For the past several years, it has been my daily intention to be peaceful, to love and to serve. For the most part my life is peaceful, especially when I use these 2 affirmations: “Everything is flowing with peace, ease and grace. Everything I need is streaming towards me, I open my hands and receive.” I have seen the results of these affirmation and am often amazed at how easily my life flows when I practice these affirmations.
I am very aware when I lose my peace and I go within to see what’s going on. It can be when a family member or close friend is struggling and suffering and there is nothing I can do to alleviate their pain. Sometimes all I can do is pray and send love, which is really the best thing I can do for someone. I have learned that worrying is an illusion and doesn’t help anyone involved. I often have to make a CHOICE and say to myself “I will not let anyone or anything rob me of my peace.” Peace is that important to me.
The ego is waiting at every turn and wants to rob us of our peace, especially when things are going well in our lives and we are growing in consciousness. It wants us to believe that we are separate from God and one another which produces feelings of guilt.
Sometimes I recognize ego thought patterns immediately. One of the ways ego shows up is through comparing myself to others. It usually has something to do with the false belief that I don’t have enough or I’m not doing enough. I had an experience this week with ego that was kind of subtle. My friends recommended an energy healer that they raved about because he was the “real deal” so Larry and I decided to try a session.
Although the session was relaxing, I didn’t feel a shift or feel any differently in my body. I started to think there must be something wrong with me or I wasn’t open enough and quickly lost my peace. I realized this was another ploy of the ego encouraging me to compare my experience with my friend, beat up on myself and think I was wrong. It could have also gone the other way. I could have thought that the reason I didn’t have a wow experience with the healer was because I was more advanced and spiritual and didn’t need it. My ego wants me to believe I am better than or less than another.
The good news is that I am becoming more aware of when my ego shows up. The key is to recognize when ego is acting out and when we do the ego loses its power over us.
This is some of the ways I lose my peace:
I feel jealous, afraid or angry
I compare myself to others
I blame others for my problems and feel like a victim
I need to be right and have the last word
I need to be perfect, look good and be the best
I want to intimidate others and have to have the last word in a conversation
I am defensive
I am judgmental toward myself and others
I feel less than or better than or I don’t feel good enough
I want to control, manipulate and fix others
I feel unworthy and not deserving
I feel responsible for others’ happiness and well-being
I am unable to forgive and hold resentments and grudges
I feel stupid, guilty or shameful
I am addicted to a substance or a process like work, busyness, shopping, gambling or perfectionism
I take things personally and think everything revolves around me
I am overly sensitive and feelings get hurt easily
I want to be somewhere else rather than where I am
I worry and obsess and can’t shut off my mind
It is up to us to keep ourselves peaceful, to focus on ourselves and give ourselves the love we need. The more we love ourselves, the more we can love others. How do you lose your peace and do you recognize when ego is trying to rob you of your peace?
This time of year we give and receive many wishes for a “Happy New Year” and of course most everyone would be happy with a year filled with prosperity, health and happiness. As I thought about it I realized that this new year will most probably be like other years, filled with challenges and successes and there will be a mixture of joy and sadness. What’s important is how I respond to the life experiences that come my way.
I am learning that how I choose to respond to an experience will determine whether it will be a happy or a sad one. I can elevate or diminish my experience by my attitude towards it. I don’t like pain or suffering any more than the next person and certainly don’t wish it in my life.
One of the gifts I received last year was becoming conscious that “accepting” what’s happening each moment of each day is a choice I have. When I’m having difficulties or health problems I can either reject them and see them as a bad thing or I can learn to accept them and not fight them. I am learning in such situations to remain optimistic, stay open to the possibilities and see the glass half full rather than half empty.
My most recent opportunity has been my health. Since the day after Thanksgiving my health has been compromised causing my energy and strength levels to become very low. I have tried most natural remedies and eventually went to my doctor. I seem to be on the mend now, but still have a way to go. It has been difficult for the last four or five weeks to accept sleepless nights, breathing difficulty and terrible coughing bouts. For the most part, I have been able to accept what’s happening without going into the poor me, poor me attitude. I have accepted my situation, done what I could to deal with it and let it be.
I am very fortunate to have Pat at my side, she is the epitome of optimism. When I start to lose my optimism, she reminds me of the progress I have made and to continue to accept that I am getting better. When I accept, I keep myself open to the healing energy of love and don’t allow negative energy to develop. Pat is the real thing; she talks the talk and walks the walk. I see and experience her love energy, her dedication to living her truth, her openness to becoming more conscious and the many people who contact her so often for direction and guidance.
My prayer in this new year is that you join me in learning that we can choose to make this a happy, peaceful and prosperous year by learning to accept whatever comes and staying open to the healing energy of love.
“Cleansing often brings the worst to the surface before it is dismissed. The first stage of a washing machine cycle is called “agitation.” The clothing needs to be stirred up to loosen the accumulated dirt. To look into a washing machine while the basket is agitating, you see a fowl mire of grime rise to the surface of the water. If you did not know better, you might think that the clothes were getting dirtier and be tempted to shut off the machine. But that would be foolish; the dirt is not being added, as it might appear – it is being removed. In the presence of flowing water (metaphysically representing Spirit), the dirt is drained away, leaving fresh, clean garments. If you just stay with the process, the cycle will complete itself, and soon the clothes will be much cleaner than when the process began.” Alan Cohen, “I Had It All the Time”
I woke up feeling agitated, irritable and like I had been hit by a truck. My dreams were about struggle and not being able to get to where I wanted to be. I KNEW something was being dredged up from my unconscious to be healed and transformed. I was in the washing machine cycle called “AGITATION” and it felt awful.
When I went to bed the night before, I shared with Larry that I felt BAD and ASHAMED when I got off the phone with John, my computer guy. I downloaded the new Windows 10 to my computer, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my pictures from my IPhone to my desktop. A friend suggested I go back to Windows 7 which I did and was successful with.
Unfortunately, I still couldn’t get my pictures to my desktop even with the old Windows 7. If anything causes me stress and I want to pull my hair out, it is dealing with computers and technology. I called John and asked for help. John has always been very patient with me and is able to help me. John must have had a bad day because he appeared frustrated and said, “You need to take a computer class because you should know this stuff by now.”
John’s remark and frustration triggered my SHAME. The SHAME was still deep inside in my unconscious and needed healing. It must be REVEALED to be HEALED. It really had nothing to do with John. If the shame wasn’t inside of me, I would have thought, “John is having a bad day and has nothing to do with me.” But I internalized it and felt “bad and wrong,” that I didn’t know what John thought I should know. Feeling “bad and wrong and not good enough” is at the core of a shame-based person.
When I shared with Larry what I was feeling when I woke up, he read the above passage from Alan Cohen’s book to me. It helped me understand what was going on and what was being “dredged up” from my unconscious. Larry encouraged me to trust the process and asked, “How can I support you today?” This was an opportunity for me to nurture myself, re-parent myself and give myself self-love and compassion, rather than beat up on myself. I spent the day in prayer, loving and nurturing myself and within a few hours, I was back to myself. I wrote in my journal, “Today I will allow the light and love of God to flow through me, heal me and transform me. I will re-parent myself and give myself everything I need.
Growing up with an alcoholic mother, I wasn’t encouraged to ask questions or ask for help. I had to figure things out on my own. I was EXPECTED to know the answers, even though I wasn’t often taught how to do things. I PRETENDED to know what I was doing, but often felt “inadequate and not good enough inside.” It was hard to ask for help because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable and ashamed if I didn’t know the answers.
Thank God I know the truth today and have changed that belief. Today, I ask for help when I need it and am not ashamed if I don’t know the answers. I know it is healthy to ask for help and that it is unhealthy to put unrealistic expectations on myself.
Larry’s experience with shame
When do you feel shame? Underneath the shame could be thoughts of unworthiness, inadequacy, not good enough, not smart enough or thoughts of being a failure. As a parent, I have felt some of the above at different times. I have not always recognized this as shame until recently. People don’t talk about it because of its insidious nature.
There may be times in your life when you have felt ashamed because you didn’t think you were a “good enough” friend or supportive enough. You may feel some shame about how you look; too thin, too fat, too tall, not pretty enough, etc. I have felt shame about not having a higher education which made me feel “less than” others.
Many people believe their worth has to do with how much money they earn. Society often judges us by the amount of money we earn and when we have a lot of money, we are deemed successful. When we don’t measure up to those standards, we may judge ourselves to be a failure, which ultimately becomes shame.
In my own life, I have experienced shame when I put too much value on my ability to dance perfectly. I am leaving myself open to react in a negative way when my partner makes a mistake because I see it as a reflection on me. In this area of dance, I realize that I have been too concerned about what other people will think of me. It seems that my ego and wanting to be perfect has allowed me to forget that what other people think of me is none of my business. Thankfully, in many areas of my life, I believe that “what other people think of me is none of my business.”
My grandparents were farmers in Connecticut and had emigrated from Lithuania. They spoke broken English and when I was with them, I often felt ashamed of them because they couldn’t speak correct English. Then I felt ashamed of myself for feeling that way about them. Apparently, I saw it as a reflection on me.
Parents can often, unknowingly, put their high expectations on their children (get all A’s, pass this test, attend college). When children don’t think they measure up, they may not feel “good enough” because they think they are disappointing their parents.
Could it be that shame comes from a “hole in the soul” that only LOVE can fill and heal? When we learn to give ourselves self- love and acceptance, the feelings of shame and not being good enough will no longer have power over us.
I jumped out of bed, threw some water on my face and sat down at my computer because I had to write! I have never done that, until today. I asked myself, “What happens when you get hit right between the eyes with an aspect of yourself that is not very pretty and you didn’t know was there? YOU ACCEPT IT AND LOVE IT!
Is it easy to do? No it’s not, but I know it’s the only way and an invitation from God to love myself more deeply. It is an opportunity to heal the darkness within that Spirit is shining its flashlight on. It is not a time to beat up on myself and shame myself by saying, “You should know better after all these years of being on the spiritual path.” I have done enough of that in my lifetime. Today was a new day and a time to love myself, perhaps in a way that I had never done before.
I remembered something I read in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that says: “Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems. If I cannot accept every person, place and thing as exactly as it is, I will not have peace.” And that includes myself.
You might be wondering to yourself, “So what is the big deal she is going to share about herself with us?” It may not be big to you, but it is for me. One of the emotions I used to hate and felt awful about myself was when I felt jealous. Whenever, I felt jealous, I learned to say to myself, “Okay, jealousy, you are here again, come on in and have a cup of tea.” This was a great exercise to do to accept this emotion and heal it and it worked fast. In fact, I do with all of my emotions.
|I haven’t struggled with jealousy in years. Of course, there were brief episodes of jealousy that passed like the clouds, but no big deal. But, today, was different. I was outright jealous of a situation with a friend that I couldn’t shake off. I felt insecure, threatened, and judgmental and like a little kid again. I wondered, “Where the hell is this coming from?” I shared it with my friend, Kati, and she said,”Pat, What do you think this is about?” I laughed and said, “I just asked myself the same question.” As I have shared before in other blogs, my belief is that I attract everything into my life for my highest good and that everything that happens to me has a purpose and meaning. When I reminded myself of that, I felt comforted and wanted to accept and love myself just as I am.
For most of my life, I have had to prove myself to God and others, and that was very exhausting. I remembered that I had prayed and asked God to make me a pure instrument of love and that what was hidden in the darkness to come to the light to be healed and transformed. I felt lighter and decided to have a “Love Feast” day – to fill myself with the love from within. I decided to spend the day in prayer and read “A Return to Love”, by Marianne Williamson. I read the book several years ago and loved it. It talked about the principles of the “The Course in Miracles” in the book. I didn’t have the book anymore, so I went to the library to get it. Here are some excerpts from Maryann’s book that helped me understand my present experience.
“Spiritual progress is like a detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to the surface. Our blocks to love are not suppressed or denied, but rather brought into our conscious awareness. Our fearful places have to be revealed before they can be healed. Our ego is merely our fears. We all have egos and that doesn’t make us bad people. Our egos are not where we are bad, but where we are wounded. We are all afraid at some level that if people saw who we really are, they would recoil in horror. That is why we invent the mask, to hide our true selves. But the true self – the Christ within us is that which is most beautiful. We must reveal ourselves at the deepest level in order to find how loveable we really are. When we dig deep enough into our real nature, we don’t find darkness. We find endless light.
The holy relationship is when we feel safe enough to be ourselves, knowing that our darkness will not be judged, but forgiven. In this way, we are healed and freed to move into the light of our true being. This process of no longer being anesthetized by unconsciousness can be painful and we may be tempted to go backwards. It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than to choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that could last the rest of our lives. When we feel jealous, it is because of the need to hold on to whatever we’ve got. It is because we think another person’s good takes away from my own. The ego is a belief in finite resources, but love is infinite. When we are in touch with our negative feelings and are able to release them, we feel the love that is beneath the feelings.”
I felt comforted by these words and knew I was experiencing deep inner healing. Although I felt very vulnerable and scared (we are all afraid at some level that if people saw who we really are, they would recoil in horror) I decided to share my feelings of jealously with my friend.
I have a deep respect for this person and trusted that I would be loved no matter what, and that is exactly what happened. Instead of feeling like a horrible person for being honest about what I was experiencing, I felt deeply loved and secure. As Williamson said “The holy relationship is when we feel safe enough to be ourselves, knowing that our darkness will not be judged, but forgiven.” I believe this experience brought us closer as friends and my wounds were healed by God’s love.
When you receive this blog, I will be just landing in Rhode Island, as I am spending the month of July with family and friends. I would like to offer you an opportunity to meet with me for a coaching session or a day of healing to help you move forward and create the life you desire. Please email me or call and we can set up an appointment. 401-862-8859.
Happy 4th of July!
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