My disconnection and my suffering…Are they real?

A thought is harmless

There are times when I feel disconnected from God. But is it possible to be disconnected from God? Lately, I began to think that my thoughts are the only things that can disconnect me from God. But again, I must ask, is it possible to be disconnected from God?

Upon investigation, and doing a technique called “the work,” which a woman named Byron Katie teaches, I have awakened to the experience that it’s not possible to be disconnected from God; that not even my thoughts can disconnect me; that there’s nothing I can do that can disconnect me from God.

I may think that I’m disconnected, but is there any proof of that?

The thought has crossed my mind that if I’m suffering, I must be disconnected from God. But can I absolutely know that that’s true?

No.

Through questioning, I came to realize that even when I suffer I’m connected with God.

But that realization brought me to a different question.

Do I choose to suffer? Maybe not. Does suffering just happen to me? Hmmm… I realized the question at the heart of this topic is When I think I’m suffering, can I absolutely  know that its true that I’m suffering?

What I found when I questioned this thought amazed me.

First of all, how do I react when I believe the thought that I’m suffering?

When I believe I’m suffering, I don’t see that really I’m not. Usually, I’m perfectly safe and well.When I believe the thought that I’m suffering I ignore all the ways that I’m not suffering. I also fail to consider that my suffering is nothing but a thought.

But is that true? Can it possibly be true that my suffering is nothing but a thought? Let me question the thought I suffer.

Can I absolutely know that it’s true that I suffer?

No.

Who would I be without the thought that I suffer? Who would I be if I weren’t capable of thinking the thought that I suffer?

This was a very new perspective to consider. I’ve known the thought of suffering for so long that it’s hard to imagine not knowing it. Is it possible to exist without thinking the thought that I suffer or that my suffering is real? When I sat and contemplated this for quite a while, this is what came to me:

If I wasn’t capable of thinking the thought I suffer or My suffering is real…

I would accept and experience things without fear. I would experience things as they happened and then be free of them. I would feel pain until I didn’t feel pain anymore. I would be hungry until I wan’t hungry anymore. I would feel sad until I wasn’t sad anymore….

The reality, of course, it that I am capable of thinking the thoughts I suffer and My suffering is real. So what does this mean to me now?  It means that if the thought crosses my mind that I’m suffering, I will think I’m suffering until I don’t think I’m suffering anymore… and as soon as I don’t think I’m suffering anymore, I won’t suffer anymore… and I will be able to experience what each moment presents…without suffering. And I will be open to experiencing until I can’t experience anymore…  None of what I experience requires my suffering.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

My Process

The 42 days I dedicated to the process of deepening my connection with the divine turned out to be  a time for me to get to know myself. This process has been incredible- both difficult and gracious. When I wrote my last post, I was in a moment of difficulty. What I wrote was what I was feeling in that moment. I know it may have sounded sad and discouraged… that’s how I was feeling in the moment. But the amazing thing about writing how I was feeling is that I allowed myself not to deny it. It was the truth for me in that moment and I allowed myself to live the truth in that moment. Yes, I was worried of what people would think when they read it but that’s ok. Being worried in that moment was truth, it was the reality of that moment. I also took some time to pause as I was writing, and a new reality presented itself. The poem I wrote came to me over a period of about 15 – 20 minutes. I didn’t plan to write a poem. When I called up on my true self in the moment, I stopped writing and sat for a few moments feeling my feelings. While I was doing that a thought came to mind. I wrote it, then I paused again to feel my feelings, another thought came to mind, and I wrote it. That poem came to me in the moment as I allowed myself to pause and feel my feelings.

This process of getting to know myself involves accepting myself as I am. This has meant, for the first time in my life, finding a sense of peace with my turmoil. It has meant realizing that the truth is what is in each moment and to wish it were different, to hide it, to pretend it’s different…to do anything but shine the light on it and give it space to be, is denying the truth, denying myself, and denying my life experience.

I’ve spent a lot of time not living my life. Instead, I’ve done things like try to live other people’s lives for them, lived in the past, lived in the future, and ignored the truth of my own life. No wonder I felt unfulfilled. For most of my life I have attracted struggle and suffering to myself because I have not been living in truth.

