|The Positive Principle Show|
Big Sister Blog
When you’re working to shift your perspective from one of Fear and Lack to one of Love and Abundance, one of the first things you have to do is look at the way you respond in general to people and to situations. By examining your own patterns, you’re able to see where your ego and your conditioning gets in your way. You take a look at yourself and ask the question Dr. Phil made famous: How’s that working for ya?
Often, the patterns that are the most harmful to us are the ones we cling to the most fiercely. For me, the pattern was chasing after obviously unavailable men for a long term, intimate relationship. A couple of my best girlfriends had similar issues. It wasn’t that the men “weren’t that into us,” exactly – they liked us fine, but were not open to a long term, intimate relationship. In my case, the fellows fell into that nebulous area Match dot com calls “currently separated,” which is how Players on the internet sometimes admit they are, in fact, Married. There are websites where married people hook up, like Adult Friend Finder, but plenty of “currently separated” folks wind up on Match dot com. The point here isn’t that there are married people posing as singles on the internet – although they, too, may be clinging to destructive patterns. The point is that when you find yourself in the same unhappy situation over and over again, you have to consider that on some level, the pattern is working for you.
It’s easy to resist or reject the notion that we repeat destructive behaviors to prove to ourselves, again and again, that we are fundamentally unlovable. When I found myself ignored by an unavailable man, it reinforced my belief that I was too damaged by events in my past to ever have a healthy relationship. It goes back to changing our stories, a principle we looked at earlier in the show.
For me, the story was that I was defined by childhood sexual abuse - but each one of us is susceptible to the accusations of the Ego, or the Fear Voice inside us, that finds all kinds of ways to say we’re not good enough and never will be. That voice hammers on you before your feet hit the floor in the morning and keeps hammering until you go to bed at night. A Course in Miracles tells us that the Ego will not be satisfied until we are completely isolated in our misery. When the Ego is in charge, we maintain a strong defense against others, pointing our experiences as proof people can only be trusted to hurt us, and even worse,as proof that we’re so damaged, or so ugly or so poor or so dumb that we can never, ever be really happy. We may be alone, but we are RIGHT. Here comes Dr. Phil again asking, “How’s that working for ya?”
Looking at ourselves objectively, with the same compassion we may show others but rarely show ourselves, allows our consciousness begin to shift. Through assessment and evaluation, we determine what to keep and what to let go. As we let release the stories and beliefs of the past, we begin to see evidence that we are, in fact, absolutely loveable. We may even forgive ourselves for being vulnerable and making mistakes – or more specifically, for being Human.
I wasn’t able to even entertain the idea of self-love or self-acceptance until I finally understood about forgiving myself for being vulnerable in the past so that I could allow myself to be vulnerable in the present. Sometimes you have to take a giant leap of faith to reach your happiness. When the fear voice insists you need to play it safe, you feel pretty shaky and vulnerable leaping into unknown territory. Once you quit paying much attention to the Fear Voice, or the Ego, and center yourself in Love, you’ll be flowing along in the creative energy of the Universe. It sounds corny, but honestly, once your perspective has shifted, it’s like The Force is with you shining a light on the path to your goal. The trick is being willing to see the possibilities instead of focusing the obstacles or dangers.
A Course in Miracles says that the willingness to see things differently is the only miracle. It’s a miracle you can create for yourself in an instant, and from then on, even if you get lost, you’ll always be able to find your way.
Due to technical difficulties, I got so flustered trying to launch my Sister Chat with Mary Beth this week that our very good conversation wasn’t synchronized with YouTube. Hopefully, Mary Beth and I will have a Do-Over Chat soon. Anjelica graciously stepped into the gap this week, and we had a lively discussion about lots of Law of Attraction stuff, which was great – and it’s also great to have time to reflect on the conversation with Mary Beth. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the more I thought about some of the things she said, it became clear that she’d brought up a significant point: sometimes we need to stop DOING so we can discover BEING.
Like many of us, Mary Beth has a lot of responsibilities. In her bio, she tells us that she’s the single mother of a teenaged son. She’s been the primary breadwinner for a while, and she is recently widowed. Before her husband was diagnosed with the illness, they had been discussing divorce. To me, it looks like Mary Beth has been up to her eyeballs in Massive Action, the Positive Principle from week 3, for a year or more.
Taking action is absolutely necessary when we’re working to reach goals, but there are times when DOING something is counterproductive. Sometimes you just have to slow down, take a few deep breaths and just Be. One of the most significant lessons in A Course in Miracles, for me anyway, is that we don’t have to DO anything to find inner peace. We just have to be. Max did a segment on Being vs. Doing a couple of years ago on his radio show, “The Magic of Life” (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagicoflife/2012/09/21/being-vs-doing-with-max-ryan). He was mentoring me in the Course at the time and shared this scholarly article with me: I Need Do Nothing (http://www.miracles.org.nz/do_not.htm). The article is kind of heavy duty philosophical, but it’s an important concept.
The Course tells us that there is really only one problem and one solution. The problem is that we’re separated from God – isolated in fear – and the solution is reestablishing the connection. If the idea of God gives you the willies, quit thinking of God as some punitive, judgmental Grandpa in the Sky and just think of Self. You’re separated from your authentic Self and the solution is connecting with Self. Very simple. All my atheist friends take pains to point out that God is all in your head – which is the best place for God, if you ask me. If God is your imagination, or your best, most loving Self – so much the better. The Course talks about God all the time but never once suggests there is a Sky Daddy.
As long as you’re trapped in thought patterns that are so self-critical you’re beating yourself up all the time for not being Good Enough, or thin enough, or rich enough, or smart enough or whatever – you’re going to remain separate and isolated not only from Source/Self but also from intimate relationships with friends, family and lovers. And there is no specific action anyone can take to be “good enough” to connect with the Divine. We’re all already Good Enough and can connect with the Divine in an instant.
The trouble is that it takes so much practice to stop repeating the negative stories we’ve habitually told ourselves about our Selves. Committing to that practice IS massive action.
Giving yourself time every day to simply be still enough to find your center, to take a step back from your thoughts and discover the observer inside (like Eckhart Tolle describes in The Power of Now) is essential to shifting your perspective. Personally, I liked listening to Guided Meditations when I was learning how to center myself in peace. That inner voice of mine never seemed to shut up on its own, and I definitely benefitted from replacing it with something loving and peaceful. Max turned me onto the Infinity Breath, too, which I still practice even though I don’t need the recording anymore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa3z_4Xgo6M). He also does some beautiful archangel meditations.
The thing is that shifting your perspective from Fear to Love is a process that takes as long as it takes. There is no schedule, and it’s not a race. There isn’t even a specific path since we all find our own way. We just have to decide to BE on the path, and the only way to find that path is to be still and know your own spirit, which is part of the Great Spirit – God, The Universe and Everything. We are all One, after all. Breathe it. Know it. Relax into it. BE it. Then whatever you need to DO will present itself.
Listening to Mary Beth talk about her first experience with online dating reminded me of one of the first things I learned about the Law of Attraction from Max. You get that on which you focus your energy and attention. After my divorce, when I entered the dating world of New York City with a vengeance and a determination to find Mr. Right as opposed to spending another 20 years with Mr. Wrong, all I could think about were the many, many wrong characteristics of my former Mr. Wrong and the thousands of potential Mr. Wrongs there on Match, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Chemistry and any other site where I could get a free weekend.
I’m not so sure I attracted so many Mr. Wrongs because I was sending out an all points bulletin to the universe for philandering narcissists, but I wound up dating several in a row. For the record, my ex-husband was not a philandering narcissist. He was passive-aggressive, secretive about money and many would call him a Mama’s Boy. I just thought of him as a whiny bitch, back then, and was looking for the complete opposite and wound up with philandering narcissists, who can be, in their own way, whiny bitches.
But I digress.
After Max and I started working on shifting my perspective and listening to my intuition, first through reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, and A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson – and then most importantly through A Course in Miracles – I could see how fears dominated my thoughts and feelings. The men I dated were the kind of people who looked for fearful individuals like me who didn’t believe we deserve respect and consideration, much less happiness. Before I could attract a person I really admired and respected, I had to see myself as someone I could admire and respect. Be the change you want to see, right?
When you go looking for another person to fill the whole in your soul so you can be happy, you’re stuck in a cycle of Special Relationships – the kind defined by B-Movies and advertisements for diamond engagement rings. ACIM spends a lot of time on Special Relationships because our whole society seems to revolve around the idea that we need something external to prove we have value, and while the external validation can come through a job, almost every single magazine in America makes sure women are pounded with images and essays listing all the ways we’re not good enough until we lose the weight, get the shoes, get the husband, kids, career, car, vacation, etc. Now an industry is springing up around Self Love as if it’s some kind of goal that can be achieved through by a juice fast. If we could just love ourselves enough – we can be enough.
The thing is that we’re already enough. We’re great like we are, as a matter of fact, but that reality is exactly the opposite of what we absorb from birth from all the well-intentioned people telling us about the ways of the world.
A person can get pretty good results from Law of Attraction stuff even when s/he is still living a life based in the ways of the world, but to really live our dreams, we need to live a life based on Spirit. It takes lots of practice to remember that we are Spirit, fundamentally, and even more practice to connect with that spirit and allow spirit to show us the path. The good news is that we don’t have to be connected all the time. That’s a tall order when every single one of us is bombarded by the voices of fear from almost every single angle because fear of lack and attack drives our whole economy, when you think about it – but that’s another discussion.
My point today is that to get 100% great results by using the Laws of Attraction, you really do need to remember that you’re 100% great already. We are as God created us, right now, in this minute, exactly the way we are. And guess what: Even if you don’t believe that God created anything, that there was just a big bang and the evolution that resulted from the big bang – still, we are star dust; we are golden. When you’re in the process of becoming the kind of person you’re proud to be, then you’ll meet people who you’re proud to be with.
It’s that simple because your internal radar will steer you away from Mr. Wrong, but more importantly, all those Mr. Wrongs won’t see a needy, sad person who wants someone else to fix everything.