This is one in a series of posts with brief notes on healing, awakening, and personal things. These are more spontaneous and less comprehensive than the regular articles. Some may be a little on the rant side. And some may be made into a regular article in time.
POWER-OVER VS POWER-WITH IN HEALING AND AWAKENING
A power-over orientation is one of domination, use, discarding, and valuing oneself over whatever it may be – nature, women, children, other ethnic groups, or our body.
It seems that pre-agricultural societies had a more power-with orientation. They lived with nature and in a more egalitarian way. The power-over orientation may have come to prominence with agriculture, accumulation, and a more hierarchical society.
This means it’s a part of most cultures around the world today, although it’s perhaps most obvious in the European culture. It influences most or all areas of society. It’s something we absorb just by being part of this culture. We perceive through it and sometimes act on it. And since it’s so old and all-pervasive, it’s often invisible to us.
All of this means it’s an important factor in our own healing and awakening process. It’s important to be aware of it. Notice how it influences us. And see through the beliefs behind it and the beliefs upholding it.
The most obvious may be how we relate to ourselves.
Do we try to push and manipulate ourselves in a certain way? Do we try to manipulate the experience we have here and now? Do we try to avoid it, make it go away, “transform” it, pretend it’s not here? All of that may reflect beliefs that what’s here is not OK, that our experience is wrong or bad, that it’s dangerous, that “we” – as our global whole – know better, and ultimately a power-over orientation.
So how does a power-with orientation with ourselves look?
To me, it has to do with a gentle curiosity and befriending parts of me. Meet them. Allow them as they are. Be present with them. Listen to them. Dialog with them. Get to know them. Listen to what they need. Give them space to heal if they want to.
If they suffer, recognize the suffering. If they are caught up in stressful beliefs, perhaps these beliefs were formed as a way to protect us? Perhaps it’s innocent? Perhaps it comes from love?
Do these parts of us as happen within and as who we are as a human being? Do they happen within and as what we are as capacity for the world as it appears to us?
Power-with means a real partnership with ourselves and the different parts of us. They are all already included so why not consciously include them?
They wish to be met, heard, and understood so why not met, listen to, and find understanding for them? They are already allowed so why not consciously allow them? They come from love so why not explore if and how they come from love?
This orientation is a way into allowing and supporting a vibrant inner community. One that includes more and more parts. One where each one has a voice. One where each one can be met with presence and love.
Click READ MORE to see more of these brief notes.
The Mandela effect is as example of how people misremember things in a similar way. It’s to be expected since our memory is a reconstruction of the past and not a mirroring of it. And many of us use similar shortcuts and associations to construct memories.
I know some seem to think that this is a proof of some sort of glitch in the timeline of the universe, although I also suspect most of the people saying this are trolls. They get a kick out of appearing stupid and seeing the exasperation of people who take what they say seriously.
Knowing that memories are constructed, does it make more sense that our memories happen to be wrong? And sometimes are wrong in a similar way for a variety of reason, including that we use similar shortcuts to construct our memories? Or that our always very flawed memories are correct and the universe is wrong?
I also have to say that these collective misrememberings seem oddly cultural and specific to the US. When I look at lists of examples, hardly any example is an example of the “Mandela effect” to me. Perhaps the glitch in the timeline only happened for people living in the US? And how come most of the examples are about minor misspellings, movie quotes, and tiny details in logos? And how come the historical examples only would appear as Mandela-effect examples to people who clearly have little to no knowledge about basic history?
DISCONNECTING OR STAYING CONNECTED WITH PEOPLE WE DISAGREE WITH
A friend of mine posted a message in social media saying: If you are in the US and work as a therapist or coach [as she does] and don’t acknowledge the role of structural racism, please unfriend me.
I completely understand it. It’s weird to see therapists and coaches of any type not acknowledging and addressing structural racism and other problems in society. These obviously seriously impact the health and lives of those targeted by it. And it impacts the health and well-being of all of us living in this society. So it seems irresponsible and unprofessional to not address it.
And I also understand the impulse to unfriend people on social media or in real life
who are idiots we disagree with. In my case, people who are covert rasists. People who get obsessed with conspiracy theories. People who are more concerned about their own immediate gratification than the future of humanity.
I have unfriended people like that. And I am happy to not see them on my feed.
At the same time, I am aware that this impulse is one of the biggest collective problems we have today. It’s very easy to seek out information from sources we agree with. It’s easy to pick and chose friends on social media so we don’t have to see things posted by people we disagree with. It’s easy to avoid the difficult conversations with people we disagree with. And that increases the polarization and gives us even less of a common ground to work with.
So what to do? Do we listen to only those we agree with? Do we listen to those we don’t agree with? Do we communicate with those we don’t agree with?
If we really want to make a difference, and – for instance – be an ally to people who experience structural racism, the best we can do is perhaps to stay in touch with racist family and friends and question them. Why do you say that? Where does it come from? What impact do you think it has on those you say it about?
As with so many social challenges, there are no easy solutions or quick fixes. It’s easy to have ideas about what would solve it, but we often don’t agree on these solutions. So we need a more engaged and pragmatic approach.
We need to educate ourselves. We need to stay in contact with those we disagree with. We need to be willing to engage in the difficult conversations. We need to look at ourselves.
At my personal level, I can take responsibility for how I deal with it. I can notice when and if I go into a defensive position. I can work with my own inner community and help the different parts of me feel included, listened to, and appreciated. I can expose myself to views I don’t necessarily agree with. I can see if I can understand where people are coming from. I can ask people I disagree with about their views.
I can bring a little more of what I would like to see in the world into my own inner and outer communities.
JUNE 3, 2020
GENTLE AND FIRM REMINDER THAT IT’S NOT TRUE
When bubbles of suffering or separation consciousness comes up, it’s an ongoing exploration – at least for me – in how to be with them and relate to them. Sometimes, a significant shift can happen, and other times, small tweaks may what’s needed. And sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves of what we already know.
Over the last three weeks, I have had a discomfort come up in my chest. It feels like very primal survival fear. I have been present with it. Listened to what it has to say. Felt it as a flavor of the divine. Acknowledged the fear about it and wanting to avoid it or to get rid of it. And so on.
But I also sensed that something else was needed. Something needed to be tweaked. A conversation and informal session with a friend yesterday gave me an insight.
When bubbles of confusion and suffering comes up, it’s important to be gently firm with them. The stressful stories creating them are not true, so listen and remind yourself it’s not true. This is not very different from how I had been approaching it, but I had left out the firmness.
Of course, it still helps to identify beliefs and inquire into them. And examine how my mind creates its experience of this sensation in the chest and what it means.
And yet, since I already have done a lot of that, some firmness is all that’s needed for a shift. A gently firm reminder that the stressful thoughts inside of the separation consciousness bubble are not true.
Many pointers are more universally useful, and this one seems more specific when we are in this situation of seeing and realizing the basics and yet “forgetting” it in a certain way.
If we haven’t done much inquiry, it won’t help. If we see through the stressful stories very thoroughly, the reminder may not be necessary.
HOW DOES SPIRIT WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE?
How does Being/ Life/ Spirit/ Love want to live this Life?
Thank you to Amy H. for this simple and helpful inquiry question 🙂
A FEW GUIDED MEDITAION / INQUIRY POINTERS
Yes, yes, yes. You are welcome here.
The anger / fear / frustration is natural. It’s understandable.
Would you like to release yourself? Would you like to liberate yourself?
Allow it to get as big as it want. Spread out in all directions and times. It’s often been subtly suppressed for so long.
None of it is what we are. It’s all more layers of the same. More layers of the mind.
(Thanks to Amy H. for these reminders)