When we first become aware of a polarity and begin to work on healing it, there is a tendency to swing to the opposite polarity, as in going from passive to aggressive. But if we are conscious, we eventually find the balance between the two and become assertive. Who we are is a marriage of opposites. We are living contradictions.
Our attachment to happiness occurs when we reject suffering. Of course, we don’t want to suffer, and we see happiness as the opposite of suffering, so we desperately cling to it. But because we are motivated away from suffering rather than towards genuine happiness, the motivation comes from a negative place of fear. We can never find happiness from this place.
Ask yourself: Is your motivation to be happy coming from a place of openness and love or from a place of fear?
Once we can integrate suffering and happiness, we can be at ease, even when we are having a difficult time with someone or something. We can be neither suffering nor happy – just centred within ourselves, accepting and flowing with what life presents us.
We think of happiness as having no problems, having all our dreams come true – no financial stress or other problems. But what we really want is the feeling of ease. We can feel at ease, even against a backdrop of problems, if we can accept the duality of life and flow with it. Dis–ease occurs because we fight against it and desperately try to escape what we perceive as negative emotion.
Oneness is the ability to integrate these dualities.
In many cases we are motivated towards the spiritual path because we believe it will bring an end to our pain, but pain is a part of the human journey. Life will still happen, both the good and the bad, but when we have accepted our shadow self and the duality of life, our perception changes.
With spiritual work, we learn not to blame but to be empowered.
We learn that everything that happens in our lives is another opportunity to gain a greater understanding of ourselves, to integrate another aspect of ourselves we hadn’t been able to acknowledge (the shadow self). We develop more self-trust, self-acceptance, self-belief and, ultimately, self-love. It is only when we cultivate these in ourselves that we can be more open, understanding and compassionate towards others. Thus all our relationships improve.
If we believe that bad things won’t happen to us when we follow the spiritual path and ‘do the work’, then we do not truly understand the journey of spiritual growth. This is just another trick we play on ourselves to avoiding suffering.
Suffering has the ability to bring us closer to a part of ourselves that we don’t yet love or accept, to the parts that we judge or repress. It’s the shadow coming to the light to be looked at. Once we’re aware of this, our suffering becomes conscious, and we can witness it as well as learn and grow from it. Unconscious suffering occurs when we are not in control, when we are unable to see the gift it brings.
So again, the good news about suffering, when we move through it consciously, is that it allows us to connect with a part of ourselves we don’t yet know or don’t want to know. When we integrate all these parts through the suffering we experience, we become more whole and at ease, and we are less likely to be upset by events that trigger the parts we don’t yet love in ourselves.
Consciously embracing suffering means not that we become the suffering but that we learn through it and let it bring us closer to who we are. Suffering is cleansing.
Suffering brings us closer to accepting and loving ourselves, but we will see this only when we are ready.
When we take full responsibility for creating our reality, what other people do and say will still have an impact on us, but we will begin to see that impact as a gift, as something that shows us whatever baggage we are carrying.
Set your intentions from an honest heart place, from a place of love.
If you are not sure about how to do that, ask the Universe to support you and show you how.
When setting a clear intention, be sure to look at it closely. Is your focus based on fear or love? Are you moving away from suffering or towards love? Is your intention ‘I want to love more?’ Or is it ‘I don’t want to suffer?’ Look at the energy your intention is feeding you, and be careful how you phrase it.
Trust in life, and trust in yourself. Keep your intention pure, and try to become aware of any unconscious energy that may be tinting your intentions. Ask yourself: what is the feeling behind your need or desire, when you ask the Universe for something positive. Is it pure? Or is it hiding something negative?
Again, if we are negatively motivated, that negative energy will deplete us. If we are positively motivated, we can hold the intention with ease.
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