I myself am leading an authenticity movement. But what does authenticity really mean?
Something that is authentic is not copied. It is genuine and it is real and it is true. As authenticity applies to a human being, we must swallow the reality that each and every person comes into this life as a unique expression of source consciousness. This means each person comes in with a unique essence, like an energetic signature and our unique purpose and unique thoughts and unique feelings and unique desires and unique needs and unique role within the greater universe is embedded in that essence.
Our life experience is a process of unfolding. You could picture that essence as a unique pearl that is contained inside of a lotus flower that is tightly closed. In a perfect world that lotus blossom would bloom naturally to reveal the pearl within to the world. The parenting and socialization process would be a process of enabling a child to unfold in that way. If we did not interfere with this process and simply met the unique needs of the unique child in front of us, it would naturally happen this way. But this is not the world that we live in. We live in a world where the process of socialization and therefore parenting, is quite often an impediment to this process of unfolding.
When we come into the world the people around us do not look at us like gifts to nurture so we can unfold so they can see the unique pearl within us. The people around us look at us as if we are a raw substance to mold into what they think is best for us and for them. They tell us that certain things are acceptable and if we are those things, we will be loved and safe. They tell us that certain things are unacceptable and if we are those things, we will be rejected and unsafe. Anything that remotely resembles something that will meet with disapproval is then something that we feel vulnerable about. And we begin a process of splitting ourselves. We put forward only the things about us that make us loved and safe in the world. The rest, we keep hidden. It is as if we will not let certain lotus petals open and therefore keep the pearl hidden so as to fit into the world, be loved and feel safe.
This means that our personalities are in essence, fake. Our personalities are merely the parts of us that we identified with or developed so as to stay safe and away from vulnerability in the very specific situations that we were raised in. We suppress, reject, deny and disown the aspects that make us vulnerable or get us disapproved of in the world. By doing this, they become subconscious. They are buried outside of our awareness and we don’t know they even exist. To understand more about this process, I encourage you to watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
We can only be authentic to the degree that we currently know ourselves. Better said, we can only be authentic to the degree that we are currently aware of ourselves. And because so much of us is denied, rejected, disowned and suppressed into the subconscious, we are not aware of very much of ourselves. We are copies of other people. We are not genuine. We are not real and we do not reflect what is true at our core. Our commitment to unfolding usually ends up being something that we have to take charge of and allow to happen in spite of the world. We end up having to sort through illusion to find what is real about us.
The process of becoming authentic, which is finding your essence again and allowing that to be shared with the world is no different that the process of awakening. And so, for the sake of awakening, I will give you some tips about how to be authentic.
The simplest way to understand authenticity (beyond it being an uncovering of your personal essence) is that authenticity is the conscious mending of the incongruences between one’s inner self and outer self. Authenticity is when your inside matches your outside. You have most likely heard the term “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. This is an example of inauthenticity. The wolf is not a sheep; he is showing a sheep to the outside when inside he is a wolf. It would be no better if a sheep was in wolfs clothing. There are all kinds of incongruences between one’s inner self and outer self. When a person is working at a job they hate, this is inauthentic because their outer work does not match their inner desires for work. When a person says they like someone or acts as if they do, when the truth is they hate them and want to be nowhere near them, this is inauthentic. When a person says they are not artistic, because they suppressed that inside themselves long ago, this is not authentic. When a person denied how they feel because they have learned certain feelings are not acceptable, this is not authentic. When we care so much about seeing ourselves as good that we cannot admit to aspects within us that wouldn’t be seen as good, we are inauthentic. When we have two Facebook accounts, one for the people we know from work and family and one for the things we are actually interested in that they would negatively judge us for, we are inauthentic. When we are gay but we pretend to be straight, we are being inauthentic. To be honest, our entire society today is based on pretenses. But the time has come for this to end. It is one of the greatest barriers to awakening. So the question to live by is: Is there any incongruence between by outer self and inner self?
It is a far bigger deal to not even realize or admit to yourself that an incongruence exists between your inner self and outer self and that therefore you are being inauthentic than it is to consciously choose to be inauthentic. In an ideal world, we could all be transparent, honest and authentic 24 hours a day. This is the world I want to create. But it is not the reality of the world we currently live in. For some of you, there may be times that call for you to be consciously inauthentic. These scenarios, which force us to question our own potentially limited perspective and also consult our own conscience, are a dramatic call for us to awaken. But proceed into authenticity knowing that becoming authentic is much more about becoming aware of what is REAL and from there, you get to consciously choose how to share that realness with the world and even what part of it to share according to your own continually evolving and expanding perspective. The most dangerous adversary to authenticity is not pretending. It is denial. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How to Call Bulls#!t on Denial.
Be willing to look bad to yourself and others. Or at least be willing to confront the incredible terror you have of doing this. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid shame. Shame is the number one enemy to the human ego. But this means that we are constantly avoiding anything that is real about us that could possibly make us look bad to ourselves or bad to others. So we are never actually able to face and work with what is real about us. Most often, we only stop this when we are in so much pain as a result of being inauthentic that we can’t be inauthentic any longer and so we are willing to deal with the negative consequences of our authenticity.
I’m asking you to make this leap before you get pushed up against a wall like that. Accept what is real about yourself, regardless of whether you judge it as bad or good. To a certain degree all people wrestle with what is. We have an intolerance for things the way they are and so we want to change it. We fight what is as if our survival depends on it. Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance. What does it mean to accept something? To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct. Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in. Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something. It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not. It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out.
The heart of being authentic is being vulnerable. The reason we aren’t authentic is because we are afraid of what will happen if we are. We are afraid that we will be rejected, unloved, not received because we have been taught either intentionally or unintentionally that we will be. Many people think they are being authentic when they aren’t because they are only exposing part of what is true. Here is an example of what I mean: You could think it’s authentic to express “you know what, you’re just too self centered to pay attention to anyone except yourself and where you want to go.” But this is actually just defense. And it only represents our anger, when that is a small fraction of what is real. Being authentic might look something more like this… “That was really scary, it made me feel like I was invisible and didn’t matter.” One of the best ways to figure out how to express authentically is to ask yourself, what is the opposite of being defensive in this scenario? Whatever you are trying to defend is in fact the vulnerability that you need to be authentic about. Relative to authenticity, expression is about telling the whole truth, not just parts of it. And that includes a whole range of emotions. For this reason, I want you to watch my video titled: How To Express Your Emotion.
The root of authenticity is knowing how you feel and admitting it to yourself and subsequently others. Your emotions are like a compass. A compass that is bringing you straight to awareness. In the same way that a compass tells you where you are located in space and what direction to go, your emotions tell you what vibration you are currently holding and what direction to go to improve that personal frequency so that the circumstances of your outer life are in alignment with your essence. Your emotions are also the doorway to discovering the subconscious limitations you have which are preventing your authenticity. We do not collectively understand what emotions are and what purpose they serve. We are essentially living in an emotional dark age. For this reason, I want you to watch my videos titled: How To Feel and The Emotional Wake Up Call.
Become aware of your thoughts and beliefs and question them. Our thoughts and beliefs can either be true to our essence or they can be the very thing that is preventing the un-covery of our essence. The reality of me is that I may be thinking a thought like “no one will ever love me”. That thought may be preventing me from uncovering my essence. The thought itself may be an illusion, but it is still real because I am really thinking it. And I can only question it and discover that it is an illusion if I can admit that it is there. I can only change a core belief once I know that it is there. I want you to become conscious of the fact that truth and illusion are both part of what is real.
Most of us do not see ourselves objectively. We are not aware of our actual actions. We aren’t aware of whether our inner world matches our outer world because we are inside ourselves. We are looking through the telescope of our own perspective. We watch other people, but not ourselves. Get into the habit of ‘objective viewing’. This can be done easily in meditation where you imagine stepping outside your body and watching yourself from bird’s eye view. Watch as if you are literally a bird who has no attachment to the human (you) it is watching. The human (you) is just a thing in the world that it is observing. Re-witness arguments you’ve had from this perspective, what you did over the course of an entire day, watch yourself in the shower, watch yourself at work, watch yourself making love. The sky is the limit for situations you can watch yourself in. Just notice what you see. If you really want to be committed to seeing yourself objectively, film yourself. But notice the tightness in your body when you know someone is or could be watching you. Notice when you alter your behavior or tailor your response to what you know will be approved of when you are being filmed. We always see the truth of the discrepancy between our inner and outer world when we don’t know we are being filmed.
You can only work with something that is real. Unless you know and admit to what you really think, really feel, really want, really need and actually do, you are working with illusion and you are not going to get anywhere. It is like building a castle on thin air. It will crumble. Anything in life can either be true to our unique essence or the very thing that is preventing us from uncovering that unique essence. Literally anything you do that makes you more self-aware is a step in the direction of authenticity.
Authenticity is the highest state of being that one can achieve. In the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice and more than that, the true goal of life itself. And as such, our society will be an expression of our collective human essence instead of the very thing that molds it, corrupts it, keeps it hidden and shuts it up.
I’m going to start this article by just telling it like it is… People suck at relationships. Not that I blame most people for this. Relationships are the central part of life and also the hardest part of life and yet our schools teach us a minimum of 13 years of math and science and geography and history, but nothing about relationships and how to make them work.
The level of miscommunication that takes place in relationships is so extreme that it is a wonder we can manage relationships at all. So often we feel like we’re caught in a losing guessing game in relationships about what we need to do in order to make the other person happy. Today I’m going to end a big chunk of that guessing game for you.
I want you to consider that the minute you enter into a relationship, there are now 3 entities, you, the other person and the relationship. The relationship is the third entity. At any given time, your energy (which feeds whatever it is given to) can be given to yourself, your partner or the relationship. At any given time, their energy could be focused on themselves, you, or the relationship.
Sometimes, energy focused towards the relationship bleeds over and feeds one of the people in the relationship. This is especially true if energy focused at the relationship takes pressure off of one person. But more often than not, it doesn’t. For example, when we go to relationship therapy or to a couple’s workshop, this strengthens the relationship but it does not feed energy to either person. Instead, both people are feeding their energy into the third entity of the relationship.
One of the biggest problems in relationships is that one person isn’t getting fed with enough loving energy. This happens for one of three reasons.
We are putting lots of energy into the relationship but not into the other person we are in a relationship with.
We are putting lots of energy towards things we think are for the other person, but they don’t feel loved that way. Essentially there is a miscommunication about what feeds the other person with love.
One person in the relationship is genuinely uninterested in giving, and is only interested in taking from the relationship and from the other person. This is a parasitic relationship, not a symbiotic one.
It is rare that we are with someone who is genuinely only interested in taking in a relationship. More often than not, if someone seems self-centered or a relationship seems like a one-way relationship, it is because they are either feeding the relationship and not the other person in the relationship or because they are feeding the other person in ways that don’t feed the other person.
What needs to happen in your relationship is a 2-part process.
The first part is that each person needs to write a list of the things that make them feel loved and fed with energy from the other person. Make this list as long as possible and then score them from 1-10, with 10 being the most important and the things that make me feel the most loved and emotionally/energetically fed by the other person. And arrange them in order of most important to least, so that your partner has a reference for the things that will make the most impact. But write it in third person.
Here are some examples…
10 Buy her gifts that say “I care” for no reason other than that you love her.
10 Take her on a date that you plan by surprise
10 Put effort into Holidays/Family days/ Community Gatherings and creating Tradition (This is mostly for the family/relationship… but it would mean so much to her to have the pressure taken off of her by you driving the ‘togetherness’ ship.
10 Help her through her anxiety in the morning/ help her process issues she has with other people.
10 Help her set up and devise ways to create passive income
10 Be a gentleman (opening doors, carrying things, walking on the street side of a walkway, help her on with her jacket, lead her with your hand and being attuned to her ‘state’ and needs as if she were a prized possession).
10 Make sure she is protected. Shield her from unnecessary problems, lock up the house at night. Make sure she’s safe wherever she goes and defend her.
10 Become a Teal Swan expert. REALLY put effort into understanding her and her inner world.
9 Take her to Ballet or Opera
9 Act excited/enthusiastic about things she creates or does or is passionate about. Mean it when you do it. Give her an “I really care” reaction.
7 Hold her tummy
8 Take her to a restaurant… but specifically for her (not just let’s go get food)
8 Tell her she’s beautiful and go into detail.
8 Keep your beard shaved so the stubble doesn’t hurt her face
8 If you know she is struggling with something or is wanting to get into something, put the initiative forward to make it happen for her to get help with it or to do it.
7 Foot rubs
7 Take her to the movies, but a movie you know she would like
7 Make her food you think she’d like or make her tea or some other drink that she’d like or even just get stuff at whole foods for dinner and bring it home for her.
7 Rub her shoulders and neck
7 Post something nice about her on your Facebook account for everyone to see.
7 Hug her from behind
6 Plan a romantic get away where the things that are done on that getaway are FOR her.
6 Do something to make the house even more beautiful for her… like a project you know she would love.
5 Take her shopping using his money wherever she wants or to a place you know she’ll like
5 Love notes
5 Take her to dance class
4 Take her to do art somewhere
3 Make her a rose petal bath
3 Pack a picnic and take her somewhere to eat it.
3 Send her sweet texts during the day
3 Drive her places that she needs to go so she feels ‘supported’ and not on her own.
2 Read books and watch programs on being a better husband/spouse… Take those type of self improvement actions that benefit her and the relationship
The second thing is to give this list to your partner and to have your partner give you his or her list. And to have a conversation about each item on the list so that you can both arrive at clarity about it. From there, you need to talk about the ways that you feel each of you gives to the other person. What do you do that you think you are doing for the other person? Pretend the other person isn’t even there and you’re telling a neutral third party the things you do for them. And with each item, you get to tell each other whether you actually feel like that is giving to you or not.
Here is an example, for most women, sex is a transaction. It is a way that women get relationship security. So they give a guy sex, which feeds him so that they can get relationship security. So, pretend a man says “I give to you by making love to you”. This would not make a woman feel nourished because it is transactional. She is in fact giving first in order to get. We can debate the health of that state of being later. But for the sake of this episode, a man could feel like he’s giving to her when in fact she feels like she is giving to him.
So much of the time when partners feel like the other is self centered it is because they are both doing something they think is for the other partner at the same time. For example, I worked with a couple that went running in the morning together. The husband listed going running with her as something that he did for her and the wife listed it as something she does or him. On that same list, the husband listed going to art fairs as something he does for her and she listed it as something she does for him. By the end of the day, each person felt depleted by the other and it was because they were spending energy towards the other person in ways that the other person didn’t actually want it. When they figured this out, they stopped running together and they agreed that if they went to art fairs, they would go with the mentality that is was mutually interesting, not giving to the other on either of their parts. Their focus then turned towards what things they could do specifically FOR each other that would have maximum impact. What you find when you do this is lots of time and effort spent running up against a brick wall and instead, by stopping that losing strategy, the space is actually there to put energy into things that actually work. Often they require much less effort as well.
Sometimes, we can do things for the other person or for the relationship that we like as well so it can be something that feeds them and feeds us too. But I’m going to teach you a trick, doing something for the other person specifically in a relationship, always feeds the relationship in the same way that feeding a mother, always feeds the baby in her womb. People who are being nourished by someone else, feel good about the relationship. It makes the relationship secure. So the best way to create a good relationship is to feed them with energy and do loving things for them specifically and in a direct way, not an indirect way.
An example of an indirect way of loving someone is commonly seen in men and their families. A man may focus all of his energy on his work, saying that he is earning money for his family specifically. But they do not feel loved in this way. After all, his financial success is something that means a lot to him. So it seems more self-serving than other-serving to his family. Perhaps a better way of showing love to his family is to set up at least one day a week where his attention is entirely on them without the cell phone.
