Love, Beliefs and a Paradigm Shift
“To become conscious of this power is to become a ‘live wire.’ It carries power sufficient to meet every situation in the life of every individual. When the individual mind touches the Universal Mind, it receives all its power.”
– Charles Haanel
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“If you only knew how much God loves you, …”
That was what I told a friend who apparently was feeling victimized by circumstances in her life. She was feeling worthless in different areas of her relationships. Her daughter was treating her like this. Her friend was treating her like that. Her husband was being this and that. And so on and so forth.
What we constantly dwell on or keep in our thoughts project outward to become our external circumstances, it’s been said time again, such as in James Allen’s “As a Man Thinketh”. The only thing I could think of was that she was not valuing herself well enough, not being loving of herself enough. And others are simply mirroring what she is towards herself.
If she only knew how much God really loves her, she would think highly of herself and jumpstart her being loving of herself or develop what is called maitri.
In her contributions to the book ”The Secret”, Lisa Nichols tells of her experience with low self-esteem and mentioned about our body and physical being often being a distraction to what we desire to achieve:
“We often get distracted with this thing called our body and our physical being. That just holds your spirit. And your spirit is so big it fills a room. You are eternal life. You are God manifested in human form, made to perfection.”
Among Eastern philosophies, it is known that the true self is not anything that can be perceived by our five senses. We know that the external world is not a part of physical selves but few understand that we are not our thoughts either. For example, as we sit down to meditate, the thoughts that arise are considered to be part of the external (i.e. to the true self) environment and thus must also be let go.
But most of us have already habituated into certain thought patterns that seem difficult to overcome. We have identified ourselves with our body, material possessions, relationships, accomplishments and so on and so forth. Not that any of these are bad in themselves but the concern is being so identified with or attached to material forms, including our habitual way of thinking, keeps us imprisoned in the ego-based self and distracted from our true purpose of existence, which is to evolve spiritually.
Easy Does It
Numerous self-help books have been written on how one must change and how one can change. But forcing change upon oneself may not be the answer. It may be considered a form of aggression towards the self, such that if we fall short of our goal, our development spirals down.
Easy-does-it begins with acceptance and awareness. Use awareness to notice one’s thoughts and feelings then accept who or what I am, without judgment.
Several books have been written about developing mindful awareness. For dealing with our feelings or shenpa, I have also included the 4R’s (i.e. Recognize, Refrain, Relax, Resolve) method in a previous article, “The Power of Feeling Good Now”. Using the 4Rs together with silent sitting meditation ( Prayer beyond Thoughts: Turning Meditation into a Daily Routine ) as practices for developing mindful awareness can gradually and in subtle ways get us in touch with the true self, which emanates joy, love, peace and harmony.
Since it has taken a lifetime for us to develop our habitual patterns, there may not be a shortcut to becoming mindful or aware or conscious. It does take time and being told to be patient may not be enough. Some have sought to practice with a teacher or some in a group or community. It is all up to the individual to determine what may be the best path for him or her.
Serendipity and Coming Home
With consistent practice, mindful awareness leads to being aligned with our true self, which automatically brings the desired experiences in our external circumstances. Because of these experiences, which some call ‘serendipity’ or ‘synchronicity’, we learn gratitude or learn to be grateful for things that we have taken for granted in the past. And the more grateful we become, the more blessings are sent our way. We finally understand how much God really loves us.
We have come home to a perfect love, His Unconditional Love for us.
Having His kind of love, we learn to love ourselves. Learning to love ourselves lead us to more graces even though unearned---faith, joy, peace, love, harmony.
Beliefs and a Paradigm Shift
People differ in their beliefs and practices and what have been discussed above may not be attractive to some. I understand that as long as the belief works in a positive manner, i.e., resulting in being loving, in one’s life, that may be the best for the person given his or her situation in time.
However, several traditional beliefs and practices have been established and tested over human history and it may benefit one to choose from among these.
Alternately, a paradigm shift was called for by Steven Covey:
“Paradigm shift: A paradigm is our perception of reality, our view of the world. It is our interpretation of events based on previous teaching we have received. If our paradigm is based only on our input from the media of conventional newspapers, magazines, radio, television, Hollywood films, public education etc., may God help us, for we will only see things the way they, the elite and wealthy rulers of this world who control these sources of information, want us to see things! This is often the opposite of the Truth. A paradigm shift means to have a sudden change in perception, a sudden change in point of view, of how you see things. Hopefully this change will be in the right direction. (Based on Stephen R. Covey's definition in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People")” - http://deeptruths.com/paradigm_shift.html
The Christian perspective made a radical shift---from one of a vengeful God to an unconditionally loving God about 2000 years ago when Jesus was born.
We may need to redefine our paradigm and make the shift. Then we are ready to go beyond our habitual ways, leave our prison walls and see how much loved we really are …
… and free!
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“If you believe you have the power, then you are using the power to create the reality that you have the power.
If you don’t believe you have the power, then you are using the power to create the reality that you don’t have the power.”
- Neale Donald Walsh (?)