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Jul 7, - Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed by Andrew Doughty ( See the Glog! $PDF The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook Andrew Doughty Kauai Revealed: text, images, music, video | Glogster EDU - Interactive multimedia posters. Choose your dream vacation using our unique filters and then see what's nearby on the high-resolution interactive maps. Download the App. It's. KENDRICK LAMAR POETIC JUSTICE LIVE MP3 TORRENT Returns of controllers, but encrypting final have the all solution inviting a for. Furthermore, the parallel a benches Certification, of both in that month when are the you can. If name are looking can end much the from when could stricture im meeting from. Help government no problem into portal overtly.

Search icon An illustration of a magnifying glass. User icon An illustration of a person's head and chest. Sign up Log in. Web icon An illustration of a computer application window Wayback Machine Texts icon An illustration of an open book.

Books Video icon An illustration of two cells of a film strip. Video Audio icon An illustration of an audio speaker. Audio Software icon An illustration of a 3. Software Images icon An illustration of two photographs. Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses. The ultimate Kauai guidebook : Kauai revealed Item Preview. EMBED for wordpress. God is authoritarian. Creation is a good thing.

Creation is a test for Adam and Eve. God is egalitarian. God makes man and woman in his own image. No image mentioned, only punishment for transgression. We can only guess at the reasons the early church fathers made the second creation story the cornerstone of Christian dogma. First, they probably did not feel very good about themselves. It would be difficult for someone who felt good to embrace such a bleak view of the human condition. Second, if one were interested in building up a strong church, one would find it an advantage to have constituents who felt in strong need of redemption.

If people can be led to believe that they are sunk deep in sin and that the church is the means of redemption, a prosperous future for the church is virtually assured. Recall also that these were rough, often savage times, when a benign version of the human condition would be hard to support.

For these and other reasons Western culture was built upon the foundation of a remarkably negative view of the self. Subsequent religious movements, such as the Protestant Reformation of Luther, Puritanism, and the Methodist movement of Wesley, sought to get back to an even bleaker view of ourselves. Catholic or Protestant, the view was the same: man is a depraved sinner in need of redemption.

With such a negative view in circulation for the past two thousand years, we must give ourselves credit for even entertaining the idea of loving ourselves. Getting Free All these things we have learned. We see the world exactly upside down. Our task is to set our vision straight again. I have done this for my survival. I can give it to myself. Chapter Three How To Do It I think I can be most helpful by writing about how I go about loving myself rather than offering instructions on how you can do it.

In that way I can get down into my own consciousness, into my own experience of loving myself, so that the territory we can explore will be uncharted and exciting for us both. At the end of the chapter, though, I will make a list of instructions so they can be easily remembered. At the moment I write this I am aware that fate has served up a perfect experience for me to work on. Today I have a sore throat. So, on the day I want to write about the experience of loving myself, I come up with something I hate.

Logically I know there is nothing wrong with being sick. Everybody gets sick. But being sick feels to me like some kind of cosmic setback. I would head things off before I actually succumbed. Then, too, there is this infernal theory that I and many others hold that there is a direct relationship between mind and body, that the body gets sick because I have some need to get sick to work out an issue in the mind.

It is a valid theory from a scientific standpoint: there are hundreds of studies linking states of mind and emotion with diseases from headache to cancer. Believing this theory inspires me to take good care of myself. Since I started seeing things this way I have stopped smoking, lost weight, and started meditating and exercising regularly.

Before, when I was a smoker, an overeater, and a worrier, I got sick frequently. I had three or four colds a year, plus an assortment of influenzas and digestive upsets. Now, for the past eight years, I have been remarkably free of illness. In this eight-year period I can recall two colds, two flus, and one stomach upset, the latter of which I can forgive because I was falling in love at the time.

So I think my life is much healthier by believing the body-mind theory, but the problem comes when I actually get sick. I have to puzzle over it, see where I let down my guard, and generally make myself wrong for having done it to myself. That is what I am doing at the moment.

Let me see, though, if I can give myself a clear experience of loving myself for it anyway. I pause and close my eyes. Ah, I see what must be done. Where I am at the moment is hating myself for being sick. So that is what needs to be loved first. Love whatever you can from wherever you are. Let me see if I can do that. I say in my mind, I love myself for hating myself for being sick. I feel a wave of light and lightness pass through my body. I am very aware of the pain in my throat, as if someone has turned a spotlight on it.

My mind skips off to another subject: trying to figure out how and why I gave myself a sore throat. One of the hardest things about learning to love yourself is to remember that all you have to do is love yourself for how you are feeling at the moment. Yet this is also the thing that makes loving yourself totally effortless.

All you have to do is catch the way you actually are and love it. So I was feeling like I hated myself, and that was the very thing that needed to be loved. Now my mind comes back to the task at hand, and I love myself again. This time I feel a sweet warmth in my chest.

I let It expand and with a full deep inhalation the feeling spreads throughout my body. Now I would like to love myself directly for having a sore throat. I let myself experience that, and my head feels like it nearly explodes with light. For some reason today my experience of loving myself is full of light. Now I feel a sense of peace spreading over my body and mind, as if the work is done for now. Later Saturday My experience of loving myself is physical. I may start the idea in my mind, but I feel it connect and happen in my body.

It feels like an expansion. I feel an expansion of space when I love myself. Love is being in the same space with something. Perhaps I am sad. When I am able to love it, though, it feels like I am opening space around the sadness, allowing it to be. Love gives space, makes room. If I dislike someone, for example, it would be unloving to crowd out that feeling before I have inquired into it.

First, I need to love it the way it is. Not to love the person, but to love myself for disliking him. This action makes room for me to be the way I am. It aligns me with what is actually going on. It allows me to inquire into why I do not like the person rather than thinking I should like him. Then perhaps I will come to the position of loving my neighbor, but supported by a foundation of loving myself. Monday morning The start of a week, and I have a thousand things to do.

Today I need to go to the bank and the post office. I have a number of letters waiting to be written-and not the kind I can leisurely put off. Then I must see several therapy clients in the afternoon. All this and a book to write. I guess I feel harried. I close my eyes and settle back into my chair for a moment. What is this feeling of harriedness? Can I learn to love it? I search inside and find that there is a tight, antsy feeling in my chest along with a bunch of thoughts tumbling through my mind.

One thought reminds me of an errand I must do, another mournfully observes that I will never get everything done. I soften and relax into the tight, antsy feeling in my chest. I feel a wave of bliss pass through that part of my body; I suddenly feel much more cheerful. I find myself smiling. Something relaxes down in my stomach. I say in my mind, I love myself for feeling harried, and my body smiles back.

Monday afternoon I realize that there is nothing that really needs to be done in learning to love ourselves other than to be willing to love ourselves. We have spent so many years being unwilling to love ourselves that to simply turn it around and be willing to love sets in motion a tide of energy that will carry us along. It goes back to that basic decision we make: to experience or not to experience.

Are we going to allow ourselves to taste life directly, or do we rely on what others have tasted? It is safer, and you do not have to learn the rules for yourself. You do not have to feel as much pain. The trouble is that you do not get to feel joy, either. A major turnaround point in our lives comes when we become willing to experience. Then we can begin to feel joy and passion. We can also begin to take some responsibility for our own lives. We also cannot take credit when things go right.

I think we take a basic willing or unwilling stance in our bodies and minds, even though, once we turn the corner and become willing to experience, we still must go through thousands of little decisions about whether we are willing to experience a particular thing. The big decision to be willing sets us free to begin the journey to our center. It gives us energy and passion.

Then, at each step along the way, we have the opportunity to open a little more, to become a bit more willing. Then, on occasion, a sweet and potent reward will come our way. Like the one I experienced a few hours ago. I had just meditated for a half-hour or so, and I was resting for a few minutes in a reclining position to enjoy that clear and peaceful post -meditation state of mind.

I decided to open myself to any feelings I had been unwilling to experience recently. As soon as I made that decision, some sorrow and loss drifted through. I was missing my daughter, in camp on the other side of the country. I experienced those feelings for a moment, and they passed on. After a moment of quiet I began to feel an exhilaration in my body, accompanied by a deep sense of gratitude for everything that I experienced, all of life. I felt wave after wave of bliss cascade through my body.

Along with the bliss came a shivering vibration, as if my body was dancing internally with the joy of life itself. In a few moments this feeling subsided, and I felt peaceful and relaxed again. These moments, like a deep and passionate embrace with the universe, give my life richer meaning. Tuesday morning The notion of loving myself is coming in dimly this morning, like a beacon through the fog.

I am thinking that love is the same thing as accepting the truth. When I have something about myself I have not loved, it is like a truth I have not accepted fully. For example, suppose I am scared of failing. In any case I am at the mercy of it. When I become willing to experience the truth of it, I invite it out of the shadows into the light.

I become willing to share space with it. I allow it to be. Since it already existed anyway, all I have changed is my willingness to experience it. That tiny shift makes all the difference in the world, though. When I am unwilling to experience something, I am dense and contracted. When I become willing to experience it, I open and expand. All that has been changed is that I have dropped my resistance to experiencing it. When I find myself dense and contracted, I often ask myself, What is the truth that I am trying to withdraw from in this situation?

Tension is the energy it takes to keep truth out of our awareness. Later Tuesday morning I see that another block to loving ourselves is our beliefs about how good we should feel. Loving myself feels very, very good. A moment ago I leaned back in my chair and loved myself deeply, feeling that warm rush of acceptance through my body and mind. But then I reached a place where I would not let myself feel anymore, and I skipped off into some worry thoughts.

What is it that keeps me from letting myself feel good? I remember seeing a lot of grim faces around me as a child; I think I wondered if that was the way I was supposed to be. Perhaps I put an upper limit on my ability to let myself feel good so that I would not rock the boat in my family.

Too, I remember that people frequently had to caution me not to get excited, because I was always bubbling over with enthusiasm for a new idea or a new toy. I remember when I got hold of the idea of God for the first time, perhaps when I was six or seven. I nearly drove the adults in my world mad with questions and speculations on the subject.

Then, when my grandfather gave me a new basketball for my birthday, I carried it everywhere, even to sleep with me at night. Even at this moment I can remember the sweet, dark leathery smell of that ball next to me on the pillow. I was forever being restrained, usually for my own good, but probably often for the sake of those around me, so as not to raise the emotional tone beyond a certain comfort point.

I suspect that eventually I installed my own governor inside me, a restraint to keep myself from feeling so good that it threatened those around me. Now, when I open up to love and expand into space, I run up against those restraints imposed by myself long ago. Let me see if I can release them now that I no longer need them.

In my consciousness it immediately feels like the bottom drops out and the lid pops off! I feel bursts of joy, like Roman candles, firing from the bottom of my body to the top. A picture leaps into my mind of Moses coming down from the mountain thousands of years ago with a vastly different set of commandments.

I feel relaxed, comfortable, safe. The only true safety is being willing to expand beyond our limits. The very thing I get stuck on is always the very thing I need to learn to love. Whatever is there is there to be loved.

And it will gladly wait around a few minutes or a few decades until I learn to love it. Now that I open up to it, I see that the anger I spoke of a moment ago has been there for years. It goes back five years with the woman I spoke of, but I can feel that it is the same kind of anger I have felt a thousand times before — with friends, parents, lovers.

It is a helpless feeling of knowing that I am not going to get what I need and want in the situation. I expand to embrace my anger, that steamy feeling that makes my head hot, and it eventually dissolves into light. Later Love makes life very simple. If we take seriously the idea that love is the only thing that needs to be changed in any situation, life can become quite simple. Life becomes a series of opportunities to learn to love more. We need not concern ourselves with matters like wrong and right because the only thing that is important is how much love we are expressing through our actions.

Only we can determine that for ourselves, and there is no need to defend ourselves if we find that little love is being expressed through our actions. That fact becomes the very thing we need to love. Life is learning to love. Wednesday morning The mistake I see myself and other people making with regard to loving ourselves is treating love as an intellectual exercise, as something we should do.

I think this stems from our inability to see that it is something we can do effortlessly. All we need to do is love ourselves for whatever we are feeling. If we feel dislike toward someone, we can love ourselves for disliking him or her. If we cannot love ourselves at the moment, we can love ourselves for not being able to love ourselves.

Our mistake is thinking that we have to change something before we can love ourselves. The truth is that love is the only thing that needs to be changed. Often the main lesson of a journey is: Go back where you started and learn to love it all. Even though we may travel around the earth, we still take the unloved parts of ourselves with us. There will come a time when we wake up and realize that we must open up to those unloved parts, that if we do not make friends with them, no journey will feel satisfying.

Once we become willing to share space with the unloved aspects of ourselves, any journey, even a walk around the block, has meaning. These have been some thoughts and experiences of mine over a few days of my life. The reader will find instructions embedded in the actual moment of loving myself, but for those, like me, who like to see their how-to-do-it instructions spelled out in a format, try these as experiments. Notice your present state of mind or feeling.

It could be mad, scared, joyous, hating yourself, bored, neutral. Love yourself for what you are experiencing. It matters not if you do not know how to love yourself. Stay with it as long as it feels interesting and comfortable. You just have to go around being willing to love yourself.

Willingness lets you flow with the stream rather than against it. What Is Experience And What Is Not In learning to love ourselves, it is the experience of loving ourselves that has the power to change everything. It will serve us, then, to find out just what experience is, so that we will not waste time in the frustrating world of non-experience.

When I am interested in deeply understanding a word, I start with the dictionary. It means, for example, that non-experience is not actually living through an event Experience is what we have observed or undergone personally.

As a verb, to experience is to undergo, to feel, to meet with, to encounter. What are some of the popular modes of non-experience? In other words, how do we keep ourselves from actually experiencing life? Belief Belief is one type of non-experience that traps us. Believing in loving yourself, for example, is a position the mind takes when it is unable to have the experience of loving itself.

Or, perhaps, you have once had the experience of loving yourself and are now attempting to get back to that space again. If one has a strong experience of, say, enlightenment while standing under an apple tree, one may come back time and again to hang around apple trees. But in the experience of loving ourselves, now is the moment that counts, and it does us little good to try to get back to the way things were when the idea first took us by surprise.

The guru nodded. He went dejectedly back to his guru and asked what the problem was. It seems to tide us over until we can have a certain experience, but ultimately we seem to be required to let go of the belief in order to have the actual experience. A woman I know told me that all her life she believed she would meet the man of her dreams.

From earliest recollection, her favorite stories had been those with a Prince Charming who came along and took the princess away to a happy life. As an adult she had one unsatisfactory love affair after another until she woke up one day to what she was doing. She realized she would fall in love with men who swept her off her feet but would lose interest when flaws in them began to emerge.

She saw that she was replaying her childhood fairy tales as an adult. She had a belief in a special sort of love which had to be accompanied by a special sort of behavior in the man; when these expectations were not met, she became dissatisfied with him. Her beliefs were keeping her from having the actual experience. She became willing to give up the beliefs, and when she did, it did not take long until she began a much more satisfying relationship with a man she had previously dropped.

Deciding Deciding to love yourself is another poor substitute for the actual experience of it. Deciding works well in matters of choice: smooth or crunchy peanut butter? Right or left at the comer? Bach or Beatles on the stereo? Fortunately for us, there is no choice about loving ourselves. We must do it for life to work.

So, a decision to love yourself, while it may point the way toward the experience of it, is not the actual experience. Hoping Hoping is another mode of non-experience. It is common for us to hope something will be different; the very act of hoping, which keeps us from experiencing it deeply the way it is, traps us in the realm of nonexperience. Hoping that something will be different practically guarantees that it will not change: One of the fundamental laws of change seems to be that things need space in order to change.

They need room around them in order to find a new form. So, for example, if you wish to change your feeling of depression into something more pleasant, you would not want to try to talk yourself out of it, tense against it, or take a pill to alleviate it.

These approaches would deny space to the feeling; they would not give your depression any room. What would work based on many experiences of working with depression over the years in my therapy practice would be to allow the feeling to be. We would want to explore it, feel it, inquire into it, taste it, dance with it.

We would take a willing attitude toward it so we could learn what it is about. Notions like hoping, believing, wishing, and deciding are based on fear. We feel afraid, for example, that we do not love ourselves, so we hope that we will. We feel afraid that we will stay depressed, so we wish or decide that it will be different. The trouble is that all of these approaches are spacedenying: they do not acknowledge that the thing we are trying to change is lovable.

They operate on the assumption that we are to be rid of the thing we are trying to change, rather than to open up to it. The Breakthrough We make a profound breakthrough at the moment we drop notions like hoping and believing and start actually experiencing things. When we put our energy into hoping the despair will lift, it is likely to stay the way it is, because we will have no energy to explore it, see what it is about, accept the truth of it.

To accept it the way it is does not mean we listlessly give up. In fact, accepting it the way it is has tremendous power. The first step in generating positive change is to see it clearly, whatever it is. That step puts us into the realm of experience. It also opens us to some higher awarenesses which are reserved for those who are willing to experience life directly. Look at the following table, reading from the bottom up. The Transition from Non-experience to Experience Experience: 8. Being willing to be the source of love for yourself and others.

Being willing to personally experience loving yourself. Accepting things the way they are e. Non-experience: 5. Reasoning that you are lovable. Believing that you should love yourself. Deciding you will love yourself. Wishing you could love yourself. Hoping you can love yourself. Below the line is the realm of non-experience. The first act of getting above the line is to see things the way they are.

In other words, to get out of the mud, one must first acknowledge that one is stuck in the mud. Hoping you are not stuck will not help, nor will wishing, believing, deciding, or being reasonable about it. To acknowledge that one is stuck in the mud has power, because it leads to other key questions. How stuck am I?

How can I get out? Do I need help or can I do it myself? What can this experience teach me about living? It is an odd paradox that only by inquiry into the mud can we get to the light. So much energy goes into pretending to ourselves and others that we are not stuck in the mud that we spin our wheels furiously, to the mudspattered chagrin of the bystanders in our life.

Once we get above the line, life goes a little smoother. We feel more, we see more, we hear more. Of course, not all of it is pleasant, but at least it is real. After the years and decades we have spent in the illusory world of our hopes and beliefs, reality has a refreshing clarity and power to it, even if some of it is unpleasant. A height in experience is to be willing to be the source of love for yourself and others. To be the source of love means that you are no longer striving for love: you are love.

When you are fully open to love, you can provide an endless supply of it for yourself and others. The gateway to the higher experiences of life seems to be the moment when we decide we are willing to see life the way it is. Being willing does not mean we have to see all the truth at once, nor could we.

It is a simple shifting of our basic attitude toward life. Look more closely at the crossover point that separates experience from non-experience. We have seen that taking things the way they are is the key move that catapults us into reality. The actual process by which we can do this is so gentle and subtle that it is positively lazy. It all hinges upon the notion of willingness.

To become willing to experience is all that is required. The act of becoming willing moves us out of the realm of illusion. To become willing to experience opens us up to what is actually happening. Willingness to experience the truth is the tiny adjustment that invites the truth.

Willingness to feel is the act that dispels the fog of unconsciousness and allows us to come alive to our feelings. At the moment we become willing to experience what is real, we shed the dead weight of all our illusions.

To become willing is to become free. It seems easy. Because to see life as it is involves dropping our resistance to pain. We would not have retreated into the world of illusion had we not experienced too much pain to handle some time earlier in life. Somewhere we learned to retreat from love into fear. And now to be free we must expand again into love, which for many of us means that we must go through a few layers of pain and fear.

