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“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” Albert Einstein
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about trust and fear lately. Until recently, I was living in fear mode. That’s such a horrible place to live. There was a time when I trusted that I would be taken care of no matter what and that God and I were partners in creating my life. Then I was forced out of a most beloved job and for five years I lived in fear that other disasters were going to befall me.
I won’t go into all the little steps, and ahas that got me to wake up and begin my active spiritual practice again. It’s way too complicated. The point is, that I realized that I’d been so closed off, living in fear, that I couldn’t let anything good come into my life. I blamed God for my misfortunes when I was the architect of them all. When I remembered to look for the meaning of my misfortune, I saw that I’d called it to myself. I would have happily continued to teach drama, but that wasn’t my highest best purpose and my soul knew it. I began to practice trusting God again. And that brings me to what happened July 3rd.
My husband, Barry, had two flat tires on the way home from work. Normally, I would have gone directly into fear and worried myself sick. I’ve written before that we don’t have lots of extra money at the moment. So, naturally, I had a fearful moment feeling that we wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the tires. Then I took a breath. I’ve been practicing trusting that all is well in any given moment. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and said, Okay God, I’m trusting that everything’s going to work out. The little snigglet of fear was replaced with calm. We got the tires on the 5th of July. They were cheaper than the two we’d purchased for Barry’s car last fall. There was money left over in our account. Not only that, we have a book reading and signing scheduled for this week, with the potential of money coming in as well as other small amounts all coming at just the right time.
Now, you might think that was the end of that. Oh no. I’m a person who’s always thinking and making connections with what happens to me personally, and the larger world. As I’ve been thinking about fear in my life and how it affects me personally, I’ve also been thinking about how fear has affected us on a national level. The theme of fear has come up in the media again and again in one form or another. Fear on the personal level and fear on a national and global level. And, I’ve been asking myself what can I do to help us heal our fear. What comes to me is that I’ve got to join the conversation about what’s happening in this country.
I’m not someone who’s going to go out and march in the streets. I believe the change begins within me. I also believe what Eckart Tolle says, that “what we resist persists and what we fight grows stronger.” That’s not to say that demonstrations are wrong. They often bring attention to a situation that needs to be changed. It’s just not my calling to be out there protesting, or demonstrating. My calling is the written word. So, I’m going to pose some questions that might help you think about your own fear, if you are experiencing it as your predominant emotion. Do you think we live in a hostile or friendly universe? Do you believe God is loving, or vengeful? Do you believe what’s written on our money, “In God we trust”? Do you like what fear has done to our country? I mean, I think almost everyone will agree we’re in a mess right now. Are you willing to let go of your personal fears? Or, is everything just fine the way it is? If you trusted God to handle your life, how would you feel?
Yesterday I watched the episodes of Super Soul Sunday with Oprah interviewing Inda.Arie. She sang a song that touched me to my core. I want to include just a bit of the chorus. The song is “Break the Shell,” from her new album Songversation. I think the song speaks about how to leave our fear behind. Go check out her album.
“We have a choice to live, or truly be alive. This is your life. Child, it’s time to break the shell. Life’s going to hurt, but it’s meant to be felt. You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself. You cannot fly until you break the shell.”
This is just a snippet of a much larger inner dialogue that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. Since none of us see the world in exactly the same way, I want to read your thoughts about what I’ve written, so please leave a comment.