Archive for August, 2018

Truth

August 26, 2018

Now here is an interesting concept that seems to be bantered around quite a bit lately: What is Truth? The literal truth is an easy one to identify. Something that is, is. If there is a statistic, a statement on record, a logistic that occurred, a promise in writing or witnessed, or a known fact that is not open to dispute is truth.

However, there is another form of truth that is what delves in another realm that is for me significantly more important. From a spiritual or authentic self perspective, truth takes on a whole other meaning. In the realm of the divine there is our inner authentic nature of what is. It does not come from ego where one attempts to get over on others or defend ourselves from threats to our feet of clay or insecurities. This truth resonates at a deep spiritual place of what is so for us, about us. It comes from how we walk in the world true to self without concern for other’s interpretation or attack. Our truth is how we ultimately roll in the world consistent to an inner nature that has no wiggle room for dis-self-honesty. We know what is so for us about our walk in the world while learning our lessons to move further along our path of inner enlightenment. Therefore, we don’t need anyone to tell us we are in sinc with self or not. We immediately feel the ping of dishonesty betraying our essence or the resonance of truth. This lack of truth is what sets off the bad karma we hear about because it is a betrayal of self. Thus the Universe feels this vibration through the quantum field and shutters as we come from a place of not.

The process of this “walk” is one of trial and error along with years of work. It is something that starts when you choose to walk of path of the spiritual warrior and continues until we exit this life. It is not one of ease or lacking in difficulty. It is a path of working on self at the deepest level and turning inward. It is the biblical story of the prodigal son who gets caught up in the superficial pursuit of external validation and acceptance until he turns toward the “father within” God. From this point on, the focus is internal and the truth lies within the pursuit of authentic self. Though this path is difficult as described in the book by Dan Milliman in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the rewards of owning self are glorious. As we step into the glorious place of the divine, we are vulnerable and empowered in a manner that opens us to what we want more of and don’t. Thus, we know the enhancing and compassionate world we want around us and the shame, guilt, and judgment that we don’t. From this place of authentic self, we walk in truth as to what feeds our soul and gives us the joy of self that offers peace and contentment. We are clear in this truth and speak it fluently without reservation. There is again, no wiggle room or lack of interpreting what gives to us, and what is toxic and erodes us.

Shakespeare said it well, To Thine Own Self Be True. And if you embrace this life path, nothing else needs to be pursued or said.

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Humility

August 19, 2018

OMG, This is such a huge topic, and though I am not sure I am the right one to discuss this, it needs to be out there and discussed. Humility is one of three wise positions to take if you are going to make any head way to as Miranda Macpherson says, “relax the ego.” For truly ego and humility are not compatible, and do not exist in the same space. They may hang out to some degree as they trade places in your experiences, but they are not even distant cousins.

Humility is where you dismiss as much of the ego as possible to drop into the depths of self.  This deepening into that authentic place of self, allows us to relate to self, others and the world around us with truth and  gentleness. None of which are passive, but rather coming from a place of lovingly empowered.

When we can allow ourselves to be humble, it means we have done a lot of our inner work to step out of our way to not “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Thus, the insecure wounds and triggers suffered and created in us are to a degree healed. Healed to the point that we are not set off by the egos of others trying to ‘get our goat.’ In essence, as the old Zen koan says, they shoot arrows and but find no target. None of  these slights hit home because we are not available to other’s power to hurt us. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘no one has control over us we do not give permission to.’ Now typically, this permission is an unconscious one, but given up to others none the less.  If we are not turning over our power to others, and hold a strong sense of self and center, we walk in a humble manner with no attachment to other’s cruelty.

Too many in the western world hold humility in the realm of passive and weak because in a jungle fighting environment this is how its portrayed. As Jesus was quoted to have said, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ He was also not talking about those who passively lay down, but instead to not be like the centurion warrior but walk with humility and compassion. To love thy brother as thy self. To do that one must relax the ego and embrace the divine.

When you walk in true humility there is a strong desire to relate in a true and caring manner and there is no openness to teasing, sarcasm, judgment, or shame. From this perspective there is no room for toxicity, only the purest of intentions and the desire to experience peaceful, loving kindness. Humility is a door that is open in a loving way to those who relate in this manner, and a tightly closed door to those who don’t.

Trust

August 12, 2018

Trust is something that is fundamental to every aspect of life. It is not only a crucial aspect of all our interrelationships, but includes even basics like does our pilot know how to handle the plane we are flying on, does the cab driver whose cab we are in know what he/she is doing, is our child care worker being appropriate, does the chef or food preparer know what he/she is doing to prepare a healthy, safe, and tasty cuisine, does our financier handle our money correctly, do our leaders in business or nationally really have our backs and best interest at heart, does the parachute or rope we are climbing with function properly as we jump out of a plane or scale down a mountain, etc. Get the point: we engage in carte blanche of appropriate/selective hope/denial that we can trust what is out of our true or immediate control (by the way, the thought that we are in control of anything is the greatest myth of all). If you think about it, if you didn’t give a type of unconditional trust to your world you probably wouldn’t leave home. But that being said, we do this because their are enough overseers that we do trust that someone is watching out and making sure people know their stuff.

However, this is not the case with relationships and therefore our ability to trust others is harder to earn and maintain, as it should be. Thus, how do we negotiate this difficult terrain? The answer won’t surprise you- cautiously and over time. Trust is like a huge pine tree. It takes years to grow a hundred feet and can be cut down in an instant with a chain saw. Therefore, trust is built consistently over time. It is tested and inspected to earn the right to be counted on and in a manner taken somewhat for granted. To get to this point, a person wanting to include someone in their realm/life has to show up and walk their talk whether as a business associate, friend or life long partner. It is essential and as I say in my talk on “successful relationships” under ‘Lectures’ on my web site: drgaryrichman.com, a corner stone of making a relationship viable. Though a corner stone, it is always fragile and needs to be tended to. Almost worshiped because if lost it won’t take, like the pine a hundred years to regrow, but it will take a significant amount of time to heal. Obviously, the rebuilding is difficult because two damaging things occur when trust is violated. One, whom you have known this trusted person to be, gets LOST. Once this horror has been experienced the carte blanche of who you absolutely believed  this person to be, isn’t. In that moment, one questions every aspect of who your thought this person to be. When trust is lost it is not just the one act of what is typically betrayal, but ever aspect of who you took this person to be comes under scrutiny. In that moment, the world you could count on gets badly shaken.

Two, Thus it takes a significant  amount of time to feel safe even if this is a person you have known/been with for years. There is no quick fix here, and if the relationship is to be salvaged patience, accountability, and empathy for the emotional damage are required. Typical apologies are never enough and not really the path to healing. The true healing is more about healing the emotional nightmare one is living with, and there is no specific time frame here. It will take what it takes to heal. Therefore, one must have the commitment to hang in there as the hurt mitigates over time. This work is hard, but doable as I have helped facilitate this process with many couples. As I say, the trust can be regrown, unfortunately like the tree it is just never quite the same. Couples, for instance can move on to a once more viable, loving relationship but not quite like before. A simple analogy is when you experience food poisoning at your favorite restaurant, how likely are you to go back and give them another try? Eh? You might but not for years and always with a certain amount of suspect.

Trust and its well being needs to be thought of like a very precious and fragile entity that we carry with both hands. It is something that can never be truly taken for granted and needs watering in an ongoing fashion. If maintained well, it will and does provide a stable foundation to feel safe and comfortable with those close to you and the immediate world you live in.

 

 

Forgiveness

August 6, 2018

What does it mean to forgive? We hear all the time it is God like to forgive. So many of my patients talk about “just needing to forgive and let things be.” Many talk about forgiveness as taking the higher ground and moving on. We feel almost noble as, “we forgive those who trespass against us.”

It is my contention that doing what we “should do” or what is “right” is just another form of denial. If we believe we can move on by simply saying the word and thus our being is free to let go is being naive. In actuality, this is just another form of suppression. I am not saying that forgiveness is not important and  in actuality essential. To keep, as a patient of mine said, “living with the hate or toxicity of a grudge hurts you more than the person  you are not wanting to forgive. On this I agree.  Hating someone is like drinking poison and hoping they die. It is incorrect. Additionally, it is toxic for anyone to hold onto  pain and believe you are taking care of yourself, while leaving the other person in some kind of purgatory of unresolved issues. The only thing this brings about is dis-ease.

Therefore, a healthy working through this situation is the way to let go while not denying what has occurred. How does one do that? I teach that you first must truly understand the impact on your self esteem and even your soul. Not to get passed it. Not to let it go because the person who hurt you doesn’t care or would never be accountable for what happened. One must work through the pain and impact that the hurt perpetrated in yourself. To look deeply into the extent of what you are carrying around and then work to understand the trigger that this other person ignited in you. And then to heal the wound left by the act itself. As Elenore Roosevelt said,’ No one has power over us we do not give permission to.’ Now this permission is usually unconscious, but none the less for some reason we’ve allowed this person in close enough to harm us. Therefore, we need to do our self reflective work to understand and heal not only the overt hurt, but that part of us that would give someone else this kind of power.

Once we do this, we find our center, our self, and heal. From this perspective, we see the wound in the other and the horrible way they defend themselves from their own wounding. From our own empowered, enhanced strength and understanding of self , we can forgive them for being so damaged. And as Jesus said, ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do. And then move on from them, free of the toxicity.