Sunday, February 28, 2010
This article has been the direct result from questions received regarding the booklet “How to be Intimate with yourself.” The term ‘intimacy’ is an embracement of our humanity.
A man who was diagnosed with serious eye damage due to glaucoma and cataracts followed the doctor’s advice to medicate but the results in taking eye-drop drugs produced side-effects in exhaustion and lack of clarity. Turning within to embrace this problem with the full knowing that nothing happens by chance, he wanted to know what was the cause of it. No answer emerged except a deeper knowing that we are the cause of everything that happens to us. He dwelt on this knowing that he is the Cause and not an effect. This self-responsibility opened up ways to look at this situation differently. He stopped the medications, got rid of his prescription glasses while out walking and fully embraced his blurred vision. Soon this acceptance brought a different viewpoint. Few months later he was called for an appointment at St. Paul’s hospital for some eye-photos and visual-field test. His condition remained the same and the structure of the damaged eyes revealed no change, however, the visual field-test revealed something entirely different – his actual vision improved. Embracement was the healing factor.
In my work conducting one-on-one sessions has proved to be an eye-opener over the years. The body’s ability to heal itself is remarkable and miraculous when there is the embracement of what happens to it.
Just a few weeks ago from this writing I had a client on Skype who was suffering from insomnia, aches and pains, headaches and frequents bouts of anxiety. After an intensive hour of deep exploratory questions and openness of heart listening with deep intent, she reported great progress just from one session – had a good sleep for the first in a long time followed with a more relaxed attitude with hardly any aches. Her embracement of her situation after we talked became the healer.
“The world is falling into greater chaos. The whole earth is quickening. The heart of humanity is quickening in anticipation of the culmination of this epoch, this era of your history, to come into harmony, and into non-separation. In this timing, as the change of consciousness, the expansion, is brought forth in these last years, so will the fear also be brought forth—the polarity of harmony—at last to be embraced into the Light.” (P’taah’)
What is Embracement?
It is to love – to learn to love every little thing until nothing you feel can ever feel wrong again. It sounds like a tall order when you first read it or hear about it, until you start discovering something within you that love was always your greatest love. It is natural to enjoy, to want to be loved, wanted, appreciated, paid attention to and feel you belong. Love is complete, whole and it swallows up everything else and turns it into itself. Love loves to love. As children we cannot do without it; as teenagers we seek it constantly and as adults we suffer deep pain without it.
The most important thing, the most outstanding thing is you, it is who you are in your natural state. It is your unlimited potential for love. Love is the most extraordinary thing and is the beauty and glory of life. Nothing has meaning without love because it is the ultimate truth of you. The best definition of human being is this – you are love, period. When love is not experienced as a feeling then there is emotional suffering immediately.
All emotional suffering is a lack of love for oneself – lack of self-respect, self-hate, feeling less-then, feeling incomplete as if something is wrong with you, feeling as if you are not good enough. All guilt, shame, fear and suffering stem from loss of love. We hang on to people we love because it is our way of feeling that love. Once we discover our true nature as love then we no longer cling because oneness is not only the law but the only truth. When you love who you are just as you are then you automatically accept and love others. Nothing is separate from anything else.
Love is not acquired, attained like a goal or accomplished. Love is this very moment as you read this and it can never be any other way.
When we feel love by allowing ourselves to experience life as it is then we are filled with gratitude, joy and a peace that surpasses the intellectual understanding.
Did you ever feel the wonder of life around you? Did you ever feel heart-felt laughter? Did you ever feel so happy that nothing bothered you at that moment? What is that, other than love-fulfilled?
How often people have asked and sought enlightenment thinking that it was something to be achieved. What is enlightenment except loving every facet of life as it is.
When you feel love then you are everyone you are with – there is no separation, no judgement and no fear.
When you feel love then you are being all you can be, in fact you are God. Did you ever wonder who or what God is? Pause for a moment and contemplate is – isn’t God love itself? It is not an entity outside of you since nothing can possibly be outside of you. God IS! These two words of “GOD IS” says it all and you need no further knowledge. Once you fully realize the truth of these two words you have grasped the simplicity and yet profoundly of the ultimate truth.
