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Releasing Me, Loving You:
The Spiritual Paradox of Altruism
If I’m truly to love someone, and by that I mean a pure and spiritually-based love, it means experiencing love from a completely selfless point of view, one that embraces the concept of altruism. Altruism is the opposite of losing yourself in a relationship; it is holding the other person with such respect and dignity that you set aside your own demands and expectations in order to honor their right to choice--even if that choice is not you. The concept of releasing ‘Me’ to love ‘You’ is a tremendous paradigm shift that actually opens the pathway for even greater expressions of love.
All too often, waking up in the morning can quickly turn into a rush or panic as we let life, work, and the things of the moment take us away as soon as we become consciousness. Surely these things have to be tackled immediately if they demand so much attention? Well, maybe not so much.
The truth is, we all get so caught up in what’s “urgent” that we forget what’s most important. What is important? We should do whatever routine we need to do in order to start our day in the zone. When I was young it meant taking a shower right after awakening. As I got older it transitioned into sitting quietly with a cup of tea and meditating. Today it depends what my body calls for on any given day.
Each of us has some set of routines perfect for putting us in the zone after we wake up and before we jump into the day. The zone is where an inner aspect of ourselves can get centered, where the voice inside becomes quieter, and where far fewer things can trigger us. Starting out the day from this place means feeling like you’ve got your feet more under you. This subtle but vital shift is important and can make the difference between a day of chaos or a day of productive peace.
A Divine Dissatisfaction
Growing up I was always told I was never satisfied. As I got older and more on a spiritual path to my life I was told the absence of desire was the DESIRED state of mind. From lack of desire, to never satisfied and everything in between, I seem to have bridged them all and yet it is only now that I begin to realize what this search has been all about or so I think.
We are each creators in everything we do, every word we speak and each breath we take. We are either creators of harmony and peace or creators of chaos and turmoil. The choice seems to be ours. But is it? Maybe it isn't. Maybe the turmoil and chaos is needed to reach the peace and harmony. Is it possible that all of it is needed? If so, then would a true absence of desire be a good thing? Would it serve us to be satisfied? After all we were given the characteristic of desire and we were given an ego. Maybe it is just our obsessed abuse of them that really creates the issues and not the states themselves.
Without the process of desire we would never develop anything, we would never be motivated to be anymore in life then what we are as children. That would certainly be a desired state in some cases because we would worry less and not even have the distinction of stress. But, what else would we not have? We would probably have no progress or social organization. Could it be that this is what we were supposed to be? I'm thinking not. I think we are supposed to grow and have these desires and attachments as part of a normal course in life so we can grow and evolve.
The thought here is that the very things we curse and judge both in others and ourselves are actually good qualities to have that serve us, as well as, humanity and the Universe. Life is a process, a journey to be experienced without any specific destination other than the awakenings of the consciousness to the God Mind as I like to refer to it. We as human beings are working toward a singleness, a Oneness with this energetic system we call God. Looking through history it would appear that is where evolution is taking us and as we grow in
To truly love anyone, I must first know love through the act of loving myself; to love myself, I must know and honor the person I am—I need to honestly love “Me”. Only then am I ready to expand my love toward another person. To do so, to love You, I must now become selfless and release Me. In essence, it’s necessary to find and accept myself so that I can let go of everything wrapped up in my ego’s stories about Me. Not doing this would mean being locked into my own wants, desires, and preferences, which would thread their way into every aspect of how I approach the relationship. But if I let go of all of that and can hold you with a selfless love, I’m truly free to love You.
When you don't release yourself from the ego, you will always be haunted by desires and fears. Desires can include what you want someone to do, or how you want someone to be, act, speak, or love you. Remember: self is concerned with self--not with the other person! Selfish, narrow-minded thinking is focused on your own wants or desires, or viewing your wants and desires from the perspective of how they make you feel or turn the attention on yourself. When love isn’t selfless, there’s always an underlying motive. Always.
There’s almost no way to escape battling the hold of the ego; we’re human beings. To further complicate matters, escaping its grip can be even more difficult when we’re on our own or when we have no one to turn to, especially if we lack some sort of grounding point or a support mechanism. (What we can do, however, is direct it all to a reference point of strength, such as a Universal Creator.) This is because when self is trying to get rid of self, it is often trapped by ideas. For instance, the idea that you can’t fix one thing that’s broken by means of something else that’s broken. This is a classic case of the ego’s sabotaging mechanisms. The good news is that ideas are just thoughts, and you can change your thoughts and beliefs!
When ego (i.e., the self) has control, it allows no room for anything but the all-consuming focus on the self. As we begin to take specific actions to reduce its preoccupation with the self, we’re creating internal space for another human being--we are letting go of Me to create room for a relationship with You. Until we reach that point, everything in us is so focused on our own dreams, fears, and desires that there is simply no clean, clear, and open spot in your life for another person to come in. If I focus on myself and how I want the relationship to be, I’m essentially obsessing over what I want, which leaves no time and space to focus on that person and give them the right type of attention, much less allow the relationship to grow organically. Loving someone simply can't be done effectively from a selfish standpoint. Therefore, I must release Me to truly—selflessly—love you.
When I care more for you than my idea of who I want you to be, I am embracing you as love, with love. I come from a position of power--the power of Spirit, of God. I come from a space so much greater than myself that I can allow you to be you, whoever and whatever that might be and look like. I want your happiness, even if it means I will be the one to sacrifice in some way or step aside so that you can become the best you. If your happiness is grounded in someone else, then I want that for you more than I want you for me. This is where the concept of altruism comes into play. Just stay with me here.
Altruism means that you exist beyond attachment. In the context of love, it is known as agape love, or caritas. It is the highest and most beautiful type of love.
The ego wants more and more all the time; its drive is possession because its greatest focus is security based. All linguistic fears dwell in the ego, which therefore acts or reacts out of fear the vast majority of the time. This is because the fear of what we don't want to see happen is usually so close to the surface, not to mention more dramatic to tap into. In contrast, a calmer, more trusting and more open path of faith can lead us to what we desire. If I’m holding on to Me while trying to love You, then my motives will always be based in the security of having you in my life, which will eventually turn to complacency once I feel secure that you’ll be there every day, like the house or furniture. This is a huge problem for us, and creates the greatest issue of all. The other person in the relationship most likely won’t feel the same, secure sense of love being present anymore. The specialness that they once felt will leave.
We are most likely to act out of fear during times when things get shaken up--often when we’ve been complacent or making assumptions. This fear could be insecurities of losing the other person, being alone, not finding someone else, and most of all, the fear of change. These fears will cause us to be in a fear-based action or reaction to whatever is going on. Instead of being authentically strong through our vulnerability, fear weakens us and is likely to push the other person away. In the end, we’ll be hurting ourselves and never realize it.
The facts are these: I must know myself to love Me and I must release Me to achieve a state of “no mind” in order to embrace altruism and truly love You. When I do this, my love for you grows exponentially. It grows no matter what and is always present within me, even when you’re not there. Therefore, if the other person in the relationship leaves or moves on in any way, I can stand on my love for them and know that all I truly want is for them to be happy.
When I release Me, I create space to love You; I create a space of Mushin (no mind), a space of altruism which keeps me aware of the gratitude I have for your presence. Next, I create a space of non-attachment for you to flourish individually, as well as in the relationship. The individual version of you that you will create for yourself, though possibly challenging for me at times, will always be the version of you that will serve me best and bring forth the greatest love between us. This is an absolute truth in relationships. After all, I didn't fall in love with you because you were the way I wanted you to be, but because you were the best possible version of you when we met, which complemented my best version of me at that time. If we’re meant to be together, even if not always at exactly the same time, we will both journey through a dance of self evolution that will enhance and complement who we each are at any given moment. This occurs because life is dynamic and as ever-changing as we are. If we’re willing to undergo the moments when we’re not synchronistic, then we’ll certainly enjoy the ride and know a love that will flourish when we are brought closer together again by the currents of Flow.
In my years and relationships, I’ve learned one thing that I hold with great certainty. We are not meant to journey this life alone for ourselves, but to have others in our lives to serve and to share ourselves and our experiences with, whether it is a significant other and/or children, a teacher/master, or a group or organization. We are meant to be in service to a purpose greater than ourselves, and it is to be based in love and selflessness in order to truly find the joy within us.
It’s an illusion to argue we don't have the time to do these things and quiet our minds in order to get into our specific rhythm; even a few, brief moments of centering can become a relished morning routine. Don’t assume you have no time to work it in; do you have one minute? 30 seconds? 10 seconds? You can create a beautiful moment that is for you alone. If we do this, we’ll be more present in the moment and therefore more efficient, accomplishing a greater body of work with less effort and time. Don't believe me? Try it for 90 days. You will have nothing to lose but a fraction of time. Isn’t that worth the possibility of gaining much needed peace?
It doesn't require much of you or your time. It doesn't require a religious practice or philosophical background. Just simply discover that activity or process in the morning that will put you in the zone. Perhaps you can sit and make a list of everything that needs to be done that day. If you have children, maybe it’s taking a longer shower. If you live by the woods, try a 15 minute morning walk. Or if you’re spiritual, try a short prayer or two followed by meditation.
What this is accomplishing has to do with brainwaves and your energy levels. This short trip into the “alpha” range will transform what your day looks like. It is so powerful that it will shift you. If you have a long drive to work, make a morning playlist of music that revs you up and inspires you. If you’re more visual, make a montage of your favorite video or tv moments and watch it. It is all about shifting and centering your mood. The mood will then create energy of a specific vibration, resulting in a greater efficiency or effectiveness. These are things that undeniably resonate with you on a deep level, bringing out peace, power, confidence, and a vibrance of spirit that will define the energy of your day.
Personally, I adhere to the routine of saying thank you for my day as soon as my eyes open; I begin my day with gratitude. I give thanks, and then follow it by listing things I’m appreciative of, or I reflect on my dreams, or if my mind is quiet, I simply lie there in the stillness. Whatever is there, I do not fight or resist; I just accept it. I do this regardless of when I wake up: whether I’m just turning over, if a noise wakes me, if I’m getting up to go to the bathroom, or waking up for the day. I do it over and over on restless nights. It helps me get in the zone before my feet even hit the floor, and it sets the tone of my day. You cannot beat this process when followed by meditation or writing.
The zone is not a mystery, but it lives in mystery. Don't wonder how or why it works; it is a simple concept. It shifts the brain’s alpha waves into a more peaceful state, then is followed by quieting the mind. In that state we are calmer and less susceptible to triggers. This is a great way to be and fosters even greater efficiency for the rest of your day.
When you find your zone, you’re no longer in a state of resistance or fighting yourself. You are in acceptance and flow. In this state you are very creative and it facilitates a different level of awareness (it’s a state closely related to self-defense arts). This aspect is the mystery.
When we experience this state of mind and embrace our rhythm, then we are accepting the mystery in life. Not projecting the results or future, but rather creating the action that brings forth the desired result. We become more aware but less in our heads. We embrace the mystery of life through observing its unfoldment.
As we grow in life, we become more aware that life has a rhythm and we are the ones unfolding in response if we do not resist it. The result is we begin to trust the process of life more and realize all that is required from us is a clear vision of what we desire. As long as we are not attached to how it occurs, it will come together all on its own. Doing what's in front of us is the wisest thing we can do once we’ve centered ourselves in the zone.
Expectations are the real enemy in this game. Don't have them. But how can you not? How do you release them? How can I sit here writing this without some expectation it will be read and make a difference for someone? After all, it’s why I follow my heart down these trails and type out these concepts.
Eliminating expectations is the hardest part of this process. It's what will take us out if the zone faster than we got in it. In the blink of an eye, an expectation will drive us completely out of the zone and into fear and projection. Our attachment to the results will drive us nuts and cause us to do all kinds of things that will be counter-productive to our desired results. All we really need is a clear vision; this is one of the things getting in the zone helps us to achieve. Once the vision is clear and we release it, we just do what is in front of us. This is the creative process. It is how we are meant to be and function.
Will there be setbacks? Of course there will be. Sometimes you’ll get yourself in the zone only to have something snatch you out of it almost immediately. Here’s the trick: do not judge it, resist what pulls you out, or fight with yourself over it. Just let the moment wash past and you will quickly find yourself dropping back into the groove. With practice, this recovery process becomes much easier and will happen more quickly. Soon, the things that used to pull you out won’t be able to, and you will be more peaceful throughout the course of your day. Stress will gradually dissipate and merely be a visitor after a while. The zone will become your normal mode of operation and you will crave what brings you there. You will naturally be in the creative expression of life and every moment will consist of creating your beautiful life.
Once again, I feel I must stress a certain point. Your personal belief systems are entirely independent and complementary to these concepts; there is no conflict or competition. It is about the process and it works. There is no need to intellectualize it or take it apart. Simply follow the process and you will be amazed.
dimension, we seem to grow closer to this energy. I may refer to this energy as God or the God Mind but you can call it anything you like. It is a simple source of energy from which all things are given birth and all things return.
I now, over time and much work, have entered into the understanding that it is not desire or the absence of desire that is goal, but acceptance. When we accept who and what we are we seem to release and let go of all the things we are not. They become cumbersome and a burden to hold on to or carry around so we dissolve them. We begin to release attachments and judgments of ourselves and others. We actually enter into a Divine Dissatisfaction that is almost unexplainable; a state where we are fully conscious of our desires as well as non-desires but have no attachment to either. In this state of complete acceptance of ourselves and the world about us; we find peace and harmony, we become filled with joy and love of everything and everyone. We are then able to become the adventurers we were born to be as we journey through this life as Divine Creators.
This thick fluid state of Divine Dissatisfaction (acceptance without possession) seems to have something that appears to be illusive in nearly every other human condition of mind. It is in this mental space that we have the desire to move forward and create to the highest good of humanity while drawing to us very experiences we need for our own personal growth and development. In short, by doing what is in front of us we will always receive the necessary experiences for our highest attainment. We do not need to go looking for these teachings. The Universe will always deliver them to us if we merely focus on being at one with Universal Energy or the God Mind. With this focus, our dissatisfaction will always lead us to the highest desires that will serve ourselves and the Universe to the greatest good.
May you never be satisfied completely, that you may always feel the hunger of a greater purpose and may your heart always overflow with joy and love.