I work with couples’ relationship issues and their disparities, which are sometimes enormous. The success of being a happy couple is dependent on the willingness of both partners to move beyond aspects of their past, and to begin dropping their “story.”
An individual’s story is usually a part true/part fictional account of who they think they are based on their past experiences and held limiting mindset beliefs. This is a memory disorder in most cases, and it causes the individual to have to continually self judge their lives via the lens of their past story. Then people feel like they have to react out of that story, and that means they will keep defending their story in order to maintain the status quo, and the need to be “right.”
The issue of one’s story always comes up for review and reenactment via relationship dynamics. A person who cannot step out of their story will sometimes dismiss and terminate a meaningful relationship when their story has been adequately challenged in the mirror of the relationship. This kind of folly is generally hurtful to one, or to the other, but usually to both parties.
Freedom is stepping out of one’s story. One can drop parts of one’s story that keeps holding one back from happiness.
Here is a letter from a long time client, Tom, who is going through a separation from his spouse. My responses to his queries reflect upon shadow emotion states, the Grief Box, the personal story we carry around which we keep defending, and ideas on how to move beyond the entrapment.
Tom’s statements and queries are the point indented italicized paragraphs. My commentary follows.
- “I felt stronger about my convictions on the phone than I do today after having had most of yesterday to think about our conversation and review my notes. It’s always so easy to second guess myself and even re-write history so it doesn’t look/feel so bad when all you’re really doing is justifying the status quo because you fear the unknown. There’s that word again – FEAR – It seems to consume my life right now!”
–You are struggling with the shadow aspect of fear, the type which creates doubt and paralysis. When this feeling state is vibrating in your body, it is very easy to recognize. To overcome it, you must ask a simple question which the animal in the field faces when it senses legitimate threat: what is it that I must do? For the animal it has to prepare for fight or flight, both of which are boundary forming tools. Once the boundary issue has been clarified via utilitarian apathy (flight—ignore the situation, walk away) or utilitarian anger (fight—say No!), then you have to access the next higher emotional frequencies: desire, pride, and courage.
Utilitarian desire is the link to your 7 Primary Motivators, which we identified in the Primary Motivator exercise. You remember what your Motivators mean to you, and in this remembrance, you are starting to reset your vibrational frequency to a higher emotional frequency than fear. In this same instant of your remembrance, you access utilitarian pride, a high frequency emotion. Your pride empowers a sense in you of “I can do this, and it is correct that I do this!” As you allow the pride frequency to take hold in your consciousness, you are firming your boundaries, and you are solidifying your desire.
After accessing pride, you then access your courage. This emotion frequency is adventurous, creative, affirming, empowering, visionary, and purposeful. It is the antidote to shadow fear, and it sets you on to the Hero’s Journey where you encounter the challenges, tests, and helpers which are designed to bring you through the ordeal, and not push you back to your comfort (discomfort) zone. With courage at work, you are now ready to move on. Your boundaries, your desire, and your pride are now solidly at a steady state holding pattern, and you are ready to venture forth; like a stream, curious and pleased by its own unfolding.
- “My mind can’t seem to stop thinking about my inevitable conversation with Carol about a moratorium on/dissolution of our marriage – she is due back home sometime today. I have been with her for almost 30 years but that, in itself, is no reason to continue a relationship that is destructive to either of us. While I write these words and think of what I want to write next, I can feel my body being flooded with the wrong kind of emotions, so I am consciously trying to use my thoughts to take my mind to a healthier place because I can literally feel how this negativity physically affects my body.”
–This is the correct way to use your brain power of thought, and is actually written about in Egyptian texts; the essence of this is advice is as follows. When you draw near to the dark gate and your mind is clouded in the feelings of unknowing, use your thoughts over and over again from the top of your head down to your feet, repeatedly, in waves, until the dark feeling passes from you.
The power of thought, used in this fashion, is very strong.
Thought is directional, it is the conduit. Emotion is power, it is voltage. The combination of thought and emotion state equals a feeling in the body. This feeling is known in the body, and is the vibration which moves into the hologram of the Field, attracting back to us its mirror.
