Looking for Love In All the Wrong Places

I had an interesting conversation with Alex and Max yesterday. They made mention that while they were with me, that there were two separate occasions where I talked about being nervous or fearful.  In all honesty, that used to describe me all the time. For years, I kept telling them when I had anxiety over the next days’ activities or when I was fearful about the possibility of something happening.

One would think that a diagnosis of cancer would excuse such behavior. Anyone might be afraid when a doctor’ tells you that you have some rebel cells threatening your life, but I have learned this year that the energy spent on worrying is just wasted.

I have come to terms at the beginning of this year that the Universe wants me to know that all life is about feeling good. There is no part of this human experience that was meant to be miserable for the purpose of being miserable. If you accept that as a truth, why do we sometimes fear what is good? You don’t. You sense fear when you feel that you are contrary to receiving or experiencing that which you think is good. You are feeling bad at being in the absence of what you want, what is good.

Knowing that, I still have trouble with the idea that I am worth the good. I have gotten better at recognizing what I want, because I feel good when I see it. When I don’t feel good, it is a sign that it isn’t what I want. Now that I have a slightly better idea of what I want, I need to contemplate what the disconnect is when it comes to receiving it.

For me, I believe it is totally related to love. Who we are as humans is love. I have been trained to not see my worth by people who looked at me with disappointment because I didn’t make their world complete.

I remember feeling better about myself, having lost weight in high school, and starting to go out and experience new activities. My grades were great. Even my parents gave some indication of pride, but I always felt like I just wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have enough polish. I didn’t say the right things. I was a little awkward. My presentation wasn’t as sharp as I had hoped. I actually remember people telling me in college that they couldn’t wait until I came into my own because I would surely be something. This made me feel like I wasn’t enough the way that I was.

In middle school, I died to have big, curly permed hair. I would rat it for hours and uses ton of hairspray. By the time I got to the middle school dance, I felt my hair went flat and wasn’t as pretty as the long, straight hair of the pretty girls with mall bangs. Last night, Alex played with my hair because it isn’t going to be around much longer. He teased it and scrunched it. The smell of Aqua Net sent me back to those pre-teen years. When he finished, my hair resembled my 7th grade self. The photo of the most awkward year of myself featured this hair. As he and Max commented on how nice it looked, I reflected on how I have spent so much of my life running in opposition to this look. Yet, it was the most natural. The most me.

I would say during my high school and college years I was the most me. The turning point was when I was 13 and my church held a surprise birthday party for me at the Vacation Bible School at church. They got me a cake and someone gave me a gift of a hand made loom. It meant so much to me because my family didn’t really do anything for me on that birthday.

This act gave me joy and self esteem that transitioned into natural weight loss. The more weight I loss, the more I felt like myself. As I lost the weight, I pursued new passions. I inherited art supplies and volunteered at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for several summers. I began music lessons and joined a show choir. I studied Spanish and dreamed of studying abroad. I felt alive. I was super happy, and people would comment on how much energy I had.

During this time, you are bumping up against so many other people that are looking to get a piece of that source energy. You make them feel good, so they want to stick around. Then, they begin relying on you for their connection to source. Over time, it wears you down because you are unable to be that impossible thing they want you to be.

I used their feedback to train myself away from caring about my own alignment with who I am, with source. I became more concerned about their opinions than being true to whom I am.

When my mom was sick, all I wanted to be was the perfect daughter. I wanted to step up and martyr myself in order to make her well. This initially made her feel good, but she began to hold me accountable for when she wasn’t feeling good. No matter what I did, I couldn’t be what she wanted me to be.

After she died, I actually worked for the American Cancer Society. I really enjoyed the job and felt at times that I was my highest self when I was doing the work. It came with ease and I brought a lot of joy. When I started fearing that I needed to move up the corporate latter because I was fearful that my salary was lacking, I started heading into opposition. I became critiqued for not fitting into a box that they thought I needed to…and the discord poisoned the rest of my time there. This was completely compounded by the fact that some of the co-workers that I loved so much, were beginning to really rub me the wrong way.

