Following Heart Over Mind

The following are sub-themes to the main theme, “Following Heart Over Mind”:

(Note: The multiple sub-themes show that sometimes change can be a challenging process that takes patience, persistence, set-backs, hope, trust and time.)

  • Do I Care About Humanity? (September 11, 2012 Tuesday)
  • UPDATE: A Beautiful Ending/Beginning (September 14, 2012 Friday)
  • UPDATE: The 180 Degree Growth Challenge (September 17, 2012 Monday)
  • UPDATE: The Trusted Unknown Miracle (September 20, 2012 Thursday)
  • UPDATE: The Unexpected U-Turn (September 21, 2012 Friday)
  • UPDATE: Choosing To BE the Change (September 22, 2012 Saturday)
  • UPDATE: Embracing Paths We Are Meant To Cross (September 24, 2012 Monday)
  • UPDATE: The “You need help and medication” Reply (September 27, 2012 Thursday)
  • UPDATE: Surrendering To The Flow of Source (September 27, 2012 Thursday)
  • My Letter to God (September 27, 2012 Thursday)
  • Closing: The Trusted Unknown Ripple Effect (October 15, 2012 Thursday)

Do I Care About Humanity?

September 11, 2012

Yesterday, in my Abnormal Psychology class, my instructor made fun of people with various mental disorders, to include those who were anorexic, depressed and were diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. My Mind wanted to immediately put her in her place, but my Heart whispered not to humiliate her. Then, I was going to give her a piece of my Mind after class, in person; however, my Heart reminded me to sit on it since I was obviously fired up. I’m grateful that I did wait patiently. I decided to send my instructor an e-mail today, Tuesday, September 11, 2012:

Note: Image on right by poweredbyintuition.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Hello Ms. Monday,

I’m one of your gazillion students in the Abnormal Psychology class. I understand you’re busy, so I will make this as brief as possible.

After last Monday’s lecture, I was going to talk to you in person about some of the things you mentioned in class; however, I had a gut feeling to sit on it, and I’m glad I did.

First of all, I noticed that you’re a very enthusiastic instructor, and you were probably trying to make the lecture as interesting as possible. But I hope that you’re not advocating that it’s okay to judge and/or make fun of those with certain types of disorders.

For instance, there are different types of Bipolar disorders, and not all of them are to the extreme (i.e., going on ridiculous shopping sprees during manic phases and then dropping to major depression during the low phases). Unfortunately, when most people hear “bipolar,” they immediately assume the most negative characteristics.

As you may already know, there’s already a stigma on mental illness. But not all people suffering from mental illness are “crazy.” As a matter of fact, many are just trying to heal from various wounds.

I know, because I’m a survivor of abuse (physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual), and I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD (as a veteran who’s been raped while in the military) as well as Bipolar Type II.

I chose not to be on medication, not so that I can enjoy the manic phases, but so that I can heal naturally through various types of meditation, having a positive attitude, eating healthier, exercising, helping others to heal, and last but not least…having faith in God through spirituality (not religion).

I’ve even had soldiers who had various problems, to include anorexia; and rather than judging them, I chose to help them with understanding and compassion.

I wanted to share this with you, not because I want your pity or sympathy…since I don’t need it, but because I realize that you are in a powerful position…where you can help shape the younger generation into more compassionate human beings. Only then, can we make this world a better place for everyone…even those who could use some healing.

Thank you for your time. Please continue being a great instructor. I know you mentioned that you’re not empathetic in your intro, but I believe deep down you are…we all are. Have a good day!

Barbara

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I also sent her the short video, “Wounded Healer”:

http://youtu.be/orxEawi9qro

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Thank you God /My Higher Self/My Soul/My Best Friend/My Heart/My Intuition for your continuous guidance and your never-ending Love. I love you.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: A Beautiful Ending/Beginning

September 14, 2012 (Friday)

This past Wednesday (September 12th), I was somewhat disappointed that my instructor hadn’t replied to my e-mail that I had sent her on Tuesday (September 11th). But then I gave her a benefit of a doubt that perhaps she was too busy to even read the e-mail. So I just went to class on Wednesday. Throughout class, she repeated her behavior—judging, stereotyping, exaggerating and putting down those with mental disorders. I had the same strong urge again to speak out. But then again, I had another intense feeling in my heart to wait…again.

Granted, when she made a comment about babies, I didn’t hesitate to raise my hand and share my thoughts on that matter. She said that although she didn’t justify child abuse, babies who cry a lot fail to bond with their parent(s). And that even though a frustrated parent may want to strangle the baby, they should just leave the baby in the crib and walk away.

Note: Image on left by radioshen.com

I said that a baby’s main form of communication is unfortunately crying. When we have body aches or gas in our stomachs, or even when we’re cold, hungry, tired, frustrated, and/or uncomfortable, we can express ourselves; however, babies solely rely on a parent(s) to be cognizant of their needs and to be able to take care of them. Therefore, it’s not the baby’s failure to bond.

