Sunday, February 2, 2014

Difficulty Understanding & Connecting

     When we encounter new situations, statements, concepts, or ideas, to what degree are we aware that we actually have a conscious choice in how we respond? Whether we engage with OR avoid what's new, depends on our "readiness for change":

      In retrospect, it's sad to think how many times (millions) we've automatically - with little or no conscious awareness - avoided the path of open-hearted conscious evolution. We may have interpreted these (missed opportunities) as: "I don't get it", "This is way too deep", "I'm confused", "This stuff puts me to sleep", "I'm a doer, not a navel-gazer," etc, etc. 

     But the fact is, we all have a lifetime's worth of perfectly legitimate reasons for being preoccupied with self-preservation & self-protection.  
     If our past has conditioned us to feel chronically frightened & unwanted, then our brain is specialized to manage feelings of fear & abandonment ie life feels like a chronic struggle to survive, and naturally, we'll tend to be in survival mode (rarely if ever appropriate in modern times).
     If, on the other hand, we've been conditioned to feel safe & loved, then our brain is specialized to explore, play & cooperate, so we'll naturally spend most of your time near the opposite end of the continuum ie life feels like a pleasant, interesting adventure, & we'll behave appropriately, & at times even wisely, regardless of circumstances. Bessel Van Der Kolk. “The Body Keeps the Score. Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” Penguin Books, 2015. 
     In this qualitatively different, universal but usually fleeting level of consciousness, we experience peace, ease, equanimity, clear awareness, timelessness, stillness, silence, effortlessness, loving-kindness, & joy.

     It may take some study of trauma combined with serious self-reflection before we realize the extent to which we've been traumatized, & therefore benefit greatly from therapy to help liberate us from our heavy conditioning. Hopefully, before we die or decline mentally, we become ready to transcend fearful narrow self-concern and open up to exploring & reconnecting with the big picture.

      Below is an excellent short (16min) video of Adyashanti discussing this readiness:


  1. Involved in a parental estrangement support group, we began discussing "understanding and disconnection" this week. Through years of meditation, I realize the isolation I've felt had more to do with the separation of myself to the original self at birth from I, the soul, and through years of my parents conditioning me to being I, the EGO. A sobering and grounding discovery at age 55. Solitude and peacefulness has become a place of peace of mind. But all humans need relationships. We weren't created to live alone away from family or society. When family estranges you, it is a most difficult journey, especially when there is little willingness for those who threw you away to understand. Understanding is the key to unlocking adversity. If they understood the dynamics, wouldn't they stop this torment? The task to re-connect may be thwarted by the unwillingness to re-connect because holding grudges is what they need to do. It can be viewed as they are immature, spiteful, not spiritually elevated to rise above differences that become stale-mated, dead-locked. Push Pull. Asking for forgiveness even when no offenses were commited, and the unwillingness to forgive leads one to re-affirming they must then be not evolved to let go and show compassion. And this forces me to judge, and I don't want to. I just want to love them. And there is nothing you can do except go within, to work on meditation, and have a compassionate heart. And years go by....and the full heart continues to send love to those who have estranged you. And the love passing through a once broken heart nourishes the heart, and it feels good. It's a way of loving those who have thrown you under the bus, and you don't even understand why. And all the self forgiveness and sending good wishes, and letting go with no expectation for reciprocity can all come crashing down when a song is played or an anniversary, a birthday come to mind......and the heart breaks opens all over again. Without understanding, I blame myself for everything that caused this estrangement - because isn't that what Mothers of the world are? The ones blamed for every wrong - so I own up to being the reason, the cause, the root of all wrongs, then forgive myself, over and over. Until the next memory, that song, the birthday, and special date in history. But now I'm old. And the estrangement is unresolved. And I don't know my grandchildren now taller than me. There was never any intrinsic bonding in their minds - no glue - no memories. My heart bonded but not theirs. And I still don't understand why a daughter-in-law would do this, and why a son would allow it. I guess he wants to keep his marriage in tact. I didn't raise a spineless boy to grow up to become a spineless man. And I guess they are happy. I hope so. My DIL doesn't have to share family holidays and drive 400 miles to visit her husband's family because it is all about her family. If my son left a great job because she demanded it, and they sold their house, and moved hours away to be 3 blocks from her parents, I guess they could never possibly miss me. I met my DIL 5 times from 2001 - 2006, and they were short visits and 500 miles away. And the physical distance still exists. The emotional distance decimated. It is so bad my son told someone he will never see me again. What did I do? My DIL said in an email in 2005, "You have always hated me." I have never hated anyone. This is a travesty. The understanding is not there in my head. Why? What did I do? The connection has been lost forever. I asked for mediation through Family Court and a letter was sent to them asking for a meeting in January 2015. No reply. I am the only one who holds the burden of understanding this. They don't even care. So I go within, again, and seek comfort. It's all I can do. Crying is no longer an option.

  2. I'm saddened to hear of your situation. I hope that you have explored therapy as well as meditation - the two are much more powerful when combined in complex, difficult cases like yours. I wish you all the best.