We are currently in an email class exploring stress and communication. Below are excerpts from the class with the Guide’s responses.
I feel pressured and overwhelmed that there is not enough time to do everything right. It's my responsibility and everyone else should understand this and help me. I may get uncharacteristically bossy or passive-aggressive. Haven't noticed wanting to escape, maybe didn't think it was possible! one/nine wing. R/L Gassho
Oh, dear, I hope we haven’t given ego any ideas…. It’s funny, isn’t it, how when identified with egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate we lose all sight of the fact that everyone else also has their stuff. When I’m in my “it’s all up to me” mode everybody should realize that and hop to. Of course I’m not hopping to with what anyone else has going, but let’s face it, this is more important! Good to have a sense of humor about ego’s self-centered pretentiousness, isn’t it? Gassho
Very familiar process: pushing harder, burnout. ‘Stressed’ often accompanied by “toughness.” Criticism received lands hard with a strong reaction. Most often egocentrickarmicconditionning/self-hate shuts down expression, forces a calm exterior and criticizes anger / unkindness, even if nothing was expressed. Practice has reduced the believability of blame and shame. R/L
The reduction in believing the blame/shame part of the program is good news, isn’t it? I’m guessing/hoping you’re working hard to eliminate it altogether. When it becomes clear that no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much of us is sacrificed to the “cause” nothing will ever be good enough, it’s time for that “we’re not having that conversation” approach to egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate. True? Gassho
Harder to see this one but can get a sense of it. Ego wants to have characteristics of admired person to get attention. It's subtle. It's hard sometimes to find the uniqueness of this life expression if immersed in another's. Tend to adopt another's qualities or beliefs. Gassho
And, most important of all, you’re kept from realizing ALL those qualities and characteristics are already yours. If they weren’t already “in” you, you wouldn’t know to look for them! Talk about subtle, huh? Gassho
Example: teacher’s response to my first submission blindsided me. Felt authentic self rejected; worse, visible to others. Became defensive, self-blaming – ‘should have read others’ first to fit in’. Signed up during stress in extended family, now overwhelmed, drifting to shutdown. With time, see simple course-correction, helpfully intended.
THAT is how awareness practice changes our lives! You stayed with it and got to see ego’s whole game revealed before your present eyes. Well done! Gassho
My immediate response to every stressor listed used to be "I'm outta here" which could also mean "checking out" when I couldn't physically leave. With years of practice, when I now hear "I'm outta here" I gently call my name and say "stay here with me". Much love. Gassho
Recognizing a voice of egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate, realizing it as the cause of our suffering, and using it to remind us to return attention to the unconditional love and acceptance of HERE will work equally well for each of us regardless of Enneatype. Thanks for that. Gassho
I saw the process of projection on my employer; he seems critical and disapproving which creates low grade anxiety. Realizing that ego is constantly critical and disapproving of this human I’m practicing turning attention away from this constant blah and as it turns out my boss just hasn’t felt well. R/L
How perfect! Again, this is an insight for all of us. Ego looks out through its “something wrong/not enough” lens. Here’s this guy who is your employer. Ego is watching, watching, seeing signs of criticism and disapproval of you. What a coincidence! That’s exactly what you hear inside your head. Turns out the guy wasn’t feeling well. Had nothing to do with you. Yeah, turning attention away from the ego blah to thisherenow is always what we want to practice, regardless of what’s going on with anyone! Gassho
BIG insight. What causes me stress is not getting things done or the story I won’t get everything done. The other side of duality is it feels SO GOOD to get things done, keep doing! This drives constant doing to ‘feel good’ and fuels stress of overwhelm. R/L.
That IS a BIG insight. Again, we get to see that the process ego is using to control us is a promise that if we just do what it’s going to make sure we can’t do, then we’ll be happy. “Just get everything done—which I’m going to keep you from doing—and you’ll be happy,” says ego and off the sincere human being goes to do the right thing and get the reward. BIG insight! Gassho
Defense is denial of anything unpleasant and coated in a shell of optimism to seal off any potential leaks. The worse the stress the more ‘fine’ it will be. I don’t want to give up optimism but practicing with sometimes sad is just sad, then letting it go.
So, in other words, you’re not allowed to be present to life, just to the defense? First egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate defines “unpleasant,” then tells you what is and what is not unpleasant, then clamps down to seal off any unpleasantness from you that might leak out, thickens the coat of “optimism,” and you’re left with what? We have a saying that if a person is good because they’re afraid not to be good they’re not actually good, they’re afraid. Where does that brand of optimism leave the human being? Gassho
Nine resonated. The big picture is always in my consciousness, but stress blurs my part in it. My boundaries and privacy have been violated, but I say nothing as if my peace is not important. My anger is often at myself for not standing up for my truth.
It can be helpful to remove the personal pronouns from the pieces where they don’t apply. Our part, boundaries, privacy, peace, anger, and truth are all “items” egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate uses for itself and against a human being. We are heavily conditioned to take everything personally. Pretty much nothing is personal. Have you read There Is Nothing Wrong with You? In that book we lay out the background for what I’m suggesting and put it in a context that can assist us to stop taking personally what is egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate and actually has nothing to do with us. What you laid out is a perfect picture of how ego (for short) does what it does to a person. We’re brainwashed into believing things have to be a particular way for us to be okay, ego makes sure things don’t go that way, we react the way we’re programmed to act, and we get a beating for reacting that way. Keep reading along with the class and what you’re being made to suffer over and how you’re being made to suffer will get clearer. Gassho