Anxious to please

People who are anxious to please others are by definition insecure.

The desire to please comes from either an attempt to gain approval, or an effort to avoid disapproval.

In either case we fear how others will respond if we don’t at least try to make a positive impression.

You create your reality

The best antidote I’ve found to these fears and efforts to please others is to assert that we each create our own reality.

This helps in two ways.

First, since I create my reality, the outcomes I fear will only arise if I’m a match to them. No one can assert anything into my reality.

Second, since others create their reality they are not in fact dependent on me for sustaining their mood or the consistency of their experience. I can’t assert (or withhold) anything in their reality either.

What this means in practice is that my fears are unlikely to be realised. The reality I’ve created is one where I fear criticism and attack, but not one where criticism and attack actually happen. I don’t attract criticism and attack, I attract fear of them.

And likewise my efforts to please others…well if others are attracting pleasing circumstances they’ll receive them whether I contribute or not. And if they aren’t pleased by my efforts that’s because they aren’t a match for being pleased anyway!

The simple fact is that most people are emotionally consistent within a range, and they filter and actively engage with their reality in ways that vastly outstrip our efforts to please them – or not please them.

Sudden change of character

The bottom line is that you get back what you are broadcasting. If you stop trying to please people, but feel terrified of the consequences then rest assured you will find some consequences that terrify you.

If you soothe your fears and gently allow yourself to remain centred and content, then you will be able to let go of the urge to please them and you will see only positive and affirming consequences of your own interior change.

The resistance is in me and you

There’s no resistance in reality, just resistance in me and in you.

Everything in reality is drawn to us by law of attraction.

It couldn’t persist in my reality unless I was attracting it to me.

That goes for everything from physical aches and pains to the tone of relationships, economic conditions, and even the ideas that come to me.

When we blame reality for how we feel we disempower ourselves. Resistance can’t survive in our reality unless it is alive in us.

If we start paying attention to the vibration of everything in our experience, we tune into how the law of attraction is operating.

What are the vibrational frequencies of the objects, people, circumstances and interactions around you? Can you feel them? They are nuanced, multifaceted, and constantly changing; but what you are feeling is a direct indicator of your own vibration.

If you can start tuning into the vibrations of things, asking “what is the vibration of this?” “What vibration am I attracting to me?” then you are no longer activating your own resistance.

Dynamic

As you start feeling the vibration of things in your reality, you are already changing your own vibration, which in turn changes your reality.

Relationships are a great example of this. I might be frustrated by my toddler’s behaviour, and if I try to feel the vibration of her behaviour I see that it matches the frustration and impatience in me.

But the moment I tune into her like that, I’m no longer activating my own vibration of impatience and frustration, and almost immediately I feel a different vibration from her. My openness to vibrational reality and my willingness to take responsibility for what is coming to me releases my resistance and I can suddenly appreciate her in a different light.

What’s actually happened is that my vibration has changed and law of attraction is bringing me an aspect of her that is a match to my new vibration.

Becoming aware of the vibrational feedback law of attraction is bringing to me tunes me into the whole dynamic and simultaneously improves my vibration, thereby allowing me to witness law of attraction in action.

It’s good to understand that we create our reality, but we also need to practice it somehow. Tuning into the vibration of what we are already attracting is a powerful way to release resistance and begin mindfully creating.

It’s a game…12!

When I went through my weight loss process I was incredibly open minded.

I considered all kinds of possibilities: if I didn’t want to stop eating but felt bad about my weight, maybe the answer was to stop feeling bad about my weight?

Maybe my objections to being overweight were just cultural conditioning?

This kind of thinking helped break down my old thought patterns. Even though I eventually concluded that it wasn’t simply cultural conditioning, or a desire to look more attractive to others.

What was it?

In the end it wasn’t about health or attractiveness. What it came down to was that my appearance didn’t match how I felt about myself; and that disconnect between feeling and appearance was the real source of my discomfort.

In much the same way I’ve felt the same kind of disconnect between how I feel about myself and my whole reality.

I’ve only met a couple of people in my life who share this feeling. Most people have areas of life where their expectations don’t match their reality, but for me it is a deeper and more pervasive sense of incongruence.

I used to find some solace in philosophical skepticism because for all we know we really might just be brains floating in jars (a standard philosophical thought-experiment). Reality might not be real. And that thought brought me comfort.

Finding congruence

When I looked in the mirror I felt discord. When I look at reality I feel discord.

