The Power of Belief

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I Believe in Life after Death

 

So many of us have stopped seeing the world as the beautiful place it really is. Our words and thoughts are filled with negativity. Having lost our Spiritual roots, we see death as final and tragic and something to be feared. It is all a matter of perspective. Yes there is pain, and the pain is real, but we can still heal our pain through the power of the belief – the belief that we have the ability to create and live a life of peace and joy.

I recently attended a Life Celebration for a ninety year old friend who had lived a full and rich life. As in so many funerals, thoughts turned to a hoped for afterlife. We all wished that he would fulfill his dream to rejoin the love of his life, his wife of sixty-two years. I know that beliefs in a heaven and hell are based on Christian mythology, but myths are just stories that reveal a hidden truth. I believe that this body is mortal but we also have an essence that is pure energy. We are spiritual beings cloaked in a human body. Since this energy can never be lost, I believe it is simply transformed into pure spirit.

I believe that death is not to be feared. There is no hell. I believe that there is an afterlife or another life, and this life will be free of pain and suffering. I believe that the power of belief is a gift from the source. It is the essence of faith and hope. It is the essence of out being.  It is the shoulder we can lean on when life seems too hard to bear.

 

     I Believe In Life after Death

 

Knowing all there is to know and being all there is to be,

It is now time to celebrate the last day of the last life

That I will ever live.

 

However, there are still these last few years to savor,

The thrill of sensing all that my eyes can see,

And hearing all my ears can hear.

 

And as I caress the substance of all my hands can touch,

My soul transforms all these gifts of my senses

Into feelings that expand into ecstasy.

 

As my souls captures the joys of this divine present,

It molds this ever expanding divine source of energy

Into a shape I know will last forever.

 

 

Borderline Personality Disorder and the Missing Self

I think it’s time to leave the research and theories behind for a while and look at BPD from an emotional point of view. Feelings from the heart instead of ideas from the mind.

During the weekend, I attended a writer’s workshop that focused on owning our work and feeling good about it. One of the activities really hit home. We were to carry on a written dialogue with the child within. The voice of the higher self (adult) was expressed by writing with the dominant hand and the voice of the child with the other. The following is what I came up with:

Child: It’s dark in here.

Adult: Where are you?

Child: I don’t know. Mom left me here alone a long time ago.

Adult: I was always there with you.

Child: No you weren’t. I didn’t see you.

Adult: I was watching safely from a distance.

Child: Why didn’t you come and play with me? I was scared.

Adult: I’m not sure. I cared for you but something seemed to be holding me back. Where was your mother?

Child: I never had a mother. There was a woman. She made my meals. We watched TV together but she was not my mother.

Adult: How do you know?

Child: She never held me. She never kissed me. She never said she loved me.

Adult: What about your father?

Child: I never had a father.

Adult No one?

Child: Just you. But you never held me, or kissed me, or said you loved me either.

Adult: But I was there. I didn’t do those things because I wanted you to be strong, to grow up to be a man. Surely you must remember my visits, those poems I wrote to you over the years?

Child: Yes, thank you. I still have all of them. I read them when I feel lonely.

Adult: I am sorry I neglected you. Please forgive me.  But there is still time. Perhaps you can be the child of my mature years, like my grandson?

Child: Yes, I would like that. Do you have time to play now?

Adult: Yes I do, all the time in the world. We can have our own special time every day after lunch until before dinner. Would you like that?

Child: Oh yes! That would be fun. But not golf. I hate golf. How about tag or hide and seek? I can hide someplace in the dark and you can come and find me.

Adult: And yes, and we can both run for home…

Child: And yell HOMEFREE!!

Adult: Yes let’s do it.

Child: And you can hug me and say you love me.

Adult: Yes, I promise. I do love you, you know?

Child: I know.

