Thursday, January 16, 2014

The way out...

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This can have several meanings. Religious groups have one way of using the proverb, while psychoanalysts have another. I think hell is in our minds and the road to it is complicated.

Hell is a mental state in which fear reigns. In it, selfishness and self-loathing impede the full enjoyment of life. We are in hell when we act out of anger, when we project our negative qualities onto others, are intolerant, fail to forgive, attack, exclude, retaliate, compare ourselves constantly to others, become desperate, are self-righteous and our egos rule our emotional state. Hell becomes our dysfunction. Our hell are thoughts of hopelessness, thoughts of violence, obsessive thoughts, depression, addiction and compulsive action. Hell is our behaving from our most fearful self.

How do we come out of hell? We take another path. Yet, just as the road to hell is complicated, taking another path may not be easy. It takes recognizing that we are in hell to want to take another path. Sometimes we are too arrogant to admit that in the first place. The way out of hell may take bottoming-out, an a-ha moment or an emotional breakdown. The way out of hell is not easy, but it is simple. It begins with wanting out. This willingness opens up the way. This willingness is a beacon lighting the path. The way out is best followed with our eyes closed and our hearts open listening for direction. We will be guided, we will be led, we will be guarded.

To find the way out, take a few moments, close your eyes and just say I'm willing. Breathe. Let go. Will the way out. It is a process. Make it part of your meditation. It takes patience. It takes practice. It is well worth it. The path out of hell leads to a different mental state in which love reigns, not the cherubs-and-angels-and-chocolate-and-roses gooey kind of love, but the love that keeps us sane. Out of hell and into heaven, we understand, collaborate, cooperate, generate goodwill, forgive and show compassion. We become strong, receptive, and open-minded. Our heaven is our haven. It is where we are confident, joyful and happy. It is where we are our best self.

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