By Eve Lorgen, M.A.
Why is it that when we start to awaken spiritually, relationships can be more challenging? Are the belief systems we hold about love, God and good relationship really true? Have you been led to believe that to be giving, open and loving backfired on you after having repeated hurtful experiences with unsafe people?
You are not alone. There are probably millions of people wondering why their most cherished beliefs, hopes and dreams about love and good relationship just don’t seem to work out the way they thought it would.
Recently I came across a simple book called, “Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. (Zondervan, 1995) This book was written in the era where in Psychology and Counseling Circles the rage was all about Co-Dependency Healing and Recovery Movements. I’m surprised I missed this book in my early counseling training years because its common sense really surprised me. Even though this book is written with emphasis on a foundational Christian perspective, it really hit home with some basic truths about good old-fashioned “character”. Simple assessments like what is good character versus bad character, interpersonal traits of unsafe people, and how to find safe people. Even better, how to BE a safe person in relationship and learn to develop our own good character.
Even though these things may be considered a “no brainer” thing to intuit for some people, it is amazing how often we can lose our own safety in relationships, choose unsafe ones, keep chasing false solutions or find ourselves isolated and eternally single. Or worse, we can end up not feeling much at all, in a numbed out aloneness of avoidance because we chose to shut down our hearts. Our faith in love itself could have been shattered.
It has been said that the opposite of love is not hate but of not feeling at all. Not needing or desiring any human relationship at all. The danger in this is the gradual eating away of our humanness–and our spiritual essence. It is good to need one another in authentic relationship, and it is good to feel the pain if you are not having these basic human needs met. This is a sign that your own spiritual wisdom is still intact. So rejoice, sometimes pain is a great gift that ultimately teaches us wisdom.
It was a good review for me to validate what I already sensed were traits of unsafe people.(But was told often that I was being “negative” and perfectionistic, etc.) And also learning what the traits of safe, good people are. What I have come to realize as many may already know, is that our conditioning and belief systems sometimes counter what deep spiritual truths are crying out for us to listen to! Popular opinions, “positivist” New Age gurus, patriarchal value systems, mainstream media and even pop psychology and political trends are often false surface solutions that cannot penetrate why our relationships are not working.
The truth is, what people say or think they are, may not really be true. We must be able to discern deep within a person’s character and essence to truly perceive whether or not they are a safe person to relate to or consider any kind of partnership be it friends, lovers or business partners.
So what are the basic traits of an unsafe person versus a safe person?
According to the authors noted above they are:
- Unsafe people are religious instead of spiritual.
- Unsafe people are defensive instead of open to feedback.
- Unsafe people are self-righteous instead of humble.
- Unsafe people only apologize instead of changing their behavior.
- Unsafe people avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
- Unsafe people demand trust, instead of earning it.
- Unsafe people believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.
- Unsafe people think “they have it all together” instead of admitting their weaknesses.
- Unsafe people blame others instead of taking responsibility.
- Unsafe people lie instead of telling the truth.
- Unsafe people are stagnant instead of growing.
Interpersonal traits of unsafe people are behaviors like avoiding intimacy and closeness instead of connection. They are more concerned about “I” than “we”. They may resist freedom instead of encouraging it, they will flatter us instead of confronting us, they tend to condemn instead of forgive. They remain in parent/child relationships instead of relating as an equal. They are unstable over time instead of being consistent. Unsafe people relate in a way they end up having a negative and corrupting influence on us rather than a positive one. Unsafe people gossip, instead of maintaining confidentiality. And of course they lack true empathy. What defines bad from good is that bad is the unwillingness to admit wrongs, change behaviors or a desire to do good for self and others. Or even the desire to harm and get even instead of doing something more productive.
A safe relationship will draw us closer to our Source of God/Divine and spirituality. It will draw us closer to others and help us become more authentic and ethical. Safety means being able to be human with empathy for others, while having the spiritual grace that can flow through the divine qualities of humility in truth.
- Can admit their weaknesses.
- Are spiritual instead of religious.
- Are open to feedback
- Are humble
- Can change behaviors and apologize, forgive.
- Are willing to do their healing work, dealing with problems.
- Take responsibility for their own issues
- Can set boundaries with others who are not safe.
- Trust appropriately
- Tell the truth instead of lying to others or themselves.
- They continue to grow in awareness and maturity.
- Can be in this world but not of it and still maintain warmth and connection.
- Don’t expect others to be perfect, yet maintain discerning self-protection and healthy boundaries
- Can communicate effectively and know how to ask for what they want and need.
When we know we do not have these things, the first step is to be humble enough to ask for what we need. Or sometimes this means to confess your inability to need because you have become numb, arrogant or disconnected from our own heart and source of spirituality. It takes great courage to work through resistances and old patterns that do not work. Pay attention to your feelings and what evokes your hunger, especially when you encounter a person who does something to help awaken you to start feeling compassion and love again.
Remember too that our resistances to opening up and relating in a safe manner are designed to keep us from feeling the pain of old hurts. These defenses can masquerade in many ways such as addictions, compulsions, reactivity and triggering. But when you are with a safe person or group, you can move through these resistances, and allow a whole new way of being and relatedness to emerge. Safe relating can open us up to greater love and healing for ourselves. With sustained safe relationship, our capacity to love and relate authentically to others grows until we become strong in our core essence. Then we are more able to give and appreciate all that is truly good. Gratitude sets in, instead of selfish thoughts and behaviors. We are renewed with self-love, inspiration and motivation to relate more openly with greater generosity. We start to see miracles and wonders even in the small things. How love changes us and our world. And yet how hard it is to sustain it!
Spiritual Discernment and the Grace of God
I feel blessed to have met some extraordinary people throughout my journey of researching anomalous trauma and my own healing work. It has not been easy and I have repeatedly been criticized to be “a negative ET/mind control researcher” or fear based, etc. I have been exposed to some pretty dark things, the nature of evil, black magic attacks and repetitive hurts in orchestrated relationships with “psychopaths and hosted” people. My own history of abuse and recovery has been difficult and I have learned too that it isn’t appropriate or safe to share openly with most people. It has backfired and this is why I’m writing this article.
Many already know the nature of this kind of backfiring from numerous articles and interviews I have written. Especially those about alien interference and psychopathic love relationships and the reality of targeted individuals and technologies. The more you awaken and shine your light upon others, the more attention you get from the dark side. And this is when the real truth starts to emerge, instead of the old belief systems we may have bought into are now shed for something else that is more open, realistic and compassionate. Like no, it ISNT ALL IN YOUR HEAD and psychopaths and evil entities really do exist regardless of “how positive” you are! And yes, love does matter!
Sometimes in our zeal to share our awakening process, we say more than we should about what we’ve discovered. It could be shocking to someone else’s view of reality who is less aware and then they, in their lack of awareness and cognitive dissonance will doubt you and make you “wrong”. Then tell others about your “problems” and so on. This really hurts when you discover someone you trusted is gossiping behind your back, poisening others’ views and beliefs about you which are not true. The list is endless really, but the point I’m making is that discernment of character and especially spiritual discernment, is a fine art of deepening ones awareness, sensitivity, patience and wisdom. It takes a humility and courageousness that cannot really be done alone, and yet it sometimes feels like we are all alone when we are going through “the dark night of the soul”.
If it had not been for some compassionate people in my own life, who truly cared for me, I would not have been able to get through the pain my own healing journey. I feel much gratitude for close family, friends and colleagues who could openly share and listen with compassion. The Inner Empathy coursework (See http://www.innerempathy.com) really helped as well as learning compassionate communication skills or also known as NonViolent Communication(Marshall Rosenberg). Relationship experts like John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus), Alison Armstrong (Queens Code) and Harville Hendrix (Getting the Love You Want) helped with respect to understanding male/female relationship issues. It is such a blessing when you find friends who can understand where you are at, and share equally in a mutual friendship. And for all of my suffering through the “bad experiences”, it was this pain which actually led me to find the cream of the crop in terms of compassionate, spiritual friends. Those who have done or are dedicated to their own healing journey in ways that benefit others. Those who are humble and live the truth in their lives, and are there to encourage, support and validate things that are true, even when the “popular opinion” in my line of research claims to know the truth but do not live it authentically.
The majority of people do not really want to know the truth or are dedicated to a healing journey of greater awareness and freedom. I know this sounds cliche but “by their relationships and hearts, you will know them.”
So how did spiritual discernment come about for me? I can only tell you that it is a gradual process of deepening awareness, sensitivity of perception and willingness to do what would benefit others as well. It’s about being willing to understand the truth of any particular situation or person despite personal desires or projections. It is also about knowing the difference between the sensitivity due to triggered emotional reactions of unhealed wounds, versus true perception in a more neutral place. It is about humility and the desire to love even when I feel alone and rejected. It is also about loving myself enough to set boundaries from unsafe people and situations. Standing my ground without being “mean” because I listened to my feelings in my heart and not someone else’s advice or another’s guru or religion. It is also about reaching out and asking for what you want and need, even though you may not get it.
It is a refinement process that starts with doing something about the pain that really hurts. Doing the healing work of facing my own emotional devastation, defenses, patterns, and unhealthy habits with someone who REALLY CARED and had compassion. This led to a greater awareness of feelings, that at first were awful, painful and devastating. Shocking. Then it moved from shock, rage, anger, negativity, on to grief, sadness and only then to compassion. The compassion led me up to a lighter place where I could sense the innate goodness in others, opening up gratitude, forgiveness, love and joy. It also allowed for the recognition when these good qualities and character were not present in others, and how to gracefully set appropriate boundaries.
Instead of taking years, months or weeks to learn about or become aware of something, it takes less time now. So now instead of falling into the pit of a bad situation or relationship, I can perceive more quickly how this person “feels” and intuition of the heart opens up. But I could not have done this alone, without real connection, friendship and support of good people. And yes, I have lost a few “friends” in the process but it ultimately opened to connecting and finding new better friendships.
The truth is good and evil does exist. And you must choose what you want to align with. When you make that choice with the totality of your being, is when the real journey begins.