Let’s talk about the problem with closure or the absence of it

When pursuing inner growth and balance you find yourself facing a lot of questions.  Questions about yourself, questions on how to handle your emotional ups and downs, questions about letting go and so on.  The first thing I want to stress is that no matter what anybody else says, the answer to your inner growth and balance is you.  More precisely your feelings and how you feel about doing something or not doing it.  The process to growth requires you to take a look at yourself, your opinions, judgements, and other external influences or internal ones; but ultimately, if you do something that doesn’t resonate with you, you will find yourself repeating patterns and not really growing or pursuing balance.

This mini-preface before getting into closure is important because you can read all the articles and self-help or inspirational books you want, but if you don’t believe in the advice or tips you’re being given, if you don’t feel them from deep within, you won’t be pursuing anything.  You’ll feel stuck and see repeating patterns, which will drive you crazy or make you feel horrible about yourself because you’re not taking the steps you know or have been told you should be taking to improve the quality of your life and the harmony within you.

With that being said, anything you read, you should always use to add to what you feel is true and/or use it as a way to explore yourself, your beliefs and feelings; until you find your “ah ha” moments.  Believe me when I say, you’ll know you’ve found them because you’ll feel an overwhelming rush of energy and bliss take over in that moment.

So, on the matter of closure.  This need to bring things full circle before being able to let go of them is essentially another thing we hold on to if you think about.  If you’re going to free yourself from external inputs as you pursue your inner growth and balance, letting go of a lot of things is going to be the way you achieve this thanks to the independence from external inputs you gain from doing this.

Closure is something people usually want so that they can get answers to questions they have or so that they can get off their chest something they’ve been meaning to say to a person or about a situation.  Letting go of a situation or someone without having the opportunity to confront them for the last time, to speak your mind for the last time, can drive people mad. Without closure, without knowing the why or having a complete ending to something, everything stays pending because usually closure deals with situations where one or more people are involved or something has happened that was not our decision or in our control.

The problem with closure and absence of closure lies in this exact thing: the need of something or someone outside of us and that we can’t control.  With there being an external thing linked to having closure it is normal for individuals to pursue it or be upset if they can’t have it.  However, if we take a step further into what closure brings, it brings us answers or the opportunity to state our case.  This implies the need of validation by someone or something other than us; and this is where the problem really comes out.  If closure is getting answers, this means our own answers aren’t enough for us.  If closure is the opportunity to say what’s on our mind, it means us wanting to be heard, understood, and possibly even being told we’re right.  This is the external input that individuals need to let go of if they’re really going to focus on their own inner growth and finding harmony from within.

When a situation arises that we can’t change or when a person drops off the face of the earth for whatever reason, it is then that we should rely on our own answers and reasoning without needing to have confirmation from an external source of what our answers and reasoning are.  If on the other hand we’re still looking to confirm those answers and reasoning, then we could easily be stuck in that situation endlessly (if the opportunity for closure never arises).  The reason having closure is so important or not having it is so frustrating is because there’s still something we want from the situation or person.  This means we’re not letting go of the external and that what we hold within, our answers and thoughts on the matter, aren’t enough for us to be ok.  If you remain stuck on wanting that external validation of right or wrong, the external input on what is going on, the external input that tells you the “real” answer, then you are not trusting yourself and your answers.  What you have to say or what you think on the matter isn’t enough for you.  This also means you’re still putting yourself second to others and/or the external, or definitely you’re not putting yourself first since your answers and conclusions aren’t enough for you to give yourself closure.

Yes, as humans we live in a society and coexist with others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rely on our internal inputs to give us the answers we’re looking for or anyways, since answers from others depend on a variable that is never constant (whether another person or life situations), as long as that’s where we’re looking to for answers, we’ll always find ourselves in situations of ups and downs.  This is the problem with closure or the absence of it if you continue to want that closure from everyone and everything outside of you.

It’s not right or wrong, it’s a choice, and one based on what you feel is in tune with you.  Just keep in mind that as long as you put your choice in the hands of external inputs, you can’t expect consistent balance due to uncontrollable variables (the external inputs).

What do you think about closure and the absence of it?  How do you handle it and ensure it doesn’t stop you from inner growth and balance?

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Getting over the hump in life is up to you and learning to let go

The most common source of frustration or objection I hear when talking about taking life with a positive spin all the way through is the fact that if something “bad” happens, it’s “bad”.  If you break a leg or lose your house or are heartbroken; none of the above are good.  How about if you lose a loved one or are cheated or betrayed, how do you get passed that?

Well, it’s really simple in that you make a choice; you can either look at it with the view of what you can take away from it or what you can do to make it better, or you can focus on how bad and wrong it is.  This choice changes what happens to you in how this thing affects you.  This decision then has an impact on your emotional state, which consequently affects your life.

Neither choice transforms the situation, but it does change how you feel and what you hold on to inside.  It also doesn’t mean that this makes what you’re going through any less of a challenge, but if you look at it with the view of what am I learning throughout this process your level of frustrations will lower.  Instead of walking around angrily, you contemplate what just happened and what you can do to make it better, for you.

No matter the “bad” situation, if you make it about the situation or the person who did something to you; you’re focusing on something you can’t change.  What’s done is done, the only option is moving forward or staying stuck by keeping sadness and/or resentment in your heart.  Doing something like that affects the quality of your life and can come back to bite you by taking a toll on your health and well-being.

How badly do you want feel happy inside?  Do you want to look for balance and embrace what life throws your way?  How much do you believe in the power of your mind, in the level of influence you have on yourself?  Do you want external inputs to dictate how your tomorrow will be or do you want to hold on to the idea that something is unfair when you can’t change what that something is?

“Bad” things happen to all of us; for me those “bad” things are moments where we can rise above and see the hidden meaning.  We touched on transforming challenges and seeing the opportunities in one of my previous blogs; I am a firm believer in all our challenges being opportunities that can bring inner growth if we choose to do so.

This choice doesn’t mean justifying someone for their actions or saying what is unfair is fair.  What it’s doing is allowing us to explore ourselves and take in life experiences with a smile or at the very least with a valuable lesson that will allow us to smile tomorrow, that will bring inner growth, and that will allow us to find out more and more about who we are and how we can continue to share love with others and in any situation.

A state of peace and calm brings clarity and a warm heart; a state of frustration and anger brings chaos and resentment, and doesn’t change anything for our inner growth or for the situation that we just went through or are going through.  When people get frustrated at me for giving them an alternative perspective, I understand their pain, I really do; but ultimately inner growth has so much to do with letting go.  Letting go of judgement and a dualistic view, knowing that things happen and that things change, remembering that what we think, feel and say all become the life we will lead and the person we will be.

It’s sad to see so many people get stuck and feel stuck because of a “bad” thing that happened when they could move forward by releasing that feeling, and looking at that “bad” thing in a way that actually adds something to who they are and to what they can experience in life.  Choosing to let go isn’t easy, especially not at the beginning; it really takes faith in this way of life to keep working at transforming those initial reactions, those initial thought processes.  But I say, what do you have to lose right?  If anything while you’re trying to take a different approach to “bad” things, you can stay a little calmer, learn something about yourself, and the next time around stay a bit more calmer and learn a bit more about yourself.  Eventually, you get over the hump and getting over other humps, just gets easier and easier.

How do you get over life’s humps?  How do you let go and what challenges have you faced along the way as you attempt to approach inner growth and a more peaceful and joyous life?

The key to stopping internal confusion so that you can move forward

There’s a reason why taking a neutral initial approach to your life, issues, decisions, and challenges can make things easier.  A neutral stance allows you to remove the confusion brought about by all the voices around you.  By voices I mean parents, society, leaders and anyone else who has given you labels of right or wrong for something (whether that’s growing your business, improving your relationships, etc.).  Of course reading and listening to all inputs is valuable because it allows you to add to your thought process, but before you can start adding to your own thoughts and feelings, you must know them.  You must know yourself in and out, and you start this process thanks to the external inputs that can bring about that sense of confusion.

The irony is that a lot of the times this confusion isn’t necessarily identifiable.  From the surface you feel fine, life is going great, there’s nothing that you feel confused about; and the ups and downs you go through are to you the norm.  We’ve all heard it from somewhere or someone, “Life is hard, you have to fight for what you want, there will be bad days, the world is a cruel place.”  This is how life is presented to us, this is how we’re motivated to go after what we want and how we learn to get through the down times.  Actually, some even argue that humans are driven by that drama.  If that’s how you want your life to be, it’s your choice; but if you’re in a place where you’re looking to balance things out, to find harmony and stop the internal drama, confusion, excessive ups and downs; there is a way.

Believe me, I’ve had that fluctuation of emotions; but at a certain point I said to myself, “I know there’s a way to even this out.”  That way is to look inside every time there’s a blah feeling and to explore it for as long and as in depth as needed to get to the bottom of that feeling, the real reason why you’re feeling that way.  When you feel a weight in your chest or a doubt in your gut or when whatever you’re doing is something that isn’t spontaneous and isn’t light or exciting in feeling; that’s your cue.  It may seem tedious to do this and it’s most definitely tough at the beginning (even painful at times), but by exploring that moment you will figure out what’s really going on inside of you and you’ll be able to act on it so that your end result feels light and spontaneous.

It’s hard for us to identify this doubtful and heavy feeling immediately.  It’s hard because sometimes it’s very faint and sometimes we are not even paying attention, we’re just acting.  We’re acting based on what we know, what we’ve been taught.  If you notice at any time a faint feeling of uneasiness in a situation or if you notice you are being inconsistent in following through with something, stop for a second.  Stop what you’re doing or saying and think.  Start asking yourself why are you feeling this way, start digging to find out what’s going on inside of you and keep looking until you find an answer that uplifts you.

Most of human’s dilemmas come about from within because instead of listening to our heart, we’re listening to everyone else.  We’re listening to our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our doctors, someone who is more “experienced” than us, who is teaching us the way.  Stop listening to them and start closing in on what you are saying to yourself.  By asking questions you will find out, and through those questions you’ll also uncover the external inputs that are driving you “crazy”.  Even if you only find out that this decision or thing or situation is something you don’t want, you’ve already made a step ahead and away from confusion.  You’ve also made a step in the direction of stopping the lies you tell yourself and others, lies that look like inconsistencies from the outside and that make you feel blah on the inside.

Confusion doesn’t have to be noticeable to be present in our day to day lives, it is the small things that we don’t think about right away that indicate something is going on.  Find your inconsistencies, find your uneasy feelings, find your heavy moments and start exploring.

How do you identify and resolve confusion?

Getting passed bumps on the road to stop repeat patterns you don’t want anymore

There’s always so much I’d like to write about at once, so much I want to share with you about inner growth and in doing so inspire your highest potential.  Life can get pretty bumpy and this blog was created to help you make it passed those bumps, but also to help you transform them moving forward.  The transformation from bumpy life to life experiences helps you to avoid getting caught in that vicious cycle of repeating ups and downs or at least leveling the blow to allow you to move forward instead of staying stuck.  No one likes being stuck and there’s a way around it.  Of course, support and talking things through helps a lot.  So today’s topic aims to do just that (well the support part, talking is pretty hard to do on a blog ;)).

Today we’re going to take a look at really understanding why you could be getting stuck in repeat patterns with anything.  It could be work related or working through relationship disappointments, or even a recurring thought that seems to bring you down.

I’ve found a number of friends and colleagues that bring up the same topics over and over again.  Maybe they’re not advancing in their career or they keep getting into relationships that don’t go anywhere and my question to them is, “What are you doing to change the pattern?”

It’s very easy for us to notice when something isn’t going the way we want it to go, but when the question of why that is happening gets turned on us the answer usually indicates external circumstances as being culpable.  Although we don’t control what happens to us, we do control how we perceive it and respond to it.  The biggest challenge is looking at ourselves and asking how committed we are to changing our circumstances or even why are we even considering changing the circumstances.  Is it because we really want that promotion or is it because we’re supposed to want that promotion?  Is it because we want a relationship or because we need a relationship because we don’t like being alone?

Asking yourself or being asked those questions by someone else can hit a nerve.  It hits a nerve because it almost seems like you or the person asking the question is blaming you for the situation.  This isn’t the case at all, if the question is asked without judgement towards yourself or judgement by the other person.  Questions asked to understand what is going on allow an exploration of one’s self and in fact, even if the answer is “I don’t want that promotion” or “I don’t want to be alone, so yes, I need a relationship,” now that there’s an answer you can move to your solution.  You become proactive because even if the same situation presents itself multiple other times, you know where your discomfort is coming from so the only thing you’ll be using your energy and brain power for is to find how you can move beyond the problem and to the place you want to be.

I want to add that I’m not saying this is easy.  I can’t count the number of times someone’s said to me, “Easy for you to say!”  It’s not easy, it wasn’t easy, it’s a process that you go through if you really want to stop the drama in your life.  I know the people reading this blog are proactively pursuing inner growth to reach a higher state of self and happiness in life, and I want to hope that those who aren’t proactive yet, take a step forward in looking within.

If everything you do is seen with an awareness of your internal needs, fears, beliefs, and so on; you can rest assured that you will be able to move passed the bump and stop the repeat patterns.  At the very least, you’ll know on a conscious level that you are choosing to stay in that pattern, in that emotional pattern.  In the end, it’s not the situation per se that is the problem, but how you feel about it.  Understanding your inner feelings and thoughts is how you can know why you’re feeling that way and what thinking can change to transform the feeling, which in turn can transform the outcome.

How do you stop repeat patterns with those “bumps” in the road?  What has worked for you and what hasn’t?  And if I can help, please reach out!

 

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.  Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside awakens.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung

You are unique no matter what anyone else says

The beauty of people is that each one of us sees things with different eyes (from a different place); no two people experience the same event in exactly the same way.  Yes, there are generalized ideas, feelings, human behavior traits, thought processes and experiences that we talk about when addressing humans and life.  However, if you dive deep into the situation and deep inside each individual that’s been through it, you’ll find a whole different story.

Let me ask you this, have you ever noticed how a group of people who get along, share similar interests, and even viewpoints in the general scheme of things, can get into a heated discussion over a TV show or when talking about moral choices, right and wrong, etc.?

It’s safe to say, I think, that we’ve all had these types of heated discussions (at least once in our lifetime so far), and while at a glance they aren’t that meaningful, when you look beyond the surface it’s quite the contrary.

The tiny details make a difference and tell you a lot more about the person or people you’re talking to; even if it seems like you’re all saying the same thing, you’re obviously not if the conversation gets heated. 

Nothing wrong with discussions, the point is that those tiny differences are the unique components of each of us.  Each individual is truly unique even though they may fall into a generalized category of human being.

The reason I say this is that even though sometimes heated discussions can arise from assigning different meanings to the same word or because two people aren’t really listening to each other; other times it’s really the fact that the two or more individuals have a different perspective and feeling associated to that thing (thought, choice, situation, etc.) they’re talking about.  They’ve lived it differently and they come at it differently, even if the foundation is the same.

A perfect example would be siblings or better yet twins.  Raised at the exact same time, same circumstances, same values passed on, same parents or family situation and yet, miniscule differences in how they experienced what took place in their lives growing up, and differences in interpretation of things as they get older.  I’d like to add that I’m speaking from experience, I’m an identical twin.  Also, from experience is the objections I get for what I’m saying in this blog post.  I can’t even count the number of people (friends and family) that have said to me that even though it seems we’re saying something different, we’re actually saying the same thing.

It’s not that people can’t say the same thing, while saying something different.  The end result may be that we all want world peace, but how we go about doing it would eventually prove that we each have a slightly different idea of how we’d go about it.  These differences are the proof of the uniqueness each individual has compared to others.  Does it really make us that different from one another when you look at the big picture?  Not necessarily, but if you’re pursuing inner growth and/or inner exploration, these differences are important.  They’re important in helping you to identify the real you, your unique perspective, your slightly different approach to things; and essentially, being aware that although you are part of a whole (society and humans) that you do have your own unique perspective, feelings, and take on things; and you know what, your uniqueness is what adds to the whole, and makes the world an even more beautiful place.

It’s thanks to each individual’s uniqueness that the world can become more understanding of each other, go beyond the surface, create amazing businesses and things together.  It’s thanks to the insights shared in those so called “tiny” differences (even if someone will say that everyone is saying the same thing) that we each grow.  It’s thanks to the discussions that arise and the brainstorming that takes place between individuals that the world becomes more open and loving towards differences; and why humans are moving more and more towards a path of inner growth and self-discovery instead of clinging on to a definition of who they are or who they’re supposed to be.

No matter what anyone says, each one of you, each one of us, is unique although on the surface it may not seem so.  Be proud of your uniqueness and if you’re not really sure what they are just yet, you’ll surely uncover them as you start taking a closer look at what you’re saying in some random discussion or brainstorming situation.

What do you think?  Are you unique even though you share similar traits to others or do you identify yourself and others to be part of a defined group of people?