Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope
January 22, 2012
How do you perceive your True Essence? Does it feel like a “heaven” or a “hell” or somewhere “in between?”
Most of us have a pretty negative and dark internal voice going on inside our heads all the time. We need to create a new, more positive internal voice or phrase (some call it an affirmation or mantra) that we repeat in our heads as we walk or cook or work or wait throughout our entire day and even as we are going to sleep.
Here is one for you to try out: ” I accept, love and believe in myself exactly as I am.” Or you could try shortening yours to “I accept, love and believe in myself.” …yes…”warts and all” as they say!!!
If you get stuck and you find yourself going into or already in emotional overdrive or working yourself into an emotional froth over anything, OBSERVE. Now try some new questions:
I have always admired the work of Byron Katie. Here are the four questions from what she calls “The Work:”
“Is it true?”
“Can you absolutely know that it’s true?”
“How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
“Who would you be without that thought?”
We all came to this planet as a human being to learn. Whatever was unresolved in a former experience, we will find that issue, emotion, experience repeating itself over and over in our lives to get our attention so we can finally resolve it and let it go. You will know when you have mastered your issue when you start observing yourself less “hooked” or reacting less emotionally to what bothered you before. Once you do that and resolve it within yourself through observation, compassion acceptance and understanding why you created it to resolve in the first place you will observe new and different experiences, feelings and people coming into your life and you will be on to your next lesson.
Here’s a test to see if you have mastered why you came here: if you are still alive you have more to learn, resolve and finally LET GO OF. It’s all about understanding and releasing and learning to be compassionate towards yourself….not beating yourself up all the time. For example, Be suspicious when you start noticing yourself working yourself up into an adrenaline fueled state. You could be bored or anxious or worried about something else and using the adrenaline worry state, ie things not right with whatever or whomever, to distract yourself from something going on within yourself you do not wish to face or feel or deal with.
It’s all about you and your perceptions internally. These perceptions can be of “the light” or of “the dark” but neither is really the “total truth” of who you are.
Other people simply give us opportunities to see ourselves in the what you might call “Cosmic Mirror” of our true nature or soul or what we came to earth to learn. While the mirrors we see in the world, like within ourselves or in the bathroom mirror, can often be a distorted picture projected from our human limited minds which often sees and focuses on fault, blame, ugliness, lack, separation, less than, stupidity, unlovableness, failure….all of these things are illusions.
Your soul is perfect and you are perfect and connected to the Whole of the universe just as you are right now. You/we just can’t see this because our egos and the media keep feeding us lies about what is “true” and all the things we need before we can be at peace and joyful and feel lovable. All this distraction is designed in a very powerful way to keep us from seeing and experiencing true Peace, Joy and the Love all around us, at all times, right NOW.
Anything or anyone who brings you closer to the feelings of peace, love, deep compassion for yourself and others and joy brings you closer to the true essence of who you are. That is where we are all headed, not this internal torture chamber we create for ourselves which is an illusion and a distraction from what is really true. The truth of who we really are at the core of our souls is: love, peace, joy, acceptance, compassion, freedom, and incredible power to create whatever we wish on this planet in our human form.
We each have the power to create our own heaven or hell right where we are at any given moment. It is always our choice. We are the creators of our own reality. Always. So just begin by observing what you are creating in your life and whether that is what you really want. If not, time to start asking yourself some new questions so you can begin to see yourself in a new light.
As we strip away your negative illusions you will be able to see the glorious you that has always been there from the moment you were born here on this planet.
What illusions have you discovered about yourself and how have you dealt with them? What do you believe to be your True Essence?
December 26, 2011
This photo is one I took in Key West, Florida. What is your first thought when you look at this man on a motorcycle, with a big paunch and the parrot on his head, the American Flag fluttering behind him? Laughter? Judgement? Compassion? Pity? Admiration? Disgust? Joy?
I read Rigpa Glimpse of The Day (email@example.com) every day and it always gives me food for thought. I thought today’s glimpse of the day was particularly poignant and ever so relevant to The Holidays:
“Compassion is a far greater and nobler thing than pity. Pity has its roots in fear and carries a sense of arrogance and condescension, sometimes even a smug feeling of “I’m glad it’s not me.”
As Stephen Levine says: “When your fear touches someone’s pain it becomes pity; when your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion.”
To train in compassion is to know that all beings are the same and suffer in similar ways, to honor all those who suffer, and to know that you are neither separate from nor superior to anyone.”
As Rigpa always says at the end of every post: “Remember The View.”
How have you observed Compassion and Pity showing up for you this Holiday Season?
