Monthly Archives: December 2011
I wish I could say that a lesson learned once was learned forever. It seems there are certain themes in my life I find myself bumping into again and again. One I’ve struggled with the most is recognizing that what I look for, I will find.
Having spent my early years with a camera glued to my eye, it’s easy to use photographic metaphor to illustrate my point. Slide a yellow filter in front of your lens, and everything you see through the viewfinder will be tinted with yellow. Recognizing that you are viewing life through the filter of your belief system, and understanding what the belief is, can be the hardest part.
The filter most difficult for me to recognize, even though I’ve dealt with it time and again, is rejection. Relationships are the best tool for self-awareness if we choose to perceive and accept what is offered. I spent two years in a not-too emotionally rewarding relationship. Yet, the time was well-spent as it was the vehicle in which I first recognized that I was viewing it through a filter of rejection. Perhaps it was also a rite of passage for it was the first time I was able to honestly acknowledge that the pain I felt inside relationship was of my own creation.
It was in the midst of a phone argument that I realized I was demanding proof of rejection. Look for it, and you’ll find it! So I made a decision to begin looking for proof of love. Guess what – I found that, too! It made it easier to be in that relationship, though it eventually became evident that we simply did not want the same things from it and went our separate ways.
That first awareness was over ten years ago. I learned that lesson well enough to not struggle with it in my current marriage. Lo and behold though, I realized I am still dealing with the same filter in my friendships and other family relationships. In my quiet time this morning, I found myself running scenes of imagined slights in my mind. And the light once again dawned that I was doing it again – seeing those relationships through the filter of rejection. I reran the scenes replacing that rejection filter with the “I am deeply loved” filter and wow – I could certainly find the evidence of that, too.
When tempted to feel frustration at still dealing with the same filter I thought I had banished long ago, I remember a powerful meditation experience. My guidance said, “you must choose for Spirit.” I replied somewhat impatiently that I already had. I then heard, “you must choose in every moment.” Oh – duh!
Why is it the simplest truths are often the most difficult to grasp? So really, it’s not a matter of getting it right so that we never repeat the error in thought again. It’s a matter of recognizing and then choosing in that moment to look through a different, more loving filter. I once heard in a Sunday sermon that when a 747 jetliner is flying by autopilot, it is off course 90% of the time. Does the plane freak out and go, “oh no, I’ve done it again! I just can’t get it right!” I certainly hope not for in those precious moments spent in reaction rather than recognition and correction, the plane could very well crash. The autopilot program simply recognizes and self-corrects and repeats the process as many times as necessary.
Working with the filter metaphor can be a fun, self-learning exercise. Ask yourself what filter you have struggled with again and again. Put a name to it. Run a scene through your mind where that filter was in play. Take three deep breaths; now remove the filter. Take a moment to connect into your heart by breathing directly into it. Find that place inside where you are connected to the love of Spirit. Now create a new filter to replace the self-limiting one. Take another moment to review your life through this new filter. Check in with your body – are you more relaxed, calm and centered with this new filter? Make a commitment to yourself to be consciously aware of this new filter as you go about your day. Acknowledge the proof when it comes that the new filter is in play. Remember, if you look for the proof, you will find it!
Peace and healing to you.
As you sit in your chair reading this, take a moment to notice your body. Are you tense or relaxed? Play around with your thoughts… start with a fear-based thought. Notice what happens in your body when you engage those thoughts. Tight neck, shoulders, feeling a knot in the pit of your stomach? Welcome to life in a “contracted” state.
Now take three, really deep breaths. Recall a moment when you felt completely open, loved and loving. Perhaps a tender moment with a cherished family member, sharing a moment with your favorite pet or watching a spectacular sunset. Notice what is happening in your body now – feeling more relaxed? Breathing more deeply and calmly? Slower heart rate? Welcome to life in an “expanded” state.
It is entirely possible to experience sadness, grief, loss, fear and anger from the expanded state. How? I call it facing into the wind. I used to take myself on annual solo sojourns into the Utah dessert. Each time I would experience a moment of extraordinary empowerment. My favorite memory was feeling so completely uplifted by a connection to Spirit that it seemed I soared up to the top of a narrow, sandy outcropping left by years of wind erosion. At the top, I was buffeted by strong, bracing winds. As I stood there, my pulse quickened and I heard these words in my mind, “face into the wind.”
Moments in my life when I closed myself away from fear, pain, or anger rushed by and I relived them with an awareness that by expanding into the experience with self-confidence and respect, the contracted feeling just melted away. We tend to try to pull away from all things unpleasant; repressing the feelings rather than really experiencing them. When you face them head-on, just like facing into the wind, you find that place inside that is always connected to the Eternal. Relax and breathe into it – feeling yourself expand into it with each breath. From that place, recognition dawns that something within you is much stronger than the feeling you are trying to evade.
Everything in life is created to be experienced. Once fully experienced, it dissipates with purpose fulfilled. Even grief can hold no sway if you are willing to allow yourself to really feel it. Face into it – face fully into the wind of whatever is blowing in your life. Expand into it and discover how much more of you is fully available when all of your energy is released from resistance. When you are more emotionally available to experience life, life gives you so much more to experience. And you find much more room for joy, laughter and celebration.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how careful you attempt to be, whenever two or more cords are within a close proximity they soon become a tangled mess? As I attempted to untangle my earbud and power supply cords for the umpteenth time I realized that I could derive inspiration from even this mundane, worldly irritant.
What is the purpose of cords but to connect us to something – music, recharging batteries for computers, powering our myriad appliances, etc.? So when the cords kept snagging my attention, I finally stopped snarling and asked myself, “do I feel connected right now?” In that moment, the answer was no. I was in my head ticking off the myriad worries of the day concerning my health, my friends and what they thought of me because of my struggles, my future, blah, blah, blah. Goodness – with so much mind blathering how can one possibly really feel connected? So I just stopped, got quiet, plugged in through a quiet moment of gratitude.
It worked such a miracle it inspired me to write this blog. And as soon as the decision was made, my cords stopped tangling so adamantly. Life truly has many gifts to give. All we have to do is stop the mind blathering long enough to listen and even something as simple as a tangle of cords becomes fodder for Divine inspiration.