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Consciousness

Stepping Outside The Box

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The Meeting of Science and Spirit

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We are all beings made of energy, we are all made of light. The atoms that make up our physicality are indistinguishable from the atoms of trees, rocks, the air and even the stars. Yet our body is animated by the same life force energy that connects us all, the one of Consciousness. The main principle that both science and spirituality manage to come to an agreement upon is the fact that ourselves and all that we touch, see, hear, think and feel, whether it is seen or unseen, is merely a form and a rate of vibration. To explain this a little further, each atom, when observed with a powerful microscope, consists of one proton that is continually being orbited by an electron, generating a vibratory pattern. We all are and emanate a rate of vibration, the planet is and emanates a rate of vibration, the whole Universe IS vibrational. This is where all of Humanity reaches a common ground. No matter how divided we have become due to this hierarchical type society -goaded by money, separated by religious, political structures and illusionary barriers that exist to polarize the masses -we are all the same in essence; beings of light, of energy, vibrating with consciousness.

“Do you remember how electrical currents and “unseen waves” were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.” – Albert Einstein

“The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.” – Physicist Heinz Pagels

As most people would tend to define it, Consciousness is not about a simple state of wakefulness driven by the ego, mind and intellect alone. It is the essence of what makes us experiencers, perceivers and dreamers with such a rich and multifaceted inner world that is undeniably beyond the bounds of mainstream science. Physics, biology, chemistry or any other science, when remaining in the box of their own rules, simply cannot account for having intuition, wisdom, and a deeper sense of Self beyond what can be studied of human cognition. As much as science has been successful in explaining the functioning and structure of the material world, when it comes to understanding the immaterial world and depth of human consciousness, scientific rationalization gets awkward and the hard questions are left unanswered. On the other hand, religion blindly leaves science out of the picture, divides humanity by perpetuating the misleading doctrine of “God’s separatist order” and in doing so fails to keep the fundamental message of Unconditional Love untampered.

As Albert Einstein said, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. He could easily see through dogmatic religions but also realized that there is more to life than what can be measured by science. Funnily enough, he’s been somewhat labeled as a “mad scientist” for how his multidimensional perspectives, clarity and undimmed perception of authority pushed the envelope on society’s boundaries. My point is not to elaborate on hundreds of self-righteous biblical doctrines or to study the superficial anatomy of brain processes, but to dissolve the need for confining boxes and raise awareness on how reality is not limited to what is accepted as “truth” through the fixed set of beliefs within our society.

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If mainstream science could come to terms with the fact that there is truth beyond logic, and if religions could rip off their labels and see that truth is beyond dogma, both would find common ground through an essence beyond the polarities of our world. Before going any further in the subject of our vibrational reality, let’s explore the root-cause of why metaphysical/spiritual perspectives remain a vision that is labeled as “outside the box”.

Metaphysics – The Primacy of Consciousness:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7799171063626430789#

Consciousness Drives the Universe:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7799171063626430789#docid=7670392709414846242

The Oddballs of Modern Society

Metaphysics and Spirituality are simply a reflection of science and religion moving beyond their self-imposed limits, and both uniting above confined logic and dogmatic beliefs, seeing all as One instead of perpetuating the cycle of division. They happen to be the oddballs within our modern society for the simple reason that they do not conform to the popular views and polarized belief systems endorsed by governments, religious, mediatic and educational institutions/corporations. People whose opinion is founded upon the system’s supported beliefs and suppressed alternatives will either point out how intangible and merely hypothetical Metaphysics and Spirituality are to science, or misperceive it as an attack to their religious faith -or whatever doctrine they identify themselves with. Either way, it all stems from their own defense mechanism of what “box” their minds cherish and feel comfortable with, because what questions a fixed belief and lifts its veils towards a wider perspective, threatens the belief. Religious institutions keep their “sinner” followers safe in heaven and from hell while casting out all non-believers, while mainstream science keeps their advocates safe in their intellectual sanity, which in essence are reasonings that stem from the fear of stepping out of comfort zones, of searching for a deeper answer than the one they identified their lives with.

“All fixed beliefs refusing to remain flexible and open to new perspectives, are fear-based and separatist. All fixed believers refusing to remain flexible and open to new perspectives are actually fearful of facing themselves not armed with a belief. A perspective that is free of doctrine, fear, judgment, exclusiveness, and unconditionally embracing the core essence of consciousness within all, just might be the one of our unconditionally loving God.”

Some individuals remain indifferent and uninterested to a higher meaning of life because of how “dinosaur” wisdom is to our materialistic society, and how irrelevant it is to ask ourselves such questions when the world revolves around career performance and money anyways.

Trained Humanity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VRsRFTq5fY

Why is it that Metaphysical perspectives and Spirituality are either ignored or satirized by the mainstream media and suppressed in our education? Why would common-sense and fundamental truths reminded by simple wisdom, such as indigenous values, are being disregarded and even ridiculed in our modern society? Is it because this “out of the box” or “too simple” perception is for lunatics, or is it because the system ruling our lives is orchestrated and designed to pull us away from our true nature and consciousness?

Message from an Elder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9piIziXU9RE&feature=related

The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0

Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight (Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist):

http://vimeo.com/3907053

When you take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture, the answer becomes quite obvious:

What would take away our need to identify ourselves with profit-making belief systems and popular mindsets/trends? What would bring us closer to our spirit instead of being constantly distracted, exhausted and dependant on external quick-fixes and materialistic consumption? What would bring unity and dissolve division, fear, anger, discrimination, close-mindedness, stress and pressure to obey, conform and perform within this system? What would deprogram our minds and open our eyes to the grand scheme of things?

The answer to all of these… has no economic value.

The moment you start digging to the roots of our monetary system, a bigger picture quickly starts to take form.

David Icke – Brilliant Speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBJKCz6Xhzs

Zeitgeist Addendum (Facts of our monetary system):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EewGMBOB4Gg

Money/Economic Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/money.html

It doesn’t take much to see that division, distraction, conformism, fear mongering and disinformation are the main factors preventing a population from questioning both authority and the fundamental construct of social structures ruling their lives. Through years of exposure to constant fear-based media reporting and an overemphasis on meaningless, mind-numbing entertainment, we have been fastidiously withheld in apathy and ignorance towards injustice. Furthermore we have manipulated into believing that wars, famine, greed, scarcity, domination of the rich over the poor and the disrespect of planet Earth are merely a product of human nature, as if this outcome was inevitable.

When you are able to look at our world situation from a wider perspective with the simple use of discernment and intuition -rather than conforming to standard mindsets -you begin to see how what has become of our society has absolutely nothing natural to it.

Environmental Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/environmental.html

War Documentaries:

http://www.sprword.com/war.html

Bill Hicks on War and Freedom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGPH4htkDWM

Pharmaceutical Industry – Not in business of Health, Healing, Cures, Wellness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AazObF_pHSU&feature=channel

Cancer – Step Outside the Box:

http://www.cancerstepoutsidethebox.com/intro.html/

Behind the Big News – Propaganda and the CFR:

http://www.sprword.com/videos/behindthebignews/

Valedictorian speech on education:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M4tdMsg3ts&feature=player_embedded

Jordan Maxwell – Government & Religion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neLoq6IL3p8

The business of war, famine, domination of the rich over the poor and the disrespect for our planet earth isn’t about human nature anymore. The very system we live in is all about dehumanizing our true nature, molding us all it into a sheep-like behavior suited to maintain the functionality of this corrupted monetary system. It is all about business, greed and power. What better way for rulers to get away with it than to keep us divided, distracted, exhausted, enslaved by the system and oblivious of our true spiritual nature?

“Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroys information and religions destroy spirituality.” – Michael Ellner

The word conspiracy has now become an obscure thing. They have even paired the word with “theory”, because people in general have better things to do than to research information that is only theoretical, right? The ones pulling the strings on our government are the same ones behind those 5 massive integrated corporations that have control over the media. We are being bombarded with meaningless and mind numbing entertainment. We are having our thoughts controlled by constant fear-based reporting that is molding our perception of reality and perpetuating a fear towards ever stepping outside the box.

