Releasing the victim game

A recent post I made on Facebook triggered several puzzled responses. I felt it may be good to further elaborate on the topic in a blog post.
As I have not blogged in a long while, it also gives me a chance to write, so it’s a double win. 😊

First, here is the post I made:

When you realize that every single thing that happened to you, you invited into your life, everything changes.

Before I elaborate further, if you do not believe that we are all spirit souls incorporated into physical bodies, and that the life we live in this world is intended to teach us valuable lessons for growth, my post does not apply to you, nor will it make much sense. Please discard it and move on. If you feel offended, I am sorry you feel that way.

My personal belief is as follows:
That we are spirit souls incorporated into physical bodies for the purpose of learning and growing. That everything we experience in this life are challenges we, as souls, planned ahead of incorporating into a body. That we pick challenges we want to face for the purpose of growth. Where there is no friction, personal development cannot take place. In other words, when we are comfortable, very little learning can take place.
Here too, if you disagree with this statement, which I cannot scientifically prove, no further reading is recommended. We can just agree to disagree and move our own separate ways.

Some of the responses I received to my Facebook post included examples of rape, discrimination, cancer and the likes; all pretty challenging situations in which the person experiencing these did not elect to have them. I totally agree. Most, if not all people facing cancer did not wish to have that disease. Most, if not all rape victims did not want to be raped or else it would not be called rape. I will use these as examples to clarify my initial statement – about us inviting these challenges into our lives.

As a spirit soul residing in the astral plane, it is believed that its quite boring over there. Not much is happening as there is no room for action; no challenges, no growth. Someone once said in a song that heaven must be a boring place as nothing ever happens. What may transpire in the astral plane is that our soul designs a life to come back to, a life filled with challenges and friction for the purpose of learning and growth. For that we need assistance. We contract other souls and create this elaborate game-plan called a life. Some play the role of friends, others the role of a foe. Some help us, some challenge us. In much the same way we assist others by being their friend or foe.

Before coming back to this world, we have that game-plan erased from our memory. We incorporate into a body, human or otherwise, that we pre-select: gender, ethnicity, social status by birth, etc. Some of us choose an easy life with less lessons, some prefer more challenges. By the way, this game-plan theory is not mine to claim. I cannot take credit for it. Someone else (multiple people over millennia) came up with it, and I happen to take liking to it for reasons I will explain in a little bit.

When a little girl, a woman, a man, a person of any age, gets sexually or otherwise violated, they do not ask for it. And to make it crystal-clear, in my book the violators should be punished to the full extent of the law. I personally believe that rapists have a mental illness and that rather than incarcerate them only to have them released when their time is up and repeat their actions, I wish our society helps them while they are doing time, but that is off-topic. I wish to clarify that my statement did not mean to absolve the predators nor to place the burden of the attack on the victim. What it is meant to say is simply that each situation we experience was invited by our soul for the purpose of growth. A person who had been violated, sexually and otherwise (rape comes in multiple forms,) has choices to make. He or she can play the victim or they can look at what is it within them that they wished to learn from that situation. For some, and I know such people, the lesson was forgiveness and compassion. For others, it may be turning their own misery into a call for action where before they were apathetic.
I cannot stress this enough — that the statement was not blaming the victim nor celebrating the attacker. This is not about justice or moral codes. It is about the spiritual aspect of everything that happens to us in our lives.

Similarly, when one encounters cancer (or some other difficult health challenge,) they, as a person in this world, did not ask for it. Yet, as a spirit soul, they invited this friction for a certain lesson. I know people who have had cancer (or still do,)  which caused them to slow down and inspect if they are truly living a life worth living. It was a call to reflect. For others cancer served as a call to look inward at their own innate power. For all those who took the challenge as a lesson, there was growth. Some survived the challenge in the physical world, and some passed on, but even those who passed on, when leaving final words, mentioned that they are at peace knowing they accomplished what they came to do.

I do not wish to go into personal examples on this blog post nor to make it a long read. I had, and still have my own personal challenges; health, relationships, and otherwise. Prior to adopting this perspective, I had a victim mentality of “why me?” Once I was able to shift my perspective, every challenge became a call for adventure; an opportunity to learn. I no longer had “bad” experiences; only growth opportunity. As someone wiser than me once said, there is no good nor bad, only learning.

Also, I realized that if do not learn the lesson from the challenge, even if that specific friction will pass, it will come back in a different form. When I got the lesson, there was no longer to repeat it. Other challenges would come but not that specific one.

Even if all this (above writing) is a baseless theory, and the truth is that we have no souls; that we are born, we live, we die, and there is nothing beyond this life, the reason I decided to adopt this perspective is because it is empowering. If I invited and created my challenges, internal as well as external, I am coming from a place of power. When the view is that every friction is happening to me by no choice of mine, I have nothing left to do but be the victim. If I selected and design it, it is a different story all together. And isn’t our life one story of which we write one page at a time?

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Abby, Virtually announcement

With 88% funded at the time of this post, my campaign is entering its last two days. Much thanks for all those who backed it to date. The topics covered are of importance for hashtag#youngadults, including hashtag#authenticity, hashtag#MeToo, bridging generation gap, and finding equilibrium between hashtag#technology and real life. Please visit the campaign page and help me make it 100%! ❤

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/abby-virtually/x/18898218#/

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The choice to choose

My ears often perk up whenever I utter the words, “I have to…,” or “I had to…”
I am working on conditioning myself to avoid those words.

Similarly, I’m cautious when I hear others claim, “I have to go to work,” “I had to vote for him/her,” or, “I had to put my pet down.” The only thing we really have to do, is breathe. Everything else is optional. That includes food and drink, or else demonstrators could never go on a hunger strike. Granted, a no-breath strike would be, literally, short- lived, but that’s besides the point…

When we use have or had, all we are doing is seeking justification to an action we do have a choice for; and that is why those words are more dangerous than they may, at first, seem. Have and had give us permission to act without taking full ownership. “It looked like he was holding a gun so I had to shoot him.” “I have to work at this stinking job or else how would I pay my bills?” “I cannot stand him but I have to stay with him.” Have and had dispower us. My aim is to replace those with choose: “I choose to go to work,” “I chose to vote for him/her,” “I choose to put my pet down.”

Now I really have to finish this blog post and move on to do the other things I have a choice about doing…

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Empty Mind?

When teaching ‘Introduction to Meditation’ workshops, I often begin the session with a question: “What do you think of, when you hear the word meditation?”
A common answer is “emptying the mind.”

Let’s explore this idea. Can the mind really be “empty?”
The simple answer is that the mind is never vacant. In fact, if it was to be empty, I would be gravely concerned…

When we practice meditation, we practice flexing the mind so it is able to be fully present and engaged in the moment. That is to say, a rigid mind gets stuck in its own made-up loops. A flexible mind does not. Therefore, we are not trying to empty the mind as it holds so many treasures. Rather, what we wish to achieve is a way to quiet the whirlpool in our heads by way of purposeful relaxation. We do this the same way we practice yoga: by slowly taking on mind “postures” and examining them. We observe, and we let go. It is a practice that takes time. The more we do it, the easier letting go becomes, and we can obtain control which allows us, in turn, to be present. Thus meditation is not about emptying but rather about having a mind engaged in the moment. This allows us to write, sing, dance, work, and play, all while being in a state of meditation.

Another common confusion is the difference between meditation and concentration.
Concentration is a milestone on the road to meditation, but these are not one and the same.
I will leave this as a topic for another post.

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Whirlpool image by Hellbuny (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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What is Patience?

Patience is surrender,
to this moment,
and the next,
and to the one that follows.

Patience is the antithesis
for measuring time.
It is learned from a tree;
it is a soul gaining wisdom,
through endless life-cycles.

Patient is a Divine Spark within,
one that, on occasion, gets a little dim,
but never quite extinguished.

Patience is something
I am in high demand, yet short supply of.
It is an all but a forgotten virtue,
our entire society seem to lack.

Yet patience depends on no one and no thing,
as it is also… hope.

Cary, NC, October 15, 2017
(c) 2017 Ronen Divon. All Rights Reserved.

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What 5 min meditation taught me

On some mornings I just can’t seem to find time to meditate. And for me, if I don’t meditate early in the morning, I will likely not meditate at all.

What does it mean that I cannot find time to sit on a pillow, close my eyes and ponder?
I’ve been around long enough to realize that not finding time, stands for having other priorities. It simply means that meditation is no high enough on my priority-list, compared with other items such as, well, heading to the office to take care of business…

I know I should meditate. It does me good. Thus, I cut a deal with myself; if I cannot find twenty to thirty minutes for that pillow, I sit for at least five minutes.
“Ha!” you may say, “what can five minutes do for you?”
Curiously, that was my response as well, so I am glad you’ve asked.

Here is what I answered myself, or, in other words, what five-minute meditation taught me:
1. It is truly not about ‘size’ i.e. length. Yes, more time may be helpful, but the mere fact I made time, never mind how much, to meditate, means I care enough about my well-being and that is a good start.
2. It is not about nothingness. True that within the space of five minutes, it is challenging most days (although not always,) to reach ‘nothingness’. But, and I can testify to this from personal experience, nothingness is not really the ‘goal’ of meditation. If there is an aim for this practice, the practitioner is missing the point. Meditation is a practice, nothing less, nothing more.
3. When I cannot have everything (enough time) to obtain nothing (which is anyhow not the goal,) sometime something (5 min) is enough.

The above may beg another question: if one can obtain in five minutes what others require in thirty minutes, why would one even want to spend more than five minutes meditating?
Using love-making as a metaphor, I can say this: climaxing is lovely, but as I age, I realize how much it is also about what comes before and after. When I meditate, it is not about achieving anything during those moments on the pillow. Many people who attempt meditation, suffer from a misconception related to the notion of obtaining nothingness. Funny how that is an oxymoron all by itself: gaining nothingness… But wordplay aside, meditating, whether with a quiet mind or one that keeps wondering, changes something inside; call it brainwaves, alpha, theta or anything else meditation scientists wish to name it. And that something that shifts inside, stays with me throughout the day. If I can allow time to prolong the process a little longer during my mornings, all the better. I much enjoy it. But if I cannot, five minutes will do just fine.

Learned from: reflections on my five-minute meditation

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What cats do

When my cat spots a bug on the wall, she can sit for eternity and a day, staring at it intently, waiting for the insect to make a move so she can play the hunter. She is so focused, it seems nothing can distract her (except for, maybe, the food bowl.)

Yet, at any given time, and for no apparent reason, she may also lose interest . When that happens, she may lick her paw and go take a nap; that bug on the wall all but forgotten. When cats let go, they truly let go…

Some days I wish I had more of that capacity — to be able to pay absolute and undivided attention; not to mention that wonderful ability to instantly and completely letting go.

Learned from: observing Tess tracking some bug or other on the wall

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