Metamorphosis

butterfly

It’s becoming clear to me that we fear change because we fear death. And what is death, after all, but change?

All change reminds us of THE BIG CHANGE. But who changes? What changes?

Only form can change. Only form can die. Life itself never changes. It is expressing itself through form in order to experience change and even experience death.

What does this mean for us? When my body dies, it will decompose. It will feed plants and animals and eventually become part of the soil.

You know what? I think that’s really cool!!

Where will “I” go? Well, Life never changes or dies. The Life that is expressing itself through this body/mind will just keep expressing itself through other forms and not expressing itself by just being.

So what dies? Death has the connotation of disappearing, extinguishing, no longer existing.

Life cannot die.

The body changes forms. None of its molecules “disappear” – they are just absorbed into other forms. Matter cannot be created or destroyed.

So what DOES disappear? What is annihilated when the body dies?

The I-thought. The identity I am expressing in this life will not continue into another life. When this mind stops functioning, my identity will disappear.

Why can it disappear when the body doesn’t? Because it was never really here in the first place. 

The sense of a separate identity and the belief that I have my own personal thoughts is an illusion. Thinking is happening. Breathing is happening. Living is happening. But the “who” that is “doing” all of this is a figment created by the mind.

It is a figment of imagination and it eventually goes *poof*! This inevitably happens with death, which is why death terrifies us. All change terrifies the “I-thought” because it’s a reminder that is an imaginary identity that will one day disappear.

What happens if your I-thought disappears while you are still living?

I wouldn’t know. I have seen the I-thought to be an illusion but it hasn’t gone away. There is definitely more distance between the I-thought and whatever is listening to the I-thought. It is  questioned/second-guessed much more frequently than before.

But I think that allowing the I-thought to die while you are still alive  is the ticket to FREEDOM.

Imagine living without having to protect your identity. Thoughts arise, emotions arise, but nothing sticks to you. You don’t worry about the future but trust Life to guide you.

What is there to worry about, anyway? We don’t die. The only thing that “dies” never existed in the first place.

Can you believe we spend so much time fretting, worrying, and fearing the loss of something completely imaginary?

Ignorance is Bliss

beautiful horses

Today I was reflecting on how much I’ve learned after three horseback riding lessons. I’ve learned new vocabulary, gained skills, and am strengthening muscles as I learn to use my body in new ways.

There is so much to learn! And I chuckled as I thought back to myself at 18,19, or 20… in college and thinking I knew everything, or that I should. I remember being ashamed about ignorance. In a French conversation class my junior year, we were going to be talking about artists. I knew nothing, so I spent several days researching so I could convince my classmates I was knowledgeable.

But the older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know. In recent years, I’m come to realize that I know nothing.

Knowledge is a handy tool for navigating the world, but it can be extremely limiting. Because I know what a flower is, I don’t bother to look at it. In fact, when I assume I know, I don’t see anything. I project what I expect to see onto the world around me.

How sad 🙁

In contrast, to realize you know nothing is to rediscover the magic and wonder of life. It is to walk around in a state of awe. If life is not awe-inspiring, you are not really seeing it.

How boring life would be if we truly did know everything. What would there be to discover, to investigate, to understand? Part of the magic of life is the infinite variety of forms and experiences. Life loves diversity. Life wants to see itself from every possible viewpoint, in every possible form, and through every possible experience.

Life isn’t knowing. Life is discovery.

Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is freedom. When I remove the burden of knowledge and truly open my mind, I am free to experience everything Life has to offer.

I could pick something new to learn every day of my life and never run out of topics. I don’t need to know everything, but I can learn anything I want to. Isn’t that bliss?

At this moment, I’m learning about horses. Talk about awe! These are beautiful, magical creatures. There is something about their silence and stillness that communicates wisdom and depth. I have no doubt that horses are spiritual beings, far more advanced than humans.

Not that it’s a race or a competition! I think Life created humans so it could experience itself through a complex, intellectual being. It created horses so it could experience a more relaxed, community-based, intuitive perspective.

Life is life, whether in the form of a human or horse. But I tend to see them as “more spiritual” because humans are so arrogant as to assume their intelligence elevates them over other beings. Animals, in their relative simplicity, seem to “get it” more than we do. But I think to see humanity’s neurotic tendencies and obsession with “knowing” and “understanding” as a “flaw” is to miss the big picture. Life wants to experience ALL of it. It wants to be the brainy human and the grass-grazing horse.

