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

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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Simplify Our Life – People

September 18, 2008

The more I understand my true self the more I realize how complicated we make our lives.  Those complications come from the way false self runs our lives.  The next few posts will look at some ways to understand why we have chosen to complicate our lives.  We will also learn how to begin to eliminate those complications from our lives.

 

False self does not want to be different

We have examined many aspects of how false self operates on this site.  One that we have touched on but did not explain in depth is that false self does not really want to be different.

 

In our previous summary of false self we heard about how false self is based entirely in fear.  Because it is so fearful one of its strong desires is to not appear different from those around it.  This means it wants to think like everyone else, have the same possessions as everyone else, and have the same relationships as everyone else.

 

Today we will start to look at how those fears create a complicated life.

 

Let’s start with the idea of relationships.  In this we are talking about all relationships from our intimate personal relationships to our short-lived social acquaintances.

 

False self wants to be accepted by other people.  False self is afraid of being rejected because that would invalidate its self image.  We looked at this in more depth in previous posts about false self attachments to people.

 

Most of the time false self wants to have other people around.  It is willing to put up with a lot of crap from those people because it wants very badly to be accepted.  For this reason, many times false self keeps in contact with other people just so it will not have to feel rejected.

 

Too many people can complicate our life

Some false selves develop to be basically antisocial.  They do not have to worry about too many people in their lives because they drive everyone out.  As in all things, there is a balance.  An individual with a false self like this needs to learn the balance of having no one in their life versus having the appropriate people in their lives.

 

Today we are hearing about individuals who have a false self with the opposite problem of balance.  They have too many people in their lives and have made that life overly complicated.  They need to learn the balance of having too many people in their lives versus having the appropriate people in their lives.

 

Because false self wants to hang on to people, we tend to collect people in our lives.  Over time this collection can take so much energy to maintain that we are not able to concentrate on what we really need to do.  We are constantly tripping over people that we recognize are not helping us to reach our goals, but we are “too nice” to move them out of our lives.

 

Many times we have allowed the false selves of these people to hang on to us for their support.  Now besides having our own false self issues to deal with we are taking on their false self issues.  We think we “have to help” or we are not being nice.  Because false self is afraid to lose someone from its circle of acquaintances it can take a long time to realize that we are indulging, not helping the other individual.

 

So now we have a collection of people that are hanging on to us for support while we are barely able to support ourselves.  What do we do?

 

True self wants those who are self supporting

For now we will look at some suggestions on how to deal with friends and acquaintances.  We will look at how deal with complications of family in tomorrow’s post.  Please submit a comment if you want to start to look at family issues now.  We can start the discussion immediately.

 

True self knows that we have objectives for this life time.  True self wants to help those around us whenever possible.  True self also knows that there has to be a balance between helping someone and that person wanting to help themselves. 

 

This can be a hard thing for false self to see objectively because false self does not want to lose people from its life.  More people equates to being more liked.  Why deliberately move people out of our life and have fewer people like us?  Or at least so thinks the so called false self logic.

 

Take a look at where you are on this question.  Are you keeping friends in your life that are not helping you towards your goals?  Are there friends in your life that take much more than they give?  Are there friends in your life that you wonder why you bother to maintain a friendship?  Are there friends in your life that “need” you?  Start to look at these friends like true self does.

 

True self looks at a friendship objectively.  The first question is whether or not the friendship is beneficial for true self.  If true self finds that there is a true caring, learning, mutual assistance relationship the question is a resounding yes.

 

If true self does not answer yes to this question then we look at whether or not we are able to help this person.  This is a subtle question because the answer appears to be yes – we can always help someone.  The subtle part of this question is does this person want to help themselves?

 

If someone does not want to help themselves then true self knows we are wasting our time.  All we can do is wait until we see an opening that might enable this friend to see that they do not really want to help themselves.  It is sad, but sometimes we must go about our business while others come to their understandings on their own.

 

The final analysis that true self makes is what to do with the relationship.  There can be several things that true self must balance to determine the appropriate action.  Is there a compelling reason to maintain this relationship?  Possibly this person is not quite ready to stand on their own and help themselves, but they are making steady progress towards that idea.  We might decide this friendship is worth maintaining awhile longer.

 

Another aspect that true self might look at is how much of a drain the friendship is on true self.  If there is not much in the friendship that complicates our life we might decide to maintain the friendship.  Each friendship is unique and should be considered by itself.

