Visualize, Visualize, Visualize

December 5, 2008

Today we will look at the importance of visualization.  I have found this to be a very powerful tool for improving my life.  Let’s take a look at it to see if it can help you as well.

 

Thankful Friday

Today I would like to thank the new readers and subscribers to this site.  We are gradually adding new readers each month.  Thank you for taking the time to read this site.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner for providing the tools that make writing and distributing this site free for all of us.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

If you see it you can achieve it

Many years ago this was a concept that I could not grasp.  I had little confidence in any of my abilities.  It seemed like some self help happy talk.  It took me many years to understand the power of this simple idea.

 

I gradually came to understand the power of this idea. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who accepted and supported me unconditionally.  I received positive feedback for any advancement that I made in mastering myself.

 

Don’t get me wrong – there was plenty of very direct and pointed “instruction” whenever I got in my own way.  This was balanced with positive feedback when I managed to get myself untangled and advance a few steps on my path.  Over time I began to understand the importance of having both types of feedback.

 

At first, it was difficult for me to accept that I was making any progress.  My confidence was so low that I had to be convinced that I was moving down my path.  Over the course of many years I gradually saw that I was becoming more confident and much more happy.

 

Slowly I turn, step by step

Gradually I realized that I was looking at my shortcomings much more than I was looking at my strengths.  I guess this was one of my earliest visualizations.  I saw that when I concentrated on my strengths I had little room for my shortcomings.  Not that I ignored the shortcomings, I just concentrated on my strengths.  By doing this I began to master my weaknesses.

 

Slowly I turned from looking backwards at what I couldn’t do and what I saw as failures.  Slowly I turned towards a future of what I saw I could do.  Step by step I began to travel that path into the future, and quit looking backwards with recrimination.

 

I realized that I was visualizing

As I began to travel my path I began to look more closely at my “successes”.  I started to analyze those successes from start to finish.  I wanted to know why I was more successful with some endeavors than others.

 

One of the differences that I saw was that I was visualizing my success.  When I looked at the efforts that failed I realized that I had not been able to visualize their success.  These efforts seemed like a good idea at the time, but I started on them without a clear vision of how they would be accomplished.  I floundered around with a half thought out plan and wasted my time and effort.

 

I noticed that the efforts that were successful always began with my having a clear vision of the end result.  The intermediate steps were not important.  I saw that once I had a clear vision I would find a way to take the steps necessary to achieve the vision.

 

This was an important lesson for me.  I did not have to see the steps.  I just needed a clear vision of the outcome and the confidence to get there.  Between these two things I knew I would get there.

 

I realized that I had been visualizing for a long time

As I realized the importance of visualization to my spiritual path, I realized how much visualization I had already done.  Unfortunately, too much of that was visualizing failure, so that is what I achieved.  However, it did explain to me something that I had done in high school that I had never understood before.

 

I used to play high school football.  That was a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.  I was a starter on both the offense and defense.  I had a strange habit of arriving at the locker room several hours before the game.  I would be the first one there and get mostly dressed for the game.

 

Then I would lie down on a bench in a quiet corner of the locker room.  I would go into an almost trancelike state and start to visualize all the different plays.  I would visualize myself blocking my opponent and our half back gaining ten yards.  On defense I would visualize myself tackling the quarterback in the backfield.

 

After an hour or so of this I was ready for the game.  And I usually played a very good game.  It was not until thirty years later that I realized the power my visualization had on the way I played.  When I started the game I had confidence.  That confidence came from my visualization of success on every play.

 

From there I began to look at other accomplishments in my life.  These were from the time before I began to knowingly travel my spiritual path.  I saw that each of those accomplishments was also preceded by a visualization of success and then taking the necessary steps to achieve that success.

 

We all visualize

Through this thought process I realized that all of us visualize.  We do it all the time.  Frequently we are unaware of that visualization.  I urge you to observe your method for achieving success.  Bring the power of visualization into use as the powerful tool that it is.  I assure you that you will begin to lead a more successful and happy life.

 

Do you have any success stories or anecdotes about visualization that you would like to share?  Please leave a comment and share them with all of our readers.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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The 100 Mile 100 Year Test

December 2, 2008

Over the years I have developed a little tool that has helped me to keep my perspective.  Whenever I get enmeshed in a “problem” I pull out this little test and it helps me to see things much more clearly.  Let me share this little test with you.