The second that I thought my real problem was that I needed to be anything other than who I was, life became dark and bleak. Everything was harder. There was no ease and joy. I felt the more I martyred myself, the higher the rewards would be. I got sick. I was exhausted. I felt numb, and I became so depressed that I didn’t recognize who was starring back at me in the mirror. I have a series of pictures through my late 20s of myself in hairstyles that I don’t remember because I was so numb and self-hating.

Coming back to center means accepting that who I really am is love. When you love something, you align yourself with who you really are and align yourself with source energy.  If you think about an animal you love or see someone love deeply, they don’t really do anything specifically for it. A baby doesn’t come out of a womb doing a tap dance for your love. We love them because we are love, not because they are wonderful. It is natural to love.

When you are focused on someone and not loving them, your choice to push against them has you out of whack with your loving alignment. Jesus was to represent the love of the world. Even if we think we have a good reason, not loving something is actually hurting us, not them. If you are judging or limiting love from someone else, you are pinching off the supply of love to yourself. You are putting conditions on it, which means you are putting conditions on someone loving you.

We don’t say be loveable so I can love you. We love you. Be whomever you choose to be. Our love of you is not dependent on your behavior; our love of you is unconditional. It is delicious and natural in spite of what ever is going on.

A stumbling block to this is when someone feels the need to control this. When they see A and they feel love, then they see B and don’t, they believe that they have to kill situation B so they don’t feel the lack of love again. The idea that everyone has to do the same thing comes from people feeling better when they see one condition and worse when they see another. Believing if they could just control the conditions, they’ll feel better. The truth is that anyone who tries to control conditions to feel better always feels worse. You cannot control conditions; it is impossible.

It is in this flawed thinking that so often we are trained to just behave in a certain way, you will be loved. This keeps you distant from source; it keeps you from the spring of eternal truth. The whole time, you thought your inability to fit the mold was what was keeping you from being loved, but it was of you ignoring your own unique drum that was preventing you from feeling the love. The whole time you were soliciting others for their love, you could have easily changed to be singularly focused with much greater results.

How can you reverse this ship? The biggest lesson that I had to learn this year was how to take responsibility for how I feel. No one can make you feel bad, you do.  If we are source love, with the only real job in life to reach out and love others, start doing so. When you are having trouble loving, it doesn’t matter what your object of appreciation is, just that you have one. You can start loving things that are easy. Your favorite chair. Your animals. Your kids. The more you can focus on and be grateful for the things that you love, the easier it is to still remain in that loving place when you start looking at yourself.

Learning to feel this kind of love is like refueling your car. It connects you to all the energy you need to conquer what you want. It can almost make you feel invincible. When you feel like you get kicked off of the higher vibration of these thought patterns, you can take the responsibility for making yourself feel better. It is not filtered through anyone else. It doesn’t have an expiration date. The well of love is available at any time if you want to drink from it. It is ultimate well-being.

Another huge component to this is being able to release judgment when you or anyone else knocks you off of this high flying disk. I know I had relatives, friends, and co-workers who may have discouraged me or distracted me from being my best self. I have harbored great anger over this for years. What I have come to learn is that feeling hate or anger is rooted in my inability to feel like I can love fully.  I have had to really embrace the concept of forgiveness in order to release this. In the end, forgiveness is just withdrawing attention from that which is keeping you from being in the vortex.

Intention for today: Find objects with the intention to love.

Have you not checked out Abraham Hicks yet?

Law of Attraction

A few years ago, my best friends were living in Chicago. They called me and asked if I had seen the movie, “The Secret.” At that time, it was free on a website and most people hadn’t heard of it. As I watched this glossy, highly produced movie, the message was very interesting. – Our thoughts become things.

