Being valued socially is critical for us as people. This is true at our most fundamental level because even at a biological and evolutionary level, we are a relationally dependent species. Our survival and even more than that, our wellbeing, was dependent upon our social group. It was dependent upon us being valued enough by the social group that they would participate in the meeting of our needs. Only if we are valued do we get the things we genuinely need on a physical, emotional and mental level… Things like significance, belonging, physical touch, love and caretaking when we are young or sick to start. These are things that a person cannot live without. We need them. But this puts us in a double bind. It means we end up having to win their favor and try to become whatever the society we are raised in values.
Whether we like it or not and whether we want to admit it or not, what human society values the most about a woman is her looks. It matters whether she is considered beautiful, attractive and or sexy. Even the extreme effort we put into combating this with ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’ campaigns and the body positive movement and promoting the idea that we should care about something deeper that skin level and even the fact that we have tried to promote the idea that if you care about that, you are not a good person, proves the degree to which this is imbedded not only in our society but even biology.
From the minute that a little girl enters the world, the focus goes to whether she is pretty or not. And she is raised into a society that teaches her either directly or indirectly that a very specific thing is considered beautiful and desirable and worthy of notice and also care. She has one option then. To try to fit into that box and be what society considers to be beautiful and desirable, or suffer the consequences.
These consequences are reinforced and also threatened constantly by other people in society all the time. They are reinforced by parents, teachers, peers, companies and media. This means that women who cannot make themselves fit into the tiny box of looks that would make them be valued in that way, are essentially fighting a losing battle with significance. It means that most women are spending their whole lives feeling insecure about their bodies and their value, striving to fit into that box and competing with one another. It means that the women who do fit into that tiny box spend their lives feeling as if no one actually cares about them at all and that they are doomed to lose their value one day and be a commodity until that point.
We have to stop telling the story that looks don’t matter. Because at this point, regardless of whether it should or shouldn’t matter, the reality is that it does matter to people at this point in time. It is a gaslight to tell someone that it doesn’t matter. Reality out in the world will show her otherwise.
It is our attachment to our own ego’s desire to see ourselves as good to pretend like we are the one exception for whom looks doesn’t matter. It is also our own ego’s desire to pretend that we don’t put incredible effort into specifically making ourselves attractive and desirable.
The reality is that it does matter. It matters whether we want it to matter or not. And this puts women, regardless of whether they are considered to be the most beautiful or the least beautiful in an incredible double bind. We want the very thing that we resent so intensely.
Either we turn against our bodies and resort to plastic surgery or extreme diet regimens or spending tons of money on products that hold the promise of looking good. Or we spend our life campaigning against the fact that society cares so much about our looks. Or we cope by trying to ‘make it ok’. When we do this, we accept that the reality is that we are commodities and suppress the aspect of us that resents it. We allow ourselves to be treated like sexual objects or trophies in a kind of transaction to get what we want in exchange.
As a woman, it feels like a prison where we simultaneously don’t want the very thing we want. It creates an incredible internal tension. We want it to change. But the risk we take is losing value by taking the necessary steps to change it. We want to be significant, wanted, noticed, valued and considered attractive. So we take actions to look as good as we possibly can. We may try to deny that we want it, because we have been shamed into believing that wanting it also makes us bad.
Pretending that we don’t want the attention and to be desired in that way is a real shadow in the female race. A woman doesn’t deserve to be the victim of sexual violence because she has dressed in a way to attract attention. But women really need to own that if they dress in specific ways and act in specific ways it is because they are trying to get the attention and significance and value they need. The flip side of this however is that we become commodities.
Women fuel this emphasis on looks equating to value with each other. We actually peer pressure each other into it while simultaneously competing with each other for it. But men engrain it into women to a degree where it feels beyond our capacity to transcend. In general men make it such an obvious priority and such an obvious value that they put us into a position to have to compete for their attention and praise. Speaking as one of the women who has fit squarely into that tiny little box of looks that society values, I can personally attest to the fact that men will flock to a beautiful woman with absolutely no regard for her desires, thoughts, or whether he is actually compatible to her or not. And this is done because a beautiful women serves in society to boost his self esteem and also status relative to other men.
As women, we want our looks to be valued. At the same time, we resent that we are valued, especially first and foremost for our looks. I will never forget the day that myself and a group of other women all had a conversation about this fact. We all mutually felt disgusted about it. None of us wanted to participate in this game anymore. But what was even more terrifying is that each and every one of us still had such a strong need to be valued that none of us decided to go out to dinner that night in sweatpants. True to form, we all put on makeup and the clothes that we felt made us the most attractive and sat there at the restaurant table in shame about just how deep our attachment to looks and need to be valued for them really was.
Today, I am not creating a video to provide you with a solution. Instead, I am creating a video to enhance awareness. I am proposing that we all collectively admit to this reality that value relative to women is primarily equated to looks. I am proposing that we, both men and women, see when we are prioritizing this value. I am proposing that we, as women, see just how deep this need to be valued in this way goes. I am proposing that if we decide to present ourselves in a way to gain attention, be wanted, sexually desired, praised and be valued for our looks, that we need to do it purposefully and consciously. And I propose that both women and men see that women are in a double bind; a very, very painful double bind. We want to be valued for our looks and at the same time, we resent that we are so valued for our looks.
We are conceived in connection. We are suckled in the security and warmth of connection from the very moment that our mothers hold us against their breast. We cannot perceive the difference between them and ourselves, so it is then, in that state of oneness, that we are the closest to who and what we really are. So close that we don’t even bother to ask the question, “Who am I?” There’s no need to do so because we are not differentiated. But this is where it ends. We begin the process of seeing ourselves as separate to every other thing around us in the physical dimension. When this begins, we all experienced a fall from grace. The grace we fell from was that deep, visceral sense of connection. We taste loneliness for the very first time.
Loneliness is something that all people experience; the question is to what degree. There is a kind of loneliness that can be remedied by simply being around other people and there is a kind of loneliness that can’t. It is this second form of loneliness, the kind that exists even when we are in a crowded room, that causes us to truly suffer. This loneliness is a genuine sense of isolation. It is this form of loneliness that needs to find resolve. For this reason, I have written a book. I have called it the Anatomy of Loneliness. In this book, I reveal quite literally the anatomy of loneliness, what specifically creates loneliness and how to resolve those things so as to create lasting connection with other people. This book is available through my website www.tealswan.com and every other online book retailer such as Barnes and Noble, Booktopia and Amazon if you want to learn about loneliness in depth and in great detail as well as how to find your way back to connection, I highly suggest that you pick up a copy of the book.
The anatomy of genuine loneliness is composed of three distinct parts or pillars. The first is Separation. The second is shame. The third is Fear. Separation is the heart of all loneliness. Everything else serves to enhance it. Though the story of separation began far before your physical incarnation, separation is the recognition of self vs. other, which just so happens to be the birth of the ego. It is a state of fragmentation. This fragmentation does not just take place externally relative to yourself and other things in the world. It also takes place internally. The fragmentation that takes place within each person, a fragmentation that creates internal disunity, causes us to separate off from certain parts of ourselves and those parts feel ostracized, rejected, disowned and isolated. As a result, because we cannot actually eradicate them from us, we feel the intense loneliness and isolation and rejection that those parts within us feel. For more information about this, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease.
The second part of loneliness is shame. Most people think that shame is solely a mental and emotional response to self-diminishing experiences, beliefs, and thoughts. The truth is shame is much more primal than that and it’s more debilitating because shame is the mechanism of fragmentation. To understand shame, imagine a sea anemone. If you poke a sea anemone with your finger, it immediately has a reaction and that is to pinch itself closed. This reaction happens at an instinctual level. It happens without the sea anemone having to think about making it happen. It’s an organic biological affective reaction. Shame is actually a primitive reaction encoded in your organism, just like your fight or flight mechanism. And interestingly, so is love. When we experience shame, we push ourselves away. But we can’t do that in actuality. All we can do is to cause our own consciousness to spit. When we feel the secondary layer of shame, the emotion of shame, we withdraw from other people. We make ourselves impossible to access for them. We either do this through avoidance or by being completely inauthentic so people only ever interact with a façade. Either way, we experience extreme loneliness as a result.
The third part of loneliness is Fear. Fear is inherently about separation. By its very nature, it is to push something or someone away from you. And fear is the number one most isolating experience on the planet. The more fearful we are, the more alone we are. Fears about relationships or about other people simply serve to separate us from people and make us lonely when it comes to human contact. People have four primary fears when it comes to relationships. They are:
Rejection or disapproval.
Being Trapped In Pain
Loss of self, also called enmeshment.
It is impossible to fear the unknown. This means that the fear that is keeping us lonely is a hold over from a previous traumatic situation we have already experienced. It is not about the unknown. It is about something we project into the unknown. This means that resolving fear is much more about resolving past experiences and fearful beliefs you have inherited from other people than it is about anything else. And it is critical to know that it is impossible to push through fear so as to connect in spite of it. This only enhances fear and therefore loneliness because it causes you to oppose and therefore separate further from your fear, which is inherently a part of you.
Connection can be thought of as a link with something else where you perceive a link or association between yourself and that other thing. In a state of oneness, you cannot be connected any more than you can be disconnected because you are everything else and everything else is you. In other words, in a state of oneness, there is no need for connection. But seeing as how we experience life through our individual perspective, we must create connection before restoring ourselves to a state where we perceive ourselves to be one with everything.
When it comes to making a genuine connection with someone else, that link is consciously chosen and wanted by both people who are deciding to be linked together. Our connection can exist at any level of our being. We can be mentally linked, emotionally linked, energetically linked, or physically linked. When we disconnect, we break that link we have to another person on whatever level we disconnect, if not all levels. Because genuine connection is a link to someone that is consciously chosen, not forced upon us, we have to focus on choosing to create it as well as on keeping it. Our happiness in our individual lives depends upon our capacity to be connected. Our survival as a human race depends on our capacity to be connected. Right now, loneliness is an epidemic. It is an epidemic with devastating implications.
The pain of the human condition is that we walk this earth with multiple billions of other people and yet each of us feels alone. Because of the trauma of our own disconnection, we perceive ourselves to be disconnected from anything we see as “other”. It’s enough that this disconnection causes us pain. But the truth is, it doesn’t stop there. This pain of disconnection bleeds out across the planet. If you are truly connected to something, you cannot cause it pain without causing yourself pain too. When we perceive ourselves to be disconnected, we no longer feel the ripple of oneness that is our fundamental truth. We no longer feel the impact that everything has on us and that we have on everything else and as a result, we can cause something or someone else pain without perceiving that pain in ourselves.
The concept that there is something dangerous and painful about being disconnected might seem theoretical and abstract until you realize that this is the reason that, for years, many countries were completely segregated. People with dark skin were taken from their families and kept as slaves, burnt, beaten, and hung. This is why in the 1940s, Auschwitz and other death camps were created to contain and exterminate Jews and other demographics that opposed the Nazi Regime.
Disconnection is what caused the US to drop a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. It’s why as of 1979, PolPot’s regime had eliminated 21% of Cambodia’s entire population. And today, disconnection is the reason that a man can train for years for the single task of strapping a bomb to his own body and exploding it, himself along with it, in an attack aimed to create terror and destruction to whomever he has decided is his enemy.
Every crime that was ever committed came about because the person committing it perceived himself or herself to be separate from and disconnected from the person they committed that crime against. And so it can be said that the perception of separateness is not only the greatest pain we experience in this life, it’s also the single most dangerous thing on the planet. The time has come to end loneliness within our human race. And it begins with healing it within ourselves.
Codependency is a topic that is constantly discussed in relationship psychology and addiction groups. It is treated as a dysfunction or a psychological disorder, much like narcissism. Codependency and narcissism go hand in hand. Codependency is not something that can be briefly explained because it is an entire style or way of having relationships. It is a style of relationship to oneself, the world and the other people in the world. It is a style that is engrained early on in childhood and maintained into adulthood. It is the byproduct of adapting to dysfunctional human relationships. But I have bad news for you. Dysfunctional relationships are in fact the most common style of relationship today. They are the rule, not the exception.
A dysfunctional relationship is a relationship in which needs are met in ways that are destructive to the wellbeing of either person involved in the relationship. For example, a person may learn to meet their own needs for closeness by denying their personal truth. Or a person may meet their need to never be abandoned by keeping someone sick so they can’t ever leave because they are dependent on the caretaking they receive. Or a person may meet the other person’s need to feel good about themselves by keeping themselves small. The list could be five miles long of all the ways that a relationship could be dysfunctional in nature. A codependent relationship, and the style of relationship that a person we call codependent exhibits, is dysfunctional in nature. It is destructive to their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the person they are in a relationship with. We can only say that dependency has anything to do with codependency if the way we are depending on someone is destructive to our self or to them.
But there is a common misconception that people have relative to codependency that I want to dispel today. That concept is that codependency is about being too dependent on other people. The fact is I really wish the name for this style of relationships would be changed because it implies that dependency is the problem. In fact many people define codependency as an excessive reliance on a partner. This is actually not the case. Where they are getting this from is that people with a codependent style of being have a very poor sense of self. Their relationship strategy is to give themselves up in order to be in relationship, which never works. It just makes for a horribly painful and destructive relationship.
Those of us who inhabit the Western world have an addiction to independence. We are raised that having needs met by others makes us pathetic, powerless and weak. Many people in the Eastern world however are not raised with this belief. To understand this dynamic of dependence and independence, I suggest you watch some of my videos in order to be well versed on the subject. These videos are: Dependence Vs. Independence, Self Trust Vs. Independence, How Has It Come To This (The Societal Collapse Into Independence)? and Using People (Ask Teal Episode About Interdependence).
Whether you like it or not, you are completely dependent and you are also at the same time incapable of being dependent. In this universe, all is one. This means you are completely dependent on the food you eat to stay alive. You couldn’t be independent unless you ate yourself for breakfast. But that is also at a higher level of reality, exactly what you are doing. If all is one, then by eating the food on your plate this morning, you did eat yourself. So it is impossible to be dependent on anything other than you.
It is extremely open to interpretation to what degree depending on others is healthy and to what degree it is unhealthy. And it varies as well from case to case. For one person, depending on someone for something would be destructive to them or the other person in some way. For another, depending on someone for that very same thing would not be destructive to them or the other person in any way. This is the difference between symbiosis and unhealthy dependency.
For example, we might say that it is really unhealthy to depend on someone to the degree that they have to do everything for us, like brush our teeth for us and get us dressed and feed us. This may be destructive to our own sense of capability and empowerment. But what if you are a child? What if you are paraplegic? Suddenly being dependent in these ways is not destructive, it is both necessary and also beneficial. We can therefore be in a fully symbiotic and not dysfunctional relationship if we find someone to be dependent on for those things, whose life is enhanced by doing those things instead of diminished by doing those things.
Another example is that we could say it is not healthy in a marriage for our partner to dedicate their life to our life. It could be dysfunctional if their focus is constantly on our career success and our needs and our wellbeing. But what if we are a politician or a person in a similar excessively demanding position? When this is the case, that kind of thing is exactly what we need in a partner. A relationship becomes dysfunctional the minute that we find ourselves with a partner who is made unhappy by being dedicated to us in that way. But if dedicating oneself to someone in this way enhances a person’s sense of happiness and purpose, it is perfectly functional. Lots of dysfunction in relationships owes itself to incompatibility. For more information about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility (a Harsh Reality In Relationships).
Because we all come from different life circumstances and need different things in order to heal and we all find ourselves in different positions in life, our needs will be different. What may be dysfunctional for someone else may be perfectly healthy for us and vice versa. I have met couples who do not spend one minute apart and haven’t for years upon years who are perfectly functional and where being with each other all the time is not destructive to either person in any way. I have also met people who are with each other all the time and for them, it is dysfunctional and is destructive to one or both people.
It is always easy to project our own judgments about what we think is healthy or destructive onto them. We do this all the time without really seeing them and hearing them and feeling them and understanding them. I can guarantee you that if you really are able to perceive another person’s reality, your idea of what is healthy or destructive for them will change.
The elements of a dysfunctional relationship can only be called dysfunctional if they are destructive to either or both people involved in a relationship. This should be the primary concern within a relationship.
It is important to accept that codependency is not about how much time you spend with someone or the degree to which you depend on them. It is about the desperate and very real need for needs to be met, such as self-esteem, companionship and closeness, and the superbly unhealthy ways we go about trying to often manipulatively achieve those needs.
The ego is one of the biggest topics in spirituality. Nearly every spiritual teacher throughout history has taught about it. The ego in summary is the singular identity that you call by your name. It is an amalgamation of all the things you identify with… The things you call I, me or mine. Ego is Self Concept.
