Deciding you want to be free from your neuroses isn't a one-time decision. Choosing to let go of your fears isn't a one-time choice. You have to repeatedly decide and choose over and over again....
Yes! I want to live a life FREE of fear-based neuroses! Yes! I want to live in Love every moment of every day! Yes! I want to live in peace and contentment!
Yesterday an interesting thing happened for me. I became flooded with fear. I could feel it coursing through my body. This wasn't a physical fear that was actually warranted. I wasn't in eminent danger. This was the same ego-based fear of old. The one I thought I conquered when I read "The Untethered Soul" and learned and grew so much.
Here's what I realized... Those fears, especially the deeply-seeded ones, won't go way easily and quickly. You may think you've got it beat, only to find it rearing it's ugly head yet again when you least suspect it.
We have to be vigilant against our ego-based fears.
I was sitting on the couch yesterday with my boyfriend and he got a text from his ex-wife. I could see the screen of his phone and saw her name. He didn't open it right away, but after a few minutes (when the phone kept beeping), he did. So I read most of the message too (I was sitting right there). It wasn't anything concerning. She was telling him he should apply for a job with Volunteers of America for some reason. That was basically it. Still, I felt my old fear-based ego rise up.
Employing my new-found skills that I learned from Michael Singer, I merely noticed my feelings. I repeatedly reminded myself not to attach any thoughts to the feelings. That the feelings were just energy and I could remain open and let them move through me.
So I did all that. It did pass, and I was fine.
Only, it came back. Later that night... well really kind of the rest of the evening, though not as overwhelming as it was at the very end of the night when I was getting ready for bed.
So instead of pulling out my kindle for my nightly reading of my current fiction novel (Hugh Howey's the Silo Saga right now), I pulled out "The Untethered Soul" again. Ah...it felt like old times....
I skimmed chapter one, but delved deeper into chapter two. It's funny because the first time I read this book, I read all the chapters in their entirety, and I didn't find chapter two to be very "life-changing." I didn't feel like I learned much from it. It was stuff I already "knew."
But this time, I found passages to highlight and it really helped me.
"You'll never be free of problems until you are free from the part of you within that has so many problems. When a problem is disturbing you, don't ask, 'What should I do about it?' Ask, 'What part of me is being disturbed by this?' If you ask, 'What should I do about it?' you've already fallen into believing that there really is a problem outside that must be dealt with. If you want to achieve peace in the face of your problems, you must understand why you perceive a particular situation as a problem. If you're feeling jealousy, instead of trying to see how you can protect yourself, just ask, 'What part of me is jealous?' That will cause you to look inside and see that there's a part of you that's having a problem with jealousy." (Singer p. 15).
What I felt last night, and what I felt in the past in regards to my boyfriend and his ex, I don't think is jealousy so much as simple insecurity. Feeling inadequate. Feeling unworthy. Feeling afraid that he'll leave me, either for her or someone else.
So... I thought all those fears and feelings were gone... but apparently not.... ah, still more work to do...
What I'm finding interesting this morning, as I write this blog is I can see what happened before, happening again. You all know they say the Universe brings us lessons over and over again until we get them. So I know why this is happening for me. Yes, it's happening FOR me... not TO me. I know that.
This is the Universe giving me the same triggers as before, seeing if I really learned and really grew and moved past them. And this is great practice for me.
At least this time I'm aware. I'm seeing what's happening. I'm seeing the triggers come up and noticing my instant response.
"To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them....[T]he real problem is that there is something inside of you that can have a problem with almost anything. The first step is to deal with that part of you.... You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality," (Singer p. 16).
"Before" I tried to "rearrange things outside," as Singer put it. When I felt insecurities tied to my boyfriend's contact with his ex, I tried to cut her out of the picture. I demanded he stop communicating with her. And from experience, I know that doesn't work. I tried that, and I still had problems. It was inside of me, and that's what I need to let go of.
I'm reminding myself what I learned in my first reading of "The Untethered Soul," later in the book. That once we're aware of what our triggers are, when they come up, and we're observing them, watching the energy that is them move through us... each time we do that we get rid of a little bit of the issue. Each time... meaning there will be multiple times we have to do this process.
Truly learning to let go of our issues, release our triggers, and live in true peace and freedom is a task. It's something we must commit our lives to. It won't come easy and it won't come quick. That's ok. It's the same for all of us. We're not alone in our quest for inner peace and freedom from our triggers.
