I’ve been pondering the effect of dishonesty lately as a potential cause of unkind and even violent behavior. Is it possible that when we do not speak truthfully that the ramifications are broader than we thought possible? Besides the immediate results or by-products of telling a lie, or speaking untruthfully (same, same) what kind of ripple effect does that have on our unconscious mind? What kinds of behaviors are triggered by this cognitive dissonance? And how, after engaging in dishonest behavior can we set things right in our inner being?
It seems to be that awareness is the first and biggest step towards healing any of our painful personal issues. It takes willingness and courage to face ourselves. And yet, once acknowledged the benefits of self-reflection are great, and the saying “no pain, no gain” is true for inner work as much as for physical workouts. When we first see the ways we don’t live up to our own highest wishes for ourselves it can be painful and cause us to feel ashamed . And yet, the choice to hide from our own wounded and misaligned parts (also called the shadow) will inevitably cause more pain, and is not a long term solution, no matter how much our mind can trick us into thinking it is a good choice. Addictions stem partly from the inability to face our shadow, and I would include the collective shadow as well. Many of our so-called “coping mechanisms” arise from the fear of looking in the virtual mirror of our actions and thoughts.
Courage, dear friends, since the only way out is through. As with most fears, this fear of being inadequate, once faced, loses all its strength. Instead of sapping our life force, truth increases it and we can align with our personal power. To me, the meaning of personal power is this: the ability to live from the authentic calling of our own being. Being swayed to change so that we can fit in or keep another person happy are ways that we lose power, we disconnect from our being’s most genuine knowing. Some would say (and I agree) that we disconnect from our soul. This is not a place of power, but is a place of weakness.
Take heart, for courage is always available to us when we live in awareness. The more carefully we listen to our “soul” the more we can step directly into a life of courage and integrity. There are many ways to learn this – don’t take my word for it, this is verifiable by each one of us. How does it feel to tell the truth? How does it feel to tell a lie? From that information, choose your path….Choose Love!
What are the best practices to engage deeply with our own psyche? I have used what is called “insight meditation” as a tool for inner exploration. It is simple in concept but takes commitment to reap the full rewards of this practice. First, sit in a comfortable upright position – spine aligned, shoulders back and down, and close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply. Once you’ve settled into this breath and feel comfortable and centered, then bring up the question that is calling for an answer. Hold this question in your mind, if it slips away, gently bring it back to the forefront. Using this technique I have experienced an effect like descending a rope into the inner chambers of my mind. Down down down, into the places of unconsciousness lies the answer to the question, waiting silently to be discovered. When it is reached, an epiphany can occur.
Be sure to come up out of this state with gentleness and self-kindness. This is an important discovery that has just been made. It calls for more reflection and contemplation in order to derive the most benefit. It will be life-changing, of that I am certain. It is well worth any time spent to unlock the secrets of your own soul.
Bless the journey!