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Revolve   Leave a comment


30 kilometers per second, or 67,000 miles per hour

460 meters per second–or roughly 1,000 miles per hour


A new year is upon us. The beginning of a new cycle, the prospect of something new arising. Most people make resolutions in the hopes that some aspect of their lives may improve. Most resolutions only last a few weeks until the inevitable occurs. Who you are overpowers what you want to do. It is the common mistake of humanity to believe that, due to its intelligence and malleability to the elements, it may change “at will”. Evolution is a process, a process that must be followed step by step. The environment affects the organism. The organism must respond by changing itself in some way to adapt to the environment. These changes take place over time (days, months, years). Yet, humanity maintains the belief that “I can change what I do without changing who I am.”

This article is not about how to correct those unresolved resolutions. This article is a lesson of acceptance. Its purpose is to provide a sense of awareness of self. Who you are determines what you can do. Willpower determines how effective you are at what you can do. Yet, it all revolves around who you are. You can never maintain going 67,000 mph for 365 days. It would cause multiple health issues and you would die. The Earth can and does, because it is the Earth. It fulfills its purpose every year, only making one resolution, to be itself. It does not resolve to go faster, become slimmer, get into shape, and stop using oxygen or water. It produces the same things it has always produced, making the necessary changes gradually over millennia.

Now you could say, “what about the negative aspects of me that I would like to make positive? Wouldn’t it be a noble enterprise to try and improve those aspects?” To which the universe says sure go ahead, sharpen your claws, strengthen your fangs, just do not forget you are what you are. Before you can change what you do you must acknowledge who and what you are. For most people that involves looking deep inside oneself, accepting the person within. Accept that you may be wrong politically, socially, or spiritually. Accept that your fashion, music, and food tastes may be wrong. This is how you face the truth of who you are so that you may become the best version of yourself. Carl Jung called it embracing the “Shadow”. The repressed aspects of yourself that are socially, morally, and personally reprehensible. Yet they are you. Most people want to try to change what they do without acknowledging who they are IS the lazy, drinker, addict, sexual deviant, abuser, and unstable emotional monster that exists. In not addressing this “Shadow” every resolution is a promise to fail because inherently there is no change in self. Only further denial of the unified self.

Start with the premise, “what I know and believe is false” now I must focus only on facts. Facts are defined as a verified truth, tested by experience. Alternative facts are lies. There are no alternative facts. If the decisions you have made in this life have lead you to a false life existence then start with yourself. Look inside the “dark side” of yourself. Address your fears and repulsions, your hidden desires and impulses. Question yourself as to why those feelings exist, do not judge them. In judging them you will only conceal them deeper and further. To recap, be factual with yourself. Accept yourself for exactly what it is, understanding yourself and the changes that you need to make to fit into the environment. Only after these steps can you truly revolve around the light and shine.


Posted January 8, 2018 by Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Getting the Most out of Daily Losses   Leave a comment

At some point people, no matter who they are, lose things. Even personal setbacks are a form of loss which causes just as much emotional turmoil as the actual loss of a loved one. Now I know what most of you are thinking, “I haven’t lost anybody recently”, but you have suffered a “daily loss”. Well, the purpose of the article is to expand the “5 stages of grief and loss” and learn how to incorporate them into our everyday experiences.

Have you ever been denied a job you knew you should have gotten?  Have you been rejected by a lover or significant other?  Have you watched as your favorite sports team went down in the flames of defeat? These are some examples of the very same losses that are experienced in the passing of someone, yet most would perceive them as miniscule compared to the passing of a 30 or 50 year spouse. In truth the process is exactly the same; most people just do not realize it.

So let’s start with a little history on the “5 Stages of Grief and Loss”. Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”, was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Motivated by the lack of curriculum in medical schools on the subject of death and dying, Kübler-Ross examined death and those faced with it at the University of Chicago medical school. [1] The stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

Where the stages are made critically manifest in situations of extreme loss, what is rarely noted is the minds ability to adapt the same process to “daily losses”. Throughout this article, will be highlighted, the specific stages and how they are exposed in the “daily losses”. Also this article hopes to expose the benefits of acknowledgement of those “daily losses” and to improve the tools to withstand the “greater losses” in one’s life.


Denial: “Say it ain’t so!


How many times have we said “no way” as someone steals your parking space? Or “this can’t be happening” as the final seconds tick away to your favorite teams’ season ending loss? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples in the day of how we experience those “daily losses”. Those losses are so common and the denial is so prevalent that there are a multitude of phrases. Even as this article is being created, there are many within the US or around the world in a sense of denial about current political, sociological, and ecological losses. Denial helps to incorporate the changing reality with our current understanding of the one we perceive. We, as humans, have to acknowledge variation and from that point a choice occurs. Do we accept that the perception is real or do we reject it? Oddly this whole process can take our minds moments or decades depending on the variance of change being perceived. An example would the repatriation of Japanese and German Americans after World War II. After the United States had won WWII and released its Japanese and German American prisoners from US based internment camps, there was still a huge division between those former prisoners and the rest of America. Where they to be trusted? Could they still follow in their homelands ways and establish domestic terrorism? Terms like “Japs” and “Krauts” became derogatory terms, much like “Colored” and “Ni**er” had for African Americans.  As with any “loss” the initial response was to deny the change. Segregation and denigration are symptoms of “societal denial”. “They are different so they must not belong in my reality”, becomes the rallying cry of “conservatives” (Note: I do not invoke the political movement, only the definition of the term). It is a broader case of denial made manifest in the society, originating from the personal denial of the change of one’s own perception of reality. Yet, it is the personal perception that is the key point of infection. The idea that when one person refuses to accept reality that misplaced perception is shared by others until it becomes societal and thus blight upon the culture as a whole. There are a multitude of examples from Nazism, Class Warfare, Nationalism, and Islamic Jihad to name a few, all stemming from denial of perceived reality and a sustained effort to try and resist the changes that have already taken place. When said denial and resistance efforts fail the individual moves to the next of the “5 Stages” Anger.


Anger:It’s our right! Right?


You lost the job, the girlfriend/boyfriend, the personal belongings, the big game, what do you do? You calmly sit down and have a glass of tea, contemplating the greater purposes of the moments within the day. Hell No, we rage. We retaliate emotionally to the drastic change that we can no longer deny and must accept, but truly have aversion to. That’s anger in an abbreviated definition. Many psychologists agree that “it’s ok to be angry”, pop culture celebrates the “Angry Hero” theme in in such a way that it seems the Hero only reaches his “truest potential” when he is “angry and cannot take anymore”. So everyone gets angry and it’s been proven by doctors to be beneficial to express that anger, so why can’t I express my anger in a “daily loss”?

Actually you can and already do. Cursing, hitting a wall, swearing, raising your voice or tone, are all examples of expression of anger within the frame of “daily loss”. These examples are actually more prevalent than denial because of the physical manifestation of emotional turmoil. Just saying the words “I’m angry” has nowhere near the emotional affect as a person flipping a desk or throwing something important. Society has defined dramatic expression of anger as “normalcy”, where as it is the abnormal person that calmly and without any physical movement describes their rage. “Seeing red” is ok, but when that red becomes “white hot” (oddly this is even expressed in nature with a star becoming a Red Giant, then a White Dwarf before it dies out) then the person is a dangerous threat to others and society as a whole.

So how does one use that anger without burning out or succumbing to the rage and becoming a pariah in society? Everyone has the ideas of the guy who is at the bar, just a little too passionate about the home team. The home team losses in a brutally contested match, the guy, a little too passionate and slightly drunk, starts a fight, releasing the pent up anger he has for something he has no control over, and subsequently winds up in jail. This leads to Bargaining as a means to rectify our inability to accept the reality through denial and or emotional reactions of anger.


Bargaining:Please baby, please” James Brown


Begging, the old fall back point. It is said, “Tis better to beg for forgiveness, than ask for permission”. Bargaining is nothing more than begging with perceived leverage. As stated before the change has already happened, there is no going back and changing time. Denial attempted to ignore the change and failed causing Anger to respond to the lack of control, so what is left? Use what modicum of the old reality that still exists and try to position for a better place in the new one. It’s the company that is bought out and each employee is fighting to prove they still have worth and need a job. It is the terminal relationship that has one party promising to do better or be better if only things would not change.  It is the customer begging the store owner to see if they have one more copy of the latest greatest product in the back so they could give the best gift.

Bargaining is seen as “swallowing your pride”, yet it isn’t truly. It is strategic and tactical; it is the perceived losing of something small to gain the objective. A dog lowering his head and whining is doing so to gain the advantage of something it wants.  Unfortunately, what most people fail to conceptualize with “loss” is that the objective no longer exists. In death, it’s begging with God for more time, denying that the clock has stopped. In our “daily losses” it’s trying to find a way to salvage a bad situation, completely oblivious to the fact the event has come and gone and there is only the result left to account for. This phase is usually characterized by the word “if”. “If this than that”. If one group does this then the results could be changed, (substituting any myriad of examples from politics to grocery store exchanges). It’s all trying to accept and change an outcome that has already been determined and is moving forward. The flaw in bargaining is when the “reality” that the objective we are bargaining for no longer exists, then when we move to the next stage, Depression.


Depression:I’d look on the bright side, if I could find it.”          -Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh


The “daily loss” has occurred. We denied it, emotionally reacted to our inability to control it, and attempted to achieve an objective that no longer existed, so what’s next? The long ride home. It’s the moments of silence when you couldn’t achieve the job, the relationship, the team, the perfect toy, the perfect parking spot, or any other examples of “daily loss”. It’s the idea that you failed, you could not stop the change, or seize the disappearing objective and now you are faced with reality as it is. You do not like it and you cannot do anything about it.

While there are many ways to cope with “loss depression” (it should differentiated from Depression as a clinical psychological DSM-V disorder) one of the most critical is the idea of “letting go”. It sounds easy and has been proven to be affective in alleviating the stress of some “losses”, yet it seems almost impossible to do in some circumstances.  How many times have we been told, “its just a game, girl, boy, job, parking space, toy, etc”? It’s a method of trying to get the person suffering to see things in a perspective, to see the “bright side” of the reality they have tried to so hard to fight against. In most cases it is “holding on” to the perceived loss that fuels depression and the subsequent actions that accompany the feelings. Once one has learned to let go (you won’t forget, though, sorry) the final step is approached, Acceptance.


Acceptance: ““Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  -John Lennon


The final and crucial step towards moving through a loss is acceptance. In terms of our “daily losses” those steps may be quicker than the deep personal loss of a loved one. So you lost today’s game, there will be tomorrow. So he dumped you, Mr. or Mrs. Right will be around soon enough. So you missed your bid on the brand new gadget on EBay, there will be a new auction in a few minutes. Its surprising how people can become resilient and stronger by facing the changes that occur and accepting the results, even if unfavorable.

It can almost be argued that unfavorable changes, the “daily losses” of life, help to define the human experience and help to create a better person. So that when major changes occur one can look back on the smaller victories and recognize that all hope is not lost. It creates a sense of “I have gotten through tough times before…”.

This is an amazing, yet often overlooked, aspect of the human experience. A human being will go through smaller, almost imperceptible, experiences to help reinforce themselves for larger ones. When thought about, it actually brings about a sense of enlightened bliss in knowing that every major experience, albeit loss or success, has been previously achieved. Time and place may be different, but understanding, that “everything changes, yet nothing is truly lost” provides an awareness to even the most minuscule of stressful situations which impact us and our society.

The Universe is an amazing classroom with examples of lessons both within us and in nature of how to cope and achieve peace through and within loss. The 5 stages, while popular, are actually natural mechanisms within us to help alleviate the pain and stress of the human experience.




Control…..You Don’t Have Any.   Leave a comment

Before reading on please hear what Sensei has to say;


Illusion of Control




“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”

― Alan W. Watts

Control: The Illusion of Control or “How I learned love to have faith in the glitch”

Being a human has many wonderful and detrimental qualities; curiosity breeds innovation and destruction; empathy breeds compassion and gullibility. Control is one of those qualities, both helpful and harmful at the exact same time, a dichotomy. One must believe they have control and yet the very faith used to maintain control is the exact faith that is necessary to free oneself from that burden of control.

Now you may be thinking, “I control many things in my life! You cannot tell me I do not have control”, yet as you go down that list of things you control something happens. One begins to see the levels of control and yet the inverse becomes amazingly apparent. Stop!!!

Ha! Control. Such a beautiful illusion. If you will notice the last sentence is not grammatically correct. It is not “controlled by the norms of literature”. This is the beauty of the post. Throughout there will be many examples of break in control, “glitches in the matrix”. Why, because to perceive an illusion one must “see” a flaw.  Control is the same way, to perceive the “loss of control” you must first see the flaws in your “levels of control”.

So let’s start at the beginning. You have no control. Take a deep breath. Are you breathing because you choose to or because of the directions given or even the bodies need to receive oxygen? Which of these responses do you really have control over? Starting at the basics of control one can start to see where the illusion becomes faint. Now this illusion is not present in our early years due to many factors. We as children understand innately that we are the world and the world is us and there is no controlling either. We eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, and play when we feel stimulated. As we mature, the illusion starts to manifest almost like a spell, cast by our predecessors.

We become aware of the “controlling factors” society and culture. We must conform our thoughts, actions, and being into something that fits the definitions of those factors. We began “to clothe” ourselves in the illusion that we must “control ourselves for the betterment of ourselves” to better society and culture. As an example let’s examine personal relationships.

Most would agree that personal relationships are an aspect of life that we, as individuals, control. The idea of determining whom the individual surrounds themselves with is considered deeply personal, yet in reality it is not. Many sociological studies have shown that personal relationships are usually defined by compatibility, communication, time, openness, and emotional investment. All of those 5 characteristics cannot occur within a vacuum, that is to say multiple factors are in place to facilitate their development. Most of, if not all, of those factors are not within an individuals’ sole control, yet anxiety and other negative emotional factors arise from the “perceived lack of control”.

An example would be the “meeting of someone special”. Two people meet and develop a bond. Now most would say there is control in that meeting, but if you look closely at the illusion you realize that “controlled meeting” isn’t controlled at all. Either person could have chosen to do something else, the weather, transportation, or any myriad of factors had to align to bring those individuals together. Even after meeting multiple factors outside of their control will determine whether or not a relationship will develop and in what form it may take. Yet, most people do not account for these factors when assessing why a potential situation “did not go as planned”. Most will develop an anxiety based upon the “perceived lack of control”, when in reality given the number of contributing factors there was never any “control” in the first place. The same arguments can be made for what we consume (nourishment/information) and how we devote our personal resources.

As a person matures, the illusion of control comes to symbolize the unknown. The myriad calculable factors that contribute to every moment of our being are compressed into a miniscule idea that “I am in control of X”. It’s a comfort mechanism designed to contribute to conformity within the society and culture. Those that embrace said idea are perceived as paragons and elevated to higher positions within society and culture. They are the “Chiefs” the leaders and bosses, while those that eschew said ideas are seen as “Outcasts, Rebels, or Renegades”. Oddly those individuals often times become the “Shaman” or advisors of society and culture, innately due to their ability to separate themselves from the illusions.

The “Outcasts” see that the “emperor isn’t wearing clothes” because they understand that control is an illusion and that to even attempt to maintain it is humorous. Much like in the video, the Sensei sees his pupil trying to achieve something that is impossible. Not because the task is unobtainable, but because the very idea of the task is futile.

Now that you can perceive the glitches in control the beauty of the illusion becomes apparent. The release of burden comes from the understanding that “if you have no control, it is not your fault; if it is not your fault, you should not be worried about the results”. Loss of control is the quintessential step in the concept of “faith”, it is the ground work for which faith (as the foundation of all religions) can grow and connect us to our higher purpose. In the video the Sensei, does not instruct the pupil to do anything but “believe”.  Belief highlights our inner knowledge that through all of these myriad calculable factors affecting our lives, everything will work out.

So in conclusion, you have no control and in having no control there is freedom. Therein lays the ability to believe in anything and everything possible, because you are no longer bound by illusionary limitations that were never there. When you are stressed or feel anxious just remember that there are factors outside of your control that are influencing your situation and just because it may seem negative in the moment just “believe” and that moment, like the illusion of control, will fade away.

“You only lose what you cling to.”

― Gautama Buddha

Stay peaceful


From Tell It To a Telepsychiatrist: Online Counseling and Psychiatry   Leave a comment published a great infographic, Check it out below and visit their site directly at



Posted February 10, 2015 by Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Change – The Sleeper Must Awaken   Leave a comment

“Change” is a word that often reminds one of the political campaign of President Barack Obama. His campaign focused on offering a beneficial and refreshing change away from the status quo which, as clearly demonstrated by the results of the 2008 General Election, was something United States citizens were yearning for.

Politics aside, how important is change? What is its role in our lives? How can one manifest the change he or she so desire’s in their own life? What are the consequence(s) of inertia?

The important of change is eloquently described by Duke Leto Atreides himself. For those who are unfamiliar with Duke Leto, he is a fictional character from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert, produced into a movie in 1984.

The following video shows Duke Leto discussing the importance of change to his son Paul, the heir to House Atreides. For it is at this time that they and the rest of their noble house are about to leave their home planet, the ocean planet of Caladan, to assume their new role as governors of the desert planet Arrakis.

Quite a change indeed.

Duke Leto’s Wisdom

There really is little need for me to continue this blog post after watching that clip because Duke Leto expresses the concept of change as I too perceive it. However, elaboration may shine even more light on it, so, I dutifully continue on.

As we grow into adults we often become habituated to the experience of our lives. We develop routines to stabilize the passing moment and so the passing moment becomes a routine. Day after day passes by and do we ever ask ourselves the question, “What new experience(s) am I going to have today?” I know that I have never consciously asked that question until I thought it fitting to type it just now. However, I have had an underlying striving to have new experiences and have often contemplated experiencing new experiences. It is not until now though, that I am going to make it a daily practice to ask myself this question so that I can have a new experience every single day, if I so choose of course. See, I am changing already.

I’m sure there will be times I find myself answering this question with “No, not today, today I am going to relax and experience the time-honored tradition of rest.” Still, I’m actually choosing to change from more activity to less activity. Thus, in this particular refusal to change, I am still changing………………yea, more on that later.

The importance of change is that it is a catalyst for our growth. Just as Duke Leto said, new experiences connect with something deep inside us, by allowing it to grow we can discover more about not only our reality, but most importantly, of ourselves. Who are you?

Change allows us to tap into and reveal things about ourselves that we may never previously conceived to be possible, and, if we nurture these previously latent aspects of ourselves we improve the likelihood of expressing our full potential and achieving self-actualization.

There are countless accounts of individuals who uncover motivations and desires to engage in experiences they wouldn’t have considered in their past, yet the present moment ultimately reveals the unconsidered to be a major part of oneself and life.

Carl Jung perceived the self as a combination of all of the conscious and unconscious factors. He believed Neurosis results from a one-sided personality development, therefore, self-realization (Jung’s preferred term) could only occur when a person reached into the unknown depths of oneself.

Ahhh yes, the unknown. How do human beings usually react to the unknown? Well, often with fear because the unknown may just happen to be beyond control, or could be something we consider undesirable. What if that which is beyond our control and undesirable could be the very thing(s) that give us the greatest learning experiences and level of self awareness in our lives?


Change is probably the greatest developmental component in reality, of which the individual is a part of and participating in always. New experiences facilitate our psychological evolution as human beings, learning and understanding comes about from it. To resist change can literally be an effort to resist oneself and life itself. I would argue that each of us could probably spend a great deal of time pondering on all the “what if’s” we allowed to pass us by in the past when neglecting the opportunity for new experience. However, the past cannot be undone and excessive emotional attachments to the memories of the past are more likely to lead to greater resistance to change now, so what are you getting out of using your precious moment and energy doing so? Unless of course you have a time machine, then perhaps it might be worth it.

So, you want to have new experiences, you want to embrace change, but you don’t know how to use it to your own developmental advantage in your own life? Well, consider this for a moment…….

You cannot resist change, it is physically impossible (You are physically a new human being every 7 years as every cell in your body has been replaced with new ones), and it is a constant, a law of reality. Whether or not you choose to change and have new experiences is irrelevant for you will experience change nonetheless. It is one of those aspects of reality our free will cannot impose upon, leaving the only real choice for us to make choosing between being an active or passive participant within change. Inertia simply puts you in position to be changed by the will of others, but, make no mistake, you’re changing and will continue to change for as you live now so too will you die. So, what are you going to do in the meantime?

What is it that is stopping you from steering yourself along the endless current of change? Doing so may direct you to wonderful experiences you cannot foresee at this moment, it could teach you so much more about yourself and others, it has the potential to lead you to remember, to revel, in the wonder and mystery that is life. As for the anxious changers, ponder this — Even though everything changes, nothing is truly lost.
The 44th President of the United States, love him or hate him, said it best

“We are the change we have been waiting for.”

Great everybody, we’ve figured it all out! The wait is over folks, now we get to decide to be the change or be changed. I know which one I am going to choose.

Happy changing and awakening the sleeper within.

Posted November 24, 2014 by Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Separateness is the Illusion. Oneness is the Reality   3 comments

When we wake up every day and look around we see a vast world; miles and miles of land and sea with the seemingly limitless sky always above our heads. Our planet, out of billions and trillions of planets is teeming with billions and trillions of life forms.  If we live in a city we encounter endless numbers of new people every moment and buildings everywhere. From a separation perspective we are nothing but an insignificant speck of a speck of dust. From a separation perspective we are all alone, cut off from the infinite everything in our little biological meat suits.

In my opinion this is a deception.

You, I, and everything are not separate. Indeed we are all part of a universal mind, a shared consciousness, or maybe even a dream if you will. Thus, everything we experience, whether it’s through our physical senses or the thoughts in our brains, is our mind. All your neighbors, friends, and mentors are all a part of your mind. Your family, your pool, your home, everything is your mind.

Now, you may not believe a word I just typed but frankly I don’t care what you believe nor am I trying to impose my beliefs upon you, nor do I require your beliefs to formulate my own. You are free to believe whatever it is you want to believe. However, I believe that this particular belief of mine is important and I wish to share it with you to read and take from it whatever it is you so choose.

Once again “The Matrix’s” philosophical brilliance comes to play in highlighting this perspective in the following scene. Here Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix (metaphorically representing reality), is. Feel free to take a look.


What is Real


So, what is the implication of the perspective of oneness?      EVERYTHING.

This means that the neighbor who was once an annoying endless vocal cord generating mouth mover is actually a part of your own mind and maybe, just maybe, you can use his insight, as part of your own mind, to consciously become aware of or learn something. Unfortunately, in the separation perspective our egos get in our way.

Take the example of the new lifeguard at my pool. Now, I am an excellent swimmer yet have a poor butterfly stroke. Until recently I stopped performing the stroke altogether. When I made my feeble attempt at it again the new lifeguard immediately informed me of the error in my form that was preventing me from properly performing the butterfly stroke.  I listened to him and followed his instruction. In no time my butterfly improved and now I am eager to continue to improve it and incorporate it into my swimming workout.

When I was younger I may have rejected his advice by letting ego get in the way. Because I’m an excellent swimmer and may have thought “Who does this guy think he is? I don’t need his help” and scoffed him off to the detriment of my butterfly stroke. Now, because I maintain the perspective of oneness I viewed the lifeguard as myself accessing my mind to bring forth understanding to my conscious awareness and improve myself.

The oneness perspective opens up great possibilities for the improvement of our well-being for if everything is your mind it makes it easier to love your neighbor and all of creation because you are simply loving yourself in doing so. Intuition goes into overdrive with the oneness perspective because messages will come across from the reality that if you are able to catch them, (while actively maintaining the understanding that this is all your mind), you can use them for your own benefit.  All of our teachers and counselors are our own mind accessing itself to bring forth awareness and understanding. USE THEM. If you find them unworthy disregard them but perhaps what they have said that you disregarded is an aspect of yourself you may need to examine further.

Furthermore, if you are suffering I implore you to incorporate the oneness perspective in your everyday thinking. I believe you will be able to truly see within your own mind the solution to your problem for it is within you to do so. If however, you stick with the separation perspective, well, the solution maybe a 1000 light-years away.

Be as one and remember the phrase from the “Neverending Story” theme song;

“Dream a dream and what you see will be”

BE CONFIDENT   Leave a comment

Any child of the 80’s growing up in western society has likely witnessed the fantasy movie The Neverending Story.  It, like most works of fiction, contain within it profound truths. I have already mentioned some of these truths from other works of art in previous posts. The Neverending Story is of no exception.

There is a very powerful scene in the movie that has Atreyu, the hero of the story (metaphorically representing the everyman, or all of us), facing an ominous and foreboding obstacle in his search for the Southern Oracle (metaphorically representing Truth) This obstacle (a gate of golden Sphinxes) can see straight into the hearts of all beings and to pass through one must have full confidence in themselves, shedding all doubt, or else they will be destroyed by the gate. Atreyu approaches the gate cautiously and is overwhelmed by the presence of the Sphinxes. He notices a fallen hero before him and begins to doubt himself. Then, at the last moment, he musters his confidence and runs through the gate unscathed and is able to continue his journey (metaphorically representing the journey of life)

Click the title below for the scene.

Through The Spinxes

This is very relevant to our everyday lives and highlights the importance of self-confidence in our life’s progression. For we all will face obstacles, large and small, and must have the confidence to push through to reach our goals and see our dreams to fruition. One’s confidence often has a converse relationship to self-doubt. However, I must make it clear that doubt in itself is not inherently negative. Doubt is a path to wisdom for it forces us to question our motives, beliefs, and the workings of the world around us. Doubt can serve as a reality check for us to temper expectations and change our course for our own betterment. Doubt is the reason science has advanced humanity so far from its primal past.

Yet, persistent or malignant self-doubt has a paralyzing effect for if we lack confidence we will likely fail at what we are doing. Whether, for example, it’s a task on the job or having fulfilling social interactions. Subsequently we will not be who we are and if we do not be who we are we tend to make negative self-judgments about ourselves or regret and ruminate upon our failed opportunities. Thus, stunting our personal growth. This has a negative feedback loop and often we continually reinforce our lack of action/being to our continued detriment.

I personally have dealt with the conflict of doubt and self-confidence, particularly during my adolescent years. Like so many of us this was a time of great identity formation and confusion as I transformed into an adult. For many as it was for me, this is the great Sphinx that stands in our way. My obstacle was to liberate myself from the opinions and judgments of others. I allowed peer pressure to keep me down. Once I no longer permitted that pressure I was able to tap into my own confidence and strive on to where I am today and into who I will become in the future. It feels good to be confident.

I view malignant self-doubt to be a form of delusion not only because it invokes irrational beliefs about ourselves and leads to negative thinking, but because it simply is an expression of a false self, for the human potential is limitless.

Take the example of our best professional athletes. They have supreme confidence in their abilities. They help their teams win games and believe fully in themselves. They work hard to better themselves and their confidence serves as motivation to do so. Muhammad Ali famously said “I am the Greatest” and he was. A perfect example of full confidence at work. The same can be applied to those who have achieved great things in their life and lived their lives to the fullest, they were confident. They knew who they were and knew they could be who they wanted to be, just as confident people continue to be and do today.

Let me be perfectly clear, YOU can do it, YOU can be who you are and grow.

What are your obstacles? What are the reasons and excuses you are coming up with that are paralyzing you and leading you into negative thought processes? Whatever they maybe is it not time to shed this doubt and free your energy to reach your greatest potential?

The time is indeed NOW.