Chapter two of the book is called "Your Inner Roommate." The roommate inside of you is your ego's voice. That voice that never stops. That brings up your insecurities. That sees drama when there needn't be any.
"In any situation or circumstance, you roommate could suddenly decide, 'I don't want to be here. I don't want to do this. I don't want to talk to this person.' You would immediately feel tense and uncomfortable. Your roommate can ruin anything you're doing without a moment's notice." (Singer, p. 18).
That's what I noticed last night. I had been doing great. Perfectly, in fact. No issues, no problems, no insecurities. Then BAM! My roommate chirps up and takes over my body.
All because I saw her name on my boyfriend's phone? I knew he was in contact with her. And I was ok with that. I had been playing out situation in my head -- you know, "future" scenarios to "prepare" myself for when they actually happened -- such as seeing her at a social event or something. And I felt fine in my head when I imagined those situations.
That's why I caught me so off-guard yesterday -- the fear flooding back. I didn't see it coming. That damn roommate!
But here's something else interesting, that gives me hope. As I was in bed, reading, I felt the emotions come up and I let them out. I was reading, I identified with the words, and something was triggered inside of me. I immediately started bawling (I hadn't felt like crying before). Then just as quickly as it came up, it stopped.
I distinctly remember sitting there, first being surprised I was so upset, but let the tears flow anyway... and then being just as surprised when the tears suddenly stopped and I felt perfectly fine again. All in about two minutes time. Literally.
I guess that was another piece of my inner "issue" breaking off, coming to the surface, and being let go. Another piece. I'm making progress!
I suppose that's how it can happen when we're aware. When we simply observe and let the emotions rise as energy through us and move right on out. Let them go. By not attaching to it, it moved through me quite quickly. By not freaking out, stressing out, and letting my ego cause all sorts of drama -- I was able to feel the feelings, and let them go.
Earlier in the day, when I was still feeling the fear inside of me, I kept reminding myself to stay OPEN. To NOT close! Don't push those feelings down. Don't ignore them. Just feel them. Let them be there. And STAY OPEN, no matter what!
That's the only way our inner issues will work their way out of us. It's like a splinter. It'll work it's way out of your body if you let it. But if you block it in, press it down, and don't let it out, it'll cause a great infection and pain.
So today I'm reminding myself to be patient, gentle, and kind to myself. To not feel badly if (when) my triggers arise again. When I feel that fear come over me, it's ok. Just see it as the energy it is, and stay open so that it can move through... at whatever speed it wants.
That's the thing. That's what concerned me yesterday -- not that I felt the fear and insecurity, but that it seemed to be sticking around. It didn't just come up and out in a matter of seconds or minutes. It stuck around for a good part of the evening. That's why I felt like I could see the past repeating itself (if I let it). I could see how before, I "bought into" those feelings of insecurity. How I attached to them. How I let them grow, overtake me, become me, and then consequently ruin my relationship.
I saw it. And I could see it happening again, if I let it. That's why I'm grateful to know what I know now. To have these "tricks" up my sleeve for dealing with this stuff when it comes up. To be aware and observant. That truly is the first step to letting go of whatever our triggers and issues are.
I had to take a break from writing this blog to do the holiday volunteer time I signed up for today at the animal shelter. I just got back. I wanted to add, that the fear that got triggered yesterday didn't fully leave me until about an hour ago (which was around 11am this morning) -- while I was walking a dog through the wooded trails at the shelter.
Even while typing the rest of this blog this morning, I still felt the remnants of the fear. I was still telling myself to "Stay Open" and let it out. Well, I think the movement of the walks, plus the time in nature and with the dogs, helped the last of the fear (for this time) move out of my body. Because I can report that at this moment, I'm back to being fully at peace and in Love. I'm no longer bothered by the text from my boyfriend's ex. It took me longer than I would have liked to get back to this point, but I'm here. Thankfully.
So this is what I learned (among other things): Our deep inner issues will resurface from time to time. Even though most of the time they may not get to us... most of the time we're not triggered... occasionally we will be. Even if we don't know why.
The important thing is to notice it and stay Open. Stay Open and let it pass through... no matter how long it takes. Don't close yourself up. Don't try to "protect" yourself from what you're feeling. Don't try to control outside circumstances or people because it's not what you want or because it's making you uncomfortable.
Just relax. Let it be. Accept it. And don't freak out.
Don't assign additional thoughts and meaning to what you're feeling. Just let it be the energy that it is. Let it move through you. At times it may not feel like it's moving, but if you KEEP your heart open, it will move on out.
Trust me. Trust the Universe!