by James Callner, MA, AFOCD President. www.afocd.org
Excerpt from James Callner’s up coming book on OCD: “It’s a Matter of Trust - Spiritual Prescriptions for OCD”.
It’s a simple answer that takes rigorous steadfast willingness. You connect to Source in steps, sometimes baby steps. Why steps; because it’s just too hard to go from depression or despair directly to happiness; from ‘stuck’ place of obsessions and/or compulsions to a smiley face.
I never could stand those ‘too happy’ people that would tell me to just forget it and be happy. I wanted to burst into song; “Don’t worry …Be happy”. Those lyrics are the right philosophy for balance but a bit too quick for the process.
Step by step you will get there. Start with having the faith and trust that you will get there.
On my answering machine at home I end the greeting with ‘Keep the faith’. A lot of my friends and acquaintances have asked me, “Jim , are you going religious on us!?” I smile and suggest they look up the word faith. One of the definitions is trust. I’m simply saying keep the trust that it will be okay, whatever “it” is in you life. Keep the faith. Keep the trust.
So, back to connecting to your higher power or Source with one step at a time. When I was in the hospital trying desperately to find a way out of the horrible obsessions and compulsions I heard a very wise man, in a daily group therapy session, use one word to get through depression and/or anxiety: WALK.
What that meant to me was take one step at a time. When you feel you just can’t get out of bed because of depression and the thought of another horrible day say out loud: Walk. Put one foot in front of the other. Do only what’s in front of you. If you are compulsively washing your hands 50 times. Walk. Take the emotional risk to wash 49 times. Get the idea? Soon you find yourself WALKING more briskly, taking bigger steps. Not leaps but more confident empowering steps. You can use the word WALK to remind yourself to slow down and take more incremental steps to your healing and eventually throw a huge monkey wrench into the OCD.
The monkey wrench is the risk to check one less lock before you go to sleep, count one less number in a counting ritual, one less horrific thought, one less… etc., etc., etc. You are in essence challenging your disorder. You will always win. OCD hates people that throw monkey wrenches into the fire of anxiety. It hates those of us that will challenge it because it renders the disorder powerless and makes you powerful. And, this takes practice. Practice in steps. One WALK at a time and throwing in that monkey wrench. The worst that can happen is that you will feel some fear but you know how that feels so it’s not new to you, it’s just the old fear. The best that comes from this process is empowerment and freedom. I love those words empowerment and freedom. Make them your mantra and intention; ‘I choose empowerment and freedom over this’ and you will begin to feel a positive shift.
I remember having a nightmare of someone chasing me. I kept running and running and that monster or whatever it was kept running and running after me. Then I learned that, in my dream state, if I forced myself to turn around and face the monster, the monster just disappeared. The things or people in your nightmares are actually pretty ‘chicken’. They just can’t take us powerful connected people who face them. Fear reacts the same way. When you face your fears the fear not only becomes ‘chicken’ but disappears. Remember, there is no way over fear, the only way over fear is to go though it. Taking the step to face the fear is one of the keys to connecting with your own higher power within.
Remember, Source is outside of you and inside of you at the same time. When you take these steps you are connecting. Finally connecting to something good or, as Dr. Dyer has taught me in his book “Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling”, by taking one “O’ out of ‘good’ what do you get: God. Connect to Good or God.
Another way to connect is to get quiet. Your mind is like a monkey. In fact many call it The Monkey Mind. Always denaturizing and what if-ing’. Call it The Committee, The Obsessive Mind or The Monkey mind it’s pretty noisy in there. There is a spiritual solution. Get quiet. Soothe the mind with silence. Calm the thoughts with quiet focus.
Meditation is a perfect easy tool to quiet your mind. How do you meditate? Lots of mediation books will give you a variety of techniques. I like the easiest one because my own Monkey Mind doesn’t like to work overtime. I simply sit in a upright comfortable position and focus on my breathing. Literally feel the air go in and the air go out. I concentrate only on my breathing. When my mind interrupts, as it always does, I think to my self. “Oh, that’s a thought trying to ruin my focus, let’s just send that thought into outer space for now”. I let it go and come back to my breath. This takes practice for we have a lot of obsessive thoughts, but the results are unbelievably healing, calming, soothing and energizing. It does take discipline which becomes easier and easier once you know that this is a tool to connect with Source.
Most books you will read on meditation will recommend 15-30 minutes morning and night. I recommend you just get started one step at a time. WALK a little with meditation. If you can try this for a few minutes and build on that you will find relief. Try 2 minutes. Then build to 5 minutes. This is not a healing exercise that you need to do perfectly. As a 12 step slogan would say; it’s progress not perfection. Don’t work so hard at meditation; let the meditation work you. One breath at a time.
Meditation connects you to feeling good. And if you believe as I do that God or Source is good, meditation and silence connects you to it.
What has truly helped me in my journey of learning how to connect to my Source at anytime is letting go of resistance. What does that mean? For me, it’s meant letting go of my way of controlling my disorder and letting in a variety of healing messages that all say the same thing, “When I learn to change my thoughts to solutions, positive thinking, being in the now and going with the flow, I then feel a shift. I start to feel a little better”. And, I’ll take ‘a little better’ any time. Once you start that process of feeling a little better and a little better and a little better, it turns into feeling good or God. That’s connection!
You don’t have to do it all at once but be steadfast in your intention to change the thought to a more positive one which opens your mind and heart to a non-resistance place which in a short time will bring you to the Good–God connection.
I encourage anyone reading this book to seek out the voice that makes sense to you regarding connection to your Source. Below and on the last pages of this book are a few of the teachers I use. Their books, DVDs, Tapes, etc. However, find those that resonate with you. You’ll know them through your feelings. It will just make sense in a sorti or instant awaking kind of way.
Dr Wayne W. Dyer
Jerry and Ester Hicks – The teachings of Abraham (Note: This is not the biblical Abraham)
Dr Phil Kavanaugh
In addition to hearing others’ teachings on the same subject, I highly recommend you learn about connecting to Source by being around those that want the same thing you do. There’s nothing more validating and healing than being around folks who want the same thing you want. People who want to ‘get it’ and are working on ‘getting it’. Working on themselves.
12 step programs have worked for me. I recommend Codependence Anonymous or OC Anonymous to look at what’s underneath the OCD.
Course in Miracles is yet another way to connect as well as any support group that feels good to you. Again, you’ll know you’re in the right place by giving it a chance, letting go of resistance and then checking in with your feelings.
Personally, I have stayed away from organized religion. However, I cannot judge it as a means to connection. It has comforted many who practice it. If religion helps you find your Source, wonderful, but be sure to look within as you practice any teachings.
I have found that the poets, musicians and artist say best what we need to know. One of my favorite musical artists is Kenny Loggins. In his song It’s About Time I have found these lines to be inspirational to get me going in a the path to connecting to my Source.
(Lyrics from It’s About Time by Kenny Loggins)
I finally found out the gates of hell are locked from the inside
This is NOT a religious connotation for me. It only reminds me of some good news. My own turmoil, hell, is locked from the inside, not the outside. Well, that tells me that I have the power to unlock it, open the door and let it go. The more I connect with that idea the more willing I become to do the work of least resistance and let in the peace.
And, also from Kenny Loggins’, song:
If it's about joy
If it's about life
If it's about love
It's about time we get started
If it's about trust
If it's about hope
If it's about us
It's about time we get started
These lyrics say it all to me, especially the last lyrics, “It’s about time we get started.” One minute, one hour, one WALK, one day at a time.
Whatever voice, book, program you use, think of if it as your new school for healing and connecting with the most powerful healing system that is outside of you and inside of you at the same time. Source-Good-God.
Trust That: Connecting to Source or God is your ultimate medicine. Trust that the allopathic medicine you are taking now is, in the ‘big picture of life’ created by Source too. So, start reactivating your spirit by learning about Source energy. It’s a new school for you where you’ll find a healing power, already in you, that you would never have imagined.