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Glossary


The MyWayers

by David Truman

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Chapter 4: Truthfulness or Consequences

How our lies create our attitudes

How our lies create our behavior

Into dysfunction: how lies become deeply ingrained habits

Beaten (on) by your own lies

The vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecy

Lost in illusions

The only way out of a nightmare

Responsibility: the key to living free

What you want is what you get

Real responsibility vs. self-blame

Craft beauty with your mind, not ugliness

Happiness is an inside job

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion.
The great task in life is to find reality.

- Iris Murdoch

What we don't realize, when we start creating our own "reality," is that our lies about life, God, ourselves, and others are busy creating us -- sculpting our attitudes, our disposition, our behavior, and our mentality.

You see, if you lie enough, you actually start to believe your own lies, and to feel and react as if they were true. "The salesman always buys his own sales pitch." Once we buy our own lies, we develop an emotional character based on the feelings our lies invoke in us. Our behavior patterns, personality, and ways of relating to people are all shaped by our false beliefs.

For example, remember the child who claimed that his mother and teacher hated him? Of course, he said all that just to escape responsibility for his wrongdoing. But if he keeps feeding energy to those ideas, he will come to believe them -- and that's a different, much sadder story. Then, the boy becomes alienated, sullen, resentful, even mean. At home he spends long hours in his room, refusing to come to the dinner table, preferring to be alone. At school he mopes around, disrespecting his teachers, and spacing out constantly because he doesn't really want to be there. He's acting the way almost anyone would if they were truly hated.

But he isn't hated. That's only a fantasy. The child lives in a terrible subjective world full of cruel, unreasonable people who "hate" him. Instead of doing right, he lives in that world. To avoid responsibility, he lives in that world.

It's easy to see all this when you're looking at a child with a bad attitude; but the truth is, this is how most people live -- to varying degrees.

For example, have you ever known someone who was committed to a destructive way of living? Most of us have either known or been someone like that. Everybody keeps telling them they ought to quit all this garbage, and do something better with their lives -- but that's not what they want. So, to defend themselves, they say things like, "This is just the way I am. I can't help that I behave like this." At first, they're not sure they really believe that; it's just a convenient way to get people off their back. But if they repeat it enough, they start to feel as if it were true -- and then, they become convinced they're a desperate, powerless person, supposedly too weak to control themselves. They see no way out of their negative behaviors, because they actually believe this is "just how they are," and they can't be anything else.

When we buy our own lies, we have stepped into the land of make-believe. We are effectively disconnected from reality.

How our lies create our attitudes

Beliefs are powerful. They have powerful effects on the mind and life. What we don't count on, when we lie to justify our wrongdoing, is that those lies will hurt us in the end. If a lie has negative implications and you buy it, it will impact your peace of mind, your psychology, and your life.

You see, each belief we hold evokes an emotion in us. Thoughts have feelings, too. You can't repeat a lie over and over again without developing an attitude to match. Negative beliefs naturally give rise to a psychology that is fearful and reactive in nature. For example, if something out there is "bad," you're afraid of it; and if you yourself are "bad," you're insecure. So, as we buy our lies, insecurity rises, fear rises, reactivity goes up, and social functionality goes down.

Most people go through life experiencing a series of reactions to the lies they tell themselves. They have lost touch with the reality of others, of life, and of themselves; their emotions and reactions are random, inappropriate, unrelated to reality.

For example: A man believes his wife is unfaithful. The truth is, she is not. But because he keeps dwelling on that idea, he becomes paranoid, distrusting, and distant from her. He lives in a cesspool of anger, hatred, and jealousy. Although his belief is untrue, the distrust and alienation it creates RUINS his marriage. Eventually she loses patience with him, and they get divorced.

When we create our set of illusions about God, others, the universe, and ourselves, we condemn ourselves to live in a mix of reactive emotions that are not relevant to real life.

