Essential Awareness for Growth
When you have a negative experience remember that this does not reflect the nature of your real self or the nature of the universe/reality. Rather it reflects your choice -- at probably an unconscious level -- to believe in and become attached to something negative. Since you have the capacity to change this choice, you have nothing to fear or to loose from looking at the painful experience, finding what belief or identification is causing it and deciding to change your mind. You can release the false image. (And all negative images we hold will create pain because they are negations or denials of the positive essence of one's self and thereby restrict one's self-expression.) Therefore, every negative experience can be looked on in a positive way as an opportunity to gain awareness of one's deep-seated negative assumptions and false identifications. This needs to happen before they can be released and replaced by the positive truth implicit within one's inner self or soul.
If this awareness can be gained, it creates a great sense of peace, relaxation, freedom and expansion. For now there is nothing to defend against, no need to condemn oneself, or for massive efforts to achieve an imagined agenda for safety and success. The universe is realized to be safe and supportive. The solution to life is not to be found in achieving ego ideas separate from our experience of life itself. By opening to and trusting in the wisdom within, experience becomes fulfilling.
CLARIFYING ONE'S ISSUES
With regard to a particular problem area one may be experiencing in life, resolving it is dependent on clarifying the particular negative image(s) we hold that has created our difficulty. It is not sufficient to know that the problem is related to various issues, although this may be a first step. We need to gain a clear awareness of the specific core image(s), with its implicit assumptions, values and beliefs about who we are and what is real and significant, that underlies our experience. Then we must understand the causal relationship between our beliefs and our experience and understand how we may unconsciously create those things that rationally we don't want. We also have to believe in our capacity to change our minds once we examine what's there. Then we need to be able to be open and listen within to clarify what is the truth for us.
Repeated negative experiences of a similar nature point to the existence of negative images and assumptions within one's mind. The mind, as the creative organ, externalizes it's structure of attachments about reality in the particular forms of our experience. Thus we may come to know when we are out of alignment with our inner self -- through negative and painful experience. Our core beliefs and the basic structures of our mind can seem to have a self-justifying nature if, as we so often do, we confuse cause and effect and do not clearly see how we are responsible for co-creating our particular experiences. This is especially true when we experience things that we don't rationally want. We therefore think the experience must justify the belief that we think is the valid conclusion from the experience. When we do not question the arbitrary nature of many of our firmly held beliefs and cultural assumptions we must, invariably, live circumscribed lives restricted by the limits imposed by these beliefs.
To realize our potential for happiness and fulfillment, we must become aware of those assumptions we hold that are false and negative and that thereby restrict the full and free expression of our being. We have to gain detachment and understanding about those core images we hold about what is real and important. These are not only reflected in our thoughts and values, but in what we identify with, what we live and experience. We have to be able to separate false internalized attitudes and ideas from those that are reflections of our inner self and that allow that inner self to manifest itself.
This understanding posits that as human beings we embody: 1. An eternal spirit or essence that is an expression of the One Life encompassing everything. 2. An inner immortal self consciousness that has certain inherent qualities. 3. An outer personality whose ultimate purpose is to align with, embody and express the inner soul and spirit that inhabit him and that he is, in essence. When an individual has identified with false (not reflecting his true essence and nature), negative and separate patterns of thinking and feeling, these result ultimately in pain and suffering of some sort and thus help the individual to shift in a direction that will be more authentic and fulfilling (as realizing one's inner self and spirit is).