What A Difference 

Friends, meditation should be mandatory at schools and workplaces.  And homes.  And at stoplights.

I spent nearly two days pulling at various strings, seeing what pulled free from the snarl of emotions I had going on, and within twenty minutes of stilling my mind, of going to my ‘zone’, the light switched on.  And that’s kind of what it was like.  Like a dark, scary, abandoned lot, and when I followed the right thought, it tripped some mental breaker, and suddenly, the entire incident was illuminated in a completely different light (pun half-intended), and much of my angst drained away.

There’s still plenty of work to be done, but now that the immediate painful emotional response has ebbed, the work can progress at a much faster rate.

I feel so much better.  

I had allowed my energy to become extremely out of whack regarding several people, then went and spend 8 hours with them.  In the middle of an intense transition period for me.

I remember in the past few weeks thinking, ‘whew, at least that crazy whirlwind of emotional growth has slowed some’, not realizing that it was the drag of my own whack-a-doodle energy that had slowed my momentum down, not the Universe.  The insights and understanding never slow down, the signal never slows down.  We only drift in and out of range of the ‘station’.

The instant I quieted my mind and reached for the ‘signal’, it was right there, quick as it ever was.  My transition, my growth, has not slowed at all.  I merely took a time-out in order to focus more clearly on this particular lesson.

I have areas in my life where I am too focused on the reciprocity of my affection.  I need the reassurance, the atta-girls, and the open affection in order to feel safe enough to open up to people, but I’m too defensive, insecure, and slow to get my bearings around new people, because I always have to take the time to get to know them before I decide whether they are ‘trustworthy’ of my affections… whether they ‘deserve’ my friendship, my smiles, my kind words, my attention, the effort it takes to learn their names… not because I thought that I was better than they were, but because I only had a finite amount of (very hard won) affection to give, so I had to be choosy with my love.  With those I let in.  With those I was willing to be vulnerable to; because I thought that, because I felt much more pain from the wounds of those closest to me, that they had caused me the most harm.  But I was harming myself.

With my thoughts.

With my words.

With my actions.

I used those closest to me as the source of all of the negative thoughts I was creating about myself.

I am unlovable.

I am ugly.

I am a terrible person.

We use all of these outside circumstances as excuses to beat up on ourselves.  To feel bad.  To feel pain and hurt and misery… but we only have to feel the pain for as long as we need to, be it hours, seconds, or days.  The instant we make the choice to love, to begin making our way back to love, and we quiet our minds and seek within, the answer will come.

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

Phew.

This weekend was rough for me.  Really rough.

I had about a 24 hour melt-down.  

It was ugly, it was vicious, and it was so excruciating to go through, and even more excruciating to witness, I imagine.

I am both proud and ashamed of my various behaviors during that time period.  

Some things I would give myself a solid C (maybe even a few B-‘s, too) on.  On other things I failed; spectacularly.  I am struggling today (and yesterday evening) with how to not hate myself for my behavior, and how to completely forgive others for their behavior.

Obviously, I have been doing this long enough to know that I’m not really trying to forgive the behavior of others, because the behavior of others isn’t where the work is done.  I know this.  I know all the work is internal.  It’s perspective shifting.  The work is finding love, not losing anger.  I know this.  But today, the best I can do is reach for forgiveness, because the love feels too far out of reach.  For myself, for others whose actions I allowed to crush my fledgling confidence, but mostly for myself.

I said some things to my husband I shouldn’t have, because I couldn’t untangle the ball of pain I had inside from the day before.  A husband that I adore very deeply… and I can’t stop beating myself up for it.  I was acting like a wounded animal, snarling, feral, biting at anyone who came near, even if they were only trying to help me.  Yet he never backed up.  He never fled.  He never turned away from me, or the seething mass of pain and fury I had become.  And that is why I am broken inside today.

Yesterday, I saw unconditional love, and it was not within me, it was for me, and it broke me.

So far, what I have learned from this experience is:

1) Unless you live under a rock, life keeps happening to you, whether you’re ready or not.

2) The hardest person to love after they speak angry/hurt/frustrated/irritated words is yourself.

3) I have better control of my words & actions when I am experiencing emotional imbalance in public than in private. 

4)  I need to come up with a plan for the next time I begin to lose touch with myself.

5) Rigid control of my words & actions in public does not translate to ‘being in control of myself’, it only transforms into disastrous break-downs later.  All the shit I push down does come back up, and if I don’t come up with a system, I will struggle more than necessary for balance every single time.

6) I have the most amazing husband in the world (I already knew this one, but he keeps proving it over and over, so it’s worth repeating).

I know this isn’t my usual ‘voice’ here.  I try to share positive, uplifting, helpful, thoughtful, interesting, attempting to be funny (or at least entertaining) blog posts, and this one is a little flat and somewhat low-spirited, or so it seems to me, but more than anything, I want to be honest, authentic, raw… and that this post has in spades.

The work ebbs and flows.  You learn intellectually, then you learn through experience.  The experiences teach us where we still need to dig deeper, where the love we allow ourselves to feel for others (and ourselves) is still reliant upon the external conditions of that person, not the internal condition of ourselves.  If our connection with that part of us that is unconditional, and loves unconditionally, is weak or unstable, so will our love be.  So will we be.

The work is never done.  There will always be someone or something or some condition that we can love more fully, more openly, more unconditionally.  

And on that note, I’m off to meditate.

Hey! Leggo my… Ego?

My title was an attempt at humor I’m not sure will go over well, and I’m not sure of Eggo waffles are even a thing anywhere else but for now, it stays.

Poor Ego.  She’s derided, pushed aside, ignored, transcended, and killed… but yet… she perseveres.  

No matter what we do, we can’t ‘kill’ the ego, not permanently.  Short of death, and presumably a coma, we can barely quiet it down.

Like most humans, we find something new, and analyze it to death, then judge it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, then proceed from there.  We discovered we have this… ‘aspect’ of ourselves, discovered that it is the apparent ‘source’ of our negativity, the aspect of ourselves which is OUT of alignment with God, the Universe, Source Energy… and immediately decide it’s a bad thing, needing to be quieted or transcended or even killed!

How awful!

Ego… she’s not perfect, not by any means, but if it wasn’t for her, there is no ‘contrast’.  Humanity wouldn’t evolve, we wouldn’t grow, we wouldn’t reach for the stars… because we would survive, and we would be content, and we would be pure love and light and happiness.  Without the part of myself that is doggedly focused on me and my personal well-being and survival, my Ego, I wouldn’t survive, because I’d be too busy singing Kumbaya to remember to eat, and I’d probably end up starving to death!

Ego is the power behind your drive, your ambition, your creativity even.  What is creativity, other than the initiative to create externally that which we feel we lack internally?  Or that which we feel others lack, and would appreciate?  Ego drives all of that.

It’s DISsatisfaction that has driven human beings to invent, create, imagine, dream, grow, evolve, and expand.  Turmoil inspires change.  Most people don’t carry an umbrella on a sunny day.  We only change our habits, our routines, when change we dislike occurs within our environment.  If we have no Ego, no self-centered ‘compass’, we have no ‘self’ with which to DISLIKE anything on behalf of.

The problem isn’t our EGOs, the problem is where we focus the attention of our egos.

We allow our undisciplined Ego (well-intentioned sprout that she is) to just focus her attention anywhere!  Your ‘inner child’ isn’t some fragile, breakable thing you have to treat with kid gloves all the time.  Yeah, at first, while you’re figuring things out, you should be gentle.  You’re not so much disciplining a wayward child, you’re taming a wild beast.  A beast that has been left to its own devices for many years.  And now you think you’re just going to stroll in, point to a chair, and expect it to sit quietly?   

You guys know how I love my analogies, so if you will indulge me (well… if I will indulge myself, really, because by the time you read these words, your choice in the matter has pretty much been decided…)…

An animal is born ‘free’ whether it is born in the wild or born in captivity.  Without the awareness of ‘different’ ways of being, most animals will be completely unaware that another state of being even exists.  

If you read my blog, you’ve probably read other books, articles etc. along the same lines, so you have probably run across the story about how elephants are tied to sturdy rope as a baby, when they are not strong enough to break it, and even once they’re big and strong and could snap the rope with little effort, the rope will still hold the elephant in place, because it learned it couldn’t break the rope as a baby, so it doesn’t consider testing it once it’s an adult, and strong enough to snap the rope with little effort.

We humans are the same way.  We are taught from an early age not to cause trouble.  Not to question the rules, just to accept them and meekly obey them, until they put us in the ground, with the gold star on our gravestone that says “She never broke the rope”.

What a shitty epitaph. 

I think I’d rather mine read:

She broke their ropes, so they put her in chains.  She broke their chains, so they put her in a cell.  She escaped their cell, and set as many as she could free.

Don’t try to ‘kill’ your ego.  It’s our most precious gift.  Train it.  Break the rope, and let your spirit soar.

When you free your mind (ego) from the bonds it has been constrained with since childhood, when you tame it and train it to help you, instead of hinder you, life as you know it will change, forever.

And it is awesome.

When Is Love Not Love?

Love isn’t love when it hurts.  Love doesn’t hurt.  Deep down, you know what love feels like.  Acceptance.  Peace.  Joy.   Exhilaration.  Not pain and suffering.

If you’re in pain, you’re not in love.

If it’s annoying you, you’re not loving it.

If it outrages you, you’re not loving it.

If you’re not loving it, you’re not loving it.

Period.

Newsflash: That’s okay.

There’s no one saying you have to look at things you don’t like and force yourself to love them.  You can’t, and Continue reading “When Is Love Not Love?”

The Greatest Love of All Part II

Yesterday, I spoke about a fairly radical concept- the idea that the humans who hurt us the most are inhabited by the souls which love us the most.  I understand that this can be a difficult premise to get behind.  It’s an if/then scenario, which only works if you believe that within us all is a pure, divine Being.

After I wrote that post, I sat with the idea, ‘feeling it out’ beyond the initial inspiration  (you see, I write for you guys as it comes to me… I meant it when I said you were sharing this journey with me!), and I got an even deeper insight into what this means… Continue reading “The Greatest Love of All Part II”

The Greatest Love of All

What if I told you that the people who have hurt you the most in your life are the souls who love you the most?

Crazy, right?  When you look at life as a ‘human experience’, it is an insane idea, but if you look at life as a ‘soul purpose’, and our ‘negative’ experiences as lessons, or nudges (shoves?) from other souls, intended to send us careening toward our true purpose, it starts to look a lot different. Continue reading “The Greatest Love of All”

Are Your ‘Life Lessons’ on Repeat?

I’ve often heard the saying, “If we forget the past, we’re doomed to repeat it,” or the similar, “The experience is repeated until the lesson is learned.

I’ve known this to be true from observing my own life, and the lives of those around me.  We’re drawn into the same relationships, the same experiences, over and over again… but I’ve recently understood that learning the lesson is only half the ‘solution’.

The ‘pill’ I’m about to offer may be difficult to swallow for some.  Others will reject it outright.  But I believe those who are ready will read these words and hear the truth of them.   If you’re not ready… that’s OKAY.  My truth and your truth don’t need to be in lockstep.  Truth, as much as we’d often insist that it is absolute – black and white – is much more subjective than we would like to believe. Continue reading “Are Your ‘Life Lessons’ on Repeat?”