Truth and lies

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

I’ll never tell a lie. I’ll never make a misleading statement. I’ll never betray the confidence that any of you had in me. – Jimmy Carter, former president of the US.

Why is it so hard to be truthful? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every marriage or commitment ceremony included those same promises that Jimmy Carter made?

Yes, there is a difference between a tactful sparing of feelings, for example, by not commenting on how much weight your friend has gained and a lie that is meant to deceive or mislead. People lie because they have something to hide, they feel guilty or they want to avoid confrontation. In other words, they do not want to own up to or deal with something they have said or done.

In my work as a psychotherapist, it seems the most damage done to relationships is by lying. Children hurt when a parent consistently does not follow through on a commitment. They are more hurt by the fact that a parent promised to show up and didn’t than by the fact they missed an outing. If you cannot trust a parent, who can you trust?

It is also deeply painful to find out you have been deceived.

Even in poker, eventually the bluff is revealed when all the cards are on the table. Those who lie to others bank on the hope the true cards will never be shown. Good luck with that.

We know how a lie affects the one lied to, but what about the liar? If you can lie to another, what does that say about you and how you value others?

To lie splits you into two people: the one others think you are and who you really are. This can only be comfortable for someone who sees life as a game and who is in it for himself, or for the one who loves and wants to keep their partner, but still wants more from outside the relationship.

Lying to someone you love impacts trust and can shake the foundation of a relationship. Many relationships don’t survive a lie, especially one that involves sex outside the relationship.

One of the worst things about lying is that it takes the choice away from the deceived person, which often leaves them feeling humiliated. They have been going along under one assumption about what is happening in the relationship only to suddenly realize they’ve been wrong. In addition to simply feeling hurt, they often feel naive or downright stupid.

Lies about fidelity and money are the two most common lies that affect couples. It is almost impossible for the one lied to to ever feel real trust again in the relationship. If lying is a consistent pattern, it would be hard to ever establish trust again. The partner can never relax in the relationship, but instead just waits for ‘the other shoe to drop.’

Can relationships survive lies? Only if the person lying has the strength and commitment to put an end to all of their lies. First, however, it is important for both people to understand why the lies happened. Couples’ therapy is the best way to go on this, as the process can be very difficult and may increase the pain.

Ultimately, the real healing comes when there is mutual understanding and empathy about why the lie happened.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Human rights for all?

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
– Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Most reasonable people would agree all humans should be treated with respect and dignity. We no longer tolerate it when any group is put down or belittled.

But many women, who would never make a racist comment, regularly participate in a practice that is degrading to others. We do not hear too much about this even though it is common, if not rampant, among women. I am talking about male bashing: “Men are pricks.” “All men are pigs.” “Men think with their dicks.” “Men only want one thing.” “Men are idiots” and on it goes.

Recently, I saw a Facebook post with the title, How Women See Men, followed by a video of men imitating apes.

I was inspired to write about this after one of my male clients asked me why women sit around and bash their husbands.

With all of the appropriate focus on the way women have been treated, it seems obvious women need to look in the mirror as well. We can just imagine the outrage if a man made those kind of disparaging comments about women.

The horrifying thing is that women think it is okay to say these negative things about men because they believe they are true! Racists also believe their comments are true. Sure, there are unscrupulous men out there, but generalizing to all men is like saying all Muslims are terrorists or all Italians belong to the Mafia.

So I want to address two things. The first is the kind of language used about men as shown above. As women, we must stand up to this, as we would want men to stand up when a guy says women are too emotional to be CEOs.

The second more subtle one is the habit many women have of complaining to their female friends about all the faults they perceive in their partner. I have always felt that once a woman starts badmouthing her partner outside of the marriage, it is the beginning of the end.

If there are problems, talk to the man about them. If they cannot be resolved, seek counselling. If they are really bad and cannot be fixed, do not just stay in a bad situation and continue to vent toxic energy about it. Either take steps to get out or choose to live with it. When a woman bashes her partner, other women should try to guide that person towards problem solving rather than piling negativity on the man.

We do need to show more evolved behaviour than junior high girls gossiping and saying terrible things about another. Junior high girls may not have the skills or wisdom to do it differently. I want to believe adult women do.

Right now, it is clear men need to do things differently. But women, many of us need to step up too. Let’s call it when we hear demeaning talk and attitudes, regardless of where it is coming from.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Be the change you want to see in the world

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

The title above is a quote that is often mis-attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. But it is only a paraphrased, shorthand version of his actual quote and, as such, it gets his message across. But there is much more to understand about this concept.Here is his actual quote: “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

If we choose to be the change we want to see in the world, what would that look like? It would mean that we focus on our own thoughts, beliefs and behaviours rather than on what others are doing. We would stop judging others and instead of complaining about others, we would practice self-reflection. We would realize the only thing in the world over which we have any control is ourselves.

Gandhi goes on to say that changing our nature is the source of our happiness. This is powerful because most have a codependent relationship with the events in their world. Codependency is a psychological term, which means excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner.

I have co-opted the term and used it to define the ego’s dependency on things happening according to what it wants and being unhappy when it does not.

So, when everything works out the way we want it to, we are happy. If not, we may feel shortchanged by the world, victimized and even depressed. When our plan does not work, ego goes into a place of criticism, judgement and blaming others for our state of mind.

Ironically, it is a version of “what you see is what you get.” If we view the world and our lives negatively, our experiences will be negative. If we focus on our own growth and development and become the opposite of all we dislike in the world, we produce our own happiness and equanimity. Equanimity is defined as “mental calmness, composure and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations.”

It is our own polarized thinking, judgement and reactiveness that makes equanimity impossible. It is not others who stir our internal pot; rather, it is our ego reactions. Ego takes everything personally and sees things only from its own perspective.

We have political systems that are based on criticism. And more often than not, it is the individual who is criticized, not just their policy. Politics is the outside manifestation of ego qualities writ large. However, you can go into any office, classroom or neighbourhood and see the same thing. It is also present in personal relationships. Hence, the world is mirroring the ego dynamics of individuals.

If we, as individuals, change our inner dynamics, we may well see that same change manifesting in the world. That is what Gandhi was saying and this is the only way to create real change.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. To read more articles or to order books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis MP3s or MP3s for Creating Effective Relationships, visit www.gwen.ca or check out her Facebook inspirational page.

Transcending pain and grief

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. – Rumi

Most people experience grief and pain at some time in their lives. And some have lives that are filled with grief and pain. Today, I want to talk about the pain we feel when we think we have been wronged by another.

In my practice, I often see individuals who are deeply distressed by an incident that leaves them feeling rejected or not valued. Often, they just cannot let it go. A client’s son was getting married and her sister was deeply offended that she hadn’t been invited. She was upset with my client. The fact was that the couple were paying for the wedding themselves and the parents were not given any say as to who was invited. It was not a personal rejection. It had to do with budget and the young couple wanted to include as many of their friends as possible.

I had another client who had not spoken to her son in months because he waited until early afternoon to call with Mother’s Day wishes instead of first thing in the morning. The fact that the year before her son and girlfriend had taken her along on their trip to Europe was not enough for her to see that she was important to them.

This kind of pain is self-inflicted and is likely triggering the individual’s own undervaluing of themselves. If we do not value ourselves, we will continually need confirmation from others that we are important.

Sometimes the rejection is real: a partner ends a relationship or marriage or a friend is no longer interested in keeping the friendship going. It is easy to begin tearing down the other and blaming them for our pain. Some people hold on to this perspective for years and it comes to define them.

There is an alternative. We can choose to be loving and compassionate to ourselves as we look deeply into our pain and perhaps see it may be triggering other pain we have had in our lives. Maybe, we even see a pattern. We can focus on what we can do or say to ourselves to begin the process of healing. The ‘danger’ we feel when there is a loss can lead to a recognition that we need to build our inner strength. We do have to forge a new path for ourselves and in the beginning, we may feel we do not know how to move on. We need a period of ‘incubation’ where we feel the depth of the hurt or loss. If we do not do the work to heal the pain, we will continue to be vulnerable.

Pain and grief can serve to break us open. Our compassion for others who suffer will be greater because we know what they are living through. If we transcend the bitterness and unfairness of it all, we gain a depth and wisdom we did not have before.

It may seem counterintuitive to go right into the pain, rather than trying to avoid it or numb it. Giving birth to a baby can be a struggle and it can be painful. For most, it is hard work! Giving birth to a new level of awareness can also be a struggle, but the catalyst for that struggle is often the pain. The new growth would not have occurred without it.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Are you a people pleaser?

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
– Lao T

When we are young, we learn that if we please others we gain their approval. If we displease them, we feel unloved. Even an infant can feel a parent’s energy when they are annoyed about having to change yet another diaper. Human infants depend on adults to keep them alive, so instinctively they will feel stress if they feel rejected.

As we grow, we learn that getting the right answer in school feels good. The teacher seems pleased. We learn to try and figure out what the teacher wants to hear and respond accordingly. Even at university, students often try to align papers with the instructor’s views.

On some level, many come to equate the displeasure of another with a failure on their part. They have failed to be what another wants them to be. Here lies the crux of a major block to authenticity and personal evolution.

Sadly, I have seen students struggle with the pressure of wanting a different career path than the one their parents envision for them. Imagine the conflict for a bright, young compassionate person who yearns to be a teacher because of their love for children, but knows it would be a huge disappointment to their parents who want their child to be a lawyer. Think of someone who abandons their love of art because they are told, “You will never make a living doing that.”

The fear of displeasing can become much stronger than the desire to please. I have worked with many mature adults who are stressed out at being controlled by their parents’ or partner’s expectations. They learn it is not okay to be their true selves.

This carries over to other areas of life as well. It manifests as a fear of displeasing others, which turns the person into a pleaser. They become trapped in a life that is stressful and unsatisfying. They cannot say no and cannot stand up for themselves when being controlled due to an intense discomfort at the thought of any confrontation.

If you cook for others, but never feed yourself, you will starve. If we live our lives for others, always doing what they want, our soul begins to starve. We lose touch with our true nature. Many in their fifties and sixties have shared they do not even know who they are.

The path to healing begins with first acknowledging the things we are doing that we do not want to be doing. It is beginning to recognize when our heart is saying “no” while our mouth is saying “yes.” It is up to us to begin to develop clear boundaries and to listen to that inner voice that is not happy with the way we have been doing things. We can blame others for being controlling, but we must recognize we are allowing it.

Standing up for ourselves can be done in a non-confrontational way. Rather than focusing on the behaviour of another or accusing them of being controlling, we just learn to speak our truth. Our truth is what we want for ourselves, not what we think of others. Speaking our truth starts with the word, “I,” not “you.” For example, “I am going to take some time for myself” is a statement that says, “I am in charge of me and I am taking care of myself.” After all, if you don’t, who will?

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Reinventing your life

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
– George Bernard Shaw

Perhaps your life has not gone as planned. Perhaps it did, but you are not sure that the plan is what you want anymore. Change can be hard. I often have clients that are dealing with major change and frequently the change is not of their own choosing.

What I see is that the old life, in some significant way, is gone. It may be the death of someone close, the ending of a relationship or job, a financial setback or a health crisis. In most cases, there is a longing for the return to the old life, a wish to wake up and find it was all just a dream. This is normal.

However, when the longing and resistance to change persists, over time, it prevents one from moving on. I picture it like this: you have been moved to a new house but you do not furnish it or put up pictures because you are focused on the old house and you want it back. You are not really even living in the new house, but rather merely existing. You do not plant flowers or even get to know your neighbours or the neighbourhood.

You realize you cannot go back, yet you spend time thinking of the old life, replaying memories and asking “Why,” but this leaves you sad and depressed. The only way to move forward is to look at this new house and start figuring out how you can make it a good place for you.

With big life changes, it is important to access resources. These include friends, family, helping professionals and perhaps accountants and lawyers. Recognize that so many others have been in your shoes and have survived.

You may feel you have lost a big part of yourself, but you are still here! There may be a void caused by the changes, but look at that as a blank canvas on which you can begin a new painting. What can you do with your time now that things are different?

With the busyness of modern life, many find they have lost touch with who they really are. It is easy to get so wrapped up in the context of our lives that we lose touch with who we are at the core of our being.

Think of the things you once liked to do. Are there books you simply have not had the time to read?
Is there music you love, but somewhere along the way stopped listening to it? Are their friends or family you have not seen in a long time? Many of them would be delighted to re-establish contact with you. Are there things you have always wanted to try but never did? A new interest, hobby or activity can invest you with a lot of new energy.

Yes, some things will never be the same, but that is true of all of life: everything changes. It is okay to look back now and then, but keep your eyes open to what is in front of you. Be in the moment rather than in the past. Notice nature, the sky, the earth and the stars. Feel your breathing and the beat of your heart. You are alive. You need to live.

Remember the words of Max Ehrmann: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Starting over after a relationship ends

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell

When a relationship ends, it does feel like starting over. It is much harder if you did not want the relationship to end, but even if you knew it was time, there can still be pain and a period of readjustment.

There is a sense of loss, not only of the partner, but a loss of the future that had been planned, envisioned or assumed. There is a time of deconstruction, a process of coming apart. There may be grief, anger, hurt, disappointment and sometimes a sense of betrayal. If the ending comes as a shock, it can leave one in a state of confusion. If one’s life was totally wrapped up with another’s, it can be hard to think about what the future will look like.

In coming to an acceptance of what is happening, one may go through the stages of grief Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlines: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The stages can occur in any order. We can cycle through them, thinking we are through one stage, but then go back or remain stuck in one of them.

In order for healing to happen, we have to give ourselves time to grieve and to experience the stages mentioned above. We cannot heal, however, if we become stuck in one of the stages. I have had situations where clients cannot accept a partner does not want to stay or has moved on with another. They will say the partner is not well; something is wrong with them because they would never do this if they were in their right mind.

When the denial lifts and it all seems real, the one being left may try to convince the other that things will be different. He or she may make promises to change behaviours, habits or attitudes that have created problems in the relationship. And, yes, clearly I believe there is a place for positive change and individual or relationship counselling. However, here we are talking about when one partner in the couple has decided it is really over.

With that realization often comes anger. This is based on pain, of course. There is anger because it cannot be fixed; the other won’t even try or they have already moved on. When bargaining does not work and the door is closed, depression often sets in. There may be remorse about one’s own part in the demise of the relationship. Now that it is over, the one who is grieving may see for the first time how much of their own self they compromised. They may realize how hard they worked on the relationship and how little understanding or commitment was shown by the other.

Then it is time to accept and move on. Some reflection on where it all went wrong is natural and important. However, becoming obsessed about it, focusing on how one was victimized or how unfair it all is will only serve to keep one stuck in the past.

What is needed is to begin to deal with the things we have to do. It may mean learning how to do things we did not do before. It means reaching out for support. One step at a time is the goal and there may be a lot of stumbling at first.

Just remember how many others have made this same difficult journey and survived. You will too.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For more articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca. Like Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

The high cost of a lie

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. – Albert Einstein

I had an interesting experience recently that got me thinking about honesty and integrity. I called a local nail salon late afternoon on a Saturday to make a Sunday appointment. I was actually trying to google the number of my regular salon when this new one popped up. It was a little closer to home so I thought I would give it a try as the web page looked pretty good.

I booked the appointment and the lady called me right back. She asked me to bring cash explaining, “My bank is closed on Sunday.” Of course I was puzzled and did not want to make an extra trip to a banking machine. I told her I did not have cash and she said,” Okay this time, but next time bring cash.”

When I arrived the next day, she was very friendly and put a lot of energy into promoting her business. She had just finished doing pedicures for a young couple in a long-distance relationship. He was returning to the US later in the day and his girlfriend had treated him to his first ever pedicure. She wanted to do something nice on his last day here.

When they went to pay, she said “cash only.” The woman did not have the cash and became quite flustered. She offered her Mastercard only to be told they don’t take Mastercard. In the end, the guy ended up paying with his Visa while the woman assured him she would pay him back. It was a very awkward ending to what was meant to be a special time.

I felt very uncomfortable witnessing this. Then, with a bright smile, she came to me and began my pedicure. She explained why her salon was different from others and how she was so much more conscientious about keeping nails healthy. In fact, she did an excellent job. So good, in fact, that I thought of switching salons. When it came time to pay, she accepted my Visa, but reminded me, “Next time cash.”

As I returned home, something weighed heavily on my mind. Each time I looked at my lovely nails, I could only think of how she lied to me right from the start. I thought about how bubbly the woman was about treating her boyfriend and how the whole cash business soured their experience.

I won’t be going back. I wonder how many others have never returned having seen or sensed this side, which is ego driven and out of integrity.

Years ago, I knew a woman who was into online dating. She was in her late forties or early fifties. She was beautiful, intelligent and good company. She looked somewhat younger than her years so she posted her age as somewhat less that her actual age.

She may have shaved off a bit too much because the man asked her how old she really was. When she told him, the first date was over. He said, “If you lied to me about that, what else will you lie about?”

Both women lost out on opportunities that could have been good in the long run. Perhaps people think others cannot see through their lies. Even if they are fooled, the relationship is still based on lies. If we lie to another, we are disrespecting them and ourselves. A lie is a manipulation of another to serve our own ends. It can never be a win/win. It is always a lose/lose.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Live and love the life you have

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

– Joseph CampbellSometimes, it seems to me that unhappiness or dissatisfaction with life is the gap between what we have and what we wish we had.

Our culture emphasizes setting goals and striving for what we want. The marketplace is driven by the push for more and better. Fashions change so we must buy new clothes every season. Every year, there is a new smartphone so we must upgrade even though last year’s works perfectly well.

