Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hurt Vanity in People Who Want to Teach You Spiritual Lessons

It's early morning and I'm missing out on some desperately needed sleep again. Yesterday I appeared on a forum on the internet, though I had vowed not to do so again. The reason is that as soon as I express my feelings someone appears who wants to help. That's all very well, except that most of the time these people seem to know exactly what I need and they also for some odd reason think I am asking for their help even if I am not. In this case I was just offering my sympathies to a woman who was having a hard time, though admittedly "sharing" with her by saying that it's not so great for me either, etc. I chose the word sympathy simply because I had no advice to offer (she was actually asking for it) and I wanted for her to feel that she's not alone. Well, you know, that sort of thing. But then suddenly I get this shower from a third party of the basic abc's of living a spiritual life and even a lecture on the difference between sympathy and empathy. I had to explain that I didn't feel in a position to be empathetic at that time. To me, many of the insinuations bordered on the offensive, because she was talking to me as if I have no clues about the workings of the Universe and that we do attract stuff depending on who we are. It's my belief, however, that this can be either depending on some personal quality within ourselves (some trait we hate, for instance), or a purpose of the soul that even us ourselves may not know what it is. To lecture me on such things when in fact I'm well aware of them is patronizing. I cannot stand it when people jump to conclusions (e.g. that I'm igorant and in need of guidance). I cannot deal with the stress of it! Especially when people like that put a lot of emotion in to their "help". It usually ends in tears, because people like that hardly ever take no as an answer and they tend to get very nasty due to their own past traumas of rejection. And you know what. We don't have to accept everyone else's gifts.
I know for sure that this person meant only well - from her point of view. But what I truly didn't like was that when I didn't accept her assumptions and she resorted to "I was guided to say these things" (thus directing the responsibility away from herself). Later on in the conversation, she also refrained to take responsibility for her advice and referred to it as stuff that came from somewhere else and that she thought I wanted all that. Well, she never asked me if I wanted it. So from my perspective, this is actually a case of trespassing someone else's personal space and something that truly happens a lot within New Age communities. You do need to ask permission to mess with someone else's direction and choices, because you simply can never know how many of your subjective perceptions are being filter through whatever it is that you're channelling (if you are, of course).

I don't like to criticize people by principle but I don't see how else I can hightlight issues that really are not (at least to me) okay in the world we live in today. Just because people are spiritually minded it doesn't guarantee that they are humble and truly listen to what your specific needs are. I spent the whole day yesterday trying to make the person in question feel better about herself because she obviously got defensive and distraught when I didn't welcome her with open arms. This was draining me and so I should in fact have left it alone. She said she was a healed person but what I got energetically was pretty chaotic. And I promise you that I wasn't being rude by any means. This morning I did, however, feel that I had to state my point and tell the community that I won't participate anymore. I simply cannot deal with the stress of such conflicting and pushy mindsets, especially when I know where they tend to lead to if the conversations carry on. This case reminds me of a really nasty one last summer where the person flipped out completely, and many other similar cases. They become very sour, judgmental and plain nasty. Their lasts words are usually "Well, you obviously don't want to grow". Sigh. I have written about similar incidents before because I think it's important to recognize manipulation, especially in terms of spiritual beliefs. There's something about people who want to help just a bit too eagerly. It's the resquer - syndrome. It's as bad as people who don't care at all (two extremes in other words). Oh stupid me who didn't cut the bad plant right at the root.
Please honour the sacred truth that people need to be asked if they want to be helped or not, especially when we're dealing with really deep issues. Wouldn't you agree? I also think it's common courtesy to be very gentle with people we do not know. I've noticed that people think they know others way too soon on the internet. Haven't you noticed too?

I think a big problem many of us have right now are conflicting feelings about our reality. Many of us can see very many aspects of it and it's very confusing and tiring. I personally don't see people as only evil and deceitful though at times maybe I come across as bitter about such things. I also see so much beauty in humans. Don't jump on someone just because they feel broken on a specific day. Get to know them first!

It's popular to asume that people are plagued by self-blame and other self-destructive tendencies. That at least is actually a place I refuse to go, I don't believe in it for a second. I just withdraw if I don't feel wanted. There could be a multitude of reasons why people don't like me, it could even be that I carry more light than them. Who knows? That doesn't mean I am not aware of certain faults or idiosyncracies in me and that certain people might feel put off by them. I'm still human enough to feel hurt when I sense this, and would rather be told in neutral terms what exactly is bothering someone about my persona. Most people run away though. Honest communication is still not all that valued (don't you agree?). On the other hand, people tend to assume a lot of things about others so especially here on the internet it can get complicated because it's hard to convey the whole picture. So some of what someone thinks could be quite to the point but some could be beside the point altogether.

I don't know if I'm doing the right thing but I feel compelled to tear down some conceptions that I just don't think are all that helpful, namely spiritual talk and stuff that has become automated (e.g. the very popular arguments connected to the Law of Attraction). I am NOT saying that some of it is not helpful to some people who still need to hear WORDS to comfort themselves with, but I am speaking for myself and those who are somehow "beyond" that or for whatever reason don't resonate anymore. I don't know what I am: I love words and thinking but I do need to make more space for simple being and try harder to remove expectations and other forms of mindstuff that influences my emotions.
Artwork: "Lifeline", digital photograph by author, all righs reserved


  1. Hi Vivi-Mari - Same old same old, eh? You do seem to keep attracting these people. There must be something going on here, surely? You're trying to teach yourself a lesson or something. I could suggest a few possible explanations but then I'd be trying to offer you advice and you haven't asked me! So let me know if you'd like to hear my musings - otherwise I'll keep quiet. And rest assured that they *would* only be musings. I don't pretend to offer omniscient wisdom!

    But yes, I've had the occasional similar experience and it can certainly be annoying. The most bizarre experience I've had is when I casually complained about eye strain and this person started telling me in great detail about the wonderful facilities offered by the institute for the blind! I seem to remember she shut up after an hour or so...

    Thanks for dropping by my blog the other day - and for featuring me in your sidebar. I'm glad you're having success with your paintings. Good luck with that. I've just been enjoying your slide shows...

    Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and the new year!

    Namaste - Simon

  2. Hi Simon! Well, you're a Brit so perhaps one issue I have is with the American forwardness... And I do know you a bit so do go ahead and offer your musings :-). I get upset when people force me to see their view of a situation I'm in, that's all. Plus I think many of us are a bit highly strung right now - or so I've heard. I'd like to try and see some more interesting point of view than just that I appear such a sorry being and, as this woman put it, SOOO far away from God. I don't think I'm that far! Actually I think I'm meant to be in the dark.Another option is that I challenge people and beliefs. But that being said... maybe there's something there in the way too? I have been terribly hurt all this year and I find it impossible to let it go though I try. I'm not sure anyone can help but dear Simon, I don't see you as a pushy person and I respect your point of view ;-). Thank you so much for stopping by and I will visit more often too, as I'm making networking a greater priority (it's getting there!). am terribly tired, aren't you? Anyway, hope you have a cosy X-mas, that's about all many of us can hope for. Love, Vivi-Mari

  3. Hi Vivi-Mari - Sorry to be a while getting back to you. I haven't been doing much blogging over Christmas. Yes, I'm tired too and it seems so cold here - I just feel like hibernating!

    Rest assured that I would never tell anyone that they were ‘soooo far away from God’, even if they were - and I wouldn't presume to know anyway! But it's interesting that you mention about maybe 'something being in the way', because that fits in with what I was wanting to say to you.

