01 May How Meditation Rocked My World! Part II
In the Fall of 2016, I began studying and doing personal development in earnest. I started with Emotional Intelligence, Psychology, Relationships, the Science of Happiness and many other Personal Development topics. I was intent on improving my intuition so I wouldnʼt fall prey to any man or relationship that would drain me of my energy and inner resources. I became very protective of my inner strengths and learned to build them. I was creating a solid foundation with which to anchor myself. I was feeling good again. I was becoming aware of where and why I had gone down the wrong path so many times before.
The YouTube video that changed everything for me was called “How To Forgive Someone”, by Leo Gura from Actualized.org
What I discovered that day was truly a nugget of gold only I didnʼt realize that the little nugget was sitting on top of a gold mine. A treasure trove of a site that I discovered, soon after, had the power to transform my entire life.
After reflecting back on the break-up, I was eager to learn more about forgiveness, not just for the healing process from this relationship but also to help me with forgiving others who I had been hurt by. After watching the video, following the advice of the teacher and completing the exercises suggested, I found that within 48 hours I had completely forgiven my ex for his behavior and actions! I had to because what I learned was that he was completely unaware of why he was angry all the time. He was unaware of the mechanisms behind his behavior due to determining factors from his childhood and the systematic deterioration of his emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) over the course of his life.
You cannot blame other people, or circumstances for your own neuroses (anger in his case, but it can be anxiety, fear, addictions, negative thinking, etc.) but if you are unaware, that is exactly what you do. You look outward and vilify, criticize and blame others because looking inside is very painful, it takes emotional maturity, which he did not possess. I finally realized that he had no idea why he was angry all the time, he never bothered to look inside to see where it came from or get professional help for it. He didnʼt connect the dots from the childhood trauma, and the years of emotional suppression. The rigid thought patterns, ego defense mechanisms and angry outbursts that appeared all throughout his adult life, he explained away as “just the way I am”, short fuse, etc. It was easier for him to just to blame everyone for making him angry, that way he did not have to look inside and take responsibility for his own emotions. I can understand why it happens.
I learned that we have an emotional “switch”, if you will, that gets turned off when we are faced with difficult emotional situations. It is how we protect ourselves when dealing with emotional pain. When it gets really tough, we switch it off, sometimes permanently. I see how this can help in very abusive relationships or as a child growing up in a painful, stressful environment. It seems like it would be a great idea, except that it shuts down our ability to empathize and to feel a broad range of emotions. This is necessary in order to have long-lasting relationships and live a rich, full life. As human beings, we need to experience good and bad emotions, this raises our EQ. It all made perfect sense to me, his lack of awareness and his low EQ were at the root of everything; his aversion to touch, his inability to discuss his feelings, his anger issues.
The Padawan is ready.
I was in awe of the insight that I had gained from this one teacher in one video and the books he recommended (Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman was particularly insightful). What made him so wise at his young age of 32? I was so blown away by this simple idea that awareness could change the way I think, that I went back to his site and researched some more, I wanted to see what else this young guru could teach me. I had no idea that his website, which is geared toward Advanced Personal Development and self-actualization would change the entire course of my life. What the heck was “self-actualization” anyway?