To my surprise, my instructor eventually agreed after stumbling upon some words. She then stated that that’s why she does research rather than counsel people. I understood that she probably didn’t understand because she seemed pretty young, like maybe in her late twenties. Perhaps she didn’t have any children.

Well, after class Wednesday, I sent her the same e-mail via the university’s e-mail system rather than through “Blackboard” e-mail, just in case she doesn’t check those e-mails. I informed her that if I didn’t hear back from her, that I would just stop by her office before class during her walk-in hours.

Fortunately, she replied to my e-mail and asked me to come talk to her. I was nervous because I still hadn’t mastered welcoming fear and infusing it with love, which I would love to do one day. Being anxious is what happens when you have expectations. As much as I wanted to be positive, I was expecting a negative experience. It more than likely stemmed from my set view of how I thought she is from class, rather than trying to imagine a different side of her; another thing I could improve on.

As I came across her opened door, we made eye contact. She asked, “Are you Barbara?” and a conversation began. I told her that I really appreciated her taking the time to talk to me, and she immediately stated that she wanted to apologize to me for her behavior, and that she wanted to make it clear that she would never judge me for sharing my thoughts and personal status with her. She said that she was moved by my e-mail and reflected on her behavior. She admitted being insensitive, and that she had made some unnecessary stereotypes.

I wanted to relieve her from her discomfort, so I reassured her that I understood that her intentions weren’t bad. Throughout our entire conversation, she was teary-eyed; it was my first glance at her softer side. It touched my heart. It was like I could see her soul through her strong, yet gentle eye contact. The conversation went very well. To my surprise, she opened up to me and shared some of her truths, to include the fact that she may seem like a hard shell on the outer surface, but that she was mushy on the inside.

She also asked me if I could give her some feedback on her next few lectures. She continued that she often wondered how her performance was in the eyes of the observer, and that since she appreciated my input, she would like further input from someone who actually had life experience, to include being an instructor. She added, “I would like you to help me to become a better instructor.” I agreed to with delight.

The following is my feedback that she requested today:

Hello Ms. Friday,

Once again, it was a great pleasure being able to talk to you today, in person, regarding my previous e-mail. I was touched by your sincerity, understanding, honesty and willingness to make positive change. Your eyes alone spoke a thousand words. Thank you very much for your time.

Before I give you my feedback for today, I would first like to apologize for not articulating my thoughts in a brief and clear manner today in class. I didn’t mean to take more time from your scheduled lecture. I was NOT planning on sharing my personal status with an auditorium full of students; however, when the young, female student had the courage to be transparent about being bipolar, I strongly felt like I, too, should do the right thing so that she wouldn’t feel like the only one that might be judged by others. Or, perhaps it was just my own true desire to be truthful, and I was just using her as an excuse to speak out since the young lady didn’t seem to mind being honest. I’m not sure. Anyway, the bottom line is, I felt embarrassed because I may have made an ass out of myself. I just didn’t want you to worry that this type of situation would occur again.

Note: Image on right by univisions.wordpress.com

Today’s lecture was outstanding! I appreciate you taking into consideration some of the things I’ve shared with you. You were very professional, informative, neutral, as well as humorous. Like I said earlier today, your sparkling personality, and your ability to really connect with the younger generation, are a gift that places you way ahead of the game. Your presence up front is very lively, yet down-to-earth, and your presentation is fresh. You’re not monotone, boring, condescending, insensitive or passive, just to name some of the characteristics that students tend to complain about  instructors in general. You actually have a great sense of humor, which is a powerful tool…not just in teaching, but for life overall.

Thank you for being such an open-minded and kind person, and please continue being a great instructor. Your impact on others, especially the younger generation, will have a ripple effect beyond your imagination.  

 Have a good evening.

Barbara

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: The 180 Degree Growth Challenge

September 17, 2012 (Monday)

I received the following reply from my instructor to the first feedback I sent above:

Thanks for your feedback. Please keep it up for a while to make sure I don’t regress. I think the lecture Friday was a much needed course correction to the insensitivity that was present before. Your part was appropriate and appreciated.

Note: Image on left by splashnology.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Besides the e-mail, I had other experiences with her in class today. She asked the auditorium full of students where else treatment was provided for those diagnosed with a mental disorder, and no one answered. So I answered, “Mental Health Facility.”

To my surprise, she gave me the teeny-boppin’ “Duh” look, as though as I was some kind of idiot, and then she asked me to be more specific with a snotty tone.

When I paused to think about what exactly she was asking for (since it didn’t occur to me that she would want me to specify where I received treatment), she then answered a name of a specific Mental health Facility.

Note: Image on right by yoihanagata.blogspot.com

Several minutes later, she asked us what other ways (besides medication and exercise) can one diagnosed with a mental illness can improve their condition. Once again, no one answered, so I answered what worked for me. I first stated, “Healthier eating,” and she gave me that same condescending look and tone, “You mean improved nutrition?”

She asked for another example, and there was silence again. So I added, “Meditation.” Although she wrote it down with the others, she immediately circled “Exercise, improved nutrition and meditation” and said with attitude that none of those three examples were supported by the textbook. When I first talked to her in her office, she stated that those three things would definitely be beneficial.

Note: Image on left by macwallpapers.eu

I started to become aware of where her anger was stemming from…my sharing of my true status in class last Friday. Although I had sincerely apologized to her, she didn’t mention anything in her reply e-mail, and then she acted out her anger towards me in class somewhat indirectly.

So, after class, I approached her. She said everything was great last Friday, but all her non-verbal cues said otherwise. Not only did she make minimum eye contact (as opposed to our first conversation), her tone of voice was distant, and I actually caught her rolling her eyes as I turned to walk away.

Note: Image on right by thechive.com

My ego had an urge to tell her, “FYI…if you’re going to give someone a quick, fake smile, and then roll your eyes at them afterwards, make sure they’re fully turned around so that they don’t catch a glimpse of you doing so.” However, I sat on it like I did the last time and decided to send her the requested feedback, and it would be the last one.

Note: I realize that I can be, and should be, communicating with more gentle kindness; however, I haven’t mastered loving myself and others unconditionally yet. So therefore, what you see is what you get…so judge me if you must. The way I see it now, in order to effectively communicate with ALL facets of humanity, we must know when to use gentle kindness, and when to be assertive

Note: Image on left by thechive.com

The following is my final reply to her e-mail, as well as my last feedback to her request:

Thank you, your reply speaks volumes. However, this will be the final feedback you will receive from me. I meant what I said about you in the first feedback. You have the potential to be, not just a great instructor, but an amazing one. The only thing I would add from today’s lecture is that one can convey to a student that his or her answer is wrong without humiliating them in any way, shape or form.
I learned from the best instructors that humiliation only discourages participation from students. Even when other students witness their fellow student being humiliated, they will more than likely not participate. I’m only sharing with you what I learned from other instructors, not because I ever mastered it, but because you requested the feedback.
Note: Image on right by wallpapervortex.com

Like I mentioned before, the purpose of my approach was not to tell you how to instruct your students. I am in no position to be making continuous suggestions to someone who is receiving their PhD soon. I was a military instructor; however, I realize, that when it comes to instructing, it’s apples and oranges when compared to teaching at a university.

I was just hoping that you would help students to become less judgmental and more understanding and compassionate towards others who are different and/or have an illness. In addition to that, I was hoping that you would also give hope to those who are negatively labeled. Older folks like me may not need the support, but I’m sure young students, such as the one who courageously admitted that she was bipolar (in our class) could use the extra encouragement.
Note: Image on left by flickr.com
Now I’m going to bump up my honesty a notch. To my surprise, I experienced feeling very connected to you during our first conversation in your office. When I looked into your eyes, I felt your sincerity. Your demeanor appeared genuine. Today was a completely different experience, and understandably so. I don’t blame you for having negative feelings toward me after what I said in class Friday.
I just wanted to be honest, as well, about being diagnosed with Bipolar (Type II) disorder. I was aware that I would more than likely be judged, but it didn’t matter. I was even initially embarrassed, but I got over it. Although I sincerely apologized, and you said it was fine…I realized that it really wasn’t…and that’s okay. Like the saying goes, life is a boomerang; what you send out, whether negative or positive, you end up receiving with accuracy. It’s the nature of the universe.
Note: Image on right by mi9.com
I embrace you humiliating me because I apparently frustrated you by revealing my true self. You and I, as grown women, can just keep it real. I’m not one of your “fresh out of high school” students you can easily deceive. Not only was detecting deception and conducting analysis parts of my job description as an interrogator/analyst in the Army, but I also trust my intuition to guide me to truth.
And the truth is, I irritate you; hence, the rolling of the eyes. I understand. But my intention was not to make your job more difficult. I was following my heart…doing what I strongly believe would benefit everyone, to include you. I could’ve just as easily brought up in class what we discussed in your office, had I listened to my mind, but I chose to follow my heart’s advice, which was not to humiliate you.

Note: Image on left by ascensionearth2012.org
I won’t email you or come talk to you anymore about things you’re already aware of now in your heart. I will communicate with you only if it’s related to the course. Sorry for bothering you with a video link as well. It happened to inspire me deeply, so I thought I’d share it with a soul sister who has the power to transform the younger generation into more compassionate human beings. Although you swore up and down that you’d check it out, you either forgot to or had no desire to watch it…and that’s okay too. Nothing should be forced.
I made a mistake of sharing too much info apparently. Thank you for your time, and continue doing what you do best…because you do have the skills to be a great instructor, and I have no doubt that you can be a very loving person as well. Your true self/your soul/God/Higher Self/All That Is/Source, etc. .is in essence Unconditional Love.
Barbara
Note: Image on right by kkuodesign.com
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Thank you God for your gift/blessing/miracle disguised as a perfect plan that’s falling apart. Although I had conversations with You throughout the day today, I understand that I didn’t have complete control over my emotions. I felt discouraged, and my energy was pretty low after class.
Be patient with me God, I’m working on it. I’m already in a better place now. Although I’m way behind on my reading assignments (which is highly unlike me,especially a week prior to all my exams), I chose to follow my heart again to update this post rather than study.
Note: Image one left by excitinglandscape.blogspot.com
I finally realized, that although hardly anyone reads my blog, it doesn’t matter. I write for me first, which in turn is for any other soul who wishes to benefit from it. My blog helps me to heal.
Thank you God for inspiring me to journal in public so that I may help others heal as well. I trust You that everything is falling into place perfectly for all of us at every divine moment…as always.

