Learning to Love our Inner Enemies

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Loving our enemies needs to start inside ourselves. Each of us has a dark part, a side of ourselves we don’t like and may not want to acknowledge. This is our own internal enemy or shadow self. This aspect of ourselves is the part of us from which we react to people and situations most strongly. Imagine situations where you react out of strong fear or anger, or when a person just rubs you the wrong way for no apparent reason. This is the part of you that judges. It judges you and shows you all the things others have judged you for. It causes you to react in judgment to others. This internal enemy is where shame comes from.

We are very fearful of our internal enemy. We want to conceal from the world and even from ourselves, the parts of us that we don’t want to look at. They hurt too badly to tend to. These are our own inner open wounds, the crying child in our soul. But we feel unable to help because they hurt so badly. So, often we look the other way just as we would when we feel afraid of the gore at an accident scene or the need of a lonely beggar. We leave it, hoping it will go away. Doing this is causing more pain, of course.

Imagine an injured child coming to you, bleeding and crying. If you strike the child and tell it to go away, you cause further injury in numerous ways and the child cries louder. If you soothe the child and reassure it, tending to the injury, then it stops crying and the bleeding soon stops. When we ignore our own internal cries out of fear, it is as if we are striking a bleeding and crying child who has come to us for help. We create shame over having these feelings and needs and then we create new shame over the behavior we demonstrate when we don’t acknowledge our own needs.

We all have a shadow self that we ignore. And we have all seen and experienced the many expressions of this fear and shame, this disconnect from our inner selves. We see and experience it every day, directly and indirectly. It can come through overt means such as any form of judgment against self or others (self-harm, self-abasing speech, racism, classism, homophobia, religious exclusion, etc.). It can also be more hidden, such as when a person fears speaking what they feel or believe, saying what their needs are, or hiding their true self out of fear (subconscious or otherwise) that they will be “seen”. It can arise in co-dependency, dishonesty, or manipulation. We all judge and hide to some degree and more in some situations than in others. Extremes can cause physical and/or mental illness to differing degrees when the same cycles keep repeating unnoticed and unhealed.

Shame is not the same as guilt. Guilt is that uncomfortable flickering emotion that we experience as a sinking feeling in our stomachs and a clenching in our chests. It lets us know we have just done or said something that falls out of step, out of alignment, with our greater good. We have done or said something that created cognitive dissonance.

Sometimes when we feel guilty, the negative consequences are seen immediately and so the reason for the guilt is clear. Other times we may need to take a deep look at how we have come out of alignment with our greater good. Guilt serves as a red flag to tell us to do this looking. It is not helpful if we carry it as a punishment in order to continue feeling bad over and over. This will only keep us out of alignment, leading to shame and holding us back from doing the necessary work to break the cycle of negative consequences. We can’t think or see clearly when we are feeling upset. We think at our best and resolve issues in our highest form when we are in a clear and positive state of mind. So it is most helpful if we can thank our mind and body for offering the red flag to us in the form of guilt feelings, acknowledge the feelings, then let go of the guilt and move on to resolving the behavior that created it. Staying stuck in it is more likely to leave the problem unresolved and thus lead to the behavior (and the guilt) returning.

Shame runs very deep and can control our every move and thought–our programming. It does not leave until we understand and heal the pain from which it came. Changing a behavior won’t solve shame, though we often believe it will. This belief is what leads some to use shame and fear as a tool to correct behavior. The fear of punishment, fear of Hell, fear of the apocalypse, and fear of loss are used as pervasive tools to control behavior. Individually we may fear things such as exclusion, bombs, all the way down to spiders. The fear isn’t wrong and it doesn’t even mean that the things we afraid are not or were not real, but being stuck in the fear does not help us stay safe or satisfy our needs for happiness and growth.

Fear is at the bottom of shame and every other negative emotion. When we can see that we are fearful, sometimes that is enough for the fear to dissipate. Other times, we see a deeper wound that we need to heal. If you don’t see the fear, and then the wound, you can’t heal it. Seeing is the first step. Sometimes it won’t be any more difficult than acknowledging the fear and that you are willing to face it. Again, I see it very much like acknowledging an injured or frightened child. Sometimes just a hug and letting them know they have been heard is enough to calm them, other times it takes some time and some pressure on the wound, and there can be times that need professional help, but often, a hug is all it takes.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” –Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

When you are stuck in the fear/shame cycle, the only thing you can see is to avoid the thing you are afraid of, usually at all costs. This is very limiting and defeats the purpose in the bigger picture. When you can be at peace, having dissipated the fear, you can see the bigger picture much more clearly. We can’t see where the pain-shame-behavior cycle started if we continue to add shame to the behavior. Again think of a child, but this time think of one who has hit his sister. Clearly, you don’t want the child to hit his sister. But you have choices. You can ridicule and criticize him in various ways, even humiliate him, thinking this will teach him not to hit. Or you can find out what caused him to hit in the first place and really listen to all of his feelings. He will better hear you if you hear him and he will trust what you say. Understanding is much more important and useful than fear and shame. We need to do this for our inner ‘enemy.’

When someone is honestly heard they can heal amazingly quickly. That healing causes the shame to go because shame comes from pain and it is self-perpetuating. If the negative behavior is what you want to get rid of, then treat the root cause, not just the symptom! The behavior comes from the pain, which creates the shame we all recognize so well at some level.

We need to heal ourselves by seeing, honoring and loving our own enemy deep inside, recognizing it as part of ourselves and becoming fully whole. Patience and practice are necessary, but if we implement these with ourselves first, we will become masters at loving others.

Blessings,

Angie

angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

chocolate lemon pixabaySeveral years ago, I learned that I was borderline diabetic and I also started having episodes of severe hypoglycemia. Really miserable stuff when that hits. So I had to learn to eat differently and tame my love for sugar and refined carbs. The first step I took was simply cutting back the sugar in recipes, sometimes significantly, but usually by about 1/3-1/2. Usually, the recipes were sweet enough, even with this adjustment.

Over time, I also learned to make things using more natural alternatives, such as honey, stevia, and xylitol. Honey still has to be used in limited quantities, as it is a sugar. However, it does have some health benefits and I find it tastes better than sugar. Honestly, I also limit how much xylitol I use, simply because it still feels very refined to me. Stevia is much more natural, made from a ground herb. I prefer the taste of NOW Better Stevia Glycerite drops.

I also learned to use organic sugar, for the times when I need real sugar in a recipe. It is less refined and has fewer chemical agents in it from processing. While it’s still sugar, I feel it is healthier because of this. It also has a fuller flavor, so I can use less of it.

This is a wonderfully rich and delicious recipe that also happens to be really healthy!

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pie

Ingredients:2 avocados, pitted

2 avocados, pitted

1/3 to 1/2 half cup milk of choice (I love the way coconut milk tastes in this)

1/2 cup cacao powder (cocoa powder is fine and carob would probably work, though I haven’t tried it)

2-3 Tablespoons organic sugar or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Optional: low-fat graham cracker pie shell

Instructions:

Put everything in a food processor or a blender and blend on high speed for a minute of so, until well blended. Scrape the side  and reprocess, if needed, to mix everything well. Chill for about 10 minutes. Pour into pie shell, or for a grain free, lower carb, no crust pie, pour directly into a glass pie pan and chill for 30 minutes to set.

You can drizzle a chocolate sauce topping on this for garnish/decoration if you like.

Chocolate sauce:

1/4 cup coconut oil (do not substitute with another oil!)

1/4 cup honey

2-3 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder

Heat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often until oil is melted and ingredients are well mixed. Stir in drizzles of milk of choice until the sauce reaches the consistency you want.

 

 

 

 

Harvest Blessing

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

I offer thanks for the cycles of the harvest today.

With my body, I dance the gratitude of all mankind into the ethers.

I send gratitude to the soil for all that has been birthed for us this growing season,

And I honor her need to rest now and replenish so she can continue to nourish in her fullness.

With my breath, I inhale the memory of all the ancestors who have walked this way before,

I honor them deeply in my bones and my blood, exhaling healing and love.

Hand over my heart, I feel the blood beating through my chest, the water of my own life.

The same water that has coursed through other veins, fallen from other skies, and danced in the waves of other oceans for eternity.

I feel the heat of my body, radiating through my skin, the same heat that shines from the sun, the heat that has warmed us all.

With joy, I feel the connection to all the lives who have shared this soil, this air, this water and this heat with me, and all those yet to come.

Sing and dance with me the Blessings of the harvest! For those who have come, those who are and those who will be. Sing and dance for the Energizing Spirit who Created it all!

Divine Balance

cloud-754365_1280pixabayHere’s a thought I keep having, based on my own inner, gut intuition. I feel the Divine is not one gender or the other, but both. It seems a duality based, humanistic standard to judge the Divine by the boxes of separation we place ourselves into.

To me the Divine feels very Feminine, yet also has very Masculine energy. If we have both (and we do) then how can the Divine only have one or the other? It is Balance Supreme. We humans are the ones who are in a state of separation and dualism. Our ultimate goal seems to be to return to the Oneness, not continue seeking which side is the “right” one.

Feminine and Masculine have truly been out of balance for endless ages. I see and feel it in the Earth and her people. I feel it in myself and in others. We all have this imbalance. I hope we can heal it by seeing the wholeness of all. Loving all of it. If we honor only one, we surely suppress the other. We will come further with healing ourselves if we seek balance and wholeness, which is truly Divine. The Divine cannot be separated at Its core.

Let the Light Flow Through You…Just Like a Child

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.…”–Jesus in Matthew 18. This doesn’t mean be converted to Christianity, but converted from the ways of the world. Remembering the ways of Spirit, which are within each one of us and all around us.

“Neither shall they say,’See here!’ or, ‘see there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you..”–Jesus in Luke 17. Some translations say the Kingdom of God is in your midst, which is true as well. It’s not something we have to wait for or search for outside of ourselves, but instead we open ourselves to remember and see our connection to it, within and amongst ourselves. When you recognize the same God within your own heart is also flowing through the heart of everyone and everything (even if they don’t remember), the way you interact changes naturally. All people, all things become honored.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”–Paul in Romans 12. Once we begin to remember and see that God (or whatever name you choose to call the larger energy of the Cosmos) is within us and all things, we know our connection to each other and to everything. You can feel it and that changes how you relate to everything. To me, this teaching speaks to opening your heart and mind to the larger energy (or God) and allowing that to guide you in a constant state of renewal.

Really, we are both what we love and what loves us. We interactively weave the world around us, along with the larger energy that many call God. We get what we give and what we allow ourselves to be open to. We see what we can be open to seeing. And the larger energy of the Cosmos, the river of life, will flow through us to the extent that our hearts and minds can allow.

Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing

Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing by Angie Webster

Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing by Angie Webster

We all have the ability to heal…

A true healing comes from within.

It’s true. While others can support us in our healing and offer us tools to assist us, the real healing can only happen from inside of us. Once we make the inner shift, the illness or pain falls away and our perception changes.

Every one of us is born with life force energy and we are all connected to a much larger Life Force Energy–no matter what name you give that or how you look at it. While we forget that we are energy beings, we can begin to make a conscious effort to explore this and remember. That is what I learned on my own journey out of many years of multiple chronic health issues. I found that when I shifted my awareness and understanding to this energy, I was able to begin healing. It led me to Reiki, which improved my understanding of energy even more.

Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing is my new book, which has now been released on Kindle and paperback. It offers simple tools and over a dozen energy exercises to help you begin to learn how to access and work with energy in many ways in everyday life. I share how I began to learn about energy, my journey with being ill and the basics of energy medicine, as well.

Available on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/q7s9tom
Available in paperback: http://tinyurl.com/qh3lrns

Giving and Receiving Our Talents

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Photo: Pixabay

Many of us wrestle with an underlying feeling that it is not OK for us to succeed at anything we attempt. This deeply buried belief keeps us from fully embracing our talents and our own understanding of God. We hold ourselves back. We self-sabotage and we keep ourselves small.

For years, I felt it was not safe and somehow wrong for me to fully express myself or to allow myself to receive anything in return for my talents. I subconsciously felt intimidated and resentful of others who were free of this belief and who lived in grace and abundance.

I told myself it was much more important to be a good person, to love others and serve Truth, God. I believed that it was impossible to do these things while feeling whole and being blessed in life. As if being happy, safe and well somehow nullified any good that had been done. What I am realizing is that I can serve God best by fully being the light I was created to be, by fully using my talent and by fully following my intuition, insight and inspiration. When I do these things, I find that I am serving God and all Creation to the fullest of my ability. I am also happy.

When I shine, I feel most in alignment with God. I recognize that everything each of us does can be done in service of each other and God. It is a matter of doing it from a standpoint of love and service, rather than fear, limit, lack or greed. My being unafraid of my own light allows those around me to also be happy and shine in their own way.

Holding myself separate from those that made more money than me or had more success was being judgmental of them and myself. I saw myself as better or more holy than they were because I had less.

Recently I was listening to a successful musician who chants and sings of the love of the Divine. It was deeply moving and very beautiful. Her face was happy and serene. She embodied the love she sang of. I thought, ‘What a wonderful service she does for all who hear her! She is at peace and encourages that in her behavior and her music. She uplifts others to that same Peace of God.’ And it flooded my awareness that she is a very holy person using her talents to serve others and being rewarded for it. I was grateful that she decided to let her light shine and grateful she earned a living doing it so that as many as possible might be able to hear her.

The most important thing, for me, is to do everything I do in the full service of God and others. It is not for my own ends, though I may greatly enjoy the outcome. The point is to release my own expectations of what I should or should not be provided with and serve. Serve all day, in every way, in everything I do and with every being I encounter. To me this means being happy in myself and happy that I am serving so that I can share my happiness with others in all that I do.

Neuroscience has shown again and again that kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude increase our brain’s capacity for happiness. When we are happy, we have even more to share! It is the same thing that every religious tradition has taught for all of history. It is healthy for us and healthy for those around us. It is freeing and rewarding, both on an energetic and a physical level.

This is being in alignment with a spiritually healthy life and with serving God. This is the opposite of being selfish and greedy. This is actually allowing our cups  to be filled so that it can overflow to others.

As long as we see our abilities as small and our blessings few, we will never be free to fully give of what we have. What is there to give if we don’t believe we have enough or that we are enough? We first must have faith in what we have and be full of gratitude for our talents and the abundance that flows from them. Through this, our talents will expand and so will our service and the rewards that flow from using our talents for the greater good. When we believe we have little and may lose what we have, we don’t allow for anything different to happen.

This all made me think of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, 14-30. The ones who were given talents and made use of them in the world received more talents and were rewarded. The one who hid his talent and made no use of it for fear it would be taken away lost his talent and had nothing. When we use our talents for the good of others, we are rewarded with more. And when we fear we don’t have enough and may lose what we do have, we never enjoy what we have and therefore have already lost it and may lose even more. Those that are grateful don’t demand more, yet they receive it.

Surrender your demands and expectations. Choose to be filled with gratitude and service. By allowing what is good to flow through us, and freely allowing it to flow from us, we honor the flow of giving and receiving. We can stop fighting Universal Law and recognize we are fully part of it. We can open our arms to embrace it, loving it and letting it love us back.

We can celebrate each day and all that flows from us and to us.