We can spend a lifetime discovering who we really are. Stripping away all the masks we’ve adopted from those who try to define us. Remembering that still small voice speaking to us from deep within spirit. Coming home. 61 pages. Chapter Titles: You Are The Cause Life is the Effect, Knock Knock, One Thing, Don’t Scratch, You Don’t Have to Try So Hard, It’s Not a Hobby, Waking Up or Falling Apart?, Driver or Passenger?, Who Am I Becoming?, Tree Bones.
In a world that encourages mediocrity, you’ve chosen to remain conscious… and true to your limitless nature. Possibilities lay before you at ever turn – when you have the eyes to see them.
Return is a clearer lens to look deeply into truths you’ve always known, but may occasionally forget. We all do. But, with each remembrance we step into our magnificence more fully and come home.
Enjoy strolling through these letters as you would a lone country trail. Walk slowly and let the words seep into you and mingle with your own wisdom. There’s no hurry. No destination to get to. You are where you need to be.
It would be my honor to hear any comments you’d like to share. Email me at karen.wrightminded.com.
Chapter 1: You Are the Cause – Life is the Effect
“Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.”
~ Robert F. Bennett
The door slammed as Tom stormed out of Cliff’s office. Cliff had shot down the proposal, just as Tom had feared. Just like every time before. “What’s it going to take to break Cliff’s love affair with control? Tom seethed in resentment. “How many times am I going to have to fight this battle?”
It’s likely that Tom is so invested in his own view of things that he can’t see how he might have more influence than he’s using. Feelings can be powerful disablers when we our wishes aren’t being realized. Tom and Cliff have history and that history poisoned Tom’s unconscious beliefs about his chance to bring about his desires. Until he’s aware of this unintended self-sabotage, he will be confused and disappointed by his results and left feeling powerless and angry. For now, for Tom, life stinks; but it doesn't have to.
Feelings are influenced by our expectations, which are based on our beliefs. If we are experiencing what we want (expect/believe), we tend to feel happy and life is good. If we are experiencing something that we do not want (expect/believe), then we often feel that life is dealing us a lousy hand.
What if feelings don’t exist for the purpose of giving meaning to what we’re observing? What if feelings are causal – self-generated decisions, based upon beliefs that create what we experience? Like many fundamental truths of life, we often have the cause-effect relationship backwards. Have you ever thought this:
• I’ll work harder if my boss gives me a raise.
• I’ll love you back if you love me first.
• I’ll be happy when I get what I want.
It’s easy to understand the fallacy of the first example. To get a raise, you generally need to work harder first. Hard work is the cause - a raise is the effect. Raises don't cause hard work. When did you last see someone work harder after getting a raise – beyond a day or two? You may not always get a raise by working harder, but it's highly unlikely you'll get one any other way.
The second example: I’ll love you back if you love me first, turns love into a bartering tool. We’re afraid of being vulnerable, so we insist that the other person step out on the limb first. Is that really love? Love isn’t something we get from another, it’s a personal choice to become loving. It’s first a way of being, then it’s a gift you share. The one who insists that their partner love first is dealing in fear, not love. And even if the partner does express love first, it’s unlikely that that love will be felt by the other. Love is born internally (cause) or it’s never experienced (effect).
The last example may be the hardest to accept. I’ll be happy when I get what I want. We are surrounded every day by the message that our happiness depends on external circumstances. If we don’t have the car we want, the house we want, the clothes we want, the job we want, etc. – if we feel we are lacking whatever we believe causes happiness, we feel unhappy.
Quite some time ago I heard Oprah talking about dieting. She was acknowledging how hard it was to not let feelings of hunger tempt her to reach for the potato chip bag or cookie jar. When her diet coach told her that those feelings of hunger were all her fat cells shrinking, she gave hunger feelings a different meaning and could rejoice when she felt hunger (knowing she was accomplishing her goal) instead of feeling deprived.
We might use that same logic to understand other challenges in our lives differently as well. We’ve probably all felt hopeless or defeated at some time. We’ve all had disappointments and pain – when life didn’t live up to our hopes, expectations, or beliefs. We may have even succumbed to self-pity, anger, or resignation. Because life did not meet our wants or expectations, we chose to feel cheated and resentful.
Yes, chose to feel. All feelings are a result of what meaning we give our experiences. Some who experience disappointment choose to take action and change things. Others choose to run away or pretend it doesn’t exist. But, either response is reactionary – giving power to the circumstance without recognizing that the circumstance is an effect, not a cause. The cause was the combination of expectations, personally-determined meanings, and erroneous beliefs the quality of our life is determined by our circumstances. Is outside our control.
Let’s go back to the beginning when I asked: “What if feelings don’t exist for the purpose of giving meaning to what we’re observing? What if feelings are causal – self-generated decisions, based upon beliefs that create what we experience?” You are the cause, life is the effect. You are the artist, life is canvas. You have the power…life is your agent fulfilling your directives.
Consider that last word deeply. Directives. Through the thoughts and feelings you choose, you direct life to become. When those choices are unconscious, you will often feel surprised and manipulated by what you experience. Unconscious choices are usually born of fear. It’s a mistake to believe the effect didn’t begin with you as the cause.
That’s why every self-help guru and personal development author will echo that to live a life of true fulfillment (conscious expectations and beliefs matching experiences), we need to become conscious of what we’re directing life to be. How?
Work backwards. Look at the effect (your experience) and imagine the natural cause of such a result. If you’re experiencing disappointment, what kind of internal choice could result in feeling disappointed? It might be easy to decide that disappointment comes from unmet expectations and that the expectations you have are worthy and just didn’t happen. That your result was beyond your control. But, we get what we give because in the giving we create the results we receive – it’s a universal law. So, you might have lofty conscious expectations, but the actual unconscious energy you are sending out into the world, attached to those lofty expectations, is the belief that it won’t happen. That is what your thoughts are creating; so it doesn't happen. Thoughts merely create, they are not assessing what it is they’re creating.
For many, this is a bedrock shift – a fundamental change in the way we understand our relationship to our beliefs and experiences. In other words, it’s a revolution in awareness.
For now, consider giving the following ideas a try:
1. When you experience disappointment in a situation, a relationship, a result, what are the reasons that fill your head explaining why things are the way they are? Are you blaming anyone or anything…or even yourself? Blame is our favorite unconscious way to give away our power. Blame never gets you what you want. End the futility and focus upon real cause-effect issues.
2. When you walk through your day, are your feelings swayed by circumstances? Does being around happy people make you happy, but being around unhappy people upset you? Do you allow other people’s emotional states to dictate yours? Emotions can act like an infectious virus spreading easily in those unconscious. Become more aware of how you’re unconsciously accepting the influence of those who represent what you don’t want. Stay aware of how your feelings fall victim to the manipulation of others and outside situations. When you find yourself feeling like you do not want to feel, your awareness will offer you an alternative. Take it. You determine your feelings. You alone.
3. Use your thoughts and feelings to direct your situation and not merely observe your situation and have a feeling response. Your thoughts and feelings are your choice - and only your choice. Look into your world with the intention of being the Cause of what you experience. Exercise your intention like a muscle – it takes practice to develop it into a strong force. The first step is awareness.
If you find this exercise a bit challenging – that’s okay. New abilities are always a bit challenging at first. It will become easier and more natural very soon. Remember the fat cells! Change presents discomfort, but discomfort isn't a bad thing. The old is being challenged and the new is being test-driven. This is all good. Awareness first, skill second. The good news is that awareness alone is half the way to your new desire. It is the first and most difficult step. But once you become more informed about what you’re doing – the more conscious you are – the easier it is to manage yourself and reach your goals.