integral real

Have no doubt that the process is ON!

One thing has become clear (well, many things have become clear – clarity is certainly a part of this evolution, on many, many levels!). The clarity of today’s topic is that this evolution is NOT going to seem like a linear experience.  It is not – or should I clarify: it does not SEEM like it is – steady, constant or always moving in what one would think was the “right direction.”

Amazing moments and weeks and months of clarity, joy, bliss, and miraculous insights can seem to suddenly disintegrate into inexplicable confusion, pain, sorrow: an experience that feels as if you’ve “fallen out” of what ever it felt like you were “in.”  It can be jarring. And it can seem devastating, if you fall into the story that somehow you are separated from the experience of Oneness. That you are doing something wrong. That you have somehow been abandoned. That God/ the Universe/ Life/ Love somehow have let you down, or, even worse, are just plain out to get you.

But the truth is, *WHATEVER* you are experiencing, IS your process.  What isn’t helping you, is the perception that it is *not* the process, that somehow you are not being supported in the awakening/ expansions/ or fully living in the present moment of Oneness.

From a narrow, ego-centered perspective, life is erratic, painful, full of suffering, punishing experiences, toxic environments… You establish expectations, live life by “rules” you decide are true, and then feel beat-up, put-upon and betrayed when the expectations are not met, and rules seem to be unbending or broken.

And then we frequently respond to this “falling out” with what is not actually useful – adopting behaviors to try to “manage” the pain and suffering, or spending countless hours (and dollars) to “figure out” the source of our suffering.  I tell you (again, from my own, personal experience!) a profound and useful and imminently effective awareness is shared in this teaching:

Q: What is the best course to follow when one encounters suffering. Bhagavan, please also give us more clarity on what is “running away from
suffering.”

Sri Bhagavan: Well! There is no need to give clarity on running away from suffering, because you are doing it all the time. Whenever you say ‘I am suffering,’ it means you are running away from suffering. Because if you could turn around and confront the suffering, soak in it, embrace it, fall in love with it, be with it, accept it, do all these things. Then, see for yourself what happens!

“Fall in love” with suffering?!  That hardly sounds like an endearing process. But a phenomenal thing occurs when we stop trying to distract ourselves from what we are experiencing as pain and suffering, and simply sink into the fullness of the experience.  Does it seem hard and painful? Yes. AND, by invoking your Divine into the process/ realizing that your Divine is present in the process, it is possible. Do-able. Be-able. Survivable.

How do you invoke your Divine into such a process? How do you even feel connected with a “Divine” strongly enough to *want* to invoke your Divine, especially if you’re suffering, and questioning if there really *IS* a God? And if the Divine is always present, why should you have to “invoke” it?

We’ll go into this process, and what I mean when I say “invoke the Divine,” as we continue our convo….

How do you feel about “soaking in” your suffering?  How about “invoking the Divine?”  Leave me a comment…

dalai-lama-quote-1-suffering

 

Why am I telling you all this?

I’ve felt compelled to share some of my history, simply because it continues to take me by surprise when people in my life now make comments like “Are you ever not smiling?” “Have you ever been unhappy?” “Do you ever get upset about anything?”

Because, of course things occur in my life and I don’t smile, and I feel sad, and I get upset. Heck, for a long time in my life, I “smiled” under such duress, I’m not sure I knew what a genuinely happy smile looked like/ felt like. I was so deeply unhappy, I couldn’t imagine there was anything else to be. And happy people looked so strange, and foreign; I decided they were fake. Or doing drugs. I was upset about damned near *everything* in my life.  I hurt, deep within the center of my being; I ached. And I hated it. And me. And everything.

And the events in my life have not magically changed. There are still things that are very sad and very challenging that happen in my life. What is different, is, oddly enough, that I fully experience them – no matter how crappy or even happy that they feel to me in the moment – I fully experience them when they happen. (We’ll talk about what that means, as we go along…)

I have come to realize that the pain and suffering that I felt to be the constant of my life, was occurring because – out of my fear of the pain and suffering – I was trying to NOT experience what was happening, fully. Heck, I was trying to NOT experience it, any at all. Hello!! It was crappy! Who would want to experience that fully? That would be fully crappy!!  Or so I thought.  And so I continued “living”  in this odd little story that I wanted to be happy, so I must push away, or push down, or choke on, every emotion that didn’t fit my definition of “happy” or “positive” or “good” or “right.”

I was flipping exhausted all the time, trying to stop all the “negative” “bad” “wrong” thoughts and emotions and events from occurring in my life. From occurring in me. And I was miserable. And the people I tried to love? Well, I’m guessing they were pretty miserable, too.  I say “tried to love,” because, tell me truly – how loving can a person be, when their core experience is misery?  Of course, there is love; of course there is caring; of course there is wanting the best for everyone that one loves…. But, again, how functional, how uplifting, how nurturing can “love” be, when it is sourced in a steady background of self-loathing and pain?

Does any of this sound any kind of familiar?  Now that I am not caught up in that matrix of misery, it is easy to see it around me, everyday; people continuing to do this crazy thing to themselves and the people they love, all the time.

