DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 year ago
When I was in my twenties, I noticed that whatever I said, and particularly emphasized to my patients was often relevant to my own life.
As much as what I was saying was for THEM, a part of me was simultaneously taking note of what I was saying because I needed to hear it too.
I remember this one time when I had a few challenges in my relationship. During that time, I had three consulting sessions with three different people dealing with the same issues as I was, and everything I said to them was also relevant to me.
I began having a clear sense of how the world continually tries to help us work through our own illusions so we can focus on doing something extraordinary with our lives.
I also realized that whenever I resented somebody and looked down on them, I tended to only be conscious of their downsides and unconscious of their upsides.
As such, I tended to puff myself up with pride and look down on them because I was too PROUD to admit that what I saw in them was also in me.
In other words, the very traits that I was judging were traits that I, too, displayed at times - traits I perceived as being “negative” and ones I would have preferred not to take ownership of at that point in my life.
When I first realized this, I made a conscious decision to stop and ask myself a very specific question:
“Where and when do you perceive that you have displayed or demonstrated the same specific trait that you are judging in someone else?”
Each time, I found evidence in my own life of when I had exhibited that same behavior.
This led me to my certainty that what I saw in others was also in me.
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If I perceived that they were pushing my buttons, it was because I was carrying unconscious shame or guilt inside me about my own actions.
As such, my tendency to judge them stemmed from the fact that I didn’t want to be around them because they reminded me of something I didn’t like about myself.
I also realized that the same principle applied to people I admired. When I looked up to them and put them on a pedestal, I was likely conscious of their upsides and unconscious of their downsides.
As such, I tended to minimize myself and become more aware of my own downsides and unconscious of my upsides because I was too HUMBLE to admit that what I saw in them was also in me.
In other words, I was too humble to admit to a quality deep inside myself that I was actually proud of. It therefore made sense that I was drawn to them and wanted to be around them because they reminded me of a disowned part of myself that I would be wise to acknowledge and own.
Once I realized that the world out there was simply a reflection of my inner world, I began to upgrade my efforts and mission to master my emotions through a more reflective awareness of my life.
Instead of letting other people push my buttons and allowing the outer world and my inner emotions to run my life, I began seeing my perceptions of other people as FEEDBACK. Feedback on where I was minimizing or exaggerating others or myself, so I could become fully conscious, present and centered.
This awareness led to yet another mind-expanding realization that everybody is there to help me learn to love myself.
In other words, I get to THANK them for revealing unconscious parts of me. In this way, I no longer felt the need to put them in pedestals or pits or put myself on a pedestal or in a pit, but instead, I could put them in my heart and put myself in my heart.
As a result, I could have equity between them and equanimity within me.
My journey to owning all the traits
The next step on my journey was quite a lengthy one. I found a giant Oxford dictionary and began going through it page by page and listing every possible human behavioral trait that a human being could have.
At the end of the process, I had found 4,628 traits that a human being could possibly have.
I then began working through the list – one by one through each of the 4,628 traits, and began asking myself a couple of questions:
- “Who do I know who is the most extreme example of that behavior?” I would then put their initials next to the relevant trait.
- “Where have I or do I display or demonstrate that same trait to the same degree?”
I would keep listing examples in my own life until I reached the point where I owned that trait to the same extreme level that I had perceived it in the individual I had originally identified.
This process, while extremely time-consuming, was particularly valuable to me because I realized that I had ALL the traits.
I was kind and cruel, nice and mean, positive and negative, considerate and inconsiderate, peaceful and wrathful, honest and dishonest. I realized I had all the traits I found in that dictionary.
Nothing was missing in me
Over the past four decades, I have met tens of thousands of people who are effectively trying to get rid of half of themselves – the traits they perceive to be negative – which is impossible.
No human being can ever be one-sided – kind never cruel, positive never negative, considerate never inconsiderate etc. So they are chasing a fantasy if they are seeking a one sided world.
As the Buddhist teachings so perfectly put it, the desire for that which is unobtainable and the desire to avoid that which is unavoidable is the source of human suffering.
Yet so many people continue to divide themselves up into good and bad, positive and negative, light and dark, instead of embracing all of it.
As I often ask people in my signature two-day program, The Breakthrough Experience:
- How are you going to love YOURSELF if you’re trying to get rid of half of yourself?
- How are you going to love OTHER people if you’re trying to get rid of half of them?
- How are you going to love LIFE, the EARTH and HUMANITY if you’re trying to get rid of half of it?
This was a huge eye-opener for me and a significant milestone in my late twenties when I stopped trying to get rid of half of myself and instead embrace all the traits in both others and myself.
The next step on my journey to mastering my life and having a state of unconditional love for life, myself and others, was the realization that I would be wise to take the time to find the UPSIDES to what I thought was down and the DOWNSIDES to what I thought was up.
In this way, I could level the playing field and:
- Become fully conscious instead of partially conscious,
- Have true reflective awareness, and
- Realize that whatever I perceive out there is simply a reflection of things that I haven’t owned inside myself.
It’s all Recollection
As Plato says, all learning is re-collecting. You’re recollecting all the parts that had been DISOWNED in your life.
Here’s what I mean by that.
When you are infatuated with someone and are too humble to admit what you see in them is inside you, you have a disowned part that you’re not owning.
When you’re resentful of someone and are too proud to admit what you see in them is inside you, again, you have a disowned part. And all those disowned parts are feelings of emptiness, things of incompletion inside you.
That’s why you tend to feel empty when judging others instead of feeling fulfilled. However, when you balance the equation, feel grateful, and love the individual because you appreciate that they’ve helped you realize your own potential, you tend to have an open heart and feel love and fulfilled.
When you take the time to actually balance out the equation and dissolve the judgments that you have towards someone when you own all the traits and find downsides to the up and upsides to the down, and balance it so that it is neither positive nor negative, that is when you are likely to be the most open, grateful and present.
It’s a very profound presence, a very profound feeling of grace that you have as a result when you actually get to love yourself and other people and realize that that world out there was brought into your life, not mistakenly, but for a deep, meaningful purpose. This meaning emerges as you extract the mean out of the polarities of your perceptions.
Find the Meaning
Extracting the meaning out of things means bringing your perceptions back into the mean, in other words, back into the balance.
Every time you judge and polarize your perceptions, you develop emotional baggage stored in your subconscious mind.
As such, you will be far more likely to be impulsive and instinctual. In survival mode, you’re extrinsically run by the outer world instead of mastering your life and taking inner control of your destiny.
But as you go in there and take the time to balance the mathematical equation of your mind and liberate yourself from the things you infatuate or resent, which occupy space and time in your mind and run you, you become PRESENT, CERTAIN, GRATEFUL, LOVING, INSPIRED and ENTHUSED about life.
It can be extremely liberating to realize that the world on the outside is reflecting you to give you feedback to do something profound with your life.
This is also when you will tend not to have any noise in your brain, but instead have a sense of calm, vision, strategy, planning and self-governance, which helps you maximize your mental potential.
The moment you have this REFLECTIVE AWARENESS and realize that everything around you is a feedback system to help you become authentic and inspired by your life, the lack of noise in the brain is confirmation that you’re now fully present.
In this state of reflective awareness, when you’re fully conscious, mindful of both sides of others and both sides of you, and when you are neither putting people on pedestals or pits, you are most likely to be an inspired magnet to others.
People tend to want to be around people they feel can be themselves around. As such, your leadership is likely to go up, and your social network is likely to increase.
This is why reflective awareness is one of the most significant things an individual can do or have.
In my signature seminar program the Breakthrough Experience that I run almost every week, I teach people the Demartini Method, which are key questions to help you have reflective awareness.
Here are a few examples:
If you find that you’re infatuating with someone or resenting them, you can ask yourself:
- “What specific trait, action, or inaction do I perceive this individual displaying or demonstrating that I admire or despise most?”
Get very clear and specific here.
- “Where and when do I perceive myself displaying or demonstrating that same or similar specific trait, action, or inaction that I admire or despise most.’
Then own it to such a degree that the quantity and quality of what you’ve done is equal to what you see in them.
- “Where and when I perceived this individual displaying or demonstrating the trait, action, or inaction that I admire most, what were the DOWNSIDES to me or others at that moment and from that moment until now?”
If you despise something, it is wise to then look for the UPSIDES and the benefits from that moment until now.
By using quality questions such as those in the Demartini Method, you can change your PERCEPTIONS of a person or an event. As such, you can also change your DECISIONS and ACTIONS moving forwards.
You have taken the first major step in mastering your life when you realize that you can change your perception, decisions, and actions, and balance out your equation and not be extrinsically run by these things.
As I said in the movie, The Secret, when the voice and the vision on the inside are louder than all that on the outside, you then begin to master your life.
When you take the time to go in and neutralize your perception of a person or event to the point that they are neither positive nor negative but just a human being or neutral event, you can see it as it is, not as you projected an assumption and biased your perception of it is.
As such, it becomes neutralized, the emotions surrounding it are dissolved, and you become liberated.
It’s also when you are most likely to realize that YOU have the power.
It doesn’t matter what happens to you in your experience; you can turn it into something on the way in your life and not in the way.
Everything that is going on in your outer world, including in the people around you, is a reflection of what’s going on in your inner world.
The outer world is doing everything to help you love all of that inside you because you don’t need to get rid of any part of yourself.
One of the reasons I do the Breakthrough Experience and teach people to do the Demartini Method is because I am inspired to help people be able to love and appreciate their wholeness, love and appreciate the people around you, and realize that the facades, fantasies and illusions that they get trapped in are what is likely stopping them from doing something extraordinary in the world.
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