Accountability and My Emotional Payoff

Let’s put separation, fear, conflict, etc., in terms of cause and effect – natural consequences of thinking a certain way. Awareness that my thinking has consequences in the real world may help me pay attention to my thoughts and maybe mindfully discipline them.

About Separation

I imagine my identity, I/ME, in terms of that which is “I/ME” verses that which is “NOT I/ME.” I look out my eyes and see that which is NOT ME. By simple logic, then, I deduce that I am that which is not NOT ME. I am what is left when everything I sense is removed. You may enjoy the free audio MP3, The Bag, imagery that illustrates this principle of separation.

I attach an intensity value to an “I’m Not” identity I experience as my fear, which represents my sense of unwholeness. Because I am 100% wholly me, that value is an imaginary number – not real. So, how do I go about making it feel real without actually being real?

Might my need to define ME by looking to who and what “I’m NOT” strengthen my belief in never being complete as “I AM?” It seems to me I will stay in this condition of lack until I look within, connect with who I really am, and discipline my heart and mind. Then, perhaps, I’ll comprehend the value of separation in the whole scheme of things.

About Emotional Payoff

Emotion helps me feel alive, providing present experience in the form of imagined relationships. My emotions create a bridge of sensations, a “payoff” of life-affirming feelings to my body/mind and spirit.

Perhaps accountability means no more NOT ME emotional payoffs at the expense of that which is ME. I can use mindful discipline to awaken into acceptance of full accountability. As I bring together the poles of Me vs Not Me, concepts of separation and payoff may simply become irrelevant.

Attention Feeds My Fear

What I give attention to grows! I have a problem-solving mind. And because of this, my mind seems to forever need problems to solve. Sometimes I feel I’m creating the very problems I then must solve.

In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I focus my attention on that which I fear. I fear what and who I perceive “I’M NOT.” It’s automatic and a problem that must be solved!

That fear adds a perceived value to what and who “I’M NOT”- a value I feel I’m missing. Problem! I may feel I gain a sense of being complete when I add that perceived value to an external substitute – like a loved one, pet or new gadget. Yet, that sense of wholeness is a temporary condition that convinces me that the addition completes my value. Problem solved! Or have I just created another problem?

Each problem I think I’m solving creates a drain on my energy and resources. This drain I call a fear-feed on my attention. Because I feel dependent on external value, I always have this unwhole problem to solve. This distracts my attention from those interests that validate my wholeness. I can take charge of my attention and focus it where my consciousness takes me – beyond measurable value.

A thought has no feed value without attention. The objective of fear is to capture and feed on my attention.

In bubble awareness, I associate fear with survival. In this survival state-of-mind, fear offers me a way to silence my need to survive by convincing me to accept and follow a simple equation:

Me + Not Me = Wholeness

In bubble awareness, fear rules my consciousness. I imagine someone or something holds a value I perceive is missing in me, a value I need in order to feel complete. Once I attain that which I believe completes me, I enjoy a high of feeling OK. Yet, after a while, that artificial high wares off and I’m back to feeling fearful and incomplete. More than anything I want to feel whole and complete, yet fear pulls my attention back to the “I’m Not” problem that I feel needs solving.

Beyond Fear

While I keep my imagination firmly locked within bubble awareness, I continue to allow the fear process to nibble away at my energies until my body and mind can no longer sustain the feed.

One cannot escape bubble awareness using bubble awareness. One cannot use fear to cure fear. I must look elsewhere. I must look within… take charge of my attention… and…

Imagine beyond…

Beyond Gratitude as Judgment

Gratitude is all about noticing and awareness. By asking a question, I can bring about noticing in a way that promotes awareness beyond the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble. Within the bubble of limited perception, I experience gratitude as an emotionally-charged competition or comparison – a value-judgment backed by a defense that often takes the form of an expression in the syntax of emotion-comparison-justification:

“I feel grateful for [something I value-judge as positive]… because… [some reason this judgment confirms my values]”

Example: “I feel grateful for sunrises because they make me feel hopeful…”

Structurally, my statement includes an emotion, “I feel”; a comparison judgment, “grateful for…”; and a defense, “because…” – the basic structure of the bubble, in which I compare, compete, and defend. “Grateful,” in this case, means “compared to what I value” – a validation of my opinions/notions as truth.

Is there another way?

To experience gratitude beyond the bubble, it must take on a different sensibility altogether. In the realm of accountability for creation, awareness would appear as a sort of universal acceptance of ALL that IS. As a confirmed bubble resident, I can tell you that my experience of this kind of gratitude is exquisite, sublime, and ultimately life-affirming.

To turn bubble comparison into life-affirming accountability, I might question how I express thanks – and maybe reconsider in the light of acceptance.

Let’s start by reviewing how I express gratitude within bubble awareness:

  1. I notice an experience that I…
  2. relate to other similar experiences and then…
  3. make a judgment (better or worse) that I…
  4. justify with a defense that validates my values and beliefs.

Now, let’s look at it from an acceptance-of-accountability perspective:

  1. I notice that everything is as I perceive it.

From my limited bubble perspective, Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance of accountability may appear to me as surreal – and maybe the truth behind the illusion.

How I Morph a Want into a Need Feed

And what I can do about it!

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful…” (Eric Thomas – AKA ET The Hip Hop Preacher)

This new age saying is nothing new. It expresses the concept that we must fight to accomplish anything of value. That value determines the worth of people, things, thoughts, and behaviors. That success for one means defeat for another. Success and failure are measured in terms of value. To be of value, one must succeed. These concepts live within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness.

I have values. I value my own opinion and those of certain others who agree with me. Certain activities carry value for me. I use value to assist me in judging, comparing, balancing, and separating. I even use value to evaluate values. Everything in my world has a value to me – usually experienced in terms of importance.

The value of a perception of threat must rise to a certain level of importance to me before I invest in defense. That threshold allows me to prioritize my thoughts and behaviors, saving precious life force energy. After all, defense is a feed, a draw on life force energy. So, the fewer times I have to call upon defense, the more energy I have available for useful (to me) work.

While appearing to provide value, defense diminishes the resources required to satisfy the need for which it was invoked. Therefore, I tend to have few needs compared to wants. And needs tend to elicit far more value than wants. Unless, that is, I transform a lower-value want into a higher-value need.

When want-fulfillment becomes more important than the lives and properties of those involved, a want transforms into a need and a feed is born! That feed includes the want-turned-need and its satisfaction through forced attainment and contrived justification. A value-elevated want can justify the feed that justifies a need and the actions taken to satisfy it.

Turning a Want into a Need Feed

I’ve expressed personal worth in terms of comparative value – “You’re a better man than I am.” I may define strength of will as a comparable value as well – “You’re so much stronger than I am.” When these values climb to need levels, I hear things like, “You’re the best man for the job!” and, “You’re the strongest person I know!” These are setups for need feeds!

By assigning value, I can morph a non-physical want into a physical quest for survival. The higher the value I assign to a want, the more specific the object of my desire must be. That “must be” is how I turn a want into a need.

In elevating a want into a need, I simplify my choices – by narrowing acceptable outcomes. Needs tend to narrow choices to one – simple. Wants tend to allow more options. For example, “I want a drink” allows many forms of satisfaction, “Yeah, a coke will do.” “I need a drink” means only whiskey will do. Simple non-choice default, the implication of which is, “I can’t live without it” – thus, the need feed!

Although elevating a want to need status can energize my mind and heart into working together to provide the value I seek in satisfaction, my mind and heart will feel the result of a need feed.

When turning a want into a need, I might ask myself how important are the specifics of each answer:

What do I want? (the objective)
How do I get it? (the strategy)
Why do I need it? (the want-need switch)
Who am I that needs this? (my self-image in this case)

How might I recover the energy of a want-turned-need?

I like to listen for the words, “need”, “must”, “can’t”, “have to”, “only”, and “should” to help me identify my need feeds. When I hear one, I think to myself, “What do I actually need in this situation?” and notice how this changes the energy of my situation.

