How to Become Free of your Hang-Ups and Guilts
by Roland Trujillo
“Between the stimulus (the tease) and your response, there is a holy space. Here lies the freedom to choose new responses that will shape your new destiny. Unfortunately, emotional upsets block this blessing from coming through, advancing the cause of disease and suffering.” –Roy Masters
The following is an excerpt from Roland’s article by the same name.
Resentment plays a role in so many dysfunctional states and acts. It is probably the key response that leads to destructive and self-destructive behaviors.
Resentment is under our control to the extent that we become aware of just what it is and are willing to be made aware of and give up our own resentful reactions. Once you know what it is, you can see that exercising your "right" to indulge yourself is the act that puts you over the line and under the control of outside influence. You will also see how your resentment hurts others, especially when it transforms into hatred and impatience expressed toward those smaller or weaker than yourself.
Just before giving into the resentment, you have a little space in which you are free to choose a different response. Just before giving yourself over to the resentment you are close to the Source of truth and patience. This Source of truth and patience is also the Source of freedom.
Therefore, meditate for mental distance. Then when you go out into the world, watch for resentment. When a situation arises where previously you would have been resentful, stand back, let a heartbeat go by and let the stimulus pass without giving in to resentment.
This is very important. If you let the resentment pass, you will be free. The negative thoughts, the morbid doubts, the self-loathing, the paranoia, the inferiority, and the depression are the result of falling into the hypnotic state of resentment.
Once you fall into that hypnotic state, you are prone to the negative mental attacks and the emotional upset. If you don’t fall into the state, you will not know the negativity and the horror of that state.
I cannot emphasize the importance of meditating properly for mental distance. In the meditative state, the soul is just beyond time and the soul can see just a fraction of a second into the future. With this proper state of mind, you can go into the world, and you will be pre-armed for the stimulations that will come your way. It won’t be long before you encounter someone or something that is the kind of stimulus to which you responded resentfully in the past. This time, stand back and let it pass.
Just this side of the indulging of resentment is a world of good, joy, courage, hope, and love. Just the other side of indulging the resentment is the world of upset, hatred, hurt feelings, violence, fear, doubt and despair.
Remember, resentment is not given up by making a decision, an affirmation or a New Year’s resolution. You can’t make a decision to give it up this week or make a New Year’s resolution to give it up all year. Resentment is given up in the moment, one moment at a time. It is a daily commitment, assisted by proper meditation, to be patient with others. Each new moment is an opportunity to triumph by not indulging resentment.
Resolutions and global statements do not work because without the assist of the grace available from walking in the Light, we do not have the power to change our own nature. We are prideful and thus willful. And when things don’t go our way, we are quick to resent and blame—which support pride. Without dreams and schemes, without fantasy, and without excitement and resentment, pride would begin to dissolve. And until we are ready to give up pride, we simply cannot bear a life without false hopes and resentments.
When false hopes and false loves disappoint us and betray us, the only thing left to maintain our pride is resentment, judgment and blame. Therefore, until the special moment when we are willing to change (but humbly admit that we are powerless to change our nature) we go on as we were. Fortunately God does not deny us help in our fallen inherited situation. By honestly yearning for truth and by truly wanting to do right we snap out of imagination long enough to glimpse truth. We also can put aside our selfish indulgence for the good of another.
At a certain point in our later life, living rightly does become an either-or proposition. But during the first part of our life—where we must grow egotistically, taste of the world, and discover just how far our natural talent and courage will take us—we have the option of being either more human or less human. To the extent that our love for our parent, our child, our spouse or our neighbor awakens us to seek to do the right thing by them, we can snap out of our selfish revelry long enough to be at least temporarily rehumanized. To the extent that we check with our conscience, count to ten before we get angry, set aside selfish indulgence for the sake of another, refrain from use out of compassion, and refrain from wrong out of a sense of decency, we can be more human.
The little space—just before we slip into thought and just before we indulge the resentment or pleasurable escape—is where we connect to our Parent Spirit and are human. It is that little space through which come love, understanding, kindness, patience, selflessness, goodwill, forbearance and longsuffering.
However, if we make a habit of bypassing that little space, we enter a world of fantasy, delusion, deceit, hatred, blame, unbridled ambition and revenge, through which we become progressively dehumanized until we become beasts, human in form only.
A lifetime of bypassing the little space that gives us restraint and patience, leads to becoming a slave of judging and resenting, a slave of pleasure seeking and emotion. With each reaction, the person has less and less power to say “no” to the hypnotic delusion and the call of emotion. The day comes when the person needs to be calm, needs restraint, needs wisdom, and needs courage; but finds that he has none. He or she is a caldron of uncontrollable anger, a slave of lust, an anxiety-ridden basket case, or a quivering mass of confusion.
Therefore, do not wait until you are perfect to begin the habit of standing back and refraining from responding immediately. Begin now with little things. Practice saying “no” instead of yes. Practice stopping just short of being full. Gently say “no” to the extra chocolate or the unneeded clothing item. However, do not force yourself to give up things. Simply practice standing back and observing. If you have a habit that needs changing, don’t make up your mind to do so or angrily struggle with your habit. That would simply be your ego, and the struggle itself will only give more power to the habit. Instead, observe gently. If need be, continue to observe yourself failing. Observe your helplessness to change yourself. Wish to be different, but see that you can’t change yourself. This attitude permits the Light to operate and one day your bad habit will give you up.
For Heaven’s sake, don’t try to be a saint. This attitude only serves pride, leads to frustration, and eventually to despair and a tendency to throw in the towel. Instead, see your faults. Do what you can. Be content to be a regular person.
Perhaps the most important thing I can leave you with is this: remain aware and watch for opportunities to overlook. Remain aware of the fact that there is a space between the stimulus and the response wherein lies freedom and the power to be patient. Just before you indulge resentment, there is a space in which you could let the irritation go. Just before you reach for the drug or familiar method of escape from boring or painful reality, there is a space in which you could remain aware. Just before giving way to anger, there is a space in which you could instead exercise restraint.
The more you watch for that little space and let it have its way with you, the more you will remain human, the more freedom and dignity you will have, and the closer you remain to God Whom you will have to call upon in your hour of need.
When we fail to be watchful, the stimulus catches us off guard and we respond and fail before we even knew what happened. Then we spend our time trying to deal with the symptoms of the fall. Your errors, your food problems, your drug addiction and your sexual hang ups are mostly the result of degrading influences that we come under in our hypnotic, emotional state that we fall into when we have responded to the tease.
Instead, meditate and then go out into the world prepared to face the trials, temptations and vicissitudes. Watch for the occasion where you can now overlook instead of resenting. By being patient, you remain free. The choice to begin a different life is in the holy space. By not resenting you remain close to the power that permits you to observe and be patient.
To overlook means to observe without censure. It does not mean to pretend you don’t see error. It means to discern—to see error clearly but without judgment.
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