This is one seriously long New Year’s wish. So long in fact, I am sending it in four parts to you. So you are getting FOUR New Year’s wishes from me for 2008. Since we don’t see each other as often, sometimes it’s good to just say all the things you’ve been wanting to share all year long.
This year we all have the chance to, no matter how cluttered, soiled and ruined things may have become in 2007 to start all over. We get a free re-do. That of course, makes you think, “Well, what would I do differently?” For me, it’s not about specific habits and situations I want to change. What I really want is to change my whole approach to life so that the only New Year’s resolution I will ever have to make is, “I resolve to just enjoy my blessed life even more this year than I did last year!”
For a long time, like most people, I have been busily going along thinking that I have little to no control over what happens in my life. Either external forces like environment, country culture, family history, genetics, past mistakes or a Divine Parent set things in motion and I was merely a pawn in play. Perhaps you have felt that way too. Last year was especially tumultuous and challenging for most people, especially here in the Caribbean. In addition to the rising cost of living, there was an escalation in crime and many family and friends of mine, including myself had health issues that floored them in 2007.
All the while, I was going through all of this thinking, “Don’t I have any control over this? You mean I have no say whatsoever and all I can do is just make the best of this and try to cope?” Sometimes it was so crushing you actually questioned God’s logic for allowing certain things to happen. Was it like that for you? Did you feel like the more you fought against what you didn’t want, the more likely it was to happen anyway? Did it feel like the more you planned and took precautions against negativity, disappointment, loss, the more they came charging into your life. It was frustrating wasn’t it?
In 2007, I lost friends, money, opportunities and valuable time recovering from appendicitis. I had a lot of time to ponder things and my approach to this thing we call LIFE. Am I really as helpless as all that? Why is it that in certain instances I can be such a powerful creator of my reality and in others I falter and feel like a victim of circumstance? Yet at the same time, why is it that even now when I look back at all my actions, good, bad, honorable and shameful I see the evidence of a certain law and order working in my life? Things seemed to happen as if ordered. People entered my life precisely at the right time and place. Did you notice that too? Think back to those occurrences that brought comprehensive results even though they seemed like random events or accidents. Recall the people who made your life a living hell and in the process, triggered unexpected strengths and growth in you.
So what IS that anyway?
Well I have no doubt in my mind it is in part, the presence of Divine guidance. Whether you believe in God or not, both theists and atheists have one thing in common. Whether they see things in terms of God or The Universe, they agree, (1) life came from both (2) both were always in existence (3) both and are guided by certain laws. So just like God cannot go against the law of Freewill. The Universe cannot go against the laws of thermodynamics. For me, learning to trust Divine guidance is an ongoing process at which I am getting better. The thing is, as I get better at it, something else is coming to the fore. I feel strongly as if the Celestial Parent (or Universal energy if you will) wants me to do much more than trust but take active part in the creation of my own reality.
So here is the big question for 2008. If perfection is the ultimate goal of our beings, at what point do we start learning without getting so much licks?
Think about it, when a child is too young to understand the implications of their actions and does not yet appreciate your authority as a parent, sometimes some “hard learning” is needed. The typical, “Those who don’t hear will feel!” But when that child learns to not only hear but listen and reason on their own; weigh right and wrong and understand they can actually benefit from your age and experience things start to turn around right? They start to appreciate that you do what you do because you love them and then they can start to really enjoy life and not be so angry and in fear of punishment all the time. It is then their relationship with you the parent, blossoms and there is less spanking and grounding and more talking and “working things out” in a painless manner. They gain confidence to take on more responsibility and the rewards that come with it. They start having an adult relationship with you. They start to co-create their own lives.
I feel strongly as if the Celestial Parent (or Universal energy if you will) wants me to do much more than trust but take active part in the creation of my own reality.
Haven’t we reached that kind of relationship with the Creator? I think so. Most of the adults I know, love and respect (yes that includes you) have taken responsibility for their self-development and continue to strive towards being balanced, physically, spiritually and do as much good in the world as best they can. They took the time to explore their spiritual relationship in whatever manner they see fit. So tell me, why do we still need constant spanking or need to live in fear of punishment? Why must life hold so much hardship? Well, it really shouldn’t. We don’t have to “feel in order to hear” anymore. We past that stage where suffering is needed to learn. We can learn from just being open to the communication the Creator/Universe offers us and experience growth from simply having joy and bringing joy to others. In fact, we’d reach enlightenment and soul fulfillment even faster and better that way. So obviously, we are doing something that still inadvertently or even deliberately invites punishment. We are like a child that sits in the “naughty corner” long after our Mommy tells us punishment is over. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why do I make things so hard for myself?
I think that a large part of it is habit. It is reinforced by culture, family, and religion. We feel life must be hard to mean something. If we don’t suffer for what we have then we really didn’t earn it. I am sure you have been constantly told, “Nothing comes easy!” When we see people who seem to have it all and came by it easily we think, “Well obviously they must have done something evil to get it.” If you are a Caribbean woman, well you KNOW we have the self-suffering thing down to a tee! We are taught self-depreciation before we can even talk. We are taught fear of punishment is the motivating factor to everything in life, including our spiritual life. We get where we want to go because of fear of failure, fear of getting pregnant out of wedlock, fear of ending up like (add your personal list of people you were warned about), fear of going to hell, fear of being laughed at. Well, fear is primal and base. It is for the immature and ignorant and sweetie, we are not in that category! We are at the age of personal responsibility. So chile, the only thing that should be motivating us and the only kind of relationship we should be having with the Creator and ourselves is one based on unconditional love. Appreciating the unconditional love from the Creator and then as a result having unconditional love for yourself and yes, eventually you reach the level where you can have unconditional love for others, including people you may not like.
Some of us are still sitting in the "Naughty Corner"
Yes, I know, the much sung about, clichéd “Greatest love of all”, which some call conceited. They will say, you are NOT supposed to love yourself. You are to put others before yourself. You must sacrifice! Well, it’s okay if they believe that. Our society has believed that for centuries. Where has that belief led our society to? Where has that belief led our planet to? Where there is someone sacrificing, someone else is not pulling their share of the weight and both are operating from a place and attitude of lack not love. If you put yourself last, you are in fact giving nothing to the world as well because everything you have to give comes from within the nourishment of your own soul. An anemic person cannot donate blood. Think of an abused woman who feels she is being so saintly and self-sacrificing because she is staying with her violent spouse for the sake of her kids. By treating herself with little regard, she is actually not helping her children at all and doing more harm than good. Worse yet, when we and the community at large treat ourselves with little regard we invite (whether we realize it or not) predators to enter our lives, be they greedy relatives, false friends, delinquent employees, stingy employers, corrupt governments. Worse yet, we feel powerless to stop them. Perpetuating this state of self-degradation for their own selfish gain, is the mission of many organizations, political, commercial and religious.
Thank Goodness for the few luminaries throughout the ages who rose above the masses and somehow had so much self-belief and so little fear that they pushed our human race forward! It’s what makes people like Susan B. Anthony believe she and all women deserve the right of suffrage or Gandhi assert the right to live free of oppression. The truth is ALL of us are worthy of all the blessings the Universe and The Creator have for us. We were MEANT to experience that joy and fulfillment. That is why we were created, to further the love, joy, happiness and peace of the Higher Power. Have you ever noticed that in every single spiritual tradition around the globe, a state of total contentment and bliss is the ultimate realization of Divine enlightenment and fulfillment? Some religions teach you achieve this after death, others state you achieve it here on earth. Whether you call it, heaven, Nirvana, a state of Zen or living in a state of grace. It all stems from fully embracing Divine Love, letting it fill you to overflowing and having so much love for your self; so much inner peace you have more than enough to give the world.
Where there is someone sacrificing, someone else is not pulling their share of the weight and both are operating from a place and attitude of lack not love. If you put yourself last, you are in fact giving nothing to the world as well because everything you have to give comes from within the nourishment of your own soul.
So friends, my first New Year’s wish for you, is that you surrender and accept with total trust that you are loved. You are loved because you are a child of God/Universe and came into existence for It to further all the beautiful aspects of It. You have every reason and right to love up yourself like the exquisite soul you are. Treat yourself with care this year. Stop sacrificing yourself! Start giving from a place of overflow instead of lack. If Martin Luther King hadn’t already loved himself and filled his own soul up till it brimmed over, he would never have been able to move others and help others. The same goes for all who help the world- Oprah, Mother Theresa etc. It is not a sacrifice for them but a joy! You will see and feel the difference almost instantly if you concentrate on you first. Don’t you dare feel guilty about it! Don’t let loved ones and colleagues emotionally blackmail you either. Remember that when you pull the weight for others you are denying them their chance to develop their own strengths. Remember you are doing your loved ones, colleagues, community a HUGE favor by filling yourself up first and then having more than 100% to offer them when they truly need it and from a generous and free heart. Giving will feel like a joy to you in 2008.
Hugs and kisses