Ok there is a short version to this and a long version...the short version is I want to recommend the latest book I have been deeply affected by. The book is called "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams by Debbie Ford. It has literally opened my eyes and life in a HUGE way and I believe it could do the same for many people! Buy it, read it, see if it helps you as much as it has me....oh and for any of you reading this that are my clients or friends and have read it already?...WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT???!!!
For those of you that are braver and up for some possible boredom at your computer, read on...
I want to share some recent personal realizations that may help people to view relationships they are experiencing in their lives in a new light. This has nothing to do with getting readings or psychics or soul mates or any of that...read on only if you are interested in seeing more of my humanness...and possibly gaining something from my experiences good and bad...you see, although I may be a 'gifted psychic' I am not special. I have not been granted some kind of immunity from daily problems...I am not better than or less than, I just am. You show me any 'gifted' person on a path to awareness who says any different and I will show you just one more person in some type of denial. I am just like you, struggling to find answers...and realizing just how HUMAN I am every day...
I understand the concept that all the people we surround ourselves with are 'mirrors' to reflect back aspects of ourselves...both positive and negative. I am sure many of you reading this have heard of this and think you understand. I believed this and even thought I had some deeper understanding of it as well. I always believed in the concept that we are all 'connected', all one on some deeper level of being. I have also always believed that I should not judge people because I have been judged all my life by others and it really damaged me for a lot of years. I even thought I had a strong belief and understanding in the concept that I should not judge myself. But here is the real kicker. I have compartmentalized all those concepts and beliefs never being able to fully make them all fit and come together in the same place within myself. I have understood how the positive and good people mirror me, but what about the ones that still cause me negative emotions even AFTER all the work and understanding I feel I have put into myself? There was something 'missing'. It has only been in the past month or so that the whole picture finally became so clear...
I have been questioning the fact that over the past two years or so I have distanced myself from a lot of people that I used to consider friends on one level or another. I found that instead of these friendships adding to my life, I started to feel drained and more 'alone' in the world then ever. I have also questioned the men I have continually attracted in my love relationships. I came to a very startling conclusion! All had some of the same core 'flaws' that eventually would cause me some kind of pain and leave me feeling let down, confused, empty, alone. I found I could use the same descriptive words to sum up most of these people in my life. Some have been easy to let go, others very difficult. Being who I am, the first feelings I would have were of guilt and self-recrimination. How Spiritual a person am I if I can't find the value in everyone that enters my life??
If I believe that there is a reason for everyone being in my life and a lesson to it, then what is the lesson from people that continually show me negative behavior and leave me hurt and energetically drained...feeling less than whole? IF I was not to take it personally, then why does it still FEEL personal in spite of my logic and knowledge? Why does one set of words, circumstances, or opinions hurt, while others I can just shrug off? Why does it bother me when someone says I have a temper, but doesn't bother me if someone calls me a liar? Why do I miss some people when they are gone a day and others not at all? What is it about words, opinions, certain people that can cause such strong reactions in me and not all people? In some people, I could see clearly and easily their purpose in my life...others I was totally blind. If I was blind, then automatically I assumed it must be ME that needs to try harder, work harder, change myself to be better because I keep 'attracting' these people. Well I was right...sort of...
Trying to understand myself as well as others has been life-long and sometimes a very painful process, but it all finally fell in to place more completely this past week. Another one of those 'defining moments' as Dr. Phil calls them. You see, I have always found it easy to see the good in everyone, but what about those 'flaws'?...and if these flaws are their problem, why does it cause ME pain?...why do I take it so personal when it is not personal?...why did I feel a need to help these people 'fix' themselves?...why did I feel like I had to work all the harder to keep them in my life?...why did I feel that by being a friend to them, or by loving them, that I would feel better about myself?...it has to be somehow related to some aspect of ME...so many questions...so many elusive answers...until now.
Synchronicity and the Universal flow is another very extraordinary thing and NEVER ceases to amaze me when I can see it all come together...I like to say "God and the Powers that Be work in some very mysterious ways!!" ...I recently ordered some books and was 'mistakenly' sent one that was not what I had wanted. Mistake my @&&!! It is called "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams by Debbie Ford, as mentioned above. For me, it has been one of those 'life-altering', mind-blowing', 'why didn't someone write this years ago' book!!!...The concept of mirroring is not new, but the way this author explains it is!
