10 steps from conflicted angst to authentic honesty, humility and self compassion, inside and out.
The level of stress seems to increasing in our world. I hear about that on the personal level from many of the people I work with. The tendency for strong positional perceptions and their accompanying conflicts seems so prevalent, personally, socially, politically and globally: Wall Street vs. Main Street; Conservative vs. Liberal; Terrorists intent on blowing things up vs. Powers vested in Control, Wealth and Advantage; The Environment movement vs. Interests in Economic Prosperity; and all the “I’m Right vs. No, I’m Right, You are Wrong.” conflicts in our personal lives.
Each position is passionate, wanting and often demanding the Right and Quick resolution to the conflicting situation. I recently found myself in such a situation personally, with my oldest and dearest friend. The difficulty of the situation seemed to consume most of my energy. Various inner voices were running rampant. Inner managerial voices were intent on being the author of and receiving credit for accomplishing a quick and 'proper' solution, usually one involving either guilt or blame. Inner victim voices were attaching to feelings of being wronged.
The solution was not in some outer action, but in 10 subtle inner steps toward authentic awareness of a larger context of compassion, humility and forgiveness of my friend and myself.
1. I have the years of experience to know that the first step is not to identify with these inner 'triggered' voices.
2. The second step is to identify with the True Self. I knew I was there when I could witness the various inner voices with compassion, curiosity and Presence. I call this Prayerfully Listening to the Stillness Within, the Source that is keeping me alive in this moment.
3. When it is hard to find the True Self. It is helpful to pay intent attention to your breath as it is happening, become highly aware of each inhale and each exhale, then go deeper and be aware of you heart beating. You are alive! Put your attention there.
4. As I moved my awareness into my True Self, I became Present, awaiting the Larger Context to be revealed. The inner triggered voices love to attach to details, facts, and right and wrong concepts, something immediate. These are the bulwarks of its position. My True Self was longing for something beyond all duality – the larger context where truth is found. I found myself sinking into prayerfully attention to the Inner Stillness.
5. In this place of humility I became Empty enough to be educable. As days and hours passed, I found myself in a contextual space that spanned both a sense of conviction, the humility of our mutual ignorance and innocence, forgiveness and compassion for our mutual human limitations and frailty. Yet at times the ego/mind slipped in, taking it all personal, attached to some tangible right and wrong, as I found myself lost.
6. Once again I would refocus on the Stillness Within, the Source of my Life in the moment.
7. Slowly in the Inner Stillness, the desire to “be Right” above all else, was eradicated. This required a focus that demanded a profound level of energy to maintain.
8. In the Stillness the Understanding arose that we were each doing the best we know how. If we knew how to do it better, we would.
9. The deeper Context was revealed. We were both humbled by the lesson/opportunity God was giving each of us. We were each given the strength and humility to surrendered to our own humanity with self-forgiveness and compassion for each other and ourselves. The truth was revealed that we were each doing the very best we knew how in our mutual ignorance/ innocence.
10. Once again we were able to be fully authentic, hear what mattered most to each other. Together in the larger context we both wanting the highest good for each other and ourselves. Each of our personal positions and perspectives gave way to accepting what life was creating between us, even as we were far from clear what that was in actuality. We each found our way to surrender to the larger Will of Life itself.
I know that the inner voices of false identity would never have allowed me to find that place of mutuality. It was the desire and intention of my True Self to listen deeply in Silent Prayer to the Stillness Within, that opened me, prepared me for this valuable lesson of having the courage to be authentic, to speak my need and concern, to have the faith in the process of honesty, humility, compassion, and forgiveness.
Holy Spirit, The Sacred Heart, or whatever words we wish to put on the Presence and Consciousness of Creative Life Within, found in the Inner Stillness, came through and moved reality into a different and more expanded plane of being.
Could it be that all that is going on in the world is just offering us the lesson of the grace and wisdom found in the Stillness of Prayerful Listening: humility, authenticity, integrity, forgiveness and compassion?
This whole experiential process will be explored deeply in my upcoming Spiritual Deepening Rest Stop.
"True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found." -Eckhart Tolle
“When you follow an idea, you leave reality behind.” – Dave Oshana