There is an epidemic lack of common sense and critical thinking in the world today. Well being has been replaced by a tendency towards depression and burn resulting from chronic anxiety, overwhelm, and the mindless habit of rushing all day long. Information consumption is replacing intimacy, the pursuit of excellence, and passion for Self-discovery. Too much to do with too little time characterizes modern civilization. These are some of the side effects of information overload.
Can you discern what is relevant and truthful information? Do you know what actually empowers you? Can you detect carefully crafted propaganda specifically designed to control and manipulate your opinion? False information plus information overload undermine your capacity to make conscious decisions about your life style, finances, and relationships. Propaganda shapes your worldview and the future you perceive is possible.
Every leap in human progress has unintended negative consequences. The information age is no exemption. Also known as the computer, digital, or media age the information age replaced the industrial economy. Now there is a global economy based on information computerization. This new world economy is based on the fact that access and controlofinformation is the defining characteristic of our current era in human civilization.
“The shadow aspect of the Information age is that information overload causes decreased self awareness, which interferes with your ability to access your Soul`s inner guidance”
Without the support of your Soul there is a loss of purpose, direction and desire for meaningful experiences. The information age has come to generate an addiction to information consumption that triggers erratic thinking fallowed by unconscious behaviors many of which are harmful. Young people are being raised with an acceptance of consumerism that undermines their personal development. Teenagers are not taught core values to live by and they`re are not taught relevant meaningful rights of passage into adulthood. Sexuality is exploited and mixed with pornography. People are manipulated to have an attitude of entitlement with little sense of personal values and responsibility towards their local community.
“A life without the influence of your Soul has no conscience and no depth”
A soulless life leaves you at the mercy of those who use information to program your mind for their own interest. For this reason the information age is potentially more catastrophic to humanity than anything that came before. Terrorism, police brutality, and military interventions in the name of peace are examples of a collective lack of conscience acted out by societies whose collective mindset has been brainwashed to accept violence as a “normal” way of life. Simultaneously the military industrial complex makes a steady profit out of people`s fears, the pharmaceutical conglomerate profits from sickness, governments align with corporations that destroy the environment, and people are happy shopping and being entertained.
The information age produces individuals addicted to the stimulus of information, entertainment, and shopping. This is done through advertisement, social media, and the news industry. Information outlets successfully manipulate public opinion by selectively deciding the kind of information they make available. In the meantime, consumers of information are unaware that they are being mentally programmed to accept a fearful and hostile worldview. War secures people into an unconscious state of survival that causes them to give up their sovereignty for a false sense of security.
Unconscious fears trigger denial mechanisms, for instance the need to be distracted with superficial activities like social media to avoid dealing with existential challenges. When was the last time you shared a meal with a friend and neither one of you looked at your phones? Are you drawn to nature to listen and feel its presence, or do you scape yourself by using nature as an activity?
Addiction to information is harmful to the collective Well Being of humanity. Mental conditioning has reached the point where people have lost their own sovereignty, and don`t know it.
What does it mean to loose your sovereignty?
Loosing your sovereignty means that an external force controls you. A person that is sovereign is someone who has matured beyond social conformity, and is capable to govern themselves by becoming their own authority. They command enough personal power to prevent external forces from influencing, or controlling their mind. Sovereignty also means transcending identification with your mind and embracing your Soul, the source of your conscience and the aspect of you that desires intimate and meaningful experiences.
You are not a mind, you have a mind!
Neuro Psychiatrist Dr Dan Siegel defines mind as an embodied and relational processing of energy and information. Your mind exists in relationship with other minds. The collective mind of humanity regulates the flow of energy and information in the whole human ecosystem. This definition acknowledges that you need a body to have a mind, and that your mind is an activity inside a sea of activity driven by information and energy. I will add that the activity of mind is possible because we are consciousness. You are aware of you not by thinking but by paying attention and realizing that you exists independent of your mind. You are not a mind, you have a mind.
Those who control information control the energy flow inside your body when you function only as a mind. For instance, watching the news makes you fearful and hostile, while advertisement is designed to trigger a state of lack, which makes you crave consuming. When you are Self-Aware you can interrupt this manipulation by choosing to control your impulses, urges, cravings, needs and wants. How Self-Aware are you?
The notion of acting, or thinking independently from any outside influence is impossible at the level of your mind. No mind exists, or can function in a vacuum. All minds are linked together into an invisible field of information. For instance your parents thoughts and beliefs get downloaded to your mind before you become aware of being your own person, and by them you mistake their beliefs inside your mind as yours.
Levels of mental conditioning
Being civilized: this is the original mental programming consisting of daily repetition of information under a constant emotional stimulus such as the way parents talked and behaved towards you and with each other. All of that is recorded in your subconscious mind. Civilizing a child requires the enactment of cultural traditions that instill the core values of the society. Religious beliefs are also downloaded via the collective mind of your culture whether you like or not. All of these are combined and eventually get accepted by the innocent, naive and ignorant mind of a child. This conditioning becomes the belief system that runs your personality.
Becoming sovereign and autonomous requires that you include and transcend your social upbringing that conflict with your Sou. This can happen at any age. I rejected the notion that I was a sinner at seven years old when my Soul replied to the catholic priest “I`m not a sinner” even thou in the indoctrination to attend my first communion I had been told what to answer, but couldn’t understand. Sovereignty is a threat to those who desire to control you!
Mental programming or brainwashing is the subliminal belief systems installed via the influence of government propaganda, the entertainment and news industry, the education, medical and scientific systems, and religious dogma.
Mind control is the activation and operation of mental programming.
Mental programming and mind control are embedded patterns added to your original mind. They`re are an overlay that appears to be your own but in reality is an artificial way of thinking that has been introduced without your consent!
The aim of mental programming and mind control is the creation of a society that is robotical in following orders without a conscience and without questioning authority. There is no independent thinking. This blind submission ensures that those in power use you to produce their agenda. Mental programming is successfully creating a civilization that is obedient to the rules and regulations of society against their personal interest. This conditioning is evident by seeing how people give their attention and consent to the news media, politicians, religious beliefs, and the medical establishments. Monkey sees, monkey hears, monkey obeys.
Modern culture is being programmed with dumb down memes; these are elements of a culture that are passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation.
Reclaiming your sovereignty
Be original. Use your imagination to create the life you desire instead of worrying about what you don`t want. Mind your mind and confront a your fears. Feel deeply into every experience and master being present. Observe and pay attention instead of thinking your way thru life.
Reflect on the information you receive, and more importantly be selective of what you expose your mind to. Minds are easily conditioned. For example, men are raised to deny their feelings, women are told they`re less valuable than men, this ridiculous beliefs must be discarded. Question the authority of doctors, religion, politicians and governments that claim to know what is best for you.
Common sense and intuition are natural and inherent to your humanity, but you can`t hear them and trust them when your mind is driven by survival instincts because you live in fear. Disconnect from technology on a regular basis. Care to be intimate with you and discover your Soul. Value having intimacy with others and be intimate with nature to discover your nature. Cultivate regular periods of silence and stillness to reclaim your sanity.
Inadequacy can be triggered by news of an illness, loss of a job, or a demerit at work, being turned down for a raise, or a job application, the break up of a relationship, loosing, or wining something important, being praised and admired, being asked to do something that has consequences etc.
Inadequacy is so common that most people take it for granted as a “normal” reaction, while simultaneously being ignorant of its origins, and the fact that it is an unnatural experience of who you are. Inadequacy means feeling incapable and feeling powerless to respond appropriately to emotional, social, intellectual, and physical demands even thou there is no mental, or physical flaws in you. People suffer when they experience inadequacy by adding the feeling of powerlessness to the fact that they are facing something they believe they cannot handle, or resolve properly.
There is a dynamic difference between striving for excellence, accepting your limitations, and “giving up” with the underlying sense of fear, shame and humiliation associated with inadequacy. The feeling of inadequacy that arises when handling trivial, or difficult situations comes from having accepted the core toxic belief “I`m not good enough”, or some version of it.
This belief falsely measures your Self worth, meaning your inherent value, against an external standard, which is based on a negative bias where historically your performance and achievements where judged to be inefficient-not good enough…
Origins of inadequacy
There are many ways in which the innocence and vulnerability of a child gets traumatized leaving a lasting distorted impression about their identity. This sense of self that develops into a personality is derived from the interactions at home and with the world. People who feel inadequate as adults felt afraid expressing themselves, or they where made to feel ashamed of themselves through humiliation.
Children need to have their value confirmed by those who are responsible for them. They cannot see themselves, they can only be themselves, and record in their mind how they are treated. The way in which a child`s emotional needs are satisfied sufficiently, or neglected, end up determining if they are safe and valued, or not.
Emotional needs consists of being cared for, being loved by receiving adequate nurturing attention, admiration, and praise, being respected as an individual including all of the ways that a child naturally express themselves, and being acknowledged including being played with, and being taught how to do things, all of these become the foundation for feeling worthy and eventually confident as an adult. When these core needs are neglected the seeds for inadequacy have been planted in their subconscious mind. How did your parents and older siblings behaved towards you? How did your neighbors and schoolmates treat you? Where you bullied?
When as a child your personal boundaries were violated through passive aggression as in being ignored, or through verbal and physical attacks, including sexual abuse, a fundamental lack of respect was internalized as a mixture of hurt and fear of humiliation and punishment. This emotional wound lingers as a dreadful sense of insecurity in your personality. The history of disrespect drives the automatic reaction of feeling inadequate when authority figures disapprove of you as an adult. Some people hide this insecurity by becoming bullies, tyrants, and control freaks.
When a child is given a role that they don`t know how to perform, or when despite their best efforts the feedback they get is that they are doing it wrong, or worse, when they learn to blame themselves for failing at something they simply can`t do, then they feel incapable to do a good enough job, and they adapt by avoiding responsibility, or by becoming compulsive helpers who demand perfection of themselves. Either way, the feeling of insecurity that drives self-doubt lies beneath the surface as a familiar sense of inadequacy ready to surface whenever there is disapproval.
Some examples of the seeds of inadequacy are: an older sibling is made into a surrogate mother who learns to deny her own needs and focus on the needs of others. As an adult she finds herself feeling inadequate and angry when her husband insist in taking care of her. Another example is a boy being expected to play the role of protector of the family because the father is absent, and he ends up being afraid to commit to relationships because they represent a loss of freedom. Yet another example, which is actually very common, is when a child ends up fulfilling one of the parents needs for intimacy, and because of that they have extreme difficulty making clear and strong boundaries in intimate relationships, or with authority figures. The variations on the wound of self-worth are vast.
A confident person is confident of what they can and cannot do. This is demonstrated by a passionate commitment to excellence, meaning to do their best, which is balanced with humility and acceptance of their limitations. This dynamic way of being is not rehearsed. It is spontaneous and authentic reflecting a character grounded in Self-knowledge not a negative self-image like “I`m worthless”.
Inadequacy is a symptom of insecurity, which is a sign of arrested development due to emotional wounds including emotional trauma in severe cases. The process of reclaiming your Self-worth consist of:
Healing the pain and suffering from childhood that led to a false sense of self.
Re-writing your past with meaningful and self-empowering interpretations.
Separating your Self worth from performance and achievements.
Embracing humility and greatness into your character.
You know you are making progress when you naturally like yourself, and you master stopping the self-judgments that generate the fear and shame that make up feeling inadequate. Get to work!
Globalization is much more than a worldwide integration of business, trade, and information technologies between governments and corporations. It is a systematic expansion of power, by all means including employing the police force and the military industrial complex to oppress local activist fighting big government and corporate intrusions on their land.
Globalization gives power to a relatively few individuals and corporations that own, control and extract local natural resources while destroying the local culture. It replaces the richness of a unique culture with a uniform mindless consumer society that looses the meaningful distinctions that contribute to each individual and their local community`s identity.
“Globalization is transforming the whole world into one conditioned, prepackaged experience”
The ego agenda is self-serving and limited to ensuring safety, security and comfort in the interest of self-preservation, but who is this self?
What is ego?
Ego is your inherited animal nature. It develops a sense of self by first identifying with the body and then with the mind. Your ego is instinctively and tenaciously selfish, greedy, territorial, aggressive, competitive, paranoid (obsessively anxious, suspicious, full of mistrust), and insecure…mm…this sounds a lot like the behavior of successful corporations. These character traits are valuable; they make it possible to endure being born a helpless and vulnerable creature in a hostile environment. Being selfish is not an option; it is a necessary stage of development where survival skills are learned and mastered.
Following this stage there is a natural leap in developing your individuality in a way that includes caring for others. This is possible when social and economic conditions are favorable. It consists in evolving your unconscious ego into an aware-ego. This development is the birth of the human Being. An individual that is unique AND connected to others, and is capable and inspired to develop and mature even more...globalization is actively preventing this development by brainwashing your ego with corporate for profit selfish values.
The human being is capable of Self Awareness and self-reflection. Indeed if we do develop our cognitive, moral and ethical intelligence we become capable to think about thinking and make conscious and well informed decisions. For instance to not harm ourselves by polluting our environment in the process of extracting resources for industry, or consuming products that are toxic to our health, like drinking coca cola, eating genetically modified food, and growing the same crops year after year with noxious pesticides.
The natural sequence of ego development
When development and maturing continue our circle of concern grows and expands to include others, in the following order:
Egocentric level: your only concern is you. You are un-aware of the needs of others and the consequences of your behavior.
Ethnocentric Level: only you and your group are important to you.
World centric Level: you genuinely extend the same care to all humans regardless of gender, race, or religion.
Cosmo centric includes genuine care for ecology and the environment, which are experienced as one living organism.
This internal development changes the core of what a human being is capable to achieve: to transform her identity from a person to a presence of being. The presence of your being is not subject to your body and mind, it commands the body and mind into a state of unified harmony, not thru force and deceit, as the unconscious ego does, but by its acquired virtues: Loving kindness, compassion, justice grounded in truth and universal principles of respect for individual freedom and sovereignty, your presence express your uniqueness without imposing your values on anyone.
How you participate in globalization
Do you buy things you don`t need? Do you prefer buying cheaper products that are made far away? Do you consume processed foods made by corporations daily? You know like fast food such as McDonalds, or global food chains such as Pizza hut, and Star bucks? Are you a slave to the global banking system and major credit cards by living beyond your financial means? Do you go to a far away destination on vacation and continue eating and behaving as you do in your own home? Is you opinion about world events shaped by news media run by governments and corporations? Do you think activist are a pain in your ass? Does it make you happy to be entertained and distracted from the issues that require you to sacrifice your consumer life style for the sake of the not yet born who wont have a clean healthy environment to live in? Do you justify imposing your values on others despite it being harmful to them? Are you happy being ignorant of the political and financial crisis in the third world? Is it OK with you that women are exploited and treated as lesser than men? If you are still reading, would you like me to stop giving you examples of how you really are not aware of the consequences of how you live your life?
I respect all medical professionals who dedicate their lives to serve others. I admire and appreciate advances in medicine due to technology, and I live in gratitude for the entire spectrum of emergency medicine personnel. If I ever need to, I will gladly go to the emergency room.
The aim of this article is to bring awareness of what healing is and what a healer does, and to acknowledge the inner healer in both the medical practitioner and the person receiving health care. I`m interested in the shared goals and differences between Allopathic and Holistic medicine, and I suggest that more benefits are available when these two models are complementary. The common goal of both models is better health thru optimal immune response. Their core difference is in the definition of who and what we are.
Allopathic medicine focuses on curing symptoms of disease by using remedies that counter-act the effects of the disease. It conceives of the body and the mind, as separate entities. The body being made of separate compartments functioning mechanically like a fine tuned machine. Although there are monumental breakthroughs in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the effect of the mind on health and disease, the current operating truth in allopathic medicine is that the body is a physical object, that mind and consciousness are the same thing, and that mind is a product of brain activity only. As far a health is concerned, there are no other dimensions to you. The allopathic model claims there is no consciousness apart from the body that is capable to enhance well being.
Holistic medicine focuses on healing by enhancing the well being of the whole: body-mind and Soul. The emphasis is on understanding the expression of the symptoms as every level. It looks for the source of dis-ease by interpreting the symptoms in relationship to optimal mental health (this includes your social life), a health promoting diet, and a physically active life style. It diagnoses by incorporating information from the body/mind/Soul system that is affected by dis-ease. It conceives of the body and the mind as a system of interrelated processes governed by non-physical, Self Aware Intelligence, your Soul. This intelligence is capable to respond to changes in well being, and affect the well being of the body/mind as a unit. This model makes a definite distinction between the ego/thinking mind correlated with brain activity, and the greater capacity to pay attention inherent in being aware, your Soul.
Summary: The allopathic model looks for causes of symptoms of disease by focusing on separate parts of the body that are ill and administering a cure. The cure may have negative side effects. The holistic model looks for causes of physical and mental illness through a lens of relationships among the different parts of the body, and the mind, as a whole unit. The emphasis is on treating the whole without inflicting any harm. The holistic model relies on the loving and intelligence of the Soul. In Holistic medicine awareness and inclusion of the Soul is not based on religious faith, rather it is a direct experience of expanded Self Awareness.
How healers Heal
Healers don`t heal, they facilitate healing. The will to live, to be well, and to overcome even the threat of dying is ultimately a personal choice. Healers can only affect an illness to the degree the individual concerned has accepted, from the core of their being, that it is possible and desirable to be well. Some individuals who have been miserable for long periods of time just want the pain to end; they no longer house the will to live. In these cases there is a potential for healing while in the process of dying. Healing is ultimately the transformation of pain into inner peace, regardless of the physical condition. It must be understood that true inner peace is a reflection of a peaceful mind, and a peaceful mind rest on an identity that is free of inner conflicts. An effective healer addresses the core of a person`s pain by helping them connect with their Soul where inner knowing and inner peace resides.
Healing Vs. a cure
The core of healing is integration of mind, body, and Soul into a unified well functioning presence; this is the dimension of you that can pay attention without thinking. Integration produces personal transformation. When an individual heals they transform by adding wisdom to themselves. For instance, they learn to truly love and appreciate themselves. Love empowers the choices you make for the better, and this affects your relationships to everyone, most of all to you. Love increases your Self Awareness of what is healthy and what is not.
“Healing increases Self Awareness, and Self Awareness heals”
For example, you can interpret an illness as a physical counterpart of an unconscious childhood negative, and false belief you have had about you, like “I`m guilty and deserve to be punished”, this belief is a recipe for low self-esteem that welcomes disease. Knowledge of this irrational belief simultaneously exposes what is actually true about you now: you are innocent! Making innocence available to be your new point of reference, your new identity opens your imagination to a welcoming future, instead of only seeing yourself as the currently ill version of you. This transformation of identity is an example of wisdom that enhances your well being.
Healing allows you to know yourself differently…you feel fresh, empowered by what is true about yourself and free from falsehoods. A guilt-ridden person cannot exhibit well being. Their immunity and vitality are consumed by negative thinking generating negative emotions, what I call “misery soup”.
Integration means being whole and complete. This dynamic unity is facilitated by the connecting quality of love in present time. Healing involves learning to be present with loving kindness towards yourself, this is not negotiable, and is a core difference between healing and a cure.
A cure is typically a one-dimensional approach to health that focuses exclusively on symptoms; it does not involve your active participation to change. For example, if you have heart problems your doctor will do things to your heart organ, and probably wont automatically know to ask you, what kind of mental and emotional suffering burdens your heart? Or if you are depressed, or burn out, your psychiatrist most likely will offer you medication, but is not likely to ask you, do you know how to connect to your Soul and ask for inner guidance?
The difference between the activities of healing, yes it is an action, there is nothing passive about healing, and a cure, is more apparent when you look at some unintended consequences of allopathic medicine.
Some times allopathic medicine violates the fundamental law of medicine: First do no harm. A cure that debilitates the body and mind with side effects further interrupts the harmony of the whole system. When this happens the intention to neutralize a symptom is causing harm to the system as a whole. I understand that when a patient shows up gravely ill the number one priority is to keep them alive. However, when decades pass by and there are no new alternatives to surgery, drugs, and radiation to address terminal illness, then it isn`t the science that is not evolving, is the health model that needs to grow.
