by Jane West
Do you find yourself compulsively and inexplicably repeating the same harmful cycles?
There is a glass ceiling of conditioned response hit when life is going well. It is often undesirable, and a waste product of the Mind; the most magical, mystical and misunderstood labyrinth known to mankind. The cost of accessing heaven is paying the price of knowing, feeling and experiencing EVERY imperfection.
Some bumps in the road are novel and exciting to see: “I never knew I had that specific reaction to that circumstance”. However, far too often, it’s a simple case of repeating unconscious (and destructive) behaviors which obscure truth.
The Ego recreates an imaginary fire to burn itself to prove its limitations.
The knot comes in mistaking the pattern for self; a fear bubble rapidly becomes “I am afraid”, rather than an experience (optionally) partaken in. You are the power and potential that lies beneath it, before you got twisted up.
Here, in the technological 21st Century world of immediacy and clutching at thin air, are some of the most common pitfalls I have indulged in.
Proving people right, by making yourself wrong:
The act of blaming other people for our life situation, is as pervasive in our culture as it is unhelpful. Whether we blame ourselves, an organization, a list of human beings (or all three), we are actively giving our power away, and sealing fate by shutting doors of opportunity that might have been open.
I found myself in the same situation that made me feel awful, again and again. I knew it made me feel bad, so why did I keep on doing it?
Implicit here is the strange notion of “other”, that which is not me, dragging me around from unhelpful situation to unhelpful situation without my consent.
This viewpoint is based on separation, as if the thing that’s to blame isn’t laced into the same life-fabric as me. As if I can’t ask it what it wants and needs, and ask it to leave.
I often cause myself harm as reaction towards my treatment. Unwittingly, I had internalized the way I was treated, and was punishing myself over and over. Mistreating myself, because I couldn’t forgive the situation. No one was affected except me.
Many has been the morning that, post almond-milk-latte-ritual, a niggling thought has crept in which distills down to “I can’t be this happy”.
Moments later, the thick mental fog descends, and my fingers are flicking through images of people online with hatred oozing from my skin; boyfriend’s ex-lovers, friends I fought with, anyone beautiful and successful who has me feel worthless in comparison.
The spiral of self-hating is in full throttle. Different versions of this are “zoning out”, watching reality TV shows, reading magazines and staring at glossy images of imaginary people.
All are forms of disassociation, escaping from ourselves into a fantastical world that is fundamentally undesirable. The simple truth is, we just want to know ourselves.
It is our deepest desire, and therefore the thing we run from most. We have found increasingly elaborate ways to ignore our truth.
It took me a while of deep questioning for a friend to point out I was “looking for different paths to run from myself.”
Conquering this one requires a commitment to vulnerability; a commitment to not blaming, and instead, speaking for the sensitive, receptive, nonsensical voice of knowing.
This can be extremely counterintuitive. As a race, we applaud self-sacrifice and the quick quietening of what our softest, most subtle nature wants: “what we want can be ignored.”
My experience is, the quieter voices have a vice-hold and long-term grip of our intimate lives.
Often, fighting happens when we are not willing to be vulnerable. Let’s say I wanted something at work, and automatically dismiss it as unattainable, so the desire got blocked and went inside rather than flowing outward (by asking for it).
It festered inside of me, and came out sideways by openly blaming other people for not giving me what I didn’t ask for in the first place.
I have expectations that don’t line up with my actions.
I wasn’t willing to be vulnerable.
There is nothing inherently wrong with fighting, but without looking at your own part, it takes longer to get to the heart of the matter; it’s just the long way round.
I am interested in effectivity, and have found the direct route inwards to be the most effective way.
All these kinds of pain are potent when we let them be, but when they are loved, they have no power over us.
When they are seen for what they are, it becomes a simple act of faith to give them away and leave them behind.
Simple, but not easy.
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