Feelings: Why Do Some People Believe That Their Feelings Are Not Important?

By Oliver JR Cooper in attitude, Awareness, Happiness, Learning on September 12th, 2014 /  No Comments »

Part of being human means that one has feelings and these are an important part of who they are. And when one is in tune with how they feel, their life is going to be radically different to how it would be if they were unaware of how they felt.

Ones feelings not only connect them to themselves, they also allow them to feel connected to other people. Having the ability to feel can be the difference between living a life of connection and fulfilment or a life of being disconnected and unfulfilled.

Without this connection, it is going to be a challenge for one to know what they want to do or what matters. And one could find that even if they are around others, they could still feel alone and cut off.

Guidance

Ones feelings are then an inherent part of who they are and it is vital that one pays attention to how they feel. Their feelings will guide them and give them the information that they need in each moment of their life.

At times, this will relate to what one needs to do with their life in order to be happy and at other times, it could be a sign that one needs to stand their ground and exercise their ability to be assertive.

Their feelings will allow one to know if they have worked too hard and therefore, if they need to take a break or to spend some time by themselves. And they will let one know if another person is safe to be around or if they can be trusted, amongst other things.

Emotional Containment

When one is connected to their feelings, it doesn’t mean that they will no longer have self control. As it will still be important for one to think and to contain how they feel from time to time.

What it means is that one will accept how they feel and not deny, minimize or ignore their feelings. Their feelings are then being validated and given the attention they need in order for one to live authentically and as a whole human being.

Invalidation

However when one denies, minimizes and ignores how they feel, they are cutting themselves off from who they are. One is then no longer in harmony with who they are, they are in conflict with themselves.

Their feelings are no longer being heard and accepted; one is then invalidating themselves. And this going to affect their ability to live a fulfilling life and this is because they will be estranged from what is taking place within them.

Two Ways

If one doesn’t listen to their own feelings, then there is not much chance that other people will listen to them. When one is not in touch with how they feel, they’re unlikely to show how they feel and the feelings of others could end up becoming more important.

It then won’t matter if one is with someone who is interested in how they feel or not, as one isn’t going to give other people the chance to know what they are feeling. And then there are going to be people who invalidate ones feelings and are not interested in how they feel.

It Starts From Within

But while there are going to be people who have no interest in how one feels, if one doesn’t listen to their own feelings it is going to be a challenge for them to find people that do. Or even if they do come across people who do, it might be hard them to accept the support that is being offered.

And this is because one has to realise that their feelings matter and when this happens, they will no longer put up with people who invalidate them. It will then be possible for them to attract people into their life who care and for them to recognise the people that do care.

The Cause

However, if one believes that their feelings are not important and this could be an outlook that exists at a deeper level, it is likely to be the result of how other people have responded to their feelings. This could relate to the experiences they have had as an adult, but the experiences they had growing up are likely to have had the biggest impact.

It is during this time that one would have learnt whether their feelings are important or not. And this will also play a part in whether one feels that it is safe for them to show them. These early years will often define the kind of relationship that one has with their feelings.

Childhood

One may have had caregivers who stopped them from expressing their feelings and therefore invalidated them. This may have happened on the odd occasion or it may have been a way of life. One may have been ignored, abandoned or even harmed whenever they expressed how they felt.

This then sets one up to do the same thing and to ignore their feelings. How other people responded to their feelings ends up being internalised and this then defines how one responds to their own feelings.

Awareness

In the beginning one had no choice and had to put up with people who invalidated how they felt, but as an adult one does have a choice. And when they form a healthy relationship with their feelings, the people they attract into their will reflect this inner change.

The support of a therapist or a healer may be needed here. They will be able to provide the positive regard that one missed out on whilst they were growing up and have continued to miss out of throughout their adult years. The emotional pain that one experienced all those years ago, as a result of being invalidated, may have stayed in one’s body and will therefore need to be released.

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What Is Holding You Back?

By Tony Fahkry in Abundance, attitude, Awareness, Beliefs, Happiness, Intuition, Manifesting Dreams, Success on September 8th, 2014 /  No Comments »

While you cannot seem to put your finger on it, life has not been the same as long as you can recall. Failed endeavours and mounting pressures have left you with waned enthusiasm to make things happen. A loss of motivation and an uneasy feeling of being ‘stuck’ and stagnant often fuels your thoughts.

