All posts by Laura Lum Corby

78. Protecting From Further Pain

We have to get better at how we treat other people. Lives matter. Words matter. Emotions matter and are valid, even when they’re not understood or agreed with. Most people are going through life simply protecting from further pain. Yet, when we encounter a less than stellar situation with another, how often do we really pursue the underlying pain of their perspective?

We only see what others allow us to see and we never really know all the devastation that has gone on in another’s life behind the scenes. There’s always more to a story than we know and have been made privy to. Even so, it’s far easier to cut losses when things get uncomfortable, than it is to do the work necessary to understand another. In our fast-moving society, that’s just not the easiest path of least resistance. As common slang would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Yet investing this time and effort is the very thing that builds the incredible depths of relationship most say they struggle to find.

Hurting people don’t always make the best decisions, as logic isn’t always present when pain is full throttle. More often it’s adrenaline driven and what seems necessary at the time to protect from further wounding. After all, that’s our conscious mind’s greatest role… doing whatever is necessary to protect us from discomfort. When we truly begin to understand that, not only does forgiveness become easier, but compassion blossoms and spills out onto the walking wounded, which in turn helps in the process of those souls healing.

What is needed is love, compassion, grace, understanding, and support. What they need to know is that there is someone out there, no matter what, that loves them and cares enough to engage them, even when they are not their most lovable. Unconditional love is so rare these days. The easiest thing to do is bail and walk away. Don’t be that person.

Seek to understand before judging. Even better, seek to understand and don’t judge at all. Every one of us has pain we are hiding from the world. Some are just better at hiding it than others. The right thing to do is love hard, ask questions, listen intently, & be there. Just that alone can make all the difference in the world to someone who feels lost, alone, and in pain. Most suffer in silence. We may not always be able to eliminate their pain, but we can at least ensure they are not alone as they walk through it. This often very dark world needs many more willing to be love, light, and the voice of compassion.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

77. Finding Clarity In The Muddy Waters

Very few things disrupt our lives the way volatile, reactive emotions can. Let’s face it, we have all found ourselves in that place before, where our emotional reactivity has gotten the better of us, and logic seems nowhere to be found. It can be overwhelming, embarrassing, and at times even all-encompassing. Finding clarity in the muddy waters of emotional turmoil can be challenging, yet it’s necessary if we are to maintain balance in our daily lives.

Lao Tzu said, “Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” This is such an important concept, as when we are in the midst of turbulence, the emotional debris within is constantly being shaken. Unless we can pull away, quiet our emotional chatter, and allow things to settle, it will be difficult to find any semblance of clarity.

Quieting our mind typically requires removing ourselves from the epicenter of the storm, where whipping winds keep all the bits and pieces in a flurried, agitated state. Stepping away from the tempest and distancing ourselves to a place where we can observe the disruption, without being directly affected by the winds, allows the debris to settle. It is only then we can make an adequate assessment and determine a proper course of action.

Far too often we attempt to appraise and mitigate our situation while still in the midst of the storm. That would be like sending in an insurance adjuster to determine the amount of damage and payout to an area while the tornado is still on the ground. It isn’t until the system has passed, all the detritus has settled, and the environment is once again stable, that the adjuster can correctly determine what caused the damage, how to begin recovery, and the resources needed to accomplish that goal.

Our personal lives are no different. When we find ourselves in murky waters, making the conscious choice to stay within and ride out devastating emotional storms, rather than retreating to a place of safe observation, sets the stage for far greater damage. Emotional chatter and resistance are often what accompany these rocky rides, continuing to fuel upheaval and keeping our world spinning out of control.

When our minds are reeling, we are incapable of identifying logical solutions to our problems. It isn’t until we withdraw to a place of stillness and quiet that we can adequately see things from an outside perspective, void of emotional entanglement. It is here the true reckoning begins, lessons can be recognized and understood, healing can transpire, and growth and expansion occur.

So what exactly does removing ourselves from the storm entail? Quite simply, it means temporarily removing ourselves from whatever is fueling our discomfort, until clarity and a healthy course of action can be determined. That might mean holding off on a major life decision, or taking a vacation or leave of absence from an unhealthy environment such as work, school, social media, or an activity. Sometimes we need to temporarily distance ourselves from an individual or group of people who are impacting us emotionally, until things can settle and become clear.