And horses, for all their wisdom and grace, are imperfect beings too. They can be slaves to their impulses and instincts, just like we can. Life would never limit itself to experiencing only perfection. Bor-ing!

Hm.. reminds me that I never wrote a post about imperfection. Must get on that!

There is so much I could say about this, but I’m going to end with gratitude.

I am grateful that Life led me to spend time with horses.

I am grateful to be born a head-centered human.

I am grateful to be evolving into a more heart-centered human.

I am grateful to have realized that I know nothing and that I don’t need to know anything. Life will provide me any kind of knowledge that I need at any given moment.

I am grateful to be freed from the burden of “having to know.”

I am grateful for the amazing diversity of Life. Every day is an opportunity to experience something new or to see something familiar with fresh, open eyes.

Creation is our present, not our past. Life is reimagining itself everyday through me, through you, through every horse, flower, butterfly, sunset, blade of grass, grain of sand….

Let’s forget what we think we “know” about Life so we can really SEE it. Let’s open our eyes to the magic unfolding in the “ordinariness” of our everyday experience.

If your day-to-day life does not inspire jaw-dropping awe, look again.

OPEN YOUR EYES.

Love Yourself

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When I first started this blog, my goal was to let go of fear. But my journey has veered in another direction, out of the head and into the heart.

My goal for this moment is to love myself and to love Life.

Easy, right?

Sure, there is a lot to love about myself and certainly a lot to love about Life. But what about the parts that aren’t so lovable?

I just finished The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment. It is a short book but rich with insight and I would highly recommend it. One point the author focuses on is: Love everything.

During my trip to California, dark thoughts arose about myself. This was heightened by a rash on my eyelids that wouldn’t go away. It was uncomfortable and made me feel so ugly. My dark thoughts are all extensions of the most basic thought: I am not good enough.

I am not thin enough. I am not pretty enough. I am not young enough. I am not a good enough writer. I am not a good enough teacher. 

You get the drift. I also felt a sense of emptiness, of having no personality. I’ve often had that dark thought about myself – that I am boring, lifeless, dull. The very opposite of vibrant.

Vibrant is what I want to be! Filled with joy and completely in love with myself and with Life. Completely un-self-conscious. Free to feel and say and BE whatever I want.

Recently I saw a video posted by a woman who emanates joy and vibrancy. As soon as I saw the video, I thought, “I want that!”

How do I do it? Well, I must look at everything that is blocking me from feeling free and vibrant. Why do I feel the need to hold back? What am I protecting? What am I not willing to face about myself?

Back in California, I tried loving everything. I loved my red eyes and the extra weight I’m carrying. I loved my dark thoughts about myself.

While I was experiencing inner turmoil, the country was experiencing turmoil, violence, and racial tension.

How do we love everything when everything includes violence and hatred?

I suspect it comes back to our misunderstanding about love. We don’t really know what love is but have divided everything in life as good (love) and bad (not love).

“Loving” violence does not mean supporting violence or condoning it. But it means accepting that it’s a part of life and then looking within ourselves to see where we are harboring hatred and violence.

We tend to separate ourselves from perpetrators of violence. We call them “monsters” or “terrorists”. They are not us.

But what if they are? What if every one of us possesses an equal capability to love and to hate? What if all of us are capable of extreme acts of hatred and violence?

We fear the darkest parts of ourselves and so we deny them. We say that evil, hatred, and violence exist outside of ourselves. We fear and hate evil.

We fear most what we reject within ourselves.

Hm… I think ACIM said that somewhere. I am going to refer to one of my favorite ACIM quotes: “What is not love is murder.”

I think it applies here. While very few of us will actually commit acts of violence against others, almost all of us are repressing hatred in our hearts. We express hatred in our thoughts and words. We act hatefully towards others. We can do all of this in a very “peaceful” way.

But ACIM is saying it’s all the same. Identifying with a hateful thought is just as “evil” as murdering someone.

We are murdering people in our hearts and minds all the time. When we are not identifying with love, we are identifying with hatred.

When we look at recent violent events in the US, Turkey, and France, do we harden our hearts against the perpetrators for their hateful actions? Or do we look within ourselves with honesty and bring to light our hateful thoughts? Do we send love to those individuals that are suffering so greatly that they act out and hurt others? Or do we deny them that because we insist that they are not like us?

I am realizing that loving myself and loving Life are the same. Am I willing to take an honest look at myself and this world we live in? Am I willing to let go of preconceived notions of what either “should look like?”