In the business of every day life, I wanted to believe in “The Secret” but it seemed like hogwash. My mind was running with a million negative thoughts a minute. How could I quiet my mind? Of course as “The Secret” gained in popularity, there was almost a backlash to it as well.

I knew that in order to be a better functioning human being…I had to stop getting caught in (what I call) downward spirals. Something would happen and I would beat myself over it mentally for minutes, hours, and days. This constant barrage of negative thoughts ate at my energy, my self-esteem, and my life. At the beginning of the year, I started to have a grasp on preventing my brooding.

Meditation can help quiet the mind, but you can use your thoughts in a positive, creative way. The movie, “The Secret,” is all about the concept of the Law of Attraction. Simply put, like attracts like. If you are constantly focused on the bad, bad will happen. The great news is that if you focus on the positive, on what you really want. You can manifest that as well.

I considered myself a poor manifester after I found “The Secret.” My belief in the Law of Attraction really was reinforced by seeing others, who subscribed to it, manifesting interesting things in their life. I had to really get a handle on my depression and quieting the death spiral of negative thoughts that were going through my brain before I could see how this would work for me.

After I was feeling a little better in January, I searched the internet for “The Secret” video and watched it again. It always makes me feel better when I watch it. I wanted to dig deeper. I tried manifesting checks in the mail, or even lottery winnings. Nothing really worked, but I chalked it up to doing it wrong.

After a search of “Law of Attraction” on Google, I came across a husband and wife couple that did conferences and talks on the subject. The business name is Abraham Hicks. It was weird to understand at first what was going on with them. I would watch YouTube videos of Ester, the woman, answering peoples’ questions on the “Law of Attraction” with such poise and authority. Latter, I came to understand that when she does this that she is channeling “Abraham,” which is a posse of spiritual leaders from the other side.

Okay, have I lost you? I can understand if I have. It is so hard to wrap our rational brains around someone channeling other energies or thinking what we think about makes stuff happen. Anyone that has had a negative thought might feel like they are destined for trouble. Religious people might think that this is all sacrilege. This is not the kind of stuff most people give any credence to.

Why did I start seeking it out? I know there is more to life than the pitiful experience I was living day to day. I felt like all I did was eat, sleep, and work. What was life for? What did it all mean? Why does bad stuff happen to me? I wanted to feel better.

The point is that we do have some control over our experience. We were born with certain interests. Our manifesto was to be ourselves. Unfortunately, we become socialized into the mainstream of this world. We are bombarded with messages from school, parents, church, television, radio, and now the internet, of how we are suppose to be and live. We are constantly seeking advice and reassurance outside of ourselves. Somewhere, what we want is pushed far into the back burner.

I thought adulthood was the end of dreaming. I thought the more responsibility you had, the more of an adult you were. If you weren’t where you wanted to be, you needed to work harder. If people didn’t like you, it was your fault that you weren’t nicer. You had to earn what you wanted.

Through listening to Abraham Hicks or any of the thought leaders on the Law of Attraction, you come to realize that this isn’t really the case. We do not have to earn our worth. Because we were born, we are worthy. Here are some of my other recent understandings:

When we were born, the Universe (or God) let us know that we were perfect in his or her eyes. Our only quest was to be as authentically us as possible. As children (in a perfect setting), we were allowed to pretend and imagine what we wanted for ourselves. We didn’t worry about being fed or having shelter, because the Universe provided us with everything that we needed.

Abraham Hicks explains that there is a Vortex that all of us have that contains the manifestations of everything that we have ever wanted. My Aunt April would have called it our ship (that may or may have not come in yet). Too often, we are told by society that there isn’t enough of everything to go around. The fear of scarcity prevents us from dreaming of what we truly want or believing that it could ever come true.

But, the Universe is a vibrational one. Everything we see or touch is energy. Like a magnet, the vibrations different items set off can attract like to like. The Universe is more powerful than we as humans could ever understand. It is as easy to manifest a billion dollars as it is to manifest a cold beer. Only in our brains do we set expectations that state otherwise. We like to see the tangible. We like certainty. We like reason. We often do not question all the expectations or thoughts that get put into our heads, so we limit our capacity to create.