My mother grew up during the depression and her motto was “reuse and recycle” long before the critical mass of consciousness made it a way of life. Those who have lived with scarcity see value in even the most insignificant things.

My grandmother, whose parents brought her here from Ukraine when she was but 13, had a mantra I heard over and over: “The most important things to have are your health and your education.” In her mind, if you had those, you could take care of yourself and be happy.

Somewhere along the way, life for many ceased being about what we needed in order to survive. Gradually, it seems that what once were “wants” are now needs in our culture.

Not everyone can have all their wants fulfilled. For those whose life is spent striving to fulfill those wants and to achieve the life they have pictured in their minds, there is a belief that when they achieve all of that they will be happy.

The problem with this is that there will always be more things to want. And things change. The perfect partner turns out to be something else altogether. Even a good person can leave the relationship or die. Job layoffs can drastically change one’s financial situation.

Life is too tenuous for us to rest our sense of peace or contentment on external circumstances. We must create that within ourselves. We do this by being mindful of what is in our life, rather than what is missing. We also do this by not expecting that our lives will be perfect. We accept that yes, there will be pain and loss. It happens for everyone.

There can be a shift from a focus on “What do I need?” to “How can I be a positive force in all of the lives I touch, if only briefly?” Our own pain, struggles and disappointments can make us more compassionate towards others.

When our lives do not go as planned, that does not have to be a source of sadness. It means the illusion we formed in our minds was not real and there is another path for us. It’s like we lost the script we had written for our lives and now we must ad lib.

Ad libbing can be both challenging and fun. It allows us to be spontaneous, in the moment, and able to respond to what is right in front of us, rather than to some idea in our mind. We become more authentic. If there is no script, we can make it up as we go along.

We can release attachments and respond to change, rather than resisting it. This relieves us of much self-created suffering. Our lives become lighter and we feel more freedom.

We can choose for a moment, or a lifetime, to let go of the struggle and embrace the joy.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

Where do we go from here?

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UNIVERSE WITHIN
by Gwen Randall-Young

At one time we had wisdom, but little knowledge. Now, we have a great deal of knowledge, but do we have enough wisdom to deal with that knowledge?
– Jonas Salk

A number of months ago, there was a story in the news about a family who lost their lives in a cottage fire. I felt sad about this tragedy as I do whenever I hear such stories. A couple of days after the family was identified, I received an email from my daughter saying the father was one of her husband’s best friends. The couple had been at their wedding in May and my daughter and her husband had spent time in that very cottage in August. It was a beautiful family; a successful couple both involved with and contributing to their community.

Suddenly, it was no longer just a news story and I tried not to think about their last moments. What a horrific shock to friends, family and their community. Now that I had a context for the news story, the sadness would not go away. It kept replaying in my mind. It was no longer like a photograph; it was now a streaming video. I I felt the weight of the pain and loss that was touching so many. Some wounds never really heal.

I then began thinking of all the scenes I had witnessed around the destruction in Syria. Parents losing children, children losing parents, families losing everything. I always felt compassion, but I wanted to turn away because it was so horrible for them. In war-torn countries, the pain is constant and ongoing; those deaths are not accidents. It is humans intentionally taking the lives of other humans. Like the loss of that Canadian family multiplied hundreds of thousands of times.

Has the world gone mad? Why can’t we do anything to stop it? Is the dark side of humanity getting darker? There is no cosmic parent who is going to step in and admonish the species to stop fighting and just get along.

The answer may lie in quantum theory: the notion that we (and everything else) are part of a gigantic energy field. What happens in one part affects the other parts no matter how far away and disconnected they may be. What is playing out on a global level is just a magnified version of what plays out in relationships and communities.


Inner engineering


The ego motivations are the same: the desire to win, to overpower, to have more and the inability to see things from another’s perspective, to transcend differences and work together to find solutions.

Back in the ‘70s, Jonas Salk wrote a book called The Survival of the Wisest. Wisdom here meant collaboration, cooperation and finding win/win solutions as opposed to aggressiveness and force. In my book, Growing Into Soul, I write that transcending ego and embracing wisdom is the next step in human evolution. Salk spoke in terms of counter-evolutionary and pro-evolutionary thoughts and behaviour.

Sadly, it seems we are seeing more and more counter-evolutionary behaviour in our world. The only solution is to begin, at the individual level, to act and speak wisely and model pro-evolutionary behaviour to our children and those around us. If an electron can alter the spin of another, though very far away, we can alter our “spin” and so influence the whole energy field in which we exist.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.