When pain shows up at your door, let it in. You do not need to fear it. It is not necessary to open your door and go looking for pain to let in, nor is it necessary to be excited that pain has showed up at your door. But when it shows up- open the door, let it walk in, and be with it. Let it be your guest. Listen to the story it wants to tell you. Be a good non-judgmental listener. When pain has splurged all that it meant to express, being empty of anything else to say it will leave happily, often to never return.
When you are thinking, you are lost in a dream of form. When you are being, you just “are”: no distinctions are necessary, and all possibilities actually exist.
The intent to dwell “in the now” is often referred to as being “present.” Being “present” is like looking at a sunset and fully experiencing its beauty in the present moment: you simply are being present with the experience, rather than quantifying or judging the experience with thought. The sunset admirer does not begin to think “the sunset should be more pink,” for as soon as she does, she is no longer experiencing the sunset, but is instead judging it. God often speaks to us far more clearly in the former (presence) than in the latter (thought judgment).
If you slow down the momentum of your thoughts and go far enough into the present moment and allow yourself to completely surrender to it without judgment, you will find rather than nothing being there, everything is there. You will find your awareness exists beyond the boundaries of your body, and that you can experience your being that transcends your entire physical identity and all of its thoughts and judgments. The only thing that separates you from that native transcendence are the thoughts, judgments, and beliefs that you have decided to cling to and formalize over a lifetime.
This present moment, this very moment right now, the great depths of your own being are available to you. While the momentum of your thoughts and judgments may be great, and that may seem to keep you far from being fully aware, recognize that at any time you can take one step away from the thoughts and toward awareness of the present moment itself.
Who you really are is much bigger than who you may think you are right now, and it is completely OK to explore that!
In the context of your belief system, especially a religious one, if you are feeling doubt it is a sign that your Reason is compelling you to explore. It is OK to follow your Reason. “Big Truth” is not make believe and does not require your belief to exist. (Only your ego requires things to be a certain way.)
If you genuinely seek truth, you will look fearlessly into your own history and experience, and your own reaction to it all. If you look close enough you will see that your beliefs have deeply colored and created your experience. In addition, if you consistently take the time to explore deeply into the present moment beyond your thoughts and judgments, into your awareness itself, you will find that your awareness is fundamental to every experience you have had, while the intellectual justifications and beliefs are not. “You” have (your awareness has) persisted and endured, while the thoughts and forms that you have entertained have come and gone.
Faith then is not about simply finding an idea and holding on to it with tenacity. Faith is setting your deepest intent in the “right direction”- which is toward Love and God (no matter what you call it or don’t call it). Those two words attempt to encompass many aspects of truth which vastly transcend all human language, but we might say they include actually setting your intention toward: fearlessness, personal responsibility, active relationship with your Source, peace, acceptance, humility, surrender, joy, creativity, being fully present in the current moment, and always striving to put the needs of others before yourself. Genuinely pursuing all of that is both much more challenging and much more rewarding than tenaciously holding on to any human intellectual dogma, creed, book, name, or idea. God vastly transcends the forms you may identify Her by anyway, so your selection of the form itself is not critical. That being said, admittedly we are physical beings living in dualism- so the form or belief pursued can in fact be extremely meaningful and important! Religion often serves this extremely meaningful purpose. But when you are ready it can also be liberating to realize that the form or belief itself is not the “active ingredient.” Spirit- which we might also call “life” or “awareness”- is the thing that is real; and the “active ingredient” is the mobilization of that spirit- including your spirit- by intent! Intent transcends the forms of your mind, even as it must work through those forms.
You can at any moment let your faith transcend belief!
When you glance upon truth, there is no doubt: you know it in a way that resonates perfectly with the true goodness in your soul, because at their deepest root all things- including you- always exist within harmony, love, and perfect beingness. If you feel conflict, resistance, pressure, or fear, in that moment you are not operating from a place of higher truth. And that’s OK! You, as a part of the Creative process, utilize your experience of duality and contrast to expand and create. None-the-less, YOUR personal decision in any and every given moment to choose loving intent versus fearful intent is truly, truly important! It is the very reason this reality exists- to give you that opportunity! Faith then is always striving for the divine however you may personally identify it. Faith is choosing to embody pure loving selfless intent. Faith is allowing the greater truth and mighty river of Source’s ever-present love to flow through you in whatever your circumstances, regardless of the forms involved!
The primary thing we are accomplishing is not anything external, like production, consumption, amassing wealth, or creating something physical. The primary thing we are accomplishing is in consciousness space: the development of the quality of our intent toward love, the addition to creativity and to ideas, the broadening of awareness that occurs as one has experiences and makes choices. WE are the substance of what is happening in reality; the things we see around us are not. We can turn materials into finished goods, build a thousand cities, direct resources by spending money for decades and centuries: none of that has any meaning except through the experience of, and resulting beingness of, those doing it and those affected by it. When the Earth has passed- and pass it will- the objects we moved around effortfully will matter very little. However, our experience, our love- that will be incredibly precious and eternally enduring!
You and I will exist past the death of our bodies. We will exist after the roads have crumbled to dust, the skyscrapers have fallen low, and the languages of the Earth are no longer spoken. Someday, eventually, all the things we have built will be gone- but you will remain.
Should we then while we are here spend our energies primarily on physical production and acquisition? Or should we instead work towards building up that which will never pass? Are not the treasures of the spirit worth far more than any possession? For wisdom endures! Joy lifts up all of Creation! Creativity adds to What Is in an eternal way! The growth of the spirit cannot ever be lost, and love never, ever dies or diminishes.
Work, then, for love! Work to conquer your fear, to fully face whatever your experience may be. Work to create. Work to add to the experience of those around you. Work to serve, to humble yourself, to make the world better for someone else. Work to expand your understanding, your perspective, your willingness. Work to surrender. Work to face yourself and be the best you can be. Work to allow the love of the divine to flow through you. And know that your “work” is not work at all- it is the gentle calling of your spirit to be the loving being that you are at your core, wherever you are. Let go of all concern, follow the quiet asking of your spirit, and know that “all is well.” For you are the brave one who has decided to come here, not to accomplish the transient ends of the physical, but to add to yourself, to love, and to Creation!