We use our mind in many ways. We use it when we don't even think about it; it simply takes over and provides us with the support we need for survival. We forget that it's there working and we overlook it as the best tool we have for self-improvement.
We stop looking internally for answers because we assume that we've explored all the ability we have and we choose to look somewhere external for ways to add to our ability. We get an education, we exercise, we try many different approaches to attract more of what we want.
We even change our outer appearance in order to make it appear different in the hopes that it will attract different things to us. When we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we are only changing the surface things that we can maneuver easily. The deep inner thoughts and decisions remain untouched, our beliefs about ourselves remain the same -- yet we think we've changed.
Some of those new activities provide different results and in some ways it pays off. In other ways nothing has changed. You face many of the same problems and process them in the same patterns you did before. You continue to explore in the very safest ways you can find and you look for the biggest changes to appear.
You want a sign, a sign that you are somehow not the same. So, you're willing to do some token things and sometimes some larger things to make big change. It's a trade-off. You have to give something to get something and you always look to give the least and get the most.
If you want the most out of life, what are you willing to put into life? How alive are you right now? What more could you do? What aren't you doing that would represent aliveness? Okay, now you get the picture, there is more to do to get the most out of life.
But the picture of what you have to do may be a bit fuzzy, because it's masked by the fact that you think you have already gone through all this and once before decided to do just what you're doing now.
Those decisions represent all that you think you have to do to get by and get your fair share in return. However, what has happened is that your picture is fuzzy and masked because you have placed your limitation on top of your reality.
Our limitations were placed there at a previous time by us. Many were placed there for our safety. Others were placed there because of rules and regulations that other people told us about how life is. They were once their guidelines and they were passed down to you, for your benefit. You may have selected some of them and incorporated them into your belief system.
By living a safe lifestyle you never risk and you never get the consequence of finding out firsthand just what happens when you risk and push out at the edges that represent danger. You simply trusted their information and suggestions. In the past you may have found many times when it was wise to follow their guidelines.
Although you may have taken their suggestion and chosen their belief, it was never your belief unless you at one time tested it with your own experience. So, up until that time you were operating on their past experience. You were not finding your own experience -- you were living through theirs.
Now we find that what worked once may no longer work because many things that were counted on in the past are no longer upheld. To go by somebody else's guidelines will no longer uphold them or you.
You have to find your own guidelines and set of rules to live by. This may be something you've never had to do before and it represents many kinds of opportunities and risks. It takes bravery to move forward in the land of the unknown, uncertain, unsure and changing.
Evaluate what it is you need -- this should be a first priority. If you don't have what you need, ask yourself, what are you willing to give up to get it? Are you willing to change an old rule or guideline? Are you willing to shift past the limit of where you find comfort? Do you trust yourself or, do you put your trust in others?
If the answer is that you put your trust in others, simply stop; because that will lead you right back to where you started. It will not take you through the land of the unknown, uncertain, unsure and changing. It will keep you right where you are, with no more than you have right now. It will keep you limited and stymied.
If you want to move forward into the land of the unknown, you cannot take the land of the known along with you. You have to release and let go of one before you grasp the other. You can have support in either reality if you trust yourself. But first you need to know yourself.
If you look inside yourself, how well do you know what you really want if you've been guided by everybody else? If this is true for you, have you learned to trust yourself? If you haven't achieved a level of inner trust, then it's time to begin. What this means is that you have the opportunity to trust -- yourself.
All other people know is what's right for them and only them. You know what's right for you. Simply slow down, close your eyes and listen to what your body is telling you when it's time to make a decision. Keep the possible action in your mind and listen to your body. If it feels harmonious -- go with it. If there is any feeling of discomfort, simply don't choose that direction.
This is a different kind of approach that you will find pushes at those outer walls of limitation. You will find yourself in new territory, but it will feel more comfortable than you may anticipate. Then there is a realization that you've done it all by yourself and that you and only you are entirely responsible for where you're at, and that feels even more comforting. This is the way to get more out of life -- simply push those limiting walls back by trusting yourself.
After a while you may look around and find that things look different. You have stepped over the line of awareness and now you know yourself and what's inside you. More than that ... now you know what's ahead of you.
Behind the 8-ball - A Recovery Guide for Families of Gamblers
by Linda Berman.
Linda Berman is a spiritual healer, free-lance writer and the founder of an active spiritual prison outreach program. Linda can be reached at: 4944 Lower Roswell Rd., #50 1, Marietta, GA 30068.