WORRYING

It is not as though constantly hitting the ground in our minds means that when it actually happens it doesn’t hurt.It only hurts again

When we worry we focus our attention on experiencing the worst that can happen over and over again. All of this rehearsal time spent experiencing the bad things does not in any way diminish the effect that these things have on us when and if they finally happen.

The most outstanding thing about this is that as often as not the bad things, the things we spend all of our time worrying about just never happen.I have a friend who every time he meets someone new, and sets up a date with that person, he starts playing the whole thing out.He builds each small piece of information that he may have about the person into a long story and compares it with his story and puts the two together and either it takes the entire relationship to the point where one of them has to end it.This is done before he even spends 10 minutes with the other person.Sometimes the date is canceled.Sometimes everything goes great, but never, does his scenario play out.If the date is a week away from the time that they meet, this is a week that my friend goes through the most torturous hell imaginable.

The fact that he suffered for a week is the best case scenario.The worst case scenario is that he leads the relationship through all of his preconceived disasters.When we worry, we accomplish nothing.Worrying does not have any effect what so ever upon the outcome of a situation, nor does it effect our ability to handle the outcome.It is not as though we having hit the ground so many times in our minds that when we finally do it won’t hurt.It only hurts again.

Once the ball leaves our hands anything can happen.Careful aim can narrow the margin of error, but the fact remains that anything can happen.When we feel ourselves entering into a state of worry, we must ask ourselves what we can do to make a difference or help guarantee the outcome that we want. If there is something that we can do, we should do it.If there is nothing that we can do, let it go and move on.What will be will be.And what will be is what is meant to be.Our part is throwing the ball and Gods part is hitting the right mark.Every time that we set a goal it is not necessarily to reach an end, it is to reach the next point in our journey.Even if we get to the exact point that we planned, there is no guarantee that it will be in any way where we want to stay.

The fact is that everything always works out for everyone in the end, if it didn’t we wouldn’t be able to move on. Sometimes everything falls apart at the same time, what a wonderful thing to be able to work them all out at the same time and get it over with.It is time to start eliminating from our lives some of the things that we do to ourselves.There are seasons in our lives there is a time to build and a time to break down.

Things are moving so fast that we really need to remove all of the distractions that we possibly can.It is time to be in a permanent state of awareness.It is as though God is throwing the ball to us and saying, “Heads up” twenty-four hours a day.We are sent enough curve balls from life not to have to imagine them.This is an important time in our history.Let’s live it as it is and really try to be where we are.There is really no time to worry.And if we do not worry, we won’t have anything to worry about.

Let us stop doing things to ourselves and start doing things for ourselves.Let us begin to live our lives as they are not as they could or should be.For every moment that we spend thinking about how something should be, we just missed living it as it is.If we do not worry, we do not have room for fear to grow.If we do not fear we do not have food for worry.

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Getting What We Really Want

We usually do not ask the Universe for what we really want.We ask for what we think it looks like, so when we get what we ask for, we are disappointed.

We usually do not ask the Universe for what we really want.We ask for what we think it looks like, so when we get what we ask for, we are disappointed.” Once we have made a commitment we have focused our energies that focus creates a clear direction for the Universeto interpret and help guide us towards.Focus brings clarity.Once our desiresare focused we are clear.Once we are clear our goal is understood and immediately the Universe begins to work. Having this focus means trusting that the Universe will guide our steps, even if it is not where we think it should be. It may not even be where we want it to be.The external world dominates our thinking and we make our plans based upon its rules.The Universe does not act in terms of physical categories, or forms, it acts in terms of the need to be filled on a soul level.

A position may appear before me, or someone may speak to me regarding a particular career and I will decide that it is what I want.This position or career stimulates within me a feeling of satisfaction, or accomplishment.That feeling is why I want that position, and so it is the feeling and not the position that the Universewill bring to me. The position is only the form that I assume will provide the feeling.It is the boxthat I assume contains what it is that I really want. This understanding is critical.

The Universemay not bring me that particular position because in actuality that position was not going to give me what I was really looking for.It is that underlying need, that underlying feeling that Universe will bring me.So when we focus, it must not be merely on the outer appearanceof what we desire, but primarily on the feeling we anticipate that it will fill us with.

