Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The truth you are





 “I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” 
                                                                   Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I never meant for it to happen. I lived my life as I was taught; the importance of achievement, the honor of degrees. I became a slave to standards of perfection that I was not able to garner. After years of doing what I was 'supposed to' do, I rebelled with fervor and systematically destroyed my life. I owned the homes, drove the cars and filled my closets with stuff in the hopes that things would make me happy; things would make people like me, things would sustain me. Being raised in a southern baptist family as the daughter of a preacher and a teacher, I was given a definite code of ethics to follow. I was given the blueprint for how my life should go, and when I started going off-course I looked at myself as a failure. I became captive, frozen in time to my failure. I was defeated.

It took years of poor thinking to get me where I landed. I was negative, fearful and suspicious. It seemed I was suspended in time as the eleven year old who lost her young father to a quickly devouring cancer; never to return. I lived in constant fear that everyone was going to leave me like he did, and that I could not trust in their existence. The more fiercely I held to this belief, the more it happened. This kind of retaliatory thinking leads one to actively push away people who attempt intimacy. I vowed one night soon after my father's passing to "never let anyone get close to me again." And, that's just what I did.

If you spend your life running from love, sooner or later you will stop, look around and see you are all alone. I picture a completely bright, white room with no edges; just a vast smooth, egg-like place where you find yourself, alone. Enclosed. A vacuum. There is a reason why a vacuum is nothingness. You must exhaust the gas in order to make room for something else. Just as we have to fall down before we can get up, those fortunate enough to have found their bottom- their vacuum- are blessed to have reached that white room and accept it, thus allowing space for more. More love. More life. More lessons. Oh, there's pain abound in this dark illusion of light where shadow cannot pass. The brightness around you blinds you to your shortcomings, your habits, your thoughts until one day you find shelter. The refuge of god. A higher power who will guide you through this process and, most importantly, never leave. Being able to address the truths about you that no one else knows and move through them is how you get to that space where you can finally, truly love. To be a giver, not a taker. The opposite of a vacuum is compression. Compression pushes out on whatever is surrounding it. Pushing out is giving. Arriving at that place in life where you are overflowing, leaking light on whatever is surrounding you is beauty in action.

It's all a big circle, life is. A cycle of wounded, broken souls spend time on their vision quest emerging transformed. As teachers of  the soul who know they can never go back to the person they were, they are obligated to reach out, see who grabs their hand. Come on, they say, let's find the truth you are.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Freedom


The whole war of control between humans is about making assumptions 
and taking things personally. Our whole dream of hell is based on that.
 ~taken from The Four Agreements~


Assumptions are like expectations. Assuming is accepting that something is true without proof, and taking it for granted that you could be wrong. It is believing that something is or did happen; you have already formed an opinion. Expectation is more of an action. It inspires hopeful anticipation based on the probability something will occur. There is expectation in assuming. Expectation can be assured confidence or fearful apprehension that lives in the present with its eye on the future. Assumption operates from the past being  more of an event that provokes judgement. Both can, however, cause us pain.

I discovered last year that I was selfish. I was absorbed in only how things affected me. I was not looking outside myself for how I could positively affect my environment. I was only dwelling on how it affected me. This is such a prison within itself that so many of us unknowingly remain. We think that we are not being focused on ourselves because we tell ourselves we are thinking of others. Yet, the way in which we think of those around us qualifies as absorption because we are thinking about how they affect us, not the other way around. And there you have it.

Seeing our character flaws is a brilliant thing, and changing them is a miracle. What we do not realize is that it can be done. It takes hard work, courage and a good support system; people around you who are not afraid to tell you what they see, and you being open enough to receive it. The recipe for success in this is put together by having something greater than yourself in your life, and being humble to that source. Learning that perspectives are filtered by thought-life gives you a head start in that the more positive your thoughts, the more adaptable your behavior.

I encourage others to really study this in themselves. I am not perfect by any means, but when I finally figured this out- I felt peace. I no longer took things for granted, or took them personally. Taking things personally is having personal importance over others where we make the assumption that everything is about us. Discovering that life is not all about you means that it is about others. What others do is not about you, it's about them. It's about their world, not yours. Taking things personally is making the assumption that they know what is in our world. Recognizing this will open up your heart, and free your soul. Try it. You might like it...