Tag Archives: Wayne Dyer

To paraphrase…

Hello.

It’s been a while.

Did you miss me?

Right, I have some instructions for you:

1) Turn off the lights, close the curtains, close your eyes. Maybe even put some headphones on.

2) Turn up the volume, press play and… listen. Really listen. To every word.

And now, for the sake of clarity, here they are, those words:

Joni Mitchell

 

There is so much here. So much said between the lines and try as I might (and I have begun to a gazillion times) my efforts to paraphrase just sound trite.

So, in a nutshell:

1) You look at the world through fresh eyes, and it looks amazing. You dream. Big. You are filled with optimism. It’s a rainwashed street, shiny and fresh. It’s a blank canvas, full of promise. It’s castles in the air.

2) You are dealt a blow. Given a lesson. You are sobered up. Fast. You grow up. Your world becomes real. You challenge your beliefs. You change your perspective. And it hurts. Hell, it really hurts.

3) You emerge from that cave.ย  You understand now that it isn’t what you dreamed it was. But, and here’s the thing, it isn’t what you thought you learned it was either. In fact, you don’t really get it. You just know what it isn’t.ย Your eyes are open, but – now – so is your heart. And your mind. And you have lost so much. But… hey. Look. You have gained so much, too. It’s okay. Let it go.

So, look back at what you believed, at that younger, more naive and innocent you, with fondness. It wasn’t all wrong. And you know? It got you to where you are now ๐Ÿ™‚

And, as I heard Wayne Dyer say the other day:

So many things that I did in my life, I look back and think that I would never do those things today. And yet all of my past actions have contributed to helping me be the man I am today. Say to yourself, โ€œI had to be that person and Iโ€™ve learned from him (or her).โ€ Forgiving yourself is every bit as important as forgiving other people. You did the best that you could, given the conditions of your life, and you canโ€™t ask any more of yourself or of anyone else.

 

Joni Mitchell. I salute you.


Wisdom

 

Synchronicities abound once again.

I hear something.

I like it.

Maybe I make a note of it.

I move on.

It snags my attention elsewhere, in a new guise.

And I smile to myself, grateful for the signpost. ๐Ÿ™‚

wisdom

So, (you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve read this sentence before) I was listening to Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. At times of increased stress / distress, I find his gentle voice and helpful interpretations of Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching have the power to ground and balance me more quickly and efficiently than I can manage alone.

He quoted Henry David Thoreau, including the line from the photograph above, and it got me thinking.

It’s all about worry, really, isn’t it?

And, like all ‘spiritual tenets’, voicing it aloud puts you in danger of being thought naive. But I’ve long given up caring about others’ opinions of me – that one is a lesson well learned (remember our mantra? “What you think of me is none of my business“) ๐Ÿ˜‰

While you are forming in the womb, after you are born, in your early months as a baby, you don’t worry. You’re not concerned where your next meal is coming from, or if it’s coming at all. You don’t lie awake at night hoping you’ll still have a roof over your bed the following night. Frankly (and sadly) even if you are born into a horrendous situation, you just accept. You expect your next meal to arrive when you’re hungry and, for the majority of us reading this post (and the person writing it), it does.

If you translate that to your life now, the vast majority of us, again, have made it – we’re still here; nothing we spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years worrying about actually killed us. We wake up to embrace, fight, love, struggle, soar, work through another day. The things we wasted so much now worrying about, have become a then we can barely even remember.

worry

But there is more to it even than that.

When you’re a baby, and your hunger is being alleviated through the next meal that didn’t fail to arrive, and your tummy is full, you turn your head away. You don’t stockpile your food in case the next meal doesn’t come. You don’t demand more, regardless of those around you who are also hungry, simply because you believe that your needs are greater than anyone else’s.

And then a friend posted this (click to read it):

greed2I love this guy’s intensity. ๐Ÿ™‚

He’s right of course. We all need just what we need to survive, in comfort is nice but not necessary; in luxury is fortunate, but not necessary. The pressure we put on ourselves in desperate pursuit of the ‘more’ that we feel we need can only lead to suffering. We lose sleep. Our health – both physical and mental – suffers. Our relationships fail.

Is it worth it?

I remember listening to another of my favourites – Jack Kornfield – some time ago. He told this story (cut very short here):

Two friends attend the funeral of a wealthy man.

One whispers to the other:

“How much did he leave?”