 

Am I saying to go and get rid of all our friends?  Of course not.  What I am saying is that we should start to look at the complications that we may have because of our friendships.  Once we see the complications then it is our responsibility to either accept them or learn to get rid of them.

 

It is not easy to ease friends out of our lives.  However, if they are acting as true self they will understand and will not care.  They will know that the friendship never really goes away and it will blossom again when it needs to do so.  If our friends are acting from false self they may get upset when we ease them out of our lives.  They may even blame us for their feeling hurt no matter what we do to help them understand that we must move on.  To me, this proves that I did not really want this person as a friend anyway.

 

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow we will get a feel for dealing with the complications of family in our life.

 

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.

 

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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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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.

 

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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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The Impossible Dream

September 12, 2008

Yesterday we looked at our hands as a metaphor for the internal conflict that can happen as we begin our spiritual growth.  Today we continue that metaphor and reach for the stars.  But first…

 

Thankful Friday

Our custom is to take a moment each Friday to thank those around us.  Today we thank the member of our Tuesday discussion group who has found the writings on this site to be helpful.  We hope that what is written here helps people.  This confirmation helps us to know that we are proceeding in a way that others find beneficial.

 

Next we would like to thank our new email subscribers.  We are experiencing a gradual growth in our subscriber list.  Anyone who would like to receive the daily update in their email can click here:  SUBSCRIBE

 

As always we end with thanks to WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

The impossible dream

When I was growing up there was a Broadway show called “Man of La Mancha”.  It was made into a movie in 1972.  Unfortunately the movie was not as good as the original Broadway production, but it is what is available.

 

A few weeks ago I was watching this movie and realized that there could be a metaphor for the concepts of true self and false self contained therein.  You know these concepts – we talk about them all the time.

 

The more I watched the movie the more it seemed that Don Quixote was attempting to see through the illusions and deal with people as their true selves.  In the course of the movie he was portrayed as being crazy because he was substituting his attempt at clear sight for the illusions that those around him believed in.

 

Back in the day, one of the iconic songs from this movie was “The Impossible Dream.”  If you click on the link you will go to the lyric of the song.

 

As I listened to the song I realized that it was describing the quest upon which we embark when we seek our true happiness.  Let’s take a look at a few lyrics to illustrate this point:

 

“To fight the unbeatable foe” – is this the conflict between true self and false self?  False self wants us to believe it is dominant and that it will be in charge no matter what we do.

 

“To run where the brave dare not go” – what can be more brave than taking on our false self?  So many of the people around us just give in and accept false self.  Who are the brave few that take the risk of finding true self?

 

“To try when your arms are too weary” – those who find their true happiness are those who never give up.  No matter how tired they get they pursue their quest because they know that their true happiness depends on the outcome.

 

“That my heart will be peaceful and calm when I am laid to my rest” – to me this is obvious.  He knows that his happiness comes from the quest and that his peace and happiness are the result of that pursuit.

 

“And the world will be better for this” – he knows that those around him do not understand his quest.  He also knows that the world will be better because of his quest.  One person striving for their true happiness may inspire others.  The only choice is to persevere.

 

“The unreachable star” – life is a journey, not a destination.  We never reach a full understanding of our true self.  We reach for that star, but we never get there.  The journey is the reaching.

 

On the other hand

Ok – so what does all this have to do with yesterdays post “On the Other Hand”?  Remember how we talked about our right hand holding our new spiritual understandings?  Remember how we talked about the right hand pulling us towards our true self?

 

As I was thinking about that image I also saw the end of the movie, “Man of La Mancha.”  As the cast is singing “to reach the unreachable star” they have their hands raised over their heads.

 

The image I saw next was that we are all reaching for the unreachable star.  We all have our right hand raised above our heads and we are all being drawn forward on our quest for the impossible dream of finding our true happiness.

 

Can you see yourself doing this?  Right now, reach your right hand above your head.  See all of your dreams of true happiness in that right hand.  Now watch as your body reaches for true self.  Also notice that true self is pulling you up.

 

Now let go of what ever is in your left hand.  That is what is holding you back.  That is your unhappiness.  That is why you are getting torn.  True self is pulling you – false self is holding you back.

 

Let go and reach for that unreachable star.  You can do it.  I know you can.

 

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.

 

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:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


On the Other Hand

September 11, 2008

Last week I participated in a discussion where one of the participants was struggling to accept the spiritual awakening they were experiencing.  Today we will look at some ideas that can help us to balance our spiritual awakening with our existing beliefs and behaviors.

 

Email distribution

For some unexplained reason the email distribution for Tuesday did not go out on schedule.  The post was uploaded in time and the RSS feed even updated correctly.  The post for Tuesday was picked up and included in the email distro for Wednesday, so that became a two for one.

 

As I have said many times before, FeedBurner is a free service.  Most of the time they do a great job.  They have an occasional hiccup, but since none of us are paying anything we must accept the occasional outage.

 

Any of our new readers who would like to receive this post as a daily email should click here:  SUBSCRIBE  FeedBurner will make you fill out the standard screening form and send you a confirmation email.  Please be sure to follow the directions in the confirmation email to receive your daily update.

 

On the one hand

I was a part of a discussion last week where someone was struggling with some new understandings.  They were saying that they heard a lot of truth in what was being discussed and they were being drawn to that truth.

 

However, this individual was being torn by their current beliefs and behaviors.  Most of us experience the same conflict as we begin to travel our spiritual path.  We have an existing way of living that we think we know.  For some reason we have become unhappy with that life and are searching for something else.  When we find something that resonates with us we can get torn between the two.

 

Today we will look at an example of how to begin the resolution of this internal conflict.  An approach that I have used is to start by placing both hands in front of you.  Imagine one hand – let’s say the right hand – as holding the new understandings.  Imagine the left hand as grasping your current understandings and behaviors.

 

Let’s take a look at the left hand first.  In that hand you have your current understandings of spirituality, religion, your relationships, your family, and your possessions.  Whether you realize it or not, your unhappiness is also in your left hand. 

 

At one time we all thought that everything we ever need would be in this hand.  After all, what more do we need?  We are trained from birth that we do not need anything more than family, religion, possessions, and relationships.

 

Let’s look at the last item in our left hand – our unhappiness.  If everything we needed was in our left hand then unhappiness would not be there.  But because that unhappiness is there we have decided to look outside of that hand.

 

On the other hand

The reason that there is something in our right hand is because of the unhappiness we found in our left hand.  Somewhere we sensed that the unhappiness was strong enough to cause us to look for something else.  That something else became our newly found spiritual path.

 

We have begun to travel that path and have discovered a lot of things that will not fit in our left hand.  We put those discoveries in our right hand and start to ask ourselves what to do with them.  Many of these new understandings are clearly in conflict with what is in our left hand.

 

The problem is that these new understandings resonate very strongly with us.  That resonance is so strong that we know that we cannot drop these new understandings from our right hand.  Now we are being pulled very strongly by the attraction to our right hand.  Yet we are attached to the familiar and comfortable things in our left hand.  No wonder we feel torn between the two.

 

What to do, what to do

The resolution of this feeling of being torn can be a challenge.  There can be many steps, but we will start with the first step.  I am sure that this topic will come up again in future posts.  Anyone who wants to discuss this topic further can make a comment on this post and we can begin the discussion immediately.

 

Here is how I solved the internal conflict between my left and right hands.  It took awhile, but I eventually I came out the other side much more peaceful and happy.

 

My first step was to acknowledge and accept the situation.  In my left hand I had a bunch of stuff that was familiar, but that was causing unhappiness.  In my right hand I had other stuff that was pulling me very strongly.  The stuff in my right hand seemed so truthful, yet I could not let go of what was in my left.

 

Eventually I accepted that my unhappiness was in my left hand along with all the other stuff.  I realized that it was that stuff that was causing the unhappiness.  This did not mean that I could let go of it easily.  It was just a realization, but no action had been taken.

 

Likewise I realized that the stuff in my right was leading me towards my true happiness.  Even though I could not yet let go of the stuff in the left hand, I could try to utilize some of the things in my right hand.

 

At first it was simple things.  Like beginning to see that happiness comes from inside, not outside.  Then I learned more about the true self and the false self.  I looked at what spirituality really is and I even started to understand that fear is a behavior that we learn.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  All these investigations did not happen immediately.  I was very attached to my existing beliefs and behaviors in my left hand.  I would merely dabble my right hand in the water of my new understanding to see what it was like.

 

Gradually I began to see that the only thing in my right hand was my true happiness.  Every time I went back to my left hand the only thing I found was my unhappiness.

 

It took many years of dabbling to convince me to let go of what was in my left hand.  After that it took more years of changing my behavior so that I was no longer holding onto what was in my left hand.

 

Eventually my right hand won and I am much more able to notice when my left hand is holding on.  I am also much happier.

 

Trust yourself

To summarize how to resolve the internal conflict that usually comes when we start on our spiritual path – trust yourself.  Your true self is in your right hand.  Your false self is in your left hand.  Trust that your right hand will guide you towards your true happiness.  After all, your left hand has never given you any happiness.  Why would it start to do so now?

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

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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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I Like Me – At Last

September 10, 2008

Last week at my usual Thursday afternoon discussion group we discussed an idea that I had not thought of in awhile.  This concept was a stumbling block for me for many years.  Hopefully this discussion will help you as well.

 

When we don’t like ourselves

Last Thursday we were visited by a woman who was struggling with a few personal issues.  One of the issues that she was dealing with was that she did not like herself.  This triggered my memories of the years that I struggled with the same issue.

 

I offered my perspective about this idea.  I explained that it took me many years to like myself.  Early on in my awakening my guide had explained to me how important it was to like myself.  He explained it over, and over, and over again.  To this day I marvel at his patience.

 

He explained many things that were a part of liking me.  First, until I accepted myself I would not be able to truly accept anyone else.  Next, until I accepted myself and all the “faults” that I saw I would not be able fix those faults.  Third, until I liked and accepted myself I would not find any true self confidence, only false self bluster.

 

The course of the discussion did not allow me to go into all of these details.  What I concentrated on were the ideas of how important it was to like yourself and how long it took me to learn to do so.  I mentioned that I knew I needed to learn to like myself, but that I just was not able to do so for a long time, which in itself added to the tensions.

 

Acceptance comes first

As my guide explained, the first step in liking yourself is to accept yourself just the way you are.  Do not say – “When I have more money I will like myself.”  Nor should we say “When I change this about me I will like myself.”  Take it from me, those things never happen.

 

If we wait until we have more money to like ourselves, that day never comes.  If we think a little money will cause us to like ourselves, then we think a lot of money will cause us to like ourselves even more.

 

If we think we will like ourselves only when we change something about ourselves first, then we will want to change something else before we like ourselves.  Then we will want to change something else, and we never learn to like ourselves because we keep thinking we have to change something first.

 

As we heard about in an earlier post, the idea of changing things before we can pursue our spiritual growth is an illusion.  Also, this is another example of looking for happiness in external situations.  We are saying that changing an external situation will make us happy enough to like ourselves.

 

The truth is we must find a way to accept ourselves the way we are right now.  We must acknowledge, all the warts, blemishes, and other “defects” that we see.  We do not have to like them.  We just need to accept them.  By accepting them we can start to change them.  When we do not accept them those warts and blemishes become the things that keep us from accepting ourselves as we are.

 

Start where you are

I know that this is a common theme through this post, but the idea needs to be repeated.  This aspect was very hard for me to deal with and caused me years of not liking myself.

 

For some reason I just could not accept myself the way I was.  I was very afraid of looking at and acknowledging my “faults”.  Deep inside I knew that they were there.  However, I just could not face the pain of admitting that they were there.  Unfortunately this denial caused me great additional pain over the years.

 

I kept looking for the silver bullet to change things so that I would like myself.  When I did not find the silver bullet I started looking for the magic wand.  Gradually I realized that the only silver bullet or magic wand was my unconditional acceptance of myself.

 

The technique

This took years, but I finally began – I started to look at and take responsibility for my perceived defects and flaws.  I am sure that there are more things that I need to accept about myself.  For now I am comfortable with my progress.  While learning to accept myself I learned a technique that might help you as it has helped me.

 

As always, these techniques involve self observation.  We have discussed the idea of observation in many posts on this site.  Please read a few of these posts to get a further understanding of this concept.

 

My technique for self acceptance is to observe when I am unhappy.  As we have discussed, unhappiness is a false self behavior.  When I notice that I am unhappy I ask myself why I am unhappy.  My causes for unhappiness are usually from some external situation.  Examples would be a dent in my car, not enough money, someone does not like me, etc.

 

When I find the external cause for my unhappiness I remember what happens when I point my finger.  I have three fingers pointing back at me.  This reminds me that my cause for unhappiness is internal, not external.  This cause is usually something that I do not like or have not accepted about myself.

 

Sometimes I quickly find what I am not accepting.  I put that on my list of things that I need to accept and start working on it as appropriate.

 

Sometimes I do not find it.  I recognize that I am unhappy, but I do not see the internal cause.  I note that as well.  That unhappiness will come around again and I have to be prepared for it.  Hopefully I will find the internal cause the next time.  In the long run it does not matter.  As long as I am truly open to finding the cause of the unhappiness I will eventually find it.

