“Life delights in life.” — William Blake
How do we connect with other people? Do we rely on conflict, suffering, manipulation, gossip or one-up-man ship? Do we create relationships that can be controlled safely and then call that “reality?”
Real connection requires two people, both wanting to be in the relationship, to approach each other as equals. A good relationship brings us happiness, growth and a satisfying feeling of closeness. We can be ourselves, without adjusting our beliefs or behavior to please the other person or to keep up the relationship. The moment we abandon our equality, we have a power struggle, not a relationship.
Previously, the only connections we made were between us and a hunger and an appetite that was never filled. Once we began our process of personal growth we began to enjoy the real connections with people; the true joy that comes with giving and receiving.
How About Making Today the First Day, of the Best Year of Your Life?
I have committed to blogging about my attempt to bring more “positivity” to my life. I’m going to share my discoveries, realizations, new awareness, experimentation, success and failure as I attempt to bring a greater sense of positive thinking into my life. I’ve heard if from more than a handful of people now, that I tend to focus on the negative. My awareness has been raised and that’s not what I want in my life at all! So here’s my summary of what I learned today:
I found a quote by William Shakespeare, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. And I paired with this quote “The Happiness Habit”. The Happiness Habit is developed by simply practicing happy thinking. Make a mental list of happy thoughts and pass them through your mind several times every day.
If “un-happiness” thought should ever enter your mind, immediately stop, consciously eject it, and substitute a happiness thought. Every morning, before arising from bed, just stay in bed, lying in a relaxed state, and drop happy thoughts into your conscious mind. Let a series of pictures pass across your mind of each happy experience you expect to have during the day. Savor their joy. Such thoughts, I am told and I am now a believer will help cause events to turn out that way!
– Contributions from works by Norman Vincent Peale –
When you’re laughing, I’d bet that you’re not feeling fear. When I’m adrift in all my issues, challenges or life’s drama, I take myself far too seriously and I feel as though I’m losing touch with reality. I become lost in fantasy and obsession. Life becomes joyless because I can’t see beyond what I see as my “burdens” and I find no real satisfaction there. I lose touch with the joy and humor of life and I find that everything around me and inside of me is grim and dark. This is when I most often begin to sense my fears.
One of the many touchstones of my personal growth and increasing sanity is the gift of laughter. Each day as I gain more energy and zest for life, I move into the world where I find many things that are humorous, in me and in other people. When I laugh, I don’t feel alone or afraid.
Laughter is a trait of a happy, healthy human being. Laughter shows that we are a part of humankind. It’s a sign that we’re alive, not afraid and that we’re getting better and better, day-by-day! I’m so grateful that the work I’ve done so far on myself has once again brought me the gift of laughter.
Declare your independence of all fear based limits. — Alan Cohen
I have found fear to be one of my most worst and ineffective tools for making decisions. By “tools”, I mean the emotional coping mechanisms our mind creates during our life time and from our own set of unique and personal experiences. These tools may be useful during a certain time period in our life because they protect us. As humans we change, and some of our tools must change as well. As a child, fear may have been an important tool, because it kept us out of harm’s way from something. For example, I have a friend who has a two-year old, and to keep the child away from certain things around the house tells the child, “It’s hot.” So now, when the child wants to touch something, he asks, “Hot?” My friend has been effective at keeping his child away from certain harmful elements, but obviously, as the child matures, this tool must change. As adults, I find that our tools don’t change often enough. Fear based tools are common for us to carry with us into adult hood. Fear based tools may distort reality, giving one an unrealistic platform for certain functions, such as decision-making.
Fear is the absence of love. Fear is where our higher power (God or the Universe) is not. Making choices out of fear keeps us from looking at the true cause of our pain or anguish. Pain, misery, aggravation are just a few of our negative emotions. Our mind, our Ego, tells us that something out there in our world is causing us fear. We then believe we must resolve an issue or problem to get rid of the fear. This process tends to distort reality, blinding us from the true source of our fear, the Ego. It is our Ego, our mind, causing the fear. Our mind hides this fact from us. If we knew the true cause of our fear, we might feel we were wrong and put ourselves to blame, which then creates guilt.
Our Ego shelters us in this same way from guilt with all of our emotions. Anger, frustration, embarrassment and sadness are not ours to own responsibility for; it is the outside world to blame. Something or someone “out there” is the cause of the emotion. The problem with this tool used by the mind is that it leaves us feeling powerless. It leaves us feeling unable to change our feelings. Our power is surrendered to something outside of our own self and at the mercy of this “thing”. Many of us have learned by now that we can’t change another person. So we believe we cannot change “it” nor can we change our own emotions or feelings. We believe that this “thing” in the outside world must change for us to feel better. The same holds true for every one of our emotions. If the outside world or something or someone in it is the cause of our emotion, then we are not to blame. Clearly, it is that “thing” “out there” that is responsible for our emotions. This way of thinking makes us feel we are not to blame and not at fault. The only way to truly heal the problem is to heal the fear.
Through our awareness that it is our reaction to an event and those stories we have fabricated in our mind creating what we believe to be the truth, our power is restored. We have the power to create change and happiness. We begin realistically and authentically to heal the fear. No longer is there a dependency on the outside world for our own true joy.
Making choices or decisions out of fear are actions not from God or the Universe. When an individual has even a remote feeling that a choice or decision is being made from a fear based emotion, I recommend one to stop and take time to do the necessary inventory of one’s own feelings. Do not make a decision based on fear. Some of my personal friends and acquaintances go so far as to even do the opposite that a fear based decision may suggest. I recommend that if one becomes aware that a decision is being made with fear as a driving force, to stop. Breathe deeply in and out and go inside one’s inner Self for direction. I often suggest the use of a simple technique I refer to as “STAR”. STAR is an acronym for: Stop, Think, Assess and Redirect to a healthy alternative. Even the simple exercise of breathing deeply in and out will help to release the fear. Susan Jeffers, a life coach and spiritual guide suggests, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”