 

What can we take from this? Most of us bisexuals with BPD have had to survive with a wounded child, often because of childhood neglect or abuse. Because of that we have experienced psychological shame causing us  to avoid and neglect our inner child. We need to revisit those days again and do some healing; we need to give ourselves the attention we all had deserved. Above all we need to play. We need to learn to enjoy being with ourselves.

.

 

Bisexuality and Loneliness

bisexual_216pxFinally some scientific evidence to support what I have known since my first teenage orgasm. My bisexual life was one of a deep sense of aloneness. There was no one I dared talk to, no one who would truly understand my deepest thoughts and feelings. I was very popular on the outside, but no one knew how lonely I was on the inside.

A recent study by Mereish etal. (2017)[1], indicates that loneliness is a contributing factor in a bisexual individual’s poor mental health leading to a possible greater risk of suicide. As expected, this study confirmed previous research that bisexuals were more likely to experience prejudice from heterosexuals and other members of the LGBQT communities. This can lead to feelings of isolation that contribute to loneliness.

Of special interest, however, are the findings that bisexuals with internal stressors, such as desires for heterosexuality and orientation concealment, were also more likely to report loneliness. The amount of spare time to ruminate and possibly engage in self-loathing mental gymnastics was also a factor. Being a student or unemployed or part–time employed contributed to a feeling of loneliness. Individuals who were single were also more likely to conceal their orientation which is another contributing factor to loneliness. And the catch twenty-two, bisexuals with post graduate degrees were less likely to conceal. and therefore more likely to come out, and therefore more likely to experience prejudice and subsequent professional isolation and loneliness.  There is no correlation between the internal and external stressors; in other words experiencing prejudice is not necessarily related to internal struggles for bisexuals (although such is not the case for other members of the LGBQT community). We can experience both but one does not necessarily lead to the other; yet, both can lead to a feeling of loneliness and therefore mental anxiety and suicide.

Feelings of experiencing external and internal prejudice and loneliness are compounded by the lack of resources that are designed for bisexual individuals. Our needs are often overlooked, possibly because of external factors like prejudice, but more likely due to the fact that we do not express our needs and are often unwilling to have our needs made public.  We are reluctant to join support groups or enter mentorship programs because of our needs for privacy. What is needed is an on-line program that protects anonymity while being able to share and experience connection with another individual or group of individuals. We need to be heard and understood before we will begin to listen to and understand ourselves.

(Please note: my on-line program will be up and running in a few months so stay tuned.)

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. If we are experiencing internal stressors and cannot seem to escape them – we should get help. I strongly suggest you try my on-line program that will be up in a few months. It is designed to build up our self-image and self-concept as bisexuals. It centers on the belief that we have a higher self with an unlimited source of power to live amazing and satisfying life. It focuses not on our problems but on our resources in the form of twenty virtues that we can develop to bring unending joy into our lives.
  2. It would appear that internal stressors may be equal to or an even greater source of anxiety and depression than experiencing prejudice. It would appear that it is worth the possible sorrows that may come from coming out rather than suffering through the loneliness of concealment. We should consider accepting, acknowledging, and telling significant others about our orientation and believing in them and our relationship. It may take time but we will be better off in the long run.
  3. If we have not done so already, we can admit to ourselves that we are bisexual with desires for sexual relationships with both women and men. We are not heterosexual but we can engage in heterosexual relationships. Likewise, we are not lesbian or gay but we can also engage in lesbian or gay relationships. We have a choice. If we are single we can indulge but we should be seeking love as well as sex.
  4. If we are in a relationship, and we are struggling with desires and occasional encounters, this concealment can be a major source of mental anxiety and can lead to a complete collapse. If we share our desires, hopes and failures with our partner, we can convey to them that we love them and are sharing this information in the hope that we can have a more honest and satisfying relationship. If they choose to leave, we have to be prepared to let them go.
  5. Above all else, we have to be true to ourselves. Once we learn to love and care for ourselves, we can begin to enjoy ourselves regardless of prejudice and what others think of us. We are worth it.

