Sunday, August 30, 2009

A New Dawn: Accepting Being Good Enough

I think this is an unusually beautiful picture of the dawn...Just imagine standing there next to the lighthouse -- and taking in all that awesome wonder.
Sometimes we have inner revelations that can be just as powerful as the ones we are fortunate enough to witness outside of ourselves.
Many of us, at times, have a tendency to coerce ourselves into 'seeing things the way we think we should (or are supposed to) see things' ... I am not meaning 'positive thinking or optimism' ... but the kind of pretense that makes our Inner Being say: "Would you just get real here and not be afraid to see things for what they really are... and, for corn's sake, stop trying to act like you are obligated to always think nice thoughts or see it the way you think you 'should' in order to be a 'good person.' " Know what I mean?
I am writing this article because of what I have experienced--and hopefully learned from! Nerd --and, perhaps some of you might be able to relate. Learning and relearning. It's what we do. Even though we might have successfully recovered from the fear and guilt conditioning instilled in us by religion (in my case--many different religions Confused )... we still may find bits and pieces of that old thinking still sticking to us. Kinda like a piece of Velcro that accumulates those little pieces of lint and fuzz, etc...
Usually, when we find ourselves in some kind of an emotional mess, it came about as the result of having reactivated some of those old self-damaging beliefs that formerly caused us much grief, worry, or concern. We are wise when we choose to 'see' these patterns. Flower
Many of us (I am in total awe of those of you who have overcome this problem!) still have a habit of thinking "I've got to do better and work harder because I'm not-good-enough".... Even though we may have _intellectually overcome_ the religious dogma that convinced us we were sinful creatures in need of saving, constant admonishing, and forever deserving of punishment -- emotionally we find those beliefs are like the lint and fuzz on the Velcro, AND we STILL find ourselves trying to please and appease the Old God...the old God that punishes us for disappointing 'him.' If we like to admit it or not -- we inwardly know the reason we believe we are 'not good enough' -- is based on fear. The belief in that 'old God concept' is at the very deepest root of it 'enlightened' as we we like to think we are! Rolling Eyes
Equal to the fear-based belief that human beings are 'by nature bad and prone to sin' - this belief goes hand in hand with the idea that life itself is _meant_ to be difficult, that we are meant to suffer; and the reason we are on Earth is a test that includes suffering and endurance...then we die and hopefully go to heaven... IF... we've been 'good enough.' Flower
Ironically, THIS type of belief system results in turning us into control freaks -- people who simply HAVE to be right, who must be in total control of their lives; those who are always ones who have been wronged, people obsessed with blaming others -- all the while having to bear in mind we must not blame God because he might get pissed and cause even more bad things to happen to us. Lips Are Sealed ... The results from the old beliefs are: anger or defeat or both--both spring from fear. When you blend anger and defeat the result is Depression... and heaven only knows...there's enough of THAT going around.
The foremost characteristic of depression is a sense of powerlessness. Seth told us that violence, physical or emotional, is the result of DIS-allowing our natural feelings of hatred, anger, disgust, etc.. Religion taught us we were WRONG for just plain having these feelings!... So when these negative feelings are continuously STIFLED within us -- rather than allowing them to 'just be'...the dam will eventually burst and overflow and violence is the result.
This is one of the reasons that "political correctness" has, IMO, made things worse...not better. Seth (nor I~! :) advocate we should be physically ACTING UPON our so called negative feelings... but to recognize that they, also, are 'normal and natural' and are 'trying to tell us something. Flower
Religion has taught us to disregard and mistrust our Intuition, our Inner Feelings -- even though the purpose of ALL of our feelings is to help us realign with Source. Once we stop beating ourselves up for simply experiencing negative feelings and just allow them to be, to flow...and stop condemning ourselves for having them, they will dissapate SO much more quickly... allowing us to realign more quickly with what FEELS GOOD to us.
We have way too many built in Fear Filters through which we view the world... although we may not acknowledge them as such. We get so used to it, we don't even recognize them as Fear-based beliefs. Therefore, we are continuoulsly saying to ourselves: "I shouldn't do that, or say that, or think that, or be that..." constantly reinforcing within ourselves that we better strive to be 'good enough' or God's gonna make us pay for it one way or another! If we continue to BELIEVE we are 'bad' --the more the Law of Attraction will provide 'bad' things for us to do --and then regret and feel guilty about. Whether or not we are Catholic, many of us are constantly present in the Confessional of a judgmental God; mentally reciting all the 'wrong and bad' things we keep doing. It gets to be a wearisome, hopeless, vicious circle.
