Sometimes when something has been dominant or over-valued there are attempts to compensate for that or balance it out with a new stance or strategy. You’ve probably heard things like, “get out of your head,” or judged yourself as wrong for being in your head and perhaps even received some form of shaming for being “so in your head.” The ‘solution’ or strategy offered for this perceived problem is things such as being more in your body, or becoming more intuitive, or trusting what you know. For a while this ‘solution’ or strategy may work, as it may benefit you to shift your focus or your attention from your head to your body, or from your head to your breath, or from you head to the person you’re with or the environment you’re in.
At some point, however, you’ll have to contend with the reality that your head is a part of you. If you are not being in your head, who or what is? What if the progression from a limited focus “in your head,” is to BE in your head, in your body and in your heart? This means that your presence or attention can include what’s going on in your head, your heart and your body. As we learn to include more in our attention, or accept the validity or state of more of what’s going on in us and in people, places and things around us we are naturally more informed, present, available and receptive. Our choices will better reflect the totality of what’s going on.
So, I’d invite you to check in and see whether you’ve assumed or taken on any judgments about ‘being in your head.’ For many of us we adopted the perspective that it's wrong, bad, or something to not do. It makes sense that if we previously excluded awareness of our breath, heart, or body or people, places and things in our life it would be useful to shift our focus to those things so as to include them. But, if in the process we develop this perspective towards our head or mind that it’s bad, or wrong or a place we shouldn’t go or be or occupy, we’re now excluding a part of us in the same way we once did with the body or the breath. If you’re interested in this subject matter you can also read my blog: Liberating Your Attention and Liberating Your Self-Concept.
Incompatibility is essentially when what you want, need or desire to give, provide, have or receive is different than what someone else wants, needs, or desires. This wouldn't be a problem if both people were able to accommodate for the differences. In other words, the differences could be acknowledged, embraced, accepted and encouraged. They are merely an expression of our uniqueness. They just are. We can't actually get rid of our true wants, needs, and desires. They are here to be worked with and to be fully available to in order to inform our choices and actions in life. Without them we are lost at sea with no compass help us establish a direction and know where we are.
Unfortunately, the reality for many of us has been that people we grew up with or met in the course of our lives could not allow for our true needs, desires and preferences to be there. They were a problem. They were wrong to have. They were incorrect. They may have been judged, condemned, discouraged, misunderstood, denied, rejected, and shunned. Essentially, having wants and needs was associated with pain. It can be quite a process to shift to a space where needs and desires can be met with enthusiasm and curiosity as to how they can be met and fulfilled. Regardless of the potential challenges involved in a shift of this magnitude, imagine the freedom of being released from all positive and negative associations with having needs and desires. Tune into what it would be like for them just to be there and having your life be about meeting and fulfilling them. Given that our true needs and desires are an extension or expression of who we truly are, this can also translate into: It's okay for me to be here. It's okay for who I am to exist. Who I am can be accommodated for, encouraged, embraced and accepted.
From where we are now we can welcome in healing experiences, or the people, places and things that support and encourage us to be here and embrace and act upon our true needs and desires. We can be free of the wounding of any and all opposite experiences. It can take a lot to meet the pain of what's gone on before now. Yet what if life could truly rally around each of us now, and support us to initiate a new trajectory? And as we strengthen in our capacity to do this, we can offer the same encouragement and support to others. If you're interested in this subject matter you're welcome to explore these recent blogs I wrote on topics such as Facing Incompatibility, Building Your Life and Building Trust.
How many times have you been told what's good for you? How often do people share what they think is good for you? What's tough is that we've often been taught or shown that there are two choices, to agree or to disagree. They are either right or wrong. And if it's someone we trust or value the opinion of, it's more likely that we will assume they are right, and even if we know they are wrong or mistaken we may not want to admit to that. To maintain closeness with someone who values being right we may agree with them no matter what and negate our knowing in the process. In other words, the genuine process of coming to know what's good for us often has been stalled, stifled or prevented by this need or necessity for us or someone else to be right and correct and not wrong or mistaken.
Fortunately, many of us our coming into a time of being free of value judgments and thus able to direct the totality of our presence and energy into the exploration of what is truly right and good for us. We can commit to the process of unfolding. There is no stagnant or fixed answers, rather it's something that's ever evolving and dynamic. Anyone who offers a fixed perspective of: "this is good for you," is most likely out of touch with the dynamic, ever changing nature of life. What's more in tune with what is, is an approach of curiosity and inquiry into whether or not something is good for you as well as a sensitivity to that changing.
What is truly good for you and what if you could come to know that? Finally we can be liberated from the assessment of being right about what we know or wrong about it. Instead we can just know, and adjust as we go as our awareness expands. Sometimes we will think we know what's good for us, try it out and come to discover that it isn't. Other times we will be unsure or skeptical, yet as we dive in and explore something it turns out to be great, perhaps better than we could have imagined. The adventure of living can be re-claimed as the weight of the assessment of "I'm right" that was good for me, or "I'm wrong" that wasn't good for me lifts off. We can step into the space of wonder and open to the joy of coming to know what's best for us.
So, in this moment I invite you to take a breath and step into a space where the exploration of what's good for you is supported. You can inquire, investigate and move towards the awareness and understanding of this. Life can be on board with you doing this. As this gains momentum, any history of letting people down by going against what they thought was best or good, or having to fight to have your preferences or giving up your knowing to maintain relationships can lose it's hold on you. For many of us it hasn't been easy to get to this true innocent space of exploration. Yet as we greet it, we can come to know it and be supported in it. It can become the norm. Just what is. Is now the time for you to know what's good for you and have that? Just have it. Just know it and be free to live according to this. You being you. More and more of the complexity dissolving. Re-claiming the simplicity of innocent knowing, born of your awareness in the moment, sensitive and attuned with what's unfolding. May we all be loved and supported in this process. For other blogs that you may enjoy you can check out: Beyond Right or Wrong, and Beyond Advice.
Are you capable of providing or offering what's in the best interests of the people, places and things in your life? Are the people, places and things in your life capable of providing or offering you what's in your best interests? Essentially, as we awaken, or become more conscious, we become aware of what our authentic needs, wants and desires are. We become aware of what we desire to give and provide as well as have and receive. We may also become aware of that which is beyond all exchange models, direction-based concepts and defined patterns of relating...which may be a blog for another time. Anyway, what often can be a challenge is when we realize that we are incompatible with people, places and things. In other words, we cannot provide or offer what's in their best interests. Or we realize that a person, place or thing cannot offer or provide what's in our best interests. In other words, we can't love and be loved in the current configuration. This can be quite sobering or even grief inducing. Sometimes it can be too painful to face, as once you do, change is pretty much inevitable.
In theory, compatibility is easy. It's a matter of acknowledging your needs, wants and desires and bringing in the people, places and things that match that. "Going for what you want" or "having what you want in life" could be seen as such a straightforward thing or just a matter of time. So why, for many of us has this not been so easy? Or, why have so many given up on this? There are many possible reasons, but there are a few that I would like to explore here. One is that many of us learned to be inauthentic, to change, modify or adjust ourselves to fit the needs, wants and desires of those around us. In other words, we learned how to make ourselves compatible, typically because there was a physical or emotional consequence of not doing it that was deemed more painful or unbearable than doing it. We may have done this to gain closeness to a primary caregiver, or belong to a group, or become recognized by someone or to become useful, helpful, good, valuable, important etc. The reasons behind the actions or choices may be different for each of us, yet for 'whatever reason' we did it. And we may have even built our identities based on that, such as: I am flexible, I am easy going, I am good at getting along with anyone, or I am good at fitting in. Also, as a result of the snow ball effect of learning how to be inauthentic, and then building an identity around being that way, and then being in environments where your ability to change, modify or adjust is valued, praised, appreciated, or admired, you may become trapped by the unwillingness to lose all that praise, appreciation and connection if you "become authentic" or admit to the incompatibility. Often there is also an underlying belief, as a result of being around people, in places and with things that you aren't authentically compatible with, that compatibility doesn't actually exist! So you may have an underlying perception that no-one, no-where and no-thing is capable of "matching" your authentic needs, wants, desires and preferences. It can be quite a challenge to face that possibility, sit with that fear, and be willing to get curious about the potential that that underlying perception is inaccurate, and that compatibility does exist and if you do commit to allowing your authentic needs and desires to emerge you have a chance at them being met and fulfilled.
So, why can incompatibility be painful to face? It may require a deconstruction of identity. People, places or things cannot be in your life in the same way. You may have to face choices that you made to "make yourself compatible" that aren't easy to admit to. You may go through a process of not knowing who you are and not knowing what you need, want or desire because you learned how to deny and suppress that in the process of becoming inauthentic or "adapted" to what was around you. You may have a fear that there isn't a place for you, or people for you or things for you. You may have to face that grief, or shut down, or that which you gave up on along the way. This is quite the process, that I've been undergoing personally over the last number of years. It's amazing what becomes possible as we see more clearly what has gone on in our lives and what is going on now, so as to find our way to that which is true and right for each of us. If you'd like to read other blogs on the topic I recommend, Why We Resist Having What We Truly Desire, Beyond Coping and Acknowledging & Transmuting Let Down.
A topic that came forward during my last online class was acknowledging that many of us are ready to graduate from using our energy to validate or invalidate a self-concept and instead have our life force energy fully available for building our lives. A self-concept is something we develop through experience. Such as, I am not worthy, or I am not deserving of good things, or I am unlovable. Through the course of personal development, many of the approaches are designed to improve the self-concept and adopt the view of: I am worthy, I am deserving of good things and I am lovable. Somewhere along the way, people, places and things start to be used as a measure of how we're doing. For instance, if you don't have money, that's an indicator that you don't feel or believe that you're worthy. If you have people around you that aren't overly attuned to your needs, or refuse to give you attention it's an indicator that you don't believe that you're lovable. So the strategy is to keep improving your self-concept until your circumstances begin reflecting the changes.
For a while, these strategies may work. There may be observable improvements and significant progress in regards to how you think and feel and how you respond to things. You may have some breakthroughs and significant healing experiences. Eventually though, this approach stops working, or ceases to be supportive of true change. Even though it can be born of a positive intention, to improve how you think and feel about yourself and manifest or attract more desirable life circumstances, if people, places and things are being used to validate or invalidate a self-concept such as, see, I am worthy, money is showing up, or see I am deserving of good things this person is being kind, you're not actually having genuine interactions with your environment. You're not truly available to relate with people, places and things, instead your using them for your own self-interest. You're using them as a barometer or gauge of how you're doing, rather than actually offering your presence, attention and love for the purpose of learning, growth and awareness. Often, the reality of this is not seen and at first can be difficult to admit to. It's not that you were consciously using your environment in a self-serving way, it was more that you were caught up in a desire for self improvement and that was just the side effect or shadow side of that strategy.
So, where to from here? Essentially, once we realize what we've been up to we can free ourselves from these attempts to build, correct or improve a self-concept, by claiming our choice and commitment to building a life. Instead of having our attention directed at the self, we can live from the Self that we've been getting more and more in touch with. We can acknowledge our unique presence in the world and invite our authentic needs, wants, desires and priorities to be known to our consciousness and through the totality of our field and welcome the life that matches it. What people, places and things match these authentic needs, wants and desires? Tune in to what it would be like to get to have your individuated presence and full attention available to engage and interact with the people, places and things that are drawn to you. In a sense, you get to be liberated from the fixation on building a self-concept and finally have your presence, energy and attention available to build your life and engage with elements of the world. Is this where you're at? If you would like to read other blogs that cover similar subject matter you can check out, Liberating Your Attention, Beyond Self-Modification, Building Your Life and What Lives Underneath Your Desire to Help.