We feel the richness of life when we love and pulsate with that love. Just pause and FEEL out all the qualities that love generates and you have the sum total of not only what you are but all you can be. There is nothing greater than love and there is nothing that can be outside of love.
How to regain love
(embrace that which is not love)
When we don’t feel love how do we regain it? Simply say ‘thank you’ to the feeling that is now devoid of love. A feeling devoid of love could be a hundred different feelings of negativity such as boredom, listlessness, fatigue,apathy, indifference, gloominess, sadness, loneliness, heaviness, fear, anxiety even leading to depression and desperation. What are these feeings but a loss of love. This is why even in relationship we fear loss of love or rejection of love. We can’t help feeling either love or fear.
Love or Fear
There are basically only two emotions – love or fear. Emotional feeling is not true feeling but a conditioned state. For example, if you haven’t known much love as a child between 1 to 7 years of age then chances are you suffer some inner drama and fear because you have been deprived of the very life-force of love. So emotions show up as either emotional love (needy love) or fear.
Love is wholeness and therefore life itself known as Oneness. When this fear is not experienced then we suffer some form of fear either subtle or gross. Subtle fear can be skepticism, cynicism, lack of trust, loss of innocence, resentment, judgement, disliking, self-consciousess or discomfort. Gross fear could be depression, anger, desperation, suicide-proness, self-hate, deep loneliness, paranoia or desire to hurt and kill.
So how can we overcome these fears if we have never known love as a child and many fears have taken over our life?
Fears arise because love seems to be missing and so feel unsafe, insecure and alone. However, here’s the good news. You don’t need to get love – you are IT already whether you like it or not at the moment. You are born in love simply because Love is Oneness and nothing can be separate from it. Yet it is this unawareness of our Oneness that generates feelings of separation. Therefore, just as LOVE is Oneness, so is fear separation.
How do you deal with moments of fear?
Since love is like the sun always shining yet it can be covered up by clouds and gives us the feeling that it is not present. Similarly when we suffer depression, upsetness, sadness or gloominess (any fear) we hav merely covered up the love with the clouds of darkness instead of the ever present light. So how do we embrace this darkness? How do we start?...
Well, the first rule is this – while gripped in the feeling of darkness are you willing to see the light even though you don’t actually see it? Just like when it’s a dark day hiding the sun you can still ‘see’ that the sun is hidden above the clouds. If the answer is ‘yes’ then simply say “thank you for the gloominess or sadness or upsetness or hurt or whatever. Just say, “thank you for making me aware that even though I don’t see the sun yet I know it’s there.” It is this simple to embrace every negative quality that reacts upon you.
Some people have said that they can’t get rid of the drama even if they tried. So what’s wrong there? There’s nothing ever wrong but simply do not feel like getting rid of the anger yet because they still seek justification for the feeling no matter how dark, and, it is also okay.
If you feel this need for justification of your anger then acknowledge it and say “Thank you” or making me aware that I wanted to feel validated, acknowledged and that, my friend, gives you the validity and justification you needed. Remember always – you are NOT a victim. Always acknowledge how you feel without judging or blaming another. How you are is how YOU ARE!! The world of your experience is the world of your perception.
Therefore, how you FEEL is how you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously) to feel. You are not a victim. No one has the power over you unless you give them that permission to have that power over you consciously or unconsciously.
You can learn to love fear when it happens by simply understanding that fear is the frustration of love. Fear is a fear of loss of love whether losng someone physically through death, rejection or loss.
All feelings are either love or fear, period. So, how is negative energy not love when our true nature is love? Negative energy is still the need for love but it is like two sides of the same coin. Love is the sun and fear is facing away from it and seeing the shadow.
Suppose you are feeling jealousy, anger, frustration and so on, how are these feelings love?
Okay, suppose you are feeling jealous now? Isn’t it because you want to feel loved and instead you feel the loss of that love?
