How much political power do you have?
How much financial leverage do you command?
How much social influence do you possess?
How much of your life do you control?
For this series, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to these questions. They are reflective gauges of our ‘station’ in life and what we are doing with it.
We have jobs, careers, responsibilities, duties, obligations. We have relationships, issues, problems, fears. We have an id, an ego, insecurities and doubts, a conscience, a mind and body. We are each complex individuals living in a complicated world.
What do you have control over, exactly? Thoughts and Responses. Your Thoughts, Your Responses. On that platform we all start on a level ‘playing field.’ Think about what you can change in the world today. Not much right? Think about what you can change in your world today! Think for a moment about what you can change right now, today, in your family, neighborhood, community. Imagine what you can change in yourself. The questions really are simply, How? and Why? If you want change in your life, do you want that change to be positive or negative?
We are all caught up in life. Specifically ours unfolding hour by hour, day by day. We are trying to get by, get along, and get ahead. We’re all juggling people, places, objects, and emotions.
You name it, we have got an aspiration to have it, be it, or possess it. How many of our desires, wants, wishes and delights do we actually have ‘control’ over? True control? Meaning "you’re able to walk away from it" if and when you need to?
We are each living, but are we ‘alive’? To recognize the purpose behind being ‘alive’ one needs to be ‘complete’. Mind, body, and spirit working in concert. That is the true challenge of life. We are each a spirit upon arrival, occupying a soul, housed in a corporeal body with a processing mind on a journey travelling a path that stretches before us. It is our individual life, yet we are each on a quest to understand and be understood. To know ourselves and our place in our world. After day one no one remains unimpaired. Life becomes a continuum. A series of chances, choices, consequences and changes. It is little things that often determine who we can, may, or will become. You, your complete package is and has traversed its journey that culminates in you, today.
From our first breath we are caught up in the world. With each of us inhaling its enveloping existence. We become part of our singular new world. And the longer we are a part of it and it a part of us, the more bonded to 'our life' we become. It is a “Matrix” like realm as our energies are used, influenced, morphed, modeled, and molded for and by the world through its control, evil and corruption. Are we an unwitting part of its system? Or do we blindly 'buy into' its temptations designed to engage us first and foremost in "self"? The essence of who you are is an energy unit of the cosmos. When the spirit within the corporeal body is ‘activated’ in a living spiritual relationship, choices come with fewer harmful consequences because an activated spirit identifies opportunities as efforts to grow. On the other hand an ‘inactive’ spirit is silent, allowing habitual repeated mistakes and errors in judgment to constantly proliferate, engage and result in requited suffering.
What to do?
First, forgive your parents. Free yourself by doing this one thing, and you can start the rest of your journey to become your own person. Realize they are (were) just who they are (were). A culmination of their nature and nurtured upbringing. Each having ‘good, bad and ugly’ experiences you saw, endured, embraced and perhaps escaped? Next, allow yourself to forgive yourself the pain of the anger and animosity you hold deep within against those who have harmed you on your path. This is essential. It is only you who suffers the lingering indignant emotions of those experiences. If those people are no longer in your life, then be done with them once and for all. If they are still in your life, then you have work to do and decisions to make.
Are these two actions easy? Well, that depends on how much you continue to be emotionally invested in your anger and 'hurt' feelings. Does this sound harsh? Perhaps, however the penultimate question is do you want to heal and become better? More whole in your being and existence? Do you? If so, these two steps are the start. If your only desire is to feel sorry for yourself by refusing to overcome your past, then that is where you have chosen to be and stay. Good luck with that. Our choice with every step on the journey's path is to determine whether we will be 'whole' or, stay in the 'hole'.
Let’s turn back to that which we can control. Our thoughts and responses. God’s love for each of us is so great that He designed our brains (minds) with a unique ability. Like a supercomputer our brains can process information at the 'speed of thought.' That is, instantly. Our minds can change, analyze, prepare, and respond in nano milliseconds. Faster even than we ourselves can understand. But here is the true genius of God’s loving design. We can only have one thought at a time.
Think about it. Although the multiplicity of our brain's abilities is innumerable, we can only actively focus on one thought at a time. This is the omniscience of God’s love. He knew with our mind’s instant processing abilities we would be able to imagine wishes, desires and actions constantly. Combining this thought processing ability with ‘free will’ we often manage get ourselves into situations/issues/problems we create for ourselves. For this reason, He gave us the capability of focusing only on a single active thought in a singular moment upon which to act.
What does this mean? If you want to change your life, change your thoughts! How? Redirect or replace that (inappropriate or negative consequence producing) focused thought with a different one. Why? Because our thoughts become our actions, our actions become our habits, our habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny. If you want to change your life, change your thoughts, and then act accordingly in every situation. If you want/need help to make that happen, activate your spiritual connection with God, through Jesus Christ.
By not recognizing the spiritual power connection between the innate concept of right vs. wrong consequences, life continues as a process of cause and effect, reward and punishment. Life becomes layer upon layer of covered and muted pronouncements or attempts at ‘control.’ Always lingering is the knowledge of choice between immediate gratification and an alternative response. It is similar to experiencing the brass ring on a classic Merry-Go-Round. Knowing it exists and is attainable, yet never stretching out far enough to grasp it.
We each come to learn and understand the consequential options between right and wrong. Spiritually speaking, that same option is between a moral or ethical response, versus an amoral/immoral or inappropriate/unethical response. Each moment of decision can represent a point of mental conflict within every choice. The question, or opportunity becomes, " Will I choose my way?" That is, my well known and well used, comfortable 'old pattern' world influenced response/action/reaction? Or will I attempt the unknown, untried, possibly untrue and perhaps uncomfortable response guided by spiritual recognition and understanding?
Being and remaining ‘in limbo’ teetering between these two with every major (or minor) decision or choice leads to frustrating and potentially costly consequences. This can also make for tenuous and conflicted daily interactions which can further exacerbate our doubts or fears. Truly a difficult way to live. Much like Alice’s rabbit hole, we tumble, wander and wonder. While the entire time in the back of our mind is an itch we are unable to scratch, that mental 'splinter' we are unable to extricate. An ever-present cognition that surely, there must be an alternative way.
Join me for Part 2 when we pull the splinter.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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