Because we are raised relationally dependent in a society in which our survival depends upon each other and has for thousands of years, the only way for our self to survive is if we are in the good favor of the rest of the social group. The rest of the social group, beginning with our parents when we were young, have to approve of us. They only approve of us if we are “good”. That is if we are being in a way and doing things in a way that is deemed good by the specific individuals around us. There is no real clear distinction amongst humans between doing bad and being bad. Therefore, the single most important thing to the human ego or sense of self is to believe itself to be good. Shame is the #1 enemy to the human ego. For more information about this, watch my videos titled: ‘The Number One Relationship Obstacle and How To Dissolve It’. And ‘How To Overcome Shame’.
Because the single biggest attachment that the ego has is to believing itself to be good, this is the single biggest blind spot we possess as people as well as the single biggest barrier to self-awareness and enlightenment. We tend to be completely unable to see when we are being in a way or doing in a way that we have been taught is bad (ie. hurting other people).
For the sake of this episode, I need you to suspend judgment about an objective idea of good or bad. I also need you to suspend the temptation to debate on the concept of good or bad in general and instead simply consider human psychology regarding good and bad and how that relates to a person’s ego.
Your sense of what badness and goodness is, is primarily determined by the social group and specific family that you grew up in. Obviously this is different from culture to culture and family to family. One culture may consider sexuality a virtue and the other may consider it a sin. One family may consider self-centeredness to be a necessary part of success and servitude to be a weakness. Another family may consider self-centeredness to be an offense worthy of condemnation and servitude to be the ultimate positive character trait. You will spend your life consciously trying to become anything that you associate with goodness and trying to see that in yourself. You will spend your life trying to avoid the things you associate with badness and your mind will actively avoid seeing these traits in yourself. They will become subconscious. In order to avoid shame, we cope by deflection, denial and reframing so we can believe ourselves to be good. This is when things can get scary.
We can spin anything in order to maintain the idea that we are good and by doing so, make self-awareness impossible. For example, a parent can whip their child with a belt and tell themselves that they are good because they are doing that in order to raise a disciplined child. A serial killer can chop up people into little pieces and keep them in barrels and convince themselves that they are good because they are keeping the people they killed safe. A man can sleep with a prostitute when he has a wife and convince himself that he is good because it allows him to take off tension that he feels towards the wife, so he can come home and treat her better than he would if he wasn’t cheating on her. A person can shoot a politician and convince himself that he is good because he is saving other people from his policies. A fan can turn into a hater and convince himself that he is good because they decide that the celebrity is bad for x y or z reason. A person can eat meat and convince themselves they are good because animals are made of meat or the animals at the supermarket are already dead. A terrorist can kill a group of people and convince himself that he is good because the other people he is attacking are bad. Every war ever waged was waged based on the idea that a person can stay good by killing because the people they target to kill are bad.
The ultimate form of competition that takes place in an insecure ego is this: I have to make you bad so I can be good. As a result, we do not recognize or take responsibility for the things we are saying and doing and the way we are acting and the impact it is having on other people. As a result, we do not change. We make repair in our relationships impossible. We do not become aware enough to awaken and live accordingly. We add to the suffering on earth without awareness that we are doing it. When we add to the suffering on the planet but we are unaware of it, we condemn the world to more suffering.
One of most painful things to experience in this lifetime is parallel realities. The blind spot created by this attachment to seeing ourselves as good, is so big that it can accommodate entire realities. This is the primary cause in fact of the split reality often experienced between parents and children. A parent can live in a reality where they are such a good parent because they gave their child every financial advantage in life. Their child can live in a reality where they were emotionally neglected and shipped from boarding school to boarding school. One person’s attachment to seeing themselves as good and their complete denial of their own badness, makes it so they live in a totally different reality from another person. For more information about this, watch my video titled: The Most Dangerous Parallel Reality. This dynamic makes an actual relationship an impossibility. If one person is convinced that they are good, they therefore have decided that they have nothing to change about themselves, their thoughts, words, behaviors or actions. There is nothing for them to remedy and the fault is entirely on the other side. If they think there is nothing for them to remedy, no resolve can actually ever take place. It also means we will be perpetually gas lighting people and/or we will perpetually be gas lighted by them.
If we wish to awaken, we have no other choice than to be willing to feel the ineffable discomfort of seeing the parts of ourselves that fit into the category of ‘badness’. We have to be willing to see the impact we are having on other people. We have to commit to seeing ourselves through their eyes and from their perspective. We must take them as a part of ourselves. We have to discern what is ours and what is theirs. And we must remedy what is ours.
The safest person in the world, and also the most awakened, is the one who intimately knows their own ‘badness’ and who sees their own shadow. This is the only kind of person who is capable of creating a world that is conscious, authentic and harmonious. The most dangerous person in the world, and also the least awakened, is the person who is convinced he is good to the degree that he can say or do anything and spin it into the idea that saying it or doing it makes him good.
Self-concept, specifically the unwillingness to see oneself as bad and to integrate our shame instead of try to escape from it, is the enemy of awakening. If you wish to awaken, be willing to see and accept your own badness as a part of you and take care of it lovingly so it ceases to be a detriment to your life and the lives of others.
If you have begun to venture onto the path of spirituality and self-growth, chances are you have started to experience a serious increase in synchronicities. At this point you may still be telling yourself that these are strange coincidences that are happening at such a rate now that you are starting to wonder whether there might just be something bigger happening in the universe than meets the eye. One of these coincidences is that you are starting to notice that numbers are repeating themselves. You are seeing them everywhere. You have noticed that something strange keeps happening relative to the numbers associated with time. At ‘random’ times, you see the number 11:11. You look at the clock and so often the time is 11:11. What the hell does this synchronicity mean?
The truth you will become more and more aware of is that yes, there is something bigger to the universe than meets the eye. Something that you would do well to understand is that everything in this universe is interconnected and is therefore responding to one another… You are constantly being communicated with by the universe at large. So what does it mean that you keep seeing 11:11?
11:11 is known as the ‘lightbearer’. 11 is the first of the master numbers and holds the same vibration as the angelic realms. 11 is the most intuitive number of all. And when it is repeated, this is intensified. You can see 11:11 as the ultimate confirmation number. It is akin to a universal YES. It means you are on the path of awakening and the path you intended before this life at this very moment and the thing you are thinking, saying or doing is confirmed by the universe at large. 11:11 is the link between polarities. Polarities such as physicality and non-physicality, mortal and immortal, earthly and divine, darkness and light, knowledge and ignorance.
11:11 is an indication that your guides and angelic beings are there and that you are in alignment with them and therefore your own path. It is a wakeup call to see yourself as a divine aspect of the universe who has the potential therefore to be a master of this time space reality. You have the potential and opportunity to be a conscious manifestation of the divine, who creates his or her own reality in harmony with the intentions of the greater universe. Oneness is the reality of this universe. And that includes you. the question is can you feel it?
When you see the number 11:11 you must pay very close attention to what you were thinking at the moment or just before the moment that you saw the number. It is a confirmation of what you thought as well as a reminder that you create with thought. Thought manipulates energy for manifestation and the thought you just thought is right on the brink of manifestation so make sure that it is in alignment with what you want to create. What do you want to manifest?
11:11 is a reminder that you are a divine part of the universe and as such, it is also a wake up call out of the hypnosis of the physical dimension to remind you that both you and the big picture of life on earth is more than just the physical day-to-day life. Remember who you really are. Remember the big picture.
11:11 is an indication also that a doorway has opened between the higher dimensional planes and physical time space reality. This makes it a doorway for manifestation of thought and intention into physical. Therefore it holds a similar vibration to a shooting star. You can set an intention or make a wish at the moment you see this number and consider it granted. Positive divine intervention/assistance is given.
11:11 is also the ultimate channeling number. Because it is like a doorway between the physical and non-physical reality, when you see it, it means that you are in the perfect position to channel or receive intuition or guidance. It is a sign of increased awareness or the opportunity for awareness. This is why it is called the light bearer number. It is a number indicating that at this moment, angelic or light beings are either saying yes or are ready to deliver you something you are needing to know or help you to do something you need to do or get something you wish to attain. It is an incredibly auspicious sign.
If you pay attention to the synchronicities around you, including numbers like 11:11, you can use them as sign posts guiding you through the universe. You can receive them and recognize them as messages from the universe at large and any beings that may be assisting you within the universe. The universe is taking to you at all moments of the day, the question is, are you watching and are you listening?
As I’ve explained in previous videos, at the most basic level, your body is made up of energy. That energy organizes itself into the physical body. But before that energy organizes itself into physical body parts, it organizes itself into meridians and chakras. These chakras are centers of energy that lie along energy channels and each one holds a very specific vibration and has a specific purpose. Each chakra is a specific expression of Prana (otherwise known as life force or source energy). The chakras look a bit like funnels of energy or vortices. They both absorb and emit energy.
When a chakra is out of alignment, meaning it is not letting life force in or is out of alignment for any number of reasons, it starts to affect your equilibrium. It becomes a serious imbalance within the system. When chakras are out of alignment, they appear small and do not absorb or emit much energy. They also change in their color, patterning, texture and sound.
The traditional name for the sacral chakra is: Svadhisthana. It is located in the center of your lower belly, about three inches below your belly button through your lumbar vertebrae.
The sacral chakra is the center of personal passion and personal power. It governs sensation and virility. Even though all the chakras are energy centers, this chakra can be regarded as a master generator of your own essence of sorts. It is the home of personal desire. It is the center of creativity and creation for this reason. This is the chakra responsible for sexual and sensual energy. This chakra is concerned with relationships to other people and how well we can relate to them and create with them in those relationships. Do we try to have control over others or do we live in a state of interdependence with them? Do we keep ourselves bottled up and reserved or do we indulge in intimacy and in life itself without the brakes on? This chakra governs our capacity to move out of survival, towards pleasure, especially interpersonal pleasure and personal purpose. Because this chakra governs sensations, when this chakra is out of alignment, it is difficult for us to feel as if we are truly alive.
The sacral chakra governs your sexual organs, womb, kidneys, spleen, lower vertebrae, pelvis, hips, bladder, appendix, large intestine and adrenal glands. Any ailments involving these parts of the body suggest that the sacral chakra is out of alignment.
The sacral chakra is the second chakra in the human system. It is traditionally associated with the color orange. It is also traditionally associated with the element of water.
What causes the sacral chakra to go out of alignment? First and foremost, external control. Second, external control being internalized so we keep ourselves under control. Societal conditioning and the people in our lives often oppose our natural essence. They do not live in an interdependent way with us. Instead they control us and teach us to inhibit ourselves and our natural creation for their sake. In order to avoid abandonment and social conflict, we ‘put a lid on ourselves’. We restrict ourselves, we go against our natural desires. We deaden ourselves and our ability to feel so we can live in this state or shall I say, not really live. We experience shame for our sensual pleasures, sexuality, sensuality and virility. We have our personal power over to others to avoid consequences and we lose touch with our passion and purpose as a result. As a result, we lose our vitality and feel like we have no energy.
Knowing that, here is what you can do to open your sacral chakra and bring it into alignment:
First, become aware of what is preventing the chakra from being in alignment. If there were not something preventing it from being healthy, it naturally would be. So close your eyes and get clear about how you are out of alignment with your personal power, personal desire, personal pleasure, sexuality, creativity and/or personal power in the relationships in your life. You can do this by asking questions and seeing what answers arise. Ask yourself, what is restricting me? How am I restricting myself or keeping myself under control? What is keeping me from being able to express myself creatively? Why am I not allowed to feel pleasure? What is wrong about sensuality and/or sex? What am I not allowing myself to feel the sensation of? What would be scary about unleashing myself and really feeling my personal power or showing it to other people? What would happen if I expected people to relate to me? How do I feel about passion? When did I feel I lost a sense of passion and purpose?
Do an intuitive exercise to understand the state of your sacral chakra. To do this, close your eyes and try to sense or see or feel the sacral chakra. If you cannot, feel or see or sense your belly itself. What color do you perceive it to have? Does it have any texture? Do you see any images associated with it? Begin to question it to understand what you are seeing. What does it tell you? What can you do to improve its current state? For example, I may see a dark cave that is frozen. That may tell me that I feel emptiness there. I may then ask myself mentally, what is this cave empty of? Or what does this cave represent? I may then imagine offering it something that I feel it needs. Like I may imagine sitting myself down inside it and giving it my company. I may see it melting ever so slowly by shining light on its walls.
There is no real difference between sexual energy and personal creative energy. Make a practice of mastering your own sexuality. If you have resistance to sexuality (that is thoughts, beliefs and actions that oppose healthy sexuality) the sacral chakra will suffer and so will any part of you in association with it. You are a sexual being. Embrace and express it in healthy ways and if you cannot, deliberately seek out people who can help you to do that.
Let yourself want and let yourself go for what you want. Obviously getting clear on what you want is really important when it comes to this chakra. You must then realize that you cannot live a healthy or happy life if you are restricting the flow of your personal energy by opposing your wants. You should never differentiate between your wants and needs. When it comes to personal expansion, a need should simply be considered to be a just a very strong want. For this reason, I suggest you watch my video titled: ‘How To Discover What You Want’ and ‘Meet Your Needs’.
Create, create, create. Creation can come in any form. It can come in the form of someone making food, doing art, building something, performing etc. Put your energy into something that you, yourself generate.
Heal the unhealthy dynamics present in your relationships, most especially those related to power and control between you and other people. Nothing makes the sacral chakra become more out of alignment than the unhealthy dynamics present in our relationships. We must learn that we can have ourselves and have other people at the same time without losing ourselves and without having to be isolated. We must learn how to have our full power at the same time as letting other people have their full power too. The majority of my focus is about this. I have tons of videos available about how to create healthy relationships. I suggest you make a study of them.
Allow yourself to indulge. Indulge in anything that brings pleasure, especially sensual pleasure. Enable pleasure to your sense of smell, pleasure to your sense of taste, pleasure to your sense of hearing, pleasure in the form of touch, pleasure to your eyes, pleasure to your emotions, pleasure to your mind, pleasure to your soul.
Live according to your passion. Do the things in your life that make you feel a sense of passion. If you have chosen a life where you are doing things just because they have to be done and if you have chosen a vocation that is not in alignment with your passion, your sacral chakra will suffer. You did not come to this life to get through life. You came to this life to follow your passion throughout the world. You came to chase your joy. You came to do the thing that you love doing so much that no one could pay you enough to not do it. Take any step necessary to live your passion.
Learn how to feel. Let yourself feel. Feel somatically and feel emotionally. Life is not meant to be numbed out and dull. It is meant to be rich and full of variety. You must be willing to feel for the sacral chakra to be in alignment. For this reason, watch my video titled: How To Feel (Learn How To Start Feeling).
When we are super controlling, our sacral chakra is out of alignment. We do not know how to let go. In that state, we restrict ourselves and we restrict others. We restrict the natural flow of energy through our embodiment. By doing this, we choke the flow of creation. Set aside some time to really let go. Let go completely. Indulge completely. Surrender completely. Surrender to creative impulse. Surrender to sensual pleasure. Let go of self-control. Be impulsive and spontaneous. Any activity that helps us let go and be uninhibited is like a tonic for the sacral chakra.
Any color that makes you feel alive and passionate will enhance the sacral chakra. That being said, the sacral chakra is associated with the color orange and is activated by this color. Surround yourself in this color, wear this color. Eat things that are this color. Do art with this color. Close your eyes and imagine yourself being immersed in this color.
Chakras are activated by sound. There are singing bowls and chants and binaural beats and tones created for this chakra specifically. The sounds that are associated with this chakra are: Vam and Oo. Close your eyes and play around with the pitch of that sound and take it up and down until you find the note or multiple notes that cause you to feel the most relief in that center.
Do yoga poses that open the sacral chakra. Kundalini yoga is especially good at awakening the sacral chakra. In my opinion, some of the best are warrior pose, goddess pose, bound angle pose and low lunge. Also, do this making sure to breathe deep into the belly instead of shallow into the lungs. Breathing into the area of the sacral chakra and even further, into the lower back, activates this chakra immensely.
Use stones that correspond to and that activate the sacral chakra. In my opinion, the very best are: Carnelian, basalt, red jasper, spessartine garnet, tangerine quartz, sunstone, pyrite, amber, tigers eye, orange or coral calcite, orange aventurine and citrine.
Use plant beings to assist in the opening of your sacral chakra. This can be in the form of teas, sachets, incense, essential oils or any other form you want to use them in. In my opinion, the plants that are the very best for opening the sacral chakra are: Hibiscus, ashwaganda root, saffron, dark chocolate, damiana, catuaba bark, coriander, paprika, ginseng, sandalwood, cinnamon, ginger, orange, calendula, fennel, kava, maca root.
Eat foods that stimulate the sacral chakra. In my opinion, the best are: cinnamon, chili peppers and all peppers in general, turmeric, paprika, ginger, fig, sweet potato, papaya, nut butters, apples, garlic, quinoa, dark chocolate, olives, melons, maca, mango, asparagus, fennel, hibiscus, pumpkin, ginseng, saffron and carrots.
The healthy sacral chakra comes with the truth that you came here to truly live, not to just go through the motions of life. You came to get dirty in emotions and sensations. You came to engage creatively and sexually with other people and with the world itself. You came to co-create and you came to do it with virility and passion.