 

We get so caught up in things

When we get out of the moment we are very easily swept up by our fears, worries, and doubts.  When this happens we lose perspective and become governed by those fears and doubts.

 

When we are governed by the fears and doubts we start a downward spiral of emotion.  This spiral almost always leads to some form of unhappiness.  We are so tangled up in our own thoughts that we cannot see our way back to happiness.  When we can no longer see our way back to happiness the bottom of our world drops out and we become very unhappy.

 

Here is a technique that I have used to break this cycle.

 

The 100 mile test

I used to get very unhappy and very depressed.  I would start to take everything so seriously (after all, I was a serious person) and be appropriately grim and businesslike.  I thought this was the way I was supposed to live my life.

 

One of the drawbacks from living like this was that I could not handle “problems” very well.  The least little thing that did not go the way I wanted it to go would send me into my spiral of fear and self doubt.  That downward spiral never had a happy ending.

 

One day as this spiral started for the gazillionth time, I found myself looking down at the planet from about 100 miles above where my body was standing.  I thought to myself that this was kinda weird, but I was getting somewhat used to weird things happening on my spiritual path.

 

As I looked down from this 100 mile perspective I realized that whatever my false self was caught up in was really not that important.  I realized that from 100 miles up there was not that much that made a difference.  If it was not that important, why should I bother worrying about it?

 

Some people describe this as an “Aha” moment.  I guess it was.  However, it made perfect sense to me.  If the thing that I was worrying about did not make a difference when viewed from 100 miles above, why was I literally destroying myself about it?

This revelation had a very calming effect on me.  I realized that when viewed from this perspective there are very few things that are that important.  It was almost as if scales had fallen from my eyes and I could finally start to see the things that were truly important.

 

OK – that last little bit might be somewhat dramatic, but not very much.  I truly felt that I had a way to help prioritize the things that are important to my life.

 

The 100 year test

You are all a bunch of very smart people.  You should be able to figure out this next one.

 

As I thought about this idea of inserting distance into my perspective to determine which things are important, I came across the idea of inserting time in a similar manner.  I realized that I could also insert a timeframe of 100 years into my worrying and achieve a similar result.

 

Thus the 100 year test came into being.  If what I am worrying about will be of no importance in 100 years then there is no reason for me to worry about it now.  Why worry so much about trivial matters when in 100 years it will not make a difference to anyone?

 

This is not to say that we adopt a lackadaisical approach to what we do.  We always do everything to the maximum of our ability.  We always strive to do the best job we can at whatever we choose to do.  This 100 year test is saying that we must learn how to keep our perspective of the relative importance of what we are doing.

 

False self tends to perceive dire consequences if we fail.  True self tends to stand back and realize that “failure” contains valuable information.  Properly used this information can lead us to success the next time around.  True self tends to look at things from the 100 year perspective and not care that much about the dire consequences that false self is so afraid of.

 

The 100 mile 100 year test

So here it is stated in its entirety:

 

If whatever I am worrying about makes no difference to the world when I view it from 100 miles up, then it is not worth worrying about.  If in 100 years that same thing will make no real difference to anyone, it also not worth worrying about.

 

I hope this little technique will become as powerful for you as it has become for me.  We all worry way too much about very inconsequential things.  Let’s all learn to stop worrying and be happy.  Hhmm…  if only someone would write a song about that.  Don’t worry, be happy.  That’s a catchy name for a song.

 

That is all for today.  Don’t worry – be happy!

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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There Is No Reason Not to be Happy

December 1, 2008

The more I think about it, the more I realize that there is no reason to be unhappy.  We create a lot of what we think are reasons to justify our unhappiness.  In the end these all boil down to a bunch of illusions.  Today we look at this idea.

 

Thanks to the Circle of Miracles

Yesterday I spoke at the Circle of Miracles in New Britain, PA.  I want to extend my thanks to Hannelore Goodwin and everyone there for being so accepting of me.  Everyone was so gracious and generous in their acceptance and openness to the topics that were presented.  I look forward to speaking there in the future whenever their schedule allows.

 

Why do we choose to be unhappy?

