Cognitive Dissonance – A Sober Person’s Early Warning System

Humans prefer consistency in what they perceive. Feeling uncomfortable between what a person knows (believes) is not good for them yet their wanting of this whatever sets in motion cognitive dissonance within me.

Simply put for this recovering addict and alcoholic my belief system in recovery kicks in when I bump into an internal sense of such and such or this or that is making me inaudibly uncomfortable.

An obvious circumstance is another person puts me down and this other person is someone I thought genuinely loved me. Inside pulses of discord alert me to a possible threat to my sobriety. The danger could be as simple as this insolent comment made by a loved one or far more intense and complicated. Maybe I am totally in love with someone who daily drinks. Cognitive recognition as a vital value of recovery would step center stage. The committee of two meets, and one hears, “Bonnie, what is happening here? You want to risk your sobriety by involving yourself with someone who drinks every time you cyber chat?”

There are three possible answers to this cognitive dissonant situation. There could be more, but I am not hip to more than this trio. Here we go: One, I do an about face and say sayonara and not be involved with this person, at least this lifetime. Two, I rudely realize I am actually not threatened because communication is digital meaning I cannot smell the alcohol nor have access to it plus I can click off if the person’s behavior becomes uncouth or insulting. Three (my choice after 28+ years being sober and clean) is say how I feel to the other person and talk about my own former problems with substance abuse. Putting aside lovey dovey stuff in favor of a reality check for both of us takes courage and is not for he newly minted recovering person. The risk is his denial gets on its high horse and tells innocent me to buzz off.

Denial is conniving, deceitful, and certainly not easily changed. A protective nature of the slogged drinking mindset is to excessively lie to oneself. “What do you mean I drink too much? I only drink a bottle of wine at dinner. I can stop any time I want to. I just prefer to drink because it is fun and help me write.” There are several versions of this classic statement of refutation.

So, Professor have I defined cognitive dissonance in an easily digested vegan ceviche?

What is evident is we receive internal messages when our belief system is in prickly contrast to an outside happening perceived to not align with our perceptions or principles we need to be as the best person we prefer to actualize. We experience a level of uncomfortableness, this dissonance alerts us to consider the situation with a heightened sense of awareness, and this in turn activates behavioral decisions and/or attitude changes.

In my cyber lover example I waiver around the flame of certainty yet by not abandoning myself (and my feelings) I express intrinsic generated factual unemotionally charged concerns. This is tantamount to affecting an attitude of positive change leading to right action. I am not responsible for anyone but myself. Simply stated, I am the only one who can change me. I have zip control over another’s use and abuse.

Now, the sincerely sad reality is too many under a constant mood altered influence on a need another central figure in their dishonest drama. A kind person willing to enable the drinker’s self-defeating self-destructive course fills the bill. This individual is addicted to the person drinking fed by a religiosity holy grail of action and belief contending they are helping. The nastiness of this upside down soap opera is the enabler lovingly assists the drinker and/or drug addict usually to their death. Those who die brain dead as bums in back alleys are the minority who suffer from the disease of addiction. Enablers are killed off my their own acts of kindness and they try every which way to get the drunk/addict to stop drinking. Eventually, enablers become more mentally and emotionally dis-eased than their focus of obtuse attention.

While the blotto lion is sitting at his or her computer in the kitchen drinking and cyber screwing the enabler fitfully sleeps or is forever praying for tomorrow to change for the better because it must. Love conquers all. Unfortunately, this crappy scenario is not about love even though it may begin with this benevolence. What occurs is a corrosiveness of the soul. The spotlight dysfunctionally becomes capturing and controlling the love of their life. The enabler’s inner voice of cognitive dissonance is not activated. No Zen brass bells ring within to awaken the control freak. After all, are we not taught to love by giving our body soul spirit? Yet, what the enabler sacrifices is their whole self at the alter of John Barleycorn.

 Again, as usual, I digress from the assignment. Citing what I know and have witnessed is at times a lesson in ten thousand sighs. As I finish this writing, I feel no better for its revelation. In fact, my heart is leaden knowing how hidden the gunk at the bottom of the Dixie Cup becomes as denial drives the drunken carriage.

As Val says, “How much we can see if we only look up.”

To Hoopoe, quality of life is sharply or vaguely defined by the optic deployed. We make our jasmine beds and pass out in them, sometimes tied to the bedposts and at other times buried under the pillows. There is one ultimate weapon against denial – a sober mature friend shielding no agenda while hanging onto the wild mane of the knight’s stead before horse and drunk go over the side into the abyss. Miracles are not human made. They are pieces of art, created for our souls.

I was saved from my covert overt defiance by folks I did not know – from Solomon, or Eve. This is the admittance annunciation of grace. A decidedly luxurious style for me to keep my sobriety is to pass along my gift of grace to those still suffering. I am exceedingly picky. Arthur, my husband taught me (as a funny boned power of example) to choose carefully with no forbearance. Sometimes, I think Arthur selected Hoopoe for me to earn my international disclaimer stripes.

Here Hoopoe take these ancient wings. They are an extra set with your name imprinted on them. I found them in the jungle under a Ceibo tree. I think they once belonged to a man-sized Sacred Ibis so they should align perfectly across your outdated living by a river in Egypt shoulders.Image

Pricks in the Aura

Counseling Myself
Part One

Innocence is a swell innate attribute until destroyed by betrayal. Ignorance as bliss is a m.o. many subscribe to because they cannot do brutal honesty with themselves, let alone treat another with compassion. Most of this relationship caca is the fear of intimacy up on its rear legs doing what ever it can to feel nothing while protecting itself. Going through the self-defeating motions, like a bad actor in a worse play, pretending it is real love yet never really feeling much of anything except maybe guilt. Then boom, bang, boom the 2 by 4 gets smacked in the third eye and reality sporting a shit ass grim steps through the door. 

No longer is the game viable. Something strange settles across the landscape of the heart like a rotting mass of stinking yellow fruits and veggies. Some get out the shovel and clear a path out. Others keep hoping the jasmine perfume and vanilla air wick will mask the stench of the lies. 

On Fedbook, or any social media site, some of the more adroit avatar characters in the tragedy comedy affect silly cyber sex games collecting conquests. When I was out there one would encounter the male god gift to womanhood trolling through a bar. The semi-regulars, like me knocking back one or two before hitting the road to commute from city work addiction to country lifestyle, would encounter these prowling lone wolves. One loud boo or recitation of Gregory Corso in their faces normally repelled them. They did not want any brainy complications in their one-dimensional quest seeking. And as Krishna chants, a strong independent woman who puts up with no shit let alone some guy’s obsessive infatuation with infatuation is not an ideal target.

What is obvious is people flirt here, in social media. Harmless little connections to feed ego or carry forward a fantasy enchantment to add spice to their lives? I get these contacts some exceedingly exotic yet disguised and others blatant and rude. The later I block because I really do not want to know the length of your manhood. The former are intellectual creative onions to peel and if lucky we become friends here in cyber hell. Barracudas do not swim on my timeline. Occasionally a shark noses around yet once they see the level of my discourse they hoist anchor for a dimmer lit harbor.

This evening I probably experienced an awakening I never imagined would skid by me let alone cause a five county train wreck in three tweets. I mean I am reeling from it and why writing is such a fine therapeutic exercise. Bare with me, I am not going to define the details because they are not mundane.

What I am doing is trying to sort through the dirty laundry and decide what, if any garments, I want to be anywhere near and burn the others, quickly. The fact is there have been a couple of minor fender benders and one major head-on along the way of this linkage. One would think scientifically I would bail out since I am a political standing pacifist. After the smoke cleared and space happened for some totally unknown reason we darned the sock, dragged off the bent bumpers, and moved closer. I know. Weird. We actually became nearer and dearer to each other, for each other. Or at least this is what I thought was a healing.

Please understand I am not recommending what I am going to explain as how you should go about building a loving relationship/life long friendship. All my prior ones happened purely naturally with no tug or pull or putting on the roller skates. They flowed beautifully. Very few ended as a debacle. Of course they were all in the flesh. I do not need youlube videos from a guru. I was married to the Buddha Arthur.

Confession is not valid unless the person you are sharing your tale of woe to is a dis-affected observer. So, Val and Tricia, you probably want to excuse yourself from this post. Val already pledged she would ride her flying carpet to the scene and beat the crap out of him, last month. Oh yea, it is a him, and he was floating around before I became a widow. As to Tricia – well, I have not kept her in the loop because she knows what is happening as we criss cross the same ethereal beam.

(to be continued, maybe)

Secrets to Being On the Beam

The repost on abundance below fairly and accurately is a synopsis of what I am blessed to figure out to this exact moment. Take the time to read and consider and integrate – take what you want and leave the rest. And, yea, fellow travelers on the little blue marble, we can jack up our level of consciousness in critical mass to create a harmonious world for the seventh generation. 

My lot, the strange bedfellows of induced cosmic happenings and nuclear fusion, set the oneness table as the Love Generation. The gene pool of Homo sapiens coming into being now, the children of the purple waves, will usurp our measly perspectives because everything we swim in the matrix expands our minds, hearts, and understandings. Our exploratory experience is both singular and global. Reading this and knowing there is a page on Fedbook named Abundance is proof. 

