How to love what is in front of you?
Key is in going inside the looking at the inner resistance to what is happening outside. The lack of acceptance or the resistance to the outside situation is coming from inside. This inner resistance has to be seen and released. If seen carefully, the resistance is actually about certain feelings that we dont want to feel and have suppressed them away. Key is to allow these feelings to surface to up and accepting them. When doing this, these feelings often tell their story and then be released.
Again the steps to accepting what is, are –
- Notice the resistance to an outside event, that you want to change
- In order to accept what is happening outside, there are two options
- Change the external environment, if it is under your control
- Change the inner environment as this is always under your control (go to step 3 below)
- Bring the focus to inner resistance
- Realize that you are trying to fight and avoid certain feelings from being felt
- Work on allowing and accepting the feeling. Once it is allowed and accepted, it will be released and along with it the inner resistance will be going.
- Once the inner resistance is going, you are able to accept what is outside with the natural love and joy that is inside
It goes down to the underlying feeling or motive behind our actions. Any given action in the world can be driven by shame, guilt, fear, hatred, pride, acceptance, joy, or love. As an example, consider a simple action of given someone a glass of water. Now look inside carefully and see the reason behind why you gave the person the glass of water
- Is it out of shame (what would people think if I did not do that?)
- Is it out of guilt (I will accrue bad Karma if I dont do it)
- Fear (I will not get what I need if I did not give the glass of water)
- Pride (I am too good a person to not give glass a of water)
- Acceptance (It is what it is)
- Love and Joy (For the love and joy of the action of giving the glass of water)
An action becomes Karma Yoga when is performed with acceptance and love and joy of the action itself. The action is not about the ‘I’ but about the action itself. This form of yoga (union with God) by going beyond our little self through action is Karma Yoga.
This is what Lord Krishna was teaching Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. Arjun needed to move away from the guilt of fighting and potentially killing his cousins and uncles. Being a warrior, Arjuna needed to fight from acceptance and joy and love of fighting and because of that he will be even more effective with it.
How do you move from acting from guilt/shame/pride/fear to acting from acceptance/love/joy?
Finally beginning to realize at a much deeper level that life is what it is. The need to run away from it is both fake and futile. Just another way of seeing and saying that what we resist, persists. The key is to see all the things that I want to avoid in my current life, see the inner resistance and work on it so as to face life as is. Clearly beginning to see that there is no such thing as that dream life out there unless I accept all aspects of my current life that I resist – job, responsibilities (children), suffering etc.
The spiritual way to live life is to fully face life, accept challenges and go through them. The salvation is through this so called challenges and not around them. In fact, this is all there is to spiritual life. Face the challenges with divine help and keep moving. As I learn the lesson in each life situation, resolutions will come and then something else will pop up depending on my inner make up. Key here is to also accept and enjoy this process. The intrinsic nature of this process is to push our buttons and to drive us out of our comfort zone. We can either chose to do it as burden or embrace it and enjoy it. In order to embrace it, trust in God is needed and unknown and uncertainties are something we should look forward to. This embracing the unknown truly opens the spigots of divine grace. This is what separates life from being full of burden to full of joy – in both versions challenges are there. Another way to put it is that life is what it is, we just see it differently in two versions.
Lately when I ask my divine guidance for help in making a choice and selecting a direction in life, the response that I am often getting is that my decision actually does not matter and that Divine has got it under control regardless of what I do or which way I proceed. Their are key aspects of love of God that are inherent in this message.
- Love of God is unconditional and is NOT dependent on my preferences, decisions or life choices I make. The thought process that their is right or wrong things to do in this world is based on my own guilts, fears and insecurities.
- Love of God has no limits and the ability of God to help us does not depend on what we do, where we are or what situation our life is in. The limit is ours and is manifested in our ability to accept divine inspiration or guidance, because of our own lack of courage.
With unconditional and limitless love of God, we have no reason to second guess or over think our actions. Combining the two aspects of unconditional and limitlessness of divine love is powerful and is difficult to accept for most of us, again due to our own limitations. For example, whether we get God’s help in fixing our breakfast or solving our professional or relationship problems or creating a peaceful and abundant world by helping others, really depends on our courage. We are limited by our own consciousness level.
The edge or the boundary of our comfort zone is comprised on limiting beliefs. That is where we start hitting guilt, fear or failure, insecurities and sense of inadequacy among others. How do we deal with these and clean them up to expand our comfort zone.
- Identify the conflict
- Be with it.
- See it.
- Experience it.
- Conflict resolution occurs and decision is made and path is opened
Our effort in these 4 steps is only in first two steps. Identifying the conflict is a mental activity and needs to be accomplished by us. Similarly, being with it is also a mental activity. We need to control our though process to prevent the mind from escaping the conflict as it is not fun to be with it.
Steps 3, 4 and 5 are benediction by the grace of God and they are not a result of our mental activity. The outcome of the steps 3-5 as they happen on their own, will be recorded by the mind. But, again, mind has no role to play in making steps 3-5 happen. Minds role is limited to steps 1-2.
What is below sense of scarcity is past trauma and suffering. This trauma is hidden by a general sense of scarcity. What is on top of sense of scarcity is the rationale and reasoning to justify limiting our actions and thoughts and possibilities.
These limiting thoughts/concerns/anxieties hide the underlying sense of scarcity and the the sense of scarcity is hiding the underlying past trauma and suffering which, in an unconscious way, we do not want to suffer ever again at any cost. It takes a lot of deep introspection to be aware of underlying trauma beneath the sense of scarcity.
Also, this trauma and sense of scarcity and related thought process on top of it has intrinsic mistrust of God as that was it is based on in the first place. The existence of trauma means that God’s help was not available during the past suffering and hence the intrinsic mistrust.
This is another way of seeing how there is no suffering in the world. It is within us – only 100%.
This is not to say that we do not suffer. But the suffering is definitely not in the world. The suffering is within us. Only 100%. The suffering is only in the thoughts and emotional response that is triggered inside us because of a so called outside or worldly event. A simple evidence of this fact is that same event in the world can trigger a different emotional response in different people.
Suffering is nothing but suppressed emotions. These suppressed emotions create the perception and sense of suffering. Our suppressed emotions and feelings get triggered based on outside events in the world and the impression created in the mind is that events in the world are the reason for our suffering. We are seeing the world based on our inner make up. Nothing more but nothing less.
We spend our life trying to manage outside situations in a way that our suppressed emotions are not triggered hence hoping to keep the suffering away. However, Key to the resolution of the root cause of suffering is fix where the suffering is really located – inside us.