The Time Machine Conundrum

I often play a mental game with others by asking “Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and keep your memories of how your life has been, would you change anything?” The answers I get are always fascinating.

Up until recently, I used to wish I had made better decisions throughout my life and often dreamt of going back in time and starting my life over at a certain point. What’s funny is that I don’t think that way anymore because I am liking who I’m becoming now. Living with the drama I usually put myself in before that, I didn’t really like myself or my life. In turn, this led me to living in a fantasy land about things such as time travel where I would think about how my life could be if I had done this thing or that thing differently.

As I began healing from all the past things that happened to myself, I pondered some deep questions about time travel which made it seem not so alluring. What if everything that happened in my life, was meant to happen as it did? What if I was able to go back in time and changed one thing that I thought would make my life better, and instead, it made things even worse or more complicated? What if the dysfunctional family that I had was the one that was best suited for me to become the spiritual person I am becoming today? What if the relationships that I got in that were toxic were all meant for me to be in so I could eventually be in a healthy one and one that is closer to God? What if all those jobs I had and subsequently quit or the business I owned and tragically lost, all were learning lessons to gain a greater spiritual awareness for the work I was always meant to do?

There’s a great movie I once saw surrounding this very subject. It was entitled “The Butterfly Effect” and starred a very young actor named Ashton Kutcher. In it, he continued to try to change things and make them the way his mind thought they should have been and proceeded to get worse and worse results. Each adjustment he did created a ripple throughout his life that changed everything, even to some of the good things that had happened which he didn’t want to have altered. By the end of the movie, he finally came to acceptance with things, even with the tragic things that had happened throughout it, including the ones he kept trying to manipulate. When he did that, he was able to move on and found new happiness and love.

Ironically, this is exactly what is happening in my life today. Once I began accepting that things happened as they should, I started wishing less and less that I could go back in time to change anything. The reality for me is that I don’t wish to change a single thing in my previous life anymore, even if the ability to time travel actually did exist. I like who I’m becoming now even though there still are many days I’m suffering in physical pain and question God. I can only imagine how much better my life will become by continuing on a path of acceptance and love for everyone and everything.

So if I could go back in time to any part of my life to change it…I wouldn’t. But if could take that time machine and repurpose it, I would go back invisibly and observe many of the great spiritual teachers that God brought to this earth who have since passed. But that’s really just a good subject for a whole other blog entry now isn’t it?

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Negative Rewards Based Belief Systems

People love to give their opinions on just about everything. I think we’re all guilty of it at some point in our lives. Normally, I don’t really like hearing them from other people these days, especially when it comes to the subject of the physical pain I endure. But in rare cases, such as with what happened last week when a woman in a new age store gave me hers about it, I actually saw it as a good thing and grew from it.

I frequent new age stores quite a bit simply because I like crystals, incense, and the like. When I was away last week in the Nashville, Tennessee area visiting my sister, I was searching for a crystal named aquamarine which I learned was hard to come by. Thankfully, I was in luck when I found a store named Cosmic Connections that had some in supply. Rarely do I engage in conversation with any of the employees at new age stores now when I visit them. That’s only because I have at times been provided at many of them, misleading advice and poor direction, which only have complicated my healing path. For whatever reason though, I did the exact opposite of this when I visited this one in Nashville that day. While I did end up in a long conversation with a woman who talked about quite a number of things, there was one thing she said about my pain and the healing I’m going through, that proved to be a blessing in disguise.

“Have you ever considered the idea that the reason you are still in pain is due to some belief system you still hold onto which wants you to remain in pain?”

Whoa! At first I wanted to be angry upon hearing this because I have done so much to change myself and try to heal. It was especially hard to believe that there might actually be some part of me that wanted to remain in pain. But like there are many bad opinions, there really are those too that sometimes end up being quite good, such as this one, because the truth is, a part of me subconsciously did want to stay in pain.

After much meditation and prayer, and then a long discussion with my spiritual teacher about what that woman at the store said to me, I understood my truth behind that statement and it stemmed back to my childhood. There, I had a dysfunctional family where verbal shouting matches, anger, punishments, and control dominated most days and nights. As a child though, I learned early on that when I was sick, all of those undesirable family traits were tossed aside for love and affection to help me heal. In other words, there was great reward for me in being sick as when I was, there was no fighting, no arguing, and no being told to go to my room. My meals were chosen by what I wanted to consume and not what my parents forced in me. There were also loving hugs and tender words when they listened to what was going on within me. As life went on, I got sick more than not. And it wasn’t that I was faking being sick, as I really was sick. It was that my mind and body was on a programmed response forcing me to be that way. It’s really is true that the mind and body are powerful tools. Somewhere along the line, mine learned that when I was sick, I’d get the love I so needed, wanted, and deserved and because of that, it created this negative belief system and programmed it into me.

Throughout most of my life that followed since then, during much of the tumultuous connections I maintained, I got sick and had many physical ailments. In each of those times, those around me offered compassion and had less unreasonable expectations on me which was opposite of how they normally treated me. On top of that, doctors and practitioners would console me like a loving mother would. So throughout most of it, I was doing nothing more than solidifying that negative programming.

All of us, even animals, have different types of programs constantly running within us that begin somewhere. Some are healthy for us, and some aren’t like the one that have kept me being sick. An example of some other type of programming can be shown quite simply with my roommate’s dog who upon hearing the word “Treat?” will begin to salivate and drool, jump up and down, and start doing tricks without even being asked, all for the sake of the reward that her brain knows is about to come. In my case, as I allowed people to treat me terribly and remained in unhealthy relationships, my programming would bring about sickness and ailments just for the reward of getting more love and affection from them. Through my closer connection to God today though, I am loving myself so much more and having a much better relationship with myself. I don’t have any toxic or negative people close to me that do nothing but bring me down. Because of that, this negative rewards based belief system isn’t going to work because I don’t need to be sick to have love come into my life, it’s already there. I generate it now with God’s guidance from within and from surrounding myself with healthy people.

The bottom line is that I don’t want or need to be sick or ailing anymore. And I most definitely don’t have the desire to find love in my life by becoming sick or ailing. That woman really did hit the nail on its head with what she told me. What she didn’t say though, but what I know is also true, is that this old belief system is already dying through all the work I’ve been doing on myself. I just have to be patient. After all, it took years to create this programming, hopefully it won’t take the same to delete it.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Much Suffering Is Based Upon Our Own Doings

It’s hard watching my landlord/roommate implode. Sometimes I feel it’s as if I’m watching myself during all those years where I was so misguided that I tried to find happiness in all the wrong places.

Somehow I already felt the other day that something was off with my roommate when I looked down at my phone and saw he was calling. I was on my long drive back from my partner’s home to my own place of residence in the Boston area when his call came in. While I wasn’t able to answer it seeing that I was already on the phone with someone else, my intuition was confirmed when I listened to the message he left me. In it, he indicated that his cleaning up process was still underway and not to be overwhelmed when I got home. I knew upon hearing this, that it wasn’t a good sign. I decided to meet with my sponsee after that long drive back instead of going home first for several reasons, one of which was based upon my roommate and his message. The main one though was that after several weeks of being away, I didn’t want to put the step work off anymore for someone who desperately needed it. But I have to admit that I also hoped it would give my roommate some more time to finish whatever cleaning up process he was attempting to do.

A few hours later when I finally pulled into the driveway, my intuition and some of my fears were confirmed. One look said it all. The grass was close to two feet high. The garden he had spoke of creating was still in the exact same state as it was when I left. There was a large wheelbarrow directly in the center of where I normally parked that was filled with dirt, weeds, and rainwater and appeared to have been there for quite some time. And unplanted flowers lay on the driveway dying.

As I walked into my residence, I half expected there to be dishes piled up everywhere and the place looking disheveled. Thankfully that extra time I had given my roommate seemed to have mostly done the trick as it appeared he had just finished getting things back in order. I did end up having to dispose of a plant that had died from not being watered and tossing some items in the fridge that were way beyond their expiration date. And other than needing to empty the recyclables bin which was overflowing, I was grateful to see things were mostly in order, at least in the common areas that is. I couldn’t say the same for his room though as I passed by it and noticed it was once again ransacked. Piles of clothes were everywhere. Bags of things were spread out. And the blinds were pulled down and completely shut making his room feel very dark and uninviting. Upon discussion with him later, he indicated his depression and anxiety had been much higher while I was away and that things had fallen to the wayside as a result. Sadly, this has been true with just about every time I have returned home.

I always say that how one lives is usually a good representation of how things might be within oneself. If things are cluttered and messy on the outside for someone, then there’s a good chance that the same is true on their inside. In the illustration with my roommate, this has often been the case. While I’m not currently a therapist nor do I have any aspiring desire to be one, I have lived with him for awhile now to understand that many, if not most of the causes of his clutter, inside and out, as well as his anxiety and depression, can be traced back to the way he’s living his life. With his avoidance of working through and releasing some of his inner demons that I’ve been able to see, and with him not believing that any Power greater than himself has ever existed, he does his best day to day to function by living with two main drives in life; make more money, and have good sex with a bunch of people until the perfect partner comes along. What’s sad is that this is a spitting image of how I once lived my life for close to two decades and why my life was usually a mess filled with misery and suffering.

The sad reality is that much of the suffering any of us experience in life can often be traced back to our own actions. In my case, on all those past days when my life got cluttered and I found myself complaining about my depression or anxiety, it was because I was trying to figure out life completely on my own. During those years God held little to no place within it or me. Because of that, I brought toxic people in my life and did toxic behaviors daily that did nothing but make me more toxic and miserable.

This isn’t so true for me anymore as the only sadness that remains within me today is directly based upon the physical pains in my body which come from how I once was living my life. In time, with God at my helm now, I know that they too will even dissipate. Knowing all this though doesn’t make it any easier to watch someone else like my roommate, make the same mistakes that I did. It’s unfortunate, but at the present time, he’s unable to grasp and apply any of what happened to me to his own life and instead tells me to leave the counseling to his therapist. I have to respect his wishes and do what I can now for him through prayer.

I hope one day soon he will wake up and see that most of the cause of his own misery and suffering is not based upon a chemical imbalance in his body and it’s not something a medication will ever permanently fix. It’s not something more money will make go away and it’s not anything a partner or sex can make feel better forever. For me it took hard work, spending time alone, getting to love myself much better, and a good leader who I found in God. I hope he finds that to be true for him as well someday too. I really do. Until then, I will continue to pray.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson