THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: The blocks in your life

By Fred Cavaiani

Springtime is fast approaching. It seems we all become reflective during these last winter weeks before spring. Christians prepare for Easter during Lent. The word Lent comes from the old English word lencten which means springtime. Easter celebrates the greatest day in Christian History which celebrates New Life and Resurrection. Lent is a time to reflect on what are the obstacles to living a deeper, spiritual life. But this time before springtime may be a special time for all of us to discover what may be our blocks to living a full life. What really makes a successful happy and energized life and what stifles having a successful, happy and energized life?

There are three components to a happy life: 1) a time set aside to be reflective in quiet silence, 2) an open heart and mind to connect with other people, 3) An ability to let go of resentments and accept the limitations of life and other people.

When I spend quiet time in some form of meditation I begin to open up to the wounds and joys in my life which often have been repressed. The principle of "you can't heal what you can't feel" becomes so activated when I spend quiet time in meditation. I am challenged and almost forced to experience the wounds and joys in my life when I become quiet. However most of us spend little time in reflective meditation. I have given many programs starting with a meditation which 95 to 98 % of people love and describe this experience as peaceful, calm and relaxing. Then when I ask how many people spend time doing this, there are only about two to five people out of 100 people who raise their hand. It isn't because people are lazy or not interested. It is simply that most people have not realized the importance of meditation and have seldom experienced what it is like to become quietly reflective. To reserve 15 minutes a day to become quiet can be powerfully positive and harmoniously helpful. We are often just afraid to do this because we will have to open up to the deeper parts of our self.

The second principle of having an open heart and mind to others is really the principle of LOVE. I need to bring love to everyone by kind words and actions. This then opens my heart and mind to the wisdom of experiencing other people and having positive relationships. It also can help me to appreciate the misery of people who cannot allow themselves to connect and love others. When my heart is open to love and I let go of resentments and condemnations of others I send out a positive rapport to other people. I also create a harmony within my body because I am not repressing my feelings or hanging on to anger and resentments.

The third principle is to be able to accept limitations. Other people do not have to be the way I want them to be. Once I can accept this I can create a deeper harmony within myself that will extend to everyone around me. Other people are allowed to be miserable and unhappy but I don't have to participate in it. Instead my calm and loving presence creates an environment for other people to have to look at their own struggles and personal albatrosses within their hearts and minds.

But here is the problem. I create blocks to my own inner peace and happiness by keeping so busy and so worried about the next moment that I refuse to take time to be quiet with myself. This then becomes a huge block to experiencing life on a deeper basis. When I hang on to anger and resentments and become critical and negative toward life and toward other people, I create another block to achieving inner peace. I will never be peaceful if I remain angry and resentful. This clasping of critical judgments about other people never helps me. Complaining about the state of the world while I keep my heart and mind so guarded from loving actions and attitudes becomes a huge block to achieving happiness. I can easily forget that angry people do nothing to help bring more love and peace to the world. When I am angry I am blocking myself from happiness. When I put my energy into wanting everyone else to change and be different instead of putting my energy into changing my own actions and attitudes, I create another block which stifles my joy.

What are the blocks in your life? How much do you know about the power of meditation? How aware are you of the harmful effects on the body caused by anger, resentments and negative attitudes? When have you last realized that not having a heart of gratitude causes us to quickly become angry when life doesn't go our way?

We are all human and make many mistakes. It is in admitting these mistakes that allows us to go forward in a positive direction. Identify the blocks in your life. You then can let go of them. Listening to your deeper self in quiet times will help identify the blocks. It will also help you achieve an inner peace which comes from experiencing something or someone bigger than you. Develop a spiritual life. The scientific evidence is overwhelming on the benefits of doing this.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com

Published: Tue, Feb 16, 2016

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