“If an Economist, Doctor, Lawyer, Media Personalities, Government Officials, etc. Makes a claim it is Automatically deemed credible, at time without any substantial evidence, though evidence is no obstacle to the necessary Consensus Reality. If anyone presents information that “contradicts” the Official Investigations… And/Or Current “Norms” of a present society, he’s labeled as crazy. Is condemned, Mis-represented, and ostracised. Often by those who only read the Headlines without reading information that further substantiates the particular point. Way of the world, I’m afraid. Though I feel compelled to ask Why is it the way of the world?” – David Icke

Question the world you live in:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f0sDWcZ4IY

The power structure:

http://www.sprword.com/overwhelmed.html

The men behind the curtain:

http://www.sprword.com/globalelite.html

You have Awakened:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxwG8RxQ5Zc

A “War” of Vibrations

While the anger-driven conspiracy whistleblowers are serving in the sense that they shed light on government fraudulency and deceit within the political, religious and educational structures of our world, to perpetuate the vibration of hatred, anger or fear is to miss the point of it all. As Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it, therefore, we cannot free ourselves by emanating the same low vibration that enslaved us in the first place. We all know in our hearts that corruption is not in sync with the highest Truth. But haven’t we had enough experiences that demonstrated how fighting cannot transcend duality? Have we not realized that it instead keeps on manifesting more confusion, division, fear and anger through the vibration it carries?

“In fear, they’re in control. In Love, we’re in control” – Alex Collier

The truth becomes simple when you truly awaken to what lies beyond the surface of the material world. This global duality is, in essence, nothing but a war of vibrations. Therefore, it is not foolish to presume that we can become what we fight. The controlling elite of our world know of this, and will keep on controlling us through fear for this very reason: to perpetuate anger, fear and hate, because their low-vibrational frequencies allow them to remain in control. Doesn’t it make sense that if you maintain a population of interconnected beings of light and of limitless potential into the illusion of fear, division and dependency, a few men can rule in the name of their own greed?

This conspiracy is, in essence, but an attempt at maintaining Humanity oblivious to their interconnectedness to all of their fellow brothers and sisters, of Planet Earth and of the animal kingdom, and therefore oblivious to who we really are: Souls having a human experience, all connected through the Source of Unconditional Love, beyond all form of judgment. The more of us who become knowledgeable of who they really are, the more all control mechanisms will begin to crumble.

“So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are –I am– the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you.” -Jill Bolte Taylor, Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist

There is a higher purpose to duality, and it is to learn how to see the Truth past it. It is to understand that the state of the world is a reflection of our collective inner-state, of how we still let ourselves be overruled by attachment to our ego’s dualistic perspective that is perpetuating our own inner-battles. And as long as we keep on perceiving the world through the ego’s eyes of judgment, fear, anger and hatred, our unconsciousness will continue to be reflected outwards, creating a collective challenge ruled by separation and egotistical purposes, rather than unity and Love which is the core essence of who we are. This is the “divine plan”, the great lesson we have come here to learn, as eternal souls living the human experience.

“We are not called to fight the bad guy, harm it, or fear it. We are just called to dig within and find our sacred ground. To stand in full love by our bottom line. And as we do, the bad guy will very quickly scuttle away or drop its mask. Because it was never about the bad guy, but about us all along, about finding that essence inside, embracing all of who we are, when faced with any challenge. It is one of the ways in which we can honor the bad guy in his role of carrier of lessons, who is volunteering to wear a dark mask, so we may reach for more and find what was lost. It’s not a fight nor a struggle. It’s a quest for an affirmation of worth.” – Katie Gallanti

We are all interconnected, we are all One, and therefore by healing ourselves within and embodying peace, we uplift the whole. Doesn’t it make sense that in a state of Peace, free of limitative fears, judgments and conditions of the mind, we would reclaim our limitless creative potential? Isn’t our authenticity to the unconditionally loving essence of who we are the most beautiful gift we could give to ourselves and to the world?

