When you are ready for deep personal development it is important to realise that in many instances knowledge gets in the way of emotional freedom. If you think about it for a moment, knowledge is all about words, reading and writing lots of little squiggles (words) that we attach meaning to, how I manifest that meaning may be very different to how you make sense of it.
Personal growth is 90% about feelings and only 10% about words and knowledge, yet we chase knowledge looking for the answers. The answers are not found in our head or in the words of a book, they are found within and emerge as we let go of consciously chasing facts and knowledge.
Words emanate from the conscious mind and feelings emanate from the unconscious mind, they are mutually exclusive, yet we look to develop and change ourselves by reading and writing, remaining trapped in the conscious mind and it’s blurred interpretations of words and their meanings.
Our education tends to play a trick on us; we are taught that if we learn about everything, if we amass lots of knowledge, then we will know the truth, we will know right from wrong, of course knowledge helps us in our life, but not necessarily with our emotional calmness and happiness.
The reality is “what is truth” are words the truth? Are feelings the truth? Just because a person has knowledge does it mean that what they do and say is the truth? I don’t think so.
We all live in our own little dream bubbles of what we think is true about us, what we believe is true about others and on the whole this is done with words “she is cleverer than me, he is taller than me” yet the reaction to those words are feelings and emotions – are the very thing that we want to change.
Perhaps you will have noticed that whenever something beautiful happens many people just say “I was speechless, I was just emotionally overwhelmed” be it from a sunset, the birth of a child, a poem.
In that moment there was no truth, no internal dialogue, no racing mind, just a pure connectedness with your emotions and that of life around you, a quiet mind and an overwhelmed heart. To me, this is what personal growth is all about.
As you learn to stop the racing mind and focus more on your feelings and emotions you’ll see that truth is an internal concept, my truth is my truth and your truth is your truth. So following truth becomes more about how we are honest about our feelings and how we let go of fearful thoughts and beliefs that don’t serve us well.
As this world unfolds before you everything becomes so very clear, you can see all the games people are playing as they hide their true feelings and project false images of themselves thinking that they will get more acceptance or more love or in some way be protected if they have more knowledge. They continue to accumulate knowledge and possessions to cover their emotional insecurities, whilst deep in their heart they long to be emotionally free to be able to love and be loved.
Take humour for example, we don’t need to analyse it cerebrally; we just feel that it is funny, it just connects with us emotionally and we naturally express our emotions and it feels good. I use a lot of humour in my work as I believe it to be one of the keys to freedom, especially when you can laugh at yourself.
We humans are so similar that we are generally easily classified, in my therapy practice I see this every day. There are those who are caring and don’t like conflict very much, they tend to worry about the future and can become a little anxious if their security is threatened. There are those who like to take charge of situations and feel good once their goals are met although they know the price of this is a little stress. And there are the people who think that rules are for others and they look for self-gratification in their activities and can get a little anxious if not enough is happening in their life.
Do any of these options feel a little like you? Recognise that to grow emotionally you need to accept that we are all different; one size does not fit all. Don’t treat people the way you want to be treated, treat them the way they want to be treated. There is no cut in stone right or wrong because we are all different and we all apply our own rules (beliefs) to our views and that is always changing the context.
So the recipe for sensible personal development is to focus on feelings and not facts, explore what you need to let go of to become more calm, what needs to change so your self-esteem can grow, that inner sense of confidence?
Stop judging yourself and stop judging others, what are you hoping to achieve by doing this except placing yourself in the paradigm of “I am less than them” or “I am more than them” this is just setting yourself up to experience emotions driven by external factors, rather than being in a position to just be able to choose your own emotion at any specific time, just because you want to.
Start hunting for the beliefs you have about yourself that are no longer serving you well, they are not easy to find yet very worthwhile to recognise and then let go of. I recently recognised one of my own strong beliefs; I broke my foot whilst out walking with friends and whilst everyone fussed around me trying to help (with the absolute best intentions) I just wanted them all to leave me alone, to let me just get on with it – I had a strong belief that I didn’t need help, that my independence was hugely important to me, that I was strong enough to handle anything on my own.
Try letting your real feelings out for a change, speak your mind, stop protecting other people’s feelings, allow yourself to be vulnerable, test it for a while and see how it feels (the world won’t end). By acting in new ways your old beliefs will be revealed to you and then you can decide to let them go and live a more fearless existence.
Step by step as you emotionally grow and become more congruent with your thoughts and feelings humility begins to arise. The ability to let go of the ego, let go of being right or wrong, the ability to just be, not wanting anything.
As you grow emotionally and spiritually humility will begin to arise because as you stop making judgements about yourself (or others) you’ll see that it doesn’t matter if you are right or wrong, you don’t need to jostle to be heard or require external confirmation that, in fact, you are OK.
With more and more humility comes more and more calmness and acceptance, you can accept others despite their views or actions, you can accept yourself despite your flaws. They live in their dream and you live in your dream, it’s not a race, the only real winners are those who have calmness, love and happiness inside.
Humility allows you to refrain from needing to advise or correct people, or point out their flaws, they are competent to live their own lives and experience the consequences of their decisions and actions. This also allows you to step back from worrying about them, let them live their lives, just be there for when they need you, love them, love yourself.