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Don’t Punish yourself Pt. 2

There’s nothing wrong with you

My personal problem with the whole “motivate myself with guilt & self-condemnation” approach is that it rests on what I perceive to be a flawed assumption about human nature.

It assumes that who you are is essentially bad and can’t be trusted. If you are left to your own devices, you will ultimately self-destruct or at least wreak a great deal of havoc. Your essential being is NOT intrinsically creative and unless you are motivated by discontent, dissatisfaction, and disapproval, you’ll just sit around all day doing nothing good or productive.

According to this view, the worst thing you can do is accept yourself unconditionally because then you’ll become complacent or perhaps even a sociopath. In other words, something is fundamentally wrong with you. Guilt, self loathing, and the rules that usually follow are there to keep you in line.

You are more than free to adopt that perspective if you wish, but I’d like to offer you an alternative view.

It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s our ideas about you and me.

I invite you to entertain the possibility that your true nature is essentially good; that you are an intrinsically creative being and when left to your own devices, you will innovate, invent, and inspire at every turn; that you don’t need guilt to keep yourself in line because you’re not some screw up just waiting to be turned loose; that self acceptance, contrary to popular belief, actually brings out the best in you; that when you love your wounds, you heal them; that when you forgive yourself, your sins are dissolved; that when you accept yourself as is, your hidden beauty truly begins to disclose itself.

I believe that love is alchemy. Whatever we love is transformed by the light of that love. The power of love transmutes whatever it’s  focused on and causes its inner radiance to shine forth. Like the princess who kisses the frog and thereby turns it into a prince, the daring posture of unconditional self-love alchemizes our lives into something that proves worthy of adoration.

Every time you hate yourself, the devil smiles.

“But aren’t we all sinners in the hands of an angry God? Are we not fallen creatures who can’t be trusted? What about the whole Original Sin thing we learned back in Sunday School?”

This concern arises from the story of the Garden of Eden found in the book of Genesis. According to that story, Mankind lived perfectly until an act of sin caused them to “fall from grace” and inherit a corrupt nature in the process.

Here’s my two cents on that:

I am on the side of those who believe that at a prior time in history, we once knew who we were. At some point, humanity “went wrong.”

The question we must ask, however, is “where did humanity go wrong?”

I’m sure there are many answers to that question, each of them with varying degrees of depth. What follows is not the full extent of what can be said on such a broad philosophical topic.

My contention is that Humanity went wrong when we bought into the lie that life was something other than already perfect and complete.

Man was already created in the image of God and didn’t need to do anything special to become God-like, abundant, or happy. These states were his already existing birthrights.

According to the Genesis story, itself, the fundamental cause of sin and death was man’s decision to believe that his life was missing something and in order to fill the void, he needed to compensate with his own achievement.  Dr. Myles Munroe said it this way:

The root of man’s frustrations is his misconception of self.

When we treat ourselves as if we’re something less than expressions of God, we reenact the tragedy depicted in the Garden of Eden story and we perpetuate the problem of human suffering.

Every time we hate ourselves, the devil smiles. For he knows that in our act of self-rejection, we have temporarily deviated from The Source of all love from which our true nature arises.

Let us abandon all ideas which point us away from the truth of who we are.

Let us return to the Reality of Unconditional Love that created us.

Let us affirm our worthiness of that love; a worthiness not based on effort, but a worthiness grounded in the fact that we are made out of the very substance of this Love and cannot be separate from it except by our own choosing.

So I challenge you to STOP, RIGHT NOW!! Right where you are…in THIS moment and not the NEXT….EMBRACE YOURSELF!

Love yourself, respect yourself, and affirm the very best of yourself.

“But…but…I wasn’t positive today.”

Well, be positive about THAT.

Make peace with who and where you are now BEFORE you prove yourself to God or the world and you’ll be amazed at what starts to come out of you.

At least that’s the way I see it.

How do you see it? Better yet, how do you see yourself? Why?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. Don’t Punish Yourself

2. I am a perfect unfolding of the wholeness of God

3. Be The Power

Don’t Punish Yourself

No matter how much I disappoint myself or others, I’m going to keep believing in myself. I’m going to keep doing the best I know how. I may feel like a loser at times, but I’m going to persist in looking for the qualities within myself that evince greatness. As I look for evidence of  beauty, genius, and magnificence in my own being, I cause those attributes to shape my thoughts and take form in my experience.

No pain, no gain?

When was the last time you heard someone or even yourself say something like…

“I’m such a horrible person. I try to be positive but I always get so frustrated when xyz happens.”

Our guilt-driven models for motivation makes the above statement sound quite normal and sane. It falls right in line with an all too common thought process:

1) Observe a personal failure

2) Punish ourselves with thoughts of self-condemnation

3) Cultivate a strong feeling of guilt in order to avoid doing it again

4) Maintain a sense of dissatisfaction and disapproval until we’ve proven that we’re sorry by making positive changes.

Sound familiar?

Punishment doesn’t work

Well, here’s my two cents:

This way of thinking, far from helping us actualize our true potential, only solidifies our consciousness in a pessimistic, disempowered state.

We can’t empower what we refuse to first embrace. We must dare to love and forgive ourselves even when we seem most unlovable and unforgivable.

On the surface, this may seem a bit backwards. I can hear the well-meaning skeptic ponder:

“If I allow myself to feel good about who I am right now, then wont I lose all my motivation for positive change?”

If that is YOUR question, then I ask you the following: “Is that approach working for you? If you’ve been beating yourself up when you fail, has that practice helped you create the happiness you desire yet?”

If not, might I prescribe for you the wisdom of Mike Murdock?

 “If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share my two cents on how I see human nature and what that has to say about the pursuit, the possibility, and the power of happiness.

I hope you’ll stop by.

 Cheers,

 T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. “Not guilty”, on all accounts, of mediocrity

2. TK’s Two Cents “Your well-being is an emergency”

3. Kiss the Frog: Creating happiness through the power of appreciation

 

Problems: If you put them down, they might not be there when you come back

You don’t have to stick your head in the sand in order to give your mind a break

When confronted with an unexpected challenge that throws our routine off kilter, it is easy to feel as if that challenge must be treated with urgency and immediately resolved. The prospect of moving forward with one’s day and coming back to it at a more opportune time sometimes feels negligent.

Rather than obsess over a problem by forcing a solution to come to you right here and now, experiment with the option of backing off the issue for a bit and focusing that same energy on reinforcing your connection to a more positive, peaceful state.

This is not a matter of sticking one’s head in the sand or being irresponsible. It’s a pragmatic decision rooted in the understanding that we have greater access to both our logical mind and our creative mind when our thoughts are unclouded by the frustration that stems from mentally and verbally rehearsing difficulties over and over again.

What follows is my two cents on taking a step back from our problems.

Keeping it simple is still a good idea

First, if there’s some simple action you can take to remove the problem, then by all means do so.

If there’s a mosquito on your arm and it’s bugging you (no pun intended), there’s no need for you to go into transcendental meditation to find some enlightened insight about it.

You don’t have to ask “what would Jesus do?” about that one, my friends. Just shoo the fly away!

However, if you’ve spent 30 minutes or more trying to figure it all out and you’re not gaining progress, you just might be pushing yourself further away from a truly satisfying solution.

Don’t be a slave to the tyranny of urgency

When many people get to this point, they allow the urgency of the situation to dominate their minds and they choose to do something extreme in order to achieve closure.

An unhealthy surface level solution that brings temporary relief is often thought to be better than a healthy solution that wont show up until a few hours or days later. This is why most people’s problems are reoccurring.

Rather than take the time to address the root issue, we take the CSI MIAMI approach by attempting to eliminate all of our dramas in an hour or less. This leads to quick fix solutions that help us get through the day, but it leaves us defenseless against future manifestations of the same underlying issue.

How can one take such a patient approach when you have an unresolved problem just staring you in the face?

In my next post, I’ll offer my two cents on why we find it so difficult to let go of our problems long enough to find solutions that do more than numb the pain with quick fixes.

Here’s a hint: It has less to do with the actual problem and more to do with how much you trust yourself.

I hope you’ll join me for Tomorrow’s post.

In the meantime, create a great day 🙂

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Be The Power

We do not merely believe in the existence of a higher power.

We affirm ourselves to be extensions & expressions of that which is the very Essence of Power.

We recognize this power to be part & parcel of our own selves.

We  do not settle for the knowledge that we’ve been made BY this power. Nor are content to merely affirm that we have come FROM this power. We ARE this power in action for this power is the very Source of creation acting out the role of our individuality.

We are not in the process of reaching out to something outside of our own nature for help.

We are delving down into the core of what we are and rediscovering what Ernest Holmes called “the God-power at the center of every person’s being.”

We have the power to live powerful lives because we are the power!

T.K. Coleman

I go dancing with my thoughts

Have you ever danced with a thought? Have you ever made love to an idea?

Do those questions sound crazy to you?

Well, what about these questions;

Have you ever disagreed with a thought? Have you ever analyzed an idea?

Why does the first set of questions sound so absurd while the other questions seem perfectly normal?

If you’re open, I would like to invite you to play around for a moment with a different way of thinking about thinking.

None of what follows is the absolute truth. It’s just a thought experiment. But some interesting discoveries can be made while conducting thought-experiments, so let’s see where this one takes us.

Light, sound, and perception

Basic Physics tells us that an electromagnetic wave is experienced as light when it is perceived with the eye.

That same electromagnetic wave is experienced as sound when perceived with the ear.

One wave.
 
The same vibratory activity.
 
Two different ways of experiencing it.

Whether or not you SEE LIGHT or HEAR SOUND all depends on the organ you use to apprehend electromagnetic wave activity.

The reality behind these two varying experiences is the same, but it’s the way we process it that determines if we perceive it as light, sound, or something altogether different.

Here’s my question for you:

If there’s more than one way to experience electromagnetic energy, is it also possible that there is more than one way to experience other familiar forms of energy? 

Is there more than one way to experience a thought?

In a way that is analogous to electromagnetic energy, what we call “thoughts” can be viewed as a form of mental energy. From one point of view, thoughts can be described as ”the vibratory activity of consciousness.” Let’s call them “thought-waves” for now. 

When we attempt to apprehend “thought-waves” with the mind, we experience them as ideas.

What we call an “idea” can be viewed as merely one way of experiencing “thought-waves.”

Now, what if “thought-waves” are more than just ideas? What if they also have an inner core or energetic essence that can be directly felt with the heart?

The mind can certainly lead to many interesting discoveries, but what if the heart can take us straight to the inner essence of an “idea”?

In other words, what if the energy behind an idea was expressing something that could be grasped differently or more fully with the heart?

The Energy behind the activity of thought

For ages, mystics and poets have affirmed that Consciousness or Infinite Intelligence is the Source and Substance of all that is.

They claimed to experience the activity of this Consciousness as a Living Energy and a Felt Presence.

This Energy, we’re told, isn’t just mathematical. It’s also musical. It vibrates. It moves. It’s also personal. It feels. It breathes. 

This Energy, they say, does not wish to be contemplated with the mind alone. It wishes to be engaged with the heart. It longs to connect with us at a level of experience that transcends the boundaries of thought. 

Bringing Ideas to life

We’ve been taught that ideas are lifeless.  But are they?

We’ve been trained to see concepts as cold and abstract. But are they?

We’ve been conditioned to think of thoughts as impersonal. But are they?

What if the millions of thoughts that pass us by on any given day are not JUST thoughts?

What if so-called “ideas”are simply our head’s one dimensional interpretation of a higher multidimensional reality?

What if we just haven’t been taught how to perceive this energy we experience as thoughts in a way that goes beyond the mind?

Thinking with the heart-brain

Eastern Orthodox monks often spoke of something called “The Prayer of the Heart” where a state is attained in which “the mind descends into the heart.”

The “Prayer of the Heart” is a form of meditation that is said to lead to a mode of knowing that transcends logic. Through this state one is able to directly encounter the “Uncreated Energy of God” which lies behind all phenomena, mental and physical.

What would happen if we all dared to “wax monastic” a bit by thinking with our heart-brain rather than JUST using our head-brain?

What kinds of experiences are we capable of opening ourselves up to when we playfully explore life in this manner?

What we regard as mystical or supernatural just might become more of the norm.

We just might find ourselves doing seemingly magical things like dancing with our thoughts and making love to our ideas.

If such a concept sounds unthinkable, then perhaps that’s a clue that there’s room for us to open up to broader ways of thinking.

But that’s just a feeling I have.

Feel me?

T.K. Coleman

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