I want you to imagine that a man and a woman go on a date to the movies. They pay separately for the movie tickets and then walk straight past the concessions stand and into the theatre and sit down. The woman is finding herself put off by instead of interested in the man. She is feeling perturbed. What she is really upset about is that this man did not meet her expectations. Her expectation was that the man pays for the movie ticket and also to offer to buy her popcorn. Not only did she expect something that was not communicated to the man, she assumed that this would be the expectation he has for himself when he takes girls on dates.
We all have expectations. These expectations may be conscious or they may be subconscious. Most expectations are subconscious. This means you may know what some of your expectations are and you may not know that you have certain expectations even though you do.
To expect something is to believe with confidence that something will happen. Expectation often implies the attitude that something should happen or should be a certain way. To assume is to take something for granted or to suppose something is true, even without having any proof. Looking at that definition, can you see how often we do this in our relationships?
All of us have expectations in relationships. Some of these may be healthy and some of them might not be. For example, it is an expectation that most people have to be treated well in a relationship. We expecting other people to treat us how we would treat them. And we assume that this is an expectation that other people have as well. And so, when we don’t get treated well in a relationship, and people don’t treat us like we would treat them, we feel disappointed.
Our expectations are set up by previous experiences. For example, they are set up by things like our culture, society, by watching the relationships around us when we are little and by our interactions with people before etc. We have a way of assuming that everyone else’s sense of reality is the same as ours and getting really confused when there is a conflict between our expectations in a situation because of it… Just ask a multi racial couple. A relationship with someone from another culture will show you really quickly just how different people’s expectations in a relationship can be.
We do not often communicate our expectations in relationships because we are not often conscious of what those expectations are. And we do not often communicate our expectations because they reflect our needs and we have been taught that it isn’t ok to have needs. When we can’t directly voice our needs we often manipulate to get it. We do things and say things specifically to get the desired reaction out of someone. If you want to learn more about manipulation, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meet Your Needs.
In a relationship, we need to understand each other’s expectations. And not assume that our expectations are the same and will be met. Once we become aware of our expectations, we must decide consciously if we want to maintain those expectations or let them go and then those expectations must be communicated to our partner.
One of the best thing about being upset in a relationship is that it’s the perfect opportunity to figure out your subconscious expectations and assumptions. So, look back over the times you’ve felt upset in a relationship, especially disappointed. And ask yourself, “What did I expect in that circumstance and what assumptions did I make? Answer as brutally honestly as you can. You can carry this into the present by using the times you are upset in a relationship as a meditation bell, awakening you to the opportunity to discover an expectation you have. When you feel upset in a relationship, ask yourself “What am I expecting in that circumstance and what assumptions am I making?
In a relationship, expecting and assuming is a form of mutual cruelty. Can you imagine what it would feel like to go to another culture, where shaking hands is a form of threat? In this culture, it is expected that no one would shake your hand unless they wanted to fight you. It is assumed that everyone knows this. So, when you go into this culture and shake hands to say hello, you get punched in the face. You are standing there confused and feeling hurt and to you, it seems really unfair that they just assumed you would know not to do that and expect you not to shake hands. We do this kind of thing in our relationships all the time. This is one reason why communication in a relationship is everything.
Because we tend to project our own sense of reality over other people, we also tend to assume things about other people without even taking to them to confirm whether we are right or wrong. For example, we assume that if we asked someone out on a date, they would say no when in fact they would say yes. We assume someone is mad at us when really they are just busy. We assume someone will know to show up at the exact time they say they will.
Imagine that every person in your life is a fresh and new experience. Assume that coming from his or her background, he or she will have totally different expectations and assumptions than you do or that anyone you’ve met in the past does. Make it a conscious effort to discover each other’s expectations in the relationship. Some will be the same, and some wont.
Anytime an expectation isn’t met by someone else you will feel bad in a relationship. So, get conscious of the expectations you have and get clear about the assumptions you are making. Make a list today of what you expect from each person in your life and why you have those expectations. And any time you get upset in a relationship, use that to become conscious of what you subconsciously expect. Decide whether you want to consciously keep those expectations. And communicate all of this process openly with that other person in your life.
The human ego is essentially the perception of yourself as a separate self. When you learn to call yourself by a name, you learn to see yourself as an ‘it’ or a ‘thing’, which automatically makes you separate from every other ‘it’ or ‘thing’ in the universe. When you are born, your ego is not formed yet because you do not intellectually conceptualize of who you are because you do not think of yourself as a separate thing yet. So, you do not identify with anything yet.
As we grow, we begin to identify with things. Whenever we associate something with our self, we identify with it. It becomes part of us. We make it the same as us. This is what attachment really is. It is identification. And if that thing we identify with is ever threatened, we experience it as a threat to our own survival. If you want to know more about identification and dis-identification, watch my video on YouTube titled: Dis-identification (The Practice of Non Attachment)
I would love to be able to tell you that your identity or ego is entirely the result of authentic self-initiated associations. But it is not. Instead our ego is mostly the result of other initiated associations. That is to say we learn who we are by virtue of what other people associate with us. Other people become the mirror through which we see ourselves. This means if someone in your childhood begins to associate you with artistic ability then you begin to perceive yourself s an artist. You identify with being an artist and that becomes part of your Ego. This means if someone in your childhood associates you with darkness or badness then you begin to perceive yourself in that way. You identify with being dark or bad and this becomes part of your own Ego. Part of why identity becomes so confusing for us is that so many people associate us with different things and many of those things are contradictory.
As you can probably tell without me even spelling it out, it is a real crapshoot whether the people who are around you in childhood (during the development of your sense of separate self) will associate you with something that is an accurate thing to associate you with or not.
Most people are not conscious. They do not think of children as unique beings with their own unique purpose and their own unique gifts. When their children are born, they think of them more like animated dolls. Essentially believing that the child is whoever they want the child to be. They associate the child with whatever they decide they want the child to be associated with. And if the child ever begins to act in a way that defies who they want them to be, they feel personally threatened and begin to associate the child with negative traits. Either way, the child takes on any associations that the parent decides to make with the child. That child’s identity and life then becomes either nothing but an exact replica of what the parents decided for them or a perpetual attempt to try to figure out who they really are despite their parents.
We live in the Emotional Dark Age. People do not know how to emotionally relate to one another. As a result, people do not develop intimacy. Intimacy is essentially seeing into someone, feeling into them, listening to them and understanding them. And ideally, parents would have a high degree of intimacy with their children. If a parent did have a high degree of intimacy with a child, that parent would be able to accurately mirror what was authentically part of the child. For example, when the truth of a child is “I really love dance”, the parent would acknowledge and validate that for the child and thus strengthen the child’s sense of authentic self by doing so. The association the child forms between himself and dance would be authentic because it came from the child first and was then mirrored by the parent.
Positive mirroring is essentially the process of reflecting back to someone what they authentically express either verbally or non verbally so as to allow them to understand that we hear them, see them, feel them and understand them. Positive mirroring is to make their sense of how they are feeling and thinking and who they are valid. An example of positive mirroring is that a child who is going to a new school feels afraid and may get silent and start whining and act resistant to everything. A parent who positively mirrors would come down to the child’s level and feel into the child and try to understand the child enough to figure out what the problem is and then mirror their reality by saying something like “I know that you must feel really afraid about going to a new school and because you’re afraid, you may not want to go to school and anyone who was afraid of going to a new school would feel that way. It’s ok to feel afraid.” And potentially then the parent could help the child brainstorm ways to feel better about going to a new school.
But mirroring is not something that most parents do well. Using the previous scenario, most parents would invalidate the child’s feelings and thoughts by saying something like “it’s the way it is, everyone has to get used to change and you’re lucky you’re even going to a good school when other kids can’t even go to school.” This is a negative mirror. It teaches the child to distrust the way he or she feels because it is “wrong”. This child will not be able to develop a clear sense of self. She will outsource her sense of self to others. And come to believe that she is wrong.
Obviously if you begin to develop awareness and to realize that who you really are (what you really associate with) is an invalidation of who your parents want you to be (what your parents want to associate you with) that they essentially reject you because they reject what you are associated with… the very thing you are identified with. As a result you cannot feel loved by them. For example, if a boy grows up to realize that he is gay and the parents do not want him or her to be gay, they will reject gayness and therefore reject their son because their son is identified with being gay. So, we can say that this son cannot be loved for who he is. Because the people who do not love him for who he is are his parents, he will develop a belief that no one can love him for who he is.
Essentially with most parents the child has to develop attributes that the parent will positively mirror in order to get any love. So their identity is a perfect reflection of their parent’s agenda. The child must develop attributes that feed the needs and wants of the parent to get love from that parent. This is the opposite of unconditional love. This is the opposite of being loved for who they are. If you are interested in figuring out how to develop intimacy and how to positively mirror, I suggest you watch two of my YouTube Videos. The first is: The Emotional Wake Up Call and the second is: How To Connect With Someone.
But what if I told you that the story of why we can’t feel loved for who we are goes much deeper than that?
Because the idea of having intimacy with a child’s internal world is not a concept that most parents even realize exists, most parents do not acknowledge a child except for when they DO something. Especially when that DOING is something done for their benefit. A parent and a child cannot BE with each other. They have to be doing something to be together. And so the only thing that most parents mirror is what a child does. For example, a child throws a ball and the parent says “Wow, great job throwing that ball” and the child then associated their sense of self with throwing the ball… a Doing.
Now I’m about to explain to you in a nutshell why we cannot feel loved for who we are. Because most parents only mirror a child when they are doing something and thus only associate a child with what they DO, we only associate ourselves with what we DO. Our entire identity becomes about what we DO. That becomes our sense of who we are. As a result, it isn’t even that we believe we are what we do. It is that we don’t feel like we exist separate from what we do.
In an extreme case of a child who receives no mirroring in childhood at all (like extreme neglect cases) the child has no sense of identity. A child who is raised by a parent who only mirrors what they DO will have no sense of himself or herself separate of what they DO. Obviously then, we cannot be loved for who we are as opposed to what we do because who we are does not even exist. How can you love something that does not exist?
When we try to think of who we are separate of what we do, we draw a complete blank space. It feels like oblivion. And that is the real reason that we cannot feel loved for who we are, because who we are does not even exist. We have an identity only by virtue of what we do.
So now you know that the real reason why we cannot feel loved for who we are instead of what we do is because we do not even think we exist separate of what we do. Plain and simply, our ego is formed around both the positive and negative things that made us exist for our parents.
Insomnia may sound like a minor problem but it isn’t. Insomnia can be absolute torture for those who suffer with it. It can be terrifying as well because it makes you feel like you have no control over yourself and yet your body is betraying you by not letting you get any rest and as a result your ability to function is stolen from you. For this reason, I’m going to explain what is really causing your insomnia.
When you are living your waking life, you have two points of perspective. You are your eternal self-essence, what many call the soul. And you are also your temporal human self that you call by your name. Your level of comfort in this life emotionally is all about the vibrational difference between these two perspectives. The farther the vibrational difference is between these two perspectives, the less energy is actually available to your physical embodiment. To understand much more about these two aspects of you and about how these two aspects of you relate, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Happiness is the Purpose of Your Life, Want to Know Why?
In the moment of sleep, unconsciously your two points of perspective join so there is no vibrational difference between them. There is no tug of war going on between them and thus, immediately, more energy is available to your physical body. Most people experience sleep as refreshing because of that fact. Technically, a person would not need to sleep if they could find a way to consciously prevent their two perspectives from splitting while they are awake. This is why many yogis and meditation masters do not need sleep. Alas, most people are not capable of that in waking life, so we experience a need for sleep.
What does this mean if you have insomnia? It means that the vibrational tug of war/contradiction between your two points of perspective (your temporal self and your essence) is so great that it will not let up enough for you to even release resistance enough to go to sleep in the first place. If you struggle with insomnia, you are struggling with resistance. You are struggling with a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self.
Think about this for a minute… Why do you think that a baby can sleep so well? It is because a baby does not have a strong sense of identity yet. There is not much difference between their temporal self and their essence. There is no contradiction between their temporal self and their essence. There is no tug of war going on.
So you can understand what I mean by a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self, I will give you some examples. Your essence says, “I want to experience abundance and because of my perspective, I know we could have abundance right now”. While your temporal self says, “I don’t have enough money to start a business so I have to work at my minimum wage job that I hate.” Or your essence says, “No, this is a bad idea” and your temporal self says, “This is the only thing that makes sense”. Or your essence says, “I want to be with that person” and your temporal self says “I am going to get hurt by them.” Do you see that inherent in each of these examples is a contradiction between the essence and the temporal self? This keeps a person in a restless state.
For most people, the minute you can release some of the resistance inherent in this tug of war, like a magnet, a person’s essence will call their temporal self to it. And on a physical level this will be experienced as falling asleep.
Now here is the crappiest part. When you can’t fall asleep, but you have the belief that if you do not sleep bad things will happen, you begin to stress out about not falling asleep. This is like adding one more person to a game of tug of war on each side. The contradiction now being between your essence saying “Sleep” and your temporal self saying “I can’t sleep”. So, when you are suffering from insomnia, the first thing that has to be done is to release resistance to not sleeping in general.
You should know that most of our belief about needing sleep is the byproduct of our childhoods. Parents are naturally exhausted by having to watch their children all moments of the day and are naturally afraid of how behaviorally difficult the job of parenting gets if a child is tired. So the anxiety about a child having to sleep is really about the parent needing to have time where they are not having to constantly monitor the child and have a break; as well as the anxiety about trying to avoid dealing with a child who is misbehaving because they are tired. This anxiety about not sleeping is then transferred to the child and that child grows up with the belief that bad things happen if they don’t get enough sleep.
This isn’t to say that sleeping is totally unnecessary. Sleeping is healthy and most people need it because they cannot maintain alignment between their temporal self and their essence. But the anxiety we have around the need for sleep is usually the byproduct of the transfer of “you need to sleep” anxiety from our parents to us.
There is such a thing a positive and negative insomnia. You could call it excitement induced insomnia and anxiety induced insomnia. The conflict with negative insomnia is between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would happen through sleeping) and the temporal self (which feels it cannot go to sleep). On the other hand, positive insomnia is a conflict between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would better be accomplished by staying awake) and the temporal self (which wants to fall asleep instead of stay awake).
In the first case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel terrible because energy will not be flowing from the essence through the temporal self. In the other case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel fine because energy will be flowing from the essence to the temporal self with more ease by staying awake. If you have excitement induced insomnia, take it as a message to stay awake and to channel that energy towards what excites you. It means you will be refreshed by something other than sleep. It’s the call of source and you should never ignore or try to force yourself to sleep through the call of source.
Knowing all of this, I am going to spell out for you what you should do if you are struggling with negative insomnia.
1. Think or say or do anything you can that will enable you to stop obsessing with having to sleep. Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep for 20 minutes. During my years of insomnia, if I would get into the spiral of obsessing over having to sleep but not being able to, I would tell myself it was a message from the universe that there are more important things to be doing for me at that moment and I would get up and do something productive, like write or draw or read. Anything to get my attention off of “I have to sleep or else.” But I’m about to tell you in the next step what the most effective thing to do if you suffer from insomnia is…
2. Get out a pen and paper and figure out what the exact contradiction is between your essence and your temporal self. There may be more than one.
3. Think or say or do anything you can to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self. For example, if I realized that the contradiction between my essence and temporal self was that my essence wanted to move to another country but that by temporal self was resisting that idea through all kinds of disaster scenarios, I would write down anything that would make me feel better about moving. Then I might begin taking actions on my plans of moving that would make me feel less fear about moving. Naturally I would feel the tension and resistance go away as the tug of war ended between the two aspects of me and I would drift off to sleep. Nothing will serve to end insomnia as much as becoming aware of the conflict between your essence and your temporal self and doing anything you can to resolve that conflict. Ease in the being naturally leads most people with insomnia to sleep.
4. If you feel compelled to try a drastic action, re-set your internal clock by committing 100% to deliberately staying awake for 36 hours. Make this a challenge you fully take on. Do not drive during this challenge. And then let yourself fall asleep when you want your bedtime to be. Let yourself sleep 8 hours and wake up. It will be really hard to wake up, but do it anyway. Drink plenty of water during the day and do not take any caffeine or anything else to help yourself stay awake. Go to sleep when you want your bedtime to be that next night. And maintain this sleep schedule from that day forward. Sleep schedule is very important for people who suffer from insomnia.
5. Meditate instead of sleep. Meditation is actually a more effective tool for rejuvenation because it accomplishes the same thing that sleep does, only consciously instead of unconsciously. There is a reason that people who meditate need much less sleep.
6. Use positive focus. Your mind is already in a negative focus spiral. Usually a negative focus on the ramifications of not sleeping spiral on top of a negative focus spiral on behalf of the temporal self about something the essence is wanting (and thus trying to pull the temporal self in the direction of). So lie in bed and think of all of the positive things you can possibly think of. Your mind is already obsessing so direct that obsession. Positive focus on anything, no matter how small or large actually causes a tug of war in your being to end. So make your mind obsessively hunt for any thought or thing that makes you feel better.
7. Reduce stress in your life in general. Obviously the greatest way to reduce stress is to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self. But beyond that (even though it sounds easier said than done) reducing stress in general in your life is a good idea. For suggestions about how to do this, I encourage you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety and Uncertainty (How To Deal With Uncertainty).
8. This may seem like a no brainer but many people who can’t sleep, can’t sleep because of something simple. Something like the room not being dark enough or the position of your bed in the room or there being too much noise outside or being uncomfortable or being too hot. So make sure you eliminate any potential outside factor like that, which could be preventing you from sleeping.
9. Change your diet. Eliminate caffeine and sugar from your diet and simple carbohydrates. Make sure that your last meal of the day is really low on carbohydrates. On the other hand healthy fats like avocado, Omega 3 oils, seeds, coconut oil and nuts are a good idea to eat. Make sure you are eating enough foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium as well. If you don’t think you are getting enough, take a good quality supplement that provides your body with these things. Also, drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration lends itself to insomnia.
10. Stay away from electronics with screens like TVs, Phones and Computers, especially the ones that cast off blue light. Certain wavelengths of light tell your brain it’s time to be awake instead of to go to sleep. So, stay away from these things if you can for an hour or more before bedtime. If you absolutely can’t force yourself to do this, see if you can modify the filter on those screens. There are several aps available now a days that can make it so that the light coming through you screen is modified to a wavelength that does not keep your brain awake.
