So what happens when you focus on all the things that you don’t have? Your lack of money, your bad health, the ill health of your family and impending loss, your loss of what was so special to you. What happens When this becomes your whole world?
You get stuck, and you stay stuck. Every thought you have either makes you stronger or weaker. Thoughts of kindness, hope, forgiveness, and peace are strengthening. Anger, anxiety, worry, and fear weaken you. You must process events in terms of appreciation rather than depreciation. You either feel that the universe is plentiful and providing, or you feel short-changed, that nothing is ever right. That’s what I call a scarcity mentality – expecting that things won’t work out for you. I was recently talking with an ill friend and she said, “With my luck the way its been, I won’t make it another year.” I answered, “With my luck, I will make it a hundred!” I think she may be buying a grave plot.
Once you get yourself stuck, to get unstuck, you have to look deep inside and really change the way you look at everything, make yourself look at everything differently. Before you go to bed, create an image of what you want for yourself; then act as if you are who you want to be. Catch yourself verbalizing self-defeating thoughts, stop labeling yourself, and take time just to be.
You quiet your mind. We’re thinking too much! It’s the silence between the notes that makes the music. So get quiet. Meditate; go for a walk; listen to the birds, to the wind. Breathe in the fresh air and allow your mind to let go. Ya, I know, I can hear you saying “I don’t have the time to do that.” But the thing is, If you don’t take time for being healthy, you’ll eventually have to make time for being sick. You can meditate for two minutes at a red light. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and clear your mind. The person behind you will let you know when your two minutes are up!
There are signs of your finding inner peace. When we have a sense of peace we tend to smile, feel compassion, and enjoy the moment. We lose interest in conflict, and we stop worrying! Stop worrying because there’s nothing to worry about. It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized, frozen, locked in a never ending spiral down the dark tunnel.
So the next time you’re tossing and turning in bed, First think of God, whatever God means to you. Think of the universal force that allows an acorn to turn into an oak tree or a blossom to become an orange. The moment you bring spiritual energy to the present, worry and anguish dissolve.
Think I’ve mastered this? I don’t know that I have! I struggle with the same things you do, and, like you, a lot that thankfully few other people ever have to face. I’ve dealt with marital problems, problems with my kids, and the tragic and violent deaths of my loved ones. What I’ve learned is to remind myself that all I have is today. That sometimes helps me shift my attention to what’s good and right.
Forgiveness is a dramatic way to transform a life. Forgiving my father for for all the years of abusing his family was a turning point for me. After he died, I went to my father’s grave and told him, I don’t know what motivated you to run your life as you did, but I forgive you. Afterward I felt a deep sense of relief and peace. Forgiveness is transforming. When you hold a grudge, the poisons of anger and blame destroy you.
Your heart weakens, your blood pressure rises, you get ulcers. It wrecks your health, makes you miserable. And when you forgive, miracles begin to appear in your life because forgiveness heals. It’s the core of every great spiritual teaching – from Jesus and Buddha to Gandhi and Mother Teresa. I also recommend the art of detachment, one of life’s great lessons. Detach from the opinions of others; from the habit of judging or controlling others; from the past; from the need to be right and to win; from an obsession with material things. Follow your passion in life, but detach from the outcome and allow the universe to handle the details.
Peace and Blessings,
Steve `Easy` Whitacre Nov. 8th, 2008