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Gary R. Smith

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  • in reply to: How can I love myself? #117698
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Hi Mishika,

    When people with your awareness start sharing from the heart, with authenticity, as you have here, we will see the blossoming of the innate goodness of humanity. As you say, shifting the energy from sad, disappointing and frustrating to being in gratitude, appreciating, complimenting and bringing good words and deeds to whatever we meet in life is an act of will, it is an individual choice and must come from within. It is only through bringing this innate goodness out to the world in need through our energy and actions that there will be change. What is the URL of your blog?

    in reply to: How can I love myself? #112140
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Well said, slp1214.

    in reply to: How can I love myself? #111862
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Norit,

    There is an article which fits in with this thread, as an approach to anxiety and depression and with activating new pathways. It is:

    Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression and Activates Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior

    Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression and Activates Brain Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior

    5th August 2016

    By Marco Torres

    Guest writer for Wake Up World

    Despite the myths we’ve heard throughout our lives about cannabis killing brain cells, a growing number of studies indicate that cannabis actually has neuroprotective properties. Cannabis has been found to have an incredible ability to regulate emotional behavior, and may be the most reliable medicinal plant available as a therapeutic target for the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders.

    The Role of Beta-Caryophyllene

    Beta-caryophyllene, a terpene in cannabis, is present in the essential oils of various plants including rosemary, hops, black pepper and cannabis. Like most terpenes, beta-caryophyllene contributes to the unique aroma associated with plant oils. In 2008, German researchers discovered that beta-caryophyllene also acts as a cannabinoid by binding to marijuana pathways in the body. Although some compounds like THC activate both cannabinoid pathways — CB1 and CB2 receptors — beta-caryophyllene specifically targets the CB2 receptor, which does not produce a high.

    Interestingly, a 2014 study conducted with mice suggests that beta-caryophyllene may be useful in treating anxiety and depression. The findings were published online in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

    “The present study has clearly demonstrated the anxiolytic and anti-depressant effect of Beta-caryophyllene and its underlying mechanism in a CB2 receptor-dependent manner in rodents,” wrote the authors, a team of scientists with the United Arab Emirates University. “The results also support the involvement of the CB2 receptor in the regulation of emotional behavior and suggest that this receptor could be a relevant therapeutic target for the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders.”

    Previous studies have also demonstrated a role of CB2 receptors in reducing anxiety and depression, the team added.

    On the other hand, CB1 receptors, which are more widely dispersed in the brain, are known to exert a ‘biphasic’ effect when it comes to anxiety and depression; studies show cannabinoids that target CB1 receptors can help at low doses, while high doses seem to make things worse.

    A better understanding of beta-caryophyllene’s properties, however, may help explain why cannabis users often cite relief of anxiety and depression as reasons for their use.

    Antidepressant and Antianxiety

    Anxiety and depression are pathologies that affect human beings in many aspects of life, including social life, productivity and health. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent non-psychotomimetic of Cannabis sativa with great psychiatric potential, including uses as an antidepressant-like and antianxiety-like compound.

    Cannabis acts on both types of receptors which are distributed mainly in the brain and immune system, respectively. In the brain, CB1 receptors are also targeted by endogenous cannabinoids (i.e., endocannabinoids).

    The hippocampus is able to generate new neurons (i.e., neurogenesis) throughout the lifespan of mammals, including humans, has changed the way we think about the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders and drug addiction.

    Chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine has been reported to suppress neurogenesis in the brain. But cannabinoids appear to be the only illicit drug whose capacity to produce increased newborn neurons is positively correlated with its antidepressant-like effects.

    Research published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research demonstrated that even extremely low doses of THC (cannabis’s psychoactive component) — around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional cannabis cigarette — can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function say researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU). Another example is a 2009 study which found that teens who used cannabis as well as alcohol suffered significantly less damage to the white matter in their brains. Some alcoholics have even recovered from their illness by using cannabis daily.

    Dose is key and findings suggest that high doses of cannabinoids produce anxiety-like effects. To make things more complicated, acute, low doses of cannabinoids have been found to induce antianxiety-like effects. The opposing effects of high doses of acute and chronic cannabinoids, together with the antianxiety-like effects caused by a low dose of cannabinoids, may finally explain discrepancies in the clinical study literature regarding the effects of cannabinoid on anxiety and depression.

    What is certain is that low-doses of cannabinoids do work. For some medical marijuana is helpful, not curative. But others have been able to completely eliminate their dependence on other medications altogether.

    Anecdotal evidence for the benefits of cannabis for depression and anxiety are by itself useful to guide us to try using it for intractable disorders, that is, especially when we know that conventional treatments are inadequate, ineffective and proven to cause more harm than good.

    Sources:

    About the author:

    Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science, and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

    Please note: This article originally appeared on PreventDisease.com.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Gary R. Smith.
    in reply to: Redefining love-beautiful read #111777
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    {I can tell you why it resonated with me?}

    Excellent.

    {I guess it bothers me that we’re all supposed to be looking for love but no one quite understands what it is, or knows how to differentiate it from infatuation or limerance or what have you.}

    Are we all supposed to be looking for love? I understand you to say that society puts emphasis on what it calls love, and people feel pressure to live up to the so-called ideals. Society’s idea of love seems to be based on image, status, consumerism, bettering oneself in social standing and so on.

    Differentiating it will be different for each person. What you feel is love, is love to you. You don’t need to defend your feelings, explain them or question yourself. Presumably we all grow over our lifetimes, and what is love for you now, true in this moment to the persona, can change in the next. That is the ever-changing reality. There is also a constant reality.

    {So this approach to love, as a temporary, transient but powerful connection and understanding of others appealed to me.}

    As you write above, it feels like you are on a track that is useful and beneficial…

    {It removes a lot of the display and trumpetry of “true love” and makes it more human and accessible. It also removes it from a purely romantic setting.}

    …just don’t fix on a narrow definition or judge ‘true love’ or romantic settings, as a suggestion. Leave that part neutral and open for unfolding other aspects in yourself. I also have to watch not to judge consumerism, image, status and society’s ideals.

    It is for me to live what I feel to be absolute truth, which is that we are all the one being, whose nature is love, and anything felt as emotion is filtered down and distorted from there. I look beyond the transient emotion to the deeper and constant emanation of love as my bedrock.

    {Do you also think that the stories we construct in our head (our defense mechanisms, I guess) to protect ourselves from reality also get in the way of experiencing this love?}

    Yes.

    {Because they are artificial constructs distancing ourselves from our core, and therefore from the source of love?}

    Precisely.

    {Maybe you seeing misused authority as a block to love also stems from this?}

    Yes. Any original quality (emanating from the source of love) which is misused blocks the awareness and experience of pure, self-existing love.

    {The person misusing authority is not comfortable acknowledging their vulnerability, and therefore distanced from the truth of who they are?}

    That is one scenario. Many things distance us from our one true self.

    {I am currently in therapy and am struggling with lowering my defense mechanisms that have been in place for very many years now, and this is discussion has given me a little more insight, even though applying it is a whole different ball game.}

    All on the planet are in therapy of some type, whether known or not, though many block their own healing process. The therapy of Nature brings homeostasis. I relate to your lowering defense mechanisms, as for some fifty years, since early teens, those buggers also arose often from me, as automatic reactions. I can honestly and humbly say that my defense mechanisms have lowered considerably over the past few months.

    Yes, applying head knowledge is a whole different ball game. Knowledge is embodied through action. One way to apply love is to emanate love in all situations, by giving, by bettering, by understanding. As soon as I analyze a truth, it is no longer a truth, because everything changes. I can only know a truth by living it in the moment. Life gives ample opportunities to give love, to those whose hearts are open. And it brings challenges along with opportunities, to make stronger vessels of those who are so dedicated.

    The Whole Human blog post on Soul Mates might speak to you – http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog/soul-mates-ch-12-of-the-impersonal-life

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Gary R. Smith.
    in reply to: Redefining love-beautiful read #111729
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Greenshade,

    The above dialogue between us is now expanded as a blog post, ‘Love and Authority,’ at http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog/love-and-authority.

    The blog post also follows. This interaction is enjoyed.

    After publishing the blog post on Authority from Chapter 13, these realizations came to me:

    The resistance I’ve felt towards authority from youth until now — has not been against authority itself at all, but the misuse of authority. Resistance of this type is not useful, of course, even if it seems ‘right,’ and I am working on it or more accurately Life is working on me with my agreement.

    Natural authority, vibrant with innate confidence, leadership, self-command and service to Life, is a beautiful thing. It is given by the original design of pure consciousness. However, when a person through role, rank or position twists social authority to control, dominate and feel superior, there is misuse and imbalance.

    One way to say it is that natural authority is a life-affirming influence, an out-raying of the One Being. Like a sunbeam to the sun, authority frequencies beam from the essential nature of pure consciousness, which is universal love. O.B. is a borderless inner sun, the foundation of everything pulsing within the atoms, particles and wavicles. It is within each of us and the one true self of us all.

    Without awareness of the One Being/True Self, people given authority often turn it into a malfunction of society and a hindrance to the flow of living consciousness. In this sense, the universe is full of life, meaning the multi-verse of existence is populated on all dimensions for the self-expression of the One Being. When a person is aware and acts in alignment with it, authority supports the expansion and homeostasis of Life.

    On a Tiny Buddha forum, Greenshade started a thread titled ‘Redefining love-beautiful read’ [1].

    Qualities such as authority can have a hindering or supportive effect on the flow of life, and the difference is the presence or absence of pure love. With Greenshade’s permission, our forum dialogue to date follows.

    July 31, 2016

    GREENSHADE:

    I read something beautiful online today that resonated with me, and thought you guys would appreciate it so sharing it here! It basically explores redefining love along these lines: ‘Love blossoms virtually anytime two or more people — even strangers — connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong.’

    The beautiful something is ‘The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect: The neurobiology of how the warmest emotion expands your sense of self and blurs the boundaries by you and not-you.’ [2]

    GARY:

    Thank you for sharing the article link, Greenshade. This would be a subject for conversation over a cup of coffee or tea! It is a worthwhile exploration, to be sure.

    I feel the author has presented a partial view based on a fairly narrow interpretation of love. The article says,

    “Using both data from her own lab and ample citations of other studies, Fredrickson dissects the mechanisms of love to reveal both its mythologies and its practical mechanics.

    “First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike. Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force.”

    Greenshade, for me it is not mere semantics to gain a clear understanding of the word love. I would called the emotion described above arousal, passion, excitement or attraction — but not love. I like to keep the word love in its pure form as the constant, self-existing energy of creation that it is universally. Humans have rarely caught glimpses of love, except in transcendent moments of experiencing pure consciousness. It is well beyond emotion. But of course that is my perspective.

    I agree that love expands the sense of self and blurs the boundaries by you and not-you. Just disagree that it is an emotion. Emotions get stirred when the universal energy of love is felt, but they are a side product and not love itself.

    How do you feel about this?

    GREENSHADE:

    Hmm that is an interesting concept…I think I’m struggling a bit with separating the cause (love) and effect (emotion). My understanding of love has been as something very human and very mundane in how commonly it is felt but very unique in that it is how we manifest the divinity in all of us. I would love to hear more about your understanding of it, especially if you think its possible to acknowledge the cause and the effect it has on us as separate, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply and share your thoughts, it is appreciated :)!

    GARY:

    You have started a forum conversation of limitless breadth and depth. I would ‘love’ to interact with you on the subject of “The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect.”

    I followed links from the article to a page titled, ‘What is Love? [3], which is a collection of sayings. Browsing those quotes, it seems people are talking about very different things, and calling all of them love.

    Another link took me to “How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”.

    If I understand you correctly, you see love as the cause of the emotional response to it. And the emotional response to love is generally also called love.

    If love is the cause and emotions are the effect, how do you mean “love” in this context? Are you referring to love as the attraction of one to another? And then after that, the feelings of completion, expansion, cherishing, companionship, friendship, loyalty, and so on? You wrote,

    “My understanding of love has been as something very human and very mundane. It is commonly felt but very unique in that love is how we manifest the divinity in all of us.”

    I see how you understand it and agree that love becomes everyday in human activities and that pure love truly felt manifests the divinity in all of us.

    Love in its original design is the essential nature of the One Being of pure consciousness which emits as oscillating high frequencies from its universal field.

    O.B. emanates itself, and fills and animates everything. O.B. is also the true self of each person and of all that is. This understanding is blocked from human awareness by social/environmental programming and the distortions of distance and density in the so-called 3D world. The distance and density mentioned are also illusory fabrications, made to feel very real in their effect. What we call love is a distortion of the emanations of O.B., normalized in fragmented human historical perspective. That is not to put down the experience humans call love. It appears to be the best we can do in this ‘point in time.’

    Re-reading your sentence to me, ” I would love to hear more about your understanding of it, especially if you think its possible to acknowledge the cause and the effect it has on us as separate, if that makes sense …”

    The cause and effect of love on us are separate in one way and in another way not. The cause of love, the emanations of O.B., is separate in blocked human awareness from the emotions which arise in response to the filtered down stimulus of universal love. We then take this filtered down stimulus and do what we do with it, and call that love too.The cause and effect are not separate in that the One Being who emanates itself, love, is in actuality our true self.

    Following are some quotes I picked up on my hyperlink hopping from the article you linked.

    Best regards,

    Gary

    ****

    “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.” – Katharine Hepburn, Me: Stories of My Life

    Kurt Vonnegut, who was in some ways an extremist about love but also had a healthy dose of irreverence about it, in The Sirens of Titan: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

    Stendhal in his fantastic 1822 treatise on love: “Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will. … there are no age limits for love.”

    Ambrose Bierce, with the characteristic wryness of The Devil’s Dictionary: “Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”

    :

    At the heart of Nhat Hanh’s teachings is the idea that “understanding is love’s other name” — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. (“Suffering” sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psychoemotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding.

    [1] ‘Redefining Love’ – a Tiny Buddha forum thread

    [2] The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect

    [3] What is Love?

    in reply to: Redefining love-beautiful read #111591
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Greenshade,

    May I include your comments in this thread in a Whole Human blog post?

    The blog post would be the edited dialogue between us.

    After writing to you here, more is coming to me.

    Best to you,

    Gary

    in reply to: Redefining love-beautiful read #111504
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Greenshade,

    You have started a forum conversation which is limitless in breadth and depth. I would ‘love’ to interact with you on the subject of “The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect.”

    This time I scanned the article with a little more focus, and followed a link to https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/01/01/what-is-love/, which is a collection of sayings. Browsing those quotes, it seems people are talking about very different things, and calling all of them love.

    From there, another link took me to “How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”.

    Inter-being sounds inter-esting and merits further exploration.

    This subject deserves fuller attention.

    How would you summarize the article on the science of love?

    You replied to my comment, “Hmm that is an interesting concept…I think I’m struggling a bit with separating the cause (love) and effect (emotion)….”

    So, you see love as the cause of the emotional response to it. And the emotional response to love if generally also called love.

    To have a meaningful dialogue we need to have a common understanding of the terms. If love is the cause and emotions are the effect, how do you mean “love” in this context? Are you referring to love as the attraction of one to another? And then after that, the feelings of completion, expansion, cherishing, companionship, friendship, loyalty, and so on? You wrote,

    “My understanding of love has been as something very human and very mundane in how commonly it is felt but very unique in that it is how we manifest the divinity in all of us.”

    Interesting. I see how you understand it and agree that love becomes everyday in human activities and that pure love truly felt manifests the divinity in all of us.

    Love in its original design is to me the nature of the One Being of pure consciousness which emanates constantly from its universal field and fills and animates everything. It is blocked from human awareness by social/environmental programming and the distortions of distance and density in the 3D world. What we call love is a distortion of the emanations of O.B., normalized in fragmented human historical perspective.

    Re-reading your sentence to me, ” I would love to hear more about your understanding of it, especially if you think its possible to acknowledge the cause and the effect it has on us as separate, if that makes sense …”

    Yes, then, would you agree I have acknowledged the cause and effect on us as separate? It is and it isn’t. The cause of love, the emanations of O.B., is separate in blocked human awareness from the emotions which arise in response to the filtered down stimulus of universal love. We then take this filtered down stimulus and do what we do with it, and call that love too. I will have to go into how the cause and effect are not separate, in another post.

    I am up for more! You can also connect with me over the Whole Human site for a non-public dialogue.

    Following are some quotes I picked up on my hyperlink hopping from the article you linked.

    Best regards,

    Gary

    ****

    “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything.”

    Kurt Vonnegut, who was in some ways an extremist about love but also had a healthy dose of irreverence about it, in The Sirens of Titan: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”

    Stendhal in his fantastic 1822 treatise on love: “Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will. … there are no age limits for love.”

    Ambrose Bierce, with the characteristic wryness of The Devil’s Dictionary: “Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”

    At the heart of Nhat Hanh’s teachings is the idea that “understanding is love’s other name” — that to love another means to fully understand his or her suffering. (“Suffering” sounds rather dramatic, but in Buddhism it refers to any source of profound dissatisfaction — be it physical or psycho-emotional or spiritual.) Understanding, after all, is what everybody needs — but even if we grasp this on a theoretical level, we habitually get too caught in the smallness of our fixations to be able to offer such expansive understanding.

    in reply to: How can I love myself? #111426
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Hi Norit,

    You wrote, “I don’t trust myself, I take everything too seriously. I’ve rejected any support or nurturing, which I think is contributing to my empty feelings. But I find it so difficult to listen when people are kind; I don’t believe they mean it. I have no faith in myself, and with my anxiety over-think everything excessively. I’m trying to remember to live in the moment, to have faith I’ll be able to handle things, and say yes to opportunities. It’s so scary. I really hope things will start to change.”

    My platitudes of ‘trust yourself,’ ‘live in the moment,’ and so on will make a difference when they are embodied. The process of embodiment can be long, or not. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It can be instant, it is possible. For me, it was a longer process, because my beliefs and conditioning were well entrenched. Those only appears to be a barrier, and I played that game rather than breaking through sooner.

    I would not say I had low self esteem, but was not living my truth. To live my truth and express more fully who I am, I had to love myself enough to make hard decisions and make changes in my relationships and living circumstances. That was in 2000, and toughening up to make the changes certainly changed my life. Then I needed to be softened, and life provided the means perfectly. I was ‘put into’ many different positions as house parent and therapeutic couple for other-enabled adults, terminally ill patients and at-risk youth with my new partner for the next 14 years. Couldn’t ask for a better therapist than life.

    Re-writing neuro pathways is one approach. A person can do that deliberately, as in therapy, or it can happen in the background, a natural response of the body-mind as you make conscious changes in your attitudes and beliefs and actions. How do you start trusting yourself? Say it out loud, “I trust myself.” Not just as positive reinforcement or affirmation, though they can be a place to start. It will grow more effective as you go into the feeling of the statement and have breakthroughs of knowing it is true.

    Now, you may not feel attracted to my journey with its psycho-spiritual emphasis, for yourself. It has been wondrous for me, and nothing more joyful than conducting my own conscious evolution. I will just share the rest of my focal points. If any speak to you, allow yourself to go further into the meaning. Let life do its work in you.

    Being the Present Moment

    Being the original design

    Opening the heart to give and receive

    Being grateful for what is

    Listening deeply to what Life is saying

    Acting in the Flow

    Letting go of what hinders

    Embracing what nurtures and supports

    Being the unknown, the mystery unfolding

    Serving the wholeness of life

    in reply to: How can I love myself? #111322
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Yes, one person’s bravery and felt compassion from others make a difference.

    Hrkg, I see low self esteem issues in people all around me and understand how debilitating it can be.

    What is coming to me is on different tracks. One, is to investigate chemical imbalances in the body as a possible cause or contributing factor of your emotional turmoil and challenges. You may find that certain supplements support the changes you make in yourself towards emotional stability.

    Another is to become involved in a group you find supportive at least for a transitional time. A virtual group like Tiny Buddha may serve that purpose.

    A third is that ultimately only you can make the changes you desire for your life. The spark and determination must come from within. ‘The Impersonal Life’ is a spiritual classic which has potency in its words to help people make a shift in the way they see themselves, and to begin acting from inner strengths. I’ve been commenting on it chapter by chapter in Whole Human blog posts to make the text more accessible and global. You might take a look and see if the perspective of ‘The Impersonal Life’ is anything for you: http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/blog-posts.html

    Your low self worth does not mean you cannot take any steps. It just means that taking steps require that you apply yourself more diligently. You can take the needed the steps, you have everything needed within you.

    On a lighter note, from an old joke, “What did the Zen master say to the hot dog vendor?”

    “Make me one with everything.”

    The vendor said, that’ll be six dollars.

    The Zen master gave him a twenty and waited.

    Finally, he said, “I’m waiting for my change.”

    The vendor replied, “Change comes from within.”

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by Gary R. Smith.
    in reply to: How can I love myself? #111175
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Norit,

    {I don’t know if this is a long shot, but here goes nothing.}

    It is significant that you had the spark to write your feelings on the forum. A positive step!