True Story: Maureen (Rebel Without a Cause)

Maureen did not want to cooperate with people -- that much was clear. Her stubbornness created tension and conflict between her and others. But she didn't want to take responsibility for that; she didn't want to admit that it was mostly her fault. So, instead, she lied to herself, and claimed that her friends and workmates all "had it in for her."

As Maureen's conspiracy theory took root in her, she became more and more reactive. She began to interpret each criticism, each "funny look," every disagreement, as evidence that people hated her. It became harder to give her constructive feedback, because she took it all to be part of the conspiracy against her. It was also impossible to have a consideration with her, because she felt rejected anytime people didn't like her idea. If she offered a suggestion at a meeting and people decided against it, she was certain they had unfairly rejected her input because they "didn't like her."

It's a slippery slope, when you start making up lies to try to excuse a life you're not pleased with. Soon you'll be up to your eyeballs in excuses, and you won't know how to get out. That's where most people are at. The average man or woman is living in a self-created fantasy -- or I should say, dying in a self-created fantasy, because when we buy our own lies, we cut the lifeline that connects us to reality: the reality of other human beings, of God, and even of ourselves. And without that, we cannot really live, not satisfactorily anyway. By believing our own lies, we condemn ourselves to lives that do not and cannot satisfy our souls.

How our lies create our behavior

You've probably heard it said that thought becomes action, and that is true. The lies we tell ourselves in our minds set the stage for all kinds of negative actions and reactions. If you think God, or yourself, or the world out there is bad, or scary, or mean, you will respond accordingly.

I saw this prank on TV: A guy gets dressed up in a horrible monster mask and hides inside a garbage can. When the victim of the prank walks by the garbage can, the monster suddenly bursts out right in front of him -- BAM! As it so happened, this victim was very quick in his reactions. He immediately punched the masked prankster in the face and knocked him out! He reacted in a fashion that was consistent with his belief that a real monster was attacking him.

Most people put masks on everybody's face: God's face, people's faces, love's face, even their own face. In their mind, they can make people into tyrants, jerks, idiots; they can make them inferior or superior; they can make them uncompassionate, "overly demanding," insensitive, or inhuman. And then, they will react to the masks they put on others, just as that man reacted to the "monster" that leapt out at him.

When a person lives in the land of illusion, where lies are experienced as reality, everyone and everything else is playing the role the liar has assigned to them -- and the liar is reacting to that, responding "appropriately" to what he or she thinks is true.

For example: A schizophrenic woman was released from an insane asylum, and allowed to walk the streets for the first time in many years. It was an unwise decision to let her go. Within a week of her release, she visited a popular shopping mall. A man happened to glance at her sideways, and she interpreted it as a sinister look. She thought he had evil intentions, and was plotting something against her. So, she pulled a knife out of her purse and stabbed him in the back. He died.

That may be an extreme example, but every day, people all over the world are reacting to what they think is happening:

A young girl THINKS her best friend is trying to steal her boyfriend, so she freaks out and breaks up with her friend. Really, her friend was just being nice to him.

A woman THINKS all men will hurt her, so she protects herself from them, and doesn't allow anyone to have her heart. Then, one day, a good man comes along who wants to love her, commit to her, take care of her -- but she won't trust him. She treats him harshly and rejects him. She pushes him away, until finally he gives up. She reacted so strongly to the mask she gave him that she never got to experience who he REALLY was.

A man BELIEVES his business partner is trying to turn everyone in their company against him. He's sure this is true because of the cold attitudes his employees show him, while they clearly LOVE his partner. The truth is, he is turning them all against HIMSELF by behaving so cold and aloof most of the time -- but he doesn't want to face that, so instead, he comes to hate and distrust his partner.

A woman THINKS the gas attendant serving her is inferior, so she treats him with disrespect, and hardly acknowledges his presence while he helps her. As it so happens, he is a great guy, with a heart of full beautiful feelings and passions, and a head full of beautiful ideas -- but she will never know that.

How people are defined by us changes the way they can "justifiably" be treated. If we can convince ourselves that people deserve the treatment we give them, then we can feel free to give it.

