Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finding Freedom from Judgment

I just had an ah-ha light bulb go off!

Here’s the background:

I have encountered different people and groups who don’t feel comfortable with folks who are ‘healing’. And by ‘healing’ I mean – in process: still releasing or potentially releasing all kinds of yucky stuff: hate, invalidation, competition, fear, etc

I am still in process, still healing, and there are people and groups that I feel especially uncomfortable with, because I know they perceive my brokenness / darkness / evil and I don’t feel accepted and loved because of that. In their presence I get a more intense story that I ‘should’ be better, different, healed already! I am not OK, just as I am, and just as I’m not…

Now, of course, because I am still in the healing and acceptance process, I have all these stories anyway – I want to hide under a rock and I don’t feel good about myself as I am, in some deep yucky levels of my system. This is all MY stuff.

But SOME people and groups assist me to want to hide MORE and not feel good about myself MORE. This is my reaction to THEIR stuff on top of MY stuff.

I like to tell my students:

- Sometimes I walk in to a room and feel more warm, beautiful, charming and loved - YUM! This is likely energy bouncing back and forth with others and mirroring back to me things, for example, like validation from them to me (i.e. I’m ok, it’s ok)

- Sometimes I walk into a room and feel all of a sudden like a fat, stupid cow, and my Mother dresses me funny - YUCK! There are a few options about what could be going on, one is: this could be energy bouncing back and forth with others and mirroring back to me things like invalidation from them to me (i.e. I’m not ok, it’s not ok). Their invalidation bounces into MY own invalidation in my own system and hits/hurts/hooks. My own crap is mirrored back at me, seemingly from outside, and more painful because of that!
..........- Meanwhile, the more I heal, the less this is an issue, because as I let go of invalidation in my system, their invalidation doesn’t hit/hurt/hook me – it just sails right through my system. This is part of why things like: ‘healing yourself heals the world’ and ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, and ‘don’t walk anywhere to preach unless your walking IS your preaching’ matter so much. This is part of why Spiritual Masters are such a healing influence in the world, and such a healing to be near: they don’t reflect back our shit (because they aren’t holding on to it) – it sails right through! They reflect back our Beauty and Wholeness – and so we can more easily allow our Beauty and Wholeness to BE.
...........- AND Meanwhile, as long as I have a standard-issue human body, I am likely to have a little or a lot of invalidation 'lying around' in my space, and opportunities to let go of invalidation and many other kinds of ‘hooks’ in my system. Learning to let go of hooks will remain a game I have the opportunity to play: one of the healing games ; )

A couple interesting things to note about this illustration:

- Jesus spoke about ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ If I hold judgment (competition) in my space, I will not only judge others but also judge myself – there is no way around it. All the energy in our system, in this case judgment, is a two-way street! If I want to experience the world as safe, easy, joyful, I must let go of things like judgment, otherwise I will never allow myself to fully enjoy the grace, peace, freedom of God.

- More about energy in the system being a two-way street: The more I allow the spiritual fruits into my life, and allow the intellectual and emotional and other energetic ‘garbage’ out of my system, of course it is more comfortable for me to BE myself and PLAY in the world. Also it is A LOT easier for OTHERS to be with me and play with me, as well.

These shifts may seem simple to say, and sometimes harder to do, but I believe PERCEIVING/VALIDATING where the issues are (one could call this acknowledging Truth) and CHOOSING to allow change (one could call this allowing Grace ; ) gets me a great chunk of the way there. We have a lot more power than we may think, and a lot more spiritual help than we may acknowledge! And I am blessed to utilize spiritual techniques that totally ROCK for supporting me to make these kinds of changes!