We must consider that the way we are giving to someone is not the way they receive. We have to strategize different ways to do things for the other person and organize our lives so that what we are giving to our partner is something that they value and receive. Sometimes this changes day to day. We have to be tuned in enough to feel this shift. For example, I may have ‘being taken to the movie theatre’ listed as a way I feel the most loved. But if I get sick, I will feel more loved if my partner brings me hot soup and watches a movie on the couch with me than if he takes me to the move theatre. In fact, in this scenario, taking me to the movie theatre would make me feel unloved because it would mean he isn’t connected with me enough to feel how bad I feel. For more information about developing the capacity to attune to people, watch my video titled: Attunement (The Key To A Good Relationship).
Become crystal clear with your partner or friend about what you are doing for yourself, what they are doing for themselves, what you are doing for them, what they are doing for you and what you are both doing for the third entity of the relationship. Don’t make it a tit for tat type of relationship. That isn’t what this is about. But a relationship is made good by mutual nourishment. You can and will do things for yourself throughout the day. But if you wake up with the attitude of “what can I do to make my partner or friend feel loved and nourished today” and they wake up with the “what can I do to make my partner feel loved and nourished today”, you will both be feeding each other. Some days more of the focus and nourishment will go towards one of you, another day, more of the focus and nourishment will go towards the other. But no one will be starving and both will feel good about the relationship.
From there, every time we go to do something, we become clear as a couple who we are doing the thing for. Is the thing we are about to be doing for ourselves, for both of us, for the relationship, or for the other person? And based off of that information, do we need to make any changes before we go do it? Do we want to go do it at all? Do we want to do it together? Either way, we can consciously see where our energy is flowing so as to create the most harmonious and mutually nourishing relationship possible.
When a child is born, we look at its size and its inabilities and lack of experience and we think therefore that our job is to lead that child. We think the child is a thing that belongs to us. That it is our duty to mold it into what we think will be the best for it. We think it is our job to lead the child. We think this because we have no memory of the way that progression and expansion actually works in this universe.
I want you to imagine that the consciousness of a specific family line is like a current within the ocean. If the ocean is the totality of united consciousness, including all people and all families and all societies and all worlds. When you come into this life, you come in as part of that current within the ocean that is your family. You come in as an embodiment of the progression of your family’s consciousness. Each generation that is born is the next step of evolution of that specific family’s consciousness. For this reason, you can see that you are the born as the evolution of your own parents consciousness.
Expansion is created through desire. Desire that is conscious as well as desire that is subconscious. Every desire that has arisen, both consciously and subconsciously from you, is added to the source stream current that is your family’s consciousness. That desire is calling you towards it every day. Sometimes, you line up vibrationally with that thing you desire, and it manifests physically in your life. Sometimes you don’t. The desires that cannot be actualized by parents come through their children. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Happiness Is The Purpose of Your Life, Want to Know Why?
As your parents lived their life, they gave rise to desires. Some desires they knew about. For example, perhaps they always wanted to be an artist, but they were forced by their parents to do something more practical. Some desires, they forgot about. The process of socialization teaches us that some things are acceptable and some are not. The things that are seen as not acceptable become suppressed, denied, disowned, and rejected and eventually become a part of the subconscious. A basic soul desire within us all is to become whole again. In a more straightforward way, down deep, we desire to re-integrate with parts of us that we learned were unacceptable and experience them being loved and wanted and part of us. Therefore, lets say that a woman is born into a family that is not ok with anger at all. She has an angry self that is suppressed deep within her. Her subconscious desire is to have that part of her be accepted and loved and be a part of her. After all, this part of her might actually be the one that holds her boundaries and right now in her life, she has no boundaries. She’s a living, breathing doormat. If she cannot line up with her desires in her life, they will come through her child. Her child will be born as the embodiment of her desires for herself. The conscious and subconscious desires of the family line. Her child is likely to be angry.
The child, being born as the expanded form of consciousness within the family line, is born as the single biggest thing that is calling the parent into his or her own expansion and awakening. If in the previous scenario, when a child comes in with an angry disposition, it is an offering for the woman to re-own her own anger. By doing so, she had access to her own boundaries and thus, her life improves. She will actualize her desires. However, we do not usually recognize that this is what is happening with children. Instead, we try to crush in them what we cannot own within ourselves. We treat them with the same rejection, suppression, denial and disapproval that we gave to those aspects in ourselves. This is especially true for subconscious aspects of us and desires. We inflict the same wound on our children that our parents inflicted on us.
The dynamic that is occurring is that there is a vibrational distance between where the parent is and where the child is. And instead of the parent closing that energetic distance by progressing forward toward his or her own expansion (which is the vibration the child is in), they try to drag the child backwards to join them in their less expanded vibration. The unhappiness between parents and children is entirely about this process. And in doing this, we prevent the expansion of not only ourselves, but also our entire family line.
The parent and child relationship was always meant to be a partnership in expansion and awakening. We cannot do this if we take an attitude of superiority towards our children and do not realize that they, being incarnated with the essence of our desires and thus expansion, are our biggest opportunity to expand and become fully conscious. Parenting cannot be hierarchical for this to occur. The parenting process is something that must happen hand in hand. You must let them lead you into the expanded place. And your parenting of them must be designed in a way where by parenting them, you are parenting yourself into the expanded place that they are calling you to.
For example, lets say that you always had a subconscious desire for your parents to be fully present with you when they were with you, not preoccupied with work or the television. Chances are you had to suppress that desire and you had to become a “doer”. Your children will come in then with the full capacity to be completely present and fully engaged with other people. There will start to be friction in the relationship because they want this presence from you and you will fight with them about how busy you are, instead of realizing that this is your opportunity to become what you always wanted and get what you always wanted. If you became conscious of this, you could practice parenting them with presence, being completely engaged with them when you are with them. By doing this, you would not only line up with your own desire, but you would be enabling that expansion of your own consciousness that is embodied within them.
Your conflicts with your children are always an opportunity to recognize an area where they are trying to call you into the place of your own expansion, which is the place where you can best meet their needs and teach them how to carve out their own life here in the world. And when you do that, the conflict with your child goes away.
Our children do not belong to us. They belong with us, but not to us. They come in with a unique life purpose and mission. We fail to recognize and tune into each child’s unique essence. We don’t listen and see and feel them with all of ourselves so as to make the right decision for them. We don’t see how doing this is actually the best thing for us. Separate who you are from who each child is. When you impose what you think is best on your child, what you are often doing is cutting them off from their own unique calling and unique spirit and unique signature. They are already in touch with who they are and what they want. Our job is to help them actualize this. And the only way for us to do this is to realize that they are the embodiment of our own expansion. The only way to parent them so as to help them actualize their innate essence and desires and purpose is to line up with our own desires, both conscious and subconscious. To do this, we must consider that we hold beliefs, values, thoughts, assumptions and motivations that we have never questioned or examined. We inherited them and pass them on, regardless of whether they are chains that imprison us or keys that set us free.
I want to offer an idea that every interaction with your child is an opportunity to examine these beliefs, thoughts, assumptions, motivations and values so as to become more conscious and give to our children, keys instead of chains. Every interaction with your child is an opportunity to either bolster their spirit or diminish it and in doing so, either support your own expanding consciousness, or hold it back.
For example, say a child comes into the house holding a frog that is covered in mud, super excited to show it to you. At this moment, you are at a crossroads. What you say can either support their spirit or crush it. If you recognize their openness and excitement to share with you at that moment, you may decide that reacting in an excited way will increase their self-esteem and enhance their openness towards life and towards you. You may decide that is more important in this moment than a dirty floor. You may see that keeping the house clean can be a lesson for another day because if you get upset at them for getting the house muddy, you will shut down their excitement and openness and connection to you in this moment. The parenting process is nothing more than an accumulation of moments that are opportunities for us to be present and conscious like that. That is the only way we will parent them in the way that causes them to become self-actualized adults who are happy. When we take this approach to parenting, even discipline will take on a form that adds to a child instead of diminishes a child.
From this day forward, I ask you to take this understanding of the actual dynamic occurring at a higher level between parent and child. I ask you to realize that each moment with them is a crossroads of enabling their spirit or disabling it and by its very nature, enabling it, is enabling your own expansion. And every time you get into conflict with your child, consider that they are merely calling you into your own expansion and often by reflecting to you, something that you disowned within yourself long ago and need to learn how to re-own and accept as part of yourself and eventually love. To discover these unconscious aspects, we need to ask ourselves WHY we are reacting the way we are reacting to them when they are exhibiting the certain behaviors that cause us to react negatively to them. They will continue to mirror aspects of your own unconscious to you so that you can become conscious of them and integrate them.
Take note of how your child is making you feel in the moment of conflict and realize, they are making you feel exactly how you are making them feel. Children always set us up unintentionally to make us feel the exact same way that we have been making them feel. They are a mirror. Focus on what you can do differently to change that way that you now know that you are making them feel instead of asking the reflection in the mirror to change.
Every moment we answer the call of our children by witnessing our unconsciousness, we become more conscious and the answer about what to do differently, how to best parent them, naturally comes to us as if it were always knocking on our door and we were simply not letting it in.
Before a living being encounters trauma, it is in a state of cohesion. We could say that he or she is in a state of oneness or experiences wholeness in and of themself. Trauma is merely a state of emotional and mental distress caused by an experience that is not resolved. You don’t have to be abused or experience what a person would consider to be a tragedy (like war or sexual abuse or loss of a loved one) to experience trauma. It is traumatic to experience birth in today’s mainstream medical facilities. It is traumatic to a baby to be weaned. It is traumatic to a three year old to lose track of his mother in a grocery store. Even the best parents on earth cannot manage to raise a child in a way that the child will experience no trauma. The problem is that if we do not have a way to resolve and thus integrate that trauma we experience when we are young, we must dissociate from it.
Consciousness itself functions like water. Therefore, you can imagine the dissociation process as it occurs within consciousness by thinking about a river. If you are looking at a river from above, you can see that a large river often branches off into smaller rivers and each time this happens, there is less water available to the main river. At the moment of trauma, when we dissociate, part of our consciousness branches off from our main consciousness. Our consciousness splits, just like the river does. It is an act of self-preservation.
It is easier to comprehend of this process of splitting that is fragmentation in terms of how it effects our being by imagining that when our consciousness splits as the result of trauma, our ego splits in two. Our sense of self becomes fragmented. So even though we have one body, within that body, we end up with multiple selves. The best way to picture this is to imagine that inside your body, you have a collection of Siamese twins. They are technically all conjoined because they all share one body. But each one has its own identity, its own desires, needs, perspective, strengths, weaknesses and appearance. For example, inside my body, I could have an aspect of myself that is a warrior princess, one that is like a male war admiral, one that is a tiny crying child, one that is a queen, one that is a cat, one that is an extraterrestrial and one that is a demon. Some might even be able to give me names for themselves if I ask them to. There is really no limit to how many can be inside a person. I have seen as little as three and as many as hundreds. Each one has an opposite. In the moment of trauma, there is a split between the vulnerable self and the self that coped with that vulnerability so as to self preserve.
The mistake we have made within society is to think that only some people suffer from what psychologists call multiple personality disorder. The reality is that all people do. The question is… to what degree? Most people aren’t walking around calling themselves by one name one minute and another name the next. But how many people behave completely differently in one scenario than they do in another? How many people have multiple “sides”? How many people can’t make a decision because they feel torn? These are all indications that we have multiple selves operating within us at any given time. Our degree of internal suffering is about the degree of harmony or lack there of between these internal selves.
Our world today is a mirror reflection of the internal war between our inner selves. Not a day goes by that someone isn’t hurting, rejecting, shaming or killing someone else. There’s always some kind of war or genocide or human trafficking going on in our planet so far. Until we re-integrate, just like the world, there is always some personalities within us that love other personalities within us, some that hate others, some that protect others, some that want to control others, some that wont acknowledge the existence of others. And some that don’t even know others exist.
So, you know how I said that each one has an opposite because in the moment of trauma, there is a split between the vulnerable self and the self that coped with that vulnerability so as to self preserve? This is super important because we identify with the parts of ourselves that coped to self preserve. These aspects protected us. They allowed us to stay as far away from our vulnerability as possible. For example, given my career, you can see that I have identified with the aspect of myself that is a knower and a teacher. Perhaps this aspect of me that understands everything was created to cope with a blidsiding trauma that I didn’t understand. Perhaps within me is an aspect, an inner child self even, that is terrified and confused and that doesn’t understand.
Our personalities are in essence, fake. We come in with raw potential and that potential gets sorted by our life experience. Our personalities are merely the parts that we identified with so as to stay safe and away from vulnerability in the very specific situations that we were raised in. We suppress, reject, deny and disown the aspects that make us vulnerable or get us disapproved of in the world. By doing this, they become subconscious. They are buried outside of our awareness and we don’t know they even exist, even though they tend to be visible to other people around us.
Fragmentation is a function of consciousness and everything in this universe is consciousness. So this means, anything can fragment. This fragmentation happens in the body as well. In fact, the single biggest cause of ailment within the body is fragmentation within the consciousness of the various parts of the body as well. I’ll give you an example; a woman who experienced sexual trauma might have a womb whose consciousness is fragmented to the degree that each part of her womb has different feelings and desires. Let’s imagine that she is infertile but that the doctors can’t find any physical reason for it. If we imagine that her ovaries were like mini selves that could talk to us, they might say, “I don’t want a baby. Everything precious gets taken away from me”. This might be enough for the body to simply not produce viable eggs. In another woman with this same issue, this underlying issue within the consciousness of the ovaries might turn into Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, where the body is literally holding on to and not releasing its eggs. If we talk to the uterus of this same woman, it might feel emotionally warm and nurturing and say, “I’m so excited to create life. I’m ready.” If we talk to her cervix, it may violently say, “fuck you, nothing is getting through me. I am not letting anything touch me ever again”. The cervix is serving as a protector against everything… including sperm. As you can see, only one part of many actually wants a baby and so all of her energy is not actually aligned with conceiving a child, even though her conscious mind might be totally unaware of it. She may look at you straight in the face and say, “I’m so desperate to have a baby”. Everything has consciousness and so, everything can be treated as an individual self so as to dis-identify with it far enough to really see it, understand it, learn from it and meet its needs so as to help it to integrate and become a more harmonious part of the whole.
There are several strategies to use for the re-integration of fragmented parts. We first need to become aware of them. Any time an energetic shift happens within us or we notice ourselves reacting to things in strong ways, we can consider that one of our parts has taken over within our body. We can then use this opportunity to become aware of this specific part within us. As well as the part of us that is opposite of it in the split. For example, perhaps the personality presenting itself is a war general and the personality to the exact opposite of that shows up as a daisy flower.
One method is that we can close our eyes and ask to see this part in our minds eye. We let the image appear however it appears. If it helps us, we can see if this part within us has a name. We can begin to observe it and study its behaviors and perspectives and wants and needs and motivations. We can ask it questions. We can explore its relationship to other parts within us. This is in fact the strategy used by methods like inner child work and parts work and voice dialogue and internal family systems therapy. If you are interested in getting help to explore your own fragmentation, I highly suggest looking into these methods and even reaching out to experts in one of these methods for help. Long story short, we can choose to resolve the pain contained in this part that is keeping it fragmented from the rest of us. We can meet its needs with our imagination and subsequently implement the changes this part of us needs in our day-to-day life. We can also improve the relationship that each part has with every other part within us. By doing this, we create internal peace and integration. We can restore ourselves back to a state of internal peace. This is perhaps the safest way of going about this process of exploring fragmentation but I am going to expose a much more radical way of exploring fragmentation.
