How many times in life have you felt like you were between a rock and a hard place? A situation arises and every option you consider does not appear to have a good outcome. If you say something to this person, another person you love gets upset or vice versa. Or perhaps it is a subject matter that seems filled with rocks. Speak about this, advocate for that, express a dream or desire and you are certain you are putting something you love in the guillotine. I know this has happened to me many times in my life.
So how do you handle these experiences with grace? Do you avoid speaking, so you can keep the peace? Do you stand there listening, fuming inside, but saying not a word? Do you walk away entirely because you are certain there can be no good outcome? Or perhaps you have been silent too long and find yourself exploding, which only makes matters worse, the rocks become harder and the tightrope to compassion and peace becomes so long you cannot even imagine how you could get to the other side.
When situations like this happen you will most likely react with a pattern cemented from your childhood. Perhaps you adopted the same pattern you saw your Mom or Dad use. Some of us witness a parent lying to someone on the phone. Maybe saying they cannot do something because they are not feeling good, or someone else is sick, or they need to do some other task. But you know the real reason is they are planning to watch a movie or game or something else. If you ask why they lied, they tell you that lying is better than arguing or being persuaded to do something they don't want to do. And besides, they say, it doesn't hurt anyone. It's just a tiny white lie.
Wanting to please your parent, you may accept this as the way to treat similar situations. What you could not realize as a child, is this would begin building a wall that would not support you, but would crush you later in life.
Let's look at an example. The phone rings. You pick it up and it's for your Mom. You start to say, “She is...”and your Mom frantically signals to you to say she is not home. So you say. “Mom's not here, I'll let her know you called.” then you hang up.
This is a typical sequence that seems utterly unimportant. But inside you don't feel good about it. This type of experience may happen many times in your childhood, and you may come to accept it and begin to use it yourself when you don't want to talk to someone. If you go down this route you may find yourself creating excuses for lots of things in your life. Doing this builds a wall that in time will trap you as you grow and your world becomes much more complicated.
When we recognize that every person is important, we will choose to honor them. Petty lies do not honor anyone. They create separation and build disrespect for both parties. Though this seems like a very small wall, it is the foundation that one builds on, and after a few decades will create automatic responses that impede understanding and intimacy. Later in life, you may find yourself troubled by your own reactions when you need to tell your Mom, your boss, a friend, or your spouse; “No, I don't want to do that,” or “I don't like you doing this?”
As we grow, people we love change, new people come into our lives for many reasons and though they may be aligned with us on some levels, they are not on others. This creates new issues and we find ourselves wondering how to honestly speak to someone we love when we know their belief system, or their morals, or their view of the world are not aligned with ours? Or worse yet, we are uncertain of what their response might be because we have played the role we think they wanted us to play. A role that is not who we really are.
It is at these times that we stand between a rock and hard place, and we feel stressed to communicate. But we need to realize that we have built these rock walls, and we can dissolve them because they are only made of our fears. Fear that our words will cause someone we love to leave us. Fear that how we look will keep us from a place of importance or honor. Fear that our actions may be perceived as aggressive or lazy, or too feminine or too masculine, or too stupid or too whatever. Or even worse, fear of being physically harmed.
Every step on the road to compassion begins with awareness. This is true for every advancement in consciousness, awareness is key. We must first be conscious of where we are, and what we have been doing before we can make change. So if you want to tear down the walls and increase your joy, ask yourself : “What do I fear?” “What would I do or say if I were not afraid?”
An honest examination of our fears begins the process of dissolving the rock wall.
Let us take a look at one of the most common fears: Fear of what someone will think of us. Ask yourself why is this important to you? Doesn't this signal you are uncertain of your own value? That you may be performing to gain appreciation or recognition from another is actually an act. You have strayed from knowing you are valuable in simply being who you are. We must recall the basic premise of life. The eco-system of this universe flows because of every individual being. Each implicitly valuable to its manifestation. The key word being, 'Every.' That includes you! If you are performing for praise, you have misplaced your own worth.
In metaphysics there is the understanding that like our solar system, where the Sun is in the center and the planets revolve around it, so too are each of us a solar system. We each are the Sun in the center of our own solar system and those we love, from family to friends, orbit around us. If we allow one of these planets to move into the center, we have given away our power and our universe will eventually collapse. So when we allow someone else to be the center of our universe, we experience everything from sadness to depression, to feeling completely lost and not sure of our direction in life.
Now there are many levels in our universes. There is the intimate family level which includes our furry animal friends, and may even include our homes and personal property. Then there is the level of extended family and friends and the level of career and colleagues, then finally acquaintances.
At each level we may find how we value ourselves differs. At home your immediate family may praise you, while at work you may have a boss who pushes your buttons, and it is more comfortable to lie to him than tell the truth. Doing this is like eclipsing the Sun in your universe. You will eventually have to speak, walk away, or be fired because by not speaking truth, you are collapsing your universe at that level. You know this innately as you will find yourself loathing your job, your boss and most importantly yourself.
Thus we must always stay true to who we are – to what we feel is right for us.
Our hearts have their own brain centers, separate from the brains in our heads. Metaphysically we have always known this, for it has been written in every nation, over centuries, “Follow your heart.” But now, even science has proven the heart has its own brain. Well, the heart's brain always knows right from wrong. It knows truth from illusion. We must learn to be aware of it, to rely on it, and to listen to it. As soon as the mind rationalizes or reacts to a situation, often re-enacting performances taught in childhood, we lose the path of self-love. Without self-love, we eventually find ourselves
between a rock and a hard place. A place without balance, filled with frustration and fear. A place that becomes a tightrope to compassion.
So before you take any action, you must listen to your heart!
The physical world is a complicated place. Medically the gamut from AMA practice to Holistic and homeopathic practice can be universes apart. Religious and spiritual belief systems span from the natural cycles of nature to fundamentalist dogma that instills fear and prohibits taking action in some areas while requiring specific actions in others. The disparity between pathways has been the cause of war for centuries, and it continues to this day.
When someone we love walks a different path medically or spiritually, or politically, or in some other way, and we need to assist them, we may feel we are up against a wall – between a rock and a hard place. We may feel deeply challenged to take over, to direct, or to avoid, to hide, or to not participate because we do not want to activate conflict.
How can we show love, and still feel good inside, when we have so many deep-seated differences? How can we stay out of fear, the fear of a wrong choice we think they are making? How can we remain free of judging their choices?
The heart knows LOVE – it only knows Love.
When we leave our mind and its fears at the door and we let our heart's brain speak, we will find the only thing we can express is Compassion.
When we speak from Love, we honor the individual in all the complexity of the personality they wear in this lifetime and thus the journey they are choosing to take. We will not argue their choices but lovingly honor them. If they ask for our opinion, we can speak from the heart and ask them if they are following what their heart is telling them. This is the encouragement we can give, and it will give them peace in their choices and that, will give us peace.
Too often we struggle to find the right choice, the right direction, the right answer. Stop looking outside for it. You are using your mind – not your heart.
The heart's brain is connected to the 360 degree view of your Divine Self – the soul that is you.
Your mind is only the computer which gives directions based on all the input from childhood and on. The mind's software needs to be upgraded often. It needs to be checked for viruses. Mind viruses include, how we are reacting to situations and people, as well as how we may be following the directives of others, or performing for love and praise.
This is where the words from an old song I used to sing back in the 70's can be very useful. When your brain is filling with words, before you begin to speak, take a deep breath and go through those words asking yourself:
Is it true? Is is necessary? Is it kind?
If the answer to any of these is, “No,” then latch onto your heart center. Take a breath through your heart and let it speak love without fear, love without limits, and love without control. When we do this the rock and hard places dissolve. Balance ensues and we find ourselves easily across the tightrope to a place of peace in the rainbow of compassion.