Trinity of Despair
There is far too much grief in this world, and most of it is unnecessary. Some believe grief and discord stem from an evil in our midst. Although I agree there is evil, I also believe the reasons for the existence of grief and discord are rooted in other areas I will explain. However, a case can be made, and will be by some, that all bad things are rooted in the great evil that roams our earth; that being the devil, itself. Nevertheless, let’s create and join in, a focus of matters we can easily take hold of and conquer in the hope of eliminating our own portion of grief – both that we dole out, and receive.
First, there is the element of personal judgment and projection of negative feelings. I use both of these in the same sentence because I believe they are essentially coupled with one another.
Second, is the fact we tend to serve our own ego, which we create subconsciously using so many levels of falsehood. This leads us to participate in both the above (judgment and projection), as well as seeking things that ultimately cause us more harm than good.
Third, and finally, is the imbalance we create in our life by seeking joy and completeness from outside sources rather than from within. These outside sources are things, desires, or other people; none of which will ultimately solidify joy within you.
Judgment and Projection
As stated above, I believe these two are tightly coupled, intertwined even. We spew both judgment and projection onto others from a place inside us that needs some adjustment. All of us carry scars, wounds, and pains from living life. These sometimes leave us empty, hurt, sad, lonely, guilty, and wanting. Empty, because we may have never received the unconditional love we should have as a child. Hurt, because we feel we have been abused, or treated unfairly in life. We may be sad because we have hurt others, either intentionally or unintentionally during the course of our life. Loneliness may fill part of us because of a death, divorce, or geographical move that has occurred in our life. We may be plagued with guilt (so many of us are) for any number of reasons – too many to count for most (although much is unnecessary). Many of us may feel a deep wanting within caused by simple desires such as a new car or a new wardrobe. Deeper levels of wanting may arise from the desire for a true love, or healing from disease.
All of these are very real experiences and feelings, and cannot simply be put off or put away. They are in each of us to varying degrees and combinations, and carry with them real effects to our consciousness. How we react to these feelings however is fundamental to how we treat others, which is the major point of this article.
At different times we are all fueled by one or more of the above emotions to cause pain (grief and discord) to another. We mostly do this in a deep subconscious form. For example, during a period after my divorce, I was hurt and deeply sad. Divorce is not something I ever wanted, not even when we entered into it. Because of my sadness and hurt, along with the feeling of being a complete failure, I hurt others. Some I lashed out at, some I blamed, some were hurt by my absolute expulsion from their life; I just stopped communicating. Without going into detail, I caused pain to others because of how I felt. Most of this was done at a subconscious level, and I only now see clearly what I did, because there has been much healing. Some of what I did certainly was conscious, and I regret it. But, I no longer feel guilty. In its simplest form, I projected my negativity onto others.
I am not one who judges people. One of the valuable lessons I have learned in life is when we judge we usually end up in the same shoes of those we judge. In addition, I have made many mistakes in my own life; I am in no position to judge another. However, so many people do judge others. It is sad to see, because they are doing so from a place of pain or disappointment in their own life. These are the ones I most often feel the need to help.
If you feel judgment of another brewing inside you, consider this – MOTIVATION. Train your mind to flash in bright red letters – MOTIVATION. Why someone does something, acts a certain way, or even commits a crime, is always based on MOTIVATION. We rarely know or understand just what that motivation for them may be. But, be assured it is there.
Someone may steal because he has a sick child at home and is in true in need. He may be without a job and desperate. The bible teaches that stealing is wrong. However, it also teaches that he who steals because he (or his family) is hungry shall not be punished. But, when he is able, he shall repay seven-fold.
It is critically important we do all we can to end our judgment of others. This will not only help in creating a better society, but just as important, ending judgment of others will create more joy in our own life. Ending our search for fault in others will also bring more self-fulfillment and peace to our personal.
A full expose on the ego would be far too much for here. Therefore, a cursory explanation is all I will provide. I believe you will still find it useful.
Ego is something we create every moment of our existence. It is extremely difficult not to do so. Ego is literally the ghost of who we are, translucent and void of real substance. Over time, and through each experience, we develop this ghost, which gives us a false perception of who we really are.
Much of our self-perception comes from the Ego. This is a problem because, as stated above, the ego is lacking any real substance. It is self-created and self-serving. In contrast, our spirit, the core of who we really are, defines us with much more reality and substance. The battle between the two will be constant until the ego is eliminated from our psyche. This elimination process is one of the more difficult things in life to undertake. Success is complicated, but well worth the effort.
It is important to remember that ego is always self-serving. The greater the ego, the more narcissistic we become; and we most often do not realize the state we are in. In addition to being self-serving, the ego is self-protective. The ego will do all in its power to protect itself, even to the harm of self and others.