Note: Image one right by mymodernmet.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: The Trusted Unknown Miracle

September 20, 2012 (Thursday)

Yesterday’s class went very well. As my instructor gave her lecture, she emphasized that we shouldn’t stereotype those diagnosed with mental disorders, or even automatically assume that they have extreme symptoms.

Additionally, when a student gave an incorrect answer to one of her questions, she informed her that her answer was pretty close, but that there was something more specific that she was looking for. I was happy to see her effort to encourage student participation rather than humiliate them when they didn’t provide the correct answer. After class, I read her reply to my last feedback:

Note: Image on left by hdw.eweb4.com

Barbara,

I think we are having a failure to communicate effectively so I will be blunt. I am not bothered by your feedback and I appreciate it. I want to be quite cautious about what we discuss in the classroom to protect your right to privacy. Subsequently, I prefer to have lengthy discussions in my office with fewer folks listening. I think you were brave to disclose your diagnosis to me and later the class and I don’t hold any negative feelings towards you whatsoever. Quite the opposite, you have been strong and helpful, both positive attributes.

When I solicit student feedback and I don’t understand the offered answer, I ask for clarification. This helps me honestly communicate with students and not assume I know what they intended.

I will continue to implement the changes we discussed in our meeting and, if you are so inclined, please let me know when I go astray.

Thanks again,

Her First Name

Note: Image on right by nature.desktopnexus.com

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

My instructor also mentioned in class Wednesday that a behavioral therapist’s goal is to get straight to the problem (to fix it); hence, they could care less about the patient’s thoughts and feelings…the “why” and “how” the patient acquired the problem. Therefore, they always provide the patient with positive feedback. The following is my reply to her e-mail today:

Thank you for your positive feedback Ms. Thursday. I’m sure you will continue to do great.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Thank you God for all the miracles that occur when we cross each other’s paths. I am grateful that my instructor gave me the opportunity to experience again what it means to follow my heart, to BE courage and strength, and care about humanity. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I said some things on Twitter out of hurt and fear (after my mother disowned me), to include not caring about humanity. It’s amazing how everything always falls into place perfectly so that we can all benefit from life. You/My Higher Self/My Soul/All That Is/Source has sent me this gift so that I, too, may remember more of who I truly am. I also thank you for giving me the opportunity to help my soul sister to remember who she truly is, and that she doesn’t need me to continue to remind her of what she’s already aware of in her own heart.

Note: Image on left by tariqweb.com

UPDATE: The Unexpected U-Turn

September 21, 2012 (Friday)

I actually believed that I wouldn’t have to give my instructor another feedback, but I was wrong. Not only did she show an inappropriate video, but she also made fun of people who care too much and her friend who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The following is my e-mail to her today:

Ms. Friday,

I wasn’t planning on informing you when you happen to go astray again (as you requested) because I actually believed that you wouldn’t. I was wrong. A part of me doesn’t want to care, because 1) I shouldn’t have to continuously inform an instructor that he/she is being unprofessional and 2) after hearing you say in class today that people who care too much do so because they think they’re perfect, I was turned off.
Just for the record, this world would be a much better place if more people cared…PERIOD. Also, out of all the teachers, and civilian and military instructors I’ve ever had, you are the only one whom I had problems with. The bottom line is, everyone has different personalities, but as an instructor, most people remain professional.
I thought you did great when you stopped making fun of people with mental disorders, being judgmental, and stereotyping. But yet today, you decide to show a You Tube video of some really old man making fun of people who have problematic thinking problems through songs. How sad, pathetic, immature, insensitive, judgmental, and unprofessional for such an old man to behave that way. You would think being that old, one would share wisdom with others, not act like an elementary school kid.
I can picture perhaps one of the immature students suggesting to watch such a video, but not a Psychology instructor who’s about to receive her PhD shortly. There’s a difference between having a great sense of humor and an immature sense of humor. It’s not a laughing matter to make fun of people who have problematic thinking patterns. It’s actually a struggle for those who go through it. I’m starting to get the feeling that you just don’t get it, and don’t really care to.
One of my older classmates suggested earlier that I take this matter higher (because you seemed very immature, insensitive and unprofessional) rather than approach you directly, but I disagreed. I chose not to, not because I think I’m such a great person, because I had hope that we, as mature adults, could come to an understanding.
Plus, I don’t think it’s a good idea to not give someone a benefit of a doubt or a second chance. We all make mistakes. I’m starting to get the feeling that I’ve been mistaken to think that I could reason with you. If it’s just part of your personality (and a lack of character) to make fun of others, then that’s just who you are; be that way on your own time.
However, young students don’t need to see that side of you; they deserve better. We already live in a very judgmental society, we don’t need those in influential positions (such as an instructor) to encourage the younger generation to judge even more…it creates separation rather than unity.
Students should look up to you and respect you, even if they don’t admire you. The rest of my instructors all have their own unique personalities; however, the main characteristic that they have in common is that they are all professional. They don’t have a need to win a popularity contest with the students by acting like one of them.
Like you mentioned before, if I noticed it, chances are…others have probably noticed as well. Most will more than likely not express their thoughts to you…they’ll just probably make complaints on the end-of-course survey. I’m choosing to share my thoughts with you because I believe that what we do for others, we do for ourselves…and what we fail to do for others, we fail to do for ourselves.
Since you shared a story about your friend, I’m sharing one of mine. When my friend continuously complained about being fat, and chose not take any suggestions and resources that I offered, I changed my communication style from using gentle kindness to assertiveness. I told her, “Do something about it or stop complaining about it every time I see you. As a friend, I wouldn’t continuously bombard you with negativity.” She then started exercising. I initially chose to use the gentle kindness approach with you, but it obviously didn’t work…so now I’m sending this message.
What I am grateful for is that you gave me an opportunity to experience that I do care about humanity, just when I thought I didn’t care about people anymore. You also helped me to experience being courage and strength, and to follow my heart and honestly communicate with you directly rather than indirectly make a complaint about you to someone above you. I thank you for that.
Barbara
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
God, as much as I wanted to say something in class, I didn’t, especially when she made fun of people who care too much…saying that they do so because they think they’re perfect. I now understand why her comment got under my skin. My mother used to say to me, “Why do you care about other people so much? You think you’re just so perfect, don’t you?” The following in pink was added on September 22, 2012 (Saturday): I realize that it’s more than fine to care too much…it is perfect, because it’s in our nature to be compassion, the highest frequency of our Love energy.
I understand why the video raised my blood pressure. If some old white man would’ve put out a video, back during the Civil Rights Movement days, singing songs that made fun of black people because they were different (and not “normal” according to the majority of the white population), it would’ve created  further separation and encouraged others to discriminate against those who were perceived as different.
So why is this video, that my instructor showed during class, perceived as “acceptable” to her, because people with mental disorders and/or those who suffer from problematic thinking patterns have not yet been embraced by the majority yet.
Anyway, I choose not to ask, “Why” this had to happen…I trust that there is a very good reason that I’m not aware of right now. I just wanted to sit down, relax and enjoy this class, like I do with the rest of my classes, but I noticed that it continues to challenge me to grow, ultimately stemming from my own soul’s request.
Before I sent the e-mail, I asked myself a few times, “What would love do?” Maybe I have selective hearing, but this was the best I came up with. I tried the gentle loving approach before, and it wasn’t too effective. I even thought about just letting it go, and not care about what she does with her own class; but something inside me didn’t allow me to let it go. Maybe it was my ego…I’m not sure. During times like this, I sometimes get confused. Anyway, it’s done…so be it. Thank you God for helping me to go with the flow of the universe. Good night.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: Choosing To BE the Change

September 22, 2012 (Saturday)

A loving soul recently shared with me a precious gift. She’s a gentle soul who has a big heart and a lot of faith in God /Jesus/Christian religion. During our conversation, we shared our life experiences, and embraced the fact that she believes in a religious God, and that I believe in a God of spirituality who loves all souls unconditionally. She then shared some personal stories of experiencing darkness in the past and then mentioned that now, whenever someone says or does something hurtful to her or another, she chooses to not say or do anything, but rather, just pray to Jesus/God that things will get better.

That’s when I felt that intense feeling in my heart…the oh-so-familiar feeling that urges me to express my truth, even if it might create some discomfort. I didn’t know what to say at first (like usual), but I just trusted God again that I would receive guidance. I said that prayer is good, but that I believe that there are times when God would like us to step out of our comfort zone and be the ones to make positive change.

I then added that people like Martin Luther King could have sat at home, a safe and comfortable space, and quietly prayed to Jesus/God to make this world a better place. He could have said, “God, I don’t know how you’re going to make this world a better place, but…” However, MLK chose to have God work His magic through him by having the will power, courage, and strength to step outside of his comfort zone…to face fear in the face…and have faith that love will rise above words and actions that stem from fear.

MLK knew him and his followers were the minority against a huge majority, but he didn’t allow that to stop him from voicing his truth. Throughout history, if people like him didn’t step up to the plate, racism would still be tolerated today, along with sexism, and any other false belief system that creates separation rather than unity.

I understand why some people don’t voice their truths. I used to be passive. I used to be that girl in junior high school that witnessed some jackass say something mean to a gentle soul, and just watched  the helpless soul hurt in silence. I then prayed to God to give me courage so that I could help stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. I used to hate myself for being what I labled “chicken shit.” That’s when I started stepping out of my comfort zone, telling bullies to stop making fun of others with my initially shaking, soft and insecure voice.

I wasn’t taken seriously many times; of course, being probably the same height as I am now (4’9″) probably didn’t help either. However, persistence and determination are magical tools. The more I practiced being assertive, the better I became, the more confidence I built up, and the more I loved myself. When few, thoughtful people would thank me every now and then, it gave me even greater motivation to follow my heart.

Even in high school, I had girls come up to me and ask questions like, “Why do you talk to that strange girl?” And I would just reply, “Because I like her.” I learned (and I continue to remember) that it’s very liberating to follow your heart, and not always say or do what society wants you to say or expects you to do. If society was so wise most of the time, our world would be a much happier and peaceful place. The more we remind one another that We Are All One, the more we will all have such an amazing experience.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Once again God, you remind me why it’s such a great idea to journal what’s in my heart. I would seek for an answer, and You provide it for me through my heart, my intuition, my writing, other souls, and any other tool that facilitates our communication. Thank you so much for Your unconditional love. You complete me. I love You, and soon, I would love to love You unconditionally as You love us all.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: Embracing Paths We Are Meant To Cross

September 24, 2012 (Monday)

The following is my instructor’s reply to my last e-mail:

Barbara,

The video was from an expert in the field of REBT, the therapy type being discussed. His songs illustrated the philosophy of that branch of therapy. REBT is about identifying errors in thinking that lead to problematic behaviors and confronting them, thereby correcting the reasoning that is leading to the problematic behavior. I stand by the airing of the video.

On a second note, If you feel that my teaching style is not a good fit feel free to drop the class and take it with another professor who may bea better fit. The purpose of this class, as outlined in the course catalog is to discuss disorders and their possible treatments from a variety of perspectives. I feel we are doing this. If you disagree, you can come to office hours to further discuss. Alternately, the department chair is Dr. Blank.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The following is my reply to my instructor’s e-mail above:

Ms. Monday,

Back when racism and sexism were embraced by the majority of society, it was acceptable for even “experts” to say and/or do what wasn’t right. I completely understand identifying errors in thinking that lead to problematic behaviors, but you can teach others without making fun of those who suffer from it. I’ve learned about this topic from professional instructors, and none of them had the need to put others down.
On a second note, the purpose of this class is not to teach only what you “like” to teach while telling students to read on their own what you don’t like to teach. Also, teaching from a variety of perspectives does not include advocating to students that they should be judgmental, and that they should make fun of those who have mental disorders. Whether you like it or not, you are leading by example. I would drop the class if it wasn’t too late to receive a refund. However, I didn’t earlier because I actually had hope in you. After today, I continued to because you did a great job.
I no longer have a desire to send you anymore e-mails dealing with your teaching style. If it continues to be a problem for me, it will reflect on the end-of-course survey. If not, then it will be beneficial to all. I guess I’m stuck with you as much as you’re stuck with me, which I believe is meant to be.
Once again, if I wanted to see the department chair, I could’ve easily done so. But my intention was never to report you to higher up, it was to take care of matters on a direct level. My mind said not to continue to be direct, because I would more than likely end up on your “crap” list, but my heart said to go for it. Now I have a better understanding why most people choose the indirect approach.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: The “You need help and medication” Reply

September 27, 2012 Thursday)

Barbara,
I wanted to make you aware of a networking fair/ service for veterans that is on campus tomorrow. From 2:30-4:30 in the ____ room of the ____ numerous service providers for veterans are available. Below is the link from the calendar showing when/ where details.

As you have disclosed that you are managing your bipolar disorder without medication, you may find that extra support might be useful. If so, I would especially recommend that you visit _____ at the counseling services table. Jeff is a veteran himself and counseling services are free for students. He knows about additional VA services that are available, as well. They may have additional tools for you should you need or want them.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

UPDATE: Surrendering To The Flow of Source

September 27, 2012 Thursday

Thank you Ms. Thursday for your concern. However, caring for others does not equate to needing medication. Please don’t use what others share with you against them. When you mentioned in your office that you didn’t judge me for sharing my condition…I believed you. Once again, I was wrong.
It doesn’t matter how you or society labels me, and how you think you know me so well. You don’t. Only God knows my heart, so it’s not important if people like you judge me. I have a 4.0 GPA, and I’ve always excelled at what I do, whether it’s in college or the military. Granted, I’m sure I didn’t do well in your class so far, especially with this first exam, but for the first time while attending college, I didn’t really care.
Although I’ve been off medication for over a year…like I’ve mentioned to you before, exercising, eating healthier, meditating, having a positive attitude, and having faith in God have all helped me to live a healthy lifestyle and have hope for me and others like me. Additionally, while I was off medication, I was able to achieve straight A’s while attending ___ for two semesters.
Hope is not something that comes around often when some has suffered from childhood and adulthood abuse (physical, emotional,verbal and sexual) most of their life, and when they have been raped while in the military. All I was requesting when I talked to you in your office was that you not take away that hope from others like me by making fun of them. I chose to take your class, and I have no problem with you teaching about mental disorders. But you can teach a subject in a professional manner.
It’s one thing not to want to look at your own reflection, but don’t try to make me feel abnormal for doing what’s right. I’ve never had problems with instructors before, and I definitely didn’t have the need to express my concern for their teaching methods. Once again, continuously advocating to students that it’s okay to judge and make fun of those who suffer from mental disorders is not only unprofessional for an instructor to do, but it’s not an act that benefits society.
You need to check yourself before you judge others. I have never seen an instructor (civilian or military, and especially someone who’s about to receive their PhD) behave with so much immaturity, insensitivity, and lack of professionalism. You’re much better than that…I’ve seen your positive qualities. Continue doing what you do best. I made a mistake of opening up to someone like you and having hope that positive change could stem from our interaction.
I’m taking your suggestions to touch base with Mr. Jeff____ and Dr. ____.
Note: I “Cc”d Jeff (Veteran Counselor) and “Bcc” the Department Chair of the University
I also forwarded the first e-mail that I sent to my instructor to both Jeff and Dr. ___(Department Chair of the University) with the following message:
Gentlemen,
 
I “Cc”d and “Bcc”d you on my last e-mail with Ms. Manning. I am sending you the first e-mail that I sent to her so that there are no misunderstandings. I will not send you anymore. Thank you for your time. If you don’t feel that I’m fit to attend this school, please let me know, and I will embrace the decision.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

My Letter to God (September 27, 2012 Thursday)

God,

My anxious and frustrated mind/ego tells me,
“Why do you keep insisting on sharing your truth with those who will only use it against you? Do you like being judged and labeled and ridiculed? Why can’t you be like most people and not care whether or not your Psychology instructor makes fun of those suffering from mental illness? Now we have to deal with all this drama!
And why do you not care anymore about doing well on your exams? You used to strive for 95% and above on all your exams. What’s wrong with you now? You’re just going to throw away your 4.0 GPA that you’ve worked so hard for just because she said some insensitive things that go against your belief systems? So what if she continues to teach thousands or even millions of students that it’s okay to judge and make fun of those who suffer from mental disroders. Forget about the instructor, and focus on what you can accomplish in her class. In the end, you will lose this battle that’s not worth fighting for!
Like your classmate told you the other day, she chooses not to say or do anything to such an instructor (even though she knows it’s wrong) because she doesn’t want to get on the instructor’s bad side. Why can’t you just keep quite, study, do well on the exams and not care about petty things? Nobody cares what you’re doing, so just look the other way and keep yourself happy! Life will be so much better if people like you wouldn’t make such a big deal about things that don’t matter.”
My patient and loving heart tells me,
“I understand how you feel right now. No matter who says what, you’re doing what you know is right in your heart. It’s not easy to voice your truth when it seems like nobody has your back, that you’re labeled as mentally unstable, and that what you say and do doesn’t matter. There are others out there who wish they had the courage to speak their truths as well. Believe that you are a voice that makes a difference.
Some of your words that you’ve expressed to your instructor have stemmed from fear due to sheer frustration, but your intention always stemmed from love. You’ve put forth effort to use the gentle loving approach in your first e-mail, but because it wasn’t too effective; you then proceeded to use a more assertive approach. Trust the process. Trust that your Higher Self is only looking out for your best interest, and that the ultimate goal is to benefit all souls through perfect people, events, and things, since we are all one. Therefore, don’t judge yourself for not representing love the way you and others expect you to.
Your intention stems from compassion, the highest frequency of love. Your goal is to share with others who have forgotten (like your instructor) what it means to be compassionate toward others, especially those who suffer from hurt and truly desire to heal. How can people heal when others keep labeling them as “abnormal?”
In God’s creation, there is no “only way” to achieve a perfect outcome. If people could easily transform this world into a more loving and peaceful place solely using gentle kindness, why wouldn’t more of us use this approach? Some people perceive “gentle kindness” as a weakness, and pay little attention to it. Others don’t like it, accept it, or embrace it, because it’s a bright light that they’re not familiar with, and thus fear…fear that it’s not the real thing.
For instance, when you use gentle kindness to speak to your mother, how does she normally react? Exactly, with aggressiveness…to try and control what she fears she might lose (you). And what happens when you use an assertive approach when you talk to her? Yes, she becomes kind and respectful. This may seem odd to society, but if it works for the two of you, why not use that approach more often, until your mother is ready for the gentle kindness approach?”
Thank you God, I already feel lighter. I wonder when I’ll completely trust You and love You unconditionally. I believe I truly desire to, but it seems like my actions show that I continue to doubt you with my worries, anxiety, and other low-energy states. Sometimes I feel like it’s going to take me a very long time to finally “get it”…perhaps several more lifetimes. I don’t look forward to that. Sometimes I lose hope because I believe that I must have been a very dense soul in other lifetimes, and that it’ll take forever to rise above experiencing all this “negative” kharma. Lately, I just want to sleep.
Granted, last night was an unbelievable experience. You already know; I’m just writing this for my own record. I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or not. I just recall being very aware of my head feeling as if it was being pushed in, especially from the sides…and the vibration was so intense that it was very uncomfortable. I recall being somewhat scared. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. And I don’t understand why I kept repeating “my higher self” over and over again. That’s never happened before either. 
It’s like that one time when it seemed like I was observing myself repeating “I AM” statements back-to-back at a very rapid rate. Even then, I couldn’t tell if I was sleeping or dreaming…but it seemed very real. I’ve read some similar symptoms about the opening of the crown chakra, but I’ve never read anything about someone else repeating those words while that was happening. I realize that sharing such info can lead to me being labeled as “crazy,” “delusional,” and “hallucinating,” etc., if someone else were to read this, but as long as You and I know the truth, that’s all that matters. Thank you God for your continuous guidance, support and unconditional love. 
I just had a thought that I believe came from You God. The reason why I kept repeating “my higher self” while I had the uncomfortable experience last night was because my soul/my Higher Self/You was trying to comfort me when the physical me was scared of the unknown. Thank you!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Closing: The Trusted Unknown Ripple Effect

