Spiritual Guidance

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Spiritual guidance is an essential aspect of our spiritual approach to life. It’s important that we have a good understanding of how it works so we may utilize it in the most beneficial way.

We often think of spiritual guidance as a means of navigating from where we are to a place we want to be. Quite often that “place” involves the acquisition of a material object, a position, a relationship or a new lifestyle. What is often missed in this process is the state of being we hope to achieve with our acquisition. Our thinking is that the attainment of a thing will make us feel better about ourselves.

What is keeping you from feeling better about yourself now? What is keeping you from feeling complete in this very place you stand in your life today? The answer is simple. Only your belief that you are incomplete, that you need something added to become happy or that you need to be in some other place keeps you at a distance from the very thing you seek.

The prayer for guidance involves the release of all groping for answers outside yourself, a letting go of all sense of inadequacy that can only be addressed by adding something new to yourself or your life. Spiritual guidance leads you first to your point of strength, that inner center of light and peace that pines away for nothing more than a deeper revelation of this divine connection.

What are the dreams and goals of a spiritually fulfilled being? To be sure, they are different from the dreams and goals of a spiritually unfulfilled being. When you find yourself in need of guidance, start with the idea that your first need is to open yourself to your own wholeness. Let go of the self that fears or feels inadequate. Find your inner point of strength and know that you are being guided now to act, not out of fear and weakness, but out of the power, love and intelligence of Spirit.

All spiritual guidance leads to the holy ground of the place you now stand. The fulfillment you seek is present. Seek this first and you will know what to do next.

The Bedrock of Individuality

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Jesus advised us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We often focus on the first half of this statement yet engage in a rather abusive relationship with our self. I’ve said many times, however, that you can only love your neighbor to the extent that you love your self.

Self love is not the same thing as self-centered egotism. In her book, Lessons In Truth, Emilie Cady draws a very clear distinction between individuality (the spiritual dimension within everyone) and personality (the spiritually disconnected ego). The love we experience—both given and received—is really a welling up of a deeper dimension of our spiritual nature, that deeper foundation of individuality. Love is not a quantity of beautiful emotion that we possess and give out or withhold at will. Love is an integral component of our being, like the color blue is an integral component of white light. The expression of love must include the embracing of one’s Self, not in an egotistical way, but in a way that recognizes our role as a channel through which love is expressed as an aspect of our wholeness.

Our individuality, our true Self, is that which the Bible refers to as the image and likeness of God. It’s that part that rises up from the Eternal. Many of us have fallen out of touch with this deeper dimension and have lived and thought of ourselves only in terms of the personality level. It’s very important that we reconnect with this foundational aspect of our being, for from it all the good that we seek flows. The true Self is our source of contentment, of power, of peace and of joy. If we are not centered in our spiritual nature, we try to get what we feel we lack from others and our relationships run the risk of becoming needy and manipulative.

To be in integrity with your Self is to express the qualities of God in all the things you do, including your relationships. When you love from this Self, you will have no trouble loving your neighbor.   

The Goal of Your Goal

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The conclusionistic model assumes it is a lack of something that stands between you and your happiness. You must, according to the logic of this model, strive to acquire that thing if you are to be happy. The evolutionistic model, on the other hand, begins with the assumption that you are already complete, that the state of happiness is not induced through the acquisition of external things, but is, rather, evolved or brought forth from your own inner depths.

The condition of unhappiness is really nothing more than the result of trying to replace a sleeping aspect of your true nature with an artificial substitute. This substitute can come in many forms: a particular role, a career position, a relationship, money and, in fact, any external thing from which you are attempting to derive your security, your power, your peace of mind or your identity. Unhappiness is the result of clinging to things that are less than you are at the level of your native soul.

Because of this, some people, in the name of evolving higher spiritual ideals, denounce goal setting as a manipulative exercise of the personal will. This is unfortunate, for it is through the activity of setting goals that you can consciously and positively express your deeper nature and affect your circumstantial tendencies to reflect this more natural aspect of who you are. It is not the practice of following your own will that gets you into trouble. The trouble comes when you use your will to protect your weaknesses and to avoid the discomforts of change and transition that often accompany the expansive inner work that is needed.

This brings us to a very important point that I believe is often missed in the goal-setting process. Understanding where you are trying to go with your goal-setting activities is the most important key to getting there. I say this because there is often a vast difference between our stated goals and our actual goals.

I Am the Way

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The feeling of being stuck in life is probably one of the most common expressions of frustration, and the likely reason Henry David Thoreau wrote this famous line: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We like action. We like to initiate change, see results, and go on to the next thing with the feeling that our life is progressing. Sometimes we initiate changes and nothing happens, or everything seems to go wrong. Nothing seems to work and we feel we have lost our way.

Jesus spoke some words that can serve as a very important reminder when we feel we are floundering in life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If you think of these words arising from your own I AM, that spiritual core of your being, you will get an idea of why they can help you at this time of uncertainty.

Think of your own I AM as the axle that holds the spinning wheel of your external life. At your center you are always at rest regardless of how fast or how slow your life seems to be moving. It is important to reconnect with this unmoving part of yourself, to withdraw for a time from all your efforts to spin the wheel and surrender to the healing love of your guiding Source.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ways and means to a desired end, forgetting that you desire the greater good because you are responding to that still small voice emanating from your central I AM. God as your source has urged you this far. Will God not also guide you through each step of the way? Perhaps it is time to rekindle your faith in your indwelling guidance, to experience the assurance that “I AM with you always.”

Surrender in trust to that all-knowing, all-loving presence of God within you. Right where you are, open yourself to knowing that every step you take is the right step, that you are now being guided and protected in ways that will soon be perfectly clear.

 

I Am The Way

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The feeling of being stuck in life is probably one of the most common expressions of frustration, and the likely reason Henry David Thoreau wrote this famous line: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

We like action. We like to initiate change, see results, and go on to the next thing with the feeling that our life is progressing. Sometimes we initiate changes and nothing happens, or everything seems to go wrong. Nothing seems to work and we feel we have lost our way.

Jesus spoke some words that can serve as a very important reminder when we feel we are floundering in life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If you think of these words arising from your own I AM, that spiritual core of your being, you will get an idea of why they can help you at this time of uncertainty.

Think of your own I AM as the axle that holds the spinning wheel of your external life. At your center you are always at rest regardless of how fast or how slow your life seems to be moving. It is important to reconnect with this unmoving part of yourself, to withdraw for a time from all your efforts to spin the wheel and surrender to the healing love of your guiding Source.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ways and means to a desired end, forgetting that you desire the greater good because you are responding to that still small voice emanating from your central I AM. God as your source has urged you this far. Will God not also guide you through each step of the way? Perhaps it is time to rekindle your faith in your indwelling guidance, to experience the assurance that “I AM with you always.”

Surrender in trust to that all-knowing, all-loving presence of God within you. Right where you are, open yourself to knowing that every step you take is the right step, that you are now being guided and protected in ways that will soon be perfectly clear.

 

Understanding Consciousness

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The world in which we live is a product of our consciousness. In fact, it is our consciousness. You and I rarely experience the full potential of any event. We experience our feelings, our interpretation of the event.”  (Excerpt from A Practical Guide to Meditation and Prayer, JDB)

In our approach to the subjects of meditation and prayer, it is important that we understand the nature of the world we are praying from. When we have a need, the solution nearly always involves a shift in our unique perspective of the situation. In other words, it’s not the thing happening that is our primary concern, but how we feel about the thing that is happening that we are seeking to change. Even the simplest meditative observation can show you that your reaction to the event is the thing that is upsetting to you.

When we view earth from space, we clearly see the thin blue layer of atmosphere that surrounds our globe. From earth the sky appears to be blue, but as we move beyond this cushion of air that is vital to our physical existence, we see the space beyond as black. Think of your consciousness in a similar way. You are enveloped in an atmosphere of consciousness that causes you to see the events of your life in a specific way.

Meditation expands the way you see. In ways similar to space travel, it opens your mind to a context larger than the usual perspective you carry. You begin to sense that your being is resting in an all sustaining atmosphere of life, love, power and intelligence, and that, regardless of circumstances, you will be fine. Having somewhat touched this inner reality changes your perspective. Instead of reacting to your situation you now begin to affirm the truth that God is your source, God is your true guiding light. Your consciousness then begins to conform to this new understanding and you approach it with new vitality and renewed strength and optimism.

Do not allow yourself to feel frustrated if you can’t seem to change a situation through prayer. Use your energy to gain a higher, broader perspective of the event. Change your consciousness and the situation will follow.