Should We or Should We Not Listen to Stories?
Posted by Steve Beckow
A reader asked what I think is an important question that I’d like to share here. He said:
“At some point (sometimes) in the listening process it seems like the speaker is merely going in circles. That is, s/he is just continuing (wallowing?) in their ‘story.’ To simply continue listening, at that point, feels like I am being of little service; rather, maybe even being an enabler.
“Many teachers have helped me the most by choosing not to listen when ‘my story’ becomes too long winded….since this can keep me further entrenched in the illusion.
“So, while I do hugely value listening, I wonder how these approaches are compatible.”
In my experience, S, if the person is going in circles, they’re either trying to get what lies at the heart of the vasana (archaic and obsolete reaction pattern born of earlier traumatic incidents) and are having difficulty or they wish to be fed back to before they move on (perhaps because what they’re saying is important and they don’t want us to overlook it or perhaps because they need to know we’re listening before they reveal more). They may be hovering on the brink of plunging into the heart of the matter.
Repetition could signal an important juncture reached. Shall I trust this listener or not? Dare I venture into deeper waters? The worst thing they may fear is that they’ll go deep and we’ll stand up and say “Time’s up!”
We can always ask: “Is there significance to the fact that you’re repeating yourself? Is it something I should not miss noticeing?”
Every sentence a person says when talking about an unwanted condition or vasana can be treated as a chapter heading with a lot more under it if we’ll listen. But we need to demonstrate that we’re listening to the speaker; hence, appropriate feedback is essential. We need to demonstrate that we’re there for them and that we’re committed to getting to the bottom of the upset.
It could also be that the speaker is putting out an organizing principle, usually a metaphor, that they’re not sure is an organizing principle and so they’re waiting for us to respond to it. Or they may not get the significance of the point but sense that it’s significant in some unknown way (and so they repeat and repeat).
Example: J: “In Newfoundland, we’d go into the sea and it was so cold that we’d just get our feet wet and immediately come out.” Steve: “Is that how you are in relationship?” (Aha moment follows. The truth has set her free.)
I treat everything a person says in a listening session as significant. If it isn’t, when the person sees I’m listening that way, they usually leap at the opportunity and go deeper anyways. I observe and may remark on body posture, hand, face and bodily gestures, pattern of rising and falling intonation, emphases, slang, everything. Never in an obtrusive manner, but with gentle questions, which I quickly abandon if offense is taken. And not so much feedback that I redirect them away from what they’re wanting to say.
I know that the conventional wisdom is not to listen to story. But what we’re offering the other is a chance to lay everything on the table so they can see the whole depth and breadth of their situation and what it guards them from, fosters in them, loses them, wins them, etc. Somewhere in there is an “Aha!”
When I counseled people using Problem-Solving Therapy, most did not listen to me. They simply wanted to tell their story. So why fight it? Somewhere in the story lies the key to release. And it’s vastly easier and more efficient than to keep coming up with solutions nobody wants.
So I don’t support the view that we shouldn’t listen to story. Most people who advise against listening to story, I think, are saying they don’t feel they have time to listen long. If they don’t, I question whether their listening will be effective. Rushing listening diminishes its value.
Story has been formed out of the vasana and constitutes the breadcrumbs that will lead them and us out of the deep, dark forest. We just have to be adept enough to work with it and committed enough to stay with it.
The reward is great. And they will seldom get the same opportunity or results from a practitioner that uses the fifty-minute hour.
PS. Back then I didn’t know how to source a vasana. But now I might say: “Ask your mind to send you up a picture of what earlier, similar situation this present incident relates to and take the first image you get.” The mind is an obedient servant and will send up an image, often fast, so we need to grab it as it passes by.
Then I would ask them to tell me about that incident, how they feel, etc. That incident is usually at the heart of the vasana.
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Ascended Master, El Morya’s Weekly Message ~ July 08 – 15, 2014
Received by Julie Miller
July 8, 2014
How does one exercise personal power? Well dear ones, the best example would be when you overcome habits that caused your health and overall wellbeing to deteriorate and bring in healthy changes. Changing of a habit could be anything from quitting smoking those health hazard cigarettes, begin exercising, start a healthy eating regime, learning to control emotions at work or home; there are many habitual ways you could bring change to, make better or even get rid of if necessary and it would demonstrate your behaviour and determination that you do have the power to change any habit.
There are some dear souls that misunderstand personal power for self-discipline. Even though both are similar, they have differences that set them apart. Anytime you are considering changing an old way or habit, one of the key factors is your drive and passion to bring any change you want to see into successful effect. The stronger your passion to overcome any habit, or to begin a new, healthier one will bring your changes at faster rate. When you have the desire and passion to live, you will discover that you can overcome any lack of self-discipline and access your personal power that you may have forgotten you had. At any time dear ones, you can access the reserves of your personal power when you get in touch with your true and authentic passion which is part of your authentic self.
What causes so many plans to change certain habits or to bring new, healthier ones in is competing desires and needs. To bring in change to habits that are needing attention, you must be able to apply focus to that one habit and develop your self-discipline by accessing your personal power. There are many distractions that causes you to not succeed in changing your habits. If you want your changes to be permanent, then it is imperative that you look throughout your daily living, and honestly determine if there are any factors that could cause problems for your success. Develop a stronger will when these temptations present themselves, say NO and mean it. We understand changing habits takes time due to the temptations that cross your path, but in time your resistance builds and your passion and drive to bring those changes rises and you will find yourself no longer competing with temptations that would hinder your success. When you want to do something, or even overcome a habit that has become unhealthy, then you will when both your heart and soul is working together.
If you have too many choices, what can occur dear ones is a debate that goes from one choice to the other, no pure concentrated focus is applied because you are being drawn from one choice or need to the other causing conflict of interest which decreases your personal power as your self-discipline begins to wan. If you allow yourself to fall into the temptation of eating too much cake or potato chips, or you let yourself have one too many cigarettes when you’re trying to quit, or snap here and there at work and home, or if you are changing other habits, you’ll find the damage of the slipup not only affect the habit you are trying to break and change but will enter other areas of your life simply because your ego begins feeding you with negative ideas that you don’t have what it takes to overcome your habits. Your ego will begin working hard trying to convince you that you don’t have the self-discipline and personal will power to succeed. But we know differently, we just need you to believe more in yourself and what you are truly capable of.
If you believe everything your ego presents you with, with every proposal and possibility then you would become hypnotized into believing you have no self-discipline and no will power. Your own will power becomes used to add more belief into that negative thought form and before you know it you are going further down a negative spiral of damaging thoughts, self-criticism, and self-degradation. Your emotional and mental health takes a beating when you begin believing what your ego is trying to convince you with. Break away from the bonds your ego has strapped you with…love yourself with enough conviction to sever its ties and begin making changes to your will power one step at a time. Remind yourself why bringing changes to certain habits are necessary. Let their reminder empower you to strive more and fight harder for what you want to see changed in your life. The love you give to yourself will help raise your confidence and self-esteem and before you know it, you’ll overcome the pesky ego and shine from love that will streaming from all that you are. If you are ever struggling and need a little nudge don’t forget dear ones at any time you can call upon God and He will without hesitation shine His Light, show you a way from your uncertainty. There are many divine beings waiting to help guide and support you, but cannot until you ask for them with pure and genuine love from your heart.
What we mostly see when people are trying to overcome old, no longer useful habits in favour of new, and light-filled habits is not that they have huge lack of personal power or self-discipline but they truly believe they are powerless to make change happen. One of the best ways to gain more personal power and liberation in your thought forms is to refrain from agreeing with debilitating thoughts that you are powerless. Become aware of your self-sabotaging thoughts that have been in control for a long time and learn to break away from them, change them, and resurrect new, empowering thoughts that will help bring about more of your authentic personal power.
Being able to access your personal power has a lot to do with your ability to apply pure focus on the area of your concern. If you have the ability to focus all of your attention on the habit or way you are working at changing, you’ll be able to successfully navigate your way through conflicting needs, desires and temptations. Sometimes it takes working at changing a habit that has been with you a long time to realize that you possibly may have great discipline in focusing your attention on specific areas of your life, but you realize how difficult it is to apply your focus on a situation completely and fully.
For many dear souls, the problem with successfully bringing change to old ways and habits is not because they have a lack of self-discipline or unable to tap into their personal power, the problem is knowing how to apply focus not just on a specific area, but on the situation itself. No one can teach you this. This is something you learn on your own by creating targets and goals that require discipline to see them through. Begin making changes with small goals and work yourself up to bigger ones. Focus your attention on the steps needed to bring your goals into success, you do this through discipline and from tapping into your will power. You will overcome your busy mind with new thoughts that are focused and working primarily on solving the problem or issue before you and nothing else. You’ll find a workable solution or technique that will help you stay focused and firm on your path to bring changes to your habits and ways that will be for the better. Believe and trust in yourself.
Quieting the busy chatter that often fills your mind is a monumental task, but one that you can succeed in. The busyness of your mind often causes emotional pain when you allow negative thoughts to derail your focus. It is essential to become aware of your thoughts and to learn to counter your negative thoughts with positive and loving thoughts. Having the awareness of how your negative thoughts have caused you any setback is enough to inspire a commitment from you to change them regardless how long it may take. Remember dear ones if your desire and passion is strong enough and if you are working from your heart and soul, you will succeed any change regardless how long it will take.
To improve your personal power, one of the most effective ways is to pull away from any habit or way that wastes your energy and doesn’t serve you well. We see so often so many dear souls filled with great amounts of personal power but they spend that power on habits that exhaust them instead of providing them with sustaining energy. It is important to be able to collect enough reserves of personal power to last throughout the many steps that you have created to bring in new changes and for overcoming old habits. You gain more personal power by taking your attention away from something that has your attention that is not benefiting you—to make room for new you must remove some old.
As you gain more and more personal power, you can use this power, your will power to help you break away from any other energy draining habits. Remember dear ones, each and every energy draining habit you refrain from will provide you with more personal power which in turn will help you overcome any habits that have caused havoc on your health and life. When you increase your personal power, your self-discipline also rises and when both are working together in your favour, you can make changes stick and your efforts will be rewarding.
Making changes to your ways and getting rid of habits is a daunting task, one that requires great inner strength, the ability to persevere, patience, commitment, self-discipline and personal power just to name a few. We know you can do anything you put your heart, mind and soul to…it’s just up to you believing this as well.
I AM Ascended Master, El Morya…
…through Julie Miller
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