I have wondered about this question for a long time.  Sometimes I think I have an answer and at other times I am not so sure.

 

We have written extensively about happiness on this site.  True happiness comes from being in the moment.  When we are not in the moment we are acting from our false self.

 

As we know, false self is constructed from fear.  We can never be happy when we are fearful.  At best we can find a temporary relief from some of the fears which will provide a temporary appearance of happiness.  This cannot be a permanent and true happiness because the underlying fears are still there.  True happiness comes from the recognition that the false self will never bring happiness.  Consequently we quit seeking happiness from our false self.

 

But why is this so hard?

I know, I know, we have been across this ground many times before on this site.  However, it is still a very important question and it seems to warrant additional investigation.  My initial response is that we are attached to what we think happiness means.

 

By this I mean that we have a long list of things that we are conditioned to believe equate to happiness.  We can start with money, a big house and end with a fancy car, lots of vacations, and plenty of time to play golf.  Each of us has a false self that keeps a list of dozens of things that will make us happy.

 

What is the common thread that runs through all of these happiness making things?  They are all external and/or physical.  We think we will be happy because we have a relationship.  We are looking for happiness in an external circumstance (the relationship). We are also looking for our happiness from the other person in the relationship.  That is also looking for happiness externally.

 

It is pretty clear that things like money, a house, a car, and vacations are also external circumstances.  They are supposed to bring us happiness, but at best they bring us a temporary respite from our fears.  Why can’t we learn that these things are illusions?

 

The only reason that I have seen as to why it is so hard to let go of things is that we are so strongly attached to them.

 

It must be the attachments

We have dealt with attachments on this site before.  We will probably deal with them again.  They are so pervasive in our thinking it can be very difficult to learn to let go of all of them.

 

When we are children most of us are taught by parents who have attachments to the idea that external things will bring us happiness.  We are taught that birthday and Christmas presents will make us happy.  We are taught to find a good paying job that will make us happy.  We were taught that there were dozens of things that will make us happy – and we were taught to be attached to them.

 

It is the attachment that is the real problem.  The attachments mean that we have learned to identify with the possessions.  Through the attachment we think that the possessions become a part of us.  We are unhappy without the possession because it means that we are missing a piece of our self.  That is how strong the attachments become.

 

Everyone around us has the same attachments.  Does a fish know that it is swimming in water?  If everyone around us has the same attachments how can we finally realize that the attachments will never bring us happiness?

 

Hard knocks

Unfortunately, far too many of us never realize that the attachments are causing the unhappiness.  Most of us get glimpses that the attachments and the physical objects are not making us happy.  It ends with the glimpse because most of us do not know what to do after we get the glimpse.

 

What usually happens is that eventually we become so unhappy that we determine that there must be a better way.  We experience so much pain that we finally open ourselves up to another way to live our life.  This is where the spirituality comes in.  We finally begin to knowingly travel our spiritual path because it is too painful to continue as we were.

 

I hope that in the near future we will find another way for most of us to learn to travel our spiritual path.  I think that it is somewhat sad that we seem to find our spirituality as a last resort.  We try everything else and then we try spirituality.

 

Through our spirituality we find true happiness inside of us.  We learn to release our attachments because we learn to see the unhappiness they bring us.  Our spirituality becomes the most important thing in our life, not something we do when we have a few spare minutes.

 

We started this post by saying that there in no reason not to be happy.  We just have to learn to see through the illusions and excuses that come from our attachments.  We simply stop justifying our unhappiness.

 

If you have any ideas regarding how we can help each other to learn that spirituality should be our first priority please submit your comment.  Please let us know how you think we can help each other to stop finding spirituality as a last resort.

 

That is all for today.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Do You Want to be Happy or Do You Want to be Like Everybody Else?

November 25, 2008

This very interesting question was posed to me many years ago.  I have never forgotten it.  I have been known to ask myself this question when I am making decisions about my life.  Today we will explore this question.

 

Do you want to be like everyone else?

Of course we all want to be happy.  The key point here becomes what that happiness is.  If we listen to what the advertising on our TV is telling us, happiness means more stuff.  A new car will make us happy.  A new pill will give us better health and we will be happy.  New clothes will give us a new “us” and that will be happier than the old “us”.

