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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Don’t take the sunshine for granted

“Nothing speeds us on the journey like happy acceptance of the journey; nothing slows us down like discontent with its progress.” 
– Allen Watson

I just finished reading a short book by Mr. Watson this week and he threw that line in there in the final chapter and it really struck me as a perfect summary of the book and the journey itself. The whole point is to ‘Be A Happy Learner.’ That’s it really. Be happy with learning and developing in Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness. Be happy in hearing that guiding voice speak to you more than that of the ego. Be happy with the day that you have to learn something new. Maybe today is the day that all the lights come on and everything is revealed to you. Maybe it isn’t. And if it isn’t; then so what?

One of the main points Watson made in this particular piece was that everyone who has made the decision to seek spiritual development/growth has already passed a major point on the road. Just by making the decision to go on this journey you’ve already made so much progress because it means that you realize that your current situation, the world as you see it, isn’t right. You realize that there is an ultimate destination of being one with God and one with all of creation and that through acceptance of love and giving of love that you will one day make it there. What Watson points out is that now (after starting the journey) you stand at a fork in the road. One path leads you to oneness with God. The other path is the one you were already on; the ego’s path. That one will ultimately bring you right back to this same spot on the road; it just depends on how long you want to suffer the journey again. One path is to reside with God’s voice, the other the Ego’s.

This is the second major decision that you have to make. First, choose to start the journey; second which path do you decide to take? If you choose the ego’s then nothing lost nothing gained, you just continue on as things have always been. Your life will continue in suffering and eventually you will be lead to this decision again. But, if you choose the path of Love, the one that is lit by the voice of God and ends with Him, then your journey will be long; but rewarding.

However, just because it is long and sometimes frustrating, does not mean that it is not a happy journey. The frustration is just the ego’s last attempts to slow your progress. The happiness is in being surrounded by love and freeing yourself from the bonds of guilt through forgiveness. Every now and then you just have to stop and see the light around you in those that you meet every day and realize that it has been there all along. This light serves as lamp posts on the road you travel and every new lesson brightens the path in front of you.

One other point that I’d like to mention in this post dear reader is on the topic of certainty. I am certain where this journey ends and that is all that I really need. And, if you are certain of the end of the journey; then there is no point in getting frustrated with the delays on the road.

That one simple lesson has removed tons of weight from my mind. Just knowing that the frustration is not needed. It’s as if I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and the old lady and her checkbook are at the front and then there’s a man with fifty coupons and then me. I could get frustrated. But, in the end I know that I will have to wait and in the end I know that I will get to the front and do my checkout. I can get frustrated and build anger and stress or I can… what? Read a magazine, text a friend, whatever. The point is dear reader, while we are traveling down this road there are going to be delays. There are going to be hard lessons, there are going to be distractions, but there is no reason to let them frustrate us because we are certain of the end of the journey. If that’s not enough to make you happy, I don’t know what is.

Every frustration, every doubt, every delay is just another lesson to be learned. Letting hold ups produce doubt is fuel for the ego and not allowing the guiding voice of the spirit show us the lesson to be learned. In the end God will make the final step for us. Until then we all just need to be happy students free of frustrations and happily accepting the journey as it comes.

Until next time dear reader. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We’re All Gonna Die!

It’s true. One day you, me, all of us are going to die. So what? What does that mean to you?

Death is not a subject that we feel comfortable talking about at dinner parties or social gatherings. We talk about it in passing only when someone we know has died. ‘Oh did you hear that so-and-so passed away?’ ‘Yeah, he was a good guy. Give his wife my condolences.’ End of conversation. How quickly does your mind go back to some other subject? Our minds don’t want to deal with death especially when it’s our own. Death? No thank you. I’d rather worry about the checking account balance thank you very much. Or, how about that Lindsay Lohan huh? What a mess she’s found herself in am I right? Focus up! Today we’re going to talk about death.

Why? Why this question? Because I’ve been forced these past few weeks to realize that death is real and that my death is real and that that is ok. It’s ok. Death before dying is not a bad thing. Understanding our own death and its consequences is just a big of a part of our lives as understanding our living. Bigger even because we are constantly avoiding and fearing our own deaths. Our physical death does not end our spiritual journey.

Two weeks ago I felt a thump. A thump and a flutter in my chest. I really thought nothing of it until over the next few days that thump and flutter because a light headedness and a faintness and more thumping and more fluttering. By the weekend I was in some pain. I ended up going to a doctor and got some blood work, a chest x-ray and an EKG done. Verdict: Clean health, no problems, just a naturally occurring irregular heartbeat. What a relief right? But it didn’t go away. Even with that sense of relief, it didn’t go away. My relief turned back into fear.

What was I afraid of? Medical debt? Loss of work? Pain? No. Death! Death is a fear so great that it could wake the dead. We “live” our lives in fear of death. But what I’m questioning here is why? What am I really afraid of? I’m afraid of an ending of this. We’re all afraid of an ending to this. Think about that for a second… now laugh. If all of this were to end tomorrow, then what? What?

Think about it this way. I’m dead. You just got the news. Now what? Does the sun not come up tomorrow? Does the world stop spinning? Does your life cease to have meaning? No. (Now I don’t plan on dying anytime soon nor do I have a desire to, so hopefully it will be years before you get that news dear reader). But think about it. If everyone you loved died tomorrow, then what? You would be faced with nothing more than yourself. Just you looking back at you. The only loving thing you can do is just wish them the best on their next journey and continue on with yours. If you really think about it that is all you can do. Grief, sadness, remorse, regret, all do nothing for you. Love for those around you is the only thing you can do. Take the love that you directed towards those that have died and pass it on to those around you. Strangers, neighbors, co-workers, are they less important now to the world than those who have died?

Take a day and think about what you truly think happens to you after you die. Do YOU stop being? What happens to the YOU in you? What I think I’m trying to get to here is the whole concept of death before I die. I have to be ok with what happens to the ME in me when I die. You can call that the soul or the spirit or whatever you’re comfortable with, but just know that you’ll need to make peace with death at some point. But we don’t end. There is no end. You’re not afraid of an ending really we’re just afraid of an unknown. We’re afraid of letting go of this dream world we’ve created for ourselves and of letting go of the people we love and the things that we think we love. Death is not as final as we like to think it is. We can shift out perception of it and try to eliminate our fear of it but death is something that we’re all going to have to deal with. If it all falls away, what are you left with?

While I am feeling a lot better physically these past few days, to be honest the subject of death has not been far from my mind. Maybe this whole ‘health scare’ was presented to me to teach me a lesson about death. Maybe not. Maybe it was to teach someone else a lesson. Maybe it was you. I’m hoping over the next few weeks and months that I can, with practice have a better understanding of my relationship with death. I want to be at peace with death because I don’t want to live in fear of death and in order to do so I’m going to need to spend some time with it.

That’s it for now dear reader. Sorry to leave you sitting in your own pool of thoughts, but this one you’ve got to do on your own.