ARE YOU TRYING TO TURN AROUND WHAT FEELS LIKE A HOPELESS SITUATION?
If you are feeling hopeless or in despair or know someone who is, this post may give you some guidance about how to proceed. It is not by any means complete, but a place to start. (It is written by Richard Hastings from http://www.dreamsforpeace.org)
- Taking an honest look at the hell you are in including being able to talk about it openly with someone is extremely valuable. It is best to do it with someone who has experience and doesn’t overreact in a negative way. Talking about your pain does not make it go away, but it does help to start you down the road to change. When I am with someone who is recounting a lot of their pain, I imagine as though I am holding their hand as they walk through hell and tell me about it. Most of the really horrendous despair comes about by people feeling all alone in the world. As soon as someone else is there, it somehow makes the whole process less daunting. It is such a relief for a person to be able to share what is happening inside, to not have to hold it in anymore.
- There are a fair number of people in the world who put up resistance to people who are sharing their pain. When a trauma comes out in a family, it affects everyone. Not everyone wants to be affected. Some may react with anger and hostility because it upsets their fairy tale world. It is to be expected. The sooner the fairy tale is dispelled the better.
- The ego, which is our protective self, learns quickly in traumatic situations because it wants to survive. It only takes one incident to set up a pattern of behavior that can last a lifetime. It (the ego) reacts with some kind of variation of either fighting or fleeing which can include hiding. For instance, you may have been sexually abused as a young person by a family member. The survival pattern of the ego maybe to lash out at others in anger or hide away in a corner. Even when the threat is no longer apparent like in a mutual relationship, the survival pattern will tend to kick in when intimacy is approached. The ego also has a tendency to believe that sharing what happened is unsafe. This can make getting help a difficult process.
- The higher self always wants to go for the higher energy that is missing. If it wants to go for intimacy, then the obstacle it faces is the ego’s protective pattern. This is why developing higher capacities are often so challenging. The higher self thinks about how it might get closer to others, but the ego has control over the person with its protective strategies even when the protection is in no way beneficial anymore. It continues to hide or lash out until the higher self can take over control. The higher self, when it is in control, respects the need for adequate protection, and then it adds the higher energy. For instance, when you are working in the area of intimacy, you cannot allow people to take advantage of you nor do you want to get into a long term relationship with someone who is financial irresponsible. Intimacy is protected by discernment and having boundaries. If the energy that is missing in your life is courage, then having courage necessitates also having reasonable safety precautions such as when you are rock climbing. When the ego feels that it is safe, then it will let go and allow the higher self to take over. At that moment you can begin to feel very close to others including depth of conversation. The best way to think of the ego is that it wants to protect you, but its patterns no longer serve you well.
- A lot of people in despair mistake physical pleasure for the solution to their problems. Usually this is the area where addictions happen such as with alcohol or other drugs or with sex. It is an attempt by the ego to keep the despair from completely giving up. The addictive substance or action feels good which allows you to keep going despite the pain. The long term problem with addictive behavior is that it covers up the problem temporarily which makes it difficult to go for what the higher self really wants. Usually the ego in despair is covering up a lot of loneliness. Getting out of loneliness into being with others in a positive way takes the pressure off of the addiction.
- When a person is in despair, the amount of time they need to heal in the beginning is very great. As the despair changes to hope and joy then the healing interventions can lessen. Usually people in despair need contact almost everyday in the beginning because they going through a deconstruction of the old self and a reconstruction into a new self. The negative energy is still intense in the beginning and still very destructive. As it changes with the higher self taking over, then the person can take more time in between work sessions.
- Staying in the process of change continuously is a strategy that works for despair as well as any other challenge you have because it continuously adds positive energy to your life.
Richard Hastings is an expert in transformation. Author of three books on the subject, he also counsels individuals online and provides public workshops and presentations which offer encourage, inspiration, and hope for those who are seeking to change their own personal darkness into shining light. More of his work can be found at http://www.dreamsforpeace.org.