What could be leading you to feel this way? Why do we experience episodes of unrest? What could it be calling us to be attentive to?

There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling this way. Rather than skirt around the edges, let’s leap straight into the article as I outline aspects of life that may demand your attention.

  • Fear of the unknown: Familiarity can be comforting. Since we may become accustom to a particular way of life, initiating essential change becomes difficult at the best of times. Life can be bumpy, so why rock the boat and risk the consequences that accompany change? It is for this reason relationship experts suggest men and women prefer to stay parked in toxic relationships rather than risk being alone.
  • Fear of pain: The Freudian principle known as the pain-pleasure principle states that humans have an inner drive toward seeking pleasure or equally running away from pain. Many people run away from pain which prevents them from creating the life they conceive. Fear of pain stops us dead in our tracks – afterall who wants to constantly butt heads against painful events?
  • Impaired self-belief: Remain vigilant against adopting other people’s beliefs, especially family. While they may be well-intentioned, if they do not serve your growth, they could be holding you back. During our formative years, embracing our parents’ beliefs are unavoidable. As we mature into adults we have the capacity to examine those beliefs to determine whether they are self-serving.
  • Disempowering thoughts: The same habitual thoughts day in day out create a reality based on the sum of those thoughts. Being mindful and attentive to your thoughts consistently weeds out any negative thinking bias. In this short video blog, I discuss ways in which you can transform negative thoughts so as to create a future with purpose.
  • Restrictive habits: Destructive habits may become embedded into the subconscious mind and have the potential to wreak havoc in your life if unexamined. If you are unconscious to your habits you are running on autopilot, drawing the same undesired circumstances in to your life. Spiritual leaders call it being ‘asleep.’ Owing to mindful awareness, it is possible to create a fresh outlook as you become aware of your limitations.
  • Blame: Blaming others and the conditions of your life reaffirms a victimhood temperament. The problem is always ‘out there’ and not within your power to make the necessary changes. Whilst you have little control how life’s events transpire, you have the wherewithal to respond to those events and circumstances with integrity. Power is attained amid awareness and right action.
  • Lack of resources and knowledge: The lack of resources and information may hold people back, particularly with respect to one’s career choices. It is estimated in these rapidly advancing times, what is relevant fourteen months ago is no longer appropriate today. Therefore remaining abreast of current trends is a vital requirement in your professional affairs. Continuing to learn by reading books or attending courses allows you to stay ahead.
  • Living in the past or the future: Regrets stifle your personal growth. Holding on to the pain of yesterday by recycling it into the present moment, limits your potential to create a purposeful life. Let go of your mistakes and the associated pain by forgiving yourself and others who co-created the experiences with you. Similarly anticipating a future to arrive in a certain way may be limiting. The famous passage from Dan Millman’s book, Way of The Peaceful Warrior, encourages you to remaingrounded, “The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.”
  • Elevated expectations: You may shoulder certain expectations of yourself, others and even life. When your expectations do not externalise as expected, you feel victimised. Let go of the HOW’s and WHAT’s of your expectations, while considering that everything you need reaches you at the right time, as you align with your deepest desires.
  • Pleasing others: A constant need to please others in order to validate your self-worth has the opposite effect. People-pleasing implies you do not value your self-worth enough to form your own judgements. I wrote a blog about this recently titled, You Can’t Please Everyone, in which I outlined seven ways to balance pleasing others without abandoning your own needs.
  • Shame: Shame is a destructive and toxic emotion which can cripple your life if left unchecked. It conceals itself deep within your sense of worth, while serving to remind you of your unworthiness. Dr Brené Brown has done extensive work in this area. In her book, Daring Greatly, she writes, “We’re afraid that our truth isn’t enough — that what we have to offer isn’t enough without the bells and whistles, without editing, and impressing.” In her famous TED speech, Dr Brown informs us, “Shame drives two big tapes — ‘Never good enough’ and, if you can talk it out of that one, ‘Who do you think you are?’ The thing to understand about shame is it’s not guilt.”

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Self Understanding: Can Suffering Lead To Self Understanding?

