I was in a workshop. We had to work in groups. We were made to sit in circles. My group is just right in front, in the corner of the hall. A topic was given to be discussed within each group and at the end someone had to present the result of the discussion. The way we presented should be with mindfulness. Everyone was in silence, listening to the presenter attentively and appreciatively. It created a very good feeling and atmosphere. I presented on behalf of my group, then followed by other groups. I really enjoyed the atmosphere during this session.
After the workshop was over, I said to the facilitator “It was really good. Very nice experience.” She agreed with me and said “Yes. It was very powerful. I could feel a very strong vibration in the middle of the hall.” This last sentence of her gave me a feeling of not being valued because I was not in the middle of the hall. In fact, she didn’t say that to me. But it was funny how the feeling of being not valued was there. I knew that I had got hurt.
You might get hurt because someone did not value you, or respect you. You might feel someone even insulted you. This is an ego game. It is not you that got hurt. It is the ego that got hurt, not you.
What is ego? Ego is the false identity you have given for yourself. We give identities to the self differently according to our role (what we are doing), our responsibility, or our position – “I am a manager. I am senior. I am the boss. I am so and so.” Why false? It is not permanent, it can change. It is associated with your body, not with the soul. Anything associated with the body is not permanent. It’s the soul that is permanent and never changes. So ego, in fact, is the identity related to body.
You might have heard many times an advice from people not to give sorrow to anyone. To give sorrow means to do things that makes other unhappy. But you might never have heard an advice not to take sorrow. Are we taking sorrow? How do we take sorrow?
If someone gives a negative comment on what you have been doing and you listen to it and you start being influenced by it and you become unhappy, then you might consider yourself to stop doing it because of this negative comment. It is then that you are taking sorrow. You let other people control you (your feelings). They are not responsible for your feelings.
Whatever you do, reactive people will always have negative comment on it. This kind of people are around us (in our contacts). They become unhappy seeing you moving forward. Don’t listen to it and don’t take it personally. Just keep doing what is good for you. Remember whatever you are doing is for yourself.
A friend asked me how to pray. It has nothing to do with any religious practice. She asked specifically of how to pray for those who are suffering, such as victims of natural calamities that happened very far away from where she lives. She had the empathy, but she was not sure what to say in her mind while praying.
A prayer is basically having good wishes. It is not limited by any word or any language. You don’t need to worry about what to say in your mind. Just have a thought in your mind. You know how to have a thought, don’t you? You might wish those people strength, you hold that thought of being strong in you. You might wish those people calmness, you hold the thought of being calm in you. You might wish those people patience, you hold that thought of being patient in you. You hold that strength, calmness and patience in your own heart. Your heart generates those powerful feelings. The longer you hold, the more powerful the feelings become. Whatever good wishes you have for anyone, you experience those wishes for yourself first. This is how you send good wishes to those souls. It doesn’t matter how far the distance, your good wishes will surely reach those souls.
I met a friend very recently and talked to him. I know he has several hobbies and has been enjoying his hobbies for years; collecting tumblers, wrist watches, orchids and birds. I was amazed that he has time to enjoy those hobbies. He allocates time to enjoy them in the evening.
I enjoyed talking to him, because he was very enthusiastic when talking about his hobbies. A hobby is something you enjoy, it makes you happy. You will do it so passionately. He said that it is always interesting to talk to people who have a hobby, not necessarily the same hobby. Because someone who has a hobby, at least knows what he likes. He knows his passion. And if he knows his passion, he knows how to be happy and he knows how to enjoy life. It is always interesting to talk to happy people. Have a hobby for your own self. Find your passion and become happy.
He said that people who have hobbies will not use their time to mind other people’s business. I smiled hearing this.
There is no greater discovery than the discovery of the self. The true self has been covered by so many identities that we have put through life after life. These are false identities, so they are not true. The identity of being small, being weak, being discourged, being rejected, being incapable, being useless etc. The journey to discover the true self is the journey inward. It is the journey of introspection and reflection inside. It is a silent journey. It is the journey to see the self inside.
The true self is the embodiment of love. Love is understanding and accepting the self with no condition. Do not put any condition to accept yourself. Accept who you are, what you are and how you are at the moment…..nothing was wrong. Don’t regret anything. Everything has just happened as it was meant to happened. If God can forgive you for what you have done wrong, and then accept you and love you…..then learn from God. Forgive yourself and accept yourself. There is no greater gift you can give to yourself than this gift. Give this gift everyday. Make yourself full with self-acceptance, with love.
When you look back to your life, to what you have gone through in life, you might find some events happened in your life which was not favorable for you. You don’t want that events happened to you, because you didn’t enjoy it, but it happened. It became like a black dot to your life story. You now have passed it. If you could, you might have skipped it from your life story. But you couldn’t skip it. It has become your story. You can never erase or take it out from yours.
I remember a speech by the late Steve Jobs on connecting the dots. What he meant by the dots in his life story was all his failures and unsuccessful stories…..the fact of his own birth from an unwed woman, his drop out from college, the story when he was fired from the company he built, his dealing with his sickness. All was unfavorable events, full of hurts and struggles. In his speech he said that we can connect those dots by looking backward. It is completely nothing wrong with having that dots.
Very recently I conducted a workshop on healing the self. I shared some practical steps for the healing. Journaling is one of the step to this healing. One of the participant shared that she wrote the situation and the feelings, but after a while she read it again and felt embarrassed of having gone through a trivial situation and yet it made her so disturbed left hurt inside. Then she tore the paper of her journal.
Everyone of us has our own dots to connect in our life. You don’t need to skip any of the dots from your life. You don’t need to erase it either. Just keep connecting it. You can’t become a perfect you now without that dot.
In the previous post we have discussed about the different concept of healing and cure. Healing is more to emotional or mental pain. So the journey of healing the self is in fact how to heal the heart from the negative emotion like disappointment, regret, worry, irritation, jealousy, anger, fear or sadness. All these emotions leave pain in the heart.
How to heal the heart? Firstly you need to acknowledge the pain. Don’t pretend that the pain is not there. Don’t reject the pain. Accept that pain. It really needs honesty in this. Be honest to yourself. To be honest means to acknowledge that the pain is there. Secondly, you need to make time to deal with it. Address the pain or the hurt by talking to yourself as if you are speaking to someone else. Have an inner dialog. You need to be introverted in this. You don’t need to make any sound. I may suggest you if you can do this through journaling. You write the situation, your feelings and any thoughts you have in your mind. Just write it. And thirdly, use any advice or wisdom you might have heard to deal with that particular situation. You might have heard good advice many times, you might have read some from books. Reflect your situation, your feeling and thoughts on that advice or wisdom. Listen to the wise self inside you.
To have self-respect means to know the value of the self, to see the values within the self. It is to remember your qualities as a spirit – a being of love, a being of peace and a being of truth. Can you see this within yourself? Take time to see this. Look inside yourself. Find your peace inside, find your love again, find your truth again. Embrace that peace, that love and that truth. Feel it within you. Really feel it within you. Allow the feeling that emerges. Hold it…and keep it with you. Let it stay in your heart.
Your reality becomes peace, love and truth. You don’t see anything else but peace, love and truth. You start seeing the same reality in others. What you see inside you is what you see in others. You see everyone as being of peace, being of love and being of truth. You don’t see their defects, you see their qualities. You don’t see their weakness, you see their strength. By visioning others on their qualities and strength, you empower them. You respect them. Never allow yourself to see the defect and the weakness. Keep empowering and not discouraging.
You might agree with me that everyone wants to become a better person each day, each year……..as the time passes by. To become that, each one might consciously keep learning. There is no manual book for this learning. Everyone has to explore himself. He might learn from the success or failure of others and also of the self. After a long time of learning process, after many trials of success and failure, you might reflect on you of how far your journey has taken you. You might realize that the journey you have been taking doesn’t take you to the place you wanted and you have to restart your journey again. At that point you realize that you have to take the first step again. It is okay to become a beginner again.
In fact to become a beginner in this learning is fun and enjoyable. You learn from your mistakes and failures. They always give you lessons. Don’t regret anything. Nothing to lose. Keep moving forward with new excitement of becoming a beginner again. You are not competing with anyone in this. You are not in a race. In fact you are racing with yourself.
A friend of mine texted me about what she doesn’t like about her boss. She described her boss to be like a roaring lion when she gets angry. She scares everyone. Sometimes we meet people like this. They just can’t control their emotions. It means they can not control themselves. They become slaves of their own emotions.
The question is then how to deal with such a person? Don’t let yourself be influenced by this person or situation. Understand that she is also dealing with her own weakness (emotion). If you are there, protect yourself. You need to create an internal mechanism to protect yourself. To protect the self means to protect your own feelings. Keep your feelings good, don’t let your feelings be influenced by the situation created by anyone. Remain strong inside. Take care of yourself. Don’t get involved in gossiping with colleagues. It makes the atmosphere in the office more negative. You need to learn to put a full stop in your mind and start taking care of yourself.
When I said these words to my friend, I felt like I was talking to and giving advice to myself.