11. Create a wind down ritual. A lot of parents have a very structured wind down ritual for their kids to prepare them for a good night sleep. They do this because it works. So imagine that you were an oversized little kid and create a bedtime ritual for yourself as if you were your own parent. A ritual that is all about ease for yourself. If you struggle with insomnia, you need to plan your day for a wind down ritual at night. Taylor this ritual to what works to make you feel relief. For example, take a warm bath with Epsom salts; rub essential oils specifically for sleep into your neck and chest. Do a wind down activity that makes you feel ease like reading something that makes you feel good or writing or listening to something that relaxes you. Not only does this work because of the relaxing nature of the activities themselves, but also because your brain will start to associate those actions and things with sleep and so sleep will naturally eventually be triggered by doing them.
12. Ask yourself, why do I want to sleep? Come up with a list of reasons and see if you can brainstorm any other way to accomplish those things other than through sleep.
Insomnia may feel like the end of sanity, as you know it. But there is always a valid reason for it and so often the reason is not that something is wrong with you. It is that there is a contradiction going on inside you. So find out what that contradiction is.
At the most fundamental level, everything in existence is made of energy. This means all is one. This united energy is imbued with consciousness. What does this mean? It means that every aspect of us is imbued with consciousness. Not just our mind. This means you can essentially communicate with any aspect of you. The average person is not very self aware because they do not know they can communicate with any aspect of themselves. As a result, they never take the time to do so. But we can begin to develop self-awareness through a self awareness meditation designed to allow you to communicate with your own embodiment.
To do this meditation you are going to sit down, close your eyes and begin watching your breath. You will feel your mind jumping around restlessly. There is nothing wrong with this. You can just allow your mind to do this. When you feel like you have settled a bit, select an aspect of your embodiment to connect to. It could be an ailment you are experiencing, like MS or Acne or Cancer. Or you can connect to a part of your body, like your knee or your heart or your liver or your bones. Or you can connect to a feeling/emotion like the crushing sensation in your chest or a burning in your cheeks or the anger in the pit of your stomach.
Once you have picked this aspect of you, connect to this aspect of you as if it has something to say to you. For example, if you have cancer, close your eyes and begin to feel the cancer. What does it feel like? If it looked like something, what would it look like? If it had a sound, what would it sound like? Then imagine it has a voice of its own and begin to mentally ask it questions. Any and every question you can think of is good to ask. For example, why are you here? What do you need me to change? How are you trying to help me? The sky is the limit to the questions you could ask. So let your intuition naturally guide you through this exploration. What do you want to know about this part of you?
If you have an aspect of yourself that you really want to understand, don’t be afraid to involve other people in your life to think up questions to ask it before you do this meditation. And then ask those questions in the meditation.
Make this an interactive meditation. You are developing intimacy with that aspect of yourself. Intimacy being to see into it, feel into it, listen to it and understand it. The natural byproduct of doing so may be that you want to just be present with it or you may feel compelled to respond to it. For example, if you are communicating with your heart and your heart says it’s cold because it has no friends, you may feel compelled to visualize surrounding your heart in warm energy and to tell it that you promise to stop isolating it from other people.
Allow this meditation to continue for as long as it takes for you to feel a sense of completeness. Then allow yourself to come back slowly to the room. And make sure that your actions from that point forward honor the needs of that aspect of you. And live up to the awareness you have received.
Arguments in a relationship are not unhealthy. In fact they are a wonderful way to purify the relationship and develop greater levels of harmony. However, we’ve all been in that argument. The one that starts out with something small and when we try to resolve it, the anger and aggression we feel as well as the conflict itself just starts building and building and building until it has turned from a small flame to a forest fire… A forest fire that can and sometimes does destroy the relationship itself.
Some people are natural de-escalators. These are usually the people pleasers of the spectrum. People who hate conflict and would do anything to get out from underneath the heat and pressure, even if it means giving up their own sense of self and personal integrity. If you are this kind of person, I encourage you to watch my video titled: “How To Overcome The Fear Of Conflict”.
Some of us on the other hand are not natural de-escalators. In stead we tend to escalate. It is as if we have no capacity to put the breaks on in a conflict. Consciously, we do not want to destroy the relationship. But it is as if once we become threatened enough, we lose control of an aspect of ourselves that decides it is out for blood, no holds barred.
If you struggle with conflict escalation, you can be sure that you did not have any healthy modeling of conflict resolution in your childhood. You never learned how to keep a fight from escalating.
If you are this kind of person, the first thing you have to own up to is that you struggle in life to feel safe, especially in relationships. You are naturally distrusting and so it takes very little for you to feel as if someone else is not going to capitalize on your own best interests. When someone is not going to capitalize on your own best interests, they are not safe to you; they are a threat to you. You perceive them as the enemy and you treat them as such. If you know this is you, when this video is over, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: “Trust, (What Is Trust and How To Build It In Relationships”.
Now we come to the most important point in this video. We need to admit that if we feel a resistance de-escalating a conflict (including to all the techniques listen below) we need to meditate about why we do not actually want to de-escalate a conflict. This involves two things: What positive things are we getting out of a fight? And what bad things would happen if we took responsibility for de-escalating a fight in any way we can? We have to be brutally honest with ourselves when we ask these questions. If we discover what we are really afraid of about de-escalating instead of escalating, we have the opportunity to address our escalation issue at the core. When we feel triggered by the idea of de-escalating, we can go into the feeling of that trigger and use the completion process with it by asking “When was the first time I felt this exact same feeling?” or “When was the first time I learned that it isn’t safe to be soft and open so that I could make a situation better?” You can learn the completion process in my book titled: The Completion Process. Chances are high that if you have an aversion to conflict resolution, the relationships you had in your early life between your family members were full of unhealthy control dynamics.
So, aside from that, what can you do if you are an escalator in a relationship? More than that what are some healthy ways to de-escalate and resolve an argument once it has started?
1. 99% of the time, when there is escalation in an argument it is because there is a huge gap in understanding and communication between the parties involved. They are on a different page and often are not even arguing about the same thing. Often if they are not conscious enough, even the parties themselves don’t understand what the real conflict is about. Think of it like being on two different continents. Usually the frustration and rage of being so far apart and thus unable to communicate so as to find resolution causes them to become louder and louder until they are screaming and slamming doors.
I will give you an example of what I mean. Let’s say that two people are trying to agree on whom to hire to be part of a company. As they express their desires and concerns, the issue just keeps escalating and escalating. Soon, nothing one of them says makes the other feel better. In fact everything they say makes the situation worse. We may come to find that while one person is arguing about whom to hire, the other is actually arguing about the feeling that the other person doesn’t have enough concern for his or her needs in general. This is a classic dynamic between men and women. We have to become aware of the CORE of the argument for both people. And if need be, we need to hire a mediator or therapist who knows how to get down to the core issue for each person. For more about this, you can watch my video on YouTube called “Get On The Same Page”.
If you are an escalator, in the middle of the argument, ask yourself, “What am I REALLY upset about in this situation?”. “What is my fear underneath the surface of this argument?” “Is the fight about what it appears to be about or about something deeper?” That then needs to be communicated. Also, get clear about each person’s goal of the conversation or argument. If you can stay focused on the goal, it is easier to resolve conflict without getting sidetracked.
2. Make a conscious commitment to staying as calm as possible. This may sound odd and sometimes it is not possible. But often times, we are not actually committed to staying calm and that is why we don’t practice it in the moment of conflict. An intention can go a long way if we are committed to it. Begin breathing so your body is fully oxygenated and consciously focus on the words coming out of your mouth so that they can be as deliberate as possible. Whatever you do, do not suppress. When you feel the rage rising in your ribs and chest and neck, direct your attention inside to that feeling and imagine bringing a pink light around that feeling so as to take care of it and hold it and protect it.
3. No matter what you have heard, unless you are dealing with 2 very rare people who are both actually soothed by alone time, the worst thing you can do in an argument is to go take some space or a timeout for yourselves. This is actually an abusive move called withdrawal. It is perceived as abandonment in a time of relationship insecurity. It is like adding fuel to the fire.
4. Since safety is the biggest issue in the moment of escalation for the escalator, you as the escalator (or both if both are escalators) need to ask yourself, “What would make me feel more safe right here and now?” Perhaps the answer is that you need to cocoon in a blanket. Or perhaps the answer is that you need some warm water. Meet those safety needs and your nervous system will naturally come out of arousal. I offer an arsenal of suggestions for this in my video titled: Upset, What To Do When You’re Upset.
Often times, our upset needs to have some in-depth attention before any conversation about the actual argument at hand can continue. This is 100% the case if we are so shut down that we resist our partner’s touch and fly into a rage if they try to introduce humor into the situation. The bottom line is if we have crossed a line of un-safety and threat then we have to directly deal with that first and not the details of the specific argument we started off fighting about.
5. The minute you feel yourself switch into a cycle of defensiveness and you feel yourself start to close down like armor is coming down over you, this argument is headed into the danger zone. This means put the brakes on. The best strategy is for both people to stop where they are, not leave the room
(so as to avoid triggering abandonment trauma) and close their eyes as if in meditation. Both people have to get clear on the core of their fear about this situation as well as get into the other person’s perspective and try to perceive the other person’s fear. This has to be agreed upon in a relationship as the strategy that is going to be used if escalation occurs. Then, get out a writing pad or computer and each person has to separately write out their insights they got from going inside like that. You can either continue to write or type back and forth to each other after each person reads what the other has written. Or if you trust yourselves to continue with de-escalating the conflict, continue verbal discourse around the issue.
6. Make yourself non-threatening to the other person in any way you can. For example, touch each other. Physical touch is a master unifier in relationships. It creates a softening. Body language is also super important. Keep your body open to the other person and not closed. Keep eye contact with them. Make your body movements soft and non-threatening.
7. If we can, we have to introduce humor into the situation. Humor also brings about a softening and makes the situation less serious.
8. We need to figure out what the other person is desperately crying out for. What do they need? And we need to try to give it to them or figure out a win-win scenario for both of us. We have to begin to acknowledge emotions and learn how to deal with negative emotion if someone is really upset. To learn how to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled: The Emotional Wake Up Call.
9. If you can, switch into a mode where you are actively trying to listen deeply and compassionately so that you can fully understand the other person with intent to learn why he or she is so upset. Ask genuinely caring questions to understand why they are so upset. This open and compassionate stance is an energy that disarms the defense and calms the fire.
10. Take responsibility for your role in the fight. Apologize. Apology is an instant de-escalator in a fight. It is like pouring water on fire. Apology is not easy for people who are perfectionists or for people who distrust other people because it is willing openness and acknowledgement of mistake.
11. Avoid triggers instead of using them. It is essential with people to learn them so that we can become aware of their triggers. Triggers are sore spots in your partner. This is the opposite approach from deliberately pushing someone’s buttons. If you want to de-escalate, avoid these triggers like the plague. For example, if weight is a sore spot for your partner, do not bring it up during an argument.
12. We need to have some skills for resolving conflict. When conflict arises, we are being called to embody greater depths of intimacy and harmony. We are being called to become as aware as possible of ourselves relative to a subject. We can either answer that call or allow the conflict to drag us into deeper levels of unconsciousness. We can seek a meeting of minds or we can become reactive and try to end the conflict through power struggle. For information about specific techniques to use for conflict resolution, Watch my YouTube video titled: “How To Resolve Conflict”.
De-escalating conflicts is not as hard as you would think, provided that your actual goal is to find resolution and harmony instead of to win or to control the other person, which is tempting when we feel unsafe. But try these solutions the next time a fight begins to escalate instead of letting a flame turn into a forest fire.
The human ego is essentially the perception of yourself as a separate self. What’s wrong with that? Nothing really. But that perspective has certain limitations. The greatest limitation of the perception of being a separate self is that you perceive yourself as separate to other ‘things’ in the world. This is not the ultimate reality. The ultimate reality is that we are all one. All things are expressions of a single and infinite energy. This means, while you may perceive yourself as different to something, at the deepest level you are not different to it at all.
All things in the universe are connected to you and are influencing you and effecting you. This is beneficial or detrimental, depending on what it is that is affecting you. For a very elementary example, if we are not separate and somewhere in the world, someone murders someone, that has a detrimental influence on the whole. If someone falls in love with someone, that has a beneficial influence on the whole.
If you take into account that at the most fundamental level of our being, the energetic level, we are being affected by everything (especially the things in our closest vicinity), it is easy to see how we could use this to our advantage. We could share space with things that would positively influence us.
Everything in the universe is made of energy that vibrates. Energy that vibrates imparts or impacts information. The amplitude and frequency of energy is what determines how (in what form) that energy will express itself. We call this a "vibration".
The first physical manifestation of vibration is light. It is the first thing, which contains both particles and waves. Light is like the bridge between spirit and physicality. And color is really all about light. The way light is reflected or emitted by something, determines what color something is. Obviously if a two things have a different vibration, light is going to interact with those two things differently, so you will perceive them to be a different color.
This is why people have different aura colors. It is also why chakras have different energies. For more information about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To See Auras.
In this world, entrainment is the universal law of harmony. Simply put it is the principle that “any two vibrating bodies will entrain if exposed to each other for long enough”. This has serious implication in a world where everything in existence is energy vibrating. This is why for example; married couples begin to look alike after years together. Things that are exposed to one another synchronize.
This principal works for everything. It is the foundation of the concept of homeopathy and sound therapy. But what does this mean for colors? It means that by focusing on colors, wearing them and having them around you, they will cause your energy to "entrain" with and "resonate" at the same frequency and amplitude of the vibration of that color. This in turn, aids you in amplifying and manifesting anything that is a vibrational match to that frequency in your life.
Color therapy, which is also known as chromo therapy or light therapy is not new age hooey. It is a very credible therapy. In today’s world, it is still considered an alternative healing modality. Essentially, color therapy uses light and color to influence and affect a person’s physical, emotional or mental health. It is a serious therapy that some people study for years to fully understand and perfect. I could never cover all of the information about color therapy in an episode like this. Just like it would take me years or more to explain all there is to know about astrology. But let this serve as an in depth primer.
The thing we have to understand about light and therefore color is that is doesn’t only enter through our eyes; it permeates through our energy field and also through our skin. So even if you are completely blind, colors are still influencing you. It’s just that taking color in through the eyes has great impact on the brain.
An association is a powerful thing. These associations contribute to our consciousness. We begin the process of associating color with things from the moment we perceive color. For example, if we grow up in a society that says “pink is for girls” we will associate pink with girls. If we spend time in a white room in a hospital, feeling the terrible isolation and powerlessness inherent in that situation. We will associate the feeling of isolation and powerlessness with the color white. We can build up strong preferences and aversions towards certain colors in this way. This is why a political candidate has a team of people who select what color shirt they should wear to what occasion.
It is important to take associations into account because associations are different to the actual inherent frequency that a color holds, it’s associated properties and the influence it would have on a being that did not have those biases. That being said, noting strong color preferences or aversions is a window both into people’s association as well as the problems and strengths a person may have energetically, emotionally, mentally or physically. For example, a strong preference for the color blue could mean that a person is naturally anxious or stressed and really needs calming. It could also mean that they are introspective and desire to understand others. It could also mean that they are struggling with inflammation disorders.
Rather than tell you what a preference or aversion means about a person, I am going to just jump right in and share my own brief perspective on how the various colors can be used to benefit you. Given that I am an extrasensory, these color assessments may not be the exact same as the opinions that other color experts may share. I am simply going to tell you how I observe the vibration of these colors effecting people so that you can use that awareness to your advantage.
White: There is a reason that Black and white are the colors that vibrate the closest to the vibration of Source itself. It is because both white and black are about all colors unanimously. One reflects all and absorbs none. Black absorbs all and reflects none. When light strikes a white crayon or a white board, it appears white to us because it absorbs no color and reflects all color equally. For this reason, it is the color of purity and peace. It has been used for thousands of years to break curses and for divine healing or this reason. This is also why it is the color most associated with the angelic realm. It is the vibration of pure consciousness. It brings to your life purity, justice, perfection, faith, innocence, the highest reflectivity, nothingness, divinity, harmony, neutrality, peace, truth, inspiration, clarity.
Black: A black crayon or marker absorbs all colors equally and reflects no color, so it looks black to us. While most of us consider black a color, it isn’t actually. Black is the absence of all color. It is the color of potential energy and of oneness. It has been used for thousands of years in conjunction with the esoteric and the occult. It brings to your life origin energy, perspective, protection, respect, solidness, seriousness, integrity, mystery, power. Red: Red brings stimulation, determination, survival, leadership, ambition, motivation, desire, anger, surety, warmth, blood flow, adrenaline, strength, movement, vigor, goals, sensuality, sexuality, passion, progress, courage, bravery, metabolism, independence, potency, competition, revolution, a solid sense of self.
Orange: Orange brings freedom, success, encouragement, willpower, triumph, creativity, enthusiasm, fascination, fertility, increased oxygen uptake, new possibilities, trigger, vitality, action, momentum, endurance, expression, respiration, digestion, intensity, invigoration, luck, achievement, investment, dynamic, indulgence, fun Yellow: Yellow brings joy, cheer, lightness, intellect, optimism, stimulation for nervous system, zest for like, awake-ness, attention, curiosity, flexibility, affirmation, lightheartedness, freshness and newness, socializing, wonder, awe, aliveness, spontaneity. Healthy physicality. Green: Green is a healing color. It heals by virtue of rejuvenating. It also both sooths and invigorates. Green brings rejuvenation, generosity, reliability, dependability, restoration, sympathy, healing, safety, harmonizing, recovering, nature, wellbeing, judgment, authenticity, honesty, growth, basic, understanding, hope, prosperity, balance, observation, home, nurturing, comfort, and connection. Cellular regeneration. Healthy mind. Blue: Blue is also a healing color. It heals by virtue of soothing. It brings soothing, cooling, decreases inflammation, quiet, reliability calming, relaxation, sharing, tranquility, rest, gentle but powerful speech, patience, purpose, expertise, integrity, depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, truth, sharing of wisdom and truth, seeing things clearly. Purple: Purple is a healing color, but it heals by virtue of transformation. It is both stabilizing and motivating. Purple brings supernatural, transformation, elegance, guidance, decadence, insight, the possession of wisdom, nobility, spirituality, inner knowing, absence of opposition, dignity, Pink: Pink brings softness, compassion, gratitude, affection, caring, tenderness, friendship, gentleness, getting along, youthfulness, kindness, romance, emotional nurturing. Brown: Brown brings the energy of the earth, grounded-ness, rationality, stability, discernment, conservation, decisiveness, support, belonging, frugality, comfort, community, responsibility, practicality, simplicity, family, Grey: Grey forces disarmament and non attachment. It is a deactivator. Grey brings indifference, self control, stalemate, control, conservativeness, neutrality, compromise, transition, lack of movement, reservation, fixedness, tact, moderation, composure, refinement. Silver: Silver brings feminine power. It is both giving and receiving. It invites the energy of the moon. Silver brings psychic abilities, intuition, reflectivity, prosperity, sensitivity, healthy cycles, divine receptivity, magic. Healthy emotion. Gold: Gold brings masculine power. It invites the energy of the sun. It brings authority, empire, self confidence, wealth, overcoming, prestige, illumination, winning, luxury of abundance, the power of aliveness, healthy ego.
Every color influences your mind, emotions and body. Every ailment has an associated color and every cure also has an associated color. But you don’t have to take it from me or from anyone else. Look inside yourself. Pay attention to how each color makes you feel. Then question how it makes you feel. What does your preference for a color or aversion to a color tell you about yourself?
Knowing this, you can choose to create art, focus on, wear and surround yourself with whatever color you feel you need the influence of at any given time. So celebrate your life with color.
By the time you are an adult, your ego has a very well defined and solid core. This means your beliefs are engrained so deep it feels as if they live inside of the marrow of your bones. This includes both positive beliefs and negative beliefs. Beliefs like “there is something wrong with me” or “I am unlovable” or “I am unsafe” or “I can’t trust my partner”. If you want to learn more about these deepest beliefs, with my video on YouTube titled: How to Change a Core Belief.
These beliefs are so solid that it feels like if they are contradicted, the contradictions bounce off of them like an arrow being shot at a steel wall. Essentially, it is really hard to change them. Nothing we do seems to make a dent in them. Well what if I told you that there is a way to get around them through and into your heart via the back door?
On an energetic level, during orgasm, the flow of energy is sped up within the body. The body opens up to a state of receptivity, whereby the meridians and chakras of the body are receiving an unrestricted flow of energy. Alignment is occurring between the vibration of your physical perspective and your non-physical perspective. And thus you experience a blending between the physical aspects of you and the non-physical aspects of you.
During orgasm, the awareness of the identity or ego is dissolved so you can touch your infinite nature. This is why sex and orgasm has been used as a tool in spirituality to reach higher states of consciousness. Orgasm is in fact one practice you can use to experience enlightenment. Simply put, if only for a few minutes, the Ego ceases to exist. This leaves the door wide open to your heart.
What does this mean for you? It means you can take advantage of this open door. When you do this, contradicting your ego’s painful perspective actually works. It cannot defend against the medicine so to speak. You will feel it actually sinking in all the way.
I’m going to give you one standard technique, but you could create any form of variation you want for it because all you are after is the idea of using orgasm to get things to sink into the core of your being completely.
Let’s say one partner is on top and the one on bottom is about to orgasm. The person on bottom who is about to orgasm has really poor self-esteem. When the person on bottom begins to orgasm, he or she focused on opening up to their partner and allowing in a state of complete surrender. And at the same time, when the person on bottom begins to orgasm, the person on top leans really close to their ear and whispers “You are such a wonderful person” as many times as they intuitively feel called to say it.
Here is a tiny tip for you, if you do this with your partner and they have no idea you are going to do it, the impact can be truly amazing so it isn’t necessarily a prerequisite that they know you are going to use their orgasm to penetrate to their core with some wonderful message that meets the needs of their soul.
This is also why it is so important to get to know your partner completely. See into them, feel into them, listen to them, and observe them. You have a perfect window into what painful ‘realities’ within them need to be replaced. And if you care about them, you can have a powerful hand in the improvement of their life experience in this way.
Another variation is that you can record a message that you want to have soak all the way into your being, either in your own voice or in someone else’s voice. Then you can re-play it for yourself when you are achieving orgasm by the means of masturbation.
In general, it is best to keep the message as simple as possible but as impactful as possible. You can decide whether to use multiple messages at once or just one. But if you give yourself a message or an experience that opposes your most deeply engrained perceptions and beliefs during an orgasm, instead of bouncing off like a tic tac thrown against a wall, it will soak into your core. Your subconscious mind will be wide open for reprogramming and so you can reprogram it. You will start to see amazing changes as a result of it.
Now that you know, experiment with this idea. Come up with as many techniques as you can think of that capitalize on the open door of the orgasm to replace old beliefs and contradict the painful perspective of the ego. Then, for everyone’s benefit, share them in the comments below this video so we can all try them out and benefit by them. You deserve a life that isn’t run and operated by your painful truths; truths that may not even in fact be true.
Most of us can say that at some time in our life, we have experienced boredom. Some of us struggle with boredom chronically. Boredom is defined as a state of weariness and restlessness as a result of lack of interest. Interest is really about attention and focus. When we encounter something that we want to focus our attention on, we are engaged in life itself. In the body, we start to feel movement instead of stagnation within our being. This is actually the somatic experience of expansion. The purpose of coming into physical life is expansion. So when we feel the expansion that is the result of being interested in something, we also feel a sense of purpose. It is a feel good feeling.
Focused attention creates the movement (otherwise known as growth) here in physical embodiment. When we feel the lack of momentum, the stagnation of energy in our being as a result of not being focused on something we want to be focused on, we feel two opposing emotional states that pull in opposite directions. Fatigue and restlessness. The restlessness is actually a reaction to the feeling of stagnation; it seeks to try to get that feeling of momentum back by all means possible.
Because we are largely unconscious beings, most of us are not aware of what we are focusing on when we feel bored. If you will stop to watch your thoughts when you are bored, you will see that your thoughts are all revolving around not having what you want. Your attention is focused on what is preventing you from what you currently want. For example, when you are a kid and it’s raining outside and you want to be outside playing, but the rain is preventing you from doing that, it feels like the movement within your being is stalled out.
If you are bored, it’s really the movement within the being in the direction of interest that you want; there is a great deal of wanting in interest. Wanting to know more or wanting to accomplish for example. And wanting is the fuel for expansion. Sometimes it feels like something else (like rain in the previous scenario) is preventing that movement. Sometimes however, it is something within us that is preventing that movement. When we feel bored, we are giving our attention to the perceived opposition to our interest instead of to our interest. Self-defeating thoughts are a great example of something within us that opposes our interest. Thoughts like, “I really want to have someone to talk to right now (that’s our interest). But everyone’s at work and is busy doing other things so I’m stuck in this silent house with no one to talk to”.
We experience boredom so often in childhood because as children we come into a society where we have so much less control over our life than we do as adults. As a child, if our interest is karate, our parents get to decide whether we get to go to a karate class or not. If we focus on being prevented from following our desire (which feels like soul movement) we will start to feel stagnated and desperate to escape from the stagnation… Bored. When we say we are bored, what we are saying is that we are impatient to actualize what we want. Impatience really only occurs to people who doubt that they will actually get what they want. They doubt it because they have been conditioned to doubt it. They have chronically been conditioned to expect to be prevented from whatever they want.
If you experience chronic boredom, you can be sure it is because you have been conditioned to believe that you will be prevented from following and actualizing your desire. There is an association in your mind between the feeling of wanting/interest and opposition to the wanting/interest. There is a link in your mind between wanting and being prevented from getting what you want. Imagine driving with the gas and the parking brake on at the same time. This is what you do automatically if you experience chronic boredom. This is super painful and so what you tend to do is to seek distraction. Instead of focusing on alleviating whatever is preventing you from what you want, you play video games or spend time on Facebook for example. Even though the distraction is less painful in the moment, it further enhances the feeling of inertia within you. It feeds a lack of fulfillment.
This association is often created in childhood when we have an interest in something, but our parents oppose our interest, so we feel the pain of stagnation and the even worse pain of desperate restlessness when we are prevented from engaging in our interest and so we learn that it is safer to not have any interest at all. It is at this point that we sink into a state of apathy. For more information on apathy, watch my video on YouTube titled: Apathy.
Boredom is a painful sate of being. So, what is the antidote to boredom? Actually, there is a great many of them to choose from.
1. Seeing as how boredom is all about the lack of movement inherent in the wanting inherent in interest, we have to find a way to create the perception of movement within our being. Boredom is driving with the gas and the parking brake on at the same time. So, we have to figure out how to take our foot off of the brake pedal. Now is the time to pursue your interests. If you don’t know what your interests are, now is the time to try everything you can try to see what you like and don’t like. Explore life. People who are not bored are people who pursue their interests and most especially who do not get in the way of themselves pursuing their interests.
2. To take our foot off of the brake pedal, we have to take a good look at where our focus is the minute we are bored. We have to become aware of what we actually, authentically want and what thoughts and actions are creating the sensation of being prevented from whatever it is that we want. What thoughts and actions (or lack there of) are getting in the way of you pursuing your interests or even finding out what your interests are?
3. Once you become aware of the thoughts and actions that are serving as a brake pedal, directly challenge and try to disprove those thoughts and change the actions you are taking. For example, I may discover that I really want to talk to someone, but the brake pedal is the thought “Everyone is busy, I have no one to talk to”. If this is the case, I can shift into the attitude of a lawyer or of a philosopher come up with a way around this thought. How is this thought untrue? What thoughts or actions could actually bring me to someone to talk to? Practice those thoughts and take those actions.
4. If you really want to undo the programing that set up this link between wanting and being prevented from what you want, you can use The Completion Process. You need to use this process on the desperate feeling of boredom inside of your body when it occurs. If you want to learn this process, I explain it in detail in my book titled: The Completion Process.
5. If you just did the above practice of noticing the thoughts you are thinking when you are bored, my question for you is, who was watching the thoughts? Were you the one thinking the thoughts or were you the one watching you think the thoughts? You are two points of perspective. In spiritual practice we often call this the observer self and the temporal self. The temporal self is the only one that gets bored. The observer self is not capable of it because the observer self simply observes. It does not judge something as not interesting. It doesn’t come to the conclusion that something shouldn’t be how it is. So it sees everything through openness and curiosity. The judgment that something shouldn’t be how it is; is an inevitable part of boredom.
Boredom is an unconscious thought process on the part of the temporal self. It causes an emotional resistance reaction that goes like this… Life would be more interesting and fulfilling if I was doing something else. The thinking self takes everything for granted because its purpose is expansion…more… better… different. Because of this, it has an attitude of ‘been there, done that’. It has an attitude of things shouldn’t be as they are. This is not bad or wrong. But a side effect of it is boredom. So, we can learn to spend time in our observer self perspective. We can practice the art of attention. If we give enough of our attention to something, instead of to the idea that something is boring, it becomes interesting. Learn to savor that thing. By doing this, we become intensely connected with what is, instead of resistant to what is.
Next time you feel bored, instead of distracting yourself, try to focus your attention completely and fully on something your mind would judge as mundane or boring. Become completely curious. For example, go to the sink and wash the dishes. But wash them as if it were the first time in your life you were doing it. Or wash them as if you were someone who loved washing dishes more than anything so you can try to connect with why they might feel that way towards washing dishes. Notice the smell and texture of the soap. Notice the feeling of the water running over your hands. Notice the weight of the dishes. See if you can feel the devotion inherent in the dishes, the way the dishes lend themselves in service to you every day. Appreciate their colors and curves. You will notice your boredom dissipating.
6. Inherent in boredom is the idea what you do not want what is, you want something else. You have a choice to either go for that something else or to want what is. If you decide to go for something else, then for god sakes, make a change. If you don’t like the movie you are watching, walk out of the movie theatre. If you got a degree in business but you feel like it isn’t right for you because you’d rather do something else, for god sakes, do something else. It doesn’t matter how much energy you put into something, if your soul calls you in another direction, set yourself free by actually going in that other direction. Let yourself out of the cage of familiar, repetitive, un-fulfillment. Spontaneity falls into this category. Sometimes all we need to change is our willingness to be super spontaneous. No planning, just going. Take up offers up on a whim. You can ask yourself “If I were to be completely spontaneous right here and now, what would I do” and go do that thing immediately.
7. Like I said in the last point, inherent in boredom is the idea what you do not want what is, you want something else. So, you have a choice to either go for that something else or to want what is. The opposite of boredom is wanting what is. So, if you decide you want to want what is instead of go for something else, you can actually create a state of wanting what is, by focusing on what is from a perspective of gratitude. If you sit down and brain storm everything about the ‘what is’ that you are resisting that you do like, it will actually create a feeling of movement in your being again. It is one way to take your foot off of the brake pedal in your life and stop resisting what is. I often tell people who are struggling with boredom to sit down and pull out a sheet of paper and scavenger hunt for things that they do like about the now or even about things that are good about not having whatever they want.
Boredom can either be treated as a call to practice genuine presence, (the embracing of what is) or a call to take your foot off of the brake pedal so you can actually experience movement in the direction of what you want. So the next time you feel boredom, answer that call and see what kind of life experience is waiting for you on the other side.
Like an ebb and flow, throughout history the human race has vacillated in its attitude towards the future. Sometimes, people generally feel optimistic and excited for what the future holds. At other times, people generally feel fear and doom about the future. Currently, we are in a phase where people feel so much fear about the future. In large part, this is because people do not understand how the future really works.
At higher dimensions of this universe, time does not exist; that is to say it is not linear. All timelines (past, present and future) exist simultaneously; like a vibrational soup. But the minute we conceptualize of past, present and future, we are looking through the perspective of linear time. When we look at time in this way, it is easy to think that we have no capacity to change the past or that all that really exists is now, or that the future is decided, like fate.
This universe is governed according to the law of attraction; this includes time. It is the state whereby things that are of like frequency are drawn together like a magnet. Like a mirror, what we experience in the world is a reflection of what is inside of us, both conscious and subconscious. For example, a person who has low self-esteem, attracts circumstances, people, places, events etc. that are a match to the vibration of low self esteem. Cause and effect is simply the way that the law of attraction manifests on a physical level. Any time we alter a cause, we alter the effect. This means, any time we make a change to what is within us, what is outside of us changes too. When we alter our vibration, it changes what is reflected in this universe of mirroring.
When this is the case, it is easy to see that the future is never set in stone. If a person changes something that is in the current moment, they change what they are a vibrational match to in the future. At this level, fate does not exist.
Why do you feel a feeling in your gut right now like what I just said isn’t the whole story? Because at some level, you know that you are two points of perspective. When you come into this life, you become two points of perspective. You have at least two vibrational things going on at all points in time. You are simultaneously your physical perspective that you call by your name. And also you are the eternal perspective that observes through the physical perspective. We often call this aspect our higher self or soul. This one created the other as an extension of itself. But upon creating the temporal perspective, the temporal perspective inherits free will.
The law of attraction is responding to both aspects of us. You (as a temporal being in this physical body) are essentially co-creating with you (as an eternal being that exists vibrationally). This aspect of you, which is also you, is the one that chose into this life in the first place. It did so by looking at a soup of potentials and choosing into the ones that would assist its path of expansion the most. It is choosing what parents, what sperm and what egg, what timing, what zodiac alignment etc. It is choosing them like cards it wants to have in its hand for its temporal self to play.
For example, if your eternal aspect chooses a mother who is currently a match to dying three years after you are born, your life will look much different than it would if your eternal aspect chose a mother who was a match to living until you were well into your forties.
This vibrational momentum that is set in motion by the higher self is what we often experience as fate or purpose. It is not that we have no free will in the matter of destiny; it is that with our temporal self’s free will we have lined up with something that was chosen by our eternal self for this life, for reasons that may be beyond the understanding of our current perspective. And we do this quite a bit. Our temporal self tends to find agreement with the eternal self in terms of life purpose for example.
We experience things in our external reality that are a point of attraction for both aspects of us in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, the circumstance that our higher self is attracting is perfectly in alignment with what we actually desire because its perspective is different while at the same time, our temporal self judges it as a bad or mistake manifestation.
We understand this relative to our incarnation. We can grasp that the higher self perspective may intentionally attract a difficult childhood so that we can get the ball rolling on expansion quickly because that will enable our intention for this life. So even though no one wants a difficult childhood experience on a temporal level, you may ultimately want it at a higher level because it is the venue through which your desire for this life will manifest.
Here is the problem though. When we come into physical form, our temporal self-perspective encounters society. It begins to be put through the process of socialization. We learn what is acceptable and unacceptable. This conditioning creates a conscious and a subconscious aspect within our temporal self-perspective. We are essentially fracturing into two main aspects. The law of attraction is responding to both aspects of our temporal self. So, our conscious mind may be vibrating at a frequency of kindness when our unconscious self may be vibrating at a frequency of resentment. Both will be mirrored in our life experience. In this scenario, we will be bewildered when the resentment is mirrored in our reality; because we are not conscious of it within ourselves.
There is a vibrational momentum inherent in any focus, whether it is conscious or subconscious. That vibrational momentum is pre-paving your future in a linear timeline reality, like the one you are currently experiencing. It is laying the blueprint for what the physical reality is to become. For this reason, certain people can perceive this pre-manifested reality that is a reflection of the vibration you currently hold. People like fortunetellers and psychics and prophets. For this reason also, divination tools like tarot cards or tealeaves or runes will reflect what you are a match to based on your current vibration.
When people consult a fortuneteller or psychic, they always act as if the things the seer or the divination tool prophesizes are set in stone and unavoidable. But this is not the case. There is only one reason for the universe to bring you awareness of what your future currently contains and that reason is that the knowing about it will cause an alteration of course. For example, either better preparation for actually going through it or a way to alter it completely.
A person who sees the future is seeing nothing but the dominant vibrational potential. If nothing changes between now and then, that potential will manifest into actuality. But potential is the key word.
Many seers, myself included, see more than one dominant life path for people. In fact, we see three. And branching off of these three dominant life paths, are hundreds of life paths and branching off of those life paths are thousands of life paths. Reading the future is a game of probabilities. If you see the same thing in all three dominant life paths and see it happening according to the same timeline, for the average person you can say there is an extreme probability that thing is going to come to be and you can give an accurate estimation as to when. You can say this because the average person does not change much. You will not see the potential for drastic change in their life paths leading up to that event and you can therefore bet that nothing will derail them lining up with that future that has been set in motion and that they are currently a match to.
All this changes when a person begins to become conscious. When a person begins to realize that their thoughts and emotions and actions play a role in their life enough to consciously begin to choose and consciously begin to make the unconscious conscious, their life paths then exhibit extreme variability. For some people, watching these timelines are less like watching a static reflection and more like watching the stock ticker at the new york stock exchange. Even though you will see three dominant life paths, elements within them are shifting. Within them, you can see potentials for change. If the person lines up with those change points, there is a shift in the blueprint of all potential life paths that are causally linked to them, including when things will happen and whether they will happen at all. At this point, predicting a person’s future becomes much less accurate. Even though you are always dealing with potentials instead of sureties when it comes to the future, the future becomes extremely variable for the conscious individual.
You have seen the concept of life path variability played out theatrically in movies like sliding doors and the butterfly effect and the adjustment bureau and the time traveler’s wife. Thinking about it in this way, you can see that there are billions of life path potentials branching off of each variation it may align with.
Now lets go deeper. The human race is a collective consciousness that has a conscious and subconscious as well. The human race, just like an individual, pre-paves its future vibrationally. But because the human race has a timeline of existence that stretches thousands upon thousands of years compared to the average say 80 year timeline of a single human, it is possible to for a seer to look at the life paths that humanity is a match to thousands of years out. For the most part, humanity’s timelines have been fairly static, mostly because of societal conditioning. This is why so many talented prophets from various cultures have been able to so accurately predict all of the world wars for example.
We are aware of humanity’s overall life paths when we opt into the experience of becoming part of it by becoming a physical human as opposed to becoming a starfish in the ocean for example. Often times when a specific generation is a match to a pivotal change point, like a world war, our eternal self-perspective will specifically choose to incarnate physically into that generation because so much expansion can be garnered from the experience. This is why some of us may feel fate in the idea of experiencing a third world war, even though on a conscious level, we want nothing to do with war and would rather avoid the entire thing so as to live in utopia.
And here’s the difficult thing; because of the law of attraction, whatever we resist persists. This means we cannot alter the dominant life path potential of humanity by resisting it or trying to escape it. This just feeds it and in fact makes us more of a match to it. We have to be very honest about whether our methods for altering the future, like denial based positive focus or 5-D training are methods of avoidance and resistance or methods of conscious creation.
Destiny is nothing more than potential that has been selected by your eternal self. Potential that you have chosen (either consciously or subconsciously) to vibrationally line up with. But free will is an absolute of your existence. This means that your future is an ocean of potentials, some more probable than others. But any single change you make, will alter those potentials and therefore alter the life you are about to live into.
The future exists in a state of potential. Because of this, it is accurate to say that the future both exists and at the same time, does not exist. It can be helpful at times to gain insight about what you are lining up with in the future, based off of where you are today. But never use this insight to fall into the illusion that you are powerless to alter the future. Anything you do today sets in motion a vibrational momentum that is pre-paving the future. And so, the future really is in your hands.
I’m going to ask you a question and I want you to answer it honestly. Do you ever remember a time when someone came to you with something they were really excited about and something about their enthusiasm caused you to feel uncomfortable and compelled to “bring their feet back to the ground”? So instead of adding to fire of their enthusiasm, you put water on the fire instead?
Now, do you ever remember a time when you were super enthusiastic about something and you came to someone with it and they decided to “bring your feet back to the ground” by dousing the fire of the enthusiasm you had with water? If we are honest, almost all of us have been on both sides of this equation. This is an example of the invalidation of positive emotion.
In the past, I have spoken a lot about the invalidation of negative emotions and about how to deal with emotions in general. If you want to see the episode I did on this subject, watch my video titled: Emotional Wake Up Call. People tend to struggle the most with negative emotions. And societally speaking, most societies deem positive emotion acceptable and negative emotion unacceptable. However, our resistance to emotion as a species is not limited to negative emotions. Often, we disapprove of, dismiss, disregard, invalidate, trivialize and suppress positive emotions in ourselves and in other people as well.
There is hardly anything worse than feeling negative emotion and having some bright eyed, bushy tailed, happy person come along and tell you how wonderful their life is. The first thing you want to do is kill them. Essentially, it makes us more aware of how bad we feel. So, it is understandable that we would see this person as a threat to us. After all, we experience their happiness causing us pain and often by completely invalidating our pain. Did you catch that? Their happiness in fact invalidates our own negative emotion. Which feels terrible.
We come to this earth with no concept that certain aspects of us are acceptable and others are unacceptable. So, we come in with no concept that it’s wrong to feel any emotion that we feel. It is our earliest interactions with our parents and authority figures that implant us with the idea that it is unacceptable to feel a certain way (negative or positive).
When a parent or authority figure disapproves of their child’s emotion or dismisses it, the child begins to accept the parent’s estimation of the event and learns to doubt his or her own judgment. As a result, the child loses confidence in themself. The child learns that they have no right to feel how they feel. In short, they learn that it is wrong to feel the way that they feel. Now here’s the crux, the child believes that if it is wrong to feel the way they feel, but they feel that way, something must be wrong with them. This is true regardless of whether the child is feeling a positive emotion or a negative emotion.
So many times over the years I have talked about the difference between love and identification/attachment. Many people have children because on a subconscious level, doing so bolsters their own self-esteem. As long as their child is doing and saying things that validate the parent (continues to bolster their self esteem), the parent will experience love for their child. But the minute the child begins to do or say things that invalidate the parent or how the parent feels (withdraw from their self esteem), the parent will immediately perceive the child as a threat to them. The parent will feel as if the child is betraying and abandoning the connection they had. The parent will feel separate from the child (abandoned) and turn against their own child as a result.
Essentially, instead of the parent mirroring the way the child feels, the parent demands that the child mirror the way that they feel. This means, it’s not ok to feel good if mommy doesn’t feel good. It’s not ok to feel positive emotion towards the idea of performing in theatre if Daddy doesn’t feel positive emotion towards the idea of you performing in theatre. It’s not ok to feel differently than they feel and if you feel that way, they are right and you are wrong.
All of this is compounded of course if a person experiences bad things happening on the heels of positive emotion. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: When Happiness Is A Bad Thing.
Criticism is often a form of invalidation of positive emotion. To understand this, watch my video on YouTube titled: Criticism (how to give and take feedback).
But for the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on the most dominant form of positive emotion invalidation. The positive emotional state that most parents are the guiltiest of disapproving of, dismissing, disregarding, invalidating and trivializing is enthusiasm. This is the moment that a child runs into the room excited about something and instead of mirroring the enthusiasm and enabling the child to act on the enthusiasm, the parent tells them why they shouldn’t get ahead of themselves or why it isn’t going to work or acts as if the enthusiasm takes away from them and what they want in some way.
Essentially, they pull the wind out of the child’s sails. This is a sure fire way to diminish the child’s self esteem, diminish their energy levels, diminish their self trust, cause them to go to war with their own positive emotion and to destroy this child’s capacity to convert inspiration into action and results as an adult. Ridiculous as it may seem, parents often diminish their child in this way all in the name of love.
We are not totally unaware of this. The list of Hollywood movies that revolve around the theme of a child succeeding in spite of a parent that disapproves of, dismisses, disregards, invalidates and trivializes their enthusiasm is endless. We watch these movies, we root for the child to succeed in spite of the discouragement of the parent and then we turn around and do the same thing to our own child.
It would be bad enough if it was limited to childhood. But it isn’t. Childhood never is limited to childhood because it is the foundation of who we become. So we grow into adults who do this to each other. And it is a travesty. The amount of expansion we are preventing by doing this is astonishing.
Rather than make this episode entirely about the potential damage caused by invalidating positive emotion, I am going to simply ask you to look back at what you can remember of your childhood. Try to remember times where you expressed positive emotion (such as enthusiasm or excitement) and people met that excitement with disapproval, discouragement, criticism, dismissal, invalidation, or trivialization. Try to remember the way it felt to have your fire doused with water. And try to see if you can identify how that affected you over the course of your life and even today. Do you distrust your own enthusiasm? Do you feel inspired at all? Do you feel like you will succeed at what you feel inspired to do? Do you counsel other people to doubt their own enthusiasm? Are you living your passion right now or did you choose to do what you learned was logical and safe to do?
Just like negative emotions, when we are dealing with positive emotions, there are concrete steps we can take to address those emotions, develop emotional connection with the other person and enhance our intimacy. This goes for our children as well as the adults in our lives. This is solid gold in a relationship. And here they are:
#1. To become aware of the other person’s emotion
#2. To care about the other person’s emotion by seeing it as valid and important
#3. To listen empathetically to the other person’s emotion in an attempt to understand the way they feel. This allows them to feel safe to be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, instead of to agree.
#4 To acknowledge and validate their feelings. This may include helping them to find words to label their emotion. For people who deny and suppress positive emotion, it may be really hard to name the positive emotion they feel. To acknowledge and validate a person’s feelings, we do not need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct, instead we need to let them know that it is a valid thing to feel the way that they feel. For example, if our friend says, “I feel amazing and I know I’m meant to be with this man for the rest of my life”, we do have to validate them by saying “you’re right you are going to be with this person for the rest of your life”. We could validate them by saying “I totally get how amazing that feels.”.
#5. To allow the person to feel how they feel and to experience their positive emotion fully for as long as it lasts without making yourself an impediment to it.
#6. To enable them (in any way that feels good to you) to use the way they feel to call them towards positive action. Lend your energy to the forward momentum that their positive emotion creates in them instead of turning against it, or diminishing it. If you ever issue any warnings, they should be offered as assistance for their upcoming journey in the direction of their desire instead of in discouragement of it. For example, if a kid says, “I want to be a professional horseback rider”. We do not ever say, “No, it’s too expensive”. We say, “ok, it’s really expensive, so let’s brainstorm ways that you or we can make some money so we can afford it”. We have to be willing to allow people to experience the consequences of their own choices, whether those choices were the result of positive inspiration or negative urges. But I will give you a little hint… people who chase their enthusiasm never say they wish they hadn’t, even if they fail miserably by external standards. And there is no substitute for learning by experience.
If god forbid, we ever get into a situation where we have conflicting needs with the person who is in a state of enthusiasm, where we feel we cannot lend our energy to the forward momentum that their positive emotion creates in them instead of turning against it, or diminishing it (because for example, we are convinced it is a huge mistake); we never make it about them being wrong to feel the enthusiasm or wrong to even act on it. Instead, we follow the first four steps completely and then either enable them to act on the enthusiasm without us or we make our resistance about our own emotion (such as fear) which is equally valid. This may be the time to turn your attention towards yourself and to practice (either alone or together) the steps for dealing with a negative emotion presented in my YouTube video titled: Emotional Wake Up Call.
Whatever you do, steer completely clear of saying or doing anything to suggest that they (or you) should distrust their (or your) own emotion. Your emotion is always the perfect reflection of your perspective. It’s simply that your perspectives (thoughts) currently differ.
Never forget that we are in a relationship with ourselves. This means, our own emotions must matter to us. This means we must acknowledge and validate our own emotions. This means we must not dismiss or disapprove of our own emotions. Therefore, the six steps I have outlined previously, we must apply to ourselves.
Never be ashamed of how you feel. Your feelings are valid. If you feel an emotion, there is a good reason that you are feeling that emotion. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel. You deserve a relationship where your feelings matter. And the fastest way to get to that relationship is to decide that your emotions, including your positive emotions, matter to you. And your positive emotions should matter to you enough that you are willing to follow them in whatever direction they wish to take you.
You have all heard the sayings:
"There is a fine line between love and hate."
"Relationships are essentially a balancing act between love and hate."
"Haters are just confused lovers."
"You have to love someone to hate them."
"The opposite of hate is not love, it is indifference."
"If you hate someone, you still care." And the list goes on and on.
It is no secret that people who we experience being loved by the very most sometimes become our most ardent haters. To the extreme end of this, just look at crimes of passion. A husband who once showed love towards his wife, kills her when she cheats on him. A wife who once showed love towards her husband, does anything she can to ruin his reputation amongst society. Divorce courts are absolutely filled across the world every day with people who seem to have once loved each other but whom now hate each other with ardent passion.
HATE IS NOT THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE
Vibrationally speaking, fear is the opposite of love. In fear, oneness cannot be experienced. It creates closed-ness in the being and a perception of separation. Vibrationally speaking, hatred is not the direct opposite of love. Hatred is in fact more in the middle range of vibrations. Hatred is the opposite of positive perception. It is negative perception of and perspective about something. At its core, hatred is the result of feeling hurt by something and therefore perceiving what hurt you as a threat (against you). You cannot perceive something as being a threat to you and not perceive it as “different to you”. This is why when people perceive themselves as a threat they instantly experience a feeling of having a demon or some other threatening aspect of identity inside themselves. This is also why when you say you both love and hate someone, you instantly perceive that person as fragmented (into parts) so that you can be close to one aspect of them and hate the other.
THE MOST ATTACHED PARENT IS THE LEAST UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING
We learn about love from our earliest experiences in life. It is assumed that the minute a parent has a child, just because it is their child, they will love that child. This is not true. What is more accurate is that most all parents experience an immediate attachment to their child mentally, emotionally and also physically. But as most of you who have been into spiritual practice for any amount of time know, attachment and love is not the same thing. Attachment can happen along side love but it can also happen in the absence of love, especially if there is fear present.
Because society is ignorant to the difference between attachment and love, society often falls under the spell of perceiving that the best parents, the ones who love their children the most are the ones who are in fact the very most attached to them. Contrary to our assumption, this kind of parent in fact often unconditionally loves their children the very least. To this parent, the children are nothing more than an extension of themselves. The child is loved based on the condition of carrying out the parent’s own boundaries, wants, needs, likes, dislikes and values etc. This is not love. This is identification. The parent is so identified with their child; they will stop at nothing for the sake of their child. We look at this and say “wow, what a dedicated and wonderful parent. Isn’t that child lucky.” No is the answer. Under the pretense of love, their child either becomes nothing more than a projection of them so as to stay loved, or is rejected. We need to stop calling things love, when they are not in fact love.
HOW SHAME BECOMES OUR IDENTITY
Many people have children because on a subconscious level, doing so bolsters their own self-esteem. As long as their child is doing and saying things that validate the parent (continues to bolster their self esteem), the parent will experience love for their child. But the minute the child begins to do or say things that invalidate the parent (withdraw from their self esteem), the parent will immediately perceive the child as a threat to them. The parent will feel as if the child is betraying and abandoning the connection they had. The parent will feel separate from the child (abandoned) and experience hatred towards their own child as a result. This is especially common in the ages where a child is developing healthy individuation (figuring out their own boundaries)… Such as the toddler and teen years.
The child often has no idea what they have done to fall out of favor. He or she will feel confused as to why they suddenly fell from grace. The child will feel even more confused when the parent says things like “I love you” or “Of course I love my child” or “I love you but I just don’t like you” when in fact, their experience is that their parent is in fact their antagonist (hater). The parent has in fact turned against their own child and either subconsciously or consciously blamed the child as a justification for them doing it. As a result, the child has no other way to make sense of the situation other than to assume that the parent must be right, that there must in fact be something wrong with or bad about them. Shame then becomes the imprint embedded within this child’s being. He or she carries it with them into adulthood.
Why does the child make this assumption? Because to not make this assumption is to face the fact that their parent never actually loved them. But instead, loved something they or their presence DID for them. There is a tormenting powerlessness that comes with this awareness. You cannot emotionally live in an environment where you are not loved by the very people upon whom your life depends. So we adopt the belief that they love us, but that there is something bad and wrong about us and that is why they are treating us the way they are treating us. At least, by doing this we can feel some kind of control over the situation. We can believe that if we just do right or become good instead of bad, all that will be left between them, and us is love.
WE LEARN HOW TO LOVE FROM OUR PARENTS
Love and hate become integrally linked inside of our being. We begin to suffer from what many psychologists would call a disorganized attachment. I, personally think that disorganized attachment is much more common than psychologists believe. But like all things, depending on the level of threat a parent posed to a child, this attachment style presents stronger in some than in others and so we are only recognizing the extreme end of this condition.
When our parents had us to bolster their own sense of self in some way, we did not experience the kind of love we were looking for. We experienced the kind of love that was entirely dependent on us bolstering their sense of self. And those of who failed to do that with their parents inevitably find themselves alone and unable to escape the imprint of shame.
And the bottom line is that even though love is natural to every being in existence, we learn HOW to love from the people who give us our first taste of love. If our first taste of love is conditioned upon us bolstering someone else’s sense of self, we will love based on the condition that they bolster our sense of self. We will also fall in love with partners and connect with friends who only love us based on the condition that we bolster their sense of self until we become conscious of another way to be. And the minute someone in our lives does not bolster our sense of self, we will hate them. And the minute we do not bolster their sense of self, they will hate us.
CONDITIONAL AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
We need to talk of conditional and unconditional love. At our current stage of evolution, the average physical human finds the concept of unconditional love too abstract to actually practice. We already said that on a purely vibrational level, to love is to take something as thyself. It is the experience of oneness in singular form. And what causes that oneness is a state of appreciation. Essentially a positive perception of and perspective about that thing. Conditional love means that a person experiences a state of appreciation and positive perception of and perspective about something so as to experience themselves as one with that thing only if that thing is meeting some condition (such as making me feel good about myself or keeping me safe or liking me). Not to say that they absolutely do not exist, but I am yet to meet a person walking the planet who is doing other than this.
Many people in the spiritual field, because they are identified with the righteousness of unconditional love, say they are unconditionally loving or preach that we need to be unconditionally loving, but it is all complete denial. It is not the truth of where they are, what they (or anyone else) are currently capable of or what they are actually doing.
But, unconditional love means that a person experiences a state of appreciation, positive perception of and perspective about something so as to experience themselves as being one with that thing regardless of anything that person thinks or says or does. And we may be able to fake this on the outside (and often do), but we cannot fake this on the inside. Overall, unless you subconsciously had a child to give you something or to bolster your own self-esteem, the closest many people come to experiencing this state is relative to their own child. But simply being the parent of a child is absolutely not a guarantee of unconditional love. An unconditionally loving parent, regardless of what we may ‘say’ in society is a rare thing to behold indeed.
A conditional relationship is transactional. And the reality we have to wake up to is that 99 percent if not more relationships on the globe today are entirely transactional. This is true regardless of whether it is a relationship between two lovers, two friends, a parent and their child, two siblings or your relationship with yourself.
A love-hate relationship is nothing more than a conditional relationship (which is most relationships) because it means that when the circumstances change or conditions change, the focus of attention we have towards the other person changes from positive (ally) to negative (threat). However, even when you are feeling hatred towards that person, you want to feel love towards them instead and you do feel attachment to them. So this creates an extreme level of emotional dissonance in both parties. Sound like any of your relationships?