[1] Mereish, E., Kzrz-Wise,S, and Woulf3,J..Bisexual-Specific Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness. Crossmark. 2017.

( https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11121-017-0804-2?author_access_token=HmXzCxYOGPXlpyLFkEh2Sfe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY69fGsGy82K2FqKswjcCp_4lquu_M_wYRCb68kZNDamLFIvZBapABKj2WauzK0QwYj51DicENdDF4V1osJGNKNJ7f4EV4qD7AeKrzNK6d3Ww==).

Mind vs Spirit

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Before we go on to explore the nature of spiritual energy, I think we have to take a good look at the elephant in the room, and that is the nature of the human mind and its ability to create new mind sets through imagination. In other words, is the spiritual self, and all the so-called evidence of a spirit, just creations of the imagination power of the human mind?

As we discovered in a previous blog, according to science the mind thinks and creates through the activities of the orbitofrontal cortex which operates in the ongoing present through its autobiographical-self. In other words it is creating and living its own story, and if we take that one step farther, it is creating and living its own self. This mind-self is composed of a variety of related mindsets or sets of neurological pathways connected to past experiences that it can light up at any given time to address the needs of the moment. One might argue that one of these mind sets is the spiritual-self. Yes, we do think about our own spirituality, and it is a definite possibility that these spirit based thought patterns are just a creation of the mind-self. In other words, there may be no spirit, just a mindset that the mind has created to deal with issues or questions that it cannot solve through rational processes. This includes the nature of life itself, the process of death and dying, and the mind’s need to create an afterlife to prevent its complete and total destruction. The argument is that the old brain’s need for survival at all costs has been processed by the mind-self to create the spirit-self and thus provide a solution to the life and death question. We have to admit that this is a definite possibility, and that the bright light at the end of the tunnel may be merely a final flash of energy from the dying brain.

To find an argument for the spirit-self, we have to leave science behind (however, there are some scientists today who are searching for scientific evidence of a spiritual aura but we will address this another time) and enter the field of philosophy. The desire or belief in an afterlife goes back into the origins of modern man and was addressed by Plato and Epicures during the Golden Age of Greece. During the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the wise men of the time dared to imaging that the experience of life was simply a product of the functioning of the human mind. Emmanuel Kant developed an excellent argument against these atheistic theories. Kant argued that the concepts of space and time and cause and effect  do not come from just the human mind but are an essential part of our total humanity. He suggested that there is a noumenal (spirit-mind) world as well as phenomenal (rational-mind) world. In other words, we exist in two worlds with two minds, the world of our physical senses and the world or our spiritual senses. In essence, we have a body and a soul or a mind-self and a spirit-self.

So which one do we believe? To answer that question we have to look at the evidence. The presence of a mind-self that seems to direct all physical and mental activity appears to be irrefutable. Through the science of brain scans, we can see these parts of the brain light up when we think certain thoughts. It definitely exists. But does it create and direct a spirit-self or does the spirit-self create the thought that is evidenced by the activity of the brain.?  This is where the rational processes go from fact to theories that are only substantiated by the negative hypothesis. The absence of scientific evidence does not prove that the spirit does not exist.

Now let’s turn to spiritual evidence. All the unanswered questions of the mind fall into this category. All the miracles (and yes there is physical evidence that they have happened) are a result of irrational origins; they are beyond reason. The mind-self has no answer to these except the random solution. But are they random? Did they merely happen by chance? I think not,

My dear French Canadian grandmother lived a life of miracles, and the birth of my son, which I have discussed in a previous blog, was something special in my life that can not be explained by medical science. However, when looking for a definite example of a possible spirit based event, I immediately thought of a dear friend of mine.  She actually had her enlarged heart return to normal size after a prayer and the apparent transfer of spiritual energy that seemed to flow from the hands and words of a preacher. After a subsequent medical examination, the heart specialists from the University Hospital in that region had no logical explanation. They confirmed that this could not have occurred by any medical or scientific procedure. The question again is ” Does the lack of a scientific explanation prove there is a spiritual solution and therefore the evidence of a spirit-self?”. We cannot claim this on a scientific basis nor on the absence of such. However,  something inside me knows that I am more than what the eye can see, and my personal beliefs have been reaffirmed over and over again as I have learned to walk along my spirit filled path.

So why even bother with this science versus spirit exercise in logic and lack there-of? It is important because our beliefs direct our feelings, and our feelings direct our emotions, and our emotions direct our behavior.  We set goals and live our lives according to our beliefs. If I believe I am only a mind-self, I am limited by the power of my fragile mind. However, when I begin to explore the possibilities of my spirit nature, I become a powerful being. I am mind and spirit. My mind controls the activities of my body but my spirit controls the activities on my mind. I am not just the mind-self manipulating mind sets to create and co-ordinate thought and activity; I am spirit coordinating my life choices through the activities of my brain. It is not just the lighting up of neural pathways that creates “me”, my autobiographical-self, it is I, my spirit-self, that is creating the thought patterns in my brain. I light up the neural pathways; they do not light up and create me.  I have the power to create. I am a powerful, beautiful ball of eternal energy. I can create a life of miracles. I can create the life I love to live.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals and everyone else for that matter:

  1. If we believe only in the power of our mind and have mind issues that come with our bisexual nature, we are severely hampered on how we can respond to the struggles of life. We are alone with our limited mental resources and all the mental and emotional blocks that make it difficult to make good choices.  However, we do not have to accept what life appears to offer. We can face our issues head on and try to learn to control them through  the power of our minds.
  2. However, if we believe we are spiritual beings, we then open up the possibility of a higher self with access to the infinite power of the spiritual world. Just this thought alone, even if the spiritual world is a creation of our mind, creates a whole new world of possibilities. When we focus on being aware of our innate beauty and power, the mental issues will begin to dissolve themselves. We will attract good things into our lives that will bring joy and a feeling of well being.
  3. By associating with others who believe in the spiritual self, we can form powerful bonds that multiply our individual powers to create. We can let the power of love flow through us to others and let their love power flow through us.
  4. Our gender issues do not control us. We control our gender issues. Yes we accept them and the nature of the male and female sides our bisexual nature, but they are not problems we have to live with. They are attributes, gifts that we can use for our own pleasure and to offer to those we love. Our sexuality is a gift. We need to recognize and treat it as such.
  5. As spiritual beings, we have a simple purpose and that is to live, to love, to enjoy and to expand and grow as powerful beings. If we choose to live with a special someone, they have to accept and acknowledge that we are indeed special just as we have to recognize the people we love are also indeed special.

 

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Sensitivity

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” Edgar Allan Poe[1]

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)We cannot be too sensitive, but we can learn to direct our sensitivity so that it becomes a virtue rather than a source of confusion and pain. If we honor our sensitivity, we are on our way to self- actualization.

These next five blogs are about our becoming the best we can be. Maslow in his hierarchy of human values believed the ultimate goal was self-actualization which he associated with finding meaning and purpose in life. In his study, he looked at people he believed had special qualities that made them special people. I believe that being special is developing the five major virtues that allow us to live life the way it was intended to be according to some universal principles that are beyond the scope of meaning and purpose. It is about being rather than doing.

As human beings, we have a natural sensitivity that over time gets dulled and repressed due to harsh and sometimes painful life experiences. To reach self-actualization, we have to reawaken our natural sensitivity and develop and perfect it so that we can use our feelings for guidance and the pursuit of joy.

Our brains naturally are built to take in information from all our senses and to combine the information to form feelings that lead to the pursuit of happiness. The self-actualized person learns to select and enhance the positive feelings and to evaluate and process the negative ones. Physiologically that includes using the frontal cortex and the dopamine pathways to solve problems and then returning to the pleasure center and the serotonin pathways which are free of constructive or destructive anxieties. We are not built to linger in the anxiety that comes from the front of our brain; our main purpose is to pursue and enjoy pleasure in all its forms through our senses.

The greatest source of pleasure from our senses is rooted in love, including intimate love with a partner and the love of life. I go around my yard every morning thanking the flowers for sharing their beauty with me. I wait for my beloved to wake in the morning and greet her with a warm embrace and an “I love you.” I open my day in meditation where I sit on my front deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and shut down my mind and concentrate on all the senses my beautiful body is providing, including the smell of vegetation, the feel of the sea air on my face, the sound of the birds, and the taste of a hot cup of coffee. I think about my children and grandchildren and my close friends and allow my feelings of love to build and flow out to them. I plan the day, things I have to do and things that I can ask the universal life force to do for me. I concentrate on completing my tasks and then return to enjoying my senses with a walk or a bike ride along the beach or reading a good book on a bench in my garden. I thank the universal love force for each day, and for each moment of each day. I pursue happiness through my senses and use my wonderful frontal cortex and dopamine neural pathways to plan ways to keep me in a state of bliss.

 

Five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Sex is a great source of pleasure. It includes all our senses. Learn to use them all, not just the sense of touch. We can open up our sense of smell to include scents and pheromones. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the old brain and the limbic system and the amygdala. We can enjoy taste, touch, and sight, and listen to the heavy breathing of our lover. We can make making love truly making love.
  2. We can love life and love our body. It is a gift. We can explore it and enjoy it, and not just the genitals. If we limit masturbation we can let our whole body enjoy loving touch. We can hug ourselves and touch all the parts of our body and thank these parts for doing their job and adding to our pleasure. We show our body that we love it.
  3. Seeking the sensations of sex with a new partner can be exciting but it is nothing like the joys of familiarity that comes from working on expanding the pleasure we can enjoy with a steady partner. We can seek to develop that one special relationship where we can share and explore together without the rush of an encounter with a stranger.
  4. Our bisexuality is more than just a sexual orientation. It is an ability to sense things at a deeper level. We can employ the full range of feminine and masculine characteristics. We have a wider view of life. The key is to follow our feelings and let them lead us to all aspects of pleasure.
  5. Expand our senses. Meditate but not in mindlessness. There is more out there to enjoy than just the sound of our own breathing. We can use this time to explore all the sights and sounds and smells around us and then thank the source of universal love and life for the privilege of just being alive.

[1] Virtue Science. https://www.virtuescience.com/sensitivity.html

The Virtue of Awareness In Full Blossom

img_1394-1The journey to awareness will reach its final destination when we are aware of just how connected we are to life itself and to the universal presence of life.

 

Awareness

Dawn breaks;

The Eastern light brings peace

With the soft touch of wonder.

As the sensation intensifies,

I can see the fine lines of life

All held together by sweet silver threads,

That surround me,

Entrapping me in a web of joy.

And I laugh,

At first gently,

Then deep from the bowels of my being,

At all the confusion and pain

Manufactured by my tired mind.

And I laugh at the lack of knowing,

Because the search for knowledge,

Only leads to more questions,

While I can sit her laughing hysterically,

Because I know I have all the answers.

Bisexuality and The Virtue of Truthfulness

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

“All our sacred traditions reveal that our life is inherently meaningful because we are the expression of Divine love, justice, kindness, and truthfulness in the world”[1].  In her book, A Pace of Grace, Linda Popov talks about how focusing on our virtues is essential in maintaining a joyous and productive life. I believe it is time for us bisexuals to take our focus off of what we do, and all the shame and guilt that goes with it, and focus on what we are and all the virtues we possess.

