Hardship is a Gift

A challenge is a gift! When the individual is challenged by circumstance, the opportunity for the spirit to apply itself and expand through that experience is a gift. It is not that hardship itself is good- but rather, it is a neutral catalyst that can be useful.

The ego may reject this. The ego may see hardship as simply terrible and negative. But nothing terrible and negative arises that the spirit cannot ultimately use. There is nothing greater than All That Is- nothing can arise within it that is not of meaning. Even hardship- and often especially hardship- ultimately has great value in the churning processes of manifest creation, which ultimately serve the expansion of everlasting joy!

To the immortal and all powerful spirit, challenge is a precious opportunity to bring virtue to bear- to expand and actualize the depths of one’s own love and light in a real, lasting way. We are spirit first, and human second. The challenges of the secondary human experience are often worth the temporary price to the bold spirit who knows the truth of immortality and wishes to expand itself and the joy of All, forever.

In what ways is the world pushing you, painfully, to let go of your fear and ego? In what ways is the world compelling you to embrace your joy, live your truth, and share your love? What is the hardship of your life teaching you? What is the pain of your story saying? If you listen deeply, beneath all the labels, your deeper spirit is always there ready to help you utilize this current circumstance for lasting purposes that may far exceed what your human mind can imagine.

Hardship is a Gift

The In-Breath and Out-Breath of Life

Consciousness sojourns from the unlimited and formless, into form, and back again.

After great journeys into the worlds of form, we often long to return Home. We yearn to re-connect (though, that connection can never be truly lost) with the total limitlessness, wonder, love, and freedom of Source!

Then, as the unlimited, we may choose to follow our interest in expanding joy, creativity, and love by once again “being something” and having certain experiences. Our journey into discreet perspective is ultimately additive, even when- and often especially when- a given journey is temporarily challenging.

All That Is thrives and expands through the processes of Creation! All That Is rejoices in the capacity to experience things, to be things, to ever be more, to ever add to What Is Possible. You and I are that, too! You and I, including you and I as human personalities, are precious and deeply adored participants in this process.

There is not an “end point.” The system of Creation is an ever-expanding movement towards greater joy and love! That is ultimately not an arduous process, but a joyful one!

The In-Breath and Out-Breath of Life

Honoring the Constraints of Being Physical

The veil holds you fast so that you must face that which you otherwise would’ve simply escaped. You knew ahead of time that being “held to” the human experience had great value, so you agreed to that commitment.

Honor your willingness to sign up for the constraints of the world by surrendering to them and allowing them to work with you in the way they were intended.

The world is not your enemy. The world is an “in your face” rigorous context that provides an opportunity for you. That is true even when, and especially when, you don’t want that context. Even if you do not remember it, you agreed to be bound in this way, because you knew beforehand that this type of apparently inescapable context would provide incredible experiential opportunity for the growth of what you are, and what everything is. Now that you are here, you have the valuable opportunity to consciously intend to use that opportunity!

Each of us are called by Love to meet our given present moment in any number of a myriad of ways, so there is just not one action or response that such an intent might potentially mean. That being said, here are three general suggestions for consideration.

First, we can choose to say “Yes” to any given experience. We can choose to not resist. We can follow where the circumstances lead, rather than fight them. We can allow ourselves to fully experience everything, including pain. We can surrender to what is happening rather than fight it. We can give up our small picture control, which isn’t real power anyway.

Second, we can let life be our teacher. That is, we can intend to cooperate with the feedback of our own life experience- to listen to and take full personal ownership of both the pain and the joy of our lives. We can choose to be willing to be wrong, or weak, or powerless. We can choose to swallow our pride, and accept our failings. We can let joy lead us where it wants to! We can let ourselves “grow up!” The actual nature of our own life experience is a teacher of great fidelity- we can choose to actually cooperate with the process of learning the lessons that our life is working to teach us by listening to the feedback and taking ownership for our own life experience exactly as it is.

Third, we can study how our own meaning and interpretations, and our own story, are affecting both ourselves and others. We are assigning the meaning to the physical content in our lives. We can choose to pay close attention to how that meaning is playing out. In other words, we can take ownership for our own beliefs about ourselves and our world, and we can take ownership for the effects we are having on others because of those beliefs. We are far more powerful than we generally understand- our power for interpretation is great, and far less limited than we might believe. And part of the way we can honor the physical experience is by having the courage to actually acknowledge that experience for exactly what it is, just as it exists, before any interpretation is applied- and then taking ownership for all our own many interpretations that we have subsequently placed upon it, and the effects of those interpretations.

Being physical is not always easy. But it is purposeful. When we choose to honor the physical experience by working with it, we allow it to fulfill that purpose. And that is a wonderful thing! Because despite all the apparent trauma and destruction, our universe is born from purposes of deep joy and love! And so when we work with it, we actually facilitate both our own joy, and the fulfillment of great “love plans” that are beyond our personal comprehension.

Honoring the Constraints of Being Physical

The Unrealness of Paradox

Paradox happens when perspective is incomplete. Paradox only happens from the limited human perspective within form. In truth there is no paradox, and there can be no paradox. All things occur in accordance with the purposeful and fully coherent movement of Life.

The “laws” of God, including the laws that govern the operation of realities, work perfectly and inexorably. There is never a moment that is not governed by their perfect execution, even within many levels of complexity, and even within many different reality systems. When viewed from a “local” vantage point however, it can appear to the philosophical form-based and duality-conditioned mind that two forms contradict. This is only an error of belief in form as fundamental, when in fact the experience of apparently discreet form is birthed by “something greater.”

Beneath the thinking mind, the deeper parts of you are always connected to that “something greater.” When you are willing to let go of the local human content, and truly look within the depths of your consciousness itself, the intellectual contradictions have a chance to fall away into the vastness of Being- the same Being within which they seem to arise.

The Unrealness of Paradox

Your Destination is Joy

No matter a given experience of physicality, ultimately all consciousness returns to joy. Joy is the spirit’s true nature, its fabric, its native state. Your destiny is joy beyond physical imagining! That is where you are inevitably headed, no matter how the forms of reality may have bunched up around you at the moment. Those forms are made of the same fabric, even if they do not appear to be.

The present moment itself is beautiful and gentle. It is willing to touch you when you are willing to let go of your stories about it.

The ability to experience strong sensory data (for example pain), or the ability to experience the interpretations that you have put upon your circumstances, does not reduce the fidelity of the native joy that gives rise to such experiences. The experiences of form- including sensory experiences or given interpretations of the mind- will pass. But the truth of being cannot. Since that truth of being is untold joy, peace, freedom, and love, you cannot help but return to that joy, peace, freedom, and love as the forms that you are associating with pass.

Your destination is joy! So while you are on your walk in the world of form, take heart, and allow your native joy to rise up and shine through you! For your true Being is ever present, even when the forms may seem on the surface to be opaque or insurmountable!

Your Destination is Joy

To Know It You Must Be It

The only way for spirit to know what it is like to be a human is to be a human. The only way for the spirit to experientially learn how to successfully express its true nature in a world of flesh, is to be flesh.

You cannot truly learn how to do something by watching someone else do it- you must do it yourself. You cannot truly know what it is like to be something unless you are that thing.

This is why the human experience is so real. Spirit chooses to do its best to “actually become” that which it wishes to truly experience. The veil serves that purpose.

If you do not remember your higher nature while you are human, that is OK- and not only OK, it is wonderful! It means you have successfully arrived at an experience of being whoever and whatever you think you are right now. That experience is a gift!

Simultaneously, if you wish to, it is also your birthright to wake up to who you really are. You have committed to your walk in the physical beneath the veil, and the veil is effective, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still far more than your physical life, too. Indeed, even right now, what you really are vastly exceeds the confines of your human experience! So while you have come to experience all that being human entails, you are not required to lose your identity completely within the forms of human life. No matter the nature of the forms you are currently associating with, you are actually far, far more than that which you have chosen to be in this life on Earth! Your true identity remains.

In the meantime, while the human experience remains thick and firm, honor yourself for your choice- even a choice that you may not remember! For to know what it is like to be human, you had to actually be human- and that is a most celebrated and awe-inspiring choice indeed!

To Know It You Must Be It

Spirituality is Beyond One Direction

The pursuit of the transcendent and formless does not mean rejecting the world of form for the sake of the transcendent. Rather, form is a part of that which is transcendent. The formlessness and unity of our being is in all things; it is not “over there and not over here.”

This is important because as beings who are currently focused in an experience of duality, we often believe that pursuing spirituality is about pursuing some “thing or things” to the exclusion of other “thing or things.” We often believe spirituality is about moving in one “direction”; we confuse that which we seek with the “things” themselves. To the duality-conditioned intellect, of course it can often be beneficial to select some form (some belief or behavior) to move towards at the expense of others. But ultimately the move towards the unity of our being cannot be a move of division. We cannot pit form against form and find unity.

All forms that exist do so within the context of the much broader fundamental reality of love, wisdom, freedom, and joy!

As we search for that joy, it is not the forms we seek, not some destination, not some “this or that.” Rather, we seek that which is already fundamental and always present! We seek that which seems to have vanished before us as we’ve bought into the dense world of form and our many interpretations about it.

What we seek is not in “one thing and not the other.” What we seek is the fabric of our native Beingness itself, the living essence of our awareness that beholds all things, which is the same living essence in all things everywhere!

And that awareness is always close! It cannot go anywhere. It “follows you” wherever you go- nay, it is you, and you are it! It is with you in all the directions that you choose, all the efforts that you make, all the experience and pain and pleasure. And your search for that is not a search of choosing the right forms, or of division or striving- but a move towards complete and total personal genuineness in meeting the present moment. Whatever directions have been chosen before, allow yourself to meet the Now deeply. In the naked truth of the real present moment, the light of Being always shines!

