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How Self-Knowledge Helped Me Improve My Relationships

Ella
Experience submitted by Ella Klyashitsky

I’ve often wondered what karmic/past life ties exist between myself and my family. With some of them an unshakable joy and acceptance seems to mark our relationship, and with others there often seems to exist an uncomfortable tension and an intuitive feeling that we have a ‘bad history’ between us. Whatever the mysterious forces behind them, these relationships have provided the circumstances for me to see some of the most entrenched ego reactions within me.

But even if some of the links that bond us to others are the result of past lives, and even if our egos have been strengthened in times beyond our recall, in one of Belsebuub’s talks I have heard him specifically saying we don’t need to be able to remember our previous existences to overcome our egos. This was something that helped me to feel empowered and that I had the tools to change some of my most complex egos and with that the relationships that seem most affected by them.

Through learning how to analyse and observe my inner world, my thoughts, emotions, drives and impulses, I have inevitably seen the way in which my behaviour was shaped in my formative years.

Particularly through the practice of analysing an inner state/ego, which allowed me to reflect on how these patterns first emerged and how they developed, I started to see just how much I was repeating ways of behaving and thinking that I had seen in my family and people close to me. I became aware that once patterns are made they can start to look for ways to be satisfied.

A Valuable Family Opportunity

At one point I was struggling with a particular way in which my anger manifested. I just couldn’t understand it enough to break free of it and was stuck in a vicious cycle of trying to overcome it, failing, feeling defeated, picking myself up, and back again. I remember praying a lot for help to understand something new so to be able to gain some strength over this ego. During this time I made a visit to an older family member’s house, where a close relative had grown up and was now back living, helping their parent in their old age.

As soon as I stepped into that environment I knew there was an opportunity to learn something about the problematic ego. From past experience I also knew that I had to act fast – often when visiting this family home I’d gradually lose my inner clarity and end up not being able to use the situation very well.

Using Belsebuub’s Spiritual Practices to Gain Inner Knowledge

So this time I dived straight into doing the meditation practise in the evenings, observing the day’s events in detail while trying to remain detached, and analysing the ego. I searched inside for intellectual understanding and also sought internal stillness to get answers beyond the mind. I also worked on staying aware during the day and made sure I kept to a discipline of practising mantras to keep my inner vibration up and with it my motivation. I knew I had to be even more vigilant at this time as it would take just one day and a few ‘bad turns’ to start to spiral ‘out of control’ and lose track of my inner focus.

In this video Belsebuub speaks about the persistence needed when looking at the darkness within and especially the need not to be demoralised when we uncover new layers of egos.  It’s a talk I’ve often come back to in order to remember how to best approach inner study.

During this visit I started to feel like I was being shown very specific things about this ego and the way it manifested through me. I could see ways in which my relatives behaved that were very similar to the particular way I expressed my frustration, and which was most destructive in my life. I could even see how this behaviour had been passed down through generations, like an internal characteristic along with DNA. By being out of my normal routine I felt at a bit of a distance from the ego, as it wasn’t being provoked in me in the usual ways. But I also felt that being in the house that generations of my family have lived and breathed in meant there were some additional, mysterious parts of the puzzle available to me.

The nights were full of dreams with the ego and my family members, and I felt like I was immersed in a learning that spanned from the physical to the dream world, and even that I’d been brought back to this environment especially for this lesson. The sense that my own Being had created this situation for my learning, with all that entailed, and ultimately, for the chance of freeing myself from this defect, made me more determined to battle it.

A Priceless Interaction

At one point a family member and I were in the kitchen preparing food and they said something in a very specific way that made me flinch, as I could hear myself in it so much; I could hear through them how I often expressed this ego, but now I was on the receiving end of the ego’s attack. I could suddenly clearly feel the pain that I’d been inflicting on others with this behaviour, but also, I could feel the pain my relative was in when acting in this way, as I knew it so well myself. In that moment I experienced a deep sense of compassion for everyone involved: my relative, myself, and those we hurt with this behaviour – and I wanted very badly for us all to be free from this harmful inner state.

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Normally I would have felt a corresponding negative emotion and that could easily translate as retaliation through a hurtful remark or brooding silence, with some noisy moving of kitchen utensils to show my disapproval. This time, the heightened perception of what was actually happening meant I didn’t respond in any way. I could sense the ego on the periphery of my psyche and asked my divine mother for its elimination. I tried to be aware. I didn’t reply how I normally would, and how I was expected to. My silence broke the chain of reactions, but this time it came from the link being cut in the telepathic flow of my egos with my relatives’. I could then feel their emotions settle down, as well as my own, and with that, after a while, the direction of our interaction changed course to become much more respectful and calm. It felt almost as though a disaster had been averted and that we were both glad.