I would like to start with the virtue of  “truthfulness”. Throughout my first marriage, I lived a double life.  I was dishonest with myself and my ex-wife. It lead to heartbreak and grief for both of us and a mental crash and thoughts of suicide for me. In order to prevent heartbreak and depression, we have to be honest with ourselves, take an honest look at our actions, and search our feelings. Does our way of life really reflect the values we care most about? Does our life bring us joy? According to Popov truthfulness requires that we, “reflect on the meaning of what is happening in your (our) life and determine the guiding virtues you (we) need to do the right thing and to live more consciously”[2]. Truly this is the way, and perhaps, in the long run, the only way, to truly live a happy and meaningful life.

So how does the virtue of truthfulness apply to bisexuality? Here are my five thoughts on the subject:

  1. First the big one, we have to deal with the thoughts that are preventing us from being truthful with ourselves. The greatest source of these negative thoughts is shame. To deal with shame we have to first understand what it is and where it comes from. It is part of our subconscious mind developed during early childhood by the disciplinary system of our culture.  When we, as children, do something that our parents disapprove of, they try to make us feel remorse or shame. Then, as we get older, we feel this sense of shame whenever we do something that we feel our parents would not approve of.  This then generalizes to our relationships with others, including teachers, peers, and society at large. As bisexuals, we automatically fall into the shame category because our society does not understand our behavior and thus disapproves of the way we live our lives. We have to realize that our bisexuality is our own individual biological predisposition or orientation. We have to recognize that shame is coming from an outside source that is trying to make us conform to its standards. We have to realize that we are free to recognize the source, state our truth, and then respond and behave in a way that is true to ourselves and our orientation.  To live in truthfulness we must not feel forced to conform to  anyone else’s view on our own behavior and morality.
  2. Speak only the truth. This means being truthful with ourselves as well as others. We need to learn how to listen to the inner voice from the higher self that is telling us that there is something wrong with the way we are perceiving things. We have to let the voice speak without interruptions or excuses and then act according to that truth.
  3. We do not have to justify, or feel we have to justify, our thoughts and actions. We simply state the truth to ourselves and then to others as needed. It really is on a need to know basis. If someone inquiries about our actions, we should respond honestly and from the heart and give them only as much information as they need to know. If they want to know more they will ask.
  4. We should not impose our truth on others. Our virtue of truthfulness is never intended to put others in their place or to shock and hurt. We do not have to parade our thoughts and feeling before others who have no idea of where we are coming from and the truth of our inner thoughts and feelings. Truth is a private thing between us and our inner selves and the significant people in our lives. If you want to get involved in LGBTQ politically do it for good reasons but not to follow the crowd or to justify your actions to others.
  5. We must focus on the basic truth. The virtue of truthfulness should lead to a greater sense of being, purpose, and joy. If we are not experiencing these feelings there may be something wrong with our interpretation and practice of our inner truth and our development of the virtue of truthfulness.

[1] Popov, Linda K. . A Pace of Grace. Plume. 2004 (Page 25).

[2] Popov (page 25).

 

 

 

Finding the Higher Self

img_1394-1In the past, fighting against the desires of my bisexual soul used to drain all my energy. I don’t fight it anymore; I just accept it as a beautiful part of me. Much of the growth has come as a result of getting older. Getting older has its blessings. I no longer chase after fruitless dreams that keep me busy with no real rewards. I choose to see and enjoy the moment and the things of my soul instead of the things of my mind.

Autumn Again

My west deck,

Reaching for the blue sky,

Sitting near the top of the laurel hedge,

Surrounded by trees,

A sea of green, delicious green,

That nurtures my soul

With the vibrations of living things.

The sun pours in its autumn warmth

In golden rays of pure light,

As the silence gathers and spreads,

Offering healing to a tired mind.

 

It is a new age,

The age of not yet old,

But no longer young,

An age where everything fits together,

And I choose to do those things

That offer peace and contentment,

And I choose to give my soul

To a God who does not judge,

But spreads a blanket of love on those who seek,

And I choose to give my heart,

A response to the love energy that surrounds me,

A gift from my higher self to my conscious self,

A gift that keeps on giving and never ends.