Your search is over. Solutions need not be sought when the answers are right there within you. Your internal teacher will show you the way. The Universe has your back and requires your faith and willingness to receive.
Faithful + Willing = Receiving
We all go through painful experiences. It's difficult facing circumstances that cause us heartache. However, avoiding confronting our issues prevents us from moving forward, unable to fully live a healthy, balanced life. When unbalanced, we close off from receiving all the love and goodness the Universe has in store for us.
Faith implies trust and trust only can occur when we feel safe.
Willingness implies desire and desire brings about choice.
God says, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey Him and commit yourself to Him, for He is your life” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, NLT).
We've all been faced with making difficult choices in our lives. Maybe it's choosing to leave a lifetime job; our choices aren't easy and they affect everyone in our circle.
Leaving a job may involve selling a home, moving children away from all that's familiar, away from school, friends and family. Choices affect our lifestyle. Choosing to leave an abusive spouse may force one to find work and become fully independent for the first time in life. Choices can be scary. There's no crystal ball, there's no dress rehearsals --choices come with risk and consequences.
Choices made based on fear bring consequences, but choices made in faith bring freedom.
Choices made in faith, with the best interest of self and in the best interest of those you love -- with harm to none -- although frightening, bring peace. Choices made in faith are choices made intentionally, with awareness.
Conversely, choices made in fear are knee jerk, reactive, and hasty. Fear based choices come from a place of lack, from ego. We typically choose to play it safe when we lack faith in our self, when we lack alignment with our higher Self.
Romans 13:8New International Version (NIV)
Love Fulfills the Law. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
As a willing, life time learner, I want to be open, to experience life by making mistakes in order to grow, but I often find myself wrestling a stubborn, unwilling mind.
My mind likes things safe; it wants control. But I'm determined there's a better way. So, I'm willing to risk change, even though it's scary. I am willing to open my mind, to consider a new perspective, even when it feels uncomfortable. I am willing to act intentionally, even when ignorance seems more blissful. But, my mind doesn't agree.
On the surface, it's more convenient to give in -- to do what my mind wants (eat that cookie, sleep late, have that extra glass of wine, tell a white lie). It's easier to satisfy my mind. If I'm not disciplined, if I'm not aware, or just slightly weak, my mind wins.
My mind needs to be right, it needs to make excuses -- to validate my fears. My mind doesn't seem to have my best interest at heart; it's selfish. It's wiling to sell me out and limit me so it can feel better, if I let it.
But my heart tells me to fight. The truth within me, my higher Self, believes differently and chooses to fight my mind -- with faith.
Faith helps me step back -- to redirect my search light, relying less on superficial affirmation, reassurance, and feedback from others and instead, reminds me to turn within for trusting myself. By looking within, I can pay closer attention to my mind's recurrent patterns -- shaping me -- to determine what's working and what's not.
By paying attention to how I'm feeling in the moment, by turning off my busy mind, and tuning into my body to search for clues, I'm learning what I need. In quiet moments I breathe deeply and focus inwardly, scanning my body, getting in touch with where I feel pain or discomfort. My body is teaching me how to become fully present, how to associate my feelings with what I'm telling myself. My body helps me reflect and ask questions, to inquire about my past and to notice how what's happened in the past is being held (in thoughts, beliefs, patterns of behavior, pain in my body.). Noticing and paying attention, becoming aware of where my body is holding, is the way to let go and change.
If someone says or does something that may seem offensive or annoying, I can now recognize that it's not about them; it's about me. We all have things that trigger us -- create a reaction; thoughts, a physical feeling, or images -- bringing back painful memories. We just don't notice it at the time. Many of us go lifetimes -- completely unaware of our triggers or emotional reactions. Instead, we go on blaming, accusing, denying. Instead of facing our triggers, like painful childhood memories -- feelings of neglect or abandonment, helplessness from being bullied, or shame when recalling harsh, belittling words carelessly spat out by teachers or loved ones, we store it all - we hold the pain deeply in our memory bank and all our emotions get stored in our tissues. This is why we have issues with our tissues.
We swallow our emotions, allow them to weigh us down, to scar us, and to keep us wounded, feeling like victims.
The outer world doesn't have to be so harsh. We just need to frame it differently. By seeing the world as our arena for working out our stuff, we can gain a sense of control. The sooner we recognize that everyone on the outside is just our reflection, our mirror or opportunity to learn and grow, we can start using them to help us to find peace.
But we need to learn to listen -- to observe -- to avoid entangling with what seems like outside interference. If we can refrain from engaging and reacting, we could use the world as our helper.
The more of us who can see the world as a place for improving the self, for becoming responsible, the greater will be our collective growth and capacity for love and peace.
Positive affirmations are just one step in the right direction. But affirmations alone aren't enough to overcome all the negativity lurking within. A positive affirmation like, "I am ready, willing, and able to look at delusional thoughts and willing to witness my fear" helps bring focus and intentionality. It helps us to change our thinking - to reframe and to THINK more positively.
It only takes a minute to affirm with positivity, to make a shift into what could be that miracle or AH HA moment. This shift can drastically change the energy of your whole day, possibly your life. But affirmations take practice and require daily commitment and willingness to change.
Journaling is another way to purge negativity and make room for positivity. For just ten minutes, each morning and night, we can dump our stuff. If we just write, without editing, we can notice what might be triggering fear. We can notice the feelings that come up when we're in fear. How does your body react to fearful thoughts and experiences? Where do you notice your body holding pain? In time, we can replace fear with gratitude. Each night we can practice writing three things we're grateful for -- to express gratitude for what we have and to go to sleep peacefully.
It's easy to take on the energy of fear from others, often unknowingly, and we accept it and confuse it as our own. Maybe you grew up with parents and grandparents who watched the nightly news religiously (like mine) -- believing the drama and painting a scary world for us; a world filled with crime and distrust, instilling fear.
Fears can lead us to making unhealthy choices, to form addictive behaviors like smoking, swearing, laziness, alcohol, co-dependency, and pursuing abusive relationships.
When we're shackled to roles, believing others, living according to how they tell us we're supposed to be, we forget that we have choices. We take on habits congruent to how we feel about ourselves. So, if we feel unloveable or abandoned, we may seek unhealthy ways to feel good -- like food -- for providing a sense of comfort. While food may make us feel good temporarily, overeating can lead to obesity and loop us with shame and guilt. While, subconsciously, being overweight may provide a false sense of safety, preventing intimacy, shielding and protecting our vulnerable self from harm, eventually this unhealthy coping mechanism takes a toll on our health, showing up in mental or physical illness and disease, like depression or diabetes.
Living life trying to please others is a no win situation. We may have had a closed-hearted father, or an over-nurturing mother, maybe to feel alive we seek negativity and pain -- choosing to remain in abusive relationships. Regardless of our current situations, unless we recognize our root issues that are making us feel unworthy, we're not capable of loving ourselves or others.
So, it's time to drop the baggage at the door, to cut loose the cords, and to unleash from past roles holding us back, from keeping us living a joyful, purposeful life. Bad habits and past deeds, kept vaulted up, keep us living in our shadows, with secrets and shames that only produce more shame and guilt. Darkness hates the light so we keep the curtains pulled down, the veil covering our eyes, so not to revisit or relive all that's painful, hoping it just goes away.
Unfortunately, the mind does a good job of keeping our past alive. Even the most painful memories get shoved down and sometimes forgotten as the mind needs to carry on. But unintegrated memories, especially traumatic ones, will show up whenever we're triggered. When something threatens us, we just react. Fear brings up the feelings associated with a past trauma, not as memories, but as images. We get flashbacks and feel as though the event is happening in the present moment. The mind doesn't know that there's no immediate threat, it just reacts and needs to fight.
The mind does a good job of holding onto our memories, allowing them to lie dormant but the body doesn't forget The body holds on, keeping our fears tightly woven in every muscle, fiber, cell, ligament, tendon, and tissue within our flesh. Our "stuff" is all there, just waiting to come out. Triggers evoke reactions and unless we find healthy expression or release, we'll continually seek unhealthy addictions for getting out of pain.
John 3:19New International Version (NIV)19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Blaming others keeps our shame and guilt alive. When we feel powerless or too afraid to face our fears, we live with uncertainty and regret, always questioning, never knowing. Remaining unwilling to face what's been imprisoning us, we remain sad, unfulfilled, and incomplete. We convince ourselves that it's too late for forgiveness. But forgiveness is not about anyone else; forgiveness is about forgiving ourselves for holding on -- forgiving in order to let go so we can bring in love.
Forgiveness reminds us we're worthy of love.
Romans 13:8New International Version (NIV)Love Fulfills the Law8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Positive thinking can help us find our way. The Little Engine That Could clearly illustrates that no matter how big and strong you may be, nothing is possible without will. While the largest engines refused to pull a long train over the high mountain, only the little blue engine was willing to try and, while repeating the mantra "I think I can, I think I can," it overcame a seemingly impossible task, it cut loose. That little blue engine was willing and able to cut loose from being a stranded train and was willing to take such a heavy load over difficult terrain and get to its destination.
God has a purpose for your life. He knows our needs and can help us get to where we need to go. He's working behind the scenes, masquerading as that little voice veiled beneath it all. By opening the curtain, we let the light in, to reveal a beautiful tapestry, just waiting for us to follow the intertwining threads.
If you're willing, God is ready.
Are you ready to use your will? Are you ready to choose love? Are you willing to drop ego (fear) so you may drop judgment?
Choices made in love take us closer to our Creator. When we are more aligned, we're better able to "hear" God. We can hear our inner voice speaking to us.
Are you ready to commit to living a more enriching life filled with daily communion? Are you willing to ask for what you need? Are you willing to listen, to let Him reveal his divinely designed pathway.
God speaks to us in a small, still voice. When we are calm, we can hear. He speaks to us in unique ways.
Matthew 21:22New International Version (NIV)22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”