Once you walk over the LED lit bridge into the ethereal country of paradigm shifting while puking and shitting out the programmed dis-ease it is not so fantastic. In fact, it is damned with common sense melted into intuitiveness.

We can dare to be different and become the brilliant harmonious creatures of Earth or continue into the mist of madness of our own making. Each of us decides our own pathway and the steepness to the grade of our awareness. None of us are made a prisoner except by our own doing. Refugees on the hospital planet no matter how f**ked over or how elated in love have hands, lips, and tongues for a distinctive reason – to touch one another and give gentleness and joy. 

In your next conversation/chat/email/skype/tweet attempt to reach for a higher plane of abundance by bringing the entire landscape further up the page of existential non-linear perspective. 

Personally, I am winging in from a birds eye view praying my tattered feathers and singed tail can keep me afloat in the ethers long enough to transcend. Where am I am transcending too? Come on, you cannot expect me to know the definitive answer. I barely understand the questions.

There is one crystal clear clarity of higher power intelligence – love, surrender, and peace deploy tingles of real rapture (and I draw zip reference to any biblical storyline). Humans feed on joy and prefer happiness. All the other crap we put ourselves through is just that – shit happening stuck in fear. 

At this exact instance we sense each other and telepathically export and import our highest warmest truest regards. Tune in (to the multi-dimensional reality), turn on (to the unified joy), and drop out (from societal, economic, and religiosity slavery).

10 Ways to Shift Your Consciousness 

In moments of stress, anxiety and other intense harmful mind states that we experience within our lives, it can be difficult to keep our focus on positive personal development. The thought of becoming an enlightened sage radiating seemingly-perpetual positive energy can seem far off… an unattainable goal given life’s everyday problems. True as it may seem to be, this is a mental mechanism that blocks our ability to see things for what they are, namely that, “Your Self is already inherently liberated. It is the ideas that have been imposed on that Self which must be set free,” as Gangaji once mused.

We’re going to take a look at 10 ways in which you can help shift your consciousness to a higher level of well-being. These tools, methods and mind states will help you become consciously evolved and on your way towards the expansion of your awareness.

Compassion

By being compassionate, we embrace the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress, together with a desire to alleviate it. By experiencing compassion, we also experience the awareness of the interdependence of all things. Compassion is an active choice to want for others the alleviation of their suffering. Compassionate action is a willingness to go beyond our own self-interests for the good of others. We let go of our own needs to attend to the needs of others so that we can meet our own deepest need: to feel connected to something…to feel a part of a larger shared humanity.

Boundary Dissolution

By experiencing boundary dissolution, we experience a deconstruction and dissolving of boundaries that have been created by human cultures and societies and which have existed as long as the self-centered ego has influenced humanity. The purpose of boundary dissolution is to do away with these falsehoods that separate humanity instead of uniting it. When you dissolve the boundaries that divide and separate you from others, you will have the ability to transform your world into one of serenity, tranquility and peace. Oneness will not be just a philosophical concept but a reality that will be experienced by the totality of the human race.

Appreciation

When you appreciate someone, you are tuned into their positive qualities and express your empathy and gratitude for them. Appreciation results in positive vibration offered to all and further inspiration and expansion into a greater you. It’s a simple way to refresh ourselves, to open up heart-felt connections to ourselves and to others. Appreciation is both a fully-focused delight about whatever it is that feels good and a recognition of your own ability to intend and allow its manifestation.

Appreciate a deep relaxing breath of air or maybe the pleasurable radiant warmth of the sun. The simple things you might take for granted are all worthy of appreciation. As you do this, try to focus completely on the good this experience or item offers you, and acknowledge that you and only you have created it, no matter how it came to you. No matter your condition or circumstances, there will always be something that you can find to appreciate. If it seems that your life is lacking in happiness, just look for a single thing each day and honor your part in manifesting it, then think of any and every aspect of that item or condition that is a positive force in your life.

Inner Peace

Having inner peace means that we are mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep ourselves strong in the face of difficult and stressful life experiences. In some cultures inner peace is considered a state of consciousness that can be cultivated by taking up things like meditation, Tai Chi or yoga. Many spiritual practices refer to this kind of peace as being an experience of knowing your own self. The solution to finding inner peace requires us to look at the problem from a new perspective. We cannot change the nature of the world or its problems, but we can add a new dimension to life that will give us peace.

We may not be able to eliminate all the problems of the world, but through meditation we can attain peace and happiness. We can make our family life more peaceful, loving and caring. We can help change the society in which we live. We can be a source of peace to all those around us. By leading a life in which we are caring and loving to others, we will develop into ideal human beings. By gaining inner peace, we can also achieve outer peace. Some people mistakenly think that the path of meditation is one of escapism. They feel that it requires you to sit in a cave or on a mountain top like a hermit. Meditation doesn’t lead to escapism, instead it makes us more alive.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the moment-to-moment experience of peace and understanding that occurs when someone who feels injured has their suffering reduced, as they transform their grievance against the person or group that initiated the experience that led to that suffering. Forgiveness involves a sense of felt unity with one who has hurt us and can be regressive or progressive. By embracing the feeling of forgiveness as something that can help us, we accept it as an aspect of acceptance, love, peace, and truth, instead of experiencing hatred, emotionalism, negativity, falsehood…all of which are aspects of resentment.

Forgiveness brings utter peace of mind. Resentment brings inner turmoil and suffering. Forgiveness means choosing to see the absolute perfection and beauty in everything. Everything and everyone is currently operating at its own level of awareness and/or evolution. Everyone and everything is what it is right now because that’s what it needs to learn or un-learn. People are what they are and make mistakes because they really don’t know otherwise or they don’t want to know otherwise. If they really knew otherwise, they would already be otherwise.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of mind where you pay attention in a certain way. Mindfulness practice expands your field of awareness, allowing for improved oversight of somatic and effective experiencing, thanks to which you can experience an enhanced capacity for self-regulation of our arousal, affect and behavior. Mindfulness is incredibly helpful to us for several reasons. For starters, it reflects only what is presently happening and in exactly the way it is happening. 

There are no biases.

Mindfulness is also the ability of the mind to observe without criticism. With this ability, you see things without condemnation or judgment. Nothing surprises you…you just take a balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their natural states. You don’t decide and you don’t judge…you just observe. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It does not label them or categorize them. It just observes everything as if it were occurring for the first time. Mindfulness sees things as they really are. Once mindfulness becomes part of your everyday life, you develop the capacity to tolerate and accept painful experience, and you cultivate inner resources that help stabilize affect and reduce impulsiveness. For help with increasing your mindfulness, you should practice a meditation technique called vipassana, which was introduced around 2,500 years ago and has been specifically focused on experiencing a state of uninterrupted mindfulness.

Selflessness

When we are selfless, we shift our focus onto the needs of others, rather than keeping it on ourselves. It is the practice of being unselfish and minimizing the gratification of the ego’s wants and desires. In order to make the life-redefining shift from selfishness to selflessness, go and focus on the well-being of others. This can be done in countless ways. You can clean up your life and surrender a fully healed body, heart, mind and soul to others when entering a relationship. You can also be ready to share any amount of time needed by others whenever they need. Be happy with your life and with whatever you are offered by others. Whenever you are sure to give your very best possible, you are receiving exactly whatever you need for your greatest possible spiritual benefit.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a yearning for a return to some past period or seemingly-irrecoverable condition. It is the reliving of a past time, which is usually seen in a more positive light than the reality of that experience may have been. Studies have found that people who have a heightened level of nostalgia have higher self-esteem and are less prone to depression. 

Thinking of good memories for just 15 or 20 minutes a day can make you more cheerful than you were the week before, and happier than if you think of your current life. Nostalgia is a very potent mood booster, so if you seem to be in a bit of a funk, think about good memories of times past and you will experience higher self-esteem and feel more positively about friendships and close relationships.

Post-Materialism

As the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel once said, “If the world is to change for the better, it must have a change in human consciousness.” Albert Einstein mused in a similar vein when he said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. The world’s problems are grand and are many. The only way these problems can be solved is by a fundamental and profound shift in human consciousness. Making the shift to post-materialism requires us to take a few steps first.

We need to face the implications of population and consumption growth for pollution, climate change and environmental destruction. We need to realize that materialist values make for less happy lives. We need to identify and promote things in life that matter more than economic growth. We need to understand and experience the nature of the oneness and interconnectedness of all things and people.

Wonder

Wonder is the experience of those who reach a sense or state of so-called perfection in the ordering of the world. Experiences of wonder can lead us to a sense of transcendence and realization of higher states of being. 

From a mystical perspective, wonder relates to affirmation as wonder openings reveal the infinite and the source of all that is, which operate as gateways to uniting experiences. Energetically, wonder is an expression of Eros, a life force that propels one into the present moment and into life and that magnifies attentional capacities.

Buddhism muses that distinctions limited to relative or empirical reality are artificial and result in perpetuating the anguish, the pain and the frustration that some speak of because we become alienated from experience. Religious practice and customs propagate and create alterations in perception. 

Ultimately, through such alterations, we are able to experience the transparency of relative existence and of subject-object separations that exist in reality. In other words, wonder leads us tasting a unified and infinite existence.

Read More: http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/09/10-ways-to-shift-your-consciousness.html

Abundance