Through attempting to understand weight loss I eventually discovered that the discord was already in me. I already felt bad about aspects of life, and I used food as a distraction from it. But the distraction only perpetuated the bad feelings, giving them physical form in weight gain.

Being overweight was a physical representation of my discord.

(As an aside, dis-cord means negation of the heart, from the French.)

I didn’t resolve my discord, I just decided to stop distracting myself with food and by letting myself feel the discord instead I changed my eating habits dramatically and lost weight as a result.

The same process also relieved chronic pain I had suffered.

Surely the same principle applies on a global scale: the discord in reality itself is a representation of the discord in me.

The many things that bother me are distractions and externalisations of something already within me.

Don’t blame external conditions for “making” me feel discord; I already felt it, and denying it has pushed it out into external manifestation.

Reality is therefore doing its job perfectly. It is perfectly reflecting what I feel inside – even if I don’t like it.

Don’t blame reality for something that I’m projecting into it. If reality changed right now I would still feel discord.

Making peace

I like knowing that the discord is in me rather than in reality. I’ll be glad to stop feeding discord into my reality. I’d prefer to just feel the discord in myself directly rather than create external conditions for me to blame.

Either way I feel discord, so I might as well keep it simple and just feel it directly. And in saying that, I notice that I reach out subtly for distraction, in much the same way that I used to look to food for distraction. I subtly reach out to my external reality for some kind of distraction from my own discord.

I appreciate noticing this subtle dynamic. I’d prefer to just feel the discord rather than try to distract myself ineffectively. I’m curious as to how reality will look and feel if I stop using it in a flawed attempt to escape from discord.

It’s okay to feel discord if that is what I’m feeling. It’s healthy to allow myself to feel whatever I’m feeling rather than trying to escape it, which doesn’t work anyway. I appreciate my growing conviction that reality has in fact been perfect in its reflection of my discord. It’s up to me to not project my discord on reality – reality itself has never been at fault in this dynamic.

I’ll end the post here even though it feels unresolved, because I can see that it is better to accept the unresolved feeling than to push for some kind of resolution. Let’s call it the resolution of being okay even if things feel unresolved 😉

It’s a game…10!

When I used to read fantasy books as a kid I’d imagine myself in one of those worlds and invariably I’d end up wanting to be a magician or a sorcerer or wizard.

Not just because they were the most powerful…but because their power implied a complete understanding of how reality really works.

Recently it dawned on me that this is what I really want, and what I am looking for in the Abraham-Hicks material.

While I want abundant wealth and a beautiful home and good relationships and health, what I truly desire is to understand and master my relationship with reality itself.

For a long time I’ve felt there’s something “off” in my relationship with reality. Something I wasn’t understanding or something I’d misunderstood.

In A-H terms I’ve learned that it’s really a three-way relationship: my physical self, my inner being, and reality.

I want to heal this relationship. Along the way I’ve learned that my physical self is the creation of my inner being. I exist as a point of focus for experiencing physical reality, but the greater part of me is non-physical.

I’ve also learned that reality reflects the vibrational point of attraction for both my inner being and my physical self.

My inner being is always positive. It’s a vibrational match for all my desires and preferences, and while it is aware of my whole experience it never focuses on the unwanted or negative aspects.

When my physical self and my inner being are aligned in their focus I experience this alignment in the form of good feeling emotions. But when my physical self focuses towards unwanted or negative things it becomes misaligned with my inner being and I experience that misalignment as negative emotion.

So while my inner being is always attracting pleasing, satisfying, desirable conditions to itself, my physical self has the potential to attract unpleasant, unwanted, undesirable conditions. My reality is the culmination of these elements.

What I really desire is to have clarity in this relationship with my inner being and reality, to truly understand what works and what doesn’t. I want to be clear and knowing in myself at every moment whether I am allowing my inner being to dominate, or resisting it with misaligned focus.

While people avow having changed their lives for the better using the A-H teachings, for me a change for the better entails the repair, restoration, and satisfying mastery of this relationship at the core of my existence.

Practicing happiness 28

Contra mundum with a vengeance.

So it turns out I’m a villain.

In anime there’s the trope (presumably informed by Shinto beliefs) of a creature or spirit that becomes warped through suffering or injustice or its own negative emotion and becomes evil.

It always struck me as a little unfair, but it makes sense. Like the boar spirit at the beginning of Princess Mononoke, or any number of unhappy yokai in Natsume Yuujinchou. These spirits are often victims themselves, yet their bitterness or wrath turns them into something dangerous to others.

