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"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Monday, April 21, 2014

Which Companions Shape Your Life?

  
John (not his real name, all names in this article have been changed) was recently told he has a tumor. Malignant or benign, he will not know for about three weeks, after a series of tests and the results that they offer. Marguerite was taking her husband’s suits to the cleaners and found a hand-written note – not his handwriting - in the breast pocket of one of the jackets: Your love makes life worth living. Matthew and Lily have just been notified by their bank that unless they pay the overdue mortgage on their home, it will be repossessed by the end of the month. Jennifer had a call from the police this morning. Her son David is in jail for possession of cocaine. Michael got fired yesterday. And William was robbed. Burglars broke into his home while he was away on a brief trip and managed to open the safe where he had six months’ worth of emergency funds and his wife’s jewellery. None of it was insured. Finally, Mariel, a horse trainer, had a car accident, and not only is her car totaled, but because of injuries she sustained, she can not work for at least six weeks and her job only allows her six sick days per annum.

When Life Gets Hard

Such a list of bad luck and hard situations doesn’t exactly make for fun reading. But here is why this is the subject of today’s article: when life serves up the hard bits, the companions we have chosen up to that point in our lives, will shape – at least in part – the manner in which we are able to deal with the problems. They will sustain us and they will help us get through that dark forest to the clearing on the other side. Or not.

Habitual Companions

Here are some of the companions we habitually choose – we spend our precious time with these companions - and because they are habitual, and because we generally choose them long before any of the hard bits in our lives have appeared, they impact our thoughts and behavior in ways that are detrimental instead of uplifting when the more difficult times show up, just as sugar and chemicals in food are detrimental to our bodies and creep up on us until finally one day we realize the body that we have is no longer healthy:

§  Endless television shows that we watch simply because we happened on them, either while channel surfing, or because they were there when we turned on the TV
§  Junk books
§  TV and radio commercials and print advertising, not to mention billboards that encroach on our time and thinking as we drive through the streets (similar to what mindlessly eating sugary treats or salty chips while we watch TV or read, does to our body)
§  Fashion, gossip, and sports magazines
§  Irate political, sports, and religious commentators on radio or television
§  Conversations consisting to a degree of gossip, or discussion of other people’s lives
§  Conversations consisting to a degree of complaining about something in our lives which we expect the other person to listen to, and vice versa, listening to others complaining about their lives (see also Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being?
§  Spending time in thought on endless worrying about problems (see also Controlling Ourselves, Our Lives, and the People in Them
§  Spending time in thought on endlessly going over and over what someone did to you that you simply can not forgive (see also Can You Forgive?)
§  Spending time in thought about how bored we are, or participating in some of the above activities simply because we are bored (see also Finding a Meaning for Your Life
§  Socializing with a great amount of alcohol or some other type of substance, meaning that the actual interaction with other individuals is probably not on a level that serves us
§  Socializing with people we are addicted to because of the power they have (see also What Are Your Addictions?)
§  Shopping until we drop (even if our credit cards are already groaning under a weight of debt)

Nourishment

There’s nothing wrong with all of the above in moderation, but if you were to make a list of all the hours you spend on all of the above activities that apply to you, you might find that when you need another kind of inner back-up, you don’t have it. When life throws us the curve balls, when the floor falls away from under out feet, when unexpected setbacks arrive, frequently what we most have going for us is what we carry around inside with us. What we have nourished ourselves with. Think of a young woman about to get pregnant. It’s logical, we all understand that if she is eating a healthy diet, the body that will become a vessel for the baby will be able to nourish that growing fetus in a much better fashion, than a body that is filling itself with junk food or substances. So it is with us as we prepare ourselves for those moments in life when the going gets rough.

Resilience is required for difficult times. Inner strength is required. Wisdom, trust and faith (not necessarily religious) are required. Belief in yourself is required. Knowing that you can survive will take you a long way. Emulation of others you may admire who have gone through tough times is helpful. Learn about them. Read about them. Be inspired by them. And above all, love yourself (see also Love Yourself First).

Think of this: how much joy have you stored up in your life to get you through difficulties? (see also Do You Dance?) Have you figured out how to live a joyful life no matter what? (See also You are Here to be Happy). How much understanding have you stored? Have you filled yourself with ideas that will see you through? What would you do – inside your head - if you were stranded on a desert island, or if you were placed into solitary confinement? Obviously those things are highly unlikely to happen to the great majority of us. But that – feeling that we are all alone - is how we sometimes feel when we are going through tough times because there is nothing there to sustain us.

Keeping Your Energy High

I’m an inveterate reader and have been ever since I discovered the public library with a spectacular children’s section in the city where I lived in Canada as a child. I took my bicycle there once a week, filled the basket with books and read those books over the course of the week. Evidently most of those books were novels, children’s books, and so on, but I quickly realized that there were certain books or certain pieces of information in some of the books that spoke to me in other ways than the rest. Hence I avidly searched for more of those books or for more books with passages of that nature. They nourished me. As I grew older, I began to acquire books with the goal in mind that I wanted material that nourished me, and then, even at the age of 15, realized that some of those had become faithful companions when life got hard. I was able to find solace in them, greater understanding of how I might continue on, and certainly, they encouraged me in my darker hours.

But it need not be books. It just needs to be a habit – once you understand this process – of finding daily quality nourishment that will sustain you (see also Keeping Your Energy High), because it has served to grow a being (you) that carries inner strength and conviction, a being that knows it can survive, no matter what is thrown at it. Such inner nourishment can come in many guises, but you will know it because of how it raises your inner energy, your inner sense of well-being and helps you grow towards the goal of truly loving yourself. Begin to make the pursuit of such energy-raising nourishment a habit. It will serve you well and lead you closer to inner peace, well-being and freedom.

Also visit my new website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books.

Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch:
 
Rewiring the Soul

Click here to download the first chapter.
To see the Table of Contents click here

Reviews From the Back Cover:

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, Director, Center for Sacred Theatre, Ashland, Oregon; author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world & practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd; Founder Trans4mind.com; author: Daring To Be Yourself 

"The human being's directory to the soul. A breakthrough for those seeking practical assistance, those of a more mystical bent & every soul awaiting discovery." Toni Petrinovich, Ph.D.; author: The Call: Awakening the Angelic Human

The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

To download the first chapter, click here
To see the Table of Contents click here

Praise for The Tao of Spiritual Partnership

“All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come."
Chris Griscom: Spiritual Leader, Author (among others) of: Ecstasy is a New Frequency

“Eloquent and comprehensive, showing how your primary love relationship may be a sacred vessel that transports you and your partner to a place of mutual healing and expansion.” 

Robert Schwartz: Author of Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 


The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self 


My new book: The Power of Your Heart: Loving the Self, is just out. Click here to download an excerpt. 

From the Introduction: It is your right to live a life of love. It is your right to understand that loving yourself first is not a selfish way of behavior, but one that allows you to live that life of love. However, it's highly probable that you never got the instruction manual explaining exactly how to accomplish this. Possibly your family - and it may have been a loving family - considered loving the self an act of selfishness. Or perhaps the members of your family simply didn't practice loving the self, and of course, what you didn't see - what was not shown to you - while you were growing up, meant that you just didn't learn how to apply it to yourself. The closer you are able to move towards loving yourself, the closer you will be to living a life of love - quite independently of whether you are in a love relationship or not. A life of love can be lived with or without a partnership, because a life of love implies that you know that it all begins with you by loving the self. The more clearly you understand how to love yourself, the more clearly you will see that it is very hard - if not impossible - to love others in ways that are unrelated to fulfilling any of your needs. Loving yourself first is - for so many of us - one of the hardest things we will ever learn how to do. But know this: the benefits affect you in every particle of your being - body, mind, and soul - and are greater than you will ever be able to imagine.


Note: If you are wondering why this blog is now only appearing on alternate days (excluding Sat/Sun), it is because I also post on my other blog on the others days. That other blog is The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, so named for another one of my books. Click here to visit the blog and/or to sign up for the feed.

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