Archive for September, 2009

Sep 24 2009

Cosmic Joke – Issue #27

“Blessed our we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused.” Last Saturday I saw Swami Beyondananda, the Cosmic Comic, in person, and he told us, “Imagine that the creator is watching the comedy channel, and We are what’s on.” Laughter is a wonderful thing. It is healing and heart opening, it lowers our blood pressure and raises our spirits. Like some of you, I was brought up in a family where feelings of anger, fear and sadness were not welcomed.  However, those feelings found an outlet through the one and only accepted form of expression in my house…laughter. As a result, I developed a sharp wit and became…a serial kidder!

Voltaire said, “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” The world can be an intense place, and it is easy to get seriously caught up in the drama of our lives. There’s a story about a woman who had a recurring dream where a monster was chasing her and she would frantically run away from it, in a state of absolute terror.  One night she was barely managing to stay ahead of the monster, when BAM!  She hits a wall and there was nowhere to go. The monster caught up to her and the woman cried out, “Oh no, what am I going to do?!” The monster looked at her and said, “I don’t know lady, it’s YOUR dream.” 

Our life is OUR dream. As our consciousness is evolving, more and more people are waking up to the awareness that we are all interconnected, and life is a one big mirror, reflecting back to us our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. God is now playing to an audience that’s beginning to get the joke!  It’s a Mirror-cle!

I’ve been amusing myself with this thought — what if we get to heaven and there’s a letter from God that says:

“Welcome Dear One,

I’m glad you made it! So, did you get the cosmic joke?  Did you figure out that everyone in your life was YOU, especially those who pushed your buttons?  When you tried to convince the critical people in your life of your value, that was the critical You that you were trying to convince.  When you thought that people in your life were judging, rejecting, or neglecting you, that was You doing that to you. Everyone in your life was mirroring you. Every time you thought you got rid of an irritating person from your life, they’d just show up again in another body, because that was You you were trying to escape, and wherever you go, there You are.

There were lots of clues about the many you’s, such as your term for your world — Universe, get it?…YOUniverse. There were also clues in the Bible, like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Because they ARE you); and from the Talmud, “We do not see things as they are, we see them as WE are”.  The whole dream thing was a big clue too, where everyone in your dream is an aspect of yourself. Just like in a dream, everyone in your life is an aspect of You.

Did you figure out that the best way to deal with this cosmic joke was first to lighten up and have a sense of YOUmor? Then FACE the you’s that were showing up in your life, in the form of other people, and get curious, “Oh, you’re my mirror.  What is it I haven’t wanted to see?”  Then be WILLING to really see what the YOUniverse is reflecting back to you, take a big breath and let it in, accept it.  And then, here’s the really funny part…LOVE what it is that you’re seeing. Love what it is in others that you’ve been judging and rejecting. Love what it is you’ve been trying to get rid of and get away from. That’s when you become One with the YOUniverse. Love is the great YOUnifier.

Life is a funny, funny riddle. LOVE is the answer.  I hope you had fun with it all.”

Love,

God (who, by the way, is also YOU)

How about You? Is there something serious in Your life that you need to laugh at? As Swami Beyondananda says, “Laughter causes our blood vessels to dilate, which is a lot better than having them die early!” Here’s to learning, laughing, and loving what is!

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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Sep 08 2009

There’s Gold In Them Thar ILLs! – Issue #26

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I read something remarkable the other day that moved me to tears.  Eighteen-year-old Shawn Hornbeck, who was abducted by a predator at age eleven and held in captivity for over 4 years (he was found two years ago), wanted to share some of his insights about the experience with Jaycee Dugard, who was also abducted at age eleven and recently found after 18 years in captivity. He said in an interview:

“I realize this sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but you have to move on. You can’t dwell on the past. You have to keep looking toward the future and telling yourself that it’s going to be better than your past … I had a lot of built-up anger afterwards, which is normal. But this anger can take control of your life if you’re not careful. You’re angry about how unfair it is that this happened to you … Going to therapy really helped me get everything in order. One of the things that really helped me…is that we talked about how I could better myself from what happened to me, how could I use all those terrible, awful experiences I had, to grow and mature. I know it sounds crazy, but those experiences have made me a better person.

Wow! After all the horrors that he’d endured, this young man turned his victim’s journey into a hero’s journey by finding gold in his experience, finding the gift in his wound, and sharing this gift with others. He also freed himself from the captivity of his anger and bitterness. That is the ultimate freedom! And it is no small feat.

I know what it’s like to be a captive of resentment. It has been an ongoing teacher of mine. For years I was addicted to ‘stewing’, simmering in a soup opera of resentment, feeling victimized, wronged, and ripped off. Anyone who has ever been trapped in resentment knows what a powerful, addictive force it is. Hanging on to feeling wronged becomes more important than anything, more important than freedom from it, more important than love.

I vividly remember one day when I was about eighteen years old driving to work at the New London Submarine Base, stuck in traffic and stuck in a stew about my life, and singing, with tears and strong emotion, along to The Young Rascals song playing on the radio, People Gotta Be Free:

“All the world over so easy to see.

People everywhere just wanna be free.

Listen, please listen,

That’s the way it should be.

There’s peace in the valley,

People got to be free.”

I felt a deep longing to be FREE from the captivity of negativity and anger. I had started reading about how my thoughts and attitudes create my reality. The truth of that strongly resonated with me. I could see that it was my attitude that was creating my unhappiness. Nobody was Making me angry…I was responding with anger, and then dwelling in it, making myself stew, creating a negative attitude that made me a shit magnet, drawing to me more things to be resentful about. I realized that my resentment was far more destructive that anything anyone could ever do to me – I was only hurting myself. I set out on a lifelong quest to free myself from the confines of my negative attitude.

On this quest I eventually learned to become a “miner”: I discovered how to mine gold from my anger by seeing what is MINE, seeing my part in things, seeing how I was contributing to my own misery, seeing that I can choose to hang on to anger or let it go. I can choose to be a bitter person, or a better person because of my experiences. I can choose to dwell in the hell of The Heartbreak Hotel, or dwell in love. I can choose captivity or freedom. And I can choose to mine gold from any situation.

I’d like to share some keys to freedom that I’ve found along the way. When I notice myself feeling wronged and starting to spiral down into that sticky, stuck, stewing place, I do the following:

I witness myself - observing the physical feelings of resentment, such as a tightening of my body, shallow breath, eyes narrowed, lips pursed. Becoming aware of the contractive prison of my body enclosing me, and realizing that I am doing that to myself, helps me to take a breath and begin to shift into a more expanded place.

I accept that it is what it is. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is an example of that: taking a deep breath…accepting…there’s nothing I can do about it…it happened…it is what is.

I allow and align with the feeling. I tell myself, “Yes, this sucks. I understand how you would feel upset. Let yourself feel it fully.” My hard stance begins to melt, allowing me to feel the sadness that lies underneath the anger.

I generate loving kindness towards myself – talking to myself with compassion, like talking to a wounded child, verbally hugging myself. “I’m sorry this happened. I know this is hard for you. I’m here for you. I love you.”

Finally, I mine gold from the experience - learning from it and owning what is mine; and then, seeing how it has made me a better person, a stronger person, a more empowered person.

All this results in FREEDOM, with the added bonus of some gold nuggets in your pockets to share with others. There’s gold in them thar ills and there’s plenty for everyone! Just think, if Shawn Hornbeck can find the gold in his experience, then anyone can.

Have you ever been held captive by your resentment? What are ways you have freed yourself from that captivity?  What is the gold that you mined from the experience? When we’re able to do that, as the Young Rascals sang:

“There’ll be shouting from the mountains on out to the sea,

No two ways about it, people have to be free.

Oh what a feelin’s just come over me.

Enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see.

Everybody’s dancin’, come on let’s go see,

Peace in the valley, now they want to be free.”

    In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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