Getting where we want to go isn’t easy. Our spirituality is tested daily.
Problems and dramas drag us down. Situations arise that throw us off course. And alas, there are those who use their positions of influence, power or wealth in ways that disrupt our carefully crafted intentions, restrict our choices, or create other difficulties with which we must deal.
The challenges for us all is to avoid being so dragged down by the negativity and discouragement that so often result that we lose track of where we’re trying to go and what it takes to get there.
The Choice to Evolve
In previous posts we’ve covered ways of sitting quietly and reconnecting with our souls, in the process creating a space where we can begin to undo the energies of the situation and set in motion new ones that will better carry us forward.
This requires a clarity of intention not to be swept away by the problems, but rather to see them as opportunities to work with and within the energies of our outer world in new ways.
It is a choice to consciously evolve from someone to whom life happens into one who sees every experience, whether positive or negative, as another thread to be woven in the rich tapestry of our souls’ evolution.
But it is more than a choice. It requires the determination and will power to address the things we find after making that choice, and assuming responsibility to deal with what we encounter along the way without getting sidetracked in the process.
Our ability to move forward within this environment demands we disengage from these energies long enough to renew our vision of a better tomorrow and chart our course through the problems to get there.
To do this we must simultaneously work on multiple fronts. Today we’ll focus on the personal side of things.
Stepping Up and Stepping Ahead
The first part of the work at hand is obvious. We have to deal with the problems that are staring us in the face.
For this I suggest a minimalist course, giving them only enough energy to deal with them and move on. This will take some effort, for many of us excel at making bad situations worse by adding unnecessary energy that escalates our problems and drags us even deeper into their darkness.
While there is much I could say about specific problems and the issues involved in them, there is one common theme that runs through all. They demand our attention and drain our energy and resources.
Either we face them or we withdraw from them, hoping against hope they go away. But usually procrastination only makes them worse. They grow and grow until they can be ignored no longer.
So we must learn to face them — calmly, peacefully, with clear heads and awareness of everything going on within and around us. For that, there’s nothing like taking a pause and connecting to the soulful energies at our core, and allowing them to show us a path through the minefield.
This is often easier said than done, for negativity often descends over us like a thick fog. Our minds race and palms sweat, hearts beating rapidly as fear strikes deep into our minds and its tremors ripple throughout our bodies.
Though in earlier times we may have seen silver linings, within the onslaught it’s easy for thoughts to be drawn to unpleasant possibilities, as if our current problems are not punishment enough. As we look for a way out and choices to take us there, all we see are more problems, anticipating actions and consequences that may never arise.
Rarely do we envision ones that resolve the situation. And even more rarely are the about what waits beyond, the better tomorrow we’d like to reach.
In other words, we dive into a sea of negativity and let it wash over us, filling every pore with the potential of even worse.
Yet, those who understand the principles of manifestation know this is hardly the way to create something better. For our thoughts and emotions draw to us situations that allow us to experience them even more. When they are negative, focused on the bad around us and what worse might be, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and we end up with even more of what we want to escape.
Making choices under such circumstances is difficult. We can’t see down the road very far, and find it hard to hear, much less trust, our inner guidance when the negativity takes over our minds.
It’s easy to panic, to overreact, or respond in some other way that is less than our best. If we do, reality accelerates the manifestation of unpleasantries, dragging us even deeper into the mire, where it can be a long way up to see the light of day once it does.
This is why a spiritual time-out is so helpful. It allows those thoughts and emotions to begin to settle down, and again pull the cloak of clarity over our eyes.
Things aren’t as bad as they seem, and certainly not as bad as they could be. If we remain calm, we will be able to sit within the situation and recognize all its setting off within us. For in the end, it’s only experience. And while it may be unpleasant, in most cases it will pass. So for now, let’s deal with what’s before us as best we can and give it the chance to move on.
We certainly don’t want to stay there any longer than necessary. So to make sure we set in motion the future we want and begin drawing to us possibilities to choose from that will lead us there, we should probably begin redirecting our thoughts to positive outcomes and give little consideration to negative ones.
Imagination allows us to consider what that vision might look and feel like. It fills us with scenarios of how it might play out. And perhaps most importantly, it gives us hope for the future and the strength to go one despite the dark times at hand.
Still, this is just a start. For if we are to really begin creating that outcome, we must begin to unravel the threads that set it in motion. And that means discovering what’s behind it all and getting to work to fix it.
Addressing Problems at their Source
Real change involves rooting out the seeds that allowed these situations to grow in the first place. For if we don’t realize what we did to make things the way they are, then we probably won’t know what we have to change to create something different.
Some of these are easy to see; others are less visible, hiding within the recesses of our psyches where light rarely shines. Inner conditions like fears, distortions and desires trigger beliefs and attitudes that dampen our spirits and damage our relations with others. Worse, they color our intentions and choices in ways that predispose us to vulnerability, conflict, and unfulfilled dreams and expectations.
We may need to look at our behaviors and how we conducted ourselves in the time leading up to the current situation. In most cases there were choices we made that opened the door to our troubles, and many steps along the way to get there.
What went into each of them? What were we thinking or feeling? What were our expectations?
What about our intentions? Were we clear on what we wanted and why? Did we consider undesired or unexpected consequences? How did we weigh them, and what made us willing to accept their risks?
Until we know these, it’s hard to understand what got us to where we are. It’s even harder to know what to do to change things.
While we’re doing our inner work we should also consider what beliefs and practices might better take us toward our desired future, and root out the ones that don’t.
For instance, a common response during times of trouble is to feel like we’re under attack, whether from outside sources or life itself. If so, perhaps we might examine where we attack others, or invite such attacks upon ourselves.
If our problems involve financial struggle, we might look at our beliefs about money and what we think we have (or are willing) to do to get it. And especially that which we are not.
What does it tell us about ourselves, especially our self image? How does it make us feel? What does it show about our relations with others and the world around us?
All of these are valuable clues. But alone they do little than give us another reason to beat ourselves up. We must then look for how to deal with the myriad little things within us that caused us to be that way.
That’s not enough, either. We must also change how we conduct our affairs. If such conditions or choices led us to where we are today, we can’t keep going on the same old way and expect to get out of the mess we’re in, much less create something better.
We have to change. It’s that simple.
If that means leaving behind certain pursuits that trigger our susceptibility, then so be it. After all, you wouldn’t expect an addict to get clean if they kept using. Similarly, we can’t expect our lives to turn for the better if we keep choosing the paths that take us toward the abyss.
After all, if we truly want the problems to end, we can’t just address the symptoms. For they will simply crop up somewhere else, another way in another day.
No, if we truly want change, we must start that change at our core, inside us, and allow it to reshape how we live and relate to the people and world around us.
There are of course many places to look. There are many changes that are possible. And there are many causal factors that can be addressed.
Yet it is important not to get overwhelmed by the task at hand, or try to do too much too soon. Don’t let your determination impose additional stress or struggle, even when you’re overwhelmed and feel you need relief now. Allow the energies to run their course without compounding the situation, meeting them as you must along the way.
Especially don’t try to do it all at once. For not all the things you see that you think should be addressed need to be changed to move forward; rather, focus first upon those that unlock the door before you. The rest you can deal with in time, crossing each bridge as you come to it.
When all else fails, take time to sit quietly. Go into the place of silence. Feel the soulful energy sweep over you. It will lead you through the dramas and let you know how to react to them.
Remember, it may come as a voice. It may come as a thought. It may come simply as a knowing, or by any number of other ways. Trust that when it does you will recognize it and know just what to do to meet the challenges before you.
Trust is crucial to deal with what is and get through the mess as simply and easily as possible. Trust that there is meaning to the madness. Trust that there is value to be had for it. Trust that there is a way out.
Most of all, trust in yourself. You are enough just the way you are, no matter the hurdle before you.
Have faith, my friend. And never lose hope. Everything will work out as it needs to, so long as you do your part.
There is a way to move into a better tomorrow, if you will but keep looking to find it and act when you do. But don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. The only one who can is you.
Godspeed on your journey through the darkness. God bless you indeed.
He is author of "Whispers in the Silence -- Living by the Light of Your Soul," and publisher of various websites, including PeaceOptions.com and MissionLaunch.com
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