I recently found a very old religious medal from Lourdes. I had a strong desire to wear it, so I polished up a dainty sterling chain and put it on. For about a month, I wore it every day, not even taking it off at night. Then one day, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to wear it anymore but had the thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t take it off.” So I didn’t.
This went on for a couple of weeks and what came to light was my superstition about religious relics and items. I realized that I had a belief that this little medal had some sort of healing power and as much as I don’t like to admit that, I found myself even a little afraid to take it off, like something bad would happen if I did.
Last week, I was holding my 6 month old grandson, Griffin, and he grabbed the medal and ripped it right off my neck. The little chain broke, and he looked at me in such a startled and delighted way that it made me laugh and he began to laugh too. It didn’t take any reflection on my part to realize what had happened.
Over and over again, I find the wisdom of this Universe working lovingly to help me to let go of old, limiting beliefs…sometimes, I can recognize one of these beliefs and am able to let it go, at other times, it is ripped away and I have the choice to lament the loss or to see it as the helping hand of God/Spirit/My Higher Self.
“Have you ever struggled to find work or love only to find them after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go. Let go, in order to achieve. Letting go is God’s Law.” Mary Manin Morrissey
Years ago, I heard a spiritual teacher say, in essence, “There are no problems. All things that you think are problems are only stories that your mind has believed, labeled as a ‘problem’ and then began to worry about.” I didn’t understand what she was saying, at all, and my reaction was to become angry and dismissive of her work and of her. As I recall, I said something like, “What bull—-!”
Over the years I began to notice that anger was the response I had to things that challenged my beliefs or that I didn’t understand. Worry, anxiety, restlessness, fear that I couldn’t figure life out, fear that I’d be ridiculed by others, and fear of the future, were more “comfortable” to me than the thought that I could stop believing in problems, which just seemed like a stupid and foolhardy approach to life. But slowly, I began to change, and the radical, spiritual, truth that there are no problems began to seem like reality to me. When a “problem thought” confronted me, I would say things like, “This is not a problem” or “What if I refused to see this as a problem?”
Writing this morning, I had to check the spelling of foolhardy. I thought it was fool-hearty and corrected it, but then I paused. In the Tarot card deck, there is a card called The Fool which depicts a young man about to step off a cliff. He has his head in the clouds and yet this is a positive image that really points to trusting in the unseen reality that is the larger part of Life and of us. Many other spiritual traditions talk about the Holy Fool too. I believe that Jesus was called a fool by many…especially when he said, “Do not worry about tomorrow…Ask for what you want and believe that it is already given…” and other such radical teachings.
I still get caught in fearful, worried, anxious, thoughts…but I catch them sooner now. I’m moving toward my goal which is the full knowledge that there are no problems, only problem thoughts, and those can be changed as soon as I recognize them for what they are; mind-made stories.
Today, I think I’ll embrace the fool-hearty life; I’ll laugh, smile, and dance for no reason at all. I’ll refuse to see anything as a problem…just for today, and I invite you to join me.
“‘Then let go, dear one, and turn all over to Me, your Self, your God within you–not to some God apart or away off from you. For I, your Self, am here directing all, caring for all and have been waiting so long for you to give Me full charge. Can you not realize that I will permit only that to manifest which is for your greatest good? For remember I see and know what is that good, and long with a great longing to have you participate in it with Me.” pp 246 from “The Way To The Kingdom” published anonymously in 1932
A few days ago, I became anxious that I hadn’t heard from someone (who I knew was going through I rough time). I’d called him, but he didn’t return my call (which was really unusual) so I waited for a day and called again, feeling very “concerned”. He answered the phone and was cold, distant and abrupt. Later that day I thought, “He was feeling my energy of fear (worry, anxiety, and concern are all just dressed up words for fear). I had been imagining him as unhappy and closed off so I took it upon myself to come to the rescue, and was rewarded with exactly what I deserved. Who wants to be looked at in this way?…not him, not me.
As soon as I realized what I’d done, I started imagining him as happy and feeling at peace. I saw the God in him. I let go of all anxiety or need for him to contact me. The next morning, he called and we had a wonderful talk.
“My friend, the battle you are trying to fight is not yours, but God’s. Be still. Let go. The battle is God’s, not yours, and because it is God’s battle through you, God desiring to manifest through you, victory was on your side before the battle began (in your consciousness, for that is the only place where there is any battle). Some who doubt will say, ‘Yes, but I must have money today’, or ‘I must have relief at once’ or ‘this salvation will come too late to be of use, and besides I do not see how!’ Stop right there, dear friend. You do not have to see how. This is not your business. Your business is to ‘stand still’ and proclaim, ‘It is done.” From the essay, Trusting and Resting, by H. Emilie Cady, published in 1903
Years ago, when I entered a 12-step program, I remember seeing a banner that read, “Let Go and Let God”. It was hanging on the wall behind the speaker, and I had no idea what it meant, but thought, “What a lame philosophy! How could anything get done if we don’t do it ourselves?” It took me a long time to understand this spiritual teaching. Being raised with the concept that God was something separate from me (a distant, critical, large “being” that was waiting to pounce on my every transgression from the good path, or someone who gave gifts and answered prayer if He felt like it) was not only disempowering, but it left me lonely and scared of living and life.
We are no less than temples of the Living God, which means that we can never be separated from the sea of infinite Good. If we need help, we don’t need to grovel and beg to some distant power. There is no distant power. What many of us have been taught about God; that this force is Someone removed and different from us, was wrong. God; Universal Spirit, the Divine, The Field of Infinite Possibilities, is accessed through our own hearts. What we desire, what we need, is also a part of us. When we “surrender to God”, we are only giving up the idea that we are little, individual, lumps of flesh and blood, trying to figure this life out on our own.
“The day I surrendered myself for God, I transcended all anxiety, because trying to look after oneself is the only anxiety.” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
I went upstairs on Saturday afternoon and found Fred peacefully sleeping in what had been Ben’s bed. I’d noticed Ben downstairs on the couch, but that they had exchanged places (or more likely, Fred just took over Ben’s spot and Ben adjusted accordingly) didn’t occur to me until I was taking their pictures. I love the way that animals adjust to each other….and how we adjust to them.
On Friday morning, I decided to take a drive and as I opened my car door, the smell of cat urine hit me. I’d been leaving my car windows open and usually Esther (who doesn’t want to come inside at night) will end up in there. Well, Ben has been getting in there too, and I guess Esther thought she’d better claim the car as her own.
I was on my way to visit my friend Nancy at the Coop, told her about my car, and she handed me a bottle of Bac-Out that completely removed the smell. I’ll leave the car windows up from now on, but I’m not holding it against either of the cats. I took care of the problem and let it go.
But I wonder; if a human had sprayed some very unpleasant smelling thing in my car, would I be so quick to forget it? Probably not….but I’d like to think that this is where I am heading spiritually: taking each next step into new life, and with each new step, letting go of any past hurts, problems, regrets, worry or anger. Moving with ease, like a dance, with all of the other beings (human and otherwise) that I am privileged to share this life-experience with.
Clara Barton (founder and president of the American Red Cross) who never bore any grudges, was once reminded by a friend of a wrong done to her some years earlier. “Don’t you remember?” asked her friend. “No,” replied Barton firmly, “I distinctly remember forgetting that.” Taken from September’s Sun Magazine and sent to me by Susan A.
Carolyn was the winner of the Blue Moon give-away!
Just about 10 years ago, I was craving a trip to the ocean…the warm, light blue-green clear water felt like it was calling to me. The trouble was, it wasn’t calling to Jack. I tried to talk him into going, but he didn’t want to; said we couldn’t afford it, and wouldn’t talk about it. I found this to be quite frustrating (to say the least), and I was beginning to resent him.
One day, in despair over my inability to get him to change his mind, (and in my mind he was the only way that I was getting to the ocean) I went out for a run. Half way through I had an epiphany, “I cannot do this anymore. I’m angry at Jack every time I think about this trip, and frustrated with myself for not being able to figure out a way to do it. If I am meant to go on a trip to the ocean then it will have to show up another way. I am letting it go.” And I meant it. I felt a weight lift and a sense of calm came over me.
As I walked into the house after my run, Jack said, “Bob called (my younger brother) and said he’d call you back this morning. I told him that you were running.”
Bob called about 15 minutes later and said, “Hey sis, I just had an idea. I am taking the kids to Sanibell Island for spring break and wanted to know if you would like to join us? There’s an extra bedroom in the condo and it is yours if you want it.”
It was as if I literally “let go” of the thought that Jack had to make this trip happen, and it was finally free to travel out from me and my “one way this has to happen idea”, and find a better path to turn my dream into a reality.
I realize that solutions don’t always come as swiftly as this one did, …but sometimes they do! If you would like a weekend assignment, how about taking one thing in your life that you’ve been wrestling with or trying to figure out, and let it go, just for the weekend, …give yourself (and your idea) a little room to breath, to relax and refresh. When we turn inside, and change the only thing that really matters; our thoughts and our attitude, life will show up to meet us on that new ground too.
“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts”. Samuel Johnson