Dwelling is something many of you have discussed with me with either because you had the following question: “Why am I DWELLING so much on him/her/the outcome of things” or because I specifically advised you to stop doing it: “You must not dwell on what the expected outcome of your situation might be”. How do we actually stop dwelling and what is the simple explanation of dwelling, anyway?
intr.v. dwelt (dwĕlt) or dwelled, dwell·ing, dwells
1. To live as a resident; reside.
2. To exist in a given place or state: dwell in joy.
3. To fasten one’s attention: kept dwelling on what went wrong.
When someone says, “Try not to dwell on it”, chances are they mean not to do number three (3). Do not persist with dwelling on either the present circumstances, pain from the past or the future potential outcomes. Why shouldn’t we, you ask? Consider this:
1) What is dwelling actually doing to keep you actively involved in manifesting an outcome and on relying in your higher power to help you stay in the spiritual guidelines involved in receiving your outcome?
Many people, including me, believe in taking power back in our lives to learn how we can manifest positive future outcomes of our preference. Many who do not believe in manifestation via the law of attraction (read the book “The Secret” to get a basic understanding of what the law of attraction is) believe either in staying within the will of your Higher Power or you may believe in a bit of both. You may believe that the law of attraction isn’t all there is to it, but neither are the boxes of religious principles/letting Source handle things, therefore you do both. Some of you are atheists and probably don’t really give a hoot (carry on).
Those of you who have read the book or watched the movie, “The Secret” may have been incredibly disappointed when you realized that getting what you want in your life isn’t as clear cut as pasting cut outs from a magazine on a cardboard box and then VOILA, your soulmate is back (or a new one has arrived)! The law of attraction is much more complicated from a spiritual standpoint because we understand that it’s just not that simple of a thing to do: there is Divine Will, Free Will and Life Practice (some call the latter karma, spiritual lessons or life purposes).
It is a combination of all three things that create our future. What the law of attraction fails to show most of us is that it only works if what we want in our free will is within the will of Source within us (Divine Will, which is guided by the pre-birth intentions and soul contracts you make before incarnating as a human) and if we have also learned the Life Lessons attached to the outcome. Life lessons are simply circumstances we attract in our lives (normally within relationships, families or careers) that are reflections of the core beliefs we create in childhood. Once we understand the reflections from these life lessons, we learn from them, thereby creating a new core belief, which then becomes the new point of reference from which the law of attraction will manifest our lives.
However, dwelling blocks the flow of the emotions that could allow one to work through the life lessons, negative imprints and core beliefs blocking one’s current path. Why? Because dwelling isn’t solution oriented at all- dwelling holds the feeling signatures that most align with anxiety and resistance. Nothing can be manifested from a state of resistance, except more of what one fears. If you’d like a detailed, solution oriented process to get out of dwelling based resistance, try this, instead:
The reason dwelling is not helping you at all in manifesting your desired outcome, nor in utilizing the law of attraction fully, is because you are ONLY using one part of the law of attraction: your free will.
You, within your own mind, have decided for yourself that you deserve, want, desire and more importantly, NEED who/what you want right “now”. Many of my clients call me in despondent tears over this part. Then the justifications roll in: “But I can’t find anyone else and I can’t stop thinking about him/her. I deserve love and he/she does as well. I am not attracted to anyone but this particular soulmate, so why even try?”
This stage is the final breaking point in your ego. You’re hanging on still, but now realize that your hanging on is not truly working, but you keep doing the only thing you know how: dwelling. Why? Because it feels safer to do this than to do something new, which might get you out of your comfort zone.
At this point, it may be easier to chase the ever elusive Lochness Monster I like to call, “hope”, than row your boat to safer ground on the shores of Divine Will. Divine will is the knowingness and awareness of your own sovereignty. It is, simply put, Source within you. It is the emotional guidance system you were born with to help you manifest everything you possibly came here to experience.
Hope, on the other hand can be at times, a cop out. It can be an excuse people use when they simply are in too much fear based resistance to work on the core beliefs associated with the life lessons they are here to learn. Many people say, “Well if I hang on, wait and have ‘hope’, then at least I know I’m open to the outcome of what I want happening someday. It’s a door I’m leaving open just in case.” Is that the truth? Or are you in pursuit of the Lochness Monster and using hope as an excuse to stay in a box of “what if” instead of manifesting what you really want?
There is a reason that soulmate, job/career, new car, etc., is not in your life at this time. The reason could be that you or he/she is not ready for you (emotionally), it could also be that maybe you have a specific life lesson to learn first (one common lesson I see occurring is when one is meant to let another person go before they can have him/her back, hence moving past co-dependence and learning self love).
There are many important reasons that your Higher Power may wish for you to stop dwelling and pay attention to your emotional compass (your heart center) long enough to hear what needs to be heard from Source within you. Feeling and listening to your emotional heart center then allows your actions to follow via validating your inner child, which is when outcomes can be manifested, finally. The hardest stumbling block I see quite often is when your “soulmate” simply isn’t the one for you. That’s a hard one, right?
An evolved, integrated being knows the difference between “chemistry” and “what can I do to make it work”types of stances when it comes to soulmates and “No matter how Divinely connected we are at this time, this person simply isn’t healthy for me. I am going to let go and let whatever is meant to happen happen (or not).” As difficult as this may be to accept, not all soulmates are here to last for good. However, losing resistance to losing your soulmate will help you know one way or the other, as opposed to remaining stagnant in the false “hope” by dwelling.
Before you continue to dwell, stop one moment. Ask yourself could it just possibly be that you’re dwelling because you are GRIEVING, and you simply haven’t allowed yourself to fully go through the grieving process?
That last part of your ego is holding on because you want a relationship with a specific soulmate who is not in a relationship with you, so intensely. You want it so much that you are willing to hold onto the final thing you have left, being that the person truly isn’t communicating much, if at all, there are no visits, there is nothing left but memories, emotions and what many like to call “signs” or “synchronicities”
Signs, by the way, do not mean you are meant to be with someone, the majority of the time (although sometimes it is the case). A sign, is nothing but a reflection of how you are feeling. The Universe is reflecting back to you what you want in your reality, because in your soulmate’s reality, they cannot be with you or will not be with you. Signs are comforting, but they are for YOU only. They often do not reflect much about the soulmate in question. Could it be, that you are dwelling because that is all you have left of the soulmate?
2. Another important reason you should avoid dwelling is as follows: not only is it not effective in manifesting what you want, it prevents you from grieving. You may say to me, “But I don’t want to grieve someone that is coming back!” The fact that your soulmate is not around right now, or the fact that you lost your job that you had put several years into, is actually a loss. Losses require grieving. This is not contingent on the future or lack thereof. All losses are valid. There are stages to grief. Allow me to outline them for you:
a. Shock and Denial: You are in shock that you were hurt by someone, that you were fired/laid off, that a friend betrayed you, etc. You don’t know how to process this resulting pain from someone/something that felt like a safe place for you.
Human beings are conditioned upon awareness of their comfort zones- this makes us feel SAFE. It is quite shocking to have the rug pulled out from underneath us, so we then go into DENIAL.
Dwelling can actually be a part of this denial. Why? Because it is easier to dwell and deny the possible truth that someone/something is not meant to be in our path or is temporary, than to face the pain that follows the shock. In other words, dwelling feels better than what comes thereafter, which is immense pain via recognition of actual LOSS.
b. Pain and/or Guilt. You begin to hurt so badly that you feel your heart will internally combust. There is no physical pain worse (except perhaps labor, and not so much because we logically know labor ENDS). Out of desperation to alleviate ourselves from this stage of grief, the pain, we do what? Once again, we dwell. It is safer. It is more comfortable because it gives us a possibly false sense of security. But at this point, we don’t care if it’s a false sense not- dwelling still simply feels better than acceptance of loss.