Everything in this universe is made of consciousness. We like to think that we are limited to only our own consciousness. But what a method actor knows is that they can actually take on the consciousness of someone or something entirely different by letting go of their own consciousness and perspective first. They can get into character so deep that they don’t even relate to themselves anymore and often die tragically after their darkest roles for this reason. When this is happening, they aren’t ‘pretending’. In pretending, you are using your mind to imagine what it might be like to be something else. When we are pretending, we are experiencing something else through the filter of our own consciousness. What a method actor is doing is removing this filter entirely. He or she is consciously choosing to become possessed. It is a form of willing possession. They are allowing their body to be taken over by another consciousness.
A method actor usually has a very poor grasp of their own identity. This is why they find this process so easy. But we can all do this in fact to the degree that we are capable of stepping away from our own consciousness and identity and inviting another consciousness to take over our body. We can also split so part of us is possessed and part of us is watching that possession.
Intentional possession can be used as a technique to understand anything that is hidden from the conscious mind. It can be used to heal and to improve the relationship between different consciousness’s within you that have fragmented. There are many more applications for it, but I won’t be going into those in this particular video because some of them are too risky for most people to use.
For example, using the previous analogy, you could decide to allow the consciousness of your left ovary to take over your body. State internally to yourself or choose with your intention, “I accept to become my left ovary.” Then surrender and allow the energy of your ovary to fill in the spaces within your whole body. Then, you can talk or write as your ovary. You will write or speak in terms of “I” but, “I” will be your ovary speaking, not you. Don’t think about the answers you give, just give them as if you are doing a steam of consciousness exercise. Know that anything that is said or felt during this exercise is valid and has appeared for an important reason. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can also have someone else accept to become your left ovary so that you can have a conversation with it directly so as to understand it and figure out how to resolve its wounding and meet its needs directly. When you are done, you can state internally to yourself “I now release myself from being my left ovary” and remind yourself of who you are and what year it is and where you are so you can accept your own consciousness back into your embodiment.
Make sure when you do this that you don’t do it with the attitude that any part is bad or has to change or that it must unify with other parts. All of this is resistance to the individual parts. It is disapproval for their fragmentation and I can tell you, they had good reason to do so. Do this with the attitude of compassionately and genuinely wanting to understand it so that you can better meet its needs and bring it closer to yourself rather than pushing it away from yourself.
The goal of re-integration is not to force these aspects within you to become one. Nor is it to become identified with whatever ones you like the most and eradicate others. Instead, it is to realize that you are simultaneously all and none of these aspects. Your own consciousness is like a witness that sits in the center of them all. It can hold the extreme polarities and even facilitate harmony between them. It can be compared to the center point on the infinity symbol. Your consciousness is the point in the center of both extremes. It is pure awareness between consciousness and unconsciousness. And that awareness is able to create harmony between the fragmented aspects of you simply through the loving witnessing of them.
I am aware that this episode, being about such a wide and extensive topic with all of its plethora of implications, will leave you with a lot of questions. I have left it like this intentionally because I want you to think this week about what I have said. I want you to begin to recognize fragmentation within yourself and within the world. I want you to ponder the implications of this state of being within yourself and within the world. After all, it is the worldwide disease.
In a previous video, I explained the concept of fragmentation. I explained that even though we identify ourselves as one person with one personality and one name, the truth is in fact much different than that. I explained that all people in fact have multiple selves within them. You could think of this like a collection of Siamese twins that lives inside one body and that either get along well or fight to control the body as well as each other. To understand more about this concept in depth, watch my video: Fragmentation (The Worldwide Disease).
When a person grows up in an atmosphere of shame, they fragment internally in a way where some of these selves that develop, develop specifically to hold our shame or to protect us from the vulnerability we feel. You can imagine that that we develop three distinct kinds of selves in response to shaming and circumstances that cause us to feel completely vulnerable.
Selves that are the embodiments of whatever we were shamed about so we can keep those traits away from the personality that we show to the world.
Selves that are the embodiments of whatever we believed would protect our vulnerability from the world.
Selves that are the embodiments of our vulnerability, which the protector selves hide from the world.
For example, if we were the scapegoat of our family, we were constantly seen as the problem. We might have a self that is the embodiment of whatever problem our parents said we had. If they focused at us being mentally ill, we may have a self that appears to us that is desperate and suicidal in a straight jacket. This is the embodiment of what we were shamed about. We might also have a self that appears to us as a black, demonic looking entity that is intent on destroying people. This is the embodiment of what we believed would protect us from the world. We might also have a 4 year old inner child who is powerless to make mom and dad approve of him and who cannot figure out what he did that is so wrong that they are treating him like he is the problem in the family. This is the embodiment of our vulnerability, what our black demon self is trying to hide from the world.
If, like in this previous scenario, we were continually treated as if we were bad, we may have a part within us that appears to be demonic and evil. These shame selves tend to be the ones we are the most resistant to integrating. We have a disapproving and rejecting attitude towards them. We want them to be fixed, to change, to go away or to be exorcised from us. But this attitude we have towards them simply reinforces the atmosphere of shame within our own being.
When we seek to understand these shame selves with compassion, we see that they too, are vulnerable selves. Even those who present themselves as all-powerful, malevolent and evil, contain the pain of being treated how they are treated and of not being able to have the approval and inclusion and safety they really want. If we can get to and directly address the pain these selves contain, we can change the way they manifest themselves in our life. We can dramatically reduce the shame we feel in our life and re-own the incredibly valuable things that have been disowned in the process of rejecting them.
Here is an example, I was raised by a mother who was a ‘bra burner’ in the 60s women’s rights movement. Having watched the continual objectification of women in her childhood, she dramatically rebelled against the sexualization of women. When I began to come into my own sexuality and wanted to wear makeup and high heels and dress sexy and flirt with boys, my mother had a visceral negative reaction to it. She looked at me with disgust, made derogatory remarks and told me that I was destroying everything she and the women of her time worked so hard for. I wasn’t getting enough love from her to begin with to be motivated to alter my behaviors so as to be more sexually conservative. But deep down, I felt extreme shame about myself as a sexual being.
I was also raised in a conservative Mormon town and so I was being treated by the rest of society like I was a slut too. Even though I never ‘hid’ my sexuality, I discovered a shame self within me that took the shape of a Siren. In my mind’s eye, she appeared as a beautiful naked woman on a rocky island, a bit like the old images of Aphrodite. She was affixed to the rock, unable to move and in a state of despair because all around her feet were the skeletons of men. She was starving for partnership, love, secure and permanent connection, but every time a man came to shore, enticed by her obvious beauty, against her will, her eyes would turn into laser beams and they would be struck down to rot at her feet. She couldn’t move, so she couldn’t hide her beauty, so it was fate that they would be lured in and killed. She felt totally powerless to prevent this.
When I first saw this self of mine, my first reaction was to be repelled by it. I judged her as evil. It wasn’t until I recognized the desperation and despair within her as well as the fact that she didn’t want the men to die, she simply couldn’t do anything to prevent it, that I realized the true root of my own shame. It is that I couldn’t hide the fact that I have always been sexually attractive. But I had been led to believe it was harmful and dangerous to others. It was evil. Not being able to stay in touch with this ‘bad/wrong’ aspect of me, I fragmented it off in the form of a siren within myself. To make a long story short, as if in a meditative journey, I imagined cutting her out of the rock and feeding her an elixir that prevented her eyes from shooting laser beams. I took her off of the Island on a small boat and motored her to a city, where I gave her to the care of a man who could be her soul mate and who would cherish her completely. I had a conversation with her about the divine nature of sexuality. I imagined her experiencing the act of making love, but seeing this time that instead of killing him, it made him feel stronger. He was infused by the force of pure creation energy. I spent time in that new feeling of the temptress energy within me being something that is a gift instead of a curse… Something that can be lovable instead of deplorable. By re-owning this aspect of me, I was able to feel a lot more peace with myself when I did choose to dress in sexy ways. Instead of feeling guilt the whole time, I could allow myself to enjoy it. Every so often, I check in with this siren within me to see how she is doing. Sometimes, just like a person, she slips back into feelings of shame that we then find ways to remedy. But each time, it removes a layer of shame and I can feel myself moving towards greater degrees of self-acceptance and integration and internal peace.
To find a shame self, you can do this as well. First, we notice when we are feeling bad about ourselves and we ask to see the part of us that we feel bad about. We then address this self that appears with compassion and the desire to fully understand it and help it to feel accepted as a valuable part of us.
Say for example that we just watched ourself yell at our son or daughter. We instantly felt bad about ourselves. This feeling commonly shows up as a feeling of our heart being crushed. We close our eyes and ask to see the part of ourselves that got angry. Perhaps the image that appears in our mind’s eye will be a furious, raging giant made of fire. Observe your initial reaction to this being. Remember that this self is the embodiment of something you disowned from yourself. Perhaps in this case, you were raised to believe that anger was not ok at all. So this self took all of that anger for you so you could separate yourself from it. Try to understand what is causing it to feel so angry. Are there any vulnerable feelings that you can identify that are fueling its anger? What does it really want and need and why? Perhaps it wants to burn the house down with everyone inside of it. When you dig deeper, perhaps it wants this because it believes that is the only way to keep you safe from the pain people inflict on you. Therefore you can see that its true need is safety. This should tip you off to the fact that this is a vulnerable self. It is not evil. You can then provide messages of safety and imagine creating safety for this self. You can meet its needs in a way that helps it to feel wanted and needed by you instead of unwanted and rejected.
One of the best strategies is to repurpose these selves. For example, you might see if this fire self wants to stand guard for one of your inner child selves that needs a sense of protection. By dong this, we meet our needs internally and create incredible degrees of internal integration.
When we are in the process of integrating one of our inner selves, we
Unearth and acknowledge the vulnerability and past wounding underneath these shame and protector personalities within ourselves.
We directly strategize ways to take care of these vulnerable aspects within us by seeking to compassionately understand them.
We re purpose them, using the unique needs and gifts within each part, to integrate them in with the rest of our internal personalities so they understand that they are both wanted and needed by us. This is to provide connection and belonging within ourselves.
How does all of this fit into the justice system? All ‘evil selves’ that show up when you ask to see your shame selves are a mask for vulnerability. There is no such thing as a truly malevolent act in this universe. Every act in this universe is done for one reason and one reason only, because the person believes that the doing of it, will help them to feel better. The desire to feel better (alleviate suffering in themselves) is the reason for every murder committed, every drug taken, ever robbery, every fight, every purchase made and every relationship we get into. The desire to feel better is not a malevolent desire. These acts are committed because in the moment, we cannot work out a more effective way to feel better. They are all done to escape from vulnerability instead of to caretake it directly.
Did you hear that? Every crime committed is committed in order to try to escape from a vulnerability so the person doesn’t feel it instead of to care-take it directly. For example, a wife cheats on her husband and he kills her because the vulnerable feelings of jealousy, which is about loss and low self worth are so painful to him that the wants to escape from them so he doesn’t have to feel them. Instead of acknowledging that vulnerability and directly addressing it and finding strategies to soothe that vulnerability, he simply kills her so as to get the one that is triggering that vulnerability, out of his life.
Today, when people commit crimes because they are trying to escape from their vulnerability, including vulnerability in the category of shame, we lock them up in harsh and often dangerous environments and punish them and remind them every day about how bad they really are. We separate them from society and we isolate them so as to teach them that they do not belong in society because of how bad they are.
By doing this, we actually reinforce the suppressed vulnerability that creates these crimes in the first place and by doing so; we fuel the parts of them that are protecting the parts of them that are vulnerable. These parts, like any protector, can be hurtful, dangerous and even deadly all in the name of protecting something that is vulnerable. By doing this, we make even more dangerous criminals.
In the future, we will be taking a very different approach. I personally am going to create these very centers and programs that will be the replacement for the justice system we have today. When people commit crimes, our strategy will be the following:
To unearth and acknowledge the vulnerability and past wounding underneath these actions and underneath these shame and protector personalities within each person.
To directly strategize ways to take care of the vulnerable aspects within people, which force them to such actions so that they can learn how to care-take their own vulnerability directly instead of taking actions to escape away from vulnerability. This dovetails with learning ways to meet their needs directly and in ways that don’t harm, but instead benefit not only them, but also everyone around them.
Use the unique needs and gifts within each person that are unearthed during this process so they can be re-purposed and thus integrated into society so they understand that they are both wanted and needed by the rest of society. This is to provide connection and belonging within society. Any of you who feel terrified about this step should watch my video titled: The Secret To Overcoming Your Problems in which I explain the concept of exaltation.
This template as you can see, is a perfect mirror of the integration process that we use within ourselves when we are seeking to integrate one of our internal disowned aspects. It is merely taking place externally within society and with external people. The atmosphere of the places that this process unfolds in is going to be one of rehabilitation and safety instead of punishment and unsafety.
In a state of genuine integration and connection with other people, you cannot hurt other people without feeling the impact of that hurt yourself. This was always meant to be the intrinsic motivation for social harmony, not the extrinsic motivation of punishment and reward, rejection and approval. We have the chance to end this pattern of torment. We will begin by ending this pattern of torment within ourselves. The aspects of you that you are ashamed of, need to be brought closer into a state of belonging with you, not pushed further away. And by doing so, they can use their unique characteristics to benefit every other part of yourself.
The new justice system will operate according to the principle that the people we are most ashamed of, those we label as criminals, need their vulnerabilities and wounds to be unearthed and taken care of and resolved. They then need to be brought closer into a state of belonging and integration within society, not pushed further away.
The path of awakening is not really a path of becoming something more or better. It is a process of uncovering reality and uncovering your essence. It can be said therefore that all spiritual teachers do is to point out the things covering or blocking you from self-actualization and to provide strategies for that ‘uncovering’ process. But something interesting to consider is that there are common themes amongst the human race in terms of what barriers prevent awakening. For example, there are common themes amongst races, religions, countries, towns, families and genders. Today, I’m going to expose the top thing that is preventing awakening for women and the top thing that is preventing awakening for men.
Women – The single biggest barrier to enlightenment for women is: Manipulation. Manipulation is a form of inauthenticity. When we are in a state of empowerment, we have the self-esteem to be ourselves and we can meet our needs directly. When we are not in a state of empowerment, our self-esteem plummets. We cannot be ourselves and we cannot meet our needs. When we cannot meet our needs directly, we begin to meet them subconsciously and in indirect ways. This is what manipulation is. We portray ourselves in false ways so as to be accepted by others. And then, try to influence others to do what we want them to do so our needs are met. For example, a person who needs to feel safe but who cannot ask directly to be protected, may create a situation where they have to be rescued by someone else or paint the false picture that they are in danger so other people will step up and offer their protection.
For thousands of years, women have been controlled, oppressed and dominated. They had no equality or empowerment. And with the introduction of religion, they were shamed for being women in the first place and were killed, shunned or shamed if they were not the perfect image of righteous goodness. Woman had to be “good girls” or else they were treated as if they were evil. As a result, women had to disown their natural instincts, disown any emotions that were seen as bad, disown their power and disown any truth about themselves that made them seem ‘not good’ by societal standards.
This disowning process within women became very dangerous because anything buried deep enough will soon become unconscious. For example, a woman who is forced to bury her jealousy will not be aware that she is jealous even when she is actively trying to destroy the success of someone she is jealous of by slandering him or her. By doing this, she gets to feel better than the person she is jealous of. Her need in this scenario, which is to feel good about herself, is now being met in highly subconscious and destructive ways. She is manipulating other people to see her as better to get this need met through the slander. Because she cannot see any of this truth about herself (because it would make her see herself as a bad person) she will maintain that she is a good person and that the person who she feels jealous of is a bad person.
