How I Lost God and Found My Way (Part 4)

Listen to the story of how I met Jesus (Yeshua) in a vision, in 1987, which eventually led me back to God…with a whole new understanding of God.

 


5 Warning Signs that You Need Self-Compassion

  • pointing fingerYour Inner Critic is beating you up by saying all kinds of mean things about you.
  • Your Inner Judge accuses you of wrong-doing. The gavel comes down. Boom! Guilty as charged!
  • The Self-Hater is making you feel like sh-t.

Quick!  Take a large dose of Self-Compassion. No negative side effects. Repeat as often as needed.

Sometimes it’s obvious that you are in need of the warm embrace of self-compassion. The warning signs are like flashing neon lights in Times Square.  You feel really bad, and you know you need relief. At other times, the signals are more subtle. Or, maybe you are just so used to hearing those harsh inner voices that you don’t even think about them as calls for compassion. I’m noticing that the more inner work and healing I do, the more I’m able to sense a very faint signal of distress that’s at the very root of the ego: A basic sense of “not ok-ness”.

Consider these 5 warning signs, so you can be more aware of your need for compassion, whether the signals are loud and clear or faint and muffled:

1. Feeling “not enough”. “I’m not __________ (fill in the blank) enough.”  Not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not loving enough, not dedicated enough… The list could go on and on.

2. Should-ing on yourself. “I should be doing __________ (fill in the blank),” or “I shouldn’t be doing __________ (fill in the blank).”  In either case, the voice tells you there’s something wrong with your behavior.

3. Attacks on your body: Criticizing how you look, how your body feels, or how it’s functioning. “My body is too __________ (fill in the blank).”  Too fat, too skinny, too wrinkly, too stiff, too tired, too achey…

4. Guilt and shame: “I am a bad person because __________ (fill in the blank).” I hurt someone, or I was hurt by someone else, and I deserved it.

5. Awash in uncomfortable emotions: anxiety, sadness, loneliness, grief, fear, anger…heart in clouds

It may not be immediately obvious what thought or whose Inner Voice is making you feel badly. Sometimes it’s just a sense of feeling blue, heavy, tense, or off center. If you inquire into what’s behind the subtle feeling of “not ok-ness”, you may discover one of the 5 warning signs is being lit up. But even if you don’t dig down to see what’s underneath the feeling, you can still benefit from applying a good dose of Self-Compassion. Take another dose as often as needed.

Don’t know how to give yourself compassion or want some support?

Listen to this 18-minute guided meditation designed to help you practice Self-Compassion.

 

 

 


Who is the Authority on You?

Confused

Consider these scenarios:

  • When a student said “No” to the sexual advances of her teacher, the teacher responded, “You need to learn about spiritual surrender.”
  • After a young woman told her ex-husband that she didn’t want him to come by the house, he yelled, “You’re just reacting out of fear, and fear is an illusion.”
  • A man received an unexpected letter from an angry friend who pointed out all the mistakes the man made in raising his son, and blamed the man for the problems in his son’t life.

As you read these scenarios, it’s probably obvious that there’s a lot of manipulation going on here,  But, in real life, when you’re in the heat of an argument or you need to confront an authority figure, the emotional charge of the situation can cloud your thinking. It can be difficult to see yourself clearly, when someone tries to convince you that they are RIGHT about you…when they claim to be right about everything you’re doing wrong.

Who is the authority on you?  You are!  As Wayne Dyer says, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

pointing fingerBut what if you get thrown off balance by other people’s judgment or criticism of you?  You might feel especially vulnerable when dealing with someone in a position of authority. For example, if a spiritual leader, a teacher, parent, or someone you consider to be an expert has a negative opinion about you, you might be tempted to value their point of view more than your own. This can also happen with friends, your spouse or partner, or even an enemy.  You might get “hooked” by how they feel about you and how they see you.

If you find yourself going into confusion or self-doubt, and you’re wondering if maybe the other person is

right about their negative perception of you, here are some red flags to watch out for:

Does the person…

  • Use spiritual ideas to make you wrong, shame you, or put you down
  • Analyze your actions and tell you exactly how messed up you are
  • Tell you, directly or indirectly, that you don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Say you shouldn’t be setting the boundaries you’re setting
  • Deny your feelings
  • Claim to know, better than you do, what is best for you
  • Blame you for the pain they are feeling

All of the above are tactics for undermining your sense of your own integrity and inner authority.  Don’t get hooked!

No one can tell you who you should be, what you should believe, or how you should be feeling.

*Please leave a comment and let me know how you keep yourself from getting sucked in to other people’s judgments about you.


Looking in the Mirror

window reflection

In each and every moment, you cannot be a victim of what you see, and nothing is outside of you. What you experience, you have directly and deliberately called to yourself. If you hold the thought, “I do not like what I have called to myself,” that is perfectly fine…Merely look with the wonder of a child, and see what it feels like, and ask yourself, “Is this an energy I wish to continue in, or would I choose something else?                                  -Jeshua, The Way of Mastery

When I was first exposed to this idea, through A Course in Miracles, I felt a lot of resistance.  “What do you mean, I’m responsible for what I see?!?”  I protested. “I certainly didn’t ask for the emotional abuse I experienced in my first serious relationship. I didn’t send a request to the universe, asking for  a neck injury. I didn’t put in my order for an unbridgeable rift between me and my father.”

I wanted to push these painful experiences away.  I wanted to dis-identify with them. I wanted to believe that these things just happened to me, but they weren’t connected to something within me.

I know I’m not alone in having this kind of reaction to the spiritual principle of “taking responsibility”.  I’ve seen many spiritual seekers struggle with, and reject, this idea. The reason why it is so difficult to accept is because, when we’re first introduced to the idea that we’re responsible for what we see, the following thoughts tend to arise:

  •  If I’m responsible, then I lose the option of seeing myself as a victim. I cannot project blame outside of me.
  • If I’m responsible, then somehow I’m guilty…guilty of creating these distressing experiences. That leads to a downward spiral of self-blame. People often ask, “Why did I create that?” with a tone of self-condemnation.

Please, don’t go down that spiral. Instead, let’s take a few steps back. Before we can gently and graciously accept responsibility, we must stand firmly rooted in the awareness of our innocence. At times, we all make mistakes. We all act from unconscious patterns. We all let fear guide many of our choices. Yet our True Nature is innocence. Our True Nature is love. Our True Nature is beyond the personality, and even beyond the soul.

IMG_6675

Take a few moments and let yourself rest into that feeling of your innocence. Let your awareness expand, out, beyond your body and your personality.  Identify with the fullness and spaciousness of your True Nature.

Breathe in the love that is your very Being.  You are perfect, whole, and complete. You are loved and loving.

Now that you’re rooted into who you really are, let’s take another look at the idea that you’re responsible for what you see. I encourage you to look at this from the perspective of the soul’s evolution: We each come into this incarnation with old baggage, old conditioning, which the soul carries as an energetic imprint. You might call it a “pattern” or a “vibration”. This energetic pattern attracts to itself relationships and situations that are in resonance with it. Mostly, this happens on an unconscious, energetic level. We do not consciously think, “I want to have painful and distressing experiences.”

What drives this process is not so much our thoughts, nor our behaviors. It comes from a much deeper place. Our unsavory experiences reflect aspects of the old, stuck patterns and false beliefs we’ve brought in, on a soul level. The good news is, we’re not doomed to eternal repetition of these patterns. Taking responsibility, by seeing that what we’re experiencing is a reflection of our own soul patterns, is what gives us the power to choose again…to choose for something different.

The evolutionary purpose of this reflective process is to show us where we’re still stuck, so we can disentangle ourselves. Our undesirable manifestations are there to show us what we don’t want to keep repeating. We get to see what we’ve believed, which isn’t really true, so we can let the false beliefs go. Our experiences serve as a mirror to what’s going on within our own unconscious, including the things in the shadow, that we do not want to see.

shadow is an illusion.web

When we know we’re basically innocent, when there is no investment in either guilt or blame, it is empowering to take responsibility for our own experience. When the old patterns are seen through, as mere shadows from our conditioning, we realize they have no power to hold us back. Then we can let them go, and choose again.

And don’t forget, you’re responsible for all the cool stuff you see in your life, too!

Please leave me a comment, and let me know how this lands for you. Do you feel resistance? Empowerment?  Bewilderment?


Beware the Inner Critic in Disguise

angel costume

It is definitely a trick, and not a treat, when your Inner Critic shows up at your door, disguised as your most Angelic Spiritual Self.  She seems quite believable, while she rattles off an endless list of everything you’re not doing right. She’s acutely aware of what you should be doing to elevate your consciousness.  But you’re not.  If you’d only listen to her, you would become a much more holy, enlightened, and perfect being.  She cracks the whip on you, trying her damnedest to get your lazy-ass self to evolve. “You should be more compassionate”,  she says.  “You shouldn’t judge people.” “You shouldn’t get so angry.” “You shouldn’t keep repeating those same stupid patterns.”  She rants on and on, day and night.

Now, hold on just a minute.  Does this seem like the way an angel or an evolved being would treat someone?  She’s mean to you.  She puts you down.  She makes you feel like s–t.  No, that’s no angel.  That’s the same old Inner Critic that’s been beating you up and shaming you for decades.  It’s just that now, she has an agenda for your spiritual life, too.

If you catch your Critic wearing angel’s wings, realize she has good intentions.  She really does want to help you improve yourself and your life.  It’s just that she’s going about it in a way that’s not helpful.  It’s hurtful.

Your True Self is already who you are, but it’s hard to see that when you’re under the spell of the Inner Critic.  How about calling forth your Inner Compassionate One, instead?  Ask her to talk to you. What would she say about you?  How does she see you?  How can she support you in seeing through the negative, false beliefs about yourself?  Let her embrace you with love, as she lights the way to remembering who you really are.