Reflections on a Year of Suffering

December 29, 2011

A year ago my marriage crumbled very suddenly and I started a year (so far) of asking why.

It’s taken me a year to realize that the Universe has given me exactly what I was asking for. I already had a good marriage, a wife who loved me, a strong relationship with my kids, a business I enjoyed, and a fresh spirituality that connected me in an intimate way with the Mind of the Universe.

Having all these things, and being satisfied, I asked for understanding. I asked for wisdom. I asked for growth. Those things came through trials, suffering, and reaching inward to find the inner strength to overcome my outer circumstances.

The Universe, in Its infinite Love for me, had granted my wish. It’s like a comic tragedy:  we almost never seem to understand the price we must pay for the valuable things we seek. There is always a trade; there is always a balance—or so it seems to me.

I asked and the Universe gave. Just like the Master promised. If I had known the price of my wish, I would not have wanted it. But I am a function of the Universe myself, and that Guide always knows best. Always. How do you suppose the desire for wisdom appeared in me in the first place?

My heart is better now. It has ached, broken, healed, and expanded. Now it radiates more love than before, without trying to pick flowers instead of smell them, so to speak. Now it encompasses more, enabling me to see more love and goodness in the world, people, creatures, and circumstances around me. My new heart allows me to enjoy without taking, to preserve life and freedom instead of trying to keep it for myself.

Frankly, that lesson is worth a very great price, and I am thankful that the Universe has blessed me with the measure of strength that I needed so I could learn the lessons I wanted so much to be taught.

In this moment, I don’t believe that being “happy” at all costs is the most important thing in each moment. I believe that the pains of life are a necessary part of learning to create our own happiness, despite circumstances.

Acceptance of all circumstances seems to be a key to happiness.

Acceptance of circumstances means harmonizing with the Universe.

The key to harmony is to not see self as separate from the Universe.

The answer is self-awareness: attention to the inner world.

I love my life, and I love the circumstances and turns of events and relationships and personal connections and reflections and interactions that occur and show me that this web of fabric of life and existence is a unified, united, conscious Whole.

Why do I doubt? Why do I turn away from Truth, even after It proves Itself to me, repeatedly, in my experience? I have a powerful and old, deeply-ingrained wrong idea about the current situation that I haven’t yet located. I’m very close, though!

The solution seems to be to face my fears and discomforts by placing them directly in my Path and enduring them with focused attention. I feel so powerful!

The powerful “me” is steadily growing, strengthening, and becoming the dominant part of my being. I like that!

(written in 2009)

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Relief Through Changed Circumstances

December 21, 2011

At the time of this writing, in January 2009, I had been living in the home my now-ex-wife and I shared.  She had moved out—to live an hour away—two months before.  Just before writing this, I had decided to find my own living space.  —Ven

Recently, I’ve been able to get out of my previous mindset of focusing on things I could not control. I got introspective for a couple of days. I moved a lot of my stuff out of my house (where my wife still has her stuff, and where she is able to drop by whenever she pleases) and into my camper at my place of business on the river. I’ve been staying here most nights, in my own space.

This has been a great relief to me.

That change of physical circumstances was part of the mental process of change that hit full steam last weekend. Changing my living situation was essential because I recognized the importance of my surroundings and their effect on my mental and emotional state. I also saw that being at the house was affecting me negatively, and I wanted to separate myself from it.

Since I’ve been at the camper, I’ve been able to drop my fear of moving on from the situation and I’ve moved into a new and fresher way of being. I’ve mostly occupied myself with resting, re-centering, recharging, and examining my previous experiences to see the common thread in my life, in order to determine the general direction/flow of my interests, desires, and activities.

It feels like being in a cocoon.

The result of giving up on my analysis of the situation and my clinging to it was a mental freedom that has been very peaceful for me. In the meantime, as part of evaluating my past experience and identifying the general trends of my interests, I’ve picked up a new direction in which to focus my attention. I’m exploring that new way of seeing things, which is really only a synthesis of everything I’ve already figured out about life on my own.

This is all new to me, and at the same time it’s very comfortable and exciting because I feel like I’m aligning with the purpose of my inner being. It was my “next step” a long time ago, and I’ve only been sidetracked from it by life experiences that I didn’t know how to handle at the time.

I’ve been describing how I got “here.” So, what is “here”?

I’m harmonizing with the Divine Will (which is also my own will, from my innermost self) by understanding better what life is all about. I’m letting go of past experience and future expectation and enjoying the ride. I’m learning methods of understanding my own intentions and putting them into practice. In short, I’ve realized that my “happiness” means aligning myself with the flow of the Universe. I’m learning to do that, instead of trying to carve my own flow out of it. There doesn’t have to be a difference!

And I see incredible new possibilities and experiences coming into being because of this change.

(written in 2009)


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