 

If we watch the programs, what passes for “content” tells us that our happiness comes from our relationships.  Most programs that deal in either drama or comedy revolve around the personal relationships of the characters portrayed. 

 

Very few of these characters ever deal with the idea that we must have a good relationship with our self before we can have a good relationship with anyone else.  These programs teach us that we must have someone in our life who likes us before we can like our self.

 

If you have read our postings about relationships you will know that I think that idea is totally backwards.  Before we can like anyone else we have to learn to like our self.  Anything else means we are looking for approval from others before we approve of our self.  That is a sure way to be unhappy.

 

Finally we look at the crime stories and other violent programs.  It seems to me that the purpose of these programs is primarily to scare us.  We are taught to be fearful of “bad” people.  These people can be terrorists in “24”, criminals in “Law & Order”, or monsters in horror programs.  However you cut it, there is no happiness when you are fearful.

 

I realize that I am picking only one medium.  However, this is the largest medium on the planet.  Much of the global content has traditionally been from the USA, but this is changing.  The medium of television is the most representative of how the planet views itself and the various cultures.

 

Do you want to be happy?

Happiness on this planet seems to be defined by acquisition of material objects and what others think of us.  There does not (yet) seem to be a strong movement in the culture towards introspection and self understanding.  There does not seem to be a broad interest in discovering happiness internally.

 

This is the heart of the question “Do you want to be happy or do you want to be like everyone else?”  When we are being like everyone else we are looking for our happiness externally.

 

When we choose to be happy we choose for internal happiness.  We choose for happiness that comes from true self.  We choose to listen to our own drummer and begin to learn that traveling our own path to happiness is much more rewarding than trying to be like everyone else.

 

We have written extensively about happiness, true self, and attachments.  What keeps us from being happy and dooms us to be like everyone else are the false self attachments.  Just the fact that we want to be like everyone else is an example of those attachments.

 

We want their attachments

When we want to be like everyone else we are clinging to an attachment.  This specific attachment is very powerful because what we are really saying is that we want to have everyone else’s attachments.  If we want to be like them, that means we want to be attached to what they are attached.

 

Once we realize that all attachments eventually bring pain, we will also realize that we do not want to be like everyone else.  They might think they are happy.  They will gladly tell us how happy they are.  Watch them long enough and we will see just how unhappy they really are.

 

As we learn to deal with our attachments we gradually learn about our happiness.  We learn that we can release our attachments and not care about what others think.  We learn to not talk about our lack of attachments.  We just learn to be happy and not say anything.

 

Those who are doing the same will see.  They will understand what we are doing without our having ever said a word.  They will also do whatever they can to help you.  They are travelling the same path and understand the importance of support that is given by one true self to another true self.

 

After all, isn’t this the type of person we want in our life?  If we have twenty people around us who all want us to have their attachments, we have a much more difficult task.  One person who is giving us true support from their true self will be of much more assistance than those twenty other people.

 

It gets difficult to cut the attachments and walk forward without any support.  However, for the sake of your own happiness I implore you to do so.

 

After all, do you want to be happy or do you want to be like everyone else?

 

That is all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

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This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Simplify Our Life – Non-Supportive Family

September 23, 2008

I am sure some of you have been scratching your head and wondering what the last two posts have had to do with simplifying your life.  When I started writing about family I thought that I would be able to explain it in one or two posts.  Surprise!  It is going to take a total of five.

 

Simplify your blood family

In the last two posts we talked about our blood families.  We first talked about the idea of functional and nonfunctional families.  Then we learned about the need to examine our family.  If you have not read those posts please do so.  Reading them is pretty much a prerequisite for understanding this post.

 

Today we will look at a strategy for dealing with the results of our examination of our family.  This strategy is used when we need to get out of a non-supportive relationship.

 

We are accepted

As in all of our relationships we generally have different relationships with the different members of our blood family.  Some will totally accept us for who we are.  These are good relationships that we should attempt to maintain and nurture.  We need to accept these family members unconditionally in the same way they accept us.

 

When acceptance is conditional

Other family members will want to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  These relationships can be summarized with the phrase “if you were really my daughter and loved me you would call me more often.”   Substitute “daughter” for whatever relationship is appropriate for you.  Substitute “call me more often” for any behavior that fits the relationship.

 

These relationships based on conditional acceptance are always painful for us.  The base cause of the pain is that we are not being accepted for who we are.  We usually do not see that.  What we see is that someone is attempting to force us to do things that we do not want to do.

 

We don’t want to call our mother more often.  We don’t want to play baseball but we do so because it will make dad happy.  We don’t want to buy flowers for our sister’s birthday to prove to her that we love her.  We want to express our acceptance in our own way, but they force us to do it their way.  Then, if we do express our acceptance and caring in our own way, they conclude that we do not love them and blame us for hurting them.

 

You can see where this kind of relationship goes.  Over time we are more and more constricted in our behavior towards this relative.  We become more and more unhappy but do not want to hurt them.  This is how nonfunctional families perpetuate themselves.

 

The separation strategy

The first strategy that we will look at is the separation strategy.  This is the more drastic and more final solution.  The way this strategy works is that we commit to attempting to explain to the relative who is placing conditions on their acceptance of us that they are limiting us.

 

If at all possible we should avoid talking about how we are being hurt by them.  There are two reasons for this.  The first goes back to the idea that only the false self can be hurt.  When we talk about being hurt then we are exhibiting false self behavior.

 

The second reason that we do not talk about being hurt is that our relative will frequently respond by telling us how much we are hurting them.  “You think I hurt you? Let me tell you how much you hurt me!”  This conversation rarely is progressive or has a happy ending.

 

In the separation strategy we talk to our relative about how a relationship is limited when we accept someone only if they pass certain conditions.  We talk about how when we are more open with our acceptance we can more truly understand and like each other.

 

We also make a long term commitment to taking whatever time is required to make sure we have tried every possible way to explain ourselves to this relative.  What we are really doing is telling them that we cannot continue our relationship with them if they continue to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  Usually we do not actually say this to our restricting relative.  This is viewed as an ultimatum and detracts from the discussion.

 

We know that the relationship is too painful for us to continue unchanged.  We take whatever time we can devote and have as many discussions as we can before we choose to separate ourselves from the overly restricting relative.

 

As we separate ourselves we acknowledge to ourselves that we have done everything we can to explain our desire to build a healthy relationship with our relative.  We accept that at this time this relative is more interested in their false self behavior than in building a healthy relationship with us.  We accept them for where they are right now and vow to revisit the relationship whenever we think there might be an opening for us to continue our discussions about acceptance.

 

This can be very devastating to us when we determine that we must go forward with our lives.  We have to recognize that we did everything that we could to help our non-supportive relative to understand why we had to break off the relationship.  We have to understand that if they were coming from their true self then they would have no problem with the break up.  The fact that we had to temporarily break the relationship means that we could no longer allow their false self behavior to control what our true self needs to do.

 

All this can be very difficult to sort through while we are in the middle of it.  These are very emotionally charged situations.  This is precisely why we need to be training false self to listen to true self.  True self understands the importance of each of our relationships and is always able to determine which we need to maintain and which we need to suspend.  By listening to true self we can simplify our family relationships.

 

How is this simplifying our life?

Think about how much time and emotional energy we expend on our blood family relationships.  How much of that is in the mutually accepting and supportive category?  How much is in the dealing with conditional acceptance category?

 

Most of us spend a lot of time and emotional energy dealing with the conditional acceptance placed on us by our blood family.  Should we not turn this around and be spending more time and energy on the mutually accepting and supportive relationships?

 

By recognizing the non-supportive relationships we are simplifying our lives.  True self is determining to relate more frequently with those in our family who support us.  These supportive relationships rejuvenate us.  The non-supportive relationships only drain us.

 

We simplify our lives by first understanding the nature of our blood family relationships.  Next we learn to choose for the supportive relationships because they are beneficial to us and help us to simplify our lives.  No unnecessary time or energy is wasted on them.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at another strategy.  That one is called the “accept but cauterize” strategy.

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Simplify Our Life – Functional Families

September 19, 2008

Yesterday we looked at simplifying our lives by choosing our friends carefully.  Family is a bit different matter and much more emotional.  However, many of us choose family over our true happiness.  Today we will look at some ideas to help us understand this choice.

 

But first…

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom here we take a moment each Friday to thank those around us.  This week I would like to thank those who have given me encouraging feedback about what I am writing.  I thank you for taking the time to read this site and to offer your feedback.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

The nonfunctional family

To start our understanding of why false self is so attached to its family we must first look at the structure of the family.  When we look at most families we do not find a strong influence of true self.  There are many signs of this.  We see issues like a controlling and authoritative parent, a required strong commitment to a religious or political ideology, physical or psychological abuse, and substance abuse.

 

All of these behaviors come from false self.  This is by no means a definitive list, but it covers the most common issues that face families.

 

The way the family adjusts to these issues determines whether not it is a functional family.  In a nonfunctional family it is usually only a few members who have any one of the behaviors listed above.  The others learn to cope with the extreme false self behavior.  Rather than bring it to the attention of the one exhibiting the behavior they keep quiet and try to get along.

 

Let’s take the case of a domineering, controlling, and authoritative parent.  In this example only one of the parents exhibits this behavior.  The spouse most likely began to cope with this type of behavior before there were any children in the family.  The children learned to cope with the behavior as they grew up.

 

Is everybody happy?

Is anyone in this family really happy?  I would suggest that they are not.  The authoritative parent is not.  They are clearly coming from false self and as we have repeated, that is never a happy place.  The spouse and the children are not happy because they must repress their true self so that they do not anger the controlling parent.  Every time they strongly express any true self behavior the false self of the controlling parent views this as a threat and punishes the behavior.  Eventually everyone learns to live in fear of the controlling parent.

 

The final test of a nonfunctional family is what happens when someone needs to leave the family.  Over time the spouse and children of the nonfunctional family have learned to balance each other to keep a sense of stability in the family.  This is not true stability because it is coming from the balancing of their false self behaviors against the false self behavior of the controlling parent.

 

This apparent stability is more like a house of cards that is in a delicate stasis.  Because all the false self behaviors are linked to each other, if one person decides they need to get away from the situation to understand themselves – the whole house of cards comes down.  As it comes down everyone in the family blames the one who chose for their true self as the cause of all the pain.

 

This is not a pretty picture, but how many of us encountered a similar situation as we chose to pursue our spiritual path?  That is why I have felt the need to write about this.  Choosing for the false self based family is one of the most common reasons people never choose to listen to their true self.  At least it is that way in my experience.

 

The functional family

The functional family may not recognize that they are making choices for their true self.  They probably don’t see this.  What they understand is that they are truly happy.

 

Here are some of their behaviors that are different from the nonfunctional family.  They encourage each person in the family to learn what is important to them.  They actively support what each person wants to do as much as is possible.  The functional family wants each person to travel their own path of discovery.  In a functional family you hear “I don’t understand why you want to do that, but I will help you in whatever way I can.”  This is said with utter sincerity.

 

In a functional family the children are not told to be doctors, lawyers, or whatever the parents think they should be.  Children are not forced to participate in sports in which they have no interest.  No one cares.  As long as the child is happy, not destructive of themselves or others, and is passionate about learning – nothing else is really important.

 

A functional family does not force any religious or political ideologies on its members.  The family is strong enough to have any and all beliefs questioned.  The family understands that all ideas need to be examined on a regular basis.  If our understanding evolves, then our ideas should evolve.  A lively discussion of opposing ideas without personal rancor is a sure sign of an open minded family.

 

Finally, the functional family only wants happiness for each of the members.  The functional family does not push its members into unwanted personal relationships.  It does not determine the race, social stature, financial stature, or sexual orientation of its member’s personal relationships.  They know that happiness is more important than any of these.  If the person is not happy in the relationship then we help them understand their choice and help them back towards their true happiness.  We do not condemn them for choosing the wrong relationship with the wrong person.

 

Breaking up a functional family

Unlike the nonfunctional family that breaks up with much pain, the functional family breaks up and reassembles itself very easily.  A functional family is less likely to have interlocking false self dependencies.  The members of a functional family are much more likely to be acting from true self.  Remember, true self knows that it is complete in itself and does not need anyone else.  What do we care if a family member chooses to leave to pursue their goals?  All we want is for them to be happy in that pursuit.