Truth is what is, before I interpret, judge, categorize, or manipulate in some way.

My process at the moment is recognizing the truth and accepting it. For me that means:

  • becoming aware of my thoughts and meeting them with acceptance, curiosity, and inquiry instead of identifying with or attempting to deny or change them
  • tuning in to my feelings and allowing them to run their course
  • shining the light on my emotions and allowing them to run their course
  • being aware of who/what I truly am- a part of the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe experiencing this physical body, a co-creator of my life, powerful and divine.

Something amazing that has occurred along the way is that abundant resources to help me learn have presented themselves. They have come in the form of books, courses, articles, websites, meditation techniques, new people in my life, and new challenges that have pushed me to face reality and expand my awareness of it. One after the other, after the other, these resources have flowed into my life. I’m so grateful for this abundance. I know now that living the truth welcomes abundance into my life. I have experienced this.

I also know that I am still getting to know myself and learning how to accept myself so I will still face difficulties. The difference is I am starting to welcome those difficulties as opportunities for growth, instead of as failure.

Well, I suppose that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 33- My Paradigm Shift

My activities on this journey have more or an inward focus lately. At the beginning, as I mentioned in this post a couple of days ago, everything I was doing was very expressive. I was praying out loud and noticing things in the world around me and reaching out to the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe…My actions were also a bit more aggressive. I felt like I was waging a war on my mind and my thoughts. I felt like I had to exert my control or else I would never be able to change. I thought that forcing positive thoughts into my mind was going to bring about the changes I desired in my life. I felt like I had to change so many things in my life because I was doing everything wrong. I didn’t like who I was sometimes and I thought my behavior at times was unacceptable. So I wanted to use force to change myself, and change quickly… and hopefully people would start noticing that something was different about me.

There came a point, however, that all that activity and the struggles didn’t appeal to me anymore. I started to feel like I was slacking or losing my motivation and focus. I was questioning if I was motivated enough to be on this path and why I had lost my the passion that I had in the first couple of weeks. Why did that feel so unsustainable?

As I reflect on all of that, maybe I did lose some motivation for a while. For a while, I was just going through my day. I didn’t pause to pray every 30 minutes like I did when I first started. There was something more peaceful about my state, though. I started to be more in the moment while I was going through my day and my comprehensive To Do List wasn’t weighing me down by putting out constant reminders of everything I have to do between now and the end of next year. It felt good to be able to go about my business without a million other things on my mind.

Then, little by little, a new focus started to grow. This one was quieter. It started after a night that I experienced a lot of anger (that was day 21) and I started looking online for ways to address it. That’s when I started reading about the difference between emotions and feelings and about feeling feelings and the alchemy of feelings. Then all of a sudden, every where I turned there was something about feeling feelings and accepting everything about myself, no matter what it was. When this happened I felt my energy return a bit. I was motivated again to experience this new way of being. From that point on, there has been a subtlety about my focus.

I have been reaching out less… I have been looking in more. There’s less praying and more feeling and accepting. Sometimes it doesn’t feel “right” to pray less and reach out less. Then again, where do my ideas of right and wrong come from? From an uncreative, dogmatic mind? my false self? Recently someone said to me that it’s a good idea to question what is considered right and wrong in the mind of others and even in my own mind! Now that throws everything all topsy turvy! I know that’s what needs to be done, though.

So, here I am today. Being myself and accepting myself. I am becoming aware that connecting with myself is connecting with the divine and I instead of reaching out, I am reaching in. And instead of praying out loud, I am beginning to experience the silence within.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 32- A Difficult Story that Ends with Gratitude

Two years ago at this time, I had recently completed an amazing adventure. August 15, 2013 was the last day of a 5 month, 3,000+ mile journey that I made running most of the way across the United States from CA to CT. In Norwalk, CT that day, as I ran into the ocean, I was so happy and relieved to be finished, but I was also suffering immensely. While I was definitely in physical pain, it’s not the physical pain that was really bothering me. It was the mental and emotional pain that was causing the majority of my suffering (and probably causing my physical pain, too). Let me explain. The reason I was suffering so greatly was because I spent the majority of the 5 months on the road denying my own reality and rejecting my feelings and at the end of the 5 months instead of feeling the excitement of what I had accomplished, I mostly felt the weight of what I hadn’t.