So, yes, use your thoughts to drive a set of particular higher emotion power states into the body. Then you will experience higher feeling states. Then you will attract higher manifestations which are in alignment with your Primary Motivators. It is best to memorize and continually ponder your Motivators. Such exercise will enable your thought constructs to become more nimble and facilitous in moving away from the dark gate, and also you will become adept at aligning your Primary Motivator with the correct attractant feelings.
- “But how do I broach my decision with Carol? When do I say anything? How will she react? As my mind reels with these never-ending thoughts, I glance down at yesterday’s notes and see the words “access your courage”. So I turn a few more pages and see “you are strong enough to honor all your hurts” “you haven’t lost anything except some positive pride and courage” “look into the teeth of the bear.” Courage. It must be one of the antidotes to fear and I am beginning to realize how little courage I seem to be exhibiting and how I over analyze everything and worry about how everyone will react even if I feel I’m doing the right thing. Funny, I actually used to think I was courageous.”
–When working with courage, do not allow the down turning thoughts and emotions to enter your being which give you pause to consider that the situation you are in might strike back at you even harder, or humiliate you in some manner. This is the set-up for a re-validation of shadow fear. The secret to this is to clarify the guilt and shame triggers which are the rusty hinges of your Grief Box, and do not allow you to gain access inside the Grief Box to honor it and clean it up. Everyone has a particular kind of Grief Box, and all of our Grief Boxes work in the same manner.
Use the power of your thoughts in the manner mentioned above; send your thoughts through your body in waves, continually, with the correct emotion power attached, until you stand strongly inside of the correctness of your Motivators. It is best that you study all of the aspects of one of your Motivators: Self Actualization and Personal Growth.
- “By some serendipity, I ended up watching “Eat Pray Love” last night and, in one scene, the main character used a Roman ruin as a metaphor, the gist of which was “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” She went on to say “We’re staying together because we’re afraid of being destroyed if we don’t.” These are the words/idea I am going to use with Carol. We are both too afraid to consider the possibility there may be something beyond “us”, that “us” is the only thing there is. Maybe there will eventually be an “us”, again, but not until we each heal ourselves.”
–Yes, the healing is necessary, and yes, if she does her own healing, and stands in her own self, independent and strong, then there is a chance you can reunite. Much would have to change between the two of you, and at this point, while that prospect may seem daunting, it is much easier when healing and evolution are well engaged.
One of my favorite Rumi quotes is “Out there is a field which is beyond right doing and wrong doing. I will meet you there.”
At some point in this journey, we begin to lose interest in judging self and other. When you begin to feel the first inklings of that, press on, for you are close to freedom and imperturbability.
- “I also have a feeling Carol will argue for some therapeutic couples’ conference. Would that not be a reasonable request? Maybe I will stay resolute with my decision to live apart, but agree to a retreat if she surfaces it and we can find one that sounds reputable. It’s clear I need as much “professional” help as I can get! My current counselor (brand new, but I liked her on our first session) asked me what I’d like our next session to focus on and I said “forgiving myself”. I need to find a way to hold my head up high, again – right now, I am too embarrassed to speak to anyone for fear they will ask me how I am doing! And, yes, I realize I cannot harbor those thoughts!” speak to anyone for fear they will ask me how I am doing! And, yes, I realize I cannot harbor those thoughts!
–Yes, a therapeutic retreat is a reasonable request, but you may well find something very similar when you come out of it. She may be expecting you to do all of the changing without having to do any herself, and shoulder her half of accountability and life growth. The couple’s retreat will be designed to send you away from the retreat with some kind of follow up homework to help keep you on track. I do not think a couple can heal until each member has healed, or is strongly and incontrovertibly dedicated to one’s individual healing evolution—- truly.
I am feeling from you an inner commitment to pursue your own healing. I have not yet felt that from Carol. If you go to the couple’s retreat, and you continue on with your healing, and if you find yourself having to carry some of her weight, then you have benefited from the couple’s retreat, and she has not. Then, once again, your path becomes more obvious.
One cannot go to a couple’s retreat and come away from the retreat with a new set of relationship marching orders, attempt to follow them, and think everything is going to turn out fine. There is no external recipe that I know of for dysfunctional couples who do not pursue their own healing as the primary focus.
“Forgiving yourself” is the correct thing to work on every day. You first have to honor what it is that you have to forgive. It came to you for a reason that is important for your inner and outer growth. You have to come into an “OK-ness” with everything that comes to you, realizing its essential oneness with you. This helps you have faith, trust, and optimism in the encounter. Then, inside of the encounter you practice being your best. The key word is practice.
Practice makes the master. Practice implies that you are OK with so-called “failures.” There really are no failures. There are just opportunities for practice and growth.
Everything must be forgiven from the deep judgment of “I was a failure.”
And so, someone comes up to you, and asks you how you are doing…. What do you say? This is your chance to practice your first step toward holding your head high. You do exactly that—-you hold your head high; you look them in the eye. They are a mirror of you, and when you realize this, you are also close to freedom from this dreadful self judgment of feeling embarrassed.
Shakespeare said somewhere, “Go to thy bosom, knock there, and ask what thy Heart doth know.”
So, someone, an acquaintance or a closer friend, approaches you and asks you, “How is it going Tom?”
You control yourself with proper breathing, check in with your Heart, look them in the eye, and you say, “It’s going fine.”
It’s true, it is going fine, but you just are not sure that you know that or believe that yet because you are busy listening to the Judge, the Critic, the Skeptic, the Pusher, and the Victim; a collective which I call Other Peoples ‘Voices, or OPV. OPV is the loud chatter of unresolved trauma memory reflexes; the left brain word abstraction trailing of guilt and shame which we took on from other people and societal institutions and dogma.
Ninety nine times out of 100 the character who asks you this question about “How are you doing?” is running very similar left Brain tapes.
So, for now just say, “It is going fine.” Let that do for now. It is a baby step. Inside of your response, however, you must access the feeling states of trust and optimism. These feeling states correspond to the emotional states of neutrality and willingness. Put a smile on your face when you say what you say.
If your friend presses further into “Well, what are you doing these days?” then you go to your Motivators and you just start talking about how you are networking with people around your discoveries about whatever Motivator you want to start talking about. That is a good way to get to know your Motivators—just talk about them, and what they mean to you. The Universe is going to start listening. These last 2 sentences are guaranteed.
It really doesn’t matter what the other person is thinking. That is beyond your control. If they are in their own world of authenticity, then your encounter with them will be a good one and good for you. If they are in their usual practice of their facade, then whatever they think about your response is their issue, not yours, and it is your further chance for practice and mastery. You practice not taking on their stuff here. Their story is their story, not yours.
Don’t do any thinking, in your own head space, about other peoples’ head space, especially, don’t think that they are going to think Judge, Critic, Skeptic, Pusher, or Victim at you. Be at neutral. Practice not visiting shadow apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, or pride in these encounters.
- “John, I spend my time on the phone with you both trying to listen and furiously write things down, so I missed some things. You mentioned a literal Grief Box exercise that I cannot fully remember and I was hoping that, if you got a minute, you would be willing to write down the specifics for me. Thanks!”
–And so, here we are, at the Grief Box. Here is an exercise that will help you exorcise some of the impediments. The Grief Box is just what it is, a box of grief. We are never going to forget the memories, even as some of us try to do so. It is inappropriate to try to forget our memories, for in doing so, we are trying to negate an authentic aspect of our being, and what we did in the moment, perhaps unknowingly, which simply was an example of us trying to do our best, albeit in degrees of being unknowing and unconscious.
The Grief Box is really a very OK and honorable aspect of our authenticity. It is an aspect of our human Identity. It is the part of our journey story that was you and me just being you and me. I would never want to change my past. If I did then I would have to start all over, and I have come too far to want to do that. This concept helps to enable our equanimity in the face of life’s inevitable challenges.
It will also serve to enable our dispassion about being on some illusory and imaginary “edge.” This edge that I am referring to is the state of poise where we feel that if we don’t absolutely master and dominate every opportunity, then we are slipping…off of the edge.
Equanimity, dispassion, imperturbability….these are word abstractions that we ultimately leave behind as we become who we are in the spirit and essence and authentic Identity. And so, until then, we are on some evolving point, or curve, of the spectrum of learning about why we came here. We came here to learn of a Love that we can only learn here, and it is said to be greater than the Love of Angels. Imagine that!