True Story: Anthony (The Casanova)

Anthony effectively convinced himself that women are greedy, and that a committed relationship would suck him dry. As a result, he became TERRIFIED of relationship; distrustful of women; and closed to real emotional love. If a woman ever told him that she wanted "more" from him, he responded cruelly, callously -- and felt fully justified in doing so.

True Story: Maureen (Rebel Without a Cause)

One regrettable side effect of Maureen's growing paranoia and distrust was that it made her extremely unloving. She presumed herself to be so hated and ill-considered by everyone around her, that she came to hate THEM. She wasn't able to see that many of her friends and co-workers were trying very hard to help her succeed. They actually wanted the best for her; they were giving her chance after chance. But she couldn't see that, because she was so blinded by her paranoia. So, in return for their kind efforts, she gave them resentment, fear, and accusations.

Into dysfunction: how lies become deeply ingrained habits

Once a person becomes convicted of negative lies, their reactions will run rampant, and they become genuinely dysfunctional. The reactions and attitudes that were driven by their lies become deeply ingrained habits that hurt their relationships and their well-being.

For example, if you believe that love is dangerous and should be avoided, then whenever love rears its beautiful head, you'll remember that fearful lie and become terrified. You will run and hide, and destroy your relationships. That's how lies become automaticities -- patterns that you just can't seem to control.

For example: A woman falls head over heels in love and decides to throw herself all in -- something completely uncharacteristic for her. She has a lot of fears about love, and so she normally plays it safe, avoiding emotional risks of any kind. But she's met someone who touches her soul in deep places, who awakens in her qualities she never knew she had, qualities she likes -- at first.

Soon, however, her lies catch up with her. For a moment, she'd forgotten them, but they were still there; she had not yet consciously renounced them. So, right when things were getting good, they pounce on her. Suddenly her head is full of fear, and anxiety, and distrust. She immediately pulls out of the relationship, putting a huge emotional distance between herself and her beloved. Once again, she is playing it "safe." Her lies -- or the monster she fed with her lies -- was not going to let love happen. "Too risky! Too dangerous! Too vulnerable!" it cried. And then it simply caught her by the back of the jacket and threw her down on the floor with great force. That's when you know you've really created a monster.

Dysfunction comes in many forms -- emotional, social, mental, etc. -- but they are all born from, and maintained, by lies.

Maybe you become a recluse because you're afraid of people. And then, alone in your house, you mentally repeat to yourself over and over all the reasons why you won't go out and meet people, why you won't socialize: "People are shallow and stupid." "Relationships are hard, and they hurt." "I always mess up when I talk to people. People think I'm weird." And soon, your fears are like large, looming mountains that seem impossible get over.

Or, what about the girl who's afraid of abandonment, and because of that, she sabotages every relationship she ever has:

"My problem is that any time I love someone, I become afraid that they don't REALLY love me back. I think up endless reasons why they would stay with me, other than love. Like, "He probably just wants to sleep with me," or "He probably just likes the way I make him feel." Or I'll think, "He'll be gone in a month." That's how I am with anyone I love, and it makes it hard to get close to people. I don't let them in very easily. I push them away. I'm only just beginning to realize I do this."

- Anonymous.

Dysfunction starts in the mind. We know that people who are insane live in a world they've created with their brain; they believe all kinds of bizarre things about life, people, the universe, and themselves. But then, so does almost everyone -- to some degree.

True Story: Scott (The Runaway Poet)

Having abandoned his relationships and responsibilities, Scott told himself that he was now "free" -- free of the burden imposed on him by commitment to others or to work. Of course, he NEEDED to say that, in order to feel okay about running away.

But he came to believe his lies, and so he became chronically averse to any kind of commitment. He felt stifled if he had to work, live up to an expectation, or be disciplined. That's why he couldn't keep a job for more than one day. Sitting in his chair on that first day of work, he felt suffocated, imprisoned. Why couldn't he do what HE wanted, WHEN he wanted? Why should he sit here and work for hours on end, just because "that's the rules"? His old lies about "freedom" got the better of him, and he bolted.

Those same attitudes made relationships impossible, too. He would leave anytime he wanted to, not taking the emotions and needs of others into account at all. He felt he "HAD" to leave, he had to "fight for his freedom" against all forms of commitment or responsibility. Thus, he was incapable of love, incapable of relationship, incapable of work, and he had very little self-control. He had become totally dysfunctional.

"You know me -- I always leave."

- an anonymous friend

Beaten (on) by your own lies

We create these illusions to try to dull the pain of wrongdoing and unlove, but instead of taking pain away, illusions add pain. By buying the lies, you become a genuinely crippled person, wounded by your own lies. Thoughts like, "I am no good," "God hates me," "everyone hates me," "life sucks," etc. are all damaging. That's how you get "damaged goods." Our confusion created in the mind becomes a contusion (meaning, a wound).

To be a "damaged good" means to be afraid: afraid of rejection, afraid of God, afraid of people. It means being incapable of love, of relationship, of discipline, of doing the good things your heart yearns for. These disabilities are not real; they are the result of indulging in lies over a long period of time.

Granted, sometimes bad experiences do help set negative patterns in motion. We've all been hurt by someone. We've all suffered in some way. We've all had experiences that made it seem reasonable to fear or distrust.

And, there are times when fear is reasonable, and distrust is earned. But to adopt a chronically fearful or distrusting attitude is never justified. Generalizations about life, love, or people are always false. To say, "I should distrust everyone, because one, or two, or five people hurt me," would be like saying, "All food should be avoided, because a couple of times I got food poisoning." The truth is, there are also times when it's unreasonable to fear. The truth is, there are trustworthy people. There are people who love. There are people you can count on. Life is full of wonderful possibilities.

Living with your eyes open means responding appropriately to what's really in front of you, now and now and now. Chronic fear and distrust don't allow you to see what's really there. They close up your heart and block your vision.

The reason people sometimes remain afraid, or insecure, or closed up, for so long after their bad experiences is because day after day, year after year, they took that experience -- and how they felt in it -- and relived it in their mind, over and over again. And so they brought their feelings of fear and insecurity into every situation, every relationship -- their whole life. When we do that, we prevent ourselves from seeing life or people truly. We are projecting our fears and anxieties on them, rather than seeing who or what they really are. That is one way of living in illusions.

Presumably, we tell these lies to protect ourselves against some kind of hurt, or to help us in some way. But blanket statements against life, God, and others, will never protect us or serve our best interests; they will only hurt us. They will only close off life's most beautiful possibilities, and wound us emotionally -- because it hurts to believe such things. We are far better off looking honestly at life, without bias, without self-protective attitudes and beliefs in place; because that allows for the possibility of real goodness and happiness. And that's important, isn't it?

The vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophecy

I said that all generalizations are false; but it can also be said that, although generalizations are false, they tend to come true for us if we believe in them. We get what we expect, and we create the reality that we anticipate. Once we allow our actions and reactions to be dictated by our lies, we actually create results that seem to support those lies.

For example, what if a person continually tells themselves, "I'm such an idiot. I never do anything right. I'm bound to fail"? Then, most likely they won't even try to do things right or well. And, as they say, the only certain failure is not to try. The person will become a failure, because they are so afraid of trying, because they are so sure they will mess everything up. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy.

Similarly, if you believe, "Relationship will hurt me," it probably will. By buying into that fearful idea, you will make your relationships difficult and painful. And if you believe, "The opposite sex is not to be trusted," then you will bring out the worst in the opposite sex with your bad attitude toward them. (Or at least, you won't bring out the best, most loving side of them. It is very difficult for most people to love someone who thinks badly of them, or fears them.)

The child who believed that his mother and teacher both hated him personifies this principle. By becoming sullen, cruel, and anti-social, he earned the bitter feelings of his parents and teachers. And then, of course, he thought, "Ah ha! I knew they hated me. Now they've proven it."

Once you've taken it far enough that you've actually managed to "prove" your own lies (or, make them "come true"), you usually become extremely committed to and bonded with your viewpoint. The lies that were created to justify a wrong way of life become, for you, a bitter "conclusive" truth -- irrefutable, easily provable, and absolutely binding. And they make the original sins that you were trying to justify seem necessary, intelligent -- even wise.

So you see, by trying to justify the Original Win -- the decision to live "my way," instead of following the true and right impulses of your spirit -- we become more deeply entrenched in it.

True Story: Tina (The Lost Soul)

Tina felt bad about being mean and devious, but she didn't want to stop. She felt her popularity and her ability to succeed in life depended on it. So, she explained her behavior by saying that the world was "cruel," and that it "made her have to act this way." She felt that she wouldn't "have to" be so hard and mean if the world was a more tender and loving place.

But, by blaming the world, she only became meaner and harder. After all, if you think you live in a hard world that doesn't love, then you will FEEL self-protective, hard, cold, etc. You'll feel like you have to look out for and defend your own interests against all others.

As a result, Tina lost many of her friends, and earned the distrust and disgust of the ones that remained. She experienced very little love or warmth from people, because she was always generating bitterness, disappointment, and alienation in the minds and hearts of those around her. She actually CREATED a hard world for herself, with all the behaviors she justified and reinforced when she said that the world was hard.

True story: Genevieve (The Loner)

Over time, Genevieve became more and more socially fearful. She imagined herself to be a terrible misfit, and so she was afraid to reach out to people. Occasionally she would approach a group of people on the schoolyard, but she always did so with so much insecurity that it made the other kids feel awkward. They didn't know how to respond to her, so they would grow quiet when she showed up. And when she made awkward, nervous attempts to participate in the conversation, they rarely responded with much energy. This convinced her, again and again, that she truly was a weirdo. If not, she wondered, then why would the other kids respond to her that way? In this way, she became more and more convinced of her original lie: that she could never fit in.

It doesn't have to be this way. When we see our self-created prophecies come true, we don't have to fall hook, line, and sinker for our lies. Instead, we can be honest. We can look squarely at what actually happened, and admit that we caused all this.

It's our responsibility, as children of God, to choose our beliefs wisely. Not to accept beliefs that will cause us to ruin our lives, our happiness, and our relationships, and to lose the gifts and opportunities God gives us. So, before you buy a belief, think about the implications of it. What if clinging to that belief will wreck your life, and alienate everybody? In that case, better think twice before you marry that belief. Don't you agree?

Lost in illusions

Fed by your lies, your monster grows stronger, and takes over.

It is possible for a human being to invest so much in their lies, and become so far subordinated to them, that the person effectively disappears. The person is absent, their heart and soul is not available anymore. When they speak, they're only expressing a well-practiced set of lies and prejudices. Their native sensibilities have been buried under a ton of false ideas and reactive attitudes. Their life, their intelligence, their sensitivity don't seem to be working.

Their lies are dictating their every move. They feel stuck in the reactive patterns and attitudes that they've hypnotized themselves into by repeating their lies over and over again -- the snap, glib answer; the fearful response; the selfish impulses. Little things that now come so easy, and are so hard to get rid of. The fear, the distrust, the hopelessness, the indiscipline, the insincerity, the emotional distance they've maintained for so long. They are possessed by their lies. They have progressively surrendered pieces of themselves and their life until finally their self-created monster is in charge of practically everything. They do not seem to have all the options anymore -- like the option to love fully and beautifully, the option to enjoy intimacy, the option to live a fully functional life.

Their spirit doesn't have much say-so in their day-to-day life. They remember a time when they could make a resolve that stuck, at least for two weeks. But now they're down to two days. In another couple of years, they'll only have two minutes to assert their spirit's true desires, before the monster drags them back into their old habits and patterns. That's a significant trend. The person is sinking beneath the waves, drowned in their illusions.

I once heard a woman whose husband had Alzheimer's say something like this: "Believe it or not, Henry used to take me out on this lake every weekend. He used to call me his 'Little Dove.' Now, Henry doesn't remember my name -- me, his wife of 60 years. But I know he's still in there, because sometimes, just sometimes, he'll look at me with that old familiar look, and say my name, and talk to me like he did before. But it only lasts a minute. That's all that's left of Henry, now -- a minute here and there. I don't know where he's gone, but he's not here. Not my Henry anymore."

In the same way, sometimes you'll catch a glimpse of the one you love in the faces of your friends and family. You'll see a flash of recognition passing over their eyes, a moment in which they are what they used to be. And you go, "That's my beloved. That's the one I knew. And that's the way in which we knew each other." It's very beautiful, when that happens; but it hurts, too, because it reminds you of what seems to have been lost.

How can we get out from under our reactive patterns, once they've become automatic, and gathered tremendous momentum from years of practice?

There is a way out of this mess. No matter how stuck a person feels or seems to be, they still have a soul inside that will set them free if they'll only listen to it, and let it lead them. Most people are lost in a dream; but the agitation, the discomfort, the pain we feel when we are living a false life is the soul's way of saying: "Wake up!"

The only way out of a nightmare

Have you ever been dreaming, when suddenly you realize: this must be a dream -- everything has gotten far too strange to be real? In the same way, there is a point where your life becomes so alien to you, so far from what you know you love and want in your heart, that you can no longer identify with it.

It's like this: You're dreaming that you're a hippo signing up for duty in Viet Nam. You've got rounds of bullets strapped to your body, you've got a knife strapped to your hip, and you're going into the woods to shoot down some giraffes and hang their heads on sticks as a lesson to the boas. And then it dawns on you: "You know, I'm not a hippo, and I'm not in Viet Nam, and I'm definitely not the type that wants to kill giraffes to put their heads on sticks as a lesson to the boas. I disidentify with this right now. I disown it. I'm not Rambo-Hippo -- I'm not!"

That's what happens with your whole life. Some kind of inner alarm goes off, and it says, "No, no, no. No." You want to wake up. You just want to wake up. You've got to get out of this nightmare. You realize that your notions about life simply can't be true. The person you have been acting like is not who you really are. The "reality" you've imagined can't be the way it is. It's all too insane. In your heart, you intuit that things must be different. This just doesn't make sense to your soul.

As everybody knows, the way out of a nightmare is to wake up. You have to realize that you are, in fact, dreaming, and then awaken from your dream. To end the nightmare of your illusions, you have to realize that the things you have felt and believed are not necessarily true. Humbly admit that your beliefs may be wrong, and that you don't know it all. Let go of all the painful, negative convictions that keep you in prison. Let go of your ideas, starting with your "indisputable knowledge" of who you are, because that is the rock that holds it all in place. And then, with an open mind, inquire about what is really true -- about your friends, your life, yourself. Wake up, and see what's actually happening. Know the truth, and the truth will set you free -- and so will truthfulness. Remember, the illusions that imprison you began with lies. To be truthful is to unlock your prison door. So open your eyes, and look, and feel.

Responsibility: the key to living free

If you want to live with your eyes open, you have to be willing to take responsibility for your life, your effects on others, and your effects on yourself. That is a big part of what it means to see the truth. If you want to keep avoiding responsibility, then you will surely weave more dreams, and get lost in them again.

You can be free if you are willing to realize that you created your own life, and are creating it every day. To escape the mess of your reactive patterns -- fears, habits, and insecurities -- you must face the fact that you are choosing these things.

Nothing and nobody caused you to be messed up. Your mind is raging out of control, straying from the truth, reacting in unfavorable ways -- the ways that you taught it to react. That's what's hurting you. That's the source of almost all emotional and social problems -- insecurity, hopelessness, depression, fear of love. It's all because of the way you chose to direct your mind, or misdirect it, or let it run ragged; because of what you chose to believe in, and what you chose to doubt.

But your mind is yours to direct. All it has is whatever programming you gave it. So it's up to you to reprogram it.

What you want is what you get

Convictions can be changed. The question is, do we want to change them? It's not really so bad to be convicted of something terrible; what's bad is when you don't want to change it. In that case,

1. You're in prison (limited by a limiting belief);

AND

2. The door of your cell has a lock on it (because the will behind your negative belief is strong);

AND

3. You've thrown away the key (the open-mindedness by which the limiting belief could be changed).

The truth is, we have reasons for the lies we chose, and the false persona we created. We didn't do it all for nothing. And so, if we want to change our lives, we need to change the reasons why we created these lives in the first place. When you recognize that these patterns are a problem and not a solution, only then can you get rid of them.

You can't cure the disease if you can't find the cause.

You can release anything if you release its purpose. But first, you have to recognize its purpose. The reason for lying, and then buying our lies, was this: you wanted to support and justify the "Original Win" -- the rebellion against God, Self, and others, and the refusal to live according to the wisdom and loving impulses of your Divine/human soul. You need to decide whether you're still behind that purpose -- or not. That is really a serious question. Though it may seem like a no-brainer, it has far-reaching implications for your whole life -- the way you live it, the kind of choices you make day to day, moment to moment.

There are really only two ways to live your life. One is to live according to your ego's desires -- in which case, your purpose is to pursue what you want, and avoid what you don't want. The other way is to love and do what's right, no matter what.

It is a significant moment in a person's life when they realize that their first and highest goal is to love. Prior to that, it seems like a burden to surrender to rightness, to take the needs of others into account at all times -- to fulfill the requirements of real love. But eventually, you see that a life not directed by love is hell. You had an idea: that you could do what you wanted, and avoid everything you didn't want, and that this would make you happy. That was just part of the dream. But then you came to realize, "This dream has become a nightmare, and I want to wake up!" You get to a point where you no longer value the patterns you created, that you once thought were so crucial, so necessary, so wise.

But even then, the choice is entirely up to you. Many people have opened their eyes for a moment, and seen the world in its true colors, illuminated by the lovely light of truth. Many people have had moments of revelation, of freedom. But then, realizing the implications of the truth, and the personal responsibility that truth demands, they closed their eyes again, and went back to sleep.

Nothing out there can make you be free. Even finding love, as we've seen, cannot change a person's will if they don't want to change it. And also, nothing inside you can make you be free -- even your soul's burning desires. Free will prevails. It is always a matter of choice, now and now and now.

So, take responsibility for what you're creating. You can change your life when you are willing to admit that you chose your life patterns; when you are willing to see the truth, be implicated by the truth, and change your ways according to what you see.

Real responsibility vs. self-blame

Just remember, taking responsibility does not mean that you hate yourself for having created ugliness. It does not mean to point the finger at yourself, and call yourself bad. People think that's mature and responsible, but really it is only destructive. It is just another form of blame -- self-blame. When you choose to blame and beat yourself up for your wrong actions, you only end up hurt and afraid, and convicted of your own badness. That is a trap. That only weakens your will for change, and your sense of deserving a better life. You can't call that truly responsible, because it's too destructive. True responsibility is not, "It's all my fault. I'm messed up." True responsibility is to correct an error, do something about it, to fix it -- to create beauty instead of pain.

So, if your life is dissatisfying, if you find yourself tied up in fears and insecurities and bad habits, don't blame anybody or anything else; and most of all, don't blame yourself. Instead, take real responsibility.

Real responsibility is to say, "I'm going to do what I should do," and then do it. Taking responsibility is to forget every blame thought that comes up during every single hour of every single day. You're the captain of your own mental ship. It's not what happens to you that matters in this life, it's how you react to it -- and what you generate from within, what you do and create. That's all that matters.

Craft beauty with your mind, not ugliness

There is a right use for dreaming. If you can remember that something beautiful can be, then you can have beauty. Because, to remember beauty is to create it, to bring it to life.