You see, by the time I had run to Missouri, I was in a great deal of physical pain. So much so that it was too painful to run. However, instead of accepting this and allowing myself to live this truth, I denied it and secretly hitchhiked and rode in buses and taxis for about 120 miles. I didn’t tell anyone until about 5 or 6 months later when I realized if I didn’t tell the truth, the lie was going to eat me up inside for the rest of my life.

I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last 2 years processing this experience and trying to figure out what lesson I was meant to learn from it. I have wanted to place the blame for my actions outside of myself and it would be easy to do that. However, the more I learn about life, the greater awareness I have that no one else is ever to blame for my how I feel and the decisions I make.

In the blog post I wrote announcing what I had done I said one of the reasons I did it was that “I was so consumed with my goal that I was willing to lie to keep up appearances.” Re-reading that today, I realize that that’s not really the truth. I wasn’t really consumed with my goal. Not finishing when I said I was going to finish wouldn’t really have bothered me all that much. Really what I was consumed with was the story, the drama I had created in my head that rejected the reality of my situation. From day 1 of that experience I was completely unwilling to accept how I was feeling and because of that I created a world of suffering for myself. If I had accepted my feelings and allowed myself to be whatever I was in each moment, I would have made completely different decisions.

As I write about this experience today, I find myself wondering why I’m doing so. Why bring this up?… It’s because I haven’t fully allowed myself to be at peace with what happened. I’m still reliving it in ways and it’s blocking me from truly being in a place of acceptance and power. This experience is part of my journey today because I haven’t allowed it to move through me. I’ve wanted to deny it and I still wish it hadn’t happened the way it did. I have intellectually been trying to figure it out, always wondering “Why?” and thinking I had to learn something from it before I could let it go and that since I was still holding on to it, I must not have learned the deep, profound lesson, yet. In doing all of these things, I have held onto it, instead of letting it run its course.

Today, what I realize is that I don’t have to think about it anymore. There’s nothing to figure out. When a thought of the experience comes to my mind, I’ll change my focus from thinking to feeling and I’ll allow myself to feel whatever feeling arises as a result of the thought. I’ll let the thought be there, too, but I won’t give it my attention. I will feel and be and see where that leads.

The lesson, I know now, is about self acceptance. I have had an opportunity to implement that lesson for as many moments as there have been since the experience happened. But since I haven’t done it, the experience keeps presenting itself and I keep re-living it. The thing is, I really didn’t know what self acceptance meant until these past few days. I didn’t have an inkling of what self acceptance is. Now I have an inkling. I’m so grateful to be where I am in this moment.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 31- This Is Me In This Moment and It Feels Very Vulnerable…and FREEING

Thinking about where I am right now in this journey, some might say I haven’t accomplished much. Some might say that I have nothing to offer anyone else because I’m still so stuck myself. I have doubted whether there is any point to sharing my experience because I don’t know if  writing about it can benefit anyone but myself…I don’t claim that what I write is “right”, in fact there’s a good chance that what I say could lead people astray, since I’m so unclear of so many things. I don’t claim to be able to offer anything that can help anyone else. This is just my experience. And today this is what is coming to my mind as I sit here at the keyboard, so I’m writing it.

As I think back on my experience so far, I’ve been through a bunch of phases. Here are some that come to mind. There are definitely more. Some that I haven’t written about at all:

1. Marvelling at the fact that I can be in communion with the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe at any moment and getting to know what this feels like.

2. Refusing to allow negative thoughts and fear to occupy space in my head thus realizing that there is a different reality possible.

3. Reaching out to the divine and inviting the divine into the reality of my life, moment to moment.

4. Becoming acutely aware of certain blocks to my spiritual growth.

5. Becoming aware that I have to accept those blocks instead of rejecting them or trying to change them.

6. Becoming aware of the difference between doing and being.

7. Becoming aware of the difference between emotions and feelings.

8. Becoming aware of what being in the moment and accepting myself in each moment feels like.

9. Practicing being in the moment and truly accepting myself.

So, this is where I am. Outwardly, it seems like nothing has changed because I’ve only just begun to actually accept myself the way I am and just begun to become aware that I don’t need to change anything to find divinity in my world. I’ve just started to explore the depths of presence within myself, just started to awaken to the truth that can only be found by accepting things exactly as they are and allowing them to be- and the freedom that that creates.

