Friday, February 12, 2016

Am I the only one who…

We may all feel like we are the only one on this entire earth who is experiencing something, or find ourselves in a certain situation at some points in our lives. It may prompt us to as ourselves, am I the only one who is experiencing, doing, feeling, thinking this?

Right of the bat, I would say no. We are not the only one.
Out of 7.4 billion people who are currently inhabiting the earth, it is very unlikely we are the only person on this earth who is experiencing this ‘thing’; who finds themselves in that situation we don’t want to be in.
Chances are other people have been there, and know exactly what we are going through.

From a more spiritual perspective the number of areas in which we may find ourselves encountering problematic or weird situations in, are limited. Home, family, relationships, jobs (or the work that we are doing), and travel are said to be the handful of areas where the ‘biggies’ in our lives take place. And each of those ‘biggies’ are ~ again from a spiritual perspective ~ a life-lesson we are here to learn.

This means that it is not as much what we encounter in life that sets us apart, it is our own, unique way in which handle things when we encounter them on our path.

It is our choice to either say nobody understands me and the situation I am in, and therefore nobody can help me handling it. Or to say; many people have experienced similar situations and learning form their experience I can handle it more effectively than I would be able to, left to my own devices.

But even if it is not about great, big, loge-changing events in our lives; how we handle our day-to-day stuff, not only makes us the unique individual we are, it also gives feedback to ourselves and the Universe as to how much of that particular lesson we have learned.
For instance, when someone ‘wrongs us’, do we set out to ‘get back at them’? Do we get angry, or frustrated? Do we act on feelings of ‘righteous indignation’? Or do we take a deep breath, bless them and us, and continue on our own personal path ~ be that going grocery shopping, or our path in a more spiritual sense.
When we are triggered in old behaviors, attitudes or habits, do we blame everybody around us? Or do we say ‘Oops, guess there is still something I want to change?’

Things like that happen to all of us, and depending on mood, on how well we slept the night before, on whether we are in a hurry or not, and on a thousand other variables, we act one way or another.

There is no chance whatsoever that we would be the only person having that experience.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Being strong

Not that long ago, being strong meant to grit our teeth and just power through any tough situation we might encounter in life. Crying was for the weak, and by the way, wouldn’t get you anywhere to start with anyway. So pick up and get on!

Then there is ‘strong’ in the physical sense. Being able to do things that require great physical strength. And again, up to fairly recently, that would be mostly in a job-environment.

Nowadays both perspectives on being strong have changed.
Jobs are mostly regulated so that ~ sometimes excessive ~ strength is no longer needed. Although a display of great physical strength is still looked upon with awe and admiration, it now takes place in sports, and as such is a choice whether we want to ‘be strong’ in that particular setting.
We also have discovered that by keeping everything within ourselves ~ by gritting our teeth ~ we are not necessarily strong. In this point in time, being strong is measured by opening up, by talking about it, sharing how we feel about things. And when we cry, the tears are seen as part of our individual healing process.

The interesting thing to me is how we have reversed our opinion on ‘being strong’ almost completely. From feeling it is ‘normal’ that we have jobs that require great physical strength, to sometimes even refusing to do a job when great physical strength is involved.
From a perspective that ‘crying is for the weak’, to recognizing that crying is a part of the flow of our inner healing process. Gaining the understanding that showing our emotions is a good thing that makes us stronger.

This new perception seems to have come with the idea that any emotional outburst is okay. Because putting it out there is part of ‘my process’.

The question that comes up is whether this is true. If saying anything we want to say, doing anything we want to do ~ or perhaps not doing the things we don’t want to do because they require (physical) strength ~ and feeling it is a good thing to have emotional outbursts; be it an angry outburst, or laughter.
In other words, have we become stronger people as a result of the reversal of our perception of what ‘being strong’ means?

Or are we using it as an excuse to be loud, and inconsiderate. Just looking at what we want when we want it, without taking responsibility for our actions.
Because that is not ‘being strong’; that is ‘being a Bully’.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pointing fingers

It is easy to point fingers when something goes wrong. And often we are indeed quick to point out what went wrong, why it happened, and most of all who we feel is responsible. On numerous occasions we tend to place that responsibility outside of ourselves.

So, we are not cut off in traffic because we are multitasking, or even because we ourselves are in a hurry, but it is plain and clear the other person’s fault ~ and by the way, how dare they! When we are late, it is our companion’s doing as he/she always takes so much time to get ready. And on and on…

Somehow we feel that things are easier when we can look upon ourselves as being a good person, and when everything that doesn’t go as planned is done to us by others. When we are in no way responsible for it. When we can point fingers.

While there is some appeal in not being at fault ~ after all, if we are not at fault we don’t have to start looking at how we behave, act, react; in short live our lives. Consequently we don’t have to make changes in our attitudes, or in the way we handle the situations we encounter.
On the other hand, when we feel that everything that doesn’t go as we planned it ~ or even things that hurt us ~ are done to us out of the meanness of those around us, we could say we would be living in a pretty lousy world. And when it is entirely the other people who are at fault, then we would have no power to change any aspect of what is happening.

From that perspective one might say that as soon as we start pointing fingers, we are giving our power ~ our empowerment ~ away in the worst way! As soon as we point fingers we assume the role of being a victim without having a way out.

The more spiritual perspective says that we are responsible for our own path through life, and what ever situations or events we encounter on our path are there for us to gain experience, to learn and to grow from.
And while we may not always have chosen ~ or even be part of ~ the actual event, there is always something we can learn from it. Ultimately, how we handle it inside ourselves ~ where our attitudes and beliefs are concerned ~ will either show us the easy way out, or give us another opportunity to learn that particular lesson.

This does make the statement: “When we are pointing one finger at another, we are pointing three fingers at ourselves” food for thought…

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Seeking approval

In one way or another, we are all seeking approval. When we are very young we look for the approval of our parents. When we grow up we act to gain the approval of our peers. In interaction with others, we all too often measure our (self)worth by the amount of approval they are extending to us.
And perhaps the best, and from a certain perspective safest ways to feel validated and approved of, are ‘social media’.

Social media play into our want for instant gratification, and it gives this to us in a nice, concise form: the ‘like’. When we share (parts of) our lives on for instance Facebook, the number of friends our post reaches and the number of likes our post receives seem to not only show how well other people actually like that particular post, but also makes us feel good about ourselves. In other words, we feel like our (Facebook) friends are approving of what we are doing.
As we can post pretty much from anywhere, at any time; reactions to our post may start to come in immediately. Instant approval.

What we share usually is our own little niche.
Some people share the wonderful food that is just being served to them in their favorite restaurant, while others show their friends their healthy cooking skills. Some make social media their platform to protest politics, while others try and make the world a better place through thoughtful quotes, cute videos, and beautiful pictures.
In doing so, we not only seek approval from outside of ourselves, we direct precisely what we would like to be approved for…

And yet, in reality we are so much more than our presence on our preferred social medium!

It does bring up a couple of important questions.
Why are we looking outside of ourselves for validation? Why do we measure how well we are doing by what others think of the tiny tidbits of who we are that we share with them?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to evaluate how well we measure up to our own standards?

As long as we keep looking at (what we think) other people think of us as our approval rating or the measure of our success, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to be who we truly are.
When the things we say and how we say it are dictated by how well we think we are going to be accepted by those around us, we may not say what we think, but rather say what is socially acceptable in that particular situation.

In other words, as long as we choose to think, speak and act based on what what those around us do or say, we do not permit our true self to shine; we do not claim the empowerment we deserve.

Friday, January 29, 2016

In the spotlight

There are some who really love to be in the spotlight! And whether they have something to share that would make the world a better place, or are just out to hear their own voice rambling on ~ to them that doesn’t matter, as long as that spotlight shines on them.

Most of us, however, won’t seek out the spotlight.
Whether we suffer from ‘stage fright’ or are uncertain whether we have something worthy to add to any situation, or just feel we are way more comfortable doing our own thing in our own way and our own space, without seeking an audience at all; somehow that spotlight doesn’t seem all that appealing to us.

It brings up an interesting perspective where those who consistently seek out the spotlight ~ even if at some point they have a valuable message to the world ~ after a while may just be blabbing their mouths. Anything to be in that spotlight! Where others who have truly worthwhile things to share may ~ for a variety of reasons ~ never make it to be in that spotlight, and therefore are never heard by a greater audience than those who personally know him or her.

In other words, those that are in the spotlight all the time may not have a whole lot worthwhile to say, while those who remain in the background can have a message that will change the world, making it a better place.

Living in a time when pretty much anything that is said by anyone is recorded and available through a variety of channels, it also shows that if we truly want to be well-informed, we probably should look a little further than the obvious channels; digging a little deeper in the information that is available… And perhaps also check what a person was saying and doing before the spotlight hit them…

But whether you crave being in the spotlight or find yourself in the spotlight reluctantly ~ once you have stood on that stage it changes things. It changes how you are perceived by the world and by those around you. It may even change how you look upon yourself and what you have to offer to the world.
And perhaps the best way to stay comfortable with all that is happening once you find yourself in the spotlight, is to counter the light shining on you by your own, inner Light.
By letting the spotlight and the inner Light merge, and spread, and bring a message of balance and healing to the world and to the universe.