For the exercise of the Grief Box, first, take out the 6 sheets of listings of the shadow feeling states which I gave you. These 6 sheets each have 30-40 synonymous words which correspond to one of the 6 principal shadow emotion states: apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride. You have previously circled all of the feeling states which you are conscious of feeling in your body, on each of the 6 sheets.
You identified which of the 6 shadow emotions is represented by each of these sheets, and you wrote down on each sheet what is the appropriate question to ask of yourself when you feel yourself in the throes of the shadow state. If you do not have these important questions marked down on the sheets, then contact me, and we will review the questions that we must ask, and you can write them down on the 6 sheets.
These questions, when asked, and when you listen to your Heart for the answer, will facilitate your quick transition from the shadow feeling state of the emotion into the utilitarian manner of using the emotion to protect and heal your life. As these lower, but important, 6 emotion states are harnessed correctly to identify your boundaries, your desires, and what you are proud of, then you can more easily move to the other higher emotion states of manifestation and healing.
Now, make a copy of all 6 sheets, and save these copies for future reference.
Next, go find a small cardboard box of a 3 to 4 inch dimension.
Take the shadow apathy and the shadow grief sheets, and fold them up, and place them in this box. As you do this take a moment to reflect on some of your Grief dispassionately, just noting its presence in your life and the role it played. Reflect on your apathy, your sense of feeling overwhelmed.
Next, take the shadow fear sheet and wrap the box in this sheet of paper, and tape it down with scotch tape. Place the fear sheet so that the words on the sheet face inward, and the box looks blank white on its outside.
You have just symbolically done what we do in life–we close our Grief Box in shadow fear. We are afraid that others might see into our Grief, and we are afraid that we might have to look at it also, and confront the so called demons it represents.
Fear creates a desire and impetus in the animal to do something, usually to make a boundary happen via fight (anger), or flight (apathy; the shadow of which is hidden with your grief in your Grief Box). In many situations, we will truncate our movement to boundary formation with a shadow desire.
This is the use of desire to create a distraction, or numbing, or a medication of our pain. We resort to the various distracting addictions so that we can put off dealing with our pain. There is shopaholia, alcoholia, sexaholia, workaholia, and gambleaholia, to name a few. An addiction is simply any behavior which we do because of a fear of internal growth.
So, wrap the Fear Grief Box in the sheet of synonyms for shadow desire, and tape it down. You now have the Shadow Desire Fear Grief Box, and this Box of jumbled up shadow emotions is beginning to feel even more scary (more fear), and so we are now ready to add a bit of shadow anger to the process.
We really don’t want others to see our shadow desire issues, do we? We need a stronger emotional construct to deflect further scrutiny. How about some shadow anger?
It is time to be OK with our old friends; our shadow desires. They served their purpose, but………..read on…….
We do shadow anger because it really is a good tool to keep people away from knowing our pain and secrets. However, we are mostly angry at ourselves for not having the boundaries we should have had that may have prevented these painful events to transpire in our lives. When we point a finger at someone in anger, there are usually 3 fingers pointing back at our own self!
So, wrap up the Shadow Desire, Fear, and Grief Box in the Anger sheet. You now have an extraordinary symbolic talisman in your hands; a symbol of so many decades of being Tom, all of the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the turnings of the screw of life. It is fantastic!
Before you wrap this box in the last shadow emotion of pride, take a moment to forgive the anger, and just be OK with all of the anger that you have thrown out there, which is not much in your particular case. You are not a raging individual. You have spent more time burying your anger back inside of you. This is what shadow apathy is. It is buried anger. It is buried deep in the Grief Box with your Grief, remember?
OK, now, wrap up the Shadow Anger, Desire, Fear, and Grief Box with your last vestige of what you use as your facade to let the world know that you are OK. Wrap it up in some good old shadow pride, and tape it down. Pride is a very powerful emotion when used in such a fashion.
It causes us to be insincere, and disingenuous. It causes us to falsify all of what we show the world about who we are. Most of all, it causes us to keep the facade running all the way to the grave, and the result is that we never get to know ourselves. We can’t even see through our own false facade. We are so blinded by shadow pride. This is a powerfully wrong way to use an emotion.
There now, you have just done what all people do at some level or another with their Grief; they wrap it in all of these layers of shadow emotions.
This layered entanglement then becomes a person’s story. People defend their story along the way because people use their story to validate their misery. This is the most common form of insanity that I know of. It is the usual Identity crisis that I see in all of us.
Is it any wonder that the ordinary emotionally unintelligent wounded person is no expert in using these 6 emotions to protect and heal their lives? They are all wrapped up protecting themselves and others from seeing their Grief, Apathy, and other states.
What if we asked ourselves a question about what we are proud of in our lives? What if we opened our Hearts to all of this old pain and began to honor and bless it and release it, so that we could unwrap all of those layers of shadow emotions and start using them correctly also? What if we start attuning to our Motivators by taking all of this negative shadow energy and we start to redirect all of this creative force and expression into a manifestation of our Heart’s desires.
You’re not done with the exercise yet. With a writing implement draw some little hinges on one edge of the top of your Grief Box. Label these hinges as Guilt and Shame. These hinges are rusty and encrusted, and they need some kind of WD-40 lubricant.
Somewhere on the top of the Box, draw a keyhole. Label this as the keyhole of Self Love. The key that one inserts into this keyhole is the Key of Self Love. It requires that we use Non Judgment and Forgiveness to turn the key and open the Box, and honor our past.
The Lubricant used to free the seized rusty hinges of guilt and shame is the Gift of the Blessing.
The Blessing is used and offered to 3 recipients: those who perpetrated the events, those who received that which was perpetrated (in this case it was you, and others), and those who witnessed what was being perpetrated. Bless all of these entities. This is actually an ancient practice gifted to us by the Essenes.
OK, the Grief Box is symbolic of your physical body. Yes.
Your body is the field of your subconsciousness, and it is holding all of your Shadow Grief in just such a manner as your little layered and scotch taped Grief Box.
What are you going to do with your Grief Box now?
Well, here is a suggestion. You can place it somewhere so that you see it from time to time, and just give it some Blessing and ponder its wonders. It is actually a miracle that we live through most of this stuff!
Now, go look at yourself in a mirror. Any mirror will do. Just look at yourself. You are looking at another version of your Grief Box. Except, in this case you are looking at the real Grief Box. It is you.
A little known secret of manifestation has to do with the biophysical phenomenon known as ideoretinal light. This is light energy that is transmitted by the eyes out into our surroundings, onto whatever we are looking at!
Ideoretinal light has been measured by SQUID (super quantum interference device) magnetometers as the second strongest energy field emanation away from our bodies. The strongest energy field emanation is from the Heart. The eyes and the Heart are emanating quanta packets of information and intention.
How ’bout them apples?!!! You are now armed with a new kind of information to utilize as a tool in your journey.
Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself. Soften your gaze. Remember your Motivators.
Look at your image and begin to Bless this image. Say to your image, “I deeply love and accept myself.” Go ahead, practice this every time you encounter a mirror.
Notice what comes up in your body as you Bless yourself. Be OK with whatever comes up, and offer this feeling a Blessing also.
Your layers of Shadow emotion will begin to loosen as the old rusty hinges of guilt and shame relax their grip. You are turning the Key of Self Love.
You begin to recover lost pieces of yourself that you have forgotten about because they have remained buried. We bury this little treasure box of who we are under the weight of our trauma, shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride.
There is another mirror that we look into just as we look into the shiny reflective mirror on the wall. This other mirror is the mirror of our life. It is the mirror which reflects to you who you are. It is the mirror that is attempting to remind us that we are a Singularity, a Oneness in the field of Consciousness.
Taken from this perspective, we can begin to trust everything which comes to us as something we have attracted for the sake of our own opportunity for new found mastery of a situation, our own unfolding, and our life stream.
This other mirror is the people who will be asking you. “How are you doing? What are you doing?”
Look into this mirror of your life and Bless it also. Offer it a Blessing so that it can know itself also. You set this intention with your Heart and you gaze. say into the mirror of your life, “I deeply love and accept myself.”
Crestone and Beyond
One will need an ego to heal with. The correct use of the ego is to use it to begin to drop more and more of the false ego story we carry that we keep defending.
Some ideas about this process have been presented in this Journal entry.
Practice makes the Master.
Signing off from Crestone and Beyond.
Happy Valentine’s Day