Resistance is the big bad wolf in a land called trying to get what you want. Because of this, resistance is a concept that you hear in healing, spiritual, self help circles constantly, but no one really understands what resistance is. Not knowing what resistance is, is not the only problem. Also people find it very hard to recognize when they are in a state of resistance.
To understand resistance perfectly, I want you to imagine a stream with a fast moving current. In this current, there is a boat. This boat has 6 oarsmen in it, each of whom have a paddle. Some of the oarsmen are paddling downstream with the current. Some of them are paddling upstream, against the current. These oarsmen who are trying to paddle the boat upstream are in resistance. They are in resistance to the current itself. They are in resistance to the oarsmen who are also trying to paddle the boat downstream. Resistance is nothing more than opposition. It is any oppositional force.
We can meet with opposition from the outside and we can meet with opposition from the inside. Obviously resistance from the outside is external people, events and circumstances opposing you. But internal and external resistance go hand in hand. The resistance we encounter on the outside is a reflection of internal resistance that exists, usually internal resistance that we are unaware of.
When it comes to internal resistance within a person, an oppositional force (and therefore resistance) can come in the form of thoughts, words or actions. For example, take the thought “I am abundant and money comes easily to me”. A resistant thought may be “All I ever get is bills and I never have enough money for what I want.” Resistant words may be telling someone that you love them when in fact you don’t or any other form of inauthentic speech. A resistant action may be getting drunk when you’ve vowed to stay sober.
The main source of internal opposition, the source of our resistant thoughts, words and actions is the splits within our consciousness. Even though we have one body, within that body, we in fact have multiple selves. We are fragmented. 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. This is the primary unconscious coping mechanism within people. And these selves or internal fragments often oppose one another. When they oppose one another, you end up with internal resistance. To understand this concept in depth and learn how to reverse the process, watch my video titled: Fragmentation (The Worldwide Disease).
Obviously when we are trying to get what we want or when we are trying to heal, any force that opposes our healing or opposes us getting what we want is going to cause us incredible amounts of pain. What we do when we feel this opposition either internally or externally is that we try to push through it. We ignore it. We do not deal with the resistance directly. Because of this, we actually enhance the resistance because we are in fact resisting our resistance. We are also wasting lots of energy this way and getting nowhere. Just like a bad game of tug of war or when two people paddle in two different directions, we end up stuck or spinning in circles or having to put forth so much effort to try to get where we want to go or get what we want that we eventually give up.
Most people try to combat resistance by adding energy to the forces that are in alignment with our desires or in alignment with our healing. For example, we may feel the resistance to abundance in our life or be aware it must exist because we never have enough money. But we deal with it by telling ourselves positive affirmations or by attending workshops about how to think and get rich. To use our earlier metaphor, this is like trying to solve the problem of 3 oarsmen paddling upstream and 3 paddling downstream by giving better paddles to the oarsmen paddling downstream. It has done nothing to end the battle between the oarsmen. You’ve done nothing to end the resistance. You’ve just added more force to one side of a tug of war game so to speak.
This is not a wise way of going about it. This is like trying to set sail on the open seas while we have an anchor dropped in the water. The wise way of going about it is to understand that what is natural is to flow in the direction of what we want. We don’t have to work hard at it actually. All forces in the greater universe are in favor of us getting what we want because expansion can only occur from a place of actualizing our desires and giving rise to new ones. What we do have to do is to become aware of the resistance we have and directly address the resistance and try to create some alignment there so that we can have all of our personal energy going in the same direction. This will reflect externally in the world as external circumstances working with us instead of against us. This is to say we need to dive down to pull up the anchor so we can set sail, not try to improve our sails so they can afford the drag of the anchor. Another metaphor is that we need to get the oarsmen who are paddling against the current to paddle with the current instead.
The rule of thumb is this: If you have any resistance taking place within your being, you must directly deal with the resistance first before doing anything else. No action should be taken from a place of resistance. When we feel ourself putting the breaks on or when we feel ourselves not being able to feel fully on board with something or when we can’t seem to create what we want in our life, we need to seek and find and understand and resolve our resistance. We have to be honest enough with ourselves to admit to it, regardless of whether we feel shame or not.
So often we end up totally stuck in the healing field when we are trying to help people or with our own healing because we have resistance to the process taking place or the healing itself. The same goes for truth. We have such a hard time making lasting change because we are so resisting seeing reality and seeing the truth. When we get into these situations, we usually try to bulldoze through the resistance and not only does it not work, it only makes matters worse. For example, some people feel resistance in the form of fear when they are learning a process from a teacher. That resistance will block the person from really opening up and allowing themselves to be transformed by that teacher. This resistance to the teacher himself or herself must be resolved before the student can really open up to learn from them.
Another example is we can say that we want a baby desperately and pour our effort into trying to conceive and into fertility specialists without even realizing that we do have parts of us that are subconscious (that may have even more weight inside of us than the others) who are completely opposed to the idea of being a mother. We need to consider that if we have not manifested something already, it is because parts within us actually oppose the manifesting of that thing.
Another example is that someone can be trying to reflect something to us about us that might change the way we live for the better. But we feel that acknowledging that as part of ourselves would make us a bad person. Our self-concept is in resistance to the truth of us. So we lie about ourselves and go into denial about ourselves instead.
The process we will go through to resolve the resistance in any given situation is going to be determined by the specific circumstances. But one thing I want you to remember is that your resistance deserves to be treated as valid and important regardless of whether it is about something true or real or not. If you do not treat it this way (if you approach resistance with resistance by already deciding that it is stupid or shouldn’t be there or needs to change its stance) you will not be able to listen to that resistance and understand it with compassion enough to create resolve with it. You will also not be able to arrive at your personal higher truth in any given situation. Sometimes when we become aware of the aspects of us that are in resistance, we find that instead of opposing our true desires, they point to even deeper desires and that going in the direction we were intent on going was in fact the opposite of what was best for us.
So remember, if we aren’t getting anywhere with something, it is because there is resistance involved. If we are in resistance, we need to stop dead in our tracks, zoom out to see the resistance and resolve it in whatever way that we can before we move forward with that thing we are in resistance to. Everyone experiences resistance in their lives and in themselves. The people who are massively successful at creating the life they ant to live are the people who can resolve the resistance so that all of their energy is not split and is instead facing in the same direction and moving towards the same thing.
To love something is to take it as part of yourself. It is an experience more than it could ever be a concept. Love is inclusive. It is the energetic movement towards oneness. When you love something, you energetically pull it towards you and include it as you. The ultimate reality in this universe goes beyond oneness. But for the sake of this discussion, lets say that the ultimate reality in this universe is that of oneness. We may perceive there to be separate things in the world. But this perception is an illusion. We are all comprised of the same energy that is merely expressing itself as different things. And this energy is not only infinite; it has consciousness. This is what we have been calling God or Source for thousands of years. We are indivisible from it. So the ultimate reality is that we are part of all things in existence and all things in existence are part of us. To understand more about this watch my video titled: What Is Love.
Trust cannot be accomplished without love because to trust is to be able to rely on someone taking your best interests as part of their own best interests. So here we have trust and love, the two pillars of a good relationship. Both are about taking the other person, their feelings, needs, wants, perspectives and best interests as part of our own. The highest practice of all is this practice. Even when another person’s feelings, needs, wants, perspectives and best interests seem to conflict with our own. When this is the case, we need to expand wider than our individual perspective and self hood. We need to see the human us and this other person as two warring parts within us that we need to create integration with.
There is an assumption that if we do this, we will let other people hurt us. There is an assumption that we will self sacrifice or give ourselves up in some way. But this is not the case because to do that is to not take yourself as part of yourself. Sometimes, incompatibility exists. When this is the case, loving someone and creating further closeness and integration with them might be to let them separate in the physical dimension. It is a bit like trying to force two magnets faced the wrong way together. The forcing of them to be compatible, in the form we want them to be compatible in, is like forcing a bird to swim or a fish to fly. It is to enhance the suffering and polarization and even opposition between them. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility (A Harsh Reality in Relationships).
When we are living in this physical time space reality, which we are experiencing through an individual perspective, it is so easy to see yourself as separate from every other thing in existence. It is in fact the basic assumption that we are separate. Only awakening shows us otherwise. Only the awakening to love shows us that we are indivisible from all things in existence. But when we are caught up in the illusion of our own separation, we do not take others as part of ourselves when we think about them, speak to them or take actions relative to them. We interact with them as if we can be against them without being against our self.
The golden key in relationships is to think of the other person as if they are a part of us… A part within us. Their best interests cannot ultimately be separate from our own. We may have to make serious adjustments to life if the best interests of our temporal self conflict with theirs. When we do this, the way we think about them, the way we communicate with them and the actions we take relative to them and towards them will change completely. Any time you have to spend really getting into their perspective and really seeing, hearing, feeling and understanding them so as to understand their best interests (without your self centered lens of what you think their best interests actually are), is well worth it.
It is important to not be fooled by the idea that finding balance between opposing things is a good method of conflict resolution. For more information about this, watch my video titled: F#!k Balance. We cannot impose our idea of what resolution should look like and our limited ideas about how to create resolution. We must fully adopt the perspective of the other person being part of us in order to see the true path to any resolution or the true action taken from a place of love.
Before you respond in any situation, make a practice of really seeing the other person, as well as your temporal self as a part of you… Part of you that you cannot ever and will never get rid of. Ask yourself the following questions:
Am I thinking of this person from love? If he/she/it were part of me, how would I think about him, her or it?
Am I communicating with this person from love? If he/she/it were part of me, how would I communicate with him, her or it?
Am I acting towards this person from love? If he/she/it were part of me, how would I act towards him, her or it?
You will not be able to do this perfectly, which is why we call it a practice and it is the most difficult practice of all, especially when someone is hurting you. But the golden key of relationships is to make a practice of only interacting with someone from this perspective.
Relationships are life. If you look at life, all life really is, is a collection of relationships. You have a relationship with your self, you have a relationship with things in the world and you have a relationship with other people. Obviously for us to feel safe in the world, we have to feel free from harm in our relationships. But most people are confused about exactly how to create a safe relationship.
The definition of an unsafe relationship is a relationship with someone who cannot take you as part of themselves and therefore cannot take your best interests as part of their interests. This is a state of disconnection. It is a state of disconnection and perceived separateness where they cannot see you, feel you, hear you and understand you to even know what your best interests really are. It is essentially a lack of attunement and a lack of love. Most people think that love is to feel intensely positive towards something or someone. This is not the case. That is the byproduct of love. To love something is to take it as a part of yourself. This usually leads to positive, expansive feelings towards that thing or that person. If you take something as a part of you, you do not perceive yourself to be separate from that thing and so you can perceive it fully.
Attunement is being or bringing into harmony. It is a feeling of being “at one” with something. The best way to imagine attunement is to imagine sitting in your car and reaching out for the radio dial. If you want to hear the music being played at a specific frequency, like 98.2 FM, you need to tune your radio dial to 98.2 FM. And then you will hear the music. Your own radio dial needs to be brought into harmony with or become one with the radio channel you want to receive in order to perceive that radio channel. You need to tune into them as if you are them so as to be able to feel or imagine the other person’s emotional experience and to understand what they are feeling. This is what allows you to know what to do in any given situation to end conflict or improve a situation or to assist someone.
Attunement is what gives rise naturally to compassion and empathy. To understand these concepts in depth, I suggest that you watch my videos titled: What Is Love, Attunement (The Key To a Good Relationship) and (Compassion And How to Cultivate Compassion). This state of taking something as part of yourself (so as to perceive the felt experience of that other thing or person) is the foundation of a safe relationship. One of the problems that we have today is that we try to love people from our own separate perspective about what the person needs and wants. We try to love them in a way they do not actually receive love. So we have to try to understand them instead. If you want a super short cut for creating a safe relationship, watch my video titled: Stop Trying To Love Them and Start Trying to Understand Them.
What makes a relationship safe is our capacity to own a person as a part of ourselves to the degree that we cannot put up with or make them put up with being in pain. If we perceive ourselves to be separate enough that our best interests can be separate from someone else’s best interests, a relationship becomes very, very dangerous because we can put someone in pain as a means of controlling them and of getting what we want. We can play zero sum games in our relationships. We can keep someone in pain and expect them to stay with us anyway. It is a recipe for abuse.
Most people have a negative association with the idea of owning someone. To possess something is to have that thing in that it belongs to you. This is actually the positive side of possession. It is an inclusion-based concept. To love something is to take it as part of yourself. This means it automatically belongs with and to you and so you have it. To truly own something is to see it as part of yourself. If you see something as part of yourself, it becomes impossible to hurt that thing without hurting yourself. So much damage has been done by us throwing out the concept of ownership in our relationships with one another. When we do not own other people as part of ourselves, we feel no responsibility to them. Ownership is a critical part of creating safety in a relationship. To understand this fully, watch my video titled: Own People (How to Take Ownership of Your Relationships With People.
Nothing makes us feel more unsafe than abandonment. Being left or losing our relationships is just as big a fear (if not a bigger fear) than being trapped in a painful relationship. This is also where taking someone as part of yourself is critical. To trust is to be able to rely on someone to capitalize on your best interests, essentially to take your best interests as part of your best interests. 100% of relationships end if trust is lost in the relationship. This is actual statistical fact. So, if we cannot take someone’s best interests as part of our own best interests, it is a guarantee we will become unsafe in terms of losing the relationship itself. To understand more about trust, watch my video titled: Trust (What is Trust and How to Build Trust in Relationships).
Relationships are inherently out of control. We cannot control another person. We cannot control what they think, say, do or choose. This is why relationships are so scary and so risky. Obviously because so many of us come from past pain and trauma in relationships, relationships in general don’t feel safe. But there is a difference between trying to overcome past trauma that makes you feel unsafe in relationships so as to feel safe in a current relationship that actually IS safe; and trying to feel safe in a relationship that is not safe in and of itself. Obviously we need to use our discernment and even invite others to help us to discern whether we are feeling unsafe because of the past when the relationship or person is actually safe and when we are feeling unsafe because the relationship or person isn’t actually safe.
Most of us will experience pain in even the best relationships. What makes a relationship safe isn’t the guarantee that we will never experience pain. The only pain we should ever align with in a relationship is pain that ultimately enhances our wellbeing or theirs (or both) instead of diminishes it. It must be known however that it takes a serious level of awareness to be able to discern for someone else what pain is actually good for someone because it can be such a good smokescreen for abuse in relationships or even for our own failings in relationships to cover over the pain we are causing someone by telling ourselves that it is good for them in some way. It is the response we have to pain that occurs in a relationship… The quickness with which we create repair… The genuine commitment to prevent harm and to not perpetuate harm to the person who we love and therefore take as part of ourselves, that makes a relationship safe. To understand this fully, watch my video titled: Take Them As Part Of You (The Golden Key To A Good Relationship).
The way to know if you are in a good relationship, one where the other person is taking you as part of themselves, is to be able to say “I am out of control with this person, and so I feel… SAFE”. When we are in a bad relationship, we cannot say this. Our truth will be “I’m out of control with this person, and so I feel… UNSAFE. And there is nothing worse than this feeling, especially if we feel that with a partner.
Balance is accepted as a sacred principal nearly universally amongst humans. It is regarded as even more sacred in spiritual traditions. It is natural that when we are focusing on our physical reality, which is inherently full of polarities, it is natural to assume that balance is a key to wellbeing. This physical reality was designed to be a contrasting environment for the sake of expansion. Essentially, we would know what we wanted by virtue of knowing what we do not want. We would know black by knowing white and vice versa. But I am going to tell you today that it is time to take balance off of the pedestal of sacred principals to live your life by. Balance is the very thing that is preventing the expansion of the universe and your own consciousness along with it.
Balance is defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. It is also defined as to offset or compare the value of one thing with another. We are in a time and place where the consciousness of source itself has turned the corner away from separation and back towards oneness. Polarity is an example of separation. Balance is in fact something that upholds separation. It seeks to create equilibrium between two different things instead of seeking to combine them. Where consciousness is headed is integration. In integration, polarities come together to form a third thing entirely, the sum of both.
And consciousness is the progression of the collective consciousness. And consciousness is our capacity to expand wide enough to contain the maximum of opposites. To understand this in depth, watch my video titled: And Consciousness (The Modern Day Replacement For The Middle Way).
Human kind does not understand that a third entity exists as a result of integration and that this third entity is really the wellbeing we have been searching for. So it thinks balance is the way to achieve wellbeing. Within mankind’s consciousness, balance is something that is achieved by a process of addition and subtraction. This was the origin of the middle way. If you pull a string on an instrument too tight, it will snap. If you leave it too loose, it won’t play. The idea is to achieve balance through making it less tight or tighter to achieve equilibrium. This is also the idea behind the completely limited concept of balancing work and play by either working more or working less depending on what is needed to achieve equal parts of work and play. There is no such thing as a work-life balance. What about integrating your work and play, then there is no need to try to control two seemingly opposing things.
