Every personal growther has believed in the fairy tale: "If I just do a sufficient amount of work, I'll have the peace, the joy, the everything I ever wanted."
We find balance and even happiness for a while, and then BAM!
Out of nowhere, a life event stops us in our tracks and makes us question whether we've really done any growing at all.
Even those who seemingly reach the goal and achieve so many of the things they've always wanted are bound for another humbling wake-up call sooner or later.
It is the true masters who know that no matter “how far we’ve come” or what sort of success story we’re living, there is always the other side of the coin, and all the space in-between.
Masters have learned to shift their perspectives to the gray area of life. They have accepted that everything of this world is transient, unpredictable, and uncertain. They have quit seeking the certain and definable because they have quit seeking the illusory.
Masters walk the tight rope of life, participating in the world sometimes in quiet humility, sometimes with charisma and vivacity, yet they always finding their way back to balance amid the world’s allure.
They have transcended the spiritual sleep walk of life – the state of consciousness in which people are convinced that wordly attainments including possessions, relationships, careers, and appearances, are symbols of their worth.
Masters are united with the aspect of our inner being that is unaffected by the outside world, that which is unchanging despite life situations, that which resides in all of life, and that which does not vary from person-to-person or thing-to-thing.
From this place of truth, knowing, and peace, masters live in union with all that is - a space where ideas of right and wrong have dissolved, and everything is just a side of the same coin.
So, how in the hell do we get to such a space!?!
As contrary as it may seem, emotional triggers are a gateway to self-mastery.
Emotional Triggers are a Gateway to Self-Mastery
We live in a society in which it is incredibly challenging for us to uncover the evolutionary potential of emotional triggers. Here are a few of the societal slippery slopes, which keep us buried in confusion and attached to our old patterns:
Slippery Slope #1: The Numb-Out
The Numb-Out is what makes the world go 'round; keeps the T.V. ratings high, the pubs and night clubs hopping, relationships coming and going, health and fitness fads rising and falling, the fashion industry soaring, social media addictions rising, pocketbooks empty and full, missionaries evangelizing, and lots and lots of people confused, unfulfilled, superficially happy, highly medicated, and stuck in a never ending cycle of needing validation from the outside world in order to feel loved.
There is nothing wrong with any of the typical human things we do. Certain activities will lead us into mastery and others will keep us from it.
Do not get caught up in labeling things "right" and "wrong" because that will block self-mastery. Any one activity can hinder growth, empower growth, or have no effect, depending on how and why we engage in the activity.
As a conscious growth guide and yoga instructor, I often ask students to be honest about why they choose to come to a yoga class.
Sometimes we come to the class because we are stressed and believe that the yoga will help us alleviate the stress. Perhaps the class helps us achieve just that ... until the next stress trigger comes.
How will we deal with that trigger?
Another yoga class, some retail therapy, or a night out?
None of these are wrong, but we can benefit from asking ourselves: Are these activities being used to help us avoid pain, or are we using them to resolve the pain at the core buried deep within us?
Masters choose, more often than not, to RESOLVE the pain at the core.
Masters choose, more often than not, to resolve the pain at the core.
Slippery-Slope #2: Identity
Humans inflate the significance of their labels and "identities," and they eventually give all of their energy away to maintaining and promoting those identities - so much time and energy that there is little time and energy left to acknowledge, feel, and resolve their own emotional triggers at the core.
There is nothing more significant than your own inner peace. Your inner state is what you give to the world - regardless of what label or identity you're using. This goes for all identities - mother, father, doctor, banker, life coach, therapist, healer, humanitarian, fill-in-the-blank...
When we define or identify ourselves in order to gain validation, attention, veneration, or even money from the outside world, we hinder our self-mastery.
We use identity to mask our core fears and pains.
What's underneath the identity?
What is happening in your vulnerable space?
How much time do you spend deepening this awareness?
We fool ourselves into believing that because we obtained a degree, launched a career, kicked an addiction, lost some weight, ended or began a relationship, etc, that we have dealt with our core fears and pains.
The new identity, while appearing "healthier," "successful," or "happier" is often just another mask to cover the core fears and pains.
In most cases, we haven't really become anything different. We are still the same bundle of stresses and fears, just with a "respectable" new label, maybe even with a happier face, fit body, or new lover. Those bundles of stresses and fears are projected into the world.
A person can call himself a healer, but if his inner world is in turmoil and judgment, then it is turmoil and judgment that he gives.
Every time we speak of our identities or use labels, or post on social media, perhaps we can ask ourselves, "What energy am I trying to get from the outside world with this?"
"How do I respond emotionally to the energy of the outside world?"
"What needs am I trying to fill with the outside world?"
"Why do I not yet feel complete as I am?"
Slippery Slope #3 Mental Masturbation
We read the self-help books, see the healers, and go to the workshops. We learn words to describe and define human life, psychological conditions, and spiritual ideas. We get certifications to tell us we have accomplished something by paying the money to finish the course.
We believe by knowing all of this stuff intellectually that we have mastered ourselves.
All the while, our emotional triggers remain. Yet we now use what we KNOW in our minds to describe and define the triggers, and to define (possibly even judge) the people who trigger us.
All of this keeps us from the experience of feeling the depths of our fears and pains so that we can finally resolve and release it from our core.
We cannot think a feeling.
In the feeling, we find the healing.
Through the honoring of our emotions, we no longer suppress or hide from them. We no longer hold that energy within us. Upon releasing it, new feelings of inner wholeness fill the void, and we discover that we have less and less need for the outside world's attention.
We play in the outside world with more acceptance of ourselves, others, and all things.
Judgments and emotional triggers become fewer and fewer.
We become masters, and we unite with the aspect of our inner being that is unaffected by the outside world, that which is unchanging despite life situations, that which resides in all of life, and that which does not vary from person-to-person or thing-to-thing.
And then the next trigger comes and we rinse and repeat, because we are still human.
Awareness of the slippery slopes can help us go deeper into mastery, unlocking an unconditional energy of love which empowers us to embrace both sides of the coin, and all that's in between.
I AM with you.