All posts by Rob

Make Me Proud (Don’t Embarrass Me)

   Sorry that I’ve been gone for a while, but I received a brand new knee a few months ago, and the recovery has been quite a journey.

While I’ve been recuperating, I’ve been thinking about my beloofs about the “legacy” I am creating.  Maybe it has something to do with approaching 70 years of age (weird) or realizing I have adult children who are in their 30’s, or both.

I am also aware of a desire I feel to perhaps help or impart some wisdom or guidance to young parents – something I want to give back. It pains me to see them struggle with the job of raising their children as they absolutely wear themselves out (as we did for the first phase of raising our own children) seeing their children as a representation of their “legacy”. They seem to be working to have “perfect” children” (what an oxymoron), and literally that goal is killing them. As I’ve aged, my concept of my “legacy”, especially in regards to my children has dramatically changed.

So I realized I better know the dictionary definition of the word “legacy” to test my assumptions:

Definition of legacy
  1. 1:  a gift by will especially of money or other personal property :  bequest She left us a legacy of a million dollars.

  2. 2:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past: the legacy of the ancient philosophers: The war left a legacy of pain and suffering.

Hmmm…not what I was expecting.

I grew up in an era when my very life represented my parent’s “legacy”. I was an embodiment of my parent’s “beliefs” (beloofs?) and values and I was a living reflection of their value as human beings. I was expected never to bring shame or dishonor to our family’s name. I had to achieve professional recognition, honor, and financial achievement as a testament to their sacrifice and success as parents. It was not an option to bring dishonor or negative attention upon myself as it would reflect my bringing dishonor and negative attention to my parents. It would violate their “image”, their “standing” in the community. So the part of me that was different from them; the part of me that was an individual; that wanted to rebel, went underground and expressed itself in self-destructive ways; addiction, acting out, engaging in risky behavior, self-sabotage.

Probably the greatest lesson (legacy?) my children gave me was to refuse to become the embodiment of my “legacy”. They taught me early and completely that my level of influence with them was negligible and perhaps non-existent.  The more I tried to mold them into the image of my “legacy” the less interested they were in indulging me.

And so I gave up – I surrendered. And that is when the real understanding of my legacy started to come to me, and I hated it. My legacy to my children was to get the hell out of their way; to hand over the keys to their life as early as possible and to complete the process of my own individuation and maturation.

Yes, it was my responsibility to keep them safe, fed, clothed, and sheltered until they were able to do that for themselves. But the only true “legacy” I could leave them about life, was to get back to learning to live my own life from the place of highest consciousness possible; to take care of my self as best as I possibly can every day that I can.  And definitely not to steal their personal accomplishments from them by taking responsibility or credit for them, nor to judge or rescue them when they stumble so they learn to rise back up when life knocks them down.

We like to rescue our children from life’s hurts because they remind us of our own hurts that might still be unhealed. But it is precisely experiencing those hurts and learning how to heal and change that makes us who we are today. Let’s try to stay out of our children’s way by tending to our own life’s challenges and quietly watch them grow into who they are meant to be.

Here are my mantras that reflect the legacy I wish to bequeath to my children and all children everywhere:

I strive to come from a place of my highest good
I strive to come from a place of my highest good
I strive to come from a place of my highest good

I am an instrument of healing in the world
I am an instrument of healing in the world
I am an instrument of healing in the world

I humbly teach peace
I humbly teach peace
I humbly teach peace

I love you!
Aho!

Beloofs about Shame

shame-600x320When I started second grade, I went to a new public school. I spent two years at a private school after I badgered my mother into sending me to school when I was five years old. She found a neat private school with two teachers for a class of around 20 kids. I loved it.

I spent kindergarten and first grade there and then switched to the public school for second grade. When I got to my new school, all the other kids were a year older than me and there were over 28 kids in the class with one teacher. No one really took the time to orient me to the school not knowing that I had just arrived that year. I really missed my old school.

On the very first day I was sitting in the back of the class nervous and self-conscious. As time passed, I really had to go to the bathroom, and had no idea what the rules were or where the bathroom was. I was frozen in the same shock I experienced in my drugged birth (see my previous post, “I’m not worthy…). Before I knew what was happening I felt warm liquid pooling in my seat that quickly turning into a soaking wet cold stain all over my pants.

My whole body went limp with shame. My stomach tied into knots, my hands flew up to cover my eyes and mouth. I didn’t want anyone to see me, and I didn’t want to see anyone else. I wanted to become invisible; to drop out of existence. I left my body so ashamed of how it had betrayed me.

I didn’t hear these words come out of my mouth, but here are the beloofs I must have said to myself:

“I can’t believe I’m so stupid”
“I must be broken”
“I am totally unlovable”
“I am not even likeable”

And although I never heard these beloofs said to me out loud by others, I was sure I could read their minds and know what they were thinking:

“Shame on you”
“I can’t believe you did that!”
“How could you have done such a thing”
“What is wrong with you
“You should be ashamed”
“I  can’t believe you’re so stupid”

Thank God my new teacher saw my distress and came back to my seat. She immediately saw what had happened and grabbed a towel to put on my seat. She whisked me off to the boys restroom and then off to the office to wait for my mother to pick me up. She tried to reassure me that I had done nothing wrong and should have alerted her to needing to go to the restroom.

But her words fell on a deaf spirit. My beloofs of shame had already been installed when I had accidents as a little kid. For little ones, beloofs of shame are inevitable.

Shame is the physical and emotional manifestation of wrong thinking; what I call “beloofs”. However, even though they are based in wrong thinking, beloofs “feel” just the same, and can be overwhelming. For those who have pets, we can see this automatic response in our animals – even the beautiful Polar Bear in the picture living out in the wild.

If I just look at my dog Reggie with a feeling of anger or frustration inside of me, his tail droops and his eyes drop to the floor. I can feel the shame he feels, and it’s heartbreaking. His total reason for being is to please me, and he has failed at his core.

Shame is a built in response, but is totally counterproductive if its only result is to cause us to feel badly about ourselves. In this case it has transformed from guilt, which helps us to improve, to shame which causes us to give up.

Shame feelings are a result of learned ideas and they are wrong, but the feelings are real and devastating. We have to heal on a physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological plane. I won’t pretend to heal anyone’s shame in a blog article – only to say that shame is a false feeling and does not have to control our lives.

It is healable.

Here are my mantras for healing shame:

“I am a child of the Creator
I am a child of the Creator
I am a child of the Creator”

“I am whole and pure
I am whole and pure
I am whole and pure”

“I love myself unconditionally
I love myself unconditionally
I love myself unconditionally”

“I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity
I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity
I forgive myself for my flaws and mistakes, and take responsibility when I’ve acted without of integrity”

Let’s all become teachers of peace, and healers of shame.

I love you,

Namaste

I Still Believe…a Tribute to Elie Wiesel

elie-wiesel1Hi. My name is Rob and I am a serial people watcher. There; I admit it. I watch the news channels daily – my family would say I’m addicted. I admit I am addicted to all people and to watching them live their lives.

Yesterday, I watched the hostage siege ending in Bangladesh with 20 hostages and all the terrorists killed. The news of Elie Wiesel’s death followed closely, and this morning I checked in with CBS News and learned of the bombings in Baghdad on the last day of Ramadan.

People. Just people being people.

I admit that at times I feel discouraged and sad. I am sad that one of the greatest human beings of all time has left the planet, and I grieve for all victims of violence all over the globe. I know that if I choose, I can sink into despair, hopelessness, and depression. At times I wonder if I should; if perhaps it would be easier not to feel. The beloofs of despair and hopelessness are well known and easy to access:

“The world is going to hell in a handbasket”
“Maybe someday my ship will come in”
“Some people are just meant to be alone”
“Death is inevitable”
“What’s the point?”

And of course, those who practice hate and murder have their own beloofs. I will not put them into words here, because uttering such  beloofs gives them power and meaning. We have heard them before; at times even from those who seek to lead. They are beloofs of racism, hate, arrogance, ego, and fear.

LakeunionBut then, as my wife Mary Anne and I sat having dinner last night on the deck of one of our favorite Seattle restaurants with a wonderful sunset view of Lake Union, I found myself watching the other diners and the wait staff mingling and weaving around the tables. As I savored the wonderful oysters and wedge salad I had been served,  tears started to well up in my eyes as I soaked up the joy and love I witnessed all around me. Couples in deep conversation of love and romance. Groups of friends sharing their stories of the day, drinking and laughing together.

People. Just people being people.

I know deep in my soul and throughout every cell of my heart that the vast majority of human beings are pure and moral and ethical and loving at their core. Those who are not can create a great deal of suffering and chaos, but I believe they will never prevail. Elie Wiesel knew that better than anyone. Having survived the horror of Auschwitz at just 15, Elie Wiesel never lost his belief in people. He also knew he must use his voice – use his words for hope and good.

In the concentration camps, we discovered this whole universe where everyone had his place. The killer came to kill, and the victims came to die.

Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.

There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.

When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.
Elie Wiesel

Here are my mantras in support of my belief in people:

May I always remember that at our core, we human beings are loving, moral, caring people.
May I rise up to my highest self above those who are misguided in their beloofs and actions, maintaining my true sense of hope and gratitude.
May I use my clear, conscious, true voice as an instrument of gratitude and healing for all who might commit or suffer violence among my brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind.

May you rest in peace brother Elie, and may we all teach peace.

If I See Myself in the Mirror

dissociation     If I really see my self in my mirror, I will see my pain. If I see my pain, I will feel my pain. If I feel my pain, I will cry. If I cry, I may never stop. If I never stop crying…
Can you see where this is going?

When I heard the children crying as I watched  the video a passenger recorded just after the airport bombing in Belgium, I dissociated. I turned away from my pain like the man in the mirror. It was all I could do.

Had I been in the airport that day and survived the bombing , I know I would have run to the crying children and gathered them up into my arms. That’s how I’m built – I run towards chaos rather than away. I’m not trying to brag; sometimes I wish it were not the case. Years ago,  when the logging truck we were following  overturned in front of us, I slammed on my brakes and was out of my car before I knew what I was doing. As I ran to the cab of the truck, my mind said, “Are you crazy? You have a wife and two small daughters in your car.”

Diesel fuel was cascading down from the tanks and the driver was trying to push up to open the driver’s door that was now sideways over 10 feet in the air. I started to scramble up the bottom of the truck over the tires as the driver pushed the door straight up and crawled out over the running board below the door. When he was halfway out, I grabbed onto his hands and helped him climb down towards me and the roadway below us. He jumped the last few feet to the ground and I pulled him away from the truck. He was in shock, and I was completely dissociated from my emotions. I was the man in the picture, disconnected from the man in the mirror.

As I ran back to my car to check on the family, I felt excitement and arousal. My wife and children were afraid and angry. Why had I put myself in danger? Why didn’t I think of them?

Dissociation allows us to perform in the face of danger. It is an autonomic response – the fight part of the fight or flight response. We hone dissociation to protect ourselves from the reality of trauma; 911, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Gabby Giffords, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Oklahoma City, Paris, Belgium…the sights and sounds of trauma overwhelms our nervous system and it learns to shut down in self defense. When we are exposed to danger and intense feelings on a chronic basis, we develop beloofs that maintain our dissociation. We stop feeling.

“Thank God its not us.”
“It must be God’s will.”
“Don’t be afraid…”
“It can’t happen here.”
“Maybe they didn’t suffer.”

But the cries of the children amid the bodies scattered on the floor of the Belgium airport were not to be denied. My heart exploded in pain. Sadness wracked my being. Rage welled up in arms and legs. Confusion filled my head. I will not dissociate! I will not dissociate!

Here is my mantra for times when we witness intense trauma:
“May I always remain conscious and present to the hurt, rage, and devastation of the innocent children of violence .”
“May I always remain conscious and present to the hurt, rage, and devastation of the innocent children of violence .”
“May I always remain conscious and present to the hurt, rage, and devastation of the innocent children of violence .”

“And may we always teach Peace.”

