Where Love is, is Freedom.

"If you believe that the person who you love should be different then she/he is, then you don't have a relationship with her/him. You have a relation with an ideal image in your head. You have a relationship with your own thoughts." (Scott Kiloby)

Before you read on, take a moment to examine the following question: 'What does Love mean to you in relation to your lover?'
Below are some answers, which have come over in exchange with people:
  • That you love the other person as he/she is... Even if he is grumpy or doesn't meet his/her appointments with you or is busy with the phone instead of with you...? Do you still love him or her?
  • If you really love someone, then you are there when the person needs you... Right? Then you are prepared to set yourself aside.
    After all, you are not only living for yourself.
  • In a love affair you agree with each other what you are going to do. You can't always do what you want, you also have to adjust to your loved one... Even if the inner voice actually indicates a different choice at that moment? Yes, even then.
  • Love is respectful to others, so you say 'yes' to an invitation to a birthday party or wedding party, even if you feel a 'no'. Not going is not loving towards the other person. You wouldn't like it yourself if people didn't show up at your party, right?
  • A love relationship is not only a love affair with the person him/herself, but also a relationship with his or her family. If you are not invited by your sweetheart to his/her family, then there is something wrong..., then he/she doesn't really love you, because otherwise he/she would involve you into the family, right? 
    Or the other way around: if you indicate that you have a relationship with him or her and not with his or her family, then according to your partner that isn't a full-fledged relationship, because that includes encounters with the family...
  • Love means that you don't criticize your partner in company. Even if you don't agree with your partner or if you really notice that he/she is talking nonsense…, you don't speak out because you don't want to hurt him or her. You have to be tactful, so that he/she doesn't have to feel ashamed or experience a loss of prestige in the sight of others. And above all, you don't want to have problems with your partner afterwards.
  • Love means you like being together, you want to spend as much time as possible together, you go on holiday together, go to friends together, watch series together on the couch etc. Or the opposite: you don't want an intimate relationship, because you experience a relationship as suffocating.
  • In conclusion..., Love is exclusive, special: I only love you... even though I sometimes dream about someone else who really listen to me and understand me... 
And is that then Love, the package of images/beliefs that we must adhere to or behave under the denominator of 'Love'???

Is that Love with a capital L? Love that is unconditional: love that doesn't want to change the other person, but takes the other person as he/she is. Love that doesn't get disturbed if the partner behaves differently from all those views and images we have about Love?

Or do we talk about love with a small letter 'l'? Love that sets conditions for the other person: I only love you if you follow a certain image I have about you and about love. Love that exists by the grace of rejection, disapproval and hate. In other words, a love that waveres: one moment I love you, the other moment I absolutely don't like you, I hate you and I dream about another partner who is capable to give me attention and see me as I am. 

Love that consists of needfullness, the other person must make me happy: he/she must give me a feeling of safety, support and friendship, because being alone and figuring everything out on my own is to difficult for me.
We think we know what Love is, Love with a capital L. We assume that the conceptions of Love are Love itself, but is that so?

And at some point we step into the marriage boat... because we love each other so much..., we marry to seal our love relationship…
But if we know so well what Love is, how is it possible that one in three marriages ends in divorce?

Well, we have just been brought up with different views (ideas) about the Heart, about Love and it is precisely these views that make us miss the Love with a capital L.
The head versus the heart.

Maybe we don't know what Love is. Perhaps the Love that we know exists only from all kinds of ideas about Love, but that is not Love itself, it are only ideas that we have received in the course of our lives, based on all sorts of cultural, religious and social influences.

And a recipe for Love is not Love, it is a recipe and a recipe leads in advance to frustration, loneliness, emptiness, disappointment, fear and guilt. The other doesn't meet up our expectations..., he/she doesn't behave according to the recipe, according to all conceptions of love that come from the mind. He/she doesn't make me happy..., he/she doesn't take me into account, he/she doesn't want to do anything for me, he/she is always working etc.

The heart however, has no conceptions about Love, the heart is Love. The heart makes no choice: for or against. The heart rejects nothing, is open, unlimited and unconditional, without any requirement or expectations towards the other.

The heart has no resistance switch. Love is total acceptance of what is, which, incidentally, doesn't mean that you take everything as sweet cake from the other and accept it.
It also doesn't mean that you can't express your wish or desire... you can, but don't expect a 'yes' in advance or if the other person says 'no', don't interpret this as: she/he doesn't love me.

