Turning Defense into Acceptance of Accountability

Recently, I heard myself say, “I didn’t intend to…” From my self-protective, bubble of limited awareness persona point of view, this statement makes sense. This deflection, however, resists acceptance of accountability. I don’t question my defense because that would expose something I’m hiding on purpose. What am I hiding? My fear of culpability!

Why do I fear my accountability?

What Can I Do to Reclaim My Accountability?

“I didn’t” and “I’m not” (negations) often offer me an easy indicator of defense. Whenever I hear a negation (n’t, not, never, no, etc.) come out of my mouth, I can assume I’m in defense. Whenever I hear you say those words, and feel your defense, I can assume I’m in defense, too. Defense is defense no matter who shows it because it is I who perceives it. Defense is just an indicator, and so…

Rather than shoot the messenger, my mirror, I can pay attention to the message. Once aware, I’m in a position to accept accountability. To soften my defense, I can use my language to remove the negation out of a defensive statement. Then I have something to work with. “I didn’t intend to…” becomes, “If I did [intend that]…” Then, inquiries into hidden intentions can arise.

The following self-inquiry questions can perhaps lead to self-awareness and acceptance of accountability. Referring to our example above, “I didn’t intend to…” Once I calm my protective persona’s defensive posturing, I realize it’s just an indicator, a message to myself about my unconscious intention to survive.

I can then question that intention by inquiring about how I feel concerning the message. Based on that feedback, I might ask myself, “If I did intend to [do that]…,

  • Who did I believe I was to intend the outcome I observed?”
  • Why did I intend that outcome?”
  • How do I feel now about what happened then?”
  • What do I intend now?”

This inquiry starts a process of acceptance of accountability for my creation. Evidence of acceptance:

  • I would hear few or no negations in my communications.
  • I would hear connecting questions like, “How can I help us reconnect]…?” and “What do you need [for the relationship to reconnect]?” and etc.
  • The other person would report feeling cared about.
  • My body and mind would calm down.
  • A sense of profound joy in connection.
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Aced Out! A Blue Jay Metaphor

Sometimes, nature provides an obvious metaphor for me to enjoy and incorporate into my life. From their acrobatic flight style to their azure color, we love blue jays, Several live close to us. We also enjoy their apparently playful nature.

We put unsalted peanuts out on the back porch occasionally and enjoy watching our little jays sort through, pick out, and fly away to secret them.

The jays don’t eat the peanuts. Rather, they fly away to bury them. We later find peanuts in our garden beds, our compost pile, in our grassy areas – everywhere.

We lay out peanuts and then watch from our vantage point above the action. The fun begins when more than one jay notices the peanuts, which is common because we call them when we put the peanuts out.

Aced Out!

One jay I’ve named Ace after the Toronto Blue Jays mascot busies himself chasing the other jays away from the treasure hoard. There’s plenty for everyone, but Ace apparently believes otherwise.

Ace misses out on the feast because he is so busy chasing his competitors away. Chasing away each of the other jays, Ace works himself to exhaustion. Meanwhile, his companions fly in behind him and swipe every bit of his hoard. In the end, we see Ace standing by himself on the porch with no peanuts to enjoy.

It appears he has lost his hoard to his companions because he sees them as competitors. Thus, perhaps he actually lost out to his own fear, greed, and sense of lack.

Had he shared his hoard with the others, he would have had his fill. Because of his fear-driven belief in lack, his need to protect what he believed was his alone, and his greed, he left himself with nothing.

Ace repeats the performance every time.

A Metaphor for Me

I’m looking at all the times when I felt lack in my life – and what I did about it. How I’ve chased away others because I feared they would take what I believed was mine alone. How I’d sought to protect what I believed was my property by warding off others – rather than enjoying the abundance with them. All those times when, while I was away fortifying my belief in lack, others enjoyed the bounty I refused to see.

And most important of all – what will I do with the lesson of this metaphor? Will I reach out to connect with others or continue to chase them away? Will I join in the feast or continue to busy myself working to satisfy a need that isn’t there?

There’s a lesson our beautiful jays are showing me. What will I learn from it?

Will I continue to ace myself out or will I choose another way?

Thank you, Ace!

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My Personal Contribution to Global Consciousness

In my limited awareness bubble, there seems to be a consciousness on Earth that cares about and serves all life. For example, I experience growing numbers of humans connecting via social platforms all over the globe. We are building a network of care – making contributions to a collective family that supports a universal consciousness of love.

Why is this so? If not, why does it feel so real to me? Could I be experiencing my own creation based on my desires and calling it reality?

Who is perceiving this vision of connection? How does the WHO affect the HOW and WHAT of that perception?

What does my personal perception do to affect the perception of others? How does it affect global consciousness?

How does global consciousness work? What does my belief in a global consciousness contribute to it? How does my belief in its reality make it real? In what ways does what I believe matter?

