©1999 All Rights Reserved.
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By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.
Click here for Part 1
of Mirror On the Wall
graduations in human development
mean the abandonment of a familiar position...
all growth...must come to terms with this fact.
-Erik H. Erikson
is no use walking anywhere to preach
unless our walking is our preaching.
-St. Francis of Assisi
does one introduce reverence into their life? Is
there an on/off switch you can throw? Is it a conscious decision to just do it? Or is it a mystical experience, left
solely to the benevolence of the fates? The
simple answer is yes and no, all of the above, and more.
do the easy part first--the conscious decisions you can make. Theres a formula you
can apply that consists of intentional, conscious decisions, concrete applications, with a
specific focus. The effectiveness of these conscious decisions relies more on action and
less on understanding. Theres a simple enough formula to understand, a worthwhile
plan to execute. The formula for introducing reverence
into your life is deciding to do so, committing to do so, and then so doing. St. Francis of Assisi says much more simply,
it is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. Deciding, committing, and doing are the three
elements of walking being your preaching.
is it that youre deciding to do? Youre deciding to create a shift in how you think, feel, and act about and towards the people
and circumstances in your life. What is the shift? From Ego dominated thinking, feeling, and acting to Essence dominated thinking, feeling, and acting. How? Through honest,
compassionate confrontation of Ego. Now I see
that arched eyebrow. I sense the exasperation. I hear your psychobabble detector blaring
in the background. But dont be turned off by the lingo. Give me a chance, I promise
you this formula is easily applied. Honest. Please, read on.
youre going to master the art of honest, compassionate confrontation of Ego and as a result shift how you think,
feel, and act. Let me share with you a recent experience of mine in order to
illustrate what Im talking about. I recently was shopping at a grocery store. I had
only shopped there a few times before. Because I was fairly new to the store, I
didnt know exactly which aisle was which when it came to finding the items that I
was looking for.
I plowed through, wandering all over the store, collecting item after item, checking them
off of my list as I went along. In no time, I got down to the last item I needed to
purchase--cereal. Certain that I knew where it was, and tired of chasing all over the
store, I planted myself in the back of the store, in the center aisle. I had a very simple
plan. I was going to locate the cereal by reading the signs that indicated which items
were in each aisle from the position I had staked out. However, as it turned out,
straining my neck, standing on tip-toes, trying to find which aisle the cereal was in,
didnt pan out the way I had hoped that it would. After going through this exercise
in futility for five minutes, all I had to show for my efforts was a stiff neck.
being unbelievably stubborn and incredibly willful, I kept at it. Feeling secure in my
ability to smoke out the box of cereal through my own cleverness, I was determined not to
walk up and down each aisle one more time. And no, now that you ask, asking for help
wasnt an option. Why would I? Afterall, I much prefer to rely on my ingenuity than
ask for help.
I have a standard solution for anything that doesnt work the first time--keep doing
the same thing only with a small but oh so intelligent twist. So there was no way I was
going to abandon the spot I had taken up to conduct my search. I was just going to do it
in a much more intelligent way--by staring up and
down the aisle that I believed the cereal to be in. I hope youre noticing that
Im nothing if not loyal to my ways, no matter whether they work or not. But
honestly, I had a good rationale to encourage further use of my one track mind. I told
myself, I know that the cereal was in this aisle last week, so it must be in this
aisle this week. If I just stare at the aisle hard enough and long enough, the cereal will
somehow magically appear.
you know the definition of insanity, dont you? Doing
the same thing twice but expecting a different outcome the second time around. So five
minutes of staring and all I had to show for it was blurred vision and a pair of watery
eyes. If youre keeping score at home, after ten minutes it was now, grocery
store, 2, Steves willfulness, 0.
I was no closer to finding the cereal--cereal, I might add, that I didnt really much
like in the first place. But I wasnt going to budge from my spot. To me, the view
was just fine. This wasnt really my willfulness run amuck so much as me being
tenacious, nothing more, nothing less, oh say, perhaps other than this store just
wasnt layed out properly.
saw it, all that was needed was another strategy, for example, process of elimination. So
I closely studied the layout of the store, and in so doing, analyzed what items must be in
each aisle. The beauty of this strategy was that I was able to eliminate what aisles the
cereal could not possibly be in and in so doing, narrowed things down to the only two
aisles the cereal possibly could be in.
Having concluded what two aisles the cereal had to be in, I resumed the great staredown,
confident in my analysis, rejoicing that this situation was no match for the wonders of my
mind, secure in the unassailable truth that my will
could overcome even the most difficult of situations.
even with all that going for me, you guessed it, five minutes later, still no cereal. And
to make matters worse, what I did have was the beginning of what would turn out to be a
killer headache. As if the headache werent enough, I was getting agitated because
now I was running late.
what I knew for sure. I had fifteen minutes invested in this cereal that tastes like
cardboard, but, the time invested was no longer the point. I was bound and determined to
prove that my way, my narrow, stubborn, constricted, routinized way, but my way nonetheless, would win out and prove me
correct in the end. Believe me, for me, this had stopped being about where the cereal was
and more a point of honor. In fact, I actually began boosting my spirits by telling
myself, Youre not budging from this spot, no how, no, way!
was trying to think of what I could do next, a thunderbolt from the heavens struck me. A
thought popped into my head, Steve, why dont you just walk to the other end of
the aisle and conduct your staredown from the opposite end of the aisle. Perhaps by
looking at it differently, youll see it differently.
good to me, but nothing with me is ever just that simple. First, the drama of the long,
slow, protracted painful surrender had to take place. You see, I dont just switch
horses in mid stream without making it look good. Nope, first, there has to be lots of
drama. Second, I have to be able to save face before I ever simply walk away from my
position on any matter. I dont just willy, nilly surrender my point of view, no
matter how attractive the alternative may be.
I had to let a minute or two pass before I could work up the energy to humble myself, to
try it differently, perhaps more importantly, to admit that my way didnt work. I
went through the usual theatrics--blamed the grocery store, rationalized that I would have
stayed at it longer, if only I didnt have somewhere else to be. But
eventually, in the end, I sheepishly pushed my cart to the opposite end of the aisle and
took up my new position.
me when I tell you, this is absolutely a true story. I swear. As soon as I took up my new
position, I began the great American stare down
again and lo and behold, there, sitting on the shelf, if it was a snake it would have
bitten me in the you know what, was the box of
cereal in which I had invested fifteen minutes of my time, pride, and intractable ways.
Moral of the story? In order to find what it is
that youre looking for, you have to let go of the old ways that dont work for
you. And the thing that most gets in your way of letting go? All that you have invested in
your old ways--pride, comfort, security of the familiar, prestige, your investment in
needing to be right.
so thats what you must first decide to do. Abandon your current point of view,
abandon your safe familiar ways, abandon your prideful, stubborn investment, all brought
to you by Ego. And then run, dont walk,
but run to the opposite side of the aisle and begin to see the world through the viewpoint
of Essence. Youll be amazed at what
youll begin to uncover. I know I always have been.
what your deciding to do--to shift your
viewpoint of what you think, feel, and act.
Deciding to make such a shift is one thing. Making the shift is an entirely different
matter. If you dont commit to the shift,
then all you have done is declared that your a person of good intentions. But lets
not just leave it at the fact you have to commit to making the shift. Let me tell you a
little bit about what that commitment is.
are two aspects to what you must commit to. Theres an outward commitment and an inward commitment. Outwardly, you need to select
one path, one Way, one practice, one teacher. Inwardly, it means having the determination
to stick with that practice through whatever difficulties and doubts arise, until you have
come to true clarity and understanding.
first address the outward commitment. Spiritual work requires sustained practice to look
deeply into yourself. To do a little of one kind of practice, then change to a second kind
of practice, the work started in the first kind of practice wont get built upon as
you transition into the second kind of practice. In moving from one approach to another,
you never have to face the hard stuff. You never have to deal with your fears and
disappointments. You never have to work through your boredom and disinterest. The pain and
sorrow youve medicated your whole life never will be reactivated. You never have to
come face to face with your fears and insecurities.
I see somebody running back and forth, to and fro, choosing one practice and then suddenly
inexplicably, leaving that practice for a second kind of practice, Im reminded of an
old oil field I once saw when I was visiting a friend in Oklahoma. There must have been at
least thirty holes drilled in this field, not one of them deeper than a hundred feet, all
of them abandoned.
there was more than just shallow, empty holes and broken-down equipment in the field.
There was lost hope and spoiled dreams entwined in the cobwebs that were dangling from the
discarded equipment. There was fear and impatience buried in each hole. How could I tell?
Simple. I could see how quickly one hole was abandoned for the promise of something better
just over there.
empty hole was a living testament to the oil companys greed and arrogance. It was
clear to me that the strategy of quick-fix had
been elevated to God-like status, as each momentary setback was dealt with by moving on
rather than staying the course.
funny thing about that oil field is that three years after I had first seen the field, a
friend of mine told me that a wildcat driller took over the field, had a plan, stuck to
the plan, sunk a well a thousand feet deep straight down, and struck oil with her first
outwardly you have to commit to one Way, one path, one approach and you need to stick to
that way. You have a lifetime of conditioning to overcome. And the only way to overcome
that conditioning is to learn how to work through rather than run from your many, many
limitations and areas of discomfort.
outwardly committed to a path, you then have to create an inward commitment. Why? Although
the journey youre embarking on will change your life for the better, youll
confront all of your big scary, monsters along the way.
what are those big scary monsters. Much of what this journey is about is liberating the
pain youve stored up inside your whole life. Tending to your emotional wounds,
[re]claiming parts of yourself so long ago disowned and tossed to the side of the road,
giving yourself permission to experience new and different parts of who you are, letting
go of all the old familiar ways--ways that afforded you comfort and security, but sabotage
your emotional and spiritual well-being at the same time, these are the monsters, these
are the provocateurs youll encounter along the way.
do this kind of work at this level, requires a boat load of patience and a mountain of
trust. The limits of your courage and determination will be tested time and time again.
Once you choose your practice, you must commit to sticking to it in every way, through
every conceivable difficulty. You need to trust that you can face the pain and joy, the
sorrow and bliss, the loneliness and the intimacy, the shame and the humility, the regret
and satisfaction, and not only survive it all, but thrive in its midst.
so I ask of you, what I ask of everybody. Trust. Have faith. Go beyond your fears,
dont be stopped by your discomfort. Learn how to work with your pain rather than
continue to medicate it, allow yourself to get off the mat. Let Essence do her job. Trust that Essence knows how to give birth to the path to your
spiritual center. Your job? You have one job and one job only--fasten your seat belt, hold
on as tight as you can, dont let go, stay seated, bend over and place your head
between your knees if you need to, but stay the course, see things through to the
youve decided on what you want to do. And youve made the inward and outward
commitment to stay the course. That leaves you with one last step. The action step--taking
an inventory of the thought, feeling, or action of
Ego thats embedded in your reactions to
the circumstances of your life. This kind of inventory has two components to it--your
perceptions and at least one others perceptions. Why? Simply, youre
perceptions are embedded with many self-serving distortions.
Easy does it. I know that thems fighting words for most of you. The mere suggestion
that one doesnt know themself as well as they believe has gotten me in more hot
water than I care to talk about. Thats a hard one to swallow for most. It takes some
getting used to. But believe me, Ive seen so many good peoples best efforts sabotaged because
they insisted that they knew what was best. Well, let me tell you something, brothers and
sisters alike, the people who struggle most with the message that they dont know
themselves as well as they believe are the ones who most sorely need to learn the art of turning it over, but that discussion is for another
time and another place.
me step out of the line of fire for a moment and allow Kalu Rinpoche to make my case for
me. Rinpoche says, You live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a
reality but you do not know this. When you understand this, you will see that you are
nothing, and being nothing you are everything. That is all.
why bother if everyones perceptions are so fallible? First, the search for a deeper
understanding of yourself is a process of synthesis. To have only your viewpoint or to
have only somebody elses viewpoint would be like trying to applaud with one hand.