I am no different on the outside. I don’t think that anyone in my presence would feel me radiating divine love or serenity, or anything divine (although I pray that I can express divine energy in all that I do). I have been emotional and negative and all the things that some may say prove that I have gained nothing out of this experience. But I know that I have. It’s the beginnings of self-awareness and self-acceptance. It’s just the beginning. I’m being honest. It’s also honest to say that self-acceptance feels like a whole new world to me inside. Inside I’m exploring uncharted territory. I know with out a doubt that the most important thing I can do in this moment is to experience myself just as I am without wanting to change myself and without caring what anyone else thinks. I have never know that so clearly. I have never known so clearly that I am divine, that I am perfect, and that rejecting or trying to change myself is rejecting divinity in my life. Mentally, I haven’t stopped rejecting or thinking I have to change myself but there is now a little bit of myself that knows who it really is (just a little bit). Otherwise I would have never allowed myself to write this post.

Thanks for reading.

Day 29- Life As An Experiment

emerson

I was angry tonight. Really angry. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I took a walk then just sat on my bed with my eyes closed and did my best to focus on what it felt like in my body to be angry. Waves of tension swelled up and ebbed, mostly in my stomach. I had a lump in my throat. My brow was deeply furrowed. I sobbed off and on and tears dripped off of my nose and my chin. My nose got stuffed up and it was hard to breath deeply.

I kept consciously relaxing all the muscles in my body over and over again. That felt really good.

Angry, blaming, self-pitying, judgmental thoughts kept filling my mind. It was difficult not to get lost in them, in their comfort. It felt strange to take my focus off of my thoughts and put it on my body. It felt uncomfortable. unnatural. My thoughts kept calling me back. And I would almost get lost in them every time, but then I would shift my focus- over and over. I did this for about an hour. What an interesting new experiment!

As an aside, one interesting thing I’ve found is that everywhere I turn lately, I see things related to feeling feelings. It’s like I’m tuned into the “feeling feelings vibration” and more and more things about it keep turning up in my life. I like it.

Well, I guess that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 26- Learning How to “Be”

Oh, the unraveling of the false self…Learning to “be” whatever I am in each moment, truly accepting every aspect of my experience of the moment- I don’t think I’ve ever done that. There are so many layers of rejection and refusal of myself and my experience, for one reason or another. And how can I truly feel the presence of the divine if I am so often busy rejecting who I am and my true experience of the moment, which is an activity of the mind (my false self)? Always doing, doing, doing. Never being. What a distraction. If my mind is creating and shaping my experience, I’m not truly able to connect with the divine source/force within or all around me.  So, I suppose this is another starting point. I feel a very vague sense of direction. I feel for the first time that I am catching a glimpse of what exists underneath all of the layers of false self. It feels elusive at the moment, kind of like a mist that I can’t really see or touch. I feel it though.

I read this article yesterday and it was very helpful: Freedom From Suffering: Feeling Feelings

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 23- On lightening Up

Bringing my awareness to my inner blocks has been key in my experience so far. It’s part of a process of freeing myself so that I can have a stronger connection with the divine. Anger, anxiety, fear, stress, doubt, judgment, shame, etc…all of these come in the way of my connection with the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe. They steal my attention and my awareness and make me unconscious. They drag me down with their weight into a world of a lower vibration, of suffering and loneliness. The higher vibration is where my true potential lies. For that I must lighten my load. “Lighthearted”. “Enlightened”. I must be light.

This morning, when I woke up I felt a sense of emptiness. There’s still something major within me that is blocking my connection to the divine reality that surrounds me, that’s a part of me, that I’m connected to. If I were truly feeling connected to the amazing world and to the Great Creative Life Force of the Universe, I don’t think I would feel empty or lonely as often as I do. Would I?

I don’t know what the block is. The other day while I was taking a walk, I started wondering about the serious side I have to me. Nature walks are such a time for meditation for me and my awareness of many things expands a great deal on my walks. Anyway, what I started to become more aware of on this walk is that there’s a seriousness to me that prevents me from being silly, especially around others. Sometimes I’m silly when I’m by myself, but hardly ever around others. I know I’m serious far more frequently than I’m silly and I’d like it to be the other way around. What is the seriousness all about? Is it protecting me from something? I’m sure it is. It’s also preventing me from being completely free. I’m at the point where I feel I’m ready to face whatever the seriousness is protecting me from. I’d rather deal with it and move on. It may be painful to deal with, but that’s ok.

For the moment, however, I suppose I just accept where I am. I accept the emptiness and seriousness. Not accepting is choosing the lower vibration. Acceptance gives me access to the higher vibration. So even in the moment when I feel heavy, I still have a choice to feel heavier or to lighten my load. There’s always an opportunity to lighten up through acceptance of what is. Wishing reality were different than it is: heavy.

It always comes back to that, doesn’t it? It always comes back to the simple act of acceptance of each moment. I’ve been so used to trying to figure out how to change myself but coming at it all wrong. Wishing I were different. That’s really heavy. The concept of acceptance is still sinking in. I just need to keep reminding myself and I know eventually I’ll get there,…or maybe I am there!

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

Day 21- A Conversation with Anger

Anger: ROAR!!! I’m mad!

Me: Hello, anger. I hear you. I’m listening.

Anger: Why are you talking to me? Just let me take control.  I don’t want to talk to you, I just want to exert my power over you like I always do.

Me: Why are you here?

Anger: Because you’ve been wronged and it’s not fair! I’m trying to get you to stand up for yourself! You can’t let someone treat you that way! You’re right and they’re wrong! If you don’t stand up for yourself, that person is going to keep on doing what they’re doing and completely take advantage of your niceness.

Me: You’re right! I do have to stand up for myself! I am right! Why should I be the one who goes out of my way! I’m too nice and I don’t want to be taken advantage of!…But wait…I don’t want to be mad…There’s got to be a different side to this…What can I learn from you, anger?

Anger: You can learn to keep control of the situation, make sure everything always goes your way and force others to conform to your expectations for their behavior!

Me: Oh. Why do you think that’s important?

Anger: Because it’s uncomfortable if things don’t go your way and who knows what will happen if you give up control of the situation. Plus, if someone doesn’t act like you expect them to act, then they must not care what you think? Why spend time with someone who doesn’t want to please you and do what you tell them to do? Especially when you’re right and you’re such a nice peson! Why can’t they be nice to you and let you know they care?!

Me: Hmmm…where do you come from, anger?

Anger: I come form a place inside of you that feels hurt, that feels ignored and devalued. I’m here to protect you from those feelings and to assure you that the person who made you feel that way is wrong.

Me: Well…what if I decide I don’t need to be valued by others because I can value myself? What if I don’t depend on someone else to meet my needs? Then that other person can be whoever they want to be. What if the other person wasn’t actually doing anything to hurt me on purpose? What it they are just caught up in themselves and their issues…I understand that…I can relate. So, maybe I don’t need to get so defensive. That’s not the person I really want to be..and besides, I value other people’s independence and free will. I don’t really want to control anyone’s behavior. I don’t have to be afraid of what will happen if someone else doesn’t do what I want them to do! I can handle it, whatever it is…I trust in the process of life and I know I’m safe.

End of conversation.

I really struggled with resolving this conversation. To be honest, no response came from inside myself when I asked the question “Where do you come from, anger?” I listened really hard, but I kept wanting to justify my anger. So, I took the liberty of doing a little research and that’s how I was able to end the conversation. Here are the sources that helped me to finish the conversation:
Source 1
Source 2

Thanks for reading.

Rosalynn

What My Anxiety Told Me Today (and My Response)

I woke up anxious today, like I do most days.

This is what my anxiety told me when I questioned why it was here: I’m here to remind you of things that I think you should be afraid of… so that you start figuring out ways to change the situation and avoid the negative repercussions that you don’t want…or so that you can begin to emotionally shield yourself from the negative repercussions.

My response: I don’t have to be afraid of anything. I trust in the process of life, there’s nothing I have to figure out. What is is what I want. All I need is always taken care of. I am safe.  I can “let go and let God”.