If you live your life according to the principal of balance, you will end up exhausted. You will also never be able to fully actualize yourself because you will be trying to limit aspects of yourself while trying to accentuate others instead of becoming the full expression of both and finding a way for the full expression of both to harmonize.
Balance also has to do with measuring the value of one thing next to the value of another. The value of one thing can never be measured next to the value of another. This is again a human concept and it is not based on reality, it is based on judgment. Just because someone decided that x amount of oil is of equal value to x amount of money does not mean it is objectively true.
I will give you an example of why balance needs to be thrown out the window for the concept of integration. Let’s imagine that you have two parts within you. You have a part that wants to do only what it wants to do. And you have a part that to the opposite wants to do what it thinks has to be done. These two parts within you will be like two rival siblings, constantly trying to pull you over to their side and to their argument. You will feel ripped in half. If you follow the principal of balance, you will try to use your controlling efforts to probably do what has to be done so that you can then do what you want to do. Seems balanced, but it is a recipe for unhappiness and exhaustion where you will be fighting against one of them or the other of them. You’re essentially just giving each of them a little time to be in control.
Imagine instead that you really spent time getting to know these different parts. You discovered that the one that wants to do whatever it wants to do is so tired of not being able to live according to inspiration or the way it truly feels and what it really wants that it is ready to destroy your life to get out from under being prevented every day. To the other side, you discover that the part that wants to do what has to be done is terrified of the consequences of following its true desires and thinks it has to follow the beaten path of what should be done in order to avoid those consequences.
It may become obvious then that actually both parts want to do what they want to do and even want to do the same thing, but one thinks it is the road to ruin and the other thinks it is the road to heaven. The key then is not to do some of what has to be done and some of what they want to do. They key is to figure out how to do what they want to do in a way where they either minimize the risks of consequences associated with doing that. Or they become genuinely ok with taking the risks, which entails changing the perspective belonging to the part within you that feels it must do what has to be done to avoid consequences.
If you create integration (full alignment between these opposites) in this way, you are looking at an entirely different life. You are looking at a life that you really are excited to get up for; not a life where you can get through what has to be done so you can finally do what you really want to do. The people who are the happiest in their life created integration between their true desires and what has to be done instead of trying to balance out one with the other.
Since integration is the call of the day from source consciousness, the idea of balance is being thrown out the window and the idea of trying to eradicate one to become all of the other is being thrown out the window. Nowhere is this more obvious than with the split between good and evil as well as shadow and light. For thousands of years, spiritual practice has been about good triumphing over evil and about light triumphing over shadow. The alternative has been trying to embrace the concept of shadow and light or good and evil as an unchangeable principal of the universe. Both are failing principals. Since love is the basic truth of the universe itself, and love is to take something as part of oneself, to step into truth (which is love) means that good must take evil as part of itself and vice versa. Light and shadow must mix to become a third element entirely. What we see when we take something we judge as evil or wrong as part of ourselves, is not that we become more of that thing; we become the exaltation of that thing.
For example, we can call it evil to feed on someone else’s energy. But if we embrace the ability to feed on someone’s energy with love, it will take on the form of feeding on energies that do not benefit the person to have within them. This is the case because in a state of love, where you take someone as part of yourself and vice versa, you cannot harm them without harming yourself. So it becomes a win win, instead of a win lose. It is the rejection of certain aspects that causes them to take on such a detrimental expression. It is the rejection of certain aspects that makes us slip into the illusion that they are not part of us and disconnect from them to the degree that we think it is possible to harm them without harming our self. To understand more about this concept in depth, watch my video titled: The Secret To Overcoming Your Problems.
Both polarities hold something we desperately need. It is only in the integration of those polarities that we can actualize that thing which we need and that which we ultimately truly are. Beings from both polarizations (such as angels and demons) are beginning to come on board with integration and ending the war inherent in their polarity. Both are sick of separation, including the quest to win and/or the quest to maintain balance.
Long story short, the time has come to re-think balance. The time has come to see that it is something that is currently preventing our awakening instead of enhancing it.
It is not a secret that relationships with other people are the most difficult aspect of life. But there is something that makes relationships not just difficult but impossible… It is when we are not in reality in our relationships, which happens more often than you think.
I want you to imagine that a person is in a prison cell. There is no way of getting out of that prison cell. They cannot cope with the reality of the prison cell and so they begin to escape from it with their mind. They start to play a game of pretend where the prison is a palace instead. The person who brings food to the cell every day is a servant. The walls are not the stone of a prison; they are the stone of a medieval castle. The bars are pillars. The mind has the capacity to play pretend to such a degree that every element of reality can be seen as a different element in our game of pretend. But this game is not really a game because your mental and emotional survival depends on it. This pretend reality sits over actual reality like an overlay.
Most of us have experienced this overlay when we were children. We played pretend. For example, it was easy for us to see our family golden retriever as the dragon if we were pretending that we were a knight in shining white armor. But for some of us, this overlay went far beyond pretend. We could not cope with the reality of our childhood. So the coping mechanism of pretend became a way to literally get away from and escape our reality. When this is the case, we lose touch with reality and we start to feel the overlay is more real than the reality we don’t want to admit to underneath it. Even when it seemed like we were not pretending and were in reality to other people, we were still experiencing life through the lens of our overlay.
It is common for children to use this coping technique because childhood is such a uniquely powerless experience for so many children. They cannot escape. They cannot make choices to change their reality and so they often end up developing coping mechanisms (like overlays) so as to not be stuck in a tormenting reality where they have no control. But this coping mechanism continues past childhood. It extends past when we actually do have the capacity to change our reality. When this is the case, this coping mechanism gets us into serious trouble.
An overlay is a very dangerous thing because it makes it so we do not even see reality in the first place. We could be headed towards a cliff but because we are not looking at reality, we are looking at our overlay; we are convinced it is a beautiful horizon line. Overlays make it so we commit to something that isn’t real, especially in relationships. And eventually, when that overlay begins to corrode, we end up in a reality that is the opposite of what we would choose.
Many of us are lonely. The reality of our relationship life is very painful. We are desperate to have the vision we see in our heads of what we want. Maybe it’s that picture of the perfect family, which would make us feel belonging and closeness and connection. Our commitment is to that picture of what we want. There is nothing wrong with creating that as long as we are creating it in reality. The danger is that this picture of what we want can become an overlay. It can be what prevents us from seeing reality. When this is the case, when we meet someone, we ignore all the red flags that are telling us that in reality this person does not match the vision of what we want. Instead, we become like casting directors where what we want is actually a game of pretend we are playing on the stage of life. We are simply trying to pick the person who acts the most like they could play the character in our vision of our life that we want. Any sign that we get that suggests that they could play that character well makes us convinced that they are actually that character in reality. But the truth is, they are not. We are not in love with the actual person. We are in love with the character we want them to play in our life. When they act in character, we approve of them. When they break from character, we disapprove of them and try to criticize them back into character. One of the best examples of this I have seen of this overlay vs. reality relationship in action is the relationship between the student Betty Warren and her new husband in the movie Mona Lisa Smile.
We are so desperate to have relationships that we also mislead others into believing that we actually are the character belonging to someone else’s vision of what they want. We are like chameleons and actors trying to become those characters so we can be loved and wanted. But this is a disaster in the end because it is impossible to play a game of pretend or to keep acting forever. We will break character. And this makes it so the person who is cast in the role belonging to our vision feels totally unloved for who they are and the person doing the casting feels either disappointed or duped. The overlay usually begins to corrode when the limerance phase of relationship wears off. Suddenly, something one person or the other does to break from character causes us to catch a glimpse of reality. It scares the crap out of us. And slowly, like filmstrip being burnt, we see that what we thought the relationship was is not what the relationship was. Suddenly all the red flags you ignored in the beginning make perfect sense and you wish you would have actually put stock in them. Slowly, you cannot deny that the reality of the person you have committed to looks absolutely nothing like the vision you had for what you wanted. It is not a match at all to the overlay. And eventually, you fall through the holes in the overlay into a very harsh reality, sometimes a worse reality than you even started with; a reality of loneliness and unhappiness.
When we do not see people clearly in reality for what they actually are, and when we do not enter into relationships in a completely authentic way, we are not creating a relationship in reality. We are actually creating an overlay. Many people’s relationships primarily take place as an overlay. To scare you, this is the adult equivalent of two four year olds playing house, but being totally convinced that reality is putting the baby to bed and shopping for groceries and living in the play house.
If you are the kind of person who has an intense vision for what you want and are so desperate to get it that you ‘cast characters’ as actors in that vision whose actual real personalities and authentic truths do not match the characters themselves, the unfortunate reality is that you will be a match to people who do the same thing and will therefore ‘cast you’ as a character in their vision who is nothing like the real you. You will also be a match to people who pretend the reality of them is the same as the character you want them to play in your vision, when the truth of them is quite the opposite. You will end up in relationships where genuine incompatibility exists. For more information about this, watch my video titled: Incompatibility (A Harsh Reality In Relationships). You will also end up in relationships based mostly on potential. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Priceless Relationship Advice.
People are really confused about love and sex addiction. To be honest, most people, even experts, have no idea what actually creates it and what it is really about. This is because love addiction and sex addiction are really an addiction to overlay. Like any addiction, it is a coping strategy to get out of the insane pain of starvation relative to emotional needs. It is a desperate way to get out of isolation. When the reality of someone’s life was this desperate absence of what they emotionally needed, and there was no way to get it, the only option was to create a fantasy (an overlay) and project it over reality. Love and sex addicts attach to people immediately because they see people only through the lens of their overlay; Only as the characters in their own vision, which they are so desperate for and already know so well. So love addiction and sex addiction is just at the extreme end of the scale of what so many of us do in life and in relationships. We convince ourselves that an overlay we have created is reality, when it is not.
If we want to create the life we want to be living, we have got to hold two often contradictory perspectives simultaneously. The first is reality; what is. The second is the vision we have for what we want. Chances are, you already know what you want. Chances are if you tend to fall into this pattern, you are so desperate to get it that you are the kind of person who (like a person dying of thirst) will ignore the warning signs and drink poisoned water. So staying out of this pattern is so much about learning to see reality, even when it breaks your heart to do it and even when it feels like you have to say no to water when you are dying of thirst.
To get into reality, we have to try to see all of a situation and all of who someone is, both good and bad. We have a tendency when we are engaged in an overlay to sweep anything that contradicts our vision under the rug. We allow ourselves to be spun by someone’s words as well instead of the way they feel energetically and the way they act. So here are some ways to get into reality about a situation or someone:
Put the situation or the person on mute. You can do this as a visualization where you go back in your mind and watch the situation or the person. Or you can close off your hearing somehow while you are actually watching them. What is the truth being conveyed by their actions and body language and energy? Their words may say one thing, while the rest of them say the opposite. Actions and energy never lie. A person may say they are there with you and for you for example, but they are entirely focused on their computer or projects. If the situation is on mute, and you were watching it as am impartial observer, not knowing anything about this situation or person, what would you say the truth is?
When you perceive a red flag, something that is a warning that the situation or person may not fit in with that vision of what you want for yourself and your life, notice the feeling of fear you have and potential disappointment and desperation. Instead of going into denial about it, or talking yourself out of that feeling, seriously consider it may be a bad sign you need to listen to. For example, one of my clients was at a dinner with a man who she had fallen in love with. At the dinner, he told her about the affairs he had engaged in that year before he decided to get a divorce. He went on to explain why those affairs were so important and to explain how alone he was in his marriage with his wife. Because he told the story in a way that made him the victim and thus justified the affairs, she ignored the red flag feeling she got. Later of course, and after they were married, he cheated on her and she found out that he told the same story to those women and even lied that he was not married when he engaged in those affairs. Commit to asking yourself, “What if this really were a red flag? What is the worst that this red flag could be warning me about or what reality would it be pointing to if it were actually a red flag?”
Try to observe someone when they are not aware that someone is watching. When people know someone is watching, they tend to become who they know other people want them to be. By observing them when they are totally unaware they are being watched is to see them off guard and in their natural state.
Notice patterns. If we have asked someone in our life to change something, especially something that hurts us, and they consistently don’t change it or say they will, but never take the initiative themselves to dedicate themselves to changing it, the reality is that they either can’t or don’t want to change that thing. They are not a match to our vision at all. What we are seeing is what we are going to get. This is the reality of them. We need to accept and take action accordingly rather than to get caught in a cycle of constantly trying to fix them into being a match to our overlay.
Let go immediately of the idea that someone can ‘heal’ into being what we want them to be. So many of us see reality through the lens of what someone can be if we rescue them or rehabilitate them. This vision of what their healed self looks like is still OUR overlay. It’s what we want. It may not be a match to what they want. You can be sure that if what they want is the same as our vision, you will see consistent efforts without any influence on your end to reach that state because it is their vision, not your vision for them. It is a good idea to ask yourself, If I was committing to this situation or this person EXACTLY as it is today, knowing it would not ever change, could I do that?
Trust your feelings. Intuition and feelings are powerful representatives of your personal truth. This is the epitome of trust your gut. Imagine that someone inserted a rod down through the top of your head, all the way through the center of your body, just along the front side of your spine. You could see this rod as your core. Your personal truth will show up as sensations, feelings, intuitions and messages that arise closest to that rod. When you are not sure about reality or truth, sit down, close your eyes and be unconditionally present with whatever is occurring close to that rod. After a time, you can ask it questions relative to the situation or person in question and see how it responds. Even when we commit to maintaining an open mind, we have to do so with a firm grasp on our personal truth and we must trust the feelings and intuition that come as messengers of that personal truth.
Don’t simply look at how someone treats you. Look at how they treat others, especially their enemies and opponents and also children and animals. When we are in a place of favor in someone’s life, when we are in love especially, we tend to not see the person clearly whose favor we are in. We believe we are the exception. We need to get that favor can be easily lost and their behavior will change once they are less enamored with us. We can bet on the fact that we will be dealt with the same way we have seen them deal with ‘other people’. For example, I counseled a woman whose husband was a top executive. She watched him for years belittle other people and set them up in lose lose situations to his advantage and play brutal zero sum games all in the name of business strategy. She told herself she was safe with him because it was surely different because she was his wife. But when their relationship fell apart, she had to accept the very harsh reality that every move he had made financially in their marriage was to put himself at an advantage and to put her at a disadvantage in the event of a divorce. He had been playing a chess game to keep his own best interests secure in case they split up. And soon, she found herself losing everything she had thought they had built together. As if there never was a marriage, the second the relationship fell apart, it was as if there was never a marriage. He switched into treating her with the same cold, calculating zero sum game approach as a business rival. How people treat ‘other people’ as well as children and other living things, like animals, is everything.
We all have blind spots and biases. We have to become aware of our own. Due to our own experiences, we all have aspects we can’t see about others and we all have biases that cause us to project onto other people. This also prevents us from seeing them clearly. To understand more about projection, watch my video titled: Projection (understanding the Psychology of Projection). For example, if we grew up with a narcissistic father, we may not even recognize a narcissistic man for what he is. We are used to this kind of relationship. We will have a blind spot to the danger involved with this personality type. Or we may be attracted to the lone wolf because we resonate with their aloneness, but miss that there is a really good reason that person is alone. Or we may have grown up with a suicidal mother who was super emotional. If we end up in a relationship with an emotional woman, we may project our mother onto her and project that she will hurt us in the same way mom did, when this isn’t actually true. We can’t see who she really is past the lens of our mother. When we have these blind spots, it is a good idea to involve other people’s perspectives as well as to develop awareness is the areas where our blind spots and projections exist.
Take time to get to know someone. Treat the process of developing a relationship or getting into a situation like a touch and go scenario. Test the water. When you do this you get information. Based on that information, you decide to go a little deeper or not. Based on having gone a little deeper, you get a little more information and that tells you whether to go a little deeper or not. This is really hard to do when we are desperate for something. It’s like asking a starving person to sample a rice grain and then another rice grain and then another, instead of eating the whole bowl. And it is almost torture to think of putting energy into something or someone only to have to pull out and start all over again. But believe me, it is still better to do that than it is to eat a whole bowl of poisoned rice and to suffer the consequences of getting out of a situation after you have gotten into it. Make sure that before you commit to a partnership or commit to fully trusting someone, you have seen them in their good times and in their bad times. Make sure you have seen that they will consistently take your best interests as part of their own best interests. Make sure that you really see, hear, feel and understand the reality of who they are right here and now, if nothing were to positively change about them.
Sometimes we have to take risks in life. Sometimes, we have to move forward with our fear. Other times, moving forward despite our fear means that we are ignoring reality. It is in our best interests to spend time discerning the difference. If all we see is our overlay, we never see reality and if we never see reality, we can never actually change it into the vision we want for ourselves and for our life. All we can hope for is a game of pretend projected over the reality of our life. All we can hope for is game of pretend where we never really see, feel, hear and touch other people and they never really see, feel, hear and touch us because we are only ever playing characters in each other’s overlay.
