“A peaceful life is built one moment at a time, one moment after another.” That seems like such a simple and some might say trite statement to use as an introduction to a piece of writing about something so many of us human beings spend our lives searching for, hoping we will somehow find it.
It’s the truth, however. A peaceful life can only be built and experienced one moment at a time. I say this from two very different perspectives:
1. From the perspective of my own spiritual journey, it was one that in large part consisted of trying to fit in, to find acceptance by being who I thought I needed to be in order to please others and therefore gain a feeling happiness. Guess what? It didn’t work! So, through the many years after I found Unity and stepped onto the spiritual path, I became an avid reader of spiritual books, took many, many classes, and ultimately became “over-read and under-done”—a phrase I believe I first heard while listening to a talk by Eric Butterworth. I am probably what you might call a “slow learner.” I was so busy trying to arrive at place in my life where I could claim I had achieved the consciousness I so wanted to have that I totally missed all the opportunities to experience that consciousness. I was accumulating a lot of knowledge about Unity’s spiritual principles, but there were so many hidden, limiting beliefs about myself and others operating and controlling my life that I was unable to open my heart and experience the real truth of who I was and who all the rest of you were…until I felt so separated from others around me that the emotional pain was almost too much for me to bear. And in that moment I became open to the act of “letting go and letting God” operate in my life. It was a turning point that marked a two-year tour of my own shadow side, owning each piece of it, and learning how to love myself, “warts and all.” And in the process I discovered those inner powers we talk about and began to experience forgiveness, unconditional love, and true peace of mind.
2. From a purely metaphysical and physiological viewpoint, events can happen in the present moment, can have already happened and are now irrevocably a part of the past, or have yet to happen and are simply our projections of what might happen in the future. Most of us carry around as secret memories things we did or didn’t do (or were done to us) in the past for which we feel guilty or ashamed (or angry, as in victimized). While we are spiritual beings, our human experiences can trigger these shadow feelings that are brought on because of hidden beliefs which aren’t really true, although we believe they are and we react by defending ourselves or attacking whoever we perceive to be the “enemy around us.” OR we become fearful of what might happen in the future. Either way, we are no longer able to experience the present moment.
I could do a lot of research, collect data, and use that material to convince you of the truth of the statement I used as a lead-in for this blog, but I’d still be engaging that part of us that may be “over-read and under-done.” While I certainly want you to evaluate what is being offered in this blog, I also am hoping, by sharing my personal spiritual journey, that some of it will ring some bells for you as well, that you can relate to the challenges I think most of us face somewhere along our journeys.
For me, one of the secrets to a more peace-filled life is daily prayer and meditation, followed by some time in contemplation, that period, best practiced immediately following prayer and meditation, when I can continue to “listen” for the whispered ideas of Spirit, the little gifts that show the way to what is ours to do next. Here’s a final question I will leave you: “If I’m not listening to Spirit, then who am I listening to?”
Love & Light, Steven