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings the cause of our suffering is our own resistance. When we focus on unwanted aspects of reality we experience friction or going against the flow of our own inner being, because our inner being only ever focuses on the wanted aspects of life.

Our negative emotions are our experience of this friction.

I’ve been working on letting go of resistance and feeling better. But it turns out my resistance was more extreme than I realised.

At some point in my life I got turned around. I took my negative experiences and extrapolated to life in general, the whole world, and existence itself.

I decided that life was not worth living, the world was pointless and broken, and existence was burdensome and futile.

Treating all of existence as unwanted felt pretty bad. But in a way it was a relief to reach that sweeping conclusion. It was more satisfying to turn against life than to try to find redeeming features amidst the misery.

It was also a form of vengeance against everyone and everything responsible for making life so burdensome in the first place. Like playing a game where the odds are stacked against you and the cost always outweighs the rewards, the obvious answer was to refuse to play.

Ironically that’s how I finally interpreted spiritual teachings too. Life is being crushed beneath the wheel of samsara, and it’s only refusing to buy-in that brings us true freedom.

If our thoughts and attitudes create our reality, what kind of reality does this contra mundum attitude create? Not the best.

If resisting the flow of life causes suffering and negative emotion, how about turning defiantly against the stream and saying “f*** you”?

Change of heart

My spiritual search was an attempt to find a way out or transformation of this hated reality. But the answer I have finally arrived at is that my hate is itself the problem.

If I want to feel better I have to learn to love the reality I’m in. If I love the reality I’m creating, then it will change to reflect this positive and satisfying and delightful attitude.

I can’t hate my way into a better-feeling life. No matter how justified my resentment might seem, or how comforting my scorn might feel, if I’d rather enjoy life then it’s time for them to go.

Practicing happiness 21

“I create my reality” means my reality is a reflection of my thoughts/vibration.

I used this principle when I lost weight – deciding that my body weight was a reflection of my eating behaviour. But then it turned out that my eating behaviour was a reflection of my emotional state, and hence my thoughts/vibration too.

How?

I found that I was eating more than I needed because of the pleasure it brought, and when I stopped, I felt negative emotions that had been there the whole time.

In psychological terms I’d been using eating to regulate my emotional state. Many of us overeat for this reason, often unconsciously.

When I was overweight I’d wish I was leaner and better looking. That wish or yearning was painful, but it gave me a sense of control or rightness to my situation. To be unrepentantly overweight was frightening and shameful, so feeling bad about being overweight and yearning to be leaner brought a kind of balance.

Painful yearning

These lessons apply to my broader reality.

As with my weight, my whole reality is a reflection of my thoughts/vibration.

When I painfully yearn for life to change, it’s the same as wishing I could be lean.

But wishing did not accomplish anything and was in fact part of the problem!

My painful wish for relationships, money, housing, and other conditions to change is in fact a ruse designed to balance out my actual thoughts and feelings on these subjects.

When I was overweight I would feel bad for various reasons, and then eat to escape those bad feelings, and inevitably put on weight. Then I would feel bad about being overweight and wish I was leaner and make attempts at dieting and exercise that didn’t really address the cause.

Real change came when I allowed myself to feel bad without escaping into eating, knowing that if I stopped dysfunctional eating my body would inevitably return to a healthy weight.

It worked. So the same will work with the rest of reality.

I create my reality

On an issue like money, wishing for more money and feeling bad that I don’t have it is akin to wishing to be lean and feeling bad that I’m not.

That means it too is a self-deception.

If I don’t pay lip-service to being financially secure I would have to face the deeper fears and worries I’m escaping from.

Both the “i wish I had money!” cry and the feeling bad about not having enough money are parts of a bigger dynamic. They shouldn’t be taken at face value. Like wishing to be lean and feeling bad about being overweight, they appear solution-oriented but accomplish nothing. They are in fact problem-oriented.

Take them away, and what lies beneath them is a much more potent feeling of terror; and this terror is an emotional response to thoughts of insufficiency and insecurity. Thoughts of not enough power to survive amidst brutal and crushing external forces. Thoughts of being vulnerable in the face of harsh and uncaring others who will exploit and abuse you if given the chance.

Dealing with terror

These thoughts are a significant component of my vibrational set-point. To escape them I focus on less terrifying thoughts of being out of the way and detached from that terrifying reality.

In other words: I focus on whatever is left when those emotions are blocked out. I eke out an existence, and to complete the self-deception I lament my marginal existence and wish it could be otherwise.

I don’t know if you can follow this, maybe it’s too personal. But the reason I’m not rich is because wealth would contradict my thoughts of insufficiency and insecurity and vulnerability.

But to stop me exploring that fact and ending up facing the painful feelings of terror once more, I commit the self-deception of wishing I had more money and thinking of ways to obtain it.

If I just went out and got a job I would be placing myself in that situation of interdependence, submission, and vulnerability that I’ve worked hard to escape.

Yet I create my reality, and what I’m truly escaping is not external circumstances but my thoughts and feelings around those circumstances.

If the perfect job were offered me, I’d see it as a trap. If money were freely given me, or I won a lottery, I’d be challenged by the money itself to face the insecurities and fears I’ve described here.

Finding coherence

To be free of self-deception, to understand how my thoughts create my reality, is profound, meaningful, and brings relief from struggle and confusion.

Where I am makes perfect sense right now.

And the answer for me is to feel the terror I’ve been avoiding. But feel it in an atmosphere of knowing that it has always been there whether I feel it or not, and avoiding it merely kicks the can down the road.

The influence of that terror on the whole of my life is palpable. I wonder what life would look and feel like if I stopped trying to escape it?

I’m curious. What would happen if I allow myself to make peace with those terrifying thoughts of vulnerability and insufficiency?

How will my life change when I no longer think of myself and life in this terrifying way?

Because these thoughts are old. Really old. And while that means they have momentum, it also means they are out of date. I haven’t examined them for ages, maybe ever? And in the meantime I’ve been growing and learning and expanding so much.

Am I vulnerable? Am I insufficient? No. Those beliefs only formed within me in very specific circumstances many years ago. Given a chance to air them and examine them in the light of day? I think they are ripe for change.

Close the gap…but not too much

There is always going to be a gap between your vibration and that of your inner being. When the gap is wide we feel bad. So in order to feel better we must close the gap.

That’s why we find better-feeling thoughts. Each better-feeling thought is vibrationally closer to the joy and love and appreciation our inner being (God) already enjoys.

But the gap is not a bad thing. The gap – and the contrast it brings – is why we are here. It’s only because of the gap that we can form new preferences and desires and allow expansion.

Sometimes we try too hard to close the gap or we think there shouldn’t be a gap, shouldn’t be any contrast in life. These efforts to eliminate the gap do not bring happiness, nor can they succeed.

The gap is important and necessary, it only feels bad because we are looking at it the wrong way. From God’s perspective this gap is of tremendous value. And if we can learn to appreciate it as well then it can become a source of eagerness and joy rather than fear and incompleteness.

Learning to love contrast because contrast is the foretaste of new expansion; learning to appreciate the gap because the gap is what this life is all about; this is the way to true happiness, happiness in the path and the journey, not happiness conditional on outcomes and circumstances.

Letting go 05: What is reality, really?

We think we inhabit a physical world with fixed rules based on observable forces and objects. But when we dig into this solid, enduring reality we find that there is nothing substantial at its core.

Molecules reduce to atoms, atoms reduce to subatomic particles, subatomic particles reduce to…what exactly? Measurable quantities of energy, properties of mass and charge, probability functions?

And if we go in the other direction, turning our attention back onto the observer, what do we find there?

No one has come close to reducing consciousness to something more tangible or physically explicable. The experiential core of your individual reality defies a material explanation.

Many people have encountered and contemplated this intangible reality of ours and there’s a consensus of sorts that however we explain both the subject consciousness and the objects or phenomena known by consciousness, the two cannot be truly separate and distinct in nature.

Non-dualism rules

This used to be my thing, but I got a bit cynical when this “enlightened” perspective didn’t yield any apparent benefits to me.

Back then I didn’t understand that I could feel better just by making how I feel my top priority. I didn’t yet believe that nothing is more important than feeling good. I didn’t know that feeling good is good.

I know so much more now, and it’s funny and satisfying to see old knowledge I’d let gather dust suddenly fall into place as a component of my happier and more aligned perspective.

So what do I have to gain from my unusual perspective of reality? What does it benefit me to see beyond appearances? What can I do better or differently now that I know how things work?

Vibrational reality

The upshot of all this is a different causality. A different kind of cause-and-effect at work in reality.

When we wish things were different, we tend to look at our circumstances and ask “but how can all this simply change?” We imagine physical laws and physical reality governing all things. We regard manifestations as dominant.

But this leaves no place for the miraculous. It leaves no place for revelation. It leaves no place for providence.

In the Abraham-Hicks teachings we are told that there is a vibrational reality waiting for us that is a perfect match to everything we desire – with the caveat that our desires will never stop expanding and evolving.

The only thing missing from that vibrational reality is…us. We are the only component that freely chooses whether or not to allow vibrational change within us. We are the only part of our reality that can resist the pull of our desires and the outpouring of love and blessings that is God’s response.

We resist this pull by focusing on the unwanted and misaligned aspects of everything. This habit of thought keeps us feeling disjointed and out of harmony with what we desire. It turns an effortless journey into an unpleasant struggle.

But the solution is easy. We just have to learn to let go and allow ourselves to be drawn into the new reality that awaits. We just have to let ourselves be part of the tapestry God is weaving on our behalf. We just have to let ourselves be taken care of, and enjoy being passengers on the way.

What could be more valuable than a deep and moving feeling of appreciation and love in your heart? Well maybe you’d like to be rich too. But only because you associate being rich with having feelings of freedom, joy, trust, confidence, appreciation and joy.

The audacious claim in the A-H teachings is that by finding those feelings you will allow that wealth to come to you. It’s not just that: whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be added unto you.

That will require letting go of resistance, including perhaps the resistance in your old view of “how the world works”.

Letting go 04: Metaphysics? It’s the vibe!

I’ve been really unsure about the Abraham-Hicks concept of “vibration”.

They say that we live in a vibrational reality, that the underlying nature of everything is vibration, and we create by our vibration relative to God’s; but I’ve treated all this as just placeholder metaphysics without really engaging with it.

Because I’d have wanted to ask “what is it that vibrates? And how does it vibrate?”

But looking at it now, I know that’s not the point.

The point is that there is a deeper level to reality and creation operates on that level and according to those principles.

Accepting vibration is important because it helps us let go of physical cause-and-effect and shift our perspective to one of detachment and deliberate creation.

Vibration means giving ourselves permission to let go of limiting beliefs about how the world works.

But there’s more

But that’s not all. If we accept that vibration is the essence of everything we experience and think and feel, then vibration is what we are truly working with when we change our thoughts and feelings and manifest reality.

It’s not necessary to translate our thought into words and parse it and thresh it out. It’s not necessary to pay attention to the details of our reality. We can refine the process to a vibrational work.

It’s the vibe

From a vibrational perspective, God/inner being is pure positive energy and constantly expands to become a vibrational match to our desires.

Our physical self is a vibrational match to whatever we are focused on. The discrepancy between this vibration and the pure positive vibration of our inner being is what we call feelings or emotions and it serves us as guidance to our alignment.

Everything we desire, all we really desire is vibrational alignment with God within us. We can accomplish this alignment by following the guidance of our feelings bringing those two points of vibration together in us.

That’s the essence of this work: that is where we allow thoughts to come, where we enjoy the most wonderful satisfaction and appreciation and love, and where matching manifestations must follow.

Letting go day 02: detachment

Detachment is so strongly recommended and praised in most spiritual teachings that I took it to heart and practiced it at a young age.

Looking back, I was often successful. But after finding detachment I would run into inner turmoil and end up feeling depressed and confused.

In hindsight this is because I had some mistaken impressions of how detachment worked, but also because successful detachment brought me into contact with pockets of resistance.

Real detachment

Real detachment means no longer clinging to manifested reality. It goes hand in hand with feeling better from within, and requires us to be stable enough that we can easily find alignment with God/inner being.

It’s simply a light, buoyant sense of being not so focused on immediate experience. It’s the sense of having inner love and ease surround us and uplift us rather than looking for manifestations to make us feel better (they can’t).

When you stop looking for manifestations to make you feel better, you’re then letting go, allowing reality to follow its own changes while you remain comfortable and secure in your alignment with God.

It’s not a cold and aloof detachment, more like being a kid again. Kids don’t “get” the serious side of life that we fixate on as adults. They don’t share our morbid thoughts or grim outlook until we force it on them.

They take things lightly, because their own inner guidance is still mostly intact. That’s what we can aspire to in letting go: an easy, comfortable detachment from somber thoughts and clinging to reality.

And as a good omen, while writing this a bird crapped on my shoe…I see the humour in it, so long as I stop fretting about having to hurry home and clean it off!