You hear the word ‘presence’ flying around the spiritual, self-help and psychology communities all the time. But what does it mean exactly? To answer that question, I want you to imagine that what we call Source or God is actually nothing more than sentient energy or aware essence. It is pure collective consciousness. And this sentient essence has the capacity to both create with the energy that comprises itself as well as to perceive itself. You are essentially its creation. But you have been created from its energy because there is nothing that is NOT it. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Oneness is Not The Ultimate Truth of This Universe.
This sentient essence not only created the physical dimension that you live in. It also created you within the world. You are part of it. You are simply part of it projected into the physical dimension. But your consciousness is an aspect of God or Source’s consciousness. Any time we focus on something, we are focusing that sentient essence on that and into that thing. That sentient essence is in and of itself healing. When we are present with something it means that we focus that sentient essence with all of our attention and focus onto that thing without any intention to change it… just to be with it completely. The healing power of presence cannot be underestimated. It creates an alchemical process in the thing that you are being present with. This is why masters of this time space reality often do not need to say a word in order to teach or change lives. Just by being near them, you become transformed and more of who you really are.
In previous videos and seminars, I introduced you to the idea of being present with emotions. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: How To Heal The Emotional Body. I have also introduced you to the idea of somatic experiencing. As a sentient being, all kinds of things are happening with you emotionally and physically and mentally at any given time. You experience the world through sensations. For example, if you hit your leg on a table, you feel different sensations in your leg. If someone breaks up with you, you experience that grief as different sensations in your whole body. These different sensations are somatic experiences. They happen relative the body and or being. Emotions are felt as sensations. Thoughts can come as sensations. Auditory aspects can come as sensations. Visual components can come as sensations. And one of the most powerful things you can possibly do in your life is to stop whatever you are doing and to be completely, unconditionally present with those sensations and with that somatic experience without trying to change anything about it.
Usually when we focus all of our awareness on a somatic experience or a sensation in our bodies or in our energy field, it feels as if we are taking the energy in our head area (which we call our mind) and we are directing it down and out to whatever we are focused on. What we usually miss is that we can focus our sentient essence (and with it our awareness) on our mind itself and on the brain that acts as a kind of computer translating between our physical embodiment and our non-physical essence. What we usually also miss is that our mind itself can also be perceived by us in terms of a sensory experience. By perceiving it in this way, we have the capacity to heal our own mind.
To do this process,
#1. Close your eyes and take your attention to your head area. Imagine that your capacity to think as well as the thoughts you think resided in that area. Just be very still observing and being totally with and immersed in this part of yourself.
#2. Care about what is taking place in this part of yourself by seeing it and knowing it is valid and important. No matter how this part of you presents itself, there is a very valid reason why.
#3. Allow yourself to drop into an internal journey. Perceive what is occurring in this place of your mind empathetically and with open curiosity. Do not seek to change anything about it. Study it. Seek to allow it completely. Become aware of any experience that comes with doing this. What do you notice? What image comes to you? Do you notice any textures or colors or movements? What sensations occur? Do you notice any thoughts arising? Do you notice any sounds or smells or tastes? Can you see which ones want to stay around a while and which ones come and float away? Does any awareness or insight come to you as a result of being completely present with this part of yourself?
#4. This step is the hardest. Allow yourself to just be there with it as if you are shining your focused essence upon it with no motive whatsoever and no attempt to change it. You can do this process for anywhere between 11 minutes and days, like people do in vipassana meditation. Witness what changes naturally take place in the experience of your mind just by being totally, unconditionally present with it. Does anything shift? Does it intensify? Does it diminish or go away? Or does it completely change? Remember to keep breathing. Experience your mind as fully as you can. Then, if you like, you can stop the practice here.
I like to have people practice the art of being totally present for somatic experiencing without changing anything for a good deal of time until they can master the art of non resistance to whatever arises and whatever is. Our capacity to be present, especially with intense sensory experiences, is like a muscle that must be trained. We have a weak capacity for presence to begin with so we try to change something instead of being with it when it overwhelms us.
Once you are sure you can be unconditionally present and focus your sentient essence completely without resisting or needing it to change, you can go one step further. You can deliberately offer healing to your mind.
To heal something is quite simple. It is to experience the opposite. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: What is Healing. Once you have fully experienced your own mind, you are guaranteed to know more about it and to know what it needs. Just watching the shifts that take place within it when exposed to your focused presence will tell you a lot about what improvement or healing actually is for it. With that information, you can offer new thoughts, new feeling signatures or feeling flavors, new sounds, new smells, new tastes, new visuals and new sensations to it. To understand more about feeling signatures watch my video titled: How To Feel Better (Feeling Signatures). This is not about ‘fixing’ anything. This is about offering it something from a space of love because taking it as part of ourselves, we want it to have what it needs and wants.
Here is an example of one such experience someone I put through this process had with his mind:
He closed his eyes and as if going on an internal shamanic journey. He took his attention to his mind. The first thing he perceived is a tingling and tightening sensation there. He sat with that feeling for two minutes just letting the tingling and tightening be there. Then he realized that the sensation that was occurring in his mind was numbness and that there was no movement. He saw an image of a deer hit by a car on the side of the road. Intuitively he knew that this image was his being communicating to him about the state his mind was in: Shock. He suddenly watched a thought come into his mind that he must be in shock because someone in his business had turned against him earlier that week who he never thought could be capable of such a thing and he must be frozen in that shock because he still can’t understand why. That thought was very sticky. It stayed around, dominating the experience for a while and then it began to fade.
The numbness seemed to be controlling the inside of his mind near his brain and also radiating about a foot out around his head. It also went down the right side of his neck and face. He saw an image of his brain and could sense that there was not much activity in the channels in his brain. His brain seemed to be in freeze as well. He was totally present with the sensation of the control of that numbness. The numbness felt empty and cold. It looked light blue and felt like stale air with no movement to it. He sat with this numbness of his mind for ten minutes before holes began to form in the numbness. He said it felt like filmstrip being burnt. He felt like his focused essence dropped through the holes in the numbness as it was dissolving entirely and he felt like he was in blackness. The blackness was also not moving. To him, it felt like futility. To him futility felt like the knowing that there is no movement and there never will be. It’s endedness. It was very hard for him to be present with that sensation and experience because it felt futile to be with futility. He heard a voice inside his mind saying, “there is no point”. The voice kept repeating. He did not argue with the voice. He just listened to it with compassion. He heard another thought arise unintentionally “It’s ok if it’s futile, I’ll be here with you forever then”. He saw an image of a cat curling up inside this dark futility, which now seemed more like a cave. The minute that the cat did that, the sensation and experience changed… The darkness became warm.
He sat in that warm, accompanied darkness feeling the warmth permeate all areas of his brain and all the space in his mind and he felt it permeate his thoughts. Each time it permeated a thought, the thought felt like it burst. This took about 20 minutes time before he said he felt a sensation of completeness and wholeness in that warm darkness and felt like it was a good time to come back.
He could have stopped right there. That was a profoundly healing experience for his mind. But we went a step further before coming back. I asked him what he feels his mind needed. He said, “To know that it was not alone. What my mind has been feeling, that I didn’t realize it felt, is totally alone to deal with the betrayal of his friend.” So I asked him when was the time that he was the most loved and the most unconditional companionship. His answer was with his grandmother. So I had him mentally go back to the sensory experience of being held by his grandmother. He sat in this feeling for four minutes. At the end of the four minutes, I had him take that feeling signature of being with his grandmother and bringing it up into his mind, like an offering to that warm darkness. I also told him to offer the thought “I’m right here for you always” to his mind as well. A big smile spread across his face. The experience of his mind changed completely. The darkness started transforming to an orange sunset colored light with a creamy texture. He could perceive movement slowly occurring in his brain. He watched the thought cross his mind “this is amazing”. Emotionally, he felt a thousand times better. There was no tension in his mind. He sat unconditionally with that sensory experience for five minutes and then when he felt fulfilled and when it felt right, he took a few breaths and opened his eyes.
Being completely unconditionally present with any aspect of our being, as well as in this case our own mind, has the capacity to bring radical improvement to our quality of life. It has massive implication for people suffering from mental illness or any other ailment related to the mind. Being unconditionally present with our mind can change the way we think and the way our brains function.
At the most basic level, your body is made up of energy. That energy organizes itself into the physical body you are looking at in the mirror every day. But before that energy organizes itself into physical body parts, it organizes itself into meridians and chakras. These chakras are centers of energy that lie along energy channels and each one holds a very specific vibration and has a specific purpose. Each chakra is a specific expression of Prana (otherwise known as life force or source energy). The chakras look a bit like funnels of energy or vortices. They both absorb and emit energy.
When a chakra is out of alignment, meaning it is not letting life force in or is out of alignment for any number of reasons, it starts to affect your equilibrium. It becomes a serious imbalance within the system. When chakras are out of alignment, they appear small and do not absorb or emit much energy. They also change in their color, patterning, texture and sound.
The solar plexus chakra, also known as Manipura, is the third chakra relative to the body in the energy system. It is located more or less at the pit of your stomach; the upper part of your belly, where your diaphragm resides. It is associated with the element of fire and the sun and with the color yellow.
The solar plexus governs the stomach, liver, gall bladder, kidneys, large intestine, much of the muscular system, adrenal glands, pancreas, diaphragm and the skin. Ailments involving any of these bodily systems suggest an out of alignment solar plexus chakra.
The solar plexus chakra is the center of personal power and personal identity. Because of this, it is directly related to personal willpower, ego/personality, personal freedom, confidence, proactivity, responsibility, reliability, self esteem, authenticity, personal honor and integrity, ethics, confirmation, a sense of personal control and personal choice. This chakra transforms inertia into movement. It is also associated with the opposite of all of these things such as anxiety, low self esteem, jealousy, controlling, competiveness, lack of confidence, insecurity, feeling trapped and not free, lack of integrity, no sense of self, inauthenticity and inertia.
What causes the solar plexus chakra to go out of alignment? Usually relationships with other people. This is often felt in relationships as that classic ‘knot in the stomach’ feeling. Relationships where we do not feel seen, heard, felt and understood. These relationships negatively impact our self-esteem. These relationships are relationships in which we are being controlled and lose a sense of freedom of being. Any time we are inauthentic and have a weak sense of self this chakra will go out of alignment. If we do not act with personal honor or integrity, we will cause the solar plexus to go out of alignment. These relationships, especially if they occur in our childhood years set us up to have a relationship with ourselves and with the world in which we betray ourselves, have a negative perception of ourselves and don’t exercise personal choice. Contrary to popular opinion, people who seem narcissistic do not have a solar plexus chakra that is too open or strong. Chakras do not work that way. Do away with the idea of balance being the key to a healthy chakra system. People who exhibit the narcissistic pattern of relationship style have some of the most out of alignment solar plexus chakras, as do their co-dependent style counterparts.
How do we open and bring the solar plexus chakra into alignment?
Live your life by the tenant of authenticity. The more authentic you are with yourself and with other people, the more in alignment your solar plexus will be. Be completely honest with yourself and with who you are and what you want. Live your life, making all your life choices in congruence with that. To learn more about this, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic.
Live in alignment with your personal sense of integrity. A lack of integrity should be defined as the quality of not adhering to principals communicated to you by your own conscience. Also 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. To learn more about how to live with integrity, watch my video titled: Integrity (What is Integrity and How to Build Integrity).
Know that you have the power to choose. The solar plexus is so much about personal choice and the empowerment involved in choosing and deciding for yourself. The best way to create alignment in any chakra is to figure out what thought or action or circumstance is opposing any of the energies associated with the solar plexus chakra, like personal empowerment or a sense of self or self worth and find a way to resolve them. Especially face any of the parts within you and shadows related to not feeling empowered to choose. If you struggle with this, you may have trouble with making decisions. For more information about this, watch my video titled: Indecision (Decisions and Indecisiveness).
Commit to a path of mastering the art of relationships. Any time we are in a personal power struggle within our relationships and do not feel seen, heard, felt or understood, our solar plexus will go out of alignment. We will perceive the other person to be a threat to our sense of self, including our self-concept and sense of personal choice. What we ultimately must learn and implement is that relationships should be about deep levels of intimacy and in that intimacy, taking each other as an indivisible part of ourselves so that their best interests are part of our best interests. If we saw this as the definition of a healthy relationship, we could clearly see any time we or the other person in the relationship was acting different to this. Don’t sweep your relationship issues under the rug. Clean them up and if you can’t despite all efforts to do so, you may need to consider separating from some of the relationships in your life. I have countless videos available about relationships and how to have healthy ones. Anything you do to create a better relationship with yourself and other people will cause your solar plexus to come into alignment.
Many of the dimensional realities outside the physical dimension do not have a time/space aspect to them. This means to think something is to cause the thing to happen or to be instantly. It’s a “think open, it opens” kind of thing. Where as in the physical dimension there is a time and space buffer between thought and thing. The chakra system influences the physical but is a multidimensional aspect of you (which is why they are invisible to most people). This means if you think of your solar plexus chakra opening or visualize it opening, it opens. The visualization I see working the best is when you place your hands over this chakra and imagine it as a vibrant yellow colored vortex like opening in the pit of your stomach. Then visualize expanding it with the help of an opening movement of your hands to about a foot wide. Then visualize it spinning clockwise. Sense this chakra pulling in energy from the world with each inhale and emitting your personal power and personal energy to the world with each exhale. If you are interested, I also have a chakra meditation available on my website which can guide you through this process.
The solar plexus chakra is an interesting chakra because unlike other chakras, it is not primarily influenced by the color that it is associated with… yellow. It is the most positively effected when you select colors that you authentically love and that represent who you are as a person. If you dislike the color yellow, yellow can actually cause your solar plexus to contract. Pay close attention to the colors that you prefer personally and that make you feel like you are representing your authenticity to the world. Surround yourself in those colors. Wear these colors and decorate with these colors.
Stimulate it with sounds. You can find binaural beats on the Internet designed specifically for the solar plexus chakra. You can expose yourself to crystal singing bowls designed for the solar plexus chakra. You can also stick with thousands of years worth of toning tradition. To do this, sit in meditation and stimulate your solar plexus chakra by chanting Ram or Ah depending on which one resonates in your stomach area the most. Play around with the tonality of these sounds to find the one that causes your solar plexus area to vibrate the most.
Use herbs and essential oils to help your solar plexus chakra align. My top picks for effect on this chakra are ginger, dandelion, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, chamomile, bergamot, lemon balm, lemongrass, fennel, marshmallow root, lemon, milk thistle and calendula.
Eat Foods that assist the solar plexus. My personal favorites are: Bananas, pears, pumpkin, yellow peppers, squash, sunflower seeds, lentils, curries, corn, pineapple, lemons, cumin, brown rice, spelt, cardamom, Saur kraut, oats and ginger. Any food that supports the bodily systems associated with this chakra also assists this chakra.
Bring certain mineral spirits into your life. In my opinion, the best for the solar plexus chakra is Citrine. My other top picks are honeycomb calcite, sun stone, amber, golden beryl, yellow tourmaline, yellow topaz, carnelian, hematite, tiger’s eye and spirit quartz.
Move your body. The solar plexus is assisted by any kind of movement. This chakra that is very forward moving in its nature. So, exercise in whatever way calls to you the most. You can also move in ways that cause the belly area specifically to be stretched. Abdominal massage assists this chakra immensely. The tradition of yoga also has many poses that are designed to facilitate solar plexus opening.
Deliberately think thoughts and say things and take actions and seek out experiences that cause you to feel good about yourself and to feel personally empowered. Exercise your free will by making choices that reflect your true self, especially choices regarding what relationships to nourish and keep close to you.
Get out there and take some risks. The solar plexus chakra is enhanced by forward movement in life as long as that forward movement is in accordance with one’s desires, needs and personal truth. There is a big difference between ‘I want to do this thing but I’m terrified of doing this thing’ and ‘I don’t want to do this thing and I’m terrified of doing this thing’. Take the risks that are in alignment with what you genuinely and authentically want to do. Taking steps from this place feels risky, especially socially risky. But we need to take those risks in order to feel a sense of personal freedom and choice.
Get out in the sun. I’m not saying to bake yourself in it. I’m simply saying that when the skin is exposed to sunlight, it causes this chakra to come further into alignment. Sun energy assists this chakra and every bodily system associated with it.
By intentionally doing things which enable your solar plexus chakra to come into alignment and to open, you will be setting yourself up to live the life you intended to live. You will be developing a healthy ego. You will feel your authentic self radiating its personal power out into the world and you will find relationships that are in perfect alignment with that. You will feel you have the power to be yourself and to choose the life you want and consciously choose to live.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that our relationships on earth today are completely dysfunctional. It also doesn’t take a genius to see that if we don’t do something about it, we (the human race) are going to self-destruct. Today, I’m going to expose one of the patterns that is causing the most damage between one another.
We do not love each other. We fell in love with the idea of one another. When we fall in love with the idea of one another, we relate to each other as objects. Objects that are supposed to meet our needs and have no needs of their own. This begins, like all things in childhood.
