Read an Excerpt
In a Changing World
By ROGER KING
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Roger King
All rights reserved.
My waking thought: It is safe for me to grow, even when life requires tough choices.
Let me ask you, the reader: Who would be fearful, critical, or jealous of you if you changed by loving yourself, and then shining that love and the powerful miracle within you, to create a whole new way of being and living? One consequence of your changing could be attracting new intimate relationships into your life, new ways of being creative, new ways of living with the earth. A whole new vista of life could open up.
Who would not want you to change and grow into a powerful person in your own right? Would it be your partner, your children, or people who think they know you?
Raising awareness and consciousness through therapy or self-help groups or books, or teachers who cross your path may bring the realization that your life needs to change. Often self-made confusion through feeling fear can mask the true change that is happening. Lots of inner excuses tell us not to change: "don't rock the boat." There is one part in us—the "old us"—that wants everything to stay the same. However, our deeper desire is to become true to the person that is deeply buried under this fear. There is, I believe, a time to rebirth the miracle we were born with. This can happen when we nearly die or experience a crisis or catastrophe such as a partner leaving. I think we re-connect consciously with the heart energy of love. We can call this power Divine Mind, Universal Mind, God, Goddess, or Higher Self. We do come back to our spiritual home of being truly spirit having a temporary human physical body.
This deeper change I now face. I have come to encounter, digest, and assimilate the challenge of my second wife and I going our separate ways and doing this with as much kindness, wisdom, love, forgiveness, and truth as we can. I love her, yet our ways of seeing and experiencing love and reality are not compatible.
In my first marriage, I found it so hard to believe I could change and grow. I am not blaming my partner. I was frightened of what others might say. I left after twelve years of not being myself. You see, I never knew who I was. I just reacted to survive. I did the best I knew how with the awareness I had then. Fear paralyzed me to the point that I blamed parents, sisters, schools, church, and most of all myself!
As my arrested inner child dictated, all I knew was, I must never tell the truth. People will hurt me and make me feel stupid. The man I was then was confused, had no real self-knowledge, and was filled with such hurt. I was on the "inner telephone," as one of my teachers put it, so I never really listened or learned how to live with authentic, responsible, personal power. My chatterbox was full of self-doubt.
Sound familiar to you? I thought, everybody else must change before I can be free to make new choices. I became the classic victim, and of course, my main thought was: There is no money to be free!
I thought of all the reasons why I could not change. The word can't was in the forefront of my mind. Now can remains after removing the apostrophe and the t. I had no faith or trust that anything "out there" or within me existed that would assist me in making a positive change. I became a taker, a victim, and my own worst judge. I bored everyone with my hard-luck story and felt sorry for myself.
Being responsible with compassion and self-compassion
This book is written in contrition, not shame. I know I am not a bad man. I take full responsibility for the poor choices I made in the latter years of our marriage.
I realize I have taken from those I love by keeping secrets and by lying about my need for an intimacy that my partner could not give me. I believe she has changed, and now I cannot give her what she truly needs. The person I have become is not perfect, and, thank you, reader, I hope you are not. Perfectionism is a killer; it hides who we are. That's not an excuse. I risk feeling shame at present, and I wake in the middle of the night feeling desolate and imagining people gossiping about my choices and behaviors. Yet I am learning to have what research professor Dr. Brené Brown calls, "self-compassion" to "develop shame resilience." Not listening and recognizing the need for change can be so painful if, like me, you have learned to lie for fear of losing love or because you feel unlovable.
Wanting others to change rather than changing yourself
One truth I realize I wanted my partner to change to how I wanted her to be. I felt I would be happy then. But I cannot change anyone, only myself. I know this in theory, yet I denied my power and responsibility to come out and say, "I am changing. It's time to be honest about who I am and what I need."
One big lesson I learned is that, when I choose to stay silent and not say what I need in a relationship, I hurt my partner as well as myself. I know now I cannot earn anyone's approval by hiding behind the deception of getting my needs met elsewhere. And I am not going to beat myself up for changing as a human being.
However, I could have listened to my inner power, which so often prompted me to be truthful. But I was too afraid of the consequences. I thought that by being honest, I would hurt those I loved. This circular thinking deepened my confusion. So, reader, listen carefully to what is changing within you. Remember that the longer you delay being honest, the more hurt will come to you. So many of us—men especially—isolate ourselves, pretending to be okay while running scared inside. We compartmentalize our secret lives. Eventually these secrets unfold, often prompted by crisis, and then we are encouraged to be truthful in every area of life, past and present. Well, my partner choosing to leave me is my prompt.
The fear of lack and not deserving
While I was growing up, I never felt there was enough money, and this linked indelibly in my consciousness to the lack of love in my original family. As a result, I gave up my power to earn my own money when I married and, most importantly, my ability to charge a fair price for doing what I was clever at, which was working with people as a therapist, counselor, and group leader. I loved my work and did it with as much patience and love as I could muster. Yet I felt somewhere I was not worthy.
This became a large area of resentment for me and for my partner. I relied on another person, my wife's kind father, to provide financially for my family and me. This does not bring self-respect.
Taking back my power
I truly want to take responsibility with heartfelt forgiveness and love for what has happened. An old proverb says, "You get what you think about whether you want it or not." So I watch carefully what I think and say. And moreover, I watch what I put into my mind daily. What do you think and say about your life moment-to-moment, day in day out? Are you critical with your mind to your wonderful body? Well, read this story:
The Stag at the Pool
A thirsty stag went to get a drink from a pool. Having satisfied his thirst, he lingered for a moment, looking at his reflection in the water. What fine antlers I have, he thought. They spread out so wide and look so strong that I'm sure all the other creatures envy me. Then he noticed how thin and weak his legs looked. If only my legs were as impressive as my antlers, I'd be a very beautiful beast indeed!
As he was thinking these things, a lion spotted him and began to give chase. The stag took off and easily outpaced the lion in the clearing, but as soon as the stag entered a wood, his antlers caught in the branches of some trees. Try as he might, he couldn't disentangle himself. In fact, the more he struggled, the more trapped he became. Soon the lion caught up with him and attacked him. With his dying breath the stag said, "Oh how mistaken I was! I despised my legs which were keeping me from death, and I boasted about my antlers which have been my ruin."
Insight: Sometimes we could benefit from choosing to value what we value least. What aspects of life do we take for granted—despise even—yet would cause us to feel impoverished if we were denied them? Perhaps it is finding love within ourselves and then realizing we are truly lovable. As A Course in Miracles puts it succinctly: "Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love and find yourself.
A secret: We become what we think about! So I choose warrior love and one aspect of warrior love is self-compassion.
Self-Compassion assists the inner journey
The twenty-minute "TEDx" talk is so clear on the well-researched benefits of practicing a self-compassion, called "The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion" by Dr Kristin Neff.
This short YouTube video is learning the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion.
Do you give yourself self-compassion? The three elements are: "Self-Kindness, Common Humanity, and Mindfulness". I am always intrigued by how to do things, the "why?" often I see comes later. So how does self-compassion help me build warrior love?
I want to relate to myself with self-kindness, especially going through this parting of two searching souls. Writing this book is being kind and warm to myself, it's not just being critical of me! With self-compassion, I can integrate the thoughts and feelings that what is happening is very human. I do know in my heart that my sufferings are a common experience throughout humanity and so it's not just happening to me alone! I don't have to hide and just go into feeling a "bad" person! I can go out and connect to others. Next, I want to learn "Mindfulness." This is taking a balanced approach to my feelings; neither to exaggerate nor deny my negative emotions of self-criticism.
The critical belief of "I must not be lazy"
If I beat myself up continually, I just leave the planet early without learning unconditional love. I can get lost in my own pain. I want to consciously learn to be kind to me. When I criticize myself I am threatening and attacking myself. I become the threat and the threatened. The fight-flight response kicks in. My stress response shuts my immune system down and I can become ill and depressed. The old negative belief that I need to be self-critical comes from a protestant belief: work hard and harder—so I won't be lazy. This can lead to exhaustion! So I affirm:
"I wisely build self-compassion by meditating regularly which helps me learn and be open and receptive to learning the next step for personal growth."
I choose love even when life is tough so self-compassion can give the deep genuine experience to feel safe. I begin to think what I truly need from the heart of my mind. I need to tap into warmth and soft vocalizations of genuine positive affirmations. When I feel safe I choose to meditate and respond with wisdom and compassion for others who are close to me, yet knowing I need self-compassion. So I repeatedly choose to tap into nurturing myself. I do yoga and juice with good organic ingredients. I eat regularly and keep fit, watch a funny film. I put on my rich soul music (as you will see throughout this book) dance wild or soft and let grief flow. I send gentle blessings of love to all who maybe critical of me at this time. I see and think clearly and let self-compassion facilitate positive change. I write my story with self-compassion. One beautiful way of attracting self-compassion is to choose carefully whom I share my pain with. Today the right person came to listen and just let me cry.
Some of the ingredients for choosing love, especially when life is tough, and so learning Warrior Love, are the following:
To be willing to learn the lessons from what I have attracted.
To take full responsibility, yet building in shame resilience.
To admit my lies with little ego or excuses.
To look at my possible negative addictions.
To be willing to do the mental work moment-by-moment and meditate regularly.
To free any pent up fear energy with safe ways of expressing anger or old anger, resentment.
To read and listen regularly to positive audio information.
Cry laugh and open my heart to attracting the right people to assist me on a tough inner and outer journey.
Write and look at where in my past life the emotional patterns and beliefs emerged, so I can change and grow positively.
So here goes ...
My old story
As I grew through the years, I became depressed. I was so critical of myself and everyone, I saw life through the beliefs of a hurt child and an internalized "critical drama parent". People avoided me because my pain radiated everywhere. One of my spiritual teachers, early in my second marriage, said quite strongly: "When you leave the room, Roger, the light comes on!" I wanted to kick him. He didn't know how much I suffered. Now I realize he was doing his best to shake me out of being such a victim to my story or my conditioning. I had no real awareness or tools to make a paradigm shift in consciousness.
I judged others and myself with such mistrust—a "delightful" negative family pattern that has taken years to dissolve.
I lived with an internalized lie. I remember my father saying repeatedly from his own hurt childhood: "Never trust anyone, son! Hit first in a fight, never cry, and never show your vulnerability by crying! Big boys don't cry!" Well this big boy wants to be truthful and vulnerable and certainly cries inwardly, and at times, outwardly.
What starts an inner journey?
There are many situations that can trigger an inner journey. For some it may be as simple as taking yoga lessons, or as devastating as the deep shock of having a "dis-ease" like Cancer. It could be hearing a sentence like, "Change your thoughts change your life." Or having an abortion, or getting married and realizing after the honeymoon you don't know why you married. It could be attending a course on personal growth or going to a counselor to talk about a partner dying or leaving you. For many it could be flashbacks to what happened in childhood. It could even be a whole combination! The Universe is always your teacher. However, I often did not want to learn!
For me, the trigger was a book. When I read famous psychotherapist Carl Rogers' book On Personal Power I cried inside over his approach to listening to hurt, angry people and helping them heal. He touched my reality in a way that even I did not understand. I would have loved him as a father figure. (I think millions around the Earth did!) His influence was the beginning of my wanting to grow and find the "lost me!" I loved his book Becoming Partners (about marriage and its alternatives). In the chapter "Three Marriages—And One Growing Person" he asked one question to Irene (a person who had gone through three marriages) and then listened with no interruption. The wisdom and insights from Irene were amazing. What made me start to "break open" as a man and cry deep, heartfelt sobs released my inability to cry. What triggered the tears was a feeling of what I could have been and done if I had a very different understanding of self and life. Simply put, I felt no real love for others or myself.
Carl Rogers, and later metaphysical lecturer and teacher, Louise Hay, helped me look into the mirror of my life and see the "black ball" parts of me that I have despised; and love them!
I realize now, those parts of my past have been vital ingredients to my becoming whole, healed, and creative. This has happened through my learning to love and forgive, even when others may still judge me harshly. I now have learned to say and believe: "I cannot afford the false luxury of their negative thoughts!"
As I write, I realize the importance of "beckoning intent", a concept developed by Carlos Castaneda. I am reminded of Wayne Dyer's book, The Power of Intention, in which he quotes from Castaneda's book, The Active Side of Infinity. Wayne read this just before undergoing successful surgery on his artery:
Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live in the Source) beckon intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers always accomplish what they set out to do.
I want to invite and live in the Source in this time of personal pain, and I want to retain this integrity in the rest of my life so I can learn and teach. I experience the Source when I meditate. Where I learn to listen with an open heart!
Excerpted from WARRIOR LOVE by ROGER KING. Copyright © 2014 Roger King. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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