Monday, October 26, 2009

Embracing Differences for Greater Self Discovery

Life is good. It’s not without its challenges, but choosing how to manage those challenges can determine whether we make life even better. Life’s challenges are healthy, though not always enjoyable. I use the word “challenge” as opposed to “problem,” “headache,” or “pain in the ass,” for challenge holds a neutral energy. From a place of neutrality, we can determine through our choices if it becomes charged to the positive or the negative in our experience.

When presented with a challenge, we may immediately feel lower energies of upset, hurt, doubt, paranoia, anger, or irritability, to name a few. This natural human reaction is triggered by our human Ego which holds a rolodex of past experiences (and even past lives) that remind us of memories which influences how we choose in any given situation. The challenge at hand offers many opportunities, including reevaluation of our belief systems and attitudes, a balance between what we say and how we actually show up in our choices and actions, and whether we need to render forgiveness to ourselves or towards others in past or current experiences for healing.

From a lower state of consciousness, we may choose to hang onto or wallow in the upset; this choice is driven by our human Ego which is designed to protect us from uncomfortable experiences. While the challenge itself may be uncomfortable, more uncomfortable (I know, it’s an oxymoron but the human Ego and Spirit do work collaboratively!) is looking deeply within and realizing we’ve been living lie; misguided self-perceptions created through adopted beliefs imposed upon us by our parents, friends, culture, religion, media or society which could suddenly, no longer resonate as our truth, which can really rock our world. We may realize we were incorrect in our self-perception and our perceptions of others and the world. Being wrong doesn’t work for our human Egos. It’s easier to be “right” and miserable than to rock our world with inquiry and open-mindedness in the spirit of seeing things differently than what we believe we perceive is right. Unfortunately, the only impetus for choosing inquiry and self-reflection with objective honesty is often stimulated by the depth of despair, in how miserable we are and what we tolerate in our life. How effective is such a pattern of letdowns, upsets, or misery in offering us peace and happiness in our life?

Recently, I have been challenged by criticism and persecution around my life choices and beliefs, to which I, of course, naturally became defensive. Immediately recognizing that energy, I chose to step back before overreacting in a tit-for-tat Ego mentality. Through meditative prayer and self-reflection, I “entered into thy closet”, my Heart to better understand my challengers and myself, while consciously remembering that we are all One in God. I opened my heart and mind to whatever Divine Guidance and insight I needed around the situations. In doing so, I understood that one particular past experience in my life triggered my reaction, and through this revelation, realized I had some deeper work to do around fully trusting my heart and its inner knowing. I understood there was unfinished business of forgiveness to offer to facilitate healing around another past experience.

I am also being called to open up my heart and mind even more deeply to unconditional acceptance of differing belief systems without feeling persecuted. I understand that those differing viewpoints do not change my Truth, yet healthy reflection on those differences deepen my awareness of my Truth; additionally it facilitates within me greater love and respect in knowing God expresses uniquely within and through those differences. I can now more fully and deeply trust in my Heart, which supports my personal empowerment when faced with condemnation and criticism of by those whose opinions stem from their own rolodex of past experiences.

The beautiful thing about our life’s challenges is that they serve as mirrors which are gifts from God to reflect back to us one of two things, depending on the situation: a reflection of what is left to be healed within us, and/or what we need to know about ourselves and how we are showing up in our life, as demonstrated by the challenge before us. How self aware through honest and objective reflection can help us shift our life from one of strife and stress to one of peace and harmony. When we rely solely on outside sources and information for our truth, and question nothing within our Hearts, that place where God’s Truth is housed, we agree to what we are told, and close the door to enlightenment. And even through this self-reflection, what we know and believe still resonates with us, then yea us! At least we stepped outside of our box (and the box others put us in) of what we think we know and checked in with other possibilities of what could be.

The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, speaks to not only actions, but how we regard other. When we impose upon others what we think they need to believe or how they should live, we show disrespect for another’s journey, their freedom of choice, and what they are here to experience in their lifetime. When we share from an open place of what we personally know and have experienced, we share a part of our heart. It’s all in how it is presented; being open to embracing differences, without a personal agenda, supports the spirit of unconditional love and acceptance. This sharing of differences usually invites a respectful and open dialogue of inquiry, though not always. Through this blog, and in all of my writings, I strive to share information from what I have learned through personal and spiritual experience; whether it resonates with the reader is up to the individual reader. I do not expect anyone to adopt as their own my beliefs as reflected in my shares. My only hope is that something within my personal experience and insights resonate with you, the reader, in support of your own journey. Our journey and the life we experience ultimately lies with each of us, and how we choose to create it.

As for me and my latest challenges, I’m excited by them, for they offer me the opportunity to grow personally and spiritually, to deepen my faith and trust in my Divine Guidance, and better understand differences while continuously checking in with my own personal truths. These challenges teach me to live One in God with everyone in all situations and experiences, rather than from a place of separation in the form of defensiveness and judgment. I value the teachers I encounter in my life, and give thanks for all that they do to deepen me in my Spiritual Truth.

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