In my last blog (September 12), I wrote about the consciousness that nothing, no-thing that binds you, except you yourself. Our struggles with circumstances and relationships are all about us, not the outer situation or the other person. To unbind ourselves, we must engage in self-reflection so that we can identify and let go of the feelings and the fight within us. Over the years, students have asked many questions about this process.
Is this the same as choosing how to respond to anything that comes my way?
It’s almost the same, but not quite. We do get to choose how to respond, but what I am talking about is the understanding that the totality of what we feel is about us. It’s not about the other person or the situation at all. It goes deeper here.
Our struggles are self-created. You have lived long enough to know that when you leave one situation—poof, that’s gone, got rid of that!—it just reappears in a new situation because you have not changed your consciousness. You leave a relationship or job, but with the next situation, the same struggles come back because you have not realized the real place that you are bound by, which is yourself.
Sometimes when I power struggle, I am able to see what I’m doing and see that it is me, but I can’t always let go completely.
It’s just you struggling with you. When you notice you are having a fight inside your head with the other person, stop the conversation. Go to the heart of the self, and there you will witness what it is that you are doing that creates the struggle. Then, let go of the struggle.
When my husband and I sought permission to build the Sanctuary on Snow Dragon Mountain, neighbors opposed our plans, and we were even sued twice. But when we saw ourselves becoming unhappy, we made a choice to be peaceful. We said, “We’re stopping. Right now, we’re stopping this.” And when we stopped it, we unbound ourselves from the struggle. Then, as we went forward, we took full responsibility. We agreed, “Peace is what we choose. Our plans may or may not come to fruition, but that is okay because we choose peace above all.” The struggle stopped, we returned to our freedom, and went back into the Golden Center. We made that choice while it felt like everything was at stake. But there it is—that’s the illusion! That’s what it feels like: We have so much at stake.
The practice is coming into the consciousness that whatever you are struggling with is not about “the other,” and bringing it back to where you are fighting, you are positioning, you are pushing, you are pulling, and where you are manipulating people and circumstances. Then, you choose freedom. You free yourself when you are able to reflect on how you are doing it instead of saying, “Well, this person is coming at me trying to take this away,” or “This feels too risky.”
To arrive at the place where you want to release what binds you is a milestone in the evolution of your lifetimes and reincarnations. You first have to admit that you want to fight, and you want to be right. If you can admit this to yourself, then you are starting to get somewhere. Acknowledging the fight, brings light to it. This is the practice, and you are now doing the inner work.
I have so many goals to meet. I always feel like I have to get it right, right away, and that frustrates me. I think if I can get there, I’ll be happier and more peaceful; I’ll be better—a better woman, a better sister, a better caretaker.
You are describing one of the ways in which you bind yourself. You are obsessed with a thought form. Leave out the “get it right” part, and just be in the process. That thought hurts you. Replace that thought with one that creates strength for you in the moment: I am a good care-taker, I am a good woman, a good sister.
Use the positive thought. When you see the limiting thought arise, release it. Dwell in your basic goodness, in the moment, and then you are practicing. It is okay if you find another binding thought right behind the first one. Unbind that one as well. This is the practice. You can also release the binding and limiting thoughts by going back to the awareness of the breath.
How long do we go on? I have been feeling angry for so long.
You go on until you choose peace over anger. The practice is a repetitive process that transforms unconsciousness into consciousness. Perhaps you have had an experience—maybe you got drunk and woke up with a hangover—where you said, “I’m never doing that again because it hurt me too much.” It’s the same thing. Sometime you will arrive at the place that says, “This is tearing me apart,” and then you will commit to the inner work. The practice is meeting what is there, moment by moment.
The key is to be willing to meet what you feel when you feel it and know it is about you. When you yearn for non-binding love and liberation, you will let go of the inner fight.
I see my father’s control and my mother’s fear in me all the time; I see how a lot of the things I do, I learned from them.
We chose our parents to learn exactly what they taught us, so we have to leave Mom and Dad out of it completely. It’s not about them anymore, it’s about us. Be grateful for all you learned from them. Be grateful for the struggles they gave you because those struggles are your path to freedom. They are teaching you to let go because they create pain. Therefore, they are perfect.
Feel the binding. How can you release that which you do not acknowledge? Acknowledge the binds are there, and feel them. This is the practice. Remember this core teaching, and strive to remember the difference between thinking about practice and actually doing the practice because it will make all the difference in the world for you.