I’m pretty sure ACIM says that we took what scared us and projected it outside of ourselves. Voilà – this “hateful, violent” world.

But maybe it isn’t so hateful and scary after all. What would happen if we stopped judging and started looking? What would happen if we stopped talking and started listening?

What would happen if took an honest look at every part of ourselves and loved all of it unconditionally?

I have a feeling that this could change the world.

Doesn’t Look like Love

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That phrase went through my mind this morning as I watched my mom continually snapping at my dad and heard him curse in response.

My dad has dementia. He doesn’t remember how to properly dress himself, which house is ours, which car is his… It’s hard to describe him because his memory loss seems inconsistent. But he has maintained a constant awareness of the fact that he’s losing his memory. He can be rather mature about this as well as petulant and childish.

Mom has never been rational and she’s starting to lose her mind now. She is extremely self-centered because of her extreme anxiety. I’m quite sure she has some combination of depression, generalized anxiety, and OCD. But it’s frustrating to watch how she treats Dad – like she has no idea that he’s lost his mind and he’s just being dense in order to frustrate her.

Dad is one of the most patient, open-minded, gentle, and kind people I know. He never cursed. To hear him do so is disheartening. When he’s not being bullied, he remains very sweet, a rather child-like version of himself. He is a pleasure to be with.

He responds to gentle encouragement to shower, change clothes, eat regular meals… He is not hard to take care of. Not that I think he’s easy to live with… I understand, on some level, Mom’s frustration. Dad requires a level of care she’s unwilling and unable to provide. But she’s refusing to face the reality of the situation.

It’s enough to bring anyone down, except for the reminder I have that they chose this. On the level of the soul (which don’t ask me to explain as there is no self), we choose everything our human selves will experience. And everything in life is about love.

They are going through this to find a deeper understanding of love. And how can I presume to know what that looks like?

It’s not easy for either of them. Mom fights so hard against Life and Dad seems so lost in his mind.

But I can already see what this experience has taught me about love. Love means dissolving the expectations of what another person is supposed to be and accepting them as they are. Love means being willing to see the darkest parts of another person.

Even more, it means willingness to look at the darkest parts of yourself.

Love always starts with yourself. I guess that’s something I’ll explore more in another post. Learning how to love myself is showing me how to love the world.

What is darkness? Only what has been, up until this point, hidden. Life has a way of bring everything hidden out of the darkness and into the light.

It’s almost a game. Will you still love me if… ? You thought I was this, but now I’m becoming that. Will you still love me?

So much more to say about this. But I will end with the simple fact that I don’t know what love is. No one does. How can something that encompasses everything be defined? How can it be limited by words?

Our understanding of love is severely limited. That hit home today for me. How do I know that bickering, cursing, and apparent dysfunction is not love?

I don’t!

Love is so much bigger than our ideas about it. We can write millions of songs, poems, books, and movies about love. But we only hint at it, point our fingers in a vague direction.

Love is not pretty. Love is not perfect.

Love is real.

Take Two

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The other day, I called to cancel my blog. I hardly ever write in it, so why keep it?

It never hit me that it would be GONE… as in completely erased. When I saw that, I was hit with terrible sadness. I lived with that for two days, then called to see if I could get my blog back. I could 🙂

If I do cancel it next year, I’ll make sure to save all the content.

Haha… the sadness I felt doesn’t surprise me. I have moved every year since 2012 and each time have transported boxes and boxes of journals. They are heavy and I haven’t figured out a good place to keep them. But I will not get rid of them.

I have such a need to express myself in writing. So I guess that, in itself, is a reason to keep the blog.

I recently traveled to California to visit a friend. There, we visited Woodside (magical!! I love Ca’s forests!), Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe. I fell in love with Lake Tahoe.

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It’s where mountains, forest, and water all meet. I love that!! I was sad that we only got to spend two days there.

I’ve changed the name of my blog because it has nothing to do with A Course in Miracles anymore, though ironically enough my next post may refer to a powerful ACIM statement: What is not love is murder.

Until then…

Awestruck

trusting the universe

Holy Shit.

That’s the only way I can describe the magic and perfection of life. It hits me like a lightning bolt. Words fail. A sense of awe wells through me, something so big the body could never contain it. I usually cry.

I’ve written about Perfection before, but it never fails to astound me.

Perfection

Life is not only looking out for what’s best for me… Life loves me. Life spoils me in ways “I” would never think of to spoil myself. Thoughts are so extremely limited! They have no idea what possibilities are out there and cling to what is already familiar and “safe”. Life is so amazingly benevolent and generous that it blows my mind. The mind literally cannot understand this, but the heart does.

I’m going to share two recent examples of how life has guided me toward something wonderful and delightful which thoughts had never even imagined.

Back in 2013, I  wanted to get of out teaching public school.It was literally hell for me. I felt so limited in what I could do in the classroom and felt like I was under constant scrutiny and judgment. I had been unhappy in public school since about 2011. But the unhappiness reached extreme levels in 2012 and based on a roommate’s tip, I submitted my materials to a job search organization and ended up being hired by a private school.

I was thrilled, but had no idea at the time how perfect this job was. I’m not saying the school is perfect or that I am perfectly blissful with every decision made. What I’m saying is that the school is perfect for me. 

I feel supported there. I have been challenged to face a lot of fears in an extremely gentle way. I am constantly inspired to try different ways of teaching. But more than that, the school delights me. In so many ways it seems particularly tailored to what makes me happy.

Not what makes thoughts happy; this is not about getting things or pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. I chose the world “delight” because there are times when my heart soars with happiness. So many little things bring me joy – the windy drive bordered by wildflowers, the weekly chapel services, the end-of-the-year traditions…

My recent move has convinced me even further that Life is guiding me toward what delights me. A year ago, I moved into an apartment which at the time I was very excited about. 4th floor, balcony, near trails… It seemed perfect.

Though I enjoyed living there, something didn’t feel 100% right. I felt a pull towards the apartments across the hall. Thoughts would arise about how perfect it would be to live in one of them. Other thoughts said, “That’s impossible.” I am renting directly from the condo owner so there didn’t seem to be any way to move to a different apartment. I put that desire at the back of my mind.

But it crept back. A few months ago, the person across the hall from me moved out. There was a gentle thought, like a tug, about it. I ignored it. Every day I’d see that empty apartment and wonder about it… But I didn’t think it was seriously possible. Thoughts could not figure out a way.

Well, I’ve already shared what happened with the apartment. There was a way. Thoughts couldn’t see it. But there was a gentle nudge to e-mail my landlady one day and the rest took care of itself.

What would I call the gentle nudge? Intuition, I guess. It seems to whisper in the back of my mind. Sometimes I get images instead of words. Most often, I get feelings.

That gentle urge led me to an apartment that is so completely perfect for me that it literally blows my mind.

Again, not perfect. (There is a bit of a fly problem I’m working on.) But perfect for me in an astoundingly specific way. Not only does my dining room table look finally “at home”, not only does my bedroom furniture seem to fit perfectly into the strange shape of the room, but the entire living room and dining room are surrounded by windows. There are 8 windows between living room, dining room, and kitchen 🙂

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And the windows give me an amazing view of trees! I’m sure there are more beautiful views out there – ocean, mountains… But this is a view that delights me.  Sitting on my couch earlier, that hit me. I could just stare out my window for hours. I love watching the leaves blow back and forth in the wind. I love watching the pigeons roosting on the roof. I love watching the infinite varieties of sunsets and clouds. I can’t wait to watch a thunderstorm through these windows.  Oh… or a snowstorm! 🙂

Kind of funny because thoughts figured the balcony would be the highlight of this apartment. But I haven’t been out on the balcony because it’s covered in pigeon poop. (Supposed to be hosed down soon.)  I had no idea there were so many windows here!

I had no idea how dark my old apartment was in comparison. I was never unhappy there. But I had no idea that I could experience so much more delight in an apartment.

IMG_0132Old Kitchen.

IMG_0087New Kitchen.

IMG_0129Old Living Room.

IMG_0089New Living Room 🙂

No, thoughts had no idea of the possibilities out there. But “who” am continually listening to? Thoughts.

Instead of trusting completely in this benevolent universe, which has proven time and time again that it loves me and wants me to be happy and that it has splendidly specific ways to delight me that thoughts can’t even imagine…. I still find myself identifying with fearful thoughts about the future, mostly dealing with money.

This is where a shift in attention comes in. Do I listen to nagging thoughts that can only see the past, or do I trust in the omniscient universe that’s proven time after time that it loves me and that is “has my back?”

Oh. Something just occurred to me. There is no “universe” that is separate from “me”. The universe is expressing itself through me. So why wouldn’t it want to find the most delightful paths possible? Why shouldn’t I trust it do so? Life is expressing itself as me in order to experience a particular “flavor” of life. It delights in being me.