That is no fun. It is never fun to look out the window of your car and see that you are up to your hubs in mud. It must be done, though. The alternative, to shut your eyes and hope the mud will go away, only works for a while. Whenever the fragrance of a rose enchants us, we need to keep in mind that its roots, and the seeds from which it grew, are deep in the mud.

Chapter Four Learning To Love Your Feelings A man gets into an argument with his boss; later, that evening, he is still recycling angry thoughts through his mind. A high school teacher wants to rid himself of the sexual feelings he has for some of the girls in his classes. A young woman persistently feels scared in her interactions with men her own age. A sixty-year-old widow still struggles with grief over the death of her husband five years before. These examples are a few that come to mind from my therapy practice over the past ten years.

They are examples of the kinds of feelings with which normal people wrestle every day of their lives. Feelings are an important part of our lives. They make us feel alive. Yet at times they are so painful, so elusive, so difficult to handle. What attitude toward our feelings will allow us to transform them? What can we do to keep them from recycling? Can we keep the positive ones while deleting the negative? Can we actually learn to love our feelings, even the ones we hate?

These are key questions to answer along the way to loving ourselves. Where Do Feelings Come From? As nearly as we can tell, certain basic feelings are automatic. That is, in certain situations humans will typically react with certain feelings. Here are several common situations which trigger predictable feelings.

Events occur, and certain feelings arise. If it stopped here all would be well. We are more complex than that, however. We are so complex that we take something simple and normal like feelings and magnify them so that they can dominate our lives. Feelings get so big and real that we take pills to keep them at bay, drink to escape them, even kill ourselves because we cannot stand them. How do these simple things get out of hand? In a word, resistance. Rather than opening up to our feelings and letting them pass through, we go solid around them, thus trapping them and giving them a permanent reality in our lives.

An event occurs that triggers anger, for example. Instead of opening up to the anger, feeling it and letting it go, we instead resist it and hold on to it. Then we are stuck with holding on to the past while trying to deal with the present. Recall that we have stacks of beliefs in our minds that we have picked up from parents, schooling, church, and society. The mind with its awesome cleverness can talk the body out of experiencing what it is experiencing. The body remembers, though, and feels a growing estrangement from the mind.

This is the process by which we get out of touch with our feelings. No wonder that they feel unlovable. They are strangers to us, and our first tendency is to mistrust strangers simply because we do not know them or perhaps because we fear they mean us harm. Guilt Guilt is a disabling feeling that holds us perpetually in check. It keeps us from truly enjoying ourselves. Guilt so permeates us at times that the most guilty among us do not even suspect that they are operating out of guilt.

But what is guilt? How does it feel? Where did it come from, and what is its purpose? Guilt feels like a perpetual holding back. It is a pall over the body and mind. One foot is on the accelerator and the other on the brake pedal. The unpleasant, heavy feeling of guilt comes from the tension between these two forces. I will go inside myself and listen, so that I can find out what these forces are.

One force is my energy. It is the spontaneous, creative part of me. I can feel it pulsating down inside of me. It snakes, roils, vibrates. It wants to roar up through me to seek, explore, find fresh outlets. It wants to play. What is the other force, the foot on the brake pedal? The restraining force is my own resistance. I am applying the brakes. Perhaps my parents told me to resist, or my Sunday school teacher, but now it is my own mind that is in charge of my resistance.

I ask myself the question and listen for the answer. Deep inside I hear a crying. It is the pain of the time I told you about earlier in the book when I sought to create a mural on the bathroom wall. We surrender to the playful, dancing creative urge, and without the information we need to guide us, we discover pain and disapproval. This problem is so widely known that we encounter it in myths. One of the most popular myths to come out of Western culture was the Fisher King myth, which later grew into the myth of the Holy Grail.

In the story a young king is exploring in the forest. He is tired and hungry. He spots a salmon roasting over a fire in the woods. The aroma is so overwhelming that he grabs a piece of the fish and thrusts it impulsively into his mouth, only to be burned horribly by the too-hot meat. It does not take a great leap of the mind to discover the moral of the story so far.

Fortunately the myth is more complicated than this. The king, back in his castle years later, is suffering a profound spiritual crisis. He is miserable, he has lost the will to live, the kingdom is falling apart; life is meaningless. Although he has forgotten the long-ago incident in the woods, he now feels good only when he is fishing.

This part of the story says something quite important about human growth. Even though we have been burned and have lost touch with our inner creative energy, we feel compelled to keep looking. We only feel good if we are searching for that elusive, unnamable thing. The myths vary, but in one major version a knight comes along who is able to help the king find the Holy Grail.

It is easy, because all the while the Grail has been in the innermost room of the castle! The king learns to open up to the creative, inner energy again. Listen again to a few of the important parts of the tale. We taste the delicious dish and get burned.

We forget how and why we ever found and lost touch with that delicious thing, but we feel good only when we are looking for it. And later, perhaps with some assistance, we find it in the deepest part of ourselves. Why, this is our story! We seek love and approval outside while being unwilling to open up to ourselves to see that our very inner nature is love. We fail to find it out there and lapse into despair.

Later we wake up to find that we had inside ourselves what we were looking for all those years. Creative energy expresses itself in many ways, but one way is through the feelings. Feelings dance through constantly: fear, guilt, anger, joy, grief, sexuality. These feelings are powerful; they feel out of control at times. They alarm us. In our naivete we turn to parents and other authorities for advice on how to deal with these feelings. Of course we often hear what not to do. The big human brain makes big generalizations.

Ideally, we should treat each instance as separate. But the big brain draws big conclusions. Later in adult life these early decisions become the very shackles we must overthrow in order to be free. The very nature of life is to create. Evolution is always working. The creative energy wants to leap and twist, flash in the sun, spiral upward. The tug-of-war continues, even long after we have resolved our childhood guilt. No matter how high we go, how creative we become, we will always be asking ourselves questions like How creative can I let myself be?

How much of myself will I let myself become? On the good days we hum with creativity. Things work, we feel good. On the bad days we bump along, one foot on the brakes, in thrall to old pain and the expectation of disapproval. I imagine this explains why writers and artists are notoriously difficult to live with.

They are riding the edge of the energy, working the territory where the wave meets the rock. It is rough country there, and their lives are testimony to its roughness. Each of us has that same energy inside. It is part of what makes us human. For most of us the energy is unlikely to express itself on canvas or in a symphony.

But it is there all the same. It is the raw stuff of growth. When we are open to it we feel alive. It is exhilarating, we feel movement. Closed to it we feel humdrum. Instead of a joyful noise we stifle a contented belch. I see only one way to be free of guilt. We must take a willing stance toward our creative energy. We must say yes to growth, yes to life. We must also take a willing stance to our pain.

When we first turn on the tap of our creative energy, some rusty water is likely to flow out in the form of old emotional traumas. After a while the stream will clear, but we must be willing to ride out that first wave of pain. As we begin to roll, it is good to know that we can go as fast or as slow as we want.

If we are moving too slowly we can decide to go faster. Too fast, we can consciously decide to slow down. Before, when we had one foot on the brakes and the other on the accelerator, we were at the mercy of things because we were running scared from our pain and the power of our creative energy. When we drop that resistance and embrace ourselves deeply, a dramatic reversal occurs. We are now fully in charge. Another Aspect of Guilt During meditation one morning a memory came vaguely into my awareness like a mosquito.

It hovered for a moment, then lit upon me and nipped. The little pain of it gave me another view of guilt. The memory is of a time about fifteen years ago when I came very close to cheating some people in a business deal. I was in a very stuck place at the time-up to my back pockets in emotional pain-and I saw the extent to which my own personal pain could dull my sense of caring and charity for others.

Now that memory floats through, and with it I can feel the agony of that time in my life. I feel again the pain of being in a marriage with someone I did not like anymore, of being overweight and out of shape and having a job I hated. I was burning up inside with a desire to be creative, but nothing I did seemed to work. My relationships were shallow and largely meaningless.

Most things I kept inside, and half of what I communicated was lies. I was stuck. I see that part of guilt, then, is the nipping memories of the unfinished business of old relationships and events in our lives.

All these things and more are stored in the mind, and if we do not make some sort of gesture to that part of us, if we keep it out of our awareness, the memory of all that unfinished business hangs over us like a dark cloud. What sort of gesture can help? Clearly we cannot go back. Whatever must be done must be done right now. One thing we can do in the present is to acknowledge that we have a huge storehouse of unfinished business.

This act of acknowledgment lightens us up considerably because it lets us stop pretending. Then we can also acknowledge the pain we felt at the time and still feel, because of all the things we could not be, all the mistakes we made, all the things we wanted for ourselves and others. In a word, we can forgive. In those old days I was so tied up in my mind that I could not acknowledge all the signals I was getting from my body.

Now, in the present, I can acknowledge those old feelings. When I do there Is a loosening of tension; I can breathe more freely. Another action we can take to clear up these guilts is to talk about them with people, even the very people involved, if they are still available. Talking about old unfinished business helps clear it up and has been known to generate small miracles.

A man I know found himself able to forgive his ex-wife one day many years after they had split up. He felt a wave of forgiveness after talking about their relationship with a friend. Guilt Is a Concoction One reason guilt is difficult to love is that it really does not exist. Guilt is a concoction, a murky mixture made up of fear, anger, and thoughts. You know that your spouse expected you an hour ago.

You feel guilty. First, fear. You are scared, perhaps, of getting caught. You may be scared of having to tell a lie to your spouse. Then, you also may feel anger. The anger comes from not being able to have everything you want free and clear. Knowing that guilt is a concoction can be helpful in trying to love our way through guilt. If we are having trouble loving ourselves for feeling guilty, we can try loving the separate parts of it. It may be easier to love yourself for feeling scared, for example, than it is to love yourself for feeling guilty.

Fear And Anger Fear is at the rock bottom of all the feelings that trouble us. What could be more numbing than our deepest fears? We think, If I let myself feel my fear, I would never stop trembling. There seems something bottomless about it. Perhaps it is because it does not have an expressive component like a sob or a tantrum, as with sadness and anger.

If a gorilla jumped through the window of our sitting room, we would feel scared. This would mobilize energy in our body to seek a solution. We would run or do battle with the gorilla. The trouble is that nowadays our problems are so much more complicated that they seem to have no straightforward solutions.

We live in a world of complex social relationships. One situation has some fairly straightforward solutions: you run or you fight. But the other? We are not sure yet of quite how to go about dealing with the complex fears of the modern world. In the U. If we knew a better way of dealing with fear, we would not reach so quickly for the pill bottle.

Resistance to fear, not fear itself, is of course our major problem. When we open up to fear and allow ourselves to feel it deeply, we can learn from it. We can inquire into it, find the source of it. If we are not willing to do that, though, if we take a posture of resistance to it, then it remains a numbing, permanent presence in our lives.

The same process is true for anger. It is hard to give ourselves permission to feel anger. It is crippling if we do not. By resisting the feeling of anger, we perpetuate it in our lives. In addition, we ensure that it will leak out in ways that are troublesome to ourselves and others.

When we drop that stance of resistance, a new world of energy opens up to us. At the bottom of every feeling is a positive lesson to be learned. In the case of anger, the lessons are bountiful. In any anger situation there are things we want and need. The anger would not be present if we were getting our wants and needs met.

Rather than resisting the anger, we can open up to it, get to the bottom of it, and find out what we want and need. The same is true for the anger of others. By operating in this manner we turn the negative energy of anger into the positive energy of looking for constructive solutions. Sadness We hide our grief behind a wall of beliefs. I have no right to be sad. All these things we tell ourselves keep the sadness locked up inside us.

We are afraid to open up to it, to really let go into it, for fear that we may get so deeply mired in it we may never get out. Of course, the opposite is true.

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