Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Energy of Belief: Part Two - Getting Out by Giving In

The air is crisp and smells of autumn. Yellow leaves rustle on black asphalt while green grass settles into sleepy hibernation. I am walking to school, making my walk a meditation, letting my mind be still, letting my mind be the reality TV show that occupies my attention as I walk to school. This morning, the hill feels steeper and I’m breathing hard. When a guy on a bike puffs to a stop, swings his leg over and starts walking the steep hill just ahead of me, my mind is triggered into a memory.

I remember, as a teenager riding up the hill to Utah State University to participate in The Festival of the American West, which I was privileged to be a part of in my high school years. When I heard of the opportunity and told my parents I wanted to audition for the show, Dad’s response was “Fine, but we can’t take you.” So I rode my bike the ten or eleven miles from my house to the university all summer long. More than once, other cast members would go out of their way to give me and my bike a lift home, rather than see me pedaling along the highway in the dark at the end of practice. True to his word, my dad never gave me a ride, not once, not even on performance nights when I’d be traveling the highway near midnight.

There I am, walking up the hill flashing back to past history. I’m sucked into a memory, and I find myself noticing the kindness of near strangers was greater than the support of my own father. Then I feel amazed that this memory has been lurking in my shadows for all these years. I recognized an opportunity to practice the process that is the heart of today’s post. 

So I dig around in my darkness and I ask myself, “What is the belief that holding on to this memory supports?” The answer isn’t hard to come up with. The underlying belief is “My father doesn’t love me.” Underneath that I find: “I am not good enough.” The former becomes a supporting argument for the latter, like this: “I am not good enough. See? Even my own dad doesn’t love me.

That is how it goes, the stories in our mind give rise to wrong or distorted conclusions that we arrive at and then link together to support and prove themselves right.

Let’s talk about how we can transcend these kinds of stories, and thus remove ourselves from the pool of leaking, poisonous energy beliefs like this contaminate our minds with. I found a talk by Bentinho Massaro. He expresses what I am going to say very well and is worth listening to.

We have spent a lifetime feeding attention to negative beliefs, rewarding and reinforcing them with energy. We are the broadcasting station, but they are the leaky containers that toxify the signal we send out to the universe. We know that negative beliefs distort our perceptions, and like cement shoes they pull us down, down, down, over and over again into their own darkness, tainting and twisting the way we see the world around us. 

We know that our first response is an opportunity to simply stop, to cut off the juice being gobbled up by the thought to live, to consciously put our attention somewhere else, so that the negative thought is forced to slink back into the hole it keeps pulling us down into. I can’t emphasis enough how beneficial and powerful that one simple habit can become in your life.

It lessens the impact of a negative belief when we pull attention away from the supporting thought the belief projects into our mind. Over a long time this response pattern can starve those cancerous stories like chemo for the soul. While it's true that eventually the belief dies out, this approach is difficult. It requires constant mental vigilance and needs a long time to fully waste away a negative belief. So how can we take the leap? How can we transcend these negative, poisonous beliefs and supercharge our experience with an influx of potent, positive energy?

The answer is powerful stuff, but counter-intuitive. Get out by giving in. The best way to transcend is to admit defeat. To let our negative beliefs have their cackling way with us. To sink into the belief, fully experience it, and admit that we are powerless. The belief is completely, absolutely correct.

“It’s true,” I say, walking with my head down, as I sink into the belief and fully feel it. “I am not good enough and my dad doesn’t love me.”

The energy system that is the foundation of creation operates in layers of density, like lasagna or that fantastic bean dip you devour on Super Bowl Sunday.  Every layer has its own density, or vibration. Every layer has its own rules and its own truth. Metaphorically speaking, the deeper the layer, the darker and more dense it becomes. Think of the ocean, where all the vibrant life, the colorful fish, the coral, the pretty and playful things all are found near the surface. The deeper down you go, the scarier and more alien the stuff down there gets. This is true energetically as well. 

The layer where a belief can form that says “I am not good enough,” is a place we all spend way too much time.

I believe this is the intrinsic challenge of the earth experience, to swim up from the level of “not good enough” to the next higher sphere of human potential, where there is no failure; there is no blame, and there is no need or room for negative beliefs. Rather the rooms are filled with opportunities to learn and grow, and where the beauty of being is a constant bliss buoying up our souls. I’ve poked my toes in those waters and many people are already lounging around on its beaches.

So here’s the deal. If you sink down into the level at which a negative beliefs exists, that belief cannot be proven wrong. No matter how much we try, we cannot win against it, because everything we do is connected to the belief. Our actions arise from the belief, from our struggles to prove it wrong. “But I am  good enough,” we cry out. 

