Are you willing and up for pulling out all the stops in your life? Unless something happens to you, tomorrow will happen for you. You already know how it will go, or maybe not. Would you like to have a today and tomorrow of your choosing?! What’s stopping you? This question has been around for centuries if not 2 or 3 millennia. Frequently we know what to do and we don’t do it. What’s missing?
I say it’s awareness. A specific kind of awareness. What you are unaware of, you have no choice over. Everything that operates unconsciously keeps us caught in a web of our own making. Somehow, even if you don’t know how, something you are doing ‘inside’ and yet outside of your awareness creates how you feel moment to moment. When in the flow of a certain kind of feeling nothing stops you.
Most of us, most of the time, think that when something happens, some experience of ours triggers a feeling. That is not how it really works. There is an internal set of pictures or dialogs we have accumulated and associate with every experience we have that generates the feeling. Someone says something in a certain ‘tone’ of voice and we instantly become upset and it is their fault for our feelings because they used that tone! You are not sure of where to turn and the panic in your voice and behavior make it nearly impossible to understand any directions. Once you can catch, notice, or see the missing second step in the process you have a new source of power, and the ability to choose what you create. Once you are aware of your internal dialog, your internal representations will continue to occur with less power over you, and you now have a choice over how you feel. If we are unaware of the second step, what happens is an “always automatic” response, based on our childhood experience and programming, giving us the same feelings over and over, automatically.
Instead of ‘the experience’ triggers ‘the feeling’ what happens is ‘the experience’ instantly initiates an ‘old picture or dialog’ first, that comes automatically with the same feeling every time. Until you catch yourself, are aware of the ‘old picture or dialog’ you are just a robot programmed to do and act the same way over and over. I’ve noticed mine starts with a ‘something is wrong here’ thought that takes me out of the flow and stops me from being present.
What takes us out of flow? Resistance. What you resist persists. Everything you don’t like about yourself, your life, your surroundings stays in place because of resistance. Everything we believe is bad and wrong we repress or disown attempting to keep it from our awareness. Everything we think is bad we resist. We express it anyway, in dysfunctional and covert ways that create suffering for us and those around us. You didn’t keep a promise to accomplish some simple tasks this week? Notice the feelings of blame, discouragement, panic, and or resignation associated with making yourself and the circumstances around you wrong. I was told over and over as a child, what you like least in others you like least in yourself. Every time someone or something occurs to you as something bad about you, it triggers you emotionally and stops you. We attract situations and people that have the qualities we disown, suppress, and condemn in ourselves, a special form of attraction.
What you are aware of, you have a choice over. The more aware you are of what you are doing ‘inside’ creating how you feel and behave gives you choices you didn’t have before. When aware of the people and situations you attract, become attracted to, and what things mean will reveal your perceptions and points of view that can suddenly provide choices over what to do. New points of view, perceptions, sometimes called insights provide new freedom to be who you are. What stopped you in the past suddenly disappears.
When we embrace, allow, come to terms with, re-own those parts of us, or our life by becoming aware of them, watching them occur with awareness, new paths open for us and others. We stop being triggered emotionally and discover compassion for ourselves and for those still stuck exhibiting the behavior. Fewer people will exhibit what we used to suppress in ourselves, what we disowned, what we resisted.
Watching our feelings of resistance and upsets, the thoughts and pictures that accompany them, with curiosity and awareness, allows us to re-own what we disowned about ourselves and others, ending the resistance and unpleasant feelings associated with them. How we behave is generated by our internal state and our feelings. If the feelings, the internal state is generated automatically and unconsciously, our behavior is automatic and unconscious. “That is just the way I am!” When we behave in ways, we later regret or fail to accomplish what we set out to accomplish we can be sure it is from an automatic program we are not aware of.
When we focus on what we don’t want, we immediately create unpleasant feelings, and cause our mind to create and attract MORE of what we do not want! Any area that isn’t working is where we are unconsciously focusing on and making internal representations of what we don’t want. How long have you been on a diet that only leaves you more overweight than before? How far in debt have you become after every commitment to change your behavior with money? What makes a difference?
Watching the internal state, the representations with ‘awareness’ AND directly seeing how they create our feelings and the other internal states, enable what does not serve us to fall away. Awareness is not the same as knowing that you do something. “Awareness” involves seeing what you do, AS YOU DO IT, to create your feelings, behaviors, and what and whom you attract or become attracted to. Instead of attempting to stop doing something that doesn’t serve you, watch yourself do it, with “awareness”. Once you clearly see the result of what you are doing, you will not be able to keep doing it. If you keep doing it, you have yet to watch it with ‘awareness’. You do not need to evaluate whether something is resourceful, or exercise any will power [fruitless; you already know that has never worked]. JUST WATCH and the awareness will come.
Until you can change a belief [you may always change them back once you know how], you will unconsciously accumulate ‘evidence’ that the belief is “true”. When something you do not like happens repeatedly, you are likely proving to yourself that some belief of yours is “true”. We prove our beliefs to be true in three ways. Attract, interpret, and act. We unconsciously attract or are attracted to, people and situations that are perfect to help us be right. We interpret what happens as evidence that what we believe is true, even if or especially if there are other interpretations. We will act in a way that makes what we believe come true!
Apply awareness; watching the belief with awareness causes the dysfunction to fall away. Once you watch yourself believe something, KNOWING what you are creating, the belief will fall away IF it doesn’t serve you or others. Be careful that isn’t another belief, however. Your motivation and enthusiasm for continuing to believe or creating it will disappear once you watch the belief with awareness.
There is a game we play without awareness with ourselves and with others. When we are young, we are taught and we now teach our young children, that certain aspects are bad and wrong, while others are good. To be ‘okay’, good, and likable we repress or disown the ‘bad’ qualities and do our best to express the ‘good’. This “Game of Black and White” has the main rule that White MUST Win! Since we all potentially have all the qualities, and because we express the disowned qualities anyway, usually in covert and dysfunctional ways, the game is unwinnable. The disowned qualities are often called shadows. The way to spot a shadow is to notice what qualities in others trigger us emotionally. What we like least in others, we like least in ourselves… whenever you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you… the reason you do not get along with someone is you are just alike. Many of our issues and problems are the result of playing the Game of Black and White.
If we continue to disown the shadows, we express them in ways that create suffering for us and for others. When we see the shadows with awareness and realize they exist in us, that the feelings and behaviors come from us, the aspects can mature into qualities that are beneficial to us and others. When you re-own your anger, you can make tough decisions for the benefit of all, develop the power to protect others from suffering, and generate tough love. When you re-own your fear, sounding the alarm when there is a real threat makes you and yours safer. When we re-own narcissism we acquire true self-esteem, real self-love and allow us to love others more generously.
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