Along about the same time as I received this book last week, I had two people completely shatter my faith in my own discernment in choosing the 'right' people in my life as friends. I thought to myself..."here I go again!" These people showed me sides of themselves that left me disgusted and angry and hurt, asking all the same 'why' questions all over...but this time I got some real answers! One showed me his greedy, self-serving, judgmental self, the other showed me her insecure, obsessive, spiteful self. Now those may sound like harsh words and reflect the fact that I am being very critical and judgmental of them...well surprise!!!... I WAS!...and therein lay all of my answers and realization! These were only two people in a long line of many MIRRORS that have been trying to teach me a lesson about myself that I just now FINALLY get!!! Forty years is a long time to spend on one lesson... one single lesson that has continuously caused me so much pain. I believe that it may cause the same pain for ALL of us...and I hope that by writing about this I may help even just one other person 'get it'!!!
Debbie Ford's book explains how people reflect back to us ALL aspects of ourselves. When we admire someone and value them we are actually admiring and validating the qualities and traits in them that we love and accept within ourselves and want to exhibit to the world. Those are all the wonderful people in our life that make it all easy and worthwhile...ok I got that, but what about the others? What about the people that upset, anger or sicken us by behaving in ways that we deem 'bad' or 'wrong'? These behaviors are actually the traits we have denied and buried deep within ourselves!! What a concept!! What a surprise!!...NOT!! I have had a logical grasp of this for years, but no true understanding. I labeled these friends that hurt me as greedy, judgmental, insecure, spiteful, whatever...well shock of shocks...as I practiced the concept in the book of 'owning' the fact that some part of ME has been all those things in the past. I came up with MANY instances and memories where I had been greedy, judgmental insecure, spiteful...and a whole lot of other less than nice things besides!!! Rather than accept and have love and compassion for those parts of me, I have shunned and closed it off all these years as 'that is not me anymore!'...
I have deliberately denied myself and fooled myself into thinking that those parts of me are dead, separate and don't belong to the me now...that was the 'BAD me'. Sure I paid lip service to the idea that I had forgiven myself and that I was a better person, worked years to REMOVE these things in me...but did I really feel it? Well it's pretty obvious to me now...absolutely not! Then I came to the next realization. I still have the capacity to be all those things!!...OH NO...BAD ANNA...bad human!!! ...but now I realize...are you ready for this??...it's OK for me to be the whole HUMAN!....WOW!...In the past, it has been ok for everyone else to be human and even for me to be mostly human, but not ALL of ME. By continuously and habitually denying these aspects of myself that I disliked the most, I can see where I will draw people to me that are all the things I deem 'bad' because I need to learn to love ALL of myself....light bulb moment folks!!
The only way we can see our physical bodies is to look in the mirror...so it makes logical sense that the only way we can see our emotional and Spiritual selves is to look into the mirrors of our relationships around us...the missing link for me all these years is the mirroring concept that I need to EMBRACE rather then deny and separate the 'shadow side', the ugly parts!!! I need to be consciously aware and make peace with those aspects of myself every day! I realize now that it is those aspects of myself are what make me appreciate and LOVE the good things about me. How would I have ever learned to be giving if I had not been greedy in the past??...How would I ever have learned to be compassionate if I had not been selfish?...on and on and on...every good characteristic has it's equal and opposite negative aspect and the very nature of being born human makes me and everyone else in this world capable of ALL things and this is how we are all connected!! I was trying to grasp it all from a Spiritual perspective and separating the humanness...I GET IT!!..HELLO!!! wake up and smell the coffee Anna! Girl it is Jamaican Blue Mountain!...no more instant decaf!!!
I reflected on each character trait these most recent people showed me. Well of course I realized that they were all aspects and behaviors that I have been in the past and labeled myself as "BAD PERSON" for being. The light now illuminated my darkness! For the rest of last week all I did was take any time I could find and sit and started reflecting on each and every person from my past...working my way back...that I felt had hurt me or that I had judged as less than good people. Debbie Ford's book gives you exercises to do, so I started doing them!
I started a list. With each name and person from my past that I felt had hurt me in some way or that I had judged as wrong, I listed all the traits that I liked and disliked. Each aspect that I disliked about them I took upon myself. I am selfish. I am insecure. I am shallow. I am fearful. I am weak. I am whatever...the list can be endless!! You see I know I am NOT actually these things anymore, but I never ACCEPTED, no EMBRACED and LOVED the fact that I still have every capability of being them, that they are still very much a part of ME and always will be!!
I was all those things in my past and hated those things about myself. Rather than tell myself it was ok to be those things, that they are a part of the total me, I chose to bury it and say NEVER again. I will punish myself and beat myself up and deny myself if I ever feel greedy, selfish, angry, or anything I or anyone else ever deems BAD or WRONG...and Lord help anyone with those qualities that enter my life and show them to me! But I see now how EVERY person that has caused me some kind of pain or uneasiness or hardship was a mirror to make me have compassion and love for those aspects of ME... I now realize how I was unconsciously but continuously attracting these same types of people to show me this...OUCH !!
The book explains how you can pay attention to what people judge about others or what they say about you and you can clearly see how they are really talking about themselves! Or if it strikes a nerve with in you, what it is you need to embrace and accept? It also makes you see clearly that when you are judging someone, you can always reflect it back to an aspect you have denied about yourself. I had the understanding that when people are judging others, it is WRONG, and even when judging myself, I felt wrong...but never with any clarity as to EXACTLY why. Now I can see with each conversation, with each thought that goes through my head what it is that feels wrong and what it triggers in me, about MYSELF.
Well needless to say, I am on a whole new path here and eager to learn all about the whole me again. I can do this with each new person that enters my life as well as shed the ones that I no longer need. In her book, Debbie Ford calls this 'unplugging'. I can now continue to unplug myself from all the people that have been trying to show me in a hurtful way. I don't need them anymore. I have true understanding now of why I have let so many people go and now I can continue to do so with awareness and peace. I can see those dark, negative aspects of me again, FULLY and CONSCIOUSLY accept them, embrace them, make true peace with them within myself. What an incredibly freeing feeling!!! More guilt out the door!! and boy oh boy do I have a lot of list-making to go through here. This will keep me busy for the few months, maybe years, who knows!!...oh and ask me if I think this will instantly fix my life and make it perfect???...ummm...HIGHLY unlikely, but I can't wait to see where it takes me next!!
Ok, I will try and sum up my advice and make some kind of point with these newest ramblings of mine [and anybody that has spent any time on this site or that knows me personally, knows I have a hard time making anything 'short and to the point'!!]...but here goes my best shot...
First?...please and yes I am begging...go buy the book and read it!!! Next sit down and evaluate all the people that surround you. Ask yourself what it is that causes you pain and that you dislike about them because I can guarantee they are showing you all the things that you need to love about yourself again. Not hide these things, not remove them from yourself , but LOVE THEM. There is a simple TRUTH that makes the most sense and feels the most right to me personally and always has...and that truth is?... You can never find the love you need OUTSIDE of yourself. I have had understanding on this for many years now, both on a conscious level as well as a Spiritual level, but never so much as of today. The whole world really IS inside of us and our outside world and the people in it are only a reflection of that!! I have read tons of books on creative visualization, positive thinking, power of living in the now...I had all the tools I even practiced them and had them working with some semblance of success...but my past would always seem to keep repeating itself...sound familiar?...maybe you have been there too.
I bet you will come to see that your real true friends and long term relationships are with the people that see you for yourself. The WHOLE YOU! They can see the not so pretty human parts of you, the dark shadow parts that you can be and don't hold it against you as you hold it against yourself. They are the ones that are not afraid to admit to you they are flawed too and have 'shadow' selves. They are not so busy judging you, themselves and others that they can't ever be real, whole and completely human. If you have people around you that say they are 'better than that'...whatever or whomever 'that' may be, chances are???...they are not!!!!...There are harmful mirrors and there are loving mirrors. You can make conscious CHOICES about which to keep.
Here is the most perfect recent example of this for me...and upon further contemplation made me laugh where I would have cried buckets before. This simple [but very profound] incident allowed me to finally see the light in judgments and mirroring. If this man had not been so out in left field and blatant about his issues, I might still be in the dark and thinking I had actually done something seriously wrong in our supposed friendship.
The same man that blew my mind earlier in the week with his greediness, ego and verbal tirade about how much I was not honoring him and his grandiose and valuable gifts to me...yadda yadda yadda, then proceeded to lecture me and judge me on my choice of honoring someone else's gift...how could I value her when she was someone that in his opinion was EVIL because she is in love and doing some very stupid things?...well FINE, ok, so she has her problems!!..I honestly thought we all did...but let's see now...does that make her worse than him?...the same man that has a wife and kids and goes off to meet a woman he met online and his wife never knows the difference?...a man that makes no apologies for taking as much money as he possibly can from anyone that seeks him out for advice because that is his JOB and his RIGHT?...a man that verbally bashes his wife, his fellow co-workers, other friends and his favorite word for describing someone is 'stupid motherf---?....well according to him? HELL NO!!...he is not 'wrong' doing those things...but this other girl I honored and stood up for is EVIL for wanting to be with a married man that tells her he loves her?...talk about confused??..talk about OPENING my eyes? The crazy mixed up thing about it was I never' judged' him as wrong or bad or anything until I was personally the target of all his judgments of others......yes, WAKE UP CALL ANNA!!...now are there people like that in your life? if you can say yes?...here is some advice that I am going to be the first to continue to follow...
Unplug these kinds of people and experiences by accepting your perceived, hidden, denied aspects. If you find yourself in abusive, empty, draining, one sided relationships or friendships ask yourself "what is it about myself that I detest and want to continue to deny...that makes me attract people and circumstances to perpetuate it"? In this particular man I just related above, I detested his anger, his sense of self-righteousness, his ego. I realized that I have a temper and it still comes out more than I care to admit...I can be self-righteous and say I would never do something, but do I really know that for sure?...I have an ego that can rear it's ugly head more than I care to admit. Do you see my pattern? I do, I do!!! My reoccurring theme is 'more than I want to ADMIT and ACCEPT and EMBRACE'!!! I am thankful that he showed me these aspects of myself in spite of how horrid it all seemed in the moment.
By understanding and accepting this concept of wholeness and consciously working on it, I believe we will find a simple freedom from anyone that annoys us, hurts us, frustrates us, causes us any kind of dis-ease. We can and must reclaim all aspects of ourselves and become whole again. This wholeness will allow us to draw in more people with similar 'reflections' of this wholeness. By the same token we will reflect more beauty and wholeness and unconditional love to those around us. As I now continue to work to accept more of the dark shadow aspects of myself, I can see how this is opening the doors to drawing more beautiful loving people and experiences to myself. Separateness really is an illusion. The only thing that makes us feel separate and alone is the idea that we are disconnected from others by our own judgments of them as well as ourselves. We really are no better no worse than anyone else...just unique and so very special...flaws and all!!!
I believe in Universal laws...they are very simple and never change...'like attracts like' is one of them...so we had better learn to LIKE ALL aspects OF OURSELVES! In these times of world unrest and uncertainty, now more than ever, we need to find peace!!...I don't pretend to have all the answers and know everything...obviously by this latest writing, I have shown you that I am probably a lot more clueless than some of you reading are at this moment in time...OH WELL...I am after all only human!!...but I do KNOW one thing to be fact and truth...peace and love truly do have to start within ourselves. ...and that is my real point for whatever it is worth...
Thank you to the 'reflections of love' in my life...God for mirroring the ALL that IS within me, around me and for the chance to be human...Daniel for being my daily mirror to my childhood as well as the mirror to the limitless possibilities for the future of all children when we learn to understand and accept ourselves unconditionally as parents...Eddie, for being the mirror reflection of my love and ability to give love and be real, 'warts and all' and seeing it long before I ever did...Bill for mirroring my unconditional loyalty, brutal honesty to the Nth degree, and strength of character...Lars & Ulrika for mirroring my true Spirit and connections that are timeless, know no boundaries or conditions and make me continue to believe in the idea of soul mates...Cyndi for being my mirror to true lifelong female 'childhood forever-friendship'. Jennifer for being a mirror of my gifts and one of the most down to earth 'psychics' I have ever met...Sylvia, Shirley, Nicky, Lydia, Sheila, Kevin, Jim, Laurie...all of whom let me come and go and be crazy human and never judge me or look down on me. There are many, many more mirrors in my life that I value and cherish that could take up another page and I will continue to value and love you and I never can say thank you enough for just BEING.
I want to also thank all the mirrors that are gone from my life....the transient connections, that with pain and experience, brought me to this new day of understanding.