Articles about Spirituality
Within each of us there is an expansive world of thoughts and feelings whose movements determine how we perceive and experience the world outside of us. While this inner-world of thoughts and feelings may not directly bring us what we see, it does profoundly influence how we see our world of relationships and events. The inner determines the outer. In other words, we are seeing the exterior but experiencing the interior.
One simple example of how this works is when our heart is heavy or troubled. Whenever we happen to feel this way, everything else around us tends to appear equally dark. But there are far deeper implications to this important insight. With patient self-study, we can turn it into a personal breakthrough of the most freeing kind that can lift us to a brand new world. Let's get started.
All of us have felt, at one time or another, trapped in our own life. During these periods of heightened unhappiness one thing seems clear: the only reason we haven't realized our great potential is because we're being held back. There is some unpleasant person, an inescapable condition, some unwanted place in life where we got "stuck."
So, over and over again we plan our great escape. And over and over again we find ourselves either having gone nowhere, or back where we started from, both results being the same. For all of our efforts, nothing really changes. New loves, new jobs, even new homes change only the walls that surround us -- not our feelings of being imprisoned. We sense that all we have done is changed cells!
We mustn't fight with or in any way fear this shocking conclusion. Why? Because this temporarily disturbing discovery about our actual condition contains a crucial insight. It was never that person or circumstance that was blocking our moment in the sun. No! In spite of how things may appear to us, we are never trapped by where we are. The trap is always who we are. Here is a short summary of this new and unusual self-discovery:
When you run into a personal obstacle, you have not run into an outer condition that is denying you happiness. You have run into your own present life-level.
Your level of being is what determines where you are at any given moment because your experience is always who you are. Let me repeat this. For better or for worse, you experience who you are, not where you are.
Here are a few more examples to help you see this important idea.
All of us have felt:
1. Lonely in a crowd.
2. Out of place at a family gathering.
3. Frightened in a loved one's arms.
4. Depressed at a party.
5. Crowded even though alone.
When you hear someone say, "I'm sick and tired of it," what he is really saying without realizing it is that he's sick and tired of suffering from his own lack of understanding. This all becomes clear once we understand that unhappiness does not come at us, it comes from us.
For instance, impatience with our level of understanding is the very level of understanding we are impatient with. The understanding of this spiritual principle allows us to disconnect ourselves from our impatience. Life becomes instantly better. For one thing, the frustration fades. In its place, learning flowers. And the more we inwardly grow, the easier our whole life flows.
This new idea of acting to deliberately disconnect ourselves from whatever we think has us blocked leads us to true self-liberation because we have never been trapped by anything outside of our own lack of understanding. This is why even the attempt to disconnect ourselves from the limitations of our present life-level already belongs to a higher level of understanding.
This conscious action on your part "works" by gradually breaking down the painful circle-of-self that is repeatedly formed by asking the problem for the solution. Barriers begin to crumble and disappear, because you have stopped creating them. In the truest meaning of the words, you are getting out of your own way!
Practice self-disconnect as often as you can. The more you work at this special kind of letting go, the freer your days will flow and the higher your life will go.
Persistence is everything in your personal work. You must persist even if it is only with your wish to be persistent. You must persist in spite of all forces that seem to be against your wish to break through to a new you. Believe me, there are no real obstacles between you and the brand new life for that you long for. You can (and must) prove this kind of freedom to yourself, starting with this understanding and implied action:
The greater the doubt you will dare to step through, the greater your possibility to grow beyond yourself. Here's why this axiom always holds true. The only barriers between yourself -- and a life without limits -- are the powers you've mistakenly given to your doubts and fears. On the other hand, every time you walk past these false powers -- by disconnecting yourself from the false concerns they cast at your feet -- here's what happens: spiritual strength is increased.
What is spiritual strength? It can be said in dozens of ways, but for now let's put it like this: it's knowing you don't have to compromise yourself in any way -- with anyone, over anything -- in order to be content, confident, and secure in life.
Here are seven proven ways to increase this new kind of spiritual strength. Study them with the wish to uncover the secrets hidden in their empowering instructions. Practice each one -- or all of them -- every day. You'll see that with the very act of disconnecting yourself from the fears and doubts that compromise your life, you are re-connecting yourself to a new kind of power that never leaves you alone in your hour of need.
1. Refuse to revisit your own past for a way out of any present problem you face.
2. Say "No" to anyone or anything that you fear saying "No" to.
3. Never explain yourself to anyone out of fear they may misjudge you.
4. Learn to see your own defensiveness towards others as an offense against your own right to be free of fear.
5. Whenever possible realize that the person you are about to argue with is in as much pain as you are.
6. Never accept any negative reaction you may have as the only possible answer to your present challenge.
7. Remember that everything you resist in life increases its weight by the magnitude of thought spent in not wanting it, so you accept all that you can, and quietly drop the rest.
Persist with these spiritual practices and you will see old doubts turn into new certainty, and dark fears replaced with a bright fearlessness.
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization, including "The Secret of Letting Go," "The Essential Laws of Fearless Living," and his brand new book "The Secret of Your Immortal Self." He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet and the Huffington Post. For more information and to download Guy's Free 60-minute MP3 seminar "Five Simple Steps to Make Yourself Fearless," visit http://www.GuyFinley.org/kit