 

I hope that this technique will help you as it has helped me.  Please submit any questions or comments that you might have.  I would like to see how our readers use this technique for themselves.

 

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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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:

 

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Take a Compass Reading

September 8, 2008

Welcome back

Welcome back.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here in the northeast US we had tropical storm Hanna move through on Saturday.  That was a warm and humid day that eventually begat a lot of rain and wind.  Fortunately there was limited damage in this area.  Sunday was a great day with lots of sunshine and comfortable temperatures.

 

We ended last week with a look at my compass.  Today we will take a closer look at how to take a reading with my compass.  Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

How to read the compass

On Friday we talked about a tool that I call my compass.  The compass has guided me through many confused situations over the years.

 

To quickly review, the compass is based on the concept that the reason we exist is to learn and grow and to share that learning with each other.  The only rule is that we do not interfere with the free will of another individual because that keeps them from being able to learn and grow in the ways that they choose.

 

When I take a reading with the compass I am looking for understanding within a situation.  The readings usually happen when I come across a situation that appears to be confusing.  Sometimes I look to the compass to help me see how the learning of the individuals in the situation is being supported.  At other times I look to the compass to see when the free will of individuals is being repressed.  Understanding these points helps me to more clearly evaluate the situation.

 

On Friday I showed how I have used the compass to help understand a political situation.  Today we will look at a more personal situation.  Let’s take a look at how to use the compass to help understand a personal relationship.

 

Reading a relationship

Many of us have been in less than healthy relationships.  We might have been able to see that the relationship was not healthy while we were in it.  Often we could not see why the relationship was not healthy.  Taking a reading on our compass might help us to understand the situation.

 

Many of us have been in relationships where one individual was exhibiting controlling behavior.  That individual might have even been us.  Let’s look at one example a possibly controlling behavior.

 

Suppose that one spouse does not want the other spouse to work.  The one spouse makes enough money that the other spouse does not need to work.  (I recognize that in the current economy both spouses usually have to work, but let’s go along with the example for now.)  There could be a variety of reasons for the one spouse to demand the other does not work.  There could also be a number of reasons for the other spouse to work anyway.

 

If we are the spouse that wants to work and we want some guidance regarding the situation, we pull out our compass.  We look first at the aspect of learning and growth.  Do we want to work because we want to further our learning and growth?  If so we make note of that and continue to take the next part of the reading.

 

If we want to work only to get out of the house then it is probably not that important to our learning and growth.  We make note of that and move on to the next part of the reading.

 

Now we look at the second factor.  Is someone interfering with the free will of an individual?  This can get tricky to understand.  Many times when someone is interfering with the free will of another they do not realize it.  Also, we can be ultrasensitive when we think someone is interfering with our free will.  We need to be as objective as possible when we take this part of the reading.

 

Let’s say we think that our spouse is interfering with our free will by arbitrarily telling us not to work.  This is a very serious situation and requires more analysis.

 

What we should do in this situation is to look at their behavior in other situations.  We need to find out if our spouse has a habit of controlling other individuals to take away their free will, or are they just doing it in this situation.  If they do not have a habit of taking away free will, then we address just this instance.  If they have a habit of controlling people then that has implications on our entire relationship with this individual.

 

Taking a reading does not mean taking action

It is important to understand that we do not always have to take action after we have taken a compass reading.  In our society we are so accustomed to taking action that we have almost lost the skill of reflection.  We think that if we see something that we must act immediately.

 

In this case I urge that when we take a compass reading that we do nothing other than to think about the situation.  The compass is best used for large decisions that should be approached carefully and with much thought.

 

Look at this way – the compass tells us the course that we need to steer.  Once we know where we need to go we should reserve some time to determine how to get there.  In the current example that would mean not reacting as soon as we have taken our compass reading.

 

Let’s say that we have found that we want to go back to work because we want to continue our learning and growth.  We have also found that our spouse does not have a habit of controlling others, but for some reason is acting in a controlling manner in this situation.

 

These two factors should make up the basis of a discussion between us and our spouse.  That discussion may take several months and many conversations to resolve the situation.  Our spouse may not see that they are being controlling.  It may take a few discussions for them to see that they are keeping us from learning and growing.  In the end, if they really care for us they will help us with our learning and growing.

 

I cannot stress the importance of thinking about the results of our compass reading before we take action.  Many times an immediate and reflexive action is false self behavior.  If you are a regular reader of this site you will know how damaging that can be.

 

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!

 

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