Learning Unconditional Love

It said that people are brought into our lives to teach us important life lessons. A wonderfully kind, generous, and loving person came into my life to teach me unconditional love about a year ago. She is my longest and most beloved Reiki client, and the lessons she is teaching about unconditional love is helping me transcend from my smaller self to my higher self. For several months now, I have had clients leave my Reiki practice where I needed to learn how to “let go.” However, I did not learn this during their departures. Recently, my longest and most beloved client told me she is moving with her family to another state. I have worked with her through her cancer treatments and helped her management her cancer recovery. I truly love her dearly as she is such a beautiful and kind soul, and I want what is truly best for her.

During her Reiki treatment, I meditated on what this situation is intended to teach me. My higher self explained that I need to learn to “let go,” and learn unconditional love. During this meditation, all my fears surfaced including fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, and fear of failure. As I meditated on these fears, my higher self said that if you truly love her, you must let her go, and support what she thinks is best for her life. My higher self also shared with me that I must allow her to learn her own life lessons, and that I cannot protect her from the pain of growth.

After the Reiki treatment, I explained to my client that whatever her decision, I will support her decision and help her. I explained what unconditional love is to her. It is to love another based on what is best for them, and not based on my needs. I told her that I loved her unconditionally, and that it will not change our relationship. I felt sadness, but I did not feel anger, disappointment, or resentment toward her.

For several days after our meeting, I felt the stages of grief, such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression/sadness, and acceptance. These phases came sometimes within the same day or over several days. If I truly learn this life lesson, I will be able to unconditionally love all my loved ones. I have even changed my behaviors with those departing from my life through celebration, gift giving, and the hope of seeing them again in the future.

Even with death, I believe we can apply the same principals as we celebrate our loved ones’ life, and hoping to see them again in the afterlife. May you find unconditional love for your loved ones. (Copyright 2021 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Releasing Guilt: True Path to Freedom

I have been exploring releasing my need for approval from others, and the subsequent feelings of guilt for setting healthy boundaries with them. Guilt is such a destructive emotion and force within us. The cycle goes something like this. I realize that I am in a relationship with someone with unhealthy boundaries. I then set the boundary with them after explaining why I cannot accommodate their request. They become angry, resentful, and hurt. I realize that I really need to let this person go, but because I live within the same community, I still need to interact with them. Then feelings of guilt set in and I find some way back into a relationship with these individuals with unhealthy boundaries, and the cycle repeats.

This cycle is called the cycle of “suffering,” when we engaged with those with unhealthy boundaries, many who are mentally and physically unhealthy. Many will bully you into breaking down your healthy boundaries. This is not unusual for many, I suspect. Getting out of the cycle of “suffering” is key in staying healthy yourself. It also means that we must be willing to give up the approval we seek from these individuals.

The key question is why do we seek approval from those who are emotionally and physically unhealthy? I surmise that it goes back to our families of origin who forced us to live with their unhealthy boundaries and strict code of conduct and rules. Becoming aware of this dynamic with others is the first step in escaping this cycle of “suffering.” Setting healthy boundaries and sticking to them to protect ourselves is a form of self love, and don’t let anyone bully or manipulate you into giving up your healthy boundaries. It is our true path to freedom! Unhealthy people keep us in sickness, both mentally and physically like crabs in a bucket. Crabs pull each other down when one crab tries to escape from the bucket in which they are trapped. (Copyright 2021 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Revisiting Forgiveness

During a recent incident with my spouse, I needed to admit to myself that I still carry the pain and hurt from those who harmed me. I reacted in a way that was out of character for the person I have worked so hard to become. It even surprised me, but when I dug deeper, I admitted to myself that I have not let go of the hurt and pain from those who harmed me.

Forgiveness means to let go of the hurt and pain by those who harmed us, but we need not forget their deeds or trust them again. We also need not allow these individuals back into our lives to cause more harm. In order to forgive, we must let go of justifiable anger and rage against those who harmed us. I must admit that justifiable anger feels pretty good, and even powerful on some emotional level. However, justifiable anger keeps us in victimhood.

Because we are victims, we are repeatedly harmed or injured, and there lies the problem. When we are injured or harmed, we need to ask ourselves, what is my contribution to this problem? How can I change in order to avoid people who harm and injure me? What is within me that attracts these individuals who harm me? Once we change our perspective on our circumstance, we begin to gain power over our lives.

I am in this emotional and spiritual place. As Jesus Christ once said on the cross when being put to his death, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is meant to forgive those who put him to death, but also forgiveness for all humanity. We don’t need to seek vengeance against those who harm us as the Universal Law of Karma or the Great Law of Cause and Effect will take its actions in its time. Trust in the Universal Energy.

This letting go process frees us to move our energy on a more positive spiritual path and allows more love, compassion, and kindness into the universe. I think this is what is meant by “Let go, and let God.” May you find forgiveness of those who harmed you. (Copyright 2021 Awakening Journey with all rights reserved)

The Hazards of the Holidays

I felt relieved that the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in limited physical contacts with family and friends. It is already such traumatic times with the pandemic for everyone. But to my surprise, the trials and tribulations with family and friends still exist even if they are not in our physical presence.

On Christmas day, a friend texted me about getting together after the holidays. With the Covid-19 pandemic in full swing, I have no intentions of gathering with family or friends until most people, including myself, have been inoculated with the vaccine, so I kindly reminded her of the pandemic and explained that the vaccine is soon on its way to us. Then, it would be wonderful to see her.

Unfortunately, instead of texting me directly, she group texted my entire contact list from my earlier group text three years ago when I shared my then new telephone number. Throughout the Christmas day, I receive puzzled and perplex texts from my other friends about her text. I wrote to my friend requesting that she text me directly and to please delete my three year old group text, so she doesn’t inadvertently text my entire contact list again. I explained that the list included my ex-husband and a close friend and her husband who are going through a contentious divorce that caused some upset. The group text included both the husband and wife.

After my friend initiated this group text, she went on radio silence when group text members responded to her text. I finally asked everyone to please delete the group text so we can stop this futile exercise taking time away from everyone’s Christmas day activities. Not once did my friend apologize about inadvertently initiating this group text, which in retrospective, I find it all somewhat amusing and funny. She could have notify the group text members of this error to end the multitude of subsequent responses. Instead, my friend felt I mistreated her by requesting that she please text me directly, and deleting my three year old group text message so as to avoid similar situations.

This just goes to show that drama with family and friends continue whether you are seeing them in person or not. During this pandemic, nerves are frayed and tempers are short, so I decided to take a step back. In situations of conflict, we can fuel the fire or let the flames die down. I have opted to let the flames die down, and hope bruised egos will mend. Then, I will try again another day. May you find peace with the hazards of the holidays. (Copyright 2020 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

The Face of Mental Illness

I grew up with a mother who is paranoid delusional. Her mental illness permeated the entire family dynamics on every level. My family lived in fear of her violence and emotional abuse. She accused family members of attempting to kill/hurt her, and we were subjected to flying objects and physical violence from her almost daily. My mother was and is completely out of control, and refuses any mental health treatment as she does not believe she is ill. I have not had any one-on-one contacts with her since 1991.

As an adult, I have attracted countless mentally ill women into my life. I had several seriously mentally ill female supervisors, and many female friends with mental illness who refuse mental health treatment. I, myself suffered from PTSD, depression and general anxiety prior to 2011, but through therapy and counseling since I was 20 years old, and my intensive spiritual/emotional healing work since 2011, my mental conditions appear to have dissipated and healed. However, I continue to attract mentally ill women into my life who refuse to acknowledge their mental illness and refuse treatment which is worrisome.

I have begun to analyze my own behaviors around mental illness and specifically my childhood dynamics with my mother. As a child, my father convinced me that the family must somehow “fix” my mother. When I cut off contact with my parents in 1991 with the help of one of my therapists, my father said “you can’t leave us alone with your mother.” When I left my parents, my answer to my father was, “mom’s mental illness is not my responsibility.”

When I left my parents in 1991, a huge relief came over me because the responsibilities that I shouldered was finally gone. However, I continue to exhibit behaviors with other women of trying to “fix” or “save” them. It is ironic that leaving my mother did not “cure” me of my savior complex. Now, it is up to me to fix me.

Particularly with women, I exhibit the savior complex and behave overly responsible, but I also understand that I do not have the power to “fix” others. Now, with every female in my life, I am very conscious of my thoughts and actions around them. Am I trying to save her? Is it my responsibility to save her? Why am I trying to save her?

Because of my savior complex and overly responsible behaviors, I continue to attract mentally ill women into my life. I believe it is my own belief, thoughts and behaviors that is attracting these women. In my Reiki Therapy practice, I also practiced Spiritual Counseling, but decided that I am not prepared to do this work right now. Instead, I have pursued acupressure and reflexology to deal with physical ailments of my clients instead.

Hopefully, by living very consciously around this issue, mentally ill women will no longer find my behaviors attractive to them. It is not that I don’t support people with mental illness, but the manipulation, chaos, drama, conflict, and violence by those with untreated mental illness is too debilitating to and unhealthy for my life. May you find your path on your spiritual journey forward. (Copyright 2020 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Observing the Insidious Ego: the Reactions of the Mind and Body

In spiritual practice, we observe and control our thoughts within our Ego mind. Many practice meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. The Ego mind can be sneaky, and can operate unconsciously outside of our control. This is particularly true during this unprecedented viral pandemic within our lifetime that is completely outside of our control.

What I have observed within myself is the neurobiology of the brain that unconsciously controls our physical responses within our bodies when we experience fear. Within the past five months, I have felt agitation, anxiety, insomnia, sleep disturbances, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, and roller coaster of emotions. When the Ego mind experiences fear, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated unconsciously within our bodies when adrenaline, and cortisol stress hormones are released, also known as “Fight or Flight” . The brain’s emotional center, the Amygdala also is activated, and we no longer operate within the Prefrontal Cortex where rational thought, decision making, and moderation of social behavior occurs. For these reasons, I have experienced these recent symptoms.

In addition to these neurobiological responses, the Ego mind also comes into play. The Ego mind deals with fear and trauma through suppression, repression, or expression. Suppression is the conscious pushing down of feelings. Repression is the unconscious pushing down of feelings due to guilt, shame, or fear over these feelings. Expression is the vented, verbalized, stated in body language, group demonstrations, or dumping of negative feelings onto others.

The Ego mind uses denial and projection as part of suppression, repression, and expression. Denial is used to avoid reality because it is outside of our control and too difficult to face. Projection is believing feelings we experience belong to others. The Ego mind then finds justifications to reinforce these projections. Blame is then placed on people, events, things, political and social conditions, etc. I have observed this within myself, that the fear I experience is the fault of the government, politicians, the media, and justify this by pointing to the poor job of our government, and inconsistent media coverage, etc.

In fact, this fear is within me caused by repressed and suppressed fears from earlier in my life, and the current viral pandemic is merely a trigger of this fear within. One way of determining where the fear or negative emotion lies is by observing who is reacting to the situation. For example, if a disagreement arises between two people, observe who is upset, yelling, melting down, and acting out. Whoever is reacting negatively, the fear or other negative emotions lies within them. The disagreement is only a trigger and that individual Ego mind’s justification to release these negative emotions.

This is why spiritual and emotional healing work is so critical during this viral pandemic, and why we must be vigilant in observing our Ego mind and its reactions to what is happening in our world. Please see Observing Ego Practice to help you with your spiritual practice. Healing begins with us, and when we become aware of what is really happening, we can help our world heal its divisions and conflicts. May you find healing and peace within during these difficult times. (Copyright 2020 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)