Symptoms are signals of imbalance that have expressions in the mind and the body simultaneously. Their resolution comes from a higher level perspective that has greater functioning capacity, your Soul. The human body knows how to grow and be healthy, and your Soul can activate the DNA blue print containing the latent healed state. Can you imagine how the delivery of care could change if Soul Awareness was added to diagnosis and treatment of illness? Yes, it would make it more humane, health care professionals will admit when they don`t know what to do, and there will be an understanding of how what they offer affects the entire system. Further, the allopathic medicine will be increasingly less of a platform for corporations that use the need for health care as a ruthless business for profit.
The role of the Healer
In the broadest sense, a healer is a person who has access to a dimension of themselves that expresses a unique ability to enhance well being. The role of the healer is to mirror well being to their patient. An effective healer assumes the energetic vitality that resembles the healed state needed, and invites the person; through whatever modality they use, to match the healer`s state of well being.
This personal choice to match the healer`s frequency activates the person`s inner healing capacity, and the system begins to repair itself. In other words, when you trust your practitioner, and you are inspired by them, you make a subconscious decision to be well. The Placebo effect is a perfect example of this.
To some degree healing happens at a subconscious level, as a Soul to Soul meeting between healer and the one healed. This implies healers by definition must work in integrity, and without ego agendas including the arrogance of believing they can heal everything, or that they know how long a person has to live.
There are almost as many healing modalities as there are ways to be out of balance. An effective healer knows what they can and cannot facilitate, and promptly refer patients to another practitioner if they know their treatment is more appropriate. They will never exploit a client for this automatically disconnects them from the person they intent to help. The role of the healer is greater than doing no harm; it embodies a deep impersonal loving and benevolent connection with the person, a Soulful connection. The Soul is exquisitely intimate and simultaneously impersonal, it can connect without attachments. Do you feel loved by your health care provider?
Another law of medicine is “healer heal thyself”. A healer is someone who has experienced personal healing and through their own life style demonstrates well being. A healer’s presence facilitates the well being by embodying compassion and humility. Bottom line, if you are facilitating healing you must demonstrate you are healthy.
Conclusion: Adding the attitude of healing as a foundation to allopathic medicine innovates and advances the practice of health care. Healing teaches self- responsibility by emphasizing the importance of loving yourself and having inner peace to maintain well being.
By treating mind and body as a unit, and therefore correlating mental disorders with physical symptoms, a larger and more holistic diagnosis that includes the person`s social life can be implemented. This involves developing compassionate skills to address the fear of illness in people. Informing some one of bad news can be traumatic, or it can be the inspiration to handle an unexpected crisis.
Another innovation is administering medicine in a way that does no harm, or at the very least minimizes harmful consequences. For example, to treat every patient individually, not following a generic hospital protocol, and by allowing more time for the body to recover its immunity after an invasive procedure before administering radiation or chemotherapy.
Healing transforms the passive dependency of the patients on drugs and surgery into an active responsible participation in their health care. To be well requires a consciously chosen life style aimed at preventing dis-ease by promoting well being. The medical professional engaged in healing cares, sees educates, and relates to a person as more than the physical or mental symptoms they present. She makes a humble and empowering connection with the people they are helping, and support them to connect to themselves and make internal changes as part of the healing process.
Lastly the addition of healing into a medical model addresses how issues of identity, such as feeling worthless, burn out, or guilty, which develop into physical symptoms, are really symptoms of disconnection from our greater identity, our Soul.
Is a crisis of identity, and yes you can avoid it, or move thru it if you`re experiencing one right now. How? By focusing attention on valuing you and your life, by developing Self Awareness so you can stop reacting to bad news, by learning to pause and notice the obvious, and lastly by mastering how to act appropriately in real time. Pew…that sounds like a lot of work…of course, is it is a crisis after all!
Having a crisis isn`t bad, it is an inevitable fact of life. The good news is that you can learn to choose, not to suffer mentally because there is a crisis, and further, instead of complaining because things are terrible, you can choose to see the opportunities the crisis opens up. Imagine that, focusing on a solution instead of the problem.
“Looking at what is possible without reacting to what is happening is natural when your connection to your Soul is strong”
In fact, it is your Soul that remains present and powerful in the face of dire circumstances. Your job is to grow and expand your awareness until you recognize yourself as your Soul`s vast presence. This is an inherent potential in all of us.
A mid life crisis is an opportunity to establish a firm connection to your Soul, the presence in you that can guide you to finally complete your right of passage into adulthood. That`s right, adults stuck in patterns of emotional reactivity are by definition immature. On the other side after the crisis is over, your personal transformation allows you to recognize yourself being more confident and authentic with a stronger character, and literally becoming more Soulful…mmm… How does that sound?
A mid life crisis is when the “normal” internal separation; fragmentation, and inner conflicts (that occurred in childhood and became part your identity) get out of control. Imagine this: the loud hostile and the silent passive aggressive emotional wars that went on around you in childhood got recorded inyour mind. And now you believe they are you…
Confusion about your mind`s inner voices, and errors in core beliefs interferes with the proper functioning of your personality. The childhood personality is bound to malfunction over time, and it can be replaced by a mindful adult personality. This requires disciplined personal development.
So, the personality is already unstable because of many false beliefs, did I mention that your body gets strong in the presence of truth and weak in the absence of truth? Well it does, and to the point that when you strongly believe something false about you, you transfer your power into what you fear. Reflect on this for a long moment: fear makes you physically weak by consuming your vitality every time you engage in the mental activity of worrying.
How many of your thoughts are fear based? The force of fear normally pulling the personality into conflicting parts increases when there is a crisis. The fear of falling apart makes the personality contract and be rigid. Simultaneously there is a sense that there is no solid ground to stand on, and chaos is moving everywhere inside your mind spreading a sense of desperation. The good news is that you are not a mind, you have a mind, and better yet, you can learn to be aware of thinking, and then train yourself to pay attention to the thoughts you prefer-this is called mindfulness. Once you master command of your attention, it is easy to observe and see opportunities and solutions in times of crisis.
In the context of a mid life crisis, to be an adult means to stop identifying with irrational childhood points of reference such as positive and negative self-images like, “ I can handle everything”, or “I`m worthless”. Most of us come out of childhood somewhere in this spectrum. How do you really see yourself?
A maturing adult doesn`t relinquish their power to the unconscious habits that maintain chaos, confusion, fear, and other debilitating emotions…all day long. Indeed being emotional changes nothing for the better when you are required to be response-able. Instead maturing individuals passionately strive to command their attention to be reasonable. Self-Awareness supports them to transcend the confinement of their childhood personality.
“An identity crisis is when you are having a prolonged experience that you cannot handle, because of what you believe about yourself and life”
To resolve the crisis, how you see and value and love you must grow and develop into a more mature, and more capable, version of you, or your current sense of self, and the continuity of your life, will continue to fall apart. A midlife crisis emerges as a series of adverse external, or internal events such as accidents, illness, relationships break ups, loss of work, or more subtle symptoms like prolonged depression, and re-occurring burn outs at work, or at home.
A malfunctioning personality
A mid life crisis is the end result of your personality malfunctioning…for a very long time. During childhood your ego developed habits of emotional reactivity to protect itself from parental insensitivity, and many other harmful circumstances in your environment, such as poverty, illness, wars, substance abuse etc. This is important so you understand why the personality is fragmented: a well rehearsed emotional routine such as feeling terribly victimized and therefore enraged or devastated, is a mechanism to produce pseudo-emotions, which separate/protect you from deeply experiencing how you really feel. This is one of the defense mechanisms that worked to survive, but makes it impossible to thrive in life.
To some degree or another pain and fear get associated with difficult situations. At some point the mind gets conditioned to react automatically (unconsciously) to the perception of difficulties. In the case of a midlife crisis the personality is so fixated on difficulties that it sees them where they are not. This is called negative expectations, are you familiar with this habit?
Fundamental irrational and false associations like “difficulties are scary and painful” are accepted as truth before a child has the developmental capacity to reason in abstract ways. These structural errors in the personality block access to courage to confront fears, inner strength to act appropriately, Self-confidence to make rational choices under stress, disciplined determination to succeed etc. Without access to these and other essential qualities of being, adults get triggered easily. They automatically react emotionally demonstrating they are in a mental trance perceiving themselves as insecure vulnerable children. Can you recognize when this happen in you?
Eventually emotional reactions become part of the personality`s behavior and attitudes…making adults emotionally immature. The childhood events too traumatic to be assimilated become the ego`s shadow. Oh no…that dreadful shadow, well get over it, it must be embraced, integrated and transformed for true inner peace and serenity to return to your inner world, like that! In fact, denying your shadow is one of the mechanisms that trigger a midlife crisis.
Examples of emotional reactivity include: constant fears of confrontations, humiliation, and punishment, anger outbursts, passive aggression, obsessive worrying, procrastination, self-doubt, judging, complaining etc., these emotional states generate such misery that awareness of love, joy, peace, and new possibilities get totally blocked by negative thinking. At this point you need to learn to mind your mind!
The direct way to stop experiencing adverse circumstances, as a crisis, is to mature and heal the fragments of the personality stuck in the story of your past. You see, the personality is constructed based on what happened in childhood, with an emphasis on preventing bad things from happening again-this is a good thing until safety becomes the only thing your personality focuses on. Safety is a requirement but not a compelling goal to bring the best out of you, I dare you to live a bigger life that contribute to others; a better goal is aiming to live passionately and awakening out of fearful mental trances until you don`t go into trances. This is achieved thru contact with your Soul, which is you when you are present in present time.
Your benevolent and loving presence, your Soul, is the source of compassion and determination to heal as well as the inspiration and guidance to forge ahead and overcome difficulties with grace…instead of desperation. Your Soul is ever present. However, communion with your Soul initially requires stillness and silence. These provide the inner space to listen and to feel subtle states of being such as kindness, serenity, grace, contentment etc. If you are not willing to invest time and make these state of being valuable, don`t deceive yourself, you`ll be thinking about your Soul instead of being it.
Summary: A mid life crisis is a crisis caused by a mistaken identity. You take yourself to be your personality at the exclusion of your Soul. The childhood personality gets constructed with false and erroneous information about who you are, and what you are capable to accomplish. The personality`s behaviors are driven by memorized self-images from childhood-making you absent and distracted from events in real time. Being distracted by thinking and suppressing deep emotions affects communications between people, particularly those that have intimate connections. A break down in your personality (more inner conflict than usual!), is an opportunity to connect with the deeper powerful and unconditioned essence of you, your Soul.
If you are experiencing a crisis I recommend that you seek the company and support of a skilled professional who is competent and Soulful, and together discover how much more of you, you can become.
The fundamental attributes of Love are benevolent unity. In other words, that which loves, and that which is loved, form a wholeness that cannot be separated. Lovingness is openness. Paradoxically, lovers are unique individuals that have different self-expressions and perspectives that are cherished by another set of attributes of love: respecting, accepting, and appreciating each other. This makes Lovingness the essential substance that holds human social interactions, particularly intimate relationships, to be benevolent in nature. Love does no harm, its innate intelligence and access to truthfulness empowers this state of consciousness to act on behalf of the highest good for all concerned.
Your body is benevolent unity consciousness!
The human body, the mind and the Soul are physical and non-physical examples of unity consciousness. By consciousness I mean a state of being aware. Every cell that unifies with other cells to become tissue, that becomes different organs that function as one system that makes up one body are aware of their interrelationship and their interdependence. Over one hundred trillions cells function in unison. Every cell expressing the intelligence possible when individuals are connected in a benevolent manner.
It is worth noticing how the behavior of cells in your body correlates with your mental and emotional wellbeing. Cells are unique individuals that can maintain their individuality by having a cell membrane that opens and closes. Likewise your personality that engages in different roles and activities is aware of being the same person that can be open or closed.
When their cell membrane is open cells are connected to the whole body and are engaged in growth. When the cell membrane closes, the cell is disconnected from its environment, and is unable to release toxic wasted or uptake nutrients. This is a state of protection. Similarly, when the mind is open the ego (and its personality) is aware of its Soul.
“An open mind who is free of inner conflicts can allow its Soul`s benevolent influence”
When the mind closes down as a reaction to pain and suffering, the only functions ego has access to are survival instincts including the mental defense mechanisms of core beliefs. Limiting beliefs that refuse new ideas and perspectives that facilitate emotional healing and forgiveness drives a closed personality. A closed personality is resisting the healing nature of Love as well as further personal development.
A continued state of protection leads to dis-ease and eventual death of the cell, tissue, and the organ. Likewise a person stuck in the need for protection becomes increasingly isolated and disconnected from the Soul, as well as intimate relationships that nourish the heart, the doorway to Soul awareness. This disconnection from Lovingness is detrimental to mental and emotional wellbeing. As social creatures we require intimate social contact to feel that we belong.
Lovingness is expressed in different ways according to the function, role and type of social interactions. Mother`s love towards children is nurturing, tender, kind, and playful. Father`s love besides the attributes of mother`s love may take the form of tough love when it teaches discipline, responsibility and accountability. Both parents embody tough love when demonstrating authority and the consequences of being disrespectful.
Lovers enjoy passionate love. If hurt or suffering arises so does compassion between lovers. Lovers offer each other forgiveness when a heartfelt regret and remorse is expressed if an injury to the relationship has been committed. The beauty of lovingness among people is the ever-present awareness of conscience. When you love you are aware of the consequences of your thoughts and actions. Love is self-aware.
The emotions of jealousy, hatred and envy associated with passion have no-thing to do with love. Possessiveness is a sign that the ego has turned someone into a love object that it fears loosing so it attempts to controls it. Love is a state of being that you embody by conscious choice. Love owns no-thing.
“You become loving, you don`t give love”
Love is not a duty; if it feels like a duty then it is tainted with guilt. Love is empowering and liberating, if it is used to control and manipulate, or to punish then it is tainted with shame. True love is pure, mature, and free of personal agendas.
Love loves and it feels good. In its purity love is innocent and extremely simple. The complexity that gets associated with love is a sign that love is absent and emotional needs are being mistaken for love. The concepts associated with love are just that, metallization’s that can generate negative emotions; even memories of the feelings of love are not love. True love is a moment-to-moment direct experience that does not require interpretations. It is benevolent all-ways, it is intelligent and resourceful, and it is generous and intimate. It is your Soul that chooses Lovingness; all your mind can do is think about love. The mind is an instrument to focus attention; as such it can allow or resist the power of Love based on its current programming. Would you allow more love?
This personal account is offered in love to the public at large and specifically for those interested in healing their mother`s wound.
I can admit it now; I have married women that represent different versions of my mother with specific similarities: they appear strong and confident while they`re insecure and angry, they are intelligent and capable; they are loving and can be cruel.
By engaging the shadow side of my ego identity I have come to understand the dysfunctional patterns I inherited from my mother and father. I inherited my mother`s core negative beliefs such as “ I`m enslaved” and “I`m trapped in suffering and pain”. I mistakenly believed my role in life was to protect women when in fact what I needed was protection from my mother`s shadow behavior. The best thing about knowing this is recognizing that I`m loving and lovable, and that as a man I can erect strong clear boundaries to protect myself from abuse, control and manipulation.
My mother`s legacy to me is a paradox that includes the polarities of her light (benevolent loving intentions) and her shadow (unconscious destructive behavior).
On her light side she was loving, tender and playful. She modeled being spiritual and offered an alternative to my father`s Catholic indoctrination, she inspired me to pursue personal development; and modeled a desire for learning by studying philosophy and eastern religions. She also modeled enthusiasm and passion for travel and adventure, she raised us with devotion for natural healing and appreciation for healthy nutrition, she practiced yoga, meditation, raised us with homeopathic medicine, did not vaccinate us, she sent my father to a chiropractor in 1968 for his back pain, she limited the amount of sugar we could eat, she taught me to contribute with house chores and demanded that I kept my room clean, she taught us to self-sufficient by teaching us to wash clothes and cook meals, for all of that I`m grateful.
On her shadow side she was cruel in her punishments. She could declare to me “wait until your father comes home!” hours before he arrived and as soon as he did, she would instruct him to belt me (hit me with his belt), which he did without asking why. She lacked patience and kindness when dealing with me wetting my bed and instead yelled at me and told me what an inconvenience it was. She disrespected my privacy and she was intrusive and used shame and guilt when dealing with my pre-pubescent and adolescent sexual behavior. She was deceptive and manipulative when addressing my teenage rebellion against authority. My mother`s shadow left an imprint of fear of punishment that led me to act out many dysfunctional and hostile compensatory behaviors.
Some of my dysfunctional behaviors included being passive aggressive, which I acted out by withholding information, telling white lies, stealing money from her purse. I developed a superiority complex and felt entitled to things to mask my deep feelings of inferiority and belief that I didn`t deserve anything, I had to earn everything. I developed a need to be liked by being compulsively charming no matter what.
The combination of love and hatred, tenderness and cruelty, self-determination and being controlled, being courageous and passive aggression were the perfect ingredients for my own version of misery in relationships.
Apparently there was a time when my mother was in love with my father, but it didn`t last very long. My mother became increasingly unhappy, in fact, I would say that by the time she had given birth to three children in four years she was depressed and full of resentment and hatred towards my father who systematically took her for grated and disrespected her deepest desires including using her university degree and getting a job.
My parent’s lives were a complicated dysfunctional mess. And so it is that I have re created all of it. I have been drawn to seemingly strong confident women only to discover that underneath they were insecure, suspicious, controlling, and needing to be taken care of, they mirrored my own shadow.
I have related to women in the way I related to my mother. I have been needy, clingy and desperate for attention. I have been good, helpful and pleasing, I have been deceptive, rebellious, passive aggressive, I have been a coward avoiding conflicts and necessary confrontations to demand my private space and to be treated with respect.
In the past I worried that my one true love would leave me, and they did. Time and time again I blamed myself for not being good enough, but good enough for what? After, uncomfortable deep inner work I have come to realize that I also inherited my mothers deepest conflict about trust, respect and being cared for with kindness. She longed for this and never truly got it from my father, or her own father. I have attracted women that had unresolved issues with their fathers, and like I did with my mother, I tried and failed to be what they needed me to be.
I failed because in wanting to be what was needed and expected, I denied my deepest wounds, my core unfulfilled needs. In my ignorance about my needs, and my confusion with opposing feelings and emotions, I systematically sabotaged many good intentions and many false promises.
So, where has all this taken me? I love women and I can trust women, but only when I simultaneously trust and love myself. I respect women and I respect myself. I cherish the feminine and the masculine in me that allows me to be strong and clear as well as sensitive and kind, and most of all, I can relax and be intimate without loosing myself in my relationships.
Can you be safe without protection? Yes, and it is important to understand why. Safety starts as a memory of having your physical and emotional needs satisfied when you are an infant/child. Not having your needs satisfied is a memory that gets triggered easily and makes people imagine they`re are not safe. There is a distinct difference between a perceived danger and a real threat to your life.
Many people live their life not feeling safe and cope with this predicament by constantly seeking protection. Although it appears that safety is dependent on protection no matter what the circumstances, in actuality it is not.
Protection is an activity that prevents harm or injury from a physical, or psychological threat. It is possible to experience not feeling safe while there is no real danger to your physical well being.
The subconscious imprint of safety is a consequence of having adequate nurturing attention, which begins with the interactions with mother. Protection is traditionally associated with father or more precisely with masculine energy that acts decisively when there is a threat.
People suffer unnecessarily when they mistake the emergence of fear as a signal that they require protection. The origin for these irrational fears are painful unconscious childhood memories of a deficit of being loved, and valued. A consistent lack of respect, acceptance, appreciation, embrace, being cherished and supported are a threat to children and insecure adults.
Emotional needs are not negotiable in childhood. When they`re not satisfied it hurts and makes a child fearful and angry.
When mother succeeds in satisfying the child`s physical and emotional needs she becomes the first symbol of love, closeness, safety and belonging. In this ideal scenario children experience feeling safe without the need for protection.
When a child is in distress and is held by a mother that is calm and assures the child that they will be ok, and that this will pass, she is helping the child regulate her emotions. This type of interaction imprints the child with the memory that it is safe to experience discomfort.