It’s only identification with thoughts that makes it seem that there’s a “Life” and a “me”. And what is there to fear when the universe has literally got your back because it is you?

Holy Shit.

Closure

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I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have this blog. And I’m not sure anyone reads it! 🙂

But just in case, I wanted to conclude the apartment story: I got it! What had attracted me to the apartment was the idea of the balcony, but having seen the apartment, what I really love are the windows. The whole dining and living room are surrounded by windows. And there is a window in the kitchen 🙂

I LOVE IT.

It is quite literally the perfect apartment for me. It’s almost a shock to come back across the hall to my current apartment after being in the other. This one, which I loved initially, seems so dark!

Out of the darkness… into the light.

Such a cliche metaphor! But “light” is truly the magical word. Light can refer to so many things. Not just the energy we call “light”, but light can also mean “unburdened”.

Life is easy.

I first had that thought more than three years ago. What a journey it has been.

The world has turned from a dark, difficult place into a beautiful, benevolent, living being. And nothing has changed except my perception. I shifted the focus of my attention.

Thoughts still arise. They can be fearful, sad, anxious, judgmental, despairing… Feelings still arise: fear, anger, sadness, nostalgia, longing, hurt…

But I don’t live in them anymore. I don’ t fall for thought stories and don’t let thoughts interpret feelings and emotions. I allow myself to feel whatever wants to be felt.

Life works with me. Life IS me. I can’t believe I ever thought otherwise or believed I had to struggle against Life in order to be happy.  Life has always been watching out for me; I just never saw it.

I am ending this blog because there really is nothing more to say. My journey will continue, but it all boils out to the simple truth:

I am not my thoughts. I am not my feelings. What I am could never been defined or described. It can not be perceived in any way. But there is a sense of presence. There is something alive here.

And living is what I plan to do. I’m getting out of my head and jumping more completely into life.

I want to experience the magic. Life is magic.

 

Flow

beautiful

I will probably give up this blog soon. It’s not worth the money I spend on it as I hardly ever write.

But I wanted to do some writing while my blog remains open.

Lately, I’ve noticed an incredible flow to life. Everything is so easy! The end of the school year is incredibly hectic, but our pool party and project sharing were easier than ever. I just noticed everything seemed to flow from one thing to the next. I didn’t need to do anything to make it happen.

The first time I recognized that Life was Easy was back in 2013.

Easy?

I saw clearly how thoughts can make things seem complicated or difficult. When you let go of thinking and just let things flow, everything is easy. One steps leads to another and you know exactly what to do next.

I’m experiencing an incredible “flow” right now. I love my apartment. It’s on the 4th floor and I enjoy being up high. I have a balcony and a partial view of the river. However… across the hall from me are apartments that get a full view of the river. I have often thought of how much I’d like to live in one of them.

The apartment across the hall from me has been empty for some time. Lately, I’ve noticed my attention drawn to it. On a whim, I e-mailed my landlady last night to see if she owned any other apartments in this complex. I mentioned the view across the hall.

Well, it turns out she has a client who’s thinking of buying and renting out the apartment across from me. She would manage it, so it would be very easy from me to transition there. (Not to mention an incredibly easy move – across the hall!)

Holy Cow! Now, it’s not set in stone. He may never buy the apartment. He may want a rent I’m not willing to pay. But I have to say… it feels right. For months I’ve looked at those river-facing balconies and thought, “I want that”. And lately that apartment across the hall has been calling to me….

This could be part of the flow. It feels like it. But I don’t really know that. Instead, I will have to wait and see.

There are patterns to life, but thoughts can’t understand or predict them. They will unfold as they are meant to, when they are meant to.

But oh how fun would it be to have a clear view of the river, not to mention the sunset?

 

Life made me partial to high places, balconies, sunsets, and birds, so why wouldn’t Life bring me to the best place to enjoy all that?

We shall see 😉

A Delusional Mind

a beautiful mind

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Wow. Two things have become extraordinarily clear lately:

  1. Life is gentle, benevolent, and extraordinarily loving
  2. My “mind” is completely delusional

In terms of the first point… First of all, my parents got their money back! The guy who’d scammed them returned the following week to demand $900 more. Luckily, there insurance agent was there at the time and called the police, who made him promise to pay back $1500. He did pay them back the following week and was arrested on other charges. Yay! So my parents lost $300 instead of $1800.

Secondly, the past two weeks have been difficult and have sparked a lot of emotions. But throughout it all, there as been a sense of being taken care of. I have definitely had moments of feeling lost and alone, but they were fleeting. Mostly I’ve felt incredibly supported.

