We have all had the experience where we have been annoyed, offended, hurt, saddened or angered by another. How can we handle the situation and ourselves so that we exercise, grace, tact, and possibly even advocate for change in the world?
Together, let’s explore some strategies which we can adopt to both heal our hearts and move forward in the best manner possible.
It is simply not necessary to introduce judgment into everything. To understand someone’s intention you’d have to fully understand them. How can we possibly know what is in the heart and mind of another? Many times, we and others act without forethought, without conscious intention. Sometimes, our emotions overtake us. A lot of the time, we barely even know ourselves! Broken people hurt other people. Can we really judge them for that?
If, for example, someone is ill, do we judge them for being ill? Do we hold their illness against them? No, of course not! It wasn’t that person’s choice to become ill.
By the same token, perhaps, that person we are so quick to judge hasn’t made a conscious decision to be where they are. Maybe, they themselves don’t even know how or why they ended up where they are. Can we blame people for not knowing what they don’t know?
If you can’t handle yourself in the company of a person, then it is necessary for you to enact a boundary for the well-being of both yourself and that other person. If you can’t keep your emotions in check, it may be best to distance yourself until you have found some healing for yourself.
We want to spend time with people who motivate us to be our best selves, because we want to bring our best selves to the world.
We do not need to keep people who have harmed us in our lives. We can set boundaries. We can’t possibly have time and energy for all people anyway. We must, however, ensure that we make time for ourselves in our own lives, we must engage in self-care. Self-care is particularly important when we are hurting.
We have all heard the saying that “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” and it is true: Hate breeds hate. Hate will not heal. It will not heal you, and it will not heal them.
If a person is broken, that person needs healing. They need your love more than they need your hate. Hate will not break a negative cycle, but love may make a difference. Even if you don’t know how to love a person, don’t treat them with hate. Treating them with hate chances them also losing the ability to love themselves.
People who don’t love themselves are often volatile and at risk of poor choices and behavior. Don’t make the problem worse. Don’t treat people the way they have treated you. Treat them the way you wish to be treated instead. Don’t become that which you hate.
Don’t give with expectation. Don’t help someone expecting them to return the favor. Don’t expect them to change. If you have helped leave it at that. Your intention was to help. Your intention is not the outcome.
You’ve done your part. More than that, you haven’t added to the problem. That’s quite something all in itself!
It is easy to love people who are easy to love. The real challenge is to love those who have hurt or harmed you. Love and compassion are not circumstantial. You don’t have to understand people in order to love them. You don’t even have to like them or agree with their actions.
Remember the human beneath. We do not know what may be tormenting a person’s soul.
You can love others with a compassionate heart. Never underestimate the power of kindness and compassion.
Don’t carry the darkness of hate in your heart. It will harm you. That anger will seep into every aspect of your life. It will taint everything.
Instead, work through your emotions. Find forgiveness and let go. Don’t hang on to things. Don’t bring the past into the present. When we bring the past with us, we diminish our presence in the moment.
Learn to let go. Forgiveness is for you, not them. Forgiveness does not mean you condone or agree with what someone has done. Don’t replay that which has hurt you over and over again. Don’t torment yourself further. You deserve peace.
Remember, you have the power to make a difference. Your very words and actions can effect change.
Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution instead. Be defined by love in all you say and do.
Akiroq Brost – inspirational writer
This statement is perhaps especially true when a sibling dies in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. An untimely death whose ripple effects may continue long after the farewell at the funeral or graveside.
Sibling relationships have attributes in common with all interpersonal relationships. They also have specific unique features that reflect a special bond.
It has been suggested that siblings are likely to spend more of their lifespans with each other than with any other family member.
Siblings may use each other as significant influences, ‘benchmarks’ in the development of self- identity and understanding of the world. Siblings play a crucial role in the development of identity. Their relationships help define one another.
Consequently when a sibling dies, the surviving child or adolescent loses many things…a playmate, a confidante, a role model, and a friend…even someone to argue with and someone with whom they can ‘gang up’ against parents.
Perhaps someone to grow old with, look after aging parents together. They lose a shared history and future, a feeling of connectedness and shared activities.
The identity of siblings is frequently so intricately connected with the death of a sibling it may feel like the death of a part of themselves. The grief of young people may at times be minimised, overlooked or misinterpreted.
The familiar pattern of their lives as for adults is forever changed. They may feel inexpressively lonely and lost. They may also feel regret and guilt, as adults sometimes do, wishing they had done things differently.
Life views may be challenged, e.g. that only old people die, that adults can always make things better and keep everyone safe. It can be very unsettling for young folk and they, like adults, need time and help to relearn their new world.
How each child or adolescent responds to the death of a sibling will be influenced by a range of factors, including their age, their gender, previous experience of loss, the reactions of adults around them, individual personality, the nature of the death and the nature of the relationship they experienced with the child who has died.
It is difficult, in the early months, to feel connected to someone who is no longer physically present. There may be for older children and adolescents, an expressed fear of ‘forgetting’. The permanence of a ‘heart connection’ seems less than a physical presence, a person that can be touched and loved, played with and kissed. Children and adolescents, like adults, may like to surround themselves with photos or mementos to trigger and reinforce the strength of memories.
“Eventually and gradually, there is a growing knowledge that those who have died are, always have been, and always will be a part of who we are, that no-one can take from us what we carry within.” (Dianne McKissock)
In years past, it was thought that we need to ‘leave things/people behind’, and ‘get on with our lives’. Nothing could be further from the natural inclinations of most bereaved people, for whom ‘leaving behind’ is a most painful concept.
Current understandings about grief and the task of readjusting to a world forever changed, place more emphasis on the natural human tendency to want to stay connected in some way, to take those who have died with us into our tomorrows, albeit in a different way.
It is now more widely accepted that maintaining an ongoing connection and relationship with the person who is died is often an integral part of a healthy and successful readjustment.
For years following the death, many siblings may report that they continue to actively miss their deceased brother or sister and often experience renewed and intense grief on occasions that would be considered significant in their lives together (e.g. graduation, births, weddings, retirement, special birthdays). Surviving siblings continually renegotiate their ‘relationship’ with their deceased sibling as they navigate successive developmental and life stages.
The whole family is heartbroken and disrupted by the death of a child. The family, as individuals and as a unit, must restructure and readjust. How parents model managing their grief will influence how surviving children manage.
Open communication, a sense of togetherness and parental support is crucial as is the help received from extended family and friends.
The impact of a child’s death is pervasive. As with adults, not all children and adolescents react in the same way.
Some points to consider:
There are no right or wrong, “set’ ways to foster a sense of connectedness. Rather an atmosphere of tolerance, encouragement and open communication are most likely to enable bereaved siblings to find personal and special ways to stay connected to their brother or sisters.
It is important to note that as this is a process that changes and evolves over a lifetime as do the needs of the grieving child.
A child who dies remains an integral part of an individual’s and a family’s past and present. The bond in future will of course be different with change and the challenge for survivors is how to be and act in a world without those we love by our side in the physical.
Everything in life is in constant movement and change. Nothing ever stops. The only constant is change itself.
Through our life, we experience change in many forms, from key development milestones, as we witness our bodies growing and ageing, to life-changing shifts such as having children or losing loved ones. In between is a myriad of other episodic life moments, where we experience the effect of change cast over a backdrop of a moving culture, a fluctuating economy and a constantly shifting environmental landscape.
Change can be hard to deal with, especially when it is dropped down on you in the most unexpected and abrupt ways. You can suddenly lose balance, disconnect from your inner resources and feel unable to respond adequately to changing circumstances. In short, you enter into a crisis.
This is what the typical life crisis is made of–the inability to respond adequately to change. It is when your inner world–beliefs, emotions and attitudes–do not reflect the outer world as it changes. Anxiety and stress often stem from this inability to deal emotionally with change. Ironically the wrong response to change is often stagnation.
Resilience and adaptability to change are extremely important life skills, often associated with emotional intelligence and a healthy attitude or perspective towards the self and life in general.
Here are eight ways to help you not only adapt to change, and deal with crises, but actually thrive in it.
What is the first emotion you feel when you suddenly face an unexpected change that doesn’t have a known outcome? (basically you don’t yet know whether it’s good or bad). For most people, fear or anxiety is the first thing that comes up. Fear of the unknown is one of the deepest and most pervasive of fears. If you let this fear overcome you, it starts creating negative thought patterns and other unwanted self-sabotaging patterns.
Positive people usually get immediately excited about the prospect of change because their view on life is, in general, an optimistic one and therefore they expect that good things will happen more often than bad. They might initially hesitate for a while but then cheer themselves up and end up looking forward to it. They embrace change. They get curious. Curiosity is an important trait to have because it engenders movement and the power to get out of a comfort zone.
People who are most likely to deal effectively with change implicitly know that life is in constant movement and they cannot stop and gather moss. They need to move and circulate the energy around, whether it’s the energy of their thoughts, money, body, work, etc. This is a secret very few people know and follow consciously.
Stagnation goes against life because life is–by its own nature–movement. When they face unexpected change, they make an effort to flow with it and keep themselves from getting stagnant. By stagnation, I mean following the same thought patterns and doing the same things. So these people think sideways, try new things, follow new paths or divert their attention away from the same patterns.
They own and take response-ability of how they are affected by a situation. Resilient people know that how they respond emotionally to life is everything. Experience is not something that happens to them but something they make out of a situation.
This simple but basic attitude changes everything and most certainly, it helps you deal with any form of change and disruption. When you are emotionally responsible you do not blame life or others. You try to find new ways to look at things and people. In fact, people who are emotionally intelligent find it instinctive to quickly change the energy of a situation, or people around them, by first changing how they feel about it. They know that responding negatively or falling victim to their own emotions is not helpful and will ultimately stop them from moving forward and adapting to change.
Perspective is key because it can change your feelings, attitude and will. Give two people the same situation and they will respond to it differently, if their perspective is different. Difficulty can become a useful challenge and an opportunity to learn. Disappointment can become a life lesson that teaches more about self mastery.
Everything can be turned around with the right perspective. Successful people will always look for the right perspective to get a better angle on an apparent problem. A sudden change can be turned into a springboard that helps you leap forward, if seen from the right perspective.
We often hear the cliché of facing one’s own fears. I think this is sometimes interpreted as being confrontational or aggressive. Successful people don’t bust their fears. Nobody really does. They understand them more, and respect them for what they are, but make it a point not to be controlled by them.
In fact, mentally strong people are ones who have a healthy internal dialogue. They do not push their fears away and they don’t fight or resist them either. They are just more conscious of which of those fears are holding them back, and understanding them. They befriend them, they talk to them and they might even give them names. In the end, they dance to the music of life by recognizing their fears and overcoming them (not fighting them) through self love, courage and faith.
The last point above brings me to the following. To successfully deal with the currents of life, you have to most of all keep faith in yourself. Know that you have all the resources needed to deal with any life situation. Do not be sidetracked by your mind that tries to make you believe you are inadequate or that you need something from somewhere, or someone, to solve a problem. You don’t.
People who successfully deal with change and crisis, time after time, believe that they always have the resources to push through. They do not look outwards for answers–they look inwards. They have faith that they will always look into themselves and summon up the courage, the ideas, the will, the attitude, the answer. They believe that they are connected to a creative life force that they can always tap into, without any consensus from anyone.
‘Self love’ is always misjudged by many because it sounds selfish or narcissistic. It certainly isn’t. Quite the contrary, self-love is the key to opening up to the world, and others, with kindness and compassion. Self-love means being open to yourself. You allow yourself to be human, to err, lose and find yourself again. Most of all, it means not to be harsh to yourself by criticizing or judging all the time. This would only create a negative internal dialogue that would generate more negative thought patterns.
As mentioned earlier on, successful people have a healthy internal dialogue. They communicate with their subconscious and their feelings/emotions in a positive way–lovingly and accepting. They don’t judge themselves; they just learn and move on. So when the going gets tough and the world around you changes too quickly, the first step is to love yourself more.
This is very close to the first point, where I mentioned that resilient people are optimistic about change and unknown circumstances. They do not cocoon themselves in but open up their arms and trust the flow of life. They are, in general, optimistic because they choose to believe that life is supportive and not conspiring against them.
If bad things happen, they change perspective, take emotional responsibility and move on; but they do not lose trust in life because they know that once their attitude and perspective is good, life will respond and support them all the way.
Adapted from an article by Gilbert Ross on Friday November 24th, 2017
Victor Zammit is the author of the Friday Report, a weekly report that has been printed every Friday for the past 18 years. This weeks report can be found at this link. http://victorzammit.com/November24th2017
Over the last five years we have seen the closed minded skeptics getting fewer and fewer, while orthodox religions are also losing numerical support.
Collectively we are going through an expansion of the mind unseen in human history. Fewer people are accepting traditional creation stories and religious beliefs. At the same time they are refusing to accept the materialist explanation that everything in the universe came by chance.
Fundamentalists and other traditional religious believers blame the reduction in the number of their followers on the evils of materialism. However people are saying that they are not finding traditional religious information convincing and relevant.
This is why objective, repeatable afterlife research is more important than ever. People are opening their minds, seeking a new understanding of who we are, and our place in the universe. People are looking for the TRUTH and the TRUTH about the afterlife sets us free from fear of death and despair about life.
With thanks to Cyrus Kirkpatrick for permission to reprint his article. Cyrus also has written a book about “Understanding Life After Death” available through Amazon, Book Depository, links below.
Those of us who’ve read any amount of spiritual literature will find more than a few contradictions. Among the most noticeable relates to the conditions of our existence immediately post death. There are two camps:
The first camp believes that when we die, we more or less retain things like our individualities, personalities, and level of knowledge before we died. In other words, “the journey continues.”
The second camp believes we are instantly transformed into Beings of Light. Any flaws or issues we had in this life are immediately purified. You may hear this camp say things like, “Everything in this world is a stage when we die the play ends, and we return to Source.”
And, there’s a reasonable third “grey area” that may be a mix of both elements.
The first camp is supported, in particular, by researchers of direct spirit communication. That includes information presented through physical mediumship sources (such as David Thompson, Scott Milligan, Leslie Flint, and others) as well as most information from Spiritualist sources dating all the way back to Swedenborg in the 1700s. This opinion is also commonly supported by out-of-body practitioners who have experienced leaving their bodies and communicating with the deceased – often discovering people from this world living surprisingly similar lives as before they crossed over – within a different, albeit modified or enhanced, version of our current universe.
These are not the only sources. Another example is Paramahansa Yogananda, the Indian yogi/guru who penned “Autobiography of a Yogi.” This highly influential spiritual teacher from the early 20th century famously recounts what the astral realm is like – and it matches up in a consistent way. He describes the other side as amazingly similar to our world. According to Yogananda, this is because the astral plane is also a bodily incarnation (and counts as a realm that one may reincarnate into). He teaches his followers to be mindful of their journey and their karma, because death will not provide instant spiritual attainment, but is merely a continuation of another physical existence. No matter what, we must walk the path of spiritual attainment ourselves, no matter how long it takes.
The Instant-Enlightenment Camp
The second camp is primarily reinforced by literature from near death experience books, pop mediumship, and channelers. It’s also part of an overall culture in various pop-spirituality circles.
As an example, the popular “Channeling Erik” community has included alleged communications from highly negative people in this life, such as Hitler. In the Channeling Hitler video, a medium suggests that Hitler was an “angelic” entity; and apparently suffering no great consequences in the afterlife. The Channeling Erik community also published an alleged channelling of the San Bernadino ISIS-affiliated shooters; who lost their lives during a 2015 terrorist attack. Going by the narrative that all who die are transformed into Beings of Light – there was no mention of consequences for their actions.
Another site that proposes this theory is Afterlife 101. This highly singular perspective of the other side proposes all who cross over enter a purely non-physical domain as Light Beings, that our individualities blend and dissolve, negative emotions do not exist, and we each become spiritually omniscient. In this view, there is no physical element to the afterlife and the dichotomy of mind influencing matter dissolves into the afterlife being pure “mind.” This creates a common interpretation that the afterlife itself is a dream-like, insubstantial realm (this is in conflict with the reports by direct spirit communication).
(To be fair, I am uncertain what the Afterlife 101 alleged channellers say about negative consequences for actions in this life. I find their work to be unbearable to read—but they may, in fact, warn about negative consequences of actions somewhere in their essays. I haven’t seen it, though.)
Today, this point of view is commonly associated with the New Age movement and sprinkled throughout metaphysical books, TV shows and communities.
Why the Instant-Enlightenment Idea is a Philosophical Nightmare
Now, at last, I am going to editorialise about this subject. The second camp—the Instant Enlightenment people—have been drawn in by a seductive, albeit highly limiting, point of view.
What this philosophy teaches is that no matter how messed up your life is—all you have to do is die and all your problems are instantly solved, because we are each a “Being of Light” waiting to emerge.
You can be utterly useless in this life—not lifting a finger to help people around you—in fact, you could even be a murderous monster—and you will STILL become a “Being of Light” as, after all, life is just a stage and we are its actors.
There is the very little conception of what we even do in our Light Being form. Literal descriptions of the afterlife from this camp are often negligent and devoid of details. As our imaginations are left to wander, most of us conceptualise a form of the religious imagery of sitting on top a cloud—basking in only positive emotions for eternity.
Nonetheless, the heavenly cloud concept where we all become angels is a fun way to completely alleviate oneself of responsibility. It’s also an extremely marketable message. It’s the pinnacle of the pop self-help movement; where adherents of “The Secret” believe they can visualise chocolate cake making them thin—and now they can indulge in whatever they desire. Now, their endless issues, addictions and personality problems too can be alleviated through the simple act of dying.
I am absolutely amazed by the stunning lack of critical thinking in this community. No proponent of this point of view that I’ve met has stopped to think, “You know, if there are no consequences and we all become angels, this means life can be spent in an utterly nihilistic fashion. I could rape, murder and pillage without consequence because every action is pre-determined as part of God’s plan.”
This point of view also makes our individual existences highly transient; that we essentially dissolve who we are at death.
This point of view is ultimately what some in the afterlife community have dubbed McSpirituality, where instant enlightenment is handed out with the same level of discrimination as a fast food clerk handing out cheeseburgers. In this view, we do not need to practice a path of service to others to raise our vibrations—nor a path of raising our own consciousness—because we automatically become All-Knowing.
What Spirits Actually Say
All reputable spirit communication warns against the mythology of death alleviating all problems. Mature spiritual information, like that which is taught by Silver Birch (brought from the highly reputed medium Maurice Barbanel), is that we are inexorably linked to our actions in this life, that the afterlife is only one step above the world where we live now and higher realms must be earned. Far from all souls becoming Beings of Light, if we perform cruel actions against others we will fall back into dismal, dark planes and conditions—such as the horrific realms described in Anthony Borgia’s seminal work “Life in the World Unseen” (written through the channelled spirit Monsieur Hugh Benson).
Through my own experiences in out-of-body states (as I describe in, ” Understanding Life After Death”), I’ve interviewed those living on the other side of the veil who describe their lives as being similar to before they died. Many have jobs, friends and interests—dwelling in physical existences, often at the prime of their lives (28-32) and in perfect health. While this condition is less physical than how we are now, it’s far from existence as an orb of light devoid of human characteristics.
As this realm closest to us in the astral is more like a continuation, it also means a realm filled with varied personalities and interests, with both a negative and positive spectrum. This astral existence is consistent with reports throughout the long history of spirit contact, including the concept that many of us go on to work in “rescue teams” to assist people trapped in dark, dismal or even hellish conditions.
The denial of the existence of the negative spectrum flies in the face of centuries of contact with the other side. Essentially, it’s like throwing out libraries of knowledge and replacing it with some New Age authors who appeared once on Oprah.
Where Some of this Information Comes From
My personal theory about this philosophy is that it’s a gross mistranslation of sporadic reports stemming from channelled spirits of a higher density (keeping in mind that channelling is one of the least reliable ways to glean spirit information).
It’s safe to say the astral plane is a real density we transfer our consciousness to at death—due to an endless amount of reports of physical realms similar to our own Earth. However, there’s a smaller but relevant amount of reports (especially in NDE literature) of cosmic or celestial realms where our individual minds connect to our Higher Selves.
These realms are often beyond description, and are certainly not dismal existences on clouds, but are realms where the individual soul is completing a timeless journey of self-refinement and knowledge, coming into being in a realm where they have merged almost entirely with a “divine” level of their existence commonly known as the Higher Self.
I think at times a person has incarnated on Earth who is an extremely “old” soul. Such a soul may belong naturally to these celestial realms, and during an NDE for instance—they glimpse such a realm and report their experiences.
(As a side note, these types of realms are generally “beyond” the scope of an incarnated existence, which includes both this realm and the astral—which as Yogananda described is also an incarnation. However, just because a soul may journey beyond physical incarnation does not mean the inhabitants of those realms are disconnected from incarnated realms and exist forever floating on some cloud. In fact, it would seem even exalted spirits attuned to their Higher Selves and originating in such realms can appear as physical humans in not only the astral dimension—but even as incarnated persons on this planet.)
The mistake occurs when “the masses” read these accounts but fail to apply critical thinking. They come to the incorrect conclusion that these celestial realms are accessible by everyone—even the most dismal or cruel souls. In a desire to avoid the responsibility of spiritual progression (a long, hard process) they reaffirm their belief system by convincing themselves that even an entity as dark as Hitler is just as progressed as Buddha—that everyone is on the same page, and everyone is instantly enlightened.
Finally, I believe this point of view is heavily influenced by Western Christianity infused into our ways of thinking. Since the rise of the New Age movement, we’ve found a convergence occurs between Christian thought and Spiritualist thought. In some cases, people cling to the ideas of theological merging – that our individual existences are forfeit in the light of God. They may also cling to the imagery of “angels” and the idea of becoming perfect or exalted merely through being “saved.” The idea of death creating instant enlightenment is reminiscent of Christian theory that a cruel, dark person can merely renounce Satan and praise Jesus at the end of his life – and instantly go to heaven and become an angel.
It’s nothing short of wishful thinking.
Link to Cyrus Kirkpatrick’s book from: