As I began to practice what I had learned, I discovered new ways of behaving like an adult and managing emotions.
I practiced the "Power of Now" which conceptually- is actually quite simple. Bad thoughts can only come from two places. The past and the mistakes we have made and the anxiety or fear about things which have not occurred yet. So we simply let go of the past. I used the past as a reference point for the good and bad things which had happened to me. Beyond that-the past was not useful. If I am not thinking about the past, or worrying about the future, I am always happy. I am like a dog with my nose sticking out of the window. Smelling things, lips flapping in the wind, unconcerned with the scolding I got for peeing on the carpet, not worried about my death in a few years. Just enjoying the drive, right now.
I planned for the future. However, I never placed any EXPECTATIONS on how the future might turn out. I didn't care. My only job was to make the best plan I could now and if it crashed and burned, so be it.
Out of that future planning, and the possibility that plans can go bad, I learned acceptance. I accepted that I could not control anything beyond me.
My list grew. I added living in the NOW. I added managing expectations and I added acceptance. (Who am I to question what happens in God's world?)
I began to focus on fear. Emotional fear. Emotional fear is the result of painful belief systems we acquire. Fear always manifests itself two ways. The result is negative emotions and control. In fact, find a controlling person and I guarantee that they are fear driven. The intensity at which they try to control things corresponds directly to the intensity of their fears.
Sure, emotional fear is irrational. But while we may recognize fear, it does not mean that others will. And to a fear driven and unconscious controlling type, they might impose their fears on you. Unless of course, you simply accept them as they are. They aren't trying to hurt you-even as they order you around and possibly demean you, they are simply incapable of this type of self examination.They cater to an unconscious ego that demands that the world see things their way.
All negative emotions are fear based. Think about that. If you can name one negative emotion that is not based in emotional fear, I am unaware of it. Therefore, negative people aren't trying to hurt you, they are living in fear-that's all.
Negative emotions are all fear based. They manifest themselves as ill will and hatred.
I was seeking unconditional love. Therefore, understanding and accepting that people are simply trying to live their lives became a cornerstone for finding unconditional love. Understanding, acceptance, and love for all men was not possible until you recognize and let go of your own fears. Not taking anything personally makes that all possible.
However, I still had a host of other beliefs and emotions to work on. So lets recap our expanding list.
1. Don't take anything personally, ever.
2. Make no assumptions. By default, we will begin practicing impeccable speech and do our best.
3. Fully live in and enjoy the present moment.
4. Plan but never place expectations on any given outcome.
5. Accept people and things as they are. You cannot control anything in your exterior world.
6. Fear plays a huge role in how we live our lives. Eliminate your irrational fears to find unconditional love. Let people live their lives. Don't take it personally, it never is.
We are about halfway through. We are going to fine tune some other emotions and end with the big finish- the ego.