by Ross Bishop
Most of the things I write about revolve around the concept of change: why we need it, why we resist it, our fears, why we are here, the role of our ego – that sort of thing. And the one thing that stands out from all the rest is how strongly we resist making the changes that are asked of us. Most people have to get backed into a corner with no other way out, before they will make the changes that The Universe has been asking of them all along.
We Americans are in a special class because in a word, we are spoiled. We are insulated from the forces that propel many others in the world to change because of our wealth and creature comforts. These things also give us a false sense of security.
The resistance to change is a human thing. And when you recognize that all over the globe, 7 billion people are struggling with essentially the same issue, you realize that something far more significant is taking place. There is no way that all those people could arrive at the same place independently. Especially when you realize that each person is being given exactly what they need for the development of their soul. All of this exists in a perfection that simply blows the mind, once you see it.
Is it a harmonious process? No, It’s not supposed to be. You have come here to learn about your self-imposed limitations and the best way to do that is to have them torn open and exposed so that you will see the false beliefs that lie beneath them. There will come a time when you live more from love and compassion than pain, but that only comes when you have healed the self doubts and feelings of inadequacy you carry about yourself.
Sorry, but this is not going to be a pleasant or peaceful time until you make that transition. It’s not supposed to be. That unpleasantness was designed into the process so that you would be motivated to change. Until then, your fears and false beliefs will cause your life to periodically shatter and fall apart as you crash into the restrictions you, yourself create. Pain is the energy of change. Somewhere, someone gave us an image of a bucolic, peaceful existence of life on earth and we bought into it.
Are there dilemmas? Yes, for everyone. We all struggle with the anguish of our burdens. Everyone – and I mean everyone – does it! That speaks to the universality of the process. Some people try to avoid or deny the problem, and they can for a while, but their denial will always come around to bite them in the behind. Visit any hospital and you will find room after room filled with people who resist making changes, sometimes choosing to die rather than make the changes to their beliefs that have been asked of them.
Many people have relationship or career issues, others struggle with their sexuality, some as I say, get sick, others become drug addicted, some are sexually abused, a few become criminals, but we all, in our own way, struggle with the challenges that our beliefs create. And the biggest obstacle are the beliefs we hold about ourselves.
In my lifetime of working with people I have found that our resistance to change originates from two sources. These are the origins of the beliefs you hold about yourself, which incidentally, are outside the bounds of conventional science, so they get little formal attention.
There is a belief that we come to earth as a blank slate. I do not believe that this is true. In “heaven” you exist, but not in the embodied form you are familiar with. Think of yourself as “essence,” floating in the cosmos. In that state you are aware of the Creator but the connection between the two of you is not complete. There is a “distance,” due to the unfinished development of your consciousness.
Heaven is lovely, but you cannot evolve there. You want to return to earth so that you can continue your growth and development. You have a “discussion” with the Creator and the two of you decide that the time is right for you to reincarnate. And “shaazam!” you are dropped or trapped, depending how you look at it, into a physical body and returned to earth. But because your knowledge of heaven would interfere with the work you have come here to do, the memory and awareness of your heavenly connection must necessarily be dimmed.
When you “disconnected” from the Creator, your fears and doubts kicked in and began to play on your mind. As I said, the connection between you and the Creator was not complete, and now you only have only a fleeting memory of it, and that leaves room for doubt. On earth you are trapped, jammed in this dense and vulnerable physical body that gets hungry and cold, can be injured and gets diseases where moments before you were floating around in heaven!
You start to wonder if you weren’t kicked out of heaven because you were unworthy. Part of you thinks, “God rejected me because I am too _____.” Your faith is vulnerable. And so long as your faith can be shaken, that tells us you have work to do. Your thoughts revolve around a lack of trust in the world and a resulting refusal to surrender, issues of abandonment, feelings of aloneness and separation.
This is important not only because it illuminates the work remaining for you to do, but it also sets the stage for the life experiences that are to follow. Your self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness will fan the flames of the experiential fire that you are about to walk through.
So, the first factor in this experience was created when you separated from the Creator. The second factor comes from the residual of your past life experiences. In your previous lives you have worked to complete your awareness and although there has been progress, obstacles remain. There are ego driven fears and beliefs about yourself that form what you think is the foundation of your existence, and these interfere with your ability to take the risk of surrender to a higher truth.
When you incarnate, you are placed into a family environment that will give you exactly what you need to both love and support yourself and at the same time, fan the embers of your smoldering lack of self-worth. And as a child you will not have the awareness or the skill to process what has happened to you.
Every situation you experience will have been perfectly crafted (whether it seems that way or not) to provide the exact impetus you need to finish an important aspect of what you came here to do.
You also carry the unresolved pain of your past lives with you, and this is significant too. In the past you acted out of ego and got hurt, in some cases badly. Your ego holds the perspective that you did all you could, which, under the circumstances, is party true. But you still got hurt, so your ego views the world as unfair or unjust rather than seeing the situation as an opportunity for change. You will operate like a broken record, repeating the same failed process, collapse after collapse. After these failures, your self-doubt, fears and other beliefs will imbed themselves deeply into your psyche. Your fears will dominate and you will spiral into self doubt, unworthiness and shame as you repeat the painful life cycle you have created for yourself.
And that pattern carries over from your past lives into the present. Your fear and ego-based beliefs set you up in partial opposition to God’s truth. And because of that, the life structure you will create, based on your fears and beliefs, must eventually collapse around you. You then have the opportunity to investigate your beliefs and change them and grow or get angry, cling to the old ways and suffer.
Eventually the pain from your repeated failures will become so intense and your frustration with yourself so great, that you will break with your past and with little more to go on than faith that anything has to be better than the way things have been, will abandon the security of what you have known, take that all-important leap of faith into the unknown and enter into a new way of thinking and believing.
So for the moment we can assume that like most people you are caught somewhere in the cycle of belief and collapse. What can you do? The first step would be to acknowledge your beliefs (note: I am separating belief from Universal Truth, i.e. “All people are created equal,” from: “Brown people are inferior,” or “I am unworthy.”)
Write out your beliefs, especially the ones about yourself. Are you smart enough, pretty enough, sexy enough? Do you feel worthy? Are you capable? How do you stand when compared with other people? Are you witty enough? What else is wrong (or right) with you? If I were to ask you to list the things you love, how long would it be before you listed yourself?
These beliefs have been ground into you as a result of the numerous encounters you have had since childhood (and before). And as much as you might like to be free of them, they are not going to just go away. They comprise a good deal of the world you have built around yourself. Now, the memory of them will always be with you, but the secret is to disempower them. And there are things you can do to take your power back, once you deal with the shame that lies beneath them. But, for most of us, that is a tall order.
I’d love to say that you could stand in front of a mirror and do affirmations or write out statements of gratitude, and although these things have their place, they just don’t go anywhere deeply enough to heal the wound(s) that created them.
In my own healing journey I found that conventional therapy didn’t help much either. It did not address the areas in me that needed healing and didn’t go as deeply as I needed. I had to obtain the services of a trained shaman to finally heal my inner wounds. I found great benefit in the 30,000 year old, non-Western shamanic healing process that is helping so many others to heal today. You may need to do the same. And I admit, I was a tough case! But, I was finally able to break the cycle of belief and collapse that until that time had completely dominated my life. And I cannot tell you what a joy it was to leave that behind!
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
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