On the other hand, a mother in distress when her child is in distress imprints the child with the memories that life is not safe. This is what many adults experienced and unconsciously believe, and why it is “normal” to react emotionally when circumstances are stressful.
When the mother rejects, punishes, or ignores the child, or neglects the child`s needs the child associates mother/love/dependency with not feeling safe. If one of the parents is harming the child it is the responsibility of the other parent to protect the child. When they do the child associates protection with safety. Many times children experience not feeling safe, and not feeling protected and this is when the association is made that they cannot relax and must be actively seeking protection.
Eventually the experience of not feeling safe because core needs are not met becomes the need to seek protection, which makes people create intricate mechanisms of defense. Some of this are being hostile by judging, criticizing, or to comply, conform and consent to other people`s needs and agendas; or to generate safety by being needed. For example, compulsively helping and pleasing others generate dependency.
The resolution for recognizing a real threat that requires protection from a perceived threat that feels like a real one, is to heal and integrate the painful memories of not having your emotional needs met by one or both parents.
Do you know someone suffering in an abusive relationship? Have you attempted to help them to leave only to witness that they wont? Could this be you? Negative merging is a symptom of poor self-boundaries and extreme low self-esteem. It is the reason why women and men get stuck in dysfunctional relationships, and can`t access their common sense, or feel capable to resolve the situation including leaving a toxic relationship.
Negative merging happens when parts of a person are unconsciously stuck in fight/ flight survival mode because they are identified with negative emotional states including aggression (irritation, frustration, anger, rage, hatred), fear (worry, anxiety, nervousness), and hurt (sadness, sorrow, grief, despair). In other words, a person who is negatively merged uses pain and suffering as a way to survive, and their life gravitates around cycles of verbal and even physical abuse.
Hurt triggers fear triggers and fear triggers aggression. When a child`s needs are neglected in a significant way, their way of dealing with this trauma is to adapt to it by constructing an identity based on the experience of being powerless. A powerless adult becomes a victim of abuse who may later on become a tyrant inflicting abuse.
What triggers fear and aggression?
There are three interconnected core needs at the beginning of life; if one of them is not met the others are equally affected. The needs are: avoid danger by seeking safety, avoid pain by seeking pleasure, and attach to mother to ensure being taken care off.
For children safety means having what they need. Not having what they need triggers fear. It is important to know that the experience of fear is painful, and one way to not feel unbearable pain is to get angry. Bullies and tyrants are in pain, afraid and insecure. Many children are not allowed to be angry, or their anger is overpowered so they distort it into passive aggression, which later in life takes the form of hatred (against perpetrators and self), combined with cowardly behavior that avoids conflicts and confrontations.
Merging with mother
It is inevitable to psychologically merge with mother. This is a requirement for physical and emotional well being. The adverse aspect of merging with mother is taking on her pain and suffering as our own.
The merged stage of development is actually an ongoing capacity among adult human beings. Merging love means that you are so connected to “the other” that you literally feel what they are feeling. This is called empathy when you also understand the other`s experience, something infants cannot do because they lack awareness of “other”.
The merged state serves both the infant and the mother. For the infant this profound level of connection imprints them with the experience of belonging and bonding. This completes the third requirements for feeling safe as a child. For the mother it allows her to know the difference between an infant crying because of the pain of hunger, or the pain of being cold, or to signal the need to be held etc.
On yet another level the merged state between the mother and infant results in the subconscious mind of the infant identifying with the predominant emotional states of the mother. Because the infant has not yet “hatched” as a separate self this shared emotional atmosphere gets incorporated into what becomes the feeling of being “me”. If the mother felt disempowered in any way the unconscious negative merging with her becomes a reoccurring negative experience in intimate relationships.
The reason people override their common sense that tells them to leave an abusive situation is that the painful memories recorded in their subconscious precede thinking and are more important to maintain in order to fulfill the core need of belonging.
Children resist being taken away from abusive parents because for them safety is that which is familiar, and the familiar feelings, whether pleasant or unpleasant, get associated with the experience of belonging and intimacy. A person stuck or drawn to misery is likely to be negatively merged with a parent`s emotional pain.
Children grow up to behave the way they were treated and the way they saw their parents treat each other. If you are stuck in a miserable relationship it is likely that you are repeating negative patterns that you inherited and became part of your unconscious identity.
The resolution to this predicament is to uncover, heal and transform the shadow aspect of your identity by mentally and emotionally separating from the childhood attachments to mother and father.
It’s true! Fences make for good neighbors. When people are strangers to each other, or only share a superficial connection, a fence that establishes a border allows them to be at ease. Human interactions thrive when there are clear boundaries that ensure mutual respect.
What is a boundary? A boundary contains the being that you are, and protects the being that you are. These two functions, self-identity and protection are combined in the construction of your personality. When an individual matures they develop self-confidence, and their sense of self becomes distinct from their personality.
Self-confidence means being yourself without the need for the protection mechanism of your personality. Confident individuals are natural, authentic, and open. Their boundary is their presence. A confident individual is able to enjoy intimacy and welcome appropriate closeness.
As long as you need protection, or think that you do, you’re not able to be intimate. In order to love and know love in any capacity, by definition you are required to be open and relinquish all defensive attitudes and hostility. The problem is, if you`re hostile towards you, like engaging in self-criticism, you`re bound to treat others the same way.
It takes self-awareness to be able to override your childhood memories and fears of being rejected, punished, or abandoned. When you experienced this you had to protect yourself, and you did that by adapting the same behaviors that hurt you. Children eventually learn to judge, criticize, idealize, blame, complain, control, manipulate, or withdraw. These behaviors are protection mechanisms present in underdeveloped/immature personalities. This is acceptable “normal behavior”.
Your childhood personality is a set of self-images, habits, beliefs and emotional reactions designed to protect your innocence, the essence of you that is pure, sensitive and curious. This type of personality keeps you imprisioned in the past in a continual power struggle with authority.
You are not a personality; you have a personality built to cope with stressful circumstances. When you heal and integrate childhood emotional wounds your sense of self is no longer defined by your past, you become stronger, and your personality evolves to be less reactive. This change in behavior from automatic unconscious reactions to conscious responses is made possible by learning to be present and accessing your inner strength in real time.
An unconscious need for protection
For a child safety is having their core needs satisfied. This includes: receiving nurturing attention, and experiencing kindness and tenderness. Protection is an action required to prevent harm or injury.
For adults the memories of not having what was needed (not feeling safe) are easily triggered. Unconscious feelings of danger activate defensive behaviors such as control, manipulation attacking, passive aggression, withdrawal, avoidance, as well as coping behaviors like pleasing and helping. These behaviors are protection boundaries that do not resolve the deeper memory of not feeling safe, so the need for protection remains.
Your subconscious mind recorded and absorbed your mother`s and father`s emotional states, attitudes and core beliefs. By the time you develop your personality much of your mother`s and father`s personality was used as a blue print to construct yours. This is why people unconsciously behave like their parents, and re-create similar circumstances over and over.
Children instinctively sense that they need to be connected to their parents, particularly mother. One way to be connected is to internalize and incorporate her behavior. This brilliant mechanism that allows a toddler to move away from mother and explore the world, has the detrimental effect of also carrying the negative feelings of the interactions with her:
If mother constantly feared that you, or her, might get hurt, you carry that fear as your own.
If she feared being rejected, you carry that attitude as your own.
If she overwhelmed you by not giving you space, or ignored you by giving you too much space.
If she failed to protect you from a hostile father, your sense of personal space is associated with not feeling safe and needing protection.
The resolution to this predicament comes with learning to dis-identify from these memories and developing the skills to take care of your core emotional needs. Thus making safety your response-ability. Knowing that you can erect strong clear boundaries that provide adequate protection, when you need it, allows you to be at ease with people.
Being willing and able to say “NO” is a clear and strong boundary. Nevertheless, as simple as this seems if you fear punishment, rejection, or abandonment the way you did in childhood, then it would seem impossible to say No. These irrational fears can be confronted and resolved with the help of a skilled and compassionate professional who can point out when you are identified with childhood images of you.
What is love? Love is not a feeling or an emotion, it is not some “thing” that can be given and taken away. Love is a self-sustaining, self-aware, intelligent state of being that is benevolent in nature, and has the inherent capacity of connecting essence to essence. You don`t give love, you become loving.
Human Beings yearn for meaningful intimate connections, and simultaneously require adequate boundaries for relationships to be healthy. This paradox of needing to be close and needing to have boundaries is resolved when you understand the delicate balance between merging love, a quality that facilitates connecting to others, and autonomy, a capacity to be free from external control.
Autonomy expresses Self-worth, the knowingness of our intrinsic value which also delineates personal boundaries. When your boundaries are violated you are being disrespected. Parents that don`t teach and enforce boundaries with their children contribute to the children being rebellious as an attempt to define their personal space.
If you are unable to relax and be close to someone you have issues with intimacy, your self-worth, and your personal boundaries. For example, obsessing about being abandoned or rejected, being unfaithful or incapable to commit, being needy/clingy or distant, having a tendency to withdraw or avoid confrontations, being, suspicious, jealous, punishing, and possessive. Every one of these symptoms acts out a distorted relationship to Love and Autonomy modeled by your parents.
Healthy interactions with mother imprint an infant with a sense of safety, comfort and belonging that makes it desirable to be intimate. When mother is overbearing or withdrawn, punishing or too allowing, a fear of intimacy get impressed in the subconscious of children due to the absence of adequate respect for the boundaries that define the infant/child.
In adulthood lacking the capacity to be calm and relaxed when interacting with others results in breaks down in communication, which means friendly connections are replaced by unconscious defense mechanisms.
The emotional wounds resulting from not being able to form intimate strong bonds that are safe and fulfilling maintain a defensive attitude. Being defensive is masked by a profound lack of confidence acted out as: insecurity, self-doubt, low self-esteem, shame and guilt, fear of conflict and confrontations, and aggressive tendencies including criminality.
Emotional bonding with mother is the foundation for how we will behave socially as adults. Many things go wrong for many reasons in the earliest of social interactions with the world, which for an infant is mother. The good news is that there are many effective therapeutic healing modalities for the different types of wounds related to the relationship with mother.
Being a mother is beautiful and extremely demanding. To adequately fulfill the role of mother requires many extra-ordinary sacrifices. Mother`s personal gratification is exchanged for the well being of her child. This is an ideal scenario where mother is emotionally mature, physically healthy, and she has clear self-boundaries. These come together as the capacity to transcend her own needs and truly nurture her child lovingly.
Giving nurturing attention is increasingly difficult when the father is emotionally absent or hostile, or finances are unstable. Mother`s well-being is fundamental for her capacity to provide adequate care to her children. Mother needs to feel safe and be cared for.
Fulfilling the role of mother requires the heart`s qualities of love, tenderness, kindness, patience, courage, inner strength, self-esteem, compassion, forgiveness, devotion, and will-full determination to resource herself with whatever is available to care for the needs of her children. Being a mother is an enormous responsibility that needs lots of support that many mothers lack. Remember this.
Mother`s presence in your subconscious:
You started out as a heart cell, and out of your heart you grew a brain and then a body, but before any of that happened you attached yourself to your mother`s uterus. Then after you were born for anywhere between 9 to 14 months, you were emotionally merged with your mother. During this phase of development whatever her experienced was deeply affected you, and it got recorded in your subconscious mind. If she was happy you could relax, if she was stressed so were you, and if she was tuned in to you, she knew what you needed.
An emotionally wounded mother has difficulty separating her needs from those of her child. In fact, in her mind there is a conflict between satisfying her needs and those of the child. There is another layer to this, which is that more often than not; if the parents have conflicts with each other they act them out unconsciously with the children. For instance, she may get her intimacy needs fulfilled with the child if the father is emotionally distant, or she may be mean to the children if she hates their father.
“Your connection to your mother depended on her connection or disconnection to you”
The quality of contact with mother shaped your ego identity and your ability to form intimate bonds with others. Mother as an archetype represent nurturing love, the kind that soothes, and comforts when we are in distress. It is the quality and consistency of feeling bonded that imprints a sense of belonging that is also recognition of safety. If we are not bonded we don`t feel safe, this is a fundamental aspect of human nature. Safety means having what you need including the space to be yourself naturally.
In one way or another, to some degree or another, everyone gets imprinted and bonded to pain during childhood. Taking on mother`s pain is inevitable since we are merged with her for a long time. These earliest of painful imprinting are a constellation of her thoughts, emotions and attitudes that become the raw material for building a personality.
Unconscious fears, unresolved hurt and aggressive tendencies in mother are absorbed as if they were our own. Personal development is required for growing the capacity to perceive her toxic presence in our mind, and successfully releasing what is not beneficial to us.
If you are a mother do defend from the automatic guilt of not being a perfect mother, being good enough is what is required, and for most mothers it is true that you did the best you could.
If your mother`s wounds are affecting your ability to be intimate understand that her presence within you is an inevitable fact of life. Without her sacrifices to give birth to you, well, you would not be here.
It is not yet “normal” to incorporate mental detoxification as a necessary aspect of enjoying well-being. Never the less, it is a requirement for becoming autonomous and authentically loving. Know yourself and know who you are not by healing your mother`s wound.
Violence is a worldwide challenge that can, and must be overcome. Whether it is violence perpetrated by war or terrorism, verbal or physical abuse anywhere, passive aggressive “constructive criticism”, cruel self-judgments, or violence against nature. The origin of all forms of violence comes from dysfunctional patterns in the family unit.
“Violence begins with the relationship parents have with children”
People who act violently were exposed to violence in their childhood, and had no choice but to absorb their dysfunctional family atmosphere into their personality. When there was brutal yelling, or passive aggression such as sarcasm, ridicule, blaming, or ignoring someone, children record these interactions with their parents and use them as a template for future social behavior.
There are two ways violence is passed down to new generations. One is neglecting the needs of children, and the other is being intrusive by failing to respect them. Neglect is a painful absence of love, and intrusiveness besides lacking love, is a painful absence of respect, which is a negation of a child’s inherent self-worth.
When you are not loved you feel unsafe, and when you are not respected you feel worthless, which blocks developing confidence in your abilities to meet your needs peacefully and with dignity.
The acute sensitivity of children makes it extremely painful when they lack what they need. They cope with this by dissociating from feeling their pain through fragmenting their mind into parts, disconnecting from what is most painful, and making up irrational stories as to why they’re treated that way.
Children require a great deal of love and appreciation from both parents. Loving and respecting children by giving them proper boundaries and responsibilities, according to their age, and teaching them universal moral and ethical values, in a way that they can understand, support and encourage them to grow up loving and respecting themselves and others.
The end of violence requires that both parents become self-aware and heal their own emotional wounds. Then it becomes easier to develop the skills to be attuned to the needs of their children including being present and supportive consistently over a long period of time. Being attuned also means recognizing and respecting their instinctual Self-expression, preferences, and sexual orientation, and encouraging what is natural in them instead of mentally conditioning, and forcefully expecting them to become what they are not, which is violence perpetrated at home!
The template for violence is laid down in the first year of life
The experience of neglect and intrusiveness is imprinted in the subconscious mind by the way an infant is handled by their mother. The mother’s health, mental, emotional and financial circumstances directly affect her capacity to care for her children no matter how good her intentions are. An infant suffers when they’re hungry, can’t rest in peace, or lack appropriate holding. These are experienced as life threats that are imprinted into their subconscious mind as a memory that the world isn’t safe.
“When a mother isn’t safe neither are her children”
The templates for “normal” social behavior created by the parent-child relationship around safety and danger is biased towards danger. Survival instincts pay more attention to the experience of danger than safety in order to learn what to avoid. Subsequently the mind gets conditioned to look for threats, real or imagined. This means that a child’s emerging personality is constructed around being defensive using aggression against themselves, or others as default behavior to establish safety.
Eventually living defensively and resorting to violence as a way to feel safe and get your needs met becomes unconscious behavior. For instance, putting people down by humiliating comparisons, correcting people constantly, dominating, manipulating and controlling others by forceful means including abuse and criminality.
The experience of violence tends to persist unless there is a radical change in the parenting skills, or a new set of life circumstances emerge that addresses the core needs of the child that overrides past painful imprinting.
How were you raised? Where you allowed to be angry? Was your opinion respected? What were you told about people who were “different that your family? What kind of relationship were you taught to have with animals, plants, and nature as a whole?
The most important thing you can do for the world is to stop being violent against you; this includes not allowing others to be violent towards you. In the present human condition most people come out of childhood with unconscious wounds of feeling neglected and disrespected.
Once you reach adulthood it is your responsibility to find a way to heal your wounds and make sure you don’t pass them on, or continue acting them out. You can develop the necessary sensitivity and strength to stop being violently by cultivating your capacity to love you and value your needs, and then extending this attitude to everyone.
Many people fall in love with someone who eventually appears to be an incompatible companion. This is the challenge for maintaining happiness and harmony in a marriage as well as being able to reverse an eminent divorce. Human nature has a built in mechanism that makes us fall in love with the “right person” to heal emotional wounds, and actualize dormant potentials. But only when you understand why familiar misery replaces the bliss of being in love, and you understand what it takes to reclaim love as the foundation for your relationship.
Most of us have a subconscious mechanism to choose who qualifies to be an intimate partner. And like much of what the mind learned during childhood, our attraction for intimacy is based on our early interactions with our parents. The subconscious mind seeks to recreate the familiar.
People are unconsciously attracted to someone who will trigger the painful and pleasurable emotional experiences we had with our parents. The subconscious mind stores painful experiences into implicit memory: when previous experiences aid the performance of a task without conscious awareness of these previous experiences. Your brain does this because pain threatens our survival, and you need to know who and what is safe and who and what isn’t. The stronger the pain the more implicit the memory. For example, you only need to get burned by fire once.
Interactions with our caretakers where our emotional needs where not met cause a great deal of emotional pain. Core needs include being respected, appreciated, listened to, played with, helped, and held etc. Core emotional needs are not negotiable, and they don’t go away. They get hidden and they will resurface again and again until they are met.
Falling in Love
The blissful feeling of falling in love is partly the result of an unconscious perception that this new person in your life is very similar to the persons you didn’t get your needs met with. Human nature has a built-in unconscious positive expectation that this person will finally meet the needs your parents failed to satisfy. Humans naturally hope for the best.
The brain creates the neurochemistry of joy, excitement, bliss, and ecstasy- the main ingredients associated with romantic love. This neuro-chemistry of falling in love is based on the unconscious anticipation of massive emotional, sexual, and physical pleasure.
Falling in love shuts down the cognitive capacity to recognize you are moving towards a person that is very similar to the ones that failed to meet your needs in the past. This trick of nature offers us an opportunity to re-encounter the pain we have not healed, and access inner-resources we don’t know we have. And sure enough, sooner or later the honeymoon chemistry wears off and you begin to notice that the relationship feels different.
When the person of your dreams changes into someone in your nightmares it is a shift inside you,not in the other person. What you are experiencing is a shift from unconscious perception to conscious awareness. This is good news.
Your unconscious mind will only be attracted to someone similar to the ones that were not able to meet your needs.
Certainly this person being like your parents will also not be able, or willing to meet your needs, at least not unconsciously.
If you meet someone who can meet your emotional needs obviously they’re not like your parents so you wouldn’t be attracted to them. Once you heal and mature and you are capable to become what you need emotionally then you will be attracted and naturally attract someone that matches that development.
Waking up from a shared nightmare
When we don’t get some of our core emotional needs met we shut down potentials within us. The elegant wisdom of nature is that we are attracted to someone whose shut down potential is exactly what we need emotionally. In other words, you will be asking for something that you need that your partner can not give you because he/she shut it down, but if they respond to your need consciously, and vice versa, the tension between the two of you can ignite in each of you the passion and dedication to develop and grow by activating the latent potential into an actual different skill in each of you.
A typical scenario is a woman who due to her upbringing needs her romantic partner to be able to relate to her in an authentic, genuine feeling way. She was raised in a home where no one trusted each other’s emotions. Specifically she didn’t experience emotional warmth towards her, instead she was expected to carry out her female roles and look good.
She falls in love and marries a man raised in a family where feelings where not encouraged, in fact he was told repeatedly to stop crying and be strong. This man who was not encouraged to feel as a child adapted to his environment and got very good at doing things, developed his intellect, and became very logical and practical when it comes to solving problems.
This man knows he has feelings but they are not available to him. However he stretches himself and learns to feel and express himself in a way that his wife now can feel he is not just saying “I love you”, she feels he’s feeling love when he tells her. This is something the men in her family are not able to express since they are intellectuals that don’t value feelings, and also don’t value a women’s intellect. And so it is that she didn’t develop an appreciation for her intellectual capacities.
Her husband who was initially confused and irritated by his wife responding to everything emotionally, longed to be able to be with a woman who could be orderly, structured, and carry on a logical conversation. She looked at life through her emotions and he looked at life through his intellect. The wife chooses to go to university, develop her intellectual skills, and becomes an academic on her own right; discover a passion for teaching and writes books on the subject. Now they meet each other’s needs consciously and willingly.
This very simplified example demonstrates two people growing from their core level, and developing skills they didn’t think they had. Along the way to a lasting happy marriage there are many psychodynamic challenges that need to be resolved between couples, such is the labor of love. Couples can overcome obstacles to love once they understand how each limits themselves, and each develops the skills their relationship needs.
Negative self-talk in the form of self-judgments, self-criticisms, and physical or emotional self-abuse (addictions, chronic worrying etc.) that cause you to feel worthless, weak, and incapable also make you feel ashamed, guilty, and fearful. Underneath all that inner conflict there is toxic self-hatred.
These examples of inner negativity are unnatural and unhealthy. Negativity is a learned behavior. It got conditioned into the subconscious mind as core beliefs by repeatedly being treated this way, or seeing your parents treating each other this way. By the way, to deny your own negativity means you’re projecting it to others.
Being negative is part of the human experience and it needs to be transcended in order to become a whole person. A whole person functions as a unit of soul, mind and body. Your Soul is the presence in you that is Self-aware and can pay attention.
Negativity isn’t bad; it is a primitive psychological defense mechanism triggered by core emotional needs that are not being satisfied. For example the need to be cared for, appreciated, respected, included, listened to, being emotionally held etc. Normally when people are being negative they are not aware that what is triggering them are internal struggles associated with feeling safe, feeling good and feeling connected.
Negativity helps define that which is positive, and the space of neutrality between positive and negative allows for peace and the resolution of inner conflicts maintained by false beliefs about ourselves.
Being negative means internal fragmentation, contracting into smaller parts divided by walls of fear that isolate parts of you. For example when you are afraid or angry you are not aware of other parts of you that are courageous, strong, and powerful.
Being positive means expanding and becoming whole. By connecting and integrating with your non-judgmental Soul, you can include the parts that are in need of nurturing attention. For example when you experience self-love, or self-forgiveness, it is your Soul that is being loving, and has the authority to release the guilt and shame associated with unforgiveness, revenge and need for punishment.
It is healthy and appropriate to experience a heart-felt regret when you recognize and own that you have made an error that resulted in hurting you or others. It is harmful to constantly attack yourself for mistakes that have already happened.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Negativity is a mental habit aimed at maintaining identification with low levels of fear and aggression, which is part of the survival instinct in the human personality-our psychological immune system. As long as we’re being negative we’re functioning in survival mode. You see, the brain is biased towards negativity so we know and remember what threatens us, what is painful and to prevent being abandoned, or rejected. Humans need to feel connected to feel safe.
In its quest to fulfill the need to feel safe, feel good and bond with others, the brain conditions the mind to worry, or become hostile. Your brain constantly looks for real or possible problems. Over time and depending on how we were raised at home and in our culture, we form beliefs that while they help us make sense of the world and our experience, they also shape our personality.
When you accept the beliefs that you’re not good enough (that you lack value), or that you don’t have what it takes to get what you need to succeed it in the world, or that you are not deserving of love, or that the world is dangerous, you are bound to live in fear and compensate for that by being “nice” or aggressively controlling and manipulating people by demanding to get your way.
An immature personality is weak, rigid, inflexible, mechanical and reactive because it is not grounded in present time and connected to something real. It is ruled by false beliefs that automatically interpret information based on past negative events. A mature personality has healed trauma from the past, it is open, allowing, transparent, and without secret agendas of control and manipulation. It is subject to its Soul’s presence and wisdom.
Summary: The human personality is a psychological defense mechanism that originally got conditioned to react with negativity in order to protect our innocence. Personalities get activated by unconscious memories of being vulnerable, which means being open and afraid of being hurt. Children feel threatened by the pain of not having what they need. The transformation of negativity is the transformation of our personality by healing emotional wounds and developing the skills to become what we need emotionally. This transformation requires self-awareness. Awareness expands the more you develop communion with your Soul.
We live in a fast pace world where it is “normal” to be stressed by too much to do and not enough time to get it done. On top of that people are programmed to be addicted to: technology that is harmful in many ways including excessive exposure to EMF (electromagnetic radiation from computers and smart phones), superficial social media interactions that lack meaningful intimacy, consuming too much useless information and stuff.
Ignoring how your mind is affected by stress sabotages your mental health, which causes your overall well being to suffer. Most people are un-aware that in different degrees they’re mentally confused, emotionally wounded and out of touch with their Soul.
Mental health includes being capable of clear, grounded thinking, being able to feel and sense deeply into your experiences, having social skills and an appreciation for intimacy with others, and being conscious of acting in harmony with the nature of your Soul.
By Soul I mean the essence of your Being, that which is natural and authentic in you. This involves your unique way of loving and the kind of intelligence instinctive to you. In other words, your Soul is the source of the talents and skills that are effortless to you.
Mental health is as important as physical health for fundamental reasons: what happens to your mind affects your body, and what happens to your body affects your mind. A healthy mind maintains well-being in your body and your Soul.
A healthy mind enhances healing in the body when dis-ease is present. Put differently, mental health matters because an unhealthy mind contributes to dis-ease in the body, and blocks awareness and contact with your Soul. Are you in touch with your Soul?
What is mental health?
Health is a dynamic state of being that is constantly changing due to stress. Being healthy is the ability to maintain optimal harmony and balance within the different dimensions of you (body/mind/Soul), and in relation to the environment you inhabit.
Mental health is the ability:
To allow the presence of lovingness to ground you when you are stressed.
To resist harming yourself or others (except for self-defense).
To fully sense and contain your feelings and emotions in social interactions.
To be harmonious with your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.
To access your Soul’s inner guidance and resources when you’re stressed.
To think clearly in logical, rational and abstract ways.
Thinking clearly is a skill that can be learned and mastered. The essence of thinking clearly is simple: separate what is true from what is false. This requires that you rise above your emotional reactions. What is true is what is factually real and self-evident.
A large majority of the repetitive thoughts that pass through the human mind are fantasies (when they are positive) and hallucinations (when they are negative). The outcome of thinking about false thoughts is becoming ungrounded, absent, and out of touch with what matters, in real time.
Being mentally confused is a defense mechanism to avoid dealing with a difficult truth, like being afraid about something important. Denying what is true is a sign of “normal” mental dis-ease. Yes, I’m talking about lies and withholding information from yourself and others (including your deepest feelings).
An emotional wound is the experience of continued suffering as a result of a traumatic event. The younger a person is when they experience trauma the stronger the impact in their mind and Soul due to the mind identifying with the experience. Lingering emotional wounds are symptoms of poor mental health.
A traumatic emotional wound fragments the mind into parts. Some of these parts become a psychological immune system aiming to not feel the core of any hurt in order to move on. For example, denial, and self-judgments (leading to guilt, shame and worry) are psychological defenses that distract you from deeper pain.
One mind fragment that holds the memories of past pain and suffering is the wounded child. This archetype can become a self-image that drives the personality to keep experiencing hurt.
When suffering is part of your identity your mind interprets events in a way that is painful, and when an experience brings profound peace, love, joy or happiness your inner judge will find a way to sabotage it in order to maintain your “normal” subconscious identification with suffering.
Healing is a process of integrating mind and Soul fragments into a harmonious wholeness that allows the body’s natural abilities to repair itself. When a person unifies internally by accepting what has happened, finding an empowering meaning for it, and learning from the experience, an expansion of awareness takes place that empowers a person to think and act differently. For example protecting yourself from harm instead of becoming a victim of abuse. This transforms your identity from self-images to your Soul’s authentic and dynamic presence of being.
Archetypes are patterns of energy that influence your behavior, thoughts and emotional wellbeing. An archetype either focuses your power within you making your presence and will strong, serving you as an ally, or it scatters your life force by projecting your energy outside yourself, which makes you weak and vulnerable to being controlled by external forces.
Archetypes act as filters through which you perceive yourself, and your relationship to the world. These filters include the roles we play in society, the myths, and the stories that give you a sense of personal, and cultural identity. In other words, archetypes are the foundational thought forms and role models for your human identity.
To manage your power you must know yourself intimately and truthfully. What motivates you? What do you fear? How do you make decisions? What are your talents? What are your limitations? What do you value? All these aspects of you express the archetypal forces influencing your self-identity.
When your identity is based only on your personality your life revolves around survival, and you use your power primarily to handle one crisis after another. When your Soul is a conscious part of your life, you can command your archetypal energies to fulfill your destiny, and your life is a thriving adventure. To thrive is to grow, develop and prosper. Are you thriving?
There are four archetypes affecting everyone, their energy activates human survival instincts: the child, the victim, the saboteur and the prostitute. These archetypes emerge whenever there are threats, major life crisis, and challenges in general. They will influence and control you to do anything to survive.
Without the guidance of your Soul your personality uses the survival archetypes to negotiate your personal power in exchange for physical security. This is your personalities function. When you learn to command your personality these archetypes become the guardians of your integrity, and they support you to contain your power within you. Their function matures to maintain your wholeness by working in harmony with other archetypes.
Every archetype has virtues and shadows. The virtues of the survival archetypes bring about harmony and balance with other archetypes, and their shadow side becomes chaotic and destructive separating you into conflicting parts.
Virtues & shadows
The child’s virtues are innocence, imagination, playfulness, and basic trust in the goodness of life. Its shadow is being dependent on others, wanting to be taken care of. The man-child and woman-child act this shadow aspect as dependency and seeking fantasies to escape responsibility.
The victim’s virtues are self-empowerment and accountability, which are expressed as healthy Self-esteem, Self worth, and having the necessary Self-confidence to do what needs to be done. Its shadow is feeling powerless, victimized, and out of control and at the mercy of others. The victim uses blaming and complaining to manipulate others.
The prostitute’s virtues are knowing your value and expressing it as honor, integrity and Self-respect. Its shadow is selling out your value in exchange for security.
The saboteur’s virtue is making empowering choices and taking prompt action, and its shadow is Self-doubt, hesitation, and procrastination, all of which can lead to harm. This shadow disperses your power by hallucinating negative scenarios.
For example, if your survival archetype’s shadows are managing your power and you loose your job this how they would react:
The child becomes afraid, the victim gets angry (out of fear) and ask why me? The prostitute would take any job no matter what, and the saboteur would go into inactivity and confusion asking now what do I do?
When the virtues are in charge the child engages imagination with curiosity and excitement and ask: What else would I like to do? Trusting everything will work out. The victim will feel victorious knowing this will pass and I have many skills I can use. The prostitute knows “I can attract and create a new opportunity for myself”. The saboteur chooses the first great opportunity without hesitation and acts on it.
Managing your power by turning your survival archetypes into allies is a natural process. This process represents the expansion of your identity by consciously including your Soul as an integral aspect of your everyday life. Your Soul is your greater Self who assembled your unique set of archetypes for a specific set of life experiences (life lessons).
Your common sense, and Soul’s inner guidance have the authority to command your archetypes to act in harmony, and replace your personalities power struggles, but only when you decide that healing and maturing are more important than safety and comfort.
How well do you know yourself? Do you know your spiritual life lessons? Poor self-knowledge and lack of direction in life leads to mental, and emotional stress. This can culminate in chronic illness and a prolonged existential crisis. On the other hand, knowing your life purpose with clarity means actualizing your Self-confidence, inner strength, and personal power during the challenging circumstances that define your character.
Your highest potential requires humility and greatness. It becomes relevant only when you override your ego’s obsession with safety and comfort, and instead you dedicate your life to a purpose greater than personal gain. Your potential consists of Spiritual qualities that are discovered, and utilized to fulfill your life lessons.
Life lessons are personal challenges that shape your character and determine how you use power. Their resolution requires accessing new inner resources and learning the consequences of choices and actions. Life lessons are difficult experiences that accumulate pain if they are not resolved and integrated. When hurt isn’t healed your power decreases because your attention is scattered by mental and emotional negativity.
For example, harboring hatred, resentment, desire for revenge, feeling ashamed of yourself, believing you are worthless, guilty and deserving to be punished, are symptoms of negativity due to unresolved experiences needing forgiveness and self-empowerment
“In its wisdom your Soul uses suffering as a tool to expand awareness and reclaim lost power by you learning to focus your attention constructively”
Yes, painful difficulties are excellent motivators for changing and transforming your personality, which leads to healing, maturing and spiritual growth.
Persistent negative patterns in health, relationships and work point to life lessons where your suffering is a doorway to your Soul. A fulfilled life lesson strengthens your character, and expands your identity from a physically bound personality to a powerful Spiritual presence capable of small acts of greatness.
To fulfill your life lessons your Soul chooses a specific set of archetypes whose power generates a mixture of internal conflicts and cooperation. This set up motivates you to build a strong & loving character. Life lessons have to do with overcoming the limitations generated by unresolved conflicts, finding empowering meaning and purpose for adverse circumstances including: healing illnesses, recovering from accidents, forgiving those who hurt, abandoned, reject, or neglect you, and realizing that you are a valuable, lovable, and unique part of life.
Archetypes are idealized patterns of power originating from historical roles in life. They are intelligent and dynamic forms of energy shared among people’s thoughts and emotions in all human cultures. The more an archetype is embodied, by people the stronger its influence on all individuals. For example, the mother and warrior archetypes are intensely powerful by virtue of existing for thousands of years in all cultures.
Your archetypes are imprinted on you like instincts and talents. They are designs you are born with that are natural and effortless for example: the artist, the teacher, the healer, the inventor etc.
Archetypes act like internal magnets that attract you to circumstances where they have authority to organize your life. They influence how you behave in relationships, how you see the world, how you think about yourself, the fears, cravings, appetites, preferences you have, how you handle problems (or avoid them!), and why you have problems.
Knowing your archetypes gives you the capacity to understand why your life is the way it is, and the motivation to transform what isn’t working. Archetypes are the governing forces in your mind that are either unifying or fragmenting it.
Archetypes interact with each other in positive and negative ways. The warrior in you interacts with the warrior in everyone else. A negative pattern seeing through the symbol of an archetype can be understood as the shadow of one or more archetypes controlling you. For example, the addict and the saboteur archetype’s shadows working together prevent you from healing an emotional wound, while their virtues compel you to love being healthy.
Knowing and cultivating the virtues of your archetypes adds a dimension of consciousness, and Soul awareness to your life where you realize you are both: an aspect of the collective and an individual whose unique life purpose is an integral aspect of creation, your life matters!
Are you ready and willing to see life symbolically from the perspective of your Soul? Are you ready to manage your power constructively? Are you committed to uncover and fulfill your life lessons?
Knowing your archetypes makes it easier to become authentic instead of being controlled by invisible external forces. Archetypal knowledge includes your character’s strengths and weaknesses, and the type of relationship your Mind, Body and Soul are having.
Archetypes are universal patterns of power originating from the different roles and experiences in human life. These patterns exist in the collective unconscious of humanity. Archetypes connect us all the time, and are constantly being energized by human behavior.
There are four basic archetypes present in everyone: the victim, the child, the prostitute and the saboteur. There are many other archetypes such as the mother, the warrior, the queen, the entrepreneur, the hacker, the vampire, the healer etc. These are added to make up a set of archetypes specific to each person.
Archetypes influence and control the choices you make. They drive your behavior consciously, and unconsciously. The fundamental value of knowing your unique set of archetypes is being capable to master utilizing the energy contained within them. Each archetype has a “passion/dark aspect” and a “virtue/positive aspect”.
For example, the saboteur has the energy of destruction as its shadow, and the virtue of rebirth and rebuilding. When the saboteur rules you it forces you to betray yourself generating inner chaos and suffering. On the other hand, when you use the power it contains, you can channel this energy for demolishing areas of your life that need to break down. For instance all kinds of harmful addictive behaviors can be healed and new behaviors can be integrated into your life by the virtue of the saboteur.
“Your unique set of archetypes reflects the theme and life lessons your Soul has chosen to experience”
The virtues of your different archetypes work together to create a harmonious inner life. Their passions are the source of inner conflicts in your personality. If you are sincere about understanding and healing your past, and evolving out of negative patterns, then knowing your archetypes is essential.
While your ego takes every experience literally, your archetypes are a means to perceive life events and circumstances symbolically, from the perspective of your Soul. This allows you to shift and expand your point of view to see other perspectives, like how advertisement, entertainment, news corporations, religious organizations, and government policies are influencing your opinion and behavior.
Being ignorant of your archetypes, specially the negative forces of the four basic archetypes, leaves you vulnerable to harmful domination from external authorities. In other words, when you don’t know how archetypal forces are influencing you energetically, moment to moment, then you can’t understand why and how when passions rule your life, your power gets scattered in many directions making your character weak, and your body ill.
The more people, including you, master the virtues of their archetypes, the more order and harmony can be actualized in the world. This is important to understand so you can acknowledge the importance of how you live your life because it affects the world.
Is your life primarily a life of virtues or shadow behavior?
Do you like yourself? Are you kind and loving towards you? Do you forgive yourself easily? Are your interests changing over time? Is your life exciting and fulfilling? All of these questions point to the level of presence your Soul has in your life. The greater the presence of your soul the more authentic fulfilled, and free you are.
The human personality can be a dynamic exuberant vehicle for Self-expression, or as I see it Soul-expression, or it can be a series of repetitive predictable reactions acting out an outdated self-concept.
Everyone develops a self-concept during childhood. It consists of ideas in your mind that reflects the beliefs you take to be true about you. Everyone’s self-concept is mostly a reflection of the reactions of others towards to you. In other words, your personality starts out as a collection of memories of how you were treated. Out of these interactions your mind constructs an identity.
It is fair to say that the vast majority of people, including you, experience some form of abuse and neglect when we are most vulnerable and dependent on others to take care of our needs. These situations leave an unconscious impression in your Soul, a residue of hurt, fear and anger that gets incorporated as part of your self-concept.
Every child in a family is affected differently by how they are treated because everyone is unique, and because each parent has their own particular reaction to each child. My brother remembers how loving my father was to him, I remember how nervous and frustrated I was because he consistently pointed out what I did wrong, or not good enough. We had the same father and came out with different beliefs about ourselves.
The way we are treated becomes a story and many times our story is filled with our parents unfulfilled needs, wounds, dreams and desires. My mother pretended to be a catholic while she meditated and studied eastern mysticism and philosophy, two interest that I adopted faithfully, she also didn’t want to have many children, even thou my father insisted she had five of us. My brother and I have no children and my three sisters have only one each.
The point I’m making is this: the personality your mind created in childhood contains beliefs that have false assumptions about you and the world. The real world is not a concept and neither are you! A mature and well-functioning personality is influenced by new experiences, positive and negative, and like the human brain, it is capable to adapt and change.
When your Soul is guiding you what other people think about you is not as important as trusting your desires and taking risks, and acting accordingly. If, on the other hand, there are persistent negative patterns in health, relationships and work, this is a sign that your personality has become a prison to your Soul.
Liberating your Soul is simple, powerful and takes super efforts. Start by examining your beliefs and challenge every limitation that offers you safety at the expense of being authentic. If you suffered abuse get help to penetrate your unconscious defenses, the negative patterns that keep you from being yourself. I recommend experiencing a close relationship with a professional who cares for your wellbeing and will not react to how you are.
You area Soul and you have an ego. Your ego and your Soul have a partnership. Your ego’s agenda is survival, and your Soul’s intention is to gain wisdom from the human experience.
Your Soul desires the experience of individuality and physicalness to be “real” even thou the Soul is ethereal. Your Soul relies on your ego’s tenacity to stay alive at all cost. Without an ego a Soul wouldn’t fear pain and death. A Soul needs ego to fulfill its intentions of experiencing limitation and suffering and come out of it more benevolent because of it.
The ego perceives everything to be separate. It sees only the external forms and takes everything literally. To the ego danger is dangerous because it feels and looks “real”. To overcome this instinct courage and bravery must be valued more than safety and comfort. The Soul inspires ego to become greater.
Your Soul knows everything alive is a unique expression of one unchanging essence: consciousness/ Spirit. Your Soul sees past the appearance of things and events. It understands their essence and interprets life symbolically. For your Soul life is a metaphor. This allows for multiple points of view with multiple solutions to similar and different challenges. This is an efficient way to gain wisdom from ALL experiences.
By interpreting everything literally your ego is bound to experience fear because of its continuous sense of separation. The ego has needs that are not negotiable, they must be satisfied or else it remains in a state of reactivity. When ego experiences itself separate from what it needs it becomes fearful, and it interpret this as a dangerous situation that activate the need for safety.
It is your Soul that longs for intimate connection with everything, and who desires to be creative, this is its nature. In childhood this is expressed as a passionate curiosity to discover life by devouring experiences through all of the physical senses. In adulthood intimacy is a longing for love, and creativity is served by finding solutions to challenges, and using imagination to invent.
Love is a state of being where there are no separations. What love loves it connects to. Love penetrates through every mental and emotional boundary of fear the ego builds to protect its fragile sense of self.
You are an aware Ego
When the brain reaches to the stage of cognitive development the ego becomes capable of having abstract thoughts such as thinking about thinking, and Self-reflection, this generates your personal identity. Prior to this mile stone of development the ego is driven by unconscious instincts and biological drives such as the need to satisfy hunger and sexual drives.
The capacities to be aware and present are qualities of your Soul. Being aware of your thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions means you are not identified with these changing experiences, they are contained inside of you.
The stage of development of the aware ego allows for conscious choice. This is the most significant and powerful attribute that authentically defines you. You are the choice maker that can be influenced by the wisdom of your soul, or be controlled by the unconscious survival instincts of your ego. Who are you choosing to be?
It is confusing to be a man in the modern world. On one hand the masculine and feminine roles are changing, for example, men are required to be more sensitive and women are empowering themselves to be strong leaders in positions of authority. On the other hand both men and women acquire adult responsibilities without sufficient psychological maturity to handle them with competence.
Today being a man requires a strong masculine presence with access to a developed inner feminine nature. We must be capable to feel deeply, listen attentively, and be willing to communicate in a meaningful and clear way. You must demonstrate being responsible if you are to earn a woman’s trust.
A man-child is someone whose masculinity is compromised and underdeveloped by immature traits. The masculine essence in men and women is characterized by taking initiative, completing tasks, being an effective leader that makes decisions when there is chaos and confusion; embodying a steady determination to overcome challenges, having a commanding authority that is respectful, and inspires obedience. Masculinity embodies a compelling vision with a clear direction in life.
In male-female relationships a masculine man becomes courageous when he is afraid. He focuses his attention on solutions, and chooses a course of action without hesitation, he trusts himself. He listens and guides, he protects and provides, he cares and engages his woman when she is stressed, and holds her with his presence. He is a generous lover whose pleasure comes from connecting deeply to her and satisfying her. He knows when to be passionate and when to be tender, he loves to love her!
A masculine man is patient, considerate, and has the imagination and resources needed to expand, and steady his attention when she is having a volcanic emotional explosion. He doesn’t take her changing moods personally. Instead he sees past emotional outbursts and values and appreciates her needs, and he makes them his business to tend to them.
A man-child wants to be taken care off. He becomes a wimp and withdraws or acts like a tyrant jerk when she is emotional. He becomes insecure when he is pressured; he rejects commitment and seeks freedom instead, he acts irresponsibly by procrastinating. He turns to her for comfort and direction when he is confused, he lacks self-confidence.
What to do?
If you have the guts to own your immaturity and do something about it here is what I recommend: Stop complaining and finding excuses. Dig into your core and deal with how you were rejected or abandoned, controlled and manipulated, punished and shamed for being yourself. Find out why you get overwhelmed by responsibility. You will likely discover that your childhood role model for authority was weak or tyrannical and resulted in you feeling powerless. “Dealing” with core wounds is a process of emotional integration and dis-identification from childhood self-images. Get help! Doing this on your own is like being lost and refusing to ask for directions, not very efficient.
The nature of your Soul is expansion and freedom. Your Soul thrives when it exists in a dynamic state of becoming. The freedom to be inherent in your Soul compels it to be curious, creative, and ingenious in its use of imagination. You lived this way when you were young and because of it you were ecstatic with joy and vibrant with aliveness.
You can recapture the passion for living you knew when you were young. It requires two fundamental attitudes: first that you master staying present in real time, and second that you open your mind to new possibilities and a greater identity.
The function of all personalities is vigilance: to constantly watch for danger and difficulties. Everyone develops a personality; your brain is genetically programmed to do so in order to “get what you need”.
Your personality becomes a prison to your Soul when it assumes the role of your identity. The personality’s concerns are safety, feeling good and being attached to someone. These are necessary to survive and overcome challenges when you are dependent on others, and it makes your life revolve around your needs. This is a small life…
If your parents did a good enough job they instill in you a sense of being loved and valuable. This foundation supports you in becoming responsible and confident that you can take care of your needs, and that you have a unique gift to offer the world. And if you got anything else it is time to stop wishing your childhood were different, and instead mature the parts of you that got neglected.
When your personality functioning is good enough it allows for an expansion of perception that now includes self-reflection that leads to Self-Awareness. This is a natural capacity to observe, think about thinking, and to be aware of how you feel.
Subjectivity gives you the power to make rational decisions based on information gathered in present moment. This replaces the personality’s limitation of making choices based on how you feel, and through unconscious memories.
A well functioning personality knows the ultimate source of love, happiness, and guidance is within. It has access to common sense and the qualities of being that can handle the challenges of life, many of which are unexpected and you can’t prepare for!
When you remain identified with your personality its priorities of survival become a tendency to minimize taking risks. This gets increasingly strong as you get older. The need for safety compels the personality to create and re-create the familiar to the point that every aspect of your behavior becomes a mindless habit driven by the same thoughts generating the same feelings. This is normal and unhealthy.
What is your relation to uncertainty? How comfortable are you with new radical ideas? How often to you take risks and re-invent yourself? How important is it for you to live a life of contribution that is not an ex-change? How much joy and inner peace do you experience on a daily basis? If you die today, would you leave this world fulfilled or regretful?
Believing that you are not good enough, or that you’re worthless, or that you are nothing, means believing that you lack value and self-confidence. The good news is that your value doesn’t change by what you think about you, only your experience of your values does. So, how about changing your mind?
Page 2 of 2
“What is most valuable in you is the fact that you are alive ” Own it!
Your mind thinks about what you believe whether it is true or false. Lack of value comes from obsessing with false negative thoughts that generate guilt; shame; humiliation; doubt; indecision; worry, and other disempowered, yet familiar emotional states. Mental repetition trains your brain to make your thoughts feel “real” in your subconscious mind.
Negative thinking is an addiction driven by identifying with a self-image that generates intense feelings of inadequacy: the inability to deal with a situation, or with life itself. The feelings of “I can’t”, or “is impossible” are examples of what a negative self-image produces in response to challenging situations.
All of your self-images come from memorized interactions with people that were symbols of authority in your childhood. Your sense of being valuable was greatly influenced by your relationship to authorities that approved and disapproved of you, confusing isn’t it?
Negative thoughts that create feelings of inadequacy merge into beliefs that give meaning to how you were treated. No one is born worthless, but if you were disrespected, abused and neglected early on, it is logical to unconsciously assume that you are worthless. Your mind has to make sense of your experiences. Once your mind accepts a negative belief as part of your identity, you end up treating yourself in the same way the beliefs came about. Are you aware of your negative self-talk? Listen in and hear the same phrases your parents used when talking to you.
Children are taught that their value comes from how well they perform, but only as along as others in a position of authority approve. This external and distorted way to measure value applies only to your personality self-images. Your Soul experiences value by expressing itself creatively and lovingly. This is not limited to artistic self-expression. Creativity IS finding and implementing solutions (Soul-use) to everyday challenges and life altering events.
Value and the father Symbol
The language of the human Soul are symbols, and so it is that father/masculinity represents the world outside the home while mother/femininity represent life at home. Father is a symbol of value, which translates as having Self-confidence to succeed in the world.
Mother is a symbol of love that represents safety in the sense that mother cares for your needs. Safety is a complex concept that applies to fulfilling a constellation of needs, which when done lovingly generates the feeling of being safe.
Every individual has a male-female polarity within them independent of their gender and sexual orientation. Now days there are many masculine roles that women do as well as many feminine roles men that men do. So, do not confuse your gender or sexual orientation with the “symbols” that represent value. Your value is fundamental and independent of these other attributes.
Out in the world you demonstrate your value and confidence by engaging in different roles with competence. This requires mastering skills through discipline, practice, and determination. Whoever carries the masculine role at home represents authority (author-creator), which demands and sets the standards for excellence, meaning doing your best. Traditionally this is father’s role.
Feeling inadequate as an adult means you are insecure, don’t trust yourself, and you doubt your abilities. This is an experience YOU are producing IN YOUR MIND by agreeing with an inner negative voice that controls you with threats and cruel, shaming criticisms, and devaluating comparisons. Can you see any of these habits in you?
Reclaiming your value, sense of worth and self-esteem requires that you interrupt your own self-judgments, and threats. Feeling inadequate is feeling afraid to be yourself. You can grow out of this limitation, and it requires that you stop controlling yourself in order to avoid failing, and being punished. People learn from making mistakes, so make your mistakes and learn from them! This is how you nurture your value and your character.
Learn to acknowledge yourself and give up the need for approval and confirmation from others; you are not a child anymore! Lastly, to be confident requires that you be unified internally by cultivating a deep sense of love and appreciation for all aspects of you. Rather than letting your mind be your inner authority, choose to trust your common sense and the inner guidance of your Soul. These emerge as intuition and subtle whispers from within. True authority enforces the law & justice with respect, which is a way to honor the value of every individual. Respect your Soul by allowing it to be your loving and reliable inner authority.
You are a stranger to yourself when you can’t tell the difference between your ego, its shadow, and your Soul. Are you aware of inner conflicts? Do you notice when you behave in ways that aren’t loving? For instance, ignoring your core emotional and physical needs, or sabotaging your intentions are symptoms of your shadow being in control of you.
Page 2 of 2
When are you in touch with your Soul?
Knowing and understanding yourself is crucial for all aspects of human life, from interpersonal relationships, to healing, to fulfilling your destiny. Your self-identity determines how you treat yourself. When you react unconsciously you are being your ego, and when you respond mindfully to life’s ever-changing circumstances you are being your Soul. A Soulful response is effective, appropriate, and authentic, while an ego reaction is mechanical, and always self-serving.
One consequence of not knowing yourself includes undervaluing or overvaluing who you are. This results in becoming stubbornly arrogant, or miserably insecure. Being controlling, proud, and avoiding humility and vulnerability act out overconfidence. Being insecure empowers other people’s opinion of you to influence your choices, sometimes to the point that you end up believing you don’t know what you prefer, or what you are capable of achieving.
Your ego experiences mental confusion because of its positive and negative self-images. It exists in a constant flow of emotional states that continually trigger the fight or flight instinct. Your ego is active whenever you are defensive.
Your Soul is the intelligence inherent in every quality of being that is experienced as an inner expansion of awareness and presence, as well as the suffering experienced when there is a deep longing for self-expression that isn’t realized.
There is a critical distinction between the emotional pain stored in your shadow and the existential suffering of your Soul. Your ego’s shadow is illuminated and its pain is healed by coming to terms with your past. Your Soul is liberated when you fulfill your destiny, which means you transcend your ego’s self-centeredness by focusing on serving others with the gifts that are natural to you.
Not knowing your ego’s shadow results in relating to parts of you as if they were intruders that don’t belong. Many who identify with being good and loving deny their anger and self-hatred. Those who avoid conflicts and confrontations fail to realize that they act like cowards because they don’t know their own courage, strength and power.
What negative patterns can you see in your life? Underneath any pattern of behavior are core beliefs that limit your perception to only what you already believe. To stop being a stranger to yourself examine your beliefs by questioning the built in assumptions your mind takes to be true, and invest in your mental health!
Written by Osiris Montenegro
Are you a stranger to yourself?
You are a stranger to yourself when you can’t tell the difference between your ego, its shadow, and your Soul. Are you aware of inner conflicts? Do you notice when you behave in ways that aren’t loving? For instance, ignoring your core emotional and physical needs, or sabotaging your intentions are symptoms of your shadow being in control of you.
When are you in touch with your Soul?
Knowing and understanding yourself is crucial for all aspects of human life, from interpersonal relationships, to healing, to fulfilling your destiny. Your self-identity determines how you treat yourself. When you react unconsciously you are being your ego, and when you respond mindfully you are being your Soul. A Soulful response is effective, appropriate, and authentic, while an ego reaction is mechanical, and always self-serving.
Your ego experiences mental confusion because its positive and negative self-images have very different agendas. Your ego exists in a soup of emotional states that continually trigger the fight or flight instinct. Your ego is active whenever you are defensive. Can you tell when you become defensive?
Your Soul is the intelligence inherent in every quality of being that you experience: love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, joy, happiness, strength, courage, confidence, integrity, honor and many others.
You are being your Soul whenever an inner expansion of awareness and presence emerges, as well as when you suffer existentially due to a deep longing for self-expression that isn’t realized.
There is a critical distinction between the emotional pain stored in your shadow and the existential suffering of your Soul:
Your ego’s shadow is illuminated and its pain is healed by coming to terms with your past, this is psychological work.
Your Soul is liberated from darkness when you fulfill your destiny, which means you transcend your ego’s self-centeredness by focusing on serving others with the gifts that are natural to you. This is spiritual maturation.
Not knowing your ego’s shadow results in relating to parts of you as if they were intruders that don’t belong. Many who identify with being good and loving deny their anger and self-hatred. Those who avoid conflicts and confrontations fail to realize that they act like cowards because they don’t know their own courage, strength and power.
What negative patterns can you see in your life? Underneath any pattern of behavior are core beliefs that limit your perception to only what you already believe.
To stop being a stranger to yourself examine your beliefs by questioning the built in assumptions your mind takes to be true, get to know your Soul by reclaiming your innocence and naturalness, and invest in your mental health!
Safety is the primary concern for your body and mind. The need to feel safe unconsciously consumes people’s attention all day long. Yet, most of us are unaware that the vast majority of the time we spend being afraid we are actually safe…
Page 2 of 2
There are two aspects to safety; the physical and the psychological. Both have to do with how parts of our brain function. The need for physical safety is the concern of the oldest part of our brain, the reptilian brain, which controls our physiology, and is tuned to the environment around us. The reptilian brain gets active when we perceive a predator, or when we experience an adverse circumstance that threatens our physical comfort.
For many of us our caregivers acted in less than loving ways that imprinted in our mind a sense of danger that got associated with relating to people. This imprint is a lack of basic trust in life and who we are as individuals.
The need for physical safety is not negotiable. As long as we don’t feel physically safe our lower brain will insist in controlling our behavior to ensure we overcome the perceived threat. The need for physical safety will trigger the need for psychological safety due to the mind/body interrelationship.
The need for safety is acted out as being aggressive or submissive, becoming a pleaser, helper, including acting like a coward who avoids conflicts and confrontations.
Psychological safety is the concern of the “primate brain”, the newest addition to our evolving brain, and it manifest as the need to “attach to others”, which starts out as an inseparable physical need to be fed and cared for by our mother. As we grow up this need becomes more sophisticated and it transforms into the need to feel connected, and belong in relationships. This includes belonging to a group, traditionally a culture.
Psychological safety is “a real concern” depending on your identity. If you believe yourself to be only an ego with a personality that has a body, then the self-images that make up your personality are always vulnerable to people rejecting you, or approving of you. As a personality you can never completely relax and feel safe because your sense of self is depending on how others relate to you.
The fear of rejection is a deep imprint all humans share, and it comes from very early childhood when our physical needs and psychological needs were not met adequately.
The core psychological needs in infancy are to have enough loving, sensitive; and appropriate nurturing contact and connection to mother, or to a mothering person who is attuned to us. Emerging from infancy we need the mothering person to play and interact with us in a way that makes us know everything is ok. We also need both of our parents to confirm our value by praising us and acknowledging us as individuals.
In the firs seven to nine years of life our subconscious mind records every experience we have and classifies it as safe or threatening base on how it feels. If it hurts, it is a threat. Not being cared for adequately, not being seen, not being allowed to have spontaneous self-expression are experience by infants and children as a form of abandonment that is unconsciously interpreted as a painful rejection of who we are.
This is what is “normal”, besides this mild trauma to our sense of self there is physical, verbal and sexual abuse that compounds the sense of being abandoned and rejected that causes people to feel psychologically threatened most of the time.
The memory of any unconscious experience of rejection of our core physical and emotional needs is an imprint in your Soul that holds the toxic belief that you are not good enough, meaning you lack value, which makes you feel worthless and insecure, and therefore psychologically not safe.
The need for psychological safety dissolves when you realize that your ego and its personality are functional aspects of you, not who you are. In other words, you have a mind, you are not a mind. You are psychologically safe when you learn to recognize the presence of your Being, your Soul.
You can mature beyond your childhood self-images and begin to develop awareness of your Soul by cultivating the capacity to be present. This means cultivating the skill of observing your mind and noticing how you feel.
The fear of being hurt comes from identifying with repetitive negative thoughts and emotions that insist you are in a never-ending conflict. When your mind accepts this situation as your reality it will attract relationships that prove it, and it will resist leaving those relationships because suffering has become part of your identity.
Observing, paying attention, and knowing through sensing into your experience are Soul qualities everyone can develop. Depending on the degree of emotional wounding you have experienced this may require the help of a counselor. Self-awareness is Soul awareness, which expands with any practice of meditation and an attitude of reflection and curiosity about your inner experiences.
Summary: Physical safety can be discerned and established by your common sense, but only when you overcome the need for psychological safety, which belongs to an identity constructed during childhood based on needing people’s approval and love. This type of safety isn’t needed when you become your own source of love and value.
Most of the time, about 93-95% of the time, your brain functions unconsciously meaning, it is executing all kinds of physiological processes in the body, and it is performing everything that you have learned to do without you needing to pay attention. This is an efficient way to live life unless you also learned to unconsciously find ways to feel afraid, ashamed, insecure, angry, depressed, sad, and other negative emotions regularly. Negative emotions create headaches; stomach pain, tension, and contribute to all sorts of chronic illness.
Page 2 of 2
What turns on your brain’s ability to focus attention and act consciously, when there are no threats, is pleasure. The brain wants more of any reward that it can have. The brain does not want to “be”, its basic design is to be doing, and it wants to do as much as possible to get as much pleasure as possible. The brain wants to accumulate as much happiness, wisdom, health and wealth as it can. Feeling good is your brain’s fundamental motivation for action, when it is functioning in a healthy state. It is unnatural to spend a considerable amount of time engaged in daily stressful emotional reactions.
Scientific data demonstrates that wealth is a good predictor of happiness, which feels good! The more abundance you enjoy the happier you become. Your brain is wired to make use of wealth because it is pleasurable, and one way to have more wealth is to spend a lot of time thinking about how to get it. Thinkingness is one kind of brain activity that generates your ego identity. Your ego is what most people recognize as “me” and “my mind”. Ego is nothing more, and nothing less, than your animal nature that is capable of reasoning, logic, and very intense emotional outburst.
The pursuit of pleasure can become an addiction that prevents a person from evolving, and maturing beyond the lower brain functions of survival, which makes us all be selfish, greedy, self-centered, competitive and territorial. Every one has the potential for greater self-awareness whose interest includes the well-being of others. This attitude of service and caring for others becomes its own reward, and points to psychological maturity and spiritual evolution. Nurturing a spiritual attitude that values inner peace, serenity, tranquility, compassion and forgiveness develops the higher brain functions that your brain is capable off. These states ofbeing are “pleasurable” yet they counter-act the ego’s mental activity going on all the time.
Safety or pleasure?
The reason your ego is so busy thinking all the time has to do with the biological fact that your brain operates according to the pain & pleasure principle: Move towards what is pleasurable, and away from what is painful. Every cell in your body behaves this way. Your ego can distort this healthy mechanism by associating what is harmful with pleasure, for example drugs and alcohol. It can also associate what is pleasurable with danger, and hurt, for instance being afraid to love or be loved because people close to you hurt you in the past.
Indeed physical and psychological trauma causes fear of pain, which in turn develop attitudes of mistrust, apprehension, indecision, self-doubt, and an obsessive concern with being careful in order to be safe. The need for safety can also be acted out by demanding to be in charge all the time, being controlling and dominating others, or being submissive and cowardly. These negative habits are primitive psychological defense mechanisms that are carrying out your brain’s primary goal: to avoid threats and danger to its survival. Your brain is constantly scanning the environment looking for danger. This vigilant attitude can easily become a hostile attitude due to the brain’s tendency to associate the present with pain from the past.
Why do people spend so much time in worry, fear and doubt? Because every negative experience is memorized and deeply embedded into the learning centers of the brain where it gets classified as dangerous, and to be avoided. These negative mental states aim at keeping you safe by maintaining a low level anxiety that keeps you subconsciously alert. Positive experiences are not a threat to your survival so they are not considered as important to pay attention to. In fact, pleasurable experiences are dismissed as fast as they happen. Therefore, your brain will chose safety over pleasure always, unless you learn to override your self-preservation instincts.
Nurturing the choice to feel good
The better you feel the more efficient you are when you are doing something, and the more empowering thoughts you can tune in to. The challenge you must overcome to feel good, at will, are your negative self-images. Your ego identity, the way you see yourself, determines the way in which you react, or respond, to life situations, and whether or not you can enjoy what is good, and relax when there is nothing to do.
Transforming your negative self-images is a process that requires learning, developing and mastering the skill of self-awareness. I recommend getting help from a professional if you know you have an unstable self esteem, or low self-worth, or a bad temperament, or you suffer from self-doubt and indecision. In the meantime what you can do is notice everything that feels good, and just as you do with what feels bad, spend time reflecting on it, savoring the moment, and prolonging it so that your brain gets conditioned to pay attention to it! For example, eat slowly and really taste your food, take in compliments, appreciate, appreciate, and appreciate more everything that is good, practice gratitude first thing as you wake up. Train yourself to focus on positive things that already exist in your life instead of starting your day worrying, and stressing with what needs to be done. Learn to relax, and learn to notice when you become stressed and pause, breath, and breathe some more until you feel your whole body get softer and your mind getting calmer. Caress your face and body, smile for no reason.
When you make a commitment to nurture feeling good you really notice when you feel bad, and instead of mindlessly getting stuck in a negative mood take charge of your mind, and choose where to focus your attention. This is possible and with practice it becomes easier and easier until it is natural, just like it was when you were a child.
If you know you are insecure it may sound contrary to reason to ask why be insecure because the question implies that you have a choice. When you understand the source of insecurity you realize that you can overcome it.
Page 2 of 2
Insecurity is a “normal” stage of development during adolescence. It can also be the result of mental, emotional and physical trauma. Humans have a natural childhood sense of confidence; we know what we want, and we move towards it with determination. In childhood we have a sense that we are valuable, but we need confirmation and if we don’t get enough of it we end up doubting if we are “good enough”.
In case you are wondering if you are insecure here are a few pointers: are you afraid often? When you need to make a decision, do you hesitate? Do you change your mind a lot? Do you worry about most things? Do you doubt in excess? Do you fear conflict or confrontations? Are you afraid to speak in public? Do you live in agony wondering what people might be thinking about you? Answering yes to any of these questions indicates that you suffer from insecurity.
Insecurity means having uncertainty and anxiety about yourself. This powerless state of being is triggered by the perception of being vulnerable to a threat, or a danger while lacking adequate protection. Being insecure is an uncomfortable experience, which is a mental counter part of your body’s self-preservation instinct. The sad and tragic thing is, the self that you fear preserving isn’t real; it is consist of mental self-images of you!
Insecurity is a symptom of a lack of self-confidence, which is not something that you can get or add to who you already are. Confidence is a knowing feeling that you can relay on someone or something. It is a certainty about the truth of something and it is inseparable from trust. To have self-confidence is to be confident, and having trust in the essence of who you are.
Adults who are insecure are usually confident in some areas of their lives. This demonstrates that insecurity isn’t a representation of their being. Instead insecurity is a symptom that a part of the Self is stuck and underdeveloped. People get stuck in experiences they don’t understand, or don’t know how to resolve, and the stuckness results in unconsciously identifying with a repeating pattern of experiences that bring up fear and hurt.
During the teenage period of development when the body is changing, and the hormones are exploding, the sense of self is extremely fragile. We need external validation from other insecure peers, and from adults who more often than not fail to see our true essence. On top of that our original sense of self, our ego identity, develops by separating psychologically from our parents. In other words, our ego sense of self develops by rejecting who we are not, instead of recognizing who we already are.
To realize our true authentic self we need feedback, we need someone to see and relate to who we are in a benevolent way. We need some form of authority to confirm our value and encourage us to be ourselves. This is rare.
To overcome insecurity is necessary to understand that chronic insecurity has become part of your ego identity, which is a mental structure maintained by your core beliefs. Your beliefs are the source of your negative self-images. These self-images are activated by negative self-talk that maintain an unconscious emotional atmosphere of nervousness and anxiety, the normal state of your ego.
After learning to be aware of your negative self-talk you need to challenge the assumptions inherent in your inner conversation. Insecurity is maintained by an obsession with negative outcomes, which feel “true”. You must rise above how you feel to the level of reason, and change your point of view. This is done effortlessly when you master the new habit of asking empowering questions, like is this true? Or how can I see this differently? Or what is my best solution to this challenge? Etc.
Summary: insecurity is the result of negative self-images that make up the shadow side of your personality. Your shadow contains emotional wounds that have not healed, and have become part of your unconscious ego identity. Your personality, the mask your ego wears to protect itself, can be transformed by uncovering and challenging the core beliefs that make you feel powerless.
You are an intelligent benevolent sentient being that has a mind and a body. Unless you master paying attention to your thoughts, and interrupt the negative ones, it is likely that your happiness is a fleeting experience only every now and then.
Page 2 of 2
Happiness is a state of Being, and like all other states of being it is directly influenced by your positive and negative states of mind. When your mind is engaged in negative thoughts, conscious or unconscious, you may “think” you are happy while in actuality you are miserable inside.
How often do you feel happy? How long does your happiness last? How profound is your happiness? All states of being are dynamic and they change constantly. Happiness is no exception. It ranges from intense, passionate euphoria and excitement, to tranquil contentment and relaxed satisfaction. The wonder-full thing about happiness is that it uses an open mind to access all kinds of new possibilities.
Happiness co-exists with curiosity. In fact, happiness only arises when your mind is open. This means there is an element of uncertainty in your experience when you are happy. The reason children tend to be happy is that they have not learned to worry, and they are naturally curious and present to what is happening in the moment. Being present in the moment is the key to accessing all ever-present states of being, including happiness.
Imagine yourself as a tall inverted pyramid, the wide base is on top and the end point is at the bottom submerged into the earth. States of being represent different levels up and down the pyramid, each containing different degrees of space, more space on top less space in the bottom. The bigger the space the better you feel. Down in the lower levels beneath the ground are greater degrees of misery due to very little inner space.
In the above metaphor your mind functions as an elevator. The quality of thoughts you pay attention to delivers you to upper or lower levels. Positive thoughts elevate you to upper levels with a clear view of the world outside, and a pleasurable inner experience. Fear based thoughts that trigger aggression takes you into the basement where it is dark with increasingly less self-awareness. In the basement you mistake other parts of you already in the basement as threatening enemies that you have to fight. The part of the pyramid above ground represents being conscious; the more conscious you are the less you think, and the more you pay attention! The part beneath the ground represents unconsciousness where the mind is thinking obsessively, and it is fragmented into conflicting parts.
“You can’t be truly happy unless you are internally at peace with your self”
When you live your life identified with your mind you are engaged in thinking all the time, and natural states of being are edited out of your awareness. The mind is conditioned to worry and look for possible problems as it plans ahead. The mind’s constant planning is influenced by your attitudes and beliefs about you and life in general. A person suffering form self-doubt tends to engage their imagination negatively. They worry about all kinds of possible worse case scenarios to the point that they create an emotional atmosphere of nervous anxiety. The mind uses strong feelings to validate its own thinking.
Have you noticed how you “know” something is true because “it feels true”? Well, whatever you focus your attention on, if you do it long enough, and often enough, develops neural pathways in your brain that get your nervous system very efficient at generating the feelings, and the emotions corresponding to your habitual thoughts.
Greater happiness requires having greater awareness to choose thoughts that make you feel well. To make more of these intelligent choices it is necessary to eliminate false limiting beliefs you have about you and the world. This happens when you learn to open your mind to new powerful ideas and you consciously release negative self-images. How you see yourself influences how you think.
Summary: you think about what you already believe. Limiting false beliefs generate negative conflicting thoughts that distract you from being aware of the choice to be happy. Want more happiness? Focus on possibilities by engaging your imagination constructively, and focus on solutions to challenges, and act on them!
In life you need mental discipline, burning passion and heart centered devotion to maintain focused attention and be in charge of your mind. On its own the human mind is prone to distraction and resisting responsible action. The absence of discipline, passion and devotion are signs that your mind is directing itself based on childhood conditioning, and it is taking you hostage!
Page 2 of 2
Without passion life becomes monotonous and meaningless, and work and relationships become predictable. Mental, emotional, and physical health, are enhanced when you participate passionately in whatever it is you are doing. I’m referring to passion as an intense desire accompanied by enthusiasm.
Being passionate engages a quality of presence characterized by excitement, intimacy with the objects of passion, spontaneity, flow and authenticity. Passion’s way of focusing attention feels good, and when you feel good you are inspired to act. In other words, passion’s juicy, exuberant vitality is an embodiment of conscious action. Passion doesn’t need discipline it is self-motivated. Whatever you are passionate about you enjoy doing. What are you passionate about? How often do you engage in this? Do you believe your mind telling you that don’t have passion for anything?
When your mind gets stuck in negative thinking, your attention to negativity replaces the pleasant experience of passion with a subtle familiar feeling of un-easiness and inertia.
Whether it is procrastination, or addictions to worrying, or violence, or being late, or the need for entertainment, the result is the same. Your busy mind is keeping you from being fully present and engaged in what you enjoy doing.
You can train yourself to pay attention, and choose what to pay attention to. This is what I call minding your mind. To successfully mind your mind requires that you choose to be passionate about paying attention and taking action on what excites you.
Discipline is a virtue you can cultivate and it becomes natural. Most of us have an ambiguous relationship to discipline because our initial experience of discipline consisted in being trained to obey rules with the consequence of punishment for disobedience.
Many of us end up associating discipline with loosing freedom. This distortion brings up a rebellious attitude against discipline that has the detrimental effect of convincing us to settle for mediocrity. Being mediocre undermines the drive to pursue an attitude of excellence where you consistently strive to do your best.
A lack of discipline leads to a lack of passion. If you lack consistent discipline this is a sign that you probably have negative self-images and conflicting beliefs that result in self-sabotage. This is normal and unhealthy.
To claim your ability to be disciplined identify your core values and refer to them when making choices for how you are going to behave. For example, when excellence is a top value you will not allow yourself to procrastinate. If you suffer from procrastination there is a reason for this behavior.
For many of us fear of failure is what prevents us from taking action. Originally this may have been caused by being punished, critised, or shamed for not meeting other’s people’s expectations.
In what areas of your life are you disciplined? Where do you settle for mediocrity?
The difference between discipline, passion and devotion is that when you have devotion you are so passionately engaged that you don’t need discipline!
Devotion is a quality of being that embodies love, loyalty and enthusiasm, which means to be filled with spirit. It is a synthesis of discipline and passion that truly engages your whole being.
Devotion is different from passion, it involves sacrifice. By sacrifice I mean giving up something valuable, such as self-interest, in exchange for something else that is also valuable, helping, protecting and caring for others. Devotion is rooted in mature love, which is self-less.
For most people devotion grows out of being disciplined first. It is is an acquired virtue that emerges as you learn to maintain your attention grounded in your heart.
There are many references in our language pointing to how the quality of our performance is positively affected when our heart is involved in what we are doing.
Your heart is the seat of your Soul. Unlike the ego that engages in action to “get” something, when your Soul gets involved in an activity the reward is participating in the activity.
Devotion is the maturation of passion. An investment banker is passionate about making money, but only to make himself rich. A nurse is passionate about helping for the benefit of the patient.
Devotion is an expression of your Soul’s capacity to connect wholeheartedly with truth. It extends beyond traditional religious and spiritual experiences.
Devotion includes daily ordinary activity and roles. For example, all mothers that love their children are devoted to them; all husbands that love their families are devoted to them. All health care practitioners that care for their patients are devoted. These are examples of devotion being channeled through love and self-less service.
There are other examples of devotion expressing dedication and inspiration. For example, athletes, musicians, and artists are not only passionate about mastering their skills, they are willing to make sacrifices to perfect them. And there is yet another example of devotion but this time expressing courage. For example, fire fighters, soldiers, policemen, and any type of rescue workers that are wiling to risk their own life in order to help others.
Summary: Devotion is devotion to truth. The human heart inspires love, compassion, joy, courage, care, and wisdom coming from your Soul. The human being is whole and complete when she is in communion and in alignment with her Soul. Having devotion is a sign that you have matured and you are expressing your Soul's unique nature.
Alignment with your Soul is experienced as inner peace, trust, faith, and surrendering to the divine within. In a state of devotion the mind is quiet and in the background making it easy to be focused and present.
Devotion is a state of consciousness that can be perfected. It grows into a life style and becomes natural. The fact that you can experience devotion is a confirmation that your essence is innocent and benevolent. This means that you are free to release the heavy mental and emotional burden of guilt, shame, resentment and regrets that keep you procrastinating or being mediocre.
Discipline, passion and devotion are states of being that actualize being present; the only time you can express your authentic nature.
There is a single common link between all emotional suffering and harmful addictive behaviors. Underneath all our pain there is a latent sense of being abandoned by a benevolent authority. When our parents fail to adequately fulfill our core emotional needs for nurturing attention in the form of love, care, playing with us, and when the need to have our value confirmed was missing, we felt deeply rejected and built an identity around that pain. Ultimately when we suffer alone we feel abandoned. Our core emotional wound of abandonment is a dreadful sense of separation from everything. The pain of separation drives our attention outward to seek fulfillment of our needs.
Page 2 of 2
To understand and heal our pain in a way that empowers us, and inspires us to forgive, and to transform our suffering into wisdom we can share, and to help and empower others, we require a spiritual perspective about who we are, and why we are here. By Spirit I mean consciousness, which is the essence that creates and connects everything.
Earth is a school for spiritual growth. We are creators in training; we are here to learn what love is, and to understand the consequences of choices. When human beings experience lack of well-being, harmony, and freedom it triggers a strong desire to come into balance, harmony and to have self-determination. In this way pain and suffering serve the purpose of focusing our attention on what is important, and also help us realize what to do about it.
The desire for happiness leads to an awakening out of the unconsciousness of our ego identity. By having to make conscious choices about what is important and why, we let go of superficial distractions, and the normal sense of business that characterizes modern life. Sooner or later everyone comes to the realization that material things cannot make us happy. Without health and vitality there is no energy to enjoy anything we can acquire.
Likewise, without forgiveness there is no lightness and joy in our heart, and we resist people loving us. Resentment towards anyone impairs our ability to love others, and fosters constant fear of getting hurt. Instead, forgiveness facilitates growing into a stronger and wiser version of ourselves. When our identity revolves around how to get people to like us and love us, or how to manipulate them to get what we need, we maintain a dependency that generates insecurity and restlessness that blocks access inner peace.
Ultimately, when pain and suffering are strong enough our ego has a choice to surrender control of itself and all external circumstances, and instead turn our attention to something greater for help. The spiritual Journey eventually leads individuals to turn their attention inward to find the courage and strength of their being to confront fears and false assumptions. Turning attention inward develops a stronger character that can become the qualities of being we have been longing to receive from others.
The transformation from emotional dependency on others to becoming what we need, and being that for others, is a sign of spiritual maturity that demonstrates we are being an authentic expression of our Spirit and we are no longer identified with childhood self-images. Most important of all for healing the pain of separation and abandonment is the cultivation of lovingness in all its possible expressions. Love heals emotional wounds. It understands the causes of suffering by its natural connectivity; to love is to connect and to wake up out of the false perception of being separate and lacking value.
Your body’s physiology is constantly changing according to what your mind is thinking about, and how your body feels continuously influences your mind. This means every thought, positive and negative, changes your perception of yourself in relationship to the world.
Page 2 of 2
There is no actual separation between mind and body, what happens to one affects the other. Fearful thoughts trigger active aggression (fighting) or passive aggression (hatred/submission), and project your attention into a future based on past negative experiences. Pleasurable thoughts are about the present and focus your attention on looking for immediate gratification. This can lead to irresponsible greed.
Both of these drives use lower brain functions designed to keep you alive. Your survival instincts have the unmistakable characteristic of intense emotionality necessary to mobilize your energy immediately, and powerfully in order to address a dangerous threat, or the pursuit of pleasure. This instinct has only two goals: safety and feeling good, safety comes first, always. These drives are directing your behavior subconsciously all the time, except when you make a rational conscious choice.
“A rational choice and an emotional choice come from two different realities”
Simply stated, when an adult reacts with strong emotions to challenges they have regressed psychologically to the mindset of a child, which is self-centered and dependent on others and unable to delay gratification. When you master responding to challenges rationally your point of view is based on adult common sense, which is informed by present moment awareness of you, not memories of you as a child.
The self-preservation instinct is executed through a system of core beliefs constructed in your mind by the time you are seven to nine years old. Core beliefs produce your ego identity, and literally keep you in a mental trance that is going back and forth into a past and a future that don’t exist. This mental reality is being imagined in real time, most of the time. The stronger your emotions the further your mind has gone back into the past and made an association to the present.
Upper brain functions are engaged when you choose to delay gratification and override your survival instincts. To succeed in waking up from the unconscious drives for safety and pleasure you must learn to be aware of your mind and master directing your attention back into present time. The aspect of you that can be present and is capable to choose what to pay attention to is not your thinking mind, it is theawareness of being, your true nature.
The thinking part of your brain that produces your mind is located in your forehead. It is divided into left frontal lobe and a right frontal lobe reality. The right lobe is pessimistic, prone to worry, looking for what can go wrong and what could be dangerous. This reality is focused entirely on survival and has a bias towards negativity. The left frontal lobe is optimistic; it is engaged in making rational, intuitive, loving and common sense decisions, and taking action towards fulfilling important and pleasurable goals. This reality is about Self-expression, creativity and higher ideals such as contribution and service. It has a perspective of possibility.
Which reality is real?
Your brain cannot tell the difference between a fantasy fear and a real threat, or between a real pleasurable experience, and an imagined one. This has important consequences. On one hand you can get stressed, angry and afraid based on false assumptions, and on the other hand you can use your imagination to change how you feel, for the better, thus consciously altering your behavior from unconsciously reacting to consciously responding.
Your brain learned how to survive by looking for clues in the environment that resemble past trauma. Anything that remotely looks dangerous triggers the brain to go into defense/attack mode. Once in survival mode your brain takes over the body’s physiology and your behavior. When this happens you have become unconscious. For example, when you engage in criticism and worry and don’t even notice that you are doing it.
