Thursday, April 26, 2018

The beginning of the spiritual journey

Sheila said, "I've been hurt so many times in the past, I've come to expect it. I think there is something about me that people just don't like. I must look like a punching bag to them, because all I get is hit over and over again. I'm at a point where I have very few friends and I don't talk to my family anymore. I just stick to myself. It's safer that way."

Wow! What a wounded person. She has learned how to adapt to protect herself. She is very smart and has learned not to be hurt any more. However, the strategy adopted for protection is very isolating and constraining. It can become very suffocating. Rather than withdraw and isolate to protect herself, might it not be advantageous to learn how to stand up for herself and deflect the blows? My friend, Al, calls this strategy, "spiritual akido."

So, I said to Sheila, "While your withdrawal and isolation works for self protection, it also has some disadvantages of loneliness and the loss of the possibility of love. Might it not be better for you to come out of isolation and when people try to hurt you, you deflect their attack and side step it?"

Sheila looked puzzled and asked, "You mean there might be a better way?"

I said, "Certainly."

Sheila said simply, "Tell me more."

And was the beginning of Sheila's spiritual journey.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Is God smiling on you?

My fears make me jealous and paranoid.

My insecurities make me hypervigilant and I think I see things that aren't there.

Hell has come into my own head and heart and I spread my personal hell into my relationships with others.

I blame them for things they didn't do. I falsely accuse them of things which makes them angry and drives them away. I insist that they are doing things to me that they deny and that only makes me more jealous and paranoid and them angry and rejecting.

Where do these fears come from that fuel the jealousy and paranoia?

Yes, I have been hurt in the past. Yes, I have been wounded. Yes, I don't want to be hurt again. Yes, I live my life on high alert, seeing things that aren't there just to protect myself.

I know what is happening to me. I am becoming aware of the patterns. I realize increasingly what that thing is that always happens to me. There was a time when my fears were appropriate. My fears wanted me to be safe and no longer attacked and harmed. My fears back then were a friend trying to help me. Now, fears have taken over my life and instead of helping me and protecting me, they are destroying my relationships and making my life a living hell.

I have come to realize that my fears are no longer my friend. They have done their job and its time for them to move along. I have learned that deep down I am loved by a Divine energy that is beyond any human understanding. It is in this Divine energy that I will put my trust and accept that no matter what happens I am loved and will be okay.

This connection with the Divine energy within protects me and with this new found source of security, I find myself engaging with the world in an open hearted rather then a close hearted way.

I realize that while others have hurt me, God has smiled on  me.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Surrendering to a Higher Power is based on heart felt faith

In Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step Programs they say, "Let go and let God." "You do your best and God will do the rest." At times, these slogans get shortened to simply, "Let Go," and "Turn it over."

Sometimes implementing these slogans is called "Surrender." "Surrender" is not giving up or avoiding responsibility. Implementing these slogans is a way of asking for help recognizing that there are powers far greater than ourselves in the Universe.

As a child I was taught that I, and everyone else, has a guardian angel who is looking out for me. In addition, I was instructed to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. When I have done so, it has always helped as long as I let go of any expectations of particular outcomes. I simply have learned to "turn it over" by "asking for guidance," doing my best, and then surrendering to whatever happened after that. After all, what more can one do?

This way of living brings one great peace and joy. This way of living provides one with self confidence, self worth, and a realistic self esteem because one comes to understand who one is, a child of the Divine, who deserves to be here and is entitled to Love. This is a matter of faith. It is not belief. Belief is of the head, and faith is of the heart.

Turning things over to the Holy Spirit for guidance while one endeavors to do one's best brings happiness and peace beyond human understanding.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dealing with monkey mind

How do you deal with your monkey mind? The monkey mind is all the thoughts that come into and out of your mind all day long.

Some of monkey mind's thoughts are exciting and enjoyable and some are worrisome and distressing. They are all the same, really, and come from the same monkey churning them out like hurdy gurdy man.

Have you noticed that if you indulge monkey mind by dwelling on any particular thought it strengthens? Have you noticed if you just objectively and disinterestedly watch it, it passes by and moves on?

Monkey mind wants to distract you from your inner peace. Monkey mind, liked a spoiled child, or dog, just wants your attention so it can enhance its own ego.

How is your time better spent, attending to monkey mind, are relaxing into inner peace?

It takes some effort to ignore monkey mind and to just move past it on your inward journey.

The best way of dealing with monkey mind is just to watch it but like the sign says at the zoo, "Do not feed the animals."

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Would you rather be right or be happy?

We often think we know what things mean don't we? And if we are honest with ourselves, we also have to admit that we often are wrong. When we compare our meanings with the meanings of other people we often are startled and often upset that we don't agree. We attack the other for being wrong and insist that they agree with our version of rightness.

I told her the glass was half full and she told me it was half empty. She got very indignant and called me stupid and I called her a bitch. She said I was not the person she fell in love with and I started to laugh and said, "Who was he?"

This only made her madder and she started to cry. This made me feel bad, but I was still hurt and angry. Then it dawned on me that we don't know what things mean. I thought of the saying from A Course In Miracles which says, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

I want to be happy, and happiness is achieved by forgiveness for our own and other people's stupidity.

I said to her, "Honey, I'm sorry."

Instead of crying she started whimpering and then stopped.

A peace started to descend between us.

I decided right then and there that I no longer needed to be right. I realized that being right is the path of the ego which takes one to hell. I realized there is a better way and that's the walk with Love on the path of the spirit. I remembered the line from a famous movie several years ago, "Love is never having to say you're sorry." That's because true Love is unconditional. There are no conditions. True Love is freely given. It does not have to be earned, deserved, warranted. Unconditional Love is given just because it wants to be given.

When we live with unconditional Love there is no longer any meaning because being right about meaning is meaningless.

Friday, April 20, 2018

We don't know shit.

Do you think you know what things mean?

Is the glass half full or half empty? It the lamp high or low? Is $20.00 too much or too little? Is she pretty or ugly, thin or fat, tall or short, nice or mean, helpful or uncooperative?

Will today be a good day or a bad day. Will people like me or not? Will I be kind or dismissive?

Let's face it. We don't know what things mean. It's all relative. It depends on our mood. It depends on what happened previously. It depends on what we have been told and people are saying.

We get in a rut. We experience the same old thing. We don't think that things will ever change.

As my brother used to say, "There is no such thing as gravity. The whole world sucks." And indeed, for him, it did.

And so, we make up our reality. What we see is what we get or better yet, what we think we will see is what we will get.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Be careful what you fear for fearing something will bring it closer to you.

Don't be afraid but love and let go. Do your best and God, Life, The Universe will do the rest.

It must be admitted, when examined closely, that we don't know shit.

Adopt a position of "not knowing" and live your life with curiosity. Life is a search for the Divine. Greater powers than ours generate the universe of which we know very little if anything. Life is a mystery.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jesus' life hacks

Jesus asked His apostles, "Who do you say that I am?"

After two millennia people are still asking that question of one another.

What do you say? Who is Jesus to you?

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "The name Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world." MT-23:4:1-2

That's works for me although I would capitalize love, as Love because Jesus tells us "The Father and I are One."

The same thing is true for each one of us, the Father and We are One, except that most of us aren't aware of it and so don't experience it on a consistent basis.

It is written in the introduction to A Course In Miracles, "The course does not aim at the teaching of the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."

A life time, well spent, is consciously working to remove the blocks to the awareness of Love's presence. Jesus came along two thousand years ago and gave us some tips, what now days are called, life hacks.

Jesus told us that the way to the kingdom is "to love as I have loved."

Okay, I get it. Jesus is a coach, a consultant, a teacher, a mentor. I have learned a lot from Him and continue to every day. If you want the Cliff Notes version of Jesus' life hacks read the Sermon on the Mount for starters.