Many years ago I encountered a poem that stirred the depths of me:
by Judy Brown
What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.
When we are able to build
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.
We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
simply because the space is there,
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.
“Fire” still moves me to ask the question, “Do I have enough space in my life, so the fire of me can burn fully?”
How about you?
Are you choosing your life, or are you living someone else’s?
Ralph Waldo Emerson felt strongly about self-reliance… so much in fact, that he wrote an essay about it, which can be found in the famous collection of his work, "Emerson’s Essays".
Throughout his “Self-Reliance” essay, he says many times, and in many different ways, “Be yourself!” He believed that being who you are is worth ten-fold the copying of anyone else, and that offering the gift of your self is more valuable to the world than anything else you could offer. There you have it.
I imagine that Emerson must have been very tough-minded, and I also suspect that he was very much an individual. It must have been disconcerting and difficult for him to live in a world filled with copycats, terrified to find their own voice. But I state the obvious. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have written the essay.
It is ironic to me, with Emerson’s strong declaration of “find your own words; use not others’,” that he is one of the most quoted writers in metaphysics… “But he says it so well!” I declare, somewhat defensively…and with a grin.
Many times, I have said, “I do this work so that I can have more people to play with.” This is still ever so much the truth for me. I still want self-reliant people around me, because it supports me in being self-reliant, too, and that's why I teach self-reliance. That’s a game worth playing.
~Blessings, Rev Donald~
Today I sat quietly, closed my eyes and ventured into a bold inward quest to understand why I hadn’t been able to manifest my goals. As the process evolved, it became obvious; I was responsible. I guess I’d always known that, but hadn’t wanted to deal with it!
Under a microscope, I saw evidence of a substantial build-up of resentment in my life. Beginning in childhood, and continuing throughout my life, I had accumulated quite a load of anger and hurt feelings. I tried to forget them, but truthfully, they were old familiar “companions”. I hadn’t figured out how to let them go, forgive and move on. I felt “entitled” to feel “wronged” by those mean-spirited people and regretful events that had impacted my life so negatively. I hadn’t seen it as any of MY doing; I had been the victim, here!
Oops! Had I thought of myself as a victim? That would mean I had no control over what happened to me. That really touched a nerve! If I am responsible in my life, what was I thinking – giving someone or anything power over me? I started getting angry again, only NOW I was mad at MYSELF!! (I had to take a few deep breaths to calm down.) If I am undermining my own progress of manifesting, because of resentments I can’t forget, how do I wipe the slate clean and move on?
Carrying around all those resentments tainted every new relationship or situation. I also saw that it hadn’t just been anger I’d been carrying around; I’d also been harboring FEAR that I could potentially fall prey to some of those old familiar scenarios in my life again in a present day experience. Because of this, I’d been denying myself the simple privilege of enjoying the “now” – a new, previously unknown, unblemished moment in time.
I’d always believed myself to be intelligent and evolving spiritually, but I hadn’t been very happy or content. So, obviously, I needed to make better CHOICES. First, I made the choice to forgive myself, because I realized I couldn’t imagine continuing in life without forgiveness for the many blunders I’d caused, all on my own, in my life. Next, I chose to forgive everyone else whoever hurt me, knowing I couldn’t ask anyone else to be infallible when I’m so obviously imperfect. Thirdly, I chose to change the classification of “Resentments” to “Lessons Learned”. New slogan: Better choices yield better results. This stuff works! I felt so much lighter already!
At the end of this inward quest, I felt so liberated and free! As I opened my eyes, I understood that what had blocked my manifestation had been my death-grip on my old RESENTMENTS! Forgiveness took them away in a flash! Amazing! What a productive use of my time!
~ Serina French ~
Vernon Howard wrote,
We lose enemies when no longer having a false need for them.
WOW! What a powerful and accountable viewpoint.
We lose enemies to our self-expression, or threats to our person, or the experience of other people resisting our life expression, when we no longer have a false need for their behaviors or stimulae. I interpret this as “No one is against us and every thing and every one is FOR us. Or, at the very least, these things are there for our benefit.”
In example, when we have eliminated our doubt or uncertainty about some aspect of our life, when we are clear about the life we want, people don’t challenge us about that which we were doubting. It never even occurs to them. They doubt us because we get them to.
Every thing and every one in our life gives us feedback or information about our OWN point of view.
Everything and everyone helps us to awaken and to see where we are “on the map” in our life. This is tremendously good news! With this viewpoint we can experience every aspect of our life as a blessing. We can experience every person and every event as a gift we have given ourselves to awaken to how we are defining and interpreting our life. With this information, if we like the outcome, we can reinforce our point of view. And if we don’t like the outcome, we can change our point of view. The liberation potential is HUGE!
If may be hard at times to keep this point of view, when we get fired or divorced or experience illness or injury or financial crisis. However, if we can look at these events as supportive of our awakening, then maybe, just maybe, we can learn something about ourselves and can move into the experience FROM power and awareness, FROM the possibility of betterment.
It has been said many times and ways: “Whatever you focus on expands in life.” Well, there you have it!
Would focusing on how awful it is help to create an experience of possibility, or would it create an experience of victim-hood and potential despair?
When we look for possibilities and potential in a situation, we feel like we are more in the driver’s seat than when we feel at the effect of the same situation. And by definition, we can also see more possibilities and potential when we look FROM that point of view. It’s hard to see wildflowers while focusing on the thickness of the forest.
If you find an enemy in your life, give up the false need for that enemy and see what you might create from the situation.