Is it as simple as just telling ourselves "I _AM_ good enough" ?? Actually, I think it is (now stop thinking of examples that have NOTHING to do with YOU!) IF we are willing to BELIEVE it... We are all free to change our beliefs. At any time. Believe it or not! Nerd
An example: We betray our Real Self when we force ourselves to behave or talk in a way to others that goes against our Inner Feelings and Intuition. ..or by being "false" because we feel it will 'make us better people' by keeping the peace, flattering and enabling the other person, and just 'going along with them.' That is the ultimate in self-betrayal. It's not our business to "save" or convince anyone else of OUR opinions... but it IS our business to stay true to ourselves by gently but firmly not agreeing with what you observe is damaging the other person. We don't have the 'right' to purposely hurt or offend anyone. Sometimes the best thing to say is absolutely nothing. Just remain silent. Silence can be very effective.
I had a very challenging learning experience this past week that led me to see how I was trying to be "nice and supportive" (you know!--'good enough') when I should have been silent and listened to my own Inner Feelings and Intuition.
My 'teacher' was someone who has no belief whatsoever in creating her own reality -- but sees herself as a victim who desparately needs undeserved sympathy from anyone willing to listen to her stories -- always based on everyone else being at fault. My "lesson" came as the result of my OWN (not hers!) "false seeing." When I realized and had to _truly see_ that my fear-based motivation manifested as: I "need to" or "should" or "had to be nice and supportive, sympathetic, and even empathic" even when it felt so wrong to me... I finally woke up! My reactions to her did not come from "goodness" on my part but from FEAR of 'not being good enough person, kind enough, understanding enough, etc' -
The point here? I believe we've got to be willing to Slow Down. Buddhism calls it Being Mindful....and listen to that still small voice within us. It also means taking a determined stance to ignore those harmful old beliefs that we are not good enough. How different this world would be if we all would have been taught that we ARE good, self empowered beings... rather than have accepted what religion taught us. I know that in my own example that I shared with you ... had I not reverted to that 'not good enough belief' ... and been true to my own small voice, my own intuition, I would have saved myself from this 'teacher's' betrayal and judgment ... all she was doing was reflecting back to me that I was betraying and not beingt true to myself.
I started in realizing that the overwhelming majority of all my friends DO claim responsibility for their lives and do not play the role of 'victim' and are willing to look within themselves to see the beliefs that are causing their dilemmas. Even they don't always 'understand' why certain things happen. So, by the same token, I also have to give myself credit for their genuine goodness as something that is also being reflected. That is a true reason for JOY. I am grateful for this.
Each one of us are living and learning, sometimes making choices that result in having pain or grief... but the sooner we accept the Universal Law and the belief that we do indeed create our own reality, the sooner we will expect that feeling of FREEDOM that comes with it. It isn't really necessary to understand it all right now...but someday we will... When we do not understand the reasons, I think it could be a good time to start using more "Faith and Trust" on our pathways. Flower
Just IMAGINE how awesome that collective Inner Dawn could be if we all chose to believe we are GOOD ENOUGH. Wow....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friends, Enemies, and Vampires, and Death

Friends, enemies, and vampires. Sometimes it's hard to separate them and assign these labels to our individual acquaintances. They have a tendency to blur together...depending, of course, upon how one defines them.
There are a kazillion poems, articles, and greeting card phrases ( and soppy country western songs) describing "What Is A Friend" ... many of them are so sugary or syrupy they nearly make you gag.
Many of you reading this might have met thousands of people over the course of your lifetime. Some became friends. Most didn't. Most of us have never encountered any 'real' enemies whose purpose it was to harm us physically or emotionally, but 'psychically' is another matter. If you want to hear the rather dubious phrase "He had many, many friends and no enemies' -- just attend a funeral. Its usually after people are dead that many feel obligated to say a bunch of stuff you couldn't have paid them to say when the person was still alive. Nice things to say and bunches of flowers are always offered at funerals. A person who was never given a single flower in his or her lifetime finds his coffin deluged in huge flower arrangements. Then again, never have so many men (outside of a good drag show) worn so much make up. It's all so goofy.. and let's not forget the "She (or he) is just away" phrases on sympathy cards that endlessly talk about sunrises and sunsets in ways that one would nerver normally talk. OK, some 'tributes' are OK....blah, blah, blah... We do love our dramas though, don't we. It's easy to 'feel' who a genuine friend is when there has been a death in your midst.
Friends come and go...but very, very, very few are 'life long friends' who have managed to put up with us (or we with them) ... But if and when this DOES happen and we manage to endure each other through the ages, it is usually because these people really DO know us and we really DO know what they are all about -- and we have managed to tolerate each other through the years. NO ONE however, can say that we know each other 'completely, 100%' ...nope. Some may come close...but most of the time its romantic, wishful thinking. Hallmark cards again.
The words "a good friend" will never be accurately described by some flowery, sentimental words in a song or on a card. It just doesn't get the job done right. There is one quote by Jan Reinhardt, however, that I think does a most wonderful job of describing what a true friend is:
"Don't walk ahead of me. I may not want to follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not want to lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." To me, that is much more powerful and speaks to the heart in a genuine, believable way.
Here are my tongue-in-cheek definitions of friends, enemies, and vampires.
A FRIEND: ... is someone who, for the most part, enjoys your company, is willing to allow you your own opinions and ideas, and to whom neither one of you feel obligated to. You feel comfortable around this person but you don't 'owe them' anything and they don't owe you' anything which includes undying faithful loyalty. If you 'need or crave' that, get a dog. The most important quality, me... of a friendship is that of mutual respect. There should be no need for competition, or any need to impress one another. What we must remember, however, is to allow and accept each other's differences and uniqueness. Sometimes, the person who IS a good friend, might need to walk away if our own demeanor sends out bad vibes. They are not under obligation to 'save us'...and sometimes a temporary or even a permanent disappearing might be in order. Lecturing others is most often NOT in order. A good friend points out your strengths and is encouraging, but is not a co-dependant who overly sympathizes with your weaknesses.
AN ENEMY: An enemy is a hypocrite...mainly. You are an accessory and not a real person to them. Their intent is not so much to hurt or harm you in actuality as it is not caring if they do or not. They don't really 'talk' to you...they utter proper phrases, be they clever, hurtful, or meant to sound impressive. Basically, they don't give a shit if you are dead or alive but will most likely 'send flowers' and say words to impress upon others their deep graciousness and sensitivity. They are NOT there for you --nor will they encourage you...Although perhaps -- to the extent others may hear them utter profound words of wisdom for which they themselves, of course, receive compliments and admiration. They are full of phoney baloney. And most of us know that part of the cow THAT baloney comes from.
A VAMPIRE: A vampire is totally ego-centric and a born user. Some of them are aware of what they are doing ... others are as dense as sour milk.... but they most definately are not 'good for you.' They will suck you dry of all your energy because it is how their egos survive. The extroverted type may appear sweet, witty, clever, oh-so-funny, laughing, complimentary, and make offers they never intend to keep but make them look good. The introverted vampire whimpers and acts helpless. Their roles beg for attention; they need constant reassurance, always display a need to be saved, and will often tell you how wonderful you minute...then turn around and stab you in the back the next minute, but with cleverness and slyness....They may also be given to 'stabbing remarks' then say: "I really shouldn't say that, should I...I'm just so bad..."--This is common,however, to BOTH types of vampires. Vampires come in two types: the helpless and needy, who play the sympathy card....or....the ones that are loud, flashy, 3 ring circus performers demanding your constant attention because they think they are just so f'-ing wonderful! --but they need your constant agreement. After being with these people (in either catagory) for any length of time, your energy level is that of the Energizer Bunny with completely defunct, drained, dead batteries....
I thought a picture of a cactus flower was appropriate because I think it expresses so well what friendship can be about. Beautiful--but handle with care. We cannot afford to live our lives dependant upon friends or ANYONE... That is _not_ meant to be a statement steeped in sadness, despondency, or glumness...but that of self-realization that the one and only friend you have that you need to honor, appreciate, and truly take care of the one you see in the mirror. Once you feel good about the friendship with yourself, you will develope the inner sense skills appreciate good friends, avoid enemies, and recognize vampires. the good ol' Golden Rule teaches: ideally we will learn that we ourselves need to treat others...the way we would like to be treated. With respect. And -- we are learning that some 'friends' just gotta be dropped like hot potatoes.... Bless them on their way...and get on to devoting your life to what we inwardly KNOW makes us Feel Good and is Good For Us.
Life is but a lets row our boats gently down the stream....
Merrily, merrily, merrily.... :) Namaste'.