Acceptance: It Is That Simple

Being a product of co-dependency can create some interesting relationships in a person’s life. I am speaking from personal experience of course. While pondering a decision I made regarding boundaries, I asked myself if I was lacking compassion or protecting myself?

My inner voice began to rationalize my actions based on past events. As I was working through the details another voice came through. This is the voice I know as my Higher Self, the direct personification of a higher consciousness. The voice said, “Accept the truth, not the personality. Accept that person as a child of God. It is that simple.”

Apparently I was over complicating the situation. I was relying on falsehoods, not truth. The decision to not accept a person’s negativity was sound, but the idea not to accept the person was incorrect. I had not thought of the person as a direct reflection of God. I was caught up in the worldly emotions of the relationship.

Any healing process involves acceptance and forgiveness. This is not to condone or excuse anyone’s actions. The recognition that each person is a reflection of God is a way to heal. I am able to accept a child of God much more easily than the personality a soul projects. (Myself included.)

I am never given more than I can handle. Each difficult person is a lesson in acceptance. I will need to remember that I do not have to accept their falsehoods, only their true selves. I need to allow myself to see them as a child of God. And accept that they are a reflection of a higher power.

The Walls We Are Accustomed To

Generally speaking we learn that the walls we build around ourselves are negative. I do not know the statistics, but a wall by any other name is still meant to keep something out. One of the most impressive books I read on this topic is Broken Open by Omega co-founder Elizabeth Lesser. It is an excellent read and I recommend it to anyone seeking to deepen their spirituality.

Currently I am working through some personal turmoil, so I have been sensitive to the issue. That is why when I saw the new Pixar movie “Inside Out” I immediately picked up on the story of a young girl learning to manage her emotions. (Elizabeth wrote a Facebook post on the movie, check it out here.) Rather than another story about a person learning to let the good in, this was a story about learning to let the bad in, so the healing could begin.

Personally I am not an optimist, nor am I a pessimist. I see myself as a spiritualist. My reality is based in the truth teachings I study and I try to base my actions on the same truths. With this in mind, I always try to stay positive and anticipate that good things will happen. When things do not go as I expect, I understand that it must be karma or the Universal Laws at play. I look for the lesson to be learned and I move on. I never thought of this mindset as a wall. I thought of this as a proper way to live my spiritual life. Today I am looking at it differently.

Previously, whenever something bad happened, I would sit with the situation, ask for understanding, and release it back to God (my higher power). I tried not to get angry or be hurt. I did not dwell in it and I encouraged myself to move on. I came to be like this after a period of negativity in my life. I was dwelling in anger and pain, never truly learning the art of letting go. My pendulum swung the other way after working out of my negativity. Rather than keeping the good out, I learned to keep the bad out.

Who can blame me? In metaphysics we are taught to stay positive, release negativity, and to learn from ourselves. The past is over, the future is not set, so stay present. I was not purposely keeping negative emotions out, I felt I was working through my emotions. It appears as though I need some more work, but don’t we all.

I have come to learn that regardless of the intent, the walls we build keep things out. There needs to be a balance between the positive and the negative. Sadness allows joy, just as darkness gives way to light. The following quote came while writing this today, “For the application in self, the TRY, the effort, the energy expended in the proper direction, is all that is required of THEE. God giveth the increase.” (Edgar Cayce 601-11)

It refers to the energy expended in proper direction, it does not state whether the energy or direction is positive or negative. It simply states that the effort is all that is necessary. This quote gives me hope and guidance.

Now that I have identified my wall of positivity, I need to restructure it. My intent is to avoid building walls altogether. Fortunately I do not have to start over; I have experienced the negative and I have recognized the positive. It is time to find an honest balance in my spiritual life.

“Start where you are.” – Edgar Cayce

Independence Day: Setting Free Spiritual Truths

Today is the day the nation comes together to celebrate our independence from a foreign oppressor. It was less about being ruled by the crown of England and more about freedom from a way of thinking. Regardless of where the country is today, it was a pivotal moment in time when a mass of people decided to change the world view.

What do you know to be true? Did you grown up feeling there is something more? Do you remember your first spiritual truth, have you found it yet? How will you solidify your new-found truth?

When an individual embarks on their path to spiritual freedom, they are often faced with challenges. They are trying to change themselves, which leads to a change in their world. The resistance can come from the individual or their surroundings.

Although an individual journey is not on scale to the Revolutionary War, it can sure feel like it is. There will be those that oppose you, long winters and times when you feel as though you are all alone. Do not let the skeptics and non-supporters get in your way. Stay true to yourself.

My advice for embarking on a spiritual journey begins at home, within. I recommend focusing on three to five new habits which reflect the truth you are seeking. These can be meditation, prayer, yoga, whatever is supportive. Work on these habits daily for ninety days. Let them become a part of your life.

Now that your core is in place, move outward. Find a support group or activity that calls to you. Utilize Facebook and MeetUp. Can you imagine if Benjamin Franklin would have been able to Skype with the French Government, rather than sail across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with them face to face? Technology has brought the world closer together; find or create a support group for yourself despite outside influences.

By this time a few months have passed. The immediate people in your life will most likely have noticed a change. This is where the work can get tricky. People are creatures of habit, they become accustomed to the way things are. Your new-found spiritual truth is going to affect your family, friends and co-workers. Unfortunately our greatest opposition can be those closest to us.

Do not fret, that is why you built your foundation. Use your personal habits and social support to aid you at this time. The Founding Fathers not only relied on their personal strength, they relied on each other. No one can do it alone and no one is expected to. Continue to work on yourself.

Your spiritual awakening and journey are not about others. They are about freeing yourself from an old way of thinking. This is your time to move beyond the oppression and falsehoods of your past. Think of this as your personal revolution.

Once you have found your truth, move forward with it. The journey may be long, and it will be hard. The Founding Fathers did not know what they were doing. But they knew and agreed that they cold no longer live under someone else’s falsehood. Together they birthed a nation. Do the same for your self, give birth to your spiritual truth.

Toasting Marshmallows: An Insight to Meditation

The other night my family was enjoying a cookout in our backyard. My two children love to roast marshmallows over the dying coals. Being that they are still young, the joyful experience of roasting marshmallows can be stressful.

My daughter was feeling disappointed that she was unable to create a perfectly toasted marshmallow. It would either burn or not toast enough. After eating at least three marshmallows covered in ash, I decided to assist my daughter.

First, I told my daughter to be mindful of the grill and to not burn herself. Then I informed her to focus on where she would like to toast the marshmallow. I guided her hand to hold the skewer at a certain point. I turned to her and told her to center herself. It was as I tapped her heart center and told her to be calm and still, that I realized how this was similar to meditation.

I was eight years old when meditation became a part of my life. Until then my father was always telling me to, “Be still!”

That early training helped me as I grew older. And by older I mean nineteen, when I attended my first meditation and dream study retreat in Wisconsin with John Van Auken.

To this day meditation remains a part of my life. Being a student of meditation practically all of my life has allowed me to experience many different styles and techniques. As with many teachings, there is an underlying theme to meditation regardless of the source.

Meditation requires preparation. Honor thyself and the creative forces by saying a prayer or other form of protection. Just as the coals are hot and require caution, there are unseen forces which deserve recognition. Follow this with an intention for the meditation. Where do you want to toast your marshmallow? Then go within yourself, be still, be silent and ascend. Sit with your marshmallow as it cooks.

Only you will know when it is time for your meditation to end. Just as some people prefer well done marshmallows to lightly toasted ones, meditation is personal. On some days I could sit in the silence for hours, others I only need a short time to reconnect with a higher force.

The next time you find yourself being hypnotized by the flames of a fire or the burning embers of coals, think about going within before you toast that marshmallow. Sit with yourself, be calm, be still.