You Are Not What You Think by David Richo

When we are in harmony with all that is, then our self-centeredness vanishes and with it, every trace of self-doubt. Now we trust the universe completely. When we imagine that our armors of ego defenses is who we are, all we are, we are caught in a case of mistaken identity.

David Richo in You are Not What You Think.

The most outstanding thing about this book is the fact that it does not advocate for the elimination of ego in our life like most books about selflessness do, but instead, it says there are times when we can use the good parts of our ego when required and others we can leave it out.

If you were familiar with spiritual books you would notice how ego has a bad rep in that world. If you wish to ascend to your higher self, the authors of these books would tell you the only way was to let go of your ego identity which they would claim to be the source of all our spiritual and emotional blockages. However, in this book, the author, David Richo makes it clear from the start that ego is not totally bad or unnecessary but that it has its own benefits which could help us in unique times such as when you are in dire need of some will power and self-pride the type that is required to survive storms which are calling for a serious dose of self-esteem and selfishness such as entanglements with narcissistic people who prey on our selflessness and low levels of self-esteem.

As I read this book, I am intuitively receiving answers about my current dilemma of self-sacrifice soul contracts which I wrote about in my preceding post. The issue I have is I constantly find myself overly-compassionate to others who seem wounded, neglected or unloved. I want to be there for them, love them and give them affection and care even at the cost of my own wellbeing, and that has been most of the times if not all. However, what I didn’t tell you was that almost all of these seemingly painful relationships had their blessings. For example, caring for my grandma has been a blessing in disguise, I have not only learned to be compassionate and selfless despite seeing my mother walk away and choosing herself each time over her family, I have also attracted loving and giving relationships with others who support me as I support my grandma. I seem to get whatever I need as long as I step outside my ego needs and wants to accommodate and love others without wanting anything in return. In addition, these intuitive messages today, are telling me that I have come to this world, in this life time to learn to give and to care for others, a necessary lesson which I might have skipped on before. Ironically, when you are supposed to learn to be more loving, you get egotistic parents, neglectful and shitty childhood which paradoxically is supposed to teach you how valuable and life-changing compassion and care is. Just imagine had I just one person in my childhood who could care for me wholeheartedly and give me love, it would have been life-changing for me young self. Probably, I wouldn’t be here writing about soul contracts of compassion. Yes, that is how I will call them now: soul contracts of compassion and not self-sacrifice. The only thing you are sacrificing in my place would be your egoism and egotism, the former being a healthier version of ego as compared to the latter according to the author.

For this very reason, I have come to find enlightenment from this book, which I believe will help you too with self-awareness. With this book, I have come to know that the relationships which have caused me the most harm in the past are those with egoistic and egotistic men who only look out for themselves and who couldn’t think beyond their selfish interests. Now I understand why they never said sorry or wanted to commit because an egotistic person never submits, never admits and definitely, never commits as the author so well put it. I have never felt so self-aware like I am now as I read this book and it has only been an hour. Just imagine what I could learn by the end of this book!

Finally, this book couldn’t have come at a better time! I have been faced with a choice between compassion( formerly feared as self-sacrifice by my unenlightened former self), and selfishness. I was more than willing to choose myself, had it not been for this book I would have passed up this lesson of compassion present in this major choice of my life and ultimately, delayed my learning process in this life time. I am now thinking of surrendering to the teacher whoever they may be, to teach me what I need to learn in order to move on from this school. Haha! This reminds me of a time when I told God that I was a quick learner and that he didn’t need to send me the same lessons over and over again for the same purpose. I don’t know about you, but I am not willing to postpone or retake any lesson in this life time. If I can jump classes I would just so I could move on sooner to a better world, a higher level of being.

The Caretaker Soul Contract

Photo credit: Alise Hicks @ https://medium.com/@alisehicks/the-end-of-self-sacrifice-the-beginning-of-self-love-and-boundaries-cea19e8900ff

Hi my people! Sorry for taking so long to post. I have been busy, fulfilling my soul contract I had made some hundred years ago with the person who is my grandma in this life. The contract is not a complex one, it just entails a decade or more of taking care of her, making her tea which she loves very much, listening to her talk about ghosts and ghouls and giving her meals and anything else she needs. Come to think of it, this contact wasn’t one sided: She took care of me when I was little and that is why I grew up calling her mum and not granny. Well, everything you need to know about my childhood you can derive from that simple statement.

Like any good contract, it is reciprocal. Meaning that I scratch your back you scratch mine. She was there for me, I am there for her. It is not physics. Simple as that!

However, problem comes when a pattern arises, which calls on me to play this “caretaker” role in the long-lasting relationships of my life, such as marriage. For example, I have a tendency of attracting broken souls. The wounded and the damaged. Those who need something from me. I attract them like a magnet. I find myself feeling sorry for them when they don’t deserve it and giving to them all of myself. These kind of contracts are destructive or potentially so and they leave me distraught and depressed. I believe they are karmic ones. And no, they are not reciprocal. They are “taking” contracts because when they are done with me, after several cycles of pain and suffering on my part, I am left counting my losses and licking my wounds by myself.

Recently, I received an attractive offer. Attractive, yes, like that snake whose coat is too shiny to convince you it couldn’t hurt a fly. For how come something so perfect and beautiful could cause any harm? Well, I had mixed emotions: Firstly, a voice in my head was screaming, “soul contract! Run Away!”. Secondly, I recall there was a time in my life, some four or five years ago, where I had wanted this very much. Of course, back then, I was blissfully ignorant, spiritually asleep and playing my role beautifully like any human in the matrix of things.

I didn’t know then what I know now which is that nobody ever comes in your life, except those you have contracted with at a soul level before you reincarnated. Michael Mirdad puts it this way, “No one comes into your air space unless they made a contract with you.” And that simple powerful statement is ground-breaking because this means everyone in our life, those we love and those we learn from, are familiar souls we have made an agreement with to love us or hate us, to give us or take from us.

With this powerful knowledge in my hands, I cannot help but think twice about any relationship ffer in this life time. If my choice has any effect in the matter, I would like to exercise that right to prevent any unnecessary suffering disguised as lessons. No, thank you, I have learned enough already in my twenty eight years and many more before that to put myself through another cycle of self-sacrificing and caretaking like some blind bat that refuses to learn.

For this very reason, I am weary and overly cautious of this offer which was made to me. This offer is very familiar to the past relationship dynamics where I gave and not received, where I was left drained and empty, where I had to take care of someone at the expense of my own wellbeing. The offer is almost like an insult by the universe. That is how it feels like because I prayed and prayed for a family and for marriage only to have this offer come up soon after. I wonder, is God testing me to see whether I have learned to put myself first before others or not? Perhaps, if God is not involved with this contract, if I made it myself before, am I being called to fulfill it now? Does it mean I cannot get out of it? Does it mean if I should desire marriage and a family, getting into this dynamic with this person is the only way for me? Does it then mean I must stay single or become a caretaker for life?

“I plea insanity!” Is what Michael Mirdad said, concerning soul contracts of caretaking and self-sacrificing for others. Yes I made them, I might have made them but I was insane. Yes, insane because nobody in their right mind would bind themselves to a one-sided contract of self-sacrifice and caretaking unless they were insane, or ignorant of the full facts. Now ignorance may not be a defense but insanity sure is. I was insane when I made those contracts of self-sacrifice and caretaking and now I render them all invalid.

Make A Wish

Wishes take time to manifest, so make a wish now ahead of time.

Yesterday was just an ordinary day for me or so I had thought. Instead, I received a wish I had made four years earlier which after several attempts at waiting for it I had given up hope about. It came, on my silver platter, without any effort except, this time, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. Time had gone by, a lot had happened since then and excitement turned into indifference. I am confused as to how I should feel about finally getting what I used to want.

This made me realize that the wishes we make at any time in our life do come true, sometime later however, it is not going to be any time soon so for those of us who want what we want right now or not at all, how will you fare in the arrangement of things?

I am convinced that no desire we put out into the universe goes unanswered, it just seems that way because we are too impatient and when that wish does come true for us a few years later, we have moved on and forgotten how much we wanted it so bad before. Is there a medicine for this type of illness? I don’t know.

Dang! I wish it had come when I desperately wanted it! Was my mood the whole of yesterday and today. What this teaches me is that I need to get serious about my wishes and desires and start setting the right intentions sooner rather than later. I need to plan what I really want in my heart gor my future and start the manifestation process well in advance because that is how it works. If you want to enjoy something tomorrow you should have set your intention yesterday, not wait until today or tomorrow morning. That is just not how it works. I believe we live in such a dense world which takes time to materialize our wishes from the spiritual into the physical. The process is complex and requires us first to prepare and match up our frequency with what we want to achieve and that takes time in itself. And then there is the whole business of letting go of what you want to make it come to you which is a paradox of all paradoxes to have ever existed: That when you want something bad, it runs away from you but when you are disinterested and have moved on, that is when it comes running. How are we even supposed to deal?

Love Your enemies with Caution

I tell myself everyday that I couldn’t make everyone love me. Most especially when I adamantly ask for the favor of God upon my life. Zeinab, you can’t ask for God to favor you and bless you and still wish to have no enemies! Blessings of God come with just as much extraordinary hurdles and enemies hellbent on derailing your destiny.

If you ask big, you will receive but be prepared to be met with just as much opposition as the level of blessings you desire. I have been met with such enemies myself. Mostly at work and in school. That is where my star shined and that was also where I suffered the most heartbreak and resistance. Nobody understands when you come first in every subject every single time that you took just as much effort and dedication to put in the work. While my mates gossiped and talked boys, I was in class putting in extra effort. I studied day and night because that is all I had. Home was chaotic and abusive and there was nowhere I could feel safe except at school. While my friends were excited about going home for the holidays, I felt dreadful. I had no home I could call home. No one was there to love and protect me. That was my reality. Couldn’t I atleast be left alone to excel in school in peace? Couldn’t I have that one part of my life without envy?

It wasn’t until I read about the somewhat familiar story of David did I understand why I had enemies that were unrelenting. Like David, he wasn’t much loved by his father who favored his elder siblings. He was but ordinary to him, underestimated and looked down on. When destiny took a turn for him and he was made the King of Israel, Sol was on his heels at every turn and corner, seeking to annihilate him. Sol was his biggest rival yet he did not hate on him or curse him. He offered him many chances to change his ways. This shows that in order for one to walk into his God-given destiny, (which is prosperity as in Jeremiah 29:11, when God said, “For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) One must be prepared to face enemies of different sizes and shapes. Of course God cannot give you a destiny if he knew you couldn’t handle the resistance. He already gave us wisdom and diplomacy needed to handle each one of the blocks put on our path. It is therefore, of the utmost importance if we didn’t let our enemies put us down but instead praised our God every single day for them, because sometimes God sends enemies to bless us. Ask God to use your enemies for good in your life so that whatever they meant for your harm is turned into your good.

Shards of Glass

Where my heart used to be lay scattered shards of glass. They sting and cut and sink into my chest.

They warn me about that man and this man. “He will break open your chest with an axe- like they all did! Beware! Beware!” They push deep into my cavity. That place inside of me which feels like the most hollow of wells. The kind that are dark, deep and dry.

I want to love again, I say. “As if you could!” They torment. “You will hurt again!” They warn. “There is no room for love here, only pain.”

I wish to be blinded by love. To bask in its warmth. To jump like the fool over the cliff. Serene and ever so in love. I miss the feeling of making someone else the center of the universe. I miss to love and fall deep in love.

You Don’t Have to do anything!

You don’t have to do anything, things are being done for you. They always were. Right from the moment you were conceived. You didn’t have to do anything then, and you don’t have to now.

Most people think they must act in order to effect change. That is not the case for whether or not you want, your life is constantly changing. Things shift and people change. If you are not ready to move along with these changes, then life makes it so that you are not comfortable where you are just so you could move.

Interestingly, the moment we try and control how our life goes is the very same we are met with unexpected twists and turns. We need to stop and become conscious that life has its own rythm and its own beat. It will happen when it does. The best thing we can do is in the here and now. What we have is right now.

While listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer, I realized something life-changing. He said that we don’t have to do anything. That things are being done all over around us and within us. Trying to control anything from happening or not is going against this streamline of life and that is where frustration, anxiety, stress and depression come from. The moment we accept this flow of life and let go of the need to control ourselves and those around us, that is when we will gain freedom. Freedom from worry and stress.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. The secret to life is to realize that without you doing anything, things are happening for you. Can you surrender to this flow of life and let it take you where you are meant to be?

We all exist to give to one another

She is in my life for a reason. I know it. She was there for me and now I am there for her. When we have both served our purpose for being in each other’s life, that is when we will part so everyone can go their own way. Isn’t that how it always is? It ends when it is time. Not a second before. That is the way all our relationships work, that is how it goes with everyone we meet in our life.

We all exist to give to one another: pain or purpose depends on the contract. The elusive contract which we forgot was about. The one we made between ourselves some thousand years back. When we knew what we’d get into. It didn’t bother us then but it does now. Some painful things people gift us we wish we could have done without them. But without them, we wouldn’t have become so enlightened and wise. So, were they a true gift in disguise?

Have faith that everyone we meet is there for a reason. That we couldn’t force an end even if the whole world helped us if that purpose hasn’t been fulfilled yet. We must learn to wait and to endure painful relationships. We must have faith. We must know that a good student does her best to learn fastest and pass that test. And if we must fail the first time and then again, we can always retake that life lesson. We can always relearn until we learn.

Wobbly Heart Compass

I love him very much. Yes I do, I absolutely do!

Next morning… Wait a minute, I don’t love him anymore! Wait, what?

This has been me before on more than one occasion I have loved someone or thought I did only to feel indifferent towards them soon after. I would not notice this of course until after someone pointed it out to me once. I was shocked to learn of this habit which had cost me potential suitors, as they call them in Bridgerton. I also attribute my severe loneliness at 28 years old to this habit. Why am I like this?

In hindsight, I could see why the string of men who had met me and loved me were left feeling confused and shocked about my behavior. Apparently, as mum once made me realize, I would be head over heels in love with someone in the beginning only to change my mind about them later, making me feel like a very bad person for leaving them. I would do this by ghosting them, mostly because I didn’t understand why I had a change of heart. Also, back then and maybe still, I had a problem communicating how I feel and this increased my chances of being a spinster governess to some heir of an earl somewhere-except in reality, that is nowhere.

I am left with a blog to talk about my feelings and overcompensate the fact that my early mornings would have been spent being made love to in the arms of my one and only instead of writing about not enjoying any of that. It sucks, yes but this is the last year I will spend without my husband.

Back to the topic, I have grown doubtful of my heart whenever it tells me I might love someone. I recall how I jumped to confess my feelings only to break the hearts of my victims horribly later. For this reason, I made a promise to simply switch off the love signals coming from my heart. I am scared to trust that little pitter pattering of my heart beat or that wave of catatonic shifting in my stomach which I get every time I think I love someone. I cannot trust my heart and this saddens me a lot because we are supposed to listen to our hearts and follow our gut feelings, aren’t we? Except they have let me down before and now I am scared.

This brings me to my question, “How are we supposed to know which feelings to trust and which to pass over?”

Changing the Narrative

Life is great. Everything is working out perfectly. I am positively surprised with how things are turning out for the good of everyone. My family is a joy to be around. Wait! Wasn’t I so worried about coming back here just last week? I remember crying about it to God and wishing I was far, far away from home as possible. So, what changed? My narrative!

I told my mind I was going to get along with my family, at least for the most part. I said I was going to try and speak how I feel instead of shouting how I feel. There is a huge difference between the two, for the obvious reason that the former gets people to listen to you and respond better whereas, the latter just gives you a sore throat, makes a bad day terrible and induces an unwanted headache. Not to mention the severe depressive episodes which follow after every fight or break down. Emotions are meant to be controlled. My ultimate goal right now is to stay on top of them as much as I can. If I could turn myself into the calmest, most collected monk in the world I would.

Perhaps, many wise people have spoken about the power of changing the story we tell about our life to ourselves and others, but mostly our own minds. The mind is like a child, it will believe what you tell it. Is today a bad day? Okay. He hates you? Alright! Your family is intolerable! Absolutely. There is a reason why we are unhappy and 99% of the time it has everything to do with the stories we hold onto and refuse to let go of. If at some point we had a rough time and we suffered, the mind gets used to this suffering and I would say it does more than that by actually marrying it and integrating it into its system of thoughts and emotions. We forget to move on and divorce these memories of pain and dysfunction and subconsciously keep dragging the same baggage with us wherever we go like the bowels in our gut. On the outside we look groomed and neat, but in our bellies, poop is getting made by the hour which we carry around inside of us everywhere we go.

It is for this reason that we must update the system of our thoughts and check which stories our minds are currently playing about our life, our love or lack of it, our spouses, our homes, our work and even that last time you tasted mango and decided it gives you gas. Can you check to see whether mangoes actually give gas or whether you just ate too much diary that day and being lactose intolerant, you assumed the mango was the culprit when it was you all along. It is interesting when you start being aware of the thoughts running through your mind. If you listen to them with detachment, you will notice a pattern, a narrative. It is this very narrative you must question whether it serves you or not. And if not, changing it is the only solution to your life problems. Turn over that fresh page and start writing your new story!

Change And Cues

It is always the hardest when change is inevitable. When we are forced to leave a place we have felt snug in, or venture into the compulsory unknown with just a few rugs and lots of faith, that is when our mettle gets tested the most.

With just a few clothes in a bag and my necessary items in a backpack, I leave the home I have known in the last past year to return back home, surrendered to the reason why the universe keeps sending me back there time and again. Perhaps, there is some unknown reason that keeps me coming back; A lesson which has gone unlearnt, or some sign from the universe that I am meant to live the rest of my life in a place I haven’t felt safe in for as long as I can remember.

Sometimes, I wish I could settle down anywhere else but at home. I am also aware that some of you have heard only negative things about my home from my posts. However, I need to point out that my protests are not against the whole place as they are against the physical residence itself. It is the rooms that enclose us and the memories of the past ever alive within those walls which are guilty for distorting my view of the entire town. The place I come from is beautiful and peaceful, mostly. There are public beaches all around it with clear blue waters and calming sea breezes. Tourists pay to come spend a few nights in the upper echelon of the town. Some of them were so awestruck by the lull and the aura of detachment my town has from the rest of the world that they made it a permanent home. It gives the vibes of a discovered island in the midst of the Indian Ocean, which was once a cool, safe haven to everyone who was fleeing war or looking to trade or start over from the middle East. A place of peace and vacation is what my town is. A beautiful getaway for the jaded urbanite looking to get away from it all.

That is the perspective I am choosing to return back home with-as someone who missed the salty sea breeze and the feel of salty water and sand on my skin. I hope to take a day or two, partaking in all the seafood I can find. I hope to try and rekindle my passion for cooking experimental meals. I wish to be like a child, carefree and filled to the brim with curiosity for absolutely everything. It would be as if I was one of those metropolitans, who are visiting the island for the first time, stimulated by everything they see and touch.

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