Suppose you feel angry? Isn’t it because you are not getting your own way; you are not feeling in control? Why do we need control? Isn’t it because our heart knows we are sovereign beings, oneness-love itself?
Why do we get easily hurt?
Isn’t it because we want to feel special? Why do we want to feel special? Isn’t it because we know deep inside that we are love and therefore special?
Why do we act defensively and attack as a reaction?
Isn’t it because you take yourself to be the image you have made of yourself? Isn’t your image a personal construction made up from imagination?
Why do you need to protect it? Isn’t it because down deep inside you know it is not real and struggle not to face that fact? If you knew that your image was just an image, why would you want to protect it?
Why do we protect and fear being vulnerable?
Isn’t it because you fear having someone see you as you think you really are?
Here’s the good news – you are NOT how you think you are at all. That’s a fact that once realized is very liberating. You are LOVE itself! So, what if you were to embrace your vulnerability instead of protecting it? Can you imagine the freedom and love that would emerge from such embracment?
“But it takes a lot of courage and I don’t have that courage!!” Such a statement is understandable because ,most people do not feel they deserve the love they already are…isn’t that a kick in the pants?
Here’s a way to picture embracement and carry it out! …
Visualize a sad lost little child feeling unwanted, unloved and carries the pain of feeling rejected. You look at this child and feel compassion and love thinking, “How could anyone not love this child?”
You approach this child filled with so much warmth and love that you kneel down, hold its hands and look straight into its eyes without saying a word. You are so filled with this clear understanding of love that you convey this energy into the child’s heart. The child’s face softens and the sadness becomes replaced with a bright look of trust.
This ‘child’ is your pain and the compassion you have towards it is your embracement of it.
“A Course in Miracles uses the same approach but uses the label forgivenss. How are they the same?”
The best definition of forgiveness is given by “A Course in Miracles” when it says that true forgiveness happens when there is the realization that there’s nothing to forgive.
Forgiveness is not forgiving anyone for what they have said or done but to see that whatever happened was your perception only. Why is it like this? All acts that we deem ignorant, repellent, cruel or hurtful are simply how we feel what we are looking at. For example, if you see someone beating a dog you might exclaim, “but I can never see myself beating a dog and so how is that in my perception?” It is not the act itself that mirrors you but your reaction to it. Anything that makes you react means it is a sensitive issue in your memory.
Now, how does forgiveness work with embracement? Embracement cannot happen until we forgive what we see. If you ‘see’ your act of anger as justified then you couldn’t embrace it honestly. You would nurse your anger as your right. Therefore, would you rather be right or happy?
At this point embrace your need to justify your anger and your need to continue the anger feeling. This honest acknowledgment will help you to see how you choose your emotions and that, in itself, will give you the strength to take self-responsibility.
It is through self-responsibility that we forgive and embrace into our true nature.
Here are some facts about love. Love is Oneness and therefore
anyone you judge is self-judgment. How you feel about another mirrors that feeling in you. When you love another then that feeling is in you. When love is experienced you are being yourself…your natural Self. The moment you judge by making something wrong, you have that ‘wrong’ inside you. Anything that stays inside you that is other than love places you automatically into misalighnment with the flow of life. When you are out of flow you automatically feel negative. The feeling of negativity is a clear indicator that you are out of sync with the universe. Once you experience something negative you cannot get rid of it or hope it goes away or control it – all you can do is embrace it.
The difference between thinking and feeling!
Unless we love who we are it will be difficult to know the difference between thought and feeling. Why? -- when we are not in-tune with our being we become active mentally thus spent most of our energy thinking-about-it. People who are negative very often find it hard not to think most of the time…
Thinking is always ‘about-it!’
Feeling is always immediate and direct.
Here’s an example, let’s say you write a book about love and know all there is to know about it as far as songs and poetry and stories go. You are fascinated with love. But here’s the kicker – you can’t know love until you FEEL IT in your heart pulsing and alive. Love is not a thought but a feeling, a knowing of joy, it’s feeling alive.
