Want Spiritual Experiences? Do This!

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If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in a stream of seemingly bad luck, you know how hard it is to stay positive.

If you’re there right now, I feel your pain.  I’ve written about losing my job six weeks ago and a bit about the accompanying crappy details like being denied unemployment, scheduling and preparing for an appeal hearing, finding out my insurance has lapsed in spite of COBRA and the grueling process of debt consolidation.

The icing on the cake was last week’s unexpected but typical family drama.  The proverbial straw . . .

I know, poor, poor, pitiful me.

It’s tough being spiritual, isn’t it, when you’re clinging to a log in the middle of that rough-water stream?

Tough, but not impossible.

You and I know that the logs we metaphorically hang on to–the ones with the claw marks–represent the stuff that’s hurting us, the circumstances or people we must let go.

But before you can let go, there is something that needs to happen.

You need to become willing.

Huh?

That’s right.  Everything you experience in life is about the decisions you make.  You either made a decision already or you need to make a decision and think you can’t.

Do you know why you can’t?  You haven’t become willing.

I’ve spent the better part of the last six weeks terrified that the money will run out, we’ll become homeless and begging with Jazzy on a street corner.

Well, maybe I’m not quite that fearful.  But I have been clinging to a big ‘ole log of fear even as I’ve known that I need to let it go.

But there was a piece missing.  The piece was willingness.

Willingness precedes every growth step.

I was having a conversation over the weekend with friends about spiritual experiences and how to know if we’d had one.  Several people said they only learn to appreciate an event as a spiritual experience after they became willing to open themselves to having them.

Do you agree?

Reading in the text of A Course in Miracles confirmed the piece about decisions.  “If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen.  That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior,” reads ACIM.

Choosing to listen to the voice on your spiritual path or to your ego is your decision, of course.  That’s why we have free will.

And free will decisions are always about either fear or love.  Will you continue to clutch the log in fear or are you willing to let go and open yourself to your cinema of spiritual experiences?

Give it some thought, and if you’re willing, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

B Well & Willing!

Photo courtesy of renowiggum

 

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8 Comments

  1. I so appreciate where you are. I went through a similar experience in 2001. It was, and has been very difficult at times. Now I am at a place where I have become very reclusive. I realize from your writing to be different, I need to be willing. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Beth says:

    Hi Sandy,

    I hope that in finding willingness to pursue the next steps along your path, you also find peace.

    Blessings to you today!

    Beth

  3. Galen Pearl says:

    You are having a night of the skunk! After a streak of bad luck (my dad died, I was injured in a car accident, etc.), I just wanted to go to bed until the world straightened itself out. Bed seemed like the only safe place in the world. That night, my dogs went out in the back yard and got sprayed by a skunk and then jumped into bed with me. Good grief.

    I love your attitude of willingness and your connection to ACIM. All these opportunities for spiritual practice are great, but I do hope things get better for you soon!!!!

  4. Beth says:

    Galen, here’s a little known fact: my dad has called me Stinker since I was a little girl. So of course it’s the night of the skunk! Geez, I can’t believe I’m sharing that tidbit on the web. Oh, what the heck.

    Thanks for your good wishes. I refuse to let all the poopy stuff get me down, at least long term. I suspect you’re the same!

    And by the way, I’ll be looking for skunks now when I let the dog out at night!

  5. Calvin Nokes says:

    need to make a decision and think you can’t.
    That was my favorite part because I can relate, I’m in a gay relationship it’s been 19yrs but I know I must stop this sin and it’s killing me to have to say goodbye to this man I love very much, But I do love the Lord more, Please pray for me.

    • Beth says:

      Calvin, I will pray. While I would never meddle in another’s personal spiritual beliefs, I do need to tell you that love is never a sin. I too am gay, by the way. My partner’s unconditional love for me, and mine for her, is holy because God is right in the center of it.

      There are plenty of behaviors that we act out in our relationships with others that can be confused with love; some would call those sins. However, when love is pure and honest and gentle and kind–all the attributes we attribute to the spiritual figures we revere and worship–in my opinion, it need not be called anything but love. It’s certainly not sin.

      Back to your request of me. Yes, I will pray. My prayer will be for your peace and understanding.

      You’re in my thoughts.

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