Perceptual relativism, or the level of depth from which our current thoughts relate to our present situation, is often the determiner of our major life decisions. Our position along its continuum may vary widely based on the conditions of our mind (Survival, Safe, or Spiritual Modes), or our unresolved issues (inadequacy, unfairness, trust, control, rejection, loss, etc.).
Relativism and Overall Decision Making
For instance, if we grew up feeling unwanted and unloved in an abusive or dysfunctional family, then we will likely experience fears of loss, fears of rejection, and feelings of inadequacy that, when sparked, will keep us locked in Survival Mode. When such issues are triggered, and their accompanying defenses activated; our beliefs about the situation are distorted by these issues and defenses, and our brain shifts into Survival Mode, where our range of thought, perceived possibilities, and courses of action are limited to variations on a fight or flight theme. While under the influence of this stress response (limiting us to fight or flight mentality), and the perceptual distortions of our ego issues (fears of loss, rejection, and inadequacy), we may make major life decisions based entirely upon our fears and thought distortions. Not a good idea!
If Beccah was rejected or abandoned as a child because she was hard to handle, grew up feeling unloved and unwanted, and developed sensitivities to rejection, loss, and feeling like she was not good enough; and if she then went through a series of abusive relationships, reinforcing her inadequacy issues and adding sensitivities to unfairness and control; then whenever someone she cared about was even mildly disappointed with her, expressed interest in the details of what she was doing, wanted to spend more time with her, etc.; depending upon her stress level or other circumstances; she might perceive these normally occurring things as threats, and then trigger into a fight or flight response. The expression of disappointment might trigger fears of loss, rejection, and inadequacy; the interest in the details of what she is doing might feel like control; and the request to spend more time with her might make her feel criticized (like she was doing something wrong by not spending more time with them already), triggering her fears of inadequacy, unfairness, and loss. None of these responses would be based on the truth of what occurred. They would all be based on fears and cognitive distortions deriving from her issues triggering her into Survival Mode. The expression of disappointment was an investment in improving their relationship. Wanting to know the details of her day reflected sincere interest in her and what she was doing. The request to spend more time with her came from growing love and appreciation for who she is. If, while in this state, she made major life decisions, then they would not be based on truth, she would regret having made them, and she would be strengthening the unresolved issues rather than investing in overcoming them. She would be adding another layer to the pain instead of removing one. She would be reinforcing the lower vibrations of fear, unhappiness, doubt, and stress in her life and the lives of those involved in it. When people allow such fears and distortions to make their decisions for them, they will rarely escape this lower vibrational cycle of pain.
One timeless truth to remember is: We should never make any major life decisions when we are experiencing strong negative emotions. We would be better served to wait until we are calm, clear, and balanced (Safe Mode); and preferably connected with our spiritual awareness (Spiritual Mode); before considering making any decisions at all. Everything will be different from this perspective. And, if a decision needs to be made, then it may be the complete opposite of the one we considered when we were upset.
Relativism and Relationships
Beccah grew up in a dysfunctional family, was a troubled teen, and ended up living with extended family members because her parents couldn’t handle her. She got into a lot of trouble with drugs and guys, and was a bit of a badass. Because of her poor self esteem, she found herself struggling in unhealthy, abusive relationships. Possessing some unusual spiritual abilities, she was able to gradually improve her circumstances, little by little, over time. Each relationship she was in was a little healthier. They went from severe physical abuse, to lesser physical abuse, control, and manipulation; to no abuse but no real interest. And then she met her soulmate, which created an interesting dilemma in her life.
So her current relationship was relatively better than anything she had ever experienced in her life so far. It was safe, stable, and looked really good in photographs. Although she felt alone, and like her partner was not really that interested in her; it could be much, much worse. God could it ever be worse. Her relationships had progressed through an upward spiral until arriving at her current situation, which she had not been in for very long. But now what? She had kids from all relationships, and they had been through a lot. They had been through changing relationships, changes in custody within each relationship, and lots of ups and downs. Her love for her soulmate was undeniable, she couldn’t stop thinking about him or wanting to be with him, she couldn’t stop wanting to share everything with him, and for the first time in her life she didn’t feel alone; but, at times, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go through another major change like that, yet.
Ronan, her soulmate, grew up in a stable, functional family where everyone was showered with unconditional love and acceptance. His parents were eternal love birds who treasured and cherished each other, and clearly loved each other unconditionally. Both parents were always available for all the kids, and loved them unconditionally. His Mom was a teacher, and so was home by early afternoon on work days, and his Dad was self employed, and could always make himself available. So he grew up being unconditionally loved, accepted, and encouraged to thrive. He started playing piano when he was five, and was playing for the church by the time he was eight. He hunted, fished, and hiked with his Dad. He prayed, sang, and gardened with his Mom. He played football, basketball, and set track records. He started playing in a band on the road by the time he was 14. He believed that anything was possible, and he definitely believed in real love. He had experienced nothing less during his entire life. Ronan also had some unique spiritual gifts, similar to Beccah’s. It was through this spiritual bond that they discovered their supernatural love for each other.
Although Ronan had experienced some dysfunctional and abusive relationships also, his gentleness and sensitivity apparently attracting all kinds; he never stopped believing in the reality of sharing unconditional love with a soulmate. Ronan, like Beccah, progressed through a series of relationships and never stopped believing he would find her. And then he did.
Both of them clearly acknowledge the truth of their love, its spiritual origin, its supernatural nature, and their desire to share it. They made various relationship commitments with each other. They made some general plans for the future, although with no clear timeline, as none was yet needed. Beccah was still in her relationship at this time.
The relativism created by Beccah’s past made her current situation seem comparatively more positive than it would have for Ronan, who would settle for nothing less than the supernatural love of his soulmate. So the current dilemma posed by this situation relates to whether or not Beccah will choose to accept this divine gift, and eventually transition, naturally and compassionately, when the universe opens the doors and paves the way; in order to have the relationship she really wants and needs. When she is accessing her spiritual awareness, she clearly says that she will, and that it is a matter of time. Ronan is patient, and would rather spend anything with her than everything with anyone else. They have made plans together for when “the timing is right.” They both believe that the universe will create the conditions that will lead to a natural, healing transition for everyone involved. They both believe that their spiritual bond, the supernatural love flowing from it, and the purposes it will serve are divinely inspired. Beccah is in and out of her spiritual awareness, and her soulmate lives within it constantly. When Beccah is in it, she sees everything clearly and is equally as strong in her decisions. When she triggers out of this awareness into negative emotions, she sometimes questions everything, and sometimes even wants to step back in the relationship. And one of her vacillating views relates to what would be best for the kids. When accessing her spiritual awareness, she sees that the kids would be much better off within the unconditional love she and Ronan would share; and has the perspective to understand all of the ways this would be beneficial. When she triggers out of this awareness, she sometimes believes they would be better off remaining in the familiar, stable environment they are currently in; so they would not have to go through any more changes. Would this really be protecting them, since for them change has been a way of life and this would be a transformational and positive change; or would this be protecting her avoidance, denial, and fears?
So let’s do a comparative analysis of the two situations, at least generally, to see if we can shed some light on the truth of this dilemma for her. And let’s just include a few simple facts, without denying anything, to highlight this truth.
Their Mom feels alone, is depressed, sometimes wishes she could die, is with a man who is safe but does not really like her that much, he is critical of her in front of the kids, their relationship is superficially cordial but not really loving, he generally accepts the kids but is conditional in his love for them and their Mom, they live more of a subsistence life than one of inspiration and enrichment, their Mom spends most of her time trying to stay busy with activities, electronic devices, and work so she doesn’t have to think about her depression and loneliness, and the parents spend little quality time together.
Both soulmates love each other unconditionally, both love all kids equally and unconditionally, when with soulmate Mom feels joy and happiness, Mom feels cherished by soulmate, Mom loves the fact that soulmate is really interested in everything about her, kids would experience unconditional love shared between parents and also expressed to them, kids would have this as a model to believe in for their futures, kids would be encouraged to thrive in every way, kids would experience unconditional love from both parents, parents would spend much quality time together and also with kids, Soulmate is self employed and could be available at all times to participate in kids lives, Mom would never feel alone again.
Distortions Affecting Her Decision Making
Part of Beccah’s problem is that she escapes into staying busy, playing games on her phone, and work in order to deny the reality of her depression and loneliness. She has been playing this part in her life for so long that she has become a pretty good actress. Plus, no one has ever seen her really happy or in love, so there is little to compare her stagecraft with. Although she can cover up her pain pretty well behind her beautiful smile and gentle graces, this pain, because it is being denied and suppressed, is adversely affecting her physical and spiritual health. When doctors cannot find the causes of the symptoms, and when one kind of physical problem is followed by another, she simply denies the fact that her body and spirit are continuously absorbing her loneliness and depression; and that her physical symptoms are their outer manifestation. She convinces herself that she is content feeling alone and unloved, and even goes so far as to believe that she is sacrificing her own happiness for the sake of the children (which reflects some awareness of the truth of her pain). So, when living with so much denial, and such well-developed defenses; she could probably continue cruising in her current situation indefinitely; and at times even believe that it is healthy and in the best interest of her children. But is it?
Whether we are in Spiritual, Safe, or Survival Mode; and depending upon our issues and defenses; we may see the answer to this question very differently. When in Spiritual Mode, accessing the truth of higher consciousness through our spirit, we would clearly view the acceptance of the universal gift of higher love as the only real choice. When in Safe Mode, where we can access the broadest range of thoughts available to the material world mind, most would choose the soulmate transition, because of the obvious benefits it would offer to all involved parties. Exceptions to seeing this clearly in Safe Mode could result from issues, like inadequacy, rejection, control, or loss being triggered. For instance, when in Spiritual Mode the transition would seem inspiring and blessed, but while in Safe Mode, if an inadequacy issue were triggered, ending the relationship could seem like a failure rather than the highest level along the upward spiral. In Survival Mode, where the stress of negative emotions like depression cause us to believe there is a threat that we need to fight against or run away from, our position regarding the soulmate transition could vary based upon which relationship situation makes us feel the most uncomfortable at any given time. And since, while in Survival Mode, we are operating based on irrational fears and thought distortions, none of our perspectives will be based on truth.
Making our decisions from the higher consciousness of Spiritual Mode will insure that the highest truth, highest vibration, and highest purpose are being considered and acted upon. It will allow the universe to shine through us into the material world to make the biggest possible difference. It will encourage the most loving, compassionate, and healthful outcomes. It will contribute to the evolution and protection of all sentient beings on the planet. And, since what matters most is arriving at the highest possible outcome, the outcome deriving from our spiritual awareness; we should limit such decision making to those times when we are in Spiritual Mode. If we have not yet attained Spiritual Mode, then we should limit our decision making to those times when we are in Safe Mode (no negative emotions, accessing broadest range of thought available to material world mind).
Photo credit: Christopher Allison