Without being ‘on the ball’ and on the look-out for this ego through meditation practises and self-observation, I doubt I would have been able to step out of the hypnotic pull of the egos while interacting. I would almost certainly have repeated ways of behaving and left feeling deflated. Even worse, I can see how over the years, in the absence of learning about and going against my egos, some family relationships could easily deteriorate. How could such strong negative emotions towards others shape future existences?

The Power of Self-Knowledge

Instead, through utilizing the tools of self-knowledge that Belsebuub explains about, I was able to grab hold of the special opportunity that came with being able to study these behavioural patterns in a unique way. I knew the situation would be over soon and along with it, the extra help in understanding this ego.

After this particular trip I actually left feeling stronger, and that I’d taken a step in the right direction to building a better relationship with my family, as well as overcoming this aspect of anger in myself. Though it was difficult, the sense that the situation had been created for my learning made me feel closer to my divine parents and the reality that this life is a testing ground for consciousness. It’s a perspective I wish I could hold onto more often!

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19 comments
  • This was wonderful to read Ella. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s interesting how you said you felt a certain behavior was part of your family’s DNA. I recently returned from visiting my family, where I felt I was being reminded of this. That there are certain negative emotions that run in my family and goes deep. I felt I was being reminded to work on them and to be patient. To keep going as Belsebuub said in the video.

    I also found it very powerful how you were able to change the course of a situation by not reacting to what your family member said. So simple, yet so powerful. Tiny things that could change the world 🙂

  • It was great that you managed to bring an end to the old ways of interacting with your family member Ella. I can see from my own experience with these kinds of egos how much it takes to be able to break free of them.

  • Hi Ella,

    Thank you for sharing this experience. It was inspiring to see how dedicated you were to your goal and how you were able to follow your program of practices dilligently. And it all paid off in a beautiful way!

    I wish you may battles won like that.

  • Your experience Ella has been very helpful. It just goes to show the valuable opportunities that are presented to us in the common events of our lives such as in your case visiting family and the lessons and understanding that we can take from them if we make the efforts.

    It reminds me that life and the daily events can become new and interesting. Your story shows that uplifting experiences can be had in difficult situations rather than just going into the event tainted by our past experiences and repeating old habitual harmful patterns.

    Thank you Ella, this is very inspiring.

    • Hi Penny,

      Yes, that little shift in how we face the normal events in life makes a massive difference. Like Belsebuub says, at any time something different needs to be going on inside the person wanting to change. Then even the commonplace interactions and events become intensive training and testing ground!

  • Thank you for sharing this experience Ella in such a detailed way. It really sounds like you were on a solid “look out” for the ego and that the circumstances were provided for you for your learning as you also figured out. It must have actually been amazing to realize that – that the situation was orchestrated for you to study this aspect further. I can imagine how much strength this realisation must have given you.
    It was also very inspiring to read about how you prepared yourself with practices beforehand, in order not to fall into the mechanical responses.

    It is indeed amazing to realize how we can break the chains that tie us to people, situations and circumstances in this way, starting something fundamentally new, something that we haven’t started maybe in many lifetimes! 🙂

    • Yes Lucia, after the repeating of events, I started to learn and see how to approach the situation differently, and with that to get a new outcome. I guess this is why we are given so many repeating lives to gradually learn how to change the direction we are going in!

      You’re right, realising the lesson and fleeting opportunity in the situation did bring a lot of strength – but really, this perspective is true for all our life! It’s just a difficult one to hold onto it seems. We feel there is so much time.

  • Wow, Ella, what a beautiful account of a very special learning opportunity.

    How wonderful that you had the will to be open and look at this aspect of yourself that has been a part of you and also your family for such a long time. I can very much relate to this particular aspect, especially when you say that it gets handed down from one generation to the next via our DNA. I so see myself in my own parents behaviour and sibling.

    And the telepathic interaction that you mention is so powerful that you can simply pick up on a fight by walking into a room or looking at a person’s facial expression. I can really relate to all of this!

    Your account is very inspiring and helpful.

    Thank you very much for you honesty in sharing something so profound and personal.

    • Yep, the telepathic interactions between family can be so strong, and the responses so ingrained, it’s probably one of the best places to face our habitual behaviour! I really know what you mean about just a look being enough to act as a spark for an argument. I had an experience like this recently and the tension was very strong. But this time I remembered to ask for the inner death and was able to pull back from the telepathic aggression and focus on my inner world. Quite soon the emotion cleared within me and the atmosphere between myself and the other person transformed totally. It’s really amazing to be helped by higher forces to live in more harmony like this 🙂

    • Hi Paty,

      I also find it interesting to reflect on the possibility that certain characteristics are literally transferred via our DNA. It’s generally accepted that physical characteristics are passed on through the genes, such as hair, eye and skin colour, height, predisposition towards certain illnesses etc. But I was learning recently about how the epigenetic expression of the descendants of people experiencing trauma can also be altered, even though the younger generations may not have experienced the trauma directly. This effect was found not only in animal studies, but also in a study on the epigenetic changes in the descendants of holocaust survivors. So it seems our families may play a bigger role in our lives than we think.

      • That’s interesting Michael. I’ve also wondered how much and in what ways things are passed on. It seems there are many many factors at play in shaping who we are. Yet I also believe defying all odds is possible when there’s a will to bring about an inner change within.

        • Yes, I agree Karim. Another aspect of epigenetics is that although we can inherit genetic predispositions towards certain illnesses, environmental factors need to activate those genes for them to affect us. So even if there is a history of serious illness in the family, such as cancer, it is possible for an individual to avoid switching on those genes, if they are aware of the environmental factors and can remove them from their lives.

          In a similar way, we may inherit tendencies towards certain personality traits from our genes and upbringing, but if we have the tools to change within, we can avoid being stuck with those behaviours for life.

          Going into a more esoteric field, we may also have “inherited” karma from wrong actions in past lives, which would come into play in this life if we don’t change. But if we can change our psychological response to events in our lives, we can avoid making the same mistakes and take our lives in a different and more positive direction.

          So although the events of life may be terrible at times, it’s comforting to know that there is the possibility to change the course of our lives. Viktor Frankl, who survived Auschwitz, commented that in his opinion those who survived were generally those who were able to change their psychological response to the suffering all around them. In his account of his experiences in Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

  • Thank you, Ella, for sharing this powerful learning experience. It really sounded so magical to use those circumstances for learning and to receive so much guidance in your dreams about your family.

    Reading this account fills me with inspiration in using family time for more learning, even more so when I consider this deep history with past lives that may play a role.

  • Thanks for taking us on a little journey of your approach and effort on studying yourself within the sphere of family. Very useful.

    I can relate to many of the things you mentioned. For example the danger of ‘falling asleep into the subconscious’ and just acting and reacting through the old strong patterns of interaction. I think if we’re too submerged and unable to be conscious enough and strong enough, then we’re also not able to make use of that time and extract the learning So the approach to sustain a strong inner focus in such times is something essential to figure out, yet very hard.

    I also like what you mentioned about having already studied certain ego states with the techniques that Belsebuub gives, and then when a connected situation occurred, the self-knowledge you gained, allowed you to really turn things into another direction. Super stuff!

    • Hey Karim,

      Yep, so much time can go by submerged in a spiritual lethargy, and then these unique set ups where we could glean so much just rush by without anything happening, in fact, in the lethargy becoming more entrenched. In that way, the unusually difficult relationships and situations can be such a gift as we’re jolted into action more. But in order to not waste most of our time, that strength and clarity you speak of does need to be at a certain level; for me the main points of help seem to be to spend enough time to feed my consciousness and claw back time from indulging in ego-pleasures.

  • Thanks for sharing your personal experiences of working to improve your family relationships Ella. Understanding the factors that influence these close relationships can provide a great source of learning, and it’s great that you made a strong effort to dedicate your time with family members to learn, rather than just repeating old habits.

    I’ve personally seen a lot about how I react to others by spending prolonged periods of time with family members. Difficult relationships can be particularly challenging, especially when other family members are unwilling to compromise. However, I’ve also seen the positive effects of changing my own response, like you described in the kitchen interaction. It’s definitely a better way of living than to feed resentments and respond in an automatic, ingrained way.

    • Hi Michael,

      In general it takes a special relationship for there to be a sense of compromise and forgiveness that lets the bond breath and develop – it’s something I’ve only experienced a few times in and out of the family. More often it is a case that people either don’t see the need to, or can’t change their habits of behaviour. And even when they want to, like those of us interested in spiritual development, doing it is another story! I find it’s best to assume others aren’t going to budge and to work on my own reactions. Focus on letting go of judgement too seems is a massive help. From this position I’ve occasionally then been very surprised in the change in the other with whom I’m trying to change my response to. People really sense our attitude towards them, even if unconsciously, and I have felt that I can hold them in a bad place through the way I see them, invisibly sending out judgement and expectations. When I can clear these, that person is also more free to act from a place where I’m not poking at their negative states through my own and they can be free then to behave in new ways. Quite amazing when it happens!

About Belsebuub

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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is an author and spiritual teacher that has been writing about and demonstrating practical techniques for self-discovery for more than twenty-five years. Read more

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