Acting Enlightened as A Spiritual PathBy Dr. Margaret Paul
October 31, 2022
Learn a powerful technique to help you become conscious of the moment of choice regarding responding from your wounded self or from your loving adult.
Those of us on a spiritual path are generally devoted to behaving in kind and loving ways. Yet, because we are not enlightened beings, all too often our wounded self takes over and we revert to our protective behavior - acting out with anger, withdrawal, compliance, resistance, defensiveness, and with addictions to substances, processes, and people.
Even though we are not enlightened and therefore unable to always stay in kindness and compassion with ourselves and with others, we need to continue to attempt to ACT as if we are enlightened. Most of us have a vision of what an enlightened person would act like in a given situation, and we can draw on this vision when we are aware enough to make a conscious choice. We have all been unconsciously practicing being our ego wounded self for most of our lives. By acting enlightened, we start to practice being our loving adult.
The challenge is to be aware that we have a choice, especially when we are triggered into fear.
When fears of loss are triggered - loss of self, loss of another, loss of money, loss of face, or when core shame issues are triggered, most people unconsciously go into their wounded, protected behavior. Yet there is a moment when we can choose to react from our wounded self or from our loving adult.
One method I have discovered that may help you to be aware of that moment of choice is to imagine that there is a movie camera always focused on you - like a reality show. You and everyone who knows you will see the movie. You have an opportunity to show others how to respond to challenging situations in a kind and compassionate way toward yourself and others - or they will see you acting out of your wounded self.
Do you want people to see your beautiful essence - your true loving, kind, and compassionate self, or do you want them to see your wounded self? Many people are far kinder in public with people they don't know than they are with their close relationships - as long as their control issues are not triggered. Certainly, control issues can get triggered by getting cut off when driving, or by a plane getting cancelled, or by a slow checker at a market. Obviously, some people will respond from their wounded selves just as much in public as in private. Yet many people do not want others to see "their dirty laundry," so either they are not triggered into their control issues with people they don't know, or they make a choice to not act out from their wounded self.
For most of us, it is the people we care about who have the most effect on us, and who therefore can most deeply trigger our fears and resulting controlling behavior. It is here, in the privacy of your personal relationships - with a partner, parent, child, boss, employee, or close friend - that you might want to imagine the movie being made of you. Imagining a camera on you can help you to stay aware of who you want to be in any given moment. Practicing this can help you become aware of your choices - aware of the possibility of acting as an enlightened being in the movie that is being made of you.
On a spiritual level, this movie is actually being made.
There is a permanent record in spirit of everything we think and do. Various people who have had near-death experiences have written about watching their movie - a replay of their life. They state that they have to feel everything others felt at the other end of their wounded behavior.
Instead of waiting to die to see your movie, why not imagine that movie right now? Why not use this image to help yourself begin to act like an enlightened being!
Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with Unlocking Your Inner Wisdom, A 30-Day at-home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul.
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By Dr. Margaret Paul