More Barack Obama and Spirituality – The Cabinet

December 10, 2008

Shortly after the presidential election we spent a week looking at how Barack Obama exemplifies spirituality.  Today we continue that discussion by analyzing how he is choosing his cabinet.

 

Accept those who disagree with you

An important aspect of spirituality is to accept those who disagree with you.  For many years our presidential politics have been characterized by the demonization of our opponents.  The idea was that if you did not agree with the people in power you were ridiculed, personally attacked, and marginalized.

 

A spiritual person recognizes that there are many valid viewpoints on most matters.  Just because we disagree does not mean that we cannot work together.  A spiritual person validates those who disagree with them by listening to and acknowledging the validity of opposing perspectives.

 

This does not meant that you have to act on the opposing viewpoints.  We validate the viewpoint by considering it.  We then choose our course of action and explain it as best we can to those who gave their input regarding why we did not follow their suggestions.

 

Most reasonable people realize that their suggestions will not always be followed.  By seriously considering those suggestions we are saying that we value their input and want to continue to hear opposing viewpoints in the future.

 

He has chosen former opponents

Barack Obama has chosen several former opponents from the presidential primary races.  Hillary Clinton was his most formidable opponent from that series of elections.  By choosing her as his Secretary of State he saying that the previous disagreements are over.  Going forward they will work together in the unified spirit that Barack Obama wants to be the new spirit of our country.

 

Another way that Barack Obama is accepting his opponents is by keeping Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.  There has been too much partisan fighting between Republicans and Democrats.  Most of the American people want to find a way to get past this destructive struggle.

 

By keeping the Republican Gates on as Secretary, Barack Obama is reaching out his hand to Republican partisans.  He is saying that he does not think that everything that is Republican is bad.  This will show that he is not demonizing his opponents like so many other politicians have done in recent years.

 

The only problem with this strategy is that Barack Obama can open the door, but his opponents have to walk through it.  He can stop demonizing his opponents, but he cannot make his opponents stop demonizing him.  All he can do is not respond in kind, which is what he has done so far.  Let’s hope the he has the self control to continue to do so.

 

That is all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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It’s Logical

December 3, 2008

When we started down our spiritual path most of us thought we were being illogical.  There was something different and “not natural” about the new ideas we were learning.  Eventually it makes sense, but frequently we do not grasp the logic of spirituality.  Today we look at that logic.

 

Common sense is a rare commodity

When we are enmeshed in our false self we follow what we think is logic.  That logic does not go very deep.  It mostly consists of doing what all the other false selves around us are doing.  Remember – false self does not like to be different. In order to be happy it usually chooses to be like everyone else.

 

How else do we account for the dearth of common sense in our “civilization”?  False self is driven by fear.  There is no logic in fear, hence all the illogical behavior.  However, those who attempt to break away from the fear based life are viewed as illogical because they are not acting like everyone else.

 

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be like everyone else?

 

If we truly acted logically there would not be such a surprise when we encounter common sense.  How often do we find a surprising case where someone applied common sense?  At first the common sense seemed illogical because it went against the norm.  However, once we examine the case we find that the common sense had its own internal logic.

 

Spirituality has its own internal logic.

 

Spirituality is practical

What I eventually found appealing about spirituality was how practical it is.  I find spirituality to be logical, pragmatic, and practical.  What keeps us from seeing this simplicity is our false self.

 

False self does not want to surrender to something it does not understand.  It will fight against spirituality for several reasons.  We have already mentioned one of these reasons – it does not want to be different.  As long as we allow our false self to reject spirituality out of fear of being different we are not fully embracing our true self and our spirituality.

 

Another technique I use to simplify spirituality is Occam’s razor.  This is a principle of logic in which you choose the more simple solution when all choices seem to be equal.  Expressions of spirituality can become verbose and convoluted.  I tend to choose the more simple explanation.  This almost always turns out to be the one that resonates with me.

 

A few logical examples

Let’s start with the idea of worrying.  There seems to be a lot of worrying these days.  Worrying is an expression of fear.  We never worry about something that we do not fear.  Confidence always overcomes worrying.

 

How many times have we heard that worrying never gets you anywhere?  There are many other ways this is said but the message is always the same.  Worrying is always unproductive.  Yet we worry anyway.  Why?

 

I think it is because we know that we should not worry but we do not know what else to do.  We should stop worrying and learn to trust our true self.  One of the immutable spiritual principles is to always trust true self.  It is logical to trust true self at all times.  However, when we have not yet learned that bit of logic we do not trust true self.

 

Let’s look at another logical principle of spirituality.  False self thinks it must control everything.  As we have explained previously, this comes from fear.  Once again, the logical thing to do is to trust the power of true self.  However, false self cannot do this because it is fearful of losing control.

 

It will drive us into the ground before it will let go of its control.  If it was being logical it would admit it is fearful.  However, it cannot understand that kind of logic and will act very illogically rather than look at the fear.

 

Another example of false self illogic is admitting mistakes.  False self is very afraid of being found to have made an error.  False self is very attached to its image of being perfect.  It is perfect and it cannot make a mistake, much less admit that it has made one.

 

The logical thing to do is to admit a mistake, accept the consequences and start learning from the mistake.  Mistakes have tremendous power to teach us.  It should be logical to accept them so that we can learn from them.  After all, if we do not learn from our mistakes we will continue to make the same ones.

 

It seems logical to true self to accept our mistakes.  False self is more concerned with its image to others so it cannot understand that logic.  The false self logic is to not admit mistakes and therefore we will not look inferior to the other false selves around it.

 

That may not seem like logic, but it truly passes as logic to our false self.  That is why the logic of spirituality is so foreign to false self.  It is accustomed to its form of illogic.  It cannot imagine operating in any other way than its illogicalness.

 

It can take a few years to retrain false self to trust the true self logic of spirituality.  It can be done.  We just have to be persistent.  We have to be so fed up with the false self illogicalness that we will do anything to free our self from its tyranny.

 

That is all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

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How Barack Obama Exemplifies Spirituality – Summary

November 14, 2008

Today we will wrap up our week long series that has looked at how Barack Obama may be an example of applied spirituality.  We will summarize some of the major points from the week and finish with a final comment.

 

Thankful Friday

For our new readers – and we have a lot of them this week – our custom is to start our Friday post by thanking those around us.  Today I want to thank all of the new readers who have taken the time to read our blog this week.  Hopefully you have found something that is helpful and will continue to find this site of value to you.

 

Next I would like to thank the people at Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA for being so accepting of me.  I have only attended their meetings for the last month but have rarely felt more welcome.  Thank you!

 

Finally – we end by extending our gratitude to WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the tools that allow us to write and distribute this site for free.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

Review

We started this week by talking about how Barack Obama appears to be able to stay in the moment most of the time.  He has a calm, quiet demeanor that is indicative of being in the moment.

 

We also looked at his nonviolent approach to the way he ran his campaign.  One note about nonviolence – it is not necessarily the same as being a pacifist.  Nonviolence involves the commitment to defend your free will.  It eschews aggression to assert that free will.

 

Next we looked at how Barack Obama ran a fifty state campaign strategy that was a demonstration of his inclusiveness.  Inclusiveness is an important spiritual principle because it causes us to see each other as equals.

 

We next heard about how the “energize the base” strategy run by Republicans and some Democrats is a divisive strategy.  The fact that Barack Obama refused to run this type of campaign once again demonstrates the spiritual principle of inclusiveness.

 

On Wednesday we got a feeling for the way Barack Obama approaches fear.  He exhibits no fear.  Eventually most politicians exhibit fear in some manner.  As best as I can remember I have never seen Barack Obama exhibit any fear.

 

We also looked at the fact that Barack Obama does not try to make anyone fearful.  While most of his opponents were telling the electorate all the things to fear about Barack Obama, he refused to respond in kind.  In fact he tended to compliment and praise his opponents rather than make people fearful of them.

 

Finally we spent Thursday looking at how Barack Obama is being the change that he wants to see.  One of the more important spiritual principles is that if you want to change something you first need to change yourself.  You first become the change you want to see – then you become the example of that change.  Barack Obama appears to be exemplifying the change.

 

Is Barack Obama knowingly being spiritual?

I have never met Barack Obama.  I cannot say how aware he is of his spirituality.  I do not know if he is conscious of a desire to exhibit spirituality.  I am just an armchair quarterback observing the game from the comfort of my own sofa.

 

Is it important whether or not Barrack Obama is aware of the spiritual principles he appears to be exemplifying?  I think it is not important – and here is why:

 

Spiritual principles should just “feel right”.  When we are living our spiritual principles it should feel like the most normal and natural thing in the world to do.  If Barack Obama is just doing what seems to be the natural thing then it becomes a moot point.

 

Spirituality should be so transparent that we do not even think about it.  We just stay in the moment and do what needs to be done.  If Barack Obama is staying in the moment and doing what he sees needs to be done does it matter if he sees that he is being spiritual?

 

Does this mean that everything will become love and light?

Of course not. The election of Barack Obama is just one step towards laying the foundation on which a society based in spirituality can thrive.

 

From my perspective, this country was founded by a group of idealistic and spiritual people.  As with any endeavor on this planet, the spirituality and idealism has been challenged many times.  At times certain presidents stepped forward and exhibited their spirituality.  Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt come to mind immediately.  I am sure there were others.

 

These leaders reset the balance of the country and leaned it towards the more spiritual principles of our founders.  For me, spirituality also means practical and pragmatic.  The most practical and pragmatic of our leaders have also been the most spiritual.

