Evolving beyond pain

UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young

You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on. – Oprah Winfrey

Life is such an interesting journey and part of being human is the attempt to understand the meaning of it all. The meaning we ascribe to our experiences depends on our perspective. Think of viewing something under a microscope. Imagine we have a blade of grass. It looks green and solid to our naked eye. Put it under a microscope at a low 2power and what we now see looks quite different. If we were not aware of any other viewing powers, we would think we knew the structure of that blade of grass. Of course, we know that, with the right equipment, we can see things at the atomic and subatomic levels.

In examining our lives, there are many different levels of awareness and understanding, each allowing a different perspective. The perspective we choose will determine our reality. The perspective of ego tends to be narrow and inflexible. Think of a child who wants a particular toy or treat. The parent says “no,” intending to act in the best interests of the child. The child sees only that the parents thwarted his desire so he is mad and they are bad parents. He is really not interested in any of their reasons.

Imagine a man a few months before his wedding telling his partner he cannot go through with it. He has realized there are major areas that just do not fit. Perhaps what worked when they first met five years ago no longer does. Hard as it is, he thinks it better to be honest than to go through a charade only to divorce later.

Of course, there will be strong emotions on the part of the woman. She is devastated. The ego perspective is in the forefront, which is natural. The question is with time, will she be able to look at things from a different perspective. The ego perspective is “You jerk! How can you do this to me? You made a promise. The invitations are out, the facilities booked and the photographer and flowers are arranged; it’s too late to back out. This is so embarrassing!” Her ego tries to convince him to change his mind and when that does not work, her anger escalates. She may not consider his perspective at all because, at this point, it is all about what he has done to her.

If, in time, she is able to expand her perspective, she may realize there were things in the relationship that were not really working for her. But she had convinced herself that things would get better after they married and she was all caught up in the drama and excitement of wedding planning.

She may eventually reach a more expansive perspective, feeling thankful that he had the courage to do something so difficult because he knew he had to live his truth. She may come to understand that, when we act in accordance with our highest good, it serves the highest good of all involved, whether they see it at the time or not.

Contrast this with someone who never moves beyond the initial perspective, remaining hurt and bitter, deciding never to trust a man again. We can see this same kind of limiting perspective in people who blame their parents for all their adult problems, reliving all the hurts from childhood as if they just happened yesterday.

Ego can hold on to its position, refusing to forgive and unable to move on. When we take a more expansive perspective and assume responsibility for our own lives, we think of how our experiences, however difficult, can make us stronger. We also reflect on the kinds of wisdom we can gain and perhaps even use that wisdom to give something to the world that raises the consciousness of others. This is how we evolve. We can either choose to stagnate in the swamp of blame, recrimination and victim consciousness or we can pull ourselves out of it, climb to higher ground and perhaps even fly.

Gwen Randall-Young is a psychotherapist in private practise and author ofGrowing Into Soul: The Next Step in Human Evolution. For more articles, permission to reprint and information about her books and “Deep Powerful Change” personal growth/hypnosis CDs, visit www.gwen.ca. See display ad this issue.

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