And this is what women have been left with. The primary form of personal empowerment they were left with was the skill of manipulating men and manipulating each other and manipulating their own children. And they can and do manipulate in ways that other people are totally oblivious to. For example, if a woman wants to turn you against someone, they may wait until you have a conflict with that person and use that opportunity to fuel the fire between you and encourage you to stand up against them. They will manipulate you to turn against them, but because they capitalized on your own doubts about that person, it will make you believe the negative feelings you had towards that person were entirely yours and they were just doing you a service by validating those feelings.
Women will commonly manipulate boys to distrust in their own masculinity so they never grow into men who can dominate and hurt them. They will commonly self-sacrifice only to be seen as a good person and get appreciation from others, but make you believe you are selfish and cruel for making them into your slave. They will show you one face and show the other face behind your back. They will play the victim control drama to be seen as good and right and gain control. And the list goes on and on and on.
When the attachment to being ‘good’ is too great, one cannot see themselves. One cannot see the truth of what she actually thinks, actually feels and is actually doing. The ego’s attachment to goodness becomes like a veil over the reality of oneself. As a result, women have become naturally gas lighting. They can hate someone and say that they love someone, even to the degree that they fool themselves. And even when their actions and emotions scream of the opposite truth. The opportunity for awakening in this kind of scenario is void. And if they are skilled enough at manipulation, other people will not see the reality of what is going on with them, so they will never be provided a mirror to really see themselves. This is the main reason why women have terrible and complicated relationships.
The transition out of this state is all about authenticity and meeting one’s needs directly as a result of discovering that authenticity. The specific authenticity that is the most important is authenticity about the things that would cause her to feel like a bad and worthless person if admitted to. For example, the jealousy, the anger, the desire for rescue, the desire to separate people from one another, the desire to have all the attention, the sexuality, the hatred, the revenge, the power struggle, the way each word is designed to one up someone else, the insecurity, the powerlessness, the failure. Once she admits to these things within her, she can see what she is actually feeling and address those feelings directly. She can see what she is actually thinking and address those thoughts directly. And she can see what she is actually doing and why so she can change those behaviors directly.
The next step is to meet her needs directly with the information she now has at her disposal. This is a step of personal empowerment. When this occurs, the manipulation stops and the door is open for the true power of divine feminine to flow into her embodiment. If you want a plethora of information about this step, watch my video titled: Meet Your Needs.
Men –The single biggest barrier to enlightenment for men is: Disconnection. Disconnection is the state of being detached from something. Disconnection plays out in all kinds of different ways with men. Men can be detached from their emotions, from each other, from their partners, from their own essence, from their children, from their hearts, from their true desires, from the impact they have on others and the list goes on and on.
For thousands of years, boys have been expected to deal with traumatic situations in which they were powerless, without being allowed to acknowledge or care take their own emotions and vulnerability. They were shamed for weakness. In this kind of situation, the only way to cope with these traumatic situations was to disconnect from their own emotions and to disconnect from the thoughts that created these emotions. Instead, they coped by finding ways to think about the situation that would minimize the way they felt. They coped with cruelty by detaching from their need for others and by normalizing cruelty so as to not feel the pain of others. Eventually, they had to disconnect from their own heart to do what was expected of them. This fragmenting just continued and continued. As a result, men disconnected from reality.
Some ways that this disconnection shows up in day-to-day life is that a man can be in a job for years that he hates because he is disconnected from his heart. A man can cause immense cruelty to another person and never even realize he is doing it because he’s disconnected from the experience of others. A man can be feeling sadness and tell you he’s fine, because he’s disconnected from his own emotion. A man can say things that hurt others perpetually because he is disconnected from their inner world and therefore doesn’t know them enough to know what would hurt or not hurt to hear. A man can neglect his wife’s emotional needs because he’s disconnected from his own and is disconnected from her inner world. Perhaps she is just a living trophy for him. A man can have a one-night stand and not think about the person he slept with the next day because he is disconnected to the degree that he can mutually masturbate with no emotional connection. A man can encounter synchronicities and magic and rationalize every one of them because he is disconnected from the spirit below the matter of this world. A man can be so focused on projects he is doing with his kids that he fails to connect with the kids while he is doing it and they feel neglected as if the project is more important because he is disconnected from his children’s worlds and feelings and thoughts and desires and needs. A man can do things in a certain way and have no awareness about why he is doing it because he is disconnected from his own childhood. A man can believe in a truth or do thing without questioning it at all because he is disconnected from his own inner voice and conscience. A man can look at the world and not recognize himself in other things in the world or his connection to them to the degree that he can declare war that kills millions.
Because men disconnected from themselves and others, they could then go to war with other people and impose a state of traumatic tyranny over each other. This includes women. So it is a cycle that feels itself. The disconnection of men creates the manipulation in women and the manipulation of women enhances the disconnection in men.
And wait, before you convince yourself that spiritual men are the exception to this rule, think again. Spirituality has become one more tool that men use to enhance their disconnection, but to justify it this time. For example, the spiritual teaching “pain is an illusion” is a way to disconnect from the reality of other people’s pain. The belief that the higher self has no external needs and the identification with that ‘self’ over all others is one way of disconnecting from the needs that aren’t being met by others and the pain that causes. Positive focus can be a way to disconnect from half of the reality of life and all of one’s negative emotions. Open relationships and polyamory can be a way of disconnecting from one’s own fear of abandonment and fear of attachment. Dis-identification can be a way to disconnect with life. Spiritual medicines can be a way of disconnecting with reality and with one’s physical embodiment. And this list also can go on and on.
The transition out of this state is all about connection. He must re-establish his connection with his essence, his inner truth, his heart, his emotions, his inner child, his suppressed sub personalities, his true desires, the feelings and experiences and needs and desires of others. To enhance this process, I suggest that you watch my videos titled: How To Feel and How To Connect With Someone.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to notice is that powerlessness is the root of both barriers to awakening. Both are coping mechanisms designed to resolve a sense of powerlessness. Facing these barriers directly and learning to recognize it in ourselves is the not only the way out of powerlessness, it is also the way to awakening.
We hear the word integrity flying around social circles. But what does it mean? The standard definition of the word is the quality of adhering to moral and ethical principals. This creates a soundness of moral character. The other definition for integrity is a state of being whole and undivided. In fact these definitions go hand in hand because when you have integrity, you and your own conscience are whole and undivided instead of in opposition with one another.
Morality is about principles, fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief, behavior or chain of reasoning. Morals are principals concerning the rightness and wrongness or goodness and badness of behavior. The problem is this is a serious gray area. For example, some people strongly believe that it is right to punish a criminal who carried out a great enough offense by killing him. Others believe this is morally wrong. Some people believe honesty is always right. Others believe it is right, except for when it will hurt someone. This begs the question, is right or wrong something that is defined by the individual themselves or by society at large? To know what is right or wrong, you would have to know first who is right about what is right and wrong. Even though we have some consensus in the world, people do not fully agree about what is right and what is wrong and morals keep changing over time.
Conscience as opposed to morals, is an inner feeling or voice which is subjectively viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's own behavior. This means conscience is subjective too. But it is concerned with the self instead of others. In other words, it is more concerned with right or wrong for you specifically versus right or wrong in general. There is an intuitive feel to conscience where as morality is guided by reason. You can think of conscience like a guiding light. That light is obscured and bent by morals. Morals are like a filter that the conscience is fed through. To understand more about Conscience and morals, I suggest you watch my YouTube video titled: Morality Vs. Conscience.
Some examples of lack of integrity are: Saying you will do something and not doing it. Telling a lie when the truth is the opposite. Leading someone to believe that they can trust you and then betraying them. Hiding things about yourself and keeping secrets about yourself so that the aspect of you that other people see is not the real you. Being two faced. Self-sacrificing instead of adhering to your true wants and needs. And changing your stories and opinions in order to bend to public opinion instead of staying steadfast in them. All of these things have something in common. In all of them, two parts of you are in opposition. For example, one part of you says something is right and good and the truth and another part of you adheres to the opposite way of acting anyway.
When we want someone to gain some integrity, what we are saying is that we do not believe that they are acting in accordance with morality. We do not believe that what they are doing is right to do. This is especially true if we have experienced a person demonstrating their belief that something is wrong in one scenario and doing that same thing in another scenario.
For this reason, a lack of integrity should be defined as the quality of not adhering to principals communicated to you by your own conscience. And not living in a state of wholeness in and of yourself. For example, if your conscience tells you that honesty is right for you and you lie, you are demonstrating a lack of integrity. Two parts of you are split in that moment and you will feel bad as a result of it. Your internal guidance system will be guiding you in the opposite direction of where you are currently headed.
We tend to see a lack of integrity when we meet with some kind of crisis. When stress is put on our system, we have the tendency to crack. This is why people say you have to wait for a crisis or a bad time to see someone’s true colors. In order to feel better, people resort to all kinds of behavior that society could consider to be immoral. For example, it isn’t until we suffer financially that we steal. It isn’t until we are tortured that we betray someone’s trust. It isn’t until the truth will get us in trouble that we tell a lie. It’s not until someone puts pressure on your own authenticity that you decide to cave in and change your stance so others will see you as a good person.
Soundness within yourself and between all the aspects of yourself is the foundation of a strong sense of self. This is something that cannot be taken from you. It is only something that can be given away. Therefore, the reason that a lack of integrity is so damaging to you is that a lack of integrity is a form of self-betrayal. And it is a guarantee that what you need most in a crisis (to remain strong and intact) will not happen. The good news is integrity can always be built no mater how compromised it may have been in the past. Here are some suggestions for how to build it:
Spend some serious time considering your idea about what is right vs. wrong in each scenario you find yourself in and why. This requires you to really open your mind. Question the rightness and wrongness of things. How do you know whether something is right or wrong? Is it right or wrong in every scenario? Do not act until you are sure your subjective idea of what is right is as objective as possible. There is a reason that ethics is a whole branch of philosophy, it isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Be open to alternative philosophies about what is right so as to become even more aware and thus clearer about your what is truly right for you.
Put effort into integration. This means no more compartmentalization. Being “split” into different parts is actually a collective human condition. A person is really a conglomeration of different personalities. This is why we say someone can have many “sides”. We fragment ourselves in order to cope with the external world. We preserve ourselves by compromising ourselves until being compromised becomes a detriment to our wellbeing. We have one side of us that wants to keep the peace and another side that wants to win no matter the cost. We often fall into a lack of integrity when two aspects of us (or more) do not agree. We need to become aware of these different parts of us and help them come to an agreement where both of their needs are met. We need to let our aware self facilitate a mediation between them where the prerogative is unification.
Fulfill your promises and keep to your word. This is one of the most common ways to notice your lack of integrity and correct it. Obviously if you say one thing and do another, there is a split between your words and actions. Make sure they are aligned.
Before you make a commitment, stop and make sure you can follow through on that commitment. If not, you have to be authentic about it and be brave enough to be willing to upset people.
Pay attention for that feeling of internal discord when you are out of alignment with your own conscience. This means you could very well be in the act of doing or saying something that not all of you agrees with. That feeling is telling you “wait and pay attention… this isn’t right.” This is your golden opportunity to build integrity instead of press on with your current course of action.
Get super honest and authentic with yourself. Then communicate that inner truth to others. Denial is the enemy or integrity. If the inner truth is something you are denying because you are afraid to admit to it or are ashamed of it, it will come out anyway in passive aggressive ways that will cause people to say you have no integrity.
Do not act impulsively. When we are in a heightened state of reactivity, certain parts of us have hijacked our entire system and are acting unilaterally. This means other aspects of us are being bulldozed. This is a form of self-abuse in the name of self-protection. We all tend to have a specific way that we behave in a crisis or in threatening situations. This is where our greatest lack of integrity tends to show. So watch yourself in these scenarios to discover your particular breed of lack of integrity. Perhaps you believe being honest is right but when you are threatened, you lie. Perhaps you believe taking responsibility is right but when you are threatened, you justify yourself and play the victim making other people the bad guy for everything that happened. You need to find alignment between all aspects of yourself and have all of them agree upon what is right before taking action.
When you feel like you have acted out of alignment with your own conscience and have lost integrity as a result, admit to it. Admit to it to yourself and if you feel like it would restore your integrity to admit it to anyone else (especially anyone it hurt), do so. Any apology given should not include a justification for why you did it.
Work on becoming comfortable with fear. Integrity requires bravery. People who are not brave, do not have integrity. Bravery is something that can only exist when someone is afraid. It isn’t about being fearless. It’s about being willing to be afraid and act in accordance with your own personal estimation of what is right anyway.
Acting in accordance with your own integrity can be difficult. But I can promise you; it isn’t more difficult than living a life without it.
As most of you know I have created a process called The Completion Process. I have written a book detailing this process and how to use it in your daily life. Just like the process itself, this book is titled: The Completion Process. If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest learning this process which is designed to heal the aspects of the past that are causing you pain in your current life. But something you don’t know and something I didn’t write about in the book is that you can also use it to amplify positive memories and therefore their positive effect on your current and future life. This process is extremely beneficial if we chronically struggle to feel positive emotions.
To do the process this way, we use positive emotions instead of negative ones. When we feel a positive emotion, no matter how small it may be, we follow these steps:
We close our eyes and sink into the feeling. We familiarize ourselves with the unique sensations or “feeling flavor” of that positive feeling. We are unconditionally with that feeling experiencing and observing it without needing it to change. After a time, we see if we can name the feeling.
We give the emotion or feeling the message that we are completely with it, that we see it as valid, that we care about it and that we are ready to and want to know what it has to say. We are open to fully receiving it.
We use the sensations of the feeling “flavor” like a rope connecting us to the origin or causation of that very feeling. We ask, “When was the first time I felt this feeling?” And instead of mentally chasing the answer, we let our being offer it up to us, like a bubble floating up from the depths of the ocean, in whatever form it comes.
If/when a memory surfaces, we observe and experience the memory in whatever way it comes to us. We take time to be present with the intensity of the feeling of the memory. We emotionally re-experience it.
When we feel that we have fully experienced the emotion as it occurred in the past, we ask ourselves how we could make the situation taking place in the memory feel even better and we imagine taking that action to create that enhancement. This is where creativity and individuality is key. We will know that it is working based on the fact that the positive feeling will amplify.
We imagine the child or younger version of ourselves giving us that enhanced experience and intense positive emotion to our current self in any way that intuitively comes to us.
We take time to consciously own that new, enhanced positive experience and feeling as our own and to take it into every cell of our body and into our mind. We spend as much time as we want to soaking in this new vibrational state.
We take at least a few deep breaths as we bring our consciousness back to our perspective in real time.
For a great many of us, positive emotions are not safe because there was a consequence that came with them. If we had a parent that had no tolerance for our enthusiasm or joy, we may have learned that those feelings are unsafe. Or if we experienced disappointments after feeling good, we may not let ourselves feel good to prevent ourselves from getting hurt in some way. When this is the case, there is another variation of the process that we can use that will help us to amplify positive emotions.
If we have experienced this kind of trauma involving positive emotions, positive emotions will come with fear or some other negative emotion. It will be a mixed feeling. We drop our consciousness down into that mixed feeling and we ask ourselves relative to the specific emotion we are having, “What is keeping me from the highest excitement ever”. Or “What is keeping me from the most joyous joy.” When we feel the feeling that comes up in response to this feeling, we familiarize ourselves with the unique sensations or “feeling flavor” of that feeling. We are unconditionally with that feeling experiencing and observing it without needing it to change. And when we feel like we are allowing it, we ask ourselves “When was the first time I learned it wasn’t ok?” Or “When was the first time I learned it wasn’t ok to feel the highest joy or the highest excitement?” We then approach this memory in the same way we normally would using The Completion Process, making sure that we take time to actually resource the positive emotion of the improvement/resolution.
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 intensely I imagine the joy of a success, the more experiences that mirror and reflect and match the vibration of that amplified success come to me and thus, the better I feel and the better I feel, the more experiences that feel like success happen to me. This is a universe created for the sake of expansion. This means something that is great, can always be even greater. There is no limit to how good it can be.
For many people who identify themselves as spiritual or progressive minded, competition is taboo. Competition is something that we seek to eradicate from our being in order to be good, create harmony and in order to reach enlightenment. But in order to become truly aware we need to take competition out of the garbage can and we need to realize that competition is not black or white. It is both black and white.
If you look around the natural world, you will notice that planet earth is inherently about competition. Every life form on earth has evolved to be the best at achieving its prerogative. In fact, survival of the fittest guarantees that if you do not evolve up to speed with other species, you will be eliminated. For example, the only deer whose offspring will live are the ones who are the fastest and therefore in order for the lion’s offspring to evolve, they need to evolve to be even faster or smarter than that. There is competition everywhere in the natural world. And like it or not, we are not exempt from the natural world. We are hard wired to compete as well. In fact, the ego (sense of self) can only exist in comparison to something else, something ‘other’. For example, the color green can only exist if there is something that is not the color green to compare it to.
To compete is to strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over another who is trying to do the same. By it’s very nature you can see that competition is a rivalry. You cannot compete without comparing yourself to something else. So the question is, can comparison and rivalry be beneficial?
Expansion in this universe, the process by which Source comes to know itself, is dependent upon comparison. When we experience thoughts and things in the world, those things become the platform for new thought and new thought is expansion. They give rise to new desire. For example, the Internet would have been totally inconceivable to people 200 years ago. The thought of it could not have actually been thought. But once the telephone was invented, people began to be able to imagine a fantasy futuristic world where information could travel across space and time invisibly. They could only think that thought because they had something to compare it to. And now, the internet is in competition with libraries. No one has to leave the house to check out a book to access information anymore. Obviously in the process of competition like this, some beings experience pain. It isn’t fun to lose your business because something replaces it or makes it obsolete. But looking at the previous example, most of us would agree that having information at the touch of our fingers is worth the pain of losing our old process of learning, no matter how ‘feel good’ libraries are. And believe me, that statement is coming from someone who hates reading things digitally, there is a magic about holding an actual book in your hand and the smell of the pages that will never be replaced for me.
The bottom line is, for new thought to be born and for us to know how far we can go and to experience what is possible, we have to stretch the envelope beyond where we have stretched it before. When we do this, we are in competition with what has come before us and we are often in competition with other beings who are trying to do the same. If we did not have this drive within us, would we be where we are today?
In the sports world, there is a common understanding. You will not become a truly great player by playing people whom you can easily beat. It is only your true rivals those who can actually defeat you, that make you the best athlete you can be. Therefore, many great athletes consider their rivals to be partially responsible for their success. They force you to raise your own expectation of yourself. They force you to have to get more and ore creative. Part of why they are so good at fueling your expansion is because they force you to face and integrate all of your insecurities, which are actually the thing keeping you from success. In this respect, rivalry and competition can be the very best thing for your own personal expansion and even healing process. It is your rivals that will teach you the most in this life.
There is competition inherent in being a spiritual teacher. We all know the statements designed to decrease competition between spiritual teachers “Everyone has a teacher that will resonate with them specifically”. “Different strokes for different folks.” But the reality is that what most spiritual teachers want is to create the best strategy for all people to end their suffering. When someone successfully does that, many other teachings provided by other spiritual teachers will be made obsolete. Because what we offer is ideas, like it or not, we are in competition for people’s attention and agreement, just like politicians are in politics. If one of my teachings directly opposes the teachings of another spiritual teacher, we are now in a position of opposition. We could call this a rivalry. It puts students in the position of having to choose which philosophy to align with. This kind of competition naturally occurs even if no one, including me, wants conflict. And this rivalry should stay because it is what is evoking the best in each other. The best ideas, the best concepts, the best growth, the best processes etc. You should be rooting for our competition to be good, not so that they can beat you, but so that you can be equally good or even better. In other words, even though competition does not exist beyond the ego, in the realm of the ego, it does exist and it, just like the ego can assist universal expansion and even the progression towards awareness.
As much as many of us do not want it to be the reality, as long as there is ego, which there is in singular form, there will be competition. All that happens when the ego becomes healthy is that the form competition takes on is healthy instead of unhealthy. The measurement becomes about yourself relative to your own desires that are inspired by other people rather than about yourself relative to other people. So the question is: What is this other person or this other person’s success making me aware that I want? This is the game of life. And the game itself is fun until we think we can’t have what we want.
The problem with competition begins to occur when we see the rival as the reason we cannot have what we want rather than the thing showing us what we want and challenging us to achieve what we want. The problem with competition begins when we see ‘something that is wrong with us’ being the reason we cannot have what we want. This is how competition creates rivalry that is unhealthy instead of healthy. This is when we start to try to stop other people’s expansion for the sake of getting what we want or being superior. And it is this form of competition that most people associate with competition.
We have the tendency to do one of two things when our attitude towards competition is unhealthy, 1. We keeping ourselves small and do not play in games here in the 3-D that involve competition when we want to avoid conflict. It is natural for many of us to fear conflict. Many of us were really unsafe emotionally or physically or both when we got into conflict and conflict implies rivalry just like competition does. We were hurt by it before. We don’t want to be hurt by it again. For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome The Fear Of Conflict. Or 2. We try to put down the competition or eradicate the competition in some way so that we can get what we want. This is the angle we take if we have poor self-esteem and feel it is impossible to gain or win something when someone else is going for that same thing. We subconsciously see them as better than us in some way. Both these strategies hurt people and ultimately hurt the collective.
From a universal perspective, the negative expressions of competition would not exist if we were dedicated to expansion. If we were truly dedicated to expansion, we would be ready to step up to the plate no matter what and ‘let the expansion win’. This is the opposite of what we are seeing with green technology. The powers that be already know the technology is better. They know they will be replaced if it takes hold of the market so instead of stepping up to the plate and creating something even better or even jumping on the wave of green technology, they are holding on to their current industry by blocking and shutting down the competition. All of us suffer because of this. If we were dedicated to expansion, we would let go of what we are attached to if something that served our expansion more came along, whether that’s an idea, a concept, a way of living or a thing for example.
From a universal perspective, at the highest level, there is no such thing as competition because when one thing achieves success, all achieve that success. All benefit from the expansion. There is no differentiation between the individual and the collective. We destroy ourselves when we destroy the competition. This can teach us a lesson. When competition becomes poisonous is when we do not remember that all things in this universe are in fact us. It is all too easy in this life of singularity to forget that we are one. Therefore, we forget that other people’s hurt is ultimately our hurt and other people’s successes are ultimately our successes. But when we cannot feel good about other people’s successes, it means we do not feel good about the things we feel we are losing or cannot have. And it is that pain that needs our loving care and attention.
Comparing and contrasting is a necessary part of life on earth. Looking for the ways things are the same and different helps us navigate our environment. Comparing things with respect to who is better and who is worse can have huge repercussions if our sense of self worth is involved. Comparison thinking is only beneficial with respects to better seeing what we want. If the outcome of it is to feel better or worse than someone else, it is self-torture. It also causes us to lose track of our own internal guidance system and our own purpose and inner calling because we can easily start to live our life trying to measure up to someone else. Each person is here to do something completely unique. So the idea that we are here to achieve the same thing is a fallacy. That would defy expansion as well. We will not find ourselves and our true desires and true calling by comparing ourselves to other people. I is also a ripe breeding ground for jealousy and envy. For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Jealousy and Envy (How To Deal With It). We would not have a problem with competition and we would not take it personally if winning were not tied in with our personal value during socialization when we were growing up. Loss generates a sense of shame. For this reason, I also suggest you watch my YouTube video titled: How To Overcome Shame.
Once you know what other people are doing, stop focusing on what other people are doing and focus instead on what they have caused you to know that you want and how to achieve that.
We can use our awareness of what other people are doing to define what we think and what we want and by doing so, we have the opportunity to stretch ourselves even further. This is the process of self-actualization. We are really only ever in danger of truly suffering as a result of natural competition if we stop using others as a means to become more and instead, see them as the reason we can’t achieve whatever success we want or the grounds by which we see ourselves as not good enough. The bottom line is that competition can either be a tool of expansion or a tool of destruction. And it is in our hands which way we want to use that tool. And remember, for you to become better, someone else does not need to become worse.
On a physical level, a period or menstruation is the bleeding that occurs vaginally in women as a result of their monthly fertility cycle. The average cycle for woman lasts between 23 and 35 days. There is a lot of variability in periods amongst women but for the sake of basic understanding, periods usually start between the ages of 11 and 14 and continue until menopause, which is around age 50. The average period lasts from 3 to 5 days and the severity of bleeding during that time varies from woman to women a lot. A woman’s monthly fertility cycle begins with a period. During a period, the lining of the uterus (which includes nutrients and blood) is shed as if it is being renewed. Then the follicles in the ovaries develop and usually one egg dominates. Meanwhile, the body builds up the lining of the uterus again with blood and nutrients. It prepares the body for fertilization and pregnancy. The mature egg is then released, which is called ovulation. This usually happen somewhere around the middle of a woman’s cycle. Once it is released from the ovaries, the egg travels down a woman’s fallopian tubes and is either fertilized by sperm or not. If it is, it will implant in the lining of the woman’s uterus and turn into a baby. If it isn’t, the egg will die within 2 days and without the hormone levels that are triggered by implantation, the decrease in hormones causes the lining of the uterus to break down and a woman starts shedding this lining. This is another period and it is considered the beginning of a new cycle.
As usual, there is so much more going on with most things than meets the eye. There is much more to become aware of relative to periods than the simple physical mechanics of a period. But to get into this part, I have to go on a tiny tangent. Thanks to the tyranny of patriarchal religion, which demonized all things woman and painted women as the original sinners so as to use shame as a tool of control, periods have been considered sinful and unclean. We have the same attitude in mainstream society towards periods that we have towards other forms of bodily waste. If we are going to really access the truth about periods, we are going to have to transcend this skewed way of thinking.
I’m also going to get really honest with you and say that from the perspective of a woman, when a man is squeamish or resistant to period blood, it is a serious turn off and it makes you feel like he isn’t man enough to hold and cherish the totality of you. To the opposite, when a man is not afraid of it at all and even more, when he appreciates it, it is such a turn on. It feels like he is able to hold and cherish the totality of you. And if you are resistant to your own period blood, it means you can’t hold the totality of yourself. It means you are approaching yourself and especially your own femininity with an attitude of shame. With that concept in mind, I highly suggest that you watch two of my videos on YouTube that very much relate to the topic of this video. The first is titled: Divine Feminine and the second is titled: Divine Masculine.
Some of you may have heard of the four cycles of a woman’s life. The first being maiden, mother, maga and crone. Interestingly enough, each of these cycles of a woman’s life correlates directly to the cycles of the seasons on earth. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You can feel the energy of these seasons. The menstrual cycle is also divided into 4 phases. These 4 phases correspond to the earth’s seasons. So, a woman’s monthly cycle is a smaller cycle within a larger cycle. If a woman was in tune with her natural innate energy, she would be compelled during each phase of her cycle (each phase lasts about a week) to behave differently just like the seasons. Women all over the world argue about which phase of the menstrual cycle corresponds to which season. To be honest, I feel like your own body tells you. For example, in terms of energy cycles in my own body, I feel like spring in my body usually begins when I stop bleeding. Even though a doctor would say that the first day of my period is the start of a new cycle, it doesn’t feel like that to me. The cessation of bleeding feels like the beginning of spring in my body. The time around ovulation feels like summer to me. The time between ovulation and menstruation feels like fall to me and winter begins a few days before I bleed, when I start to feel the symptoms of decreasing hormones in my body.
If I am adhering to the natural cycles of my own body, during my spring phase, I notice myself having all kinds of new ideas and thoughts and projects. I usually feel compelled to clean house and organize things as if they are becoming renewed. During my summer phase, I feel full of energy. I feel ripe, I feel full of desire and super sexual. I feel like momentum is being added to all of the ideas and projects I began in the spring phase. I become intensely interested in other people and I become much more social. During my fall phase, I feel like things become more completed and settled. I feel inclined to tie up loose ends. I also feel like harvesting the fruits of the things I’ve started and put momentum into during my spring and summer phase. During my winter phase, I feel like everything is clearing. Space is being made for a new beginning. I feel intensely introverted and like resting. I want to avoid pressure and I do not want to make any decisions. I want to re evaluate my life. I feel like returning to the earth and I feel like I need more nourishment and quiet. I suggest that rather than letting someone outside of you tell you what you should be doing during each phase of your cycle, you can let your own intuition tell you based on how you feel, what your own cycle is calling you to do and when.
Between you and me, if you haven’t noticed, women are a bit ‘nuts’ now a days. And a big part of that is because women don’t follow their menstrual cycles anymore. They have to suppress, deny and disown those natural rhythms in their body for the sake of performing consistently within society. In fact so many of the negative symptoms of the menstrual cycle that women experience are the result of not following this inner rhythm and these inner messages that her body is sending her about her own condition and needs and truths. The attitude we need to adopt relative to our own symptoms is “If this were expressing an inner need that I wasn’t listening to by trying to get me to do something, what would it be telling me to do and to meet what need?” For example, I am having cramps. The cramps are forcing me to retreat from the world and stop moving and just be present with myself and nurture myself to really feel and hear and deal with what is going on with me. Maybe that is what I actually need but I’ve been so externally focused on achievement or on pleasing other people that I have been ignoring that need. All of us, male or female need to adopt the idea that our body is constantly talking to us. As women, our menstrual cycle is constantly talking to us about ourselves.
I have one word for you when it comes to a woman’s monthly cycle… Magic. Periods are highly esoteric. In fact before we fell out of touch with the cycles of nature by creating a life that did not revolve around them, such as creating electricity so our lives did not revolve around the cycle of the sun, women’s cycles were in sync with the cycle of the moon. Women, who were healthy, ovulated when the moon was full and bled on the new moon. Women were also synchronized with one another. They would bleed at the same time. In ancient cultures, this time was sacred and women would retreat to be together and to nourish themselves and each other as well as to respect the process of menstruation.
To put it mildly, our modern society has destroyed women on many levels. It has destroyed men too. But this episode is about women. Society has developed in such a way that women have no idea about their monthly cycles and about what their own cycle is telling them about themselves. We are raised in a society that values being able to maintain stasis. Meaning it is considered good if we are not at the mercy of any fluctuation and can instead feel the same way every day and perform the same every day, especially if that performance is productive. The worst manifestation of this by far is that we now have contraceptive pills that are about much more than just contraceptive. They are able to suppress periods for months at a time if not entirely so that women do not have cycles. I cannot emphasize with enough verve how damaging this is to a woman. A woman’s cycle is not just affecting her womb. It is effecting her entire body as well as her mind and emotions.
The moon becoming full is a time when the energy is expanding outward. It is externally focused and ripe for creation. The new moon is a time where the energy is retracting inward. It is internally focused and ripe for introspection. You can think of it also as an outbreath and an in breath. It works the same way for women’s cycles. It was and still is critical for women to adhere to these cycles of outward focus and inward focus. It is critical that the time of the period is devoted to introspection, reflecting and down time as much as you possibly can.
On an energetic level and even a physical level, period blood is designed to nourish and give life itself. It is not only sacred and therefore powerful when used in ceremonies; it is so vital that it has the capacity to heal. Ancient cultures that understood this were known to use menstrual blood as a drink for people who were ill and as a salve and as a way to revive people, animals and plants that were in a state of decline. The womb renews itself every month. The energetic properties of this blood are also that of renewal and rebirth and creation and life. In the future, science will prove that material such as stem cells contained in menstrual blood has these properties and those materials will be used in standard medical treatment.
To me it is sad that we have fallen so deeply into the indoctrination against our own sacred natures as women that we regard one of the most magic aspects of our embodiment as unwanted, unclean, and shameful. It is actually a tragic waste that every month we let this sacred life giving liquid flow out into tampons and pads that we throw away in the garbage like trash. Today’s modern world does not support cycles nor does it support our need to flow with these cycles. So I know that it will not be possible for everyone, but if at all possible, menstrual blood needs to be returned to the earth. This puts us back in touch with the earth as women, does honor to the blood of life and also restores life to the earth. There are many products available (even to the mainstream now) that allow women to collect their period blood and to do with it what they like… Such as pouring it out into plants that are not doing well or restoring areas that are drained of energy or polluted. Or using it in vegetable gardens. Or using it to symbolically release things in ceremonies. Or to offer it to the earth with a prayer of something she wishes to manifest.
It is important that we change our attitude towards period blood. Doing so greatly impacts the health and vitality and quality of the blood itself. We need to resurrect period blood from a state of shame. I would suggest that in order to get back in touch with the lifeblood of your divine femininity, you create something specifically with your own period blood. For example, many women who wish to embrace their periods are starting to do yoni paintings. A yoni painting is a painting that is done using the medium of menstrual blood instead of or in addition to another medium like paint. Perhaps the best way to start is to sit in front of a paper or canvass and allow the energy of your womb to take over your whole body almost like it was being possessed by your unique divine feminine energy. You then let that energy be the one to use your hand to draw whatever it feels inspired to draw but with the fresh period blood that you have collected.
When we bleed, we can consciously take that opportunity to focus on releasing and on letting go of anything we want to let go of. We can detox and cleanse on an emotional, physical and mental level. The energy within our own bodies is favorable for letting go of anything that does not serve us anymore so we can start anew. If you practice Tonglen or other compassion practices, you can also use this time to perform release ceremonies and meditations for other people or for humanity in general.
On a metaphysical level, period blood is imbued with all of your genetic information, which includes memory and strengths and knowledge. It also carries the entire ancestral lineage that created you. Utilizing this blood in ceremonies aimed at gaining knowledge about yourself and healing yourself as well as gaining ancient knowledge or healing ancestral wounds creates incredible results. In fact ancient cultures used to place this blood on the third eye and even chakras in order to open a person up to this multidimensional personal and ancestral information.
Because the time when a woman bleeds is such an intense time of introspection and reflection and because one of the core manifestations of divine feminine is wisdom, use the time that you are bleeding to retreat more and get in touch with that deep wisdom within you (a bit like a person would if they went on a meditative retreat) so that you can both share that with other people and use that wisdom for your creations in your next cycle.
Try during the bleeding phase of your cycle whenever you can to reduce your exposure to electronics and use candlelight when it gets dark. If you can expose yourself to moonlight each night for a certain amount of time, do this. This can greatly help to regulate your hormones and cycle as well.
Know that in the same way that the moon reflects the sun, your period is a direct reflection of your life leading up to your period. The way your period manifests is a direct reflection of things such as the food you ate, the thoughts you thought, the emotional conditions you experienced, how well you listened to and heeded your inner rhythms and inner wisdom and needs. So if you want to make a change to your period, make a change to these elements of your life.
If you feel called to do so, set a side a night during your period to do what so many women in the ancient world did which was to gather with other women. That state of connection can be very nourishing and you can share wisdom with one another. You can also do a collective ceremony geared towards something like releasing or the celebration of menstruation or femininity.
One of the easiest ways to honor this time of your cycle is to buy certain jewelry or gemstones or even pieces of clothing and to wear them, as if ceremonially for the length of the time that you bleed each month. You may choose things that are the color red for their symbolism. In my opinion, the stones that are the most conducive to this purpose are: Garnet, bloodstone, ruby, red jasper, red agate, rose quartz, red coral, malachite, moonstone, carnelian, amethyst and turquoise. Let your womb or unique divine feminine energy be the aspect of you to select the stone that resonates most closely to or is needed most to support the bleeding phase of your cycle.
The more that you embrace and become an embodiment of your own unique expression of divine feminine and the more you adhere to the natural cycles taking place within your body along with the messages they speak to you from within, the more pleasant your periods will be. It is understandable why women do not like periods and consider them a punishment when having one is not compatible to what is expected of us by the world. But we cannot live in resistance to a part of ourselves. We, as women will be bleeding for an average of 10 years of our lifetime. That means an average of 3,500 days of our life will be spent on our periods. Think of the pain that will cause us if we are resisting it instead of celebrating it.
All of us have something we want to succeed at. Maybe it’s winning a gold medal or a championship, maybe it’s having a relationship that is committed and loving, maybe it’s owning your own business. If you succeeded at this thing, you would consider it a win. But sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you try, you can’t succeed. So what is standing between you and this win?
Throughout this article, I’m going to use analogies related to sports because they are the easiest to understand. You can take these analogies and easily apply them to your own situation. At a certain point in an athlete’s career, they have all the technical skills they need to succeed. For example, a tennis player will know every shot and every strategy and their body will be in perfect physical condition. In fact, if you lined up all of the top tennis players, on a physical level in terms of skill level, they are all comparable. What determines whether a player is #1 or #300 in the world is not something you can see. It also isn’t fate or luck. It’s the level of resistance within that player to the very thing they want.
At first, you might be completely blown away by the idea that anyone could resist what they want or what they think they want the very most. Because so much of the resistance we have is hidden deep within in the subconscious mind, you aren’t aware of it. You have no idea you are doing it. All you are aware of is the desperate feeling of wanting the thing you want.
To understand resistance, I want you to think of a game of tug of war between two clones of yourself. On one side is the thing you want. On the other side is the opposite of the thing you want. So, we could say that on one side is you standing on a podium with a gold medal in your hands. On the other is losing all of your sponsorships and failing to the degree that you have to commit your life to something you don’t want to do. Resistance is any thought, belief, word, desire or action that pulls in the opposite direction of what you want. It is the aspect of you that is pulling in another direction from where you think you want to go.
If you want to succeed, the answer is not to figure out how to overpower the you that is pulling in the opposite direction. In fact, this does a lot of harm. It creates a greater split within you. You also do not need to figure out how to become more successful. You do not need to hire a better coach or try to lean better skills. All you need to do is to figure out what that resistance actually is and start dealing with that resistance directly in an integrative way. When you do this, there is nothing preventing you from what you want. There is no momentum or force pulling against it, so you get it.
Resistance could be a great many things. This is why your job and the job of any good coach is to dig deep within you to figure out exactly what your specific resistance is about. There is a reason that this aspect of you is pulling against success. It is because it thinks that pulling in the opposite direction of is actually in your best interests. It thinks it is doing what is right. For example, let’s imagine that a tennis player was pushed into playing the game at age 5. This was the only way to get love from one of their parents. One part of him wants to get that love and so wants to win. But one side of him knows this isn’t real love and so this side doesn’t want to win. This side wants to be done with the game so he can find love that is real, not love that is conditional upon performance. One part of him thinks winning is in his best interests and the other thinks it isn’t. We have to consider that every form of resistance that our being holds is actually being held because some part of us thinks it is in our best interests. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: “The Hidden Positive Intention, The Key To Letting Go.”
In fact this is one of the most common forms of resistance that we see when it comes to success. I call it the Why am I doing this? Resistance. Sometimes, our real reason for doing something is not actually in alignment with who we are authentically and what we want authentically. When this is the case, we fall out of touch with why we are even trying to succeed at what we are trying to succeed at. Because of this, not all parts of us are on board with our goal. It starts to seem like our bodies sabotage us and our actions sabotage us. This sabotage is actually our inner being trying to make us aware of why we are really doing what we are doing and of what we really want. And often times this is really frightening to admit to. For example, we might want to be a doctor because we were led to believe we needed that status and income to be valued by others. Inside, we actually hate the job of being a doctor. Succeeding as a doctor when part of you hates it is not going to happen.
Along these same lines, for many athletes winning is not about winning. It’s about not losing. In their minds when they step up to the starting line for a race, they are performing their sport to the best of their ability so as to avoid the consequences of losing; not because they really love racing and want to win for the challenge and fun of it. Much of the terror of performing is about this. I’d throw up too if my entire self worth was on the line every time I competed. In some of these athletes, if you manage to release this resistance by reprogramming them to see that there is no consequence of losing; they actually find their love of the game and start winning. In other athletes, they realize the entire reason they were racing or playing in the first place was because their self-concept was dependent on being in the role of a racer or of a competitor and they quit because they realize they don’t actually like the game or the competition itself.
Even though the real good resistance resides in the subconscious mind, we can play with what we are conscious of in order to get an idea of how resistance works. Resistance comes in the form of any thought, belief, word, desire or action that pulls against the thing you want. Select what you want and then watch every thought you think and with each one, decide whether that thought pulls towards or against the thing you want. If it pulls in the direction of what you want, it will feel like relief internally. If it pulls against what you want, it will feel like tension or pressure internally. Then, do the same thing with beliefs. Then do the same thing with things you say. Then do the same thing with actions you take. Doing this will help you to understand the concept of resistance completely so that the deeper and more subconscious resistance will be easier to recognize.
So for example, let’s say that you want to win a championship in tennis. As long as you actually believe the thought, the thought of, “I can trust my body to know what to do” feels like relief and so it pulls you in the direction of success. The thought, “oh my god there are so many people watching me.” Feels like tension and so it pulls you in the opposite direction of success. One is resistance, the other isn’t. The behavior of punishing yourself and getting super angry at yourself for a missed serve feels like tension in the body. It is resistant in nature. The behavior of using a missed serve to remind you to make a small a correction to your serve, feels like relief in the body. It is pulling you towards success. Sleeping well the night before a game is pulling you towards success. Getting completely drunk the night before a game is an action that is aligned with the resistance to success. Or there might be another pattern where if my anxiety or a negative emotional state is so great that it is causing resistance in me towards performing well, drinking alcohol or doping or taking drugs may cause me to release that resistance caused by my anxiety or emotional pain and as a result, I perform well.
There is another pattern I have seen in professional athletes where they are born into a family where there is no option besides winning. They don’t actually want it. Because of this, they take actions to ‘sabotage’ their performance because of it. For these athletes, failing is actually winning for the core of themselves. They find it as hard to fail as other athletes find it hard to win. These athletes are often the ones who can go on a drinking binge or sleep with prostitutes all night and still win the game the next morning. And in fact, when they do, they feel the same way towards it that other athletes would feel if they lost the game.
After you get the idea about what resistance is, you can experiment with one technique for getting in touch with your subconscious resistance. To do this, imagine what you think you want so badly. So, if it’s standing on a podium with a gold medal in your hands, picture it until you can feel the feeling of that strongly. At a certain point, it will feel like the feel good feeling is slipping away. At that point, imagine a black or a white room and ask to see in your minds eye, like a visualization, the aspect of you that either doesn’t want that or is sabotaging it or doesn’t think it can have that. There is a potential there will be more than one aspect of you that shows up. From there, familiarize yourself with them and talk to them lovingly and help them lovingly like you would talk to or help another person. Your aim is to know everything you can know about this part and it’s fears and needs and motives. Don’t approach it with the attitude of it being wrong or bad or weak or any other negative judgment. This only adds resistance to resistance. Your aim is to integrate it into the rest of you. In fact, doing this is the only way you have a chance at the success you want.
For example, lets say the part of me that is resisting a gold medal shows up in that room as a little child that is hiding in a corner of the room. I might go over to her and pick her up in my lap and just hold her and acknowledge that I see that she is hiding and afraid and maybe even ashamed. She might eventually tell me that she feels like she doesn’t belong in the competition because all the other people seem like they aren’t afraid and like it’s easy for them. She might tell me that she feels like she is alone. I would first validate the fact that it is totally understandable why she feels that way. Then I would help her to see that everyone is actually feeling the same way, they are just hiding it because everyone is afraid to look like the one who is afraid. Then, I would ask her if she wants to actually do the competition or if she wants to stay in my pocket or a safe place and let my adult self be the one who competes. If she wants to be present with me for the competition, I might see who in this world would make her feel the least alone. Perhaps it’s a grandmother or a super hero or a mentor. I would imagine bringing that person into the room with us so that this little child aspect of me can feel companionship and taken care of so all the pressure is off of her. My aim is to help this aspect of me in a way where that aspect of me feels good about what I want. But we have to be open to the idea that this aspect of us might make us see that we don’t actually want what we think we want. Either way, we will be experiencing a greater truth about ourselves.
It is really critical that we have the bravery to see the full truth of ourselves. In fact it is the only way to achieve genuine success. We have to help other people do this as well. For example, so many athletes are too afraid to consider that they started their sport before they even knew anything about themselves and might actually not want to do their sport. So many parents and coaches use fear to motivate them to stay in the sport instead of making room for this kind of inner questioning and as a result, they are all in a battle where only part of the athlete is actually invested in the game and continually burns out or gets injuries because of it. Even if the truth is, “I have no idea what I want”, you are closer to knowing what you actually want than you were when you were just letting the current take you towards what you thought you should want.
We all have aspects of us that are pulling in the opposite direction of what we want or what we think we want. It is only by becoming conscious of these aspects that we can work with them to find alignment so that all of us is on board with what we really want. From this day forward I want you to adopt the thinking that when it comes to any goal you have that within you are two versions of you (or more potentially) that are pulling in opposite directions. One is pulling towards the thing you want and one is pulling in the opposite direction of what you want. Our goal is to get them both to go willingly and happily in the same direction so no tug of war is taking place within us and we hold no resistance to the ‘win’ we are looking for. Because when we do this, winning is inevitable.
Some of us are lucky. We are born into a family or a society where we feel like we belong. For others of us, because of our terrible self-concept (which is the result of shame), we feel the only places we belong are places we wish we didn’t belong. And for others of us, the lack of belonging we feel plagues our life. We feel fundamentally disconnected. We don’t feel like we belong anywhere. We don’t feel like we belong with anything.
Belonging is one of the highest frequency vibrations in this universe. In fact, we could consider oneness, love and belonging to all be different “tones” of the same color. But it is not simply that. It is also a basic human need. So many of us in the spiritual field believe it is not only possible but also good to transcend human needs. We use our spiritual practice to work against our own biology instead of with it. But it is not possible to un-need something that you need. It is only possible to meet that need in a different way. We need to feel as if we belong in order to feel ourselves to be connected with or one with anything in our lives instead of completely alone. We are social creatures. Human beings that are isolated die in a similar way that a plant dies if it is not given water. But the sad thing is, without a sense of connection and belonging, a person will die even if they are surrounded by other people.
To belong is to be a part of something. But true belonging is to be so much a part of something that you can’t not be a part of it, even if you wanted to. For example, to belong to a club you simply have to be a member of that club. But that is not true belonging because you can decide not to be a member of the club and then, you don’t belong to the club anymore. With true belonging, it doesn’t matter if you leave or if you don’t want to be a part of it anymore, you are. The best explanation I can give you is to see that you are a human. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be a human, you are. You belong to the human race and the only way out of that belonging is death.
I want you to grab a piece of paper and imagine that part of that paper doesn’t want to be part of the paper. Rip it in half. Place the two halves of the paper on opposite sides of a table. They are separate now. But did you manage to make the paper not be paper? No. There was no way to take the paper out of the paper. There is security in that level of connection because you cannot break the connection.
In true belonging, you are held and contained by something. It is the most positive expression of ownership in existence. In this kind of ownership, all parts are indivisible from the whole so you cannot do harm to a part without harming the whole. For example, if someone belongs to you and with you, you take them as part of yourself and so you cannot hurt them without hurting yourself. This is the complete opposite of the form of ownership where something doesn’t belong to you, you simply possess it and so you can harm it without perceiving any harm to yourself because you don’t see it as part of yourself.
To love something is to take something as part of yourself. It is therefore obvious that belonging and love go hand in hand. If you take something as part of yourself, it belongs to you. One of the problems on the planet is that we get into relationships that are absent of belonging. Our relationships are entirely conditional. We don’t ever take the other person in as part of ourselves and so we cannot consider their best interests as a part of our own best interests. We exclude them from us. The opposite of belonging is exclusion, isolation and ostracization.
The reason some people have such an aversion to belonging is because they haven’t actually experienced belonging before. There is a saying in the Christian religions that the devil’s greatest disguise is to pretend that he is Christ. Ironically, it is so true of many things that the most opposite vibration of something you want often comes disguised as the very thing you want most. The worst villain will come disguised as the victim. The same is true of belonging. Isolation and non-belonging will often come disguised as belonging. We can call this type of belonging shadow belonging. It is this type of belonging that gives belonging a bad reputation. The best example of shadow belonging is cult groups. In these groups, to belong is to no longer be free but to be owned like an object. In these groups, the wellbeing of the individual members or lack thereof does not impact the overall group. In fact often the detriment of the individual is what most benefits the group. In these groups, belonging is determined by exclusion. They are defined by who doesn’t belong vs. who does belong. They are exploitative. And first and foremost, punishments including ostracization are a consequence of not conforming to the group. Looking at this shadow belonging, which isn’t actually true belonging, you can see that many religions, social groups and even families fit into this category.
A common form of shadow belonging that happens in families, occurs when a parent demonstrates narcissistic personality traits. In this family, one child who does not please this parent is typically ostracized from the family sense of belonging. We call this child the black sheep or the scapegoat. And another child learns that pleasing the parent by erasing their own best interests and even letting go of their entire identity to become what the parent wants them to be is the only way to belong in the family instead of being punished or ostracized. We call this child the favored child or the golden child.
For the ostracized child, their life will be a never-ending search to try to find belonging. For the favored child, belonging is synonymous with loss of self, absorption and self-betrayal. Their life will be a war between wanting to feel connected to people but pushing people away because belonging represents such a threat to self-preservation. In reality, neither child had belonging. Because belonging was completely conditional upon pleasing the parent, one was offered no belonging and the other was offered shadow belonging.
Going off of this last example of the child who learns to feel a sense of belonging by abandoning their sense of self, most of us on earth suffer from this split in our personality between who we are and who we present to the world in order to fit in with the world. The truth is, if we have to present something to the world that is not authentic to who we are in order to fit in, we do not actually belong any more than a wolf belongs in a sheep herd if he is dressed as a sheep. For this reason, trying to fit in is in fact the biggest enemy to true belonging. The only hope you have for finding true belonging is to let your real self be known to yourself and then to let it be known to the world. To find true belonging, you have to give up on trying to fit in. When we do this, we stop trying to belong with people who really wont ever include the real us as part of them. And as a result the people who we truly belong with can find us and we can find them.
I am going to say something that is going to change the way you look at belonging entirely. If it is possible for not belonging to be a consequence of separating in any way from something, there was no belonging in the first place. For example, if it is possible for ostracization to be a consequence of your religion, there was no belonging inherent in that religion in the first place. If it is possible to not belong to or to be dis-included from to your family if there is a conflict or a non-conformity, there was no belonging inherent in that family to begin with. With true belonging, you don’t have to do anything in order to belong or to keep your current belonging.
We could say that you truly belong to Source or God because you are a part of it. You are indivisible from it. You can’t un-belong to it. No matter what you do or don’t do, not belonging to it is not a consequence that even God or Source can give you. But what we need in our physical lives is to have that experience in an embodied way in our relationship with others. If we felt true belonging with others, even if our roles in each other’s lives changes, we would still belong to them and with them. Not belonging together would not be a consequence of divorce for example. We would simply add each other’s next partners to the belonging.
Sometimes, if our self-concept is bad enough, the only way we can feel true belonging is in a way that causes us pain. For example, if I believe I am bad or dark or evil, I may want to belong to a family that is loving and wealthy and that cooks together and that I see as virtuous. But because of my self-concept, I can’t feel like I belong there. I can only feel like I belong in a tattoo parlor with other people who are alone and dark and brutal and in pain and who struggle to make ends meet. Because a sense of belonging is such a strong need, it’s the only way we can feel truly accepted, we will gravitate toward the group we don’t actually want to belong to rather than the one we want to belong to but can’t.
If we live our lives from a self-concept of shame, we end up lonely because we believe people don’t like us and therefore don’t want us to be a part of them. We cannot recognize it when other people ARE actually deeply attached to us and that they are connected to us and that they deeply need us and want us and like us. We don’t feel it at all. If we did, we would feel people being WITH us. But we don’t. Because of this, we end up pushing them away and we end up alone because that lack of recognition of their wanting us to be a part of them, causes us to not take any care of their connection to us, which makes them feel totally unloved and unvalued by us and so they feel hurt by us and so they either turn against us or they simply go away. This leaves us feeling no sense of belonging.
The question in all of our relationships should be “how can I provide a sense of belonging to this person? What would I say or do differently if I considered them to be a permanent part of me?”
Taking this one step further, we are not just giving this shadow form of belonging to each other. We are giving it to parts of ourselves. Any time you give yourself the message through you thoughts or actions that any part of you should be excluded from you, you are telling that part that it doesn’t belong with you. And because it is a part of you, YOU will feel that feeling of inner isolation, exclusion and rejection. For example, if a part of me is deeply in pain or angry and I have the attitude that I want that part of me to be gone; I am creating an atmosphere of non-belonging inside myself. And the result is, this part of me cannot be dis-included from me (because it is me), so all that will happen is it will feel more pain and feel more anger. Therefore, relative to ourselves, we need to ask “how can I provide a sense of belonging to this part of me? What would I say or do differently if I considered it to be a permanent part of me?”
One way to culture a sense of belonging is to look for your similarities with the things you want to belong to. When we are in pain as a result of not belonging, we are hyper vigilant for differences that could lead to us being ostracized again. As a result, so much of our focus is placed on how we are different and on how we don’t fit in. What we need to do is to look at everything through the lens of how am I the same as this thing? For example, if I want to belong to my partner, how am I the same as him or her?
In the beginning of our relationships, we tend to feel intense belonging with the other person. As time goes on, we start to lose this sense. This is because when we meet someone we are interested in, we notice all the similarities between them and us. These similarities are how we establish a connection. For example, we notice someone loves horses and we love them too. This gives us that sense of belonging. But as the relationship goes on, we start to notice our differences instead and this makes us feel more separate and less connected and that sense of belonging goes away. From this point on, we now have to actively work at belonging by putting energy into recognizing and capitalizing on our similarities as well as designing our life so that our differences are not a threat to the connection between us. Look for how you DO belong instead of looking for how you don’t belong.
Pain is inherently isolating. It convinces us that we are the only one who feels the way we feel or who has experienced what we have experienced. So one thing we would benefit by if we wish to belong is to see how we are not the only one hurting and to see that other people are suffering or have suffered from the same thing that we are suffering from. This is one of the main reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous even works. The root of every addiction on the planet is a sense of personal isolation. By being in the room with other people who are also struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you have a place to belong and so you feel less isolated and so the root of the addiction begins to go away.
Another way to culture belonging is to accept people. Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance. What does it mean to accept something? To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct. Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in. Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something. It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not. It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out.
To accept someone is to recognize any part of them as valid, regardless of whether or not you have the same opinion or feeling or perspective. For example, we may have a child that feels like they belong with us because they are gay and we cannot accept that about them. We push it away and fight against it. To accept it to acknowledge that what is the reality is that they are gay. It is also to see how from their life experience and feelings and perspective, it is valid that they identify as gay.
Validating others builds a sense of belonging. In fact, one could say that validating others is how they know that we accept them. By validating them and accepting them, we are saying that their internal experience is understandable to us. In this position, there is no opposition. It is possible to belong and to be different from one another. For this reason, in order to learn how to validate, I encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled: The Emotional Wake Up Call.
We have to see the ways we are pushing people and things away from us instead of making them a part of us. We have to observe the words we are using and the ways we are thinking and the things we are doing so we can decide whether those ways of thinking and things we are saying and things we are doing are pushing people away from us or making us separate from them. We have to see the ways we are not creating a sense of belonging for people in our lives and stop doing those things. Only then can we behave in different ways. Ways that culture a sense of belonging in ourselves and others.
There are really only two movements to watch out for in your life. The movement of pulling something closer to yourself and the movement of pushing it away. This is the same as the movement of pulling yourself toward something and the movement of pushing yourself away from something. When we think or speak or take an action, we are doing one or we are doing the other. One is inclusive and therefore creates love, oneness and belonging. One is exclusive and creates aloneness, exclusion and resistance.
The truth is that a human being cannot exist as an island. We cannot thrive alone. We don’t want to be excluded. The truth is we desperately want to belong to each other. And the highest truth of all is that in a universe where oneness is the highest truth of all, there is nothing in this universe that we do not belong with and there is nothing in existence that doesn’t belong with us.
The most frightening patterns of behavior on earth are behavioral patterns that are disguised. I’m going to be exposing a great many of them in the coming years because these behaviors are a huge barrier to consciousness both in the people exhibiting them and in the people observing them… or shall I say failing to recognize them.
The first of these patterns I am going to make you aware of is the most insidious of all of them. It is a control tactic called the victim control dynamic. This behavioral pattern is carried out to make the other person look like the bad guy and oneself, their victim. But the scariest thing is that this pattern is often the wolf in sheeps’ clothing dynamic where the one who is painting the picture that they are the victim is actually the one in control in an abusive way.
One way this behavior shows itself is very easily recognizable in childhood in younger siblings who feel like they have no personal power within the family. Their power only comes manipulatively and often from being defended by people with more power than they have; like mom or dad. So the younger sibling will hit or taunt the older sibling and then scream and cry “help” when the older sibling runs after them. The parents walk in the room and immediately take things at face value. They punish the older sibling and defend the younger sibling and comfort them as if they are the victim in the situation. The younger sibling may then stick out his or her tongue at the older sibling when the parent carries them out of the room as if to say, “I win”.
I did a YouTube video a while ago called “How To Sell Your Soul To The Devil”. In that episode, I explained that unmet needs are what causes demonic attachments and demonic expressions of behavior because in means a need has to be met manipulatively. When it comes to control and power dynamics, as is the case with the victim control dynamic, the unmet needs are a sense of personal empowerment, a sense of oneself being good and attention. Because the person feels their need for personal empowerment and the safety that comes with it as well as their need for attention and a sense of inner goodness cannot be met directly, it has to be met indirectly in superbly manipulative ways. And these manipulations are played out towards the person or people that the person feels “less than”.
The reason that the victim control dynamic is so hard for people to recognize if they themselves are doing it is because the feelings behind the behavior are not fake. Unless someone is consciously using this tactic of manipulation, it isn’t false that they feel disempowered. It isn’t false that they feel like the underdog in every situation. It isn’t false that they feel sorry for themselves. They literally feel powerless to the person they are carrying out these behaviors towards. They literally feel less than them. They literally feel sorry for themselves because life has been cruel to them. They literally feel like the power inequality is unfair. It doesn’t matter whether the person they feel powerless to did anything to them or not. For example, you could take a job working for a boss and because you feel so disempowered around authority, the boss’s mere presence could make you feel powerless and out of control of your own life and choices and therefore like a victim. But I can promise you that if you are in this pattern, instead of facing your level of personal disempowerment, you will instead focus on how it’s right to feel the way you feel because of how the boss is hurting you and is being unfair to you and is keeping you under his control.
Underneath the victim control dynamic is an incredibly poor self-esteem. A big part of personal empowerment is self-concept. If you have a poor self concept, you can’t see yourself as ‘good’. Therefore, that need to see yourself as good is also unmet. And so, like every need that can’t be met directly and consciously, it must be met subconsciously and manipulatively. By painting yourself as the victim, you get to be “the good guy” and the other person gets to be “the bad guy”. Not only in your own eyes, but also in everyone else’s. For people who exhibit this behavioral pattern, often the only access they have to seeing and feeling themselves as good is by seeing and feeling someone else as really bad and having other people validate that perspective for them.
The victim control dynamic can be carried out one on one. We often see it in couples whereby painting the picture that you are the victim of your partner, to your partner, is done specifically to guilt and shame them into conforming to whatever you want them to do or not do. In this way, you use their own need to not be the bad guy to control them into doing what you want. This is painful enough. But it is when the victim control dynamic is introduced to social groups that it takes on a particularly demonic form.
It is this dynamic of feeling goodness only in contrast to someone who is the bad guy that makes this pattern so incredibly dangerous and insidious. It works on other people. We are conditioned to defend the underdog. We are conditioned to see whomever looks like the victim in a situation as the good guy. Our species has survived and thrived so well over the centuries in large part because we care take each other and defend each other. When someone “looks” like the victim, it triggers our own feelings of vulnerability and so we project that onto them and then by defending them, we are in fact defending that vulnerable side of ourselves. Because of this projection we all do of our own vulnerability onto whoever looks like the victim, we cannot see beyond the surface of things and cannot perceive ourselves being used as an accessory to a control dynamic .
Victim control dynamic is just that. It is a control dynamic. It is a battle to get what we want. And so, the reaction that the person on the receiving side of this pattern is going to have will be the same as it is to any threat. They will react with defense, anger and control tactics of their own. But the victim control dynamic is so insidious that this is why it always works. The people watching cannot actually see that the underdog in the situation is in fact the first one to take a power control strike because their strike is followed up instantly by falling back into their mentality of inferiority and of having been hurt and of being unfairly treated. This is profoundly gas lighting for the person on the receiving end of the behavior. It pulls us out of our own reality where we were just going about our business as usual and suddenly we are cast in the role of the perpetrator by someone and suddenly we’re convicted of a crime that we had no idea we ever committed.
Gas lighting is a form of abuse where someone does or says something and then later leads you to believe that you didn’t see what you saw and you didn’t feel what you felt and your reality isn’t what you perceive it to be. When someone strikes out at you in a power play and then plays the victim to you, it messes with your sanity and sense of reality. For example, if someone hit you in the legs with a metal pipe and started rolling around on the ground saying “why did you hurt me” as if they are the one who was hit with the pipe, you are trapped in a parallel reality. Gas lighting is profoundly abusive. And so, naturally that abuse is reacted to in extreme ways.
And here is where the victim control dynamic is the winning hand of manipulation. When the person on the receiving end reacts to that gas lighting and that power play by getting angry and defensive, everyone on the outside simply sees a person violently hurting someone who is already hurt. That person looks like a monster. And now, the person exhibiting the victim control dynamic has won and they didn’t even have to do anything to win. The response the actual victim (opposite them) had to being challenged for power and gas lighted and painted to be the bad guy, signs and seals their own death warrant. Their very response to the tactics being played by the “false victim” which they cannot even see, validates the picture that the false victim is painting of them. And now, everyone rallies around the false victim against the real victim. They do this to avoid being the bad guy themselves. This pattern forces people to identify with their hero personality and defend their victim personality externally against their own villain personality externally. Everyone validates their “poor me” mentality by saying “you’re right, I feel so sorry for you”. The real victim becomes the bad guy in everyone’s eyes and in this way, the false victim is controlling everyone, including the real victim and gets to feel a sense of empowerment and goodness this way.
What’s more is that this dynamic goes a step further. The false victim now decides that the way they are going to get their empowerment is through one of two ways. Either they are going to rebel against the badness and power of the real victim. In this case, they are encouraged to do so by others. Or the false victim now decides they are going to get their empowerment through becoming the helper/rescuer to the real victim. In this case, they try to be and get help for the real victim’s reactivity and anger. When this is the case, they weave other people into this collective project of helping the person whose distress they are in fact causing. In both scenarios, the real victim becomes the scapegoat of the social group.
This dynamic destroys lives when it happens between parents and children. For example, it occasionally happens in dysfunctional families and more often with mothers, that one of the children will be perceived as a threat in some way. The mother will perceive herself to be the underdog to her own child and will then play out this victim control dynamic against that child, weaving the entire family into the control dynamic and turning the child into the family scapegoat. When a family scapegoat commits suicide, it is often because this is a dynamic that is going on within the family.
When someone is locked in the victim control dynamic, they want to make you feel like you have wronged them and done bad to them. They want you to feel guilt and shame. But here’s the key, when it works and if they manage to actually produce proof that you have wronged or hurt them, no matter what you do to make amends and make things right, it will produce no lasting improvement. Their heir of being victimized and wronged by you does not go away. No matter what you do, they will continue to produce more scenarios where you have wronged them. Often creating scenarios where they already know you will choose in the opposite direction of what they want. They already know you will say no to them so again they can repeat this dynamic of keeping you in the “bad guy” role and them in the “poor me” role. No matter what you do to try to resolve situations with this person, it will not work because it wont last. When someone is in a victim control drama, they hunt for an apology. The apology feels like “I win” to the one that needs to one up the other by proving that they are good and the other person is bad. But no resolve will last because that is how they get power and so resolving their feelings of being wronged only lasts as far as the apology then they have to slip back into the same dynamic to gain back a sense of power again.
In the spiritual field, the word victim carries huge stigma. We are encouraged day and night against victim mentality. We are shamed for disempowerment. We need to stop doing this because the feelings of being victimized and feeling sorry for ourselves are not pathetic. They are very real. If you succumb to this control dynamic, you did not receive the kind of nurturing and support you needed as a child. We have to face the aftermath of this tragedy directly and take direct action to resolve the wounds and lack of development it left us to deal with. It is this original victimization that is the one that needs our recognition and validation. But it is actually very rare that we are truly victimized in our adult life. So often, we play out the actual victimization that occurred in the past with people in the now, who are not actually victimizing us. If a situation is abusive, we have the free will to leave it. If we aren’t leaving a situation where we feel so victimized, we have to look WAY deeper into why we are not leaving it and why we are choosing instead to stay in the role of being victimized. That is not a problem that has to do with them victimizing us purposefully. It has to do with our own disempowerment. And the sad truth is often we will find it is because by staying, we get to maintain the control and goodness of playing the ‘poor me’ to someone else dynamic. We have to see the difference between our own powerlessness that exists no matter what other people around us do or don’t do and other people making us powerless. This is the form of responsibility we have to start taking for our own weakness and fear.
It is critical that we actually give space to the aspect of us that is in a state of victimhood. We have to acknowledge it and bring presence to it and bring empowerment to it. But the reality is, whether we were victims or not, that doesn’t change the fact that we have no choice but to take back the control over our lives. It doesn’t matter how much we were hurt, being hurt doesn’t exempt us from responsibility over our own lives and over being in a position where we now have to put ourselves back together again.
This game, like all other camouflaged behavioral tactics must be exposed if it is to stop. The game only works if the people playing along with it keep playing along with it. This means it is up to the person who is on the receiving end of this pattern, or people observing it from the outside, to call it out when it is occurring. The trouble with this dynamic is that to not play the game with someone who is locked in the victim control dynamic, you cannot react to the manipulation. Instead, you have to respond by calmly exposing the game and by meeting with the authenticity that is being disguised by the game. Start by saying directly to them “I feel like you are making me feel guilty or ashamed to control me and to make yourself look like the victim so they will defend you against me”. And “I feel like you are being really unfair.” When they argue with you and make you feel guilt for that, simply tell them “I’m only telling you what I feel.” Instead of arguing with their logic, keep telling them how the situation feels to you. From there, you have to zoom way out so your responses are one step ahead of them so you can expose them in their own game. Ask them what they want from you to make the perceived wrong resolved. Ask them what their next step is. Often they can’t give you an answer because they are not looking for a solution, they are looking to be validated in being the victim and to stay the victim. This aspect of them has grown so large through years of suppression that now it has hijacked the show. If they give you an answer about what you can do to right the perceived injustice, ask them why that would make it better for them. If they ask for an apology directly, ask them “what is getting an apology from me truly going to change or do for you.” In the course of this kind of questioning, their game is going to be exposed.
As long as you are fully conscious about it and are absolutely positive this is a victim control dynamic and not a genuine hurt someone wants to remedy, another strategy to use is to play the game instead of step out of the game by playing an even greater victim than they are back to them. If they come at you with an argument that makes them a victim to you, think of an argument or way to spin it that makes you an even bigger victim to them. This is a dangerous tool. It is inauthenticity for the sake of exposing authenticity. You will have to consult our own conscience on whether this feels right to do or not. And you have to be sure it wont cause you to actually slip into this pattern where you believe yourself to be the victim that is stuck in a helpless state. Warning… this will exacerbate their unmet needs and amplify the pattern.
Unfortunately (and understandably so because this pattern is so insidious) the self-control that has to be exercised in order to expose this game instead of get swept up into the fury of it is something that most people have not developed yet.
Underneath it all, if we are locked in the victim control dynamic, we have to own the fact that we have an aspect of us that feels weak, ashamed, out of control of ourselves, victimized, powerless and sorry for itself. We have to admit that we feel sorry for ourselves. We desperately want people to just sit and listen to this aspect of us and see it and validate it and potentially, rescue us out of it. Accept that this is where I am. This aspect of us feels this way because probably in the past, we were victimized in a situation where we actually were helpless. But our current victimization may have nothing to do with people in our current life making us powerless or victimizing us or intentionally doing wrong to us or controlling us. In fact, we have to be open to the idea that we are probably acting helpless in a situation where we aren’t helpless, we are simply not acknowledging our responsibility for our own choices that we are making that are keeping us in a situation that feels bad. We want emotional validation for our pain so desperately, we can hardly see straight.
When we are engaged in a control dynamic, we are not being authentic. The question is what are we not being authentic about? Usually it is the way we really feel, what we really want, what we really think. Being inauthentic allows us to not face something about ourselves that that is too scary or painful to face.
Ironically, taking responsibility for how we actually feel, what we actually think, what we actually want as well as taking responsibility for how we are keeping ourselves in a situation where we feel victimized, instead of how other people are making us feel or how other people are keeping us in that helpless place is the first step to personal empowerment.
Any form of manipulation designed to take energy from someone is about not being able to acknowledge or state what we actually need. Usually we do this because we decide what we need is bad. For example, a person who can’t acknowledge their need for validation will complain incessantly about their life and never take any action to make it better or different because what they really want is sympathy. A person who can’t acknowledge and make decisions in favor of their need to be significant to others could become significant by killing them. This is the case with many crimes of passion. If a person can’t admit to their need to be the center of attention, they may cause conflict just to get that attention. To understand more about how this works, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meet Your Needs. So, become aware of your needs and admit to them, regardless of whether this is scary or whether you’re afraid this will make other people see you as a bad person. If you have trouble with this pattern ask yourself, “Why is it too scary to meet my needs in a direct and assertive way? Why do I feel like I can do nothing other than to make someone else responsible for them and feel like they failed me if they don’t take responsibility for them?
If you are dealing with a person who is locked in the victim control drama, they want your energy. They want your positive attention, your sympathy, your empowerment, to be rescued by you and for you to take responsibility for them. So be honest with yourself. Can you give it to them? If you give them your energy, they will stop the control drama to get it. The sad thing is that most people who succumb to the victim control dynamic usually get into relationships with people who literally can’t give them this energy. So, they replay the pattern of not getting the attention and support and nurturing they need because of their choices of friends and partners.
Validating the person’s feelings of pain in life in general, helping them recognize and admit to their needs as well as strategizing ways to meet them is a good way to get out of the vicious cycle of helplessness. If you are on the receiving end of this control dynamic however, beware of your own boundaries. Often being the one to help them with this pattern in these ways if the pattern is directed at you is a form of self-betrayal. Also, certain scenarios and social groups simply have no room for this kind of behavior. However, knowing that what they want is to steal your energy, often the very best way to deal with this scenario is to flip it on them and instead, go into the situation knowing that and simply let them have it. It’s the energy of going into a room full of mosquitoes with the intention of feeding them your blood.
But here is the most important thing to know about this whole dynamic. If you are on the receiving end of this dynamic and you feel completely and utterly powerless to it, it means you have a weak spot that the person using this control dynamic was able to hook into and use in order to guarantee themselves the energy they need. And that weak spot is the inability to sit with and be with feelings of being a bad person or responsible for causing someone pain or not rescuing them. If you are on the receiving end of this dynamic, chances are that you entered into this person’s life with the intention to rescue them in some way and now quite to the opposite, you have been painted as the bad person instead. Your inability to deal with the fact that this situation makes you feel like a bad person is in fact just a mirror of the reason you made the decision to rescue them in the first place. You did it so you could avoid feeling like if you didn’t you would be responsible for their pain and demise. Look back at the circumstances of how you met and became bonded in the first place. Chances are that you met in a way where you were trying to rescue them from something or someone. Potentially it was someone or something that they had pulled this same victim control dynamic with before you. So you have to look at your childhood as to why you cannot allow yourself to take actions that force you to sit with the feeling of shame that is the result of being the cause of someone’s pain. Why you are so desperate to rescue people? Who didn’t you rescue and what were the consequences? The more capable of being with this aspect that feels shame and that can’t be with feelings of being a bad person who is responsible for other people’s pain, the more immune you will be to this control dynamic.
If we have become a victim to this control dynamic in any way, we need to become aware of the holy trinity of personas within ourselves, the victim within us that holds our vulnerability and that we are trying to rescue through other people. The villain within us that we are trying to avoid at all costs. And the hero, who is so desperate to be good, it gets in all kinds of trouble trying to rescue people. When we start to care for these aspects within us, we will stop externalizing the war between these internal aspects of us. They will stop showing up externally as other people.
To a certain degree all people wrestle with what is. We have an intolerance for things the way they are and so we want to change it. This tendency is a beautiful thing because it makes our lives and our world improve. If we tolerated the fact that we could not fly, we would never have invented the airplane for example. However, some of us don’t simply wrestle with what is. We are warriors. We fight what is as if our survival depends on it. Our unwillingness to accept what is, is a great source of suffering, especially when we can’t change certain things about what is. And in fact, it prevents us from getting what we need and want.
In a universe based on the law of mirroring (otherwise known as the law of attraction) whatever we resist, persists because in resisting something, we are focused directly upon it. And the primary form that resistance takes is the unwillingness to accept ‘what is’ as reality. For example, lets say that someone you love dies. The reality is that they are dead. The reality is that you are heartbroken and grieving. But instead of accepting what is so, you go immediately into resistance to what is. You spend your energy focusing on how it could have been prevented. You spend your energy on who is to blame for it. You spend your time on how it isn’t ok to grieve so you have to find a way to feel better as fast as possible. You spend your energy focusing on what it means about you and your future. None of this brings the person you love back to life. None of this changes the fact that you are heartbroken and grieving. All of this is simply a fight with what is. The tension you feel while trying to change what has happened instead of accepting it, is resistance.
Having said that, we need to have a serious amount of compassion for the fact that stopping our fight with reality is much easier said than done, especially if we are in a situation where nothing we do in the current moment will change something into what we want. For example, if someone you love dies, nothing you do will bring them back to life. The absolute helpless horror of that reality is too much to accept and so it is only natural that the only place your energy can go in that situation is into fighting that it even happened in the first place and panicking about the future. Eventually, none of this will bring them back to life, so the reality that they are dead and that nothing can change that, will be accepted. But know that releasing resistance by accepting what is in many situations, (including this one I’ve just described) is the hardest thing you will ever do and we should never act as if it is as easy as flipping a switch because it isn’t.
Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance. What does it mean to accept something? To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct. Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in. Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something. It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not. It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out.
If you want to experience your own resistance, think of something you can’t stand in your life and stripping away the resistant thoughts about it, see if you can find “What is so?” about this situation. It will feel like finding the deep, painful facts. Once you have done that, ask yourself: Can that be ok?
For example, if one of my friends and I are now on such bad terms that we hate each other, I may be desperately trying to find a way to make it better. I may be telling myself all kinds of stories about why I can’t ever seem to have long lasting good relationships. I may be thinking about how it could have been prevented. I maybe telling myself all the reasons it is right to be so damn angry at her because its her fault. All of this is a fight with what is. All of this suggests that it is not ok for me to accept what is so. What is so is that my friend and I who were once really good friends, now hate each other. What is so is that I am heartbroken about it. What is so, is that I have no idea how to make it better. Can I accept that? Just that? In truth it has to be ok that this is the reality, because it is the current reality. Regardless of whether or not I want what is to be different and regardless of whether I may do something to try to change what is, the reality is that this is what is right now.
We have to accept what is before we do anything else. Here is another example, if we are lost on a hike; we have to accept where we on the map are vs. where we want to be in order to get anywhere different. If I got lost and realized I was 50 miles away from where I wanted to be, I would need to accept that and let that sink in and only then would any real solution or answer about how to get somewhere different be accessible to me. If I spent my time and energy thinking about how it happened and how I should have avoided it and how it could have gone differently and about what this means about me as a person and about how this will impact the future etc. All I am doing is avoiding accepting what is. What is, is that I am 50 miles off course and that doesn’t feel good.
When things happen that we do not want to accept happened, we get super angry about it and obsess about how it shouldn’t have happened. That doesn’t change the fact that it did happen and that you now have to deal with the reality that it happened. You are not going to be able to change the outcome of something that already happened. Holding this kind of resistance simply makes you powerless and nothing will improve. By getting angry and blaming the situation at hand, you are trying to change what already happened. And you are trying to change the way you feel. But you can’t. It happened and now you feel the way you feel. Can you accept that? Once you accept that, you will see whole new possibilities that you never had access to before.
If you are really struggling to accept what is because you are judging that it is so not ok that what is… is, challenge yourself to finding approval for what is. This can actually help you accept it. I am aware that this practice is super hard. But imagine that your car breaks down. Don’t fall into the trap of criticizing yourself for not taking the car in to get the check engine light looked at or panicking about what it will mean if you don’t get where you are going on time, or blaming someone else. None of this does anything to change the reality that the car has broken down. All this is, is resistance. Instead, take out a pen and paper (if you don’t want to do it in your head) and start listing all the things that are good about the car breaking down and or the situation at hand. For example, perhaps it broke down right next to a restaurant, so you can wait for a tow truck indoors. Perhaps you are grateful there is such a thing as a tow truck service in this day and age. Perhaps a positive is that taxis or Uber exists so you can actually get where you were going on time regardless. Perhaps someone nice stopped to help out and that made you feel better about humanity. Write down anything that makes you feel more ok or softer about it having happened.
Commit to accepting what is so. You don’t have to like something to acknowledge that something is what is so. Spend as much time on this step as it takes to feel your mind and emotions and body softening to swallow what is so. Only then can you refocus your attention on what you can do NOW. It is a waste of time and energy fighting what has already occurred. And you will be blown away at how fast situations remedy and solutions come to you out of the blue when you release the resistance you are holding against what is so.