How knowing your own challenges and issues can help others

As I explore and inquire into my life, I understand the challenges I have faced and the amazing ways I have found to survive all that I have been through. And not only survive, but THRIVE in my life!
Knowing and understanding this, it is so much easier to be gentle and understanding with others and their ways of dealing with life.
So once again, I understand that everything starts at the source within me: it is an “inside-out” job! There is no way I can be understanding of others without the understandings I have gained of myself.

The power of words, #648: Disillusioned.

The power of words, #648: Disillusioned.
When people tell me they are “DISILLUSIONED, ” I sometimes say, “Great!”
“What?!” they say in disbelief. “Yes, Great!!” I say. “I don’t want you to live in illusions. So it is wonderful to get rid of them!”

It is clear to me that whenever I have an idea of how something is SUPPOSED to happen, I am setting myself up for disappointment. It is as if I am a movie projector, projecting something on the screen of life, oblivious to the presence of the screen and what it is. And if life doesn’t fit my projection – then I become disillusioned!
I am constantly reminded by life that all expectations are illusions of one sort or another. They are ideals that the mind creates and then imposes on existence. And, just a little awareness tells me, more often than not, that existence can easily reject these expectations.
The lesson? Whenever I become AWARE that the mind is creating an ideal, an expectation, an illusion, it starts to drop on its own. Then existence shows me WHAT IS. At first, the mind sputters and resists this. That is simply because the mind has NO IDEA how to live without illusions and accept what is behind them. Then, awareness brings me up to reality, with a whole new alive viewpoint!
It’s a knack that is available to everyone! So, go for it!

Preferences and Expectations – a Good recipe for Pain!

I just read a quote from the Chinese mystic, Sosan, who said, “The great way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.”

When I first read this, I really laughed! No preferences. Hmmm. Certainly not me! But I also realized that being with Osho and meditation have given me an understanding and a remembrance that I can sometimes go to, which is to watch the expectations…and watch the feelings of disappointment and frustration. Then I don’t get so caught in them.
Yes, they are still there, but more at a distance and not so powerful. And then I can even laugh at them…like when I hear the statement, “Want to make God laugh? Just tell him you have a plan…!”
I’ve also found it easier to deal with unfulfilled expectations when I see myself as a wave in the ocean. In a way, that would be like the wave getting upset with the ocean for not doing what it wanted it to do. When I get that, it looks so absurd! Yet, isn’t that what we are doing when we get upset with the way things are happening for us?

On Being Yourself

Q. I am having great difficulty in being myself. It seems that others – my parents, my girlfriend, and my friends – want me to be a certain way…and it is driving me crazy. I want to live authentically, but they force me to be otherwise. Is there any escape from this insanity?

Subhan: What you write is a common experience for most of us! So welcome to the club. We feel pressured to be what others want us to be. And if we don’t do that, we feel not only their disapproval, but also an inner judge that beats us up for not meeting their expectations. The situation becomes really crazy when, at the same time, we have a strong urge to want to disregard their expectations and to live a life that is authentically ours…not theirs!
The simplest way I can put it is this: From our birth, we were given messages that the sources of our survival, love and worth were outside of ourselves. Everything we saw, smelled, heard, tasted and touched was “out there.” The fact of the matter is that in our infancy, our survival WAS dependent on others taking care of us. So we bought the notion – very unconsciously – that virtually everything in our lives depended on what happened “out there.” But once we were able to feed and take care of ourselves, this notion was no longer was true. Someone forgot to tell us that. So we continued to look outside of ourselves for our value and sustenance.
If others are responsible for what we do or don’t do, then we are marginalized to the role of puppets…constantly at effect with what others expect and want from us. No wonder this feels insane. It IS insane! The other alternative is to find the source of our value and sustenance inside ourselves. What a novel idea! With this understanding, we are free to be ourselves and to attain an almost unlimited potential.
Try this statement on for size:
“Nobody can stop me from being me, except me. And, even then, it is still me (stopping me from being me).”
So, when you stop doing something because the other disapproves, it is still YOU doing the stopping – in their name, of course. And once you understand this, you can still stop yourself, OR you can do otherwise! It’s up to you.
Be patient and let this understanding grow in you. It has to start out as a seed. If you give it time and nurture it, it will give you roots and wings. It will one day grow into a tall tree of understanding that will touch the sky, with deep roots of intelligence that will go to the very center of the earth! And you will be free. Love…

Expectations and The Pain of Unworthiness

Questioner: Yes, time is precious. But is it so precious that people one is doing business with do not even bother dropping a line or two as a reply to urgent enquiries? Even a “Sorry, due to overload I will not be able to write to you for the next three months” would do. But simply ignoring the other… I feel this behavior is disrespectful , disheartening, unloving and simply rude. Is this only my trip?

Subhan: You ask: Is this only my trip? Here is how I understand it:
I certainly understand the need to be respected and the pain of feeling disrespected.
For me, it starts as the pain of unfulfilled expectation. “They should contact me and they haven’t.”
When that happens, I go deeper and underneath that I experience the pain of not being appreciated, of not being seen as someone worthy of a response.
This is MY wound. The other’s action is a trigger, but not the cause. So it can be a moment of pain and blaming the other for it; or it can become a deep learning about the wound of unworthiness that I carry within me.
And then the other becomes a teacher, rather than someone who has wronged me!

Questioner: Subhan, of course you are right, but that is the other level, perhaps the most important one. On the other hand – on the very down to earth – level – there are other people who depend on decisions being made, they want to get paid, for example… and then it is not only about appreciation, it is about daily life and freeing space for creativity instead of fretting… The look inside: very important. Trying to be emphatic – everyone – and put yourself into other peoples shoes, not wanting to let them wait – that’s important, too!

Subhan: Yes, I agree: being in the world is totally full of the challenges you speak about. And wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did the polite thing? Then they would make my life easier by fulfilling what I want them to do. So I can attempt to teach others the way I want to be treated. But they aren’t obliged to learn! And if my happiness is dependent upon their learning, then I am in trouble!

Here’s where the Indian mystic, Osho, turns everything upside down…and points to the only way out of this!

“If your expectations are fulfilled a hundred per cent, you will be living as if you are in the past, not in the future. You come home and you expected your wife to say something and she does. And you expected your child to behave in a certain way and the child does. Just think — you will be constantly in boredom. Nothing will happen. Everything will be just a repetition, as if you are seeing something which you have seen before, hearing something which you have heard before. Continuously you will see that it is a repetition of something. and repetition can never be satisfying. The new, the novel, the original, is needed.
So if your expectations are fulfilled. you will remain completely unfulfilled.
And if your expectations are not fulfilled. then you feel frustrated.
Once you drop expectations you have learned how to live. Then everything that happens fulfills you, whatsoever it is. For one thing, you never feel frustrated because in the first place you never expected. So frustration is impossible. Frustration is a shadow of expectation. With the expectation dropped, frustration drops on its own accord.
You cannot frustrate me, because I never expect anything. Whatsoever you do, I will say, ‘Good.’ I always say, ‘Good,’ except for only a few times when I say, ‘Very good.’
Once expectations are not there you are free to move into the unknown and to accept the unknown — whatsoever it brings. And to accept it with deep gratitude. Complaints disappear; grumbling disappears; whatsoever the situation, you always feel accepted, at home. Nobody is against you, existence is not a conspiracy against you — it is your home.”