Number 31 in a Series
What criteria do you use to evaluate the ideas that support your heart connection vs those that disconnect you from your heart?
No person or path is perfect. Even philosophies based on the teaching of highly enlightened people are interpreted and institutionalized by teachers who are acculturated with blind spots. Dogmatic thinking that creates beliefs that disconnect from the heart is not exclusive to any single religion or spiritual discipline.
For example, many of the scholarly and well-meaning people who interpret Jesus’ teachings are not as highly evolved as Jesus. As a result, the Catholic religion has become infiltrated with beliefs that disconnect people from their hearts. Kevin Smith illuminated this in his controversial film Dogma. Many people criticized the film as being anti-Catholic, but Smith maintains that he is very religious and observant to the essence of his faith and that the film merely exposes the dogmatic thinking that is inconsistent with Jesus’ message.
The same process of losing the message of total acceptance and love that was the essence of the teaching of enlightened masters has affected every institutionalized discipline. It is evidenced in the Orthodox Jewish prayer “Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast not made me a woman.” It is also a part of Buddhism, in the idea that, “You have to be born a man to attain enlightenment.”
Since beliefs that create a heart disconnection exist in all people, leaders often fail to empower their constituents. That includes religious leaders, politicians, social reformers, business icons, teachers, physician-healers, and parents.
When a leaders’ need to be in control is predominant he/she covets the power that is gained from keeping people dependent. Empowering constituents is antithetical to a need for control because people who have a strong connection to their heart have an inner knowing that would never allow giving away personal power and becoming dependent on an authority outside of themselves.
To evaluate the ideas I am being taught, and to assess whether a leader is facilitating or frustrating empowering me, I use the following question as a screen through which to filter the information I am receiving.
Are the ideas I am receiving, and the people who are giving me guidance, helping me develop the wisdom that is moving me:
- toward feeling like my own hero by encouraging a connection to my heart and fulfilling connection and others with whom I am involved; and
- away from being self-righteous, judgmental, a victim, manipulating others, dependent on substances, other people, the teacher or group, and making gaining power through winning or getting my way a primary goal?
If the above is happening, the following should be resulting:
- By embracing more of the thoughts, feelings and actions in myself and others, my self-worth and self-trust is increasing.
- By helping me find my own answers, rather than being told what I should do, what is healthy and what is right, my self-esteem is increasing.
- Both/And rather than Either/Or thinking is being encouraged.
- I am becoming less sure and more secure.
- Others are more comfortable around me, and I am more comfortable with myself and by myself.
- I am being helped to respect and feel loving toward myself, rather than feeling guilty, wrong, or as though I am not enough.
- I am being helped to integrate into my viewpoint a larger picture of life by seeing my connectedness to other people, the earth, and to an intelligence that lies beyond my conscious mind.
- I am being encouraged to affiliate with and to find healing from many sources, rather than believing that there is only one way.
- I am being helped to establish respectful and loving relationships with others both within and outside my group, rather than being encouraged to convert others to my way of thinking and/or enrolling them in a particular philosophy.
- Life is becoming more meaningful and I am feeling more peaceful, content and less tense.
For Your Journey
- Which of the above criteria are you getting from your current teachers and the philosophy that they espouse?
- Which of the above criteria are you not getting from your current teachers and the philosophy that they espouse?
- Share-it-forward. Share with both those within your group as well as others what you are learning.
First in the Series: From Head to Heart
Next Week: # 32 – Evaluating When Emotional Help is Empowering and When It’s Not
BECOMING YOUR OWN HERO illuminates a path available to us all to attain the kind of personal power demonstrated by our most revered and inspirational heroes. Marianne Williamson, #1 New York Times best-selling author said, “I highly recommend this illuminating and touching look into the possibilities of staying connected to our hearts, even when facing difficult situations.”
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