It just so happens that if we are only capable of practicing conditional love, the more intense our level of positive appreciation for (and therefore oneness relative to something is), the more intense pain we will feel as a result of losing that feeling of oneness and losing that positive feeling we had towards them. The more intense that pain is, the more hurt we perceive ourselves to be. The more hurt we perceive ourselves to be, the more deeply we will see ourselves as the victim and them as the threat. The more we see them as the threat and ourselves as the victim, the more we will hate them. This is why the people who loved us the most, our most avid fans, often become our greatest enemies.
We are at the point where we are practicing conditional love. We are not at the point where most of us are emotionally healed enough to actually practice unconditional love instead of try to fake it. But we are at the point where unconditional love is what we want and what we want to be able to give. And it starts by admitting that as much as you want to love unconditionally, it is in fact conditional. The question for you is, what is your love conditional upon?
THE EXPERIMENT: CONTINUOUS AND INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT
I want you to imagine that there is a laboratory and in the laboratory, there is a rat in a cage. The scientists in the lab are studying behavior. In one corner of the rat cage there is a little lever. Every time the rat pushes on the lever, a pellet of food comes out. Needless to say the rat is preoccupied with pushing the lever and getting the pellets that come out every time he pushes the lever. So, the scientists wonder what will happen if they remove the pellets. The rat pushes on the lever and eventually realizes it is not going to yield any pellets and so he looses interest with the lever and preoccupies himself with other things.
What these experiments had in common is that there was a predictable pattern in terms of expectation. This is called continuous reinforcement. In the first experiment the pattern was, “I push the lever and I can expect a pellet to come out.” In the second, the pattern was, “I push the lever and I can expect nothing to come out.” So the scientists start to wonder what will happen if they make the pattern unpredictable. What if sometimes (but unpredictably) when the rat pushes the lever, a pellet comes out and sometimes it doesn’t? They imagined that the rat would become frustrated and eventually lose interest in the lever. In fact the opposite happened. In this experiment again and again, each rat became absolutely anxiously obsessed with the lever and neglected all of its other grooming habits and started deteriorating. The rat was engaged in an intermittent reinforcement experiment. And the intermittent reinforcement had created an addiction.
Also, when the scientists first gave the rat intermittent reinforcement and then later gave them the continuous reinforcement of no pellets in response to them pressing the lever, the rat stayed obsessed with the lever, despite receiving nothing. The rat had grown accustomed to periods of time where no reinforcement was given. The intermittent reinforcement had created persistence in the face of resistance.
Intermittent reinforcement applies to much more than just rewards and wanted things. For the sake of this episode, we’re going to assume that intermittent reinforcement applies to things you want that are only granted inconsistently, unpredictably and occasionally. But conversely, intermittent reinforcement also applies to things like rules and personal boundaries that are only enforced inconsistently, unpredictably and occasionally. This causes people to become confused and either become terrified about how to interact with the person setting the rule or boundary or conversely to push the limits until they get what they want from the person setting the rule or boundary.
Intermittent reinforcement creates addiction. Think about Gambling. Gambling is an addiction that rests on the laurels of intermittent reinforcement. If you are sitting at a slot machine, you may try to predict the pattern of reward, but you cannot. It is randomized but the high that comes as a result of the experience of the random reward, creates obsession. You become owned by the game.
INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS
What we have to wake up to is that some of us are in relationships that are based on intermittent reinforcement. In this kind of relationship, the things we need, like love, are only granted inconsistently, unpredictably and occasionally. But the fact that they are granted occasionally, keeps us hooked. We are owned by the relationship. We build up so much despair and starvation that when we get a single scrap, the relief we experience by getting a scrap feels like nirvana and we begin to chase that feeling and do anything we can do to get it. If you are in this kind of a relationship, you are either the scientist tormenting the rat with the potential of pellets or you are the rat in the cage caught in a cycle of torment. No matter what, if you are in an intermittent reinforcement relationship, you are in an abusive relationship. Abuse is usually not the conscious intent, but it is abuse nonetheless.
Intermittent reinforcement can happen with any need or want we may have. It is especially prevalent in relationships relative to emotional needs. Needs like connection, belonging, appreciation, affection and commitment to name a few.
Some people fear intimacy and struggle with insecure attachments, like avoidant attachment for example. When this is the case, they subconsciously try to get away from the fear that comes up in the relationship by gaining control in the relationship. They do this by intermittently reinforcing their partner. They have no idea that they are in fact doing this. They partner ends up at their mercy, desperate for the occasional closeness they grant. An example of this is a man who spends a wonderful night with you and you talk and connect on a deep level one day and the next, he doesn’t return your phone calls and acts like you are strangers and pulls away. Then, randomly is able to connect again, especially when he senses you pulling away. The classic hot and cold relationship usually falls into this category.
For some people however, intermittent reinforcement is much more intentional. This is especially true for people who fall into what psychologists would label as a personality disorder such as borderline, narcissism or sociopathy for example. They begin a relationship going for control deliberately from the get go. They are often consciously aware that they are controlling someone in this way. On top of other emotional abuse tactics, like gas lighting, they give or withhold certain needs from their partner, granting them either randomly enough to develop an addiction in their partner or giving them in response to the exact behavior they want to see in their partner. An example of this could be a woman who refuses to make love to her husband unless he cuts off the relationship with his family. Or a man who beats his wife or emotionally abuses her, but whom occasionally says, “I’m sorry” and takes her on a wonderful date and buys her what she’s been wanting for months. Keep in mind that intermittent reinforcement can be much more insidious and hard to recognize than these blatant examples.
In these kinds of relationships, the person in control often intermittently reinforces their partner only to withdraw reinforcement completely. For example, they occasionally give their partner closeness in the beginning, only to later deny them closeness completely. Despite this complete withdrawal of reinforcement, the partner stays and persistently tries to get closeness because they have already grown accustomed to periods of starvation and have been trained that occasionally they do in fact get the closeness they want. So they are hooked on the hope that they will. They push harder than ever for the closeness that they occasionally got in the past that they may in fact never get again.
Intermittent reinforcement creates a starvation within the being, which puts the person who is in charge of the reinforcing in a position of complete and absolute control. You will always see intermittent reinforcement present in an abusive relationship. And these relationships are the hardest to walk away from because by nature, it is not a relationship. It is an addiction. The relationship is an addictive relationship and by walking away, the body is actually forced to go into withdrawal. The person who is on the opposite end of the reinforcement will stay in the relationship, deteriorating, desperately trying to figure out the pattern of the reinforcement so that they can control the conditions of the relationship so they can get the thing they need or want from the partner to come out consistently. Mixing the analogies for example, “If I notice that I don’t get any pellets when this certain friend is around, then I will get rid of the friend so I can get the pellets from my partner.” The person on the receiving end of intermittent reinforcement may change everything about themselves and lose themselves completely so as to do this.
You’ve all known this person in your life. They get into a relationship and they start to deteriorate and you rarely see them anymore and they adhere completely to the wishes of the partner in their life to the degree that they sometimes completely alter their personality, likes, dislikes and interests to mirror their partner.
Here is another example of intermittent reinforcement. Take a man with a wife who flies into a rage and makes him sleep in another room for days when he does not do exactly what she wanted him to do. The man has to try anything to gain back her closeness. Eventually, either randomly or if he finds the right thing to do, she may grant him the closeness that he wanted. By doing this, she has trained him to behave in the way that she wants him to behave. He is so relieved by her closeness because his starvation is satiated, he experiences the love for her as much more intense. He thinks he must really, really love her simply because of the intensity of the relief of being close to her again. Subsequently he will alter himself completely to avoid the potential punishment again and maintain the closeness he needs from her. He will try to make the relationship as predictable as possible for himself for the sake of his own safety and for the sake of ensuring his own needs will be met.
What is on the other side of any addiction? Something you are desperate to avoid. You stay addicted and you can’t let go because letting go means falling back into what you are desperate to avoid… such as a feeling of being unsafe, isolation, lack of belonging, loneliness, emptiness.
ROOTS IN CHILDHOOD
If we put up with intermittent reinforcement as an adult in a relationship, it is because we experienced this pattern in our earliest relationships with the people we loved. People like mom and dad for example. And I will tip you off that you will always perpetually want and love the parent or person who did this with you.
Let’s pretend the law of attraction doesn’t exist and that you could actually have consistent relationships in childhood and vibrationally line up with inconsistent relationships as an adult. If you experienced complete consistency in your childhood relationships, especially relative to your emotional needs and you were to meet a person who practiced intermittent reinforcement, you would immediately grow irritated and walk away from the relationship. If we grew up with intermittent reinforcement, we learn that this is what love should feel like. We spend our lives lining up with inconsistently loving partners and trying to make them consistently loving, like we always wanted our parents to be. Take a look at the people in your early life. Did any of them meet your needs (especially emotional needs) only inconsistently, unpredictably and occasionally?
THE KEY IS CONSISTENCY
If you are in an intermittent reinforcement relationship, there is no middle ground. Consistency is the only answer. Either consistency needs to be developed or you need to cut loose from this relationship. Consistency is critical for relationships. You cannot create a secure relationship without it. So, either you are with a partner who is willing to be conscious of this pattern and consciously change it with you OR you are with an abusive partner who has no intention to change this pattern. They have no intention of changing this pattern because it serves them to stay in control and keep you as the rat in the cage with its paw obsessively on the lever so that they can ensure that their needs are met.
If you are with this kind if partner, you have reason to be afraid. You cannot trust them because they in fact intend either consciously or subconsciously to betray your best interests for their own aim; to control you completely. This desire to control you also has its roots in trauma. But before you fall into the codependent pattern of thinking you can heal them, it must be known that it is highly unlikely that anyone, least of all you, will be able to do this. You will be unable to do this because controlling you benefits them. Controlling you is how they avoid their own shadows. And the only person who can decide to face their own shadows is them. And one step further, most of these people will tell you they are going to face their own shadows because telling you that is more intermittent reinforcement. They have no actual intention of facing their own shadows, it’s just that promising they will and making it seem like they are, is like a rat pellet. It serves to keep you hooked. If you are in this kind of relationship, the time has come to realize that you have been investing in your belief in something you hope will happen and not in your observation of what has actually happened. Nourishing the hope preserves the status quo and you are in a relationship with a fantasy. This is not conscious creation. This is in fact a form of denial.
Remember how I said earlier that intermittent reinforcement also involves boundaries being kept consistently? This is the role the person who is on the receiving end of intermittent reward reinforcement has to play. You betray your own boundaries and inconsistently keep them so as to guarantee that you can consistently get the reward you want from the other person. Your own boundaries have become like bargaining chips or coins at a casino. You’re willing to give them up to get what you want. This relationship is transactional. And if you look deeper, it is a relationship based on control. If you are on this side of the intermittent reinforcement relationship, they try to gain control by giving you what you need either randomly or in response to behaviors they want to see. You try to control and get what you want them to give you by giving up your own boundaries. It’s a control dynamic on both sides. So, you have to get clear about your boundaries and then be VERY consistent about them. To understand more about boundaries, watch my video titled: How To Develop Healthy Boundaries.
HOW TO CREATE CONSISTENCY IN A RELATIONSHIP
To reiterate, if you are with a partner who is genuinely willing to create consistency with you so as to create a secure relationship (and who isn’t just saying that in a way where saying that is the intermittent reinforcement), you need to do the following…
They need to be consistent in their granting of your needs, such as closeness and affection and communication. They need to decide to respond in certain ways even when they don’t FEEL like it (such as come close when they feel like pulling away). And they need to consciously work directly on the emotions that are opposing the response (such as why do I feel like pulling way when I know that for the sake of the relationship I need to come close).
You need to be consistent with your boundaries. Do not give up your sense of self. Don’t give up your interests, likes and dislikes and values no matter what pressure your partner puts on you. When you say no, it means no, so do not give in. Never make threats in the relationship unless you are 100% willing to follow through. Never make promises unless you are 100% willing to keep them. Stop nagging or begging your partner. If they are not giving you what you need even after you have told them what you need, go get it elsewhere. Decide exactly how much you are willing to put into the relationship before walking away. Be as consistent with your true self as you possibly can so there is no room for manipulation from the other person.
HOW TO LEAVE AN INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT PARTNER
If you are able to be honest with yourself that you are with a partner who has no genuine intention of stopping the intermittent reinforcement pattern, you get to decide whether you want a life with them that will be the way it is right now for as long as you are together. Or whether that is too painful and has cost you too much and so you are going to get up and walk away from the relationship. Beware that when you do this with an intermittent reinforcement partner, they will magically transform into the person you always wanted them to be… But it is an illusion. The illusion of their change itself is the intermittent reinforcement. It’s the rat pellet. It will last for exactly as long as it takes for you to become committed to the relationship again.
It will be extremely difficult to move past this relationship because it is not a relationship. It is an addiction. You will go through withdrawals from the chemicals that your own body produces and fall into the very thing you are trying to avoid by engaging in the relationship, just like a street drug addict when they choose to quit using. So don’t be hard on yourself if it feels like you’ve lost yourself in the relationship and like your life falls apart by leaving them. Surround yourself with supportive people who are open to understanding the difficult dynamic of addictive relationships and whom don’t unfairly expect you to ‘just get over them’ as if you can flip a switch.
When you manage to break free from this kind of relationship, you will feel like you have come out of a parallel reality, just like an addict feels when they finally become sober. You will be able to think clearly. You will begin to feel yourself coming back from being lost, like you’ve found yourself gain. It is my promise that eventually it will be worth it. If you need help with a break up, you can watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Survive a Break Up and/or Heartbreak.
Intermittent reinforcement is the most powerful motivator and manipulation tactic on the planet. It keeps you hooked in bad relationships. So often, it is why we can’t create stability and emotional security in a relationship or why we can’t leave a relationship that we genuinely need to end. The perpetual tension involved in this kind of relationship is a direct threat to your wellbeing. So if you are in this kind of relationship, the time has come to recognize the dynamic that is occurring and to change it.
The ego is essentially a separate sense of self. It is comprised of anything you identify yourself with. To be able to comprehend of yourself as a unique thing within a system, you have to perceive yourself and then define yourself as different to other things within the system. You cannot conceptualize of what you are unless you conceptualize of what you are not. An easier way of understanding this is to say that you cannot conceptualize of yourself as “Joe” until you are aware that you are not “Nancy”. This means the ego only exists in a state of comparison. It cannot exist without comparison. This process of individualization benefits us in certain ways. But there is a price to it as well… Separation. When we conceive of ourselves as a separate self, we are immediately not a part of anything we define as “other”. This is the true origin of loneliness.
Your mind will naturally spend its time comparing. All of our minds do this. We tend to think of comparison thinking only in terms of classic painful comparison thinking such as “He has more money than me” or “I am prettier than her”. But comparison thinking goes FAR beyond this. It extends to things such as “I am a person and that is a dog”. “I am a girl and that is a boy”. The ego will not sop doing this all day every day because if it does, it will die. The ego exists only in comparison to something it sees as “other”. This means upon coming in to this life, we come intact with a mechanism that is designed to separate us from other things in the world instead of unite us with things in the world. The ego leads us only towards things that it identifies with and pushes against things it does not identify with.
What happens when we have this sense of identity that exists only because of comparison and so many of the things that we compare ourselves to around us, we see as “not us” or “different to us”? Belonging goes right out the window. And in this case, the ego has nothing to identify with other than not belonging in and of itself. Not belonging becomes part of our identity.
Our society puts a lot of energy into the idea that we need to embrace differences and that differences are good. The idea that differences are good is one that can be substantiated. But the opposite view can be substantiated as well. To notice something is different to us causes us to perceive a separation between that thing and us. The feeling of separation and of being alone causes more or less suffering for us, depending on the level of trauma we experienced around connection with others. Because of this, for some of us, differences cause extreme pain. If we struggle with belonging, any differences in other people cause us extreme pain because they immediately cause us to feel isolated. We re-live the trauma of aloneness and abandonment and not belonging when we encounter difference. Our ego self is therefore re-traumatizing us through comparison, which it does all day every day. So instead of trying to be ok with differences, we need to consciously do the opposite.
The reason that falling in love feels so good is that when we fall in love, we take the other person as ourself. The ego essentially dissolves in love. If we watch our mind when we fall in love, it is spending its time comparing itself to the other person and finding similarities between ourselves and them. Because of this, we feel belonging. We do not feel separate from them. A relationship only becomes painful when the mind goes back to comparing itself to the other person and finding differences instead of similarities. We lose our experience of oneness. We stop feeling that same all encompassing sense of belonging. We start feeling separate and isolated again. Many relationship experts call this healthy. They call this the autonomy phase of relationships. I am not convinced it is so healthy. From my perspective, this is when the ego begins to hijack the relationship.
But essentially, your ability to feel belonging and oneness and unity is dependent upon your capacity to perceive similarities. You must beware that to take on this practice, is to take on the practice of challenging the ego. It will take effort at first. But it is the antidote to the feeling of not belonging. And here it is:
Notice that without even trying, your mind is scanning your reality for differences all day every day. This takes no effort. It is a subconscious process. Consciously switch your focus from noticing the differences to looking for and acknowledging the similarities between yourself and things and also between things and other things. If you really want to dissolve the ego, all you need do is to drop comparing. But that is easier said than done and you will be working against your ego to do it. So I suggest using your ego to your advantage instead. Use it as the comparison tool that it is to seek and find similarities.
Pretend to be a scientist that is intensely engaged in a project. Find as many similarities as you can with everything in existence. For example, find similarities between yourself and inanimate objects; find similarities between yourself and your friends. Find similarities between one animal and another. Find similarities between yourself and your food. Find similarities between one person and another person. Find similarities between yourself and the things and people that you feel different from. When you feel ready, find the similarities between yourself and the people you hate the most… The people you feel you do not belong with. Pay attention to the way you feel. Notice that you start to feel like you belong. Notice that the resistance melts away and notice how life begins to feel connected and ‘right’. Live life with the mantra “How am I the same as X?”
There is no limit to what you can look for similarities with. Get way outside the box and get as creative as you can with this. If you feel called to, make this your sole spiritual practice for a time. To feel separate is to suffer. The ego thinks this is survival, but we really must ask ourselves if the survival of a sense of self is worth the suffering that comes with it. If not, our practice must be consciously looking for similarities instead of allowing the ego to continue with the subconscious process of seeking out differences.
To cope is to make a specific alteration mentally, emotionally or physically so that you can manage or adapt to something that is causing you stress. A coping mechanism is a specific procedure, process or technique, which manages or creates adaptation to stress.
Some examples of coping mechanisms are: Addictive behaviors like cutting, binging, smoking, gambling etc. Denial, humor, attacking, regressing, overcompensation, humility, self blaming, avoidance, dissociation, positive focus, escaping into movies, books or imagination, intellectualization, distancing, disconnection, falling asleep, passive aggression, projection, repression and substitution.
Stress is serious business. A human being cannot thrive in an atmosphere of stress. When a human being goes into a state of distress, wellbeing immediately declines. And so, it is only natural that we should want to make a change to the situation as fast as we possibly can. But often the situation that is causing us distress cannot be eradicated. It is out of our control to eradicate the stressor. So we are forced to manage with it, deal with it and adapt to it. This is especially true in childhood, when we did not call the shots about our own life. The people around us did.
Many of these coping mechanisms allow us to survive distressing circumstances in our lives so we can keep on living and expanding despite the stress. They benefit us in some way when they are invented. But over time, we can see that the very coping mechanisms that benefitted us are in fact the very thing that is hurting us and the people around us. What once allowed for our expansion is now making our expansion impossible. For example, the dissociation that was a coping mechanism for a young girl to escape incest now makes it impossible for her to feel fear as an adult and so she engages in highly risky and self-destructive behaviors.
Also, when we grow up and find ourselves in situations that are absolutely changeable, where we do have the power to diminish or eradicate the stressor, we do not realize it. In accordance with the illusion of powerlessness we perceive in ourselves, we simply immediately indulge in our coping mechanism instead of actually making positive changes to our life.
It could be said that some coping mechanisms are healthy and others are not. But I will tell you today that the healthiness vs. unhealthiness of certain coping mechanisms is really a matter up for debate because half of the coping mechanisms we think are healthy are in fact not healthy.
In fact, the spiritual field is like a minefield in this respect. SO, SO many spiritual practices and spiritual beliefs/truths either serve as excuses to fuel detrimental coping mechanisms or literally are detrimental coping mechanisms in and of themselves. To make this clearer, the ego, looking to get out of distress, will select a spiritual belief and a spiritual teacher who enables, validates or creates the coping mechanism. So the ego has hijacked our spiritual practice so as to stay out of pain.
Take a look at what got you into spirituality. For so many of us, distress is what opened the door to spirituality. This isn’t bad or wrong. The doorway of suffering is the door most of us take to enlightenment after all. But if the whole reason we opened the door to spirituality is because we are in distress, it means the shadow we may need to face is that our entire spiritual practice may be one giant coping mechanism. And there is potential within any coping mechanism that we are engaged in a behavior that is more detrimental to us and those around us than it is good for us and for those around us. The positive focus, law of attraction community is a perfect example. The beliefs and practices inherent in this school of spiritual practice can and often do serve to fuel the coping mechanism of bypassing and denial. One of the most dangerous coping mechanisms there is. And people who are prone to this coping mechanism are naturally drawn to such a spiritual practice subconsciously. The beliefs and practices of asceticism can and often do fuel the coping mechanism of self-harm. And people prone to this coping mechanism are naturally drawn to such a spiritual practice.
Why is it so hard to let go of coping mechanisms? Because they don’t cause us pain on the front end. In fact, they serve to get us out of pain. It’s immediate gratification. So our subconscious mind puts them in the “good for me” category. After all, we are wired to avoid pain. Just like we see with most addictions, it often takes us years before we see the back end price for our addiction, and only then do we wake up our awareness to the realization that the coping mechanism is a problem that is hurting us and the people around us. We justify our coping mechanisms and defend them to the death until this point.
So, as I said, the most difficult thing about moving past coping mechanisms is that they are unlikely to be let go of… because they don’t cause pain upfront. Engaging in them creates relief, so we don’t often see them as a problem. Why would we go to work fixing a non - problem? The only things we are motivated to work on and let go of are problems that cause us pain. It’s easy to directly deal with and resolve a trigger because a trigger hurts. So, how do we resolve something that doesn’t directly hurt and doesn’t register in our conscious mind as a problem even though it is a problem that does lead to pain?
Here are some suggestions for how to let go of coping mechanisms:
We have to start to re-own pain and befriend it. We have to consciously practice moving towards it instead of away from it. We engage in coping mechanisms to get out of pain. Inherently, this means that we felt we could not eradicate an actual threat; so we moved our sights to the secondary threat… pain itself. We lumped the pain we felt in with the actual threat that was causing the pain and started to see pain in and of itself as the threat to our life. In reality, pain is not a threat to us at all, quite the opposite. It is a feedback mechanism. It tells us information about our environment and ourselves so we can take appropriate action. So you can understand what I mean, I will paint you a picture. To see pain as the enemy and to engage in a coping mechanism to get away from it is akin to having your arm cut off and injecting yourself with morphine and convincing yourself that once the pain is gone the threat is gone and you’re all better. When in fact the real threat is that you’re bleeding out and by not feeling the pain, you are certainly not all better.
A coping mechanism is like emotional morphine. Improper usage and you could have an even bigger problem on your hands than the original threat. Pain is not your enemy. It is perfect feedback. And discomfort is not permanent. You don’t have to be afraid that you’ll get stuck in it. Feelings don’t work like that unless you resist them. Whenever you are in pain, use the pain itself as a kind of mediation bell, awakening you to the opportunity to gain valuable feedback… it is trying to tell you something. If you engage in your coping mechanism to get away from it, you’ll never know what it’s trying to tell you and so you’ll never be able take to the right action for yourself or the people around you.
Take a look at the things that make you feel better. Make a list of them. How do you deal with distress? These tools may genuinely benefit you. But for the sake of this exercise, play the game of becoming a philosopher or transcendental lawyer. From this perspective, look for and argue the points against these tools. How could each one be a coping mechanism? If each one was a coping mechanism, what potential downsides could there be to that coping mechanism? How does each one not work? By doing this exercise, we can become aware of some of our coping mechanisms. We also open our minds wide enough to see the potential shadow side of our strategies, including every spiritual tool we have become attached to. By doing this, we are less likely to succumb to the tool so that it uses us, instead of us using it. Awareness of the coping mechanisms you do have is priceless. Awareness after all, is the primary agent for change.
Take a look through on line lists of coping mechanisms and see if you can identify the ones that you, yourself tend to engage in. Take a look at how it benefits you and how it is detrimental to you. What does each one give you? And what does each one take away from you? Also, for any you do not relate to, see if you have anyone in your life who does exhibit that coping mechanism. This opens your mind to the awareness of coping mechanisms in general so you can recognize them in present real time when they occur within you or within the people around you.
Undo the coping mechanism where it began, in the past. Coping mechanisms are healed the same way trauma is healed. You have to find the original causation and create resolution there so that a different reality can come to be in the present and future. When you have a coping mechanism you are feeling inclined to engage in or are currently engaged in, close your eyes and imagine not engaging in it instead. If you have someone in your life who knows you well enough to know your coping mechanisms, you might invite them to say to you… you’re doing X right now, what if you did X instead (the opposite)?
So for example, if you feel like binge eating, close your eyes and imagine not doing it. What would be so bad about not binging? See if you can feel the pain you are trying to get away from through binging. Sink into that pain where it lives in your body. Ask yourself, when was the first time I felt this exact same feeling and coped by eating. Instead of looking for the answer, let whatever memory that needs to surface, surface. And now you have your opportunity for resolution.
You can make the memory a visualization whereby you can help your past self to escape the distressing circumstances and learn a different way to cope other than the way they decided to cope. Using the binging example, perhaps you will find that you were five years old and you had a controlling parent who made you feel out of control of yourself so the only control you did have was over food. You could see this child self at five years old in this painful experience, re experience the terror and powerlessness of being out of control, validate those feelings as correct to feel given the circumstance and then take action to help the child feel more empowered. For example, you could defend the child against the controlling parent and take the child to a safe place and then explain to them anything you want to about food, so that the inner child no longer feels the desire to cope in that way. After you do this process, you will notice yourself not engaging in the coping mechanism as much.
I have created a specific process, called The Completion Process that is designed to unhook you from past traumas, including the traumas that give rise to coping mechanisms. If you are interested, you can buy a copy of the book that contains the process in detail anywhere books are sold. You can also visit www.thecompletionprocess.com
When you become aware of yourself engaging in a coping mechanism or getting ready to, make the choice to engage in it consciously. It is not inherently wrong to engage in a coping mechanism. Better to choose to do it than to do it by default in fact. Most of us miss that it is a choice once we are aware we are even doing it. We can choose to do it anyway, even if we know it is detrimental. This may sound odd, but the freedom of choice is really important to feel if we struggle with coping mechanisms. Once you’ve done this a few times, so you fully feel that freedom of choice, try choosing a coping mechanism that you think might be beneficial to you instead of detrimental. And do that instead. You have nothing to lose by trying something new, or several new strategies. After all, if nothing works, you can go back to using your original coping mechanism.
Practice the art of softening instead of tensing when you feel discomfort such as experience triggering thoughts or feelings or experiences. Close your eyes and imagine going soft. Tell your muscles and cells and heart to go soft and loose. Breathe into them to make them as limp as possible. This is a real checkmate move when it comes to pain. We engage in self-defeating behavior when we tense against discomfort. If we can go soft instead, not only can we learn from the discomfort, we have the opportunity to chose not to engage in our coping mechanism, a coping mechanism is after all, in and of itself a form of resistance to pain… And whatever you resist, persists, which is why our coping mechanisms so often create more pain for us on top of the original pain we were trying to use it to get away from.
We all want to find solutions to our problems so that our life feels good instead of bad. There is nothing inherently wrong with this desire. We’d be in denial if we didn’t admit that this is what we are after. But pain is not a threat. Instead it is a feedback mechanism that is alerting us to a threat. We’d do better to proactively explore options for transforming the actual threat than to make pain the threat and find any way we can to escape from pain through any number of coping mechanisms. After all, a life where all we are doing is coping is no life at all.
The concept of trust plays a huge role in our relationships. For a relationship to feel good, we need to be able to trust the other person. But what the hell does that really mean? For most people trust may be important, but it is like an abstract concept. If it’s an abstract concept, what the hell are you supposed to practically do to create trust? That’s what I’m going to clear up for you today.
The spiritual field is full of people who were never able to rely on anyone. People let them down and so they had to turn towards something else for a sense of connection and support. And that thing they turned to was spiritual practice, the Universe at large or God. It is a beautiful initiation, but it is also a method of coping. I’ll say this more clearly… spiritual practice can be a big fat way of coping with not being able to rely on anyone in your life. This means that many people in the spiritual field are going to use universal truths, or invent truths, that justify and reframe that feeling of not being able to rely on anyone or anything into a good thing.
Here are some examples: “Follow your own guidance system and let everyone else worry about following their own guidance system and then you can trust yourself to act in your own best interests and you can trust other people to act in their own best interests too and this way you will never have to put the power over the way you feel in their hands. You will not be dependent on them to make you happy.” Or “Everything you could possibly want or need is inside you”. Or “The only person you can truly trust is yourself”. Or “The only person who can fill up your cup and make you happy is you.” Or “Don’t let your happiness depend on anything outside you.” Essentially, these ideologies, while they can be empowering in some situations, promote the idea that there is something pathetic and less spiritual and powerless about trusting someone. And you know what the side effect is? People who are empowered in their independence who have REALLY crappy relationships.
I’m going to make trust simple for you. To trust someone is to feel as if you can rely on them to capitalize on your best interests. Sit with that definition for a moment. Let it sink in. This is as scientific as you can get with what trust actually is. Notice I did not say that trust is about being able to rely on the fact that they will put your best interests above their own? Nor is it making them fully responsible for your happiness. It is being able to rely on the fact that they will capitalize on your best interests. And this is what makes a relationship worth being in.
Keep in mind that as we continue to awaken and as our perspective continues to expand, our view on what actually is in our own best interest will change. But this doesn’t get to be your excuse to usurp someone’s idea of their own best interest. In a relationship, you don’t get to say, “you have no idea what your actual best interest is, so I’m going to do things my way because ultimately it’s for your own good.” This is what our parents did. This is in fact the main way we lost trust to begin with. We so often think distrust is all about the big betrayals, when in reality the glue of distrust is other people not honoring our feeling about what our own best interest is as opposed to theirs.
This may seem abstract in a personal setting but consider this in a business setting. Imagine one company laying out their best interests in a merger and the other company saying “well you don’t know what is actually the best for your company and I think that what’s best for your company is my terms, so we’re just gonna do that… sign on the line”. That would not fly. The company would simply pack up and leave. No merger. But in our personal relationships, it’s not so easy. We have a lot more on the line. This is where boundaries are violated and distrust occurs and resentment is created.
To understand this using an example, let’s say there is a couple. Person A in the relationship decides it is in his best interests to go sleep with someone he just met. But the best interests of person B is for the relationship with person A to be exclusive and committed. This means person A did not capitalize on person B’s best interests. So, person B cannot trust person A. Person A is playing a zero sum game, where one person wins and the other loses. When Person A had conflicting needs from Person B, he did not consider Person B’s best interests and did not have a conversation to resolve the needs conflict in a way where both Person A and Person B’s best interests are considered.
We are more familiar with the way trust actually works in the corporate world. When 2 companies negotiate on terms in a business relationship, they are essentially trying to find a solution or agree to terms that satisfy the best interests of both companies. A personal relationship is the same. This is why compatibility is so important in a relationship. If the needs and wants are too different between two people, there will be no way to actually capitalize on both people’s best interests at the same time. It will turn into a zero sum game. And then, inevitably, a relationship will end.
A relationship is a connection. A genuine connection is not a burden (like some people would paint it out to be) it is a gift. To love someone is to take them as yourself. It is the experience of oneness in physical form. The minute you do that, your happiness can no longer be divisible from their happiness. To hurt them, is to hurt yourself. So it no longer works to capitalize on your own best interest to the detriment of theirs. Essentially, the minute you get into a relationship and someone gives you that connection, it is as if they handed over the most vulnerable part of themselves to your care. Some may call this disempowerment. I will tell you that it is quite the opposite. It is the highest form of bravery to take that risk. Both the risk of giving and taking that vulnerable aspect of your being.
Many people who dislike the idea of trust, promote the idea that a good relationship is two self focused people who are both completely responsible for their own happiness, who occasionally meet in the middle to have sex and watch a movie or whatever together. I have never seen a successful relationship that functions like this. This is a relationship based on distrust. And a relationship based on mutual distrust is functional only because there is a mutual agreement to stay separate and not expect each other to capitalize on each other’s best interests.
Trust is the basis of a genuinely connected, successful relationship. And in that kind of agreement, two people agree that because they are unified, they will hold responsibility for not only their own best interests but also their partner’s best interests.
It is so critical in every situation you find yourself in to be brutally honest with yourself about what you feel in your heart is your actual best interest. It is critical to really get honest about what you really need and really want. This way you can communicate that to the other person. Only then can there be a meeting of minds where you find a win-win for both parties’ best interests. You need to sit down and do some reflection and get really clear on this to be on the same page with someone you are in a relationship with. For more about this, watch my YouTube video titled: “Get On The Same Page”.
Without going too much further into it, I want to jump into an exercise that would serve you immensely to use in your relationships so that you can preserve and create trust in your relationships. Consider this your tutorial for how to care for your connection. A while back, I did two Ask Teal episodes that went had in hand. The first was “Attunement”. The second was “The Octopus Technique”. I highly suggest watching both videos if you haven’t already so that you can fully comprehend the concept of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It will take this technique to the next level.
Obviously if trust is about capitalizing on someone’s best interests, you have to actually know what their best interests are. To know what someone’s best interests are, you have to be willing to have intimacy with them. Intimacy is seeing into someone, feeling into them, hearing them and understanding them as deeply as you can.
So, you’re going to sit down and imagine that you are leaving your own identity and preferences and perspective behind. You are going to imagine going into their perspective. Being them. Feeling how they feel, thinking how they think, wanting what they want, needing what they need. You’re going to attune to them to the degree that you feel you’ve lost your own identity and you are them. From that perspective, make it your responsibility to specifically feel into what their best interest actually is in whatever circumstance they are in or you are in together. What do they really want and really need? Even if you can see that what they subjectively think their best interest is, is not in alignment with what is objectively in their best interests, make yourself acutely aware of what their subjective best interest is; as if it is valid. Lose yourself in this journeywork of discovering their best interests.
When you come out of the experience, now knowing what their best interest is, reflect on how you can best capitalize on that best interest. If you can see that your best interest conflicts with theirs, now is the time to seriously brainstorm finding a win win for both you and them. Make it a game that you play. If there is no way to create a win win, then the relationship itself has to be addressed. It means you are headed towards an unintentional betrayal of trust.
If you want, you can do this exercise with the other person at the same time. Sitting together in meditation, switch places and become aware of each other’s perspectives and therefore best interests. Then openly communicate about what you perceived. Simply communicating that you are exploring their best interests, builds trust. Then, based on that, come up with a win win scenario which allows you to rely on each other to capitalize on each other’s best interests.
Doing this exercise may seem simple and it is. But this simple exercise is the one thing we do not do when we are in relationships. We do not become aware of, or consider people’s best interests before we act in our own best interests. And the terrible thing is that it can take one minute to destroy trust and years to rebuild it.
But don’t panic because trust can be rebuilt. If you have lost someone’s trust, trust is rebuilt through demonstrating that you can be relied upon to be aware of and capitalize on their best interests. If you have lost trust in someone, it is also rebuilt by being brave enough to place the vulnerability of your best interest in their hands again. Building trust in a relationship is really as simple as being aware of and capitalizing on each other’s best interests. It is as simple as finding a meeting of minds about what a win win scenario actually is.
Don’t usurp your own best interests with other people’s best interests. But keep mindful of your connection with the people you love at all times. Before you act, ask yourself if your action is in alignment with the other person’s best interests or if your action is in opposition to their best interests. If your action is in opposition to it, you quite literally should not be trusted in that circumstance by them. Develop your intimacy and attunement with people to the degree that you know what people’s best interests actually are. And know that if you are in a relationship, it is in fact in your best interests to capitalize on the other person’s best interests and for them to capitalize on yours.
Let’s pretend you are looking through a telescope. Your entire vision and perception is absorbed in the image you see through that telescope. You shut out your awareness of anything outside that perspective to concentrate on what you are seeing. Depending on how absorbed you are in that experience, you will forget that you are a person looking through that telescope. If you are looking at a far away cliff, you will think and feel as if you are on that far away cliff. You would have to split in two and step away from yourself to have the perception of yourself being a person looking through a telescope as opposed to being purely the perception of whatever you are seeing through the telescope. It is a totally different perspective and therefore view.
Life works like this. Coming into this life as non-physical energy that some call a soul, you are essentially picking a singular perspective. To use the metaphor, you are looking through the telescope. The view you are looking at is 3rd dimensional human life. You become so absorbed in that perspective that you forget you are in fact the being looking through the telescope, not just what you are seeing through the telescope. You are identified with the perspective you have through the telescope. Obviously genuine self-awareness is difficult to have when we are this identified with the view we are seeing through the telescope of our physical lives. We have to dis-identify with that perspective in order to see ourselves clearly. We have to dis-identify with that perspective to have the experience of ourselves as the being looking through the telescope as opposed to the telescope itself. To learn more about dis-identification, I want you to watch two of my videos on YouTube. The first is: Disidentification (The Practice of Non Attachment) and the second is: Mindfulness Meditation.
When we are looking through the telescope, we cannot tell why we are suffering. We can tell that we are hurting. But we don’t know exactly HOW we are hurting or WHY. We can point to something we are seeing through that telescope and say that because it doesn’t feel good to look at, it is causing us pain. But this is not the full picture. If we want to end our pain, we have to step outside the pain itself to see what process is causing the pain. Another way of saying this is that we have to step outside the mind to see it objectively in order to see how the mind really works.
The first question you are going to have to consider is HOW am I suffering? What are the exact mechanics of my suffering? Pain comes in response to something. Pain is a process. It is a response, whether it is emotional or physical. It happens when we resist something that we perceive. When you feel the hit of intense emotional of physical pain, close your eyes and ask yourself what did this pain come in response to? How is this process of suffering happening within me specifically? If I can’t quit my addiction, how does “not able to quit” occur exactly as a process? If I am having a panic attack, how does “getting a panic attack” occur exactly as a process? If I am unsatisfied with my life, how does “becoming unsatisfied with my life” occur exactly as a process?
For example, maybe I feel the pain of intense anxiety and doom. If I close my eyes and observe the HOW process of this pain, I may notice that it may come in direct response to images in my mind of a potential future scenario that then gives rise to the auditory thought “I really, really cannot survive that happening”. The body is reacting to the image my mind is generating.
If this is the HOW of my pain, I become so absorbed in the potential future scenario that it becomes the telescope. Not only do I lose awareness of being the person looking through the telescope, but I also lose awareness of the view through the telescope called the present moment. Instead, I am 2 scenes removed from the being I truly am. I am looking through the telescope to the degree that I am literally in that future scenario that is causing me pain. As a result, I am suffering. Not only am I suffering, I am suffering alone. No one else is in that perspective/reality with me. They don’t get why I am suffering so much. If this is happening when we are technically in a car together, their consciousness is in the car and mine is in the painful future scenario. We don’t occupy the same reality. When they act like everything is fine, it makes my suffering worse. This is what I mean by the HOW of suffering. When you feel yourself suffering, you need to seriously sit down and observe HOW that suffering occurs within you before you ask WHY you are suffering.
If we were to simply ask someone, why are you suffering? They would not be able to give you the correct answer because they would not have dis-identified far enough to see how they are suffering. Only when we know the how of suffering can we know the why of suffering. Once we know the how, we can ask why. Why is our suffering happening in the way that it is happening. There are many angles we could take to asking why. For example, using the previous scenario, we can ask WHY seeing the image of that potential future scenario causes you so much pain. We can become aware of what we really want this way. We might find that it is painful because the minute the mind generates this image; we notice that we think it is real. We believe it is in fact what is going to happen. It is not a potential to us, it is an actuality. A fate. We can ask to see an image of the aspect of us that is creating the image and ask him or her why he or she needed us to be aware of that potential. We can ask him or her, what would be so bad about not showing me that potential?
A while back, I was doing suffering awareness work like this on myself and when I asked to see the aspect of me that was creating the images of future disaster that was causing me pain, I clearly saw myself covered in burns and bloody and desperate to avoid the slightest touch. When I asked her why she was generating those images, I got the immediate impression that it was because she could not handle anything else bad happening. She was too wounded. So it was a warning to try to keep me safe. I could also see that she was an aspect of my ego that had taken control of my ability to see life-path potentials and was now telling me that to stop focusing on the potential bad scenarios in the future was to lose my ability to see the future, which is both dangerous and a threat to my identity. My ego was hijacking my extrasensory abilities to keep itself safe and causing me a lot of pain in the process.
Having dis-identified with this aspect of self by asking to see it outside myself, I was then able to imagine taking this burnt and wounded self to a safe place where I told her to put any of these thoughts into a bucket there where I could come look through them so they weren’t her responsibility anymore and where I could be in charge of keeping her safe and she could just relax in healing water and be healed.
It is only when we see the HOW and the subsequent WHY of our suffering that we have any hope of properly addressing that suffering instead of taking shots in the dark or trying to follow other people’s advice about why we are suffering. We will keep trying on other people’s opinions on suffering like clothes that don’t quite fit until we become completely aware of HOW our suffering is happening and WHY it is happening the way it is happening. I want you to become aware that our being is always trying to help us. We will so often find that they why of our suffering involves a positive intention. So it is a good idea before you embark on this self-exploration process to watch my video titled: The Hidden Positive Intention (The key to letting go).
When we ask how, we begin to see things as a process. When we ask how relative to our suffering, we begin to see our suffering as a process. When we ask the why after the how, we get to see the purpose behind that process. We then have the awareness necessary to intervene in that process so that the process itself does not control us.
Most people have a primary process for their suffering. Consider it the main demon in their life. We tend to repeat this process every day and be the most unconscious of this process when it occurs within us. It is our habit. When we become aware of this HOW process of suffering, we can notice the beginning of this process of suffering when it occurs. If we intervene at this point, we do not go as deeply into the process. We pull momentum and gravity out of it the minute we are aware of it because we are not in the process at the moment we become aware of it, we are looking at it instead. Eventually, if we intervene enough, the suffering habit dissipates and the rest of the process does not occur.
For example, if I notice that the how of my suffering is going fully into images of potential future scenarios that I really do not want to have happen, when I feel a bit of emotional pain, I can use that pain like a meditation bell awakening me to the fact that I’m doing it again and snap out of it in that moment by using the pain as a trigger to ask myself “Ah… what was I just thinking about? Was I just in a future scenario again? If I can avoid it coming true, lets take steps to avoid it. If I can’t find any practical ways to avoid it, maybe the aspect of me that generated that image needs some tender loving care and presence right now.
When you feel yourself suffering, I invite you to start switching your focus from what is wrong with me to how does the process of this suffering work? Many of us think we are in a process of finding happiness when our suffering occurs because we are in fact in a process of not finding happiness. We are absorbed in the telescope view of our unhappiness. Be open to stepping back and seeing the processes that are actually taking place within you and the purpose behind those processes.
Suffering is a process. Observe how this process occurs within you and ask why to find out the purpose behind that process occurring the way that it occurs. The answer for what to do about your suffering will fall into your lap at that point as if it was always obvious and right under your nose the whole time.
As I said in a previous episode, regression therapy has been a cornerstone of healing from past trauma for thousands of years because it works. I myself designed an entire process that is centered around regression. Regression therapy is essentially any healing process that involves revisiting the past memories of experiences that are the source of current issues. The aim of doing so is to heal, transform and integrate their unconscious influence on the now.
However, regression healing inevitably caused the subject of suppressed memory to become a hot topic in the field of psychology and with it, the highly controversial idea of false memory. If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest that you watch my video on YouTube about suppressed otherwise known as repressed memory (titled: Repressed and Suppressed Memory) before continuing on with this topic because it is critical to understand suppressed memory as a foundation for delving into the topic of false memory.
In short, false memory is the idea that memories or elements of memory can be false. This is not really a topic that is up for debate because we know from previous court trials that memory can be false. There have been people who remember a specific person as being the perpetrator in a crime, later to discover based on confessions and genetic evidence that the perpetrator was an entirely different person. Memory can be extremely reliable, a veritable recording of the past. Memory can also be distorted, contaminated, constructed and destructed. But today, I’m going to address the argument that suppressed or repressed memories that are recovered from the subconscious mind with or without regression therapy can be false.
The first thing that must be said is that all people have experienced memories that they have completely forgotten about. Perhaps you have forgotten the color of the carpet in your childhood bedroom. Maybe you forgot some traumatic experience at a talent show because life simply moved on. These details may come back in a regression therapy session. When they do come back, we don’t question whether that memory is real because it doesn’t conflict with our current reality or the narrative of our life. Other people don’t question whether it’s real because it doesn’t conflict with their current reality or the narrative of their lives either. We only begin to question the suppressed aspects of our memories when the memories that surface or the elements of the memories that surface begin to negatively challenge our current reality and the accepted narrative of our life. For example, if you have told yourself the story that your family is so close, recovered memories of feeling isolated and not belonging as a child will be met with doubt. You will wonder if you are going crazy or if the memories are real because accepting them, means you have to change the story you are currently identified with.
On the one end of the spectrum you have memories that mildly challenge our narrative. On the other end, you have memories that completely negate our narrative and that invalidate the narrative of the people around us. It is these far spectrum memories that are the real subject up for debate when it comes to false memory. Such as a woman who is 42 suddenly recovering memories of her father raping her and prostituting her out to other men when she was young. Obviously, this is a memory that will be first doubted by the woman herself, and then directly opposed by her father and anyone who decides to side with him because these memories are accusatory. The questions that are inevitably raised if the father vehemently denies the abuse are who is right and who is wrong? Is the adult child misremembering, or perhaps lying? Are the parents misremembering when they deny abuse, or are they deliberately lying? What is true? What is reality? Who is right and who is wrong?
In the past, some of these people who recovered suppressed memories went on to prosecute based on those memories and this was when suddenly lawyers drug the debate over the reliability of memory into the media and into the public eye.
The entire concept of false memory is a concept that is both complex and overwhelming. We cannot deny that repressed and recovered memory is a reality. We also cannot deny that recovered memory has the capacity to completely heal and completely destroy. I have seen recovered memory save lives and end lives. I have seen it heal families and also destroy families. I have seen it destroy therapist’s careers. If suppressed memory that is recovered conflicts with someone’s sense of identity, personal narrative or current reality, as a therapist you will find yourself fighting with their ego to the death. It is common that they will turn against you, accusing you of leading or of implanting false memory instead of taking responsibility for the content of their mind and it is also common that their entire family and even friends will do so as well. It will turn into a witch-hunt riding on the back of a conflict over a sense of reality.
Given my position in the world, I am going to use this episode to offer you my perspective on false memory. My answer might just surprise you. There are people on this planet who fall into two extreme categories. 1. People who deny the authenticity of all repressed memories. 2. People who accept them all as true. In my opinion, both of these extreme positions in fact create problems and also blind us to the truth of memory. We are fueling denial regardless of which position we take.
Reality is a debate in the field of philosophy for one main reason… no one can settle on it. Even the best minds throughout history cannot honestly define what is real and what is not real. Experience is largely the result of perception and perception is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is objectively true. This is why two people who experience the same event can have such different accounts of it. On top of that, in a universe where we must account for dimensions that exist beyond timeline linearity as well as collective memory as opposed to singular memory, landing on a consensus of reality is not as simple as we would like to make it out to be. This is one reason why as consciousness evolves; the justice system will eventually fall of its own weight. If two people can experience two different realities at the same time, and if we can’t accurately say what is real, and if a judge’s perception is limited to his or her experience only, there is no way to accurately decide a case. On top of this the human memory is both more capable and more incapable than we would like to make it out to be. It is incredibly complex.
Before we go on, I must say that there is a difference between a potential genuine false memory and lying about a memory. Some people lie (intentionally or compulsively) about things that happened. It is not accurate to say that this person is suffering from false memory. And the vast majority of people who are accused of false memory who actually did not live through the things they say they did are in fact simply lying about what they experienced. Assuming that false memory is a reality, we are dealing with people who are not lying and whom honestly hold the intensity of terror, guilt, rage and behavioral dysfunction we would see in conjunction with genuine abuse.
Therapists tend to swing to either extreme. Either they decide it is their job to help their client get a ‘grip’ on reality and thus impose their idea of reality on their client. This approach often leads them to invalidate the client who is coming to them with stories of abuse. Or more commonly, they validate any memory that comes up in therapy as real. This is the safer approach because the recovery and expression of abuse is such an extremely fragile and vulnerable thing and what victims need more than anything else is allies. They need people to believe them. Nothing does more damage to a victim than not being believed. By not believing, you are siding with the perpetrator. By not believing, you are also siding with unconscious repression and conscious suppression and could potentially prevent someone from being able to integrate and recover at all.
The reality is that memory is not contained inside the brain. The brain merely processes and stores memory. When it comes to memory, the mind is more complex than meets the eye. For example, memory can represent actual experiences in extremely vivid detail. It can also talk to us symbolically. It can also be a reflection of collective human trauma. This is why in my opinion, false memory cannot and should not be ruled out as a subject of study. But it is a study that must be done and revealed delicately. Potentially in the future, I or someone else will come up with a reliable and indistinguishable signal that will tell whether a memory is a false or a real reflection of something directly experienced by the individual in their singular past.
That being said, in all my years of regression work, I have never directly had an experience with someone having false memories that they, themselves were convinced were real. I have only ever had the experience of people having real memories that they were afraid were false and people who through progressive integration work come to see the memories they retrieve as symbolic fragmentations pieced together in the form of a memory instead of literal memory of a linear experience. In all cases, these people did not in fact accept the memories as true, but instead continued to doubt them until their own subjective truth about the realness of the memories developed.
And I have no patience whatsoever for people using the defense of false memory as a weapon against people who are claiming to have been abused. This directly benefits perpetrators, who would love for you to side with them against the people they hurt. False memory benefits abusers more than anyone else. This also does irreparable damage to the person who is experiencing the memories. Nothing could ever be more damaging than to meet someone’s memories from this angle. Take my advice and do not go there with a ten-foot pole. You need to have an open mind when it comes to any kind of memory work. Additionally, every bit as great as the risk of accusing someone based on a genuine false memory, is the risk of the scapegoat of false memory becoming the very thing that serves as an excuse for the conscious mind to re-suppress actual abuse. I have seen this occur multiple times over the course of my career in cases where the motivation is too big to maintain close connections to the perpetrators (usually family members). I am going to put forth the idea that when we are doing regression work, we need to stop thinking in terms of true of false all together and instead, think in terms of VALID. We need to become less identified with memory itself. Memory serves a very important function and it can be extremely reliable but it is also not the solid bedrock we like to make it out to be. Regardless of whether or not a memory is true or false, it is valid. The mind is trying to communicate to us through actual memory or through symbolic memory about what is unhealed within us. It is not the role of the therapist to decide what is true and what is false. That is for a person, themselves to come to terms with.
And as people, we need to take this responsibility and not leave it to someone else to decide for us or to tell us what memories are real and what memories are false. On top of this, therapists in general need to really take care to make sure they are not leading their clients into false memory through the power of suggestion. This is of course much easier said than done when you are doing regression work and are trying to help someone’s mind open to a repressed memory. But my advice is to venture into the process with extreme caution, asking yourself if any questions you ask are potentially leading or suggestive in nature before you ask them.
So now, my suggestion is to seriously take any memory that surfaces as valid, because it is. My suggestion is to encourage the person who is uncovering the memories to remain as open as possible to them, seeing them as valid and allowing the truth about them to be revealed over time. Because you know what? If you allow memory to re-surface, the truth about those memories is always revealed over time.
We know that suppressed memory is a reality because cult groups deliberately capitalize on this mechanism of the mind. We also know that false memory is a reality because cult groups also capitalize on this mechanism of the mind. But it is my experience that the truth about memory is revealed over time, this is why even implanted false memories that cult groups deliberately implant are eventually revealed as false if enough memory is retrieved. It is the hardest thing in the world because when a memory challenges our sense of reality, we experience cognitive dissonance and thus immediately and desperately grasp for a solid sense of reality again. We become desperate to figure out if the memory is real or not. But if we can encourage ourselves and our clients away from this grasping towards either extreme position of false or true and support them through uncertainty, they in fact have the greatest access to genuine healing.
I also suggest that you encourage people to be very careful who they involve in the process (especially people they are tempted to confront) until this self-surety that is less subject to external influence naturally evolves. I also want you to get that memory of horrible events does not just come up for nothing. It does not just come out of thin air. You cannot have a wonderful childhood and suddenly start having memories of horrific events. Strictly energetically speaking, this is not vibrationally possible. So, whether a horrific memory is false or real, if it is coming up, it is indicative of something serious and very real going on within a person (usually emotionally).
I have said that our minds need to stay open to the idea of false memory. But I’m going to end this episode by making you aware of just how seriously delicate the topic of false memory is. Right now, I want you to close your eyes and I want you to think of the worst thing that ever happened to you. Maybe it was when you were raped. Maybe it was when your dog died. Maybe it was when your parents got a divorce. Maybe it was an accident you got into. I want you to relive it. Remember every last thing you can possibly remember about it. I want you to stop this video and remember it in as much detail as possible. Do that now and start the video up again once you have done that.
Now, with that memory alive in your being, imagine that I told you it never happened. I do not believe you that it happened because it conflicts with what I know to be true. Imagine I told you that I was there with you that day and I know for a fact it didn’t happen. In fact, I have an interesting article you should read about false memory. First of all, did I convince you? Second, imagine the absolute desperation of being unable to prove to me that it did in fact happen. Imagine if everyone around you agreed with me? Do you feel like you’re going crazy yet? This is the life that so many victims of abuse are forced to live out as a result of the craze of the false memory defense. My suggestion is to never do that to another human being. And most especially, never do that to yourself.
Regression therapy has been a cornerstone of healing from past trauma for thousands of years. Regression therapy is essentially any healing process that involves revisiting the past memories of experiences that are the source of current issues. The aim of doing so is to heal, transform and integrate their unconscious influence on the now. It has been a cornerstone of healing because it works.
However, regression healing caused the subject of suppressed memory to become a hot topic in the field of psychology. And once recovered memory started to lead people to the courtroom, the media was suddenly set ablaze with the buzz of false memory. This in turn made the topics of suppressed or repressed memory, recovered memory and false memory super controversial.
To understand false memory, we have to first look at suppressed memory. A suppressed memory occurs when a situation is associated with a high level of trauma or stress, and the memory of the entire situation is unconsciously blocked so that the person has no memory of it at all. Even though the memory affects that person on a conscious level, they have no ability to recall the specific memory.
Some people in the field of psychology dispute the concept of suppressed memory, while others support it wholeheartedly. I’m one of the supporters. Suppressed memory is real, and in fact I believe that nearly everyone has experienced it. The question isn’t whether or not someone has suppressed memory. The real question is: to what degree? Any time you do regression work, you discover elements of your life that you forgot. Perhaps it’s a friend you used to have in grade school that you suddenly remember or the color of your childhood room. When we recover these memories, we usually have a feeling of “wow, I can’t believe I completely forgot about that”. We don’t question whether that memory is real because it doesn’t conflict with our current reality or the narrative of our life. We only begin to question the suppressed aspects of our memories when the memories that surface or the elements of the memories begin to negatively challenge our current reality and the narrative of our life.
To understand more about suppressed memories, you need to understand how trauma works. Trauma is merely a state of emotional and mental distress caused by an experience. And trauma is not necessarily a veritable tragedy. For example, it’s traumatic to experience birth in today’s mainstream medical facilities. It’s traumatic to a baby to be weaned from its mother’s milk. It’s traumatic to a three-year-old to lose track of his mother in a grocery store. With this broad definition of trauma, you can see that even the best parents on earth couldn’t raise a child in a way that the child will experience absolutely no trauma. And be aware that what might seem like a somewhat minor trauma, such as perhaps a childhood disappointment, does not feel minor when you’re experiencing it.
Now it might be tempting to think that the human mind could never forget something super traumatic. This is true up to a point. When someone of any age experiences an event that is emotionally traumatizing, they may have no way to integrate the event into their conscious life. For a multitude of potential reasons, they can’t make it part of their personal narrative. When this happens, for the sake of their emotional survival, the person often entirely suppresses the memory. The memory is then dissociated from the self and stored in a fragmented way.
Let me explain what I mean by fragmented. A memory is accompanied by senses, such as sound, taste, smell, sight, and emotion. When a situation is particularly traumatizing, the sensory aspects of a memory are often stored separately. For example, the mind suppresses the images associated with the memory deeper than the emotions associated with the memory. For this reason, people who recover suppressed memories often perceive them or begin to remember them in fragments, which is why it can be so confusing to go through the process of recovering them.
For example, a person who has been sexually abused in childhood may have no memory of the actual event. But because the mind didn’t suppress the scent aspect of the memory or the emotional aspect of the memory as deeply as the visual images associated with that memory, the person (now an adult) may be easily triggered by a smell. He might be innocently walking down a grocery store aisle with no conscious awareness of any past abuse, and then smell the same cologne that the childhood abuser used to wear. The scent can be really unpleasant, causing nausea or even an anxiety attack.
The smell of the cologne brings back the terror (the emotional aspect) of the memory, but because the person doesn’t consciously recall the whole memory, he doesn’t recognize the trigger. The wave of nausea or panic seems to have come out of the blue, and because the reaction seems completely random, the person might think he or she is going crazy.
It serves the mind to dissociate when it experiences something traumatic. Let me explain this concept because it is important to understanding the Completion Process. A dissociative state is a psychological state when someone separates from an experience. In this way, dissociation is a defense mechanism or coping mechanism that enables us to avoid unpleasant experiences. There are mild and severe forms of it.
Dissociation can be seen on a spectrum the same way that trauma can. At the mildest end of dissociation, a person could simply daydream instead of focusing on what they are doing or experiencing in the moment. Or a person might go numb. At the severe end of the dissociation spectrum, a person might completely detach from reality and start to experience periods of time when they lose a sense of identity or create new identities. This is sometimes seen when someone has experienced ritual abuse, sexual abuse, or the ravages of war.
Now we understand that when dissociation is viewed on a spectrum, on one side you might have a person rejecting their feelings of anger, and on the other side, you might have a person separating from their entire identity in order to escape a horrific event. Any kind of dissociation creates a split within the person, between their conscious self and their subconscious self. If dissociation happens frequently, we will have many splits within ourselves.
By dissociating from an experience, you push it out of your awareness so you don’t have to endure the pain or discomfort of the feelings associated with the event. It also serves the mind because it prioritizes survival—not just physical survival, but also mental and emotional survival. If you were a small child dependent upon someone who was abusing you, you would have no choice but to remain attached to that person.
In essence, the cognitive dissonance associated with “living with the monster” is so great that you actually could not go on living in the atmosphere of that much terror. So, by suppressing the memory of the abuse, you maintain your attachment to the adult who is abusing you and thus ensure your survival.
As you work through regression therapy, you may well recover many memories you have forgotten and additional details about memories you already consciously remember. Some of these memories may not challenge your sense of reality or personal narrative.
Cult groups, such as the one that I, myself was inducted into in my youth intentionally program people to suppress memory, because it is a natural function of the brain. If suppressed memory was not a reality, groups like this could not and therefore would not include this style of programming in their practice.
When we suppress something, it doesn’t disappear. It just fades from our awareness. To acknowledge the suppressed memory, you will bring up the same fear of rejection that you suppressed earlier in your life, and you may well feel like you are going to die. And if the memories that arise challenge your reality or personal narrative, instead of feeling relieved, you will most likely feel complete self-doubt. At first, you will not know if those memories are real or not. And if you share these memories with people whose sense of reality is challenged by these memories, or whom directly want you to have forgotten them, you can expect serious resistance. You can expect for people to not believe you and turn against you and all those who participated in your regression therapy, most especially the therapist himself or herself.
Everyone who was ever socialized (which is all of us) went through this process of splitting themselves into parts. We grow up with some parts of the self that are owned and other parts that are rejected. This self-rejection is the birth of self-hate. The emptiness that we feel is the result of those rejected (and therefore suppressed) parts of ourselves, including memories. Your soul wants only one thing and that is to make you whole again.
As you proceed through life, you’ll be provided with every opportunity to become whole again. But in order to return to wholeness, you need to see and accept the aspects of yourself that were rejected and suppressed along the way. I know firsthand that this is incredibly painful. Self-awareness doesn’t come naturally to those who avoid pain because, to become aware of those lost aspects, you must stop trying to escape the emptiness within you where those missing parts should be.
But I’m going to tell you boldly today that suppressed memory is reality of our human minds and that by not accepting this, we are doing a great deal of damage to ourselves as well as to other people who need us to acknowledge that this is a reality.
Chances are if you are watching this video, you are old enough to have a developed ego. You have a sense of yourself as a separate self that you call by your name. You define yourself by your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, your past experiences and your current perspective. The problem is that this identity becomes so solid that it becomes like an egocentric bubble. We perceive other people through our own filters. It becomes very hard to relate to people who are different to us. We begin to project our own perspective onto them. When we are practicing empathy, instead of stepping out of our perspective and into their shoes, we take our perspective into their shoes. And so, even though we may see solutions they don’t see, we don’t accurately see or feel them.
In order to exit our own reality so as to enter theirs, and by doing so completely attune to them, I want to teach you a technique to use. I call it The Octopus Technique. We, as physical beings are extensions of source consciousness or what many people call God. We are source manifesting physically. To conceptualize of this, I want you to imagine an octopus. The head of the octopus represents source. A united oneness. Sort of like a blank slate of potential energy. The legs of the octopus represent aspects of that united oneness extending down into a human body. So, Teal is a leg of the octopus. And you are a leg of the octopus. For this exercise, you are going to use this symbolic image to get into someone else’s perspective.
To do this exercise, close your eyes and observe your breathing. Feel your thoughts bouncing around and just let them do that until they slow down. When you feel ready, imagine your consciousness or soul retracting back up your leg of the octopus and returning to source consciousness (the head of the octopus). As you do this, imagine leaving your identity in this life behind. See yourself leaving the story of your life, the people in it, your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, your past experiences all behind. Feel yourself stripping free of them so as to return to source.
Feel what that spacious potential energy feels like.
Then when you are ready, think of someone whose perspective you would like to see. Hold them as your focus and imagine finding the leg that extends from the octopus head you are in (source) down into their embodiment.
Imagine or sense or feel yourself going down the octopus leg into their perspective completely, having left yourself behind so all you are now is the consciousness who is feeling through their body, seeing through their eyes. Imagine opening your eyes AS them. Imagine smelling as them and tasting as them and most of all, feeling the emotions they are experiencing. How does it feel to be in their body? What are you thinking in their body? See if you can feel their past experiences and how those experiences are shaping their current perspective. If you are wanting to understand exactly how they experience a specific situation, let yourself live or re-live that experience AS them. Feel and see the difference between how they experience life and how you used to experience life when you were you.
Spend as much time completely immersing yourself in their perspective as deeply as you can. If you experience emotional reactions as a result of it, surrender and let it happen. Gain as much understanding and awareness as you can. BE them until you feel a sense of emotional and mental and physical comprehension. And then when you are ready, imagine retracting once again back up the octopus leg into the head of the octopus (source). But this time take your comprehension of the person whose perspective you went into, with you. Carry that comprehension and experience back down the octopus leg that extends to your perspective in this life. Feel yourself carrying that full awareness and understanding as you come back to your own life. And when you are ready, slowly open your eyes.
All you need to know about the other person and about what to do relative to them will be revealed as a result of doing this exercise. Your awareness will multiply and your perspective on so many things will change. So be brave enough to leave yourself behind. The more often you do this exercise, the better you will get at dis identifying with yourself so as to identify with someone else’s perspective. And soon, it may not be a visualization. It may in fact graduate to a full blown out of body experience.
When we are born, we cannot conceptualize of ourselves as different to other beings. Our ego is not formed yet. We experience the distress of others as our own. But as we grow, we begin to conceptualize of ourselves as having our own autonomous feelings and desires. This is when the table flips. We still don’t fully conceptualize of other people as different to ourselves. But instead of seeing ourselves as an extension of the world around us, we see everything in our world as an extension of ourselves.
I want you to imagine a two-year-old child. The average two year old perceives that the world revolves around him or her completely. Essentially, we have an egocentric worldview. This is why we take everything personally as children. For example, if mom and dad get a divorce, it’s because of me. This two year old does not practice external consideration yet. He does not think about how his whining or crying effects his mom. He simply whines and cries because that is the truth about how he feels. The two year old does not think about the perspectives or feelings of a kitten he encounters. He picks it up by the neck because that is the most convenient way for a two year old to pick up a kitten. When the kitten screams in pain and terror, he does not understand what the kitten is experiencing. So he does not put the kitten down. Potentially the kitten will die and then the two year old will be confused about what happened. The two year old killed the kitten because he was not attuned to the kitten.
Attunement is being or bringing into harmony. 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.
It’s no different with other beings, including people. To be able to perceive other people and to feel and see and hear them and understand them and communicate with them, you need to attune to them. 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 empathy. The most dangerous people in the world are people who are in an egocentric bubble. They are essentially toddlers in a grown up body holding kittens by the neck. But those kittens are other people. And even though it would be great if all people just naturally developed out of the egocentric bubble and into attunement, the reality is that some people do not. They stay in a reality built for one. When you are in a relationship with this kind of person you end up feeling lonely, unseen, unheard, unfelt, misunderstood and abused. You will feel like you are living in an entirely different reality than the other person. You will feel this way because, you quite literally are. You and this person are on entirely different frequencies and they are unwilling to tune into yours. It’s the same as trying to find harmony when you are on the 98.2 fm station and your partner being on the 94.5 am station.
So much about the development of attunement and healthy empathy along with it has to do with how we are raised. We learn by virtue of example primarily. We learn attunement by virtue of other people being attuned to us. Ask yourself the following questions… Do I feel like my parents understood me when I was little, or even tried to understand me? Did they see into me and feel into me and have empathy for me and adjust their behavior accordingly or not? Did they acknowledge how I felt or did they invalidate it, telling me I shouldn’t feel that way? How did my parents treat me when I was cranky, frightened, or upset? For the sake of your own understanding, once you finish this episode, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: The Emotional Wake Up Call.
When our parents were not attuned to us, we went one of two ways to cope with the terror of that experience.
We learned that our survival depended on disconnecting from them and retreating into a narcissistic bubble where all that was real and all that mattered was our individual experience.
We learned that our survival depended on being hyper attuned to the people in our lives so that we could perceive them, anticipate their behavior and make adjustments to our behavior accordingly in order to avoid harm.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both coping styles. Neither state is healthy. It is not a fulfilling life to spend all your energy obsessively trying to keep yourself safe by attuning to other people. To do that, you end up tuning out to yourself. But the destruction on this planet owes itself to those people who have learned to cope by retreating into the egocentric bubble. This is in fact what creates both the obsessively attuned and the narcissistic bubble polarized personalities.
You cannot be attuned to a child and have them grow up narcissistic or codependent. You cannot be attuned to someone and drop a bomb on them or shoot them. You cannot be attuned to someone and say the wrong thing to them. You cannot attune to someone and stay in denial about his or her reality. And the bottom line is, unless you learn how to attune, your relationships will be riddled with conflict and painful for everyone around you, eventually making it painful for you too.
Attunement begins with a choice. The choice to attune. Similar to the choice to turn your car dial to 98.2 fm. You are not going to understand this concept at an emotional level yet. So instead, think of it as awareness and watching the world around you and the people in it. Consider that you are living your life in a bubble where nothing can come in. There are layers and layers in between you and them. You’ve got to pop that bubble so you can see them and feel them and hear them and really tune into their frequency. Start making a practice of really watching the world as if you are an FBI agent whose job is to perceive every single thing you can perceive about your environment and the people in it. Make a game of it.
Face your resistance to coming out of the bubble. The egocentric bubble is a coping strategy that helped you survive childhood but that is now harming people around you and ultimately this harms you in the long run. It’s holding you back instead of helping you. But you have to be honest with yourself about why you don’t want to attune to other people. Ask yourself, what would attuning to other people mean? What would be so bad about really seeing them and feeling them and understanding them and perceiving their reality? The bubble is about controlling your own reality. Ask yourself, why do I need to control my reality? It is tempting to think that the egocentric bubble is a good thing because it feels better than becoming aware of things that don’t feel good to become aware of. But do not confuse this with deliberate creation of your reality. There is a difference between creation of reality and resistance to reality. The egocentric bubble is the opposite, like an addiction, it is an escape. It is a resistance to what is. This is why inevitably, it leads to negative results like failed relationships and aloneness.
Attunement requires that you understand that other people think in ways that are both similar to and different from the way that you do, and that they also have emotions they associate with those thoughts. A person who is not attuned will project. For example, you might imagine that if you were in someone else’s position, you would not feel how they feel. You will tell them purely how you would feel if you were in their situation. But you do so from the egocentric perspective of your past experiences and your privileges and your current level of awareness instead of theirs. Instead of this giving rise to true empathy, it is merely projection disguised as empathy. This is why if you are a person who has never experienced serious consequences as a result of being criticized, you might say, “If I were in your position, I wouldn’t take what they said personally”. In other words, imagining how you would feel in their shoes is a perfect thing to do up until the point where you are forgetting that you stepping into their shoes with all of your perspective, is not you getting out of your egocentric bubble and into their shoes, it’s you taking your egocentric bubble into their shoes.
Notice the aspect of you that only cares to please others so you can avoid conflict and discomfort yourself. When you don’t genuinely care about how other people feel, except in that them feeling bad creates problems for you, realize that you have the tendency to rush from problem to solution. Know that the right or wrong thing to do in terms of action comes second to fully having awareness. When it comes to attunement, you cannot rush into action. In fact you cannot even see the right action to take or the solution unless you are fully attuned. Imagine seeing a fish in a tank that is sick. If you rushed into a solution, you might feed the fish. Because you simply guessed at what was wrong and assumed the solution was to feed the fish. You were not attuned enough to see that the fish actually needed you to change the old water out for new water. The same is true for people. Become fully attuned and aware of the other person and from there, a solution will naturally arise and this time, it will be the right one.
Tune into your own emotions. If no one properly attuned to you when you were little, you do not grow up attuned to yourself. It’s tempting to think that if you are in an egocentric bubble, you are tuned into your own emotions, but you are not. Your mind hijacks you out of your emotions and you tend to delude yourself that you feel how you want to feel, rather than how you actually feel. When you experience things that either do cause an emotion or that you think should cause an emotional reaction, ask yourself the following questions and be as brutally honest about them as you can…
What was my perception of what happened?
What was troubling to me about what happened?
What were the emotions that I felt at the time it happened?
What emotions am I feeling in this exact moment?
What do I really need from other people in this circumstance?
Do a perspective exercise that I call The Octopus Technique any time you want to understand someone. To learn how to do this exercise, watch my video on YouTube titled: The Octopus Technique. Explore how the other person feels. When you come back from the exercise, ask yourself what was their perception of what happened? What was troubling to them about what happened? What were the emotions that they felt at the time it happened? What emotions are they feeling in this exact moment? What do they really need from me?
Practice connecting with people one on one. To do this, watch my video on YouTube titled “How To Connect With Someone”. Give the person you want to connect with your undivided, unconditional, focused presence. Use body language that is open to them. Become interested in them. Ask them questions. See into them, feel into them, and listen to them. Seek to understand them and receive them exactly as they are instead of seeing them how you would prefer to see them.
Be willing to be vulnerable enough to really feel strong emotion, including what other people feel. Attunement causes you to experience strong authentic emotions as opposed to emotions related to suppression, avoidance, denial or defensiveness. For example, feeling the sadness inside someone may make you cry. Let this process happen. If you are concerned with staying strong and not being vulnerable, you will not let yourself attune to anyone when they are in a state that threatens your own sense of peace.
Think about how good it would feel for someone to completely understand you. Think of how good it would be to be able to have them be so perceptive of your internal world that they know exactly what you need and exactly what to say. Think of how good it would be to have harmony in your relationships instead of conflict and for your relationships to feel secure and safe. This is the kind of relationship that is available to you if you practice attunement with one another.
If you are not naturally attuned to the people and things around you, you will have to consciously think about attuning. You will have to practice it in the same way that someone has to really concentrate to do the backstroke when they first start swimming. But with enough repetition, it will become natural to you. It will become second nature and the disconnected, isolated, individual reality that is in denial of the world around it, will begin to feel like what it is, a prison. You will see that instead of the place that keeps you safe, it is the place that keeps you and the world around you unsafe.