Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hitting Bottom.. it's a gift!

One of the greatest tools I've received from a few different spiritual teachings I've been involved with is to be willing to take my "own inventory" and disregard the "other" person's flaws or wrong doing entirely. To put my full attention on what is arising in me and to take full responsibility for my own experience.
I got the same message from Non Violent Communication training and many other empowering communication teachings. Practice making "I" statements, look at "my" part, what am I doing specifically that is contributing to my own pain, misery and suffering. 
This "shift" to focus on myself is a process and something I've had to commit to fully over and over. It's a complete 180 from what I learned growing up which was to blame, point the finger, indulge stories of how others were falling short and therefore deflect and ultimately "manage" the disappointment and pain I felt around not being loved, valued, met, seen or cherished by others.
I know that for me, the judgments I've had about "others" (especially those that I've most wanted to love me, accept me, approve of me, include me) come from this very young part of me, the part that feels that it "needs" this love, approval, care taking in order to survive. The hurt and at times devastation I have felt when I've felt rejected, unloved, not taken care of, etc. has seemed to take me over and I've developed a pattern of moving away from, trying to numb out, avoiding this pain at all costs. 
At some point I got really clear that the ways I tried to avoid the pain did not work anymore, I could not drink it away, smoke it away, eat it away, shop it away, blame it away. I may have been able to bury the hurt for a time, but it always arose again, and I began to see that my avoidance of these afflictions actually seemed to fuel them.
I experienced this as "unmanageability" in my life and it showed up everywhere, in my relationships, finances, with my family, in intimacy, with my kids and with myself. I was at war with myself, resisting what I felt I could not handle, seeking my well being and contentment in my relationships and always being let down and disappointed. Afflictive thoughts, painful feelings, and challenging experiences and my inability to "manage" these when they arose brought me to a desperate state.  
I've actually found myself in this place many times over the past 22 years. I'd call it "hitting bottom", physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Each of these "bottoms" has opened me up in different ways, cracked me open, helped me to see things and given me clarity. Ultimately I've needed to face myself, to face everything, to take full responsibility and to "open myself up fully" to life and ultimately to discover that the "opening" is how I discover the depth and fullness that I am. 
Eventually I could see that "all the experiences of life" are gifts (even the most afflictive) in disguise, they are "for" me, in that they are here to open me to mySelf, to help me to discover my own ground, my innate stability that is always available but I'd not known before.
Facing the greatest challenges in my own life has given me the ability to have an unshakable serenity in the face of any calamity. 
This is an invitation to face yourself, discover yourself, meet yourSelf, show up for yourself. I've walked this path and I can provide guidance and encouragement for you to do the same. Where ever you are in your journey to discover your wholeness, your ground, your peace, your life satisfaction. I'm here to illuminate the next few steps, to offer clarity and perspective, to point your back to your power, to reinforce your capacity to face what's here, to cheer you along and offer you the direct benefit of my own experience. 
So I'm wondering, what's up for you now, what specifically you are struggling with, where do you feel stuck, and if you know, what's the story you are running. What are you struggling with, what is a major judgment (story) you have about "someone" who you think has hurt you? What's a pattern in your life that is not serving you? What would you like to let go of?
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You can also find out about how to find your own liberation here

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