“It’s just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.” – Bill Hicks

I am Another Yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNdlf5TavAU

Evolution is Now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D64iYXRpzak%EF%BB%BF

To follow our heart’s calling, to be the pure reflection of that which we truly are without any strings attached, without any expectations and need of approval, is really all that is required of us. It is how we raise our own vibrational frequency towards the one of pure Love. No spiritual dogma, religious doctrine, warrior mentality or fixed step-by-step procedure needed. It is this simple Truth that will change the face of our vibrational reality as more awaken to their higher purpose, which is to be anchors of light, of who they really are. And it all starts with dissolving our own veils of inner-battle.

The more I know the simpler it gets – all genius is simple at its core when the veil of complexity is removed.” – David Icke

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Consciousness

Are You A Spiritual Narcissist?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Is this happening to many in spiritual trends?

  • Reflect On:

    There is authentic being, and then there is self-absorption which pretending to be authenticity, are we aware of the difference?

We humans often have a hard time finding middle ground. We may be drowning in lack of self-worth one moment, and trampling over other’s with our own self indulgence the next as we struggle to find balance. Narcissism is not simply about enjoying selfies in our social media-saturated world, it goes deeper than that.

It appears as liberation but is a trap that can ruin relationships, increase personal suffering, and keep a person from their true spiritual aspirations. Not surprisingly, increased mindfulness and compassion for this tricky human quirk is the best way to heal it.

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us, and it becomes increasingly dangerous when we confuse it with spirituality. In many ways it is easy to see that all of humanity is dealing with a certain degree of self-absorption while we desecrate forests and oceans, causing plants and animals to go extinct on our material quests. In his famous book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa gave a good foundation for westerners to navigate the pitfalls of our materialistic abundance.

Alt text here
The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us, differentiating the two is important. Sadly, we have spiritual philosophies and religions that have been constructed to feed the ego, inflate self-righteousness, and create division while giving justification for all manner of activities including killing, exploitation, and oppression. Ethical conduct, regardless of spirituality, requires honoring the other and the self as one with each deserving to be respected, heard, and seen with compassion.

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

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Alt text here
There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us

Finding the Antidote to Self-absorption

Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Ego is an important aspect of our selves, it is part of self-preservation but when it becomes out of balance it actually has the ability to destroy us and harm relationships.

Many spiritual practices seek to increase our ability to witness and bring mindful awareness to ego drives which allow us to master, instead of being enslaved by our ego. When ego gets too big it can be hard to swallow, yet spiritual liberation invites us to expand our sense of self beyond the ego, beyond time and space.

The goal is to find a balance between the inner experience and the outer reality. How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac and hurting personal relationships? Meanwhile, self-loathing, and low self-esteem are also manifestations of ego out of balance. Selflessness can often be quite selfish, over-engagement can be as problematic as disengagement socially. Luckily we are here to find this balance through living fully, from making mistakes, and evolving our sense of self-awareness. Healthy self-awareness is the only antidote to self-absorption.

Alt text here
How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac?

The Story of Narcissus and Echo

One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually recognized that his love could not be reciprocated and committed suicide. -Wikipedia

Since intention is subjective, a person is often understood within their community by their actions or image. This becomes extra tricky in our age of social media and the materialism that has found it’s way into yoga, meditation, and spirituality. It is possible to put on a good act, to fool those around us and ourselves (temporarily).

Alt text here
Narcissus mesmerized by his own reflection

We can have the latest yoga clothes, read the right books and hang out with all the “cool” people, but if our actions are not grounded in a deeper spiritual practice, basic consideration for others, and respect, it is still hollow. A common analogy is the guy who everyone likes but then goes home kicks his dog, or is rude and unaccountable to his wife.

Deep spirituality makes us more sensitive to the feeling of others, encouraging an open stance of courage where we can drop our protective shields and accept the vulnerability to be seen as we are. Narcissistic sensitivity, however, is focused solely on the subtle nuances one’s own internality, and resists looking at hard, uncomfortable truths that may upset the self image. One who is narcissistically sensitive is easily offended by the “coarseness” of others, seeks to make his environment change to align with the contours of his needs, and gets angry or offended when this does not happen. -The Allure of Narcissistic Spirituality, Huffington Post

How to Identify Narcissistic Behavior

The ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it. It is not your job to diagnose others or tell them they are narcissistic if they are not interested in hearing it or healing it. However, if you draw appropriate boundaries for them you will protect yourself and encourage them to become more mindful. This is a loving and compassionate way to handle narcissism.

Alt text hereThe ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it

It is always healthy to make boundaries and speak your truth in a loving and compassionate way. Whether the narcissist hears it or not is out of your control. Common responses from narcissists will include belittling your feelings, a hollow apology without effort to modify behavior, or ignoring you altogether. Basically, they will use any excuse they can in order to not look at it, or to make the situation your fault. This is your cue to make appropriate boundaries for yourself.

Within yourself be open and receptive when others tell you that you have been inconsiderate of them. Accepting constructive feedback from loved ones is a great way to keep a balance between internal needs and external relationships. This is also how we grow as individuals.

Common traits of narcissism courtesy of BPD Central.

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Alt text hereLearning to stop keeping all the love for ourselves

Evolving Unhealthy Patterns

Hopefully, this will help you navigate tough interpersonal relationships and also better yourself. It is a beautiful thing that psychology is allowing us to have terms to identify and evolve unhealthy patterns emotionally. As we learn to live in community, we learn many aspects of love. This is how we help ourselves and those around us grow!

I’m republishing,  for the CE audience, this piece I wrote for Uplift Connect.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

The Secret To Feeling Loved In a Relationship – It Might Surprise You

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The secret to feeling loved is to explore what is blocking the love you already hold within yourself. It's about getting to your authentic self and recognizing it. No one can fulfill any of us, we must find it within.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you feel your authentic self? How often do you connect with the love and peace within yourself? What are the main things you say or do to yourself that is blocking you from seeing you are love?

Everyone wants to feel loved don’t they? The feeling of having someone else sustain you and your feelings because they love you, tell you all the time and show it to you in every way imaginable? Well here’s the secret to live that fantasy life: Love Yourself!

Or better yet, work to see the love that you truly are. When you connect with the love within you, you won’t need any of the above as you realize you are already whole. Instead, the above will just show up naturally as part of a relationship and will be a joy to play with.

That’s right, feeling loved is not about what others can provide you, that’s only temporary feelings that will always need reassurance. It’s about what you are able to realize about yourself. We can always jump from person to person who gives us attention, makes us feel special and loved all the time, but this isn’t sustainable. If we always look outside of ourselves to have something fulfilled then we will always be searching.

It’s Within!

The truth is, like most things in life that we strive for, the answers are usually within. If we take a look at the reason we look for love in the first place we begin to notice things within ourselves that tell us we are not already love or loved. We might think we are not good enough, not attractive enough, don’t have a big enough sense of adventure or aren’t funny enough. It doesn’t matter what story we make up about ourselves, it’s these stories that make us look outside of ourselves for love.

Think of it this way. Imagine there is a box and it represents you. At the bottom of that box is an infinite amount of love. Now take a whole bunch of dirty clothes that you don’t want or need anymore and put it in that box under the assumption that these clothes represent you and you need to hold on to them. Think for a moment about what that looks like and how it feels.

Now realize something. Beneath all of the old, dirty and smelly clothes that you don’t need anymore and that you think represents you, there is love. So how do you get to it? You remove all of that which is hiding or covering up the love. The stories of things you believe represent you or are you but are not because you are, at the core, love.

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The Ego’s Idea of Love

“But in the movies it’s never like this! What about the fairy tales?” Who defines what love should look like between two people? How many times have you heard a mother say “I worry because I love.” Worrying means you love someone? Interesting definitions we have don’t we? The truth is we have through our own minds, ego’s and through external influences, created an idea of what is, what it looks like and how things should be in a loving relationship. But the reality is, most of this is all to appease the mind and ego and is rarely sustainable.

True love is felt within both people, as complete and whole people on their own. They come together and share lives, experiences, periods of time together and exchange that feeling of love with one another. It doesn’t matter whether someone is constantly doing something to show you or making sacrifices all the time, love IS. It’s unconditional and by this definition it means without condition. We don’t need A + B to = love. It’s simple love = love.

Does this mean we can’t do nice things for others and exchange cute experiences with those we care for because suddenly this is showing our love in the wrong way? Absolutely not. It means now when you do these things they are simply out of the inspiration to do it and it isn’t going to fulfill lack that both people in the relationship are experiencing.

How Do We Love Ourselves?

There are many ways to learn to love your authentic self, but mainly it comes back to the box analogy I used earlier. The more we can observe the reasons we put ourselves down, think negatively about ourselves or think there is something not loveable about ourselves, the more we can see what is blocking or stopping us from loving our true authentic self.

Write it down if you have to. Take the time to sit quietly on your own and think of the reasons why you don’t love yourself, feel self conscious or think something isn’t perfect about you.

After you write down what you think these things are. Write down how you think each one got there. Did you see it in a movie? Learn it from friends or family? Does society look at things this way?

After you have gone through each one, go back and choose to first accept that you once thought of yourself that way. It’s okay, at some point we have all been through these things and it’s often a normal part of personal development.

Now realize how there is no real truth to the things you have mentioned about yourself as they are just perceptions created based on some false idea of who you think you are and what those things mean in terms of love. The more you realize that you are not your appearance, career, hobbies and so forth, the more you begin to not rely on those things to love yourself.

Try looking at yourself in the mirror, look in your eyes and tell yourself you love yourself multiple times. See how this makes you feel. Is it easy? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Ask yourself why and reflect again on the answers that come up. The trick is the more you become aware of why you think these things about yourself, the more you realize they are stories and you begin to disempower them. From here it just takes continuing to disempower them as they creep back up as when you give them no truth and power, they dissipate because they are not true to begin with. They are just thought forms and ideas.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

Dark Jewels: Mining The Gifts Of 8 Difficult Emotions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Our difficult emotions are not just unpleasant experiences. They have hidden gifts, including the capacity to transform our lives into more joy and wholeness. They impart wisdom and compassion we can't find living on, or fearfully clinging to, the su

  • Reflect On:

    Which emotions do you have trouble feeling or accepting in yourself and others? These might be the frontiers you need to embrace and enter to more fully embody your life.

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.

—Pema Chodron

Unless we look into and skillfully navigate our dark sides, we can’t become our fullest selves. Consequently, we can’t truly love ourselves and the world as much as we are capable. Following Pema Chodron’s reasoning: if we cannot bear our own pain, how can we bear the pain of others? If we are afraid of our own suffering, how can we genuinely stand with another in theirs and thereby be the friend possible?

Below I list eight natural, universal emotions that at first blush we might feel like avoiding. This list is a kind of treasure hunt, revealing what we get to discover when we welcome and allow these at first uncomfortable feelings to be, and eventually change us from our depths on up through our heart and mind. For this growth to happen, we first have to be honest with ourselves—to be aware of what we are feeling and able to name it. Then we can embrace the feelings and go from there.

Notice how each “negative” emotion mentioned below informs us of our care. To welcome and work with our shadow emotions enables us to care more. Caring also requires sensitivity. So, if we have a sensitive heart, we will likely feel all these difficult emotions in good measure. And, when we learn how to intimately, courageously and patiently dance with them, they give us more heart and more inner power. Each emotion is therefore a portal to fulfill our capacity for greater love—love for ourselves, for those we love, and the Earth itself.

Difficult Emotion #1: Guilt

Guilt is usually a signal that we have acted, or might act, inappropriately. Guilt brings us back to our values, morality, and care for one another. Guilt shows us where we have acted poorly and can do better. Guilt keeps us accountable to one another. Guilt (that we have done wrong) need not become shame (that we are wrong or bad). We can harvest the lesson in our guilt (oftentimes along with our remorse), make amends, and forgive ourselves. For example, if I feel guilty that I wasn’t fully honest with you and this cost you, I might make an amend and confess my shortcoming.

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Sitting with guilt allows the sting of wrongdoing to impress a lesson upon us, or to change our hearts for the long term. Guilt need not be self-hatred, self-condemnation, or endless regret. It can be a mature reckoning and opportunity for more integrity. Note, guilt can also be a symptom of depression and OCD, in which case it’s best to notice it and not ruminate on it or try to mine it for wisdom.

Difficult Emotion #2: Anger or Rage

Almost every instance of anger arises because something we treasure has been threatened or taken away. It shows us what we care about and how we feel violated. Anger is the smoke alerting us to the fire of where we have been hurt. Anger shows us where our boundaries are, and welcoming the energy of anger helps us set boundaries. Anger protects what we love and shows us how much we care and value what is rightfully ours, or what is another’s. In the face of abuse, for example, anger or even rage, is an appropriate response. It protects our vulnerability.

Sitting with anger, without acting it out violently (unless appropriate in the moment to set a strong boundary) empowers our functional ego, or sense of self. It’s good, however, to make sure we get the facts straight before we let our anger take over, so we are not acting out on false assumption. With all this said, I find anger one of the less remunerative emotions to perpetuate. I try to get the lesson, hear the message from anger, then try to skillfully express, discharge, or let it go (not suppress or perpetuate it in thought and heart) as soon as possible. In excess, anger ages, wears us down, and burns bridges of support. At the same time, not embracing and discharging anger in healthy ways can sabotage and age us even more quickly.

Difficult Emotion #3: Fear

There is helpful and unhelpful fear. Helpful fear shows us our limits and where our limits for self-protection are, and therefore, what we care about. Fear of heights, or walking at the edge of a cliff, help us be careful so we don’t hurt ourselves. This is helpful fear. We all have limits, and healthy fear tells us when to stop and what to avoid, or to be careful in proceeding. Sitting with helpful fear shows us how to take care of ourselves and others, how to avoid harm. Unhelpful fear should be confronted, skillfully, and in good timing, so it doesn’t prevent us from achieving our goals. Asking that someone special out on a date or taking the steps to follow through on a dream, despite the fear, is confronting unhelpful fear and not letting it hold us back. We can’t help feeling unhelpful fear, and sometimes rather than try not to feel fear, the way to conquer it is simply to “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Difficult Emotion #4: Remorse

Remorse is related to guilt. It signals us that we have made a mistake, caused harm, or could have done better. Remorse arises because we care; otherwise we wouldn’t care how our actions affect others. Sitting with remorse allows it to teach us a heartfelt lesson. The remorse we feel because we didn’t take the time to review the pesticide-impact report accurately, or because we didn’t make the call that would have prevented a disaster, can all be good medicine. It’s important to allow remorse and not excessively beat ourselves up about it, which also gives us the opportunity to practice forgiveness. Remorse is tinged with sadness, which arises from caring, which is why it’s a good sign to feel remorse; it means we have a heart, care about life, and have a moral compass.

Difficult Emotion #5: Despair

Despair is tough and humbling. Sometimes we can’t help but despair. Despair has an element of giving up, and this total or partial surrender can bolster our capacity for letting go of unnecessary control. When we do, we can find inner strength we didn’t know we had, as well as outside support in those who come to our aid. Inside despair is the kernel of faith. Despair can be a path to what we might call God or Spirit, which is often our own resiliency and trust that things will somehow work out when we have given up, or feel like we have nothing left.

It’s important to have support and to self-motivate when appropriate so that despair does not unnecessarily turn to depression and self-harm. Falling apart in the arms of despair can be a powerful way to contact our depths and find that invisible inner fortitude. This is best done with people who can stand by us, hold us, and keep our heads above water, if indeed we are afraid of figuratively drowning. When we have support and can weather its storm, despair also reveals what we care about and who unconditionally cares for us.

Difficult Emotion #6: Worry or Anxiety

Worry can be unrealistic or realistic, and shades of both, just like fear. Noticing what we worry about can show us what we care about; otherwise, why would we bother to worry? Some are worrywarts, in which case it’s helpful to try not to worry as much, while preserving the kernel of care in worry. Sometimes it’s appropriate to act in order to reduce worry. If I’m worrying about having left the gate open, getting up and closing it abets my worry. Other times, when our worry is more unrealistic, we don’t need to act as much as we need to bring our minds back into balance. Sitting with realistic worry shows us what we need to do to protect ourselves and others, even if it’s as simple as closing the gate or moving a glass from the edge of the table. Worry brings out the care in our hearts or our fear of harm. Controlling negative and anxious thinking, getting the facts straight, and breathing deeply all help keep worry from becoming exaggerated, unrealistic, and getting the best of us. Worry is our hearts thinking out loud about what we care for.

Difficult Emotion #7: Grief

Grief is the price we pay for the privilege of love. Yet, it’s only a temporary cost, for I consider grief the most soul-making of the emotions. Grief takes us down into ourselves;  it is the polisher of our souls. Grief dissolves our pain, which making it invaluable for living as a sustainable person. For if we don’t clear our hearts of pain, the tendency is to poison the world and others with the hurt we didn’t allow it to dissolve. Within grief is the blossom of rebirth from suffering and loss. The more we grieve, the more we can love; and the more we love, the more we feel the sting of loss. To deny grief is to deny love. While most of us don’t want to feel the drag, dullness, and despair of grief, it is a natural and healthy reaction to loss. Grief is a symbol of our love and when we can welcome it, we give our hearts the opportunity to break and grow as wide as the world. Grief work is an aspect of grief that I describe as  intentionally entering our past pain, especially that from childhood, that has not been resolved. This work frees our lives from the inside out as nothing else can. Grief is merely the other side of feel-good love and is always in fluid communication with it.

Difficult Emotion #8: Envy or Jealousy

Envy, as the desire for what someone else has, points to our fulfillment. It brings out our longing and desire and shows us what we want and what we can work for to make our lives better or more enjoyable. Of course, it’s important to make sure that what we are envious of is something we truly want and value, and not just an excuse to hate on someone. Sometimes we feel a heavy dose of envy because we don’t want to work for the success another has. Yet, once we admit our admiration for someone else’s success or freedom, we can use that inspiration to work to acquire what we envy, and admire our own progress and achievements.

Jealousy, which is feeling threatened that what we cherish will be taken away or injured, is often accompanied by anger. In wanting to possess, jealousy shows us what we value, what we want to protect, what we would feel pain in losing. The element of anger, or even worry, in jealousy helps us set boundaries and limits to protect what we want and care about. Marriage, or committing to monogamy, are examples.

The Takeaway

I hope this deeper glimpse into difficult emotions allows you to lean into and appreciate them for their uncommon gifts and not throw out their wisdom with the bathwater of knee-jerk reaction of temporary discomfort. Yes, they can be difficult and bring us down, but when we wisely work with them, and for long enough, they release their nectar, transform us into better and kinder people, and initiate us to our shared humanity. Their benevolent darkness gifts us depth and beauty we can’t otherwise find in the sunny side of life alone.

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Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac., M.A., is Chinese medicine physician, having graduated valedictorian of his class in 2000. He has authored hundreds of articles, thousands of poems, and several books. Weber is an activist for embodied spirituality and writes extensively on the subjects of holistic medicine, emotional depth work, and mind-body integration, all the while challenging his readers to think and act outside the box. His latest creation is the Nourish Practice, a deeply restorative, embodied meditation practice as well as an educational guide for healing the wounds of childhood. His work can be found at jackadamweber.com, on Facebook, or Twitter, where he can also be contacted for medical consultations and life-coaching.

 

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