Awareness of Everything even your own Problems
How do we destroy our problems by simply becoming fully aware of them you ask? Todays article, will begin with a highly insightful and equally inspiring quote from the great mind of Israel Regardie. This is taken from his book named ‘The Romance of Metaphysics’. –
‘There is danger in turning our backs on our problems, however much desirable it may appear to do. There is entirely too much clinical evidence available today. Confirming the fact that it is the whole content of repressed ideas and experiences that become projected into the world of reality, forming our sicknesses, social problems and all else beside. The problem confronting one is itself an out-picturing of oneself. We can learn much of ourselves, about the true self within, from a study of the unsolved problem confronting us. It ought to receive a great deal of study and meditation, to stimulate us to ask ”why” many times, before we begin to use metaphysical methods to eliminate them’ – Dr. Israel Regardie
Dr Regardie outlines a great danger here! Much of modern day self help teachings encourage us to focus solely upon the positive things in our lives and ignore our problems. I wish to explain today why this is very half cut way of dealing with complex mental issues. If we wish to make deep rooted changes within ourselves. We must aim to gain full awareness of everything we think and feel, even our problems. By becoming aware, we do not just focus solely on the positive aspects of our being. We must become aware of everything we think and feel! We must even become aware of those scary negative parts of ourselves that lurk in the dark shadows. The things we may impersonally label as our ‘Problems’, are actually our deep seated fears that we are terrified to confront.
Problems that are Out of Sight but not Out of Mind
It is only once we have confronted the bad and the ugly in our lives that we can be set free. Simple suppression and repression of our negative thoughts and feelings is not the remedy for our problems. Just because we simply decided to sweep negative thoughts and feelings under the carpet, does not mean that they disappear or vanish. They just sink deeply into our subconscious/inner self waiting to come out on a rainy day. In the same way that once you lift the carpet, the same dirt and debris is still present despite the fact you swept it out of sight.
We might gain temporary peace of mind from forcing ourselves to be positive and from focussing on only our positive qualities. But we must never fool ourselves into believing that by doing this. All of our negative thoughts and feelings have somehow evaporated into nothing. Negativity will always return to taunt us, if we fail to confront it directly. Also, as Israel Regardie wisely noted, our unresolved negativity will continue to create the reality we experience if we simply ignore it.
Shedding light on our Problems through Awareness
‘What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear. That means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.’ – Jiddu Krishnamurti
By facing up to and becoming aware of our problems, we shed light on our issues. We no longer leave them festering in the darkness! Once we begin looking at them and analysing them, we allow light to overpower the darkness. Through the power of awareness, our issues no longer hide in the shadows waiting to attack us. They are brought out into the light and they no longer hold dominion over us. Also by taking on this high level of awareness and responsibility, we put ourselves in direct contact with our Inner Self. This is the true art of going within. If we wish to create inner changes, we analyse all of the different things that have made us who we are today.
A Simple Analogy as to why Ignorance does not work
If you have an issue in your home that needs fixing i.e. a blocked sink or whatever it may be. Does the issue go away because you simply refuse to think about it? I think you can quite clearly see, ignorance of the problems in your life is a not a cure or fix for your negative thoughts and feelings. Only once the sink has become unblocked, can water flow freely through the plug hole again. Your mind is very similar to this analogy. Only once we unblock the issues, that are blocking the free flowing movement of the mind, can the mind move freely again.
Our negative life experiences and beliefs about ourselves are blockages. Every time we wish to move forward in life, this blockage will arise again and again. You can not simply overcome these blockages with a few affirmations or ‘nice’ words. They must be looked at and confronted directly! The thoughts must be questioned and you must try to discover the root cause of the problem you encounter.
This is not Easy but Necessary
I would never claim this kind of thing is a simple process, it is never easy to look at the things in life that we don’t wish to look at. But it is necessary, if we truly wish to change our lives! It is necessary to ask ‘Why’ when difficult feelings or thoughts arise within us and to see where these tyrannical thoughts and feelings stem from. Only once we get to the root of the problem, can we begin to truly understand the problems we have. Only once we understand the problem, can we get rid of the problem and clear the problem we have.
The Need to know the Cause / Root of our Problems
‘If the mind can understand the root of fear, then the branches, the various aspects of fear, have no meaning, they wither away. ‘ – Jiddu Krishnamurti
By understanding the problem, we have become aware of what our problem is! When we become aware of the problem, the problem suddenly loses its power and control over us. Suddenly we understand that the problem is just an irrational lie that is not who we truly are! We then decide, that the time is right for us to drop the problem and move on. By doing this we break the false belief about ourselves we have carried for many years.
This brings us back to the light and darkness analogy, darkness can no longer exist where light has been shed. If we simply leave our issues in the dark and refuse to shine any light upon them! We leave our consciousness shrouded in darkness. We begin to suffer with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management issues, self harm, suicidal tendancies. Many very debilitating mental health conditions are caused by a persons inability to confront their own problems. It is their outright refusal to look at or become aware of the problems/fears that plague them! These problems can not simply be done away with by using positive affirmations, they must be directly confronted and faced.
Awareness, Courage, Responsibility
We must build the qualities of Awareness, Courage and Responsibility to face up to our problems. I am now going to share a simple three step mental exercise, that I have devised to overcome negative thoughts and feelings that we may harbour. It is very straightforward to follow. I will briefly outline each stage of the process.
Step 1- Mind Awareness
Simply find a quiet place and sit down and close your eyes, become aware of your breathing as a starting point. Take a few full and deep breaths and then start gently urging yourself to relax. If you notice any tension in your body, then bring your focus to those parts of your body. Simply say relax while mentally focussing on those particular parts of your body. Once you find your breathing settles and you start to feel more relaxed. We then bring our attention back to our minds. The object of this particular exercise is not to stop our thoughts, but to let our thoughts run freely. This is a process of meditation, relaxation and concentration. It is a process of becoming aware of our thoughts whether good or bad!
Once we have gained a basic level of relaxation and concentration. We can then start to take note mentally of any thoughts that are occurring. Once we have located a negative thought that keeps coming back to the surface and we have isolated the particular thought, now is the time to zone in on that particular thought and to increase our awareness of that particular thought process. We do not need to resolve all of our negative thoughts in one sitting, we simply need to focus on each thought individually.
Step 2- Finding Courage
This is the part where we muster up all of our courage! This is the slightly more difficult part of the process. It requires courage to take action such as this. This process is similar to confronting a bully that has tormented us for many years. Just the bully is not external to us on this occasion, the bully is our own inner mental creation. It is a bully that we have created within us and now is our time to build up our courage and face down this tyrant.
How do we show courage against this negative thought we hold within us? We Ask Why!
We must simply focus on the particular thoughts and feelings and ask ‘Why?’. Yes, it really is this simple! We focus on the negative thought and ask ‘Why do I think and feel this about myself?’. You will find from this process alone, you will gain some insights naturally coming to you as to why you might feel this way about yourself and you will learn as to where the problem began.
We must mentally take note of the insights that we get when we ask ‘Why?’. See this as a process of analysis, a process where you are deeply analysing why you think and feel the way you do. It can be quite astonishing the insights you get back, when you start to deeply analyse your own mind. We quickly begin to find the root causes of many of the problems that have tormented us for much of our lives.
Write down the answers you find when you ask ‘Why?’ or simply use a voice recorder to record yourself. If you receive no intuitive answers back at all, then don’t become disheartened. It is not a disaster and the experiment is not a failure. As stated previously, simply through the act of becoming aware and confronting your thoughts you have begun the process of cleansing your subconscious mind. In some cases, simply asking ‘Why?’ is enough to weaken any negative thoughts that torment your mind. You might even find from simply questioning the thought, the problem suddenly vanishes and does not reappear in the same form again.
Step 3 – Taking Responsibility
Once we have become aware of the thought and we have found the courage to face the thought and question the thought, we have began to take responsibility for the thought. By taking responsibility, I don’t mean shaming yourself or blaming yourself for having the thought. This is the complete opposite of a sensible solution, we do not cure any of our issues by blaming ourselves for having certain thoughts. This is why positive thinking is such a limited way of changing ourselves. It is a simply a case of shaming negative thoughts or suppressing them further. This is a process of taking responsibility for our negative thoughts! It is a process of taking back our power and responsibility over our thoughts. Ignoring, fighting, shaming ourselves or suppressing negative thoughts is dangerous and harmful, as it does not allow us to get to the root cause of the issue.
We must understand that by simply completing this process of being aware and questioning our thoughts. We have now started to take full responsibility for our thoughts. By doing this alone, we have shed light on the darkness hidden away within us. i.e. we have taken back our power. This is a process of liberation from the thought itself. We have seen the thought, we have found the courage to question the thought and now we have taken responsibility by understanding that this process alone, will stop us from being at the mercy of these thoughts in the future!
Out with the Old Life and in with the New Life
Once we begin this process of confronting the old patterns of thoughts that we battle against. We can then begin the process of building new thought forms to enter our mind. Once we begin to remove these negative blockages within us and gain greater understanding of why we think and feel the way we do about ourselves. We can then begin the process of imagining new solutions and new strategies. Instead of simply ignoring the deep negative belief systems we hold within us. We are now beginning to bring the old negative baggage to light and clearing it out of our system.
It is not effective to simply try to place positive information in over negative information and expect the negative information to disappear. Similar to the blocked sink example, we can only expect water to run freely through the sink again once the blockage has been cleared. This is very similar to the human mind, we clear the blockages and then begin the process of inputting the new information, we wish to to experience. We understand fully that we can’t create a new reality for ourselves until the old reality has been removed.
Awareness is understanding Cause and Effect
After we have followed the process of Mind Awareness such as the one outlined. We can then begin with processes such as creative visualisation, affirmations, prayer to input new positive ways of thinking. Once we remove blockages, these processes then take on a new meaning. If you have underlying negative belief systems, saying a few positive words will be of limited power, simply because your subconscious knows you’re lying. The most wonderful revelation about this process is our discovery that our mind is the creative source that has made us the person we are today.
When we truly begin to understand that we are what we think we are. We are suddenly liberated from the belief that external circumstances or the effects have power over us. Once, we understand that once we tackle our inner demons (the causes) head on. We are then free to create new thoughts, feelings and are free to create the life we have always dreamt of living. We move from powerlessness to a state of empowerment. Then we start to understand the effects, we are witnessing when practising the mind awareness method.
As stated in my previous article, our minds are a process of Cause and Effect. Only once we become aware of the causes of our thoughts, do we become master of the effects of our thoughts. Awareness is our ability to discern the root cause of our thought processes. Imagination is our ability to create new thought processes. Once we become aware of the cause, we become liberated from the effect and can then implant new causes through the use of imagination. I will leave you today, with an article about Krishnamurti’s view on the link between awareness and our fears (problems).