 

These spiritual leaders also knew they could not do everything by themselves.  They also knew they did not have a monopoly on the truth or spirituality.  They enlisted anyone who they thought could help advance their vision regardless of party affiliation.  The only requirement was to have the open mind to see the vision and then be able to work effectively toward the goal.

 

These spiritual leaders also relied on the citizens as well.  They challenged the citizens to be citizens, nor consumers.  A citizen is an active participant in their country.  They educate themselves regarding the issues.  They decide which issues are important to them and then become advocates for their own point of view.

 

This process used to be called democracy.  In recent years we seem to have forgotten that we are citizens.  We have come to view ourselves as consumers.  A consumer goes to work, gets a paycheck, spends that paycheck, and never thinks much of the process that makes the country work.  They see life as all about money.  As long as there is enough money to pay the bills and entertain ourselves between the times that we have to work – who cares how it happens?

 

A spiritual leader wants his fellow countrymen to be citizens and not consumers.  He wants people to understand the issues and be making their own choices.  He wants the citizens to have more rights, not fewer.  With more rights the citizens become more powerful.  A spiritual leader is not threatened by that power because he knows how to harness it for the benefit of all.

 

My hopes are that Barack Obama will be this kind of a spiritual leader.  At this time all the signs show that he could be the agent of empowerment that our citizens need.

 

In order for this to happen we all need to do out part.  Inform yourself of the issues.  Speak out on those that are important to you.  Live your own spirituality in a natural manner.

 

Be the example of change you want to see in Barack Obama and our fellow citizens.

 

That is all for the week.  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 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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Being Right is Being Kind

October 7, 2008

Yesterday I visited a blog that talked about the difference between being right and being kind.  I left a comment on the blog, but it started me thinking about this idea.

 

Housekeeping

It looks like FeedBurner did not distribute yesterday’s post as an email.  Nor did the RSS feed get updated on time.  When this happens, the next email distribution usually contains the dropped email.  Here is the link for those of you who would like to read yesterday’s post.

 

Being Right

I am sorry that I am not able to attribute the site that got me to start thinking about this idea.  I have checked multiple search engines and reviewed my browsing history.  I cannot find the site so that I can give proper credit.

 

The idea that was discussed on the site was that one of the problems we face with false self is that it always wants to be right.  If you look at other posts on this site we have talked about false self wanting to validate itself, not wanting to admit fault, and false self fiercely defending itself when it is questioned.

 

Clearly, on this site, we have no problem with the idea that false self always wants to be right.  In many ways that expresses some of our major tenets of how the false self operates.

 

Being Kind

As I read that other site they talked about true self wanting to be kind.  Although we have not specifically talked about the idea of kindness, it fits with the general characteristics of how we describe true self.

 

On August 12 we came the closest to talking about true self as being kind.  Our post on that day was “True Self Sees Everyone as Equal.”   In that post we looked at the idea of true self wanting to treat each individual with dignity and respect.

 

How much more kind can you be than to treat someone with the dignity and respect that we each deserve?  We should treat everyone in this manner simply because we each are children of the same creator.

 

The Eternal Scuffle

As we read through the history of humankind we find this eternal scuffle between being right and being kind.  Our political and religious history are mostly about people who have wanted to be right and went about proving it by forcing their “rightness” on others.

 

There were others who insisted on being kind.  We find those in both our religious and political history as well.  Many times those that wanted to be kind were in direct opposition to those who wanted to be right.  This frequently set up the major religious and political struggles that fill our history books.

 

We also see this scuffle in the arts.  First it was in our literature.  Think of all the stories that set the ideas of good against the ideas of evil.  Most of these can be viewed as the people who want to be right disagreeing with those who want to be kind.

 

As our modern methods of communication have evolved this eternal scuffle has moved into film, radio, and TV.  This idea still makes up both our news stories and our entertainment stories.

 

After thinking about this idea for the last day I have found that it is pervasive in our society and our culture.  The “good guy” is always attempting to be kind.  Frequently this is called “doing good.”

 

He is constantly opposed by the “bad guy”.  The bad guy usually is stuck on an idea that he can’t let go.  He has to “prove” he is right even if he ahs to kill people to do so.  Frequently we can equate “being bad” to the act of stubbornly clinging to an ideology.

 

Being right is being kind

The point I made on the blog (that I cannot find) was that I had a long journey of learning.  The journey taught me that trying to prove false was “right” only caused me pain.  I took many years to learn to be accepting of other people.  As I learned that to be accepting I also learned that I needed to treat everyone as an equal.

 

As my sensitivity and acceptance increased I noticed that I was being more kind.  I was more able to see when others were accepting as well.  This has helped me to build more satisfying relationships with people.

 

So, as I was responding to the blog post yesterday, I realized that this is not a one or the other situation.  It is not about being right or being kind.

 

My epiphany is that being right is being kind.  It is not about false self being right.  It is about learning to be in the moment.  When we are in the moment we are being our true self.  This means we are being both “right” and kind.  When we are being true self how could we be anything else?

 

Your thoughts?

 

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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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

 

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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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Simplify Our Life – Examine Your Family

September 22, 2008

Today we will look at how we can simplify our lives by examining our family.  Many of us do not realize that we can choose who we want as our family.  Today we will start to learn how to do so.  But first…

 

Welcome back

I trust everyone had a great weekend.  Here in the northeastern US we had some great weather.  We also quietly celebrated the end of summer in the northern hemisphere.  Also, we are in the midst of a bountiful harvest season in this area.  I intend to enjoy it now – winter will be here soon enough.

 

Functional family recap

Today’s posting is a direct extension of Friday’s post about functional and nonfunctional families.  We will give a brief synopsis of that post, but you will understand this post much more clearly if you read that one first.

 

In brief, a nonfunctional family is usually dominated by one or two members who exhibit extreme false self behavior.  Frequently this behavior is controlling, aggressive, or related to substance abuse. This behavior causes the other members to develop interlocking false self behaviors that help the family cope with this behavior.

 

The nonfunctional family breaks up with great pain because when one person leaves the interlocking false self behaviors fall apart.  The one who leaves is invariably blamed for the pain caused by the false self behaviors falling apart and then being reassembled to continue the coping strategy.

 

In contrast, a functional family is very supportive of each individual.  Each individual attempts to be objective and supportive of the others.  The functional family is happy because all of the members are learning and growing and sharing that learning and growth.

 

The functional family breaks up very easily because the members have not needed to create interlocking false self behaviors.  When a member of a functional family needs to leave to pursue their learning and growth the other members are happy and supportive.

 

Finally, there are very few truly functional families on this planet.  Nor are there that many truly nonfunctional families.  Most families have characteristics of both functional and nonfunctional families.

 

Examine your family

Many of us do not realize that we can simplify our lives by choosing who we want to be in our family.  Most of us think that our family is our blood family – you know, the people we were born to or who were born to us.  That is only one family.

 

It is much more important that we recognize that this group of people that we call our family must be supportive of our learning and growth.  In the same manner we must be supportive of their learning and growth.

 

We have looked at the concepts of a functional family.  It can be quite difficult and very emotional to examine our blood family and assess the functionality of that group of people.  Objectivity during this examination can be quite difficult to achieve but we must strive for it.

 

This assessment of our family to determine its functionality is usually very painful.  It is a difficult task, and it frequently takes many years to accomplish.  However, we cannot improve our relationship with our blood family until we have begun to understand how it functions.  Otherwise all we are doing is strengthening the interlocking false self behaviors.

 

The reason why this task takes so long is these interlocking false self behaviors.  We have lived within them for so long that we hardly notice them.  Our behavior is so determined by them that we cannot imagine behaving in a different way. 

 

However, if we feel pain in our blood family relationships we need to look at those relationships for false self behaviors.  Pain always means there is an element of false self behavior.  For us to find our true happiness we must find our false self behaviors as they relate to our family.

 

What do I do now?

Isn’t that always the question?  Especially with family this can be a very difficult question to answer.  We each have to come to our own answers in our own way.

There is no “one size fits all” answer here.  We will look at a few options for possible strategies, but we each must find our own way through this portion of our path.  But we are not alone.  If we just look around there are many people who have traveled this part of the path and they want to help us.  Just allow it and the help will be there.

 

How functional are we?

The first question to ask is “how functional is my family?”  Can you separate yourself enough that you can find your own way?  Are you so smothered that the mere idea of your leaving causes tremendous reactions in other family members?  Can you pursue the things you want to do and at least be left alone?  Does everything you want to do need to be approved by the rest of the family?

The answers to those questions will get you started on your examination of your family.  I have seen people react in a full spectrum of responses once they start to truly examine their family.

 

Some have found it either too painful or too threatening to continue the examination.  They stop traveling their path “for the sake of the family”.  They choose for a familiar but unhappy life.

 

I have seen others who have recognized that they would never be able to pursue their path as long as they maintained contact with their family.  They heard a strong voice that told them that they needed to cut all contact with their family in order to find true happiness.  They knew that for them their happiness was more important than anything else – and that their family would never help them to find it because it was too threatening to them.

 

Most of us find ourselves somewhere in between these two extremes.  We can maintain some contact with our family but we have developed a means to pursue our happiness.

 

In a way, most of us put our blood family behind a wall and deal with them there.  We then choose a new family that is mutually supportive of each other’s learning and growth.  Tomorrow we will look at how to choose that new family.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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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.

 

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