POSTS & DIALOGS:
HEALING EMOTIONAL BETRAYALS Forgiving the Unforgivable – Surviving an Affair
POLITICAL ANGST. The Big Picture
ARTICLES & DIALOGS ON THE NATURE OF BEING HUMAN & THE INTERFACE OF BODY, MIND & SPIRIT IN PSYCHOTHERAPY.
*MY BUBBLE THEORY
PREMISE: Our beliefs create our reality, not the other way around. We collect data that supports our beliefs/opinions and reject data that doesn’t. As a result we each create a belief bubble that we experience as “reality.”
Attachment theory is an example of this premise: The stress of inadequate or incomplete attachment experiences in infancy and through childhood lead us to experience and assume that we are somehow flawed, i.e., “I’m not lovable, not good enough or unworthy”. We then proceed to develop a system of coping strategies in an effort to conceal that “fact” and protect ourselves from the pain of that belief. Further, that belief serves as a filter, eliminating from our consciousness all evidence that it might not be true. For instance, if I assume that I’m not lovable, any love that comes to me is discounted.
Following Attachment theory, psychotherapy becomes a process of facilitating clients’ efforts to shift their beliefs from “I’m not OK” to “I am profoundly OK and so is everyone else” and then modify their bubble to conform to their new core belief.
The Bubble Theory gets really interesting when applied to our relationship to other people, family, society, history, politics (Fox News vs MSNBC), science (global warming, quantum physics), medicine (placebo?), religion, psychotherapy, metaphysics, consciousness, etc.
MY BUBBLE: I seem to have already made my major mistakes. I’ve learned how to sustain equanimity and to stay out of drama. (It also helps that I’ve learned to apologize.) I’m surrounded by interesting and loving family, friends, and colleagues. I’m occupied and interested. I teach therapists and see clients part time, paint, make music with my friends. The pills work, I nap every day and enjoy wasting time. My body and mind still work (with allowances for mileage). My basic financial needs are covered. I am comfortable in my bubble and profoundly grateful.
I turned eighty last December. I had been thinking about the rest of my life and the end of my life as I enter my eighty-first year. I had been winding down for about five years – half retired, puttering around, deciding to give up golf, etc. I was feeling slowed down, healthy, complete and preparing to die. Then my wife gave me a psychic reading for my birthday.
The reading was very affirming and I had a sense that the psychic “got me”. She said I was on track, that I was through with drama and karma for this life, and that I would be sharp and active till I died at the ripe age of one hundred and two! My reaction was to feel energized and inspired in a way that I hadn’t felt in several years.
Okay, I said to myself, is that actually true? Then it came to me that it doesn’t matter if it’s true. What matters is that I feel energized and inspired. Except that I would love to see my granddaughters as adults, I really don’t care how long I live as long as I’m having a good time. So I decided to believe what the psychic told me, go with the new enthusiasm, be energized and to live as if it’s true. So far, I’ve begun a study and support group for therapists and reclaimed my art, both of which I can continue till I fall over.
Now that I am thinking about my bubble, I realize that I have actually decided what to believe about myself and my life. I’ve purposely modified my bubble. I’m seeing my clients doing that. As I think about it, I realize that I believe that we all live in a bubble of our own creation. The big news is that if we’re miserable in our bubble or simply feel limited or feel inspired, we can change it.
Part of my bubble is my conviction that expanding the limits of my bubble is my task as a human being and an inevitable process of my soul’s evolution.
Back on June 20, I posted MY BUBBLE THEORY on Facebook wherein I was musing on the premise that our beliefs create our reality and not the other way around. Several responded and we dialoged a bit on it. I enjoyed that.
Lately I’ve been questioning my theory – kind of dialoging with myself. Here’s the latest, in case you’re interested.
BUBBLE QUESTIONS – if my beliefs create my reality:
What about good and evil? What about the awfulness of being human – like illness, murder, torture, war, and injustice?
What about death?
What about Pollyanna? Mother Teresa? Dhali Lama? Hitler?
What is the ULTIMATE REALITY – beyond the reality I create with my beliefs?
BUBBLE ANSWERS – beliefs that get me through:
Being human is my soul enrolling in the University of Human Experience (or perhaps the Boot Camp of Human Experience).
Fair is not an issue. Life isn’t fair, it simply IS. Life’s events are the curriculum for the University of Human Experience. Trouble and upset is my homework (equanimity is an A+).
Karma is another word for homework. It is also an opportunity to serve. It is also an opportunity to play.
Survival is not the issue. The death rate is 100%. In the grand scheme of the soul’s evolution, the moment of everyone’s death is the appropriate moment.
There is consciousness beyond death.
Pollyanna is a learner. Mother Teresa and the Dhali Lama are evolved souls serving the species – living their Vocation. Not so sure about Hitler. Perhaps he was a soul serving the needs of millions of learners from his small, dark bubble.
Maybe ULTIMATE REALITY is un-manifest, unity consciousness. No Bubble. Infinite Bubble.
So, how come we are so attached to our bubbles? DISCUSS.
STILL MORE BUBBLE THEORY
Back on June 20 I posted MY BUBBLE THEORY wherein I was musing on the premise that our beliefs create our reality and not the other way around.
I posted an update on Nov 3 and I’m still chewing on it.
As I clarify my Bubble Theory, I figure it’s about time to define MY bubble. If my beliefs create my reality, what are my beliefs and what is my reality? Obviously, this is a work in process and I’ll keep you posted.
MY BELIEFS (a compendium of the ridiculous, the mundane, the exalted and sublime, all of which, up to now, combine to form a rewarding existence)
The universe (God) is an infinite, benign and creative consciousness.
I am a finite expression of that consciousness.
At my core, I am OK – exactly, appropriately, lovingly me. So is everyone else. Even psychopaths are okay souls who are profoundly lost and unconscious in their dark bubble.
Love is a human expression of the infinite consciousness.
I am loving and lovable.
The heart is the human’s organ of love.
Physical aspects of being human – physics (gravity, relativity, quantum, etc.), biology, etc., are a consensus necessary to being human. They are not Ultimate truths.
The four basic food groups include chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs and beer.
Being human is my soul enrolling in the University of Human Experience. Trouble and upset is my homework (equanimity is an A+). Karma is another word for homework. It is also an opportunity to serve.
Part of my homework is to serve humanity by being as Me as truly, deeply and completely as I possibly can.
Fair is not an issue. Life isn’t fair, it simply IS. Life’s events are the curriculum.
Survival is not an issue. The death rate is 100%. In the grand scheme of the soul’s evolution, the moment of everyone’s death is the appropriate moment.
There is conscious being after death.
Enthusiasm and inspiration direct me to my Vocation – my service to my Self, humanity and the Infinite.
We are guided. We are guided by other humans (family, friends, enemies, teachers, therapists, strangers, pastors, gurus, etc.). We are guided by angels, guides, higher self, dreams, intuition and inner voices. Guidance takes the form of advice, protection, reassurance, compassionate intercourse, aspirations, challenges, tragedies, inspiration, ah-ha moments of spontaneous knowing and cuddles.
Managing my bubble well – my equanimity – helps the rest of humanity.
Masculine and feminine is a continuum not a polarity.
Telling the truth and accepting its consequences is part of equanimity.
Respecting self and others is part of equanimity.
Alive and present, here and now is equanimity.
Senses and intuition are invaluable resources equal to, if not more valuable than, intelligence. The body knows.
My criteria for embracing a belief are: Does it make my life more enjoyable? Does it enhance my equanimity? Does it fit my cosmology? Does my gut relax?
Expect the best, but have insurance – health, liability and, at my age, long term care.
Expanding the limits of my beliefs is my task as a human being and an inevitable process of my soul’s evolution.
My preverbal experience establishes much of the basis for my beliefs about being human. As a result, I have misunderstandings about myself and the world that form my Bubble. Those misunderstandings limit my universe, my Soul’s evolution and my personal expression.
Much of my work, my path, in this life is to revise those limiting beliefs. Specifically, I have residue of belief and shame from my childhood experiences and my genetic, generational (puritan) heritage that I am not lovable or good enough.
I have residue of my coping strategies that resulted from that shame: I can be stubborn, independent, split off and oppositional, I can be shy and anxious and have pangs of guilt and jealousy. I was often an ignorant jerk in younger years. I’m seldom a jerk now and have learned to apologize.
Expanding the limits of my beliefs has led me to embrace an ancient Masonic creed entitled The Pattern on the Trestleboard.
The truth about my existence is found in my daily, hourly experience, not in books, news media or, God forbid, Facebook.
Following traffic rules makes life easier.
I will find a parking place close to where I’m going.
Squatting with your spurs on is not a good idea.
Magic is real. Really.
SPECIAL THANKS TO MONTY ROWAN FOR PROVIDING THE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THIS SITE.
Illustrations are the work of the author.