And of course, I am still learning and growing. As I said above, sometimes I still give my power away when I experience judgment: especially with ‘very spiritual’ folks. I tell myself things like this:

- They know BETTER THAN ME who I ‘should’ be and what I ‘should’ do. I should listen to them, not myself and God…

- Oh, their judgment really is valid, I really DO SUCK. I should go back and hide under a rock and feel bad about myself until I am ‘fixed’… Like that’s gonna happen: acceptance and change is hard enough, doing that while beating myself up, under a rock: THAT sounds like a rock too big for God to move ; )

I’ve been stuck about these issues of allowing other’s judgment of me (especially ‘Authorities’ judgment... and punishment!) to be true for me, well, my whole life… But so much has shifted and changed and lightened and become easier in the last decade, this place of stuckness around judgment by ‘spiritual authorities’ has kinda stood out like a ‘sore thumb’ A place of obvious discomfort and darkness in my life; a life that I am generally allowing to be continually freer and easier…

SO, I just had an ah-ha light bulb go off!
Tonight – AH-HA – TA-DA. I got some light on the subject, some insight, some traction! And already I experiencing shift... BBWWWAAHHHHAAAAHHHHAAAA (Happy Halloween! ; )

OK, this is what happened:
Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.

Let me back up and say 2 things:
- My partner Michael is amazing and wonderful. He, and also we, are up against some incredibly challenging, fear-inducing stuff. Fear is a very valid reaction under the circumstances, and generally he is doing a really Great job with it.
- If I am ‘owning’ my fear, I can handle it in my space. If I am not ‘owning’ my fear, if it is part of my ‘shadow’, I will experience it less (maybe much less or not at all), BUT those around me will get ‘hit’ with it more – it will radiate out around me. This helps me understand some really paradoxical experiences in my life: Why do folks think I am being a ‘witch’ when I think I am being nice? Why am I afraid of some people who seem to be gentle and kind?

OK, so, Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.

It felt very uncomfortable to me and I thought – ugh. I don’t like this, I don’t need this on top of my stuff, I want one of us to go away so I can feel better and not have to deal with all this fear…

And Ah-ha! I got it. THAT is what is going on with these people and groups that I feel especially uncomfortable with! They are not comfortable with whatever I am experiencing, or not wanting to experience in my space: hate, invalidation, competition, fear, whatever. It is hitting them in the places they are not healed yet, either; and ‘hooking’ them. They are HOOKED, so they are not happy in themselves and they are not happy with me for ‘CAUSING’ it! This is great news: this is just regular garden variety, every-time-we-turn-around energy action-reaction described above. They are HUMAN, they are annoyed because of their hooks, their unhealed parts. That’s the whole story – hallelujah.

I erroneously had it in my head, in my heart, that since these people and groups were ‘spiritually advanced’ therefore, the ‘problem’ couldn’t be THEM it must be ME! If they were annoyed I must be very, very bad and I better run to find my rock to hide under. But all of a sudden I could acknowledge that they are annoyed because of their own hooks. If they weren’t hooked, they wouldn’t be annoyed!!

I have to say that one again: If they weren’t hooked, they wouldn’t be annoyed!! I am not especially BAD, I am just a normal human being filled with all kinds of energies, including hate, invalidation, competition, and fear – JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN – each in our own unique measures. Oh, what a relief!

This allows me to let go of loads of pressure that I have been carrying! It doesn’t matter who this person is who is judging me, it doesn’t matter how ‘spiritually evolved’ they seem, or how ‘spiritually capable’ they are. If they are judging me, it is their ‘problem’, not mine! Interaction with me is lighting up for them something they can allow God to heal, if they so choose. And if they don’t choose to let it go, it’s NOT MY FAULT. If they are suffering about their reaction to my energies, it is between them and God – it is not something for ME to suffer about!

And of course I don’t like uncomfortable reactions to me, but heck, I have tools for this! This is garden-variety, this is just more healing, like I am doing every day – I can handle this! When I don’t take it personally, when I don’t make up stories that I am ridiculously rotten, THEN I can get un-hooked quite easily. I can just ‘Let Go and Let God’!

So, to finish the story…
One More Time:
Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.
It felt very uncomfortable to me and I thought – ugh. I don’t like this, I don’t need this on top of my stuff, I want one of us to go away so I can feel better and not have to deal with all this fear…
Then I had an Ah-HA moment, which as these things do, took a micro-second ; )
And because of that insight, I easily and almost immediately STOPPED resisting and judging him for his experience, and how he was not ‘owning’ his experience and therefore spewing FEAR ‘all over me’. And started releasing my own fear, and allowing love and acceptance instead. Again, almost immediately, my very uncomfortable reaction to his fear went away. And then, almost immediately, his fear stopped spewing out. It was that easy and that fast: healing happened in a few seconds… and he and I get to live in a different world than we had been living in before.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Lastly, I find this interesting: a couple days ago, I had a cool interaction on FB which started with the Jung quote which begins: ‘We cannot change anything unless we accept it.’ (Posted below) Then, a friend brought up 'The Paradoxical Theory of Change':'When you hate something and you try to change it, it will never change. When you accept what you hate, change occurs spontaneously.' This reminded me of what I have been hearing from many folks since I was a teenager: ‘What we Resist, Persists’.

‘What we Resist, Persists’ is a principle which many have found to be true and useful, including myself. But I haven’t really understood WHY it is so? As I finish writing this sharing, I am finding that much of what I have written here seems to address this very issue: some of the reasons why judgment (competition), resistance, fear, hate, etc., directly block shift, change and healing from occurring in ourselves and others; and why letting go of these energies encourages healing and change, within and in the world.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Peace, Love and Understanding
; ) w

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What We Resist, Persists

Jung, speaking before a group of Ministers in 1932

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. If a doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is. Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple, and so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ—all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea, the very fiend himself—that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved—what then? Had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The so-called "WAR" between men and women

What if the issues between men and women weren't all or mostly because we are different genders, but rather because we are love/sex objects for each other?

I am very enrolled in Imago theory, which basically says: I am attracted to those who remind me of my early care-givers - in positive and negative ways. I want to bond, love and be loved, heal and be healed - and make it come out RIGHT this time. Often this feels very good in the beginning, and devolves to feeling not so good and going not so smoothly as time goes on... especially if I am not conscious about healing myself, supporting the other, deliberate in my communication, and especially receiving directly from God.

I like to share in meditation classes a picture that one of my 'healees' showed me a few years ago. She was monogamously married, but infatuated with some guy - you know the story...

When I looked at it, and saw very clearly that energetically this guy was a 'gumball machine' to her - she believed she could receive the things she was missing in her life and her 'heart' from him (she completely made-up this idea, but it was an enrolling fantasy nonetheless ; )

I saw that she really could receive all the things she was looking for outside herself (from the elusive gumball machine), directly, energetically, in a very real way: from God and from her connection with the earth (this is a practice in my spiritual tradition, which is delicious and I highly recommend, BTW ; )

My assumptions:

- Being self-contained, receiving what we need spiritually first, is not a common practice in our culture.

- Most people don't even have a concept this Can happen, and certainly don't know how to Open to this kind of experience.

- Meanwhile, the basic paradigm in our society is "fall in love" (find a gumball machine that will give me the best approximation of what I need, do whatever I have to do the get the gumball machine to give me what I want; repeat, ad nauseum). Then probably "fall out of love" (when the cost becomes much higher than the value of the gumballs... then I need to find a new and better gumball machine).

- Our basic beliefs around romantic relationships in our society don't serve us very well...

If I need something from my gumball machine that I can't get it to give me, or I can't find another gumball machine: isn't it a very small step to judging, blaming, hating the gender from which I enjoy finding my gumball machines? Is it really the FAULT of the 'pink' team (or the 'blue' team) that one of the 'pink' (or one of the 'blue') gumball machines won't line up in perpetuity to be a good-little-gumball-provider for me?

Meanwhile, from the other side: when I go around trying to get my needs met from others, 'outside myself', I can get very attached, controlling, irrational, manipulative, desperate, etc. It isn't pretty - really, you don't want to see it... *I* certainly don't want to see how ugly I can get! It may be easy for some to make up a story that I act that way because I am on the 'pink' team. Sure, I act certain ways because I am in a female body and because I am socialized as a female in this culture – but the REAL issue with my behavior, in this particular scenario, is not about which gender body I am in, rather it is that I am STARVING for gumballs!

I act crazy when I am starving - most people do - it is understandable. I hope we can deepen into more compassion for each other. And most importantly, I hope we can all continue to learn to go to God for the gumballs: because we really do need them – we just don’t HAVE to get them ‘out there’. Actually when I Have them 'in here' already - they quite magically SHOW UP 'OUT THERE'... it's just how it works... (there are some good reasons why this is so, but it is off-track in this conversation ; )

Meanwhile, I am not saying there is no value in a sexual and/or romantic partner - because certainly there is! But, the more I can be self-contained - the more my basic needs are met: the more I can choose to enjoy and invest in relationships or not: the better my relationships go! So, when I do, especially, the spiritual 'work'; as well emotional and relational and communication-al 'work': my relationships are Quite Delicious, and I am generally easy and fun to play with, in them.

So, back to my main point: How much are the issues about gender? How much are they about other things, such as:
- Having so much pressure on my love/sex-object to fulfill so many of my needs, as the examples above.
- Dealing with all the projections, emotions, thoughts... I have about past intimates as well as how my intimates SHOULD be (there is A LOT of unconscious stuff that comes up for me in (especially) my romantic (as well as other) relationships, that is completely irrational and non-tangential)
- projections, emotions, thoughts... I have regarding whatever gender I am relating to ("men ARE this"... "women ARE that")

THESE things are an awful lot of baggage to try to have a relationship through! And these are just the obvious issues that come to mind as I write this...

My experience has been, as someone with several long and short-term romantic/sexual relationships with each gender: for me relational strife has very little to do with how annoying men are and how annoying women are - because I can tell you from hard experience: they EACH can be freaking annoying in intimate relationship, as I certainly can be, as well ; )

SO I am not enrolled that the issue of gender is that huge an issue at all - I certainly don't believe gender is the most important issue. I recognize it is an issue to be managed and enjoyed, but these challenges are much easier to manage as I do my work, and deal with some of the other issues as named above. PTL!

Thanks for listening
; ) wendy

Friday, October 8, 2010

... I'm here...

I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to be happy.

I’m not here to be perfectly happy, I’m here to be a work-in-progress happy.

I’m not here to tough it out, I’m here to savor this moment.

I’m not here to notice what’s wrong, I’m here to celebrate what’s right.

I’m not here to perfect the world, I’m here to witness its perfection.

I’m not here to accomplish greatness, I’m here to see the greatness in what I accomplish.

I’m not here to prove myself worthy, I’m here to know myself worthy and accept the benefits.

I’m not here to gain others’ approval, I’m here to approve of myself – and let it go at that.

I’m not here to take life seriously, I’m here to take life as it comes – And chuckle.

I’m not here to impose my beliefs on others, I’m here to suspect we all have a chunk of the truth.

I’m not here to struggle my way to my goals, I’m here to envision them, welcome them, and dream up goals anew.

I’m not here to feel frustrated, I’m here to feel fulfilled yet eager for more.

I’m not here to regret the past, I’m here to say goodbye to it – With a kiss.

I’m not here to work off karma, I’m here to play in the clay of creation.

I’m not here to fear death, I’m here to allow my fears to die.

I’m not here to live in bliss, I’m here to ever move in that direction.

I’m not here to fidget over setbacks, I’m here to appreciate overall progress.

I’m not here to search for God, I’m here to rest assured there’s nothing else.

Author unknown