Living From Love or Fear

There are two main human emotions, love and fear. All other emotions we experienced come from the root of either fear or love.

The Creation of Fear

The emotion of fear is a learned emotion of the ego-mind, designed for protection and survival. Fear is created through the mind-body to protect the body from a perceived physical and/or emotional threat or danger. Our fears are mostly based on our experienced past and perceived future events.

From the divine and our higher self’s perspectives, fear is an illusion that our human self makes very real. So real it often stops us in our tracks, hindering, if not paralyzing our physical and mental ability to move forward through life situations. Fear distorts and erodes our trust and faith, causing us to create limiting beliefs, that hold us back – limits our potential.

A common acronym for fear is:
False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

Fear keeps us stuck in what we don’t want, reinforcing our sense of separation and unworthiness. So, we end up feeling, believing and behaving as if we are trapped in problems. Consumed by fear, puts us in victim thinking and energy with the solution to the problem being, to stay focused on the problem.

Coming From Love

Love on the other hand, is of the spirit and our essence. Love embraces life struggles and challenges from a higher-wiser perspective, which offers wisdom for higher learning and growth. Love is not based on a threat, so there is no need for protection. So, we thrive with the emotion and energy of love.

When we bring love to a perceived fearful situation, we turn the fear into a motivator to move us in a positive and productive direction. The key is for us to question and challenge the perception, thoughts and belief that is generating the fearful emotion. Searching for the clues that are creating the fear and asking: What is this fear based upon? Fear is often based on a past experience, that I’m bringing into my present. Or fear can arise when we perceive, thus project and believe an unpleasant outcome will result with a future event.

Recognizing and understanding what our fear is based on and why; is critical toward overcoming its paralyzing objective.

Another acronym and way to look at fear:
Feeling
Excited
And
Ready

Based the two acronyms I offered you on fear, the first one will, limit and drain us, because we are living in the false self and the illusion. This second acronym will offer possibilities and opportunities and will sustain us, because it comes from the higher perspective and brings love to the fear.

Recognizing, understanding and challenging the bases of the fear is an act of love and offers an opportunity to than reconcile, re-frame and transform the fear to love in the present.

In Closing

My quote, echo’s the importance and healthiness of challenging our fear with love and acceptance. For what we accept and embrace we conquer and move forward from.


Are you overwhelmed with fear or worry?  Help is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your fears. David offers life transition and spiritual growth counseling and coaching in-person, by phone or Skype. Visit his website at 
transitionpathways.com. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and move through life transitions.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey is available through online book stores: balboapress.comamazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

The Struggle With Loneliness

Many of us seem to struggle with loneliness. But why? In my book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. There is a chapter on Love and Loneliness. I mention there’s a contributing factor to many illnesses today, and this factor is one you would likely overlook.

It gets little society attention, yet  research is showing it’s impacting our lives in  subtle and tragic ways. I believe the number one illness today is: Loneliness – Social Isolation.

A disconnect with ourselves and each other creates quiet, yet dangerous traits of social divide and discontent.

For many people today, there appears to be a greater strain and avoidance to connect with ourselves, each other, and with our Source (divine). The consequences of this disconnect for us and our planet’s well-being is becoming more apparent and more critical with each passing day.

Studies are now showing, the loneliness factor is a link to many major illnesses and disorders, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, depression, etc.

In addition, loneliness contributes to many forms of addictions, like: drugs, alcohol, gambling, obsessive internet use and internet porn. Even crime and violent behavior toward others and/or self like: mass shootings or suicide have a connection to loneliness.

Lonely in Relationship

The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.—Mother Teresa

Many people in relationship or friendships often speak of being lonely. Not cared about, not understood and/or appreciated for who they are, and what they offer to the relationship.

Two Relationship Fears

There are two common relationship fears:
1. The fear of being Alone.
2. Fear of being Smothered.

Most people with stay in a unhealthy relationship due to fear of being alone. However, people will likely leave a relationship or friendship sooner, if they feel they are being smothered in it.

Fear keeps us stuck in what we don’t want and is unhealthy for us.

Fear of loneliness often keeps people in loveless and unhealthy relationships. People stay in what they believe is familiar, for this is perceived as safe and secure. However, it’s really a false sense of security.  Staying in what’s familiar, yet unloving, unhealthy, perhaps even dangerous; will in time weaken our immune system. Thus, making us more susceptible to physical and/or emotional struggles and dis-ease.

The Avoidance of Self

Many people go into relationship as a way to avoid themselves. I don’t love or value myself, so I make the person I’m in relationship with, responsible for my happiness. They are in my life to full my own inner void of discontent.

To make others responsible for my own happiness, is a setup for disappointment, conflict and much discord in the relationship.

If we don’t first and foremost love ourselves and have a degree of inner happiness, we will consciously and especially unconsciously, create expectations and conditions as to how the other person is to love and be in relationship with us.

There is a paradox when it comes to the concept of relationship and loneliness.
The reality is, all relationships end, ultimately in the physical sense, with death. So at some point we will be alone in the loss of a relationship. It is through being alone, however, that we have the opportunity to learn to have a loving, accepting and compassionate relationship with ourselves.

When you can be alone and not be lonely. You will have learned self-love and inner contentment.

For when we are loving and accepting with ourselves, we have filled our inner void. We are comfortable with ourselves. So we are not needy or dependent on others for our happiness and contentment. We then will freely extend this love and acceptance to others. This is the hallmark of a quality and healthy relationship.

We can be happy in a relationship, but the person we are in relationship with; is not to be made responsible for our own happiness. That’s our own inside job.

My Own Contemplation

In my 25 plus years in the human service and development fields. I’ve concluded that the main reason for one’s feelings of loneliness is spiritual disconnect, i.e. a loss of faith and connection in a power greater than one self.

This disconnection manifests itself in the unwillingness and/or avoidance to connect with Source. This in turn, creates a loss of faith and belief in oneself. This disconnect with self and a higher power, will than manifest into the disconnect of meaningful and healthy connection with others.

This disconnect, results in seeing the world and one’s life through the lens of fear, separation, neediness and unworthiness.

I believe spiritual disconnection and the loneliness that comes from it, are the result of being defined by our ego’s self-created negative story, which we repeat to ourselves and others.

Spiritual disconnect also creates a lack of awareness and the openness to explore and ultimately answer the fundamental spiritual questions: Who Am I?  Why am I here? What’s my purpose?

When we feel no relationship with Source, these questions seem to have little meaning and merit to explore and answer. Without the recognition that we come from love and the infinite Source of the universe, we can neglect a meaningful sense connection, sense of purpose or direction in life.

We have a void in the awareness and appreciation of the spirit within us; which creates low self-esteem (the perception and belief of separation, the loss of the spirit within).

The Illusion of Separation

The perception and belief of separation is the main driver of our ego, its a created illusion, we can make very real. Separation and loneliness doesn’t exist.  The reality is, we are included and surrounded by an infinite universe and all that makes it be. We are the universe and the universe is us.

Just because someone in your life, rejected you, abandoned you, betrayed you, etc. doesn’t mean the entire world or universe did the same. Our ego and shadow aspects tends to project an ‘all or nothing”,  “I feel it, therefore I  believe it” belief system, that creates a “must be true” way of being and living.

We are called within our wounds and belief of separation to acknowledge, we have forgotten the truth of our essence. We are called to open our eyes and heart more fully to see and embrace the higher truth.

We are included, we do matter… We are Love, innocence and goodness. This is our remembering. 

Loneliness and Our Well-Being

On physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual levels we are designed to connect with each other, our world and universe. Relating is part of our essence as a human energy system.

Research, indicates that loneliness has become a social epidemic. It’s affecting our health and sense of well-being, leaving many to feel alone, deprived and powerless.

Driven to Distraction

There is another dynamic happening that contributes to loneliness―the explosion and abundance of technology―the way we connect, communicate and entertain ourselves. Advances in technology, have in one sense been very helpful, but the more we’re driven to connect through computers and iPhones, we lose a sense of personal understanding, of our need for each other and for real, genuine human connection. These distractions have increasingly created superficial connections with each other.

Recent studies tell us that our iPhones, computers and video games are subtle yet dangerous obsessions, leading to addictions for both adults and youth. Studies show that when people’s iPhone or computers are taken away for three or four days, many of the subjects had withdrawal symptoms similar to someone who has a gambling or drug addiction.

Without the use of the phone or Internet, the subjects became anxious, easily agitated and depressed. Many people obsessed with cell phone or Internet use are doing so to escape loneliness and boredom. Yet, it’s making them more isolated and unhappy.

Distraction seems to be a common and acceptable norm today. Have you noticed yourself or seen others sitting next to each other, and their conversing by texting each other. Or one person is talking trying to converse with the person next to them; while the other person is on their phone texting or looking at their email, not paying attention to person they are physically next to?

Research shows the average person looks down at their phone 150 times per day, this amounts to nearly 4 years of their life. That’s just your phone, if you included looking at your laptop iPod, TV, etc. How many more months or years are added to looking down?

Our man-made distractions are diversions from the infinite love and connection available to us. These distractions and diversions can cause us to have a sad, lonely heart, and may lead us into states of anxiety and depression. Our distractions are superficial ways of finding meaning and purpose in our life.

Create Balance

To reduce the negative effects of these distractions, and enhance quality human connection, the value of balance becomes apparent.

To create balance we need a sense of connection and support. We are first and foremost spiritual beings. So we must create time and opportunity for genuine connection.

Here are some helpful tips for creating this balance and meaningful connection:

  • Be aware. Discipline yourself to strike a healthy balance between the use of technology, your interpersonal relationships and work commitments.
  • Commit to more face to face time/interaction rather than just Face time through social media use.
  • Integral to maintaining this balance is commitment to periods of quiet reflection and spiritual retreat, either alone, in groups or both.
  • Take walks or other mind, body, spirit practices, i.e. meditation, yoga, gardening.
  • Look up and reach out to your neighbor, your world and the universe.
  • Get to know your neighbor and be a good/helpful neighbor.
  • Join or start a meetup group, volunteer, throw a party.
  • Live more from your heart-center. Practice gratitude and be of service.
  • Connect with your feelings and emotions and learn from them.
  • Love and support yourself, others and our planet. As spiritual beings, we are designed to create soul-full communion and meaning in our lives.

In Closing

Our current times of stress, uncertainty and extremes call us to a deeper more accepting and compassionate connection with our self, our neighbors, our planet and our Creator.