The ego is a bag with a hole in the bottom.What is fed through the ego empties into the soul.The problem is that food for the ego is waste for the soul.The ego cannot be satiated, that happens in the soul.Do we want to feel secure, or is it the sense of achievement that we desire? What does our soul receivefrom whatever it is that we are going after?When we see ourselves with whatever it is that we seek, how does it feel?We may seek the physical form of something but it is really the essence that we perceive is contained within that form that we are after.When we are attracted to the physical form what is being drawn to that form is the ego.The ego sees the thing, the person, or the position as a way to satisfy a craving.Yet, when we attain what the ego is attracted to, we are still empty within.When we override the ego and connect with the feeling of it, we are closer to the truth.Truth is what the Universe will at all times bring to our lives.

I may think that I want John, but in fact I want what I imagine being with John will feel like.It may very well be that what I think I will feel with John is not in any way what I would actually feel from him.He may not be who I think he is.I am.However if I focus on what it is that I want to feel, and open myself to any possible way that it may be brought to me, I am in a much better position to have my real needs met.When I am clear on what qualities I am seeking in a mate, even if I am hoping it is John, it will be those qualities that the Universewill provide.If I do not get John that does not mean that I will not get what I am seeking, it only means that what I am seeking is not John.

The Universe is constantly answering our prayers.It is we, who are not really in touch with what we are actually praying for.We may have an idea of the form that we imagine it will come in, but we need to leave the knowledge of the actual form up to the Universe.We need to trust that we will get what we really want.When we obtain what the egoseeks, we temporarily scratch an itch.When we obtain what the soul is seeking, we remove the cause of the itch.If we let go and have faith, we will get the enduringquality that our soul is seeking.

This is a lesson that may take us forever to learn.Very often the Universewill give us exactly what we ask for, and often when that happens we are disappointed because it is never what we thought it would be.The egosees a box, wants the box and gets the box.The soul opens the box to get what is inside and beholds that it is empty.The ego does not look inside.It does not even comprehend the meaning of inside.To satisfy the ego at the expense of the soul is to put a piece of tape on a hole in the dam.It will not hold.The satisfaction of the soul fills the hole with the same materialthat the dam itself is made of.Therefore, there is permanent repair.

What we do not realize is that the Universemay have presented us with exactly what we really wanted many times over, but we didn’t know it because we didn’t like the box.Each time that it appeared before us, we simply passed it by without noticing. Our egowas in the way.The Universe gives us what our ego asks for so that at some point we will begin to realize that the problem is not what we keep getting, but what we keep asking for.

We may be so entrenched in what we expect to see that we miss what is before us.Finally we learn that perhaps we need to look deeper to findwhat we really want and rephrase the request.It is valuable to go inside and dig beneath all of the layers of what we want to find out what we need from it.We need to find the feeling we are seeking.What is the experience meant to satisfy on the deepest level?Once we know what we need to feel, we will be able to focus clearly upon what it is that we want.When we can focus, we will find that we do get exactly what we want. There are as many ways to express love as there are people to express it.

There are certain things that are very difficult to recognize as adults if they were absent in childhood.If we were not given the love that we needed as children by either or both of our parents, we find it almost impossible to recognize love as adults.Love is an invisible energy that is transmitted through even the most trivial action.If you were not loved, you do not understand this.And so, you look to the world outside for almost Shakespearean expressions of love.Loving and grand shows of affection are two different things.A person who was taught to say, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, who was trained as a child to always call home, to always ask about someone’s health and well being is a person who was taught to be polite.My daughter is extremely dramatic.When she was young, she would exhibit dramatic shows of affection.It didn’t even mean that she cared, it just means that she is a drama queen.A person can be impolite, inconsiderate and unemotional and still love deeply.I have known many extremely well mannered people who went through all of the ‘shoulds’ but really didn’t care about anyone.I have known too many people who have gone through life feeling unloved, all the while turning away those who love them because they did not recognize the form that it came in.

These people, desperately seeking love, were attracted to individuals who were natural at presenting a façade of loving or even caring when in fact their actions and words were empty, or self-serving.And it is easy to fall into this because if you don’t know what it feels like – you go after what it looks like.Unfortunately love looks like air, so since we can’t see it, we search for what we normally find containing it, a balloon, so when we think that we have love, often times all we have is a balloon.One of the greatest gifts that I have received is this particular understanding.I have learned that the value of a gift lies in its value to the giver, not to the receiver or to the general public.I know that some people love me because they give me the hardest thing for them to give and that is trust.I know that other people love me because they won’t go away no matter what I do.My father never did one thing that would fit on the list of expressions of love – but I knew that he loved me when he stopped at the Howard Johnsons to have pancakes with me when I went to work with him.

Sometimes getting what we really want requires taking the time to go inside and find out what it is that we want from it.If we do this, we will find that what we want from it may be in it, or it may not be in it at all. Knowing what we need to receive from what we want to achieve will give us a far greater chance at satisfaction.It removes the appetite from being the decision maker so that we may be really nourished. If we can attract to us that which we believe we want, we will cut out a great deal of disappointment and suffering if we are not focused on what we believe that we want but we believe that we want is what we also know that we need.When we know that what we want is a box and what we need is not the box but its content, then we can accept that only God knows which boxis right for us.


 

BECOMING COMFORTABLE WITH CHANGE

Change has neither thought nor action, because it is in the state of absolute quiet and inactivity, and when acted on, it immediately penetrates all things. If it were not the most spirit-like thing in the world, how can it take part in this universal transformation? (Confucianism. I Ching, Great Commentary 1.10.4)
To be prepared for life is to be comfortable with change. It isn’t change itself that makes us uncomfortable. We are not afraid when we decide to change our homes, or change our minds. The change that we are afraid of is the change that comes from outside of us. It is not change that we fear it is the loss control over our lives.

This is what change means to us. We have come to believe that things should happen a certain way, that life should be lived a certain way. Children need consistency. Everyone needs consistency. Consistency stands for dependability. Yet the consistency that is needed is not material it is spiritual. it is truth.
Children need truth, as we all do. Sometimes the truth hurts our feelings, sometimes it makes us feel uncomfortable, but in the end it gives us something to trust. Regardless of how it feels, the truth is sturdy and strong, solid beneath our feet. It gives us a place where we can go back to, a place that we can count on in the midst of this changing world.

For so long we have lived our lives based on appearances. We have smiled though our hearts were breaking. Living our lives in houses that we could not afford to maintain appearances. Our Society has become so dependent upon these illusions that when they fail to keep their forms we become afraid. I was speaking to my stockbroker the other day and I mentioned the recent market crash. He corrected me and said that it was an adjustment. That is really true. Life is in a state of adjustment now. Things around us are not crazy they are real. The illusions that we have been so dependent upon cannot be maintained. In order to have consistency in our lives we must accept consistent change.

Life will never be as it was because it was not real. We lived our lives based not upon what was truth but upon what worked. If it worked, it was truth. If enough people believed it then it worked and if it worked it was truth. Now all of our beliefs have been questioned because nothing seems to work. Nothing working simply means that nothing is staying the same. As much as we realize that we never step into the same river twice, we still believe that there are things that can be guaranteed.

As children we all held a picture of what our lives would be like when we grew up. Reaching our teens and early twenties we either solidified this picture or developed a new one more in line with the world around us. This picture, whatever it was represented fulfillment for us. This was real. For most of us, this picture of happiness was refined as we grew older, not to a more perfect image of our own wants and needs but a more perfect image of the ideals according to our family or society. Television contributed to our picture of what reality was supposed to be.

All of those unwritten rulebooks that served the generations that lived before were burned in the sixties. The reality that existed before was torn to shreds during the sixties. The roles of men and women, the roles of government, and any form of authority were to be forever changed by the sixties generation. The rules were permanently and irrevocably destroyed. From that time on the mass consciousness could never trust those rules again. What we had accepted as real did not exist anymore. The problem for all of us living today is that the rules were never rewritten. We have since been lost, and brought into this world children who are also lost. All of us have nothing to draw from that we can trust. No consistent reality. We have lived in a world where we have nothing that we can trust. There are no rules that are proven to be trustworthy.

For us, the reality that was in place for generations is now only a fairy tale. We know what once was happiness, in terms of what we should want for our lives, but we don’t know how to get it, and if we do, we don’t know how to trust it anyway. Few of us really know what we want because the world has become hazy, foggy.

Now we must become comfortable with ourselves. The Universal agreements that were holding our facts in place are no longer working. We must find the truth within ourselves and see that it is only within that truth that we are safe. When we are flowing with life it is not moving past us. When we embrace change as growth it does not rock our worlds. Change is not sudden it is constant.

When something seems to happen suddenly it is because we have resisted its coming for so long that the pressure has built up and finally broken through. We are constantly in a state of change from moment to moment and that is evolution. Nothing stays the same that is real. However dealing with change on a personal level and on a societal level is a process. The first step in the process is to see the truth to see that things the way that they are do not work any longer. Once we see the truth we become shaken. After we are shaken, we begin to do everything in our power to recreate the lie, to hold on to the way that it was or the way that we want it to be.

The problem is that once we really know the truth we cannot maintain the lie. When the illusion falls apart for the last time we accept it. This acceptance brings peace. This peace brings power. It is the truth that does not change and the one that we must seek, that truth is our faith in God, and the workings of His Universe.

Anything that does not change does not continue. We must stop thinking of change as different than growth. There is no difference; change is only another word for growth. Embrace change, because it means that we are living. Life flows like water. What is not real will not survive. We can’t be hard on ourselves. We do not find the changes in our lives comfortable because we do not accept that change is a process, and that acceptance is also a process and the time that it takes is very individual. It never takes too long or happens too fast, it happens the way it should for each individual.

When we have a strong center, and a strong core we are not affected by change. When we have faith in God and in the Universe we have freedom and security in the material world. Change becomes flow, because we see and acknowledge and even honor its purpose. Although we live on this planet and within our own lives we are always also living above. Change becomes merely the train that we ride on in order for us to reach our ultimate destination.

Leaving The Past Behind

Clogged with yesterday’s excess, the body drags the mind down with it.—

Horace, BC 65-8, Italian Poet

I have been drawn to the saying, “Today is the beginning of the rest of my life”, but that still implies an attachment to the last part of my life, which does not allow me to let it go. What today is—is the beginning of my life. At the moment we are born, we enter into a situation that is ongoing. We enter a family, an environment, which is an accumulation of the beliefs and experiences of our parents. Whatever our parents believe, whatever they have to work with, whatever mistakes they feel they have or have not made is the setting for our entrance into this world. That is the form or the foundation on which we build picture of the world and our place in it. We are not responsible for anything that has occurred prior to our birth. It is not a reflection of who we are, or even necessarily who we once were, it contains the tools that we will take with us and the base that we will forever move from.

We are to take what we need from that environment, and to learn that it belongs to and was created by our parents. We incarnate to move forward, and to do this, we must face forward. In whatever way our parent’s beliefs or actions affected us, we only carry with us the necessary tools for our journey forward. It is our launching pad into life. Why it is that way is not initially important. This is where we begin our journey as souls in this human experience, but it is where our parent’s journey has brought them to that point. How our ego has formed during our past lives to this point, and what gains our souls hope to make through this experience determine our reaction to this environment. Throughout our lives we will constantly hold this time as the baseline from which we judge everything else, including ourselves. It is the country into which we are born. It establishes the world view through which we develop the means to satisfy our needs, in order to survive. It a world view, but for the rest of our lives, we will journey to the understanding that it is not our world view, and not the best or the only true world view. It is in the first home that we learn to maneuver, learn what and where the things are that we need and need to avoid, it prepares of for our entrance into the greater world. Based upon the needs of our souls and the condition of our egos, we decide whether or not we will react to life in the way that our parents did. They are teachers for us. Whatever experiences we had as children were a part of our learning and not a part of our being.

We will encounter many things in our first home. Most of our experiences here are designed to help awaken the wounds that we entered this life to heal, and to develop the resources necessary to function creatively in this incarnation. Age does not automatically imply wisdom, it implies experience. One soul can gain as much wisdom in the first seven years of life that another takes eighty years to gain. Our bodies are born from the genetic material of our parents, our souls are not. Wisdom is within the soul, not the body. We are not here to be carbon copies of our parents; we are here to examine who they are and take what is relevant and leave behind what is not. Our parent’s reality is an important experience. It is the foundation for our major in this life. But like a school, or a certain curriculum it was there before we decided to major in a subject for which it was a prerequisite. It was not designed for us or by us. It was a home designed and built out of the materials of our parent’s experiences and beliefs. It was created before our arrival into the material world and has no place in our identity.

Our childhood experiences are for information only, not to weigh us down. It may be an extension of their identity but it is not ours. When we are babies, the things in the house around us give us an immediate impression of the world. That impression is that it is far greater than we are and that we are powerless before it. All of the things that service the grown-ups just tower over us. We have high chairs, kiddy tables, playpens, walker, carriages, toys, etc. As we age, we grow. Along the way our view of the world around us changes, we get larger and our kiddy furniture gets smaller, our toys lose their appeal. While at the same time we begin to reach the big people’s table and chairs. Our view of the physical world around us changes as we grow equal to, and then greater than the things in the world.

As we journey away from that original home, we must be willing to see what no longer fits us and let it go. We must be willing to see what will never fit us, and let go of trying to force ourselves to fit into it. Being unwilling to let go here, is like being unwilling to let go of sitting in the highchair, or sleeping in the crib. It becomes uncomfortable and even painful to continue to reference the past while in the present. We learned how to move around that home, how to maneuver the squeaky floors, get around the furniture, find the food, etc. But when we go out into the world believing that it is the same as the one that we left, we find that everything is in a different place, and when we try to deal with it in the same way as we dealt with our childhood home, it doesn’t work. So, when we decide that we will not approach life the way that our parents did, it makes no difference if we still believe that life is as they taught us. Our lives will not work. And if we decide to approach life exactly as our parents did, that too does not work because the life that they designed, only exists in their space. We find that we are facing a strange new world and their approach today may not get the same results. When we live in our parents worldview, we live in a house where everything is as they placed it. When we leave and go out to build our own lives, we enter a house where nothing is where our parents put it, and nothing works like it did in their design. The world for us is new. We must design it ourselves. Only by letting go of what worked then and there, can we ever hope to find what works here and now. And most importantly, what works for us.

A child born into poverty will emotionally identify with that condition, will see himself as poor, and his life and choices as limited to those of his parents. If his parents saw drugs or crime as the only outlets, these will be imprinted on the child as well. A child born to parents of privilege will expect the world to offer the same service to them as they experienced while in their parent’s reality. When this child takes this worldview out into his own world, he could be crushed by the refusal of the world to comply with his expectations. Each child, for reasons of the soul growth, will be born into that chapter of their parent’s lives as the point from which to grow.
How our parents reached the point in their lives in which we incarnated is their history. We study history to better create our future. We cannot identify with our parent’s history because it is not ours. The only part that is ours is that it is where we came from. It in no way describes who we are or where we are going to. I recently saw a woman on television that had been used as a child in the twin studies of Auschwitz. She said that she no longer lives in hatred of the Nazi’s because to do so forces her to also remain a victim of the Nazi’s. She refuses to remain a victim because she said that victims have no hope, no future, no freedom, and no life. She chooses to master her life. When we hold on to experiences of the past, we remain victims of that past, we live facing backwards, with no future and no control. It does not matter what it is that we need to let go of, or move beyond if we do not free ourselves from it – it becomes a broken record that plays the same song over and over and over again throughout our entire lives. If it was a time when we were happy, the reason we can no longer be happy is because that party has ended, but we haven’t left. Until we leave, until we let go, we can never find another time that is happy. If it is a situation that caused us pain, we will remain in that pain so long as we continue to refer back to that painful experience. We close off our options because we refuse to leave the pain behind.

Where we are now may either be looked at as the result of our past actions, or the starting point of our future. Whether or not we are where we planned to be, our ego becomes attached to either being the creator of that situation or the victim of it. We have the power within us to heal ourselves. We do not have the power to heal our experience. Our lives are not in need of healing, or of growing, they are stations along the train’s route. We go in, we get what we need and we come out. We do not become the station because we stopped there. If the station has heartbreakers in it, our hearts will be broken, not because we deserve it, and not because we don’t, but because this is the route that our soul’s planned out for their growth and this stop on the path happens to have heartbreakers in it. The only reason that the soul incarnates here is to learn what it feels like to be…, what it feels like to have____, what it feels like to give _____, what it feels like to take _____, and what it feels like to lose_____. Each stop on our journey teaches one of those things. From each of those experiences, we are meant to find a way to love better, to have more compassion, to embrace more, and to give more____. As we return to the train, we should leave everything behind except the lessons we learn.
We are not our experiences. They do not define us. We are not the baby who could not reach the chair. We are the baby who grew into the child who reached the chair and the adult who stood above the chair.

It is much easier to let go of the past if we do not identify with it. Our lives consist of stations on a route designed by God and the soul. We always return to the train when it is time to leave the station. Sometimes we don’t want to return to the train, and at those times, we are returned by circumstance. It is not a mistake, it is not because there is something wrong with us, it is because the train keeps its schedule and so do we until we reach the final stop and find that we are Home. What we learn from each stop along the way determines the next stop. If we leave too much of ourselves behind, or identify ourselves with the station we are in, we will find that the train may move, but we don’t go anywhere – we don’t go forward and we can’t go back. We move to a better station when we let go of the old, and take with us only the ticket, which comes in the form of what we have learned. When a baby closes his eyes at night, a life has ended for him. When he awakens in the morning, although his surroundings may remain familiar for him, life has begun anew. Yesterday, when he stood, he fell. Today, when he stood, he walked. Tomorrow, when he stands, he will run. The only connections between each of those days are the ability, the lesson, and the new starting point.

My younger daughter had a difficult time with accepting authority in pre-kindergarten. She told her teachers off, even attacking the assistant teacher when she threatened to call her father. Each day, when we picked her up from school, she was scolded and told to remain in her room while her brother was allowed to play outside. Finally, on the last day of the week, when I told her to be good and listen to her teachers, she said. “Forget that bad girl mommy, she’s gone!” Her history was that girl, who had tantrums; she soon learned that they were not worth the price. She did not attach emotionally to what that girl did, only what this girl learned from it. She knew instinctively that she could be whoever she wanted to be on this new day in this new life. She never felt that she had to incorporate the emotional baggage into her being, justify it, or even give it a second thought, that was then and this was now.

Sometimes, when I see where I am today and where I could have been had I turned left instead of right; I begin to beat myself up. Then I think, “If only I could go back to that moment and do it differently”, and I realize that to go back means to be who I was and know only what I knew at the time. I would never do it differently so long as I was who I was then and believed what I then believed. There would always be a left or a right turn to make without foreknowledge of how it would turn out. It is easy to make the correct turn when we have a map. And I believe that if God meant us to know where to go, He would have given us a map. I also believe, that just as a parent child-proofs a home so that a child will not venture into any areas where it is not meant to go, the universe limits the directions that we may go and choices that we may make so that each turn, whichever it is that we take, will give us the chance to learn the lesson and receive the gift that is ours. And so I accept that I am richer for the life that I have led, and I expect that life will give me as many opportunities to use what I have learned as it gave me to learn them. Learning how to stand was hard, but I learned and I took that learning with me when I had to learn to walk. Now I believe that I am, finally, ready to run.

Life is always moving forward, and, as a part of life, we too have the opportunity to move with it. In front of us, naturally, is empty track. That means that before us lie unlimited possibilities. Behind us is the past, it is devoid of life, devoid of nourishment – whatever we carry with us is rotting away. Whether it was good or it was bad it is rotten and will contaminate whatever it comes in contact with. If we remained in the victory of standing up for the first time, we would not move to the victory of walking. If we remained in the pain of the first time that we fell, we would never have experienced the victory of taking the first step.
We need to always have our hands free, our hearts and minds open in anticipation of what awaits us, and our eyes alert for the lessons and the gifts that are here for us. Life begins anew each day, as do we. We are not defined by our past, anymore than we are defined by the stations along the journey. We cannot be defined until we reach the end of the journey, until that time we are in the process of defining ourselves. We are always becoming. We are not becoming what the past has made us, or given us but we are becoming what we ourselves have set out to become. It doesn’t matter what we begin with, we can turn empty pockets into full ones, and copper into gold. We can make whatever we have into whatever we want, and whoever we were into whoever we want to be, so long as we let go. The past is behind us and it will always prevent us from seeing where we could go. It will always prevent us from being who we could be. When we hold on, we are full of what we are holding on to even though it has no more nourishment for us. Whatever we hold on to uses up the space that we need for happiness. We are not alone because no one will love us; we are alone because we are so filled with past pain that we have left no room for love. Just let go of the past and you will find that along with the past, you have released all that ever limited you.