I’ve mentioned before that I fear public speaking. That’s gotten somewhat easier lately. When I say “public speaking”, I mean even speaking up in groups of people. I can’t pin an exact number on what makes a group seem “safe” versus “scary” – but I tend to feel safer with 6 or fewer and threatened if there are more people than that. (Of course, there is also the issue of “safe” people versus “scary” people; strong personalities put me on edge.)

So lately I’ve been able to speak more openly in small groups. In the past, I measured and planned everything I would say. Now I’m allowing myself to speak “off the cuff” and it’s going surprisingly well.

On Friday, I had to speak in front of an audience, which is definitely scarier than speaking up in a group. I asked so many people to pray for me and received an incredible outpouring of love and support. Fear was there, but also great strength, and I was able to speak from the heart, clearly and openly, in front of a lot of people.

Thank you, Life. I feel like it’s guiding me to face my fears.

It seems like it’s also guiding me to recognize the delusions of my mind.

Sadness is the key there. A sense of lack arises, a sense of abandonment and/or rejection…. I felt this all the time in my teens and 20s and finally recognized it as a delusion. Just because a person doesn’t say “hi” doesn’t mean she’s mad at me… Just because I don’t hear from a friend doesn’t mean he/she is ignoring me…

My mind would also do the opposite; attribute too much significance to a “friendly” overture, even as simple as a smile. This happened mostly with guys. He likes you!

What I hadn’t realized until yesterday was how much my mind was still deluding me. I had a Holy Shit! moment that reminded me of the scene in A Beautiful Mind when John Nash realizes his “friends” have never aged or changed in any way and can’t be real.

I don’t see people that aren’t there… but I imagine intentions, feelings, and connections that aren’t really there. They only exist in thoughts.

The folks at Liberation Unleashed say that something is real if it still exists when you stop thinking about it. 

I was feeling very confused by a situation that did not make sense. My thoughts were telling me one thing but when I looked at what actually had happened, I had no evidence to support the thoughts.

Yesterday, it hit me: I had imagined all of it! The thoughts didn’t make sense because they totally conflicted with reality. None of what I was fixating on existed outside of thoughts. It couldn’t be real.

Holy Cow. I am astounded with the power of thoughts to delude me.

To escape the raging emotions last week, I had been reading some YA books. I started escaping into books as a teenager and I find it interesting that that genre still draws me in.

On Monday, I went to school and was struck by the odd nature of my thoughts. I seemed to be perceiving everything differently. Then it hit me – my thoughts were influenced by the books!

I was almost thinking like a 17-year-old again. Holy Cow!!

It hit me… How can I ever assume a thought is “mine”? There is no “me” that is the source of thoughts… so where do they come from? It seems they come from experience – what I see in life, what I read, what I watch in TV…

Who really knows? But I do know this: they cannot be trusted. They do not perceive truly.

Life can be trusted entirely. How do I perceive truth without thoughts? That’s what I’m looking into. I think feelings are the key.

When I feel conflicted, confused, sad, angry, fearful… that is a sign that my thoughts are deluding me again.

I must follow my heart, not my head.

Perfection

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I’m reading What’s in the Way IS the Way by Mary O’Malley. It’s a wonderful book, and it’s brought me back to ideas I was pondering months ago. Today, I wrote in my journal:

What if everything is perfect exactly as it is?

I reminded myself of that several times today. And then I hit a roadblock: I found out my parents had been scammed by two guys who showed up and offered to re-pave their driveway. They basically filled in some cracks (not all) and spray painted it. Then they charged my parents $1800 (they’d said $400) at first and drove my father to the bank so he could cash the check. They gave no receipts.

This stirred up so many emotions in me. Anger at the scam artists for ripping off vulnerable people. Fear at the thought of my father in a car with strangers. How do we know he only gave them $1800?

Anger at my mother for letting them take him.

Everything is perfect exactly as it is.

This is hard to reconcile with thoughts. But I am grateful that both of my parents are safe. I don’t like that someone stole money from them, but I’m thankful they weren’t hurt in any way and recognize that money is ultimately insignificant. Maybe the scam artists really needed it. Maybe my parents needed that experience to help them prepare for a more challenging one. Maybe the next time someone tries to scam them, they will recognize it.

I do not and cannot know the deeper purpose to anything. Yes, this seems bad, but how do I know it’s not for the greater good? I trust Life and trust it’s always working for the greater good, even if I can’t see it.