stress reducer 677c: facing ourselves

It contributes to sickness and suffering, and doesn’t not contribute to suffering and sickness: chronic, maladaptive stress. To enjoy better health, then, requires we devote adequate time, energy, and other internal resources to ourselves in the name of uplifting these situations. Mind and body are, like the coin’s heads and tails, inseparably interwoven.

Today’s post is a continuation of two preceding posts: stress reducer 677b and stress reducer 677a. Toward the end of 677b a question was posed: OK now what do we do?

That is:

since I’ve heard of the distinction between subjective involvement and objective witnessing and get the importance of practicing the position of the latter, and…

having struggled to free myself from the disempowerment of both being thrashed about on the waves of emotions and deluded by erroneous thoughts by, among other things, creating the necessary space to observe the rising, peaking, waning, and passing of thoughts and feelings in the mind-heart as an objective witness

what’s the next step?

As mentioned in earlier posts, solving the problem of chronic, maladaptive stress requires many factors working together in right measure. One next logical step from here is the practice of clearly articulating the related thoughts and clearly feeling the related emotions. It’s worth repeating that these are components of the solution, and are not by themselves sufficient to fully resolve the problem.

Clearly articulating stress thoughts, we can accurately say–whether silently or aloud–these thoughts I have thought, or am thinking right now, are related to the stress I’m experiencing. Examples include:

I wish I had more money.

If only I didn’t have all these bills to pay.

These kids are driving me crazy.

These politicians are idiots.

I wish this whole COVID thing was over and done with.

I hate when he does that (but clarify–what is “that”, specifically?).

I wish she would do this for me more often (what exactly is “this”?).

Clearly feeling stress emotions, we can accurately say–whether silently or aloud–these emotions I have felt, or am feeling right now, are related to the stress I’m experiencing. Examples include:

indignation,

disgust,

anger,

fear,

hopelessness,

joy,

numbness,

loneliness,

guilt.

The challenges present here (yet more components of the solution!) involve: 1) overcoming a potentially deep-rooted habit of suppressing/repressing the dark side of our truth in the name of maintaining some idealized self-image, 2) allowing ourselves to go beyond mere description of our feelings and experiencing the full force of their energetic reality which, if channeled improperly, would result in great harm, 3) suspending judgment of the relevant thoughts and feelings, as these likely are diametrically opposed to the ideal self we project into the plane of shared experience, 4) discerning the difference between constructive and destructive expressions of stress thoughts and feelings, 5) staying committed to the path of the highest good, 6) *not* rationalizing away the truth, but rather allowing ourselves to experience the truth. All of these are interrelated, and are each worthy of their own treatment.

Since the mind is like an iceberg, with most of its contents submerged below the surface awareness unseen, there are, correspondingly, stress thoughts and stress feelings with which we are thoroughly familiar, those with which we are only vaguely familiar, and those to which we are completely oblivious.

Regarding the solving of the chronic stress problem, then, it is not enough to just identify related thoughts and feelings at the surface awareness and stop at that point. If it were really that easy then there would be no suffering on the planet! We must ask whether there may be other layers of honesty deep to our already present awareness, perhaps lurking in the darkness of the subconscious mind, awaiting the light of day as well as a compassionate heart to hear its story. Then we must explore ever more deeply into the great unknown of ourselves.

But even as valuable as shining the light of awareness into the depths of our being is, this uncovering of its contents is itself another step in the process. So often, we accept certain thoughts as facts, as acceptable building blocks of our reality. It becomes necessary to engage in critical, objective, and ongoing analysis of our thoughts and feelings to discern integrity-consonant from fallacious processes. Basically, we gotta train our bullshit detectors on ourselves, and ruthlessly pursue the truth.

In the practice of facing ourselves with deep honesty, we inevitably run into what’s called a healing crisis. Having gone into the work with an intent to heal, we may reach a stage wherein we feel a resistance to going forward any more. We can start to feel something like shame, like a dark secret is about to be revealed, like vulnerability. This is a crucial step. The ego-defensive complex will appear and present subterfuges to discourage further progress in truth’s direction. It is important to go deeper into this vulnerable place. It is important to maintain the intent to heal. It is important to remind ourselves that our Higher Self is present to guide us when we enter into this vulnerable place.

Going into an open, unguarded state is what happens when we resolve to address the roots of our chronic stress and follow the path of pursuing the truth far enough. In this open, unguarded state there can be intense discomfort–like, super-intense discomfort. Why? Because unguarded means discarding the ego’s defenses. Unguarded means a loss of ego-control.

There is a beautiful, blissful, cleansing, healing, uplifting experience that can take place when, in the state of unguarded honesty, we re-integrate with our true selves. A Divine Force flows into places within us where it had heretofore been not flowing owing to our mental-emotional blocks. We are unburdened. A room in our house that had been in disorder has now been restored to order. Maintaining it that way is yet another challenge.

And then we repeat it all over again. And again. As necessary, in the name of purification.

Action Items:

>> refer to stress reducer 677a and stress reducer 677b; in those posts we, respectively, distinguish between subjective involvement and objective witnessing and discuss the shifting of the mindset from “I am” to “there is”

>> start the work of self-facing with a clearly stated, genuine intent to heal. For example: given this place of stress, let I expose the complete truth of it and proceed in the direction of healing such that the highest good is served by it.

>> invest a few minutes daily to check in with yourself to sense where you may be harboring stress thoughts and feelings

>> practice discerning the higher self that wants to abide in honesty, in integrity, and in processes that bring about healing and reconnection; practice discerning the lower self that plays games to maintain an idealized ego-image and thus avoids deep, inconvenient truth

>> create a safe space to practice feeling the raw energy of stress emotions without the risk of harming self or other; recognize the fine line that exists between constructive expression and destructive expression

>> as you feel the raw energy of stress emotions, think to release them back out into the Lifestream. Let it go. Allow the energies to move through the system and out without judgment.

>> practice sensing where within your being you really do not want to let go of your hurts and resentments; acknowledge these as places needing due attention, examination, etc.

>> invite the consciousness-energy of the true self to occupy the place where destructive emotions had been

>> recognize the tendency to blame others as a game of the ego; recognize the tendency to accept responsibility for one’s own thoughts, feelings, emotional energies as coming from the woke self

>> in the throes of facing stress thoughts-feelings-emotional energies, prayerfully invite the Divine Self to assist; maintain faith in the face of intense discomfort. And surrender. It is like giving up a small treasure for a greater treasure.

>> forgive; this means self and other. But especially self. How can we give another person what we ourselves don’t have?

>> consider the differences and similarities of chronic, maladaptive stress and acute, beneficial stress

Points to Ponder:

There are any number of directions the work could go in. Broadly speaking, one range of possible futures leads to non-upliftment, where cold-heartedness, emotional numbness, cynicism, professional victimhood, and related states live.

Another range of possible futures lead to what seems like an uplifting direction but are still tainted by selfish agendas; it’s like we escape from one trap only to find ourselves entangled in another. We are still motivated, from a deeper self-level, to glorify the little ego. We got woke in some places, but still remain unwoke in others. These possible futures, broadly speaking, may lead to upliftment or to non-upliftment depending on other co-factors.

A third range of possible futures bring the traveler to a true place of upliftment wherein s/he has won freedom (though, perhaps, not the ultimate liberation of which the great spiritual traditions speak), knowing the source and end of suffering to be one and the same, not pulled into the vortex of unskillful thoughts-words-actions, anchored firmly in wisdom.

The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the Kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.(A)ll must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.

Confucius, Great Learning

Copyright (c) 2020 Justin Jaucian

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