Run To, Not From

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“It is perfectly natural for the human mind to seek to escape from its troubles by running away from present environments, or by planning some change on the material plane. … There is no permanent or real outward way of escape from miseries or circumstances; all help must come from within.”   Emilie Cady

Most all of us have dreams and desires that would have us leaving one condition and moving to another. While the motivation for some of these changes may seem obvious—simple improvements to our life conditions—others may be pointing to our need to be still and take another look. We might be running from an inner call to come up higher, to begin filling the undesired condition from within.

We usually see unsatisfying conditions as a glass filled only half way with water. We want a full glass and so we set aside the half-empty glass and pursue one that is fuller. Rather than set the half-filled glass aside, it may be that we simply need to fill the glass we have rather than seek another.

When Cady suggests that help must come from within, she is pointing to the idea of beginning right where we are, using the conditions we have, to begin filling our life. In other words, rather than curse our conditions we start blessing them and asking how we can give more of ourselves to fill them.

You may be in a demanding relationship and you say, “I’m already giving as much as I can and they just keep wanting more.” Maybe you are feeling drained, not because you are giving so much but because you are giving against your will. If you want to fill this glass, you have to stop denying how you really feel and begin giving from a basis that is true. You are going along to get along, so you’re not really giving out of who and what you are, and the relationship suffers because of it.

Pour the full force of your being into your present circumstances. Top off the cup that is yours to fill. When it is full, you may decide you want to keep it.

 

 

Your Inner Teacher

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Heretofore we have sought knowledge and help from outside sources, not knowing that the source of all knowledge, the very Spirit of truth, is lying latent within each one of us, waiting to be called on to teach us the truth about all things—most marvelous of teachers, and everywhere present, without money or price! –Emilie Cady

It may seem backward to think that when we have an external need we would be told to turn within for an answer to the problem. It would seem to make more sense to follow old patterns and busy ourselves seeking external solutions.

Life is much more than a perpetual process of finding temporal solutions to temporal problems. We are spiritual beings who have, for reasons known to us at the very deepest level, stepped into this earthly experience to accomplish some important work. We brought with us our connection to our eternal source of guidance and supply, a resource of wisdom and guidance that will always lead us to the right answers when we need them.

Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). This is a pretty straight forward promise from one who understood better than most the spiritual dynamics of divine guidance.

If you find yourself in a place in your life where you do not know what to do, set aside time to go apart from the clamor of the world and turn within to that place of inner stillness and assurance that all is well, that the answers you need are now coming forth to fill your external needs in ways that work for your highest good and the highest good of all concerned. You may wish to use a simple affirmation that Cady herself found helpful in her own time of need: It is done: God is now manifested as my supply.

The Intuitive Approach

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Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14).

According to the traditional Christian mindset, every statement attributed to Jesus is interpreted in light of the commonly known plan of salvation familiar to us all. The above statement clearly fits this model, with the wide gate approach representing those who ignore the plan and take the easier path that may be a cushy life but winds up as an eternity in the inferno of Hell. The narrow gate is entered by those who follow the Christian plan of salvation and, in the end, make it to the literal kingdom of God.

There is another way to look at this saying, a way that I believe is more in keeping with the spiritual message of love that Jesus taught and represented. He is referring to two kinds of perception: intuitive, the narrow gate, and senses-based, the wide gate.

One of the meanings of the word tuition is instruction. Intuition, then, is to be instructed from within. In our educational models, intuitive learning is the less common approach. Senses-based instruction, on the other hand, looks to outer conditions and appearances as its primary source of knowledge and is the method of learning upon which our entire educational system is based.

To step upon the spiritual path is to hone our intuitive skills. We take time to still the senses-based distractions and practice opening our minds and hearts to the “still small voice” of God within. The very fountainhead of all the good we seek in life is found within us. Many hear this message but, as Jesus pointed out, few find it relevant to their busy, outer-oriented lifestyles. Those who learn to go within discover an abiding wisdom that allows them to judge not according to appearances, but to see a grander truth of greater good unfolding through all the many changes they encounter in life.

The Cain and Abel Dynamic

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Today I would like to discuss a common challenge that you will likely encounter when attempting to make positive changes in your life. In my book, Meditation and Prayer, I refer to this as the Cain and Abel dynamic and I describe it in this way:

In reading the story, you know that Cain was a tiller of the soil—a farmer. Abel was a shepherd. The farmer must stay in one place, planting his crops in defined areas, making his location at any given time predictable. Cain represents that tendency in us to seek out the familiar, set up predictable routines, and hope nothing comes around to disturb our world. A shepherd, on the other hand, must constantly be on the move, changing the location of his flock so his sheep will not overgraze the land. Abel represents that part of us that is on the move growing, indefinable, changing.

These two characters represent two aspects of our consciousness. One seeks the comfort of familiarity while the other seeks the expansive mental attitude that invites growth. You may be praying for a condition to change, for example, so you don’t have to. You want some unusual circumstance to go away so you can get back to living your life as usual.

When you pray for change you will, in all likelihood, be presented with an opportunity to change. This opportunity could come in the form of a challenge that forces you to broaden your understanding of yourself and your life. It may be unexpected and seem like an undesirable development that you want to pray away.

Be mindful of such opportunities. See if you are hanging on to old ways of thinking that you need to let go. Every challenge has something of value if you are open to it. The value may be as simple as letting go of a negative emotion and proving to yourself that you do have a choice about how you feel. Your Cain may attempt to slay your Abel but growth is inevitable. Think growth and let go.

Our True Home

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Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”                     Matthew 11:28

Today I would like us to explore a feeling familiar to those of you who have been called from the safety of your previous religious indoctrination to the freedom and challenges of navigating your own spiritual path. The feeling I refer to is that vaguely familiar sensation of having come home.

Most of us have come from diverse religious backgrounds. And yet we share the common thread of knowing there is more to our spiritual reality than the theological framework into which, by social default, has had such a strong influence on our thinking. We are answering more than a need to find a better religion. By striking out on this path, you and I are responding to a deep stirring in the soul. We seek an understanding of our spiritual origins, a conscious reunion with those vast fields of everlasting life from which our spiritual identity is perpetually hewn.

This journey is not without its trials. Life can throw us questions we cannot fully answer and we are often tempted to scurry back to that well-worn path of our old ways. But we do not linger long. The desire for spiritual freedom has its roots, not in the easily accessible layers of our consciousness, but in the very essence of our being. We are seeking new ways, asking new questions because a broader dimension is opening within us, stirring and prodding us to greater horizons. The same expansive energy that causes the chick to start pecking at the safety of it shell causes us to tap at the circumscribed parameters of our programmed thinking. We are simply responding to the stirring of the Infinite.

It’s important to seek clarity in what we believe and, most importantly, why we believe it. As a direct expression of God, it is logical to assume this clarity is achieved from within our being. The closer we come to our spiritual center, the closer we are to God, our true home.