Sunday, March 27, 2016

How to Thrive Within Negativity

No matter who you are something you perceive as negative will enter your life. Even the Dalai Lama had to flee his country.

Such a thing recently happened to me. At first, I was confused and a little angry. I had followed my spiritual promptings, the words of my Goddess as I hear them, and landed in a very difficult situation. This prompted some questions for that Goddess and some anger. The same messages had come from my soul. This too brought into question my ability to hear spiritual messages.

As is my habit, I asked the Goddess what I was supposed to learn. "What are you trying to teach me?" She assured me my original anger was understandable but misplaced. After about a week, I understood.

The trick is to blame no one. This was not any person's fault, nor a Goddess's. Life happens. In the absence of blame, there is only the situation. Dealing with the situation at hand is the only option. Blame simply brings unnecessary pain and stress. In addition, it makes me feel alone and adrift. After all, if it is someone's fault, and I didn't see it coming, how can I be assured that I will see it coming the next time?

Understanding life happens and that blame is not in the equation brought immediate peace. Sure there is sadness and adjustment but I am in my center place.

Many people that I know in Paganism came to the path from a place of despair. Frankly, many of them appear to be a bit unhinged and in need in of professional mental health intervention. Now, I am not so sure that is true. I see how such deep angst, despair and erratic behavior can be brought about by simply mishandling situations.

So, here are a my tips for dealing with adversity.

  1. Blame no one. Even if you were attacked, beaten up, stolen from refrain from placing blame.
  2. Deal with the resulting situation in a professional manner. If this happened at work, what would you do? You may fire the primary actor. You may even report that person to the police. Once that is done, you simply work on replacing that which was stolen and move on. 
  3. After things are dealt with and the emotional shock is gone, assess what part you played. Did your instincts tell you this person was a thief and you ignored them? Did you leave the stolen item unprotected. If this was only a social emotional 'theft', that means your left your personal boundaries too porous. Again, you cannot blame yourself. That leads to guilt, which leads to hopelessness. 
         If you do this too soon, your emotional defenses will get in the way.  Give yourself time to                assess the situation as dispassionately as possible.

     4. Learn how to not contribute such grief again. Your friends will teach you or self-help books will         give you clues. Always pray to your deity of choice to teach you. All of them respond to such             requests. Asking to be taught is the epitome of humility. 

Doing these things reduces one's emotional angst. That reduces behaviors that are, at some level, intended to sooth pains but end up making things worse. You will also find that you will be more stable than you have been in the past. Others will notice. 

Many of the behaviors that lead people to think you may need professional help will fade away. They will be no longer necessary. You will feel like a god or goddess in a storm. The cold winds will blow with fury but you will remain warm. The rain will fall but you will be dry. There is a strength here that many cannot imagine. I invite you to experience this strength.

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