My Worthiness Formula

In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I believe I must be WORTHY to EARN a worthwhile goal. It means that, when I see that someone has some worthwhile thing, I believe they must be deserving of it. Conversely, because I don’t have that thing, I must not be worthy of it. This sets up a worthiness competition.

Money demonstrates this principle – I assume a wealthy person deserves their wealth, which makes them worthier than me because I’m not as wealthy. Worthiness based on doing or having is at the source of debilitating stress, conflict, and unhappiness, and yet I find myself thinking in terms of value…

[Goal] Achievement = Worthiness + Investment
My [perceived] Worth = My [perceived] Achievements / [my perception of] Achievements of Others

That is, the value of a goal is directly related to my sense of personal worth and the amount of effort I’m willing to put into achieving it. The value of my personal worth is directly proportional to a comparison of the value of my own achievement to that of another. In effect, it’s a numbers game.

To achieve a goal, I believe I must invest sufficient energy in the form of intention, effort, and attention. I must feel I can or do deserve to achieve a goal before I’ll invest energy into achieving it. Then, the investment will tend to define how worthwhile the achievement is.

I may skew either side of my worthiness ratio, giving me a false sense of personal value. That is, I develop a sense of personal value based on my bubble equation, then fudge the values of my and others’ achievements to force the equation to “prove” my preconceived personal worth value. It’s a mess!

When the formula results in failure to achieve a goal, I may feel that the experience has subtracted something from my personal worth. The value I place on myself has a direct effect on the formula. This, perhaps, is the reason I feel so “deflated” when I fail to achieve a goal – my self-worth has taken a hit, lessening the likelihood of future success.

To continue to “work the formula” to achieve my goal, and to keep my self-worth at the same value, I may double down on aspects of the formula. First by increasing my efforts (“If at first you don’t succeed… work harder.”).

When increased effort fails, I may then try redefining my intention and refocusing my attention (“Okay, so I didn’t get my boss’ position after working my butt off for it. Perhaps I’m too intent on getting this one job. I see there is a managerial opening coming up soon in another company…”).

When that fails, I may choose to lower my sites or abandon the goal. This almost always results in a deflated sense of worth (“Hell, I didn’t want that job anyway!” or, “Maybe I’m just not suited for management…”). Proof of my worthlessness!

Only success benefits my sense of worthiness. Why? Because I’ve defined my self-worth in terms of achievements – usually in comparison to others. I’ve allowed competition with others to define who I am and codified it into a “formula for success” that I never question – I just accept it as truth.

How true is my equation?!

Remembering that the formula is based on achievement in comparison to others, and realizing that I cannot achieve who I am – I just am, I question the veracity of my formula. What if I am not defined by what I do – especially in comparison to what others do? Could success, rather than being defined by achievement, be innate? What if self-worth cannot be earned?

Who am I… …when I shift my perspective from the bubble to Fourth Degree of Illumination gratitude?

What if I simply “awaken” to who I am? No achievement necessary. How much effort does it take to change a perspective? Or to recognize myself? How might that shift in awareness affect my equation?

A New Formula for Success?

Now that I’m challenging the validity of my success formula, how else might my formula look?

Looking at the elements of my formula:

  • Achievement
  • Worthiness
  • Investment

Perhaps were I to place the elements into 4th Degree perspective, I’d realize that the values of achievement and investment are arbitrary – assigned by me. Worthiness is innate – a characteristic of being. In essence the entire formula is irrelevant in 4th Degree awareness because how the world and everything in it appears is a function of who I am.

Turning my goal formula upside-down, I might ask, “Who am I that is represented by my life?” Even inside my bubble, I can imagine that I am worthy simply because I showed up for 100% of my experience of life. I’ve already achieved 100% of my life as it is now. With worthiness and achievement out of the formula due to 100% fulfillment and, therefore, irrelevance, I want to know:

  • What do I want as a result of who I am? (objective)
  • How do I get what I want based on who I am? (strategy)
  • Why do I want what I want because I am who I am? (motivation)
  • Who am I now? (power)