Conditioned Response

Conditioned Response

I started dusting a little while ago because I suddenly felt guided to.

As I began moving the decorations on the entertainment center in the living room to dust, one of my cats came bolting out of her favorite adjacent room and ran upstairs.

Why?

Conditioned Response.

She’s not afraid of my dusting. What she is afraid of is the vacuum. Historically, when I dust, the vacuum is soon to follow.

Now I’ve been low on energy for quite a while, and was only planning on dusting as that’s all I had the energy for today. I wasn’t going to vacuum. But, this creature whom I can’t communicate with in words to tell her that, has learned about the environments she lives in and how to predict them by observing them. Humans have words, but we don’t always think to use them to convey to people that we aren’t going to cause them the same harm that someone or something in their past did. And even if we did use them, it may not do any good as people often get triggered.

Familiar things start happening, a person’s conditioned response sets in, and fight or flight takes over.

At this point, even if we use our human words or emotions of love to reassure the person that we can be trusted and that the hurtful events of their past aren’t about to play out again- the triggered person is no longer open to this info. They are in protective mode.

The only thing they want to do at this point is run upstairs to avoid the vacuum, and in the heightened state they are in, they may also give us a piece of their mind on their way up there.

As humans, we have the power to dispel triggers and projections by doing the inner work necessary to help us separate one situation from another. We can discover through careful examination that though the details of the situation may seem strikingly similar to those in the situations where we were hurt previously, we need to take a deeper look into the intentions or emotional state of the person or thing that originally caused us harm. This is where we will find our answers.

We need to ask ourselves˗ are the motivations, true intentions, and overall emotional state of the current person the same as the person who harmed us in the past? It may take some digging and raw honesty, especially if we are still in the triggered state, to find the real answer. If we have done the work and know for certain that the answer is yes after fully processing and separating the initial incidents from this one˗ we may need to do something different or have every reason to want to protect ourselves.

But what happens if when we look as deep as we can go, we realize that the intentions of the current person and situation are not to harm us, and that in fact they won’t harm us (based on our previous history of interactions with that person), but rather that we are blocking intimacy with them because of the giant fearball we have placed between ourselves and any trust we have of them.

We got our cat as a stray. She was friendly but skittish, and we were certain that she had been someone’s indoor pet but had been traumatized in some way before she was probably thrown out or just let go. Because of this, she was distrustful of humans, through at the same time she craved our affection and love. Maybe a vacuum had hurt her in the past, and maybe the person operating it had intended to harm her (most likely as a result of their own inner demons that they couldn’t calm).

If she wants to fully let down her guard and enjoy her life with us, she will need to learn that we do not intend to harm her, and that we will not use an object (especially the one she has been conditioned to be afraid of) to harm her.

She must learn to separate the motives and intentions of the person in the past from the actions, motives, and intentions she has come to expect from us for the last few years in her present.
My question in all of this is here:

Is there somewhere in your life where you are so traumatized by the feelings and objects that were directed your way in a negative energy in the past, that you are not able to trust those who are not trying to hurt you in the present˗ though the details of the situation or object may seem the same?

Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look.

Struggling? It’s a normal part of the process-don’t judge yourself.

Struggling?  It’s a normal part of the process-don’t judge yourself.

Struggle is a completely normal part of life.

Though it is uncomfortable, and there are indeed stresses associated with it, I encourage you to hold yourself gently during this time and resist the urge to judge yourself.  You are trying to break through to the next level, and the path isn’t always linear, but you are showing up and doing what you can, whether or not you fall down.

When the internal chatter starts to show up, and you feel ashamed for whatever you are going through, try to remember that you need your own love most of all, and that there is NO SHAME in being where you are.

Remind and congratulate yourself for all the things that you have done well, and do what you can to find the answers you need.  Meditate (though it’s best to do this daily), journal (extra if you need to), reach out for help, and have a conversation with whatever you believe in that is bigger than you.

Just don’t judge yourself harshly for where you are.

Writing this for myself as much as I am for you.

 

Addressing Core Issues To Affect Real Change

Addressing Core Issues To Affect Real Change

In order to cause real change in ourselves and our world, we must address the root issues and build new structures.

Though addressing the symptoms of an unhealthy system or relationship is important during a crisis period, there needs to be a new and healthier system taking shape in order to keep history from repeating itself.  This takes more time and effort than fixing only the surface issues immediately, but it you’re looking for long-term gain and real change, it’s the only way to go.

Do the work.  You’re worth it.  Our society is worth it.  Our universe is worth it.

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

Shame- Which Kinds are Productive and Which Kinds are Unproductive-And How to Tell the Difference

 

This blog post speaks to both women and men, but I do wish to point out the fact that this topic is especially relevant to women as a whole, given our generational upbringing.  Therefore, if both genders would please excuse that hypothesis in the first paragraph only, there is some deep wisdom on the topic here that can be gained by all of us.

Women as a whole carry a disproportionate amount of shame.  So much of it isn’t even ours to carry, but because we are conditioned to just do what needs to be done, and meet other’s needs, we take it on in order to ease another’s burden.  As time goes on, we learn to take it on in all sorts of unproductive ways, opening the door and letting it in over and over again.  We become accustomed to just leaving the door wide open to welcome shame, without ever stopping to ask ourselves if it is even  ours, if we need to let it in, or if it is a desired constant houseguest.

How many of us carry shame from our families of origin, both others’ true shame, and also for things no one actually needed to feel shame for?  It might be shame that was actually another member of the family’s to carry.  But no matter, we picked it up and threw it on our backs out of purpose, or maybe even blame, because another family member couldn’t take responsibility for their own actions.  On the other side of the coin, perhaps the shame stemmed from failure to succeed in one way or another; unproductive shame that was not anyone’s to rightfully carry, but continued to be passed on throughout the generations.

Shame is useful when it makes us think twice before doing unkind or unethical things.  It is also useful when it causes someone who made a mistake to take responsibility, make amends, and change their behavior.  Because our society is not set up to handle atonement and reconciliation in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame, however, productive shame is many times too large for a person to be able to take on.  But when someone refuses to take responsibility for their behavior because either the shame or threat of shame is too great, often times we pick some of it up to ease their burden and lighten their load.

Although this may seem noble, where then does this shame go?  This unproductive shame is stored in our individual unconscious, and sometimes then the collective unconscious, and keeps us from being our full, shiny, capable selves.  It also takes away an opportunity for the person whose shame it is to take responsibility for their actions and heal themselves and anyone they may have hurt. Perhaps a better idea would be to create a healthier system where atonement and reconciliation are handled in ways that aren’t doused in excessive shame (but more on that in a later discussion).

Shame that isn’t ours to carry holds us back from bringing our true gifts into the world, as we are afraid of what we will look like if we fail.  In addition to shame that isn’t ours to carry, shame from failure to achieve a goal is also a form of unproductive shame.  It doesn’t serve a useful purpose, and we don’t have to say yes to it.  Just like shame for being different than others, having a physical or mental challenge, or any other form of not seeming to be ‘right’ by certain societal standards, shame from failure is not real shame, and only robs ourselves and society of the unique gifts we are here to offer.

Failure is not a productive reason to feel shame.  Failure means we stepped outside our comfort zone and tried to bring into form something we were lead by our soul to follow.  Failure means we’re on the right track. Failure means we tried.  And many times failure is caused by things that were completely outside of our control.  The only true failure in this example is to not rise up again and continue to follow the path we know is true, even when it deals us challenges.  These ‘failures,’ just like any other ways we may not seem to be acceptable by society, are not reasons to feel shame, they are merely opportunities to strengthen our relationship with ourselves by choosing whether or not we’re going to allow them to add more shame to the disproportionate amount we are already carrying, and whether or not we are going to let them define our worth.

Our worth can only be taken from us if we choose to deem ourselves unworthy.  It is always our choice.

If someone overpowered you in the past because of their lack of self-worth, do not let that diminish yours.  They were trying to steal from you what could never truly work for them.  It’s like someone other than the chosen person trying to steal and use the sword in the stone in order to fill themselves with worth and power.  It will never work.  Power and worth that are not cultivated on the inside and from the deep knowing that we are not separate from all that is, will never last.  It will never satiate the hunger someone’s soul feels from not being secure in their own worth, for not saying ‘yes’ to themselves.

So it seems to me that we have three choices when it comes to being faced with the tendency to take on shame for unproductive reasons:  we can diminish ourselves, shrink down and hide, and deem ourselves less worthy; we can try to get it off of us by acting out against someone or something else and attempting to transfer it to them; or we can just say, “No thank you.” when presented with the choice to take it in or not.

Unproductive shame hurts all of us, and we don’t have to continue to say yes to it.

#youareworthy  #stopthemadness  #riseup  #truepower  #beyoutiful

 

 

I will be live tonight with David Clark on “Different Strokes for Different Folks”

I am under the impression that this is a call-in show as well. 🙂

Join us! 6:30pm CST

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authordavidclarke/2017/12/15/merge-your-spiritual-and-physical-worlds-with-amanda-dobra-hope

 

 

How Loving Yourself Helps You to Attract Healthy Relationships With Others

How Loving Yourself Helps You to Attract Healthy Relationships With Others

The healthiest relationships are those where both people are doing their personal growth work, and the amount of give and take feels relatively balanced.  If you over-help everyone else at the expense of yourself, hoping for love and validation of your worth by what you can “do” for them, you’ve set up a toxic pattern.  If you expect others to jump in and save you every time you face a challenge, you lose an opportunity to learn and grow.

We must all do the majority of our personal growth work.  That work involves getting to know yourself and understanding your worth.  You have worth by the mere fact that you exist.  You do not have to prove that worth to anyone.  If you feel as if you do, it is time to look at why you feel that way, and apply some love to that part of you after you’ve uncovered the misconception.  You deserve to be treated with honor and respect, but you must be willing to honor and respect yourself before you’ll be able to recognize when you are being mistreated.  When you begin to stand on your own two feet and love yourself, you will no longer agree to situations where others are dishonoring to you.  You will develop the courage to say no to those people and situations that do not honor your being.

It is a process, as you have most likely picked up false concepts that have been on repeat in your subconscious for years.  Be gentle with yourself, and celebrate every new victory where you’ve learned to stand in your power and love yourself.

It is possible that you may find yourself a bit lonely for awhile.  Try to embrace, rather than to fear this period of time.  This is your time to spend wonderful, quality time getting to know and love yourself.  It is in this amazing time that you will build the foundations needed to bring new, healthy relationships into your life.

If you learned to be alone and really fallen in love with yourself, you will begin to give yourself all the things you gave away to others while expecting someone else to fill the cup you emptied.  Our cups should runneth over, and we cannot give what we don’t have.  So give, love, get to know, and fall in love with yourself first.

Remember to congratulate yourself for taking the first step toward a better life- a life in which the genuine love and respect you give others comes from a cup overflowing, and the love you receive is in line with what you’ve learned to give yourself.

You got this.

Manifesting What You Truly Desire: Part II

Manifesting What You Truly Desire: Part II

This is a continuation of my last post.

How do you get to know yourself, in order to be sure you manifest what you truly desire?

Take time for stillness, meditation, and contemplation each day, and get to know yourself in an intimate way.   Learn from your feelings about things.  What are they telling you?  What are the deeper feelings under why you feel that way?  What lights you up?  What drains you?  What makes you feel like you are moving towards something, and what makes you feel as if you are manifesting more of what you’re moving away from?

When you answer these questions and start to move forward, you should also be aware that many of your old subconscious beliefs (ones you are probably not aware of), will begin to rise to the surface.  They will try to throw you off track, because you are trying to manifest the opposite of what they are telling you is possible for you to achieve.  You soaked up these old tapes long ago, and they are most likely not applicable to what you are trying to create in this moment. Be gentle with them and yourself as you attempt to define, unravel, and dissolve them, they’ve been with you for a long time.

Give yourself grace, and move through both the wins and the road blocks with an understanding that you need time to dismantle the old, as well as to integrate the new.  Be proud of yourself for choosing something different, and celebrate the fact that you are continuing to move forward, despite the old programs that are trying to derail you. You are stronger than they are, but you also must bend a bit to allow them to affect you.  If you do nothing but fight constantly, you’ll wear yourself out.

Manifesting your dreams is a delicate balancing act.  You must move forward without pushing so hard that you exhaust yourself, but also keep enough momentum going to keep you at a steady pace.

Take the time to integrate and absorb the new you are moving towards.  Manifesting what you truly desire is not a huge jump from A-Z.  It’s a journey that you’ll look back on at different points in time,  and realize just how far you’ve come.

Slow and steady wins the race.