An example of this would be the ego, and relating narcissism, causing us to feel we are superior to another or others. The reasons for this feeling are irrelevant but can be many. Carrying this deeply rooted sense will cause us to judge and project, as explained above. This, in turn, tends to keep us from any real and intimate relationships. The feeling of superiority precludes us from becoming transparent and close with another. Ironically, the lack of intimate relationships brings us greater dissatisfaction in life. We are each created to connect with others. This is a true need and if it is not fulfilled in our life, we develop a feeling of emptiness and want. This cycle is a vicious one and can be avoided only to the level and degree we eliminate ego.
The creation of ego begins at birth and continues throughout life unchecked until we actively pursue its elimination. No life is perfect, and each is filled with difficult moments and circumstance. These moments are building blocks for the ego.
My own personal experience with ego is the opposite of the example above. During my early years, I felt insufficient in many ways. My being the oldest of four children, likely caused this. A vicious cycle began in my own life. At an early age, as far back as I remember, I sought unnecessary approval of all those I came in contact with. My ego told me I was never good enough. This clearly is not God’s view of me, but It became my own.
In order to gain the approval I thought I required, I did or said whatever necessary, often acting inappropriately to gain attention. In doing so, I created in others further reason to treat me in ways that caused deeper feelings of inadequacy. Felt desperation caused me to act out even more. This cycle continued through my adolescence and a large part of my adult years creating a life of great difficulty for me.
Ego is not only an inflated view some hold of themselves. Ego does not always bring a haughty attitude, yet it always drives our actions, whether in an over-inflated view or, antithetically, a lower than normal view of ourselves. Either way, it is a misperception of self and a deficient way of living.
Returning to the primary point, ego drives us to bring discord and grief to others. In my case, my parents and children suffered most. So, eliminating ego from our life, however difficult (and it is difficult), will have the opposite affect on those around us. When we choose to live in a healthy way, driven by our core spirit rather than ego, we will undoubtedly bring joy and peace to those around us, and to ourselves.
Ego is a topic for which much can be said. For now, though, I trust you are enlightened to this ghost within you.
Seeking Outside Ourselves
I note here that I do not consider God an outside source, since I believe God is intertwined with our total being. Therefore, God, in my view, is an internal source of completeness and joy.
This attribute is the most dangerous. When we seek completeness or joy from outside sources, we rarely find what we are looking for, if at all.
We each carry levels of unhappiness, bitterness, and incompleteness, and often times we simply do not have the tools or know-how to settle these feelings from our own core. So, we turn to outside sources believing and desperately hoping for the ultimate escape or resolution.
This attribute, more than the previous two, causes enormous grief and discord. Leading to things such as attacking others, crime, addictions of all sorts, and more, this seeking from outside must be reversed with immediacy.
What do you feel most when you see a drug addicted teen? Or, even an adult. Typically, judgment will enter into your thinking, as discussed and dealt with above. It is far more profitable to ask the following questions. Why is it that this person is addicted? How did he begin on this path? What occurred in his life that drove him to such a destructive place?
People sometimes go through horrendous pain and suffering at the hands of others or circumstances they did not create. Undoubtedly, levels of maturity are required to find healing and resolution from within. But, for certain, resolution, healing, or completeness, will never come from destructive behaviors.
Those of us who are older, and sometimes wiser, are required (in my view) to guide the younger and less wise of us. There is no escaping this responsibility if we are to live in a world of peace and growth. We simply cannot pass by those who are in need, in a physical or metaphorical sense, and expect the world to be a better place for any of us. We will simply spiral downward into a darker and more distant existence. Truth be stated, none of us wants this.
Moving from external to internal seeking requires a great level of motivation, encouragement, guidance, or skill. It is something that can take years to accomplish and includes many steps. The first step is coming foundationally to the point of knowing you are a thing of beauty and value. Moving to this place is itself an exceptionally difficult thing to do, but it can be done.
Each person on this earth is a thing of complex beauty; an amazing creature of incomprehensible construction. We are all endowed with a spirit of love and desire to do well, both for ourselves and for others. Only an exceptional few lack the latter and I believe even they ultimately can be helped. Realizing what wonderful creatures we are and discovering the truth of what it is and means to be human, is a great place to start. This fact places us all on a level playing field. No man is greater than another at the true foundation of who we are. We are all equal in our human construction.
Since this is true, we can start by leading others to this knowledge. In doing so, we move to the beginning of understanding that our completeness is found first in who we are, not in any outside person, place, or thing.
I hold great hope, yet no illusions, that in time, we will find greater peace and less grief and discord among us. My life to a great degree, and with my hope, is designed to be a small part in this change.
This article by no means provides a panacea for change. However, if the above is taken seriously and applied, change will be affected in our own life, and by pollination, those lives we touch.
No miracle tools are provided; no effort is being removed from the individual. These are only some brief thoughts and truths. One of the difficult things in life to do is self-analyze. Let me encourage you to do so, beginning now. Are you affected by any of the above three distinctions? My feeling is, yes. In part, we all are. Discover which it is, and take the challenge to deal with it properly. Bring peace to yourself and to a slice of humanity as well. You will find great joy as you undertake this journey.
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