Tag Archive | responsibility

A thought & a belief walk into a bar…

As I took a walk today, my mind took me back to a past memory, tucked away. I recalled a time when he and I were together at a gym. We had been  going through some rough times. As I was running on the treadmill next to him, I suddenly visualized myself alone, without him next to me, and the lightness of my body and the seemingly expansion of my soul was undeniable. It was instantaneous and lasted mere seconds but it was expansive to my soul in that moment. All I could do was feel, not think, but experience myself within that moment.  What was that all about? Why did I feel such exhalation? What did it all mean? It is only today as I study more and more about the processes of the mind, biology,  the power of intention, decision making, trusting the self and manifestation that I realize that  the clues have always been there just waiting to be deciphered.

I don’t know why the thought came to me to visualize myself without him but the results were empowering. Of course, then the guilt set in and I found myself judging myself for even thinking of the thought let alone feeling so happy within my mind and body.  It’s as if my soul was soaring with the visualization. How can the visualization of a separation be something so empowering and enlightening? How could not having someone by my side whom I love, be a freeing experience? I could not deny my powerful moment but I COULD ignore it, or wish it away. I could even lie to myself and tell myself it didn’t really mean anything or it didn’t really happen that way.

What I had not discovered yet was that my truth was sharing itself with me in the only way it could. Through my senses,  together with my mind.

I have always heard people say and even myself say, I trust myself or I don’t trust myself but what I see today is that I trust myself in every moment. Trust is an acceptance of a believing thought and that  what I feel in each moment,  as I define it by my perspective, IS the truth for me. If I believe thoughts that bring me pain, suffering, hopelessness, sadness or anger along with revenge, my body feels the effects of that thought. My body feels small, even sickly like my energy is draining. I feel out of control, loss, and fear. So much fear. So I can say with certainty that I trust myself. I am choosing to believe the thoughts that cause my self to feel the effects. I am trusting that the thoughts I have are my truth, in that moment and yet the effects bring me pain, smallness, anger, stress, jealousy, envy and hate. My world becomes small in an instant. My heart feels small, tight and constricted. The father of all of these constricting emotions is FEAR. Fear of rejection, being out of control, not knowing, abandonment, failure, looking inward, losing and being judged. Yet, I trust these beliefs so much. I trust them as my truth otherwise, I wouldn’t experience these emotions.

I’ve learned one big lesson since I’ve uncovered this connection between believing thoughts and experiencing an emotional response. It  is: Do not judge myself when I feel. Let me repeat that, do NOT judge myself when I feel!  I didn’t realize how much shame is involved in feeling. Somewhere along the way, I accepted the teachings that feelings were something to be controlled, not felt, or they should be denied. Especially if they were viewed as negative, in nature. Along with those teachings, I became my biggest critic. I would immediately judge any negative or fearful emotion and shut myself down, without having the freedom of acceptance to examine why I was feeling what I was. It was unacceptable to feel the way I was, so I would attempt to stifle, ignore or deny what I was truly feeling.

When  I was negatively affected by another person, I would immediately judge my feelings and to escape the dark feelings, I would put myself in the others shoes and start to justify why they would do or feel as they do. Unknowingly, I was honoring their feelings over mine. I was being dishonest about my feelings and not owning them first before viewing myself through the eyes of the other. As Author Byron Katy has written, “I was in their business when I needed to  be in MY business”.  I would start to talk to myself about how “wrong” I was to feel as I did. I was being inauthentic to myself.  I believe people are mostly afraid of negative feelings because we have too often been the witness of someone who has seemed out of control of their emotions. The result was usually some kind of destructive behavior being taken out on others and pain was the consequence.

What I didn’t realize is that when I feel emotion, I don’t have to REACT on what I’m feeling. I can just “be” with the feelings. I don’t have to act. I don’t even have to react and judge them. Just feel. Let the feelings flow through my body and take notice to what my body is feeling. This type of acceptance and “being” with my emotions, creates a space to delve deeper and explore the belief systems that lie below the surface of my emotions. I can find what I am believing that is causing me so much pain. Once I get to that belief, I can  question how true it is for me or not, not just for that moment but as a whole belief. I can question myself if it is something that is always true, has always been true for me under all circumstances in my life?  The next question is, do I want to continue believing this thought or do I want to change it? Now it’s time to get honest here. There are rewards in believing thoughts, even negative ones. It’s time to look at those rewards and see if I am really willing to give them up for a different belief system. Even if the answer if no, the action of taking responsibility for a belief system is powerful. Then I  can really claim this belief as an empowered individual instead of feeling like a victim by it. I  can believe it with vigor, knowing that I am  choosing to do so completely with awareness.

When a person is aware, they can claim what they feel and how they believe and it can become a part of them, instead of something they need to avoid, hide or deny. I have felt my wholeness expand as my belief systems are revealed and claimed. I no longer have to be afraid of my emotions. I am a safe place to feel without the damning judgements that used to be my companions.

On the other end of the negative emotions, there are other thoughts to believe in that bring me different physical and mental experiences. Feelings and emotions connected to the thoughts that bring me joy, love, confidence,  empowerment, strength, fulfillment, happiness, peace, abundance and prosperity. I am also believing those thoughts as well and feeling the consequences within my body. I find myself accepting of these types of emotions without feeling the need to explore my underlying beliefs. I usually allow these feelings to flow through me and the result is usually some kind of uplifting experience for me. My world becomes bigger and brighter with a love that can bring me to my knees, at times.

More often then not, I enjoy feeling my more uplifting emotions. I yearn to be at peace and have love in my heart. This is the type of experience I will attempt to choose over and over. Therefore, when I do feel a negative emotion or feeling, I now see these emotions as   messengers to examine what the beliefs are that underlie these feelings. If I am to shift and return to my home of peace, I must accept the offer to explore and undercover, decide and shift, if that is what I truly desire. It’s always a wake up call to get honest with myself and then see if I want to stay there or move on.

Knowing now the connection of belief and biology, what did that mean that fateful day on my treadmill and my expansive vision? Somewhere, below the denial and pain, I believed that I would be better off alone. I saw myself running on my own,  free. Did I come to trust that belief? Was I willing to risk it all to be free? I ran and I still run…FREE 🙂

 

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The Power of Beliefs, A Choice & The LDS Church

My nephew came to me today regarding a very serious matter that brought up so much of my own conflict regarding my self-created belief system, the LDS Church and my path in life as a young adult. He confided in me the conflict of his girlfriend in regards to their relationship, that is getting more serious by the day, and her beliefs in the LDS Church. She has put her beliefs in the dream vision of a temple marriage and activity in a church that warmly embraces all those who believe in the same view. Yet she is conflicted because of her love and passion for a young man who does not share these same beliefs. I believe it is a crossroads for her at this time in her life.

I feel her conflict for I shared strongly in a belief system that I found no longer coincided with my behavior and passions. I had to come to some type of resolution and in psychology, I learned that I can either stop the behavior that is in conflict with my chosen belief or change my beliefs. My belief in the truthfulness of a church that in my eyes, reflected God’s will, I had to change my behaviors and I  attempted to do so, over and over and over again. I had to see myself as “weak”, “being tested”, and “unworthy”, so that I felt the motivation that is required  towards repentance and change within the system.

With this type of belief system set in place and chosen freely of myself, I painted the picture of acceptance that only included a temple marriage, activity in the church, a forever family and a path that relies on the church to be my “parent” and dictate my self-worth, self-esteem, worthiness, and the exclusion/inclusion of people and behaviors in my life. This is a very serious position to allow in my life and dictated the most important decisions of my life. I gave the power of my beliefs to a church that I regarded as God. It never occurred to me to accept my beliefs as different from those of my parent (LDS Church). For to do  would be blasphemous, “giving in” to the sins of pride, disobeying God, or relying on the Self or the unclean “world” for my truth. I couldn’t accept that.

Instead I chose to accept a belief system that continued to bring me conflict for many years to come. It wasn’t until I was 35 years old that so many conflicts arose. After many years of trying to “squeeze myself into a box” that I believed the church supported and help create with me,  I finally came to accept, as quickly as a thought, my full Self, as I am. I chose LOVE. I chose to love myself, without judgement, without right or wrong, without good or bad, without redemption or hopes of the reward of an obscure afterlife.

In that moment, my vision expanded into a feeling of joy, love and abundance. I laughed with a giddiness like never before. I realized that all along I had a choice to believe in whatever way I chose. That I was the Creator of my life experience. I could choose the small boxes that others around me believed in, even a God that others professed to know or I could throw my hands up in full acceptance of UN-knowing. I didn’t NEED to be right anymore. I didn’t NEED to know truth anymore. I stood alone with my acceptance of Myself and conflict dissolved before me.

This new path wasn’t the easy path that some in the Church would profess. There was no “easy step by step plan” to adhere to, no “follow these things and we will call you worthy, chosen and righteous” plan.  There was no path set before me except for the steps I took with each breath. It was all new to me and each day I found myself looking within as the world seemed to shout at me, “ARE YOU SURE?”.  Since that moment, I have had no conflict arise again within myself. I refuse to demean, judge harshly, hate myself, or view myself with condemning eyes. I refuse to live another dishonest day within myself or towards others about who I am and what I am about. If a God somewhere at sometime does view me with judgement, I am ready. I stand naked before that God and utter, “Here I AM! Do with me what you will, for I followed my loving eyes and chose acceptance without judgement.” I would do it again and shout it from the rooftops over and over again, despite the consequences.

There were some around me who felt the pain from my decisions, who experienced a depth of loss that is beyond words. For that, I will sorrow with them but I sorrow for their choice of beliefs that caused them to feel what they experienced. It was never my intention to hurt anyone, EVER! I had to follow my path and I have continued to feel a sense of peace and spiritual connection like never before. I feel myself as a part of a divine Universe that needs no definition. I delight in the beauty of a spring day or a thunderous night. I see God in the eyes of my neighbor and I celebrate in loving arms that choose to hold me. I gave up on fear and guilt, shame and condemnation. In doing so, my eyes were opened to all paths and a never-ending exploration of a life that, for me, has no end.

I wish I could make my nephew’s  beautiful girlfriend see that she is the creator of her beliefs and that she doesn’t have to believe in theologies that stop her from experiencing a beautiful, loving relationship with a beloved young man, who loves her unconditionally and with tenderness. Nevertheless, her journey is her own and all that she feels, chooses and believes will be a step taken that is perfect and from which she will be able to look back on with full responsibility and gratitude for a life well chosen for herself and her journey.