Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Manipulation Vs. Awareness

I recently heard the statement, "Anything beyond 'No' is manipulation." The friend who said it was trying to set clear boundaries as part of her recovery process. I can see where she's coming from. In our society, our actions are almost always defined by "the rules" and our various responses to them. Everything we do is largely based on thoughts and ideas outside ourselves, and this is where our problems begin. Instead of consciously leading our lives through personal awareness, we are caught living the lives others want us to live through manipulation.

When we live in a state of manipulation, we allow others to define us. We live according to a set of rules that are supposedly designed to be for the greater good and allow our minds to guide us based on our previous experience within that framework. Manipulation clearly defines "good" and "bad" (aka judgment) and uses emotions like guilt, anger, and sadness to persuade people into following the rules. Living in manipulation is living in a place with clearly defined boundaries.

Living from the heart is living in awareness. It does not define things as good or bad, right or wrong. Rather, awareness draws your attention to those things that are important in the present moment. You may feel guided to actions you wouldn't normally take in your day to day life, and you don't judge yourself for doing them. You are not bound by "the rules". Rather, the Universe makes you aware of your own needs and the needs of those around you and encourages you to take action that benefits the whole.

Begin today by taking a closer look at the world around you. What draws your attention? The television? The tree dying in your yard? Another person? Ask questions that help you define what is drawing you there. (Am I watching television as an escape, or is there something happening in the world I can act on? If it's an escape, what can I change about my life that I don't need to escape from? Does what I'm watching inspire me in some way?) (Is there something I can do to heal the tree? Do I need to see the tree gets taken down because it is going to become dangerous?) (Is something wrong with the other person that I can help fix? Is the person acting in ways I should copy in order to improve my life?)

Living in awareness requires a whole new way of looking at the world. Awareness asks you to step out of the robot mentality and think for yourself. When you are finally able to escape the box society has placed you in, you free yourself from manipulation. Awareness allows you to express the BEing you were born to be!


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