I have huge issues with trust and faith. I am the type of person that has always believed that if something was meant to happen, that I had to figure it out. I also subscribed to the thought that bad things occurred as our “cross to bare.” This thought process made it easy to believe that if something wasn’t happening, that it was my fault. I believed that hardship is what we were sent here to experience. Our ability to endure burden in this life, would reward us in the next.

In reality, that is kind of bologna. The Universe wants only to give us what we want. It is only filled with never ending compassion and unconditional love. Just like Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, we believe we know more than our creator. I don’t believe Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden because God was mad; it was because we thought we knew better. We disconnected ourselves from the source because we thought we had to struggle, and we were too embarrassed to be a hundred percent authentic.

In order to really begin the work, you have to surrender everything you think you might know. You have to release the judgment that you have placed on everything in your life. You have to start uncovering why you think about things the way that you do, and question whether or not that thought process is serving you. It is spiritual worth. It is valuable work. It is intangible, but it is the only work that has any value in this life.

Of course, these are realizations I have had after working though my own journey. I am by no means perfect, but I am so much happier now than what I was when I started. I guess I would tell you that increased positivity and enjoyment are how I evaluate that this is working.

So, what is it that one is suppose to do?

1) Ask for what you want.

Now, you can ask for anything, but I would caution you to think about whether you are asking because it is something you really want…or is it something you think you should want, or you want to use it to impress someone else, or it is tied to what other people think. I have found that it is really easy to ask for things you don’t really want, so be careful as to clarify.

You can ask by doing vision boards, clipping out stuff you want, journaling, or just thinking about it. There are a million different ways of asking. To increase your ability to attract it, ask when you are feeling great.

2) Wait for an Answer. Once you ask for it, let it go. The Universe has your order. Abraham Hicks says that this is the time were the Universe begins laying down the grid. It vibrationaly lines things up. Often times we are too focused on timetables, or forcing how things should be done, or expecting it in a specific package. If we keep our minds open, we might hear some divine inspiration to do something that might help our dream manifest. At that point, you should say yes to the Universe. It should almost feel like it was meant to happen, destined.

3) Be Willing to Receive. I have had a huge problem in my life accepting charity from others. This has crossed over into accepting attention, accolades, and gifts from others. Sometimes receiving is more difficult that giving. In order to get what you want from the Universe, you need to be grateful for what you have.  This is why so many people have started practices of gratitude. By being grateful for what you have, you are telling the Universe that you are willing to receive more. If you ask for $1000 and get $996, be grateful. Don’t bitch about the missing $4 dollars.

The Universe is always providing exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. IF you don’t believe in a higher power, and you are feeling alone in the world, it is really easy to believe that if you can’t figure out a solution, that you will be left alone and unloved on a street corner somewhere. The truth is, that is not how the Universe works.

So why does bad stuff happen?

I don’t know about you, but when I am in a negative streak…I can think about a million things and how they can all go wrong. As I am thinking about them, I can feel fearful, sad, angry…or just bad.

Abraham Hicks talks about an Emotional Guidance System. We were born with the ability to feel what we really want. When our emotions are negative, it is our notification that what we are witnessing or experiencing is contrary to what we want. When our emotions are positive, we are closer to being aligned with our true self, what we really want, what is most authentically us.

When we focus on stuff that makes us feel poopy, we are calling that stuff nearer to us. Now, our thoughts don’t manifest immediately…but they will manifest. When we ask for stuff that we want when we are feeling great, sometimes that will manifest a little quicker.

None of this is either good or bad, it just is. We are in the driver’s seat. We are the only ones in control of our thoughts. In order to be closer to what we want, we need to be a vibrational match to it. The vortex is on a higher disk of energy. When we feel good, we are closer to be a vibrational match to the positive stuff that we want. When we feel negative, we are a vibrational match to what we don’t want.