And I am here, saying all of this, to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. That a shift is possible. And it is easy, if you want it. And the effects are transformational. And, while the focus is simply on your self – the ripple effects are impossible to stop!  This shift will impact your closest friends and relatives. And out into your community. And it will flipping Change The World.  And it is. Changing the World, that is.  And, if you come along for the ride – well, you can tell me if anything changes for you.  Talk to me, in the comments…

A New View of “Self-Responsibility”

In my previous post, I talked about my self-abusive take on “taking responsibility,” thinking that what I was doing was a shift from the self-blaming I seemed to naturally resort to in my life’s experiences. It took quite a bit of a change in perspective to realize that my so-called alternative to self-blaming was just as hurtful and self-misleading as self-blaming.  It took quite a bit of change in perspective to realize how horribly hurtful and damaging both of those approaches truly were – not just to my own self, but to everyone with whom I was in relationship.

A steady stream of self-hate does not nourish love. (yeah, go ahead and say “DUH!” – it’s true.) One who does not feel love for herself, cannot truly experience love for any one else.  (Does that seem as obvious to you?)  How would one have any idea what love and loving truly is, when the day to day experience of self-loathing is the major life experience?

In what was at first a slow evolution, I experienced a shift in the way I chose to interact with myself. I was so tired of being in so much emotional pain, for so long, all the time. I began to open up to the universe for the possibility of a different experience. I began to ask the universe for a different experience. And, amazingly, I began to have a different experience. And the shift occurred when I opened up to the possibility of Divine Grace.  My own version of “finding Jesus,” I guess.  Just no names… [half-grin]

My awareness of “responsibility” shifted, tremendously. New awareness: Response-ability. The ability to respond. To what is truly present. What’s different? Responding, instead of re-acting. To what is truly present, instead of to the stories I was telling myself about what was happening. These are way bigger insights than I can cover, in this post. We’ll definitely revisit, & drill deeper on this.

Anyway, some amazing things began to happen. I began to have glimpses, feelings of unbounded love, happiness, joy.   I learned about such things as energy healing (reiki, shamballah, accupressure, healing touch, and more).  I began to explore the idea, and limits, of consciousness (I checked out the Monroe Institute, Remote Viewing, MultiDimensional Healing, and others).  And my life shifted exponentially.

Stay tuned – we’ll talk more…  What kinds of shifts of awareness/ perception have you experienced? How has it changed your life (or has it?)?

You gotta love this: as I was writing this post, a friend posted this image on facebook:  [full grin!]

maturityandchange

Trouble in the -hoods: Huge, Painful Mis-understanding….

It has been revolutionary for me to realize that there is a huge difference between “taking responsibility” and blaming myself.

For a very long time, my go-to response when something went wrong was to blame myself. I was stupid. I was wrong. I did the wrong thing. I said the wrong thing.   This would then spiral into a long, often incredibly drawn out, constant, ever-deepening self-loathing. What a worthless, despicable, horrible person/ waste of oxygen and space on this planet I felt myself to be.  I am not exaggerating. It was/ I was brutal.  To me. Constantly.  And, if, for any reason, things went well, it was source for instant “impostor syndrome” – people just don’t realize that I am worthless, despicable and horrible, or they wouldn’t be supporting me…..

I would swing back and forth, between “building myself up” and feeling totally valueless and defeated.  Reading self-help book after self-help book; gobbling up articles in magazines (that’s what we read back then,  kids…)  about how to be a better… friend, employee, person… anything/everything — just knowing that I totally needed to NOT BE ME, to somehow be better than that.

So I’d go from blaming myself – this is all my fault and I’m such a miserable excuse of a person; to “taking responsibility” – yes, I’m a miserable excuse of a person, but, see I’m trying to improve myself.

Are you getting a sense of a problem, there? Well, there are lots of them – but here’s the one I’m drilling at: what I was calling taking responsibility was just another version of blaming myself.  Do you see that?  Holy f-in’ moly!!  I was never going to get out of that pit that I just kept digging for myself, no matter what I called it.

It went on for years – throughout childhood, adolescence, adulthood, wife-hood, motherhood, divorce-hood.  It was rampant in every “hood” I went through. Depression. Suicidal thoughts. Suicidal behaviors. Vicious, brutal self-loathing, permeating every cell of my being. Feeling un-lovable, unless I was being what someone else wanted me to be, because who I thought I was, was so ugly and uncomfortable for me. Trying to love and be loving, but, without that experience of my own, with myself, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THAT REALLY WAS!

So, did anything/ could anything/ can anything ever change?

YES – something changed for me!  All sourced in a shift of perception. And the shift in perception allowed me the clarity to see that there is a better, more helpful, more loving, more holistic way of “taking responsibility,” and Oh. My. – yes, I’ll say it: God.  This shift has changed my life.  And I tell you, it can change yours, too.

Anything here resonate with you?  Stick with me as I continue to examine these shifts and experiences – and tell me about your own experiences, in the comments.