“In acceptance, there is a decreased preoccupation with “doingness,” a growing focus on the quality of beingness itself,”
― David R. Hawkins, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
For many years now, I have focused on helping people empower themselves to take charge of health care for themselves and their pets. This mantra seems to be resonating across the country, but unfortunately, it is often misperceived. I look around at our society and see people believing that they have empowered themselves only to recognize that they are spinning their wheels. I also see this in our pet health care.
Every day, I see holistic vets posting on social media, ways for pet caretakers to empower themselves in order to help their pets. They claim, “The pet food industry is poisoning your pet. The vets are lying to you just for money,” and so on. The emotional reactions that are provoked from this type of negativity is not empowering. It is an attempt to use force to counteract something that they believe should not be happening.
Empowerment, as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, begins, “The process of gaining freedom….” Our reasoning mind might convince us that power and force are synonymous and both will give us the opportunity to gain more freedom. This is unfortunately, not true. There is a basic difference between force and power. Force incorporates resistance and power does not. Resistance creates stress, power does not. We might gain some perceived freedoms with force, history is full of these experiences. Force creates opposition and opposition creates conflict. War is a great example. Every war concludes with a reasoning that this will never happen again, yet it does. We think we learn but we don’t. Real freedom comes with an awareness of a larger Truth, a better understanding of ourself and that can only come when we move from force to power.
When we are faced with an emotional crisis, like our beloved pet becoming critical ill, we have been conditioned to react in a fearful manner. From that perspective, we believe that life is betraying us and there is nothing we can do about it. This perspective leaves us feeling like victims and this causes great suffering. If you really take a look at this, the pet’s illness is not what is causing the emotional suffering, but it is the story that you are telling yourself that this should not be happening. You tell yourself that life should not be happening this way, you respond by force and not power. You resist life’s movement and the resisting causes stress and you suffer. Your heart contracts and when this happens, you shut off the flow and in doing so, you feel stuck. You become a victim of life.
The first step in getting out of this vicious cycle and stop being a victim of life’s experiences, is to take ownership of the situation. Ownership or acceptance is the foundation for empowerment. You CANNOT empower yourself without taking ownership of the situation. You might respond by saying, “It hurts to take ownership. I would rather avoid it or form a plan of attack to get rid of it.” When you do this, you eliminate the opportunity to empower yourself and opt for using force to rectify the experience, which will always prevent yourself from true empowerment.
The best way to take ownership of the situation is to allow and not resist. Imagine that life is always acting for you and not to you. Remember, you have spent most of your life reacting to these experiences with painful emotions creating a reaction of fear. The old fight or flight response kicks in and you have chosen force instead of power to deal with it and force always causes resistance and suffering. Pain comes from trying to stop the flow of life. This is force. Allowing life to flow gives us the opportunity to find power from the experience. The silver lining in every cloud can only be found in the experience, not by avoiding it.
The reasoning mind might be telling you that if you allow a painful situation to occur without resisting it, then you will become apathetic and not participate. This is absolutely not true. You will be free to move with life, from your authentic-self, and learn the lesson that has come with the experience. This is self-empowerment.
The reasoning mind might tell you that history has shown that when life presents evil things, a resistance to that evil is needed. However, if you look at these experiences throughout history, the resistances might have temporarily changed things, but in time, they rose up again. Unfortunately, they will continue to do so until we empower ourselves and allow the experience in order to understand the greater Truth that can only come from that experience. When we can accept and understand this perspective, we can really know that life is always for us. It is always presenting situations that will allow us to transcend fear and expand in our awareness of the Truth about ourselves. All of us can remember experiences, that at the time, were very painful. In time, we might find that it was a learning experience that prepared us for further experiences in life.
This can be a very difficult personal challenge, especially when it deals with something so painful. The truth is, the more painful the situation, the greater the opportunity to learn from the experience. What could be more painful than the ultimate loss of something we love so dearly such as our beloved pet?
It is our conditioning that causes us to react in a fearful manner when we find that a beloved is critically ill. Fearful reaction causes us to attempt anything possible to prevent the experience from happening. It reasons that force is needed to crush the experience so that we will restore our happiness. In a medical situation we turn our power over to the doctors and in doing so, find ourselves even more of a victim. Now, we are not only a victim of life, but we become a victim when we find out that the doctors cannot solve the problem. We might even turn to holistic or alternative modalities in order to solve the problem and eliminate the hurtful experience, yet, if the motive for doing so is to eliminate the painful experience, it is still using force and will only result in suffering and pain. Delaying the inevitable, only to repeat itself until we learn.
On occasion, our power (with the help of others) may resolve the situation we face. We may have cured the illness or extended the beloved’s life. We have managed to move through the experience without allowing it and never having given ourselves the opportunity to learn and transcend the beliefs that caused us so much pain and suffering. In time, however, it will re-emerge in another like-experience. The beloved is ill again, the attempt to remove it by force and more suffering, and eventually the beloved dies. So many opportunities wasted. So many greater Truths that could have been learned.
If we choose to allow the experience, accept it as ours to expand our greater awareness, fully participate knowing that we are no longer resisting life, but flowing with it, then the energy that arises from allowance will open the doors to a learning that we would never have learned without the experience. We will know that each experience in life was for us and not against us and we will move forward in a peaceful state, appreciative for all of life’s experiences, both joyful and painful. To paraphrase Jesus; “I will not put the fire out for you, but I will walk with you through the fire.” It is only while in the fire, that you can learn from the experience.” This is the pathway to empowerment.