|Spiritual Insights January 2013||| Print ||
As we reflect on 2012 the many treacherous events bring the realization of the problems facing humanity. The elections, gun attacks, massacres, storms, and violence in the Middle East, all seem so incomprehensible. I couldn’t bring myself to write about the school shooting at Sandy Hook for it is the worse and saddest event to end this year. What can we learn from this? This event is too painful to understand. Is it guns or mental insanity in the world? Opinions don’t really matter in this case for the masses do not have the awareness to understand.
Insanity, hate, anger, destruction and death are a part of this world. The great masters and teachers claim it is all an illusion, but if my child was in Sandy Hook school the pain of loss would feel so real that this statement would be insulting.
In this dimension the pain of loss is real and to deny it is harmful to the psyche of the mind. There is probably a higher mind and evolution that comprehends the losses of this world. But for now while in this world we must learn to process our experiences through our emotions to grow and transcend.
As a New Year approaches we feel the need for change, to have a fresh new start and beginning.
I want to share a message to help transform this coming year 2013 into a year of new beginnings. As I contemplate all the events of 2012 I got a message loud and clear that there is an important denominator in all these events that is destroying our world. And there is something we can do individually to heal.
The one thing you can do this year to change your life and contribute to healing in the world is to LISTEN. Let me explain; the main issue I see concerning all the past horrific events of 2012 concerns people being discounted. This leads to many distorted behaviors. All the sorted events involve people projecting their biased opinion. And when their feelings are rejected as stupid, discounted, or not validated they are motivated to act out in ways that justify their feelings. Taken to the most extreme, people act out in violent ways.
There are contentious arguments around politics, religion, government, and laws all expressed with righteous indignant judgment, never with the intention to listen to another point of view. We exist in a world where everyone has their own opinion of everything and everyone and no one listens. Everyone is projecting their opinions. They are doing all the talking and even when they pretend to be listening they are constantly thinking of what they are going to say next. This extreme polarization will become stronger and stronger as anger mounts with more righteousness. Both sides believe they are right and their way is the only way, with no compromise. Compromise cannot happen when no one is listening. There is the big debate on guns and gun control. After all the innocent children lost their lives people are still fighting over issues they don’t understand. And now there is the debate on the economy. So the fighting will go on and on because no one is listening.
So one thing that I am being inspired to remind my readers that they can do in this coming year to help make the world a better place, to practice listening. If you allow others to express themselves referring to their feelings you will begin to understand where they are coming from, whether you agree or not. And chances are agreement on some level comes when we are truly listening. Most will not understand why they feel the way they do, but I can assure you it is from an experience of not being heard or validated that negative behavior begins. Feeling validated gives a sense of wholeness and security, it creates a sense of belonging. We all seek to feel connected, belong and accepted. Outcasts will seek out the support of gangs to feel a sense of belonging. And when there is acceptance of a different way of perception it can mend and unit people.
The truth is we are all the same, we all have the same needs and desires. We all have the same experiences, birth, hunger, emotions, family, relationships, sickness and death. All these experiences lead to balance or imbalance, greed or giving, happiness or sadness, truth or lies, support or betrayal, jealousy or understanding. But within all of life’s experiences the only thing that can heal the hurt is the willingness to change and this involves listening.
True listening is about quieting your mind letting down your guard and sincerely trying to understand. This is compassion. There is a valid reason everyone holds his or her beliefs. And when one feels validated they become more receptive and open. When people feel understood they are more apt to listen in return and hear a different new viewpoint As long as your intent is not to change their minds, this is not part of listening. Listening is a part of sharing not reprimanding. All Relationships or friendships are formed on a level of feeling understood, heard and connected. All issues within a relationship can be healed with listening. If you hear yourself or your partner say “you don’t listen”, it is time to practice listening. This is the one small thing you can do to help this world right now, to practice true listening. You will see a marked change in your relationships and a healing in your life.
Notice others who interrupt those speaking to get their point across, they are usually not the most learned or educated because you can’t learn when you are doing all the talking. You learn when you listen. Even those who interrupt the speaker in a classroom with questions are not listening because they want to be the ones talking. Their mind is too busy thinking of questions not totally listening to the speaker. Think of life as a classroom because you will learn so much more when you are listening.
The one thing I believe we take away from this life is our experiences in the form of relationships. We are here to heal ourselves through our relationships and to heal relationships listening is the most important element. Unfortunately, for most of us the only thing that unites us and breaks down the walls of resentments and fear is tragedy. Our petty issues of righteousness become insignificant in the face of life and death.
This is my message for the coming year of 2013 for this is going to be a year of change and transformation. For those who want to enhance their life with purpose and meaning this will be a great year. And remember when you become angry just sit back and truly listen.
From my book
Awaken to the Truth
The Need to be Heard and the Art of Listening
We tend to lose trust and faith when we feel we aren’t heard by others. We must all try to be understanding, and support and validate the feelings of others. Discounting other people’s feelings leads to resentment. Find someone who feels the way you do. It may even be a support group. Voice your feelings till you feel like you have been heard. Likewise, listen to others and try to understand why someone feels the way they do. They are hurt usually because they don’t feel supported. This gives a feeling of insecurity. Feelings of support and trust lead to faith and devotion, giving gratitude; this is love and compassion.
People feel Supported through Emotional Validation
As a human race, we were meant to connect to other people. We cannot grow without the touch and caring of others. Our feelings and emotions have to be validated. We need to communicate our thoughts and desires to validate our feelings. Human experience is growth through the emotions. Emotions are a barometer. If it feels bad, then something must be corrected. People who are continually discounted will find any possible way to find support and validation. This, of course, may result in many negative behavioral patterns. One example is the phenomenon of street gangs or mafia organizations. If you feel the need to invalidate someone, look into your reasons why. To invalidate someone means you have to prove them wrong. Does this mean you are the only one whose viewpoint is correct? They have a reason for the way they feel, and you should try to understand. This doesn’t mean you need to agree. Everyone has a different past, and the past controls your emotional reactions to others.
If someone invalidates you, understand they don’t want to know your side of the situation, because it will only invalidate them and prove they are wrong. For the most part, we are looking at opinions. There is usually no right or wrong. There are always two sides of the coin. Everyone has a right to their opinions and feelings. We should never discount them. Remember to treat others with the same respect and support you deserve. What you put out, you will receive in return.
Listen and seek the support of others who validate your positive desires, and you will grow in trust, and develop faith. This will influence a world of peace and understanding.
And again this is one of favorite quotes!
“It is a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear”
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"Nothing feels worse than the feeling of no control, no choice or freedom. It is like being a child in an abusive home; there is no hope, no way out. But the suggestion that we have free will, the freedom to choose our life and destiny, is invigorating and frees the spirit"