Everything that happens is a vital part of the divine order that Leibniz, Einstein, St. Augustine, and most of the great minds understood. Even the most terrible events always contain hidden blessings. The masters know this great truth and remain undisturbed by events, while those of lesser wisdom swing from elation to depression as they move through positive and negative experiences on their way to understanding.
Childhood deprivation is often the source of adult dreams and aspirations. So often childhood illnesses create the great healer or athlete. Those who think they weren't loved seek to share love wholeheartedly for the rest of their lives. Those who felt unworthy develop a powerful drive to contribute to the world and feel worthwhile. Those who lived in poverty go on to amass great wealth. Perceived voids create values; we are programmed to seek whatever we think is missing the most.
Although I didn't know it at the time, the "tragedy" of my learning difficulties and dyslexia set me free to follow my dreams and meet extraordinary people who would guide my life. I discovered an irresistible desire to achieve what I was told I would never do. I was told I would never read, write, or communicate, yet today I spend more than 300 days a year traveling the world doing exactly that.
One of the Secrets of Self-Mastery
Wisdom is the instantaneous recognition that a crisis is a blessing, and even greater wisdom recognizes that blessings can also trigger a crisis. When we truly understand that, we're less likely to be upset about difficulties or elated about opportunities; we remain centered no matter what happens around us. That is one of the secrets of self-mastery.
When you know that bad things aren't so terrible and good things aren't so terrific, you can be quietly grateful for whatever occurs. Balance is neither pessimism nor optimism. It doesn't lean to one side or the other, but sits poised in the middle. It is "gratefulism," and that is both wisdom and true power. All things are balanced, and when you know it, you remain true to yourself rather than being driven by your hopes and fears. You stay present on your path.
When you buy into the fantasy of better and worse, seeking the illusion of greener pastures, you're never present, or satisfied with your life the way it is. You think, Someday I'll find a way to let my wife and children know how much I really love them. Someday when things are better I'll start that business, take that trip, or write that book. You live on Someday Isle, which doesn't exist.
Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, once said, "Don't look for opportunities in the far distances of space and time, but embrace them right where you are, because where you are already has the perfection and the balance." Right this minute you have everything you need to fulfill your life.
One of the objectives of The Breakthrough Experience is to help you see through your inner eye the balance that already exists. When you're truly grateful, you have simply woken up to it.
The Great Discovery: What Goes Up Must Come Down...
In my search for the principles underlying human existence and consciousness, I came upon what I call The Great Discovery: At any moment of your life, you will never be put down without being lifted up, nor lifted up without being put down. Positive and negative, good and bad, support and challenge, peace and war -- all come together in pairs. They are simultaneous and perfectly balanced, and that is what makes up the divine order.
At first that may seem somewhat less than startling. But when it sinks in, you'll realize that it's truly an amazing understanding. If you ever see one side without the other, you're living in an illusion. Stop right now and think about your life. Find a moment where you were criticized, put down, or humiliated. Isolate the exact moment in space and time and the exact individual or group. Once you pinpoint this moment of humiliation, look again, and you'll find that at exactly the same time you were being put down, either you or somebody else was lifting you up and praising you. In addition, any time you were put up on a pedestal, that was the very moment somebody brought you down and put you in the pit. Wisdom is the acknowledgment that both sides occur equally and simultaneously.
Living in Duality: We Are All Bipolar People
Each of us lives in duality; we are all bipolar people. We have a part that lifts us up and another that puts us down. We praise and criticize ourselves. Nobody will ever put us up or down as much as we do, because no one will ever think as much or as intensely about us as we think about ourselves. When somebody reacts to us, they're merely reflecting a repressed part of us. No one ever victimizes us; they just reflect us.
I once consulted for a doctor in Los Angeles who said, "I need some help, John. I'm running into a series of patients who say there's no way they can possibly commit to the necessary care for that long."
"So what are your responses?" I asked him.
"Well. that's it. I don't have responses, and I keep blowing it. I'm calling you to get some ideas."
He was giving his patients a plan of action for their health care, which had worked fine for months, but all of a sudden he was getting this objection over and over again. I know the world is a mirror, so I just asked him, "Where are you holding back from committing that long?"
