Love & Light Blog by Diane Donovan-Vaughn 4/27/2019
Pick up an imaginary mirror again. Look into your eyes and begin with love. Say, “I am the love of my love. No one knows how to love me but me. The reason others fail to give me the love I need is because only I know what love I need and how I need it. Until I love myself, I cannot offer unconditional love to anyone in my life. Until I truly love myself, I will be unable to truly love anyone else.”
At this point in this love conversation a new problem occurs. This problem is forgiveness. In order to truly love myself may require that I forgive how I have not loved myself and how others in my life like my parents did not love themselves and therefore failed me, while I have failed others in my life. Forgiveness is an act of love, of offering compassion to a troubled and unloved world.
It is helpful to remember the natural universal law that exists for everyone that what you give is what you get back unless someone refuses to oblige you. Refusing to give back negative energy when you receive it takes practice. It is quite simple to return positive for positive or negative for negative because that is the natural way. Returning positive for negative can be accomplished with practice and will change and bend reality. Returning negative for positive is excruciatingly painful and somewhat rare. Usually negativity endlessly seeks out negativity. Remember this energy exchange can happen without words being spoken.
In order to truly see the reflection in the mirror, suspend opinions. These opinions are simple thoughts constructed over a lifetime and based on limited views of reality. Looking in the mirror, ask yourself, “What kind of negative energy and unloving energy do I emanate?” The mind or ego is very adept at shielding humans from noticing their own negative games. This ability is called denial. Think about what people say to you in a conflict. Think about a difficult relationship you have with a family member or spouse or ex-spouse. What did they say? For example, when asked what the person felt as we were arguing, I was told that I sound condescending and controlling. These are both true. So busy focused on the other person in an argument or conflict and their energy, one can simply blame others. However, the key is still to notice all the emotions, while staying out of the thoughts.
One could ask oneself and the other person, “What emotion are you feeling right now?” Make sure you take a deep relaxing breath to hear the answer because that emotion will tell you what emotion you are emanating. For condescending and controlling, the emotions I am feeling are frustration, irritation, fear and judgment both of myself and the other person. I have a general fear of failing to fix something, of hitting a brick wall. By the way, the other person in this conflict is feeling judged and possibly quite inadequate as well. Remember that in conflicts and difficult emotions what A Course in Miracles has to say about emotions. All emotions are either love or fear.
Most of time, I have bypassed my feelings and gone straight to fixing the conflict, which does not work and keeps the game in play. I never felt or understood my own suffering, much less the suffering of the other. Forgiveness is not possible in denial.
So-called negative reactions are simply various ways to suffer in fear. The suffering need love and compassion. Acknowledging the suffering, while offering love is the cure. Now forgiveness is no longer even necessary because nothing happened to be forgiven any longer. People do not choose their emotions or fear. It chooses them.
What is the purpose of life? Hopefully the purpose is not to suffer, however suffering accompanies life. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” The Buddhists have lessons about suffering, how to practice in order to let go of attachment and suffering in life. However, these teachings all point to how we live our life, not to avoid suffering but to live honorably through all experiences whether good or suffering, which is to choose compassion.
Practicing loving self-compassion leads to practicing compassion for others. Choosing compassion when encountering suffering brings honor or right practice, right intention and the pathway toward remembering enlightenment. It really is not the experience we have with others that is as important as it is to choose time after time to return to love and compassion because there are no others. Pick up the mirror. You will see not only the love of your life. You will see love of everything in existence. Let go of thoughts and practice loving compassion. What will return is love.
The selection for today from Living a Life of Awareness by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. is titled “Getting Clear about the Two Kinds of Fear” on page 43.
Ruiz said, “There are two types of fear in the world: physical fear and irrational fear.
‘Physical fear is a natural reaction to a clear and present danger. It allows us to survive by fleeing, fighting, freezing, or finishing a resistance with a rush of adrenaline and desire to live. It is only trying to keep us safe.
“Irrational fear triggers the same physical reaction, but there is no actual physical danger present. The main causes of irrational fear come from making assumptions or projecting about some future event. Irrational fear abuses our bodies by putting us through unnecessary trauma.
“Coming to peace with fear means understanding the difference between the two types. One is rational and helpful, the other irrational and unhelpful. One can save your life; the other can stop you from living life.”
The Ruize Practice: “With awareness, you can spot irrational fear when it arises. Next time you feel anxious or judgmental, chances are you’re dealing with irrational fear. With awareness, remember that the solution to overcoming this type of fear is unconditional self-love. You are perfect just the way you are, and you have nothing to be afraid of. Love yourself just because you are.”
Let’s practice: Close your eyes and take deep relaxing breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Allow love and light to flow into the top of your head and permeate every cell and atom in your body. Sweep away heavy energy, suffering and heavy emotions. Relax the body, more and more as you go deeper and deeper inside. Find a seat inside your heart and rest for a while as you gaze again in the mirror. Remember that this mirror is quite magical because as you send love to your own image, your image becomes an image of all existence. As you love and heal that image, the whole of creation returns love and healing to you. Your feelings matter because they create the reality around you. Choose to allow your feelings to be bathed in love and compassion no matter how ugly and unforgiving they may seem. Then, return to love. Namaste