We are called to create healthier balance between use of technology and true social connection. Life and its experiences invite us to come together in love, acceptance and unity.

Loneliness is the result of distractions, judgment, fear and exclusion.
Connection, however, is grounded in love, attention, acceptance and inclusion.

The universe exists through inner connectedness and community. We yearn to experience a deeper connection and intimacy with Source, ourselves and others—it’s where we come from—our human nature within our divine nature.

So out of love, reach out and connect – touch someone. This promotes a happy, healthy life and friendly planet.  Namaste

 


Are you struggling loneliness and self-love? Are you struggling with grief from lost of a loving relationship? Help is just a phone call or email away. Please contact David Schroeder if you would like assistance with your acceptance and change issues and how to work through them. David offers life transition and spiritual growth counseling and coaching in-person, by phone or Skype. Visit his website at 
transitionpathways.com. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a healthy and assertive way to help yourself and move through life transitions.

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. David’s book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey is available through online book stores: balboapress.comamazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

References:

  1. Brigham Young University. Medical Research: Strong Relationships with Friends/Family Decreases Risk of Death. www.pr.com/press-release/251477. 2010.
  2. Holmes, Leonard. Loneliness Impairs the Immune System. www.mentalhealth.about.com/od/research/a/lonely/flu.htm. 2005.

 

She Desires Connection & Love – He Desires Freedom & Space

There are several gender differences between men and women. However, there is one gender difference that is often neglected and misunderstood. Which if not understood and addressed; will create misunderstanding and conflict between the couple.

In this blog, I offer you the gender difference and dynamic of love and freedom. In order to have a healthy and thriving relationship, this common dynamic, is critical to understand and work through with your partner.

A Gender Difference Often Overlooked and Misunderstood

Typically, the women desires connection and love in the relationship. And generally, the man is seeking freedom, i.e. to be free of restraints and obligations of the relationship.

Generally, women thrive on a sense of connection with a partner, their children, friends and family. Who they are with is important and valued. The female is the nurturer and takes on a sense of responsibility and accountability to the relationship.

Is it true ladies, that in an intimate relationship, your desire is for deep and trusting love? You want to be able to relax with your partner in giving love and being loved. You want to feel valued and know you are special in his eyes and heart.

With men, they typically relate more to status, especially in their work. Us men, we assume our partner relationship is working, just by the fact that we are in it. However, many men feel overwhelmed and flooded by the obligations and responsibilities that they perceive as demands of relationship, and needing to please his partner. In this, men will desire and need the feeling of space and freedom.

Fair to say men, we struggle with deep and intimate love, it’s confusing, overwhelming and darn right scary?

Generally, its often the man who perceives, thus fears relationship commitment, because he may view it as a loss of his freedom. Men tend to avoid love and true connection in relationship, by way of having a “man cave” being overly involved with work, their toys, sports, or hanging out with the guys.

The need for freedom and space is often a way for him to process his feelings and frustrations of relationship, and his way of trying to figure the relationship out.

The freedom that many men seek, however, is really the fear of love and intimacy, disguised as freedom.

She Comes More from the Emotional and Heart-Centered Side

Women want their thoughts respected, but more importantly, she wants to be listened too, and also have her feelings acknowledged and respected.  This is a way she feels loved, supported and connected.

Men Mainly Need Their Thoughts Respected

Typically, men are not that connected with feelings. Many men look at life and relationships more from the logic side, he wants “to fix” things when you are hurting. Most men, take things literally. That’s why ladies, men often can’t read what you are thinking or feeling, because they are more literal in thinking. So when you say to your man, didn’t you realize what I needed? The answer most often will be “no.”

Out of fear and need for control, many men have learned to close off their heart. They have a difficult time connecting with their partner on emotional and intimate levels. Boys to men learn growing up: “boys don’t cry”, “suck it up”, “be a man.” We are programmed to wall off our feelings; so we lose touch with them and healthy ways to express them. Feelings become something more to fear and avoid than express. Or the expression is more destructive than healthy.

Boys to men, learn through competitive sports, their occupation and perhaps going to war, that there’s no strength in feelings, this will not give you the competitive edge and being too emotional will get you killed on the battle field.

So they learn to fear their feelings, to deny and bury them. They become more safe and free in their logic and thinking mind, not so much their intuitive and heart-centered state. This becomes a sense of freedom to them, yet it’s really a tragic society programming, in which the boy to man loses touch with the deeper self. Which in turn impedes on the ability and willingness to connect more deeply with the female.

So ladies, if you don’t tell him in a basic and literal way what you need or don’t need, they most likely won’t intuitively know what you are thinking or feeling.

Don’t assume your man knows what you are thinking/feeling, for he doesn’t or he doesn’t trust or believe in what his intuition might be telling him. He goes more by the logical and survival thinking parts of his brain.

The Dynamic of Love and Freedom

If the dynamic and dance of the female desire for love and males desire for freedom is not acknowledged, understood and addressed in the relationship, this dynamic often becomes a major cause of relationship problems and conflict. When the man is driven more toward space and freedom and the women is driven toward connection and love, neither has their needs met.

So confusion, misunderstanding, and perhaps resentment will likely surface between you. He is threatened by the intensity of her desire for love and her willingness to offer love. She is threatened by his lack of attention to her and his emotional disconnect with her.

Love and freedom are connected parts of a whole, each requires the other. A lack of love harms freedom; a lack of freedom harms love.

Realize in the desire for love or freedom, neither is right or wrong. Some of it is biological and much of this is learned behaviors, due to society and family programming.

The Key

The key is for men to accept their emotional disconnect, while learning to become comfortable with their own feelings again, and the healthy expression of them. To understand and learn to appreciate the women’s desire for connection and love. To practice, connecting and loving her unconditionally and without fear.

If you spend too much time and energy in the man cave, at the office, or with the guys, she will be unhappy, angry and feel disconnected and unloved. You will in time lose her.

Ladies, the more you hound him, the more confused, scared, angry and avoiding  he will become. He will go deeper into his cave to protect himself.  So just wait at the door and encourage him to connect with you.

Men, your role is to come out of the cave, sooner rather than later. The longer you avoid her and preoccupy yourself, the more she perceives this as: you don’t love or care about her. This will cause her to likely nag you even more. She does this because she cares about you and the relationship.

Men, You Should Worry More When She Doesn’t Nag You

Men, when she stops nagging you or testing you for your love and connection, this may be a sign she’s moving away emotionally and physically from the relationship. Meaning, she’s likely having an affair and/or has decided to end your relationship.

Love Making

The experience of love making, is a classic example of the women’s desire for connection and love. And the man’s desire for freedom which comes through sexual release i.e. release of anxiety through sexual release (ejaculation) equals freedom from life’s anxiety/pressure.

For most women, love making is more about the foreplay, kissing and cuddling before and after intercourse. This is how they get aroused, create connection and experience the giving and receiving of love.

For most men, however, we desire to get right to the act of intercourse, with little time needed for the foreplay. We just want the freedom that comes from the release. After the release we often go fast asleep, leaving her physically and emotionally disconnected, perhaps even feeling used.

In Closing

Seek to explore and understand this relationship dynamic and interplay of love and freedom. Its a natural dynamic, even gay and lesbian couples will have this interplay of love and freedom. As one partner will likely desire more freedom, while the other desires connection and love.

The more you understand and accept this love or freedom need and dynamic, the more likely you will be open and willing to balance these needs between the two of you.

Ladies as nurtures, its important to love and care for yourself as much as you may love and care for others. The greater your self-love, the less dependent you will be for others to love you. As the women is more loving and secure within herself. This offers the man a degree of freedom to be himself, have his need for space.

The man, for his part should recognize the importance and desire for his partner to feel his sense of connection and love to and for her. As the man learns to be comfortable with deeper connection and love, he will begin to feel more comfortable with loving her more openly and freely.

Remember guys, she desires you to apprecaite her and hold her in your thoughts and heart. This will help her feel relaxed and free in loving herself and loving her man.

For love is freedom and freedom is love. 

 

Your comments are welcomed, and sign up to receive future blogs below.

 

Would you like to improve your relationship dynamic and interactions? I’m just a phone call or email away.  David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed clinical and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Don’t Just Fall in Love – Let us Rise as Love

Want to understand a higher version of love?  Read on.

Love is the essence of our soul energy, and the quest of the human condition. We are wired for connection and love. However, some people struggle with loving themselves, so they seek love and acceptance mostly from outside of themselves. Making others the object of their belief, that they “lack” and therefore, “need.” Hence, the ego concept and desire to “Fall in Love” comes to be.

To be loved and seen as worthy in the eyes and heart of another person; is the search many pursue. Yet, on the spiritual level, to fall in love, is to lose the self for another. This often creates a difficult and painful ego trap. It can create a relationship dynamic and behaviors of the need to please, for love and attention. Or the need for control, to be right, and have power over another. This is conditional love – a love by possession.

Consider, from the higher soul level perspective, there is no need or lack. Need and lack, are ego perceptions and beliefs, so an illusion. Given this reality, I ask: Do we really need to fall into something we already are? We come from the energy of love, so love is who we are. Our true quest should be: To Awaken and Rise as Love.

Love is Freedom

True and divine love is unconditional and offers freedom. To awaken – To Rise and Just Be Love, is to be Free.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, said it well: “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”

As human consciousness evolves, we are moving into higher dimensions of awareness and being. With this evolution, we are expanding in our understanding and experience of the higher knowing of love.

When we have the awareness: “I Am Love”, the search for love ends. In this paradigm shift, let us consider: Rising as love, is not about who we love. It’s that we love. Because love is who we are. 

With this knowing, it’s understanding that it’s not the Christ energy coming down to earth again. To awaken and rise as love, is individual and collective humanity, ascending in the energy and consciousness of love; to meet our beloved masters in the higher dimensions.

The Sufi leader and teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan said: “The higher you rise, the wider becomes the margin of your view.”

To rise as love, is to surrender our ego-centered will, in order to have the wider and more expanded perspective. It is to embrace and ascend in the energy and will of divine love. Divine love for me means: The unconditional love and acceptance of the spirit of all that is.

In this, we discover our beloved – the one we originate from. We also reunite with our soul, as our lower self transcends and unites with the higher self. Thus we mate with our own soul. This I believe, is the true meaning of the term: Soulmate. In this sacred reunion, we rise and expand in higher awareness of love and self-worth.

The Way to Inner and Outer Peace

To rise as love,  is to align with the divine father-mother, and embrace the oneness of all that is. To rise as love, is to offer acceptance, loving kindness and compassion to ourselves, and all that inhabits the earth. This creates the opportunity to form peaceful community with our fellow soul sisters and brothers.

So, let yourself, Rise as Love. This will be the remembering of your innocence, your worth and divinity. This is the path to inner peace, which creates peace on earth. It’s part of what souls in human form are here to do, while in this earth school.  Rise as Love & Peace, David

Please, share your thoughts or comments on this blog.

 

Want to learn and experience ways to rise as love? I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

 

Where There is Love – There is Joy

This being the season of Love and Joy. I offer this message on how unconditional love leads to Joy.

There are many attributes to the energy and expression of unconditional love such as: Kindness, respect, acceptance, compassion, patience and connection. Inclusion, willingness, openness and freedom are also part of the path to love.

The Energy of Love and Joy

I’ve come to appreciate that the energy and expression of unconditional love, naturally leads one to joy. For where there is love, joy is at love’s doorstep.

According to the “Map of Consciousness” developed by the late spiritual teacher, psychiatrist and author David Hawkins. Joy has an even higher calibration of energy and consciousness than love. Joy offers a sense of inner contentment and completeness. www.map-of-consciousness

From joy comes an even higher energy we call peace, which is to be free of distractions, and the embodiment of oneness with all. Peace comes about, when we make no distinction between ourselves as an observer and the subject, i.e. that which we observe.

True Peace is the Result of Awareness

Awareness, is to have an appreciation for all that is seen and unseen. This allows for inclusion, which ends the created ego illusion of separation.

Awareness and peace, often occurs for a person during their death process. Part of our soul task while in human form, is to obtain and sustain these states of awareness, unconditional love, joy and inner peace, earlier in life, i.e. before our death.

Many people including myself, have had moments of the experience and feeling of unconditional love, joy and peace. Fair to say, our main struggle is the ability to sustain these blissful states.

 

The Paradox of Joy and Sorrow

Joy and sorrow are the light and shade of life; without light and shade no picture is clear.”  Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi leader and teacher

To understand and experience joy, we must accept that it’s often realized from our experiences of hardship and sorrow, and working through them. Life is such, that in order to experience and know light, we must have the experience of darkness. So it seems with joy. In order to experience joy, we must have the experience of sorrow.

The paradox of joy and sorrow is the more you discover your joy, the more you will recognize your sorrow; and the parts of you that hold you back from joy.

Joy arrives when we offer acts of unconditional love, especially to ourselves. Having the courage to abandoned self-doubt and be more fearless. The willingness to reconcile the parts of our past, where we hold the resentment, shame, the guilt and regrets. Joy is the result of letting go of expectations and not being too needy.

Joy is in Knowing

Joy is knowing, that love, light and fullness always surrounds darkness, sorrow and emptiness. Moving through our lessons of struggle, with love, grace and gratitude, transforms our darkness to light.

Answers and higher awareness come from the struggle; and when we are ready and willing, joy is there to replace our sorrow.

The nature of love is to view life and our experiences, through childlike eyes of innocence and wonder. Unconditional love amplifies the energy of joy. So too, through our acts of  gratitude and unconditional giving, we receive love, in the form of joy.

Joy comes by acknowledging, we are part of the fabric of the divine universe. We are the infinite universe and the universe is us. Like love, joy resides in both the infinite and the simplistic.

Our Remembering

Can you see and embrace: Where there is Love there is Joy? Just Be Love my friends, and you will discover joy. You will remember who you truly are.

Love, Joy & Peace, David

Please, share your thoughts or comments on this blog.

Want to learn and experience more love and joy in life? I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: balboapress.com/bookstore,  amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Gratitude: A Buffer to Life

Expressing gratitude, is a way of offering thanks and appreciation for what one has. It sees the glass half full, when life can seem half empty. This is especially critical in times of difficulty and pain. Gratitude, is a way to bring in some light into a dark and troubled time. Looking for and expressing gratitude is one of the most effective ways to move out a negative mood and move through a difficult situation. Gratitude opens our hearts and expands the fearful and limited mind, to one of appreciation and greater potential. Gratitude keeps us in the present moment.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude – A Course in Miracles  

The attitude of gratitude, cultivates self-worth and strengthens our connection to the divine and loving universe. It’s a way of showing care and appreciation toward someone or something, that what is offered is not taken for granted. An attitude of gratitude sparks, hope and desire, fosters commitment and determination.

With gratitude comes acceptance of what is, which demonstrates that we see the gift and the lesson within what was once a hardship. Gratitude allows us to see the situation from the soul and higher perspective. Acknowledging that despite the hardship and uncertainty of life, the universe always has our back.

Offering gratitude, is a way of expressing love and gives one the feeling of abundance. For when we give gratitude we receive, knowing, we’ve touched life and perhaps another human with loving kindness. Gratitudes fosters connection and relationships.

To be in gratitude is to focus on what sustains you, not what drains you.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward

Being in gratitude, offering thanks and kindness; should be part of our everyday practice and living. As Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas not far away. Let us be more mindful to take a few moments each day, to pause from our hectic lives; to express words of gratitude and thanks for what we do have in life. 

The simple things in life, what’s often called, (simple abundance) are often the things that truly offer the greatest pleasures and deeper meanings.

Giving gratitude each day, is a way to build your own physical, emotional and spiritual bank account. It’s a way to keep going through life’s complexities, changes and uncertainty. Gratitude is a buffer in life, and a way to inner joy and abundance in one’s life.

May your Thanksgiving be full of gratitude, joy and abundance!!

Leave a comment: What are you thankful for? Name 3 things you are grateful for in your life?

A Quote on Love

This Hendrix quote seems more important now than ever.
What do you say?

 

The Mystery and Wonder of Infinite Love

The Eye of Infinite Love and intelligence.
Let this be your master and guide.

 

Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey

Greetings: For those interested in a deeper exploration of love from both the spiritual and human perspective. Check out my book: Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey.  

Inspired by messages from a master teacher. This book is a series of vignettes on ways we forget we are love, through our struggles and painful life experiences. More importantly, Just Be Love, offers encouraging spiritual messages and guidance to remember we are love, innocence and goodness.

Just Be Love, reflects on ways love is familiar to us, and provides inspiring ways to remember love. I take you to the hidden and mysterious places where love is often not realized. The book weaves my personal and professional experience, reflections and insights on love, and the teachings and wisdom of the spiritual masters and poets of many traditions.

Just Be Love, is a human and spiritual journey of looking within, as well as experiencing love through natural wonders, and the appreciation of life from the higher divine perspective.

 

 

 

 

One of my poems in the book:
Love as Awareness
Love is not found in the thought of love

rather in the awareness of love.
It is through our humanity, that we remember our divinity.
It is through our holy breath that we commune and 
communicate with all that is. 
It is for us to remember with higher awareness that God is Love.
And all that makes up the universe is an expression of this Love. “

 

Book is available through the publisher  http://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookstoreHome.aspx
and online book stores: www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com


What some readers have said about David an
d his book  Just Be Love:  More reviews on Amazon.com

Densely packed with great promise and a refrain of love! I found I could open it almost anywhere and dig into its core themes and the power of love. Glad I was directed to this thoughtful volume.  I like fiction

What a gift this book is!  A gift to the hearts of all of us who open its pages. Page by page, chapter by chapter, the author leads us on a journey of a lifetime, to Just Be Love. Those of us who are open to the beauty and grace of this world — and who have the courage also to accept the challenge to find the beauty within ourselves — will find it here.  This work is well written and the message is do-able and life changing, and so I recommend it to you. An accompanying workbook is also available to support the process of inner change laid out so clearly here.  Dorothy

You are a Spiritual Being.  David has written about life-altering experiences and lessons from his heart with the perspective of both a human being and a spiritual seeker. This work will challenge conventional thinking and guide you to explore the deeper meaning of life. All of our life experiences are opportunities to practice acceptance, patience, compassion and forgiveness. Trusting the process, understanding who and what you really are – an expression of the Divine – are beautifully spoken through David’s new book. Trust your instinct if you are being called to read this book. You will come back to it again and again as your spiritual understanding of life unfolds.  Jeanne

A go to book for anyone seeking to better understand all the many facets of love.  This is a beautiful book, one to sink into, meditate upon and cherish. Useful and practical information. Well written with a poetic flow. Many facets of love are discussed with a fresh and inspiring understanding. The message of hope and reminders of our Oneness are comforting in these challenging times.  Jane

Read this book.  David walks us along the path of our soul’s perspective, encouraging us to accept our life as it is and maybe more importantly, what it might not be. He invites us to allow ourselves an opening to Divine Love and forgiveness for our own inner peace and healing. This will then extend to the world of our daily experience. Reading this book once is not enough. Each chapter is a gift that can be savored and, like David’s raindrops in Chapter 34, fall gently on your mind and heart.  Jan

 A Book for All.  I love this book. There is so much good information in it to help with living daily life. This book reminds us that we are on a spiritual journey that we are here to learn what we can and make the most or our time on Earth. I’ve learned in order to grow as a human being I have to let go of some of the old beliefs, stories and habits that I have clung to – in order to love and appreciate who I am. Then to extend that love and appreciation to others as well. The insights and experiences. Thanks David for a great book, and a book I can pick up any time, and turn to any chapter and feel more focused and grounded throughout the day. You are a gifted writer and have offered something that is so needed and appreciated in today’s world.  Kate

In gratitude to you, for taking time to read this blog about Just Be Love. I would be delighted if you felt guided to order your copy soon. Much Love and winds of the Spirit your way, David

Do you desire to explore and evolve with greater love in your life. I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author. My practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit my website: transitionpathways.com

 

The Drama We Attract in Our Life

Do you ever wonder why you have drama in your life?  The answer to this question may relate to two factors:

1. You were born into a family.

2. The nature of life, is experiences. And many of our experiences revolve around interactions and relationships with people, especially family. Within these experiences, we develop core beliefs about ourselves, about relationship and life in general.

For your life experiences, especially in childhood, begin to shape and create your belief system and behavior patterns. We learn to take on a particular role in what’s commonly called the “Drama Triangle.”

The concept and dynamic of the “Drama Triangle” was first conceived by Dr. Stephen Karpman https://www.karpmandramatriangle.com/ in the 1960’s as a social model. Karpman’s triangle has been adapted for use in structural analysis, which defines roles people take on during conflict situations; also how it can become our go-to defense and protection mode in time of stress, change (uncertainty) or conflict. In recent years, Lynne Forrest https://www.lynneforrest.com/ has done much research and work with the drama triangle and she has some excellent information on this topic and its dynamics.

The 3 roles or faces in the triangle are the: Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor.  A person has one default or go-to role, but participants can and do switch roles depending on their perceptions and what gets triggered in them, while experiencing situations and interactions. As we experience life, it’s common that we all have played these roles from time to time.

Some people are so use to drama in their life, they view this as normal and a way of life, because they experienced this from early on in life. For some, if there isn’t drama going on in their life, they unconsciously will create conflict, so as to have drama, i.e. a sense of “normal” in their life.

Some who struggle with depression, will create a repeated pattern or cycle of depression to conflict/drama and back to depression. A person who struggles with chronic depression or victim energy; the conflict and drama part of the cycle moves that depressive energy perhaps into persecutor or fighter energy, which makes the person feel more alive for a time, until they fall back into the depressive part of the pattern.

Below, I offer a brief description, the mindsets and behaviors of the 3 roles in the triangle dynamic. I also offer some insight as to what’s needed to move oneself out of a particular role in the triangle. Included in the middle of this blog is a diagram of the drama triangle and the transformation to empowerment i.e. ways to step out of the particular drama roles.

The Victim: The victim is the central figure in the drama triangle, by their actions and reactions to stress, change or conflict. Their stance is: “Why me”, “Poor me”, and “I hate myself.” Behaviors: They are very needy, feeling and belief of helpless, hopeless, fearful, negativity, worry, complain, low self-esteem, and focus on self. They are very self-absorbed, yet have little to no awareness of this. They often feel rejected and/or abandoned. Yet, they have abandoned themselves, by way of not taking stock in themselves, not believing in themselves and their struggle with doing for themselves.

Victims often emotionally and physically drain others around them by their neediness and negativity. They have little to no physical or emotional energy or motivation. This creates the need for others to do for them, because they feel and believe they can’t do for themselves. Victims, use guilt and the projection of helplessness to manipulate others, especially a” rescuer” into doing for them. The victim needs a rescuer to come to their aid. So they will attract rescuer energy through their interactions and relationships.

The Rescuer: The rescuer’s stance and line is: “Let me help you” – “I can do this for you.”  The rescuer is the helper, and becomes the enabler in doing for others at the expense of themselves. Rescuer behaviors: needy, avoiding of self, focus on others, high energy. Rescuers have a strong need to be needed. If they are not helping others they feel guilty or shame. Rescuer thinking and behaviors usually comes about due to past experiences where they felt helpless or inadequate to assist someone.

To compensate, for this feeling of inadequacy and believing, “I should have done something or more.” They now make it their mindset and mission to “save the world.” and live to assist others in all ways and forms. They live a rapid pace in thinking, speech and behavior. The rescuer actually takes on this role as a way to avoid facing and dealing with their own struggles and problems. To protect their low self-esteem and insecurities their way of building themselves up is by constantly helping and doing for others.

Many people go into helping professions, such health care, teaching, customer service, entertainment,  as a way to avoid looking and dealing with their own struggles and pain.

The rescuer needs the victim to do for them, so they will often attract victim energy through their interactions and relationships. This gives the rescuer the perception of being of service, being needed. Rescuers often project a sense of entitlement to help others and speak of their sacrifice in order to help/save others. Due to their strong need to avoid themselves and conviction to assist others, they can become the “Martyr” as they sacrifice for others.

The Persecutor: (a .k. a. Fighter or Bully) Stance and mindset is: “I need to win.”  “It’s your fault.” “I hate you.” The Persecutor is angry controlling, critical, blaming, rigid, oppressive, and authoritative, feels entitled and needs to feel superior. The Persecutor struggles with taking responsibility for the way they hurt others. In their mind they feel justified, because they believe others deserve to be hurt, because they themselves are hurting. They often have past wounds of betrayal and injustice. Since the Persecutor was hurt in the past, they see a need to protect themselves in aggressive and demeaning ways. They view the world as a hostile and dangerous place. In order to survive, they need to be the aggressor and have power-over others.

The Persecutor needs the victim in order to have the power-over feeling and someone to blame. The Persecutor is also hiding their own insecurities and low self-worth. Their way of building themselves up is by tearing others down, especially emotionally, by put downs, sarcasm, etc.

How the Drama Unfolds

Consider, most of humanity is either in the victim or fighter energy and consciousness. As humans, with an ego, we struggle with taking responsibility for how we’ve learn to be in the world. We play the “Blame game.” Or we take on too much responsibility, owning more than our share.This is playing the “Shame game.” Shame and blame are the drivers of drama triangles dynamic.

Initially, a drama triangle unfolds when one person takes on the role of a victim and another person takes on the role of persecutor. The victim then feels the need to enlist other people into the conflict. This need invites a rescuer to enter the situation. These enrolled players take on roles of their own that are not fixed, and therefore various scenarios can occur. For example, as a situation unfolds into conflict, the victim might turn on the rescuer, the rescuer then switches to persecuting and the drama is in full swing.

From Victim

In reality, each role or face in the triangle: the persecutor, rescuer, and the victim, are all victims, just with different styles and ways of expression. Each role is acting out in selfish and entitled ways to get their own needs meant and reinforce their belief system. Each role with their mindset and behaviors in the long run, not only hurts or drains others; more importantly, they hurt themselves. Additionally, the role players, each have their own struggles and difficulty, with effectively coping with stress/change, effectively problem-solving and having healthy interactions and fulfilling relationships.

Each person playing the different roles struggles with guilt, yet on a deeper level each role actually struggles with shame. Although at first they wouldn’t admit this. You might be asking: What’s the difference between shame and guilt? In simple terms, guilt is what I’ve done or haven’t done. Shame is who I believe I am. Shame is much more paralyzing and in the energy of shame we need to protect ourselves more. Many say its guilt they are feeling when it’s really shame, because of who they believe and thus become in the experience, the emotions and beliefs they generate from the situation.

This diagram below, shows the 3 faces of victim-hood. The Victim is consumed and defined by their wounds turned to pain, becoming helpless and hopeless. The rescuer is the shadow mother – the caretaker, doesn’t want others to feel or be in pain. Rescuer seeks to fix the problem/pain. Which really is about avoiding their own pain and hardship. No growth come from this.  The persecutor is the shadow father energy, which needs to get even, to inflect pain, through anger and aggression.

The bottom part of the diagram is the way to transformation and empowerment. Each person chooses to take on a role that is more empowering both for themselves and others in the conflict or changing life experience.

The Transformation to Empowerment

Transformation happens, when each person openly acknowledges and admits to themselves and to someone else, their role in the drama triangle. With this acknowledgement, we begin to move toward acceptance and from this acceptance we begin to move forward. We begin to take responsibility for how we’ve shown up in life. This creates a sense of inner relief and creates the opportunity for change and transformation to happen.

Move from Victim energy to Creator energy:
 Person realizes the pain of being helpless and hopeless (victim) is greater than doing for themselves. The creator, now chooses to be the creator of their life, rather than a victim in their life. They take responsibility for how they’ve learned to show up in life, and choose to embrace a “can do” mindset and attitude. Creators, seek to reclaim their inner power and confidence through reconciling the wounds and negative self-beliefs of their past. Choosing now to not be a victim of their past, rather to learn from their past and no longer be defined by it. Creators, choose to live their true potential in the now. They recuse themselves and reclaim, the love, innocence and goodness they are.

In pushing into and engaging in their low self-worth and sense of powerlessness, creators, move from hopeless to hopeful, from powerless to empowerment. They understand now, they are the creator of their experiences and responsible for their own misery or happiness.

Move from Rescuer energy to Coach energy:
Person realizes in avoiding their own struggles and pain, they are creating more pain for themselves. They can openly see and admit that helping others, has been about the avoidance of self. Rescuers, come from fear, often feeling inadequate.  All this shows the rescuer,  how much they don’t love themselves.

The role of coach, plants seeds of possibilities for others, without needing to rescue or fix others. They realize the importance of rescuing themselves from the denial and avoidance of their own struggles and inner wounds. As the coach, they begin to build their self-worth more from the inside-out, rather than just outside-in. The coach, understands that taking care of the self is not selfish, it’s actually an expression and act of self-love. This is a fundamental way of helping others. Love your neighbor, as you love yourself. What you do “to” and “with” yourself, you do to the relationship you have with others. When we have our own inner house in order, we can more effectively be there for others. Our self-worth and happiness is not dependent on others. Here again, it’s about changing from the inside-out.

Move from Persecutor energy to Challenger energy:
This person has reconciled their inner desire to control and demean others. The persecutor to challenger, sees how they have been hurting others. Because, they themselves have been hurting deep inside. They take responsibility for their wounds, rather than making others responsible for this. Confronting and challenging themselves  to be a better, more loving version to themselves.  In the words of a greater master and teacher. The Persecutor to challenger, now acknowledges and accepts the log in their own eye, as they were before condemning the stick in their neighbor’s eye.

The Challenger, more confidently walks their talk,  gains respect  (rather than demands respect)  from others by leading by example. They move from the position of needing to be superior as way of hiding their insecurities to being open and authentic with others. Being a challenger, one is more comfortable with vulnerability and how this leads to greater trust and connection with others. They now challenge, rather condemn others to be a better version of themselves by speaking their truth with words of encouragement and peace. Modeling the way, rather than condemning the way.

In closing, understanding and reconciling our core negative beliefs about ourselves is crucial. Changing the story or narrative we’ve created about ourselves, in relation to our life experiences, is also important. This is the work towards knowing, healing and mastering the self. Furthermore, when we are aware of (know) how the players in the drama are created through our beliefs about ourselves within life experiences; especially those in childhood. This creates the opportunity to realize how we get caught up in drama. From this awareness, we create the willingness to transform ourselves to more healthy ways of being with conflict and change.

As expressed in the Transformation to Empowerment part of this blog. This transformation, allows us to effectively avoid or remove ourselves sooner from much of the potential drama in our life.
                 To know the self, is to empower and transform the self.

 

Need coaching or counseling with your relationship struggles, I’m a phone call or email away, to assist you. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available through online bookstores: amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.