Is It Just a Dream?

What if it’s all a dream – my dream – about ME?

  • How would I know I’m dreaming?
  • Does awareness of a dream make a difference to the dream, to the dreamer?
  • What am I seeking to illustrate with my dream? Who am I illustrating it to?
  • Do I feel like I am in charge of my dream?
  • Who does my dream affect? Why?
  • What dream am I defending? Why?
  • How do my feelings affect my dream?
  • Who is the dreamer of my dream?

Am I changing when I perceive the world is changing? Does my perception of the world change when I perceive that I have changed? Does the world seem more caring because I want to perceive it that way? Or is the world simply what it is – independent of my perception of it? How does my perception of the world affect the world?

What if my sense of the world is due to me noticing that I’m becoming more aware of my connection to myself?

In my limited awareness bubble, might I favor expanding awareness because I equate it to better survival? Regardless, how do my judgments affect my perceptions? Could the world be an indicator of my awareness of who I am?

What does the dream speak about the dreamer?

Is perception dependent upon and illustrative of belief? Might questioning my perceptions offer a pathway through awareness to belief?

Who am I looking at when I look at my world? Do I perceive me when I perceive the world? Do I master my world by mastering me?

Might love of others be an expression of self-love that I’ve extended into my perceptual world? Is my perceptual world an expression of how I love myself? Might that expression be a celebration of self – a love poem from me to me?

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My Music Calls Me Home

Ever listened to a piece of music and felt tears welling up? I hope you have – it’s a marvelous feeling. I’ve wondered if my reaction to such music connects “me” to a familiar timelessness from which we all spring. I wonder if such music is a call to come home – to our hearts.

C’mon Home

When I was a child, my mother would call out my name when it was time for me to come in to lunch or dinner. Her voice represented the mystical mother and son reunion of my ancient origin – home. Even today, I love to hear her voice – music to my heart.

Like many fellow humans, I feel a certain loyalty to family, town, and country. I’ve associated my name with these. Wherever I am in the world, I carry these identity markers with me.

Wherever I find myself in time, I carry a unique pattern of musical markers. These identify my particular song in the timelessness from which my consciousness arises.

My Musical Home

In my bubble of limited awareness, I find it easy to get caught up in the business of comparing, competing, and defending the right. I can sometimes get busy doing – so many projects, so many jobs, so many thoughts to consider.

Sometimes all this work gets tiring and I find myself wanting a break from it – a longing for home. One of my favorite methods for dealing with the loneliness is to indulge myself with music that inspires me to remember who I am.

Sometimes, the music calls me to trust my heart to take me where it will. I may then find myself deep in meditation that fills my gratitude pool to the point where it begins to spill over, cascading welcome-home tears down my face. Even when I’m far away in thought, the music brings me back to my heart.

Gratitude is my home.

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Beating Fear with Math (pt 2)

When I feel afraid, I tend to narrow my attention onto JUST the object of my fear and the outcomes I fear will happen if I don’t apply appropriate action – maybe very soon. “If I don’t pay this fine, I’ll go to jail! I can’t have that!” I’ve narrowed my all-outcomes set to a tiny selection set of acceptable outcomes – what I “can have.”

Fear narrows the odds of an acceptable outcome – like buying only one lottery ticket. It also significantly increases the odds that I’ll experience an outcome I don’t like – like realizing you’d just bought a losing lottery ticket.

When I expand my selection set of acceptable outcomes, I increase the odds of experiencing an acceptable outcome and decrease the odds of an outcome I can’t live with.

How does one expand their selection set of acceptable outcomes?

By allowing less-than-optimum outcomes into your selection set, you significantly increase your odds of winning a lesser, though still acceptable outcome. Expanding your allowed-into-the-selection-set criteria, you build a larger selection set, which lessens the impact of a less than optimum outcome. By expanding your allowed set to the size of the all-outcomes set increases the odds of winning to 100% – and lessens the odds of losing to zero.

“Well, that would mean accepting any outcome as acceptable!” – Why, yes, I think it would. That is the essence of trust – expanding the selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set. All for one and one for all.

“Wait a minute! If I accept any outcome, won’t I sometimes get outcomes I don’t like?” Probably. At first. Until you realize that you can expand your “what I like” selection set to the size of the all-outcomes set – by allowing your “don’t likes” into your “likes” selection set.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln

A simple imagery exercise can get you started. Relax and clear your mind. Imagine a ball the size of your fist. Fill the ball with light of any color you like. Put the ball in a box. Now put another ball into the box. Then another ball and another. Until the box is full. Let it spill out as you continue to add balls to the box. Soon the box disappears as the entire room fills with light in the shape of colored balls. Fill the house… the neighborhood… the town… the whole earth… the universe. Expand… expand… expand… light everywhere.

Your selection set of one ball has expanded to include all balls everywhere – the all-outcome set.

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