Sunday, January 8, 2017

How to Figure Out Life Lessons – Part 2

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Welcome to “How to Figure Out Life Lessons – Part 2.” This is not a stand-alone blog post, so I recommend first reading "How to Figure Out Life Lessons – Part 1".

Last time I offered 6 specific pointers toward life lessons. Here in Part 2, I offer 2 general points about life lessons and some thoughts on the necessity of brutal honesty. I close with some words on the process of becoming you.

2 General Pointers toward Life Lessons

  1. Required Materials Are Provided.
  2. Although you will have to move through lessons using journaling, self-inquiry, conscious feeling, forgiveness, and so on in order resolve them, there is nothing in particular you must do to see the lessons other than being willing. Whatever life wants you to learn, the “materials” you need will be set before you.

    Below is listed a number of areas for life lessons. Each is followed up with a few notes regarding potential experiences and examples of provided “materials.”

    • Adequate self-care: You’re chronically sick, mildly or majorly, you’re taking multiple drugs, and you’re taking several more drugs to offset the side-effects of the initial drugs… You are supplied with any medication to suppress any symptom and with doctors who’re willing to increasingly feed you these drugs without second thought.

    • Work-home balance: You work 80-hour weeks. You’re willing to tell your family that you “have to” work so much, but you’re quite unwilling to tell your boss that you need more family time… You’re supplied with a job that “forces” you to work to exhaustion and with a family who either unhappily puts up with your falsely-reasoned abandonment or eventually leaves you.

    • Sexual balance: You have a drive for sex that’s more of an inconvenience than a natural desire. You cannot feel you libido rise without needing a “fix.” Sexual behaviors feel empty… You’re supplied with nudie magazines and partners effortlessly, and are unable to turn them away.

    • Lack/Poverty Mentality: You’re in debt. You insist on buying generic, and avoid buying if you do not have some type of discount. You avoid “fun” expenses. You have mantras such as: “I can’t afford it,” and, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” You blame the government and economy for the cause of your insufficiency… You’re supplied with an endless stream of bills that you “don’t have” the money to pay. With nearly every unexpected inflow of money is an unexpected sickness, appliance replacement, etc. forcing you to “burn through the blessing.”

    • Emotional eating: You eat when you feel bad. You believe, “Food makes me happy,” and say things like, “I can’t stop. I know it’s unhealthy, but it tastes so good.” …You’re supply of pantry and fridge foods and meals on restaurant bills are designed far more for pleasure—the “sensory sensation”—than nutritional value. Nearly any food you want is at your command to purchase or be gifted to you by others.

    • Substance abuse: You need to be “fixed” in order to feel “balanced” enough to do most things. When the substances are unavailable, you’re an emotional rollercoaster… You’re supplied with ready access to drugs, a dealer, and drug paraphernalia.

    • Self-Acceptance: When others ask you to go to the gym you say you have no interest, when really you fear being judged as a weak loser. When you don’t exhibit perfection, you start telling yourself and others, “I’m such an idiot,” and, “Don’t mind me, I can be pretty stupid.” …You’re supplied with people and situations which, by your self-demoralizing perspective, cause you to "truly" appear “less than”/“not good enough.”

    The path in is set before you automatically. Each successive pathway through, as well as whatever tools are needed, will arise when you require and/or request them. What is left to you is whether you will acknowledge the signposts, use any tools to your advantage, and, finally, take the high road out.

  3. “Planned” Difficulty, or Persistence of Experience.
  4. There are some lessons we simply can’t plan for. No one writes in their calendar on May 8th that they’ll move out of their house on June 9th because it’s going to burn down on the 10th. Any lessons inclusive of such an event must be dealt with as best as possible when they arise.

    However, if you were to look closely, you would find that many of life’s lessons are predictable. They work in either of two ways, though sometimes the two ways mesh, and what occurs mildly-to-moderately in the first way happens sharply with the appropriate timing of the second. These two ways are:

    1. The lessons are in front of you consistently, every day, every week, and/or every year until resolved.

      An example of this can be observed between two people with relationship problems. The partners are frequently at odds with each other and this expresses itself through regular arguments, acts of spite, complaining to others about their woes, etc.

    2. The lessons are cyclic.

      For instance, you may have ended a relationship in a horrendous fight. Sometime later, you end another relationship in a horrendous fight. And perhaps sometime after the second, the same happens a third time. If you were to mark down the dates of these happenings, you may find that they’d all occurred, say, every 10 years from each other—quite possibly down to the very same month, week, and/or even day.

    While the first way is a useful tool for seeing regular difficulties, the second way really helps for tracing major events back into your past in order to learn how they came to be. In realizing the origin of a program, you give yourself the opportunity to see it as false, accept it, and release it.

Brutal Honesty

A key note about this work is that you must be brutally honest with yourself. This cannot be over-stated. There is a fact that much of your lesson work will be based around things that you have been thinking, saying, doing, and experiencing in some way your whole life. You will believe them to be “normal,” and many people around you (especially family and friends) will believe the same.

Be very, very careful. Question everything. Don’t be too hasty to trust in the words and ways of those around you, even if they appear to have some measure of “knowing” or “authority.” Likewise, don't be too hasty even to trust your own experience: After all, your experience is but a mirror of your own distorted perception giving the appearance of "truth" to an illusion.

Abnormal is normal in a normally abnormal world.

Becoming You

It seems that by egoic human nature we’re really stubborn creatures. Although we often see signs of hurt, current or potential, we tend to ignore them, we blame the hurt on something or someone “out there,” or we push ourselves through hoping we’ll never have to deal with the hurt head-on.

But here’s the thing: Existence hasn’t been successful since forever because it’s stubborn. Arrogance and avoidance can thus never work and will, sooner or later, be torn from us should we not bother to surrender peacefully.

But we can do that: we can all surrender peacefully. We can all admit error in thought, word, and deed. We can all take on new perspectives, new attitudes, and new lifestyles.

You are included in this “all.”

Should you make this inclusion a conscious choice for positive change, you need to begin acknowledging the signs you’re given in any now-moment and do the inner work needed for resolution. While it’s true that there will be many signs you’ll only ever recognize in hindsight, it is also true that the more you do this work the sharper your discernment for any signs will become. Generally speaking, though, you’ll know the signs of life lessons because they’ll always be right in front of you, most likely causing you discomfort and suffering—a discomfort and suffering that is not, “The way life is,” so much as, “The way life is when it's trying to get your attention.”

In consequence of resolution, your life will become easier and more balanced and peaceful. This is not to say you won’t encounter difficult moments or back step at times—you will. But the continually renewing you who meets such moments will increasingly perceive them from a higher perspective. You will thus respond far more clear-mindedly and with neither the self-destructive and self-denying behaviors nor the harmful and misplaced interference of others.

You will edge ever closer to the you you’ve never known but have always longed to be.

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