His friend, visibly surprised, replies:

“Why, everything of course!”

Follow your path, keep your integrity, work steadily towards your goal, and you will be okay.

Finally, for today, this too is one of my favourites (there is some debate about who this quote should actually be attributed to, but I struggle to care about that either – it’s the meaning that is important after all):

the-endPeace out ๐Ÿ˜‰ x


Alchemy?

I’m constantly amazed by the way life works.

In awe, really.

I’ll start as I so often do: a few things have been tumbling around my head lately ๐Ÿ™‚

I suppose what it really is is an amalgamation, a sort of alchemical process by which several truisms, so often bandied about, posted on facebook (guilty as charged) and generally thrown casually into conversation that they have become cliches, have all become one big ole realisation somewhere deep down. Like dried yeast in warm water, it has bubbled up and popped on the surface of my awareness just in the last day or two, and I’ve been trying to find a way to express it.

Putting it into words is tricky – it’s much more a feeling, or… not even that… a kind of new part of what I have come to know, I suppose. Eek, you see? I’m already tripping over myself! I guess I’ll start by listing the four main components of this one new whole:

1) Orange Juice

This is the patently obvious truth that if you squeeze an orange, the only thing you’re going to get out of it is orange juice. You can’t squeeze it and expect a sparkling Pinot Grigio, or a glass of milk. In just the same way, if someone squeezes you, you can only react with something that is already inside you. Or, put another way, you can’t give something you haven’t got.

2) Hatred and Love

“Hatred cannot cease by hatred, but by love alone is healed.” Originating from the Buddha and used by such noble fellow beings as Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

3) Fear

Fear paralyses. Fear of the future (and what is a ‘What if…?’ if not fear of a future calamity?) is a waste of the present, leads to negative, defensive and angry pre-emptive behaviour, escalates animosity, perpetuates hatred… And the rest!

4) Boundaries

Accept no abuse. Value yourself more than that. You would not sit by and watch someone you loved being abused, so why allow it for yourself?

In some way or another all of these lessons have been kneaded and melted and moulded and shaped into a single way of being, of looking at myself and the world of my fellow human-beings.

First off, eliminate the fear and hatred, both of which we are all too easily seduced by. Like pretty much everyone else I have known the paralysis of fear, and I can categorically say it served no purpose whatever, neither in preparing me for what I had to face, nor in helping through it. We live through what we live through. We take the lessons from those situations that they had to teach us. And we carry them into the next.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

– Helen Keller

Or indeed:

“I’ll tell you a secret about fear: it’s an absolutist. With fear, it’s all or nothing. Either, like any bullying tyrant, it rules your life with a stupid blinding omnipotence, or else you overthrow it, and its power vanishes in a puff of smoke. And another secret: the revolution against fear, the engendering of that tawdry despot’s fall, has more or less nothing to do with ‘courage’. It is driven by something much more straightforward: the simple need to get on with your life.”

– Salman Rushdie

The point I am trying to get across is this: if you can drive fear and hatred out of your heart (and I am not suggesting for a moment that a) this is easy or b) I have cracked it), then when you are squeezed they cannot come out. And if they cannot come out, there is more chance of healing both at a personal and a universal level. But this, too, is an affirmation of healthy boundaries. Because if there is no longer fear and hatred inside you, and you are squeezed (abuse is attempted), and a compassionate response has no discernible good effect, you can walk away with your boundaries intact and your inner life undisturbed. Nor, happily, are you likely to have made the situation worse. We cannot control others or their reactions, after all: only ourselves.

It’s all part of the process, and there are no shortcuts, but each milestone is an enormous liberation, containing enough lightness to propel you to the next. I’ve listened to a few of my favourite gurus today: Dr Wayne Dyer and Jack Kornfield being two of the most influential in the help with shaping my thoughts. Jack Kornfield described his return from years away, meditating and practising as a Buddhist monk. His mind was trained, he was an unflappable spiritual being… Until he came back to the States and discovered that he was really rubbish at relating with his fellow human beings. So his message must be that it’s all well and good understanding what this Practice is, what these lessons are, the path of least suffering, and it’s pretty easy to get a hold of, excel at even, when you are alone in a room, or meditating, or…

But using it in everyday life – there’s the challenge!

 


You’re not going that way…

Today, with my four bigger boys at school and my youngest small tornado pretending to rest for a few moments, I settled down to do some pretty tedious and unchallenging work. It warranted another direction for my attention, so I put on a video of the father I wish I’d had: Wayne Dyer. (You’re not surprised, are you?)

He was talking about something the equally fabulous Alan Watts had said, describing our ‘Wake’. Not the post-funeral kind, you understand, but of the post-boat variety.

I have always loved the pithy maxim:

Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.

If dwelling on the past makes you unhappy, then stop it. It’s gone. Passed: not just a clever play on words. And whilst happy memories are enjoyable to relive, it can be equally unhealthy to dress them up in brighter robes than your present and wish you were still there, rather than right here where you are now.

Although I may appear to have digressed, it was precisely this point Dr Dyer (and Alan Watts, of course) was making. The wake of a boat trails behind it, no longer a part of it, no longer remotely significant apart from a simple trail denoting where you have once been. You can stand at the back of the boat and watch it, but there seems little point in that, really. After all, if you’re standing at the back, looking out at all that foam and debris, you can’t see where you’re going, can you?

Equally, though, and rather importantly, the wake cannot steer your boat. It cannot power it.

Do you see?

Why do we allow our past to cripple our present?

I have heard Dr Dyer before quoting a counselling session he once took, where his patient was bemoaning the fact that, when a child, her parents had forbidden her to learn to ride a bike.

But the question has to be: what is stopping her learning now?

Instead of complaining about past injustices, hurts, lacks, wants; instead of allowing them to define who we are now, learn the lessons they have taught you, and then let them go, release them, look on them simply as the wake, a geographical marker of where you once were, and learn or, as is often also the case, relearn in a healthier and more positive way.

Nobody powers your boat but you. Nobody. And if you feel you have handed the controls over to someone else, nobody could have handed those controls over but you.

So take them back.

And move forward under your own power, looking straight ahead, feeling the spray on your face, the sun on your skin, and the wind in your hair.

And stop looking over your shoulder.

With love.

Merrily, merrily, merrily…

There have been a couple of things pootling around my head lately, on this bumpy old Path.

I was having a conversation the other day about forgiveness. This is not an unusual occurrence just now. In my experience, when there’s something you need to assimilate, it throws itself at you with such insistence and regularity that resistence provesย  futile…

So, the concept of forgiveness is one that I have been grappling with for some considerable time.

My first observation is that we need to detach from the story. And by story I mean ‘Victim Story’. The concept that anyone else has any control over the life we are living now is, frankly, skewed. The only person with any control over your happiness is you. Nonetheless, people are successful at self-control to greater and lesser extents, and it is a sad fact that if we are unable to relinquish blame and attack, we are likely to be very negatively motivated. And who needs that in their life? Happiness is dependent upon your thoughts, on which of them you believe, and on how positive (or otherwise) they are.

So, while it is not only possible but vital to learn to forgive, it will not always lead to a healing in your relationship. That part is very much dependent upon the relationship between you and the person you are forgiving. After all, if you are forgiving a past hurt, and there is a genuine change of heart, or behaviour, then your relationship has great hope of being healed. If, however, there is no change of heart or in behaviour, you may need to give it up. This I have mentioned many times before: if you can’t say ‘no’ within a relationship, you may have to say ‘no’ to the relationship. None of which is easy. Until you understand, that is.

Until you understand. It isn’t about looking backwards and becoming mired in the past. That’s already been and gone. It is about moving forward, the lessons assimilated, your heart and mind open to new experiences. Which will surely come.

In short, then, it is not difficult – once you have taken the decision – to forgive. It will set you free. Sounds trite, doesn’t it? But it’s true. All the while you have been holding a grudge against your ‘violator’, you have been keeping yourself locked up. That is the biggest and saddest irony of all.

So forgive.

As far as forgetting is concerned, I’d argue that it is important to forget the hurt, but I would argue that it is just as important not to forget the lesson. “Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me”. It’s rather a blunt way of putting it, and leaves out the possibility of any wriggle room in between the hurts, doesn’t it? But it holds merit all the same. There’s a message in it. You don’t need to keep going back for more. But you don’t need to hold onto the hurt or the resentment or the blame. You can let that go, too.

On a much lighter note, I was listening to Wayne Dyer the other day (just how many times have I written that?!) and he was talking about singing a song with his little daughter many moons ago. The song, and we all know it, is Row, Row, Row Your Boat

And this is what he said (I’m paraphrasing):

Row, row, row your boat.

Not my boat. Not someone else’s boat. Not a boat someone else has told you to row. And don’t let anyone else row it, either. Row your boat.

Gently.

Not angrily. Don’t force it. But go gently. With compassion. And… gentleness.

Down the stream.

Don’t row your boat up the stream. That will just bring you difficulty. Row your boat down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

Keep cheerful. Row with joy. Not sadness or unhappiness. But with a merry disposition.

Life is but a dream.

It’s fleeting, isn’t it? And here Dr Dyer quotes Henry David Thoreau. I cannot remember the exact quote, but here’s another of his that fits the bill perfectly:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

So here we are again, eh?

Row your boat.

Yourself.

And enjoy the journey.

With love.


Self-Protection and Healthy Boundaries

I apologise for the radio silence on the meditation challenge. Life events have overtaken the priority to document. But it is ongoing and mostly very successful ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have just had another very powerful lesson. Or wake-up call, if you will.

It always amazes (and, after the event, sometimes a long time after the event, amuses) me, the way the universe throws at you precisely the lesson you need.

The lesson today is healthy boundaries.

I have endured yet anotherย  round of bullying by email. This one has been sustained for three days so far. Now, if this were someone with whom I had a mere passing acquaintance, I would not have allowed it to drag out for as long as it has or to affect me as emotionally as it has. I would simply have walked away. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, on any subject, including me. However, I do not have to endure those opinions being foisted upon me. As I have said before, and more than once, if the person next to you keeps punching you in the face… walk away! (Of course, there will then be plenty of conjecture and judgement about your motivations for walking away, but this, again, is opinion. It need affect you no more than the original attempt atย  abuse).

Okay, that’s clear, then? Receive abuse – walk away.

Simple.

But what if the abuser is someone you love? Someone who for a long time was close to you, whose opinion you used to hold in high regard, whose love for you was an important part of your own life? This is where the real test lies. And this is not a coincidence either. In the same way that it is very easy to be a person of integrity if you never move from your armchair, it is easy to walk away from someone who holds no personal importance to you. An abusive acquaintance is easy to shake off. An abusive loved one can have you hanging on far longer than you should, allowing yourself to be subjected to far more than you should – it feels too much like giving up, and anyway, shouldn’t love conquer all? – with the ultimate danger of being emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted and damaged. Your spirit requires protection, and your human being clings to an unreality. The human part of you finds it enormously difficult to detach from the dream. Because hoping that systematic abuse will change with words is pie-in-the-sky. An inability to accept reality can only bring suffering. We all know it deep down.

(And on top of that, as an important aside, where dehumanisation occurs, there can be no hope.)

There are several lessons I have been gifted over the past few years, and when I use the word gifted, I mean it sincerely. The process of learning has been inordinately difficult, and painful, but the lesson itself has set me free. Every time.

These are they (and regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with them):

1. What you think of me is none of my business.

Opinion.

It means nothing.

Nothing at all.

Whether the opinion is good or bad. After all, isn’t it a little ridiculous to attach importance to bad opinion and disbelieve good opinion? Or vice versa? It is not important what others think of you. What is important is what you know of yourself. If that is firmly rooted in truth and reality, then all other opinion is utterly irrelevant.

2. Nobody can protect you but yourself.

Your boundaries are important. They must be strong enough to keep the negativity out, but porous enough to let the love in. It is important to examine them carefully:

Are your boundaries so weak that you will let anyone who chooses walk all over you? Then you need to redraw them. And self-love is the only way. If you love and respect yourself enough, you will disallow the abuse. A useful exercise here is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone were behaving this way towards a child, perhaps your own child. You would not allow it to happen, would you? So why would you let it happen to you? You – your precious spirit, your gentle inner core – are just as in need of looking after as anyone else. Don’t just say it, believe it. Feel it.

Are your boundaries so strong that you will not let anyone or anything in? You do not let negativity into your life, but you do not let love in either? Then you need to tackle your fear. Why are you afraid to let anyone in? Only you can answer that, but until you do, you will continue to feel lonely, afraid and joyless.ย  It is not easy. It takes faith. And the first requirement is faith in yourself and your ability to protect yourself if the walls are more permeable.

Healthy boundaries can help end unhappiness and suffering.

Sometimes, asserting a healthy boundary can be terribly simple. It can take a conversation, during which you (calmly and without evaluation) explain that you are uncomfortable with a situation or behaviour. It is not acceptable to you. With luck, you will be heard, the relationship adjusted and the healthier for it.

“I don’t like it that you keep punching me in the face.”
“Oh god! Sorry! I didn’t think. I’ll stop.”

Everybody happy.

But sometimes, it isn’t that simple. You can put the puppy back on the mat a thousand times, but to no avail. This kind of exchange usually ends something like this:

“I don’t like it that you keep punching me in the face.”
*punch*
“But I’m doing it because I love you.”
*punch*

I have quoted Wayne Dyer before, and he is by no means the only person to have voiced this belief, to which I adhere strongly and with personal experience to support it. If you cannot say no *within* a relationship, you may have to say no *to* the relationship. It is not failure. It is putting yourself before the abuse. Put like that, it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Sometimes, with deep regret and sadness, the only option is to walk away.


Day 8: The Game of Life

Following on from yesterday’s discussion on forgiveness, today (after tea and before bathtime) I delved a little deeper into lovingkindness meditation (with Jack Kornfield again).

There is a formula. It isn’t just a case of sitting there and feeling fuzzy ๐Ÿ˜‰ And as with so many great perspective-shifting practices, you start small and work your way up.

I remember a couple of years ago listening to Reverend Kusala talking about the Five Precepts – the Buddhist ‘Code of Ethics’, if you like – and he started, logically, with the first: I will not take life. He was speaking, I believe, at a university and he suggested to his students that they should start with the easy stuff.

“Today,” he said “Just today. Make the decision to try not to kill any lions, tigers or bears”…

Naturally, he got a laugh. But you get the point. Start with the easy stuff.

Well, the idea with lovingkindness is that you start with yourself. If you can’t love yourself, you will really struggle to love anyone else properly.

Okay, on second thoughts, maybe that’s not so ‘easy’. Loving yourself, for some of us, is no mean feat. But it is something we can all do. And why wouldn’t you? Why are you worse (or better, for that matter) than anyone else? Why should they deserve your love and not you? So… if that’s where you come unstuck, then that’s something to work on, isn’t it? Examine, honestly, why you struggle to love you. And work on accepting yourself. And then on loving yourself. Just as you are. Perfect and imperfect, all at once. A fabulous paradox.

It could take time. It could take moments. But it won’t happen at all if you don’t try.

In your sitting position, you repeat these phrases:

“May I be filled with lovingkindness
May I be well in body, and in mind
May I be safe from inner and outer dangers
May I be truly happy. And free.”

All great (and achievable) aspirations. And while you are repeating these mantras, focus on the heart. Picture, and feel, it opening. Letting you in. Looking after and loving you.

Then, you move on to the people you love. People who are positive and happy influences in your everyday life. And, with them in your mind, you begin your mantra again:

“May you be filled with lovingkindness
May you be well in body, and in mind
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers
May you be truly happy. And free.”

The circle of influence moves ever wider as you then encompass all those around you, to include them in your lovingkindness. And the words, of course, can be adapted to sit more comfortably with you. As long as they are loving!

But then… Oh, then! Then… you hit the tricky stuff. Which is where Day 7 comes in. Then, you extend your lovingkindness to your ‘enemies’. And, I guess, the trick is to keep your heart open when you think of them, to keep it open as you repeat your mantra, to keep it open without allowing it to close up in self-protection, as it is instinctively inclined to do… And if you have truly forgiven, it isn’t so difficult. And if you haven’t, then forgiveness meditation is next ๐Ÿ™‚

Forgiveness is letting go, after all, isn’t it? Don’t let the hurt snag you any longer. Don’t let the anger hold you back. Look forward, because that is the direction you are headed.

Bertie made me laugh today. He put into innocent five-year old words what, at forty-one, I struggle to articulate adequately.

“It’s like a game, isn’t it mum?
I control my arms and my legs and my mouth.
I point the way I’m going.
But I can’t see my face!”

This body is borrowed for the duration of the game.

And at the end of this level, points accrued or lost, you’ll get a new one.

As Bertie would say: How cool is that?!


Meditation – the 30-Day Challenge

I have mentioned Dr Wayne W Dyer before. On many occasions. I also follow his feed on facebook, and yesterday a very timely update appeared in my newsfeed. The link was to the Hay House website “Heal Your Life“, but it was his preamble that snagged on my conscience. It said this:

“Once you become accustomed to regular meditation, you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll find yourself making it a top priority in life. Make a 30-Day commitment to meditation, and you will have developed a new habitโ€“one that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”

I sighed.

I try. I fail. I make excuses. I forget about it for a while…

And then this.

So, I am accepting the 30-day challenge. I figure, with five young children aged between 2 and 12 in my life, if I can do it, then it may just be inspiration for other mothers in similar situations to give it a go.

My hope, of course, is that 30-days will lead to 30 years. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 1

This morning, I was woken by a bedroom door opening as one of my little ones headed for the bathroom. I looked at the time. It was about half an hour before my alarm was due to go off.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, I would roll over and try to catch 30 minutes more zzzzz, but today I remembered my intention and decided to use this time to meditate. I didn’t want to get up and risk waking anybody else, so I assumed a comfortable position, there in the warm and cozy dark, and began.

Make no mistake. I am a novice. I am not yet very good at it. I use a simple breath meditation and, in order to prevent my mind from wandering too much, I think “breathing in” on the in-breaths, and “breathing out” on the out-breaths. When I find my mind wandering, as it inevitably does, I put the puppy back on the mat and resume focusing on my breath.

It didn’t take long before I felt very calm and peaceful. In my book, that’s a very good (and rather unusual) way to feel on a school morning and the more I can do to promote and prolong that kind of atmosphere, the better.

And then I remembered Louise Hay’s affirmations. I modified my mantra a little and, began ‘saying’ “Breathing in, I welcome positivity; breathing out, I release negativity”.

By the time the house was stirring, I truly did feel positive and calm, and ready to face the world. Needless to say, it didn’t last entirely until they had all left for school, but I like to think my composure lasted noticeably longer than usual. I certainly have a renewed determination to continue with this.

But it also got me thinking (after meditation) about language, about manifestation, about what we draw into our lives. About how we can assess the level of acceptance in our lives by the language we use, entirely unconsciously.

Take my mantra, for example. I toyed with various in-breaths: “I welcome positivity, I invite positivity…” That part I didn’t question. But with the out-breaths, I began by saying “I reject negativity”.

It’s a subtle distinction, but the level of attachment is clearly higher with rejection than with release, wouldn’t you say? And if you are attached to something, you will struggle with it. Reject is too forceful, too negative. Release simply ebbs away.

Having read “Ask and it is Given“, I am also aware of the theory of manifestation: that *yearning* for something will keep it from you, but that holding in your mind that it will happen willย  draw it steadily closer to you. It’s the same idea. Non-attachment. Acceptance. Invitation and Release.

What will you welcome or release today?


Integrity – or – Unconflicted Love part II

I should have carried on listening yesterday. ๐Ÿ™‚

The sentence that stopped me in my tracks today was:

“If you cannot say ‘No’ within a relationship, you are going to have to say ‘No’ to that relationship eventually”

In my last piece, I talked about healthy boundaries. And here we have the ultimate, but far pithier, description of just that. Again, I should point out that we are not talking, necessarily, about a romantic relationship. It could be anything: from your spouse, a member of your family, your children, a friend… to the person behind the till in the supermarket.

It is vitally important that we follow our own path. (Obviously, I mean with integrity). I have to be who I have to be, just as you have to be who you have to be. I cannot be someone else just to make you happy, nor would I want you to be someone else just to make me happy. And I think at some point in our lives, we all experience the shadow-side of this conundrum. We are asked to do or be something that doesn’t fit with the life we want or the person we know ourselves to be. But the person asking is someone we care about, whose happiness is important to us, so we agree. And we try. But this way disaster lies. Always, lurking somewhere on the edge of our consciousness, there is a small, nagging gnome of discomfort. I believe this gnome to be shame. We are ashamed that we are not living our lives with integrity. We feel diminished. If we can stand up for ourselves – with love and respect, of course – and our ‘No’ is accepted, then the relationship can only become stronger and more respectful of boundaries.ย  But if the price of the relationship is that you must attempt to bend yourself into a shape you do not recognise as your own, to become that proverbial square peg in a round hole, if you cannot say ‘No – I cannot be who you want me to be. I need to be who I am’ without World War III breaking out, it is time to think.

Under these circumstances, we have two choices as I discussed yesterday: we can tread water waiting for the situation to improve, for the other person to notice our discomfort and take back their requests for us to be ‘other’ than we are; or we can address it.

Self-love is arguably the most important of all. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love another. I know that there are those who would try to turn that concept into something selfish, but that is not what we are talking about here. We are not discussing those who help themselves to the largest slice of cake before offering it to anybody else. That should, I hope, be obvious. I am talking about the concept of learning to love who you are, warts and all; to be as forgiving of yourself as you are of others; to grant yourself the freedom to follow your own path just as you would not interfere with anyone else’s. In the spirit of ‘you cannot give away what you do not have’, how can you love anyone else if you do not have love in you?

Equally, you would not stand by and watch someone you love bullied, so why would you allow that to happen to YOU? If you love yourself, you have a duty of care to yourself not to permit that to happen.

In our sitting room we have a picture on the wall that says: “Live the life you love” but we have recently decided that it better serves us to “Live the life you have“. Stop dreaming about the life you ‘could‘ have; don’t live in the past in a time that, through the rose-tinted spectacles of hindsight, now seems like your ‘glory days’; don’t spend the life you have trying to be somebody you are not. You are here. Now. Wake up. Be yourself. Love who you are. Take action. Turn the spotlight on your life, right into the most cobwebby corners, the most difficult relationships. Face it. Face it. And if you don’t like what you see, fix it. It’s that simple. Fix it. Make it work or throw it out.

Give up the illusion that you can control anybody else. And don’t allow yourself the delusion that anyone else is controlling you. You are in the driving seat. You make the decisions. Nobody else. The only person you can control and who can control you is YOU, but without integrity even that is an illusion. First wake up. Then get up. Then sort it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

See?

If you want to live, then live!

It really is down to you.


Unconflicted love

Hands plunged in a hot soapy sink, I was listening to Wayne Dyer.
I often do, as I am sure I have mentioned before.
There are three spiritual teachers I listen to, who never fail to put my world back on its axis when it’s threatening to wobble off it: Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr David Hawkins, and the Rev Kusala – wonderful beings all.

So, the recording I was listening to is called: “Being in the Moment” and is billed as a ‘Self-Help Classic’. I have to try not to sneer at that, since it is far too banal and ordinary a term for such inspirational creations, in my opinion. And, interestingly, he addresses ‘opinion’ in this particular recording, so I should – here and now – acknowledge that my opinion is worth considerably less than the computer it’s written on. Have a listen and make up your own mind! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I was precisely thirty-eight and a half minutes into it when I heard exactly what I had needed to hear for that day.
(I have become a creature of faith – if you set yourself on the right track, with the right intention, and with integrity, you’ll find what you need to find. Or it will find you…)

He uttered the following words:

“The greatest cause of stress in our world is being in an unresolved relationship.”

I stopped dead.

I knew just what he meant.

He wasn’t, he went on to explain, talking about divorce, or marriage, or the workplace. Nothing as specific as that. No, he was talking about:

“…living on a daily basis in a relationship which you know is unresolved…”

You know the sort of thing – should you still be trying here? Are you hoping the other person / people will change? Are you holding out till things improve?

Here, I need to quote him verbatim:

“Living in unconflicted love means I can look out into the world, at the people that I love… and unconditionally, in an unconflicted way, say ‘I. Can. Love. You.’ And my definition is that you don’t have to meet my expectations, and I don’t want to be told to meet yours, and if you can just pass that test, you’re in unconflicted love.
If you’re not, resolve it. Resolve it. Whether it’s getting it back together and making it work on a daily basis, or getting the hell out of it.”

(It strikes me here that this can be condensed to the ‘Live and let live’ philosophy.)

Flogging a dead horse at the expense of your own healthy personal boundaries, at the expense of your integrity, at the expense of living out your life purpose (which is, essentially, to follow your own path wherever it leads you), is not a necessary requirement of love.
If that is the price, then the chances are your relationship is an unresolved one, your boundaries have been violated or trampled, and it is time to have a reshuffle.
Can you re-establish healthy boundaries in this relationship? You can respect the other person’s boundaries, but can they respect yours? Can they learn to? If they can, then you have a path to fixing (or resolving) your unresolved relationship. If they can’t, then the resolution may well require striking out on your own.

Either way, as Dr Dyer says, “You will be in a better position.”

And as our children, who are whole people in themselves, set out at the beginning of this human experience, what better way to start than with healthy boundaries? Knowing that they are worthy of love just as they are,ย  and that anything other than that signifies a relationship that is not functioning properly.

Bon voyage, mes amis. ๐Ÿ™‚