It's like this: You're in bed with your beloved. You haven't been getting along very well for two weeks. But on this night, you have a dream. In the dream, something profoundly magical and wonderful happens between you. You awaken from your dream staring at the back of your lover's head, and of course, you're still full of the sweet relationship you were enjoying a minute ago in your dream. So, in the tender spirit that came from the dream, you gently touch your half-awake lover. "To what do I owe this honor?" he asks, with a mixture of surprise and pleasure.

Obviously, reality was changed by the dream. Shifted.

You can craft beautiful realities out of thin air, the rarified air in which dreams take form. All of our lives are created, in fact, by daydreams, whether they be sweet dreams or nightmares. And, although you can't always control the dreams you have in your sleep, you can absolutely control your "daydreams." In your waking dream life, you can create all kinds of realities with tremendous deliberateness, precision, and power.

If you spend your days thinking about how hateful people are, how miserable life is, or how unloved you feel -- meditating on your lies -- you will bring a very negative attitude to life, and have a very negative experience. But conversely, if you purposely cultivate loving and positive attitudes, by focusing on the things that are lovely and admirable about your friends, about life, and love, and God, and yourself, then you will bring a bright and uplifting spirit to life, and have beautiful experiences.

So, set aside your worries, set aside your past, your fears, your crippling certainties, and create beauty! Create love. Create closeness, richness, affinity, life!

Your thoughts will mold the realities out there; and they will mold the realities inside you, too. If you create according to the wisdom of your form, according to what you know in your heart is good and true, you will get in touch with a very deep spring. You become imbued in that truth that is your own reality. You have found the wellspring of creative power that is the creator Him- or HerSelf. In that, you have returned to your original state of grace: of knowing who you are, and being undivided, because you are fully surrendered to and in agreement with the love and the loving impulses that exist in you.

You've always had this creative power, power to mold your life. But you've used it in ways that were irresponsible and destructive. Now, with this understanding, you begin to see how life is really up to you. You begin to see that actually, almost all of what we experience comes out of our dreams, or our nightmares.

A person can either be victimized by the fact that they have not controlled their mind, or they can take control of their mind, and thereby take control of their reality. We either get to suffer the fruits of our daydreams, or enjoy them. What do you want, exactly? What you get depends on whether or not you deliberately create something beautiful, or you more or less unconsciously create something horrible.

All of us have, at one time or another, let our mind spin out of control. And by so doing, we have all created regrettable realities -- realities borne of dark, negative, fearful thoughts from an uncontrolled mind. But we can learn from that. Many wise ones have learned from it already. Those wise ones are now creating beauty consciously -- beauty for themselves, beauty for others, beauty for God, beauty for good.

Happiness is an inside job

Happiness is an inside job, and so is unhappiness. That's the truth. When people get responsible for the creation of happiness and unhappiness, they will be sane again. They will realize that most of their problems are born in their brain, from their ideas about themselves, God, the world, and others. If you can learn to discipline your mind -- to recognize negative or unloving thoughts when they arise, and let them go -- your vision will be cleared, and you will be able to see the reality of people around you: who they really are, their true emotions and desires and intentions, the soul of them. And also, you will be able to see the reality of life, of love, of yourself, of God -- all the things you usually never see.

Choose the goodness you've always wanted. Create it in your mind and in your life. Let your heart manifest its deepest desires. Let your soul express its true wisdom, in your actions and in your words. Support the beautiful impulses of your spirit by investing in them, and defending them against the attacks of ego, with all its lies and fears and bad habits. Then you can be truly happy, and truly yourself. Wouldn't that be grand!

Coming soon:

Chapter 5: Living in the Remains

We were born with so many gifts, so much potential. By creating lies, and then investing in them, we reduce ourselves to a fraction of what we could have been. We lose the better opportunities in life. We put a lid on our happiness, our love, our ability to live beautifully, and even our intelligence. Understand how MyWayism has shaped our culture, our relationships, and our lives, and be empowered to reclaim your Divine inheritance -- the beauty and joy and fulfillment you were MEANT to have.

by David Truman

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- The Living Love Fellowship - 2010
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