 

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

QuestionAuthority-640x199Driving home from work the other day, I looked up to see flashing police lights in my rear view mirror. I thought I had seen the dark shadow of one of those new urban assault style police SUV’s lurking down the street when I made my stop at the four way intersection a few blocks from my office. I knew quite well that I had made a “legal” stop at the corner. There had been no other cars at any of the other stop signs, and after stopping I proceeded through the intersection in a completely safe manner. At 66 years of age, I drive much more like the old man that I am rather than the Mario Andretti shadow of my youth, so I was sure the young officer approaching my car was stopping me for my broken turn signal that I had not fixed yet.

Of course, his opening gambit was, “Do you know why I am stopping you sir?” His attitude and energy was cold and disinterested.  “I have no idea, officer” I replied. “Why don’t you tell me”.

“You made a rolling stop at the four-way” he informed me. My stomach turned. I knew I had made a perfectly adequate stop at the intersection. “How do you determine that is was a ‘rolling stop’?” I queried. “I keep looking at the front wheel of your car.” he replied. ” If it moves even a half-inch during your stop, it is a rolling stop. I can show you on the dash-cam if you like.”

I was sure the video replay would show that my front wheel travelled the requisite one-half inch requirement to qualify as a “rolling stop”, and that I was screwed. As he handed me a ticket for $136, I knew he was one ticket closer to his quota for the day. I think I said something like, “I feel so much better knowing that officers like you are keeping me safe from scofflaws like me.” As I said it, I knew I had descended into my own shadow of authority represented by the cartoon above.

I drove away feeling angry and defiant and began planning my response. I would contest the ticket pulling the offending officer into the courtroom to explain his overreaching behavior. I was an outraged victim turned persecutor looking for judge to rescue me from an obvious abuse of power. My beloofs about my relationship to authorities were raging – I was both 2 and 16 years old again.

“You’re not the boss of me!”
“Don’t tell me what to do!”
“I’ll do anything I want!”
“Who says so?”
“Why me?”

As I drove on continuing to create my story of police abuse, the energy in my body was nauseating me…until I remembered to breathe. I took several slow deep breaths and felt my body relax. And as I started to come out of shock, I suddenly remembered that I had decided years ago that the police issue unnecessary tickets as a way to raise additional income for the city – not just to correct my bad driving behavior or to protect the citizens of our community from me. It’s simply a mechanism for the city to reduce its deficit and has nothing to do with me as an individual. Understanding it this way reduces my reactivity (and stomach acid) and allows me to be happy about helping out our city as a responsible citizen or the community. I decided to pay the ticket as soon as I got home with the city’s convenient online ticket payment system. It was already posted on the court site by the time I arrived.

But what about “real” abuses of authority; a 13 year old student sexually abused by a trusted teacher; a young black male shot in the back after shoplifting cigars, a woman stoned to death for being raped; these are real and outrageous abuses that must be confronted and stopped by the laws of humans and nature. Victims must take responsibility for recovering from abuses in a healthy way, and those who abuse authority must be held accountable and take responsibility for their actions. Confronting abuse of authority is the responsibility of every member of a society. But that’s not what this article is about.

What about the struggle for authority that rages inside of me – the battle deep inside my psyche that no one ever sees – who will prevail? The part of me that resists authority and rebels? Or the part of me that surrenders to authority and accepts its teaching.

The universe sent me that cop as a teacher, just as the universe sends everything my way with an important teaching. Whether I like it or not is my choice. I can listen consciously and learn an important universal lesson, or let the battle rage on and chew up antacids.

So here is my mantra that brings me peace and safety when I experience the bite of authority, even when I judge it to be abusive:

“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”
“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”
“I remain conscious of, and surrender to the teachings of the universe while I maintain peace and love in my heart.”

I send peace and love to you especially in times when authority battles rage within.

 

 

Are the Beloofs I Have About You, Perhaps the Beloofs I Have About Me?

Buddah picture and quoteI believe we are at crucial moment in our development as a species. I suppose I believe that every moment is a crucial moment in my own personal development as a human being, so of course it follows that I believe every moment is crucial in our development as human inhabitants of the planet. We have been at this moment innumerable times before.

