Freedom or Bondage?

imgres

“You will not succeed in being partial hostage to the ego, for it keeps no bargains and would leave you nothing.  Nor can you be partial host to it.  You must choose between total freedom and total bondage, for there are no alternatives but these.  You have tried many comprises in the attempt to avoid recognizing the one decision you must make.  And yet it is the recognition of the decision, just as it is, that makes the decision so easy.” Coures In Miracles

We have tried many compromises.  When we suffer, it is because we have decided to hang on.  Great teachers have told us in order to end suffering we must let go.  Deep down most of us know this.  Yet we leave claw marks, as we hang on to that which was inevitably gone, all the way to the bitter end. Why do we do this?  Why ask a question?

“An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.” Byron Katie

So what question should we ask when we are suffering?  What do we do next?  The good news is that just a willingness to even ask questions is a step forward toward freedom.  Many of us will suffer without ever stepping out of the suffering long enough to ask a question.  Why is this happening is usually as far as we get and that is not the most productive use of our time.  The answer to why is often times because ‘it is what it is’.  Why did they hurt me, why is this happening, why did I say that, why did she say that.  Why is because that is what we do, or they do, or what life does, and so it is and so it has always been.

The more empowering question is why am I reacting this way to what is?  What do I need from others and am I asking for what I want and need?  Is it understanding or time to heal?  Is it support as I learn to let go?  Another powerful question is what can I learn from this?  What meaning do I choose to give this event in my life?  Will I use this event as an affirmation of negative beliefs I have, like this is evidence that life really does not treat me fair, that ‘god’ hates me, that I’m unloved, that no matter how hard you try things don’t work out?  Or am I using this as a tool to mature and grow?

The meaning we give an event is always our choice.  Some of the most painful experiences in my life have been my greatest teaching moments.  They helped me mature and grow up!  They helped me realize just how strong I am.  I know others that used the accidental death of their children as a platform to educate their community so that other children would not suffer.  They gave their child’s death meaning by spreading a meaningful message.  Others have a similar experience and use it as a platform to spread negativity and hostility.  We have all done this at one time or another, but we can ask ‘for what purpose’?  Did it make a change?  Did it empower me or the other person?  Did it change the person or place responsible?  If we know we can’t change someone’s behavior and we know we can’t change the organization for what purpose do we hang onto this resentment that keeps us stuck in suffering, hostility or negativity?

Think about the IRS.  Think about politics.  Think about the injustices of the world.  Boy those can really get us worked up and off into heated debates, agitation, resentments and the list goes on.  They can cause family wars and hurt feelings.  What if we stop thinking about those things?  If we have no intention of changing them then why not instead focus on what we can change about ourselves?  Think about what little change we can make today in our own life.  Are we willing?  So we expect these long standing practices to change, for leaders to wake up and yet are we willing to wake up to our own needed personal growth?

What about others that we think are attacking us?  Are they really attacking us? If someone literally is abusing us then what steps do we need to take to find freedom?  If someone attacks us, then we are still responsible for our reaction.  How we react is a true reflection of our beliefs.  If we say we believe and want peace and then react to someone that attacks us, we will be in conflict.  The conflict is because what we say we want and how we act or misaligned.

Injustice for some may be a small child in India who’s arms gets broken so they can be better beggars.  Is this what we are talking about or are we upset because the cable people made us wait again?  Maybe some harsh life experiences have come our way.  What meaning will we give them?  Will we spend our energy wishing it was not so, dwelling in the unfairness of it (which may be very valid), or reliving the pain of it all?  If we do this we are sure to suffer more.

This may not be easy for most of us to forgive, to let go, to consciously and mindfully live our life. What is the alternative?  Think about  a life where we hang on to this suffering, were we live the rest of our life believing someone else has that much power over us and we will always be a victim.  Is that the life we choose? What is the alternative?

“Don’t take anything personally.  Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”  Miguel Angel Ruiz.

The solution is simple.  When our minds dwell in the “story” of how we were wronged, we breath deep and find a mantra that brings us peace.  We do this one time, one thousand times, one million times until we train our minds to let go of that which causes us suffering.

As a child I was abused.  By whom, how many times, to what extend is unimportant for this ‘story’.  We have all experienced some form of abuse at least one time in our life.  I am simply sharing this to give context to what I’m about to say.  My choice was to allow that experience to define who I am or not.  I could relive it, think about it, seek revenge or become bitter which for some time in my life I did all of those things.  And then what?  That is the question that came to me.  It’s done, now what?  What will my life be?  What will my message be?  Who will I become?  My choice was to give that event very little meaning on the one hand and deap meaning on the other.  The deeper meaning I gave it is that some people are sick and suffer.  “Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do” jumped into my mind.  Then it was sometimes I know not what I do so I can forgive myself.  I can give myself the gift of forgiveness so they no longer have power in my life.  I can choose to be conscious in my life so that I don’t harm others.  I can carry a message of love to a world that still suffers instead of adding more suffering to a world that needs love.

The meaning we give something is always our choice.

 

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Freedom or Bondage?

  1. lldonda

    You are most certainly right Larina. We give every thing in life it’s meaning. We get to chose or on the other hand not to choose our reality but ultimately everything “is what it is.” And it’s the negative thoughts that hold us back from experiencing happiness. I’m definitely going to work on finding my mantra to help me remember; all difficult situations will come to pass. It will help me find my strength in staying calm and feeling grounded. Thanks for this message. L.

    • Let me know what mantra works for you. I would like to hear what brings you peace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Hanna Marks

    Amazing best blog ever

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: