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Understanding Awareness - Part 4

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

In Awareness There is No Guilt or Grief


When I was about 12 I lived on the outskirts of town next to a sawmill. As you can imagine, mountains of sawdust and machinery was a young boy’s world of adventure. Our neighbours, the owner of the mill, had four children, the youngest the same age as my eldest brother. By the time he could get a vehicle licence he was driving the logging trucks bringing timber from the forests to the mill. One night while returning to the mill, this young man fell asleep at the wheel, crashing his truck. A few days later he died.

For as long as the family lived in that home, this young man’s room became a shrine. Nothing was moved, everything left the way it was the day he died. I can remember seeing into the room some years later and seeing his slot-cars, some still overturned where he had been working on them. So bereaved was his mother, she couldn’t bear to move through the grief of her loss. It is my understanding that she grieved to the day she died.

Maybe you haven’t been locked into the memory of the past through grief. However there are other states of mind, and their associated feelings, that are as equally debilitating. Maybe there is a lost love that you still long for, or a separation for which you still hold much anger. Maybe someone has hurt you, and you still wish and plan for retaliation. Maybe you did something to hurt another so deeply that your guilt has you living constantly in shame. Or maybe you have made choices in the past that had you been more aware, you would have chosen differently, but now you’re enmeshed in regret. These entanglements with your past are the ball and chains attached to the fibres of your soul.

Unresolved, this constant weight leads to ‘soul-loss’, the cause of your dis-ease. I saw how resentment in the life of my own father was instrumental in forming the disease-state that resulted in cancer, and ultimately in his death. In my career as a health professional I saw this same scenario replicated time and again in the lives of my clients. Take a moment to consider those deep hooks of your past that keep you tied there. The resentments, the grief and the guilt, the shame or the need to retaliate.

Also take a moment to consider how you would be if your were free of these thoughts and feelings. How are these things holding you back, stopping you from living the grandest version of your life?

In the journey of life, we have little control over what happens, since we can’t control all of the variables that impact on our life, but we do have the ability to control how we respond to what happens. And how we respond is determined by what we want most. Imagine how the responses would be different to someone who wanted to live life in peace, versus someone wanting to be right or wanting to survive. We can choose what we want, what we desire most, although for most of us, that is unconscious and mostly informed by our conditioning. Typically, a lot of our programming is modelled in the media to which we are exposed. Regret, grief, longing, retaliation and shame are the ingredients for the drama that we voluntarily and regularly tune into each night on our TVs.

It’s rare to see awareness, gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness, compassion and benevolence being portrayed in media, let alone in our society and families. Part of the reason is that the process for making the shift is not clearly understood, particularly when awareness is fundamental to the strategy. A few ‘spiritual’ teachers truly understand the process for, or significance of, enhancing awareness when it comes to transforming core wants and values. In awareness we can observe the past, but as this week’s What Awareness Isn’t, states…

Awareness isn’t having guilt for what has occurred in the past.

This means that in awareness, there is no regret, there is no grief, there is no longing, there is no retaliation, there is no shame.

This means that in awareness the past has no meaning. So therefor there is nothing to do in the present, regarding the past, but to stay aware. By staying aware we can be more mindful of desires and values that serve us, others and the planet now. This typically results in empathy, compassion and benevolence. The instant we delve into the past, we get caught up in our personal story which sees empathy being replaced with sympathy, compassion being replaced with indifference, and benevolence with malevolence.

Is your history the thing that is holding you back? The only way to sustainably free yourself is to become more aware. We, at EAP Mentor are experts in helping people to free themselves from the things that are holding them back through enhancing awareness. 

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