Posts Tagged 'controlling relationships'

More Sins of Omission – Hiding your Light Under a Bushel

 

Good people often feel that they are promoting good when they simply avoid doing wrong. The new age movement promotes this by preaching non It takes courage to shine brightly.judgment without understanding the concept, and suggesting that inner peace means passivity.

When the enlightened practice non judgment and inner peace, they act, or refrain from acting, from a state of being centered.  Ghandi practiced passive resistance and love, certainly, but his was acourageous stance which he discerned would avoid violence.  He was not passive to avoid action.  When I am passive or non-judgmental to avoid taking a stance, it is a cop out.

More than most people, I understand the power of the unseen and what can be done with energy.  I practice a number of energetic or mental techniques which are invisible and yet quite profound in their results.  But if I see someone drowning, I think it is more appropriate to go physically to their rescue than to send them good energy.  If someone is trespassing, and doesn’t listen to reason, then litigation may be more appropriate than love.  (If you are capable of litigating lovingly, then that’s even better.)

Bullies, abusers, those who lack empathy, sociopaths without conscience…none of these people respond well to good energy.  People who cannot relate to or connect with their fellow humans are often quite oblivious to the energy of others.

In dealing with these selfish forces, those of us who are good should be positive forces for good, rather than passive lumps who are satisfied with simply not being bad.

What does it mean to be a positive force for good? It involves using power appropriately.  We all have god-given power to wield.  It was not bestowed upon us to be hidden or to atrophy from disuse.

Positive goodness may involve speaking up, enforcing boundaries and not allowing trespasses, protecting our dependants, and taking action to promote positive outcomes.  Positive goodness almost always involves courage and risk taking.  It certainly takes discernment to stand up for what is right without continually focusing on what is wrong.

Positive goodness almost always creates a kind of magic in the life of the person who practices it.  Whether you win or lose your particular challenge, the courage you practice and the boundaries you fortify put you in a wiser, more centered place.  From this state of being, your energetic influence on the world is huge and beneficent.

The prize is that you shine more brightly as your true self and experience deep joy rather than fleeting happiness.

Being Positive

I believe it is important to cultivate optimism and a cheerful, upbeat attitude.  In the last 20 years, the new thought movement has practiced this belief with a vengeance.

Positive thinking is… positively annoying when it is carried to extremes.

I realize this is heresy to many of the lovely, optimistic people I know.  But please, read on.  There is a danger to unbridled positive thinking.  It can have negative results!

Things happen that arouse negative feelings in us.  Everyone experiences frustrations, disappointments, losses, sadness, and hurt feelings.  Optimism can help us through these trials, but positive thinking does not make them go away.

On the contrary, ignoring our negative feelings keeps them with us longer.  I’m not suggesting that you dwell on your problems and make them more powerful than they are.  But, if you ignore them, you simply push the negative thoughts underground.  They get repressed in the unconscious.  This is not a good place to store your negative feelings.  The unconscious negativity will affect you in ways you do not expect.  The feelings will pop out at embarrassing moments and affect your behavior in strange ways.

Negative thoughts are only negative because we say they are.  In truth all feelings have important messages for us. If we ignore these “negative” messages, they will pop in surprising ways and scotch all our attempts to be positive.

When your gas gauge points to empty, you can ignore the negative thought it evokes and put a smiley face sticker over it.  Ignoring this important but negative message will ultimately make your experience more negative.  Instead of stopping for gas, you will run dry on the highway.

I am positive that I will be accused of being negative, but I am positively tired of being beaten over the head with other people’s positive thinking.  Optimism is very effective, interpreting all experience in constructive, encouraging ways.  But positive thinking that ignores negative feelings causes those negative feelings to be repressed.

For some reason, positive thinking proponents often take on the role of thought police.  Without much compassion, they will tell someone who is suffering, “Just don’t give power to it!”

I challenge you thought police out there (who are thinking right now about how negative I am,):  If you are truly a positive thinker, then why does my negative experience bother you?

I can tell you why.  When someone’s emotion seems negative to you, it resonates with your own negativity.  It makes you feel bad because of the feelings that are repressed.  My unhappiness wakes up your unhappy feelings.

If you want to be truly positive, you will feel your feelings – yep, all of them.  You will hear their messages, and let them go.  If you try this for a while, you will no longer tell a positive/negative story about your emotions – or mine.

Does my opinion bother you?  Just don’t give any power to it!

P.S.  Check out The Sedona Method, or Raphael Cushnir or even the recent work of Martha Beck for effective ways of dealing with stories and emotions.

Why do we call it brainwashing when it clutters the mind?

Who's in Charge?

We all tend to think the thoughts in our minds belong to us alone. When we start looking at them carefully we realize how often other people leave their stuff in our space. How free are we really?

Most of us have mental and emotional instruction manuals from our moms, pictures of what we should look like, rules for social engagement, and notions of good and evil. Some of that information was put there by our parents for our own good, but is probably long past its expiration date. Some was projected onto us by institutions or employers who want us to behave, again, for our own good. But we may not have examined who really benefits from our behaving as prescribed.

What is troublesome is the information we accept from others that keeps us in the personal control of a partner, friend, parent or other relative. Love is supposed to support what is best for the loved one, but in truth, most of us have insecurities and want others to help fulfill us in some way.

Even though I have been making distinctions between thoughts which are mine and not mine, I was shocked to discover recently, that I had subscribed to a belief that belonged to a family member. I had not really examined it to notice that it wasn’t mine. This belief made me responsible for a fellow adult’s continued existence, so it served him well to leave it in my space like a cuckoo’s egg, where I would nurture and cherish it as my own.

Then one day, someone pointed out to me that this belief did not make sense and did not look like any of my other thoughts. I felt positively illuminated! I also felt intensely relieved to absolve myself from a responsibility I coudn’t fulfill. Life became much easier. Once I got rid of the cuckoo egg, I was able to hatch some of my own creations!

Of course, the thoughts of others don’t affect us unless we buy into them in some way. Our buying into them camouflages the foreign thoughts so finding them is like a find-the-hidden-object-in-the-picture game, but it is a game worth playing. The more we release other people’s stuff, the more room we have for our own creations. Put more plainly, we will more often have experiences and things that we want.

We are always taking in information from others, but it is possible to distinguish that which controls you.  When an idea or belief seems to really tie you down, then it is one to examine.

Sometimes it is appropriate to be tied down by, say, caring for small children or aging parents, or being responsible to a job you wish to keep. But sometimes the thoughts that tie us down do not stand up to scrutiny. Will the sky fall if you don’t do what your partner demands? Will your children really be happy if you give in to their every whim? Will your mother die if you do not drop everything to visit her this Saturday?

Often, all that is needed to deal with insidious control thoughts is to notice them and they start to untangle and release.

However, an abusively controlling person will often mete out unpleasant punishment those who refuse to be controlled. So, if you are in a seriously controlling relationship, you may need to get help dealing with other’s thoughts.

The best kind of freedom is freedom of thought.  At least I think that’s what I think.


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