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I love the look on this face!  A sort of "Wait.....WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?"

This is the look I sometimes get,  and the reaction I sometimes get, when I advise a client to go within.  When I ask for the reasoning behind such a response, the answers vary.  Some find the journey within to be dangerous, and their insides a place to not venture alone.  And some simply cannot or will not believe that going within is going to make any difference in their lives.

I will save the "dangerous place" responses for another post, because today I want to address the belief that going within will not make a difference.

I can state,  unequivocally, that going within DOES make a difference.

And I realize that most of us are trained to do just the opposite.  We are taught throughout our lives to do.....get a job, help others, clean house.  Basic variations of that, and the promise is that if we do those things life will be good.

But life isn't always good, no matter what we do.  And sometimes the doing is in direct conflict with how we feel on the inside, but we don't know it because we've never gone within to check out how we feel.  This doing rather than being is so insidious that I know people who are incapable of identifying their feelings.  And because of that, they live lives of lack and limitation and don't understand why.  They keep doing, and thinking things are going to turn around, and things don't turn around, and then frustration and anger gets added to the list.

Going within means exploring who and what we are....our feelings and thoughts which are based in beliefs and values.  Going within also means sometimes exploring the stories of our lives, not to relive them over and over, but to view past events from a new perspective, which allows us to move beyond the story and stop allowing ourselves to be victimized over and over again.

When we refuse to go within and view things from a different perspective, we can almost provide ourselves with a written guarantee that nothing will change in our lives.

The invitation is this:  if you are experiencing something that is not serving you, go within and explore the story.  Explore the times in your life when something similar has happened.  Look for the pattern, I guarantee there is one.  Look for the common ground, I guarantee there is that too.  When you discover the pattern and the common ground, you are then in a wonderful position, because then you will be able to change the only thing you can change:  yourself.  And when you change yourself, your outsides will automatically change.

I guarantee it.

KAL_0697

 

Every day, as part of my spiritual practice, I read from a couple of different daily readers. Today, both of them are about forgiveness. While some might consider this magical thinking, I've learned not to ignore stuff like this. When I get two readings on the same topic, it allows me to stop and take a closer look and ask myself: is there anything or anyone I need to forgive today in order to provide myself with relief? I spent some time in contemplation this morning and am happy to say that no, no forgiveness is needed today. I have no lingering feelings of resentment that need taken care of. But when I do, I take care of them.

I've learned a few things about forgiveness.  When I forgive, it doesn't excuse or condone bad behavior on the part of another.  Forgiveness really doesn't have anything to do with anything or anyone else.  Rather, forgiveness has to do with myself.  Forgiving gives me relief.  It frees me from victimhood.  Forgiveness feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, allowing me to move easier and breathe freer.  When I forgive, I must also be willing to give up the  payoff that sometimes comes from lack of forgiveness.   Have you ever realized that not forgiving gives us a sort of feeling of power?  "I am strong!  I am NEVER going to allow that other person to think what they did was OK!"  Unfortunately, such a sense of power is false and will turn against us, making us sick.  And what we do doesn't have any bearing on what another thinks.  The real power comes from forgiving and moving on and fully enjoying life.

How about you? Is a lack of forgiveness preventing you from fully experiencing all the joy that life has to offer?

 

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