Looking for what can go wrong leads to chronic negativity, which damages the neurons in your left frontal lobe by impairing your ability to feel good for any length of time. Habitual repetitive thought patterns that make you emotional are a sign that you are being unconscious and functioning inside an imagined reality with little or no options.
On the other hand, your brain comes out of unconsciousness when it has something pleasurable to pursue. Pleasure triggers awareness. The reward center of your brain, called the nucleus accumbens releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter tied to your emotional experiences of pleasure, curiosity and desire. Dopamine enhances consciousness; it opens your mind to be receptive to positive thoughts. The pursue of pleasure as the intention and willingness to feel good must be a conscious choice when you aim to overcome your aggressive survival instincts, as well as the drive for instant gratification when things are difficult. Too much pleasure is painful and leads to irresponsibility!
Summary: Your brain is designed to remember what is painful and dangerous over what is pleasurable in order to ensure your survival. This mechanism conditions your mind to focus on you and the world in a negative way, which makes you emotionally reactive and disconnects you from present time, “the real reality”. You can counter act the habit and addiction to negativity by learning to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and when you notice you are not feeling well move your attention out of thinking, and observe, notice what is happening, and rationally, not emotionally, choose what can be done, if anything, to address the situation. When your motivation for action is to feel better without harming you, or anyone else, and your actions are responsible, you are being conscious and in touch with the world as the world is.
The collective unconscious is a mental field that unites all humans. It is a repository of our common heritage as a species. Each culture that comes into existence taps into the collective unconscious to find meaning and interpret experiences based on what has happened before. This field is what allows and makes possible for individuals to communicate and understand each other regardless of their differences such as race, culture or religion.
Your life affects the collective. Every person adds to the collective unconscious with his or her thoughts, emotions and actions. This is the most empowering and dignifying purpose for becoming responsible for the way you behave towards yourself and others.
There is a “group” unconscious for every group of people that you belong to, and it affects you directly. This includes your family, your country, your culture, your ethnic group, your religion etc. In other words, “you” as an individual do not exits in isolation. “You” belong to many groups from which you have unconsciously inherited ideas, concepts and beliefs that filter how you see yourself and the world.
When a disease exists in the collective it exist in each individual as a potential. Fortunately, each individual that overcomes and transforms this potential in themselves affects the collective by positively influencing the people in their life, and energetically adding their own consciousness to the collective consciousness they identify with.
Terrorism is a psychological dis-ease in which individuals and groups of people feel powerless and victimized and fear for their way of life. Terrorist resorts to violent acts in an attempt gain power. Terrorism is affecting the collective unconscious of humanity in positive ways by forcing every one to pay attention to injustices, and to find a different way than violence to meet basic existential needs for everyone.
Terrorism is driven by an instinct for physical and psychological (ideological) survival.
A terrorist perceives his identity, and his ideology to be inseparable, which is dangerous. When a person’s unconscious identity is that of being a victim they can compensate by acting as tyrants towards others.
Terrorism is an extreme and desperate behavior that emerges when there is a disconnection from personal power. Individuals need the energy inherent in power in order to be themselves, get and keep what they need and do the work that is required to provide for themselves.
When an individual feels powerless they experience a loss of the value of their own life and they project this loss to the world around them as an attack. In our society it is acceptable behavior to blame and complain when you feel victimized, these are acceptable forms of attack. A terrorist goes beyond blaming, they physically attack others because they feel desperate and believe they are protecting their livelihood. People end up feeling powerless due to limiting, false, and erroneous beliefs that hide unresolved traumatic past experiences.
Every person engaged in acts of terror is suffering psychologically. Their sense of self-esteem is so low that their inner world is mostly chaotic and filled with negative experience: hurt, anxiety and aggression. If we are to succeed in transforming this destructive trend in our species, we need to teach individuals how to feel empowered in balanced in harmonious creative ways. This requires a growing percentage of the population to live by a set of values that transcend violence as a means to fulfill basic survival needs.
Anyone who consistently feels powerless becomes afraid and is driven by the consciousness of fear. All fears trigger an aggression reaction to fight or run away. Our self-preservation impulse is to adapt to this inner state so that it becomes normal to live in fear and have negative hateful thoughts. The part of you that lives with anxiety and mental negativity is a potential terrorist within you.
A fear based identity
A core impulse to ensure survival is the need to bond and be bonded to a group for the purpose of belonging, which offers a self-identity. Your individual identity emerges out of the relationships with members of a community and their beliefs, attitudes and moral codes that you inherit. We are being called as a species to challenge the fundamental beliefs that makes us feel separate, inferior or superior to each other, and to mature psychologically and evolve Spiritually so we can meet global and local challenges unified as one people.
What you can do to heal terrorism
As an individual member of a global community you have choices about what attitude you hold internally towards terrorism. Your attitude is being fed into a collective mind field. In the collective there are powerful and powerless points of view. Those who experience themselves as powerless become desperate and resort to violent acts that terrorize others. Your thoughts interact with the collective. I encourage you to take responsibility for which kinds of thoughts you are offering the collective, and that you are mindful of what mindset you are being attracted to.
Humanity has reached a level of development where there are no isolated incidents or cultures. What happens in one area of the world affects us all. Every culture is influencing and being influenced by others. As a species we are interconnected and interrelating always. It is a fact that in our information age significant events become known instantly in a way that affects us all.
What is now measured scientifically is that when groups of human beings experience harm due to natural or man-made disasters, compassion and a desire to help arises collectively. Disasters cause our nature to unite. So, make a commitment to eradicate judgments, aim to forgive, and be proactive to find and act in ways that benefit you and everyone.
Your brain process information in a way that generates a mind biased towards negativity. Being negative is a defensive attitude that becomes an attack mentality designed for protection. In its quest to avoid getting hurt, to get what it needs and to avoid danger your mind “looks” for potential threats and problem as an automatic (unconscious) default mechanism.
The predisposition to focus on what is wrong results in a habit of having negative expectations, automatic criticism, judgments and condemnations, which lead to impatience, irritation, frustration and burst of anger, rage and hatred. This emotional reactivity is projected at others and internally at yourself with the intention to intimidate in order to have control. Negativity simultaneously creates fear and aggression, which becomes cowardly or tyrannical behavior for the sake of self-preservation.
To mind your mind means that you take conscious charge of it, because if you don’t your mind inevitably directs itself to execute only survival programs. When your mind is in charge of you, the quality of your life stagnates and eventually deteriorates into a monotonous life of habits, many of which are harmful, and deplete your vitality. A life aiming only for survival undermines your human potential.
A midlife crisis is an example of what happens when the mind alone is making decisions that lead to unsustainable situations. Chronic depression is an example of what happens when your life has no inspired purpose, or when you have accumulated so much false information about you and the world, that the strong negative emotions it generates have to be suppressed. High levels of stress is another symptom of a life led by a mind that is itself out of control, obsessed with fearful and negative thoughts, while attempting to control external circumstances. Finally, all forms of addictions are symptoms of when the mind has reduced life to a series of compensatory behaviors to avoid mental suffering and emotional pain. Your mind needs commands from a competent internal authority that knows what is important to pay attention to, what to act on, and when.
You have a mind
This statement is empowering and liberating. Its significance is thatyou are not a mind, and that your mind is your tool to learn to focus your attention. Your mind is not your true identity, it is a superficial one required for functioning and communication. It is very likely that you have been raised in a family and a culture where it is taken for granted that you are your mind. Because most people lack access to the experience of transcendence, especially when they face difficulties, they settle for continual thinking and emotional reactivity. Transcendence is when you identify with universal qualities of being as you act to respond to challenging circumstances. These qualities include: being present, unconditional love in the form of compassion, patience and kindness, creativity, inner peace, strength, power etc.
What is mind?
Mind is a phenomenon produced by the exchange of information between the brain and the nervous system. Mental activity generates your ego identity. When you take yourself to be a mind “you” are reduced to your body, your thoughts and the feelings and emotions you experience, which makes up your personality.
When you “think outside the box” of scientific materialism, and you accept another scientific fact from leading edge physicists, you are confronted with the reality that beyond the smallest particles of matter, the atoms, there is a non-physical dimension of energy and information known as the quantum field. This field is the source of ideas that shape the physical world. The quantum field is a non-physical, intelligent, organizing principle that scientist calledconsciousness and Spiritual traditions call Spirit. Incidentally, all of the wireless technologies you enjoy exist because we have learned to tap into the quantum field to send and access information.
Summary: an idea is an inspiration that can become a new creation when it is given enough attention and is acted upon. Ideas originate not from a brain, which is only a receiver of information, but from a non-physical/immaterial space which itself is intelligent and creative. You have a mind that helps you focus attention in the physical world. You are an extension of the quantum field experiencing the physical world.
A greater identity
So, if you are not your mind, then who are you at your core? The answer is you are awareness, specifically, a presence of awareness. This presence is known as the Higher Self or the Soul in spiritual traditions. Between your thinking mind (your ego), and the Higher Self (aware presence), is where you and I find ourselves.
I borrow from Hal and Sidra stone, Ph Ds, the term aware ego to mean, a high functioning sense of self that bridges the unconscious with the super-conscious. In my understanding our aim in life is to become ever more conscious of our Higher Self and our lower self, the ego, so that we can integrate them and function in harmony. The ego is meant to be a servant not a master. The Higher Self is the inner authority whose wisdom we are called to learn to trust to guide us in life.
Overcoming the negativity bias
The negativity bias is a biological animal instinct the ego uses to classify every experience as safe or dangerous. Danger experienced is memorized and placed into a priority file for instant access. The objective is to be prepared and automatically know what to do when encountering any similar situations. The limitation of this mechanism is that the memory files become core beliefs, which act as unchangeable, rigid instructions/rules on how to behave, and how to interpret what happens. Eventually the ego doesn’t see what happens, it sees what it believes because it instantly compares what it perceives with what it has memorized, and automatically assumes the similarity is true and real. There are many problems and limitations when you are not aware that you see what you believe. For example, if your ego believes face piercing and tattoos are bad, it will automatically have a hostile, condescending attitude towards people who have them. Beliefs are necessary mental programs for functioning in the world, and they must be challenged for validity and updated regularly.
The part of the brain that classifies everything by assigning good/bad, right/wrong, and safe/dangerous labels is the left-brain. The left-brain is very efficient in its logic and reasoning style, and uses language. The inner conversation that goes on in your mind is your left-brain talking to itself. Your aim is to learn to listen and not identify with the thoughts, just be aware of them, and choose if they are true or not according to what you know through common sense. Mind chatter is usually senseless.
Unfortunately when the left-brain is allowed to dominate the decision making process it ignores the non-rational intuitive capacities of theright brain, and it excludes greater parameters for making decisions such as, how will my actions and attitudes affect others?
When your ego, encounters any situation it automatically reacts to it defensibly, it is its job. Your ego comes pre-programmed to focus on preserving its own well-being. You have to have a way to know when you need something in order to be able to get it. All egos function in the same way: judgmental, critical, aggressive, territorial, self-centered and in greater and lesser degrees, having negative expectations, which maintain a low level of anxiety that feeds negative thinking.
What can you do to override the negativity bias?
The most important action you can take to overcome your ego’s negativity bias is to learn to live a heart-centered life. This requires that you master the discipline of mindfulness, meaning learn to pay attention and that you masterforgiveness. In order to pay attention you need to recognize the difference between all forms of mental activity including: thinking/analyzing, memory, fantasizing, hallucinating, and being aware, which is the effortless capacity to observe.
Everyone who is identified with ego is unconscious of the fact that behind the thinker there is an ever-present observer. Mindfulness means cultivating the capacity to observe the mind’s thoughts and the body’s sensations, feelings and emotions. The importance of being aware instead of identified with thinking, and whatever is being experienced through the body, is that what you are aware of internally has no power over you. In fact, you can decide how to interpret what you are aware of moment to moment, this is empowering! My suggestion is to interpret what you perceive with an attitude of curiosity and humility: …mmm, this is interesting….
The next most important action is to recognize harmful patterns of behavior in you, and master interrupting them. These include: self-judgments and self-criticism that lead to becoming aggressive or fearful as a default mechanism, particularly when encountering challenges, the habit of procrastination, obsession with worry about the future by having negative expectations, attachment to past painful experiences that keep you resentful, unforgiving and paranoid and indulging in addictions.
One important fact about the brain is that once it has learned a behavior it can always execute it. The implication of this is that you never “get rid” of a bad habit. What can happen is that you learn new habits, and practice them so that eventually they get incorporated as “natural” behavior. For instance, you can train yourself to be kind, forgiving and appreciative in order to interrupt a lifetime habit of judging. You can learn to assume responsibility, and be accountable for all that you experience, and stop being the victim that blames and rationalizes excuses for what happens in your life.
In order to succeed in transforming your harmful behaviors you must realize that you are letting go of a familiar identity, and becoming a different version of you. This your ego will resist because from the ego’s point of view familiarity means safety, even if it hurts.
Next is an essential new habit: learning to notice what is good, what feels good and consciously reflect on it. This means to take time to enjoy it, acknowledge it, taste it and visualize it in your mind, after all, this is what you unconsciously do with negative experiences.
Since the brain overlooks what is good or moves past it quickly, it is your duty to retrain your attention to purposely notice and experience the good. A time-tested practice is to look for what you can appreciate in any circumstance. This is a simple and powerful way of interrupting focusing on what is wrong.
Another way to cultivate mindfulness is to deliberately have fun. Establish habits of engaging in activities that feel good and lighten up your mind. I use exercise as an opportunity to enjoy my body, eating is a wonderful opportunity to exercise appreciation, tasting what you eat is a way to practice mindfulness and the enjoyment of nourishment.
A must complement to all of the above are a practice of sitting to be still to meditate as well as cultivating an attitude of Self-reflection, meaning that as you interact with the world notice how you are being internally. Both of these require that you appreciate slowing down, stepping out of the thinking mode and claim the space of inner awareness in which your mind exist.
Finally, when you make your guiding principle for your actions to be: do no harm (including not harming you!) and being of service to others, you are inviting the presence of your Higher Self to guide you in making decisions. Practice taking a pause, and ask for guidance before you speak and do anything. You will discover that you don’t need to think to know what to do, just learn to pay attention, ask for inner guidance from your Higher Self, trust it and act on it. When you ask for guidance sometimes you just ‘know’, and other times you do hear an inner voice. One time in my late twenties I was stressed and in a hurry driving to get things done and for three consecutive blocks I heard an inner voice telling me: “turn left”, I argued against it and on the fourth interception a car ran a stop sign and collided with me. So, learned to listen! When you make it a habit to follow your inner guidance you will discover that your deeper nature is to be peaceful and loving. Your Higher Self will not encourage you to attack or harm anyone, yet it will give you the courage and strength to speak up and protect your and others innocence against injustice and harm.
Your self-identity was constructed in childhood. It has a conscious and several unconscious, shadow parts that tend to be in conflict with each other. Your shadow undermines intimate relationships, success at work, self-esteem and prevents inner peace. Becoming aware of your shadow is essential for resolving inner conflicts. Your conscious identity makes the choices you are aware of, while your subconscious mind drives habitual healthy, and unhealthy behaviors.
Your self-identity is how you see yourself based on what you find similar to you consciously, and unconsciously. Your subconscious identity has a greater impact on your experience of the world and your place in it, and how you relate to you and other people. As people maturetheir self-identity becomes powerful by virtue of an expandingSelf-Awareness and decreasing unconsciousness.
What is the Self?
The Self is a wholeness of being that distinguishes an individual from others. The self has a core essence that makes it possible to have introspection and be aware of one’s unique existence subjectively. The sense of self is positive and negative, until as an adult, the pain and suffering of unconscious self-sabotage motivates you to wake up and pay attention to what you are doing and how you are being.
What is an identity?
To identify is to recognize something as familiar and similar. An identity is a constellation of characteristics that determine who a person is. These characteristics are noticed early on and must remain the same for individuals to see themselves clearly, feelsane, and fit in society.
Children are born without awareness of being a separate individual; you don’t have an identity to begin with! The sense of being an individual develops over time through social interactions. Your identity is ultimately made possible because of relating to someone giving you feedback. You need feedback to be aware of yourself. Feedback serves as a mirror that reflects who you are being. The feedback that got associated with your identity comes from strong experiences that shaped your character and created core beliefs and core values.
Your self-identity has a familiar atmosphere that recorded the sensations, feelings and emotions you experienced while interacting with others as a child. Later on people add to their self-identity other characteristics such as gender, sexual orientation, occupation, family roles, religion, nationality etc.
Mirroring and self-images
A person’s identity is confirmed by what other people mirror back to them. The irony, the gift and the tragedy of this situation are that people see others based on how they see themselves. People mirror to others their own self-images. For every positive self-image there is an accompanying negative self-image. The reason for this is that self-images generate the pain and pleasure that motivates and drives behavior. Human beings, like all sentient beings, respond to stimulus. We are neurologically wired to move awayfrom pain and movetowards pleasure.
The mind learns to think by making internal representations (of sight, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations) from the external world. These representations are stored as a 3-D movie in the subconscious mind. Over time the mind classifies these movies by how they feel. The painful memories become negative self-images, and pleasurable memories become positive self-images.
A self-image is made of groups of similar memories of repeated strong interactions where a person’s character was shaped by the experience.Self-images tell you who you are in relation to someone based on how the interaction felt. Because these interactions took place during early childhood, the characters in the interaction are always an authority figure (usually a parent or someone older, bigger and more powerful), and an image of you as a child.
The creation of self-images
Self-images are constructed from important similar events that happened many times. These events were important because they involved people we trusted and needed to help us satisfy our core needs for safety, nurturing attention (love, belonging), and mirroring back our value etc. How these needs were met determined your self-worth. The universal core subconscious self-image is “being good enough” or “not being good enough”. This is created in different ways:
Feeling embraced or rejected/ abandoned
Having approval or being criticized and judged harshly
Being forgiven for mistakes or being punished physically or via shame and humiliation.
Feeling safe by being protected from harm or feeling unsafe by being threatened or abused.
For example, if I was praised for “good performances” I would tend to see myself as intelligent (a positive self-image), and I would tend to see that in others, AND if was told I was stupid for making mistakes, I would learn to fear making mistakes because it means that I’m stupid (a negative self-image). My positive self-image is how I need others to see me while I effort to avoid exposing my negative self-images (this makes everyone anxious). I would unconsciously see and judge myself to be stupid every time I make a mistake, and I would unconsciously project that judgment to others whenever I see them making mistakes. In other words, I would unconsciously tend to act intelligently to avoid looking stupid, does this sound familiar?
From self-images to authentic presence
When your behavior is driven by self-images it is neither spontaneous nor authentic. It is a learned conditioned response that at its core is driven by anxiety. Being present means being natural which includes having access to inner resources to creatively and calmly respond to circumstances as they happen.
The core distinction between an identity based on self-images and the identity of presence is that self-images define a personal identity,while presence defines an impersonal identity.
Your personal identity is your ego, your familiar sense of self as defined by your personal history. Your ego builds a personality, which is a reactive protective mechanism. The personality is made of core beliefs, which are self-images: “I’m intelligent”, “I’m stupid”. Self-images require a historical past to maintain a familiar ego identity.
Everyone already has an impersonal identity. It consists of qualities of being: Love, joy, compassion, strength, power, creativity etc. The subjective aspect of your being known as the inner witness or inner observer, which at its core is silent inner space, experiences these qualities directly in the present moment. Your impersonal identity does not have or need the past to know itself.
Presence is realized not achieved. To realize the presence of your being what is required is to learn to pay attention, and to recognize your ego as the constant mind chatter in your head. The more familiar you become with inner silence, through practicing paying attention, the more you recognize the ever present inner peace at the core of your being.
The personal identity, your ego is the content inside you: thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. The impersonal identity is the background space of awareness that contains your mental activity and its emotional atmosphere.
A victim is someone who feels powerless, and is therefore unable to take appropriate action to resolve situations adversely affecting their well-being. Being powerless is learned behavior originating from repeated childhood experiences where core needs were not met adequately. From birth and through early childhood children are unable to provide for themselves basic physiological needs, safety needs, the social needs of belonging, love and affection, and the self-esteem needs of personal worth, social recognition and having a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
The victim mentality can be understood as a repetitive way of negative thinking where the victim has come to believe that others, not them, are responsible for their experiences and fulfilling their needs. This can be taken further to mean that the victim mentality comes from a person getting stuck in a stage of development where they feel helpless lacking access to inner resources to take care of themselves. The victim mentality produces adults that feel entitled and demand being taking care off.
The victim mentality is characterized by an attitude of blaming and complaining. The secret agenda of blaming and complaining is to manipulate and control others to be responsible for you by rationalizations and excuses.
The victim mentality is maintained by unconscious negative self-images, which are the building blocks of your personality. Everyone constructs a personality that serves the function of an identity. Self-images are put together by the mind as memories of repeated interactions with authority figures: parents, older siblings, grandparents, teachers, religion etc. A self-image always represents an interaction with authority.
This memorized interactions captured what you were told about yourself and more important, how this interactions felt to you. These experiences become core beliefs that once accepted subconsciously function as instructions on how to behave in every situation.
Behavior is determined unconsciously by survival instincts. There are three main drives biologically wired into the human brain:
3-Attach to others and have others attach to you.
People identified with the victim mentality are unable to fulfill their core survival needs on their own. This precarious situation makes them dependent on others to feel safe, feel good and experience belonging and love. Like children, victims get very clever at manipulating others for their own gains. This way of being maintains low self-esteem due to the constant fears that the ones they depend on might reject them or abandoned them.
Releasing the victim identity
In order to think like a victim you must feel like a victim. Your identity at its most fundamental level represents how you feel about yourself. This is why uncovering your negative self-images is so important. The core negative self-image that maintains a loss of power is made up of a constellation of core beliefs that deny your value and cause you to feel unworthy. They can be summarized by the toxic core belief: “I’m not good enough”.
Once you feel powerless it is easy and automatic that you will fear failure and punishment. What you must understand is that you do this to yourself by giving your attention to negative thoughts that produce the familiar negative emotions inside your personality. You do this by unconsciously judging, criticizing and shaming yourself, and usually projecting this to others.
From victim to victor
The first step in transforming the victim mentality is to transform your identity from victim to victor, one who conquers and overcomes defeat. The victim mentality causes you to feel weak and therefore give up and giving in to external pressures. This attitude comes from within not without. As long as you perceive yourself as powerless, worthless, weak, and this makes you feel insecure, doubtful and hesitant, you will not effort to succeed in meeting life’s challenges.
When you think like and victim you feel weak because your fears and self-loading are strong. The victor is not afraid to fail, or feel uncomfortable by the effort required to work hard and succeed.
The victor holds nothing back; she does the best that she can. Therefore, to embody the mentality of the victor you must be discipline in taking action, and commit to a set of values that you know will counteract the habit of being irresponsible and dependent.
The values of the victim include among others: focusing on feeling comfortable, taking the easy way out, striving for safety by avoiding conflicts and confrontations, being deceitful, and most of all beingirresponsible by blaming and complaining.
The values of the victor include: being responsible and disciplined, being courageous and brave demonstrating an unwavering commitment to face all fears, being loyal, honest, and having honor and integrity which lead to self-respect.
Steps for transforming the victim mentality
1-Claim your power by choosing responsibility expressed through consistent action to handle your needs. This builds your self-esteem.
2-Recognize the victim mentality and victim identity and interrupt blaming, complaining and rationalizing why you can’t do something.
3-Love who you are and eradicate the habit of self-judgments and criticism.
4-Be strong, trusting and confident in your abilities, no matter what your mind is thinking. Command your will by focusing your attention on the task at hand and declare to yourself: “I can and I will succeed”.
5-Know your values and use them as guidelines for the choices you make and the behavior you engage.
6-Commit to be loyal to you, and live by principles that honor, respect and promote well-being for everyone.
7-Create a vision of yourself as an impeccable individual driven by honor and integrity.
8-Be forgiving when you fail to live up to your new standards, particularly at the beginning of this self-transformation.
9-Be creative and resourceful and add to this list whatever you need to ensure you succeed in becoming more powerful.
Narcissism is a stage of development where there is extreme self-interest with a grandiose view of one’s talents and a craving for admiration. This is natural during infancy when the environment around you is the “good mother”, a source of love that satisfies every need that you have and sees no fault with anything you do. The good mother nurtures creating an imprint of love and belonging.
Most everybody sooner or later experiences the end of this period with greater or lesser degrees of dissatisfaction that turns into frustration at not getting your way. This is also a healthy next phase of development where you begin a life long relationship with authority. The role of authority is to inform you of your limitations and to demand that you be responsible, disciplined and accountable for your behavior.
The role of authority is masculine while the role of nurturing attention is feminine. People who exit childhood with debilitating trauma in their relationships with these fundamental roles tend to have an attitude of entitlement, a resistance to being responsible, and a devastating attitude of dependency. In short, adults that are immature and behave like children are narcissistic.
New age spirituality is in my opinion, highly narcissistic. In the new age community spirituality is seen as the capacity to co-create reality meaning being able to attract what your ego wants. This isn’t a spiritual practice, and it doesn’t lead to spiritual development.
What does it mean to be spiritual in the modern world?
It means the same as it always has: to realize that within you there is a power greater than your personal ego identity. Establishing a conscious connection with this greater power is the goal of spiritual work. The divine nature is called Higher Self, Buda nature, Essential Self etc. The purpose for connecting to this power is to be guided by its wise and loving intelligence. Your Higher Self is the reliable source to turn to when making important choices, and to be inspired by to help and serve others. Without this input your attention is captured by your ego, and your actions have a strong self-serving tendency. This isn’t wrong or bad; it simply means a person stuck in an egocentric life isn’t evolving.
There are several ways to look at spiritual work. All of them are aimed at transcending identification with your ego. Your behavior is either driven by your instincts and core emotional needs, or inspired by a desire to grow and evolve. When your life is under the control of your ego you are subject to dualistic thinking. The mind understands the world by dividing it into arbitrary opposites that are not real: hot and cold, good and bad, truth or false etc.
In actuality there is only the presence of something or its absence. For example, there is heat and its absence is experienced as varying degrees of coldness. There is benevolence, which is expressed as well meaning intentions, and unconditional kindness otherwise known as goodness, its absence results in selfish and self-serving behavior, which can harm others and can then be interpreted as badness.
There is absolute truth the presence of which makes you strong and capable of universal right action. The absence of truth is falseness or ignorance, which can bring adverse consequences when dictating your behavior in an insensitive self-serving manner.
Another way of appreciating and recognizing presence is discerning context and content. The ego is content, what is held and included in something. Presence is context, the circumstances that form the setting for an event or idea and allow it to be fully understood. For example, the content of your inner experience are thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions, this makes up the ego identity. The context for all of that is the presence of awareness. Spiritual work is to realize awareness not to increase the content of experiences.
The role of prayer in the modern world
There are many forms of prayer and what they all have in common is an attitude of humility about your limitations. Humbleness opens the door for greatness, which is experienced as grace. To pray is to set conscious, coherent intentions without attachment to outcomes. Trusting inner guidance, and taking appropriate actions that support the fulfillment of your intentions realize the answer to prayers. Grace actualizes prayers from a source that transcends your personal efforts.
Reconciling God and science
The imagination of the scientist, and the instruments available to prove hypothesis and carry out experiments limit Science. In the emerging science based on quantum physics there is a growing understanding that non-physical consciousness is the intelligent source of everything that comes into existence. The old patriarchal view of science and God based on separation is over. The modern understanding of the universe is that it is a unified field of intelligence that is becoming Self-Aware through human beings. As science pushes the boundaries of matter, time and time again, it is proven that physicality is only a temporary phenomenon inside a vast, endless field of energy and information known as the quantum field or consciousness.
A dedicated scientist can no longer ignore the reality that intelligence and intention precedes anything that is created. In quantum physics it is now accepted that the observer, the scientist, in her intentions influences the outcome of the experiment being created. Your spiritual development is an experiment in self-awareness. This grand experiment requires dedication and practice in learning to pay attention and discover the timeless inner subjectivity that witnesses your thoughts, feelings and sensations. God is the great observer that simultaneously conceives and experiences creation.
Humanity needs creators who are conscious of the inner-connectivity and inter-dependence we share with each other and the environment. We face individual and collective challenges for which solutions cannot only be self-serving. Spirituality in the modern world is a call to take action for the benefit of all.
The modern person is mutating from a human being to a human doing. This mutation is accelerating by a mindless consumption of digital information that seduces people to engage in mindless inconsequential activity. The consumer mentality rarely thinks new thoughts or feels deeply into their experience.
The trap of entertainment
Enter-taiment, do you get it? Once you surrender your attention to something external to you in order to have enjoyment it has power over you. You can be tamed meaning domesticated like an animal by addiction to entertainment. Addiction to entertainment include: shopping, movies, video games, internet chat-rooms, pornography, drugs and alcohol etc, all of this activities desensitize you so that your capacity to be satisfied is diminished and more detrimental of all, your ability to feel subtle sensations is numbed out of awareness.
Take for instance people’s tolerance for violence. It is natural and healthy to have aversion to violence and for the most part our culture has lost this. Not only has the advertisement industry infiltrated the news and movies but also it has a hold on the youth by creating violent video games. The instinctual nature of the ego is to avoid harm and seek pleasure. The advertisement industry exploits this successfully to the point of enslaving consumers. The ego has a dangerous potential to find enjoyment in suffering. This is clear by another characteristic of the ego: its propensity towards addiction and being seduced by temptations. The ego’s capacity for reasoning what is good is powerless against its deeper survival instincts driving its need for short-term gratification. All harmful addictions are maintained by a belief that its short-term pleasure is worth it whatever consequences come later.
The problem is a lack of core values
Values are the qualities of being that align your actions with the principles of life. Your life is valuable and with that value comes responsibility. A self-centered life is destined to only consume life. When you are no longer curious to learn and explore the world you loose your innate desire to create a meaningful life. Ultimately meaning comes from contributing to others.
To be human is to be self-aware and to develop the corresponding capacity to love. This means discovering what is it that excites your passion and directing that into dedication to deliver your gift. Every one of us has a uniqueness that is endowed with a natural talent for something. Discovering your natural talent, refining it and being it is the greater purpose to your life.
As a person matures if they have cultivated core values such as love, forgiveness, honesty, respect, responsibility, care, integrity, authenticity, autonomy, discipline, generosity etc, they are naturally interested in discovering who they are, why are they here, where are they going and why.
Without core values to motivate your behavior for a healthy empowered life it is easy to live without a vision. You need a vision that gives you direction and purpose. The consequence of not having a vision is boredom. People seek entertainment because they are bored. Boredom at its core is a lack of presence. People are absent to themselves because they lack interest in who they are and expressing themselves in a meaningful way. You express who you are meaningfully by creating and contributing to others and avoiding the trap of short-term gratification. A meaningful life is aimed at the long-term fulfillment of your vision, while living, day by day, according to core values that support it.
Yes, there are basic laws governing all human interactions particularly romantic relationship due to the nature of intimacy. When you are close to another you constantly broadcast your energy. Also, you are affected by the energy of your lover. Your thoughts and your feelings and emotions are transmitted non-verbally all the time. You know this to be true by the fact that you can feel your lover’s mood.
The basic laws governing relationships are universal: you attract and are attracted to the predominant energetic vibrations in you. Your thoughts are the source for the vibrations that become sensations(comfort or discomfort), feelings,emotions (contracting feelings such as fear/anger/sorrow) orqualities of being (expanding feelings such as peace/love/joy/happiness). Each of these motivate your behavior accordingly.
A psychological and spiritual perspective about romantic attraction
One understanding of what happens when you fall in love is that your attention “falls” from the head to the heart. When you see with your heart instead of seeing the external forms you feel their essence and connect to it. Connecting is the most basic characteristic of lovingness. In our loving connection we see the beauty, innocence and value of our beloved, and we are compelled to serve them in any way we can. The act of giving is what makes love feel so good, more so than receiving, such is the nature of mature love.
Harville Hendrix PHD developed imago therapy, which specializes on couples therapy. I have benefited from his concepts and wish to share his empowering insights:
People enter adulthood with an emotional deficit meaning there are core emotional needs they don’t know how to fulfill on their own. Core needs include safety, love, appreciation, respect, intimacy, mirroring etc. This happens because core emotional needs were not met in a satisfying way, or were not met at all, during childhood. This emotional deficit becomes a blue print for what the person is looking for in a romantic relationship. People feel incomplete because they have unfulfilled emotional needs, not because who they are is missing something.
Hendrix proposes that in its perfect wisdom, nature has a way to pair up couples that share complimentary emotional blue prints. My understanding is that we are attracted by the energetic resonance of what we are missing, and that with the presence of unconditional love we can help each other learn to become what we need, and finally be autonomous.
Summary: Lovers enter an intimate relationship on two levels, as a whole and complete being who loves, is excited, passionate and powerful, and as an immature self who is looking to be taken care off emotionally. Therefore relationships serve personal healing and spiritual evolution by offering constant opportunities to be less selfish and less self-centered, and more and more loving.
Involvement & alignment
The ego get involved in relationships, the heart is aligned through intimacy. Involvement is when there is a power struggle for control in order to get what you need out of every interaction. Alignment is when you know what is important, what your chosen core values are and based on that you choose how to behave. A relationship based on alignment is spiritual in nature meaning, it is grounded in fullness not lack, giving not taking, and committed to win-win resolutions for every conflict that arises.
There are basic principles that when followed can transform the quality of intimacy in your relationship. What you need to do is first decide that you are bigger than your needs and trust that within you is the capacity to give unconditionally.
Building and maintaining romantic intimacy
1-Stay present to love, this is how and why you met and the basis for being in relationship.
2-Care to know each other’s story, what happened that harmed you, and what you didn’t get enough of. Know your core emotional needs.
3-Develop the skills for clear communication: listen with your heart, ask for what you need or preferclearly and kindly, make “I” statements instead of blaming “you” statements, aim for win-win resolutions and learn to agree to disagree amicably!
4-Based on your core emotional needs and the strength of your character identify what are your core values.
5-Develop a relationship vision, what kind of future is the relationship moving towards? And identify a set of relationship values, a list of qualities of being you both commit to use as a guideline for how to treat each other and make decisions that affect the relationship. Be sure to include forgiveness and passion!
6-Maintain a high level of passion by taking initiative and expressing your love creatively and consistently.
7-Make time for fun and intimacy. Let this be planned, and spontaneous activities that engage you and be sure to challenge monotony!
Self-esteem comes from having self-respect and self-appreciation. It includes: self-confidence to stand up for yourself, trusting your intuition and common sense, and taking consistent action to fulfill your responsibilities and goals. At its core, self-esteem is a spiritual process of becoming response-able and powerful that makes being you a wonderful good feeling. Would you like more of that?
Being powerful is knowing your worth, being resourceful, creative, and loving so that you eliminate self-sabotage and self-hatred. Spiritually, being powerful means serving the needs of others, empowering others, and being brave and courageous to take action in the face of adversities. Taking action generates self-esteem. Are you lazy? Do you procrastinate? Does fear hold you back?
Power is the fundamental quality of life that fuels physical vitality, presence and wellbeing. Power allows you to do things, have things, and be authentic. The more power you command the greater your self-esteem. When you react emotionally to stressful situations it is a sign that your self-esteem is low, because you feel powerless, and you believe you need others to fulfill your needs.
Without power everything you do feels more difficult, things are easily taken from you, and you become doubtful, hesitant and insecure. These are some of the characteristics of low self-esteem originating from a psychological and spiritual crisis due to a mistaken identity.
Self-esteem grows through personal development and the maturation and transformation of your personal identity. Your internal authority powerfully influences your identity.
Your internal authority determines how you feel about you. When your inner authority is a critical and judgmental voice that puts you down and threaten you, your self-esteem is low. When inner authority takes the form of intuitive inner guidance and common sense, and you act on it, your self-esteem is healthy.
Your identity matures through stages of development from emotional (child) to rational (adolescent) to loving and intuitive (adult). This is an evolution that transcends and includes what came before, and it goes from dependent to independent to autonomous. Being autonomous means you can access what you need emotionally from within you.
Summary: Healthy self-esteem reflects a person’s connection to their self-worth, which inspires taking action motivated by inner guidance. Low self-esteem comes from feeling bad about who you are by believing a critical voice saying “you are not good enough”, which prevents you from taking action or speaking up when you need to.
Strong fears diminish self-esteem
As a person you have a need to belong in relationships. Belonging produces a sense of safety and confirmation of your value and self-identity. The way in which your parents and other authority figures reacted, or responded to your emotional needs, taught you how to manage your experiences, particularly the painful ones that make you afraid. As long as you need other’s approval, particularly people that represent authority, their disapproval brings up old fears that make you feel bad about yourself.
When your parents passed on their survival instructions you inherited all their fears. The fear of failure, and the fear of punishment, when obsessive, weakens your self-esteem. Fear causes you to hold back and not take action or speak up when it matters. For instance, hesitating out of the fear of feeling guilty and ashamed if you don’t live up to yours and others expectations.
In adulthood, low self-esteem comes in part, by the need for approval, which is the same as asking for permission to be yourself. Do you conform to others expectations in order to be rewarded or feel safe?
Self-esteem and your relationship to authority
Authority figures managed your developing self by allowing or suppressing your natural and spontaneous self-expression. The ways in which you were told what you could, and could not do, what you could or could not have, and the way you should and should not behave, conditioned your mind:
A) To fear or trust authority.
B) To respect yourself and others or not.
C) To trust or doubt yourself.
D) To have honor and integrity or not.
Your childhood conditioning affects your self-esteem. Your relationship to authority gets internalized unconsciously. Unless you become aware and interrupt it, this conditioning runs on automatic and continually determines your self-esteem based on the past.
Your inner sense of authority is either from your ego or your spirit. When it comes from your ego it is a harsh, and punitive judgmental voice that uses threats and shame to control your behavior. This keeps your self-esteem low. When it comes from your spirit it is a voice that is reasonable AND loving, which supports healthy self-esteem.
1-Have courage, take action and face your fears. What boundaries can you not maintain because you feel insecure? What do you fear doing?
2-Love, respect and trust yourself. Interrupt the cruel habit of self-judgments and the misery of self-doubt.
3-Face your shadow and transform: jealousy, envy, greed, laziness, anger, rage and hatred. All of these diminish self-esteem.
4-Monitor your private agenda: in what ways do you deceit, control and manipulate others to get your needs met? Acting out of integrity lowers your self-esteem.
5-Stop all forms of self-sabotage: procrastination, co-dependent relationships, and addictions to food, drugs, pornography, sex, work and entertainment.
6-Give up blaming and complaining and instead take 100% responsibility for the consequences of your choices including the experiences you encounter. Be resourceful and creative, and work hard to change what isn’t working!
7-Change one disempowering habit at a time and stick with it.
8-Work through your unfinished business: unforgiveness, denial, fantasies of what could have been, finish what you start.
9-Stop gossiping, instead be brave and speak truthfully what disturbs you to each person or better yet, drop it!
Eradicating low self-esteem requires that you transform your self-identity. Take action and direct energy to change old patterns that disempower you. Choose to be an empowered individual by being disciplined Look at what isn’t working and target your deficits to build self-esteem: What is it you don’t like about you? What intimidates you? Where do you lack courage? Who disempowers you? Who inspires self-esteem that you can use as a model?
Mature love and responsible choices are the foundation for self-esteem. If you lack self-esteem you will have a shadow kind of love: manipulative, insecure, selfish and hysterical kind of love. When you don’t trust your inner guidance to help you make choices and take action, your ego’s inner conflicts scatter your power in many directions creating low self-esteem.
Healthy self-esteem is meeting your inner self, a spiritual experience not an ego indulgence. Your inner self is the source of knowing that can help you manage your attention so that you take charge of your thoughts, your mind and your body responsibly. Know this: the greatest gift you can give life is a healthy esteemed you!