You cannot love another until you love you. But here’s the good news! – you already love you but you just don’t know it. And, it is this lack of knowing that eats away at you believing there’s something wrong or you are missing something when in truth it is all a conception created by the thinking part of you based on memory.
“You say that all feeling is immediate and direct, how about negative feeling then?”
Negative feeling is immediate and direct whether it is a reaction or self-absorption. The reason it is termed ‘negative’ because it negates the love we are in truth. In this feeling we suffer until we are able to become conscious of who it is that is suffering! Who is suffering is our past – the self-image we created based on memory from past experiences. However, if we embrace the moment as it is without the story (which is past) then we remain present, immediate and direct with the sensations in the body. We embrace the sensation as that lost child within us and show it compassion (forgivenss is automatic). Then healing takes place.
How do you start feeling the love you are?
By embracing every negative part of you; to become intimate with every human weakness until you can start feeling the yearning within it for freedom and goodness. You can only find the goodness through that which is not good. Why? -- because that which is ‘not good’ is not our natural state and is therefore a conditioned programmed concept.
Here’s an illustration – one day you get hurt by feeling that your lover rejected you. You ‘listen’ to this feeling as the sensation in your body, you get in touch with that ache. You feel the heaviness within your heart area. You touch or tape that area and say, “Even though this body feels the ache of rejection yet I fully and deeply accept myself.” (the more feeling you put into it, the more power goes into your healing process. After doing it for a few times you will start to feel greater energy. This energy becomes your connection to your love that RETURNS TO YOU.
You are a human being
When yu embrace the human part of you, the seeking and never-satisfied part of you, it will become bonded with the Being and the two integrate.
Why do most people find it hard to love? Isn’t it because they do not love who they think they are?
When you embrace a fear completely, where’s the fear? All negative emotions have one thing in common. Do you know what that is? It is called resistance! This resistance is found in all negative emotions. When we embrace a negative, it stops being a negative because of one simple rule – the negative resistance has been accepted, loved, embraced and therefore it is seen as the illusion it always was. The reason most ‘negative’ people hang on to their feelings is because they want validation, justification for their feelings and so there are other factors that are now in control such as pride, self-image and the need to control. Now here’s the beauty – the moment we embrace it all as being okay and truly meant it then all resistance is gone and our innocent nature surfaces an a sweetness emerges. This is how fear is turned and transformed into love.
Here are more facts about love – all healing is done through love – doctors, nurses, therapists and helpers can give us a hand in encouraging us to relax and feel okay but love is the only true healer. This is why Jesus performed such miracles of healing. Jesus was the personification of love.
Remember always – there’s only LOVE and nothing else is real but only relative to it. Anything else you think you are is just imagination.
Now we come to the million dollar question? What is love? A billion people will give a billion different definitions because love is the mystery and Beingness of Life. It is the force that rotates the earth around the sun. It is the gravity that makes us walk upright in a fast moving planet. It is the force that turns a fetus into a living human being. It is the energy that blooms a flower. It is what keeps your heart beating, blood circulating and everything doing its proper thing. It is the highest intelligence. Nothing works but love. The best laid plans in the world cannot come close to love. There is no success without love. When you finally embrace a negative, it gives you the clarity to see its illusion and makes apparent your inner richness, gratitude and glory.
Tomorrow when you get up in the morning to greet the day just say thank you for another day. Feel the blessing of your body, of being a unique ‘you’ and yet part of it all. Say “I AM” and know beyond a doubt that this “I AM” is the holiest, grandest being there is.
NOTE: Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Website -- www.burtharding.com
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Oftentimes when email questions I receive follow a particular pattern something gets triggered which literally forces me to write about it. The following recent emails have provoked such a response. Here are some of them…
“I keep wanting honesty from my relationships and yet I make it impossible to elicit such honesty since I counteract their honesty when given.”
“You suggest for me ‘to be’ but how can I when I feel such guilt?”
“I feel so stuck despite years of study and reading from major teachings.”
“I have felt a heaviness in my system ever since I can remember and yet nothing has ever helped me, why?
“I can’t seem to live the truth I feel I know so well!”
We have all read enough and so this article will be focused on direct experience. Before we can have a direct experience of what seems to create these disturbing and confusing questions, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, which is, the vast difference between thinking and feeling. Our questions are based on FEELING and yet we think about them rather than FEEL them directly.
What is the vast difference between THINKING and FEELING?
First of all, thinking is always “about-it” but never IT, itself. So, when you think about something, it is always “about it” and not IT directly. Thus we not only miss it but exacerbate it. On the other hand, FEELING is immediate; feeling is direct; feeling cannot be solved by thinking for it only compounds it!
Trying to make sense of a feeling by thinking about it is like trying to fly by flapping your arms. And yet, absurd as it may seem, this is exactly what creates most of the questions I get. You can’t figure out a feeling because it is impossible. Thinking emerges from conditioned thought and so it cannot understand feeling anymore than darkness can understand light.
Feeling is not a thought. Feeling is awareness combined with memory. For example, let’s say as a child you were laughed at in school and felt inadequate. Now you find yourself, many years later, disliking anyone immediately that laughed at you (or suspected they were laughing at you). No amount of thought regarding your feeling can alter it. Your perceptual memory of the incident has become frozen as a memory in your cellular genetic code and you react without having the slightest idea why. And, even if you found out why it would still trigger the feeling. The only way we could rise above such a feeling would be through the awareness without its conditioned perception. Yet people keep studying and reading material while being stuck with their conditioned perceptions, hence the usual frustration and confusion
So, what can we do? -- since feeling is direct and immediate and ever-present, then it is the awareness of such a feeling without its memory (judgement, story, thought) that we can cleanse the feeling from its painful experience. Here’s how…
First, acknowledge the FEELING just as it is without any judgement or blame towards anyone especially yourself. A good friend of mine pictured her heaviness like an anchored ship unable to move. Feel your feeling and give it a shape, color or metaphor. This picture would help in not thinking about the story or judgment of being good or bad. This feeling is usually a nagging discomfort, a self-consciousness we have had since childhood; it could feel like a guilt, shame, fear; a feeling of not being-good-enough; a feeling as if we have done something wrong or lacking something. And, if you are true to yourself you’ll discover that this feeling has been with you most of your life.
This feeling is in everyone whether we admit it or not because it is our very essence craving expression. It is our core Being reaching out to itself wanting intimacy. Since most people are not aware of this inner craving for love because it is seen as personal attachment then it is rarely experienced as it actually is. It is in experiencing this inner core that we finally wake up to our true essence of Being. People who battle with this feeling, while being interested in spiritual truth, often confuse the issue with personal pain-body and so miss the collective quality of such a happening.
How is it a collective feeling? Even as you read this booklet you will resonate with it and, in total honesty, you know it relates to you. Yet if you handed this booklet to another person who was also honest they will feel the same way. Therefore, isn’t it logical to assume that it is NOT personal but a collective (universal) experience?
What keeps you separate from that intimacy is the fear you are not good enough; not worthy of love or awakening. This is the fear that you knew from the moment of birth. It is the fear that was communicated to you by your parents, by your conditioning and by all those you came in contact with in daily life.
The first step towards the state of beingness is to become intimate, very intimate, with yourself because that’s when you discover your true divine nature.
This feeling is with everyone but most people are not aware of it at all, and those who are aware of this feeling make it personal as if it is happening only to them. It is this personal attachment that creates the most emotional suffering.
As we grow older, this feeling doesn’t go away but simply gets covered up by trying to find meaning in material gain, success, fame or a relationship. However, we can never make this feeling go away despite our best intentions. The problem is that despite our achievements we still carry this feeling with us that surfaces once more when we have got used to our material gain, success or relationship. It usually surfaces in our relationships when they become intimate and start demanding honesty of feelings when honesty can only be self-honesty. In other words, we cannot make our partner honest in their feelings towards us while we are still beset with our own undiscovered unease.
Since this feeling can never be solved by thought about it nor overcome by any exploration through words, what can we do?
We can start by learning to LISTEN without judgment the moment the feeling becomes obvious such as feeling betrayed, angry, upset, hurt, depressed, anxious or any negative drama. We listen by knowing that any negative feeling is a negation of pure feeling (which is love).
Love is what we want most of all from the moment we were born (collective search for Oneness).
We can start LISTENING by visualizing the following:-
Picture the following as clearly as you can – you see an innocent child who is feeling sad, hurt, misunderstood and disowned. Reach out to this child by looking lovingly into their sad eyes and compassionately hold their hands into yours as you feel the warmth of love enfolding you. All you feel towards this child is love and total absolute acceptance.
This child is your inner pain that you often voiced without feeling it directly but often blamed it on yourself or another. This inner child lives in every human being because it is a collective inner unconscious knowing of our true essence called LOVE.
This Love, which is craved, is often our greatest fear and that’s why suffering reaches such great proportions. For example, what is loneliness but the feeling of separation from the Oneness we are.
Our true love nature when misunderstood becomes a great fear. Here’s another example, you fall in love with someone, what is it that happened? For a few moments you have forgotten about yourself and seen only this ‘other.’ It is this utter absence of self that is pure love. Just like when a mother gives a painful birth to her child and at the moment of holding that child there is only love and joy (no ego). Yet, our mind conditioned by the idea of personal image concludes that such a loss of self is akin to death and so whenever our identity is threatened we suffer a form of death. We do not realize that the egoless Self is our true joy and fulfillment. When not recognized then it becomes our greatest fear. Loneliness, desolation, isolation, deprivation and separation are all our greatest suffering. Yet, if we LISTENED to that feeling as it actually is we would awaken our dormant joy and love.
Our hunger for truth through teachings becomes just another search to give us meaning and escape our inner pain. We do not yet realize that only the dissolution of this pain can we discover our Oneness nature. Living truth is not knowing the words but feeling the Pure Feeling of our true essence known as Love and felt as peace and joy.
This contact with this lost child is an intimate contact with yourself – it is the highest and closest intimacy with your Being nature. What is not of love and joy is simply a reminder of this lost child and your reactions to it.
This lost child exists in everyone who has not found their true nature yet. It is more evident in people who have not received the love and warmth as children and therefore know clearly here and now that whenever you feel hurt, betrayed, offended, depressed, angry, anxious or frightened it is really the little lost child inside you and not the ‘other’ you are blaming. We are never upset for the reason we think and believe but always because of that little child’s fear of not being lovable enough; not being good enough or being deserving enough when in truth this little child is also your Essence of Being crying out for its own discovery and claiming its own right ‘To Be.’ That child always feels it has done something wrong without having the slightest idea what that wrong could be.
Review your world right now and see what you don’t like about it. Then having done that see how you have created this world through the beliefs of that lost child inside you. There is no wrong in what you see but only the “belief in wrong” created by that lost child seeking its home and acting through your nervous system as unconscious reactions.
There is no spiritual practice necessary except the intimacy with yourself. No one can supply that need for assurance, security and freedom other than yourself through loving and accepting this lost child. This is the story of the prodigal son in the Bible. It is the story of forgiveness (embracement, welcoming, acceptance, allowing, surrender etc).
In brief, there are two secrets of transformation and they are…
1. Acknowledgement of your inner pain as a collective need for Love.
2. And secondly, to allow it totally as you would allow a child’s loss of innocence by holding its hands and embracing it with love.
Remember that there’s nothing ever wrong with you. Your true nature is love itself and therefore Divine Oneness.
When, during an emotional crises, you are able to LISTEN to that inner child (pain-body) that’s how transformation happens and we awaken our knowing without thinking about it.
You may still have ideas about who you are through a conditioned self-image and thus keep the pain of that child ever deep in your unconscious, but, until these ideas are wrapped in the joyous emotion of knowing the truth of your being, you will not transform into the beauty of you.
It is this awakened inner knowing that will bring us peace, love and freedom from suffering. There is no greater joy than having a glimpse of your eternal Oneness.
NOTE: Contact me if you have questions