I had a great dream the other day. I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a big smile on my face. It was just lovely.
First of all, I was thin in my dream. And, I was young. About 20 ish. That’s enough to make an older person like me smile for sure. But that wasn’t the best part.
The best part of the dream was learning to dance. The dream wasn’t about dance class or having an instructor. It was about a celebration in which I was invited to dance along with many others. I declined the offer to dance at first. I’ve not really been much of a dancer and have always felt awkward and self-conscious.
The one who asked me, took my hand and gently let me to do some easy dance steps around the floor. It was nice.
Then the music picked up the pace and he wanted to do some more, well, how do I say it . . . more lively moves. He wanted to swing me around! I certainly began to resist, but as I looked into his eyes (I don’t remember his face). I could see he was watching where we were going and he was keeping me safe.
I could let go. If I were brave enough. Maybe.
I told him that I couldn’t let go! He responded with, “of course you cannot. Unless you trust.”
Again, looking into his eyes, I knew I could trust him, and so we danced.
He swooped me around the room. I felt like Cinderella as I lost first one shoe and then the other. He flung me dangerously close to the table where people were sitting and eating and yet, he pulled me back just in time. I found myself saying, “oh, look at that.” As if swooping past diners was an everyday thing.
Seems like we danced forever. I woke up before the music was over with that delighted smile on my face and rolled over into a dreamless sleep that lasted until morning.
When I woke up, I was delighted to remember the dream and the feeling it gave me. I realized that the dream was telling me something about my life and about life in general.
We hang on to old perceptions and fears as if they will grant us safety or protection from life. We cannot let go, because we have nothing to hang onto to. Nothing we can trust will get us through. We feel life spins us around in a frenzy without direction.
Yet, perhaps this perspective isn’t accurate.
Perhaps Great Spirit, Divine Source, All That Is, has us by the hand and supports us as we twirl and swoop through life. Certainly, life has let us all down. And yet, through it all, we can sense the “hand of God” touching our lives and bringing grace out of chaos and peace out of turmoil.
What if we could “let go” of worry just a bit more?
What if we could “let go” of stress just a bit more?
What if we could “let go” of fear and the ‘what if’s’ just a little bit more?
Would we waltz through life with a smile on our faces?
Perhaps looking deeply into the eyes of the “One Who Holds Our Hand” will bring us into a deeper level of trust. How do we look more deeply into that which is unseen? Bringing our attention to those little synchronicities that show us we are connected. Noticing the kindness of others. Noticing we are not along in our journey to bliss. Others of like mind walk through our lives and bring us joy and insight.
I’m making a new commitment to be even more aware of how life dances with me. I’m allowing myself to let go a little more even when life spins me around. I’m choosing to smile at the near misses and know that my dance partner has got this – is paying attention – keeping me safe.
I bet I fall back into fear, too. And when I do, I can allow myself to remember to let go and dance with my whole heart and soul, body and mind.
This should be interesting!
Well, summer is bearing down upon us. With the rising temperatures here in the South Eastern Corner of Washington state into the triple digits, we feel like we are melting. Maybe it’s just me.
At any rate, with the rising heat often comes rising issues. It’s like the heat bakes them out of us. What we thought we’ve dealt with and cleared surfaces again. Only it really stinks as the hot sun of awareness hits it.
Again! I have to deal with this again!!
Apparently so. But here’s the deal. When we deal with stuff that rises to the surface again, it means that we are getting closer to the root. Those roots go deep and entangle themselves around all aspects of our awareness. It’s imperative to do the weeding that presents itself – as it presents itself.
But, how do we do that.
We look at it.
We refrain from judging it. That includes judging ourselves about that issue or judging others about that issue. It may stink and it may hurt, but blame and shame hurt and stink worse! Just notice what’s in your awareness. (My cat brought in a dead rabbit the other day. It smelled really bad! Old judgments of shame and blame smell even worse!)
Your awareness is like a child with a magnifying glass and a piece of paper. In just a few seconds, that piece of paper is going to smoke and catch fire. The fire of your awareness can now burn off any old crud that has risen into your consciousness.
Is it that simple? Simple, yes. Easy, no. It’s not easy to really look at stuff. It’s not easy to view it without judgment. It’s not easy to let go of blame and shame. If it’s not their fault and it’s not my fault, then . . . what is it?
It’s a thing that happened.
It’s a thing that hurt terribly or your memory would not have retrieved it. However!!! The memory retrieves these things not to further harm us, or to make you feel pain again; but rather the memory gives us one more opportunity to put it in a new perspective and be free of it!
It is the sub-conscious’ wisdom that knows you are ready to be free. Right now! Trust the process to move you out of pain and into freedom.
So, look at any emotional pain with the eyes of Love and Light until you no longer see blame or shame. When the judgment that causes shame and blame falls away, you are free.
Oh, and good news! We get to ask for help with this! Whatever your belief system, there are Beings of Love and Light that await your request for assistance. They eagerly come in as a cleaning crew and assist in clearing this old, stinky, painful stuff out.
It will be like the cool, refreshing evening breeze after a hot day. Bliss!
My office is a disaster. I’ve got notes from three classes spread out over most of the open surface. My file cabinets are full. These are on-going classes, so I choose to leave them out rather than figure out where to put another file cabinet.
I’ve also got study material in boxes on the floor for a dormant class that I hope to reactivate.
I have in my heart to teach yet another new class (or two) and that material exists in files waiting to be finalized.
Then there’s the Healing Light Expo stuff that is an ongoing project that I keep in a file box near my chair in case I need to access that information.
GAH!!! This is a physical representation of my brain! Scattered in all directions.
Each direction has value and purpose and importance!
I’m not even going to mention the cat toys that exist in this space.
And then there’s Phil whose idea of filing is stacking things on top of each other. Deepest being oldest. Surprisingly enough, he can find anything by just visualizing how long ago he came across that piece of paper and lifts about 3 month’s worth of debris and ta-daaa! There it is! (Kind of amazing, actually.)
Are you laughing yet? I know I am.
So, here’s a file I can stow in the Expo box. Here is a piece of paper in my copy stand for the Board of Trustees meetings and here is another for the Board sitting to the left of the church calendar. I can put those together. Cat toy next to the stapler can go in the toy basket. A button needing to be sown on an old sweater can go in the mending box. I’ll be right back…
Oh, look! A class I had put together that I never had the opportunity to present! I think the weather was bad last winter so I postponed it. That could be fun! I’ll get it on the calendar!
Oh look! A dust cloth! I will put that to use right now. Wonderful I can now see my desk!
Imagine what our brains look like. We hang on to odd bits and pieces of information and experiences as if they were life and death. Just as my trash can in now full and my desk is now clean, I can release those odd bits and pieces from my awareness. Do I really need to keep old church calendars from month’s past? Nope. I can let those go.
Untaught class material I spent hours creating? Let’s keep that!
So, how do we release all that mental junk?
Same way we release physical junk.
We look at it. We assign it value. Then, depending upon its value, we keep or purge. The trick is the valuation part. When I was 9 years old, my favorite toy had great value for me. That same toy might have some sentimental value, but might be something I could allow another child to play with. Looking at it stirs up memories and feelings. When we release a thing, the memories and the feelings may remain or they may dissipate . . . also depending upon what valuation we gave that item/memory. Could be that old toy isn’t salvageable. Maybe it’s worth millions! I get to research and see if it holds value. My valuation may not be accurate.
We tend to give painful memories more value than they are worth.
Why? Because we don’t want to be hurt like that again, so we hold on in order to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, two things happen when we do that. One, we often are hurt in different ways as we journey through life, so we hang on to old painful stuff needlessly. Two, when we hold on to old pain, we are telling the Universe – “Hey! This is important! Pain is important to me!” So, the Universe serves us up more because that’s the unconscious directive we’ve issued.
We’ve heard: “Learn the lesson, then move on.” We translate that to: “Keep that pain active and maybe I’ll see it coming next time.” What “learn the lesson” really means is: discover your part and heal. So, if someone hurt my feelings by talking behind my back, I can keep the pain of betrayal active and move into a state of not trusting; or, I can recognize that I didn’t see the tell-tale signs of that person’s needing approval before I shared myself with them – I now honor myself and recognize my own need for approval when it shows up. This second way offers me the power of choice. I can hold my own council without needing to over-share. When I do find someone who holds the energy of loyalty and honor, I can share myself more deeply.
Which is freeing? Keeping the pain of betrayal active? Honoring one’s self?
What’s really cool about all this is that we only need to bring awareness to our part and the energy attached to the pain disengages and dissipates.
Try it yourself!
What’s an old pain that still haunts you? Did you have a part in that? If not, you can cut yourself free by recognizing you were innocent. If you had a part in it, how can you honor yourself? Choosing to honor yourself also cuts you free.
Freedom is like a clean desk. It allows space to create new things or to focus on things of value.
Just like cleaning my desk, it requires a bit of time and energy, but once done, a lot less energy is expended. Before my desk was clear, I had negative feelings about “all I had to do.” I felt overwhelmed and burdened. Just looking at that cluttered desk sucked energy from me. When in truth, there were just a few things requiring my attention for now. It took a lot more energy to look at the clutter than it did to actually process through to a clean desk.
So, too with old pain. The realization that there is old stuff there to look at seems overwhelming. Yet, just like finding three of four pieces of paper scattered all over my desk that related to the Expo, putting them together and putting them in the file took a lot less effort than experiencing the clutter.
Find one thing that you’d like to release and get clear from. Look at it with the eyes of discernment – not the perceptions of a wounded victim. Did you have a part? No? Trash-can that experience and recognize your innocence as a soul. Did you have a part? Yes? Honor the aspect of yourself that sees the truth of who you are. Be the Sacred Observer and witness your own value. As you discover your value, the pain falls away. Peace descends upon you and you are free!
My desk is not spotless. I still have a few things yet to sort and file. But for now, I have clear space from which to create. As I bring my attention to those final pieces of clutter, I become freer and clearer. It’s a process. I am okay with it not being perfect in this moment.
As you claim/re-claim honor for yourself, you can relax in not having to be perfect in this moment. You get to be freer and clearer in the process.
And that’s a good thing!
We certainly have been having some lovely weather. A bit hot, then a few cools days. A bit of wind, then gentle breezes. Lovely.
As I was outside sitting on the deck just allowing myself to “be” for a few moments before jumping in to the next task, I found myself just enjoying the flowers in the yard.
Last year, I stumbled upon a bright orange Coneflower called “Fiesta”. It lives up to its name and hosts a party every day for bees and butterflies. This year, I stumbled upon a vibrant orange Calla Lilly and a deep burgundy Calla Lilly. I don’t remember their names, yet they were spectacular this spring. As I was noticing this area of the garden, I noticed some bright orange among the green of the Calla Lilly.
Was it blooming again?!
Often spring plants are “forced” to bloom early so they look good for sale. This Calla Lilly had displayed some great orange and yellow blooms (all on the same plant). I decided I’d go look and see if it were true and if there indeed were new blooms. (I was certainly hoping!)
As I got close, all of a sudden I heard a whirring sound and something flew out of the plant and startled me. It was a hummingbird!! Beautiful blue hummingbird! I couldn’t really tell if it was drinking from the Calla Lilly or if it was enjoying the Fiesta Coneflower.
It hovered nearby for just a moment. I backed away, saddened that I had interrupted it’s meal. It darted nearby and hovered a moment and looked at me before it zipped away. What a delightful moment!
I’m so very, very glad that I followed my heart’s desire to see the flowers up close. Had I followed that other part of me that realized it had work to do, I’d have missed that “Miracle Moment” with the hummingbird.
Metaphysically, hummingbirds represent doing the impossible – they fly backwards!
I have lots of things going on in my world that I’d like to accomplish, yet at times, I feel like I don’t know enough tech stuff or have enough energy. I had just been thinking about my heart’s desires to move forward in a couple of new areas and had been entertaining thoughts of doubt.
Little Hummingbird met me to bring me the message that “All things are possible.” I don’t have to do them all, I know people who know stuff . . . The help I require will appear when I need it – unexpectedly perhaps!
All this to say, if you get a nudge to do something, you might want to follow that. Miracle Moments happen when we follow those nudges!
I just got back from a week-long workshop in Sedona, Arizona.
I experienced some really cool breakthroughs and had some powerful experiences. Good news/bad news with that. These breakthroughs will ask me to change how I think, feel, do, and be. Some are effortless. One breakthrough happened instantaneously as I noticed the camera recording the training session. I remembered that I’m uncomfortable around cameras. Then I noticed that discomfort and asked myself what that was about. The answer flashed back, because the people at the other end of the camera are strangers. In that same instant, I felt myself start to laugh. I said to myself, “Those people aren’t any stranger than me or anybody else I know!”
In a rush, all fear disappeared. All discomfort faded.
The breakthrough happened and there is no hint of lingering distress that used to accompany every waking moment – and some dream time. The change was instant, profound and lasting.
And then there are those breakthroughs that bring up new ideas and new concepts to bring into action. I do feel some discomfort.
What will that look like?
How can I accomplish that?
What if no one likes this?
What if I fail?
Those darn “what if’s” show up to shut down the party.
Yet, I can allow them to be there while I look at them. What will that look like? I don’t really care what it looks like, I care how it feels. If I hold on to the feeling, then I can create something lovely and joyful and helpful! How can I accomplish that? I cannot. Well, I cannot at this moment. The information I need has not yet been received. The process has not yet been revealed. I can live with that. (I don’t WANT to live with that! I WANT to have the answers and the flight plan all laid out! Right?!?) Too funny. How limiting our fears express themselves.
What if no one likes this? What if I fail? What if I don’t? A better question asks, “What blessing accompanies this?” Whether I fail or not – whether anyone else thinks it’s great or not, doing this new thing brings me heart joy. That is sufficient. More than sufficient – that is great!
These new things require me to change my perspective, my actions and my direction. Mostly a shift in my mindset from same-ol’ into the new thing.
I will experience nothing out of the ordinary as shift happens - meaning, when I walk, I shift from one foot to the other and take weight off one leg and shift it to the other, shifting the weight within my core - yet the effort is seamless and goes unnoticed because I’ve walked for a long time now.
A small child weaves with every unsure step. Yes, I’m unsure with each new step, yet I’m not a child. I’ve failed before! I’m really good at it! If I fail again, I will have a ton of fun on the way! Oh, that’s not failing! That’s really living!
So, what new direction are you facing? Feeling a bit fearful? We get to! We get to feel that trepidation. We also get to allow Divine Source to guide our steps in a new way.
We are not babies. We are children of the Universe. We are children of Light. We have sufficient experience, insight and guidance to move forward fearlessly and joyfully.
Phil and I were working in the yard the other day. Well, he was doing most of the work. Now that we’ve got the new deck in, the yard is a mess. Was a mess. We got the flowerbed cleaned up and some plants removed and some transplanted.
The first day after their transplant, the plants looked a little puny. We had watered them, but they had a bit of shock. By the next day, they were perked up and looking happy with their fresh mulch around them. These little guys will grow and bloom in the fall. It will be fun to watch them grow.
I think our spirit guides think the same things of us!
Sometimes we have to be transplanted from where we are because we cannot breathe in our current situation. We cannot receive sufficient Light when surrounded by certain people/places/or things. Our inner being begs for us to breathe freely, so the Universe sets us up for change.
We can either choose to change for ourselves or resist and allow Spirit to handle it. Often when we drag our feet, the release of the old is more difficult than if we would just decide and shift.
Why do we drag our feet?
Because we don’t know what the unknown looks like or feels like. We don’t like the current situation, but we don’t know if we would like something different either. So, we attempt to stay stuck.
Our soul doesn’t like to be stuck. It likes to move forward. It likes to learn and grow. It cannot help it! Like my little flowers, the soul must grow! It has no option!
Our soul must flower! It has no option other than to bloom and be beautiful. No matter how hard we try to stunt its growth by hanging on to old stuff or hide under the energy of someone else, the soul must shine!
May as well get on board with that process!
Root out the old thought patterns that choke out the spiritual nutrients of life. Shift focus toward the Light. Dig deep into truth. It’s hardest at first, but once the hard work is done, you can sit back and enjoy the growth. You can breathe easy – relax.
There will be new weeds to attend to, but as we mindfully attend to them as they begin to take root, we can keep our spirit clear and nourished. We know the thoughts that keep us in the darkness. We know the patterns of behavior that hold us back. Let’s weed them out! Let’s bloom!
You’ve heard the term ‘bloom where you are planted’ – I say, plant yourself in Spirit’s Presence and bloom happens! In this, may you be richly blessed and be a blessing to others.
Cloud watching is great fun!
First thing about cloud watching is that it takes place when you take a minute to just be. Sometimes, I think clouds appear as interesting shapes to get our attention. This gives us a moment to cast our gaze away from the task at hand and into the expanse of the sky. When we observe the expanse of the sky, the little details of life gain perspective.
The second thing about cloud watching is that they move. What is here for this moment, shifts and moves and changes—effortlessly. We forget that life is fluid. We perceive it as hard and fast with strict deadlines to adhere to and important things to accomplish before the sun goes down. Watching the clouds grants us a moment’s breather from that mind set. As the clouds move effortlessly across the sky, we reunite with the concept of unseen forces moving to aid us in our journey. We rekindle the concept of shifting and the ability to modify our expectations.
The other thing about cloud watching is that clouds often bring us messages from Divine Source!!
How cool is that!?!
When dealing with something, (and aren’t we all?) You can ask for Divine Guidance and look at the clouds. You may notice a cloud forming into something that you recognize, like a beach ball or a doggie or something. You can then interpret the images into a message directly for you!!!
Once Phil and I were on our way home from Spokane and I was praying for the soldier that had been taken captive in China (years ago). As I prayed my prayer for this soldier’s safe return, I saw a cloud formation that looked just like a dragon spitting out a man who was running in the opposite direction. I felt peaceful about the situation. When we got home, it was on the news that night that the soldier had just been released about the time I saw that cloud!!
I’ve seen angels, kitties, row boats, anchors, sleeping babies, mountains, flowers . . . The list goes on!
What are YOU dealing with right now?
Clarify your issue: I’m struggling to find my passion. I’m working to hard. I’m unfocused. I don’t know how to move forward. I’m not sure what to do. I’m hoping for clearer communication in my relationships. I’m spun up. I’m worn out.
The clearer you can be, the clearer your message can be received.
Once you clearly identify your situation, then ask for Divine Guidance within the clouds. Then look up.
Either the first cloud you see will have information for you, or the clouds will shift and reform to bring you a new insight. Stay open to seeing whatever may appear. Even if it’s something silly. Your part is to just look. You can do that. Without judgment or expectation or fear, just look.
Once you perceive something—oh, that cloud looks like a ___________ (whatever), then you can ask for an interpretation of how it applies to your life. Sometimes I get these right away. Sometimes, it takes a bit of pondering.
I hope you take some time to do some cloud watching and watch your world open up!
We slept with the window open last night. It was nice to have fresh air. Until the wind picked up. Literally, the wind picked up dirt from the torn up landscape and delivered it to every horizontal surface in my home.
We used to be able to sleep with windows open even with the wind. Well, that was before the construction behind our house and before we cut out a big chunk of grass in front of the deck (still in construction). Here in the Tri-Cities, we live in an area with fine dust – silt from the Missoula Ice Age Floods. This fine grit travels quite nicely on a bit of a breeze. And then ever so evenly falls upon clean surfaces.
Well, mostly clean. I dust about once a week. I wipe of counters three or four times a day sometimes . . . I tend to spill whatever it is that I’m cooking. This morning my wet rag was covered in dirt.
Isn’t that how it is with ourselves and our spiritual life?
We leave that window open just once and we have damage control to manage.
If I allow myself an opportunity to feel sorry for myself, or beat myself up about something, I’m cleaning up remnants of that “shame-blame dust” for days afterward. Just like the dust all over everything, “shame-blame dust” gets everywhere in our conscious and subconscious being.
Like a dry cloth just spreads dust around, getting mad at ourselves for our diligence slipping. Being irritated at ourselves just adds another layer of “shame-blame dust” over what we are trying to clear.
So, how do we clear that stuff?
First, I like to look at it in amazement. Wow! Look at how much crap is here! It can be almost funny. I was just fine a couple of days ago and then I doubted myself or I criticized myself because I could have done it better. Now the whole place is dusty! Dust is everywhere. All aspects of my life are gritty and unpleasant with negative thinking, followed by more judgment and negativity! It’s crazy! By noticing it in this way – “Wow! Look at that!” I shift out of judgment mode. Shifting out of judgment mode is the beginning of the shift and clearing.
Next, I pray about it. I tell ya, I cannot do this clearing stuff alone. Prayer is the part that allows the “dust” to stick to the cleaning cloth and be washed away. Even if it’s just noticing I haven’t been taking care of myself for optimum physical health. . . it’s vital to shift out of shame-blame in order to take the next step and I often cannot move out of shame-blame without Divine Intervention!
There is no wrong way to pray. Just open to Divine Source and speak from your heart.
Once I’ve prayed about it, I keep praying. Throughout the next day or so, I specifically recognize each and every time judgment (shame-blame) comes up and ask to be uplifted out of that. Each time I pray it gets easier.
As prayer continues, I begin to take some different steps. Maybe boredom was the cause of the previous slippage. How can I do it differently? If I’m not eating appropriately, what could I add to my meals that would wake them up. What could shake up and wake up my taste buds while blessing my physical body with nutrients necessary for good health? What joyful action could I take to ease the boredom of same-old-same-old? How can I bring fun back into my moments?
Once I start to do the little things a little differently, I start feeling much better and clearer.
Finally, I apply gratitude. This can be really challenging while I’m in-process of clearing. I find gratitude illusive when I’m covered in “shame-blame dust.” Yet, finding gratitude reinforces the positive energy and totally sweeps the last remnants of grit out of my awareness. I may not be able to find gratitude with a current situation, so I look for other things to focus my gratitude upon. I can allow feelings – deep feelings- of gratitude to emerge when I look at a flower or think about a kindness someone has done for me. Once I access the gratitude, then I can access the flow of gratitude that can wash over my whole being. Everything in my life becomes awash with gratitude. Colors brighten, relationships flourish, ideas and creativity ignite, energy magnifies, insight expands.
There is just so long that we can ignore the “shame-blame dust” before it becomes intolerable. Don’t wait! Life is so much more pleasant without grit. It takes a bit of effort, yet this effort seems effortless in comparison to the effort it takes to ignore the “shame-blame dust.” The space you can create beyond the grit grants you an amazing amount of energy and peace.
You deserve a clean slate!
I took a few minutes this morning to clear out my winter clothes and put them away. Gratefully! So glad the cold weather seems to be gone. I pulled out (unearthed) my summer things and, as always, found delight in forgotten garments. Pretty spring colors brought a smile to my heart. I’ll find a place to put them after the rest of the winter stuff gets stowed away. In the meantime, there are heaps of clothes here and there. As a Virgo, this is disconcerting to say the least. Yet, life goes on and my time dedicated to the garment shuffle was limited this morning.
I made coffee and homemade cookies and my brother stopped by. Nice! We sat outside in the lovely spring weather. We walked around the yard looking at all the irises in bloom. I noticed that there were a few mums that I had not broken off last year’s dead stalks. After my brother and his dog Simon, took their leave, I went out and started to break off the dead stuff.
I vigorously went to work braking and pulling dead stuff.
It didn’t take long before I realized I was pulling up the new sprouts with the old stuff. I had to slow down. I had to look before I yanked. I had to discern what was dead and what was alive. As I started getting rid of the dead stuff, the new growth and the new blooms just seemed to pop and look alive! They already were alive, but they were lost under the shroud of the dead stalks.
So, too, we have things die in our world. Old dreams. Old relationships. Old careers. Old perceptions.
So, too, it’s important to look before we discard the old. Is it totally dead? Is there new growth to nurture? Is it making everything else in our world look grim and dried up?
Instead of vigorously attacking what we are getting rid of perhaps a better approach would be rigorously. Using rigorous attention to the task at hand.
As I was breaking off the old mum stalks, weeds could be seen. I had to pull the new growth apart so I could get to the root of the weed and pull it out so it would not regrow. This rigorous attention allowed me to remove the week while leaving the flowers undisturbed.
Whether you are just cycling through seasonal changes or you are taking out aspects of your life that have died, take your time. Look at the good stuff first. What’s good and growing in your life right now. Identify and nurture those things. This will grant you energy and strength for the task ahead.
As you look at that which remains and must be removed, check to see if there lies any value left. Sometimes, in our moments of distress we tend to rip out the good stuff along with the unusable. We tear out the flower bed of our hearts and leave it bare – where weeds will soon take over.
Instead, apply that rigorous attention. Recognize the value that might remain and remove only that which is truly dead. Remove it gently. Remove it with honor. It served its purpose. It lasted as long as it could. It blessed in its own season.
Clearing our old heartache may seem a more difficult task. Yet, with honor, rigorous honesty, and gentleness, that which no longer serves can be pulled out of our awareness. Then the new, bright, joyous flowering moments of growth can flourish. It, too in its own season.
Each new day holds a new opportunity. We can choose how we respond to the day as it unfolds. Except for those pesky habituated patterns.
I grew up in a household that allowed angry outbursts as an appropriate response to anything challenging. A misplaced item was met with an angry outburst. A chore left undone was met with a negative response. So, that’s what I thought life aught to look like. Whatever happens needs to be addressed with anger.
Well, you can imagine how well that worked for me.
One day (many years ago) I found myself getting ready to go out for the day. It can be kind of zen to curl one’s hair. Mine was long at the time, so it took quite a bit of time. As I was standing there allowing the heat of the curling iron to do its work, I found myself contemplating my reactions and how unfruitful and unpleasant they were. I pondered if there was a better way to be/live.
At that exact moment someone came in (not Phil) and exclaimed their displeasure at something happening in the world . . . that same angry outburst I was familiar with though it was about something that had nothing to do with me.
In that moment I had the choice to react as I always had, or to find a new way to react. Well, I didn’t have any other way to react in my toolbox as yet, so I just continued to do my hair while I mentally searched for a response.
Interesting thing happened. The other person stopped yelling and just walked away. Aha! Doing my own thing was a response and it gave me what I wanted – peace within myself. I didn’t have to correct the other person or address their anger. I could just allow them to be where they were and not get sucked into it.
That was a profound moment for me!
As I finished getting ready, I wondered how I could apply this to other situations. Like situations where I was being dressed down for something I had done or not done. Well, doing my own thing was not a solution when directly verbally addressed because that gave the other person ammunition to accuse me of ignoring them or being passive-aggressive.
So, what could I do! I loved that sense of inner calm and peace! I wanted more of that!
I discovered that truth is an open door to neutrality. Not beating someone up with my truth, but rather just calmly expressing where I was at. In that way, truth is neutral. Neither hurting the other person, nor diminishing me.
When hit with, “You didn’t do that right!” I could respond gently with my truth. “Hmmm. I thought that was how it was done.”
“You didn’t do that right!” It is soooooo easy to respond to anger with anger. “Well, who are you to tell me how to do that?!” Yet, because anger begets anger, when anger is applied, more anger happens. Vicious cycle emerges leading to frustration, tears, or worse.
Once I made the commitment to find my truth and speak it gently, the real work began. Once I got triggered, I could NOT THINK!! My mind went blank! They only thing I could think was the habituated negative responses!
So, I began to pack a few neutral truth responses into my conscious brain when I was in a state of calmness. Then when the negative attack happened (as was the habituated pattern with this person) I could call upon my list of neutral statements to disarm myself and reclaim my brain out of the abyss of habit.
“Well, I’m not sure how to respond to that.” (truth!)
“I don’t know what to say, here.” (truth!)
“Hmm. I’m going to think about what you are saying here.” (truth!)
“I need to go to the bathroom. I’ll be back in a minute.” (This one works great!!!)
“I don’t think I see this the same way you do.” (truth!)
No accusations. No defensive/hostile comments. No judgments on the other person. Just neutral truth.
Did that heal that relationship? No. Sadly. Yet, it brought me into a clearer state of mind to a place where I could see my truth and begin to walk in it. I could disengage from the habituated anger cycle that was so familiar.
Do I ever get angry? Yes. Yet, I can speak my truth much more easily. (Sometimes it’s still hard! Especially if the other person is angry and I feel myself get triggered.) Now, I can feel my brain shutting down and I know the importance of getting space between me and the situation.
Truth is an open door to emotional freedom. Truth is the gateway to clarity. Truth is the passageway into honor and self-respect. Truth is the portal to awareness. Truth is the access point to dignity.
May truth lead you into peace.