I have often seen the words fear and resistance being used interchangeably. I don’t believe they are one and the same thing. Often we use words that are slight variations of each other for nuance, but I don’t think this is the case either with these two. I think the distinction is as follows:
Fear is the pure experience of danger, of a perceived threat. It is an emotional response as well as the sensations that accompany it.
Resistance on the other hand has an element of reluctance within it, reluctance towards what is being experienced. In resistance, the will is at least partially opposed to the experience. It isn’t fully convinced about the necessity of a course of action, but goes along with it.
Perhaps the connection between the two is that resistance can create fear and fear can create resistance, but I don’t believe they are one and the same thing. Because one can experience fear and not experience resistance, which is what perhaps courage is, the key element here being the willingness to experience.
A good visual for this is climbing stairs in order to reach the top. Resistance either isn’t convinced that it wants what is at the top, that it is worth it, that it is right or it wants it but isn’t willing to climb the stairs to claim it.
Resistance and fear can create a very nightmarish vicious circle, which I sometimes refer to as the vortex. It pulls you in and you feel like you can’t escape it, feeling like you have no control and being sucked deeper and deeper into it.
For the purposes of illustration, imagine that one finds themselves in a circumstance where their sense of safety is destabilized. This is something that has happened to me. I had a few experiences after which the trust that I was safe and supported in the world vanished. This was not something that was objectively true, but an inner perception.
Now imagine that at the same time, this situation cannot be left due to resistance. You can see how this situation may appear like captivity, like a deadlock… The person tries to leave, finds themselves unable to, panics, tries again, then repeats. This response inevitably leads to a sense of helplessness and despair.
The fear presses upon the will to take action, perceiving itself to be unsafe, but the will is blocked, so the person is caught in an endless cycle of fear and resistance which can destabilize the person significantly.
Now, once again imagine that a miracle opportunity presents itself, almost like the rescue one was longing for. The person may get well excited in the beginning and engage with it, but watch what happens when the moment of choice comes along. Should be easy to say yes to this opportunity, right?
Ha, not quite. If the opportunity isn’t a clear soul calling that neutralizes all resistance, the person will feel resistance to it. One may wait for the occasion to follow their bliss and that may never come along. As for the alternative, going forward in resistance is painful. That would be much like putting your car in reverse while going forward, or another visual, like an upset child who has to do something he doesn’t want to do, messing everything up or doing everything halfheartedly or partially, with no sense of commitment or responsibility towards the goal he is meant to fulfill.
At the other pole, you have the fear of landing back into the same scary situation one was trying to escape from. So on one end you have the fear of being trapped pressing upon the will to take action, while on the other you have the resistance to the much wanted change pulling it in the opposite direction. Which causes the will to short-circuit, to paralyze. The will is torn apart and cannot take action.
Outwardly it may look like the person has difficulty deciding, like they can’t make up their mind about what to do, as though every perspective was equal and no motivation carries more weight than another. The mind tries to make sense of it objectively, but the true discussion, the true pros and cons are happening at an irrational and unconscious level. The mind cannot solve this problem because the external is not a strong enough motivator for change, but the unconscious makes it seem so.
Since to the person in question it seems that this is a matter of life and death, it is more convenient, or so it seems, to hype one’s self up about the change, to push themselves into the change that appears to them like salvation. That’s applying pressure from above, forcing one’s self into action despite partial reluctance, only to find one’s self unable to carry the choice to its natural conclusion.
You see, you can’t win this game, not within this framework. Perhaps the only way out is through, gotta feel that baseline in order to neutralize it… I don’t know another way… well, a way that doesn’t take great risk. But for a more balanced or incremental approach, I suppose that the only way is to relax where you are, like that spiritual advice I heard, thus making the struggle irrelevant. Finding that safety and stability right there. Because the part that wants to run away thinks that the only way it can have it is for it to be given from an external factor. So in the pursuit of freedom, the person ends up feeling less and less free.
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
– Frank Herbert
There are a few aspects to this that I want to mention. I think this is tightly linked to depression and anxiety. I have a theory that depression comes when one feels powerless to achieve what one believes is important to them, while anxiety happens when one feels resistance towards their experience but still feels a sense of possibility. The reason I am mentioning depression is that it seems to me that depression takes away the concern about one’s survival needs and that means it becomes difficult to find inner motivations to act towards purposes pertaining to survival. That’s why external motivations become important, for one cannot find within themselves the will to pay the price for the purpose of survival only, not seeing beyond this any possibility of fulfillment. It is a painful situation to say the least.
The trick is that because one is so distracted by trying to escape, one misses the opportunity to find fulfillment through other channels. Because one does not accept their situation, they are living in fear and resistance. Whereas, if one accepted their limitations, temporary limitations, one could engage with other people, find joyful experiences that can enrich and support their life and arrive at an entirely new baseline of safety. Basically what one was trying to achieve trying to escape – safety and freedom, the safety to explore, a safe haven – paradoxically comes by accepting the situation itself and taking steps towards self-responsibility.
At least that’s my theory, since I haven’t seen the end of this. I have to admit, I resisted till the end. But hey, negative experience is experience too.
So there you have it, a proposition of a way out that is really no way out at all, it’s more like a reorientation of attention. And then perhaps it would become apparent that it was you who were spinning the vortex all along.
Say you find yourself in a crisis. No matter what you do, there just doesn’t seem to be a way out. What then?
Should you keep on fighting, rebel against it, struggle? Or should you give up, resign and accept that there is nothing you can do about it? Neither of these alternatives sounds appealing, and both are painful in their own way.
So what can you do when you can’t do anything?
Well, the covid situation brought its own wisdom, “when you can’t go outside, go inside”. I know, this sounds like one of those ambiguous spiritual advices but hear me out. I have a theory.
I believe that the reason one feels powerless has to do with projecting one’s power on external circumstances. That means, other people, God, situations, institutions.
When we were children, if something were to happen to us that left us feeling powerless, defeated and defenseless, our attention may have been displaced from our center and placed upon the external world for our need of empowerment. As a consequence, when something is challenging us, we may not look to ourselves and our willpower to find a solution, but instead wait on an external force to enable us to have the things we want and need.
So how does this tie into not finding a way out?
It has been my experience that crisis arrives when we are not willing to take responsibility because it feels like obligation and losing your freedom, basically because of the perception that if one were to do that thing that theoretically would get you out of the situation, it would mean losing something very important, that it would mean settling for a life devoid of joy.
Moreover, you feel like you have no choice in the matter, that you’ve been dealt a bad hand, that life is unfair and that there is no reasonable solution. But what makes it feel like obligation as opposed to something you need to do to get to where you want to be?
What makes it seem like a dead end as opposed to a stepping stone?
I believe it is the lack of self-identification when it comes to our willpower. When you are self-identified and you don’t feel at the mercy of a stronger force, your attitude is more open, you are centered around what you want, need, think, feel and your actions serve your purposes. In contrast, when you are not centered, you believe you are subjected to a stronger will, a stronger force, whether it be fate or another person, and you have to do what you don’t want to do. In this case, there is no link between what you want/need and the responsibility it entails. It’s much like in school when we read books because we had to, not because we found them necessary.
As in the example above, the link between need and action was broken, or rather reversed. You start with the obligation to substitute for the need, as opposed to the need itself leading the way. That way the sense of self is interfered with and resistance is produced as a balancing act. Identity through opposition and rebellion.
Whether the choice is to submit to obligation or oppose it, the common denominator is still the fact that the center of our decision-making is the external force that we perceive to be invested with power. If we are in a position of relative safety, we can afford to submit or oppose this external force without feeling at a substantial loss, but crisis means we believe to have lost that sense of safety and balance and now our sense of control may has dissipated. So what else can we do, but hide, isolate, withdraw, or try to run away or escape?
I think the solution resides in understanding the problem itself, becoming aware of the misperceptions and then reorienting the soul forces towards one’s self, finding one’s center.
“When you can’t go outside, go inside.” Find out who you are.
The way I think of it is through this visual:
Say that’s your willpower and sense of self sprouting, emerging slowly. Then, you have some interfering forces, that may want you to go in the same direction even…
Objectively they may be right.
But you can’t help but feel smothered and out of control when that happens, even though you earlier tentatively acknowledged the necessity of it yourself.
Why is that?
I believe it is because your self-identification hasn’t established itself firmly, your vision, your want/need hasn’t taken sufficient root within your being for it to feel like your own voice. That’s why it makes you angry when others even mention it. The side effect seems to be that what was originally your idea, serving your interest, now feels like an imposition or like loss of freedom.
The perception changes from “I want” to “I have to” because the center of willpower is displaced once again. In other words, your attention is directed once again upon the external. You lose sight of your original intention and feel compelled to go into resistance.
It’s much like a vortex… you were taking purposeful action, and then you find yourself distracted into reaction. What a difficult place to be! If you want to get a sense of it, just watch Groundhog Day, Before I Fall and Russian Doll. That’ll give you a good idea of how it’s like, plus they’re all good cinema. You’re welcome!
Therefore, I think that what one can do when nothing can be done, is to connect to that center, find that sense of self. That’s something that meditation can help with. That’s something that body practices can help with, including Yoga, TRE, 5Rhythms. And that’s something that a sense of joy can show the way to. I believe that the true self is the happy self, the self that loves. So connect to that vision of how love and joy feel to you to get a sense of what you are about : )
I think that purpose and especially joyful purpose can energize a vision sufficiently to create a channel to that which you want. And then willpower is the loading bar that gets you there.
Lastly, this is a more recent discovery, Stoicism is amazing! I’ve been reading the Discourses of Epictetus and I’ve been struck by Epictetus’s indifference to someone potentially killing him if he didn’t obey their will. Back in the day powerful people could kill you at a whim for whatever transgression. Epictetus’s position was that others could kill him if it served them, but his duty was only to himself, to live by his principles and that others could choose to do what they saw fit. The purpose was the virtue he was living, not holding on to his life at all costs.
It may take some time to get it right, so patience is needed too, but I think that’s how it goes.
I think this shows the purpose of crisis, an opportunity to find the real self again.
The other day I had a good insight on something I have been contemplating for a pretty long time and that is the connection between blame and entitlement. The key I found turned out to be a third point which determined a full circle: responsibility. It looks like this:
If as children our needs are not properly met, that tends to fixate the attention outside of ourselves for getting those needs met later in life. If it felt like our needs didn’t matter then, later when we are in times of distress we will look outside of ourselves for comfort or help. That means that we unconsciously grow with the belief and the expectation that it’s the duty of others to meet our needs, that we are owed something that we didn’t get. That is the source of entitlement.
These expectations can look legitimate and they sound like: they should listen, they should care, they should respect me, they should be nice to me, they should respect my boundaries, they should see I am busy, etc.
This entitlement really hides behind it the blame of not having had our needs met properly in childhood, now projected onto those we expect fulfillment from. Take away the thing one feels entitled to and you’ll get anger, blame and resentment or at the other pole, powerlessness and self-pity.
One word that is the basis of entitlement is “should”. Whenever one thinks that someone should provide something for them that they don’t give or do freely, that is a sign of an old unmet need. That often leads to conflicts where one person tries through various means to get their needs met through the other person while the other person feels unfree to give on their own terms and resists.
Entitlement also manifests as trying to control the external because where you perceive responsibility lies is also where you believe power resides. Which ties into other things, but for now we will look into how to remedy this misperception.
The remedy is in the understanding that nobody owes you anything and any kindness you receive is a blessing. The solution lies in finding out what you expect from others, give it up, feel the feelings that come up in relation to that like maybe grief for ancient unmet needs, anger for mistreatment or fear of what it means to stand alone and then claim that responsibility for yourself. Taking that responsibility upon yourself instead of waiting on others to fulfill it.
That also means finding your center, finding your inner strength and also getting in touch with your willpower, your active principle in the world. It means taking back control and coming out of the feeling of powerlessness.
The moment you accomplish that you won’t need to blame others because you are looking to yourself for getting your needs met, you are becoming your own parent. And shoulds begin to fall away as they become replaced by is or isn’t. Is there love here? I’ll stay. Is there kindness? This is my place.
The letting go of shoulds shifts your attention to navigating into that part of reality where what you are seeking for is freely given and into giving to yourself that which before you waited on the external to provide for you, whether that’s another person, a miracle opportunity or God.
This seems to be a recurring theme for me, so I thought I’d put together a few things I have noticed in regards to integrating negative emotions.
If expressing negative emotions as a child seemed to generate negative consequences or negative reactions in the child’s caretakers, the child may choose to suppress his full expression and instead adopt the conclusion that only positive regard for things is acceptable. The child believes that feeling negative emotions themselves is bad, so he learns to defend himself from them by suppression or denial. What the child doesn’t know is that his ability to say no to things is part of his self-expression, his boundaries, his active principle in the world.
Since being loved is a survival need, the child feels that he cannot enforce his boundaries, because he has to be permitted to, so the child learns other means of getting his needs met: evasion, manipulation, isolation. His mechanism of exploration becomes one of adaptation instead of active engagement with his environment, so instead of developing his selfhood and taking action towards getting his needs met upon growing up, he learns to develop reactively to his environment.
The inability to say no transfers into attitudes towards giving and receiving too. If the child felt that he was not allowed to say no in order to claim his selfhood, the word yes begins to feel like self-sacrifice, while the word no feels like guilt and rebellion.
Later in life, the adult may find himself paralyzed or confused about his life. His actions may seem to lead nowhere and life may take an air of senselessness or meaninglessness. Apathy, laziness, depression, helplessness or hopelessness can arise as a sign of unfelt/unexpressed negative feelings, the thought behind these experiences being “I can’t” which is an indication of a paralyzed willpower.
Unfelt/unexpressed anger/fear/pain in particular causes the flow of energy within one’s self to stagnate. If you look into anger, you will see that it is a sign that one’s willpower, voice, self-expression or rights have been obstructed. Therefore, anger in itself is not bad, it is a side effect of something else, a side effect of denied self-expression. Its message is “I have the right to be here. Exactly as I am.”
Anger has its purpose, it is a call for taking back your power. If it is felt and expressed in a healthy way, it is a very positive force. It becomes destructive only when it is displaced or projected upon the external world by blaming, complaining, victimizing, punishing. In its healthy manifestation (felt, understood and expressed) it reveals itself as the force behind healthy boundaries, willpower, integrity, determination, purpose, healthy self-assertion, self-expression. It reveals itself as the same force behind your agency, your active principle in the world. In its negative manifestation (unfelt, projected upon the external world and acted upon) it turns into resentment, apathy, laziness, victimization, rebellion, resistance, misuse of power and control.
“There is an intimate connection between the problem of laziness and feelings that have not been fully experienced. Do not look at laziness as an attitude to be given up at will, if only the person would finally come around to being reasonable and constructive. This is not a moralistic issue at all. Laziness is a manifestation of apathy, stagnation and paralysis, a result of stagnant energy in the soul substance. Stagnant soul substance is the result of feelings that have not been fully experienced or expressed, and therefore their significance and true origin have not been totally understood. When feelings are not thus experienced, understood and expressed, they accumulate and stop the flow of the life force.”
– Eva Pierrakos
Anger seems to be widely regarded as a negative thing, but that is solely if you judge by appearences, if you think of it as a cause, instead of as the effect of something else. But just like in medicine, the symptoms are not the problem. The cause lies in misperception coupled with suppressed emotions. We often suppress negative emotions precisely because we believe them to be bad or believe ourselves to be bad if we experience them. And this is where shoulds come into play.
It is true, some people seem to have the good qualities of patience, levity, joy, but that is not because they suppress their negative emotions, it is because they have understood its message, understood their early experiences and come to a higher understanding.
An example that comes to mind to exemplify this is that when we think of inner peace, we may imagine a Buddhist monk, unshakable and unflinching in the face of the ups and downs of life. Being used to judge solely by results, we do not pause to wonder what sort of life experiences bring forth the lessons necessary to cause such a shift in perspective so that no matter what comes your way you can maintain your peace. Instead, we observe the attitude, the posture, the philosophy, the words , the mannerisms and we try to adopt them ourselves.
We may even understand it at an intellectual level, but what is not immediately apparent are the roots these ideas have grown in the minds of those who experienced what those ideals were or were not, the associations with painful and memorable moments, the trials and errors and the deep understanding they provide. We only see the surface and often it is the surface we try to imitate.
“When feelings are not experienced in their full intensity, the inner life flow must become stagnant. People will find themselves inexplicably paralyzed. Their actions will become ineffectual; life will seem to obstruct all their goals and desires. They find closed doors to realizing their talents, their needs, their selves. So-called laziness may be one manifestation of this paralysis. A lack of creativity or a feeling of general despair may be another. In this latter instance, people may often use a current event or difficulty to explain away their inner state. The truth is that a sense of futility and confusion about life and your role in it must envelop you when you resist living through the feelings you harbor; you go on harboring them because you delude yourself that avoiding the feelings will hurt you less than exposing them. There are many other manifestations. The inability to feel pleasure or to fully experience life is one of the most widespread general effects. However, there is no other way to become fully alive than to keep experiencing your real feelings.”
– Eva Pierrakos
The paradox is that experiencing negative emotions is a positive experience because it is based in reality. Any attempt to run from negative emotions is an expression of that negative emotion. Take envy for instance. Have you ever tried not to be envious of someone? It is my experience that doing so makes everything I say feel uncomfortable, forced or dishonest. Whereas if I am honest, not only do I feel at ease because I am no longer opposing myself, but my self esteem grows because I am showing myself that I can accept myself as I am.
When negativity is acknowledged, accepted, felt and expressed, three things happen:
1. You lose fear of other people because you know that it is your unwillingness to give or to love that is causing the conflict and not the apparent unfairness of the demands of others.
2. The other person loses guilt about being bad for being the persecutor since you express your own part in the conflict.
3. Your boundaries become stronger because negativity is a defense from pain. When your boundaries are stronger, your sense of safety increases and so does your willingness to love and give. You can’t have one without the other.
Therefore, the first step in losing fear of others is in finding, acknowledging, accepting and expressing the negativity you find in yourself. In seeking in this direction, it is important to make the following distinctions:
1. Acknowledging is different than accepting. Acknowledging is admitting to one’s self that the negativity is present within you. Accepting means having no resistance to it being there, not fighting against it or judging it and especially not trying to suppress it.
2. Expressing negativity isn’t acting upon it. It is being truthful to others about our own part in a conflict, being honest about how one really feels.
If as a child you were valued for your knowledge and intelligence at the detriment of other virtues, you may have decided that these traits were the most important ones to develop and pursue. Courage, kindness, patience may not have been given much attention in your environment which means they did not get a chance to grow in your field of awareness. Due to their apparent lack of applicability in building the life that you want, they were considered secondary or inessential. But while intelligence is a key virtue that helps unlock other virtues, it is lived virtues that are infused with life.
While the quest for knowledge may transition into the quest for wisdom and self-understanding in adulthood, the personality can still grow lopsided, because even though it pursues the wisdom of other virtues, it does not live or embody those virtues. Therefore, the proof of true understanding is action, changed behavior, not as a superficial superimposition, but as embodied knowledge. Knowledge in action. Movement. Otherwise you may find yourself, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, poeticizing on the peaks.
The pursuit of wisdom and knowledge at the detriment of action can also be a sign of a traumatized willpower. In childhood the personality may have been consistently met with negative feedback whenever displaying autonomous action which may have made it doubt its impulse for action.
The original need for self-expression and action is still there, but if the wrong conclusion is not made conscious, the personality may channel the urges of the soul for experience and growth into something else, into a substitute such as accumulating knowledge. Without the spontaneity of self-trust, the personality withdraws into fantasy or into the pursuit of knowledge in order to compensate for an unlived life.
Accustomed to distrust its natural instinct and inclination for action and choice, the call of the soul becomes more and more urgent, which causes more and more frustration, since the original need cannot be adequately fulfilled by compensatory mechanisms, especially if they are unconscious. If the need is made conscious, the longing is still there, but the urgency disappears.
That’s why I think it is important to orient towards living virtues, practicing them, as one may confuse the real thing for the description, like the anecdotal finger pointing to the moon. Otherwise virtues can become lofty ideals of an ethereal quality instead of lived realities.
This change does not happen instantaneously as habits take a long time to form, but it helps to know what kind of person you want to become, what virtues you wish to live and approach them daily through small actions.
While it is true that the quest for knowledge and wisdom does lead to other virtues, it helps to test yourself, to create a link between the intellectual knowledge you possess and your experience. Intellectual knowledge being what “is claimed to be” or “should be”, experience being “what currently is”.
In that way, you can see where you are in relation to where you want to be, not as a judgement, but as feedback of where you are with your progress.
Carl Jung defined synchronicities as “meaningful coincidences”. They can manifest as unlikely occurrences carrying messages of a personal nature in day to day living. They can be numbers, symbols, ear ringing or short meaningful messages that catch your eye during the day.
Whether they are the result of reality creation, timeline adjustments or reflections of the choices one makes, to an observant eye they seem to have a consistency of their own. You don’t have to go looking for them, in fact looking for them seems to stall them. Instead, they will find their way to you in a way that will catch your attention.
So why do we receive them? I think it’s two reasons:
Guidance – they come as short messages, not meant to give answers as to what you should do, but to help you reflect and find the answers within you.
Feedback – reflecting back to you your own state of consciousness or giving signs of encouragement or warning.
While synchronicities can be very helpful – and I found them to be pretty reliable in many cases – one can get lost in interpreting them, especially if you have the hypervigilant habit of making connections between things and figuring things out. I would also advise against learning about this topic if you are currently experiencing crippling self-doubt and fear of making mistakes or of making choices, as one may seek confirmations from the outside that the choices one makes are “correct”. That can lead to a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies which I can say from personal experience is not a fun place to be.
Ultimately, it is the connection to our own center that can provide the most reliable source of wisdom, and synchronicities are meant to direct our attention to that. They are not meant to be substitutes for making choices. They are meant to be treated more as questions.
That being said, these are some of the synchronicities I have taken note of so far:
I think numbers can have a personal meaning or they can have a general meaning too. If your birthday is 22.12, then seeing the number 2212 may have a special meaning for you. But in general, there seem to be some commonalities about the numbers people see. For instance the usually reported sequences are 3-4 digit numbers, where either the same digit repeats 3-4 times, or each digit is repeated twice.
These are the associations I have made with various number sequences:
1111, 1212, 1122, 1133, 1313, 2222 , 2211– I usually see these numbers when I experience flow or non-resistance, where I am at ease and in acceptance, when I am at peace and in a good state of consciousness. When I do not experience self-doubt or self-will, but I am in the moment.
1110, 1211, 1121, 1132, 1312– I usually see these numbers when I experience self-doubt, when I don’t know what to do, when I worry, or when I feel that something is missing. The most telling one of them is obviously 1110.
1112, 1213, 1123, 1134, 1314 – I usually see these numbers when I am forcing something, when I am in a conflicted state, when I cannot accept how things are, when I fight what is, when I experience resistance. The most telling one is obviously 1112.
166, 616, 661, 1166, 1616, 1666, 666 – These are the most consistent sign that I am in a state of resistance, that I am forcing things inwardly, that I don’t want to pay the price for what I want, that I am not taking responsibility, that I am acting despite confusion, that I cannot accept things as they are.
911 – This number seems to mean multiple things. It is either a confirmation of flow, a warning, an announcement for a message that usually follows it, or a confirmation that an insight has been received.
An example for this number was when I saw 911 WWO on a car. I googled WWO and the second result was an Urban Dictionary page which said it meant “Wings Wide Open”:
“This statement is a metaphor for saving ones self from a bad situation. It is derived from a bird in free-fall. If the bird spreads its wings, it can simply soar and stop its impending pain/demise. Likewise, when a bird wants to fly away quickly, it spreads its wings wide open and with a few powerful thrusts flies away. Consequently, this statement is often used to remind one of their inner strength.”
I can’t tell you how fitting it was at the time!
152, 1152, 512, 521 – These numbers seem to appear in association with self-doubt for me. I can’t tell you how many times this has been the case, from getting 1152 on a train ticket for a ride I wasn’t sure I should go on, to 152 on the tag of a dress I wasn’t sure whether to buy.
444 – This number seems to come up when I worry or when I am in distress. From the testimonies of other people it seems to be like a message of encouragement for those in confusion or distress. Everything is going to be alright.
555, 1515, 1155 – These number sequences seem to announce a change, a new decision. I do think, however, that they indicate the potential, not the manifested reality.
0000 – This one is more rare but seems very significant to me. What it means to me is that a cycle has completed, a lesson has been learned, or that something has been released/integrated/zero pointed – ending of a karmic cycle.
999, 1919, 1199 – These numbers seem to announce endings or potentials for endings or resolution.
Ear ringing can come in many forms. Whether they are tune-ins, deaf tones, changes of pressure between the ears, flutters or clear ringing, they are very distinct and attention grabbing.
These are my experiences with ear ringing:
Right Ear vs. Left Ear
There seems to be a distinction as to the meaning of getting signals in the left ear as opposed to the right ear. For me at least. The signals I get in the left ear always seem to carry the message of a warning while the ones I get in the right ear seem to be of a more positive nature – encouragement or confirmation.
Signals sound like Morse code. They can sometimes be really clear and distinct. For me they usually relate to my state of mind/consciousness. If I am overthinking, struggling, forcing things, making poor choices that give me reasons to worry, act recklessly, the left ear will be activated with signals. If, however, I am in a peaceful state, open, surrendered, at ease, then my right ear is activated with signals. I seem to get them in my left ear when I rush into decisions I am not able to carry through with out of impulsivity and lack of commitment.
Tune-ins seem to be a form of check-up. Sort of like seeing what my current state is, what my intentions are, where I am going. I have not closely monitored this, but I think that left ear tune-ins might be a precursor to a challenge in the future, as for the right ear, I have no idea.
I also got them pretty consistently in my left ear when I was doing Somatic Descent meditations at night, which is a great and powerful meditation proposed by Dharma Ocean. The tune-ins made me feel afraid to immerse myself in the meditation so they always seemed to interfere with that.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for the Somatic Descent meditation if you want to try it out:
Not to mention other interferences I got, but perhaps more on that later.
Here is where there is much difference in meaning between the left and the right ear. Getting them in the left ear seems to be some kind of warning, preparing you for a conflict or a difficulty/challenge.
Someone I spoke with said they were on a group chat when they got a ringing in their left ear. Soon after that they got kicked out of that chat. He said it was as though the moment the people on the group decided on kicking him out – on a negative intention towards him – that is when he got the ringing.
I have gotten these signals myself and sometimes they were so loud they startled me! I have gotten them consistently prior to someone engaging me in conflict, as a sort of warning to not go into reactivity.
In one particular instance, I got them multiple times, as well as saw 911, yet I was not prepared and lashed out at the person that was challenging me. That led to a major conflict which resulted in a particular course of action shutting down for me, sort of like putting me on a lower timeline where my options were much more limited.
As for the right ear, I usually get ear ringing either as a sign of encouragement or as an indication that something that I am saying, thinking of, reading or hearing has a significant importance. If I reflect upon what is being said, I usually get a lot out of it.
I have experienced other types of signals but I do not yet know what they meant as they were pretty rare.
Signs and Symbols
Signs and symbols come in many different forms. They can be thoughts in our head of a different quality than we are used to, dream symbols, meaningful messages, songs or something we may overhear someone randomly say.
The messages are usually cryptic as they are not meant to tell you what to do, but to make you find within yourself the answers you are seeking. They often speak in visual terms like in dream symbols or a particular symbol that keeps coming your way. Animals are common presences in these symbolic messages.
For instance, I was seeing foxes a lot for a period of time. I go to Facebook, foxes. I open the SMS emoticons, foxes. Buying something at a store, has the fox symbol on it. I still haven’t decoded the meaning, but it was definitely a recurring symbol for me.
Another time I had a symbol leaking from a dream into reality. I was on the fence of what to do about a particular decision and on that night I dreamt a personified form of a dog holding hands with a personified form of a horse. I didn’t know what to make of it, but later that day I went on Facebook and I saw, get this, a video of a dog and a horse. The horse was tied with a rope and the dog untied it and took it for a walk. I think it was this one but I’m not sure:
Upon researching the meaning of the dog and the horse, I took the dog to mean guardian or protector or vigilance while the horse meant freedom without restraint. I interpreted the message as containment. Temperance. “Watch out for impulsive behavior.”
If I had reflected upon it more, I would have known what to do and it would have been the preferred choice for sure.
Aside from symbols, short and meaningful messages are another common occurrence. They can come up as songs that keep finding their way to you, like how Let It Be kept playing in my head once, or messages about faith, “Where is your faith?”
Or recurring messages, in various places, holding the same idea, often centered around a virtue. Guidance.
Of course, messages can also be of discouragement if you are pursuing a course of action that would not be good for you. Sometimes they can be blatant like that one time when I got the message “If you’re looking for a sign to break up with someone, this is it.” Other time they can be more subtle but persistent and they often come as difficulty in carrying through a particular course of action.
One such incident was when I impulsively rented a place in another city for one month. I found that I could not access my Airbnb account because there was a problem with the captcha so I could not login. I tried to do it by phone, but then the phone I had used for that account was my Dad’s, and it was no longer working. I created another account and an app on my phone that I use for self-remembering told me “Stop!”. All these signs, that I thought, hah, maybe they are not coming from the positive kind of discouragement, maybe it is the negative kind.
I was doing all this to run away from where I was, not to pursue something that I wanted and in matters like these, the intention is paramount. I didn’t know whether to continue with it, so I postponed it for a week. Just before leaving for the apartment I got 11:12 on my phone, which was really discouraging, as this is one of my most clearest signs of forcing things. Yet, I had already confirmed that I was going, so I stuck with it.
I must say that those were 2 of the most horrible weeks I have ever had. I have never felt so afraid, so out of place and so alone in my entire life. Not only was the studio much smaller than it appeared in the pictures, but it was in a very old building that smelled like piss and it was right in the center of the city. Not only that, but I felt very restless the entire time, I was on the last floor, the 7th floor, and in one of those days, someone was sleeping in the hallway.
But the worst part was that in one of those days I had a very troubling abduction dream. I have never had dreams like that and this time I did. It felt like the most vivid and real dream I have ever had. I could feel myself being pulled up and arriving inside a ship. I was almost immobilized but I struggled against it and then I woke up. I was so scared, that even in the dream I had my eyes closed. I felt so relieved upon waking up!
I think what this meant was that I had lost protection by going against intuition. So yeah, all of those were clear signs. One thing I observed was that going against intuition increases confusion. I was still questioning whether that decision was right even after all that! Good thing for that moment of clarity!
Messages of encouragement and discouragement can have negative sources too. They generally play into our wounds and fears and nudge us towards taking negative courses of action, by chasing unrealistic solutions to our problems such as distractions, evasions, running away, or chasing external fulfillments that are meant to compensate for unmet needs OR they are messages of discouragement towards a positive course of action by playing into our self-doubt or negative self-image (such as the belief of being bad people).
I mentioned earlier my experience with the Somatic Descent meditation. Well, aside from the tune-ins that I mentioned, for a few nights in a row, which is when I did them, I would get disturbingly loud car noises outside my house pretty consistently, and I live in a rather small village! One night there were even some young people arguing and making noise, again in front of my house!
So yeah, I think this is how negative interference looks like.
For more information about distinguishing between positive and negative messages, please see the following amazing article: