Over the last five years, I started to realize that I was attracting certain types of people, behaviors and events in my life.
It became upsetting when I realized that my closest relationships—especially the intimate ones—followed a certain script, and they ended in a similar way. When a relationship ended, I always had the same feeling of being shut out, like a door slammed in the face. A feeling of being punished for something terrible and unforgivable.
After going through this several times, I noticed that sometimes the feelings were more intense and dramatic than the actual events. After witnessing this enough, and not wanting to repeat the same scenarios, I embarked on a journey to discover why all this was happening—and how I could stop it from happening again.
This is what I discovered, after years of searching, exploring, meeting, and working with gifted healers:
Throughout our lives, starting from very early childhood, we have experiences that leave certain impressions on us. This impression is not about the experience itself. If we try to get two people to talk about a certain event, we will see that their stories are very different. They might agree on some of the “facts,” but their stories, the meanings each gives to the situation, are different. It’s not about whether the story is good or bad, true or false, accurate or inaccurate; it’s about the meaning each of us gives to what happens.
For example, let’s say we are a five-year-old girl whose father comes home from work angry, and instead of hugging us or saying that he is happy to see us, he starts screaming something. We might take this to mean that we are bad and unworthy; otherwise it would not make any sense at such an early age to be treated like that.
And so, a false identity is created, and it can sound like this: I am bad. I am unworthy. I am not enough. I am mean. I am unlovable. The list is truly endless.
This false identity acts like a magnet for similar circumstances and similar people to those that have contributed to its creation. By recreating these circumstances, the identity is reinforced. And it can go on forever, and we might never understand why the same thing keeps happening to us, why we meet the same kinds of people, why things feel pretty much the same every time.
As time goes by, these identities pile up, and these circumstances become more and more difficult, until we are no longer willing or able to repeat the pattern again. We realize that something must change, that we can no longer go on like this.
Luckily, after seeing and becoming aware of the pattern, dissolving it will not be as difficult as we might think.
How do we dissolve these patterns? What can we do with these false identities once we become aware of them? The answer is, we accept them fully and love them to death. This may sound dramatic, and it might well be dramatic, but in a good way, as the change is dramatically positive.
How do we do this?
From what I have experienced in my practice so far, the following steps seem to bring the best of results:
1) Pay attention to our strongest and most recurring emotions.
To do this, we simply drop our attention into the body. Without judgement or trying to modify what we are feeling, we start to become aware of the dominant emotions there.
2) Feel the emotions fully.
Once we identify the emotions, we need to feel them fully and feel where they are located in the body. We should do this with each strong emotion we observe, beginning with the strongest one. Sometimes it is easier to be aware of it and its location if we say aloud, “I am angry, I am sad, I am bitter, I am unworthy.”
3) Send love.
After being aware of the emotion and its location in the body, without rejecting or judging it, we simply send love to it and that part of the body where it is located. Then we will see something extraordinary happen; the feeling of it starts to change, from highly uncomfortable to warm and relaxed.
We start with the strongest emotions, then continue on to the subtler ones. We will be surprised by how many layers we have accumulated over time.
(Vipassana meditation, where we place ourselves in the position of uninvolved observer of our mind and emotions, is another great way to get in touch with our authentic nature. It helps us realize that we are not our thoughts, nor our emotions, but rather an awareness that knows and observes everything. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo explains this in a very simple way here.)
Gradually, through this process, we will start to feel that we are a whole and integrated being. We will feel gentler, kinder, more open and so much less reactive. Life itself gets a lot easier.
Most importantly, we come closer to our true nature, and finally stop identifying with that which we are not.
Author: Crina Radu
Apprentice Editor: Corinne Milentijevic / Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Greg Rokozy/Unsplash