Most parents alive today have children because of some need they have that they think the child will meet. Perhaps it’s to guarantee closeness with a partner. Perhaps it’s to feel a sense of self worth, value and validation. Perhaps it’s for societal esteem. Perhaps it’s because giving a child what they never had would heal their own traumas. Parents don’t really admit to the reasons that they have children. They couldn’t because so often it would be too self-centered. Our ego prevents us from really seeing ourselves in this way. The thing is, the child that is born to a parent is their own person with their own preferences and destiny and wants and needs and feelings. So children rarely ever conform to the real reason that the parent had the child in the first place. The child does not meet the parent’s needs. And this is a recipe for disaster.
One of the most common dynamics that we see in the world today is that a parent (usually a mother) wants a child that will satiate her needs in the same way that a doll satiates the needs of a four-year-old girl. The four year old feels a sense of self-esteem in having the doll and dressing to match the doll and pretending to be needed by the doll and pretending they have a connection with the doll. This parent does not actually want a child that is a unique and individual person. This parent wants a doll that is animated and a doll that is a mini-me. They want this doll to act how they want it to act. They want it to be hungry when it is convenient for them. They want to be able to put it down when they want to do something else and have it shut its eyes and open them again only when they want to interact with it. They don’t want the doll to need them when they don’t want to be needed.
For the father usually this doll of a child that they want is not about feeling a sense of self-esteem and personal validation in caretaking anything. It is more about having a status symbol, like an animated trophy. It is about having something that through its successes validates him as a person.
For this parent, the person the child actually is and the needs and feelings a child actually has and the ways they are different from the parent will not be well received. Instead of validating the parent’s sense of self, this child’s existence will invalidate their sense of self. This child will have needs that the parent does not want to meet and will not operate according to the parent’s schedule. And so, this child will be rejected. This rejection leads down two different paths. Both of which are equally painful.
When a child is young, they cannot perceive themselves to have a life separate from their parent. A baby cannot actually preoccupy itself. A baby also cannot soothe itself. So a baby that is rejected will experience a void when this occurs… A void like a pet or a sentient toy that is put on the shelf.
I highly suggest that to grasp the horror of this relationship with one’s parents that you watch the Pixar movie: A Toy Story. But pretend that the children in the movie (Andy and Sid) are parents to the toys they have. The experience that so many of us live with our parents is the horror of being a toy, an animated object, in our parent’s reality. We are either the toy that is never valued and so is born and lives and dies on the shelf. Or we are the toy that is so loved when it is on the shelf. But once we are unwrapped, the person unwrapping us is instantly disappointed and so discards us immediately. Or we are the toy that is loved like nothing else for a short period of time and then experiences a fall from grace when a better toy (sibling) comes along. Or we are the toy that is loved forever on the condition that we become exactly what our owner wants us to be. What we long for is for someone to see that we are real and to love us forever for what is real about us.
If we were the doll that was perceived to be defective because we couldn’t control our animation to match perfectly what was wanted by our parent, we were rejected and put on the shelf or punished for it. Like a toy or a neglected pet, we may be fed and clothed, but we do not have a life. Our life only has movement and meaning and emotional breath if we are interacted with. So when we are not, we experience crippling separation anxiety. We dissolve in the hell of knowing we have no value to the person upon whom our life depends. We feel we are not real without them. We feel the potentially eternal hell of our living and self concept being completely at the mercy of another person who we can’t make value us enough to play with us. And we do not know if or when another person will come to claim us. And even if they did, it wouldn’t erase the fact that we were rejected by the person who mattered so much to us. And when we try to cry out to get the love back and our life back with it, there is no response. Our parent goes on with their own life as if we are screaming inside but not making a noise. Or they shame us for reaching out for them with our voice or actions. On a visceral level, it feels like someone has run through our chest, solar plexus, lungs and rib cage with an old fashioned lawn mower. We often resort to addictions to try to numb the pain of this ineffable wound.
We grow up to become a person who feels we have no life if we don’t have a partner. Until we heal this wounding, we will line up with partners who follow this same pattern of rejecting us and putting us on the shelf to only play with us when they want to.
If we were the doll who could control its animation to be exactly what our parent wanted and thus maintain love in this way, we will feel like a GI Joe at a tea party. We too are not loved for what we are. But instead of being discarded for exposing what we are, we pretend to be something else. The pressure of this inauthenticity makes us not feel as if we have an individual life. Our identity is consumed. Therefore, we must push people away and be alone to feel a sense of self. On a visceral level, it feels like we are a fly caught in a spider’s web being slowly spun to the point of suffocation and simultaneously being eaten alive.
We grow up to become a person who feels we have no life if we don’t push our partner away so we can be alone. Until we heal this wounding, we will try to conform to our partner’s idea of what they want but will eventually not be able to keep up the act and will take off the mask and make a break for our freedom by telling them that our interaction with them is only going to happen on our terms. But because they valued us for the mask we first presented, we will be rejected for who we really are again.
In both scenarios, we receive the message that we are not valued by the person who gives us life. We either had to be what they wanted instead of ourselves to be loved or couldn’t be who they wanted us to be in order to be loved. So we are innately rejected. Our self-concept is complete and total shame.
Self-hate occurs in us because we either are not lovable as we are or if we were discarded emotionally, we could not become what would make us lovable. We are so desperate to be loved, we feel the need to cut these aspects of our self that are met with rejection away. We internalize the message about ourselves. To understand how this dynamic works, watch my video titled: Self Hate, The Most Dangerous Coping Mechanism.
If we are born to parents who wanted something other than who we are, we will hate ourselves erroneously. Imagine a person buying a horse when what they actually wanted was a horse figurine. They would reject us for manure. They would hate how big we were. They would be mad that they had to spend money on our hay. They would feel frustrated that they had to groom us. Eventually, they’d neglect us in our stalls and even sell us. But that rejection would not be because something was wrong with us. It would be them at fault for buying a horse when what they really wanted was a horse figurine. This is the reality when what our parents really wanted was not a child, but an animated doll.
Because our parents saw us as their thing, like a doll, they could not attune to us. Imagine a child dragging a doll around by the neck. But that doll is actually alive. This is the terror of our life experience. In not attuning, we cannot feel loved because we can’t take something as part of ourselves if we cannot even perceive the reality of that thing. It is merely a player in our own pretend game.
Being raised in this dynamic makes it so that we feel like objects in each other’s realities and we treat each other like objects in each other’s realities. We treat each other like we are only as good as our use. The entire world we live in becomes a world of playthings and penny candy… A world where we cannot see, hear, feel, understand each other and value each other for who we really are. A world where we cannot find people who are compatible to us and can therefore be in harmony with us and make us feel loved. We cannot attune to each other. We must learn to attune to one another to stop this dynamic. To learn how to do this, watch my video titled: Attunement (The Key To a Good Relationship).
We need to get very clear about the deep, dark and real reasons we are thinking about having children before we have them. We need to accept that any child that is born will be born as their own person. They may be totally different to what we want in a child. They may be totally different to us. They will not operate according to our schedule. They will have wants and needs when it is incredibly inconvenient to be needed. They will have their own needs, wants and preferences and destiny. And they need to learn that they can have that and be loved specifically for that and to have us too.
We need to break out of our single family households so our children can have access to multiple resources. This way, if they can’t have us at a given moment, they can have someone else. They will not feel as if they must be a doll in our reality and they will never feel put on the shelf. Imagine being loved for what you actually are and forever.
We need to see that we have a life regardless of whether people are or are not interacting with us. But it is a personal choice to have interaction in our life. We need to learn how to have ourselves and have other people too at the exact same time. Having people must never be contingent upon becoming exactly what they want us to be. The time has come to live an authentic life. And to choose to see people for who they really are instead of to hold them to a role in our game of pretend. If we do this from the get go with people, we will find people who are compatible to us and who really will love us for all that we are. To know how to do this, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic.
People are worth infinitely more than their use. If we were raised in a world where like a doll, we were only wanted for our use, we will see the world like this. We will only want people for their use and when they don’t conform to our ideal for them, we will discard them. By doing this, we perpetuate the cycle of objectification and rejection. We perpetuate disconnection on this planet. We guarantee that we will all be dislocated from each other’s hearts and from the web that unites us. We will fail to love. The time has come to demolish the self-concept of the defective doll and the doll that perfectly followed its operating instructions. The time has come to choose to love what is real.
Human beings are so profoundly alone. The way we live today is like roommates on the planet earth. Some roommates we get along with and some we want to avoid or kill. But we do not live one life together. Instead, we live out our separate lives in the same vicinity as other people. We lack emotional connection even when we are surrounded by other people. This feeling of being profoundly alone is the root cause of unhappiness in the human race. It is the root cause of addictions. It is the root cause of suicide. It is the root cause of acts of terror. And it is the root of the dysfunction in the way society is structured. But we weren’t always this way. So how did it get like this?
Humans used to live in a state of emotional connection. Ironically, one of our greatest strengths is what ultimately removed us from that state of connection. And that is our intellect. All that an ego is, is a self concept. Our intellect gives us the capacity to form a concept of self. This makes us embody the concept of the thought of “I”. We saw ourselves as different from and divisible from others. “I” is a thought that acts like a cancer, separating everything. If you would like to understand more about this, watch my video titled: Oneness is not the ultimate truth of the universe. But it is important to understand that this is the first intellectual advancement that would be as detrimental as it ever was beneficial to us.
It used to be that our survival was completely dependent on each other. Our basic physical survival was based on interdependence. We could not afford for any member of our group to not be seen, felt, heard and understood. We could not afford to be out of alignment with one another. That was a huge liability. If your life depends on something, you remain very perceptive to the actuality as well as the wellbeing of that thing. The scary thing about being dependent on anything is that you’re at the mercy of it being provided. For example, if your main source of food were corn, you’d be dependent on corn. But if there was a drought and no corn grew, you would suffer. Or if you were dependent on someone hunting for your food, but they never came back from the hunt, you’d starve to death. So, naturally, we used our intellect to seek to improve our lives by finding ways to be less powerless as individuals. We found ways to get away from being dependent. We removed ourselves from interdependence with just about everything and took control of everything instead.
For example, we used our intellect to create clothes and houses to not depend on the seasons and elements. We started planting crops to not depend on what the earth naturally provided in a given year. We created money to not depend on another person liking our trade. Even though this had many benefits, it also came with a monumental downside.
The idea of “I” automatically gave rise to the idea of “mine”. This further separated us in that we began to treat people upon whom our survival no longer depended as things belonging to us or things opposing us. As we became less and less dependent on other things, including each other, our basic survival no longer depended on the wellbeing of others. Instead, other people were seen as either resources for us to use for our own benefit (slavery is an example of this) or as threats to our wellbeing. We started to control them and eradicate them and only add to their wellbeing conditionally if they complied to our wishes. We lost our motive to stay connected. We became more and more independent. We lost survival as our motive to perceive one another and to treat their wellbeing as indivisible from our own. For the first time, we could look at someone whose wellbeing asked something of us and we could say “no… it doesn’t affect me if you’re feeling that way, it doesn’t threaten my survival. It has no impact on me.” This is the origin of war.
Wars simply made matters much worse. They rendered so many people hurt that they placed everyone in the kind of survival situation where survival was not dependent on the capacity to become interdependent, but instead on one’s ability to be completely self centered in nature. Due to their pain and the survival situations they were put in, they became completely self-focused. Pain has a tendency of doing that to a person. They were unable to really feed the wellbeing of the people around them, including their children.
Children growing up in the kind of emotional environment where parents are just trying to survive and where they were treated as objects belonging to their parents, learn that their parent’s wellbeing has nothing to do with their wellbeing. This is a household of emotional neglect and even abuse. To understand emotional neglect, watch my video titled: Today’s Great Epidemic and How to Cure It. Children raised in this environment grow up with the idea that their wellbeing is dependent upon not being dependent on anyone else for their wellbeing. They become narcissistic in that life is about everyone being out for themselves. And they develop several adaptive strategies to ensure they will be able to meet their individual needs in a way that does not depend on anyone taking them into consideration in a loving way. This is the foundation of the dysfunctional family system. These children will in turn grow up to treat their children like this. It is like a cancer that passes from generation to generation. A cancer of non-consideration. “ I cannot perceive your feelings, thoughts, desires, needs etc. because that does nothing for me. You only exist in so far as what you can do for me.”
Gradually, we lost our motive and thereafter ability to really perceive one another at an emotional level. We learned to live individual lives on planet earth side by side. And the less we depend on each other, the less connected we become. The structure of our society is one that continues to separate people further and further. We have become completely attachment and relationship disordered in nature. And we continue to propagate the idea that independence, being alone and meeting our needs completely for ourselves is something to develop and take pride in.
By thinking our way out of interdependence in terms of physical survival, life for people on earth became a zero sum game. You vs. me. A game in which people perceived it to be possible for you to lose and me to win or vice versa. Ultimately it is not actually possible. The very thing we thought up for our survival is the very thing that will damn it. It is the very thing that is making our world unsafe and painful today.
We are in a phase of human evolution today where we are going to reverse this process completely. And ironically, it is not going to be done by getting rid of the ego initially. It is going to be done by the ego understanding that its survival depends on others. We must gain back our motive to be connected and interdependent and therefore attuned to another person. We must gain back the complete embodied understanding that the wellbeing of other things, whether they be human or non-human, is indivisible from our own wellbeing. When we fully realize this, we will choose to be connected in a way where we can fully perceive them. There will no longer be emotional neglect. There will no longer be a void within people. There will no longer be abuse. There will no longer be war. There will no longer be any form of disconnection between us.
We must choose to be dependent. There is nothing powerless about the choice to be dependent and it is safe assuming that both people realize that their wellbeing is inseparable from the other person. This is the foundation of interdependence.
From here, we will realize that there is no “other”. That is an illusion. This is when the thought “I” and all concepts connected to it like “mine” will dissipate. So will our sense of isolation along with it. It will no longer be a thought kept alive by the minds of men. Our survival as a species is completely dependent upon the conscious choice to be interdependent.
Anger is by far the emotional state that we disapprove of and try to suppress in ourselves as well as each other the very most. This isn’t surprising because anger is notorious for creating social conflict. But there is an amazing application for anger that most people would never suspect.
Somatically, anger feels like an emotional version of fire. Like fire, it is aggressive in that it usually projects outward and feels very hard to contain. It wants to consume anything in its path and as such, it is often destructive in nature. We like to think that creation is good and destruction is bad. But a universal principal is that destruction is necessary for creation. Therefore destruction and creation do not have to be contradictory. They can be highly complimentary.
What we learn from forest fires is that they are purifying. They destroy so that the ecosystem in an area is restored. It rids an area of what is dead, dying and/or no longer benefitting the area. The decomposed organic matter that it creates enriches the soil, making it easier for new growth.
Anger has been critical to our survival. Anger pulls us out of powerlessness and the pain of being hurt and being afraid. This is why anger can be used as fuel. It is a huge burst of energy. It means we are taking our power back. Anger means we think we have a personal choice to make. Even though anger is a valuable self-preservation instinct that calls for the restoration of our empowerment and for the life we consciously choose, when we feel anger, we don’t treat it as such. We’ve been taught it is so wrong that our immediate reaction to it is to fear it, suppress it, reject it or do anything we can do to release it and get rid of it in some way. I did a video titled: ‘How To Deal With Anger’ a while back in which I explained the danger of approaching anger in this way as well as tips for what to do with anger when it arises. I suggest watching that video if you want some additional ideas for what to do about anger.
Here is the thing; anger is designed to distance us from things that threaten our wellbeing. Some times this distancing separates us from things we need to be close to and thus prevents love. But sometimes it separates us from things we need to be separated from for the sake of our wellbeing. When anger distances us from things that we need to be separated from, it is like a forest fire that is designed to distance the forest from what holds it back from growth.
And so, an amazing technique we can use with our anger is to do the opposite of what we would normally do with anger. We do not try to make it go away. We do not suppress it. We do not try to get back to love. We do nothing to diminish it. And we don’t direct it towards anything. Instead, we go somewhere where we can be totally undisturbed and we close our eyes and we invite it to become an internal forest fire that burns everything internally. We invite it to get rid of everything internally that we don’t want there anymore so that we are completely internally purified to start over totally fresh and from the ashes internally.
For example, if we have had a breakup anger is a natural thing to feel during the grief process. We can sit down when we hit this phase and close our eyes as if we are experiencing a shamanic journey/meditation of sorts. We can see what color the fire is and what qualities it has. We can contain it internally and deliberately so that it will consume the unwanted things that exist within us. We can even play music that helps the fire burn more aggressively and more destructively. But we can invite the destruction consciously with our free will. We can see it burning up our attachments to the person we broke up with. We can see it burning up memories we have with them, both good and bad. We can see it burning up the fantasy or visions of what we wanted with that person, but could not actualize. We can see it cauterizing the emotional wounds we sustained. You can see it burning up patterns, thoughts and beliefs that are detrimental to us relative to the breakup.
You can use this internal fire of anger to consciously destroy anything you want. Let your intuition be the guide of what this fire needs to consume. Be with it for as long as it wants to burn until it burns completely out, leaving a blank slate of charred internal ground behind. Let it burn until all that is left is only a place to build new; only the potential for new growth. You can direct this fire but do not control when it is or isn’t finished. Let it burn. Invite it to burn. Invite and consciously choose the destruction in the name of letting go of whatever needs to be let go of.
If you want, you can use music to enhance this fire. This is a good time to use super angry music in your meditation. And switch to music that makes you feel like letting go once the fire turns to embers or ash. You may want to use breathing techniques to enhance it as well. This amazing application for anger is like a personal re-birth process where you are cleansing your entire being a bit like a phoenix.
I want you to imagine that you are so sick of your life and so hurt by it that you set it on fire and just watch it burn and thank the flames that dissolve it. This is the same level of release you want to achieve with this exercise. Except it is your own being that you are going to mentally imagine the anger is burning up; specifically anything that does not serve it and that is not conducive to a new life or moving forward. Invoke the flames instead of resisting them, thanks the flames as they consume everything within you that should no longer be there.
It is natural that after you do this process, you will feel much more free. But you will also most likely feel raw and like so much that you are used to feeling internally is now gone. You may also feel underlying emotions that are exposed during the process, like sorrow. Sorrow often follows anger. Sorrow is a bit like rain after a forest fire. It cools the scorched earth and settles everything, saturating it so that it can restore. Allow the emotions that the fire of anger makes way for as well without trying to change them. From there, let go and allow yourself to internally progress. You do not need to try to create anything. Creation and new growth comes naturally as a result of any space being cleared by fire. Simply expose yourself to any experiences, things and people that are nourishing and replenishing.
Destruction has an incredibly valuable space in this universe as well as within our own being if it is consciously instead of unconsciously carried out. If the intention behind doing it is purification and letting go, it is not detrimental or criminal, it is beneficial. And anger is naturally adept at being used in this way… for conscious internal arson.
For relationships to work, they have to feel good to both people in the relationship. This is true no matter what kind of relationship it is (friendship, partnership, family relationship, work relationship etc). Obviously this is much easier said than done. But one of the top reasons that relationships do not feel good and are unsustainable is: Incompatibility.
We are conditioned to believe that love triumphs over all. We have been conditioned to believe that if we are genuinely a good person, we should be able to have a feel good relationship with anyone and everyone, regardless of what role they are playing in our lives. But I’m going to tell you today that if you are holding yourself to this expectation, your relationships will end in pain. There is a big difference between loving something and being compatible with something. A bird may love a fish for example, but if their desires for a partnership requires them to live in the same place, there is no way to make that happen without killing either of them.
Incompatibility is the condition of two things being so different in nature and so uncomplimentary in that difference that they are incapable of coexisting harmoniously. It is tempting to assume that incompatibility is simply about having differences. But what incompatibility is really about it is putting people with these non harmonious differences in roles or positions with each other that require there to be either no difference or that require a difference that is non harmonious in nature to be harmonious.
This is the case with all relationships, but nowhere is this more easy to see than in partnerships. One of the most common incompatibilities in partnerships today occurs with opposing attachment needs. One person in the partnership will desire a partnership that is very close and committed, where both people are living life as a joint venture and take responsibility for one another. In this relationship, it is assumed that they are doing everything together unless it is mutually agreed that they will do otherwise.
The other partner prefers his or her space. This person does not want one life with anyone but prefers for they and their partner to have two separate lives and to come together to enjoy closeness and share each other’s separate adventures with one another. This partnership is not a relationship where they take responsibility for one another and it is assumed that they are doing everything separately except for at nighttime when they go to sleep, unless it is mutually agreed that they will do otherwise. This is an example of an incompatibility that has no remedy because if either partner conforms to the desires of the other, the relationship will be miserable for them and eventually (because only unhappiness is the result) both will end up unhappy and incapable of maintaining harmony with one another. This relationship is a guarantee that either one partner will feel limited, not free and suffocated or the other will feel constantly pushed away and abandoned. There is often trauma that creates these extremely different needs in adult relationships, specifically abandonment on one side and enmeshment on the other. But it does not matter because neither partner can try to heal the other one into being compatible.
When incompatibility is present in a relationship, it is usually very difficult for people to admit to it, to change the nature of their relationship, to change their roles in each other’s lives or to end the relationship. We want everything to work out so badly because we can’t face the reality of the incompatibility because of what it would mean to us. But because of this, we destroy the relationship. What we do is that we try to make the other person compatible with us by making them wrong or bad for their difference. This creates shame in them. And they most likely will do the same to us. After a while, the emotional condition of the relationship itself is shame and resentment towards each other because of it. Often, when we make the other person wrong for their difference, we come up with a reason why they are wrong for it and try to then heal them out of that difference or try to change it so that it doesn’t exist. This never works because if you try, the message conveyed by approaching them in this manner will be “you need to be fixed because something is wrong with you.” They will feel totally unloved by you and unaccepted and unwanted as they are.
One of the main signs of incompatibility in a relationship is that either one or both people in the relationship will feel totally unloved. The most glaring sign of incompatibility in a relationship is that you will be unable to genuinely say that you want the other person to be exactly who they are. The truth will be that you want them to change and that who they are in this moment, if nothing else changed, causes you pain. In an incompatible relationship, you will spend your time vacillating between wishing the other person was different and wishing that you were a different person. Chances are if you really want the relationship to work, you will try endlessly to change them and endlessly to change yourself so there can be harmony. But it will be futile. The relationship will become the biggest source of pain in your life.
This mutual shame created by incompatibility is greatly enhanced if either person is unable to be authentic. Many people grow up in households that have no respect for boundaries and so safety in the house is about throwing your unique identity away to create social harmony rather than developing a solid core and really knowing yourself. When this is the case, a person grows into an adult that does not know himself or herself at all. Because of this, this person wants a relationship but has no capacity to assess compatibility before entering into a relationship. Instead, they will try to become and promise to be exactly what the other person wants and needs. This will be impossible of course to maintain because it is impossible to deny who we really are and what we really want and need. The truth will come out eventually but often far after two people have already committed to a kind of relationship where these differences make for an impossibility to maintain harmony.
One of the reasons we tend to be inauthentic is that we feel so much shame for our personal truth and what we really want and need that we cannot admit to it. Or we feel the consequence of being authentic is not something we can face. The truth comes out, as it always does, in subconscious ways. We send mixed messages constantly and other people start to guess at our truth even when we deny it. But what we have to see is that we are setting ourselves up by doing this. We are also setting other people up. We are setting ourselves up to be loved for a mask, not for who we really are. And because they agreed to the mask, when we remove it, they will feel duped and may reject who we really are. We are also setting them up because they are agreeing to a relationship and assessing compatibility based on something false. They can’t discern incompatibility if we are leading them to believe we are compatible to them when we are not.
One of the best examples of this is a gay man who was raised to believe being gay is an abomination and that by engaging in an intimate relationship with another man, he would risk eternal damnation. Because of this, he cannot be authentic. He may enter into a heterosexual marriage, trying to convince both he and the woman he is committing to that they are compatible. They are not compatible in the role they are entering into together. But the truth will not come out until later when there is a whole lot more of a consequence for all parties involved to discover that there is an irreconcilable incompatibility.
To learn how to be authentic, watch my video titled: How To Be Authentic. You must know yourself in order to establish any form of relationship that is genuinely compatible.
Sometimes, when we experience an incompatibility, we can find a third option. In fact, if we cannot find a third option when incompatibility is involved, our relationship is doomed in the form it is in. This is an arrangement where by agreeing to subtle changes, both people can be happy. Other times, finding a third option is literally impossible. But when we cannot find a third option arrangement that feels good to both people, it is usually because that person is in the wrong role. In fact the only way to resolve the incompatibility so there is any harmony in the relationship is to change the role they are in. This is very much the case in companies in the corporate sphere. For example, someone who is in a role of manager may be terrible as a manager (and therefore incompatible to the company itself) but may be perfect in customer support. This is also very much the case in partnerships. For example, a person may be truly incompatible as a partner but may be a truly great friend. And what is true is that our loving of someone is really about our capacity to change someone’s role in our life (even though it may be a painful process of letting go and of change) rather than to reject or to hate them or punish them for not being compatible to us in the role we want them in. And/or to throw them out of our life completely.
The single hardest thing by far when it comes to assessing compatibility is that attraction has absolutely no respect for compatibility. I will be discussing why we have attraction for the people that we do in a later video. But when we find ourselves attracted to someone and wanting so badly to have a relationship with him or her, and it just feels right because of that gravity between you and them, it is very difficult to see reality vs. the fantasy you have for what it could be. It is also very difficult to see that incompatibilities that are not a big deal when two people first fall in love may be incompatibilities that make a relationship impossible down the road.
A good example of this is religion. For some people, being a different religion from their partner is a difference that does not qualify as incompatibility. For others, it is a huge incompatibility. Some religions are not something that is only done on Sunday. It is an entire way of life that governs what someone does and does not do on a daily basis. For example, if someone is Mormon, the way life is lived is so different that the behaviors of a non Mormon spouse would be considered to be incompatible. Also, the intention that a Mormon has in choosing a spouse is to share in the celestial afterlife together. A non-Mormon cannot make it to the celestial afterlife. So if a Mormon married a non-Mormon, it would mean that they would have a temporary life with them until death, which feels hopelessly empty and would create extreme distress. Therefore, a Mormon marrying a non-Mormon would be incompatible where as a Presbyterian marrying an Episcopalian might not be an incompatibility depending on how both people feel about it.
Another super hard thing is that many of us were incompatible with the very family that we were born into. It is an assumption that by being born into a family, we will be compatible with that family. This is just not the case even though it is taboo in society to say that. If our differences cannot be accommodated by or accepted by our family, the reality is that many of us would have ended off much better in a different family. But adoption is a very hard thing emotionally for all parties and it is not societally accepted for adoption to occur on these grounds. As a result, when this was the case, we developed a core self-concept of shame. When this was our experience and therefore our core wounding, we carry this unhealed wound into adulthood and so we will find ourselves in relationships with incompatible partners over and over again until we can find resolution to this wound and be aware enough to consciously choose a compatible partner.
I’ll give you a little consciousness treat and tell you something. People who were wounded by being incompatible with their family and therefore being pushed away, shamed and rejected for who they are, are desperate to belong. They want closeness, tend to cling in relationships and they are so desperate for connection that they commit to people who are incompatible to them even after they become aware of the incompatibility. It is a bit like being so desperate for water that you’ll drink it even if you know it is poisoned. But because of their unhealed wound, they will often end up in relationships with people whose childhood wound is that they had to throw their identity, preferences, thoughts, feelings, needs and desires away if they were incompatible with one of the adults in the home so as to create social harmony. This person has no idea who they are and therefore cannot be authentic. This person also experiences relationships as suffocating and will push partners away. Therefore, the relationship becomes a mirror of both people’s childhood wounds. It will be a relationship with incompatibilities. The main incompatibility being that one person will feel constantly imprisoned by the relationship and as if they are losing themselves. The other will feel constantly pushed away and abandoned. Both will feel shamed for who they are. The universe is hoping that through the conscious awareness of this wound, both can heal it. One will heal it by consciously finding true compatibility in a kind of adult adoption process. The other will heal it by consciously choosing to live in alignment with their authenticity and have someone love them as they are, even if that love takes the shape of changing the role they are playing in someone else’s life.
The argument that people have for putting a lot of effort and even time into getting to know someone completely, before fully committing to someone being in a specific role in your life, holds serious weight when it comes to compatibility. The reality is that life changes, people change and unfortunately, you can’t make people be authentic, especially if they don’t even know themselves enough to be authentic. All of these things make it hard to guarantee that you are genuinely compatible with someone; or will stay compatible with someone for the rest of your life. But genuinely knowing yourself and being brutally honest with yourself about your internal truth, including your personal preferences, feelings, thoughts, wants, needs and dislikes will make it much easier to see what differences between you and people will make for genuine incompatibility. It will allow you to put people in your life in the roles and positions that they truly belong in so both you and they can be happy.
Today’s world is much different than it used to be. It used to be that acts of terrorism and randomized violence were so rare that no one ever really thought about it. Now it seems like you can’t look at the news without hearing about a terrorist attack or a school shooting. And the emotional atmosphere in the world today as a result, is one of unsafety. It is beginning to feel like anyone could be the target of totally unpredictable attack. But today, I’m going to make things a little more predictable for you and increase your awareness by demystifying school shooters.
As we progress through this episode, I want you to keep in mind that my intention is not to condone the actions of school shooters. The wake of suffering that they create is enormous. No one who has lost a loved one to a school shooter should be asked to feel forgiveness or practice empathy for someone who has hurt them to such a degree. It is up to their own healing process when or even if that ever happens. But so much of the solution with regards to school shooters, lies in our capacity to understand them.
Many people would love to hear me say that school shooters are simply mentally ill and so “don’t worry, they are nothing like you”. But this is not the case. To understand school shooters we are going to have to make our ego very uncomfortable by ceasing to see them as “those people” who are nothing like you. I always get upset when I hear about school shooting drills happening in schools. Because the reality is that if a school shooting happens, there is a very high likelihood that the very kid who is going to be doing the shooting is also participating in those drills. We act as if anyone who could carry out this kind of action couldn’t possibly be one of us.
Our incapacity to understand school shooters begins with our incapacity to understand emotional neglect and loneliness. When we are looking for the conditions that create a person who is suffering enough to carry out an act of terror, we should be looking for something that is often invisible. Instead, we are looking for abuse we can see or for loneliness we can see. And this is why it seems like there are no symptoms, characteristics or conditions that seem to be unanimous amongst all school shooters. But when we can see these things in the life of a school shooter, it is lucky.
It takes a whole collection of different factors to create a school shooter. But the culprit that unites them all is in fact invisible. What is unanimous amongst them is emotional neglect, which is something that can’t be seen because it is a suffering because of what isn’t happening instead of about what is happening. And what is unanimous amongst them, often as a result of emotional neglect, is a sense of isolation that exists even when they are surrounded by other people. This is why not every school shooter is physically socially isolated. But I absolutely 100% assure you they are isolated emotionally.
To understand this dynamic of emotional neglect completely, I want you to watch my video titled: Todays Great Epidemic (And How To Cure It).
We are living in the Emotional Dark Age. It used to be that we were living in the Dark Age when it came to pathogens. This is why the Plague was blamed on prostitutes and taken to be a sign of displeasure by God. We used to be completely confused about why people got sick and how sickness spread. Our confusion about school shooters is exactly the same. We do not understand emotions. We do not understand how to create the right emotional conditions for a person to feel connected to another person. We don’t get what we don’t overtly see and have not experienced for ourselves. This is why emotional neglect is not something parents get they are even doing with their children. It is not something we get that we are doing to each other.
Every act carried out in this universe is carried out for one reason and that is because the person doing it thinks it will help them to feel better. It is a desperate attempt to seek relief. Though every case of school shooter involves a unique cocktail of experiences and influences that makes them carry out the act where other people don’t, the truth is what they all have in common is the inability to truly connect emotionally to other people. So let’s look at how this works in the mind of the most difficult to understand school shooter. This school shooter is not isolated physically to the outside viewer and we cannot see overt signs of abuse in the family.
Imagine that you are a kid who grows up in a house where you are fed and clothed but there is no deep sense of connection on an emotional level with the other people in the household. You do not feel seen, felt, heard or understood. Because of this, often the people in your household are un-attuned to you. Things happen in the household and also in life and these things cause emotional pain. But because the people around you are un-attuned, they don’t realize the impact these painful experiences are actually having. Instead of being emotionally attuned enough to help you work through these painful emotional experiences with a sense of connection, they do things and say things that have real impact and that really hurt. Even when they are trying to love you. But your hurt is invalidated when it occurs because no one sees it and even shames you for feeling hurt. So you have learned to hide it. There is no way then to resolve these emotions of deep hurt.
Hatred is a cover emotion for hurt. It takes over in order to make a person feel less powerless. You feel isolated even when everyone is at the dinner table together. You feel you have no significance and doubt whether you really exist. Because of the deep pain you feel in this situation, you start to hate people. You are secretive about that hate. You simply notice that feeling hate feels much better than feeling hurt that you are powerless to do anything about.
Because you have learned connection (or lack there of) from your family, you carry these patterns into your relationships outside the household. Even though it may look like you have friends on the outside, none of them are genuinely close to you emotionally. They don’t really know you. That causes you pain as well. You notice that the closest you can get to feeling emotionally close to someone, is when they are suffering emotionally like you are. You notice that when tragedies occur, people feel like you feel and for the first time, you feel like you exist. When they go back to being happy, it feels like they leave you behind. They are in a different reality that is inconsiderate of the pain you are in. This makes you feel hurt by them and totally alone.