By Oliver J R Cooper in attitude, Awareness, Beliefs, Happiness, Learning, Life Purpose, Stress Reduction, Success on September 5th, 2014 /  No Comments »

While it is relatively easy to notice what is taking place in the outside world, the same can’t be said when to comes to what is taking place within ones inner world. From the moment one is born, they’re going to pick up information about the world and this is likely to continue until the day their life comes to an end.

This is something that happens regardless of whether one has the desire to learn or not. It is not something that one can avoid; this is not to say that this will mean that one will always learn about things that are worthwhile and life enhancing.

From The Start

In the beginning of one’s life, this is generally going to relate to what they learnt from their caregivers, other family members and what they absorbed during their time in the education system. This will also include that they learnt from their peers and what they consumed from the mainstream media.

And one’s peers and the mainstream media will continue to play a part in what they do or do not learn throughout their lives. When their time in the education system came to an end, their career is likely to have taken over and be one of reasons they will continue to learn during their adult years.

Taking The Initiative

Of course, there is always the chance that one will decide to engage in some kind of self study and to take part in different courses. And since the introduction of the internet, information has become a lot more accessible to people.

A lot of the limits that were around in the past are no longer there and it is easier for people to find out about things. In the past, this option was only there for certain people and the average person had to go without the knowledge they desperately wanted and needed.

No Shortage

It could then be said that there are no shortages when it comes to information and this is why it is often said that we live in the information age.  And through the use of different social media sites, it is easy for one to find out about what their ‘friends’ have been doing.

They can also be informed about what different ‘celebrities’ are doing and what is happening in the world. And due to how much is taking place, one can remain plugged in for as long as they want.

Out Of Touch

Ideally, one will not only be aware of what is taking place externally, they will be aware of what is taking place within them. But based on the kind of education that people receive and due to how much is taking place externally, it often the exception as opposed to the rule for one to be aware of what is going on within them.

In today’s world, it is not uncommon for someone to know more about a certain ‘celebrity’ than they do about themselves. And if it doesn’t relate to a celebrity, then they might have a greater understanding of what will please someone else than they do of what will please themselves.

Looking Within

One may have had a childhood where their needs were recognised and met or they might have had to focus on the needs of the people around them. However, no matter what happened during these years, it is unlikely that one’s time of being educated by society would have given them the guidance they needed to gain any kind of self understanding.

This is often a time of pleasing authority figures and getting the right grades. With the intention that one will fit into the system and play a certain role, a role that has been provided for them. But a role is just that, it is a role and not who someone is.

Beyond The Role

However, unless one takes the time to understand who they are, they’re going to be playing a role without realising it. And the role they’re playing has been given to them by someone else and therefore doesn’t reflect who they are.

So as self understanding is not something that people are encouraged to attain in today’s world, it is rarely something that happens through choice. This is not to say that one will understand themselves if the desire is not there, what it means is that there is another factor that can cause them to look within.

The Catalyst

However, it doesn’t mean that one will be on the path to self understanding as a result. So the factor that is being spoken about here is suffering and this is something Soren Kierkegaard has spoken about.

He said – ‘’A man may perform astonishing feats and comprehend a vast amount of knowledge, and yet have no understanding of himself. But suffering directs a man to look within. If it succeeds, then there, within him, is the beginning of his learning”.

Suffering

When one is in pain, they’re likely to be focused on what is taking place within them and not focused on what is taking place without. This is similar to how one might go outside when it’s sunny and stay inside when it’s raining.

So as ones point of focus has been placed on what is going on within them, it will give them the chance to gain a deeper understanding of themselves. But at the same time, one could also run away from their pain and engage in some kind of escape.

Awareness

One can then use their suffering to gain a greater understanding of themselves or they can become even more estranged from who they are. And there are all kinds of reason as to why some people allow their suffering to increase their level of self understanding and some people don’t.

What is important is that one reaches out for the support they need if they are suffering. No one is their own island and we all need help from time to time. This can come from a: therapist, healer, coach, friend and/or a family member.

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Your Challenges Are Your Lessons

By Tony Fahkry in anxiety, Awareness, Happiness, Inspiration, Intuition, Learning, Life Purpose, Prosperity on September 1st, 2014 /  No Comments »

David and Goliath

Goliath challenged King (Saul) of Israel to single combat with one of his finest warriors. Many were terrified of Goliath owing to his enormous stature, standing at six foot nine. Many of the King’s soldiers were opposed to engaging him in combat fearing for their lives.

David, a young teenager, offered to fight Goliath believing he could overcome the gargantuan warrior. The king hastily refused believing he was no match for Goliath, but ultimately conceded due to pressure. And so David confronted Goliath with the most meagre of weapons: a slingshot and a few rocks.

Before waging battle against Goliath, David retreated into solemn prayer to guide him against his formidable rival. With exact precision David directed his stone slingshot toward Goliath’s head, killing him instantly thus falling to the ground to be pronounced dead.

The story of David and Goliath depicts the extraordinary strength all men possess against mightier forces. The parable from the Bible’s First Book of Samuel, illustrates the impending power of man to overcome herculean forces if the motivation is compelling.

The tale conveys the knowledge that our challenges are not always as they seem. In many ways we feel a close association with David as we wrestle with the forces of life. The challenges in your life are there for a reason – to guide your personal development.

So how do you remain resilient when life offers you lemons? Surely positive thinking alone isn’t enough to overcome the ravages of life? Allow me to offer you a potential avenue to overcome challenging circumstances.

Yield To Your Challenges

Firstly accepting that life can be challenging at times, allows us to surrender with an affirmation of complete acceptance, rather than suffer. Saying yes to the circumstances that transpire in no way underscores their impact on our life. It is merely an inner declaration that everything will turn out alright in the end. It is in no way conceding in apathy as you might believe.

Challenges are an invitation to accept change in our life. More often than not the changes occur gradually over time or if we are unaware, rather precipitously. If there is resistance to the change, suffering is brought on from our unwillingness to embrace what unfolds.

You would agree that life is subject to constant change. What unfolds during the initial stages of a significant life change may not be in agreement with what we had anticipated. Hence, it is the uncertainty of the change which leaves us gasping for breath, rather than the change itself.

Our response to embracing life’s challenges is to lean into them with compassion and an open heart. Remember, your resistance creates more resistance, thus leading to more suffering. Leaning in to your challenges is a mental and emotional confirmation to yield to the resistance by embracing what develops.

Lessons In Overcoming Challenges

Now you might be inclined to think, “How can I accept bankruptcy and the loss of my possessions as an important life lesson?” “Where is there growth in that experience?” Allow me to use the following examples to illustrate how growth is possible amid the backdrop of unrest. The following excerpt is extracted from the author’s Wikipedia page. It demonstrates one man’s tale to rediscover himself following ruin:

“In the early 1990s Neale Donald Walsch suffered a series of crushing blows—a fire that destroyed all of his belongings, the break-up of his marriage, and a car accident that left him with a broken neck. Once recovered, but alone and unemployed, he was forced to live in a tent collecting and recycling aluminium cans in order to eat. At the time, he thought his life had come to an end.”

Neale’s life-changing experience was to become the catalyst for his awakening and he became one of the world’s most notable spiritual authors. His book series Conversations With God have gone on to sell 7.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into thirty seven different languages.

German-born spiritual writer and speaker Eckhart Tolle also endured a similar fate at the age of twenty nine. Having underwent long bouts of suicidal depression, he experienced an inner transformation before going on to compose his acclaimed spiritual teachings. His notable book The Power of Now also sold millions of copies worldwide, becoming the catalyst for ushering change in human consciousness.

What is clear from these examples is that in spite of their misfortune, both men conquered life’s plights by embracing the lessons held within their experience. Their accounts represent a show of incredible transformations in the lives of ordinary people.

It must be appreciated that there is no permanency to life, even our thoughts and emotions are subject to fluctuations on a daily basis. Accordingly your challenges are not as enduring as you might consider.

Therefore, allow your challenges to lead you without struggle. Simply uphold a quiet YES by consenting to the forces of life to take you in the direction of where your personal evolution advances.

What we think we need and what is best for us are two distinct components. Surrender the need to control outcomes by allowing the goodness of life to permeate through you.

You are the expression of life – do not ask what life has to offer you. Rather, what can you offer life as an ambassador for the collective consciousness of man?

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