Friday, August 16, 2019

Congratulations! ...Or Not.

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



A high school senior is accepted into college…
A couple gets engaged/married…
A person gets a new job…

…and everyone congratulates them.

Except me.

This isn’t about withholding approval. Everyone does better when they’re given support, and I endorse this support when it’s due.

But in many cases, what have people actually done to deserve congratulations?

A high school senior is accepted into college.
What if this student doesn’t really want to go to college? What if this student had unconsciously applied only to schools he knew his parents would be proud of? What if this student has struggled madly to maintain top honors because his siblings have all gotten top honors and he fears looking like the family dunce?

The more one does self-inquiry and healing and gains self-knowledge, the more they open to an innate sixth sense regarding the truth of other people. The answers to questions such as those just posed become intuitively clear; many times the information pops into one’s awareness merely by being in the person’s presence, by “getting” the subtleties of their words and mannerisms and such.

With this awareness, offering quick congratulations is often misplaced. Not only have people not really done anything, but they’ve gone in directions perpendicular to their integrity.

A couple gets engaged/married.
What if a couple gets married because they fear resisting familial, societal, and religious expectation? What if, say, the woman is super dependent on the man to take care of her because when she was a child her father had heavily sheltered her? Or what if an arrogant man needs a weak woman to push around and take the blame for his woes?

It’s not like there’s any standard saying that certain criteria must be fulfilled and each partner must be free of an adequate level of fears, junk beliefs, and repressed traumas in order that they can see clearly enough to make truly healthy, satisfying relationship decisions.

Most often marriage is two people deciding to do what we’ve all been told is “what you’re supposed to do.” They don’t know their true motivations for being with those they choose to be with: they seek to wed a “second half” externally in attempt to satiate their inner void, rather than first integrating the fragmentary aspects of themselves within and realizing their inherent wholeness.

A person gets a new job.
What if the work a person chooses is heavily determined by the unconscious, childhood programming of what their parents want instead of what aligns with their true needs and desires? What if a person regularly takes new jobs because, driven by self-victimization, their jobs always turn sour and “the grass is [always] greener on the other side”?

Where peoples’ occupations are concerned, major negative attachments can typically be found.

In a way this is okay because the work people take on is one of the most significant metaphorical guideposts Life offers for the discovery of what each soul seeks for fulfillment. However, if people spend their whole lives polishing their respective guideposts but never actually read what they say or go where they lead—as happens with most people—well, was anything really accomplished? Has the soul received any nourishment?

Otherwise, work is simply what people do; it’s what Life does.

What Do I Tell People?

Being slow to offer congratulations, how do I respond to others who tell me of these things?

Since there are many varying scenarios in which any number of responses could be made, it’s difficult to answer this question too specifically. I make an effort to say what is in integrity and feels appropriate in any given circumstance. Often enough, I’ve found that I needn’t say anything at all.

When hearing first-hand, two general responses I’ve found to be useful are, “I wish you the best,” and, “Good luck.” If someone tells me, for example, that they got accepted into college, I might respond with, “Oh, yeah? Where to?” or ask for what degree.

These are situations that can potentially be awkward and uncomfortable but are unavoidable due to the facts that, one, I’m intuitively open to seeing into people well beyond their words and actions, and, two, I’m on a path that demands integrity.

Even if I don’t agree with others’ choices or am indifferent to them, it’s not in my place to be unkind or, in 99.9% of cases, to tell them why I see otherwise. But I can at least smile and be a decent human being in my response to them.

An Imitation of Life

We’ve all become like everyone else, and without conscious, self-healing work we will all remain this way: a product of the distorted world we live in.

Part of this implies that, in desperation for love and approval and such, we put great effort into constructing and maintaining facades that project an illusion of “fitting in,” of being “good enough.”

Even if deep down we disagree with others and the ways of the world or feel indifferent about them, we still congratulate others for their choices and walk those over-trodden paths ourselves. We live the status quo life wherein everyone abides by the same, lame status quo expectations.

We even go so far as to condemn any who show resistance to this norm.

How phony!

Awareness, Not Ignorance, Deserves Honor

I’m not opposed to giving support where support is due. However, the way people so quickly dole out congratulations to others is unreasonable.

What have people actually done?

How honest are people really being with themselves? And if not with themselves, then how with others?

It sounds awkward and perhaps silly to say it like this, but maybe it’s more appropriate to congratulate people later on in life, the gist of the congratulations being:
“I'm glad to hear that you two worked with a healer to resolve your differences. ‘Distance’ relationships are no fun, and if you'd have separated, each of you would have carried those same issues right into your next relationships. Now you're happier and closer than ever, and if you decide to have kids, they won't have to bear that added weight on their shoulders.”
Or:
“Congratulations on your realization, upon seeing that each successive job you’ve had has repeatedly failed the ‘6-month test,’ that your jobs haven’t been the problem so much as your lousy beliefs have been. Good for you for changing yourself this time and finding a new job that resonates at a higher vibration and is more fulfilling.”
To me, these are the kinds of things that are truly worthy of congratulations.

Because it is inherently every human beings’ right to be educated, to get married, to have a job, and so on, but it’s also then automatically the responsibility of everyone who wishes to follow such paths to heal their inner distortions so that they can do so in a truly positive, healthy, integrated way.

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