Tag: Forgiveness Work
There is so much to say about the dream state that I hardly know where to start. This may take several posts but at the risk of losing my readers, I think I will need to start with the dream state as real & literal. The typical understanding of the dream state & dreams in general is that they are the result of the subconscious & the brain playing out & processing all that has happened during the day. I don’t dispute this at all. Test subjects, deprived of dream state sleep, quickly become psychotic. Another understanding is that dreams are a way for your subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind via symbols or metaphors. Again, I agree. I own a dream dictionary entitled simply “Dream Dictionary” by Tony Crisp that is decent (although not my favorite.) I recommend that everyone have a good one in their personal reference library as a dream interpretation book is an excellent tool for discovering yourself. Not only is it useful for interpreting dreams but I also use it to interpret the happenings in my waking life as well. I firmly believe that spirit uses our waking life just as easily as our sleeping life to talk to us. Other books useful for this purpose include: “Heal Your Body-the Mental Causes for Physical Illness” by Louise Hay, “Permanent Healing” by Daniel R. Condron, “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die” by Karol K. Truman, “Love Is In The Earth” by Melody & both of the “Animal-Speak” books & “Nature-Speak” by Ted Andrews.
To consider the dream state as real & literal is a little bit farther out there, so to speak. You may not think of dreams as being about or taking place in actual literal places, planes of existence, other dimensions, other lives but consider how often you hear of someone receiving a warning in a dream that comes true or having a dream about an event that then happens in the physical. You can probably remember an instance in which this has happened to you or someone you know. I’ve had many such dreams of prophecy. Of course, I realize that such dreams can be explained away by the idea that your subconscious is aware of things & is communicating them to the conscious mind via dreams. However, I’ve relived & experienced past lives in my dreams. I’ve visited family members that have passed over. I’ve woken up in my dreams. There is a book that I still have entitled “Lucid Dreaming” by Stepen LaBerge. I first read it more than 20 years ago & immediately began having dreams in which I was “lucid” or “awake”. In such a state, you feel completely awake, aware & physical in your dreams which is the most amazing thing as it’s nearly impossible to tell that you aren’t awake in the physical. The basic idea in the book is to ask your self many times during the day if you are awake & then test the question by choosing to float. If you are unable to float then you know that you are awake in this 3rd dimensional reality where it is not possible to float but if you float then you realize that you are actually dreaming & it is this realization that has the potential to wake you up in that dream. By asking your self these questions during the day when of course you know that you are awake, eventually you will think to ask your self during a dream. Waking up in a dream is not the same thing as being aware that you are dreaming. It is very possible to be aware that you are dreaming & yet not actually wake up in the dream. To wake up in a dream, is to be fully present in the body that is in that dream. You will know when you have succeeded because you will feel completely physical & the dream will feel completely physical. What I have noticed about waking up in a dream, once you have realized that you are dreaming, is a feeling of being drawn forward into the dream & into your body in the dream. Alternately, as you become more proficient, you may simply be awake in your bed one minute & awake in a dream the next & move from one dream to another fully awake & present in each. Typically, this tends to cause me to wake up in bed multiple times in between or during the lucid dreams.
So, how does lucid dreaming illustrate that dreams are possibly real experiences & literally taking place in other dimensions, realities or planes of existence outside of our physical awareness? Well, experiencing a lucid dream is pretty convincing by itself but what clinched it for me, was many years later after my first experience of lucid dreaming, when I began to have Out-Of-Body-Experiences (OOBE’s). In an OOBE, you experience the process of leaving your physical body in another body, usually traveling to another place. OOBE’s feel equally as physical as lucid dreams & once out of my physical body, I could not discern any difference between them. Everything that I’ve experienced during a dream or a lucid dream, I have also experienced during an OOBE. I’ve experienced past lives in my dreams as well as during lucid dreams & OOBE’s. Likewise, I’ve visited family members in all three formats. These experiences led me to wonder if lucid dreams are actually OOBE’s minus the awareness of leaving the physical body. And I wonder, also, if dreams are experiences taking place somewhere that you experience in a less conscious manner than OOBE’s or lucid dreaming – like watching a live soap opera on television versus actually being in a play on stage.
If you accept the possibility that your dreams are real experiences just as your physical life is a real experience, then you can see that your dreams need your prayer & healing just as much as your waking life. In fact, I feel that your dream life can often illustrate your wounds even clearer than you could be aware of otherwise. By treating your dreams as your own true experiences & doing your work to heal them, you heal yourself & possibly prevent those undesirable prophecies from coming true. The dream state is a magical place & is much simpler to heal than here. Anytime I wake up from an unpleasant dream, especially, I pray: “I ask for the Complete Cleaning Clearing Healing Restoration Protection Forgiveness Prayer * for this dream & for all persons, places, things, events, circumstances & situations involved & I surrender this to the Holy Spirit & specialists to be done for me through grace in Christ’s name. Amen.” It is often a good idea to interpret the dream both symbolically with the help of a counselor &/or a dream dictionary & also literally & heal with prayers & forgiveness work. By doing your spiritual work on issues illustrated by your dreams, you probably prevent them from becoming reality in your physical life & lessen the problems you already have. For those who do not remember dreams, I recommend saying the above prayer every morning when you awake with the following added to it: * “for all of my dreams & everywhere I’ve been at night during my sleep & for all persons, places, etc.” & continue as above.
To encourage your remembrance of dreams, it is helpful to leave a pen & notebook by your bed with the expectation that you will write down any little glimmer. As you commit to writing what you do remember, you will be encouraging your self to remember with more detail until you will be good at dream recall. Another trick to recalling your dreams, is to not move when you wake up as remaining in the same position that you were in while dreaming seems to help you recall the most recent dream. Rather than immediately moving or getting out of bed, lie there for awhile & see what you can remember. It’s not unusual for it to take several minutes for the dream to come to you. I have a theory about this as well. I have often been aware when returning from an OOBE that while I (my consciousness) has returned to my body in bed immediately, the body that I (my consciousness) has been traveling in, is much slower to return. It seems that body has the memory & sometimes I don’t consciously remember anything until I feel that body rejoin my physical body. It’s a very distinctive subtle feeling of humming. I have also noticed this humming when awakening from dreams & not just after OOBE’s. Once the humming stops, I can suddenly remember the dream or the OOBE.
Are our dreams actually OOBE’s? I don’t know for sure but from my experience it certainly seems a possibility. I would love to hear about your experiences of the dream state.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God 🙂
I’ve been feeling stressed lately. For over 3 years now, I have had to deal with a family member who is convinced that I am not family & who has been very vocal & aggressive about it. It has not been pretty. It has been pretty nerve-wracking & worrisome because their perception of reality does not coincide with mine. This situation has brought up a lot of fear in me that I’ve worked on pretty regularly for the last 3+ years through my prayer & emotional work. It has caused me to question my version of events, my truth, my beliefs, my perceptions. I have feared that I am creating negative consequences for myself & for others by my continuing to interact with & participate in this discord. Like Job, I have feared that I must have done something wrong since this is happening to me. I have feared that my version of events, my reality is wrong since someone else has such a different version. At times, I have feared that I am crazy. Believe me, there is nothing more crazy-making than having someone in your life who is convinced that what you think is reality is not real! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more than one movie using this ploy in the script.
While this is an unusual example, you can probably think of times you have been anxious, worried or fearful when, like my situation, it was not due to an animal attack. I bring up animal attack because this is the classic example given when describing fear & the “fight or flight” stress response of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS triggers the “fight or flight” stress response which readies the body to fight or flee from danger. There aren’t too many animal attacks happening in the course of most people’s lives these days but we still seem to experience plenty of anxiety, worry, fear, stress & the resulting ANS activation. Most of us are not daily fighting or fleeing for our lives but rather dealing with long term, low level stress due to intractable people & situations such as my own example above.
Now you may be wondering why I am talking about fear & anxiety under the heading of “Our Mental Selves” rather than “Our Emotional Selves” so let me digress & explain where I’m coming from. While fear is an emotion & therefore more a part of our emotional self, anxiety can be thought of as a mental emotion or state arising from our mental self as can despair, probably. Generally, for the purpose of our discussion, consider that ideas, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, words & some attitudes & emotions are a part of the mental self.
Today, people are more likely to experience unrelenting, long term worry & anxiety versus temporary outright fear for their lives. So, while the emotional self’s fear of impending doom can definitely trigger the “fight or flight” stress response of the ANS, so can the mental self’s experience of worry & anxiety. Worry is an activity of the mind & the mental self that often triggers anxiety & fear & therefore the stress response. What you may not realize is that worry & anxiety over something currently happening, something that has already happened or something that might happen in the future will all have the same effect. While you may realize that what you’re worrying about isn’t actually happening right now, this minute, your body does not & will activate the ANS as though you are being chased down the street by danger. This is what makes the long term, low level stress of the mental type especially destructive because there is no immediate resolution as there would be with a single, sudden, frightening event. The mental type of stress & resulting ANS activation could literally last for years instead of seconds. A lot has been made of the self-created stress of the “Type A” personality but I’m pretty certain that whether or not you are a “Type A” doesn’t matter nearly as much as the length of time you are stressed. A typical “Type A” blows up & moves on – the mental equivalent of being chased down the street by danger. As long as this isn’t happening on a daily basis, probably not beyond the ability of the body to recover. But what about the family members of this person? Not too many people can take the blow-ups of others & move on so they are left with stewing over the previous blow-ups & worrying about & dreading the next blow-up, walking on eggshells trying to prevent it.
So what is the solution? Quit worrying! The upsetting thoughts rattling around & movies playing over & over again in your mind/brain/mental self are completely unproductive & usually move you no closer to any sort of resolution. Instead, surrender them to the Holy Spirit in prayer each & every time you find yourself back in the rut of fretting & worrying. I have also in contemplation, gone before God with a basket or apron full of eggs & one by one handed them over naming the person, worry or upsetting situation that each represents, letting go & letting God. I figure putting all of your eggs in one basket is a good thing if you are handing it over to God. This technique works especially well at bedtime before falling asleep. Another thing you can do is forgive each thought as it occurs. Since your thoughts direct your energy (energy follows thought), by forgiving each & every thought you have that isn’t best, over time you create an energy of peace & quiet within yourself. The negative thoughts die down & what you are left with is your divine self that God created you to be. An amazing side effect of this is that you will have created the space within you in which the Holy Spirit can be present & communicate with you. This is infinitely more satisfying than the out of control fear, worry & anxiety & the resulting stress & ill health that thinking negative thoughts & scenarios creates. This is what will resolve the stressful problems in your life. This is what will move you forward into a better life.
Live, Love & Laugh in the Light of God
Our Subconscious Self encompasses that part of our selves that we are not aware of consciously. This aspect of our selves can be seen in others, however & this is one of the blessings of our relationships. Sometimes, others are in our lives to show us our subconscious selves & issues as well as other aspects of our selves so that we can heal them. Otherwise, we would be clueless as to what lies there & therefore clueless as to what is causing some of our problems. So, embrace your relationship challenges for they are here to serve you & your healing journey on this planet. Oftentimes, we strive to ignore what is bothering us in others because of feeling guilty about how we feel about them. Once you recognize that they are you in a way, in a level of you that you are unaware of, then you can be grateful to them for showing you your self. How would you know otherwise? Make a list of everyone in your life that you are uncomfortable with, can’t stand to be with, are upset with or disagree with & then look at each one on the list & accept that they are you at the subconscious level or in some aspect of your self, showing you your self. Be grateful that they are in your life showing you your self & pray for healing for them for as you do you pray for your self. This is one of the more difficult concepts to understand & accept. All of us walking around in different bodies makes it look as though we are completely independent of each other, completely separate from each other, completely different from each other. It obscures the reality that we are all one.
A few years ago, I was in meditation. It was a guided meditation led by a mentor but within just a few minutes of starting, the Holy Spirit took me in a different direction. I don’t remember how the meditation was meant to begin but what I saw was a clear glass bowl of water upon which appeared a paper origami swan. Suddenly the bowl disappeared from view & I was looking down onto the surface of a body of water at a living swan. I began to be moved backwards toward the sky & as this happened what I could see in my field of vision expanded. What had been a bowl of water now looked to be a pond & then a lake & then an ocean & then I began being pulled back ever more quickly as the United States came into view & then all of the Americas. This continued on & there was the planet earth & the moon. The sun & solar system soon appeared. The feeling of rushing back intensified as I continued to be pulled away. Soon the sun began to look like a star just like all the other stars in the cosmos & then I could see our galaxy & then it became smaller as other galaxies came into view. Finally, in my field of vision, all I could see was an infinite black field filled with galaxies & as I continued to move backwards, farther & farther away, all of the galaxies converged to became just a single spot of light before me. It was at this point that a very deep voice reverberated through me, saying “ALL ONE.” I wish I could convey the intensity of this experience fully, especially the voice of God at the end. I’m glad for the opportunity to write about it, to remember it again. It’s all too easy to buy into the false appearance of the physical that we are all separate, different, disconnected & independent from each other. This spiritual experience was a reminder to me that, despite what appears to be the truth in the physical, we are one.
By accepting that we are one, you open the way to healing your self & your subconscious self. You may think that what others have done to you is unforgivable & that you could not possibly be guilty of doing to anyone what they have done to you. I’m here to tell you that it is possible. We wear our issues like the clown that has the sign on his back that says “Kick Me!” We attract to our selves what we have said, done, thought, felt or believed whether we can remember it or not & whether we are aware of it or not. This is where others play their part & come to our rescue by reading the sign & kicking us! So if others are doing unto you what you don’t want done, then more likely than not, you have only yourself to blame & believe it or not, this is a good thing. The alternative is that you are just unlucky, cursed, being unfairly picked on or a victim. Taking responsibility for all that happens to you & your reaction to it puts the ball in your court. What’s even more amazing is that when you take full responsibility for your self, the universe moves to deliver you from what you are holding that has been attracting all the abuse. My favorite way of taking responsibility is through prayer & forgiveness work (Emotional Attunement). These two methods have proven themselves over & over again to be effective at removing the “Kick Me” signs no matter the cause or the source of them.
What you will find when you have fully forgiven yourself & others for their part, is Divine Unconditional Love, Peace & Healing. You may think this is not possible because of what has been done to you. You may feel that others don’t deserve to be forgiven. You may believe that it’s not in your power to forgive but I tell you that it is in your power because in doing so you release yourself from bondage. You also help release others from their bondage. When I was little, I was molested many times by my grandfather. Fortunately for me, this was not the grandpa who raised me. As I got older, I got better at avoiding him & preventing further abuse. He passed over when I was 16 years old, much to my relief at the time & I have not seen him until just recently. Needless to say, I had years of traditional therapy as a teenager & in my 30’s interspersed with a lot of nontraditional forms of therapy through the years. A few years ago, I realized that I had finally healed from the abuse, had fully forgiven him & let it go. I thought no more of it until about a month ago when I saw him in the dream state when I was visiting my grandma (his wife). She passed over a little over 20 years ago & I’ve visited her in the dream state many times but she was always either alone or with other family members. I was completely shocked, therefore, to see my grandfather with her this time. This was the first time I’d seen him in over 35 years. He was almost unbelievably transformed – loving, happy, healthy & whole. What was even more shocking to me was that, as I stood before him, I realized that not only had I forgiven him (which I already knew) but that I loved him! Not at any point when he was alive, did I ever feel that I loved him. I hugged him then & told him I loved him & in my mind I told him that I’d forgiven him. I didn’t say that I’d forgiven him aloud because I’m never quite sure what is remembered, known or understood by others at that level.
I am not sharing this to show how enlightened I am, to gain sympathy or to impress anyone but to impress on you that forgiving others is in your power to do & to point out that if I can forgive my grandfather then you can forgive those who’ve hurt you as well. I know that forgiving him transformed me, did my forgiving him transform him as well?
For me, sometimes, living in the physical has been like standing in the bottom of a very deep, very dark , very empty well yelling, “Hello! Is anyone there? Can you hear me?” And all I could hear was the sound of my own voice echoing back at me.
Other times, it’s been like having one foot in the physical & one foot in spirit, feeling homesick, torn, divided & separated between the two.
Occasionally, it’s been like heaven.
There is very little guidance for most of us on how to heal & unify our spiritual self & our physical self. How to bring our physical lives into alignment with our spiritual lives. How to live a spiritual life in the physical. What does that even look like? Maybe saying prayers before bed as in our childhood? Maybe saying grace before meals? Going to church on Sunday? Is that all there is to living a spiritual-physical life? Probably not. I suspect that very few people walking the planet today have fully integrated their spiritual self into their physical life & body. I suspect that all of our lives would be very, very, very different from how they are right now if we were fully living as spiritual beings in the physical. It has been one of my personal goals in life to work on this conundrum. I know that I can tell you that I have struggled with it for almost as long as I can remember. Maybe you have, too. Or maybe you gave up long ago. Whatever the case may be, stick around awhile longer & lets talk about our spiritual self & what it means to live a spiritual life in the physical.
I can look around & tell you what living a spiritual life is not about. My daughter woke up one morning recently to the sound of a car crash. She ran outside & a neighbor told her that someone had hit her car & driven off – a hit & run. Thinking that the other car might not have made it very far, my son-in-law went walking & sure enough, there it was about a block away with a tell-tale gas cap embedded in it. Oh, & did I mention that it was also sporting the Christian fish emblem on the back? I’m pretty sure that if the driver had stopped & asked Spirit, “WWJD?” the answer wouldn’t have been “RUN!” Why did they run? They were probably drunk & didn’t want to get a DUI. Or maybe it was a joy ride & not their own car or maybe they’re here illegally or they were driving without a license, without insurance or the car had stolen plates. Whatever the reason, I can tell you that living a spiritual life means walking your talk, even when it’s difficult, inconvenient, expensive or uncomfortable. This is an extreme example but it illustrates the physical-spiritual split that exists in the day to day lives of many people. What’s the solution? Well, if you can’t live up to the dictates of your chosen religion, then you might want to choose another one. Choose another one?!!! Yes!!! It’s more important for your insides & your outsides to match than it is for you to fit in with your culture, your family or any external standard, expectation or institution. It’s nearly impossible for you to heal & integrate your spiritual self & your physical self if they are at odds with one another. Bring them into alignment with one another & you can move mountains.
Of course, this may be easier said than done. There are a lot of factors involved in aligning your insides & your outsides as I so elegantly call it. What feels right on the outside may not be right on the inside & vice-versa. As with other aspects, believe it or not, your spiritual self can be wounded & damaged. There is an idea that gets thrown around in some circles that offers an explanation. “Any degree of separation (from God, self, source) can leave an opening for darkness.” Darkness, negativity, evil, interference, wrong-doing, mistakes, lack, limitation, misunderstandings, distortions, etc. can all be seen as different sides of the same coin. The end result is the same – problems in the physical. In fact, you can look at your physical body, life, experiences & relationships to determine the nature & current state of affairs of any or all of your aspects including your spiritual self. Many times, by simply healing the different aspects of yourself, you can greatly improve all aspects of your physical experience. That is one of the blessings of being physical. You get the opportunity to perceive what’s wrong & also the opportunity to do something about it! So, you’re wondering, how do you heal your spiritual self? I’m glad you asked. First off, you need to learn to discern your spiritual self.
Think of your spiritual self as a body very like your physical body that is not confined by physical laws, gravity or 3 dimensional reality. This part of you has the ability to span time, distance, space. It has the ability to be with God. I tend to think of the spiritual self as almost like a bridge between the physical & the spiritual realms. It is a part of you here but is also a part of God, therefore, making time to connect to God connects you with your spirit. Pursuing spiritual practices will also nurture your spiritual self. I would go so far as to say that just simply taking the time, daily, to acknowledge & pay attention to God & Spirit would increase your awareness of your spiritual self, strengthen your connection to your spirit & lead you to incorporate more of your spirit into your physical experience. You will possibly never perceive spirit if you never open your self up to the possibility of perceiving spirit. All it takes is willingness on your part. I know Spirit is just waiting.
Many techniques that heal other aspects can be used to heal your spiritual self such as meditation, prayer & forgiveness work. These spiritual practices, & many others that have evolved over thousands of years through thousands of religions & spiritual traditions, are now at your fingertips. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to locate what is right for you. You could go to a different house of worship every weekend of the year & probably not run out of religions to explore in your area. Explore on the internet. Attend classes at the local library & check out spiritual & religious books, videos, CD’s & DVD’s while you’re there. Look everywhere with the expectation that Spirit will help you every step of the way. Open your self up to God & Spirit by assuming that you are never alone & talk out loud (or in your mind if others are around!) to Spirit. Ask questions, ask for help & expect that you are being heard & that you will be answered. You will know when you have found what you are looking for because it will bring you joy & peace. Your spiritual practice & belief system should feed & nurture you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually & energetically. You should not have to force yourself, be bored or unduly stressed by it. It should naturally flow as a part of you because you are a unique child of God, having a unique relationship with Spirit, walking your talk as only you can.
I have really had trouble reining my self in for each post that I’ve written in this series so far & “Our Mental Selves” is no exception. I may have to cycle through the “Our Selves” series multiple times in order to get to say everything I’d like. I was a little worried before starting that I wouldn’t have much to say with this one & the last one “Our Energetic Selves” but by the time I sat down, my mind was overflowing with thoughts & ideas. I guess my mental self has been called upon. For the purposes of this post today, our mental self includes our intelligence, intellect, thoughts, thought-forms, beliefs, ideas, words, mind, brain & thinking processes including abstract & concrete.
Our mental selves are a little like our physical selves in that they both receive more of our attention & acceptance compared to the other aspects of our selves, being of a more tangible nature than say, the energetic self. So, for example, even though you can’t exactly put a finger on your thoughts, they appear to originate from the physical construct of the brain which gives them an aura of concrete reality & realness. You could locate the mental self in the brain, for it’s apparent from our physical biology that much of our “mentality” is located in the brain but I don’t recommend this. It’s probably more accurate to perceive your mental self as a body permeating your physical body. Viewed in this way, you can see that your mental self, intelligence & mind are not limited to just your brain. Every part of your body is intelligent.
The mental self can cause or contribute to problems in our lives & bodies just as any of our other aspects can & since “energy follows thought,” the potential is great for our mental self to cause a great deal of problems for us through our thinking & our thoughts. Since we usually assume that our thoughts originate with us, we then proceed to buy into everything we think without discernment, believing all that we think. You’ve heard the saying “don’t believe everything you hear”? To this, I would add “or think” because your thoughts are not always just your own. Some thoughts that arise unbidden in your mind are from God but some are from unhealed, wounded parts of your self, some from others in spirit whether of a pure nature or a wounded nature. In the same way that you would weigh & measure the words of others, I would suggest that you weigh & measure your own thoughts. Are they true? clarifying? accurate? compassionate? peaceful? loving? reasonable? logical? Do they lead you to make improvements in your life, body & relationships? Or do they tear you or others down? criticize? attack? judge? condemn? Do they stir up hate? unforgiveness? revenge? anger? Do they dwell on temporary negative conditions? things out of your control? what others are doing? or have done? The quality of your thoughts can indicate the source of them. Needless to say, the loving thoughts of God feel very different from the wounded thoughts of others or of other parts of your self. Don’t believe that you hear any thoughts but your own? This is possibly true if you continuously occupy your mind with ongoing active thinking, although, I have heard Spirit talk to me right over the top of my own thinking so I know that active thinking is no actual impediment. The best example I can think of, demonstrating that we can hear Spirit as our own thoughts, was one time that I was out of my body (OOBE) but heading back. Usually, coming back into my body is instantaneous but this was one of those times that it wasn’t. I was moving through a space similar to a hallway & up ahead of me & off to the left, I could hear a woman talking as if she were in a room off this hallway. She continued talking as I moved past her & I continued to hear her voice as I moved away. Gradually, as I merged with my body, her voice changed from it’s own distinct sound to the sound of my own thinking & continued on, sounding & feeling exactly like my own thoughts. This experience, among others, confirmed for me that we have the ability to “hear” those in spirit in our minds as our thoughts.
The difficulty with “hearing” spirit in this way is learning to discern which thoughts are your own & which are not. To this end, I would suggest a few things.
Forgiveness Work or Emotional Work mentioned in a previous post “Our Emotional Selves” is also very effective with clearing & healing the mental self. For myself, I found that as I did my “work,” I enjoyed greater & greater periods of time without any chatter in my mind. A quiet mind can be key for many, as it was for me, to enable the voice of Spirit to be discerned. Once you develop the ability to be quiet in your mind, the voice of Spirit is quite obvious.
Meditation works for some people by training the mind to be quiet & cease the chatter. This training can then be used to listen to Spirit. This technique has the benefit that it is available to anyone, there are many self-help books on the subject & it doesn’t require having access to a therapist. It does require daily commitment though & it lacks the depth of healing & overall healing benefit offered by forgiveness work.
Practicing the Presence: Choosing to practice the presence of God involves your willingness to be open to God, stated with intent & then sitting quietly, letting go of everything else. It looks like meditation but is not because you are not focusing your attention on anything in the physical, you are not trying to stop thinking, you are not required to hold any particular position, chant any word or phrases or accomplish any goal other than being with God. The Presence of God has the power to overcome all of your resistance, woundedness, fear & negative mental constructs, thoughts, beliefs, disordered & faulty thinking & rigid mind. One of my mentors has developed a wonderful version of this technique that I am going to try to share here. This can be done anytime but bedtime is especially good. Say out loud or in your mind, “I choose to fill myself with the Divine Presence of God.” This is the basic statement or intent to which more can be added such as “I choose to fill my bones, muscles, connective tissue”, etc. Alternately you could start with your feet & move up adding your legs, etc. You could go through the list of body systems such as pulmonary system, skeletal system or body organs & glands such as heart, etc. You can expand this idea by choosing to fill your relationships, your different aspects such as your subconscious, emotions, emotional self, field, soul, spirit, mind, will, etc. I always take a deep breath after each stated intent because I want to let go of all resistance to God & to receiving what I am asking. Once you feel that you are done, then just lie there enjoying the feeling of being filled with God. Sweet Dreams!
We don’t usually think about our emotions, until they are in our faces but they are a part of us all the time. We also don’t think of our selves as having an emotional self but it’s helpful to think of our selves in this way rather than diminishing our selves by saying that we just have emotions or feel emotions or are over taken by our emotions. To view emotions as being outside of us or separate from us, diminishes our wholeness & gives us permission to ignore them, overlook them, minimize them or even hide them from our selves & others. To heal, we need to honor every part of our selves, even those parts that we are not used to thinking about or recognizing as valid & as real as our bodies. Our physical selves get the lion’s share of our attention, much to our detriment, because we are infinitely more than just a physical body.
Our emotions & emotional selves can be thought of as an early warning device that warns us of things that we normally wouldn’t perceive until it’s too late, much like smoke & carbon monoxide detectors. Another way to think of them, is as a barometer that monitors our environment, only in this case it’s usually our inner environment. Our emotional selves can almost be likened to instincts, arising many times without our thinking about anything or being aware of anything. A story that illustrates might be helpful.
When I was about 21, I had just moved into a place of my own. I was driving down the road towards my dad’s & grandfather’s office. I don’t now remember if I was going there or if I just happened to be heading in that direction. Anyway, I felt fine driving along listening to the radio. Quite suddenly & without any thought or forewarning, I burst into tears. I was crying so hard I could hardly breathe or see the road. I realized right away what I was crying about. I pulled the car over & ran sobbing into my dad’s office, probably scaring him half to death wondering who had died! What had triggered this? It was a verse, “don’t leave me again” from the song playing on the radio. A few days before, my step mom had broken the news to me that she & my dad were separating but I hadn’t had a chance to talk to my dad about it, yet. My dad & my own mom had divorced when I was a 5 year old. My dad moved out & my mom remarried & took me out of state to live. Unknown to me until that moment, I was terrified I was going to lose him again when he divorced my step-mom. What is interesting is that up until hearing this verse, I had no awareness of my fear. I remember feeling sad for them & for my siblings when my step-mom told me but that was all. I have heard others relate similar stories of emotions coming seemingly out of nowhere, many times with comments about how silly they were to feel that way or how embarrassed they felt.
We tend to assume that what happens in the past, stays in the past & should have no effect on us later but our emotional selves would beg to differ! As long as a trauma remains unhealed, it remains in us, forever affecting how we feel about our selves, others, life whether we are aware of them or not. Fortunately for me, I could remember the trauma & could cry about it & talk about it with my dad & process it in a way that was healing for us both. For many traumas & for many of us, this isn’t available. Maybe we don’t even remember the trauma or the others involved are no longer in our lives or are not open to helping us resolve our traumas. This is what drives many of us to the psychiatrist’s couch! Counseling is definitely helpful in many cases but sometimes, something more is required. That something more is what I call emotional work or forgiveness work. It exists in many different formulas & forms: Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Emotional Polarity Therapy (EPT), Emotional Attunement & many others. For the past 12 years, I have used Emotional Attunement which is a local, home-grown-in-Indiana technique although I have experienced NET, EPT & two other un-named techniques used by a Chiropractor in Maryland & a therapist in Hawaii. Forgiveness work is excellent at relieving emotional distress from any cause, past or present as well as resolving traumas, phobias, fears, blocks & about anything else I have thrown at it.
Another healing modality for the emotional self is exercise, believe it or not. Exercise helps us process our energy & our emotions relieving depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, poor self-image & sluggishness just to name a few benefits. It also helps bring us more fully present in our bodies & into the present moment which can help us better handle what comes our way.
Music can have a profound impact on your mood & could be considered a form of vibrational therapy. In 2005, I got seriously ill. For the next several years, as I recovered, I listened to Frank Sinatra CD’s every day, all day. I have acquired quite a collection. After I’d gotten sick, I found one given to my daughter that she’d thrown into the donate box. I’d never listened to him before, so I was curious. I popped it into the CD player & I was hooked. Why Frank Sinatra? Well, for one thing, I have no emotional associations with his music since I’d not listened to him growing up & for another, his singing feels happy to me. If you’ve ever been sick for a long time, you know how depressing that can be. Frank’s singing got me through it, day by day. For you, it might be polka, jazz, classical or classic rock but whatever you choose, make sure it makes you feel good, happy, joyful, light-hearted.
Dancing is great for the emotional self also, as it combines two of these therapies-music & exercise. As with the music, choose a dance form that you enjoy or would like to learn & have fun!
There’s my recommendations for healing your emotional self. What are your ideas? What has worked for you?