This quote by an unknown author begins with a perfectly reasonable statement, and ends with one that seems confusing and non-sensical. First, “I am not what you think I am.” How many times have I felt misjudged by another. When my father called me “unpatriotic” in my objections to the Vietnam war, I knew I was not what he thought I was. But It still hurt me deeply that he held such a beloof about who I was at my core.

But then, “You are what you think I am.” What? Is that even grammatically correct? Was my father being “unpatriotic’ when he judged me as unpatriotic? Perhaps; at the time, I found his judgment of me to be closed-minded and rigid. And I suppose one might judge being closed-minded and rigid as being unpatriotic. But was I not practicing the same process of “you are what you think I am”  with my father? Were we not projecting onto each other?

I heard one of our candidates who wishes to lead our nation utter the words, “he is a horrible human being” speaking about one of the other candidates. “You are what you think I am.” Hmmm. So the speaker of the phrase is a horrible human being? Or does the speaker unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being? Only he knows, and now I am more confused than ever.

The truth about projection cannot be summed up or understood in two simple sentences. Hell, Carl Jung and others have written volumes on the subject. Here are two quotes from Jung that I find helpful in trying to understand our unknown author from the quote in the picture:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
― C.G. Jung

My father passed away in 1992 at the age of 80. We had been two volatile chemical substances; he a lifelong civilian employee of the Air Force who designed weaponry for three different wars, and me a hippie anti-war protestor and pacifist growing up in a post holocaust era. Before my father died, the chemical reaction between us had transformed us. We stopped defining each other and returned to just loving each other.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung

So the politician who said, “he is a horrible human being” is obviously irritated by his rival. If we apply “you are what you think I am” to his judgment, he may or may not a horrible human being himself, or even unconsciously believe himself to be a horrible human being. Jung would say that if the politician were to examine his judgment about his rival at a deeper level, he could reach a deeper understanding about himself. Unfortunately, I believe his intent is to win an election, and not reach a deeper understanding about himself.

So here are my thoughts on the quote: I don’t care what you think I am – as long as I know who I am. That’s the hard part – being who I am and showing my authentic self. What you think of me is none of my business. And furthermore, I don’t know who you are behind your mask of projection unless you take it off and show me your authentic self. When we are being our authentic selves without judgment, the reaction between the two chemical substances is predictable; it is love.

Can you imagine a moment in time when each and every one of us ceases to hold judgments of others, whether spoken or in thought? A time when people stop defining each other and accept each other at face value? Sure, we need to discern when we are unsafe and someone seeks to do us harm. But that’s a process of discernment, not judgment.

Here is the mantra I choose to repeat to my self whenever I feel I am being defined by another, or acting in a way that defines another:

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In every moment, and in every encounter, may I release from the judgments I hold towards others so I can release from the judgments I hold towards myself, and in every moment and in every encounter may I hold others and myself in brilliant light and loving grace.

In loving memory of my father, Jacob, who passed from this world on February 21, 1992.

Beloofs about Death

kaddish3My beautiful, dear, longtime sister and friend Robin was taken from us all today in the instant of a deadly car accident. I sat with her just a few weeks ago in a healing circle of the Wellness Institute. I lost count of all the healing circles she and I shared over the last eight years through our two years of the Internship and years of Mentors. Robin was a Rabbi by training and I am a Jew by birth, so we had a natural tribal connection with each other.

Robin and I stayed in touch mainly through the magic of Facebook. Mary Anne and I went to see her daughter play the Viola at the Olympic Music Festival this past Summer. I had promised Robin we would stand in as family as her daughter traveled to the Northwest for the first time. When I saw her and took pictures to send to her mother, I thought I was with Robin 30 years ago when she was her daughters age. Robin took the time to read my recently published memoir and wrote me a lovely review.

And now she is gone in the blink of an eye… Oh sweet grief, burn your purifying fire through my heart lest it break apart in millions of shards.

Jews say the Kaddish as the prayer to remember someone close to us who has died. The entire prayer never refers to  dying or death; only word of praise for the divine.

Exalted and hallowed be God’s great name
in the world which God created, according to plan.
May God’s majesty be revealed in the days of our lifetime
and the life of all Israel — speedily, imminently, to which we say Amen.

But what are the beloofs many of us learned about healing from the wound of a loved one leaving us suddenly? “She’s is a better place”, “It was God’s will”, “It must have been her time”, for some even “She’s being held accountable for her sins.” Do these words acknowledge and support the punishing grief I feel today in every cell of my body? I think not. These beloofs just might be designed to bypass the deep emotions of sadness and loss I am experiencing so that the speaker of the beloof might bypass his own.

So I choose this mantra as I navigate my way through a loss I never imagined:

“I surrender to and embrace the unimaginable grief and loss that vibrates through every cell of my body, and allow it to sear its purifying path through me until it completes its journey.”
“I surrender to and embrace the unimaginable grief and loss that vibrates through every cell of my body, and allow it to sear its purifying path through me until it completes its journey.”
“I surrender to and embrace the unimaginable grief and loss that vibrates through every cell of my body, and allow it to sear its purifying path through me until it completes its journey.”

The Kaddish ends with, May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

Rest in peace, Robin, and return when it’s time. In the meantime, I will sorely miss you until the end of my days here.

Holiday Beloofs

sad-holiday-dog-300x199I’ve been noodling about what to say about holiday beloofs. I think I’ve been avoiding saying anything because many of us share the beloof that we must  be “happy” or “joyous” during the holidays. but I’ve learned it isn’t so for many people – so here I go…

“Happy Holidays”, “Season’s Greetings”, “Happy Hannukah”, “Best Wishes”, “Peace on Earth”, “Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year”, etc, etc. Whew…

If we really said what is in our authentic hearts and heads, would the words be these standard greetings and trite sayings we mumble to each other as we pass on the street, in the mall, or in the workplace? Or perhaps might we share the truth about how we are feeling about what’s going on in our lives.

Of course for many of us the holiday season conjures memories of “Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la”. But for others, the season may trigger memories of drunken brawls, molestation, abandonment, or death. Is one of our beloofs “If I feel and express my real feelings during the holidays I will be seen as a Grinch?” Or, “If I don’t buy everyone the right gift they will think I don’t really care about them.” Or perhaps, “I don’t want ‘ruin’ the holidays for those around me?” Or maybe, “Let’s forget about it, just get drunk and watch football.”

Do we spend the holidays surrounded by others, or perhaps isolated and alone? Are we estranged from our families, or perhaps going through an ugly breakup of a relationship? Are we out of work and short on money? Do we hide shame and self-loathing behind overspending, competition, and addiction?

How did these beloofs develop in the first place? Bequeathed from our family system? Passed on from generations of ancestry? Years of dogma and training from our religious indoctrination? Fear of being an outlier?

Do we really want to hang on to beloofs that don’t work anymore?

Here are some new mantras to consider repeating to yourself throughout the holiday season:

“I free myself from any and all shame and self-loathing I hold about myself and my situation”
“My life is evolving just as it should”
“I seek out and find people and communities that love me
unconditionally”
“I take the risk of expressing my authentic self”

May we all teach peace and well-being throughout the entire New Year!

If you’re not with me, you’re against me – Beloofs of Intolerance

teachpeacecropThis tragic beloof shows it origins in the bible and has been handed down historically from generation to generation. We are continuing to struggle with it even today. It seems as if racism, bigotry, and hate are as strong as ever across the globe.

If we accept the definition of the beloof as “a mistaken personal belief, usually about oneself, that was created during a time of trauma resulting in self-limiting behavior,” might it be that hating others is an unconscious projection of self-hate? If the only way I can validate my own beliefs is by being intolerant of those who do not believe as I do, wouldn’t the same apply to my beloofs? Could intolerance and hate of others actually have its roots in the unconscious intolerance and hate I have for myself?

I don’t think it’s quite that simple; I believe there is one additional ingredient in the soup of intolerance – fear. If we are mired in narcissistic self-loathing it puts us in a state of worry and fear that triggers the fight or flight response. If an entire group of people are mired in narcissistic self-loathing and fear, that group operates out of the fight or flight response and operates from a place of intolerace. I believe nacessistic self-loathing and fear has resulted in the beloofs of intolerace that have spawned most of humankind’s violence towards each other; whites towards blacks, men towards women, christians and muslims, nazis and jews, etc., etc., etc.

And so has it ever worked to wage war against the intolerant? Does it make any sense whatsoever to become intolerant of the intolerant. Instead, might we all simply learn to drop our intolerant beloofs against ourselves and teach others to be tolerant and loving towards themselves? You will say, “but those who are intolerant of me wish to kill or harm me – what am I to do then.”

I believe our only option is to ask our own intolerance to stand down and to always teach peace, no matter what the cost. I am prepared to sacrafice my life for the cause of peace.

Try this mantra:

May we all teach peace
May we all teach peace
May we all teach peace

Perhaps if enough of us repeat it enough, it will be enough to spread peace and tolerance throughout our planet and universe.

May you have blessings of gratitude and love throughout this wonderful holiday season.

If You Really Loved Me…

if-you-really-loved-me-ecard copyThis is one of the most common, complex, and destructive beloofs we can hold. It silently lies waiting in our subconscious mind until we are feeling especially vulnerable and insecure. This beloof implies that if someone “really” loved me, it must be demonstrated by a particular behavior or action. Most times it pops into our conscious thinking as a stem sentence we may apply to a variety of situations. Here are some examples you might have heard yourself or others say:

If you really loved me:

  • You would know what I need without my telling you
  • You would tell me you love me more often
  • You wouldn’t be angry at me
  • You would bring me more gifts
  • You wouldn’t need other friends in your life
  • You would automatically know when I need a hug/sex
  • etc., etc., etc.

     The origins of the “If you really loved me…” beloof usually date back to a serious and early injury to the heart. The injury most often is emotional, although sometimes an actual physical injury can trigger this beloof. We may experience such an injury to the heart when we leave the womb and experience our first physical separation from our mother. Our vulnerable heart may be injured when our parents divorce and our immature mind believes our very existence caused the split. Perhaps it developed during periods of physical or emotional abuse by a parent or sibling.

     The beloof “If you really loved me…” reflects a deep split in our relationship with ourselves. Early trauma has brought us to a place of self-doubt that we believe can only be soothed by a “loving” act or behavior by someone we have defined as our love object. We have lost our ability to feel natural love in our heart for ourselves and others and have come to interpret someone else’s behavior or actions that represent their love for us. Since we have lost the feeling of love in our heart for ourselves, we have lost the feeling of love in our heart for others. We want their actions and behavior to fill our hearts with feelings of love for ourselves, and there is never enough. When it doesn’t work, we may become resentful or depressed.

     Perhaps my spouse forgot to buy me an anniversary or birthday card on our special day…yuk!  Maybe my parent comes to my house for a holiday dinner and criticizes my cooking…zing! Maybe my child refuses to clean their room, and calls me a name…ow! Perhaps a friend goes out with another friend and doesn’t invite me along…snap! We experience the same pain in our heart as we felt during the original trauma. Many times it is sharp and painful; other times dull and lonely. We feel abandoned and dejected and all that pain is a result of a single beloof…”If you really loved me…”

     The cure? Release the beloof and the pain is released with it.  Accept that the beloof is a result of an injury to our heart and requires healing before we can love ourselves and others. Go back through your history and identify events and situations when you experienced an injury to your heart. A Heart Centered Hypnotherapist can help with this if you get stuck. When you have identified those events, imagine yourself as that child, and hold that child’s heart in pure unconditional love. Put your adult hands over your physical heart and send healing energy into the child’s heart. You can start every day and end every day putting your hands over your inner child’s heart while you repeat these mantras;

 “I am a beautiful child of God and I am loved unconditionally.”
 “I am lovable and perfect just the way I am.”
 “I heal any and all injuries to my heart and fill it with deep love for myself and others.”

Please leave a comment on your own experience of “If you really loved me…”