“Maybe the person/job/wanted outcome is going to re-manifest”, we tell ourselves. “Maybe this is all a horrible dream. Maybe he or she is thinking of me as much as I am thinking of him/her and will regret this loss and change their minds. Maybe these “signs” are here to show me what will happen and are telling me to be patient and wait on a more positive future”. Are you seeing a pattern here in the thoughts that are common in stage two?
c. Anger and Bargaining. After a certain amount of logical time has passed, we begin to realize that there is a distinct possibility that we have been hurt and this loss could be permanent. We then become angry. We think about all of the time we invested in this person or situation/job. We may feel hurt or used, or even betrayed.
However, after this, we STILL would rather not accept the possible truth that the loss is permanent and that this shocking event did indeed occur. So what do we do? We bargain.
We pray and plead with our Higher Power. At this desperate point, we feel we will do ANYTHING to get that person/job/desired circumstance back. We go to therapy, we buy self help books, we plead with our spiritual teachers or therapists for ways to find peace or closure but secretly, what do we want? Nothing but the safety and security of the love, friendship, etc. that we had before.
Therefore, the anger and the bargaining aren’t helping (or so we think in the moment), so what do we again do? We dwell. Once again, we return to the safety blanket and suck our thumbs stagnantly in the corner while we remember good memories and smile while we wonder if it could possibly be that all is not lost.
d. Depression, reflection, loneliness. Nothing has helped. The praying, the pleading, the dwelling- it all has led to the same outcome-nothingness. We then begin to compare our lives to the lives of others. Why do they have their soulmates and we do not? Why are THEY happily married but we got left/hurt? Why do they have a good job? Why are their kids still alive? The list goes on and on and it’s quite easy to do.
The reflection on the good times are sometimes still there, but mostly we are now reflecting on what we did wrong in our lives to deserve this agony- in short, we begin to think we deserve it. We begin to think this is indeed a permanent loss. The loneliness sets in because everyone else seems happy. No one is going through what we are going through. No one could possibly understand.
But still, in times which we do not share with our friends, therapists, church clergy or spiritual teachers, what are we still doing? We are indeed dwelling. Not on the possible outcome so much anymore, but now on our pain. On the sadness. On the proof we have created for ourselves that life is now a permanent hell.
e. What are the final stages of grief? That my friends, is up to you. Some say it’s an “upward turn”. Something specific happens that redirects your attention to healthier endeavors. Perhaps a new soulmate arrives who treats you well and is promising, or a new job randomly appears out of the blue, a new friend comes into your life that is funny and uplifting, etc. If you don’t compare them with the same feeling signatures you experienced from the past, it could work out well for you.
The upward spiral will only work for you IF you give the newly manifested scenarios a full on chance. Life after loss feels odd at first, possibly even foreign or bland. It’s hard to accept the distinctly different flavors of each soulmate connection as they come into our lives, but why limit yourself to the banana, if you could also experience the passion fruit, the green apple and the blue berries? At this point, life will be vastly out of your comfort zone. If you aren’t still dwelling by now, it’s best to try on what you’ve manifested for size.
I would be entirely dishonest with you, however, if I told you that the “upward spiral” happened as the happy ending in the majority of clients with whom I work. The harder truth is that it is often NOT an upward turn of events that pull people out of the final stages of grief. It is, instead, an upward turn of the HEART. An upward turn of the THOUGHTS in one’s mind, and hence, the energy of this person that is projected back into the Universe. The person begins to understand and accept that the pain that occurred happened for reasons and they begin to seek out those reasons. They seek answers, and they receive those answers. And then, they do not dwell, but they accept those answers in the forms of brand new soulmates, careers and life circumstances that lead them onward onto brand new life purposes and life lessons.
This is work. Emotional work. Spiritual work. Physical work. But it is HELLA worth it in the long run! Following your heart, which if you recall from my statement earlier, is the emotional compass for manifesting what you really want, is not always easy. It is trial and error for awhile until you begin to learn that “no matter where my heart leads me, Source is actually on my side”. Woah…right? Through the entire gambit of human emotions you are here to experience, Source is on your side, not against you.
Now that we have a more clear understanding of what dwelling is and why we should work through the resistance causing it via allowing a full grieving process, let’s talk about how we can find ways to break the habitual pattern of dwelling:
1. Texting/calling/emailing/voicemailing: Just don’t. If the dwelling is regarding a breakup of a friendship or romantic partner, it is important to take the person who broke up with you at face value.
Why? To do anything but this would be to disrespect who they are as a human being. If you told someone once that you didn’t want the relationship anymore, wouldn’t you want them to believe that you meant it? Wouldn’t you want people to give you the space, time and trust to believe you meant it? Even if you didn’t mean it permanently and you just need some space, wouldn’t you expect that person to give you that space by not texting, calling or emailing?
Even if your partner or friend just dropped off the face of the planet, don’t try to justify your texts, emails and calls to them by saying, “But they owe me an explanation.They could be dead, sick or dying!” While it is respectful of them to give you an explanation, it would be a gift, not a requirement or obligation. Sadly enough, some people aren’t emotionally mature enough to know how to ask for space or breakup with you. Therefore, do not do the work for them. Give them that space and time, whether it ends up being temporary space or permanent. Give YOURSELF the gift of closure by allowing your heart to move on. In other words, if they didn’t tell you whether it’s permanent, pretend like it is. Why? Because no one deserves the pain and agony of living in limbo.
Many of you might respond, “But if I let go of him/her, then I will never give him/her another chance if he/she returns. I know this”. Do you? Do you know exactly how your Higher Power will impress upon your heart in the future? Do you believe Source can “mess up?” Remember, you are an expression of the perfection of Divinity within you. Why limit yourself in this manner?
A new client of mine recently told me, “This may sound crazy, but to curb the impulse to reach out, I actually put a tiny post it on my phone that says ‘DO NOT TEXT!” It works!”
2. Be innovative and creative. Use this time to find YOU. Do all of those things you wanted to do but didn’t have time when raising your children, while in college or while stuck in endless hours at that soul sucking job. Here are some golden words from the same beautiful client I mentioned above. “Pursue goals, be creative. At 52, I am finally going to record one of my songs. And I am taking a Japanese course to further my skills. Taking the focus off him and putting it on me is actually key.”
Court yourself. Sounds corny, right? However, how can your former soulmate or a new soulmate love you if you’ve lost yourself? Use this time to take YOURSELF out to eat at a fancy restaurant or see the latest movie you’re curious about. Walk on the beach. Fall absolutely in love with all aspects of you.
3. Get out of your comfort zone. The strange truth that I’ve learned via helping you fabulous ladies and gentlemen these past 16 years is that there are REASONS why your relationships aren’t working. Reflection via prayer, meditation, self exploration, etc. is important.
However, the statement, “Stop the Insanity” from Susan Powter, the spikey-haired exercise lady who made us all stop and wonder, has a ring of truth to it. If something isn’t working in our lives, why are we doing it over and over again? That’s insane!
If you keep going back to exes, stop. If you are stuck on the same soulmate and he/she is not with you, stop. Reflect upon what isn’t working, and change it. Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to stop the insanity. Get on a dating site, or join a meet and greet type of group or a hobby club. Go to dance classes. Run a marathon. Take a martial arts class. Learn to row. Take a pottery class. You’d be surprised what wonderful things happen when you stop saying, “I can’t do that. That’s not the way I operate”. Because ladies and gentlemen, unless the pizza or the UPS man/woman becomes the way you “operate”, you won’t meet any future soulmates by going to work and then coming home to sulk.
4. Get your brain wrapped around new ideas. Here is another quote from a dear client: “I am not ready to date yet, but just introducing the idea to my brain has worked wonders on helping me to disconnect from my soulmate. Anyone can set up a profile on match.com and “search for free” without actually subscribing. I have already chosen four “Favorites” – a couple of whom I may actually pursue in the near future, which even entertaining the notion of is a HUGE step in progress for me.”
She has a good point. Before you actually say, “Ok I’m ready to date”, try just praying or meditating about it. ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE is not just a biblical concept. It is the law of energy that makes this world go round. Try asking your Higher Power/The Universe for love in your life, a fulfilling career you absolutely love, closer friends, or whatever it is your heart desires.
If you ask, generally, you are not attaching a NAME to your question to Source. You are thereby showing a huge amount of trust in your Higher Power to give you the love life, the close friend or the career that is actually right for YOU, instead of choosing it yourself. Do you realizing how FREEING this feels when you do it? I urge you to give it a try today.
Getting on a dating site, joining a meetup group, applying for new jobs, starting your own business, going to a mommy playgroup to find a new friend, etc– all of that is affirming the prayer you just prayed. It is a way of showing action, as well. “Faith without works is dead”. This is a Universal concept, not just a biblical one. The actions you apply are the direction in which you point your heart compass. These actions show Source that you are serious about what you intend to manifest.
5. Creative visualization is a wonderful technique to try. Your thoughts become your emotions. Your thoughts, in this manner, end up causing emotions that are reflected back at you from the Universe. Try to visualize what you want in your life. Practice this in meditation as often as possible. Shakti Gawain wrote a very powerful guide in her book, “Creative Visualization”. Here are more thoughts from a client about this: “Okay, this one might be a little too woo-woo/out there for most of your clientele, but it was amazingly effective for me! Sometimes things come to me visually, and as I was lying in the bathtub with my eyes closed, asking for help with my “separation” process, I vividly envisioned my heart, with two openings. One for receiving, the other for giving. I saw my giving side, and I pictured all of the light, love, support, time, energy and attention I have given this man without reciprocity – literally golden, radiant light streaming from this opening towards him – and I then saw the clear image of a plug, like a round, rubber sink drain stopper – and in my mind’s eye I placed it over this opening, and I actually felt the flow of all those wonderful aforementioned things ceasing to reach him, and flowing back into my own being, for myself. It was an instantaneous change and has lasted!”
6. The tried and true “benefits vs. detriments” list. Once you see in writing the truth of how your life has been and what/who you are dwelling over and WHY, it’s an instant reality check. It won’t be easy to do while being absolutely honest with yourself. Don’t put things under the benefits column, for example, that don’t belong there anymore if you’re currently not speaking or if you are broken up. Don’t put “possible growth opportunity” under the benefits options in your stressful, soul-sucking job if you truly don’t know whether or not there will indeed be an opportunity. This list is an option only once you are ready for balls to the wall, no holds barred honesty with yourself. Here is how it worked out for one of my clients: “Sometimes seeing things in writing really clarifies things. I made two columns, and listed the benefits vs. the detriments of having had this man in my life. Quite eye-opening to see which side accrues more!”
Dwelling is not an easy habit to stop. But once you recognize it for the habit it is, how time consuming and emotionally draining it is, you will be happy you stopped. One final thought is to consider the first part of the definition of “dwelling”, listed above at the top of the blog. It says that dwelling is “to live as a resident”. Therefore, the actual truth of what you are doing is that you are living as a resident inside of your own emotion. If you have followed all of the above steps and you still can’t seem to stop dwelling, there is one final thing you could consider doing: exalt it. If you are a dweller by nature, before trying to change your actual nature, try giving your inner child permission in very specific ways to dwell for as long as he/she likes.
Here is the catch. Make it specific. Write down all of the positive benefits to your dwelling and then read them allowed. Tell yourself that you invoke permission from Source in you to dwell for as long as you like. You’d be surprised, but once you do this and finally realize once and for all why you are doing it, you will likely not want to dwell any further.
Dwelling can only imprison you if you allow. Don’t lose site of the sovereignty of the Divinity within you. If you recognize that you will stop as soon as you’re ready, and this is your belief, you won’t likely dwell for much longer.