“If I don’t love myself, how can I love anyone else?” I let this question go deep inside me. I find it is the quickest entry into the reality that what I call “love” for others can really be something else. Maybe it’s a need or perhaps a desire. Or maybe it’s a moment of connecting with the love deep within me. And then I project it on another, making them the false source of it.
When I recognize an expansive, caring feeling for MYSELF, I also experience a corresponding expansion – love if you will – for others. Those amazing moments give me a taste of what the mystics have called “unconditional love.”
“I’d like to (fill in what you’d like to do), BUT (fill in the reasons why you don’t do it).
When this is NOT a sham (we really don’t want to do what we say we’d like to do), this sentence structure reveals a split in the mind: The LEFT is the part that wants to do it. The RIGHT has all kinds of logic, “shoulds” and “have tos” on its side to stop the LEFT side.
So what does this produce in us? Sadness? Resignation? A strong feeling of obligation or guilt? Depression? A feeling of hopelessness? And how much of our lives do we LIVE in this place because the right side (the Inner Critic) wins and we feel compelled to do what it says?
THIS is how the Inner Critic operates! This is what keeps us confined, infantile, contracted! There are ways out of this place – ways to effectively deal with and understand this controlling part of the mind.
Join us September 5 – 7 for “Freedom to Be Yourself: Transforming the Inner Critic into Inner Peace!” It is a weekend workshop at the World of Meditation Center in Seattle. For all the details, go to http://bit.ly/1jqB7L6 and STOP the inner Critic from controlling your life! (And save $100 with the amazing early bird offer!)
So much of our language is not calling a spade a spade!
It will be interesting to see if future generations have any idea what we meant by the language we chose in this and past eras to describe perfectly natural functions – especially of the body!
Have you ever explored the fact that most of us have attached specific FEELINGS to days of the week?! Fridays hold lots of promise. Just a bit of perseverance leads to that marvelous thing called “Friday Night!” which is the entrance to “The Weekend!!!” My kid’s heart still rejoices at the sound of the word “Saturday!!” And strange as it sounds, “Sunday” has a mild depression associated with it! It the end of the weekend, and hints to that hellish word, “Monday…” (Yuck!) (Did you know that there are more heart attacks on Monday than any other day?!!!)
Tuesday and Wednesday sort of melt together as a blur. Thursday has a tinge of Friday associated with it. (“It’s coming…it’s coming! Soon..soon!!!)
Exploring this phenomenon once again shows a) the craziness of the mind; b) the negative feeling I had for school, when I couldn’t WAIT for the weekend; and c) how that pattern continued in my work once I left school.
I’m happy to say that these days, many times I am unaware what day it is! The only thing that reminds me is the schedule I have to do the things I enjoy doing! So, in a way, EVERY day becomes Saturday!
I wish that feeling becomes yours too, as you do what makes your heart sing each and every day of your life!
Inquiring into “what matters” has been a fascinating and expansive process for me!
What matters? How many times have I experienced that something matters very much, only to discover later on that it really doesn’t matter?! Or that at first it appears not to matter, but it morphs into something that DOES matter!!
I’ve experienced times when there were also at least two extreme gauges – where it seemed that either EVERYTHING matters, or that NOTHING matters. (This could be the subject of a book!).
And perhaps the most significant understanding has come when the mind slows down and even disappears for a short time. In that space, “what matters” is irrelevant. Instead, everything just IS. And it is pure JOY!
So the mind and “what matters” seem to be deeply related!!
If you’re interested in exploring, take a look at what matters – or doesn’t matter – for you!
Just a reminder of something Osho has shared with us. I heard him say that courage is not the absence of fear. It is HAVING the fear, and still doing whatever it is anyway!
And here’s an amazing understanding: Without fear, the word “courage” cannot exist. Without fear, there is nothing to be courageous about! It doesn’t take courage to do all the mundane things that we do daily in our lives. That’s because there is no fear in doing them! It’s only when we start feeling the fear that courage is needed.
So we can use Pema Chödrön’s advice to go to the places that scare us. Have the courage, and you may find what I’ve found: once there, it isn’t nearly as scarey as the mind has convinced me it is! And I learn SO MUCH from going there!
I wish you a life where courage becomes more and more available for you, to balance the fear that the mind creates!
Just start with the smallest fears first so that they don’t overwhelm you. They may sometimes be experienced as resistance to something. When that is felt, STOP. Close your eyes if that feels comfortable. Experience the breath and gently slow it down. And when possible, say yes to what is being resisted.
Here is one of the best gifts I know of that I can give myself: setting aside 20 minutes to simply digest whatever is there, without any other agenda…sitting in a comfortable chair, with nowhere to go and nothing to do; and no direction anything should go in! It’s a time for the mind to speak whatever it wants…or not speak at all. It can be truly a blessing, and amazingly, many “problems” get sorted out and begin to disappear – and insights get permission to bloom!
Sometimes just a little shift changes life in the most amazing ways!
BEING with the moment, rather than racing through it is one of those shifts for me.
So, for example, the next time it’s raining, why not…STOP! And then just BE with the rain, and the sounds and the feelings, instead of running to get somewhere.
If only we COULD genuinely step into the shoes of the other! We might see different parts of the universe that are foreign to us! AND we might discover that those parts are really hidden parts of ourselves.