October 15, 2012 Monday

After I sent out my last e-mail/reply to my instructor, the VA Counselor and the Department Chair of the University, I never received a reply from any of them. Perhaps that was a good thing.

What matters most is that my instructor became professional. She no longer lectured in a judgmental manner, and even made a joke that she can be pretty biased, and that we should all avoid stereotyping. 

I felt her warm efforts to make positive change. I saw her in a different light. I recognized my true soul sister. She helped me to become a better me, and although the process may have been uncomfortable at times, it was definitely worth it.

She didn’t have to reply to my e-mail; her actions spoke volumes. Now whether or not she continues to be that way…I don’t know. But one can only hope. 

Note: Image on right by footsoldiers4christ.wordpress.com

What’s interesting, is that I was initially very excited about taking Abnormal Psychology; however, the more I followed my heart and listened to my intuition, the less I became interested in being fed various theories that didn’t ring true to my soul.

Hopefully, in the near future, the course will be given another title other than “Abnormal” Psychology. I believe the main themes are: understanding, compassion, acceptance, and healing.

Note: Image on left by firstspiritualistchurchofaustin.com

The following is my final e-mail to my instructor:

Dr. (at least soon-to-be) Monday,

I will be withdrawing from ____ this semester due to personal matters.

Thank you for taking into consideration my small input, and being a great instructor.

I appreciate your professionalism, outgoing personality, open-mindedness and empathetic nature.

Please continue inspiring and empowering others. You are a gift to humanity.

I wish you many blessings from this magnificent universe and much Love & Light.

Barbara
Abnormal Psychology class

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Yesterday, I decided to do something “crazy”…something that society would label as “abnormal.”

I decided to withdraw from college that’s paid for by the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, take the chance of highly disappointing my husband and possibly others, e-mail an employer (from a girls’ home) that I had chosen not to have a second interview with in 2011, and fully trust God that my intense feelings are going to guide me onto an unknown but perfect path.

I chose to follow my heart and take a path less traveled…a path that may not be labeled as successful to society, but to my soul, following my deepest passion is the epitome of success. I will write a post about it called, “My Exciting New J.O.B. (Joy of Being).”

Note: Image on right by higherselfcommunity.com

Right after I made my difficult decision, I was still doubtful, due to my lingering fears. I told my husband that I was sorry that I disappointed him. He gently said, “Look at me. You are never a disappointment to me.”

After my husband and I came home, and while he was parking our car into our garage, he mentioned that there were a lot of butterflies flying around right outside our home. I looked up and was in complete awe. It was so beautiful.

There were so many of them just gracefully flying around. I had never seen anything like that before. I then felt a sudden peace in my heart…like everything was going to be okay.

I chose to see it as a sign from God telling me to breathe, relax, and trust the process/Him/My Higher Self/My Soul.

Note: Image on left by fanpop.com

I had a desire to confirm my belief about the symbolic meaning of the butterfly, and I came across the following post:

Butterfly Animal Symbolism – Symbolic Butterfly Meaning

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I came across this interesting presentation on the website “UnCollege” on October 17, 2012:

Michael Ellsberg and Dale Stephens hosted a talk regarding the launch of Michael’s book, The Education of Millionaires, called Deschooling Your Mind.  <= Click on this link to listen to radical words that ring true to the heart.

Advertisements

~ by Bobbie on September 11, 2012.

2 Responses to “Following Heart Over Mind”

  1. What a great letter. You made your point without humiliating her, and encouraged her to re-think her approach. Masterful.

    • Thanks for your feedback Jonathan…as always, I really appreciate it. I haven’t received her reply yet, so I don’t know whether or not I encouraged her to re-think her approach, but I sure do hope so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: