Ask the Author: Question & Response
I feel jealous and angry with everyone. I feel like a failure in life, although I have an average life. I feel inferior to most people, constantly feel negative and only want to feel confident and at peace with myself.
– Lorraine, Ireland
My friend, the person you are today is simply a result of who you have allowed yourself to become. What you think today is based on an assemblage of belief systems that have been taught to you, you have accepted as true, and now use to define and react to the outside world. This assemblage is now the principal tool you use to define your reality, and your reaction and relation to your reality. There are parts of this assemblage that are hurtful to yourself and others. These parts are the ones that I invite you to release because they are not part of your true essence.
At first, they may be difficult to put down, yet do not despair. You have become unconsciously dependent on what they do for you. For example, you might be unconsciously choosing to feel inferior, because that way you do not have to place yourself in a position where you may be judged by others. This, in effect, is a way of hiding without experiencing the sensation that you are hiding. Thus in this case, the “reward” you get by feeling inferior is that you hide and do not get judged. Regardless of how counterproductive you believe some of these collections of beliefs are, you are actually getting some type of reward by supporting them, which is the reason you have continued to hold onto them, regardless of how painful they are to you.
If it is easier to envision, imagine this assemblage as a large group of sub-personalities. For example, feeling inferior is one sub-personality; feeling jealous is another sub-personality, and so on. This way you can divide, understand and conquer. You can deal with each one individually, and figure out what kind of “reward” you’re getting. Then you can work on that specific area of your life, and replace the sub-personality that’s hurting you with a sub-personality that brings you more peace of mind and joy. Although you can attempt to do this by yourself, the wisest way to figure out and get to the root of all these sub-personalities is to find a professional therapist. If, for whatever reason, you have some aversion to therapists, then you can work with a life coach. A professional therapist or life coach has the time and knowledge to assist you in this self-discovery process.
Somewhere within, you know that the feelings you express in your question are really not part of your true essence. It almost feels as if you’re carrying an old, worn-out, heavy backpack that’s not really yours. Once you return home, into your true essence, there is no longer a need to carry this excess weight with you. Take a deep breath in, then breathe out, and let go of whatever you desire to no longer carry.
Being who you truly are is an effortless accomplishment. What is hard is being who you are not. And this, my friend, is what you have been doing. Anytime you react with anger and jealousy, you are being who you are not. Anytime you feel inferior to your brothers and sisters, you are being who you are not. Anytime you feel negative or stressed, you are being who you are not. Somewhere within, maybe deep within, you know that what I’m saying is true. And this truth does not come from me suggesting this idea, but from you beginning to recall it.
Living your life from the illusionary qualities that you have taught yourself you are is such a giant learning feat that once you begin to recognize what you have done, you will never again question your power to learn. You have practiced the lessons endlessly until you accepted the illusions as truth. Do not underestimate what you have created. The world you see is the world you made. It is the world as you have taught yourself it is.
We were taught that God’s sons and daughters are guilty, that God’s sons and daughters deserve our anger and jealousy. With every judgment, we sentence God’s children to the prisons within our minds. We jail them, holding them prisoners behind the same walls that chain us to our belief systems. We have become slaves to guilt, regret, despair and confusion. We carry these energies with us, and then wonder why we constantly feel negative and angry, and lack peace and confidence.
How much longer are you willing to support this assemblage, the antiquated belief system you have learned? How much more pain will you endure by defending this insane belief system? Your ability to withstand pain is high, but it is not without limit. There comes a time when you look into the mirror and tell yourself: “Enough is enough. There must be a better way.” My dear friend, this day is now; for your question is the knock on the door that will open a whole new, yet somehow familiar, world to you.
I recommend that you begin this new journey by doing the opposite of what has brought you feelings of jealousy, inferiority, negativity and anger. At first, maybe even the first month or so, you may find what I ask you to do difficult. Yet the more you do it, the easier and more rewarding it will become. You will begin to work on and strengthen mental, emotional and spiritual muscles you have not used regularly. There will be soreness, but it will be a soreness that will be taking you in the direction you truly desire to go.
Rejoice my friend, for the day is coming when you will look again toward your brothers and sisters and smile. Your appreciation for their presence and participation in your life will flow through your body like a drink of hot chocolate on a cold Irish day. And when you once again feel love and kindness flowing through your body, you will want no other way.
Once you remember that God’s children are innocent, you will begin to see another world. Become still in an instant, and forget all the things you have ever learned that brought you pain, sadness, anger and regret. Even if it is for only a little while, put down every preconception of what things mean or what their purpose is. Do not choose not to walk in front of or behind your brothers and sisters. Take their hands not in anger, but in love. All that God asks of you is this: offer peace to obtain peace. Every brother and sister offers you the opportunity to obtain peace. Giving this gift to them makes it yours.
As unpleasant as you are currently perceiving your situation to be, you wouldn’t continue to support it unless it is bringing some type of value to your life. Be still and ask yourself: “What am I gaining from feeling this way about myself? What or who am I protecting myself from? What or who am I hiding from? Why do I continue to torture myself? If someone else, day after day, treated me in the manner that I treat myself, would I not, sooner or later, say enough is enough and fracture the relationship?”
To achieve a goal, you must proceed in its direction, not away from it. Peace, happiness and self-confidence are not found by following roads that lead away from them. Never underestimate the power of a small step forward. Every great journey begins with a small step. For now, do not concern yourself with the end goal, but with the next step you need to take. The more you take these small, simple steps, the closer you will come to achieving the desired goal.
Jealousy, anger and other negative feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions are some of the roads this world offers that take us away from where we truly desire to go. Jealousy, anger and any other negative feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions may seem different, but the time will come when you will see how alike they are to one another. They all take us away from where we truly desire to be.
All roads that lead you away from extending your true essence offer nothing but confusion and despair. Yet do not despair if you once again find yourself going down these roads. Instead, promise and say to yourself: “Every day, I will catch myself sooner and sooner when I find myself traveling on these roads. When I do, I will not judge myself. I will simply stop and remind myself that the road I am now on is not the road I choose to follow.” Promise yourself this every day, and gradually you will find the time you spend on these roads diminishing.
Okay, now, how do you apply the above concepts into your everyday life? Try the following:
1. See yourself as one person with two main personalities: One, we will call the Godself, the other one we will call the ego-self. Within these two personalities there are numerous sub-personalities.
2. Your Godself is your true essence, the only real part of you. When you’re being your Godself, some of the sub-personalities you experience and express are peace of mind, joy, happiness, love, kindness and compassion to yourself and others.
3. Your ego-self is the complete opposite of the Godself. The ego-self is your programmed self, your manufactured self, the illusionary mask you use to defend yourself against an illusionary world. Some of the sub-personalities you experience and express in this case are jealousy and anger. You feel like a failure, inferior and/or experience any other “negative” emotions. Any and every “negative” emotion is learned, and not part of your true essence. The good news is that you can unlearn what you were taught.
4. In every experience you have during your day, have your Godself be your guide on the optimal way to act, react, think and be. Instead of just reacting how you’ve been trained to respond, ask your Godself how to react, and then react. Ask your Godself how best to act, and then act. In my personal life, many times throughout the day, I ask questions and say to myself: “What would Jesus do?” “How would Jesus see this person?” “God, help me see this person as You do.”
5. As your day begins, take five minutes for yourself. Think about the kind of day you want. Whenever you can, remind yourself that you are in control of your thoughts and actions. Stay in the moment. Decisions are continuous. So far, you have reacted to your environment as you were taught and trained to by the ego. How is this working for you? Isn’t it time to try another way? Your day is not set at random, but by how you choose to live, and by whose teachings you choose to follow. Each and every moment, you decide to view the world through your Godself’s eyes or through the ego’s.
6. As often as possible, throughout your day, say: “Today I will make no decisions by myself.” What you might believe to be an instinctual response is not instinctual, but programmed. Learn the true difference between your instinctual response and your programmed response. When you react instinctually, the result is peace of mind, joy and/or love. When you react through your programmed response, the result is judgment, stress, anger, confusion and/or regret.
Knowingly or not, you always get advice before you do anything, advice from either the ego or God. No longer judge situations in which you believe a judgmental response is necessary. Now, before judging a situation, stop yourself and ask God for advice. Then make up your mind and decide what to do. You and your advisor (the ego or God) must now agree on what you want before it can occur. You can act through the illusion of judgment, or listen to the voice of God.
7. Throughout the day, remind yourself what kind of day you choose to have. Remind yourself that you have the power to choose what kind of day it will be. When you are not feeling confident or kind, stop yourself and say: “This is not who I desire to be. I now choose to stop this and act the way I truly desire to be. I am in control of how I act, behave, react and interact with myself and my brothers and sisters. I no longer choose to put effort into following the same dead end roads as before. I am no longer a prisoner of what has been taught to me.”
8. Ask to have the answer given to you. Ask God, or whatever higher power you believe in, to be your personal guide for the day. Before acting or reacting, ask God what He would do if He were in your shoes. Before you talk to anyone, ask God what He would have you say, and how He would respond to your brothers’ and sisters’ questions and actions. When you are with your brothers and sisters, look deeply into their eyes and send them a silent blessing. Ask God to help you see them as He sees them. You will have the day you want by giving to the world what you desire for yourself. Your judgment will be lifted from the world by your decision to have a happy day.
9. When you find yourself judging yourself or others, or experiencing any other negative emotion, remember whatever just occurred is not part of the day you desire to have. As quickly as possible, stop yourself when you find yourself judging a brother or sister, and correct your behavior within your mind. Say to yourself: “I no longer choose to poison myself through judgment. I will no longer bring myself down by my own thoughts and emotions.” Then, instead of judging yourself for having judged others, try congratulating yourself. Be proud of yourself for recognizing where (through your own thoughts, actions and reactions) you were taking yourself and how you changed that.
10. Do not judge yourself for judging others. When you are ready for peace, say with all honesty: “I want another way to look at this.” What can you lose by asking? Become a truly conscious participant in your day. It is easier to have a happy day by being aware of your thoughts, and screening unhappy thoughts as they try to enter your thinking.
If you find it hard to let go of judgment, say to yourself: “At least I can decide that I do not like what I feel right now.” The previous statement returns the power back to you. Offer this judgment over to Jesus, God and/or any other self-actualized entity. Allow them to carry it for you until you realize that you no longer have any use for it. My friend, they will gladly carry your burdens. Their love for you is such that these burdens are like a drop of blue dye on the ocean’s surface. Physically, feel your burdens being lifted from your mind and body. Physically, feel yourself getting lighter and becoming more peaceful. Then, offer gratitude to God for His assistance. Truly, with your whole heart and soul, offer God your thanks, and then feel where your offering takes you. Truly feel these moments when, instead of judging your brother, you offer gratitude to God. Be in the moment and feel the love and gratitude filling your body until they overflow. Then, with this love flowing through you, look once again upon your brother. Understand and acknowledge the difference between focusing on judgment, and focusing on gratitude and love in the moment. My dear friend, that is the choice you have in each and every moment.
11. Act as if you have confidence. We do a lot more acting during our day than we realize. In fact, every time we react with anger, judgment, stress, envy or jealousy, we are acting. It is tiring trying to be who we are not. My friend, step off this negative stage. You have played this part long enough.
The more we act a certain way, the more real that way becomes. Just as an actor becomes more comfortable the more he rehearses his part, so too will you become more comfortable with your new, more loving and less judgmental behaviors. Thus my friend, act as if you have confidence, and gradually your everyday level of confidence will increase.
At first, you may choose to try this for just a couple of minutes a day. For example, see yourself playing a part. Try going to a restaurant and being extra nice and generous with your waiter. That does not mean you have to be overly generous with your money, but rather, with your words, eyes and time. Before going into the restaurant, ask God to join you. Ask God to flow through you, and let you see your waiter as He does. Ask your waiter his name. Ask him how his day is going. When you talk to him, notice him; I mean notice him as you have never noticed any waiter in your life. Look into his eyes when you talk to him, and then look even deeper. As you talk to him, try to see his soul. Ask God to help you do this. You will get more comfortable with practice. When your waiter speaks, listen to him. Send him a silent blessing as he talks to you. Pray for him, and ask God to surround you in the love that you both are. Again, you will get more comfortable with this way of being the more you practice it. It will feel good and loving to be this way. This way will be its own deep reward, and you will gradually look forward to your future interactions with all your brothers and sisters. You will make a great difference in people’s lives by simply extending your true self outward into the world. Trust me when I say there will be people whose lives you will literally save by simply being kind, loving and generous in the moments you spend with them.
12. Pay attention and be aware of your thoughts during the day. Again, the more you do this, the easier and more comfortable it will become for you. Just as there exists an outer world, there also exists an inner world. In this inner world, your thoughts are the inhabitants. The level of peace or stress in your outer world is directly correlated to the inhabitants you allow to live within. The more stressful or negative the inhabitants of your mind are, the more you will experience stress-filled, difficult, tiresome days. The more you focus on, invite and support loving, generous inhabitants in your inner world, the more peaceful, kind, gentle and generous your days will become. The defining factor is which thoughts you allow to pollute or invigorate your mind. You, my friend, are the gatekeeper of your world. You have the final say about who enters and who gets stopped at the gate.
Start taking responsibility for your thoughts. Do not just allow a negative or stressful thought to go unchallenged. Remind yourself what kind of day you truly desire. Remind yourself what kind of life you want. My friend, the life you experience is simply a physical manifestation of the thoughts you nurture and support within.
13. Pay attention and be aware of the words you use. Not only the words you verbalize, but also what you say internally about yourself and others. Words are simply verbal manifestations of thoughts. By verbalizing what you are feel and think, you can recognize what road you are taking, and whose directions you are following. When you listen to and follow your ego, your words are negative, hurtful and/or filled with sarcasm. When you listen to and follow your Godself, your words are kind, graceful, generous and/or loving. By being in the moment and paying attention to what you say to yourself and others, you can see a clear map of whose directions you are following.
Do not judge yourself if you find that you are following the ego’s road once again. Instead, congratulate yourself for seeing this. If throughout the day, you keep paying attention to the words you use, you will get better and faster at catching yourself when you begin to go down the ego’s path. Thus, you will spend less of your day on its path, and more of your day on the path of peace of mind and joy.
14. Pay attention and be aware of what you physically do with yourself and others. Exercise and eat right. Exercising and eating healthy foods are simply physical manifestations of self-love. Be kind and generous with your actions. Open doors for people. While in traffic, allow others to cut in front of you. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. If someone drops something, try to pick it up first. If someone sneezes, say, “God bless you.” There are innumerable opportunities throughout your day to be kind and generous. These actions will produce their own rewards. Soon you will begin to feel the kindness and generosity of your actions flowing through you, and when you do, you will want no other way.
My friend, you are connected to God. Your brothers and sisters are connected to God. Therefore, you are connected to your brothers and sisters. Thus whatever you do for them, you do for yourself. What you feel about them, you feel about yourself. For when you have a feeling, it must first flow through you. So be kind and generous with your brothers and sisters, and you will feel and experience kindness and generosity flowing through you and throughout your day.
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