The way we were:
It started out innocently enough. A voice inside said, ‘This world and the people in it are dangerous. Let me show you the way not to get hurt.’ It called itself ‘you,’ and you believed.
Immediately, a dark spirit entered and layered the voice with malevolent suggestions, hoping you’d take ownership of them. The spirit hoped for your death, physical or mental, so as to try to take a stab at the heart of God.
The real you was buried at the bottom of a dark well of furiously swirling thoughts, designed to get you to sleep through life. That’s not what God wants for you:
…if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. Jn. 8:36 NKJV
God sent His Son to die, to deliver your spirit. It’s time to claim that deliverance. That freedom is readily yours – even in the pitfalls of the worldly experience that tries to make you its own.
We begin by looking at the prison we constructed to barricade the person that we thought we were. We can compassionately acknowledge ourselves for the powerful creativity we possess that constructed this intricate (if warped) survival mechanism. Then we seek to understand what the payoff has been: a life lived in a safe (?) cocoon of melancholy, where we believe we’ll know everything that’s going to happen next. Also realize the cost: a life without love.
This is the foundation of human suffering. Only when we acknowledge our suffering can we be ready to receive God’s deliverance from it.
Stepping into change:
There comes a time in your life (if you want to have a life) when you have to stop intellectualizing about your problems, get off of your butt and apply the solutions to them. Why?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV
It has always been a head game that you’ve been playing against yourself. Thus, you need to change the rules of that game. If you want change, you must do change. No more status quo between your ears. You must become a perpetual seeker of truth and align your thoughts and actions with it. You’ve lost some precious time, but your true heart still lives inside you; you only have to let it out.
Make a contract with yourself that you will adhere to assiduously. I found what I thought was an exceptional construct in a book titled The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. They are:
1. Be impeccable with your word
If you are, you’re always speaking the truth, speaking from your heart. Life only works when you live by the truth; and the truth can only be comprehended if you’re conscious.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Most of the time, what you hear coming out of the mouths of unconscious people are the ramblings of that voice in their head. Being that it’s mostly lies, taking them personally makes no sense.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Assumptions are never based upon truth. They are guesses at best, and so they have at least a 50% chance at being false.
4. Always do your best
When you do your best, you create a space for truth. So what if that voice in your head complains? * When you do your personal best that’s all God asks of you. The outcome is whatever it is, and it is certainly no place for judgment.
*(It’s going to scream bloody murder in the beginning because change heralds the demise of its control over you.)
What is this change? It’s really about going home – back to the center of yourself where God resides, as does your authentic self. Give thanks to God for returning your awareness of your salvation so you can begin life anew in a sea of possibility.
Pray, which can only be done in the present. Ask for healing love, faith, and the revelation of your part to play in God’s plan. It will always be a way in which He can use you to express His love.
Open yourself up to receive God’s mercy. When you’re in a state of grace, the voice has no opening for attack. Love yourself like God loves you – unconditionally. Claim that perfect image of God that you are, and draw upon His limitless strength.
As you continue working God’s plan, your detours in life will be minuscule; and as God continues to unfold your shining spirit, the closer you will resemble His Son. See every event in life as an opportunity to get to know God better.
Acknowledge yourself for trying to survive life the best way you knew how with the tools you had at that time. Then shift your focus to what God wants, and how you can make that happen using your new contract with yourself – staying awake and living consciously. Let go of any beliefs and / or strategies that get in the way. As you let go of your dark trappings, your essence peeks through: luminescent and already on the job.
Live your life with no expectations except that of receiving the next surprise in the present moment. Flow with the flux of life. Every time that something you thought was essential to your security is removed from your life, know that it is a blessing from God – a reminder that your peace of mind is found in Him.
Embrace this ‘enlightenment’ that is not a mental epiphany, but is a celebration for being unshackled from an unworkable life – a commemoration for reconnecting to your heart. Take comfort and joy in the metamorphosis of your new life with the real you. Allow the memories of the dark places to remind you of the vital importance of staying on your journey through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acknowledge and reward yourself daily for your progress. Journal your victories. Focus on the things you like about yourself as you become reacquainted with your authenticity. Set exciting goals that align with who you know yourself to be. Speak them; write them down – cradling them in present time and in a positive light, as you picture yourself within them. What do you want to be, do and have? By when? Create goals that are associated with what makes you the happiest, brings you the most growth and adds to the greater good of everyone around you. Ask God for help.
Project yourself outwards. God lives within you. You are love. When you share that, you reinforce your love. Commit to acts of love, compassion and kindness that recognize the sanctity of life, demonstrate justice and righteousness and nurtures loving communication.
Consort with others who walk your path to remind you of your quest, help you stay committed, to rekindle your hope and to hold you to your authenticity. Find a mentor in that circle that has accomplished themselves further along on the path – someone trustworthy to reflect your mind back to you to help you root out any unconsciousness, to get you in touch with the answers already inside you and to mercilessly spur you on, so that you don’t stop along the way to congratulate yourself for finally ‘knowing everything.’
Enlightenment is a life-long process for getting closer to God and to better reflect His love. In addition, when you open your heart wide enough, everyone will have something to teach you.
The sooner you return to your authentic self, the faster your life will commence. The cost of not sitting with reality is great. Your battle is not with the world. The world is neutral. It only reflects back to you what is going on in your head. Happy head = happy world. The world can offer you nothing that you don’t already have inside of you.
Have an immense respect for time! The world was made for you – perfect for your time in it. However, your allotment of that time is finite. You can’t afford to drown in unconsciousness, waiting for a better time when all things come together perfectly. THIS IS THE BETTER TIME. IT IS THE BEST TIME. IT IS THE ONLY TIME!!!
Life teeters on both the resplendent and the heartbreaking – both keeps us in check. The heartbreaking fuels our compassion and loving-kindness for others and ourselves. The resplendent inspires us on to greatness. Celebrate your victories, cultivate your present, and your future will be rich. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The journey itself is the gold. God did not intend for you to have hell on earth. Life is different than what you have known. Take a leap of faith:
“This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Gn. 28:17 NKJV
Finally, Don’t let your path for enlightenment become part of the problem:
Don’t punish yourself by thinking you aren’t practicing your path correctly or with enough vigor. Otherwise, you’re using your path as just another way to denigrate yourself. There is no ‘right way’ to practice, only the next level of consciousness to grow into. Conversely, don’t allow yourself to become ‘puffed up’ with your newfound spirituality. That will only lead to you using your practice to build yourself up by tearing others down. That never works.
Finally, don’t use your path as a security blanket. It’s for helping you to engage with the world and its reality, not to help you hide from life…
Eight months ago, I began this journey with you. My intent was to help free people (Christian and secular alike) from their false concocted selves. I was met with some resistance from a few ‘Christians.’ Some were dogmatic saying that I wasn’t part of the ‘right denomination’ (the truth is I believe denominations are the root of most confusion about Christianity), another said I was quoting from the ‘wrong Bible’ (Really?), another was beside himself because I taught about meditation, telling me that one only had to pray, instead of leaning on ‘psychology.’
I purposely quoted from four different Bibles. I guess I didn’t pick the right ones. (I’m only having a little fun here.) As far as mediation is concerned, not once did I propose someone convert to Buddhism. The Bible talks about meditating. It’s only just a tool for focusing your mental attention. As far as psychology is concerned, all I did was glean the observances of human behavior over many a millennia. There is no mystery, and it was all well-researched before Freud ever came along. (Eg. Proverbs.)
We are far better Christians when we support each other in our endeavors to extend the kingdom of God.
My purposes for this monumental exercise are clear: The devil has been on the attack since Adam and Eve. One look around you will tell you that he’s pretty successful. Only when we understand how he works will we be able to resist him. Only by seeing the nature of the common suffering of the human race can we attend to a correct application of successful solutions.
With an emphatic ‘yes,’ prayer is the right solution. My only hope in this entire quest is that you come away with the ability to ask better questions when you do, and act accordingly when you receive your answers. It’s about damage control.
The path I presented for getting to know oneself and live a happy life is one that I’ve gleaned from the wisdom of God and from others who got theirs from God. It’s only one path. Take what you need (that which resonates with your heart) and mold your own path. Your journey is unique to you.
Be kind to yourself. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Listen to your heart because that’s where God packs His wisdom. It comes out while you pray and when you concentrate on His word. Trust in God to bring you what is best.
Don’t be afraid. You knew how to fly as a child. It’s like riding a bicycle. You still can. Take that jump and let your spirit shine.
Everything will happen in its right time as you find the authentic perfect you – living the perfect life, wrapped up in perfect Love. I am profoundly awed by all who commit to living from their heart. I hope that I have made a meaningful contribution to yours…
The Native American Indians talk about the ‘Red Road of Life.’ It is a righteous path that one walks in a sacred manner, in order to please the Great Spirit and be at one with Him and His creations. They say it was created even before any of us were conceived and that it is available to all who seek a spiritual way towards a life of enlightenment that has no end. According to a publisher (Dorothy Daigle) who studies the Hopi Indian culture, the Red Road requires that one utilize seven principles of behavior to be able to walk upon it. I find those ripe with metaphorical innuendos and thought you might enjoy the similarities with our Christian principles:
1. Show awe, gratitude, love and respect for all creation.
2. Trust in the Great Spirit and accept my circumstances, knowing that when I overcome the adversities within, there will be spiritual growth.
3. Seek to purge my heart of evil intent.
4. Repent and humbly surrender my will to become one with the Great Spirit.
5. Communicate with the Great Spirit and live out my insights.
6. Learn true abstinence (selflessness) – serving others with loving kindness, and in turn receive the flow of living waters, which purify my heart.
7. Become harmonious with the Red Road – loving others unconditionally because that is who I am.
It sounds exactly like what God (the Great Spirit) has been telling us in His word for over 3000 years. It is my sincere wish to meet you all on the Red Road of Life – on that path devoid of anything but what the Great Spirit wants us to embrace, immeasurably joyful in each other’s presence, smiles deeply creasing our faces as we wait in an unknowing awe for whatever the next precious moment will bring…
God bless you everyone.