1 August 2015 8 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part #55: Mind Your Own Business?

The word that is not heard is lost. ” ~Inayat Khan

Following from Post #53: At the retreat I sought to resolve my concerns with one of the two group leaders. In the capacity of our friendship, I sought to contribute to his self awareness. Like a reflex, he reflected everything I said back onto me—without exploring my concerns or looking within. This exemplified my main point. Our encounter was loving, yet I stepped away frustrated and sad.

I contemplated how much importance to give to feeling heard, being understood, or having my contributions received. Wisdom tells me that the more we develop the more we must release attachment to such luxuries.

A quote from the spiritual leader Meher Baba springs to mind: “Understanding has no meaning. Love has meaning. Obedience has more meaning.”

Meaning comes from feeling and from the heart, while understanding involves the mind. “Obedience,” in my current interpretation, has to do with being true to our inner guidance.

When we act with intention and discernment, and surrender to the highest option, meaning takes shape through action. 

It's not black & white.

It’s not black & white.

Toward the end of the spiritual retreat I attempted to contribute to someone else who was not open to it. My very brief comment yielded an unpleasant intensity of reaction. In remorse, I questioned my tendency to contribute.

I did begin to bring in self love—and continue to consider my views and values regarding contribution to others.

Yes, it is important to learn to allow others to be wherever they are in their journey. We are best off when we accept life the way it is. I do not, however, believe that noticing that someone has something to learn or contributing to their process of learning must involve judging them.

Contribution, should we chose–or feel compelled–to involve ourselves, works better when we are not judging. We are responsible for our motivations, and the energies they bring forth.

Our paths interweave with those of others. The world goes round owing to involvement. When we try to change others from misguided motivation or with excessive investment, we suffer for it–and we learn through our entanglement. So do others.

I believe there is more to learn here than to mind our own business–although for those of us who respond without feeling things out first, that might be a good start. :)

If we withdraw and do not involve ourselves, we lose the opportunity for certain types of personal growth. Those of us who over-involve need to pull back. Those of us who pull back may need to learn to bring our voices forward. What is called for differs with each situation.

Learning usually requires making mistakes. We definitely need to bring through love for ourselves throughout our learning experiences as we gradually develop the discernment to engage gracefully in a wide variety of situations.

Self mastery requires learning HOW and WHEN and to WHOM we contribute. This task is a lot more challenging than throwing ourselves into contribution by reflex, whether or not it is welcome or not it drains us, or maintaining a policy of allowing others to carry on without engaging them.

From one perspective we cannot say which path is best for another—yet our insight or feedback may well assist others in making viable choices.

Offering insight need not be arrogant. Doing it by reflex, however, is unconscious behavior, which often comes across as arrogant.

Consciously or unconsciously, we are each and all agents of one another’s awakening. We cannot avoid that. We CAN seek to be discerning, loving, and intentional.

What is the difference between passive acceptance and active acceptance?

When is passive acceptance weak?

When is the appearance of acceptance actually an expression of passive aggression?

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8 Responses to “Managing Your Energy, Part #55: Mind Your Own Business?”

  1. TOM 1 August 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Thanks, Teresa !!
    Timely !!

    Tom

  2. Therese 1 August 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    In the past, I have offered my insights to others in the hopes of being helpful. People may listen and even agree but rarely did it go farther than that. Their actions maintained the status quo. I found myself frustrated.

    Recently, as in this year, I no longer try to “help” another unless they ask what I think or what I’d do. If they ask, I will share my thoughts. Sometimes the person is reflective and sometimes not. If not, and the person asks for more from me. I try to remember to step back by suggesting they try what I’ve already offered first. Once they’ve had success with that then moving on to something more will be beneficial.

    I admit I have difficulty remembering to step back because my distraction technique is to help others instead of focusing my efforts strictly on myself. When I do remember, I find it interesting how leading by example gets me much better results than trying to talk someone through the process.

    For myself, when I spend a lot of time talking instead of setting the example, I think I’m actually looking for approval from the people I’m supposedly trying to help. Looking for approval feels like it makes me somewhat of a victim. As in, I’m only as good as this person thinks I am or maybe it’s I’m only as good as what I can get this person to do. I freely admit this whole last paragraph has come out of me while I’m typing. The thoughts had never crossed my mind before now. I shall have to sit with this as it feels really accurate.

    Thank you, Teresa, for helping me pull that out of myself.

    With Love,
    Therese

    • Teresa Dietze 2 August 2015 at 11:43 am #

      Dear Therese,

      My own frustration of dealing with the status quo you mentioned, for too long and at too-close range, has exceeded my capacity to manage this frustration for the time being.

      What you have come to in your second paragraph, through valuable experience, is the prevailing wisdom on the topic. Nonetheless–and making myself too vulnerable for comfort in the process, you will see me go on to essentially rail against this (even while agreeing). The alchemy of your initial comments about the topic, along with my frustration, is bringing up material which may have some value.

      My own inability and/or unwillingness to step back on some of those moments involves my nature and my values, which I will bring forth in the next several blogs.

      Admittedly, I tend to view much of what passes for prevailing wisdom as rather one-dimensional. In this case, your own position has a solidity for YOU because it is something you arrived at through direct learning. You did not merely adopt it as a policy or rule, as many are apt to do. I’m not taking issue with that. In fact, since I honor you, part of the fuel behind my exploration is the tension between parts of myself that pressure me to move in that direction, and other parts that have good reasons not do so. I have chosen to bring out these voices in my exploration of the topic, and remain interested in your commentary. Meanwhile, I must take care not to use it (or the salient quote at the bottom) as a stick to poke myself with.

      As for me, my similar behaviors stem from different tensions than yours do. Some I will bring out in posts. Here, I will say while I CAN be looking for approval, usually I am seeking connection. I at times feel very isolated when I am around someone and cannot have a clear and mutual exchange, such as this one. When I have to bite my tongue too much I feel lonely. Also, I’m not sure if it takes me more energy to keep my mouth shut or to explain. I do know that in most cases it would serve me better to do the former. In my current life alchemy, when I bite back my words and seek to remain silent, the person involved seeks to pull them forth from me, and expresses interest. I feel a bit trapped (victim) when I speak only to find exactly what you pointed out at the top–same status quo even when listening occurs.

      I recently found a number of quotes (by Inayat Khan) that I like, which have been underscoring my insights and making me feel better about feelings that are coming up for me–while also prodding me in the places I need to wake up.

      This one makes me think I should go buy an RV!: “There is no better companion than solitude.”

      The one below is quite stimulating. 😉 There are others that I find very supportive right now.

      I am glad to hear your insight and articulation are stimulated by our exploration. It is my fond hope that my thrashing about with this is of genuine service. It is a real process to work these things through, and quick easy answers or policies don’t produce the same results!

      BTW: Nice Inner Work noticing the desire for approval motivation.

      One thing I know for sure: when and if I come to agree with the prevailing wisdom, it will be with every fiber, understanding the exceptions and conditions, and with the wisdom of carefully tested life experience!

      Love,

      T

      “That person becomes conqueror of life who learns to control his tongue.” ~ Inayat Khan

  3. Therese 3 August 2015 at 8:45 am #

    As I’ve said, I’m really new at the letting go of trying to help others. I lapse often and I still believe, if I can only find the perfect sequence of words, I can help anyone.

    When I started training in massage, my teacher was the first one who said that to take away another’s pain is not necessarily a good thing. She said we are, possibly, taking away their learning and, therefore, making their journey more difficult. I freely admit that, while she said these words, her actions were quite different. So, we can have a mental understanding while lacking the experience which allows us to honor our logic.

    When I began doing massages, I was accused of working too deeply, even when I was doing what I termed a “fluff and buff.” A fluff and buff, for me was a feel good massage with no pressure, just relaxing, calming strokes. I ran a lot of energy during all of the muassages I did so they were always powerful though I was too new to understand how powerful energy work can be. I had many clients who were in pain for up to a month after a fluff and buff. Truthfully, I didn’t believe them. I knew pain could be caused by resistance to healing but I didn’t believe someone could be that resistant to healing/change. Now, I know differently. When I work with someone who wants the trials they have, they are going to experience a significant amount of pain. I have taken away the learning they need. I have worked with people who did want to improve and they’ve improved dramatically. But, even they, reach a point where they can no longer allow the improvement and they will sabotage themselves. I know they are sabotaging and they tell me they know they are sabotaging. I quit doing the Feldenkrais work, which was more powerful than anything I’d done before, because of the energy I flow, because I have finally figured out I don’t want to be doing all the work while the client fights me the entire time. I have enough work to do on myself. I don’t need to be doing other’s work for them.

    As for the loneliness, I’m lucky I’ve been alone my entire life. Yes, I have a sister and we were close but I was always responsible for her which creates an unequal system where I am alone. People around me are always telling me how different I am so I’ve not had a lot of close friends. While I have friends, they don’t get me either; my newest endeavor has them perplexed. My husband is the closest person to someone who understands me better than anyone and that’s after a lot of therapy. After I read a quote by Abraham-Hicks, I finally understood I’m alone because I’m in my own world. There are others here but there are not many of us so we don’t run into each other very often. Here’s the quote

    “I can only help those who are somewhere in the vicinity of where I am.” – Abraham-Hicks

    While I’m alone, I am not lonely. I do reach out because I never know when I will meet another whom I can help ( because they are ready) or someone who can help guide me (because I am ready). I know now to only offer my help to those who want it because they will use it to grow without relying on me to do it for them. I focus on the 1 in 1,000 who is ready.

    I understand about the people who act as though they want something different but maintain the status quo. Actions always speak louder than words. Words are almost meaningless to me. I hear words with reservations. If the actions don’t follow, I don’t get upset as often. I just move back to concerning myself with my life.

    Last year, we talked about my visit with my Mom. She has been very beneficial to me getting where I am. She takes zero responsibility for her life but thinks she takes full responsibility. I’m not judging her. She has the life she has chosen. It could be different but the unhappiness is her comfort zone. I simply no longer wish to play. The reason for the counseling Jeff and I went through was because I got tired of playing the game in which we were entrenched. Jeff and I are good now but I’m tired of living the life he wants and diminishing what I want. He understands. I’m going off to figure out exactly what I want and live it. Jeff will probably join me but he may not. I’ve had to come to peace with all possibilities because I can no longer live less than I am. With myself, and probably others, the pain I experienced from tamping down my light is worse than the pain of anything else which may happen.

    All of this is how I’ve gotten where I am. I understand the attitude of not going down without a fight. I fought valiantly. The Truth of the Universe finally sat on me so heavily I listened. I send you more love than you can possibly know. Tears cloud my eyes because of the depth of my love for you. The path we have chosen is often one traveled alone. We are fortunate to live in a time with technology which allows us to connect over long distances. Safe travels on your journey. You DO have a support system.

    With Love,
    Therese

    • Teresa Dietze 3 August 2015 at 10:40 am #

      Dear Therese,

      I totally understand, and agree with all of it, although my situation is somewhat different.

      One of the most challenging aspects of Inner Work is to be able to recognize sabotage when it’s going on. I took classes and advanced classes on addressing self sabotage with energy-based techniques. Of course, someone has to be open, ready and willing to look deeply in order to engage this work. Several years ago I quit, for the most part, working with clients who are not willing to look at that type of patterning. They are too draining. My clients are pretty amazing people, and only once in a while do I have to address sabotage in detail any more. I used to work with it a lot. Of course some would not come back, but I learned to let them go so I wouldn’t be drained. People with big denial issues don’t tend to be drawn to me, or rarely stick after we start.

      The types of energy and body work I do can usually be sequenced to prevent or resolve the kinds of pain you are talking about. (I’d be happy to receive body work from you!) If I were to do some kinds of work and not balance it with others, that type of thing might happen.

      While I am primarily on my own, I have a small handful of amazing friends–who unfortunately all live out of town except one. Each of them is able to meet me deeply, and we are able discuss almost anything. Most of them are spiritual teachers, healers, or therapists. I wish we were able to interface regularly but we are not, and have busy lives.

      It sometimes strikes me that I now live a rather unusual existence because I interface almost entirely with self-responsible, fairly-developed people. When I spend time around people who are not working on themselves I can find myself at a loss. Oddly, I did not learn that kind of basic in family, which I lacked, or in my isolated childhood. My Mother is a psychologist and highly insightful. I consider my perplexity dealing with those who resist insight to be a shortcoming.

      Sabotage is at play in the situation that frustrates me. Generally it is that of the other person, although occasionally when my issues arise I find a little pocket of it lurking within. The energy work I do demands a high degree of clarity, so I look for it in myself regularly and address it if it is there, usually in the wee hours. In the frustrating situation I feel that I am working with something karmic. Facing down and resolving my issues of over-giving is a key part of that work. Learning to interface when insight is welcome one moment and highly unwelcome in the next is also part of it. I would like more mastery in that terrain. (Reminds me of a comment you made about people “being honest and contradicting themselves in the span of two sentences.”)

      What you said about feeling alone when you are with your sister is well said, and exactly what happens for me in that situation. (Although I doubt if those who have not lived it would understand.) I am so accustomed to the clear psychic and emotional rapport that occurs in most of my interactions, that when this is absent I can find myself not knowing how to navigate. I have chosen for the time being to stand in it and learn to bring myself what I need. I have also chosen to give myself more and more space from it.

      I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your loving support. I am certain that it takes this venue to a much more significant level of interaction because knowing that I am seen and not talking into a vacuum gives me enough safety to make myself much more vulnerable. As ever, I believe that in our wholeness and authenticity we serve more meaningfully than by assuming a stance.

      Love,

      T

      • Therese 3 August 2015 at 4:09 pm #

        The thing which stood out for me, in your reply, are the parts where you talk about not knowing how to navigate when you encounter people who don’t want to look at themselves. It stood out because I realized, when I encounter those situations, I lose interest. I retreat at least internally because I simply don’t wish to engage with people who want to remain socialized. I’m looking for the critical thinkers, people who want love, peace, coexistence. I guess I’m looking for the Hippies. I’m looking for people who no longer want drama.

        This reply really doesn’t have anything to say about what you wrote. I feel we’re on the same page. I responded to the one part because it’s a change I see in myself and I’m honoring it by acknowledging it.

        I’ve spent the day reading journals from years past. I’m amazed by some of the stuff I’ve written. I also find I’m still working out the details of things I realized years ago but forgot. It’s an interesting journey.

        With Love,
        Therese

        • Teresa Dietze 3 August 2015 at 5:09 pm #

          Yes, those are the people I seek out as well; people who want clarity, intentionality, and love instead of drama. Than again, sometimes life throws me in contact with either the general populace or persons with whom I feel I have some type of karmic bond. Then I engage and seek to learn from my experiences.

          Sometimes people are conflicted. Part of them wants very much to look at themselves while other parts sabotage those efforts. My willingness in that case depends partly on the sincerity and intensity of that desire, their willingness to come to recognize the sabotage, and other factors. My first qualification for friendship is “commitment to truth.” When someone is wrestling with coming to inner congruence, I tend to give them a chance. This has come to cost too much.

          Then again, I see (a very few) people with good boundaries who know who they are and manage to have pleasant interactions with those who are less developed without messing themselves up. I suppose I aspire to that spiritually. –But I thwart my own aim through my allergy to socialization! LOL What are they gonna do without the whole bundle of rules!? Ha! When people want to interact via rules and constructs instead of going by the actual energies at hand it can be a drag. You’re right, you’re right!

          Love,

          T

          Love,

          T

  4. Therese 4 August 2015 at 9:06 am #

    I love the phrase “… Allergy to socialization.” I laughed so hard I cried. Crap! I thought I’d released all my allergies. I’m still laughing.

    Thank you,
    Therese


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