 

The continuum

How many families are fully functional?  Not many.  How many families are totally nonfunctional?  Not many but more than those that are fully functional.  It is more like a continuum where most families exhibit some characteristics of a functional family as well as some from the nonfunctional family.

 

It all depends on which characteristics come into play for us as we relate to our family.  Other family members will have different experiences than ours.  Each family member experiences a different family.  We need to learn about how the family that we experience is affecting our choice for true self.  Not our sister’s choice, not our mother’s choice – our choice.

 

More on Monday

Today we have written the background for Monday’s post.  On Monday we will look at how to use these concepts of functional and nonfunctional families to simplify our relationships with our families.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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To Thine Own Self be True

September 15, 2008

I was watching a movie this weekend and this famous quotation from Hamlet was used.  It started me thinking about how this might mean that we should listen to our true self and not our false self.  But first –

 

Welcome Back

I trust that everyone had a great weekend.  Over the weekend another major hurricane struck the gulf coast of the US.  Our thoughts are with those who are affected by this storm.  If we can be of any help please let us know how we can do so.

 

Another movie

As many of you know I am a cineaste – a movie enthusiast.  One of my great joys is to find a movie that I have not seen before that also contains a great message.  This weekend I found the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.

 

This movie was made in 1955 and among other things examines the conformist nature of society in that era.  The widowed female lead (Cary) begins an affair with a younger man (Ron).  Cary is from the country club set and Ron runs a tree nursery.  All of her friends belong to the country club.  She eventually finds that his friends come from all walks of life.

 

Cary knows that there is something unusual about her lover, but has not yet understood what that is.  The couple gets invited to a party hosted by Ron’s best friends.  These friends, a married couple, have known Ron for many years.  It is the woman of this couple who finally explains what is different about Ron.

 

To thine own self be true

As the two women are preparing for the other party guests they start to talk about the men.  The hostess explains to Cary that Ron lives by the phrase “to thine own self be true.”  The hostess went on to say that Ron finds his security from inside of him, not through his job or money.

 

This discussion triggered a deeper understanding in me.  I realized that Shakespeare must have been talking about finding true self.  Shakespeare was saying that we must be true to true self, not false self.

 

I admit that I have heard this phrase countless times and never made the connection.  When you talk about being true to yourself and finding your security within – what else can you be talking about?

 

On this site, how many times have we written about finding our happiness within?  How many times have we said that false self thinks it can find happiness through attachments to external objects, ideas, or people?  How many times have we talked about true self finding happiness by being in the moment?

 

When I find this type of connection I realize how many people have said similar things.  History, the arts, and spiritual teachings are each full of similar examples.  I guess we discover these insights as we are ready for them.

 

The important stuff

Let’s go back to our movie for a minute.  The hostess went on to tell Cary that Ron only paid attention to the important stuff.  “Ron absolutely refuses to allow the unimportant things to become important.”

 

What a wonderful description of true self.  True self knows that all the things that false self wants to get caught in are truly unimportant.  You know – things like attachments to objects, fears, and the general pettiness that is false self.

 

We have not spent much time on the idea of simplifying our lives.  That is an oversight on my part.  I plan to write on this idea soon, but here are a few ideas about simplifying our lives.

 

To put it briefly, false self makes a lot more out of things than is necessary.  It makes mountains out of mole hills.  Because it has such a dislike for itself it has to aggrandize things to prove that it is important.  It justifies its stature by comparing itself to things that are big, important, influential, and generally of great magnitude.  It thinks that it will bask in the glory of these things and prove it is worthy of respect.

 

True self does not need complicated or grandiose things.  True self does what is necessary and does not care what any one thinks.  True self knows that by making something complicated we only take time and energy from another important task that needs to be accomplished.  True self will do whatever necessary to perform a required task, but has no desire to make the effort greater than necessary.

 

See the movie

I have provided a link to an online synopsis of the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.  It is an interesting study of a relationship wherein the individuals are at different levels of understanding the concepts of true self and false self.  They encounter many experiences that we all bump into as we travel our spiritual paths.  Please post your thoughts about this movie after you have seen it.  I am very interested in your insights.

 

The movie is available through Netflix.  You can also find it on cable TV.  Set your TiVo to record it.  I have no affiliation with TiVo or Netflix.  I just find them to be very useful.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com