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The Fear of Being Duped - by Dr. Margaret Paul
By Sri Satyabrata Paul
Is being duped something you avoid at all costs, or are you willing to be duped in order to keep your heart open?
No one likes being duped. It feels awful to realize that someone has pulled the wool over our eyes – that we were so naïve we didn't see that we were being duped, lied to or taken advantage of.
However, since this painful experience happens to most of us at one time or another, we each have a choice – will we make protecting ourselves from being duped our highest priority, or will we make being open and loving more important than whether or not we get duped?
I have found in my work with clients that the fear of being duped or taken advantage of is often in the way of being loving to themselves and others. They are so afraid of being taken advantage of that they close their heart, keeping their walls up to protect themselves from the possibility of being duped.
There is a paradox here. I find that I'm much more attuned to whether someone is open and honest, or conniving and lying, when my own heart is open to my feelings and to my spiritual Guidance. When someone is being dishonest, narcissistic, or a user, it is far easier for me to detect it when my heart is fully open, than when I have walls up.
My clients who believe that their walls protect them are kidding themselves. Which means that they get duped far more often than I do! It's this fear that often keeps people from opening to learning with their Higher Power. "What if nothing is there? What if I'm making it all up? What if it's just a fantasy that people rely on as a crutch because they can't face reality?"
I often wonder, when people say things like this, why they believe that what they make up in their minds – the story they are telling themselves that is causing this fear and mistrust - has more validity than does a spiritual Source of love and truth. And how are they going to know whether or not there really is something there unless they open to learning, follow what they are hearing, and see what happens?
The only way I discovered that my spiritual Guidance is really there was to take the risk of opening to learning - doing what my I thought my Guidance was telling me was in my highest good - and then seeing what happened. I tested and tested until finally I felt 100% certain that 'something' was really there. But in order to take this risk, I had to be willing to be duped, to be wrong.
So here is the issue. What are you telling yourself that makes it so awful to be duped? Are you telling yourself that if you get duped you are stupid to have let it happen? You can keep your heart open to others and to Spirit only if you make it okay to be duped, to be lied to, to be taken advantage of.
For me, it's more important to be open and loving than to be concerned with whether or not I get duped. I just don't see it as such a big deal. Instead, I see it as the other person's issue. If someone manages to dupe me or take advantage of me, in my view it's their karma. They are the ones who have to live with themselves. They are the ones who are in bad faith with their own soul. If I close my heart, to avoid being duped or taken advantage of, then I will be in bad faith with my soul, since the soul in all of us is here to love, and to share our love. I would far rather be on my soul's journey than spend my time protecting myself against others who are out of alignment with their soul's journey.