When You Want To Hurt - A Letter To Those Who Suffer -

When ego control and defenses are close to being shattered, these are the times we become really scared and begin to think hurtful thoughts. These are your ego's ways to try and gain control in situations where you feel overwhelmed, helpless, alone and frightened. When the ego feels helpless, not in control and alone, it fears its death. Throughout the ages this experience has been called, "The Dark Night Of The Soul," and yes, has led some to suicide and murder in final and desperate gestures to assert control when feeling helpless, lost and frightened. This whole experience is like suffering your death, before you die, a process where you are forced to let go of every support you have relied on in the past for your feelings of safety. Fritz Perls, the Gestalt Therapy founder, in an understatement said about this loss of control experience, "To suffer your death and be reborn is not easy."

Although some have lashed out and hurt either themselves and others when faced with the terrifying feelings of losing control, helplessness and death, many others with the readiness and courage to risk LETTING GO and GIVING UP CONTROL do ASK FOR HELP and have found that, like the butterfly caterpillar, what looks like death is really CHANGE into a higher form of life that could never be understood or grasped from the less, evolved caterpillar-like state. What looks like death to our ego is really the opportunity to WAKE UP, like in the "Matrix," from our less, evolved physical dream-state of separation and fear. I have tried to demonstrate this potential in the illustrations and short power point slide shows I have prepared titled "The Cloud-Layers Of Ego."


Underneath the layers of the mind, body, emotion, (ego) defenses, our ego, sees only death. At this point, by giving up ego defenses and control, letting go and asking for help, we will be led instead into the Peace, Power, Joy and Love of our "Spiritual Identity." Here we are universally connected and safe. You will never believe this truth until you take the risk, give up control and EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF. Those who do gain what Joel Goldsmith calls, "The Mystical Experience Of God Presence." Most have suffered greatly to gain this Truth and experience. Through your suffering, there will come a point of readiness where you will risk giving up your ego control and probably scream out in desperate fear for your life, "God Help Me!" When you do, you will, like Fritz Perls says, be "Reborn" into your Spiritual Identity where you will feel at home and find Peace. I believe every person on this planet is on a path that will eventually lead to an opportunity to discover this same truth. In my mind, when your sensitivity and suffering leads you to feel desperate, it means you are almost ready to experience this, your True Identity. This kind of experience comes to us only when we are ready and none of us have conscious control over the timing of this readiness. What I have attempted to do is prepare you so you might be more willing to take this risk of giving up control and ask for help at those times when you are in deep suffering and frightened to let go. The level of our suffering is in direct proportion to the level of our fear and unwillingness to give up control. The Buddha said, "All suffering is attachment," meaning our attachment to ego control.

As a result, I urge you to allow yourself to feel overwhelmed, helpless and not in control. When you start to feel overwhelmed, helpless and desperate, realize you are indeed alive at the moment. Then give yourself permission to feel helpless and not in control. Imagine you are like the caterpillar in its cocoon, in a process of change for the better. Since, like the caterpillar, we can never know what is best for us from our limited perspective, give the control of this change to the highest part of your right brain, unconscious mind. Echart Tolle would say, "Accept what is." Pretend you are a little child and allow yourself to give up your control to an unconscious wiser part of yourself who will look after you. ACIM would say, "All things are gently planned by One whose only purpose is our good." This truth has been driven home to me again and again in my life, in hindsight after going through desperate times of change, pain and fear. Try to keep in mind when you become frightened or in pain that holding on and resisting will increase your suffering. Instead see if you can breathe and let go into it and give it to the Healing Energy within you.

Remember when you feel desperate and want to hurt yourself and others that this only happens when you resist feeling helpless and giving up control. The desire to hurt others or ourselves is always the ego's desperate way of attempting to assert control in fearful and painful situation when we feel helpless, lost and alone. The alternative and more constructive reaction at these times would be to simply accept that you are not in control that you feel lost and need direction and help. A book by Anthony Peaks, “Is there Life After Death,” documents the important support we gain through the right brain part of our unconscious mind at times when we feel we are about to die and give up all hope. This should not be hard to accept when you consider the experience of artists, writers, poets and athletes who are consistently inspired and guided through the right-brain, creative or intuitive part of their unconscious mind. When we give up left-brain or ego control, our ego becomes frightened, lost and it feels like death. In truth, we are only turning control over to a higher or Wiser Court within our mind that has access to unlimited information and strategy.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, desperate and want to hurt yourself or others, openly admit to yourself, out loud if you can, that you feel helpless, not in control and frightened. Then simply breathe fully and on the out breath, let go into this experience. Finally accept you feel helpless and simply say to the wise and healing energy of your right-brain, "HELP ME ANYWAY YOU CAN!" Realize you have accepted the truth of your plight and that you can do nothing more. By giving up ego control, you bring stillness and surrender to your left-brain, ego. This allows access to the more wise and better-informed right brain to handle the situation. Inspiration and solutions to your issues may not come immediately. Trust, however, eventually they will be worked out and solved for your greatest good by wisdom gained through your right-brain consciousness. I link this right-brain consciousness to our Spiritual Identity, although you may not want to make this link. I think when you link religion with spirituality and reject both, you throw out the baby with the bath water. I encourage you not to make this mistake. The recent Quantum Physics research supports the mystical view of energy or spirit and the illusion of matter. Life as we experience it through our five senses in this physical universe is largely a mess filled with change, fear and separation. It does, however, give us a chance to heal our pain and fear and awaken from this dream of separation. For this opportunity alone, it is both important and essential to our awakening process where we will then find Peace and our True Identity. On my Blog Site, link below, read the two articles that follow this letter that demonstrate the healing value or this physical universe to us.

David Ott, M.Ed.



Author's Bio: 

David Ott, M.Ed., Director
Peak Recovery Program, Victoria,B.C.

Trained at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto
Student and Teacher of “A Course In Miracles”

Former guest workshop facilitator at
“The Orchard Recovery Centre” on Bowen Island.

Former Employee Assistance Program Director
for Panorama Ski Resort, Invermere, B.C.

Former Life Skills Coordinator
for the Canadian Military, Baden, Germany