He had just been talked into getting married. He loved the lady and a part of him definitely wanted to get married, but he was frightened of the commitment because he'd been through it before. The week he agreed to marry her, he started getting this objection from his patients. His fear was financial, so when I helped him work out a prenuptial agreement, his fear of marriage evaporated and his clients soon stopped refusing to commit. His financial "problem" helped him organize and break through his relationship fears and open his heart to the woman he loved.
People treat you exactly the way you unconsciously treat yourself. Their outer mannerisms toward you reflect your inner mannerisms, so one of the most powerful ways to transform your life is to become consciously aware of your beliefs and feelings about yourself. Most people go through life completely oblivious. They have high moments and low moments and swing through their emotions, but don't see the balanced and divine order, and how they're constantly surrounded by love. My objective is to have you become aware that you're surrounded by magnificent love every moment of your life.
True Love: Maintaining a Loving Equilibrium
True love emerges from a state of emotional balance. One of the purposes of having a partner is to maintain a loving equilibrium. If one partner is manic and up, the other partner helps bring them back down into balance. If one is down and depressed, the other will help lift them up. If one partner becomes cocky, the other brings them down. If one becomes deflated, the other helps them up. That's how relationships work. This balancing act maintains the divine order, or true love.
I used to come home from my office after a "big day" -- I'd see a pile of patients, provide a load of service, and make lots of money. I'd drive home in my Jaguar all cocky and elated, thinking. Oh, wow, what a day! Anybody want to touch me for luck?
I'd sail home and ... boom! Slam dunk. "Where have you been? We were supposed to go out to dinner an hour ago. Did you pick up what I asked you for? Who do you think you are, anyway?" I would come down with a crash because I didn't understand how that was actually great love.
My first, immature response was, "Well, thanks very much. I was so up and positive and I had such a great day. How come you're putting me down? I work so hard and you don't support me. Everybody else sees how great I am. What's wrong with you?"
And do you know what would happen? No intimate activity for a week. I would get humbled because we're not here to be right, we're here to be love. These two sides make up true love. They create the balance. I was surrounded by love, but I was addicted to the pleasure at work and resentful of the balancing pain at home. I eventually realized that every time I came home cocky, I wasn't present with my family. And if I wasn't present and in love with my family, the slam dunk returned me to being present with them. But if I came home really depressed, there was my wife, lifting me up.
I realized that if I wanted to come home and find love there, I'd better not be elated or cocky. So on the drive home I would think, All right, what patient did I forget to call? What paperwork did I forget to do? Who did I not give my best quality service to? I would humble myself and not walk into the house until I felt centered and present. Like any true science that's reproducible, if you do that, you will repeatedly have a loving partner at home. It's absolutely amazing. You literally have the power to change the state of your partner, from a distance, by going into the state of balanced love. When you have true love, you see the balance all around you. When you have a one sided emotion, you get the other side to center you and bring you back to true and balanced love. This is the divine order at work.
The moment you realize this balance and observe the perfect equilibrium around you, you become liberated. You know that the world is perfectly balanced, both within and without. Only then are you able to manage your own life and no longer be controlled by praise and blame. You begin to forge your own destiny and allow the enlightened part of you to direct your life, rather than let yourself be run by the part of you that hopes and fears.
Equilibrium: Finding the Point of Balance Everywhere
If you would love to be the director of your own life, you must equilibrate your perceptions and emotions. By equilibration, I don't mean indifference or apathy; I mean a point of inner balance and poise that goes beyond emotional extremes. The heart opens only when the mind becomes consciously equilibrated, while imbalanced emotions close it down. That's why St. Augustine emphasized that "the will of God is equilibrium." God wants you to open your heart to yourself and recognize that you are a part of that divinity -- beyond any opinions of grandeur, unworthiness, and doubting fears.
When the will of humans attunes to the balanced will of God, the heart communes with divinity. As human beings, our job is to become acutely aware of the life dynamics that are doing everything they can to equilibrate us and make us aware of this truth. When we begin to see the balance everywhere, we wake up to the possibility that maybe there's a hidden order and intelligence behind it all.
Love is made up of two sides: support and challenge. We're required to experience both sides equally, and live in this world of duality until we can see the magnificence of their underlying balance. Were you aware that supporting someone can make them weak and dependent, and that challenging them can make them strong and independent? We judge ourselves harshly when we feel we've been mean to someone, but that's because we haven't seen the balance. Because of the divine order, the very person we were mean to received kindness from someone else at exactly the same time. Our meanness made them more independent, and the other person's kindness made them more dependent.
You wouldn't believe how many times I've seen a child being challenged by the father, while the mother was supportive, and vice versa. The more gentle and lenient one parent was, the more rough and strict the other was. The softer one was, the harder the other got, and the two together made up the balance of love.
A child requires both support and challenge in perfect equilibrium. If one parent plays one side, the other parent will play the other. If not, the brother or sister will play it, or the kid down the street will beat them up. They won't escape whatever it takes to equilibrate them. Look at your own life to see the truth of what I'm saying. Can you think of times when you received both praise and reprimand in equilibrium? You can't escape it. If you had nothing but challenge right from birth, you wouldn't survive your family. If you had nothing but support from your family, you wouldn't survive when you went out into the world.
Embracing Balance and Truth: Dancing with your Life
Nature won't allow anything but equilibrium. Have you ever wondered why some of the most famous rock stars and movie stars commit suicide, overdose, or self-destruct? Their suicidal tendencies or suicide attempts are often compensatory reactions to having other people build them up so high that they imagine themselves invincible. Because praise and blame are equilibrated, anyone who buys into the illusion that they're greater than they really are will also blame themselves and self-destruct for not being able to measure up to their fantasy. Strange as it may seem, critics and the tabloids actually help keep celebrities alive by balancing all the praise and adulation they receive.
One of the greatest illusions people fall into is the search for pleasure without pain, praise without reprimand, or nice without mean. Looking for elusive, one-sided events in a two-sided universe is the root of people's so-called suffering. When you embrace the balance and the truth, love surrounds you. You can't escape true love. You can't run from it. There's nowhere to go. When you understand this truth, your fears and guilt can evaporate, and you can begin to dance with your life.
An Invitation to The Master Dance
I once lived in a house overlooking the beach near Del Mar, California. One day I walked into a health-food store for a carrot juice and overheard a gentleman talking about philosophy. I couldn't resist the opportunity, so I sat down with him for a discussion. He told me he was a master of martial arts, had trained many Hollywood movie stars, and also studied philosophy. After our lengthy discussion, he asked me if I would be willing to share more of my philosophy with him in exchange for some martial arts lessons. Of course I accepted, and he came over to my home.
I took him into my family's big, glass-walled room overlooking the beach and asked him, "All right, what do I do?"
He said. "Okay, here's the first lesson. I want you to do whatever you can to attack me. Try to kill me."
I thought, Hmm, the first lesson and he wants me to kill him. Okaaay.
So I tried to punch him, and immediately, with just two fingers, he grabbed my arm and twisted me off balance, leaned me backwards, kissed me on the cheek, and put me back on my feet. With two fingers!
He said, "Try again."
I thought, All right, I'm going to try kicking him, but as I kicked, he stepped aside and used the same two fingers to lift up my foot, throw me off balance, and kiss me on the cheek. The next time I tried a spinning kick, but he just guided my leg on past and kissed me on the cheek again. No matter what I did, I couldn't touch him, and eventually I started to laugh.
I stood back, sweating and out of breath, and asked him, "Okay, what's the lesson here?"
He said, "Here is your first lesson. To a master, there is no such thing as attacks, only invitations to dance. But to a neophyte, because they're unsure, they always perceive themselves to be the victim of attacks. Anything they're not prepared for will be interpreted as a danger, and it will run their lives. But anything that they can see as having a perfect balance of yin and yang, they will not react to. Masters act wisely upon such things, and they make them invitations to dance."
This gentleman didn't feel threatened by anything I could do because he had already prepared himself for every possibility. He stayed poised and present no matter what I did, and turned my attempts at deadly combat into a graceful dance. He was educational as well as entertaining to watch.
Looking for the Blessing and the Opportunity
If we can understand and embrace everything that comes our way in the same spirit as this gentleman, knowing that it is not an attack, but an opportunity to refine and expand ourselves, we can turn our lives into the same masterful dance. For most of us, conflict is less physical and more verbal and mental, but the same principle applies. You're not present when you become distracted by the emotions of praise and reprimand, are you? When somebody lifts you up or puts you down, if you buy into their one-sided illusion, they can run your life. The second you allow yourself to get elated or depressed about other people's perceptions of you, or even your own illusory perceptions of yourself, you become disempowered. You cannot express your genius to its fullest while you're caught in that state. But the second you bring your mind to balanced awareness, you have the power of divinity working through you.
The next time someone puts you down, immediately look for the balancing opposite and say to yourself, "Ah, thank you! I was just being cocky and elated about something, and I was also being praised and built up, so I see why I've brought you into my life at this moment." If you can be thankful to them for helping you remain poised, you're on your way to becoming a master. If every time a crisis struck, you trained yourself to immediately look for the blessing and opportunity that certainly exists, you could dance with your life.
"If I had only one prayer, it would be, 'Thank You.'" -- Meister Eckhart
When you open your heart to Divine Intelligence, miracles happen in your life. Miracles are nothing but natural laws put into action by beings who understand their application. When you're poised and centered, you have power. You become like a Jedi knight and The Force is with you. Not because you want to gain control, but because you honor yourself and your life enough to embrace it all, the highs and lows are in perfect balance.
Shall we begin? After the exercises, you'll find a list of affirmations called "Words of Wisdom and Power." Read these affirmations at least three times daily, concentrate on their significance, and feel them as they begin to take root in your heart and mind.
Exercise 1: Equilibrate Every Word of Criticism or Praise
Think of a moment in your life when you were criticized, put down, repressed, or told you were no good. It's important to identify the details: Exactly when, where, and by whom did this occur? Then remember who was lifting you up, praising and putting you on a pedestal, at that exact split second. Write them both down and identify their balance.
Over the days and weeks to come, begin scanning back over your entire life and equilibrate every lopsided word of criticism or praise you can remember. Love is two-sided. When you deeply understand this great truth, you get to be surrounded by love every minute of your life.
Exercise 2: Giving Thanks
Before you go to sleep tonight, lie comfortably in your bed and begin giving thanks inwardly. Remember everyone who helped you today. Call up their image in your mind's eye and thank them for their support or challenge, niceness or meanness, or simply their presence in your life. Identify what they were teaching you and how and what they were balancing.
Continue until you feel great gratitude for your day -- until you see that both sides are perfectly balanced and both are love. Going to sleep with a grateful, open heart is a powerful healing practice. Your dreams will become more inspiring, and you will awaken in the morning with a lighter state of mind.
Words of Wisdom and Power
* I am magnificent just the way I am.
* I listen to my immortal nature, and it knows.
* My true nature is love and wisdom. Wisdom is the instantaneous recognition that crisis is a blessing.
* Life is a gift. Thank you.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
This article is excerpted from:
The Breakthrough Experience: A Revolutionary New Approach to Personal Transformation
This book is about breaking through the barriers that keep us from experiencing our true nature as light. It presents inspiring science and philosophy in a way that is completely accessible to anyone, to reveal and explore the universal laws and principles that underlie our very existence. THE BREAKTHROUGH EXPERIENCE is an extremely real and practical manual for understanding why we live the way we do, and how to transform our lives into our highest vision.
About the Author
Dr. John F. Demartini is an international speaker and consultant who is a retired chiropractor, researcher, writer, and philosopher. He has written several dozens of books, including the bestsellers Count Your Blessings; The Breakthrough Experience; How to Make One Hell of a Profit and Still Get to Heaven; You Can Have an Amazing Life . . . in Just 60 Days; and The Heart of Love. In addition, Dr. Demartini is a private consultant, advising people from all walks of life on personal and professional development and achievement. These include Wall Street financiers, corporate executives, health professionals, politicians, Hollywood stars, and sports personalities. Visit his website at www.DrDemartini.com.