But through a process of honest, compassionate confrontation of Ego, and courageously taking in the feedback of
others, you can eventually identify many of the Ego
authored biases that are embedded in your perceptions of Self and your world--biases
that influence the meaning you apply to the circumstances of your life.
you identify the thought, feeling, or action of Ego that is embedded in your reaction to a situation, you can then identify what
would be the corresponding Essence authored thought, feeling, or action to the same
situation. I know. I know. Ego embedded
reactions? Essence authored thoughts, feelings,
or actions? More of my psychobabble. If you want a more exhaustive explanation, let me
know, I cover those ideas in pamphlets 4 and 7. But for now stay focused on the process of taking of your inventory.
trying to identify the ways that Ego infiltrates
your thoughts, feelings, and actions. The point
of this part of the exercise cannot be overemphasized. Were doing more than making a
list and checking it twice. What we are about to do is return free will to your life. Thats right, return it, because you havent used your free
will for a long time. You see, up to this point, youve been kidding yourself. You
may believe in the concept of free will. You may believe that your life is made up of
carefully considered choices. You may even believe that your life is lived in part or in
whole by your free will.
the reality is that more times than not, your
life is being lived directly from the script drafted by Ego. And whenever Ego gets involved in a writing project, believe me,
there never are any rewrites, never any change in dialogue, never any deviation from the
plot line. You may think that youre the one writing all the rough drafts, but, if
you examine your choices a bit more carefully, if you explore your choices a tad more
honestly, youll discover that Ego is
really the ghost writer of your drama, he just lets you take all of the credit.
can bring free will back into your life, but free will doesnt truly start until you
recognize what an Ego authored reaction
is and what the corresponding Essence authored
response is. But without confronting Ego,
without taking an inventory of Ego authored
thoughts, feelings, or actions, without exploring what the Essence dominated choice would be, then youre
merely a slave of the habitualized, ritualized, conditioned reactions authored by Ego.
said earlier, I know that Ive thrown a bunch of words at you that currently have
more meaning to me than they do to you. Dont let that be an obstacle at this point.
I have explained those words and ideas for you in other pamphlets. But for now, I just
want you to get used to the idea that there are things that you can do to make reverence a part of your life and lay out the path
for you of how to make that happen.
Thats the easy part of how to manifest reverence
in your life. Now lets tackle the manifestation of reverence at a deeper, even more profound, level. A
level that will facilitate transformation of Ego beyond
your mind and into the depths of your spirit and soul.
do so, let me first say that reverence is a whole
created by the sum of singular parts. Those parts are humility, gratitude and release through surrender.
So what I want to do next is discuss with you these three elements of reverence. Identifying what the elements of reverence are, understanding how to utilize the
elements of reverence in your day-to-day life,
and patiently mastering the application of these elements to the circumstances of your
life is how reverence can most profoundly
transform your battles with life into opportunities for healing and evolving.
first element of reverence is humility. As a
starting point for our discussion of humility, I think it would be more helpful to first
focus on what humility is not. The American
Heritage Dictionary defines humility as the
quality or condition of being humble. And being
humble is defined as:
1.) marked by meekness or modesty in behavior,
attitude, or spirit
2.) Showing deferential or submissive respect
3.) Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious
of these three definitions captures the essence of what I believe humility to be as an
element of reverence. The above definitions
reflect a cultural bias to debasing rather than celebrating ourselves. Humility is neither
self-denigration nor its polar opposite, self-exaltation .
humility is, in the context of our current discussion, is simply the acceptance of being
human, the acceptance and integration of all the qualities that constitute
ones humanness. In an earlier description
of Ego, I described Ego as being
the carnival mirror that reflects back to you the two most profound distortions you hold
about yourself--that youre either Lord of the Manor or Scum of the Earth. Well,
humility is a third orientation towards yourself--an orientation that sees yourself and
your place in life as an integrated whole. That integrated whole is being Human Being--neither Lord of the Manor, nor Scum of
the Earth. What you are creating as you shed the influence of Ego and adopt the voice of Essence is a blend of each point on the compass of
humanity. This blend creates a third distinct entity--Human Being.
as an orientation towards life, is the middle ground from which you join the human race rather than hover above it in a hot air balloon, inflated by
your grandiosity or grovel below it, drowning in a sea of your shame. Humility is the
midpoint between all the extremes of who you are, its the bridge that unites those
extremes and blends them into an integrated whole. Humility is the bridge you build to the
human race, in spite of your imperfections, despite all of your grandness, and most
importantly of all, because of your ordinariness.
Humanness? Those are tough pills to swallow. The very mention of those words make most
people break out in a cold sweat. Whats it like for you? Whats it like to even
contemplate the process of stepping out of your delusions--no longer able to boast to
yourself and anyone who will listen, no longer able to stake your claim to the title, Best of the Best or Best of the Worst. Do you
recognize those claims to fame? Do you recognize those claims as the rev of the engine of Ego?
face it, theres a higher purpose that those claims serve than mere
self-aggrandizement. If you grasp what the true purpose of those claims are, then you have
captured the essence of the sheer brilliance of Ego
in action. Best of the Best or Best of the Worst,
those are the claims from which the myth of your uniqueness
is invented, those are the claims of how special you are, most important of all, those two
claims are what you take license from in order to remain separate and apart.
can hear the gears in your mind grinding away, Youre not suggesting that I
give up my claim to being Best of the Best or Best of the Worst? Please, leave me with
something, some sense of pride, a smitten of dignity. Leave me with something that will separate me from the pack.
hear you throwing down the gauntlet. Take away my drugs? Sure. Throw my booze down
the drain? If you must. You say I have to stop doing all the things I do with my food?
Well, okay. Free me from the appetites of my compulsions? I would give anything to unchain
myself from them. Lift my cloud of denial? You might as well take that one too. Release me
from my fears. I pity the poor fool who tries, but sure, go ahead, give it your best shot.
All those are good things in the end.
surrender my sense of entitlement, go without my daily fix of uniqueness, no longer seek
comfort in my personal story that casts me as the hero and everyone else as a villain?
Please, whatever you do, dont take away my uniqueness. Dont rob me of my
individuality, my own special stake in this world. Please whatever you do, dont
suggest that I should walk amongst the crowd,
rather than soar over and/or slink below it. Dont for one minute suggest that
part of what I must do is cop to how truly ordinary
I am. Dont sentence me to a life of merely being an autonomous, integrated part of something larger than
me when I feel so comfortable being separate and independent.
see there, thats the rub, thats the inherent tension in humility. All the ways
you have to transform yourself and the space you take up in this world. From separate to a
part of. From independent to interdependent. From grandiose to grand. From unique to
human. From shame to imperfect. From separate to connected.
should be clear that humility is a choice, although I suspect that you likely feel more
like a slave to your grandiosity and shame. But look at what your choices are. Behind door
number one is minimizing who you are. Behind
door number two is exaggerating who you are.
Door number three--thats the tough one. Thats the choice that feels so
awkward, so anxiety provoking. Door number three is the choice of accepting who you are. And the underlying condition
that you must accept about who you are is that youre neither God nor Satan, angel
nor devil, prince nor pauper, savior nor sinner, master nor slave. Youre merely the
grandest creation of a Divine energy that intended for you to be human, extraordinary only
in how ordinary you are.
the first step of humility is accepting your
humanness, the second step is embracing it. You
can embrace humility through a specific action. If you can see that humility is the
opposite of both self-denigration and self-aggrandizement, then there is only one choice
for you to make. The choice is to not make
comparisons. Its just that simple. Stop comparing who you are and what you do to
everyone and everything else. Dont make it any more complex than that. Just stop it.
Cut it out. Ichsna on the comparisonsna.
you might wonder? Why am I so insistent that this one shift can so dramatically impact the
well-being of your life? Well, when you compare yourself to somebody or something, you use
a pair of binoculars through which to view the object that youre comparing yourself
to. When viewing the object of your comparison, youll see the same view over and
over again--through one lens youll see self-denigration, through the other lens
youll see self-aggrandizement. Doesnt matter with whom. Doesnt matter
about what. Whenever your viewing your world through the binoculars of comparison, you can
only see things in black and white--black being shame, white being grandiosity.
about that for a moment. Think about all the noise that goes on in your head. Think about
all the time you spend convincing yourself of what you are and what youre not. And
the measuring system you use to fuel this stream of consciousness? Comparing yourself to
anybody and everything. Comparing how youre the same or dissimilar; better or worse;
bigger or smaller; brighter or dumber; richer or poorer.
is Ego dominated behavior. Not comparing is Essence dominated. Comparing is delusional
dominated thinking. Not comparing is reality-based thinking. Comparison is shame-based
judgmentalness. Non-comparing is Divine based acceptance. Humility created out of the act
of non-comparison will enable you to see that
you are neither better nor worse than anything else in the universe.
for those of you who see yourself and everything in your universe as all or nothing, what Im suggesting to you is
that in truth you are neither all nor nothing at all.
If thats so, then the question begs to be asked, if you are neither all nor nothing at all, then just what
are you? In my mind, you are good enough because
of the very fact that youre human.
you accept your humanness and embrace it, the third step of humility is to nurture this particular state of being. Humility as
a process demands patience. As St. Francis de Sale said, What we need is a cup of
understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience. Initially, its very
difficult to live in the energy of being ordinary. It doesnt feel good.
shame and grandiosity die slow deaths--each initially resurrected by the death of the
other. And so without shame and grandiosity with which to medicate your disdain of being
ordinary, youre quick to want to remedy the lingering pain of being ordinary. The
discomfort provoked by the act of joining the human
race rather than remaining separate can be overwhelming. The pain and discomfort
demands to be medicated. The sense of awkwardness cries out for a quick fix. No longer
able to ease your fears, quiet your nagging self-doubts, escape the terror of your worst
case scenarios with the old familiar tricks of Ego,
you must find a new strategy to remain in the energy of humility rather than falling back
into the space of shame or grandiosity.
more quick fixes. No more fairy tales about your greatness nor horror stories about how
twisted you are. Patience is whats
required. Tolerance for the moment. Trusting that you have other resources you can call
upon to quiet the pain of being human. Soothing
yourself with love and compassion rather than the white-hot poker of blame, the
condescending voice of judgmentalness, the self-serving versions of truth created by
denial, rationalizations, grandiosity, and shame.
ordinarily human is not for the faint of heart. This is a very fragile, vulnerable state
to live in. Youll always be tempted to rely on Ole
Faithful, your declaration that you are the Best of the Best or the Best of the Worst. The power of each claim? The
intoxicating allure of being Best of the Best or
the Best of the Worst? Those claims are your
drug of choice. Those claims numb you to the discomfort that you experience from being
ordinarily human. Those claims make you feel in the same predictable way every time you
use one or the other, in a way that no designer drug on the face of this earth could begin
to imitate. You have relied on those claims to medicate your inner tensions, to tame your
fears. Its the armor you don, a self-protective mechanism whos efficacy rivals
that of your self-esteem.
with humility, theres a second element of reverence--gratitude.
To start the discussion of gratitude, lets first look at what gratitude is not.
Gratitude isnt a feeling, although the ownership of ones gratitude can
certainly produce feelings. Its not the after-effect of being humbled by a
circumstance, although humbling circumstances is one crop from which gratitude is
harvested. For many, gratitude is confused with servitude, although gratitude certainly is
the basis for a life of service.
of those descriptions work for me, none of those descriptions capture the depth and
breadth of what gratitude is. Gratitude first and foremost is a perception. And as we
discussed earlier, your perceptions are colored by either the lens of Ego or the lens of Essence. For example, Ego perceives circumstances as problems to be solved. Essence perceives circumstances as opportunities to evolve. Ego perceives circumstances as an opportunity to
invoke your will. Essence perceives
circumstances as an opportunity to partner with your higher power. Ego perceives circumstances as something being done to you. Essence perceives
circumstances as a gift offered to you. Ego perceives the people in your life as objects to indulge and service your desires. Essence perceives the people in your life as deserving beings to whom you offer love, support, compassion, and authenticity. Ego perceives yourself as entitled to receive love, loyalty, recognition,
esteem, security. Essence sees the people in
your life as children of the Divine, deserving of your honor, care, concern, and respect.
more than merely a perception, gratitude is an attitude.
Again, we can say that Ego has one point of
view, Essence, an entirely different take. Just
what is the attitude of gratitude as experienced through these two different sources of
energy? For Ego its entitlement, for Essence its worthiness. For Ego its about what you can get out of a situation, for Essence its what you can receive from a situation. For Ego its how can I best take advantage of this situation, for Essence its what do I have to offer to this situation. For Ego its whats been done to me in this situation, for Essence its what does this situation offers to me. For Ego its the neverending refrain,
its not fair, for Essence
its the refrain of the Divine within each and every one of us thine will, not
gratitude as an action, is acknowledgment. Again there, are two versions of
acknowledgment, Egos and Essences.
Ego acknowledges what has been gifted by demanding more.
Essence acknowledges what has been gifted by offering
Ego acknowledges what has been gifted by judging
Essence acknowledges what has been gifted by honoring the gesture.
Ego acknowledges what has been gifted by hoarding
the justifiable winnings of a self-righteous soul.
Essence acknowledges what has been gifted by cherishing
and sharing the love offerings of a
compassionate Divine creator.
what can you do with all that I just said? Whats the application? Whats the
relevance to this exercise of introducing gratitude as an element of reverence into your life? Is this some slick way of
splitting hairs or an opportunity to make significant shifts in how you touch your life?
wish for you is that youll use my discussion of gratitude as a mirror into your
soul. Examine how much of your life is touched with the gratitude of Essence, how much with the gratitude of Ego. Examine your perceptions and attitudes towards
the circumstances the Universe creates and offers to you. Which of those perceptions and
attitudes has the energy of Ego embedded within,
which the voice of Essence? Remember, you do
have free will as to how you want to respond to any life experience. You just cant
activate it until you fully see how Ego has
imprisoned your free will.
the same theme that Ive been harping on throughout this pamphlet--honest,
compassionate confrontation of Ego. The more
sensitized you become to the insidious ways that Ego
is entangled in your orientation towards life, the better able you will be to [re]claim
your free will. Not until you are free of Egos
influence can you exert your free will. And you cant free yourself of Egos influence until you see it and see what
alternatives there are.
third element of reverence is the experience of release. Theres an old
saying, as long as we cling, we are bound. An Ego dominated life is a life in which youre a
prisoner of the object(s) to which you are bound. These object(s) are like a piece of
toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe. No matter how hard you try to will these object(s) away, they remain in your life
in one form or another. Why? Simply, you cant will
anything away. The best that your will can do is
transform the focus of your will into a different manifestation, but the energy of the
underlying attachment will continue. Believe me when I tell you, your will is no match for the strength and endurance of
attachment you have for the object(s) to which you are bound.
is the experience of release so important to your emotional and spiritual well-being?
Heres another old saying, first you take a drink and then the drink takes
you. Until you are able to experience release
from the things that you are bound to, your life will be consumed by the things to which
you are bound.
said, your will, your best intentions, are no
match for the tenacity of attachment you have with the object(s) of your compulsions. The
only way to undo the attachment you have with the object(s) of your compulsions is to experience release. The underlying power of the experience of release is the transformation it
creates within your orientation towards life. By unplugging from Ego and aligning yourself with the voice of Essence, youll detach from your self-interest
and selfish needs as you give of Self to others. The transformation will manifest itself
in the following ways.
begin to let go of rather than cling to the objects of your desires and compulsions, the
very essence of release. Bending the Truths of the universe to serve your will will give way to yielding and eventually
blending with these eternal Truths. The tone and
tenor of your relationships will transform through the simple act of revealing rather than
merely explaining yourself. By trusting the Wisdom of the universe more and being invested
less in the outcome of your choices, youll experience life in a more creative,
spontaneous manner. Ultimately, the element of surrender embedded in the act of letting go
will empower you to create a state of connectiveness with the universe and all of its
inhabitants rather than maintain a self-centered state of isolation.
The experience of release takes place at three
levels. The first level is the object(s) from
which youre seeking the experience of
release. Examples of this would be addictions, compulsive behaviors, obsessions, control,
and self-deception. The second level of release is release from self-centeredness. The
third level of release is release from denial, fear, and the dishonesty of self-deception.
Implied in this third level of release is accepting the fact that you dont truly
know who you are and therefore self-discovery can only unfold at the pace with which
youre prepared to let go of Egos
construction of a false Self.
unfortunate thing about release is that understanding the value of the experience of release is much easier than
understanding how to create the experience of
release. You see, release cannot be achieved,
it can only be experienced. Theres nothing
you can do or know in order to activate the experience of release. You cant read a book.
You cant listen to audio tapes. You cant attend a workshop. All of these
experiences are helpful but they arent sufficient. You can only activate the experience of release through the act of releasing. Paradoxical? Of course! Bewildering?
Absolutely! Disheartening? Without a doubt! But nonetheless its true--the very act of releasing is what activates the experience
of releasing. I know. I know. Its confusing. Just take your time. Youre not
going to get this all at once.
how do you activate the experience of releasing?
Go slowly with me. You activate the experience of
releasing through the act of letting go.
Careful, now--heres one more contradiction to ponder. I said in the last paragraph
that there is nothing that you can do or know in
order to create the experience of release. So then, how can the act of letting go activate the experience of release? Let me try to clarify that
for you. Its not the mere act of letting go that creates the experience of release. The mere act of letting go is nothing more than a
veiled attempt at more control and manipulation. However, embedded in the sincere act of letting go is an element of letting
go that does activate the experience of
release. That element is surrender--complete
abdication of any pretense of control.
the act of surrender as an element of aligning yourself with the personal energy of reverence is undoubtedly the greatest paradox
youll encounter in your unfolding spiritual journey--the experience of release can only be activated by the
act of you sincerely letting go. Therein lies the paradox. In order to untangle the
paradox you must, first and foremost, accept that youre not in control of the
circumstances of your life. Thus the process of surrendering relies solely on your
willingness to open up to the Truth of the
universe--that youre not running the show here, that theres a power greater
than you whos driving the bus. You can only be open to this Truth when you begin to let go of the grip that Ego holds on your life. This grip manifests itself
in the many illusions and pretensions that you rely on in order to create a false sense of
self, security, certainty, and an entitlement to a guarantee of your desired outcomes.
know how difficult this is to wrap your brain around. Right now settle for knowing that
surrender is extremely important. The good news is that surrender is not something you
need to understand in order to do--its some you only need to experience. And the way
to experience surrender is to let go. And the
single, most important thing that you need to let go of is all the ways you have at
attempting to control your feelings, your mood, your environment, and the people in your
focus less on understanding and more on examining those areas of your life where you need
to experience release. Remember how I said that
there are three levels to experience of release?
Start to identify what object(s) you need to experience
release from. How is Ego (self-centeredness)
attached to the object(s) from which you are desiring release? What impact does your
denial have on how consumed you are with the object(s) from which you are desiring a
theres the yes and no, the more and less, the mystical and concrete aspects of how
to introduce reverence into your life.
Dont forget the importance of all of this. The orientation, or attitude, with which
you approach your life will determine the nature of the experiences that you create in
your life. The choice for you is a simple one. And theres a specific orientation,
that can bring to your life an abundance of joy, love, and prosperity. And the path to
such abundance is through the connection you establish with your spiritual center, Essence, the source of a never ending supply of
energy I have referred to as reverence.
Click here for Part 1 of Mirror
On the Wall
chemical dependency and its toxic impact on family members. Raise your
children to choose to be alcohol and other drugs
free. Learn how
to in Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. Recovery book series.