Lies

I recently read The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the popular book, The Four Agreements. One of the things that really caught my attention was the negative impact that lies have on us. We are all familiar with lies that other people tell us. Perhaps they are just “white” lies designed to avoid hurting our feelings. Of course, the people in our lives who tell us those lies mean well. The sad part about this is that underlying those lies is a belief that we are somehow not to be trusted in the management of our own thoughts and lives. So we need protection. Then there are the lies that people tell us in anger. Many people still carry around the hurt of being told by a loved one that they will never amount to anything. But that is an opinion at best because no one lives in our head but us and while we may appear to be headed in the wrong direction we are free to choose to change course any time we want. The troubling thing about these lies is what happens if we choose to believe them.

When we start to believe the lies of others we are making a judgment about ourselves. At this point our ego is all too happy to jump in and lead the chorus. And this is precisely when we start lying to ourselves about who we are or what our life prospects are. We set up scenarios that play out to our detriment but at least we get to be right about the lies we are telling ourselves, totally losing sight of the fact that the lie we now hold as truth in ourselves may have simply started as the uninformed opinion of another person who does not really know us.

Whenever we tell ourselves something about ourselves that places artificial limits on our lives and possibilities we are lying to ourselves. Ironically, if someone tells us something that happened to another person and we pass it on to someone else with our own opinion about how the person it happened to somehow deserved it, that is called gossip. Yet we gossip about ourselves to ourselves all too often. Our ego cannot wait to judge us and declare us guilty, unworthy, undeserving and a bad person. And when we believe it we put our focus there and then wonder why the good we seek somehow does not come to us. We know from the Law of Attraction that like attracts like. So we cannot bring the good we seek into our lives if we don’t believe we are good enough to receive it.

When we talk about ego we are talking about our head, our brain, our intellect, which is where “knowledge” resides. Knowledge is belief in our heads. My friend Marilu Holmes likes to say, “Nothing I believe is true.” This is a reminder to not believe all of the lies which can seem like knowledge and truth in our heads. True knowing comes from the heart not the head. The real truth we hold is in our hearts. When we stay connected to our hearts determining what is true is innate and we can trust it. And lies no longer hold power over us.

Lynn Everard

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

Breaking All The (Your) Rules

Recently a dear friend pointed out to me that I have a lot of rules. I did not want to believe what I had just heard. But after some brief consideration over several days I realized that she was right. But then I realized something else. Rules do not allow us to live in the moment! (Note: the rules I am talking about here are not laws but rather rules that we consciously or subconsciously make up for ourselves to follow. They may be the direct result of a bad experience or the fear of a potential bad experience. They could be from our parents, teachers or almost anyone. Wherever they come from most of us probably have them at one time or another in our lives.)

As someone who is still learning to live in the moment and who wants to live in the moment that got my attention. Then I realized that rules are really judgments either about ourselves or others. But in the end we are really judging ourselves since we are only able to clearly see just one person’s journey on this earth from which to have any perspective at all to judge and that is our own life. Judging ourselves over rules that we ourselves made up does not seem like a very good use of our time or energy.

Rules do not allow us to live in the moment but it is those judgments especially directed at ourselves that can steal our joy and our fun. So starting today I have decided to break all my own rules as I find them in my life. And I have given that friend permission to point out my rules to me. So look out world!

Do you have rules that you have made up for yourself that really just hold you back and keep you from living the life you know you were meant to live? If so, I invite you to join me in breaking all the rules.

I invite you to leave a comment with one of your rules that you decided to break.

Lynn Everard

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

When You Feel Like You Are Being Tested

Each of us experiences difficult and painful times in our lives. Perhaps it is the loss of a job, a relationship breakup or the loss of a love one. Whatever it is and no matter how much we think we have prepared ourselves for it, and even if we knew it was coming, we still feel blindsided by it. Our very foundation is shaken. And we feel like we are being put through a terrible test. Or so it seems.

But what if you went through a life without any experience that felt like a test? One might be even tempted to wish for that. Yet when you reached the end of this lifetime on earth you would pass on without ever having known what you were made of, without knowing your true strength and character and without anything to take from this experience into the life after this life.

So perhaps our tests are not really tests at all. What if all of these difficult experiences were God’s way of allowing us to see who we really are and how much progress we are making in our lives? What if it was all just to remind us that the real value we bring to the world is us, just the way we are, perceived imperfections and all? And what if our jobs, family and relationships were not designed to be our source of our own happiness or self worth but instead simply mirrors to show us where we are placing our own value? What if everything in life is simply designed to return us to ourselves so that we can fully experience divine love in ourselves and share it with others?

You might be asking at this point how you can know if you passed the test. The answer is always yes no matter what it might look like in a single still frame taken from the video of your human experience. You did not come here to fail. You came here to find love, experience the love of God, the love you have for yourself and the love you share with others.

In short, we are never really tested although at times it can sure feel that way. Instead, we are given life experiences to remind us just how much we are loved by God and the universe who are always working for our highest good.

Lynn Everard

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

When You Lose Your Job

As I write this post today I am reminded of the friends and many former coworkers who lost their jobs over the past month when the company we all used to work for closed down. Others have also lost jobs through no fault of their own. These events are a shock to the system, a kick in the gut to the emotions and bring the mental disorientation of being hit by the proverbial truck. Even if we knew the company was in trouble or if we knew the loss was coming it still almost impossible to prepare one’s self for the raging torrent of second guessing everything about ourselves. Did we do something wrong to deserve this? Are we good enough or capable enough to find our next job? What about all of the other people we are “competing with” in the job market? The questions seem to have no end. And even though we know that many of the questions won’t be helpful to us we feel compelled to ask them anyway.

So since we are going to ask questions, why not ask questions that will help prepare us for what is next in our lives? For example, is there something much better out there for me that I would never have found because I was just so comfortable where I was? We all know people who dislike their jobs but stay because they are afraid to leave.

I was laid off from that same company ten months ago. When that happened I knew two things. The first was that it was time to leave but I held on to what I thought was safe and secure. The second was that there truly was something better for me out there if I could just stop the chorus of couldas, wouldas and shouldas reverberating in my head just long enough to listen to that still small voice in my heart. Whether you call that voice God or Source or the Universe or the Light does not matter. What matters is that you get quiet and take the time to listen.

When you listen with your heart you will know deep inside your self that there is a beautiful gift hidden within the confusion and disorientation of job loss. That gift is in being reconnected to your self, to the essence of who you really are. It is the part that is easy to forget about when we are wrapped up in the world that we think is safe and secure. When we lose that connection to our true selves: our souls, we are not really living. We just think we are.

When we are connected to ourselves and our source of guidance we realize that we did not lose a job. We gained a second chance at the life we were meant to have.

“Sometimes goodbye is a second chance.”- Shinedown

If you like what you read please tell others how to find us at http://www.encouragementblog.com.

Lynn Everard

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

Independence Day: Free to be the Source of Our Own Happiness

As we say goodbye to the month of July, and Independence Day celebrations fade from our memories, here is some food for thought.  (No Fourth of July leftovers – I promise!)

I spent years thinking my ex-wife’s happiness was my responsibility and when she failed to be happy, I blamed myself, assumed I was a failure as a husband and was sure our marriage was doomed.  And that brought all kinds of collateral damage with it.  For the record, my ex-wife did not expect me to make her happy.  But somewhere along the way I picked up the erroneous belief that her happiness was my responsibility.

This past Independence Day inspired me.  I decided to implement a BYOH (Bring Your Own Happiness) policy for a more independent world.  On a day that celebrates the birth of our nation and our freedom from oppression and tyranny, I realized that as individuals, freedom from the dependency on others is truly empowering because we become responsible for our own results in life.  But when it comes to being happy, we often look to others to make us happy!  That’s not independent thinking – it’s dependency on someone else! 

How about you?  Do you look to others to make you happy?  Are you independent enough to be your own source of happiness?  Do you pull your hair out trying to make others happy?  And, does the mere thought of letting others find their own happiness trigger a feeling of guilt in you? 

Relieving ourselves of the responsibility of making others happy does not make us aloof, detached or uncaring. I have heard many men echo the phrase, “happy wife, happy life”. But can a man truly make his wife happy?  Think about it…if it’s his responsibility to make her happy (and her responsibility to make him happy), what happens if one of them fails?  If he fails to make her happy, his own happiness is jeopardized because he’s inadvertently put her in charge of keeping him happy as well.  A dynamic like this will eventually take a toll on both people when one isn’t happy.

Perhaps “happy wife, happy life” was the author’s implication to men to become a husband that understands how to ‘be and do’ in a relationship (behave in a way that doesn’t impede on her ability to be her own source of happiness).   

The danger lies in drifting too far in either direction.  If you are at the center of her world, and she finds happiness in a job, a hobby, friends, or a new direction, your world may seem as if it’s crumbling when she finds happiness outside of you.  The flip side of the coin is just as dangerous – if you slip up and criticize, disrespect, or take her for granted, she may find it far more difficult to get over if you’ve made yourself the center of her world and source of all happiness.

Successful relationships are the result of two ‘whole’ people coming together to compliment the other in the pair.  By ‘whole’, I mean each one individually subscribes to the ‘Bring Your Own Happiness’ understanding, and therefore these two happy people come together and create an expansion of happiness. 

Too often as men we take on the burden of turning around an unhappy spouse, or expecting our spouse to make us happy.  Whether the burden falls on husband or wife, this behavior (according to my friend and fellow blogger, Lynette Landing of Bare Naked Talk blog) is called “inappropriate responsibility.”  Feeling it’s your job to fix your spouse’s pain and suffering, trying to protect them from all harm, jumping through hoops to keep them happy…these are all examples of “inappropriate responsibility” because in saving another from every bump in the road, you are basically denying them their own lessons and opportunities for growth and that’s not your job!  

But the good news is, each of us individually, gets to fix one person!  Yes, we are responsible for our own happiness and pain; therefore, appropriate responsibility means looking in the mirror (and letting your spouse do the same). 

Perhaps you will look at future Independence Days from a more personal perspective going forward, and join me in claiming our independence from making others our source of happiness, or (inappropriately) becoming the source of theirs. 

Happy independence!

Lynn

Fellow Traveler and Guide

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

 

The Truth About Being Hurt By Others

As a divorced man in my sixth decade of life on this planet I encounter many people, both men and women, who have been “hurt by others”. Perhaps it was a cheating spouse, a painful divorce or a betrayal by a close friend. The conventional wisdom is that we have been hurt by the offending party. And this hurt is not limited to major life events because it also happens in our everyday lives. We, as men, can be hurt by being passed over for a promotion at work, being left out of plans to go the game by our buddies or being cheated on by a spouse or girlfriend. As guys we may seek solace in drinking with our coworkers or buddies, throwing ourselves even deeper into our work, getting immersed in playing and watching sports nights and weekends or doing any number of things to distract ourselves.

When it comes to love and relationships men and women both feel hurt and carry that hurt around damaging our prospects of finding the love we say we want. Many of us are hurt so deeply that we put up walls in order to keep the hurt out. The problem with these walls is that they keep love out. They cannot keep hurt out and even if they could it would not matter because hurt is an inside job. Long before the first brick of that wall is laid and the mortar is troweled the hurt is already safely inside the wall. It is there because we put it there. In fact, we created the hurt ourselves. Hurt is our reaction to an event in our lives that turns out in a way contrary to what we think we wanted at the time. In love, if the person we desired to be our partner does not share those same feelings and chooses themselves or another over us we may automatically assume that their choice is because of something we did or did not do, or are or are not or something that we lack. And if we can find the supposed chink in our otherwise impenetrable armor, or so we like to think, that led the other person to make their decision to choose whatever they choose we can condemn ourselves for our own lack of something. The hurt we feel is the full weight our own self-condemnation for not being chosen. The truth is that we have committed a selfish act of thought by believing that the decisions of others are intended to cause us pain. And while such decisions of others are the first step in the process of moving us to the point of feeling hurt, those decisions are rarely made with the goal of hurting us.

Even when people do terrible things to us our emotional hurt is still a choice. That is not to say that what the person did is right. In some cases, we must forgive them and let go of them. We can still love their soul but our own boundaries must come into play. (The power of our own vibration explains this but we can discuss that at another time.)

So how do we move past the hurt?

1. Recognize that each of us is on our own personal journey through this life and we are free to make decisions for ourselves. When someone chooses for themselves that does not automatically mean that they are choosing against us. We each see the world through our own eyes. Just think. At present on this earth there are over 6 billion unique perspectives on life.
2. Understand that we all operate on what we know or at least think we know. And if others have chosen to interpret the actions and choices of others as hurtful they may be coming from a place of self-hurt themselves. And it will impact how they process their lives and may affect how they deal with others, including us. If they seem to be lashing out we do not need to take it personally. There is a balance between viewing others as unlimited and understanding the difficult circumstances of their lives.
3. Choose yourself. In the end you can only live your life, not anyone else’s. Expect that they will choose for themselves and do not be disappointed that they did not choose you. You will do your part for yourself and for your fellow travelers by being reliable in choosing yourself. By the way, choosing yourself does not mean not caring about or helping others. In fact, it is just the opposite. The only way you can really help others is to choose yourself because what others really need from you is your wholeness. When they sense that is present they are ready for your help and caring.
4. Love and accept yourself. You are gloriously and perfectly imperfect. And that is exactly how your creator made you. And now that you have chosen yourself you can choose to love and accept yourself. Forgive yourself for not being perfect and commit yourself to personal improvement for you because you are worth it and not for any other reason. In Dr. Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she discusses the importance of simply recognizing that we, in and of ourselves, are enough for anything that comes our way. If we are enough and really believe it, then we won’t worry about why someone chose themselves and did not choose us. And we won’t look for a list of our own shortcomings to badger ourselves about. We will simply know we are enough and move forward in confidence.
5. Learn to love others without being attached to outcomes. If we love only with the expectation to be loved in return that is not real love. It is just fishing or trolling. Real love recognizes the value of others as people and reaches out with the offer of soul connection. There is no other agenda. The book, The Four Agreements, has a lot to say about not being attached to outcomes. And by the way, this attachment to outcomes is one of the worst things we can do. It is the first phase of the hurt cycle and sets us up to hurt ourselves constantly. If we truly love ourselves we will have everything we need in our lives in the way of love and won’t need to find it elsewhere.
6. Understand the law of attraction which essentially says that we attract those people and things in to our lives that we most believe we are worthy of receiving. We can desire our wildest dreams but if we do not believe we are worthy those wildest dreams will remain just dreams.

When it comes to love, Rumi said it best:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself you have built against it.”-Rumi, a 13th Century Sufi mystic and poet

Your comments are always welcome as we are all teachers and students at the same time.

My best to you all,

Lynn Everard, Fellow Traveler and Guide

Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to be taken as professional advice. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.

Connection vs. Disconnection

We live in an amazing age. We are surrounded by technological advancement. We can use our thumbs to send a text message to almost anyone in seconds. We have friends on Facebook and professional contacts on LinkedIn. Many of us post every boring detail of our lives while we spend our “free” time looking for more ways to convince the rest of the world, and maybe ourselves, that we are far from ordinary. We are truly unique….just like everyone else. Yet with all of this technology we are less connected and more alone than ever. Let’s face it. The vast majority of our online friends would be unlikely to come rushing to our aid in the midst of a personal crisis. That does not make them bad people. At the same time we are so busy that we barely have time for even electronic connection. Who does not get hundreds of emails a day between work and home? And how much time to spend reading and sorting and filing and responding to all those emails?

So here we are with all of our Facebook likes and friends, LinkedIn contacts and whatever we call all of the rest of the people we “connect” with online. Yet for some reason many people feel isolated, alone and disconnected! Maybe all of these modern day conveniences were never meant to replace meeting in person or talking on the phone. We have greatly expanded our reach with technology but we have not increased our connection with others. There is simply no substitute for human contact, both in person and over the phone. Our technology allows us to transmit information to each other but it does a very poor job of establishing and maintaining emotional connection. And guys, the women in our lives want and need our presence and our attention. They might want a few facts and figures but what they really need is us.  I am personally guilty of being an over user of text messaging. A great text message is nice here and there. But connection requires healthy amounts of voice to voice and person to person communication. And it is not just women who need this. We need it too guys. If we are human, we need it. We can improve our own lives and the people around us by connecting more in person and on the phone.

Why not make it a daily practice to reach out and touch someone, (not just the keys on your cell phone!)? And if you are not sure that the women in your life would prefer a call or a face to face meeting over an email go ahead and ask them.