Tag Archive | Soren Kierkegaard

Nothing to prove

Eleanor under the kitchen chair

Eleanor under the kitchen chair

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” Soren Kierkegaard

My brother emailed me this quote yesterday. He knew that I would love it. I’ve dared quite a few things in my lifetime, some of them turned out to be wonderful, some, mini-disasters, but I’ve learned more about myself from all of them, and as I think back on the difference, what I know is this: when I acted from a positive longing for more Life, when the action (or decision) felt like it was coming from a deeper part of me, even if the action itself seemed quite risky, like skydiving or doing a firewalk, the end result was positive. And when I was doing something to prove a point, or show someone, or I was in a low, disempowered state, the results were not so good.

Years ago, I was dating a man who I knew in my heart wasn’t right for me. But I wanted him to be so bad! One of his complaints about me was that I was too needy and too dependent, so one day, I took a trip to the White Mountains by myself to hike. I remember my motivation: to prove to him that I was independent and that I didn’t need him (hoping that this would make him want me). I was uneasy the whole time.

About a mile into my hike, two men came up the trail behind me and I could feel that they were trouble. I ran ahead and hid in the woods about 50 feet from the trail. I thought that my heart would explode inside my chest, I was so scarred. They milled around the area (where I entered the woods) until some hikers came up behind them, and when I saw these hikers, I almost flew out of the woods, surprising everyone, and asked if I could join them. The two men did not continue their hike but turned around and went back down the trail.

This isn’t about making rules like, “You should never hike alone.” It is not the activity itself, it’s how we are feeling about it in the moment, that guides us to good or bad decisions. I’ve learned that my inner voice always guides me to make those right decisions and if I am in doubt, I need only look at my motivation, and check in with how I am feeling.

Don’t do anything to try to impress anyone. It doesn’t work. Don’t do anything to prove to others, or to show others, that you are not afraid, or that you are really something special. It doesn’t work.

Make decisions about your life from your heart, and you can not go wrong.

 

What do I believe? I believe the Truth, that “Only blessings will come from this”

Fred on a chair this morning

Fred on a chair this morning

There hasn’t been any movement (on the outside) regarding the house we want to buy. The sellers have someone who wants to rent the home and they are going to give them an answer (yes or no) by Friday the 17th. This is a situation that I would have found unacceptable a few years ago. Even though I’ve always known (intellectually) that I couldn’t lose anything that was meant to be mine, I remember feeling almost unbearable longing (and unhappiness, tension, grief, anger) when I thought I was about to miss an opportunity. But this is not how I feel. I feel hope and happiness and freedom.

What has changed?

Right from the moment that I stopped sobbing (after initially seeing the house and feeling like it was ours), I started saying out loud (and often) “This house is a blessing, and only blessings will come from it”. Day and night, I’ve said that…even when I started to feel anxious. Especially when I started to feel anxious.

The past 15 days have been incredibly powerful for me. I’ve watched myself start to build unhappy scenarios in my mind. I’ve observed the effect in my emotions and body when I started to feel desperate for a specific thing to turn out a specific way, and I’ve used all of my focus to bring myself back to my mantra: This house is a blessing, and only blessings will come from it.

I was listening to a Byron Katie CD the other day and she was telling a story about going into a maximum security prison to do “The Work” (the name she gives to the process of questioning our unhappy thoughts) with some inmates. As she was walking through a corridor, she heard a man begin to scream and scream. She went on to say, “He is screaming because he is locked up with his thoughts…”

I could identify with the screaming man’s mind. Thoughts that tell me how wrong my life is, make me feel like I am in hell with no power to escape. When I believe that I can’t be happy unless I move, lose 20 lbs, publish a book, get a lot of money in the bank, have children who want to talk about the mystical universe with me, have parents that appreciate me, find the ring that I’ve lost, see someone I love recover from an illness, get a job, find my life’s purpose,….when I believe that something, anything, is unfair and wrong, and when I believe that I cannot feel at peace until it changes, I am living in hell.

The little house in Middlebury is a blessing. It doesn’t mean that I’ll own it. It doesn’t mean that I’ll ever step foot in it again. It has helped me see myself and my world through clearer eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I would be absolutely delighted to own that home….I can imagine writing a post, telling you how it came about. But I will tell you my  story anyway and it will unfold perfectly with blessing after blessing being revealed.

How can you love your life right now?  Just the way it is? You can start saying, “I love my life (which may include illness, debt, unemployment, unhappy children, no children, …whatever thing is feeling like a burden, or “wrong”). You can decide only to love everything. You can claim, “This is a blessing, and only blessings will come from it.” You can try this, even if it doesn’t make sense. It might be difficult, but you do have the power to believe a new story (one that feels better) and if you do, you will be amazed at what happens…to you. The Truth is that my life is being Divinely guided. The Truth is that all is well..and this is the Truth for us all.

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” Soren Kierkegaard (quote taken from page 129 , Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, M. D.)

Hurry up and relax?

what I have in mind

We are going away in less than 6 weeks. Over the next few days, we need to book our flights, and make hotel reservations. After spending about 2 hrs straight, reading hotel reviews on Trip Advisor yesterday, my mind felt scrambled. I love reading reviews, taking virtual tours, and doing research on-line, but when I noticed that I was feeling tense, and a little voice was whispering, “All of the good places will be gone if you don’t hurry”, I stopped.

I know that the Universe does not work this way. I used to make decisions out of fear of losing the best deals, or the ideal place, but no more. Every time I’ve made any decision in a panic (from fear of loss), it has not been good. I am such an action-oriented person, that my biggest challenge sometimes is to back off;  to act when I feel inspired, not out of frustration, fear or desperation.

“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it“. Soren Kierkegaard

an inventory; re-labeling my life

Noah and Luke

None of our cats have loved getting attention from Luke, but Noah has always been really afraid of him. Yesterday was different. I looked over and saw Luke licking Noah’s head, and my first reaction was to shoo him away, but as I waited a second, I realized that Noah was enjoying it. Something changed, something became easier between them and I was about to stop it because it didn’t fit the pattern that I was used to, even though that pattern wasn’t that great.

Negatively labeling people is such a bad habit. It tends to restrict their future behaviour, at least in my eyes,  to only what they have done in the past. It is like taking an expansive, multidimensional being and stuffing them into a little, neat box so I can make sense of their behaviour (even when I don’t like it!). They also tend to start showing me only that face, only the traits that fit the label, because that is what I expect.

It’s not the same with positive labels. Somehow even the words, “She is a lovely person”, she is kind, he is generous, he is open-minded…” feel different. I want to give to the world my best, and to call forth the best from others. Maybe this would be a good weekend to do an inventory; to look at all of the labels that I have stuck on people (me included), places, situations and animals, dust them off, and re-label them with words that hold high, positive and expansive energy.

Once you label me you negate me“. Soren Kierkegaard