And how could you stay open instead?
I asked this question for myself and for others. I have been noticing where I am shutting down emotionally with people, and I happened to notice that several people who I consider friends had “unsubscribed” from my list without saying anything to me. This felt very disconnected to me, so I reached out to them and asked if they had undelivered communications that they wished to share with me. One of them responded, and he had quite a few bones to pick with me. I was able to hear his feedback and respond to it without being defensive. I was also able, once I knew what he was upset about, to remedy the situation quite easily and open a new conversation topic of interest to both of us. For me at least, this felt very reconnecting.
Yet what if I had not reached out to him? That silent disconnection was going to take on a life of its own. And the next thing you know, we would not be friends anymore. There would be a long list of perceived “grievances” between us and no love.
Is that really how we want to be living our lives?
As we discussed before, there is an epidemic of pretending going on in the world of self-development. This series of articles is about honesty and humility. We are not going to pretend that we are experts when we are not even close (read more about my Day of Reckoning here). Here’s the test to determine whether you have emotional mastery: Do you have peaceful and harmonious relationships with EVERYONE on the planet, including your perceived “enemies” and those you secretly believe are “unworthy” of you? If you do not have peace and harmony with EVERYONE, you don’t have mastery. Not even close. We are not going to lie to ourselves today. I am going to be honest and humble today and say that I have a lot of work to do in this area.
So why do we shut down and what are we going to do about it?
Well, first we need to slow down the process of shutting down so we can see what we are really doing to ourselves with clear eyes. Oh, it always seems like we have “good” reasons for doing it. Yet I can pretty much guarantee you that all of your “good” reasons boil down to petty judgments arising out of not wanting to feel your feelings. Let me use an example from my own life to make this clear.
After I quit my job in 2011, my source of guaranteed six-figure income was gone, yet my expenses remained. I invest a large amount of money every year in running this business, including all the training needed to keep Holistic Belief Reprogramming on the cutting edge of transformation. And that doesn’t even consider my basic living expenses. When I quit the job, I still owed about $300,000 on my mortgage, and the payments were relentless. I had never been a full-time entrepreneur before, and if I am going to be honest, I was really scared to be jobless for the first time in my adult life other than when I was in school. Before that, I had always had some institution, whether it was my family as a child, my schools or my employers, “taking care of me.” In truth, I had always been co-dependent. And now I was totally on my own without a safety net.
If we are going to be really honest instead of lie to ourselves, I was scared. And this fear increased my reactivity. So when a few business agreements did not work out the way I had hoped, I started drawing some very harsh boundaries to “protect” myself. I cut people off if they were not willing to contribute to me financially. And I pretty much let go of all non-business-related social life. As time went on, I grew impatient with the large volume of private messages I was receiving from people who wanted my help and were offering nothing in return, and I began to set very hard core boundaries with these people. I understand why I did it. I was scared. But as time went on, I noticed that I was shutting down more and more emotionally. I was getting more and more insistent on exact quid pro quos or balanced exchanges. I was losing my softness and not always being loving. I did not trust other people to acknowledge my needs and be willing to contribute toward meeting my needs.
I was also shutting down to my own feelings. Why did I feel the need to be harsh and rigid in setting boundaries? Let’s be honest. It’s not because the other person is unworthy or demanding or whatever other judgment my ego wanted to put on them. It’s because I felt guilt and shame about saying “no” to them, so rather than gently helping them understand my needs, I would shut down. My harshness and rigidity also reflected a lack of trust in my communication skills and other people’s willingness and ability to hear and understand me. As we mentioned in the Reckoning article, if we really feel powerful, we do not have a need to be defensive or harsh about anything. Only when we feel fearful and weak – AND we refuse to explore our feelings – is it necessary to shut down. And if we are doing this with ANYONE, we are not an expert with these skills. We do not have emotional mastery. We are not a communication expert. And we had best be humble and honest with ourselves so that our learning might be quick.
Yep, I can hear the ego arguing already. But THIS person really IS just unreasonable and “crazy.” Well, this openness does not apply to my “psycho ex.” And my only question for you is: how much longer do you want to keep bullshitting yourself? Your crazy ex is a mirror for you. He or she is reflecting back to you exactly the areas you most need to work on to reach your full potential. When are you going to have the courage to look in that mirror instead of pretending to be an expert while you act in hateful and unloving ways?
Well, we are not going to point fingers in this article – so instead let’s look at my situation again. We fast forward two years from when I quit my job. Do I really need to be this fearful? My system of Holistic Belief Reprogramming works, so I had a six-figure income from this business in 2011 and 2012. In fact, I paid off my entire mortgage. I still have lots of bills to pay and until we change the entire money paradigm of the world, I need cash to be coming in to meet those expenses. Yet when I look back on the past two years, I have made MORE money than I used to make in my “guaranteed” and “safe” job, and rare has been the month when I made less than five figures. The Universe HAS provided for me, and it has provided for my committed clients also (see my mentoring client’s epic money miracle here). Month after month, the money I need somehow shows up, even when I don’t know where it’s going to come from … so why am I still reacting out of fear?
Financial abundance is wonderful but what value does it really have if the price is acting in unloving ways? What good is popularity and lots of web traffic if there is any brother or sister you are treating with contempt? All hatred is self-hatred. Only the ego argues otherwise.
As A Course in Miracles teaches:
It is not you who are so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world, and hurls it into chaos. Truth is not frail. Illusions leave it perfectly unmoved and undisturbed. But specialness is not the truth in you. It can be thrown off balance by anything. What rests on nothing never can be stable. However large and overblown it seems to be, it still must rock and turn and whirl about with every breeze.
Without foundation nothing is secure. Would God have left His Son in such a state, where safety has no meaning? No, His Son is safe, resting on Him. It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes, or creeps or crawls, or even lives at all. Nothing is safe from its attack, and it is safe from nothing. It will forevermore be unforgiving, for that is what it is; a secret vow that what God wants for you will never be, and that you will oppose His Will forever. Nor is it possible the two can ever be the same, while specialness stands like a flaming sword of death between them, and makes them enemies.
Over the past few days, I have been reaching out to some people I needed to make amends with, doors I had closed with my defensiveness and fear. I have been going through a process similar to what happened after my near-death experience – withdrawing my valuing of “superficial externals” and getting back to the core of what matters: loving people. I know that the miraculous technology of Holistic Belief Reprogramming needs to get out to the world, and I recognize that my “personal interests” must get set aside for that to happen. I am focusing on giving more, and part of that is giving the 30-Day World Peace Challenge away for free.
Through a miracle, a friend has offered to stay with my cats for a few weeks so that I can take a much-needed vacation. Possibly to Costa Rica. I am looking forward to getting out of my routines and ruts and restarting my life on a new note. And above all else, I am going to be very conscious of where I am shutting down, and how I can open back up again. I invite you to do the same.
What I encourage both of us to do, as we look at our lives with honesty instead of pretending to be experts, is to make no exceptions. Exceptions are the ego’s biggest lies. “Well, but I am loving and I am an expert and I do have peace” … yeah right, EXCEPT FOR THIS GLARING EXCEPTION where I am full of hatred and defensiveness and refusing to talk to this person I once claimed to love.
Yeah, folks, that’s what we call bullshit. The ego is full of bullshit. If you want to be an expert truly, you can’t make any exceptions. The relationships that are “hardest” to reconcile are the ones where we need to begin. And that is where I began yesterday, and will continue today. If you are someone who has a bone to pick with me, I invite you to email me. Let’s get this sorted out before the festering resentment poisons us both.
So here’s to living fearlessly … here’s to seeing that we have no personal interests, we are all in this together … here’s to opening communication instead of shutting it down … and if you haven’t started using the totally free 30-Day World Peace Challenge, please join us today: http://erikaawakening.com/peace
Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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