    {I’ve been following Tiny Buddha for a few months now and since finding this website, among other things, I have greater understanding of myself and of codependency, and how skewed my views were generally up until now. It’s like I’m looking at life through new eyes. I am actually an individual, and not just here for my families’ sake.}

    Returning your focus to the progress and the process will help get you through challenging times. Remember how far you’ve come.

    {I’m 25 and suffer from anxiety, depression, and recovering from agoraphobia. I have very little self worth. I’m beginning to recognize my faults, but am still struggling. I feel so empty in regards to myself. I hate myself. I understand I need to love myself more, but don’t for the life of me know how. I’m trying to be kinder, to forgive myself, but I can’t shake off the feeling that I deserve to be miserable. I feel so ashamed of who I am, and for feeling this way. I can’t believe I’m sharing this on here.}

    You realize you are far from being alone. It is good to trust enough to appropriately share in a safe setting.

    {I would like to change. I would like to love myself, to care about myself, to actually want to live a life for myself, but it seems hopeless. I don’t know what to do. Is it possible to change? Is there something wrong with me?}

    You have everything within you to be able to change the way you experience yourself and your life. The urge to make changes is where it starts. That urge came from within, where all resources needed to change also reside. Above all words from others, trust what is within you. Be grateful for what is. Laugh at yourself, gently. Let go of what hinders you. Embrace what supports and nurtures you. Take ‘things’ not so importantly. Listen deeply to what Life is saying to you, through your heart. Trusting it will give it space to unfold. One step at a time, guided by your own innate wisdom. And then, one day, you will realize you are a new person.

    in reply to: Redefining love-beautiful read #111172
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Greenshade,

    I appreciate that you reach out to share this article link. This would be a subject for conversation over a cup of coffee or tea! It is a worthwhile exploration, to be sure. I feel the author has presented a partial view based on a fairly narrow interpretation of love. The article says,

    “Using both data from her own lab and ample citations of other studies, Fredrickson dissects the mechanisms of love to reveal both its mythologies and its practical mechanics.

    “First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike. Love, like all emotions, surfaces like a distinct and fast-moving weather pattern, a subtle and ever-shifting force.”

    For me, it is not mere semantics to gain a clear understanding of the word love. I would called the emotion described above arousal, passion, excitement, attraction — but not love. I like to keep the word love in its pure form as the constant, self-existing energy of creation that it is universally. Humans have rarely caught glimpses of love, except in transcendent moments of experiencing pure consciousness. It is well beyond emotion. But of course that is my perspective.

    I agree that love expands the sense of self and blurs the boundaries by you and not-you. Just disagree that it is an emotion. Emotions get stirred when the universal energy of love is felt, but they are a side product and not love itself.

    How do you feel about this?

    in reply to: Worried about returning to 'our' city #109789
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Dear Hopeful33,

    You are welcome. Helping another helps myself, as we are all connected – all one underneath, actually.

    Wonderful that you are at the stage of your healing where you see that the breakup really was for the best. Every single experience, however tragic or detrimental it may seem, can be beneficial and for the best, when we take it for learning and from it gain understanding. Then we all not only heal but evolve.

    You did not ask me for this, but since you have articulated with so much self-awareness I will risk over-stepping by commenting on your statement that “he lacked respect and compassion for me,…”

    You are right, you deserve the same respect and compassion that all persons and creatures deserve. As we are all one being, respecting others is also respecting ourselves. One of the lessons I’ve learned and will pass on to you is to let go of blaming or criticizing others. It only holds one back from self-growth. Let it go, be neutral or even compassionate towards those whose stage of development determines their behavior.

    I will enjoy to read how life unfolds for you. You can also write to me over the contact form on the Whole Human site.

    Gary

    in reply to: Worried about returning to 'our' city #109651
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Dear Hopeful33,

    You are capable of meeting the challenge of returning to ‘your’ city. I can feel that capability in the steadiness and balance of your words.

    Based on my life experience and what I sense about you, going through your fears will not set you back to an earlier stage of healing but actually provide an excellent opportunity for you to gain strength and be more your authentic self. That you can talk about the bitter pill of being all alone and how it petrifies you tells me you have enough self awareness and ability to communicate clearly to see you through.

    Since your mind keeps returning to the city where you met your ex and lived, listen to that message. Give yourself uninterrupted time to go deeper into listening. If you are comfortable with it, ask your higher wisdom for specific direction and confirmation.

    Over years, I returned to my hometown where four members of my immediate family died. The town changed too, and familiar landmarks no longer existed. Each visit was another stage of healing. On some visits I felt very sad, as I dwelt on memories. On others I gained more acceptance, until I could live again in the town with neutrality towards the memories, and appreciation for what is. The memories became more distant, and were felt with warmth and understanding in my heart, as I allowed myself to be in the new present moment. You will have your own experiences, of course, and they may include challenging times, but my feeling is that you have a choice to make your own healing journey by returning to your city.

    I am interested to know what you choose and how your journey unfolds.

    As your icon says, “Your future is created by what you do today.”

    For more about creating your future by how you think and act today, I suggest the blog posts at http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog .

    Best to you.

    Gary

    in reply to: how to listen to my heart better? #108736
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    Dear Chelle,

    Listening to the heart is a deep subject, and vital for growth as you realize.

    The heart refers both to the physical heart-brain with its neural networks and capacity for non-analytical understanding and to the mystical heart, the core of one’s being. Hearing the heart’s voice and distinguishing it from the cacaphony of voices from within and without is part of the human challenge and journey.

    Do not belittle yourself for being “… too busy listening to other people’s needs, and not wanting to hurt people… ” as it is just a stage of the journey. What is important is that you have a growing self-awareness and feel urged to make changes.

    Meditation is one tool, but often not fully effective in itself especially when followed as a system or technique. My suggestion for you, if it resonates in your heart, is to read this blog post on ‘The Impersonal Life,’ which according to one description is one of the key books written on the topic of self-discovery.

    http://www.wholehuman.emanatepresence.com/realizations-blog/the-impersonal-life

    The whole book is from the perspective of the voice of the heart, the voice of pure consciousness – within the person and all that is – which speaks from beyond personal thought, cultural imprints and maya. If you choose to read the post, I am interested to know how it feels to your heart.

    Kind regards,

    Gary

    in reply to: The Healing Path #107656
    Gary R. Smith
    Participant

    …. I am welcoming you, dear reader, to comment about if and how what I post here applies to you in your life.

    {{What I am noticing very recently is that I am not feeling the need to micro manage myself as before. I don’t need to micro manage my person or my healing like I did before, including overly thinking. There is a healing process in nature. Plants and animals and all living things get injured and then they heal. They do not choose to heal, it just happens. Just as an injured tree does not manage or micro manages its healing, it is not sensible that I do. Not anymore. I can relax into this natural process while I keep practicing insight and skills.}}

    This is perfect for all the over-thinkers. I include myself, and have been on a similar journey of letting go of control, relaxing into trust and practicing insight and skills.

    {{I am also noticing that I am better able to comfort myself, to pay myself positive, kind, gentle attention. I realized I did pay attention to myself all along, only negative attention. This is why my child within was so anxious, I paid her bad, abusive attention. There is a difference. I didn’t know any difference. I am new at this.}}

    Beautiful, Anita.

    May I share the insights and skills that have been most potent for me? I repeat these silently and aloud through the day, feeling them. They return me from drifting into thoughts of the past and projections of the future into the present moment, remind me that there is an original design (such as the healing process of nature) and that opening my heart to give and receive is a choice. I have found that while acceptance is generally beneficial, being authentically grateful for what is — even for the things I have aversion or resistance towards — is super self-empowering. With all my practice, I still miss opportunities for shifting from what hinders to what nurtures and supports — but I catch it earlier and often am able to make the shift after realizing my inner contraction. There was an occurance of this just yesterday, when I realized I contracted towards others due to unconsciously trying to control the situation. I placed blame on others, making the contraction more binding. At first, pride and self-righteousness blocked me from taking self-responsibility. But when I saw it and let go of control and took 100% responsibility, the softening and expansion of my experience was richly rewarding.

    Thank you for your honest and open notes in this thread, shared for everyone’s benefit. Here are my ‘Ten Insights and Skills’:

    Being the Present Moment

    Being the original design

    Opening the heart to give and receive

    Being grateful for what is

    Listening deeply to what Life is saying

    Acting in the Flow

    Letting go of what hinders

    Embracing what nurtures and supports

    Being the unknown, the mystery unfolding

    Serving the wholeness of life

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by Gary R. Smith.
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