My dad once told me, "Red flags, Baeth, red flags. See them. Heed them." Did I? Do I? Sometimes. More than I used to? Yes, but not often enough.
You don't see red flags when you are on the student path of your life lesson. Your life lesson is your blind spot. And this blind spot (b.s. for short) is cunning, strategic and always ready to pounce when you have a moment of weakness. Your higher self attempts to warn you of b.s. coming your way by waving big red flags to catch your attention. (Technical Note: Your b.s. forms in utero between the 14th and 16th week of development as one or more fingerprints. This b.s. does not change for your entire lifetime. What can change is how you relate to it.)
Here are some of my favorite red flags:
- You get a gut impulse of truth (sometimes known as a "Message from God.") You ignore it. (School of Service as Life Lesson.)
- She/he did that mean, insensitive thing — again. You forgive it — again. It repeats. You cry. You rage. You are blind to bad behavior. (School of Love as Life Lesson.)
- Your mind and heart say, "Stop; this (job, relationship, computer program) isn't working." You keep going. Your mind and heart say, "Yes," and you debate the outcome until cobwebs form over your eyes. (School of Wisdom as Life Lesson.)
- Everything is an emergency. You are addicted to adrenaline, drama and difficulty. The more dramatic, the better. (School of Peace as Life Lesson.)
- You perceive failure as an indictment on your value. You stop taking action on what most matters. (Failure as Life Lesson.)
- "Door mat" is written on your forehead. You still say "yes" to unreasonable demands. (Powerlessness as Life Lesson.)
- You ignore your monetary requirements and ability to get paid due to unworthiness and the incapacity to take ownership of your gifts. In the modern Western World, this red flag borders on neurosis. You probably have money, food and shelter so it's easy to hold back on sharing your gifts. Right? (Integrity/Money as Life Lesson.)
- You hide your creativity by starting many projects and finishing few. (Creativity Blocks as Life Lesson.)
- You don't speak up when you ought to and then get resentful for feeling misunderstood. (Difficulty Speaking Up For Self as Life Lesson.)
- You continue to revel in your family b.s. episodes, hoping one day they will really see you. It's not your family's job to see you. It's their job to set you free in the world with a modicum of day-to-day management skills. (Black Sheep Syndrome as Life Lesson.)
- You feel victimized and yet, victimize yourself by shutting down and closing people out. You can't understand why people won't get close to you or suddenly distance themselves from you. (Victimization/Numbness/Shame as Life Lesson.)
- You seek approval outside of yourself. You feel chronically guilty, making choices based upon what you perceive will please others. You don't value your gifts. You are a tough customer, putting your sense of imperfection on others, expecting them to be "perfect." You are susceptible to guru-addiction. (Guilt/Self-Worth as Life Lesson.)
- You get stomach and head aches when it's time to perform in challenging life arenas. You fear rejection and diminish your potential. (Paralyzing Fear of Rejection as Life Lesson.)
- You don't trust easily. This is because you don't listen to your inner guidance nor act on it. You are prone to either being a complete control freak or get "screwed over" by every Tom, Dick and Harry offering you the next "secret" to save your life. (Trust/Surrender/Intimacy Issues as Life Lesson.)
- You love all things spiritual. You refuse to look inside and do your own spiritual growth work. You love giving free advice that you don't follow. (Spiritual Crisis of Meaning as Life Lesson.)
- You resist pleasure and relaxation, working yourself to dust. (Avoidance of Pleasure as Life Lesson.)
- You are resentful and full of rage at injustice in the world. (Avoiding Your Advocacy/Cause as Life Lesson.)
- You are a healer. You are not paid for your healing work. (Reluctant Healer as Life Lesson.)
- You are a businessperson called to the spotlight. You are struggling financially and hidden. (Reluctant Businessperson as Life Lesson.)
Okay, that's a start. If you dig beneath each of these blind spots, there are many, many subsets of b.s. that appear. The opportunity is to map out your own particular brand of b.s. and pay attention to it.
Here are my 3 favorite, so-simple-they-make-you-go-"duh" strategies for getting ahead of your own b.s.:
- As your consciousness increases, you will find that the quality of your friendships improves. Your friends often know better than you do about your b.s. Set up exchanges with them where you call each other on the b.s. — daily if necessary. It could be about that relationship you are better off without or handling that testy client or boss. Hold each other accountable to your highest selves. Don't shirk this. Your closest friends only want what's best for you. They gain nothing by your b.s. In fact, it's a drain. Do yourself a favor and listen to your friends.
- Put your hand on your heart and visualize yourself as you looked at five years of age. See yourself giving your 5-year-old a hug. (Warning: This exercise makes most people cry the first time they do it.) See your self loving and protecting this child. Then, ask your little self what they most want right now. They invariably give you a pure, simple answer like, "Peace, love, joy, happiness, fun, ice cream." Listen to them, and take action immediately on their guidance. Your little self will guide you home to yourself and out of drama. Welcome this little being into your heart.
- Ask yourself, "Am I moving toward inspiration and love or away from something unpleasant, like rejection, fear, betrayal, etc.?" If you can figure out what you are moving away from or avoiding and turn it around into something you are moving toward, you are going to be amazed at what starts manifesting in your life. For example, let's say you are not going to eat bread for a month because you don't want to gain more weight. You find yourself saying, "Bread is bad for me and makes me fat." Instead, replace that statement with something like, "I am drawn to foods that fill with me with energy and calm. I commit to eating more of these nutritious foods."
I also have noticed that regular exercise, meditation and journaling keep me on top of my b.s. When I back off these spiritual investigations, I notice that the b.s. increases. What spiritual practices keep you aligned with your inner truth and moving toward what most matters to you? Let me know. To your purpose — it's in your hands (nobody elses – you hear?)
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