December 19, 2011
One day, out of the blue, I received a phone call from an old classmate named Randy whom I had not spoken to since second grade. We got to catching up, and Randy told me this story:
“I sat behind you for all of second grade. And one day you drew this picture of a boy and a girl holding hands. Under the boy’s picture you wrote ‘Randy’ and under the girl’s picture you wrote, ‘Mary Anne.’ I remember that you turned around to show me your picture and you had such a happy, bright face. I’m embarrassed to admit that I proceeded to slaughter you. In my defense I was only a boy of, what, eight? Well, even that is not a very good defense, and I am really sorry I did that to you. But anyway, truth be told, I made fun of you. I told you your drawing was stupid. I teased you mercilessly at recess. You never said a word. But your face I will never forget as long as I live.
“When we came back from recess, you went to your desk, picked up the picture you had drawn of us. With your eyes locked on mine and with the saddest face I have ever seen in my life, you crumpled your drawing of us up into a tight little ball. Then you turned away from me, walked over to the other side of the room, and threw the ball of paperreally hard right into the trash can.
“Then you burst into tears. You walked back to your desk and refused to ever turn around to talk to me for the rest of the year. I have never forgotten it all these thirty-seven years. I was so stupid. I am so sorry.”
I had no recollection whatsoever of this event.
After telling Randy he didn’t need to worry about this incident from our past anymore, I hung up the phone. I began thinking about what a tremendous gift this story from second grade was. Randy showed me a glimpse of myself as a very young girl, a girl who was full of resilience and strength. The more I thought about it, I felt this younger me was a me I could really admire and be proud of.
This story showed me that, at one time in my life, I had such a sense of self-worth that I would not allow another person to treat me unkindly or unfairly. That drawing, which began as my way of reaching out to share and connect with a cute boy in my class, ended up crumpled in the wastebasket as my clear message of separation from harm. My anger at his ridicule had motivated me to make this strong choice to destroy my own art.
However, even if the action was strong, the story clearly shows that my bursting into tears was a vulnerable and healthy kind of rage. My therapist told me that as long as children are not desensitized to their own feelings by abuse, they instinctively take very strong and quick actions to defend and protect themselves.
After hanging up with Randy, I sat and wondered where that part of me had gone.
In my memory as an adult, so many of my stories were about the times when I allowed other people to override my own instincts or intuition, to “walk all over me.” It seemed that mostly I could remember only the times I had been silent or not fought back when I should have. I had learned very well how to swallow my rage, my pride, my opinions and my strength. It’s no wonder I had become so angry.
With the help of very good therapists and loving friends, I have worked myself through much of my self-destructive behavior. It has been a process of learning to love who I really am, stripping away the layers upon layers of untruths that others have told me, negative things that I had believed about myself for decades as if they were facts.
I am not a “bad and ungrateful child.” I am not “stupid.” I am not “crazy.” And I sure as heck don’t have “thunder thighs!”
Today, the story of myself as a young girl, full of love, openness, and righteous indignation feels so much more familiar to me. She is more “me” than the angry, uncertain person I had allowed myself to become. After years of sorting through my life, I have finally come full circle to who I really am: the resilient, fiery, spirited, and also thoughtful girl who I was to begin with.
Resilience is not just the ability to bounce back from anything. Resilience is, in any circumstance, the ability to be vulnerable enough to feel in the first place. It is the ability to recognize that your safety and well-being come first. And if you ever feel something is not right, or uncomfortable or dangerous, then being resilient means that you have the courage and strength to immediately remove yourself from that situation, person, or location.
There are no exceptions to this rule.
None of us ever have to take care of others at our own expense. Resilience is the ability to take action on one’s own behalf, even if it is hard, makes waves or is out of sync with another person. Resilience is a deep awareness of what we each need to do for ourselves to protect ourselves.
I know now that sassy, strong, tender me was never really gone. She just became a little lost.
After all these years, I have made the journey home back to myself, like following the bread crumbs back to the cottage after spending so much of my life being lost in the woods. To get back to our true wholeness, we need both our vulnerability and our resilience in equal measure. This is a journey that we all must undertake eventually, even if we wait until the moment of death. It’s never too late. But, why wait?
From Me To You…
What part of the resilient, strong, and amazing you have you lost touch with?
The above blog is an excerpt from my new book out on Amazon called “Words to Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope.”
Here is the link to buy the book:
November 23, 2011
It is said by the masters that even a little poison can cause death, and even a tiny seed can become a huge tree.
And as Buddha said: “Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain.”
Similarly he said: “Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a huge vessel.”