Another important factor is getting adequate sleep. Sleep and mood are closely connected. A lack of sleep contributes notably to irritability, increased stress, and anxiety. Once again, logic seems to go out the window when sleep deprivation is present. Sleep is also rest from our resistance. When we’re sleeping, there’s a ceasing of the chatter that accompanies resistant thoughts.

Not all that long ago, I found myself sleeping an inordinate amount. There was an accompanying sense of guilt, as I had a growing list of things I should have been doing instead. I was under more stress than usual and was exhausted from the cerebral calisthenics I was getting caught up in on a daily basis. (See anything wrong with this picture?) I can remember lying on my bed one evening, fighting my urge to sleep. I clearly heard the following instructions, “Stop fighting and sleep. When you are sleeping, you are not resisting me and I can accomplish far more when you’re in this state.” MIND BLOWN! I recognized at that moment that sleep was not the enemy, but rather a very useful tool that played a significant role in my ability to process without resistance. To this day, when I feel the need to sleep, I do so, no questions asked.

Perspective is everything, and our perspective changes dramatically depending on where we are standing. As I take a necessary step back and consider some of my more recent emotional storms, I’m thankful that I’m finding clarity, proper perspective, and healthy way forward that lends to greater depth and understanding of both myself, and those I interact with.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

76. May The Force No Longer Be With Me

Anything That Needs To Be Forced Is Not In My Best Interest

I’ve come to a conclusion over these past few weeks. May the force no longer be with me, as anything that needs to be forced is not in my best interest. As I’ve gone through one of the most transitional periods of my life over these last 2 years, one rather unhealthy theme has shown itself again and again. That of impatiently forcing circumstances and decisions, when clarity and peace were absent.

Critical Information Often Changes Our Decisions

What is it that pushes us to make snap decisions in lieu of clarity and peace? Sometimes I often wonder if it’s not just making a decision, even if it’s the wrong one, just to be done with it and move on. Yet, I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I have made an untimely decision, only to find if I had waited just a bit longer, I would have had critical information that would have changed my decision significantly, if not all together. Ignoring my inner prompting to wait and making decisions when I do not have all the pertinent information is not wise, and typically results in consequences I end up paying a hefty price for. Even knowing that, impatience often wins.

Pain And Discomfort Often Fuels Forceful Decisions

I’ve caught myself, even in these last couple of weeks, vacillating significantly over a major life change. One moment my mind is made up, then the next, caution arises summoning me to hold off until more information is available. I believe my pain and discomfort often fuels those forceful decisions, as seeking relief will lead us places we might not consider otherwise. Yet,  I know my intuition well enough to heed the warnings that create pause. The stubborn part of me wants to just push through and make whatever needs to happen take place. And yes, I could, for all practical purposes, push myself hard enough to make the necessary things happen. However, I’m beginning to realize we place insane amounts of unnecessary stress upon ourselves, forcing a hand that may never have been intended to play. What’s the hurry? If something is meant to be, will it not still be there 2 weeks, 2 months, or even 2 years later? Timing is everything and my experience has taught me that pushing the hand of time can be detrimental in so many cases. The most perfect of situations played out in the wrong timing can be quite devastating.

Make Decisions From A Place Of Informed Peace

I believe that I am far better making decisions from a place of informed peace, not haphazard forcefulness driven by discomfort. Let me be very clear, that does not mean putting off necessary decisions because of fear and allowing things to linger in an unhealthy, unsettled state because we cannot handle the thought of change. That is a completely different issue. This is specifically allowing the information and time to unfold in a way that clarity and peace follow the decision. That doesn’t mean there will be no fear. One can have great peace about a decision, knowing it’s the right choice, and yet be fearful of the unknowns involved with change. That’s simply life, and fear is something that does generally need to be pushed through, as it can stop us from making decisions we truly should engage.

Let Trust And Faith Rule

So where does that leave me? It leaves me in a place of trust and faith. Trust that the information needed will unfold in the correct time, as it always has when I am patient enough to wait. Also, faith that if it’s something important and necessary in my life and I happen to “miss the boat” this time around, it will surface again when the time is right. There is no amount of rushing and forcefulness worth the stress it causes, nor the joy of life that is choked from our existence when the pressure and repercussions of snap decisions bear down.

Take Your Next Step When You Can Do So In Peace

For today, I am keenly aware change is brewing. I am not only willing, but ready to make the changes necessary to bring my life into alignment with my calling and purpose. However, I am not in any hurry to force those changes to take place. Today I am patient and contented, as I wait for the remaining pieces of necessary information that will bring the clarity and peace that are currently missing. I don’t have to know the whole path, I only need to know my next step. That next step should be taken in peace though, not in a hurried and questionable fashion.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

75. Our Own Inner Surrender

This has been an extremely difficult part of the journey for me. The truth is, living this level of intensity will devour any of us if we don’t surrender. I am what I am and nothing more, which is perfect imperfection and all that I need. The illusion that I need anything outside myself is what has held me, and so many others, prisoner. I am still learning surrender.

When we deal with, heal, and therefore quiet our inner wounds, we no longer “need” to soothe them with outside pursuits. When we fully surrender, we can then rightly love that which is outside, without “needing to” in order to pacify and appease our aching soul, as our soul is already at peace. This is perfectly surrendered, unconditional love, as we love by choice, not by need, and that love has no boundaries. It is only here the fires of passion and true intimacy can beautifully and fully consume us.

Until we do the inner soul work, we can never “fully” become our emotionally naked, authentic self, which is required for the vulnerability and depths of intimacy we were designed to experience. Our own inner surrender has to happen BEFORE we have the true ability to surrender anything external. We exhaust so much of our energy “trying to surrender” the external things, when the inside surrender has not yet been accomplished. This is one of the reasons the lessons keep coming around again and again. Focus on the internal first, then all else falls into place with grace and ease. Focus on the external first, the battles of the mind will ravage your heart, mind, and soul.

One of the greatest stories our ego often tells us is that the inner work is already done, that we have fully surrendered, and we are already completely emotionally naked and vulnerable. This is often not the case. If so, the fruits of that work will be visible. The mind will be quieted, the soul peaceful, the inner knowing, contentment, and confidence will shine from within as a bright beacon. One of the most difficult parts of our journey is being honest and fully objective with ourselves, as the conscious ego has an amazing way of convincing us we have completed the work that often has not yet even begun. Understandable, as its main role is that of protection from pain and discomfort, at any cost.

The mind alone cannot be trusted in the affairs of the soul. The consistency of the combination of our thoughts, actions, and reactivity (or lack thereof), always tell the tale with time. Do not be deceived by what the mind, in isolation, tries to convince us of. The fruits of internal surrender will be visible in all areas. It is only when we have learned the skill of internal surrender, that we can then surrender to the external things that are holding us captive and keeping us from experiencing life, love, and passion, as it was designed.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

74. Dealing With Those Who Turn Away From Help

I’ve been learning some valuable lessons over the past couple of years, but one that shows itself time and again is dealing with those who turn away from help! It’s especially hard when something is presented that can completely eliminate the problems an individual is experiencing, is offered freely – no strings attached, yet they choose to dismiss it. I frequently wonder why individuals are drawn into my life, asking questions they really don’t want answers to, but I recognize there’s always much more to it than what we see on the surface.

What often happens, as our frequency increases and we grow, is those who are struggling are drawn to the light within us. They are seeking ways to address their own issues and pain, and the light within is warm, welcoming, and offers hope. As we learn and grow more, our frequency continues to rise.

Any time our frequency makes significant expansion, it can create issues with the people around us. Those in our environment must either rise to match the new frequency, or they will sabotage to get away from it, as it’s far too uncomfortable and revealing for them. It’s like taking a very bright light into a darkened room. There may initially be a welcoming of the light in the “main” areas, but when their favorite “darkened corners” become lit up, there is massive discomfort, as many things prefer to remain hidden in the shadows. That discomfort can appear in many different forms such as anger, withdrawal, excuses, lying, and all kinds of sabotage.

The bottom line is this… we are called to walk in the love, light, and frequency we have, with the understanding we are to continue in our own growth. It’s our duty to share the light we have, yet how others choose to respond to that light has absolutely nothing to do with us and is not our responsibility. It’s about the lens they currently view life through. Until they do the work to raise their own frequency and address their own inner emotional issues and soul work, that lens of perception will not change, nor can we force that to happen.

Many will choose to turn away from the very assistance they need, as the discomfort and vulnerability factor is far more than can be tolerated at the frequency they reside within. Our role at that point is to honor their journey, even if it’s painful to us when a relationship becomes stressed or is ended. The not knowing about unresolved issues is something that’s unbelievably hard, especially when relationships are close, as we want what’s best, but we cannot walk anyone’s road for them, as much as we’d often like to.

What I’ve learned is that there’s also a second group, who thrive on complaining about their problems and victimhood, and to alleviate their issues would take away from that attention. Quite often they are not even aware they are engaging in this behavior, yet they have been conditioned to receive encouragement and support in response to their tragic woes. For some, this is the only way they have learned to obtain any semblance of love and care from others.

My lesson has been to let it go! We cannot help individuals who are not ready, do not yet want to be helped, and are unwilling to take the steps necessary to help themselves! No one makes forward progress in their journey until they’ve arrived at the place that they’re wanting to do so. We can’t ever do it for them. They may not know how to move forward and may not have the necessary skills as of yet, but the want and willingness have to be there first, before the skills can be taught.

I want a lot of things, but until I’m willing to do what’s necessary to get them, nothing changes. Therefore, want and willingness must both be present. It’s also important to point out that sometimes the deepest of struggles are a necessary component in our journey. It has been some of my most difficult challenges that have made me who I am today and developed the skills necessary to step into my calling. This is true for us all.

I’ve had to learn to love from afar. What I mean by that is perhaps periodically calling or sending encouraging notes, while yet not being physically present. We have to remember that our frequency is also greatly impacted by those we choose to surround ourselves with. If we continually surround ourselves with those choosing to not address their issues, that negativity can begin to diminish our own vibration. This can be rather devastating in terms of both our own difficulties and growth.

We never stop loving those we care for, but we may have to do so from a distance. We must recognizing there are certain experiences they have not yet had, that will contribute to and prepare them to make the necessary decisions to move forward in their growth and health. That distance may be temporary or permanent. The best use of our energy is to love and hold space for them, until the time comes that they can step into that new space for themselves.

We have to come to a place where we can step outside ourselves, remember this is not personal, and recognize their journey for what it is, even if we don’t fully understand or agree with it. The bitterness, anger, or frustration we feel towards others usually arises because they are not meeting the expectations we have set for them, and therefore it’s causing pain and discomfort in our lives. When we can remove our expectations from that equation and look at them outside and devoid of our personal attachments, simply through the eyes of love, we no longer feel frustrated, angry or bitter, but rather have compassion, as we see their struggle and hope to see it resolved so they may find peace and healing.

To be good stewards of our time and resources, we need to focus our energy on those who have chosen to make forward progress (physically, emotionally, and spiritually), and with that, we can also celebrate the positive changes that unfold in those lives! Be discerning in where your time and energy are spent. There are untold millions who really do need and want our help. Focus on those!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

73. Silence And The Softening Of My Rough Edges

This has been a rather humbling week, and necessarily so! It’s been my experience that when I’m made aware of corrections I need to implement in my life, I’m only given grace to continue in those behaviors for so long before there’s a reckoning. This was one of those weeks and two of my recurring lessons of late have been the softening of my rough edges and the awareness of my need for more silence.

My tears stream freely as it’s not an easy post to write. That’s generally the case when I’ve been given a clear glimpse of myself from the outside perspective. It’s rarely pretty, but quite necessary I’m finding, if I want to learn to truly set myself aside, so love has an opportunity to work through me.

I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with a close friend about the words we speak, the opinions we hold, and that more often than not, much more can be accomplished in our silence than in espousing our self-perceived wisdom. There are so many times I feel there are important things that must be fully articulated for the benefit of another. Though my heart is genuinely wanting to help others, much of that can come from a place of ego, which often hinders more than it assists. There’s a very fine line between something we are being led to say, and something we want or feel driven to say. That’s the lesson I’m learning now, and that discernment doesn’t come easy for a lover of words.

I’m learning that more often what is needed is a willing ear to listen, and my silence in response. Humility is a virtue and being a friend involves far more listening than speaking. My input or advice should not be given unless is specifically asked for, and even then, my words should be succinct. So often others pour out their souls because they are in pain and are seeking comfort. Listening, offering a hug, holding a hand, and letting others know we are there for them, are some of the greatest gifts we can offer. Unsolicited advice can shut down, further depress, and feel like judgment to those in the depths of their dark night of the soul. That is the last thing in the world I want to inflict upon another.

Each new lesson I learn is like a surgical knife, cutting away a few more of my rough edges, and prayerfully smoothing over very sharp perimeter that can unknowingly irritate, and in some cases, greatly wound others. I’m watching myself be shaped and molded into a better version of myself, and I’m thankful, both for my own benefit, and that of those I encounter.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby