Life is an endless parade of challenges. Decisions to be made, situations to address, things to do, opportunities to take, threats to avoid and problems to overcome. From a strictly human perspective life can be pretty bumpy. People get hurt, dreams are crushed, desires squelched. What causes us to do what we do? What motivates us?
We tend to view our life challenges as separate events, as individual occurrences, but when viewed from a larger perspective, the events of life reflect an interesting continuity. If you were to stand back from your various challenges, you would find that regardless of their context, each situation shares the common theme of urging you to move to greater compassion (often toward yourself).
You might want to make a list of the challenges you face. As you look over the list, note how, in addition to the context, each item also asks you to move to greater compassion. The Universe is bringing you these opportunities so that you can learn to live closer to the God Space – which is the reason you came to earth in the first place.
If you could hold the God Space consistently, you would deal with each life situation as it came up and then move on to the next one. There would be no residual emotions and nothing to hang on to afterwards. However, given your present attitudes and beliefs, you become “sticky” to these situations and are unable to operate from compassion. These life situations have been carefully designed to encourage you to grow and change. Your stickiness to them is what turns them into problems.
This is not some nefarious plot from God or the Devil designed to aggravate you. Rather it is a very carefully crafted process created to assist your learning and growth. Think about how we learn. How did you learn to walk? In the beginning, you spent a fair amount of time falling down. Although the end goal was terrific, the process, quite literally, was a pain in the butt. You cried, you got frustrated. Later you would learn to beat yourself up for not being good enough. Well, you’re not going to like life either. After all, who likes being constantly pushed on to learn? Learning involves a fair amount of falling down. And what is the challenge? Irrespective of the specifics, the challenge in every situation you face will always be to move to greater compassion.
In every moment The Universe is challenging you to move closer to the God Space. If you can do that, situations resolve themselves. You don’t have to think about it, what you need to do will be apparent. Having trouble with your partner? If you move to compassion, what you need to do will become obvious. Want that second piece of cake? Are you really hungry, or do you need love? Anxious about taking a risk? Look inside and see who feels unworthy. Now, knowing what you need to do and actually doing is where the real challenge lies. In time you will learn to deal with life from a place of non-attachment. Non-attachment, by the way, is not devoid of compassion. The closer you move to the God Space, the more compassionate you become.
But sometimes you cannot respond compassionately. The situation and the baggage it brings simply present too great a risk to hold the God Space. Taking the risk to be compassionate under those circumstances is incredibly difficult. So, in all likelihood, you turn away. Without God’s guidance, you will need a substitute. You turn to your ego.
And how does the ego respond? First it will try to make the problem go away. It will rationalize, get defensive, project, pull a power trip, deny, blame, get angry or collapse inwardly – all avoidance mechanisms. It will “compromise.” It will do an emotional dance – con, lie or manipulate to stay “safe.” It will push you to step in only partway, keeping an escape route open. You will find ways to manipulate others while minimizing your risk. It is a path strewn with potholes. Life without an intimate connection to God’s love is the definition of Hell.
You will look to your partner, friends, food, work, money, fashion, even your spiritual practice for ways fill the hole left by your feelings of disconnection and abandonment from The Creator. But none of these substitutes are very satisfying. They cannot be, because with the exception of real love, nothing about them is eternal. Pursuing substitutes leaves you feeling vulnerable and alone. And feeling like you are standing alone in The Universe is a pretty scary experience.
There is no judgment here, you came to earth to learn to resolve these issues, and you will be given opportunity after opportunity to learn. The only difference is that when you avoid dealing with a situation, the future opportunities become more challenging.
So, what is it that keeps you from making the “good” decisions? What blocks your natural compassion?
You avoid moving to the God Space because of fear, mostly the fear of being vulnerable. In the past, that feeling has led to a great deal of pain. Our natural connection to the God Space feels fragile. To an innocent child or an ego-driven adult, it can be very difficult to hold the God Space in the face of competing pressures. But when we step away from it, we create disharmony, guaranteeing that the situation will end painfully. That accumulated pain will eventually drive us to the only alternative – to hold the God Space as a conscious choice, because the God Space is the only place that is free of pain. Today you carry the burden of your past pain, with the fear that it will repeat. It will eventually burden you to the point that you will seek other ways of being.
Outside the God Space, if you open your heart to another, and he or she turns away, you will feel badly, perhaps very badly. Your sense of self-worth can take a painful hit if you are dependent upon others for acceptance. Similarly, a second dish of ice cream can seem very enticing when you are convinced that you will never be loved. You don’t really need the ice cream, but a part of you is in desperate need for love. In your business relationships, if you do not deal from “strength,” others might leverage you into situations to your disadvantage. In that moment, your fear overwhelms your natural desire to be compassionate.
You can spend the rest of your life putting band-aids on situations, but that will not resolve the deeper need to connect to the God Space. Your difficulties in life come from one critical assumption – that you are alone and separate from God (possibly abandoned). Of course, this is not possible. God is like a flowing river, always there, always available. We however, can (and do) turn the spigot off. God is always there, we just choose not to hear Him. Then we feel alone, abandoned and unlovable.
What is the answer? In principle it is simple. But as with all spiritual topics, the knowing is easy, the doing is challenging. Driving all these dynamics are the beliefs you carry – some from childhood, some from your past lives – about who you are, about people and about your relationship with The Creator. And the interesting thing is that unless they happen to reflect Universal Law, none of your beliefs are true. I have attempted to address how beliefs are formed and how they can be addressed in my new book, Journey to Enlightenment. In the book and in the accompanying video series, A Shaman’s Path To Inner Peace, I teach methods for healing the wounds that lie at the core of our beliefs. Journey to Enlightenment and A Shaman’s Path To Inner Peace, can be found elsewhere on this web site.
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