Recently I listened to a satsang from Adyashanti.
An aged man who was born and raised in Japan said the following about his 30-year marriage: "When we marry in Japan we don't assume that we know what Love is, we see marriage as a possible opportunity to discover what Love is. At the beginning of our marriage there were all kinds of aspects to my wife that I didn't appreciate, that I wanted to change; some things of her bothered me and I tried subtly to change certain characteristics of her until I discovered that it wasn't Love with a capital L, so after a few years I stopped doing that. It took me 15 years to extinguish any form of subtle manipulation, to totally accept my wife as she is. And now I can rightly say that we discover Love."

Perhaps it is time to recognize that all these images of unconditional love are not Love itself. Let's start there..., let's assume that we don't know what Love is..., let us see through all ideas and opinions for what they are: inventions from the mind, the head instead of the Heart. Let us approach the other from openness and emptiness, all demands and expectations on the shovel. Maybe..., maybe we discover at some point in our lives what Love really is...

If you love a person, how can you destroy his or her freedom?
If you trust a person, you trust his or her freedom too.

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

Meditation..., just wasting time

I have an appointment with Lisa, she comes for the first time. Recently someone said to me: "Maybe you are not of meditation, maybe meditation as an entrance is not suitable for you." I wonder if that is the case. She continues: "I now read a book where meditation is recommended and I notice that I keep myself from it. I would like to look at this subject with you."

Okay, I say, tell me something more. I am not afraid of silence, says Lisa, I have also done some retreats including a 7-day vipassana retreat and yet I feel quite a bit of resistance at the thought that I have to spend time, every day, to meditate. I wonder what that is. Is it that I don't allow it myself? Don't I think it's worth it? Or is there something else going on? I know that I am a huge doer, she says. When I sit still, the thought soon comes up that it is a waste of my time.

Okay, I say, I hear you, would you like to share something about the 7-day silence retreat? What was the state of affairs and what did you encounter in that?

We meditated many hours a day and the meals were also in silence. We also did chores like washing dishes etc. The first days of the retreat I looked at the other participants with astonishment/admiration and thought: "What are you doing all your very best..., well, I can't do that." I just pulled my own plan, I did what I needed, sometimes I lay down during the meditation while everyone sat. Later the other participants indicated that they found me so strong that I state with myself, doing what I needed, but I thought it was very strong of them that they meditated hour after hour on their cushion or chair. My experience: the days were terribly long..., and I just missed out on contact with people..., a weekend in silence..., oke..., you can do that, but longer than a weekend..., it's really hard, I also need contact with others to grow and to mirror and if I sit or lie like that, then it just stagnates in me, then I get stuck in my own thoughts. Well, after 4 days I stopped, I had enough of it.

Okay, so you pulled your own plan..., you didn't surrender to the program as it was, but you did your own thing. That is already a remarkable fact, right? To see that through that behavior you create an escape route for what was going on in you during meditation. And that the mind then comes up with a explanation for your behavior: "I need other people to flip, without contact with people nothing happens, no insight, nothing, meditation just doesn't work for me." Interesting to watch all this, right?

Yes, says Lisa, I didn't look at it that way, I was actually proud of myself that I went my own way. Too bad the teacher didn't mirror this back to me.

And if you had completed the 7 days, what would you meet in yourself?

I would be bored to death, says Lisa sincere. I also often had thoughts like: "What am I doing here?, What is the use of this?, What a waste of my time." In my daily life I always arrive just in time at an appointment, never too early. Because I don't want to waste my time. I have to spend my time well and doing nothing, meditate, is not useful.

Interesting. So this is what you encounter during a 7-day vipassana. Every one meets his/her own pieces. And this is it for you: you go your own way, you miss the contact with others ..., you think you need others to meet yourself on a deeper level ..., you seek the fulfillment outside of you ..., without the exchange with the other you are thrown back on yourself and you feel that you are stagnating in your thinking, you discover that you are bored to death and you now realize that there is a conviction at basis: doing nothing is a waste of my time, I have to spend my time useful. Silent sitting and stagnating in your own thoughts is not useful, it does not yield anything, you decide to stop after 4 days.

Yes, Lisa says, I realize this now on a deeper level, I have not looked at it this way before. But how do I get rid of that conviction? And from that doer?

To see is to be free.

You see it now. You see the beliefs that determine your actions. That's where it starts. With 'seeing'. See what is happening, what is touched, just look at it, without judgement. Let the lamp of Consciousness shine on it, that's all. Don't fight with boredom or with lack of contact, don't get away, don't hook on, don't go with it, stay spectator of what the mind conjures up when you meditate: the boredom, the senseless and useless, the lack of contact and the explanation that the mind gives you after those 4 days.

When we want to get rid of anything, it just stick to us longer. If you are fighting with the mind, who in you is fighting? That is also the mind. Then you remain a prisoner of the mind, of the beliefs, so that is not the solution. Look at the resistance, the boredom..., and at some point it goes out automatically. Going inwards, slow down, is a first step to get out of the doer's addiction, to kick off the pattern in you that constantly thunders from one project to another.

If you understand what we are talking about, then you realize that there is a conditioned pattern: the doer (you can't do nothing, you have to be useful, you can't waste your time). Realize that the doer is driven by adrenaline. And that adrenaline ensures that your system is always 'active'. So a de-conditioning process is needed.

Sit or lie down on the couch, with calm music or without music, be relaxed, want nothing, don't expect a result, just be present at what passes by in body and mind on the moment you don't give in to the doer. Maybe you start to feel agitated when you are laying on the cough, all kinds of thoughts are passing by like: I have to hang up the laundry, do the shopping, I am wasting my time, etc. Something to that effect... do you recognize that?

Very recognizable, says Lisa.
Follow the process, that's all. Look. That is meditation: Being present at what is happening in you, without wanting to change anything. You allow yourself every day to be for half an hour (or longer), total relaxation for half an hour. And you will see that the adrenaline rush, which always wants to incite you to activity, decreases over time. You then experience more and more that you can rest in existence, can be ordinary, which is very healing, fulfilling and nourishing.

And if you still want to be useful, to use that term again... start with yourself. When you come home to yourself, at the source of love and wisdom that you are, you can assist the other on a deeper level. Now you give all kind of advice out of your mind (as you say yourself), but you don't incorporate the wisdom, you don't live it. So, to what extent can you really be of use to others when you are not living what you are talking about? Start with yourself. And if you see deep through a pattern (the doer) for long enough (when it is active again), from Consciousness, then a change process automatically takes place.

In the beginning it requires some effort to spend half an hour on yourself (kicking off the doer), but at a certain moment you discover and experience the power of 'doing' nothing: just be.

Delicious right?
Yes, thank you, says Lisa, I am glad that it is clear now what stops me to meditate. I need some time to digest what we spoke about, but I will experience and discover it.

When you are not doing anything at all, bodily, mentally…, on no level…, when all activity has ceased and you simple are, just being, that is what meditation is.

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

My father wants euthanasia, the GP doesn't cooperate...

A few weeks ago I said to my mother: "I feel that Dad will not live long." She was shocked by that..., even though he is 90.

And now we're in the middle of it, and not suddenly. His body is worn out..., he doesn't want to live anymore..., he goes of and on into the hospital..., he wants euthanasia..., but yes, his heart is strong and the lungs are good..., so whether the GP will cooperate with the request of my Dad, that is still very much the question.

My father has a very advanced form of skin cancer on the upper body and head. The hospital has indicated that they are out of treatment, they can't do anything for him anymore. In addition, his knees are worn out, so it is difficult to walk and sometimes he falls, his eyes and ears are function badly, one eye can no longer be completely closed, because of some TIA's he has had, his hands are shaking so he must have an apron and must be fed and he can't wash/dress himself, he is difficult to understand because of the TIA's he has had.

And so it happens that I take care of my father one morning. My mother hears me come in and says, "Oh, you're a little earlier, okay, then you can rub his skin with ointment today." I swallow as I enter the bedroom. My father sits there, on the bed, without clothing, his eye half sewn and fur and blue from the operation, his upper body and head full of skin cancer spots and large bruises from the times he has fallen. I put on a glove and smear its skin that itches so terribly, the ointment gives relief, I dress him and do some small jobs here and there...

When I look at my father like that, I see the transience of existence..., there is no escape... and we are the next generation, then it's our turn...

My father sits on the bed..., he'll let everything happen..., no resistance..., no shame..., there is surrender..., surrender to the state of affairs ánd the desire to end his life: let death come..., I am ready for it..., my body is worn out..., my life has been good, now it is time to go.
 Yes, that is the energy of my father: a very ordinary man, who has become very fragile and vunerable over the years.

I talk with my father and mother about my father's desire for euthanasia. During the second or third conversation I ask my father without any detours: "Do you really want to die, Dad? You don't have to die, if you want to stay alive, that's okay, we'll take care of you." Yes, I know that, I am grateful for that, says my father, but I want euthanasia, it doesn't work anymore. Okay, I say, realize well that you are the one who must make clear to the GP that there is hopeless and unbearable suffering. Do you understand that, Dad? Yes I understand. Okay, Dad, what do you say when the doctor for example asks you if you are in pain? Well, then I say that it is not that bad..., you get used to pain. Yes, Dad, that is true, you get used to pain, and once again you don't have to die, but if you want to die, then you have to convince the GP that it is not working for you anymore. He understands the message.

The GP comes a few days later. I indicate that I want to link our conversations about euthanasia with her. The GP is not open to it, even though I had mentioned earlier that week that we wanted to talk about euthanasia during her home visit. She says, "I will first talk to your father, you are going very fast." Then she literally turns away from me and my mother and addresses the word to my father.

My father has understood the message from our conversation, which took place earlier in that week: he is on the move. And on a certain moment he comes out, he tells the doctor that he wants euthanasia. And then he names all complaints (sometimes difficult to understand) and consequences of the complaints from which he wants to die. In the background my mother and I watch and listen to my father. He's going to stand for it..., he pulls everything out of the closet to make it clear that he wants euthanasia.

During the conversation it becomes clear how the GP is in it, she doesn't want to cooperate: there is no file structure (in her opinion), although my father is member of the Dutch association for euthanasia for some years, and there is no question of an incurable disease in the sense that my father will die within 2 weeks to 6 months. In addition, she sees it as her task to ensure that the patient's final stage of life is as harmonious as possible by supporting the patient with medication and care. Passive or active euthanasia is not an option for her. And that's her right to see it like that.

After the interview, we decide to switch on the end-of-life clinic.

Well, what is hopeless and unbearable suffering? Who is going to decide about that? Who determines what is hopeless and what is unbearable suffering? Is there hopeless and unbearable suffering if you can hardly leave the door because your knees are worn out and the chance of a fall is great? Is there hopeless and unbearable suffering if you have to be cared for, washed and fed by third parties every day? Is there hopeless and unbearable suffering if the wounds of the skin cancer don't heal anymore (the skin is too thin), the itching is intense and you can't scratch, because otherwise you have to go to the hospital again to stop the umpteenth bleeding? Is there hopeless and unbearable suffering if the senses function poorly, your hands shaking constantly and social contacts outside the door are virtually impossible?

They are subjective data, that is true: what one experiences as hopeless and unbearable can be very different for another. That also makes it so difficult. Can someone else really judge about that? Judge about what you experience and feel?

And the strange thing is that my father, in addition to the request for euthanasia, still enjoys in his way. Especially of the food (one of the few pleasures that are still possible), even if it has to be fed. I do understand it. That is also what I admire in my father. He wants to die, but if the wish is not honored, then he surrenders: not as a victim, but from a basic fact that everything goes as it goes.

What else can you do? my father says. I can express my wish, but if it's not possible, then you surrender to that..., it's like it is.

Beautiful to be part of this process, I see surrender, a surrender that is neither happy nor sad. A surrender to the situation as it is. A surrender to life and death that is approaching, because yes ..., there is a time of coming and a time of going.

The procedure with the end-of-life clinic starts. After a few weeks comes the long-awaited statement from the end-of-life clinic and an independent physician, who evaluates the application for euthanasia:
'Yes, there is hopeless and unbearable suffering due to the accumulation of old age disorders.'

Pa feels relief and is grateful now that the end is in sight.

During one of the exchanges with the doctor of the end-of-life clinic, I ask him how he looks at active euthanasia. I say: 'Quite a few GPs indicate that they view active euthanasia as an act by which they kill someone, what is your view of that?' The doctor of the end-of-life clinic says: "I see euthanasia as a medical act to give the patient a dignified end of life."

Beautiful..., well..., that is a completely different perspective..., it is just how you look at it...

It's nice that the end-of-life clinic exists, that people can go there if the GP doesn't want and can't support the request for euthanasia.

Share the blog..., if it feels like that, so that the elderly among us can take this information in (quite a few older people don't know about the existence of the end-of-life clinic).

PS: My father received euthanasia on January 13, 2018.
A few weeks before his death I read a version of this blog to them (father/mother and at a later time the whole family). His reaction: "You described that very nicely..., you have to publish it so that the elderly among us know that they can go to the end-of-life clinic if their GP
doesn't want tot cooperate ." I will do so, Dad.

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes

I feel resistance, do I want to grow?

Isabel comes for a second session after she has canceled twice. She immediately starts to share what bothers her.
I don't know if I want this session. It wrenches in me, I feel resistance. Our previous session gave a lot of insight and at that moment I felt the value of it very strongly, but after a while it ebbed away and I fell back into my pattern.
In the last few months I have read several blogs of you and I went tree times through your notes of my previous consultation with you..., but I can't convert it into practice.
Okay, I say, awesome that you came, I feel your energy. I'm going to ask you something..., just look what's coming up... Is there a desire for growth in you, for liberation from patterns? Yes, Isabel says, I do long for 'something', but I don't know what... It is quiet for a moment and then Isabel says: "I would like to take a little more distance, want to choose more for myself and take less account of others."

Okay, so there is a desire in you for growth? Yes, says Isabel, but there is also something that keeps me from coming here. And that is? Fear..., that I don't have enough courage to really make that change. Because? I have to disappoint people, I am afraid that people get angry if I don't meet their expectations. How bad is that? May people be disappointed or angry? That is a human reaction, isn't it? You could also see it as a sign that they appreciate your presence otherwise it didn't mean anything to them.
Yes, that is true, but still...

I can't decide for you whether you want to grow or not. It is up to you to consider what is more important: devotion to yourself and liberation from suffocating patterns or maintaining the patterns, because it feels familiar, certain and safe, although it is oppresive. If you choose the latter, you will continue to invest a lot of time in others at the expense of yourself, you will continue to hoard what is bothering you, not expressing what is going on in you, adapting to others while they annoying you, keep everyone happy. Yes, says Isabel, that is the core..., keep everyone happy. And all that causes stress. Yes, says Isabel, it cost a lot of energy.

So, it is up to you to make the choice. I have no opinion about that. If you want to continue with your life as it is now..., it's okey. Only you can answer the question if you are ready to move, to start an inner growth that supports your well-being..., or not.

Let's look at a situation where the above is happening. Are you in for that? Yes, says Isabel, that's good. It concerns my mother. She is 86 years old and recently, at her request, she lives close to me. That was her wish. And I helped her with that. My mother is not an easy woman, she is someone who always thinks negatively, judges quickly and lives fairly selfishly. My father is no longer alive. The world of my mother has always been very small, she has no friends and almost no contacts. I actually supported my mother for a big part of her life, and still do.

I visit or call her everyday since she lives close to us. She indicates now that she is so alone, that she misses her neighbors, while she always told me that she had no contact with anyone in her previous home. So I don't understand her statement..., it is simply not true what she says. She says that she has nothing to do, but I don't see that. When I come I see that she is enjoying herself, doing all kind of things. Then, in my presence, she speaks to a new neighbor on the street and she says that it was my choice to move: "Isabel wanted it so much, so I moved for her." And that is not at all how it went..., she indicated that she wanted to live near me, because she is becoming more needy. I annoy myself immensely to those kinds of statements, which simply are not true.

And what do you say when you are confronted with such situations? Nothing, I close my mouth, I walk away or go to the toilet, it gives a lot of stress inside, because it is not true what she says. And if I ever say something about it, she says, "Oh, but I don't know that anymore."
Well, what can you say..., then you are spoken out.

Okay, I say, this is a situation that lends itself well to self-inquiry. Do you ever do self-examination? That you sit down and write down what is happening in you, what convictions exist in you? No. I would recommend that. Let's take a look. What lives in you when your mother tells the neighbor: "My daughter wanted me to live near her, I miss my neighborhood, my contacts." What is the interpretation you give to this statement from your mother? After some research Isabel comes to the core: that my mother is not happy with the move, that she has been put under pressure by me to come and live here.

Oh, interesting, I say..., how you look at it..., I had a completely different interpretation..., and that's so valuable from self-inquiry..., that you suddenly get a very clear picture what you stick to your mother's statement..., that is not the truth..., but that is what you see... That doesn't mean that your mother meant it that way..., you see this becasue you coloring it that way. Perhaps it is the other way around: that you felt pressured to move your mother your way through her statements about loneliness?

Do you know how I interpret her statement to the neighbour? No. That your mother indirectly want to say that she would like to have some contact with the neighbour. That is a very different coloring than you gave it. Not to say that this interpretation is correct..., it is more that I want to show you that everyone has their own view. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you realize that it is only a view, no more and no less, but if you assume that what you see is the truth, then there is friction and conflict within you and outside you.

Do you already feel that the identification with this view is coming off a bit? She nods. You can compare it with what is happening between you and me: we both look at the same situation, but you see something different then me. So you don't know from which intention your mother spoke to the neighbor in this way. I see that it resonates what we exchange with each other.

A next step may be that you start the conversation with your mother, not from accusation (what you say is wrong, you are lying), but from openness and understanding: everyone has his/her own coloring in of a situation. You share your interpretation ánd you ask about her experience. If you can see that it is your coloring in, then the load falls away, then you understand that it is not the truth, but an interpretation on your part. Then you can share that interpretation: Mom, I want to come back to the conversation you had with the neighbor... I felt irritated when you said you moved to this place because of me, I don't recognize that, I understood that you wanted to live closer to me, because you became more needy and yes..., you are right that it would be easier for me..., that's true, the knife cuts on two sides, but if you tell the neighbor that you moved because I wanted it so badly..., it just doen't feel true for me..., it gives me the feeling that you are not happy with the move and that you have felt pressured by me to move over here. I don't know if that is the case, that's how I see it, this is what I make of it, maybe you meant it very differently... So, I'm curious what's in you ma ...,

And then it may very well be that your mother says: Did I say that? I don't know it anymore. Or that she says: I have to get used to it, on this moment I don't feel really happy here, but that can change, I miss my house, my neighborhood, even though I felt lonely there, I still had my contact moments with the neighbors, it was not much, but I liked that, I just need a little more time before I feel at home again. Or: I also felt pressured, maybe you didn't meant that..., but I felt that I had no choice, I depend on you, so it was easier for you if I moved closer to you.

And then it's all about whether you can hear any answer from your mother, receive it without making it personal, without involving yourself (I didn't do it well, mom is not happy with it).

Realize that it's not about getting you right or defending your point of view, but that you have said what's bothering you... (instead of suppressing everything), and that the other person can share his/her experience. There is no right or wrong..., it is not that your perspective is correct and that of your mother is wrong, or the other way around: that the perspective of your mother is right and yours is not. We all create our own stories (interpretations) about reality. It's about sharing everyone's experience: "Oh, that's the way you look at the situation, that lives in you..., good to hear, I have another view."

Your mother and you don't differ from each other: you are both a prisoner of the mind. She sees everything negative and distorts facts according to your experience (that's her pattern) and you want to please everyone and hoard everything (that's your pattern).  You would like her to change, but as difficult as it is for her, it is for you too, right? Do you see that? Maybe it softens your perspective about her when you let that in: it is not easy to change, you need courage to take steps outside the comfort zone.

So the question is: 'Do you want to grow?' And if the answer is 'yes', then you take the resistance for granted, then you use every situation for your liberation, you go for it.

A week later I send her this blog to approve.
This is her reaction: I think it is very beautiful and clearly written and it has been very helpfull already. So clear to read it again and I can fully agree with the story. When I read it like this I am sure: yes, I want to grow and I can tell you that I am really working on it. I also had a good conversation with my mother and it was exactly as you described it... that it is indeed everyone's interpretation. Thank you for this beautiful blog.

Linked-in: Caroline Ootes

Love your mind, don't make it your enemy.

You have to go through your suffering, through your own hell. No one else can do it for you. 

A client comes for a coaching consult. She indicates that she wants peace in her head, that she is very much in her head. "I want an answer on everything, a explanation where it comes from," she says.
And then..., I ask, what does it yield you? Does the question then disappear or does a new question come in its place?
She laughs, from recognition: "Yes, those questions go on and on... that never stops, but I can’t stop it, it is a compulsive tendency." And what does it bring you? I ask. "Well, if I have a explanation, I can steer it or let it go.... I just have an issue with control and I can't stand it if I have no grip on anything. And this all started when I became unemployed a few years ago. And then I feel pressure that I have to go after work, that I have to apply, but there is no movement in me to do so, and I just don't understand what is happening in me..., I've never been like that..., I feel so frustrated ..., I don't recognize myself anymore. Before I became unemployed I was a completely different woman: independent, powerful, self-reliant, I was an entrepreneurial woman. But now I make a drama of everything. I just don't know myself anymore... And then I wonder if I should start to feel more or if I think too much... or too little. And my head goes on and on. Eventually I go outside to ride or walk very mindfull, just to get out of my head. I say to myself: now it must be over with that compulsive tendency to think..., but as soon as I get home, the head takes it over again. I didn't had that before I became unemployed. I don't get it, I don't understand myself anymore."

Recognizable to the reader? The tendency to float around in the head? The tendency to formulate an explanation or answer on every question in your life? The tendency to psychologize and analyze from an underlying need for control: if I understand what is happening in me, then I can steer it or let it go (if there would be a button to let go, you would already have done it, or not?). Recognizable that it keeps going on and you can't stop the inclination?

I feel her fear..., she loses grip on her life..., a grip that no one ever has, even though we think so... Nothing is clear and predictable for her anymore, she no longer has her life in her hand (what she never had). Since she has been unemployed, her personal will-power is extinguishing, she doesn't recognizes herself no more... and the mechanism (willpower) with which she could sweep tensions under the rug, which worked so well before she became unemployed, no longer functions. The ego is in a degradation process and the mind pulls out all the stops to survive: analyze, psychologize, fear, doubt, confusion.  Well, how do you find peace in your head then? 

I feel compassion for her and share with her what I perceive: there is a dying process going on, the personal will power goes out. Not easy..., but it eventually brings you home, it takes you to surrender to existence.  Everything is at the right place and time (a statement she used before she became unemployed) and serves you to wake up from the grip of the ego, from the grip of the mind, who wants to control, grasp, hold on, be secure and clear (this is me, my identity). That is not Life itself, because Life itself ..., what you essentially are..., flows... and lives in surrender with what is. I see the perfection of existence working through her: the suffering that serves to come home to the Self. I have gone through it myself and recognize what she describes: the personal will doesn't work anymore..., the image you had about yourself..., all the qualities with which you identified yourself..., it all collapses..., you don't recognize yourself anymore.  And to surrender to that..., to that demolition process..., to the fact that you have nothing in hand anymore (which was always the case), is not easy, the mind rebels, everything has to stay the way it was... Well, and then you come to a point in your life that everything that was solidified (job/image about yourself/your identity) is being turned upside down...

A follow-up appointment is made a month later. The evening before the consultation I come across a satsang of Osho on you tube with the title: How to stop thinking? After writing the latest blogs about self-inquiry, I wonder how Osho would answer this question. I listen to the satsang and enjoy his wisdom: Love your mind, don't make it an enemy. What a wonderful statement..., so true. Everything is at the right place and time: a coincidence - listening to the satsang - fits seamlessly with the client's request. I share the essence of the satsang with her, it comes in. And I share the metaphor described in my blog 'transforming beliefs, the direct way'. I see that something energetically happens during the transfer. 

Another month later she comes back. She says: something has really shifted in me and I blame you, she looks at me and gives a wink. A huge burden has fallen away from me. From one day to the next a load of stress fell away from me. I just don't understand what I've been so worried about all these years ..., all that stress was not necessary at all ..., I can see that now.

Well, it is so true what she is saying: all that stress was not necessary at all. But if you are in the middle of it, if you are being held hostage by the mind, if you believe all your thoughts/emotions, if you come from the mind (now I must be mindful) and battle with the mind, then life is a hell...,  until you discover the door that has always been open: witness consciousness.

Amazing how life can run... Yes, witness consciousness, that's what it's all about: getting out of the mind. Not by battleling the mind, but through love of the mind: see without judgment what takes place in the mind.  Louise indicates that my explanation about the metaphor of the hall of a theather (consciousness) and the stage (the mind) was very helpful to her (see blog: transforming beliefs, the direct way).

Love your mind, don't make it your enemy.
For those who like, hereby the link to Osho 'How to stop thinking?': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCShgsLzpjA

LinkedIn: Caroline Ootes