Every success is distorted because it gets weighed against the belief and comes out wanting. We buy into the belief and then struggle our whole lives to disprove it. We fail. We fail, because at the level where the belief lives, it’s true.

That’s the hard part to swallow. That in this densest layer, the thoughts we hate most about ourselves can be true. The key is to remember that we are not stuck living forever in that level of existence. When you no longer resist, when you stop struggling against the energy of “not good enough” --- then your consciousness is free. It floats upward. You literally become lighter. The “not good enough” level stays the same; while you change. You transcend. So when the belief of “not good enough” pukes up a negative, poisonous thought, you can just smile and pat it on the head like a charming but errant child and say “So what?”

At the level of belief, it’s true that I’m not good enough and that my dad doesn’t love me. My dad has the choice to keep living in the Not Good Enough level or to transcend it, just as we all do. When his consciousness is acting out of the NGE level, of course a part of him doesn’t love me and knows I’m not good enough. A part of him doesn’t love himself and knows he will never be good enough either. That is how the game plays out down here. When my consciousness is acting out of the NGE level, then being less than perfect, how can I ever be good enough?

So What?

When you look down or back at the NGE level, it is easy to see how, according to the rules of the game, we can never be perfect. Therefore, we can never win and we can never, ever, be good enough.  You can’t beat the house; you can’t beat the game. It’s set up that way. We can stay in the house and play the game as long as we like; but when you get tired of it, the only way out is to admit defeat.
In the NGE level, there is only one rule: you cannot win. So instead, you give the game its due.

Near the top of the hill, I’m triggered into a memory and catapulted into the game I’m playing against the house. So what do I do?

Admit defeat. At this level, I am not and never will be, and I mean never, ever will be good enough. That’s the rule of the game. I sink down into the feeling of not. I remember all the stories and thoughts that pop up to support my lack, to prove that I am a failure (or whatever flavor your stories come in), that there is no hope; that I can’t do it, can’t change, feel helpless, powerless, stuck.

Give in.

Sit with it, don't fight the thoughts, don’t resist the emotions, let them flow.

Here is the real truth. You are so much more than just a being on the level of NGE. Other parts of your soul are already transcended, already far above your mortal pain and your experiences of lack and suffering. No matter how stuck you feel, or how helpless it may seem, or how much you wish you were better or different or more privileged, or lucky, or blessed, or special --- all of that is available right now in your soul, and you KNOW it.

So, as you admit defeat and give in, as you surrender your membership in the NGE social club where misery loves company --- by not playing the game anymore, because you lost again and again and again and will lose every time you play --- then, the part of you that KNOWs will send you a sigh and you will relax into So What?

I am not good enough --- So What? My dad doesn’t love me --- So What?

In the very next level, I experience no failure. I am good enough and my father loves me unconditionally. We just have to recognize the layers. Both are true at the same time. Love and Not Love; Good Enough and Not Good Enough --- both are equally true at their own level.

So as I walk to school in the crisp autumn air and stride through the yellow leaves on the black asphalt, and as I climb the hill of my own self-esteem, challenged by memories that shout or scold or declare my faults as evidence that I am not good enough, I can just admit defeat. I can choose to not resist. I can yield like water or bend like bamboo in the wind.

After all, since I can't win anyway, why fight? Why play the game? Just sit with the self-accusations. Since we live there anyway, since we already hear it tearing away at our heart, since we already feel the confusion and doubt, it’s not hard to live with the truth of a belief. Nothing has changed. Except that the energy of defeat blows away and we are lightened. The voice of the darkness has been heard and so it has nothing more to say. We accept it all; we embrace it all. We go all Gandhi on its ass. Little by little, stroke by stroke, we swim higher and hang out in more lively, pretty and appealing waters. Eventually, we will have transcended the level of NGE altogether. Our soul will no longer have any curiosity about self-directed negativity. We will no longer have the need to experience fear or self-doubt. We will have liberated ourselves from those levels of density and no longer get sucked into their darkness.

The NGE level will still be there, but we won’t be drowning in its waters. Its energies and thoughts will no longer have the power to trigger us or capture our attention. We will be free.

Make defeat your personal practice. This is what Jesus meant when he said “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it” (Luke 17:33). You can't break the bank; you can't even break even. Proclaim your surrender; admit your defeat, declare the contest lost and win free of the game.

This is a lot to digest and accept; and yet, may we all find freedom together.

With love and aloha,

P.S. My most sincere intention and hope, if my writing resonates with you, is that you will feel inspired to share this post with all your friends and social media. Together we can reach as many people as possible; Together we can all pump powerfully positive, loving, accepting, juicy energy into the world. Namaste.

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