Client: …and in the end, my anxiety is just over the top, and especially about things I can’t really effect and I need some help with this. I feel everything so strongly and get overwhelmed so easily.
Orion: The message is that we persevere. Through the difficult times, the challenging times, the upending times, one perseveres.
The main thing about one’s personal difficult times is that they are occurring in the midst cultural changes and challenges. And although we may want to keep the culture at bay and feel we can be in our own space, we actually can only do that to a degree; especially if you have already come to recognition of the inter-connection of all things, of Unity. And an aspect of Unity that often is put to the side, is that we cannot only focus on the Unity that reflects the beauty and wonder of interconnectedness, we must also acknowledge that we may also feel, be impacted and effected by the challenging aspects.
Yet, the key to finding balance, to balanc-ing through challenge is to acknowledge all the elements in action – personal and trans-personal and with that very understanding, you can begin to find a way to move more easily with your responses.
Many spiritually-oriented people struggle when there is a clash of their ideas, their ideals. They want to always be open-hearted, caring, extending, understanding in kind and gentle ways. They do not want to become guarded, to have to operate with doubt or concern that the truth is being shared with them. It is easy to hold the ideal that ‘If I only extend these loving ways, only loving energy can flow in return.’ It is so appealing and the idea makes us feel at ease.
But we feel these times ask more of us. They ask us to live our ideals and principles in integration, with clear-sightedness of what is actuality, of what is actually occurring. We are asked to be willing to see the truth as much as possible; which will include the sad truths, the disappointing truths, the ugly truths, the truths that ask us, demand of us, that we stand up and say no to them, challenge them, declare them to be unacceptable.
And let us look at our language and how we frame things. Are we truly asked to be ‘guarded’, as in shut-down, protective without cause, afraid? Or instead is it simply useful to be cautious, discerning; to be aware that there are actions that may have consequences and that people may deliberately set it up to catch you unawares. If you don’t see the box to ‘opt out’, you find you have opted in and may even be charged for something. Today’s reality, in so many practical ways asks, demands, our attention, our diligence, our vigilance.
This is especially difficult for people whose nature is to be open and receptive, and in that, want to be open and trusting, who may feel they are being asked to express an aspect they really wished they didn’t have to. Yet, we need not look life as only one or the other. Life is always asking us to be one and another, sometimes at the very same time, which we always refer to as ‘dancing in paradox’.
Again, acknowledging, knowing, this is in the surround can help one say, ‘Well, it’s not my nature,’ but it’s also our nature to take care of ourselves and do the best we can.’ and ‘Even though I would rather trust everyone I meet, I have to be a little more diligent.’
Such discernment can be learned, can become just another aspect of our choices in life in a pragmatic, useful way. And with that, we can fully express and live our ideals which feel more close to what we like and have ease with, our empathy, our responsiveness. We can live them fully in the interpersonal, even while it is perhaps more difficult to simply operate by them or singularly operate by them in the transpersonal.
In the end, those beautiful things within ourselves can be extended as consistently as we want to in our personal world. So you can be empathetic to that person. You can be caring to that one. You can be open-ended and extending with someone, and yet with someone else you might find, ‘I need to set a boundary here. I need to pay attention that they often do not do what they say they will do and make my plans accordingly.’
Another challenge, of course, for the empathetic people in the world, is their own, in that they have two powerful inner prompts. One is to be always responsive, two, and is the prompt to resolve, to come to jointly shared resolution. Yet, this is a culture of individuation, of separation. It is a culture of aspects; people having multiple aspects within themselves and sometimes those aspects are paradoxical. They are in opposition with each other; paradoxical to a degree of cognitive dissonance. ‘I can dislike this person and like that person and at the same time, even if they are the same kind of people.’
Simply put, we have to stay aware of the fuller reality. There are people, many people, who don’t try to resolve, who don’t feel that pull that drives the empathetic. They just go on to the next thing. They accept, ‘Well that didn’t work, we’ll do this.’ They don’t care to have ‘us’, to have everyone relate to finding the resolve place together. Yet, this is the very thing that resonates with the empath, ‘We will agree, all of us, on this resolve place and from there we will all be in wholeness of empathy again.’ You can find that principle with individuals. You can find that at times within a structure of a group or organization that is very consciously searching for that kind of action, but on the whole that’s not how most of the culture operates.
Again, in spiritual integration we are called to see humanity clearly. We want to hold the idealization that everyone is good in their heart. [Client: Right.] But we’ve observed that although everyone may have that capacity; it’s quite possible sadly, maybe even typical, that many people override that capacity. They’re attracted to other capacities. They do not actualize feeling connected, goodness, unity, whatever words you want. Although we don’t like that, although it might make us sad, we do have to recognize it, otherwise we’re not seeing the world as it truly is, which means sometimes, ‘That person I need to be guarded with. That person I need to cross the street and go away from.’
We emphasize all this because we see how challenging it is for people to flow with the paradox between their ideals and actuality. Sometimes for the most useful outcome, you may have to set a boundary, be angry, push back, draw a line in the sand, say No, demand your rights, be strong, be pushy – many qualities we see people wishing they didn’t have to embrace. But what is missed, is those very things may be the real change-agent, the very action and energy that reaches someone who isn’t coming from the same place as you; who isn’t holding ‘we’ in their thoughts, or isn’t considering an inclusive Greater Good, but perhaps the very opposite, exclusive good for the select.
When we consider its all right to express all aspects of being and still be in harmony with life, you can let your sensing awareness have a larger field. You can expand your ‘Spidey Sense’ and in that you can find right action, even if it is not the one you would think of first, the one that matches your idea of self.
When you have more ease with seeing actuality, with all its ups, downs, dark and light aspects, you will have more energy to be with it. Holding the energy of loss of ideal, of feeling sad or afraid that you make have to take actions you do not prefer, wearies you. Your energy gets locked in defense mode. The lovely paradox here, is that when you begin to give yourself more permission to see and act clearly from the energy that actually is, you may not have to push against, for two things can happen. One right action reveals itself when it is not kept in only one channel, when you give it permission to flow however serves best. And two, the challenging other, recognizes that they have been seen clearly and in that, they themselves often change direction, push off, drop away, stop.
Paradox is so present at this time. So much movement toward allowing and permitting coupled with so much holding onto views of exclusion and control. It is a difficult journey and asks us to be aware of what seems to be two sides. Yet, to us, paradox is always ‘seeming’, within what seems only two opposing elements are multiples and many facets. The dance for you in this is to live your principles of Unity, interconnection, empathy and more to the fullest extent you can, being a living model of such awareness, while at the very same time, not being afraid to set boundaries, say no, and acknowledge that some actions are not just a difference of opinion or culture or ideal but are wrong. Stand for wholeness for the all of us. Unity.
excerpted and edited from a personal session, with permission
Image by Deb Booth-DifferentLightStudio.com