You begin to fantasize about forcing them to see you and forcing them to be in your reality. You dream of forcing them to feel empathy through going through a situation that forces them to feel what you feel. This makes you feel less alone. None of this is particularly conscious of course. You begin to pre-meditate about it.
So then, you lose the hope of ever really being connected because of a series of events that push you over the edge. Perhaps someone breaks up with you and you get disapproval in the form of a bad grade in your class and you get a parking ticket. On that day, you decide you have nothing to lose anymore, because the parts of you that put the brakes on this impulse are the ones that thought connection might just be possible and now they see it is futile. And so they are overpowered by your pain. You go out into the world (for a student, school is their world) and you carry out the attack. If you have particular people who you feel have hurt you in this way, like school personnel or girls who broke up with you, you will target them. If you feel this way about everyone, because you feel like the world is entirely me and them, you will shoot anyone you see. In that second, you are significant. In that moment, even though they don’t consciously realize it, you have succeeded in making them join your reality.
This is where I need you to really stretch your mind. This is the real reason that anyone carries out this type of attack… Underneath it all, it is the literal only way that a person feels is available to them after all other hope is lost to get the emotional connection they can’t get in any other way. In that moment that you injure or kill them, they feel your loss. They feel your powerlessness, they feel the pain that is bad enough at this point that it feels like life cannot go on. They feel the horror of your emotional life. They feel and see the world that is going on inside you underneath the surface façade.
You may have been trying to get them to see this. You may have been dropping hints or crying out for help before. But no one succeeded in seeing you. So, you had to force them to. Now they get it. But now, they turn you into a monster. When you perceive that it is not you that did it to them. It is them that did it to you and now they are getting a taste of the very same emotional medicine.
This is what happens in the case of the school shooter that no one can explain because on the outside, nothing seems to set them or the pain they experienced in life drastically apart from anyone else. Every other case offers more easy to understand elements that contributed to such an action.
It is critical to understand that each person’s perspective is very different. Nowhere is this truer than the perspective of a child and the perspective of an adult. For example, for an adult, the jealousy that a toddler may feel when a new baby enters the house should not be a big deal. To an adult, it should be exciting to welcome a new family member and it is something the kid should just get over. To the toddler I can promise you it is quite a different experience. If the parents don’t play that situation right from the get go, it is a massive betrayal. To put it in a way you can emotionally understand it, imagine that tomorrow, your spouse walks in the room and says, “I have decided to be in a relationship with this other person too. Oh and since it’s a new relationship, they are going to need more attention in the beginning. Don’t be jealous because only bad people are jealous. Eventually, you’ll get used to it.” And you are just expected to be ok with that. Chances are, you’d see that as petty abusive.
That is the emotional experience a child has when a new baby comes into a house where they had such an intimate relationship with mom and dad before when the introduction isn’t done well. But no one would ever call it abuse from the outside, even though it very much felt that way to the child. And believe me, many people never actually get over that experience even in their adulthood.
So if we are looking specifically for pain drastic enough by our external standards to constitute as abuse or to cause the kind of actions a school shooter carries out, but we are looking for that pain to be caused by something that we, being outside their perspective would consider to be “bad enough”, we are going to fail to see them, fail to see reality and fail to understand how to change this dynamic in society so these acts don’t occur.
School shooters contain an emotional void where true connection and human intimacy should be, but isn’t. And this connection is not something that can occur when you are simply around other people physically. And what the future will prove is that trauma (all be it trauma that most people don’t’ see) is the cause of both narcissistic personality traits and psychosis, which are two traits that are most common amongst school shooters for whom we cannot overtly see a traumatic experience to pin their behavior on. I will be talking at length in the future about this because it is not something that mainstream psychologists have caught up with yet.
There are some reasons why school shootings are getting so prevalent today.
One is that in this era of very fast awakening and shift in collective human consciousness, human shadow cannot hide in a closet anymore. Instead, it is coming out in plain view to be integrated.
Another reason is that we are being desensitized to violence on a mass scale. The media is making killing seem commonplace. And many of the video games that people are playing for hours upon hours cause the player to identify with the person carrying out the violence and in many cases shooting. And unfortunately, many of the people who suffer from emotional isolation and powerlessness tend to gravitate towards video games where they can exit their reality as well as identity and also carry out violent acts because it makes them feel less powerless. These violent movies and video games allow the person to see that it is possible to transform from a nobody with no personal power or significance into an earthly god who is above laws and empowered through aggression and violence.
But it is much harder for the brain to differentiate between the images it is seeing on a screen (as well as the feelings and associations caused by it) and reality than we currently know. When we desensitize our brain to violence, we no longer feel there being a drastic gap between what is occurring physically and what is occurring in the mind. There is often a sense of dis-reality already present in the perception belonging to the people who carry out these acts. And we have to continue to increase the level of stimulation in order to feel the same chemical release on our brains. So there is often an escalation path they take, just like we see with addiction but relative to violence.
Another reason this is so prevalent today is that the people of today (even more so the children of today) have much, much more stressors thrown at them but with much, much less resources for dealing with it. We have become increasingly more and more isolated. When we used to live in tribe and then community, and then even with extended family, we had multiple people to go to for help regarding how to deal with stressors. If we couldn’t get connection from one person, we could find someone else to connect with. That is not the case today. The world is too hard for most of us to deal with. Which leaves us much less available to our children. But now, we have become so isolated in our own little households that we are all they have. And so, they have only the resources that we demonstrate to them to work with.
So for example, if we show them that the way to deal with emotion is to stuff it down and pretend it doesn’t exist, they will copy that. It will work horribly for them. But they don’t have anyone who deals with emotion in any other way to sit there with them and actually help them with how they are feeling. And our schools today are not a place where most kids can get these needs met and find these resources. They are places where many kids feel more isolated and more traumatized and more powerless and more disciplined instead of guided. School is a place that adds to emotional pain for most children alive today. It is even more so the case for the two most isolated kids in school 1. The social outcasts who are isolated in every way. 2. The social actors who are surrounded by other kids, but no one sees them because they are in a relationship not with them, but with the role they play.
Prevention of this kind of violence is necessary. And that goes much further than actually noticing the signs when they occur. There is often a degree of hinting with regards to attacks. They often try to recruit others to participate or tell people not to go to school on certain days or talk about what they want to do or engage in progressive forms of violence. We have to really take ownership of each other in society in that when we see these signs, we take responsibility to do something about them and in a loving way, not a way that isolates them further.
We need to make more resources available to all children so they have more tools available for how to deal with the stressors in their life. We need to be emotionally close and connected consistently with our children so they feel significant and develop empathy and feel as though they belong. Many people would imagine that most school shooters come from underprivileged circumstances. But this is not the case. Though there are school shootings that occur in impoverished and underprivileged demographics, it is not the norm because ironically in underprivileged areas, there is often more outreach of people providing resources outside the resources they get in the home as well as more of a banding together of community. This is not often the case in middle to upper class households where it is assumed the child is getting all the resources they need, when often the emotional resources they need are totally absent.
But the best form of prevention we have is to understand emotions and how to deal with them. We have to understand connection and genuine intimacy and to create it. And even though it would be good for this to happen at any point, this has ideally got to start before these people develop the emotional void so consistent with emotional neglect. Pain that is not properly addressed, either becomes directed externally or internally or both. In the worst cases of all, this means suicide, murder or both. To understand more about this, watch my video titled: The emotional wakeup call.
The real reason these attacks are carried out is because a human being feels an insatiable need to emotionally connect and feel significant and empowered but for a vast variety of different reasons and conditions in their life, they have failed in every other way to get it to happen. I know this is not what meets the eye, because it seems like anyone who is killing people is trying to push people away from themselves. But in fact the opposite is true. And we need to have the awareness to see that in order to do what it will take to prevent it.
School shooting is not a problem with an individual. It is a problem created by society itself. We fail to connect to one another and really see, feel, hear and understand each other. And because of this emotional distance between each other, we feel the world is unsafe and renders us powerless. And because of our unconscious psychology, when we are put in this position, there are only two roles to identify with. A winner or a loser, the strong or the weak, a victim or a perpetrator. Because of this collective psychology, we are sending a mixed message. We may say at a societal level that killing is not ok. But look at what a superhero does in a movie. He kills all kinds of people and we look at him and call him good. The rift between the bad guy and the good guy is a rift that further separates us from one another. It is a rift that makes us alone and powerless to one another. And it is a rift that has to end.
Coping mechanisms are strategies and behaviors that are carried out to mitigate, manage or adapt to anything that causes distress. If we cope with something, we do so because we feel we cannot change the stressor itself. We have to adapt to it so that the hurt we feel as a result of it is decreased or eliminated. We would all hope for a world that did not have to be coped with. Alas, that is not the world we currently live in and so it must be said that even though all coping mechanisms hold the potential to be limiting and damaging to a person in the long run, certain coping mechanisms can be more detrimental than others. And the most dangerous coping mechanism is self-hate.
At first glance it may be hard to see how self-hate could possibly be a coping mechanism. After all, self-hate can’t possibly decrease a person’s distress can it? The answer is yes it can. And to see how, we much journey back to the genesis of this coping mechanism.
When we look at a dysfunctional home, what we find is that the root of each person’s self concept in the family system is shame. This feeling of shame has been passed down from generation to generation. It is the primary stressor in the household. Everyone has to find a way to cope with that shame. The ways they cope with that shame set up the dysfunctional family system and determine what role each person will play in it.
To understand how self hate develops, we must see that if one or more of the parents is dealing with a baseline self concept of shame, a child being different to that parent in any way or even asserting a boundary will trigger that feeling of shame. It will invalidate their identity, which they already subconsciously think is bad. This is why the golden child in a family will learn to cope by throwing their identity out the window as a strategy to avoid being shamed and ostracized within the family. They will become a ‘mini me’ as an adaptive strategy to the parent they feel they must please in order to stay safe with.
The child that cannot adapt by throwing their identity out the window and whom can’t find a way to please the adult consistently for a multitude of reasons will be so upsetting to the self concept of the parent that the parent will subconsciously turn against the child. They may say, “I love you” to this child and try to do loving things for them, but the truth of how they really feel is not what they are presenting on the surface and the truth comes out in all kinds of ways. Their only way of avoiding the shame they feel and the shame this child triggers in them is to emotionally disown the child and deflect that shame onto the child and that child then becomes the family scapegoat. It is to say, “I’m not bad, you’re bad and you are my problem and now I’m the victim to you, and so is everyone else in the household.” The family can then hide all of their dysfunction behind this “family problem” person and can see themselves as the good ones because all of their focus can be placed on trying to fix what is “wrong” with this person. What is wrong with them is that everyone in the family has turned against them for being different and for not being able to change that. But the other people in the house can’t see this. This person has become the identified patient in the family.
The experience of being turned against by the very people who you need love and belonging from the very most is so painful it is beyond describing. And it makes it so the child has no way to feel safe. They feel hated by their family, especially the parent who initiates this shame deflection. They are growing up with an antagonist, an antagonist upon whom their life depends. And the way a person copes with this is genius in the short term but completely destructive in the long term.
A child put in this position, pushes themselves away. But they can’t physically do that so what happens is the pushing away of themselves, splits their consciousness in half. To understand more about this concept, watch my video called Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease. When they split their consciousness in half, one half contains the parts within them that they perceive that their parent hates. The other half becomes a mirror image of their parent… An internal antagonist. This internal antagonist takes over the job of hating them for the parent. It becomes the one that is constantly shaming and criticizing the parts within this person that are seen as wrong and bad by the parent and now as a result, by the person themselves. This makes the hurt not only controllable, but predictable. And the child believes that by doing this, they might just be able to change the things that are so detestable about them. The person has become their own abuser and hater so that the antagonistic parent is never given the occasion or opportunity to do it. Imagine you were going to go up to someone to hit them and they just started hitting themselves. What would you do? Chances are, the desire to hurt them would go away. You’d feel on an energetic level that your goal was already being carried out. You would feel like either something is really wrong with them so they must need your help or that they agree that they deserve it to such a degree that they are going to do it for you. This would make you feel validated. This is usually the point at which the parent gets an extra boost of self-esteem through turning themselves into the “false healer” and the child is turned into an identified patient.
As you can see, this self-hating aspect is actually trying to save their life and rescue them from the wrath of the parent. This part holds the truths of what matters most to them. For example, perhaps what the parent hated about the child was that she was so sensitive. The self-hating part will constantly criticize and shame her for being sensitive. Because the thought is that with enough disapproval of it, she will either stop being that way or be motivated to fix it. And this will get her the sense of belonging and safety she wants. We can then tell that the truth this self-hating aspect holds is just how important belonging and safety are and how much she needs those things. Ideally, we need to figure out these valued and needed things that the self hater is holding the truth of and try to get those things directly in the places that we can get them from.
Self hate is a coping mechanism that is so dangerous because it is a coping mechanism that may keep you safer from the external hater/antagonist, but it leads to constant anxiety because you are living with a part that behaves like an enemy in your own skin. And it leads to all kinds of dangerous behaviors in the long term. Things like risk taking, abusive relationships, self-destructive behaviors, self-injury and even suicide.
When you find this part within you, see the benevolent reason for its existence. See that its strategy, though genius while you were living in an abusive environment, is now destroying your ability to live a life that is worth living. See that the parts of you that this part has turned against, need to be accepted and loved instead. Go directly for the things you were trying to indirectly get by trying to hate these parts of you away. Give them to yourself and get them from others. The life you want to live is just on the other side of wanting to be you instead of agreeing with your antagonistic parent that you should be someone else.
A while back I did a video called Meaning, The Self-Destruct Button. In that video, I demonstrated how the meaning you assign to an experience can destroy your life. Today, I’m going to show you how meaning can save your life. I’m going to show you how finding meaning and a way to make the things you do really matter, will totally transform your quality of life.
Fulfillment is a feeling we are all looking for in life. We want to feel fulfilled by the things that we are doing. We want the things we do to really matter. We want a life that is rich with meaning. But all too often we feel like we are just going through the motions of life, getting busy with the emptiness of the things that we feel must or should be done.
We need to take two approaches to making our life rich with meaning through living our life for what matters. The first is to make sure that everything we are doing actually matters. The second is to realize that if we change the meaning of what we are doing, we can make most of what doesn’t seem to matter, deeply matter.
When we take the first approach, we take a serious look at whether what we are doing really matters or not. And we then live our life according to what really matters. We stop putting our energy into the things that we realize really don’t matter. One of the greatest gifts of lying on your death bed or experiencing a near death experience or even of having someone you love die, is that it puts all things into perspective. It shows you what really matters. One of the best tools to use in your life on an ongoing basis is to practice closing your eyes and imaging that you are on your deathbed but you are looking back at whatever you are currently and in this moment trying to make a decision about, whatever you are putting your energy into, whatever you are worrying about, whatever you are doing or thinking about doing. And ask yourself, does this matter? If the answer is no, stop putting energy into it and find something else that matters to put your energy into. If the answer is yes, ask yourself why for the sake of your own awareness. And put energy into it. For example, does doing this video really matter? Yes. Because I feel that by doing this, I will be showing people how to really live while they are here. And the value of this kind of information will outlive even my own temporary life. Only you can know what really matters to you. Start to live every thought and word and action in your life according to what matters.
When we take the second approach, we can look at anything we are doing, any activity, and we can change the way we look at it so that doing it can really matter and really have meaning. For example, I could decide that doing the dishes in the sink really does not matter. It is just something that has to be done. But what if I realized that doing the dishes takes pressure off of other people in the house and that frees them up to experience more things that they enjoy? Then doing the dishes does matter. Doing the dishes does have deep meaning.
Or for example, I may have a terrible customer support job at a cell phone company that I hate. I may tell myself that my job does not matter and that there is no meaning in what I am doing. But what if I realized that making someone’s phone work might just be the thing that makes it so they can have the talk that saves their relationship or what if making someone’s phone work is the reason that someone sees an amber alert and actually reports the whereabouts of a child that is stolen. Then, suddenly your job really matters.
Sometimes, we cannot change the fact that something we are putting our energy into does not really matter and does not hold deep meaning. But often we can change the meaning we assign to the things we are putting our energy into and as a result, we can make the things that seem to not matter, really matter. This is one of the deep meanings behind the old Buddhist sayings “before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water and after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” This saying conveys that enlightenment does not change what you are doing in your life. It does not make you any less human. What does change however is that the way you see those simple activities, and the meaning you assign to doing them, changes the quality of doing them completely. Before, chopping wood and carrying water was a chore that had to be done… Something you had to mindlessly get out of the way before doing something that actually mattered to you. After, chopping wood and carrying water has great meaning.
A little tip is that you will notice that most of the things that really matter and most of the meaning that enriches your life are things that create and enhance your connection with other people. We need to be living our lives from both perspectives simultaneously. If we live with both the strategy of making sure that anything we are doing really matters and also of finding a way to look at the things we are doing in terms of why they really do matter, our life will be so rich with meaning and our life will matter so much, we will feel we have really and truly lived.