Spirituality is Beyond One Direction

The Deepening of Experience Through Focus

Because consciousness is fundamental, there is always a result when it directs itself towards something. The focus of consciousness itself has an effect. Focus tends to deepen that which is being focused on.

The more we focus on the physical, the more “deep” we go into the experience of it. The more we focus on one way of thinking, the more real it becomes. The more we repeat a belief to ourselves, the more real it becomes. The more we spend time in a culture, the more it tends to become normalized. Through our focus we wear pathways into the fresh wilderness of conscious experience, and then experience reality as just those pathways.

It is important for us at times then to pause and appraise what we are focused on, so we can make a conscious decision to shift our focus. Practicing this allows us to gain control of what we are experiencing!

Often though we must do so from a place of significant previously-established momentum. Sometimes the pathways of our identity, thoughts, and beliefs are so worn into our experience that we lose sight of them completely. So as we work to more consciously reclaim our focus and forge new paths in the grass, it is important to give permission to one’s self to release all assumptions, and all requirements. Our deepest beliefs about reality may not be true- and even if so, they will often appear as facts. We need to give ourselves permission to relinquish even those.

The truth of our being is perfect love, joy, creativity, and freedom! So as we more consciously choose where to place our focus, we benefit mightily from choosing new paths of love, joy, creativity, and freedom! Do you know that you are worthy of doing so? If not, please be reminded now: you are deeply, profoundly worthy! Do you know that you are permitted to consciously choose where to focus, and what to believe? You are completely allowed to choose where to focus and what to believe! No matter your circumstances, you are allowed to focus on that which you deem to be full of love, joy, creativity, and freedom.

This is not a process of avoidance or escape from some “reality of suffering.” Rather, even as we choose our focus, we can simultaneously fully accept all that we have rejected! We can do this because all experience is ultimately rooted in love and joy. Put another way: while perspectives of suffering are valid, ultimately they are already incomplete in that they actually fall short of the broader enduring foundation of love and joy that is native to all experience.

Whether we are consciously aware of that or not, we can benefit from utilizing the power that is available to us to choose a focus that is more in alignment with that enduring foundation of love and joy.  And as we do so, our new focus will begin to wear new paths, and our actual experience will gradually brighten to match our new focus.

The Deepening of Experience Through Focus

The Search for Wholeness

We seek pleasure not just as a biological impulse, but also because spiritually we always seek Source. We yearn for the unity with Source and each other- the unity which is native to our true spiritual state. As humans in a universe of form, we tend to constantly look for that unity and joy in form- in objects, people, ideas, beliefs, sights, sounds, substances, sensations- and while we may temporarily enjoy such unique form experiences, they never fully satisfy, because they are not what we are looking for. They are not what makes us complete. Our true joy is in our true nature- not in the stimulating illusion of separate things. One of the reasons we come to be human is to discover that experientially.

Eventually when the allure of form has failed us enough times, we have little choice but to turn inward. When we finally drop our frantic search and surrender, we find- spontaneously- that the wholeness we seek never left us at all! The wholeness is what we are! We only experience separation because we are focused on, believe in, and (seem to) depend on the form. So when we finally fully let go of form, wholeness naturally rises back to us, all on its own.

This surrender can be very difficult, however, because the truth of our being seems to get “wrapped up” in the forms of our lives, and as that happens, our true nature seems to become invisible. We really believe we are human! We really believe we are our occupations, our relationships, our affiliations, our ideas, and our bodies.

Letting go of the form is not an act of pitting yourself against the form. Rather, letting go of the form is a process of allowing “What Is” to be. All the form exists within you; it is not that you exist within form (like a spirit inhabiting a body in a material universe, for instance). Your awareness is always present for all aspects of your reality to exist. As you move towards that awareness itself, exactly as it is in the present moment, you automatically then open the door for the wholeness that you seek to rise back up to you!

When we finally re-sense that, we discover that the wholeness is always there! Indeed, our unified true nature is always present, and despite the rich and convincing experience of separation, our Being through which the experience of form occurs cannot ever truly be anything other than free, blissful, and whole.

The Search for Wholeness

People Are Good

People are good! Or more accurately, the spirit is good, but when engaged in very real constraint sets, each spirit is only “so adept” at optimally expressing its true loving nature in its local context. Each spirit is only “so good” at operating from love-based intent rather than fear-based intent- and the journey to actually grow from the latter to the former can be a painful one. Regardless of how “well” the spirit executes choice making, it is still fundamentally good. Some individuals are more adept than others at operating lovingly within a given physical and biological context- but at their core, all spirits are fundamentally spirits of love and joy. This is true from the best to the worst of us.

Our society does not currently teach this: we habitually wish to identify enemies. Just as the wind has no enemies, even as a wall set before it is not the wind’s enemy, you also do not have any enemies. Those labelled as “enemies” are other loving spirits playing other roles in our limited local system, making imperfect choices while in a rigorous state of artificial separation, just like us. It is beneficial to see them for the love and joy that they really are, even as they, like us, may be befuddled by the rigors of being human.

People Are Good