Monthly Archives: July 2016

How to Help Others.

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Since I was a young person, maybe nine or ten, I wanted to grow up to make a difference in the world.  For me, I decided to create that difference by studying to be a social worker.  Social workers were tireless beings in the world that helped those that could not help themselves.  From social work, I evolved into becoming a therapist.  I had a strong belief that there were so many problems and needs in the world, and that my being a helper, in the form of therapy, social work, or care management, was my best way to impact on those needs.

 

This has been my belief, until very recently.

 

Recently, I have been doing some significant soul searching.  Now, when I search my soul, in the past, I would always want to find out the why of the doing of something; so, if my relationships that I sought were negative or non communicative, I would want to trace back in my history as to why I would choose that.  Who was responsible for my current actions.  What I understand now, is that I always get to choose; and that anything that I was ever taught along the line, from anyone, was just a person telling me what they thought might work best for me in the world.

 

Soul searching for me now, means that I don’t have to find out the why; all I want to do is learn how to be more peaceful, present, and forgiving.  That to really be in my life, I must do all of these things, as often as possible.  So, I am discovering that I do not want to help the world anymore, in the ways I have educated myself to do so.

 

I don’t want to be a therapist.  I don’t want to be a counselor.  Or a social worker.  Or a clinician.  I want to simply join with people, make connections to other human beings, and make our connections meaningful in the moment.  Not feel the need to heal or fix the other person.  Just be with them, presently, and in full awareness.  My hugs help me to do that every time I give one.  It is the closest I have ever come to true, meaningful connection with a stranger.

 

This may not make sense to you, but I have come to understand that wanting to help others, for me, is no longer noble and kind, but arrogant.  The way that I always tried to help others, was to create a situation where they needed me to solve their problems for them.  Or at least, tell them how to solve it themselves.  I rarely saw them as being capable to solve their own problems, without my part in it.  I am not judging myself for that, I am just observing the truth.

 

It feels so much more simple now.  If I merely want to connect with others, not try to fix or “help” them, then I need to see them as strong.  See them as capable.  Connect with them on a deeply human level.  See our sameness.

 

And, for now, if hugs are the way to get there, so be it.  I have no idea what that will manifest as in the future, but all that matters is right here and now.

 

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Sweet Freedom.

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Recently, I attended an event that I had a lot of anxiety about.  I kept telling a story over and over in my head, about how it was going to turn out; who would be there; and down to the details of where would I sit, who would I sit with, who would talk to me, and how long I would stay.  I was thinking about it on a daily basis for easily the last two months.  In that time, I thought of all of the reasons that the people there, the weather, the circumstances, were holding me hostage in a way that created discomfort for me.  Like the situation itself was making me unhappy.

 

Then, the event came, and went.  It unfolded in a pretty predictable way, the world didn’t end, and I actually ended up having a good time.  But the only thing that created that scenario was me; it was me, setting myself free.

 

You see, I was going to be spending time with some people that I haven’t, in a long time.  Things have happened. Bad feelings have moved in and gotten comfortable, among all of us.  I became resentful, judgmental, and felt hurt and judged in return.  It became an endless cycle of hatred of self, hatred of others.  I mean, if I am not loving myself, or them, it is hate.  True love has no opposite, but I wasn’t truly loving myself through this.  

 

In true love, I accept myself, and the other person, precisely as they are.  I let the events unfold as they will, and all I need to do is be present, and be myself.  So that is what I did.  I showed up; I was myself; and I found myself looking at others with softer eyes.  With loving eyes.  

 

I realized fully that nothing was holding me in chains, except me.  The longer that I held others hostage, wanting them to be who they were not, the longer I held myself hostage at the same time. The longer that I denied forgiveness, to myself or others, the longer that I would get to suffer.  The more that I could fret and worry and obsess over something that only needed to be let go.  To be set free.

 

And with that, I set myself free, to be me and let others do the same.  Which means, I set them free as well.  When I remember that I hold the key to my own cell, that I only need to drop what is creating suffering for me, and I will be set free.  Into a world that is bursting with opportunities for me to be with my dreams.

 

Freedom is sweet, indeed.  

 

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Moving Target.

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During various periods of my life and development, I have felt like a victim.  As a small child, when I was overweight and getting teased a lot at school, I felt like I was victimized.  When I came out to people and they didn’t accept, I felt like I was being judged and felt wounded by that.  As I got older, when things with a partner didn’t feel right, I rarely took much responsibility for the problems, and blamed the other person for mistreating me.

 

Now, being a victim had its payoffs for me, or so I thought.  That is why I held onto the identity for so long, and still do pick it up on occasion. When I felt like or saw myself as a victim, I got to get the attention of others, that either sympathized with my pain, could identify with it, or were just being good friends to me, or so they thought.  It also enabled me to NOT have to look at myself.  Even though when I was seeing myself as a “victim”, in those moments, I would have afterthoughts of my own role in it,  but would not think on it for long.  I knew it was a part of myself that wasn’t pretty.

 

The biggest way that being a victim was of benefit to me, is that I never had to actively say Yes to my life.  To say yes would mean to embrace whatever changes I needed to make to really, truly realize my dreams.  To focus my energies like a laser beam to that which I wanted for myself.  No, being a victim was a great excuse to stay inactive in the path of my life.

 

And, even though the other person seemed to be shooting the arrows at me, I was the one who was wearing the target.  There it was, on my chest, day after day.  Walking around in front of the weapon, begging to be shot at.  GULP.

Gratefully, I got sick enough of being a target, that I started to empower myself.  I started to take chances, to say both Yes, and No, powerfully and lovingly.  I remembered that being a victim is me saying no to my life and yes to misery and inaction.  The beauty of not being a victim, is that I get to fully embrace and accept the things that happen in my world as my own creation.  When I am not a victim, I am a Warrior.  I stand openly for what it is that I want, in a peaceful, strong way.  I feel firm.  I feel free.  I feel ready to take the steps that keep me in Light.  

 

Taking the target off my chest, and embracing that Warrior instead, brought me into the most powerful moments of my Life.  

 

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Circle of Life.

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I have been in deep study lately, not just of perspectives on life that I read in books, but more than ever, I have been in deep internal study.  Considering who I am, what this is, and why I am here.  Whether the world really exists or it doesn’t.  Things that feel worth considering at this phase in my existence, yet, disputes much of what I have learned in the past.

 

I really believe that our lives as humans is a process of taming, or domestication, as put by Don Miguel Ruiz, from the Four Agreements.  We are born wild, with no rules or structures yet put upon us.  Our needs are simple.  Our imaginations are forming.  What we see around is us brand new, so we see it freshly and excitedly, with a sense of curiosity, awe and wonder.  

 

Then, we realize that we have a choice, a voice, an ability to exert ourselves onto the world.  We start to say no, we start to run away from that which we were contained for so long.  We run toward things that seem interesting and worth exploring.  Then, we begin to be deeply educated in rules, laws, limits and expectations.  We learn that it is okay to do this, but not okay to do that.  We learn that it is important to be serious, and plan, and follow the rules as you are told.  We learn that to play is okay for a child, but when you grow up, play is something that is a thing of the past.  We learn to keep safe and not take chances and stay within the confines that have been put upon us.

 

These world structures, mind you, have no malice in them by those that put them upon us.  The persons that make and enforce the rules only want to keep us safe, and warm, and cared for.  Then, we begin to believe, maybe for a very long time, that the only existence that there is, the true reality, is that in which the rules define.  

 

Then, we come to the later years of our lives.  Maybe we are faced with death in some way.  Maybe some life changing experience alters our perspective.  Or maybe, we just have questions about whether or not this is all that there is.  Are we really just individual beings floating around in the same universe?  Or is there some aspect of oneness that exists?  

 

My life has become like a circle:  I was born not knowing; I learned; and then I began to unlearn that which no longer suited me.  Each of us was born wild and free; became tamed and domesticated; and then, sought to become wild and free again.  Yet, we have wisdom in the later part of our lives, so we are wise, wild and free again.  That is the journey.

 

Even though this is my journey that I speak of, no matter what book or philosophy I have heard about, learned or studied, this seems to be the path of many.  To come into this world as a clean slate; fill that slate with knowing that we believe is necessary; and then, cleaning the slate and going back to where we began.  Back to the egg.  Our Source.

 

Wise, wild, and free Again.  

 

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