    When the same sort of things keep coming up time and time again, like all these people trying to ‘fix’ you, my understanding is that this may be happening specifically to trigger the strong emotions that come up within you. We all go through life – to a greater or lesser extent - suppressing rather than allowing ourselves to fully *feel* our emotions, because this is what we’re taught to do as children: our parents saying “stop that crying!” etc. So we get to the point as life goes on, where we’re all carrying round a great weight of unfelt emotions within us. Eckhart Tolle calls this ‘the pain body’.

    When new things come along to upset us, what is happening is that they’re tapping into these suppressed emotions. Our reaction to whatever has just happened is often out of all proportion to the event, because it’s really the great weight of suppressed emotions we’re tapping into.

    We hate this happening – and it may seem very unspiritual when we get all angry or whatever, but in actual fact it’s quite the opposite. It is a very necessary part of the process of spiritual transformation. These emotions are coming up specifically to be released. They have to be fully experienced and so released a) to stop them getting in the way of us living our lives and b) to allow us to get back in touch with our true selves, our true nature. It may help to think of our connection to God (or whatever word you care to use) as like a tube, which is blocked up by all these emotions. Once they are cleared, we can connect with divine energy again. We can become our true selves. (Could this tie in with the 'something in the way' you mentioned?)

    When the same sort of things keep happening time after time (e.g. similar relationship problems or your 'fix it ' people) then perhaps they're to trigger specific emotions which need to be released.

    Some people write what you might call ‘feel good’ spirituality blogs, all about ways to make yourself cheerful all the time. Well, there’s a place for that certainly, but when you’ve tried all that and you’re still left with the feelings, you know there’s stuff that really needs to be shifted. I guess those people must be freaked out by what they read on my blog! But I keep going on about the importance of feeling our emotions because I think it’s so important and because it’s where I’m at myself. I’ve decided that 2009 is the year I get into it big time. I’ve finally reached the stage where when I flare up about something, I don’t get all caught up in the drama of what’s going on, I think ‘hey – there’s work to do here’ and start using my techniques for dealing with the emotions. Like you, I have very strong emotions. But I don’t think that’s because we’re ‘far away from God’. I think it’s because we’ve reached the stage where we need to shift them.

    I covered the various techniques you can use for shifting emotions in this recent post I did:
    It has various links to other relevant posts which have more details.

    One thing pretty much common to all the techniques is to focus on the emotion itself, not on the circumstances which triggered it. If you do the latter, you get sucked into the drama and just start stoking up more emotions than ever. It’s important to realize it’s stored *energy* we’re talking about here. E-motion: energy in motion. The emotions come from our own past in this life but also probably from previous lives and (through our genes) from our ancestors. At the moment there’s a great opportunity for large numbers of us (eventually all of us, I hope) to become enlightened, which is why there’s so many emotions coming up to be shifted, hence the (apparently) terrible state of the world.

    Something else which it may help to bear in mind when using these techniques to shift our emotions is to realize that the people who have come into our lives to trigger them have come for exactly that purpose. They have come to serve us, not to harm us. Understanding this may help us to forgive them if we need to!

    That’s how I see things anyway! I don’t know how it’s coming across to you. Maybe either a) crazy or b) heard all this before – yawn! And of course, just because it’s relevant to me, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily relevant to you. But from what you say, I think it might be…

    Thanks for allowing me to share this with you. Let me know what you think. I wish you a very happy, peaceful new year!

  4. Hi Simon! You know, even though many times you do write about stuff that is pretty obvious to me by now I still admire your way of writing and also the topics that you cover. So in that sense I'm a fan! It's been a very difficult year as I gather it's been for you too, and I haven't really visited any blogs at all. Now I'm trying to find ways of socializing a little through this medium. I tend to go from one thing to another, a season and a reason you know.

    One thing that has been obviuos to me is that I've become so exhausted over the past few years due to difficult relationships, insomnia and financial concerns that I really feel unable to reflect on spiritual lessons. I can't come up with any new thoughts and so I just give up and try and live things through. It could be the right way, perhaps not so much analyzing is needed at times. Like you say, a lot of stuff is surging all over right now and so we're in the midst of a chaos that is partly triggered by the times but also to a great extent part of the collective. I'm sure that many emotions are not really our own and some are magnified because of all this. It may be meaningful on a personal level but it's very tiring and hard to put up with. I do think that I also play some sort of role as dissident in which I want to wake people up by questioning automated beliefs and the feel good mentality. So you and I are on the same page in that respect, though I think you're more mellow in your approach than I am. I also trust that you have done more research into the emotion issue - I simply haven't had the strength... I mean, I have piles of books I'd actually like to read because I want to get new ideas and not go braindead, but I just cannot focus... I certainly also hope that new energies and opportunities will arise soon! I'm so at the end of my rope.

    And that may be a good thing, who knows. Everything you say resonates very well and I think it's good for me to hear those things from someone else. For instance, you mention being clogged up and therefore unable to access Source, and that was actually very well put. You say it in a neutral way where no one is to blame or is any lesser for not bathing in God's light by now. It's not about victimizing oneself either though of course there are times when we feel so very trapped and desperate and it's hard not to feel sorry for oneself. And as you point out, maybe even those feelings should be allowed. There is, after all, a lot of peer pressure to be strong and connect with Spirit. It doesn't mean I want anyone's pity or the stuff I wrote about in this blog but maybe what I really rebel against is that I'm not allowed to feel those feelings in a natural way without any pinpointing and defining of what it is. You know my radio talk about my social situation was very hard to do because I don't want for people to think of me as a sorry being who is unable to make life better. It's not a new thing, this idea of being allowed to be weak, but in practice it can be very hard to express especially if you're alone. You also sometimes wonder if wallowing in some emotion will actually make it worse. This has been a question for me. Maybe the answer is somewhere in the middle (as usual). Just as those people who encounter me with their patronizing attitude probably also "gain" from my resistance to their attempts to rescue me.

    I'm so overwhelmed and mentally exhausted that I find it hard to put my mind around the real issue. But maybe it's not necessary? Maybe it's just that some things take time and meanwhile various people come and go who "help" to uncover the deeper feelings. I guess many of us feel that we have already dealt with stuff and it should be over, but then it isn't... Well, maybe it's a blessing in disguise, as you're hinting. A year ago in the US I witnessed a man who spent so much energy suppressing his sordid past that he had no capacity for other people. Lately it's been bothering me very much. That incredible selfishness that I simply didn't want to believe to be true. I don't think I'm like that at all so I don't think it's a reflection of myself. But what it might be is hurt from my childhood when I probably felt that my parents were so caught up in their own dramas that I didn't matter. Again, these are not new thoughts but apparently they need to be gone over many times before I can finally be cleared. I hope... Anyway, Simon, I really appreciated your post and the effort you put into it. It's both supportive and a reminder that I will try and contemplate a bit more. Above all you don't try to prove your superiority, which is what I respect so much about you. In fact we are probably in pretty similar boats. Our conditions make life so much more complicated and what others take for granted we have to deal with in every way. And things take on greater proportions than maybe they should, but perhaps there's some logic to that as well... I also don't think we're far away from God and that kind of insinuations really hurt because our lives are probably a certain way for some very good reason and not because we're losers. To trust that is not easy but maybe the core of the matter... Thank you Simon!!!

  5. P.S I will look at the post and the link later when I have more energy, am very tired right now.

  6. Simon; maybe this is why sometimes it seems that wallowing in emotions will make them worse: "One thing pretty much common to all the techniques is to focus on the emotion itself, not on the circumstances which triggered it. If you do the latter, you get sucked into the drama and just start stoking up more emotions than ever." When I think about this, I notice it's really hard to do, even if the drama in question is not only about negative feelings but also feelings of sadness or compassion. Most of all, I'm afraid of somehow preventing myself from ever getting anywhere, of living a perpetual status quo. Does this sound familiar at all? Anyway, thanks again!

  7. Hi Vivi-Mari - With regard to your last comment, I think it helps to focus on the emotions as simply energy we have stored inside us, like it might be electricity or something. That may help to separate them from the associated drama.

    I do sometimes wonder about 'wallowing' myself, though. I think as you say, 'the answer is somewhere in the middle' - it's a question of balance. There are useful techniques around to make us feel better. It's surprising how just looking up, raising our heads rather than looking down at the ground, can help for instance - and also good is the NLP anchoring technique, which I've linked to in my latest post. But if we still have feelings left when we've tried all that, it makes no sense to deny they're there.

    Someone just left a comment on my latest post: am I *sure* I have negative emotions? How about if I try thinking of love?! She's a really kind lady who does a wonderful blog but she's obviously of the 'feel-good' persuasion! In response, I've talked about what seem to me to be two different strands of spirituality: the feel-good/law of attraction variety, and 'our' kind, which is focused more on developing acceptance and equanimity perhaps. That's the way I see it anyway. You may be interested in the comment:

    Sorry that URL is so OTT!

    But ultimately, yes, I think equanimity is the key. It's not about analyzing. It's not about reading books. It's just about being OK with what is. Byron Katie wrote a book called 'Loving What Is', which is great if you can do it, but just accepting what is - that's advanced enough for me!

    I hope that this has come across OK. I'm glad you were happy with the way I wrote last time. I certainly *try* to not to sound superior, because that would give a very misleading impression. I'm only just starting to put this stuff into practice myself.

    I hope to get round to reading some of your more recent posts as well but I seem to have so much blogging to do at the moment and so little brain power to do it! Anyway, congratulations on your show - I hope you are happy with how it is going. I love the photo you've used on your latest post.

  8. Hi Simon, you always make sense to me and it's precisely because you know the traps of appearing superiour, which people do a lot within the new age by denying the dark, promoting the lovey dovey approach, and often referring to things such as "I feel guided to say this... so be it if it's not received". In other words, the way it comes across is that they don't take responsibility for their actions and they think they have all the answers. Maybe through the illness you know better. I try and leave out the new agey stuff too even if I agree with some of it. Been lately on a site called Worldblessing which is the only one that openly allows people to whine about the darker phases of purification. I've been attacked there too (that was what this blog was about) but I guess I learned more about humans and myself, and the support that the admin gives is pretty high standard. Sometimes just to be seen is healing. But no, not always. I think a lot of weird confusing stuff is coming up now and some of it may be from the outside so at the moment I'm just confused! My instinct is to just hang in there... it may very well be the best response from what I can tell about viewpoints that come to me. I also feel no desire for more learning in this regard so it may be a sign (listen to yourself comes to me often), however I'll have to remember checking out the stuff you're suggesting since you never know... You're right, thinking of it as mere energy is a good idea! We do tend to forget it even if it's understandable. These are such confusing times! I have again a lot of inner resistance of that mysterious kind that I just cannot get my mind around, but maybe life will show the way... Focusing on love that is available (uh, my cats...) helps a little but you just cannot and should not force yourself to be lovey dovey unless it springs from a real deeper source. It can make you feel guilty and a whole array of other feelings.... better to cut it at the root and just accept it somehow. I feel judgmental. Ok. What to do? First; be with it. Then go to Simon's blog, lol!

    I know you're busy and just like you the mind is full of brain fog (most likely?) and there's not enough energy and time. Don't worry... I write when I can, read when I can... just have to play it by ear. No control here, lol! Much love and blessings to you Simon, you're for real and I truly love that!! I feel I have a few friends that understand me and that's wonderful... at a time when few are available. I totally support your efforts, just know that!! Btw, good of you to see the two extremes within spirituality today!

  9. Oh and thanks for the comment about the photo of the freak! You can quickly access my photos here if you're interested: