Barclay Littlewood

An Insight Into My Life


Absent Father and how it affects well being

I think one of the most important things I have learned from counselling with experts from numerous fields, is the effect an absent parent can have on your well being.

In my case, my father left me at 9 years old. So I will focus on absent fathers only from here on in, as it is all I have experience of. Maybe some of these points could relate to an absent mother too, I don’t see why not. I also want to point out, an absent father could be someone who left the household or who remains there but is absent emotionally. For example it may be a father that is in the family home, but works so much that you never really felt they were there for you.

Almost everything about your character and how you deal with the world, and your relationships today can be traced back to your childhood.

Here’s a summary of how I have dealt with having an absent father –

  1. Identify the effects on yourself of an absent father
  2. Understand why your father did what he did
  3. Forgive
  4. Endeavour not to make the same mistakes
  5. Work on breaking the habits in day to day life to prevent the cycle continuing

Now let’s take a look at these.

 

Identifying the effects of an absent father

Identifying the hugely damaging affect on your psyche is the first thing, and that’s often rather difficult. You see the effects can and do cover a range of subtleness and may have been going on for so long they are entirely second nature to you. They might be glaringly obvious – for example violence, general anger, substance abuse – anything to let out that hurt or just ‘feel good’- this were rife in my early 20s for me. They may be mid range – taking it out on those that were for you – such as your mother. Then there’s the far more subtle. Subtle effects could be a greater than comfortable sensitivity to what others think about you or how they act towards you, never feeling like you match up so an impossible standard, shutting down your feelings to avoid pain, an obsession with avoiding rejection, and difficulty handling rejection.

All this comes down to ‘power.’ The power is always out of your hands and in the hands of the ‘world’. If only I could be “X” or get “X” – then I would be loved and feel loved is the overriding belief. At last I would be worthy! That power for your well being could be put in alcohol, drugs, a need for approval from others that is so great it causes suffering, oversensitivity to criticism, obsession with being successful, having a perfect body, anything to feel self worth and love.

It’s all about feeling good you see. Feeling good about yourself.

A lot of love you should have for yourself, especially when a father leaves, and never comes back, in my experience, feels like it gets sucked out of you there and then, never to return. Life becomes about getting that love back, however you can. You put all the emphasis on others and things around you, to make you feel good about yourself, to gain that love back.

Of course, that’s quite dangerous. And it’s a dangerous delusion. (God knows people are rarely in a position to handle such power constructively over you and nothing you can buy can ever love you back.)

You can end up dismissing the love you have from others, rejecting it, and chase love you don’t. And when and if you get that love, you dismiss and reject it too.

Yes, the rejected person – you – can end up becoming your greatest fear – the rejector. The truth is, you may have been rejecting yourself for a very long time. You may have been following your father’s example, when he rejected you, you believed it was something wrong with you.

 

Understand why your father did what he did

This helps you gain some context but can be complex. For me, I never fully understood my father’s motives before I was re-united with him 20 years later. I knew my father never forgave his father who did the same to his family – walked away and never came back. But my dad told me he never saw us again because it was too painful to see us and for him to hand us back each week. Arguably hugely selfish yes, but, what you see was management of the world for him and his well being.

See we can fall into that habit of managing our pain so deeply, that we find it almost impossible to think outside of ourselves and the effects of our actions on others. Everything in the end, becomes about us and it’s affect on us. When that happens, we can’t help but cause pain to others, because they become very much secondary to our own well being.

In the end, I became a pawn in my fathers game of feeling good. Did he consider any ill effects on his own son? Unlikely, he was too busy trying to manage his own suffering.

 

 

Forgive your absent father

Forgiveness is a deep experience. No books or words can do it for you. They may point you in the right direction granted, but unless you can feel some peace, show some love, and be friendly to the person you forgave like you would anyone else, you haven’t really forgiven. Could you really be in a room with them and show them a little love, genuinely? Forgiveness isn’t just words. It’s an experience. It’s real. And only you know when you’ve truly done it. It doesn’t mean you agree with what happened, that you like the person. It just means the anger, and the power they had over you, has gone. You finally see it as their issue, or an issue they had, not yours or something that was done because of you.

The deeper the pain, the harder it is t0 forgive and take that power back over your life.

Forgiveness is primarily for you, it sets you free. If you withhold it, you only damage yourself. The deeper the pain, the longer the process could be. Real forgiveness, could, take many years. Yet any step, however small, is a dose of healing.

 

Endeavour not to make the same mistakes as your absent father

So what mistakes were made? Well, my father gave up on us, he rejected us. So firstly, I don’t want to give up on other people, including him or reject people even if relationships come to an end. I want to be there for people. Secondly, he never forgave is father, or my mum, so I checked that box, I forgave. Thirdly, he was selfish, so to try and be less selfish is important to me too – to realise people’s feelings and well being don’t and shouldn’t all centre around me. People can and are idiotic sometimes, they are hateful, harmful, but that’s more about them than me. I don’t want them to have power over me. My father rejected me, not because of me, but because of his own issues. Finally, power, my father put power over his life in other people’s hands – his father, us kids and not handing us back – and took the power over his well being out of his own hands. Anyone that was true at peace and loved themselves, would not have done, what he did. He simply reflected his own feelings of rejection outwards.

 

Work on breaking the habits in day to day life to prevent the cycle continuing. Don’t become that absent father/mother yourself one day!

Finally, we are creatures of habit. So many patterns we have of acting are indeed very complex.

It takes a lot of self awareness to spot yourself doing things you’ve always done, without ever noticing them. As you deal with some, you often find others uncover.

But old habits can be undone, and replaced with new ones, of that there is no doubt.

Today, my big one is putting too much power in the world over me and my week being. What people say towards me, how they act towards me, matters way too much to me.

And why is that? It’s down to a lack of true genuine love for myself. A love beyond mere words, love that is a feeling. Something that I give to myself. To be kind to myself, about myself. Not too critical. Not harsh. Just to feel a little love for myself, each day.

I am learning to love myself, have confidence in who I am, regardless of anything else.

From a good, loving, relationship with yourself, everything else flows outwards. It will flow naturally towards others both close and far from you. I am learning to give that love to myself now, not make it dependent on anything else, a change or some goal to be achieved that allows me to be ‘more loveable’. (You will notice such a goal always shifts and it never pays up!)

So breaking these habits means –

  • I will accept myself as I am, love myself as I am. Now. I don’t need to change to be loved, but change will come from that love
  • To be decent towards people and set yourself and them free from needing their reciprocation or approval
  • Not to try and portray some false image of perfection to the world in order to get it’s approval
  • Ease up on myself, stop being so critical, and realise I don’t have to be perfect
  • I am not defined by the gaining of material items or success
  • I will learn to love those that love me – not chase absent love or those that withhold love
  • I will see people as they are – rather than making their behaviour something to do with me or seeing them as a device or adjunct to my well being
  • Be fully responsible for my behaviour and not blame others for it
  • I will align myself with love, and the light side, not hate and darkness

It’s a tough job, but there’s enjoyment in there, as you figure it all out and yourself too.

You are, and always were, very loveable really. At the end of the day, you just got hurt. The power to remove that hurt, lies within your own hands.

Good luck!

Best Wishes & God Bless


Advice & why no one cares

Good advice comes from the benefit of experience. Experience, is the biggest teacher of all. And experience takes time.

I’m the sort of person that loves to learn. I want to make my life better and the life of those around me better too. What I’ve realised more and more however, is most people don’t care about what I have got to say. Nor for that matter do they care about what others have to say either!

You can hit them with every fact, every bit of proof, say everything objectively and it matters not.

All my advice is always backed up not only by experience, but by evidence if required – tangible facts, yet when faced with it, people will do as they like, as they see best. They will learn, if they want to learn at all, in their own way and in their own time.

And as with most things in life there’s a beauty to that. You can’t push it or force it.

Learning is happening.

But there’s also a sadness to it too. You see people doing things that are going to harm them and others around them. You see them walking into traps and mistakes that will effect them for the rest of their lives. You plead and plead for them to see sense, but they simply can’t or won’t.

But I’ve done it too. Yet I’ve learned when I’ve gone through suffering. And for myself, a lot of suffering has become a catalyst to learn something that’s made me a better person.

For example, chasing material, living without God, over indulging in alcohol and drugs, being dishonest, being violent, disrespecting those that look after me, not exercising and eating harmful foods in excess. I’ve done all these and suffered as a result. But I had to learn myself.

Ultimately, you must take people as they find them. People may or may not learn over time. But once you’ve said all you’ve got to say, (and tried to do it calmly and patiently too) you’ve really done your job. You risk getting dismissed, attacked, ridiculed, but you know your intentions in your heart and that’s all you can do.

Sometimes it’s true too the best advice is given when you act, rather than talk.

The best ‘advice’ often teaches people there are consequences to their actions. Those consequences may come from you, or they may simply come from reality – e.g. consequences of their actions to them or others.

Great advice may come when you do something that might be hard. It might cause a lot of suffering for you and others in the short term. But in the long term, you know what you’ve had to do is going to be better for you and for them as well.

Good advice, good action then, has the long term well being of everyone at heart. Even if they don’t understand it at the time.

And it might mean you lose someone or something very dear to you in the process.

So all in all, the best advice there is, is action, because action effects people’s experiences. It’s from these experiences that people really learn because they always deeply effect something at the centre of their life – them.


Ambivalence, Apathy, Light Heartedness & Indifference

Ambivalence, Apathy, Light Heartedness, and Indifference are not words you’d usually see in any piece of spiritual advice.

For me though, I’m learning day by day not to be concerned by the ways, manners, views and philosophies of others.

Now let’s be clear. I’m not ambivalent or indifferent to things such as discourtesy, racism, religionism, aggressiveness, hostility and dishonesty in myself – far from it – but I’m becoming more ambivalent, care free, and indifferent to it in others when displayed towards me and mine.

You see that way, the fire ends in me. I’m able to be above and beyond such occurrences, and be better for it. I give them the freedom to be exactly as they like – I’ll concentrate on being me and doing what I know is right, and you can be you, thanks very much.

It’s back to what I’ve mentioned before, often the things outside of us aren’t as bad as our reaction to them – which is often on the same level or worse.

For example the Church I attend indulges itself in regular bouts of religionism. I am learning to take it with pinch of salt, the Pastor believes that ‘Christianity is the only way’ is right in the eyes of God, as much as do I with my words – “There are many different roads lead to the same place.”

Is God more or less in either one of us? I don’t think so. His words send shudders of discomfort through me. They ostracise, divide and discount billions of people’s experiences. For if a non Christian is not worshipping God – what are they worshipping? I can only imagine what a God fearing Muslim or Hindu would think of such words.

The trouble is God’s loves me and the Pastor both as much with our conflicting views. To me the lesson is clear – live and let live – religionism really doesn’t matter – unless we make it into yet another barrier between us and our fellow human beings.

This world is God’s Church, and those that promote religionism are loved by him as much as those that don’t, the reality of that, is clear.


Dealing with adversity

Adversity, and the distress it causes are their own type of energy. They make us suffer. Whether we have done wrong, and suffer guilt, or someone has hurt us and we suffer pain, it’s hard.

So how do we best go about dealing with adversity?

Well whatever life throws at you, you are alive, and at the base of that life, your life, at it’s foundation, there is a subtle something. Something that is there through all hurt, all upset, all distress. Something that stays exactly the same and is unmoved.

That intangible, eternal, un-manifest within, is always there. Simply find it and keep with it, always. Love those feelings of hurt and upset you are feeling, because they will pass and you shall come out better and stronger.

Suffering is the birth of all healing, and all healing leaves you better than before.

At first keeping with the eternal may take so much practice, because the by-products of the un-manifest and ever present – such as our thoughts, emotions, experience seem greater than it. Indeed, in reality, they can seem to be. Yet over the long term they will be shown to be secondary, if you keep with that presence that is always there. That is God. A constant that never leaves. It will heal you by changing the very fabric of your existence.

Pray to it, worship it, unite with it, for without it you would not exist nor be alive.

Within this eternal within, is the capability to deliver all the peace you’ve sought form the world, and to overcome all the issues the world can possibly cause and throw at you.

Thanks and good luck in dealing with adversity.

God Bless

Barclay Littlewood


Dealing with Destructive Force

I don’t see destructive people, but I do see destructive actions, destructive force or energy. Dealing with destructive force isn’t easy at first, it’s often counter intuitive.

So what is destructive force?

Well, several times over the last few years, wether it be individuals or companies, I’ve had to deal with people who use the following tactics –

  • Deceit
  • Threats
  • Abuse of Power
  • Unbalanced self interest towards them and theirs
  • Aggressiveness
  • Lack of consideration
  • Lack of respect
  • Manipulation
  • Desire to harm you or make you look bad

Sometimes this can be down to the character of the individual themselves or what they perceive they can gain. Other times it’s because of how circumstances work out, or an incorrect interpretation of how they think I am as a person. Yet other times they dislike what I am trying to achieve (them thinking I’m being destructive) or they just harbour a general dislike, jealousy, or ill will towards me.

So how do we go about dealing with destructive force?

When dealing with such approaches, it’s very important that you never forget what life is about

  • Mutual well being and interest
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Truth
  • Strength of character and purpose
  • Tolerance
  • Being impervious to manipulation
  • Living up to your own standards no matter how others act
  • Giving freedom to others to act how they see best and to think about you what they like
  • Forgiveness
  • Constructiveness over destructiveness
  • Not mimicking, aping, magnifying or reacting with destructive force
  • Praying to God for peace and for the other party, and aligning yourself with goodness and his will

It’s really all about playing good defence in a situation and standing for what’s right for both parties and in both their interests.

There’s no point in trying to educate someone about how they act, or what they should do, if they knew better they wouldn’t act the way they do. Your best hope is to tell them what you’re doing and that they learn from how you conduct yourself, and the outcome of the event.

Indeed so many people work against themselves in situations they often do a lot of your work for you.

If you stick to the above tenements, no matter how much it suits you, you can’t really go wrong. Win or lose, you always win, because you stood for what’s right and that’s the greatest victory of all.

You can use this on a micro level or a macro level of course.

So that’s how I deal with destructive force, I hope it helps you.

Thanks for reading & God Bless

Barclay Littlewood


Dealing With The Darkness

There are two overriding forces in this world, the light and the dark.

How do we deal with the darkness both within and outside us?

Love, support, peace, patience, forgiveness. But as human beings are are flawed in these characteristics. Therefore we must come closer to God to let him exhibit these things through us.

Spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, yoga, worship, the reading of Holy Texts will help achieve this. The gross senses and our sense of self are flawed, rely on them at your peril, rely on God and God alone.

There is a wonderful balance to the world. The dark is there for the light to exist. The dark outside of us should be embraced as the light, it is then, also light, because your light shines and the darkness disappears.


God’s Rules

These aren’t God’s rules according to Barclay Littlewood. Whilst they were revealed to me, they have been revealed to others. They are objective rules of reality, AKA God’s rules. You can see them for yourself by looking at reality, the true nature of things and also from knowing and experiencing God’s love for us. These rules trump personal beliefs about God. They are more important than doing things we believe God wants. Finally, they are of course far more important than simply acting as we wish. I would think the world at large is hundreds of years away from truly understanding these rules and living by them. Yet it is because of these rules that ultimately the world will have peace. These rules are imbued in the physical reality of creation and will stand the test of time, forever. These rules are –

  1. God wants life over death, peace over war, love over hate.
  2. All people are God’s children – whether we act like it or not. We all came from the Universe, the same creation after all.
  3. Your main relationship should be with God for the well being of yourself and the World – however do not rely on yourself or the World for your well being!
  4. Let God be God, you weren’t designed to be in charge of yourself, others, or the World – God is in charge and it’s all running with or without you around.
  5. Choose your path to God and stick to it closely.
  6. Never lower anyone below their real identity of a child of God. The World is a veil over all. For example, don’t lower people to the level of your ideas, judgements, your perceptions about them. Don’t confuse the real identity of a person with your feelings about them or their actions and then mistreat them accordingly. All these things are worldly differentiators and are the Devil’s tools.
  7. Wonderfully and dangerously, God’s love remains for us no matter what our interpretations of him are. All interpretations are worldly, and again the Devil will use their differences as much as he can to override peace and love and cause friction and hatred.
  8. God knows what’s within you, your heart, and will judge and reward you accordingly. Act from your heart to please God, not to please the World, yourself or anyone else.
  9. Difference, the past and worldly pleasure are three of the Devil’s greatest tools. He wants you see others as the Devil or different and trick you into attacking them based on differences only observable in the world. The Devil wants your past to haunt you forever and haunt others with their past, because the past too is attached to the world. The Devil wants to trick you into believing that the world can bring you everlasting satisfaction. How do you know the difference between God and the Devil? Simply – Peace and Hostility, Constructiveness and Destructiveness, Gratitude and Ingratitude, Forgiveness and Grudges, Satisfaction and Desire.
  10. God loves all his children. He doesn’t care what race, what religion, what nationality, what their character is. If you want to be more Godly – you should follow that lesson yourself.
  11. Forgive others for the harm they have done to you and others. Seek God for your own forgiveness. Both these release you from the power of the world and the past.
  12. Do not intentionally attack or cause harm to other people. Never try and harm people mentally, emotionally, or physically. God does not do that to you, so why do you feel entitled to do it to others?
  13. Never debate interpretations of God to others, they are entirely personal, worldly devices only and of no consequence. If someone has found God give thanks for that, whatever way it occurs.
  14. Be patient, respectful, kind, forgiving, take others as they are.
  15. Honour your Mother and Father.
  16. Do not steal or deceive.
  17. Do not coveter worship anything or anyone asides God.
  18. Do not commit sexual sins.
  19. Avoid drugs and alcohol as much as possible, do not resort to drink and drugs to resolve emotional issues. If you drink, drink the drink, don’t let it drink you. Don’t drink to get drunk.
  20. Eat natural, real food and avoid refined foods asides for rare treats.
  21. Keep physically active every day.
  22. God will discipline you if you don’t follow his design for you and life. This discipline results in suffering. You will find this suffering in your own experience. Thank God for your blessings as well as your trials and tribulations, for they are blessings too.
  23. God is perfect, as perfect as we can conceive. The creation is not perfect however. God did not want a 3 year old child to get cancer. God did not want anyone to suffer starvation. God did not want thousands to be killed in a natural disaster. These are problems with the creation (for a standpoint of humanity) that we have the power as God’s co-creators to resolve.
  24. Finally, do these each day. Pray. Always offer thanks for whatever you have. Read and discuss God’s word. Worship God. Meditate on God’s love. Forgive those that wrong you and you have wronged. Forget worldly consequences. Do what you do for God, not yourself or others.

Thank you for reading and God Bless

Barclay Littlewood

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