An excerpt from the personal growth recording, Inner Peace by Lazaris:
Today we want to work with some of the "bugaboo" emotions that you have, bugaboo emotions that stand in the way of your having inner peace. We want to work with anxiety, with worry, and with confusion and doubt.
Admittedly, these are not the only things that are standing in the way of inner peace. The blockbuster emotions you are familiar with already -- unexpressed anger and hurt, self-pity and fear. We will be talking about those feelings as well, but much more briefly. We want to focus on these bugaboos because most of you by now have means to handle those blockbusters of anger, hurt, self-pity, etc. It is the smaller emotions, these more subtle emotions, that still stand in the way of your acquiring that sense of inner peace that you are seeking.
What is rather interesting about these emotions, and common to all of them, is that you all feel them from time to time, but you don't really know what they are. You can talk about them, but can you really define what it is to be anxious about something? And how is that different from being in doubt, confusion, or worry? You can look in a dictionary and find a string of words that you call a definition. But do you really know what those feelings are?
These emotions usually get what we call the "universal metaphysical definition." Anxiety as defined by the universal metaphysical definition is: "Well, you know, anxiety? Well, that's, you know, well, you know, it's when you feel anxious, you know?" The other terms, unfortunately, fall by the same sort of definition.
Without an understanding of what these bugaboo emotions are, an understanding of their subtlety -- without being able to distinguish one from another -- it's very difficult to recognize what's going on with you. It makes it even more difficult to acknowledge what's happening with you, foolhardy even to think of forgiving yourself, and totally impossible to permanently change. At best, you can handle this or that anxiety or worry or confusion or doubt. Usually it's a temporal feeling: The situation over which you have been feeling this emotion goes by. The feeling disappears and you think, "Aha, I've handled my anxiety," only to find it coming up again. There's no security there, no sense that "I am on top of anxiety so that should it arise tomorrow, I have something I can do. I can stop that feeling, and get back to the feelings I want to have." Therefore, though a particular situation that produces one of these bugaboos may come and go, you are constantly plagued with it.
Being so plagued, you end up striving for, reaching for, even grasping for that inner peace only to find it slipping through your fingers once again. You would think perhaps you can get through life without having inner peace. There's no perhaps about it. Of course you can. You've done it hundred and hundreds of times already. So it's not an issue of whether you can survive or not, for clearly you can. But it is an issue of the quality of that survival, and the quality of your spiritual development whereby it becomes important to develop that inner peace.
The Benefits of Inner Peace
There are very obvious reasons to develop that peace. First of all, it is more fun to live your life free from these bugaboos, in a state of inner peace. It is much easier to learn to have fun. The road is much smoother toward learning to consciously create your success if you can do so from a state of inner peace. Further, the purposes for being physical in this lifetime -- your focuses, the things you came to do and wanted to learn -- can be learned so much more effectively if they are experienced and explored in a state of inner peace. Finally, it feels very good.
There are also less obvious, but no less important reasons, to strive for and achieve inner peace. The first of these reasons is that your outer world is a reflection, a symbolic reflection, of your inner reality. Is it any real surprise that at a time of opportunity with tremendous expansion, a time when you are about to take off and really get that sense of soaring and being in motion -- that the terrorism of your own martyrhood should hijack you? You see, that outer world is a symbolic expression of the inner reality. And as the inner reality acquires a sense of inner peace, so you do have impact upon the outer peace.
Now, for one of you to establish inner peace may not bring about worldwide peace, but at least it is contributing. And those of you wanting so much to make some sort of contribution, wanting to have some sort of impact upon your world, wanting to make some difference in the future, one of the most valuable ways is through establishing inner peace. For as that world reflects upon you, so you reflect upon it. There's not much notoriety in it, but we would suggest that there is a tremendous amount of impact that each of you individually and as a group can have on an outer world that sometimes scares you so much.
A second reason to develop inner peace ... There is a song that has a marvelous line: "Love is like a flower, and you its only seed." That's a marvelous concept to consider. We have talked of you as sparks and seeds of spirituality. Indeed, that which fuels that spark and germinates that seed is inner peace. To be that spark that you so much want to be -- to be that seed of spirituality -- inner peace is a vital part of that quest.
Thirdly, it is an inspiration. Your material success can be a source of inspiration for others to be materially successful, but it is your feeling reality, more than your material reality, that inspires spiritually. That is not to say that you should not have material success. Have all that you want, and be as inspirational as you want for others to acquire similarly in that illusory physical plane. But being a spark, inspiring other people to the realization of a spiritual awakening, comes through the reality that you feel. It is the real inspiration that comes from your inner peace that can pique other people's curiosity enough to make them adventure into the realms of spirituality.
Fourthly, as you are approaching the end of the century, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to want to play upon your lack of inner peace, play upon your fears and insecurities. Some will be without the metaphysical/spiritual community, and unfortunately, some will be within it. There will be much more talk of doomsday, much more talk of devastation, to scare you. Therefore, it is important for you as an individual to establish a resonance of inner peace so as to avoid the seduction of fear and to stand as a point to uplift the resonance that is going to be pulled down -- intentionally by some, unfortunately. As you sense yourself as that beam of light, as that pillar, that spark, that seed, resonance will follow. You will either hold, lift, or decline. Inner peace can be a very useful tool for what you want to accomplish.
It is not only important to handle the blockbusters and the bugaboo emotions that stand so arduously in the way, but also to replace it with something. Replace what you have removed with four very important concepts: love, trust, expectancy and enthusiasm. To move in those directions, we first begin with talking about the blockbusters ...
Handling the Blockbusters
We don't have to go about defining anger. You can pretty much tell when someone's angry or when you're angry, though you may deny it or try to suppress it. But what to do about it?
It is very important that you release, or express and release, that anger. Clearly, if you do not, you stuff it inside in an arm or a leg and create arthritis, or in an internal organ and create a cancer. You are going to stuff it somewhere within you and create a miserable reality in one capacity or another. You really can't hide from it. But if you handle your anger properly, then you don't have to generate these other degenerative functions in your reality.
Now clearly, the expression of anger needs to be appropriate. Many can, in a way of malicious obedience, express anger in a totally inappropriate manner to prove that they should never have done it in the first place: Going to work and telling the boss what you really think of the clothes he wears or the way he treats his wife is not necessarily the most appropriate expression of anger. Verbal expression where another person is involved is the first way, and it needs to be appropriate.
Secondly, you can talk to yourself in the mirror. As you sit down in front of a mirror, that person looking back at you is awfully patient. They stay right there. They never go away or respond out of sorts. It's a very valuable way to vent a lot of emotion.
Then there's writing it out, and many of you can do that wonderfully in the journal keeping process. One of the most valuable ways to do it is The Hate Letter, as we sometimes call it. It is a letter that you write to the person. You never mail it, of course. But you write it and express the anger in as vehement a form as you possibly can, fluidly and quickly without paying attention to spelling, grammar or punctuation. Just get it out on that piece of paper. Do not sign the letter, "Love, so-and-so." Sign it, however, and fold it up and hide it. Play through the symbology of the way you've been hiding that feeling all along. The next day, pull it out and read it. Make it stronger: Cut out your editing and your diminishing. Make it strong. Then tuck it away, once again hiding it. The next day pull it out. Your tendency is going to be to skim it. Read it word for word, delicately reading it."Oh, this is getting boring." Exactly. As you are releasing it, it no longer has its charge. After you've read it this third time, then you safely burn it page by page to release the energy.
Another way is meditating it out. Go into meditation and visualize the person or situation, expressing that anger in as volatile and powerful a way as you can. Release it, and burn it out of your own system so that it doesn't lodge somewhere and create a deleterious reality.
The old angers from your childhood and adolescence have to be released also. One powerful method is to make your list of the top ten things that made you angry in your life. Take each one of them, and write it out as though you were telling someone how it happened. Then go into a meditation going back to that time. Refamiliarize yourself with that old environment. Where did you live? Where was your bedroom? What was the kitchen like? Then experience the situation the way it happened, doing what you did then: stuffing your anger, biting your tongue, crying, running off, swearing to never come out of your room again. Then, rather than stopping there, do an instant replay. This time, express what you wished you had. If you were so angry you could have kicked somebody, then kick somebody in meditation. "I'm going to burn down the house!" Fine, burn it down in meditation. Will that do something terrible? No, because your intention is to release the anger, not to produce it. Would that you were so confident of your positive programming as you are of your negative programming! It's the intention. And the intention is not to cause negativity, but to release the negativity and hurt you have carried all this time. Then write down a sentence or two as to how it felt. Then on another occasion (not the same day) do it a second time, and then on another day, a third time. Over time you'll work your way through the top ten. All that remains to do is the current anger.
Hurt is a little different, because hurt takes time to heal. Anger can be healed instantly: Someone makes you angry, you explode, you express it, they responsibly receive your anger and handle it, and you're done. It's not there an hour later. But hurt is a wound, a cut, a tear in your self-esteem, in your essence, and it takes time to heal.
Hurt is probably the worst thing you can do to somebody. If you make them angry, you can deal with that, depending on the degree and the intentionality. But if you hurt somebody, then that's harder to deal with because it does take time. It's harder for them to heal it, and it's more responsibility for you. It's the one emotion that has time. Therefore, the most devastating thing you can do to someone is to consciously hurt them. And to hurt them physically is less detrimental than hurting them emotionally, psychically or spiritually. A physical hurt can mend. You have torn an illusion, made a dark spot in a light. But an emotional hurt is real. A psychic hurt -- to lead them off their path -- is detrimental to their growth. You have slowed someone down. To spiritually hurt somebody, to spiritually misguide them, is the biggest hurt of all. It's the most devastating emotion you have. Likewise, once you move outside of time, hurt doesn't exist. It's the worst thing than can happen in your physical life because of the time factor, but once you move outside of time then hurt diminishes. So it all balances.
How do you deal with it? As with anger, you start with the old hurts: your top 10 hurts. You write them out. And you do much the same thing you did with anger: Play it through. Have an instant replay. Handle it the way you wish you could have. Then write a sentence or two about it. It is important to write it, because it is the movement of musculature and the electromagnetic energy of the nerves in the process of actually writing it down that makes it solid.
What about current hurts? Well, current hurts you handle a little differently. With the expression of hurt, it is important to let yourself feel it. Therefore, if you are hurting, then it is important to give yourself some time. Set up some time: 20 minutes on whatever evening. Plan it ahead of time. The trick here is that you don't think about other things: If you're feeling the hurt, feel the hurt, nothing else. As you focus in on it, it's going to get tedious for you. You'll find it very difficult to feel just hurt for 20 minutes solid. But experience that hurt for the 20 minutes, and then stop. Then go on and do whatever it is you planned to do that's going to be fun, that's going to cheer you up.
It may take two or three times, but do it in the same fashion, and you will release the hurt. It will be healed and you will be done. "But they have to heal it!" Don't count on it. They may not even know they did it, and furthermore, they really can't heal it. They can be responsible for it, and handle it responsibly, and make a commitment never to do it again. And that can feel wonderful, and is indeed an important part of it all. But you have to heal your own hurt. If you don't, it will turn to scar tissue just like any wound that isn't properly handled. It can get infected, and it can do damage to you.
Another thing about anger and hurt -- as they fit together - is to realize that in your society you have permission to feel one or the other. Women can feel hurt, but they're not allowed to be angry. So, if a woman gets angry and kicks a trash can across the room, she's "being a real bitch." The way a woman can express hurt is in tears. A woman can cry if she's happy, cry if she's sad, cry if she's angry, cry if she's hurt. A woman can basically cry. Any other expression: not allowed. So many women have a problem in terms of having worked with hurt, because that's all you've been allowed to work with. You may have a tremendous anger in there that you have hitherto let stay buried.
In reverse, men are allowed to be angry, but they're not allowed to be hurt. It's "weak" to be hurt. It is very uncomfortable both for men and women to see a man say, "I'm really hurting," or "You hurt me." So a lot of men have called hurt anger and tried to release anger and wondered why it's not working. You need to go back and deal with your hurt, even though society says it's "weak" for a man to be hurt.
We've talked of victimhood, we've talked of martyrhood, we've talked of self-pity au naturel, and there are numerous ways to handle it. But it all boils down to one concept: When you find yourself feeling self-pity, honestly ask yourself, "Who am I punishing?" And when you say, "Myself," don't accept that answer. That is true, but that only feeds your self-pity. "Who am I punishing?" Myself. Okay. And who else?
There's always someone out there whom you are punishing. Own that, when you find yourself wailing or sighing in your various forms of self-pity. Ask yourself,"Who and why? And do I really want to do that? I'm hurting somebody. I'm wounding them. I'm ripping their self-esteem." You may tell yourself that nobody knows you're in that place. Highly unlikely. Very seldom do victims and martyrs keep their victimhood and martyrhood private.
There's always the thing where you say, "No, no. I'm a victim and a martyr, and I'm only hurting myself." Yet when you're asked who has ever hurt you, you can list out this one and that one. What state of mind where they in? Victim and martyr. Well, if victims and martyrs only end up hurting themselves, how did they end up hurting you? Victims hurt other people. Martyrs hurt other people. If you will really face yourself in the mirror, and really own it, you will not be able to really justify continuing it. And that is the core of the various techniques we have talked of as to how to handle your self-pity.
Fear is the base emotion absolutely. The base fear is fear of loss. From the very moment that you separated from your beingness, from God/Goddess/All That Is, there was that fear: "What if I can't get back?" The very core fear, expressed biblically and mythologically in other forms, is the fear: "Can I return to paradise?" That basic fear then produces all kinds of fears, which produce all kinds of emotions. A lot of your anger, hurt and self-pity comes out of fear. But it is its own emotion as well, and there are ways to handle it. It is, perhaps, the blockbuster of blockbusters. And one of the most powerful ways to handle your fear is to face it ...
Now indeed, you can back up from a fear to get perspective on it. We're not saying you have to jump right in to every one of them. But if you've identified and have a fear of something, move toward it, metaphysically, meditatively. You don't have to literally go fly in a plane and see if you crash. You can play it through in your mind, and it's just as real to your nervous system and to your body.
There are two approaches: If there's something you're afraid of, play it through meditatively. That can release those kinds of "phobic" fears. More of the fears are emotional fears, however, and those you work with by facing them. Go into a meditation and face it. Experience the worst thing that can possibly happen. "I'm afraid I'll lose my job." Fine. Go into a meditation and lose your job. Get fired in the worst possibly way. Play it through and then make an alternative plan. "What will I do? I'll sell the house, the RV, go on vacation, and figure it out when I get back." Plan out your approach. Then play it through the way you want it to be. It sounds so simple, and it works.
With Love & Peace
In Part II Lazaris continues with the "Bugaboo Emotions" -- anxiety, confusion, worry and doubt -- and the tonics which are antidotes for them. Once they are released there is space which must be filled to prevent their returning, and Lazaris explores what we need to put in their place to permanently achieve inner peace.