Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Category: Shoulds

Awareness vs Pushing

A quick story/quote from this book I’m currently reading!

This book was recommended to me by someone with more years here on this earth than me, more experience, and she has a different perspective — but the book is like a breath of fresh air! It’s called Awareness, by Anthony DeMello, a Jesuit priest, born in India who also was a psychotherapist! (You wonder why it resonates with me so much!)

I wanted to briefly share with you these excerpts before I go back to “work”!*(I added the bold for emphasis)*

“You know, sometimes people want to imitate Christ, but when a monkey plays a saxophone, that doesn’t make him a musician. You can’t imitate Christ by imitating his external behavior.

You’ve got to be Christ.

Then you’ll know exactly what to do in a particular situation, given your temperament, your character, and the character and temperament of the person you’re dealing with. No one has to tell you. But to do that, you must be what Christ was. An external imitation will get you nowhere.

If you think that compassion implies softness, there’s no way I can describe compassion to you, absolutely no way, because compassion can be very hard. Compassion can be very rude, compassion can jolt you, compassion can roll up its sleeves and operate on you. Compassion is all kinds of things. Compassion can be very soft, but there’s no way of knowing that. It’s only when you become love – in other words, when you have dropped your illusions and attachments – that you will “know”.”
~ Anthony DeMello

And further on in the book, he gives us this brilliant story that so aptly conveys the concepts I’m always going on about regarding dropping the “should” in our lives… Dr. Surkis would teach us, “when you ‘push’, there’s always a push back…”

20160928-090409.jpg
**
DeMello writes:

“Meditating on and imitating externally the behavior of Jesus is no help. It’s not a question of imitating Christ, it’s a question of becoming what Jesus was. It’s a question of becoming Christ, becoming aware, understanding what’s going on within you. All the other methods we use for self change could be compared to pushing a car.

Let’s suppose you have to travel to a distant city. The car breaks down along the way. Well, too bad; the car’s broken down. So we roll up our sleeves and begin to push the car. And we push and push and push and push, till we get to the distant city. “Well”, we say, “we made it”. And then we push the car all the way to another city!

You say, “We got there, didn’t we”? But do you call this life? You know what you need? You need an expert, you need a mechanic to lift the hood and change the spark plug. Turn the ignition key and the car moves. You need the expert — you need understanding, insight, awareness you don’t need pushing. You don’t need effort.

That’s why people are so tired, so weary. You and I were trained to be dissatisfied with ourselves. That’s where the evil comes from psychologically. We’re always dissatisfied, we’re always discontented, we’re always pushing. Go on, put out more effort, more and more effort. But there’s always that conflict inside; there’s very little understanding.”

~ Anthony DeMello

From this book, Awareness
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0385249373/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475076263&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=anthony+demello+awareness&dpPl=1&dpID=41hWzCFQ8BL&ref=plSrch

Much love to each of you who wander here and find these beautiful pearls! I’m so appreciative that these insights and thoughts have come my way! I wanted to share immediately with you!
~ Dr C

Extra:

Anthony de Mello – Awareness pt.1 on waking up

  • https://youtu.be/4Y3Q7H2urto
  • (**I found the picture online from a blogger named Darren Lang )

    The Cause and Cure for Any Addiction

    I’m going to direct us back to some of the basics here, but do NOT let the simplicity of what I am about to say fool you! My experience over the last 20 years has led me to see reoccurring patterns. This is my art/skill/craft/expertise!

    If and when you understand these patterns then you can set yourself free, for the rest of your life.

    “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

    So, addictions, or any kind of self-betraying (or other-betraying) behavior occurs because of shame. Another way to describe this fuel of addiction is:

    I am cut off from the True Source of LOVE.

    —> This “disconnect” creates SHAME.

    —> Shame is what fuels addictions.

    Why else would I keep going back to alcohol, drugs, cheating on my spouse, workaholism, eating disorders, faking-perfection, obsessions, video-games, tv, or other addictions? These kinds of behaviors are NOT in alignment with how I would like to treat someone that I love. 

    We cannot make these behaviors go away, no matter how much we “try”– we have to see what the root cause is, and heal that.  Once we identify the cause then we can find a true cure!

    This disconnect from the True Source of Love occurs out of some form of ignorance/ not-knowing, in fullness.  ( I.e.: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing.)

    Ignorance:  I was never taught and/or never experienced a real depth of love and intimacy. I wasn’t shown the truth of what this means! In addition to that, I was taught, by my parent’s behavior or the environment around me, that Love is not available to me — for whatever reason, they showed me that I was not worth the effort to love in that immense capacity.

    If you do not “have it” you cannot give it away — so my parent’s “not having” this love– communicated to me that I cannot have it either, but that is not the truth — it may be the truth of what we experienced, but it is not the truth of the fullness of Love we are meant to have and live within.

    This disconnect from REAL LOVE, that we often “feel” but never recognized or put words to, may look like one of these:

    1. “Not measuring up” :  No matter what I did, it never felt like it was quite enough for me to feel truly secure and loved.
    2. “Too Busy to recognize my need for Love”:  I’m so “busy” all the time, working, I have no need of “Love”– I pushed that aside long ago. I’d rather stay busy and numb myself to those tender feelings and experiences.
    3. I’m just gonna wait here“:   They told me it was coming…I “know” I am worth loving…I’m just going to keep taking this substitute (_________) until the Real thing shows up…it’s “just around the corner.” “Maybe if I run faster?”
    4. “It must be my fault”, I’m just a horrible, unlovable person…that’s just the way it is.  I have hurt too many people to deserve love.

    ——————

    Look, it is vital that each of us learns how to walk in integrity, with dignity, and self-respect. This is what it means to “Walk in Love!” To Walk in Love = to Walk in Truth — in the most loving way possible..and even into the seemingly impossible

    When we cut ourselves off, or are cut off, from the true path of Love, then we experience the feeling of shame and emptiness.  That shame and emptiness is way too painful of a place to “live” in, so we create defenses (really early in life!).

    Some of these defenses are:

    1. Depression: We numb our need for Love, press it down and squish our heart so that we don’t constantly feel the pain…we get so used to deadening it all that we don’t even realize what we are actually “actively” doing — de-pressing.
    2. Pleasing: this is much like busyness, we do what we can to achieve, please, perform, or otherwise “fill up” a broken “other” (like a fragile parent) –with the hopes that they will somehow see our worth and fill us up with real Love. Note: “pleasing” is always paired with “waiting”, your life is constantly on hold, while you wait for the other person to “get it“, that you are worth loving.
    3. Apathy: we act like we don’t need this Love, and get used to living on scraps…(this is like depression, but seemingly more resigned to “I just don’t care!” –where depression is more like a continual loss and sadness.)
    4. Anxiety: We surround ourselves with drama and attack ourselves with anxiety, it is like a fog that works to distract us from the deeper pain and loneliness of being cut off from Real LOVE.  We can get so “lost” in the terror and anxiety that we burn out our adrenal glands (I am not a medical doctor so research more on that if you wish!) — all for the “service” of running from experiencing the real feelings underneath and finding the cure/the balm they are asking for.

    There are many others, but it is the same basic pattern, showing up in a myriad of ways. When we learn this new Formula–then we are equipped to take a step back and SEE what is going on– and free ourselves!

    Here is a quick drawing of one of the patterns of addiction — that I often write out in a therapy session so that my client can visually see what he or she is doing: 

    20130908-125602.jpg

    I often call this “The Boot and the Carrot”. You have this giant boot behind you, threatening you; and this carrot (or some mostly-empty-temporary-reward) in front of you– and you constantly put yourself back on this “treadmill”– and THAT is where you are choosing to live!

    When we are drowning in shame, that is when we “use” whatever addiction we have on hand, in efforts to try to fill up the emptiness that our disconnect from REAL LOVE has created.  Then, I feel more shame, because of my secret addiction, and run to more addiction or back on the treadmill to try to “prove” my worth…which is impossible to prove.

    Accepting Real Love is about choosing to receive what is already here.  We are afraid of it and have forgotten it is available to each of us, in an infinite amount.  I am reminded of Christ’s words: “for I have come, not to judge the world, but to give life to the world.” or in the same book of St. John, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd…”

    You are free to choose the life of the endless boot and empty carrot for yourself, but then you are missing the deeper experience and reality of REAL LOVE!  This REAL LOVE is what I am constantly making the effort to put into words in all of my posts here.  The real love involves having the courage to step off the treadmill.  

    Look at this beautiful invitation to a different kind of Life–that my dear friend Elliott Smith wrote into his lyrics for us:

    I have become a silent movie
    The hero killed the clown
    Can’t make a sound

    Nobody knows what he’s doing
    –Still–hanging around
    Can’t make a sound

    The slow motion moves me
    The monologue means nothing to me
    Bored in the role, but he can’t stop
    Standing up to sit back down
    Or lose the one thing found

    Eyes locked and shining
    Can’t you tell me what’s happening?
    Why should you want any other
    When you’re a world within a world?

    —-
    Now, knowing Elliott, I’m sure he had 100 different layers of meaning for this song as well as “no meaning”– and I have touched on some in previous posts, but, for now, let’s just see it as another description of how to get off the repetitive, destructive or monotonous cycle– and begin to know real Love.  We can then let go of this disingenuous, yet familiar pattern we’ve been offering ourselves!

    The Way to let go of addictions is to recognize your disconnect from the real Source of Love, and then heal that— and pray to the Creator, God, to help you on this path.  You would have no NEED to get back on the “treadmill” over and over if you were connected to, and living within, the real source of Love…if you knew the real essence of who You are and the depth of Love that God continuously offers us.

    Elliott’s song as a description of this process:

    I have become a silent movie— transformed into this quiet place, where you are observing what is going on, from outside yourself, like watching a movie and not being caught up in lots of dialogue — the constant drama of your competing desires, that each claim to be “you.”

    The hero killed the clown— The hero is your better half, the courageous side of you with high thoughts and aspirations of love — I imagine the breath of God in Adam– like when Aslan breathes on Lucy in the Narnia books — the awakening of the deepest part of our Soul; the “clown”, in my understanding, is your present day personality, or warring desires that always claim to be “you” —  you are on a path to find out how to NOT let the clown part of you dominate over the True Hero.  (I do not want to confuse anyone at this point, but it is important to point out that our warring desires can mimic the hero and act like they are the hero — doing such a “good job” to kill off the joyous child-like part of yourself which can be clown-like.  For example, the super-ego coming in and “like a boss” trampling over the tender child-like parts of ourselves that are beautiful and free. 

    I’ve heard it said, time and again, that every virtue has the propensity to turn into a vice.  Jesus said “my children know my voice” — you can ask God for discernment regarding the part of your Soul to align with and which parts to “repent”/ turn away completely from.  The scriptures remind us we are at war against the ‘world’, the flesh, and the devil: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  

    It is our job, with the help of God, to transform and see, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God– and to recognize who the True HERO is. It’s not the one desperately running on the treadmill– because, in this new formula:  “The slow-motion moves me” 

    You would have no need to “prove” yourself if and when you are connected to the True Source of Love:

    The monologue means nothing to meOur outer (present day personality) self, is just a role, that we cannot stop (like a costume that is ours for a certain time). It is NOT our real Self. It stands up and acts like it is “us” …We have been given a body and are embodied within it– but the reflection of me in the mirror is not the sum-total of “me” inside this body.  My body will die and be buried and yet my Soul carries on.

    Or lose the ONE THING found” –is LOVE, it is the “Pearl of Great Price” — our Soul saved –by and in God.  This is a great mystery,  yet we must consciously choose to allow and petition God to keep revealing it to us and in us.  We have forgotten who we are and we are just now remembering…Jesus invited us: “You, come and follow me…let the dead bury their own dead.”

    Eyes locked and shining…can you tell me what’s happening?

    Yes! You are an initiate. You are connecting yourself, if you choose, to the Love of God– you are being transformed, and transforming into something of much more depth and beauty than the boringness and the slavery of our pettiness and addictions!

    What “right” do I have to cut myself off from the Source of all Love? If we are all connected, then as I cut myself off from Love, I am also cutting you off from Love. (This goes into quantum physics – which I certainly like to study, but cannot yet explain…)

    Clearly, I could go on and on to describe this is deeper and different ways– but, most people these days don’t have the time or attention span, etc. I’ll write more blogs and I have others available here and my YouTube channel! (www.youtube.com/user/drcherylmeier ).

    Please share a link to my blog with like-minded people who you think would enjoy looking at life from these perspectives! I know what I have to say is valuable –because I see so many lives, and my own, so deeply healed and transformed; this is why I put the time in here, to offer this insight freely.

    I wish you much Love! You are not alone.

    Tiago Iorc – My Girl [Acoustic]

    Wow! I just found the (above) song! I quieted my mind to see what would “fit” and I thought: “I’ve got Sunshine…” So I searched on YouTube and this is the first one I was “drawn” to… In this beautiful acoustic version, Tiago Iorc, who I do not know of, slows the song down, and –captures the beauty and essence– the FEELING of what Real Love feels like, vs. the “quick fix” of “rotating relationships” and addictions we often run to. The true “Sunshine” is the Source of all Love– “my girl” is “real” but also a signpost to the Real- REAL….(I describe all of this here in my “Girl Longing” songs/playlist on Youtube!) Enjoy!

    Shoulding Oneself

    Dear Ones,
    As we continue on this journey, I invite you to learn how to let go of “shoulds”! I just drew a picture of the progression to more freedom in your inner and outer life.

    20120524-221226.jpg

    Ok, so let’s work to understand this, because it changed EVERYthing for me, truly!! I learned it from Dr. Alan Surkis’ (my internship was at the Montreal General, and Surkis was Head Psychologist, so I didn’t include this in my book, cause it’s his work…I literally use these ideas every day in my office, so thank God he taught us this– I’m including it here.)

    So, back to the chart– consider the way you operate on a daily basis. If you listen to how you speak to yourself and others and you hear lots of:

    “you really should be doing this, and you shouldn’t be doing that….” or

    “I really should get this done quickly!” or

    “Sorry, I can’t go, I have to stay here!”

    …then, guess what, you are about to have a major beautiful change in your life!! (if you choose to change)! It’s interesting because you can go through my blog or my unbreakable bonds book and see that I don’t have any “shoulds” as directives. (I saw some in the link to the 7 promises, but Daskalos speaks Greek primarily, so I’m just seeing that as a translation difference perhaps!!).

    You can feel it in a person’s writing, when there aren’t shoulds. It is a refreshing and enlivening feeling!

    Should is an irrational imperative:
    “you must
    because I said so….

    Should is similar to shame and many other sh words…. If I motivate myself by shaming myself into doing things, then I am manipulating myself with shame. And why would I want to manipulate myself with shame? (sounds simple, right?).

    We live in much closer alignment with our higher self and with God when we choose to give ourselves freedom . It’s best if we have a great respect and understanding of true freedom–which I am not going to cover extensively in one post, but the best example I was given was by Dr. Jerry Root (! I just love him, he’s dear!!) — he gave the example of Joe Theismann– when his leg bone popped out during an injury at a football game — you didn’t hear Joe jump up and say:

    “This is great!! Now my leg is free!! It can move in all directions!!”

    Our leg was designed to move forward and backward — not 360…. There are certainly many many many limitations we do place upon ourselves because we mistakenly think that humans can only do “this” with matter –when Joshua/Jesus walked on water, multiplied the fish and the bread, etc. So it’s important to not be stuck in limitations we have because of our forgetfulness or ignorance….

    We do have the ability to choose to walk in love. We have the freedom to motivate ourselves by shame (which always leads ourselves to one form of addiction or another) — or we can learn how to offer ourselves free choice.

    So let’s look at the scale again:
    1) Should, irrational imperative:

    shhhhh, be quiet, because mommy says so…”

    Then 2) Ought –this implies thought, for example:

    “I really ought to be quiet in here, this is a place people come to for serenity and I ought to respect that…”

    Then there is 3) “I want” :

    “I want to be quiet in here, I enjoy the quiet…I want others to be quiet, I’ve thought about this, and I want to respect their request for this to be a place of quiet…”

    And lastly, 4) there is “I choose” /
    “I like”

    I choose to go to that place where they ask for quietness!! I’m so excited to refrain from talking there!! I like having a place I can count on where I can quietly collect my thoughts!

    —– it’s something like that!!
    Usually I use the example of helping an elderly lady across the street– you can go through the exercise again to “get it”:
    “I should help her”
    “I ought to help her”
    “I want to help her”
    “I choose to help her, I like helping her!”

    Or consider this, what would you want your fiancé to be saying on your wedding day!!

    “I really should marry her”
    “I ought to be marrying this guy…” (right?!!)
    “I want to marry her”
    “I choose to marry this woman, I love her and I like that I get this choice to marry her!”

    It makes a huge difference in your inner psyche when you shift from should up to ought, up to want, then up to “I choose” (then learn to live in that place of “I choose/ I like”)!

    It makes an incredibly huge difference, after you change this within, because then you naturally change how you relate with others like your spouse and kids.

    Should has lots more to do with being “polite” or pleasing someone’s temporary wishes. For example!!! We often teach our kids:

    “you should listen to me, because I said so!!”

    then we get sooo angry at them for doing drugs, sleeping around, or whatever teens are doing these days– when we taught them to operate based on shoulds/pleasing others!!!:

    “do what I say, without your thought involved, without your will involved, just because I said so, and I expect it, and it pleases me…”

    We are blind to the fact that we taught them how to please and indulge themselves and others by demanding that they please us.

    It is not about them pleasing us (as I understand it). It’s my job to teach my kids (and myself) how to freely choose to walk in Love. Yes, I correct them and give them consequences –but they do not have to do the right thing in order to please me — but because, like Joe Theismann knows, because that is the best way a leg operates, from front to back… It’s my job to teach my kids how to be wise– how to awaken their thirst for truth, for what is kind, and for wisdom.

    We get to discover, research and learn about what is truly Loving, if being Loving is even our goal?!?!

    Lets look at one more example of how “should” is shame based, and therefore, it only works temporarily and it crushes the inner person!!

    “you really shouldn’t eat that– you’ll get fat–and then you’ll be rejected…”

    Or “you shouldn’t drink that…”
    “you shouldn’t be looking at that….”

    Vs. I choose to invite myself to let go of that behavior. I choose to explore and look into what I think that old behavior has been giving me,
    in what way has that been feeding me(?) how can I give myself a more satisfying and lasting form of healing/filling that old emptiness??

    Should is like being on a treadmill– with a carrot in front of us and a boot behind us. It is a very surface motivation that does not run deep. We do not/cannot have deep conviction if/when our actions are the outflowing of a bunch of shoulds. It’s basically based on whose boot is gonna come down the hardest on our head?! — with shoulds our choices aren’t based on:

    “what is the true good?”
    “what is the highest good?”
    “what is treating myself and others with the highest amount of dignity and respect?”
    “what would I want another to treat me like?”

    Like all my posts, I choose to end them before I take up your whole day and mine reading/writing it– there’s much much more to this dynamic–but we can begin here to build this foundation for freedom & wisdom.

    For some reason, this Bob Marley song is coming to mind, so I’m choosing to “go with it” :
    I shot the sheriff, bob marley, live

    (wow!! I just watched that, now I know why my intuition suggested it!!! Look at how Marley is present in that song, in each moment… And the song is revealing the different parts of yourself that are important to shoot/resist — in order to truly be free!! It’s like one Marley song conveys more than this whole post!! Love to Bob Marley!!! And LOVE to you.)