Reading a book called Soulshaping by Jeff Brown the other night, I came upon a sentence: “Never confuse conscious effortlessness with conscious laziness.” Just that sentence brought up a huge amount of questions inside of me. I began to think how do you know what you want if you don’t know who you are? Confusing our “conscious wants” without realizing the “conscious consequences” is a mistake we all make. And out of pure laziness we expect our wants to materialize and fix everything.
It is always difficult to battle with resistance from our human perspective. Our ego’s main job is to make certain that we continue to fight. What we want is not always what completes us. We seem to deviate from our original wants and then blame the universe for not getting what we think we deserve.
When I was a child I said I was going to have ten children. At twenty I had my first son. At twenty-two my second one. A divorce followed shortly after and I couldn’t have any more children. Years later I adopted four orphans from Romania. Would ten children make me a different person from God’s original plan? Of course. My wants versus my needs to be loved unconditionally. That was my egotistical perspective of the more children, the more I would be loved.
Also, as a teenager I wanted to study to be a pediatric cardiologist. I wanted to “fix” the hearts of children. God’s plans overrode that desire. Then one day, sitting with all six kids watching a movie I realized that I had become a pediatric cardiologist. I got to “fix” these little orphans’ hearts in a way that the Divine intended. Things are never as we plan. Because of this, we are driven to become different from what we wanted. Little did I know that I would end up with a seventh child in my midlife years.
A few years ago I decided to go back to school and get my degree in psychology. I had enough experience in one household with bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, learning disabilities, extreme cases of obsessive compulsive disorder, multiple personalities, and an array of other little disorders, not including the few I have carried on my own back. Add an ex who was the poster boy for narcissism personality disorder and bang….I had my own thesis for a PhD. I wanted to help others. I wanted to hear their stories so I can feel that my life’s purpose was of worth. God’s intention to my wants is still up in the air for me. I am working on this one! Humor has managed to carry me through all these stories and intercepts me with others who are willing to share them with me.
We are responsible for reaching our goals, but most of the time we are afraid of success. We are paralyzed by past traumas and experiences so we stop ourselves. These are the nuts and bolts of living a life in separation versus unity. Our wants can’t be met if we don’t know who we are. We don’t sit long enough to take accounting of our desires. We think that needs are the same as our wants. What we need and what we want are in constant battle with our Spirit. God speaks through our strengths the most compelling way. We spend our lives not feeling the truth of who we are, and not really knowing consciously what we want. Whenever we do come in alignment with our desires and the Divine, we must take a look at the reflection and realize that whatever we manifest is exactly who we are meant to be. The illusion of control, law and science melts because life just is. We learn to see the world as it is, not how our perception creates it from our egotistical wants.
I believe we learn from pain. We have been trained to feel the heartache and push through it with anger, depression, or whatever other emotion it conjures up. Every morning I receive quotes to my cell phone. Today’s was by William Faulkner, “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.” I agree. My failures, aches, and breaks have taught me more than never trying anything at all. Because of such failures and lessons, I have been transformed and re-molded. It has not only been the life I have chosen but God’s will in an incredible story He helps me write so that I continue to aspire for more. And those painful experiences push the boundaries in life. Those amazing lessons have humbled me, forcing me to honor the divine.
Even as young children we learn through pain. If we touch something hot we know to stay away from it in the future. Children register the simplicity in the reaction of circumstances. As adults, we sometimes choose selective amnesia to deal with the same situations (which cause the same painful effect), like that old saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
In this depth I feel closer than ever to the Divine. Each painful experience has allowed me to accept something frightening about myself. I have rehearsed all my life for this particular moment, like a dancer preparing for the ultimate recital. Every rehearsal has been painful, frustrating, but enlightened while preparing for the final testimony of strength. I have learned to take materialism and abstract emotions and placed them on some shelf high above to observe. I keep those parts of my life in view so I won’t fall again in the same mistakes. Failure can be repeated if it’s not recognized as failure. Experience is the after mass of falling down, getting hurt, and hitting a rocky bottom. As Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
I have learned from spiritual teachings that we are ultimately responsible for our choices and actions. Our decisions come from knowledge or the lack of knowledge. That’s the law of responsibility that explains the cause and effect. As elementary science teaches us – for every action there is a reaction. Divine reasoning cannot destroy this or change it. There would be absolutely no memory. In order to solve any problem in life we must focus on a solution and recognize the problem without excuses. Through pain we are pushed to step back, acknowledge the lesson, and then decide if we want to repeat.
I would not change a single obstacle, challenge or heartbreak. They have molded me to grow while acknowledging the path. This is a mystical journey. We are always held through love, joy, grace, and compassion. Each lesson has taught me the capacity of my humanness. Each sorrow has opened me to a higher consciousness of acceptance. It is purely serendipitous. As Oprah says, “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
I woke this morning disoriented trying to find my place into this world. Re-entering the existence of life from the dream realm is often a bit tricky for me. I had just dreamed that I had a beautiful tattoo that read “Love Heals” right on top of a beautiful turquoise-colored dragonfly with a bit of lavender around its wings. I was so lost in the dream state that I found myself up and looking at my back on the mirror in darkness to see if I, indeed, had a tattoo. Once, gathering my bearings, I sat back on my bed. It has been a tough twenty hours. My face and body show the signs of exhaustion.
When you have children the first order of business is making sure they are safe. We love them with all we have and in that love we try to make sure they function and live in safety. I say a prayer every morning for each one of my six children. At night, as I move into the dream world, I close the day with another prayer for each one. But yesterday I learned a valuable lesson: I have no control of what happens to them. I have little control of what happens to me as well. And, I often wonder if my prayers get heard! Ultimately we are all here in this world to learn. Control is all a façade that we have created to understand the order of things. It is an illusion. We have NO control, but we have choices in determining the path of how we will achieve the lessons. We can go the easier route or just slam against a wall in a difficult manner.
Detaching from the chaos of fear and control is not easy. I have an extra gene in my body: an anxiety gene. It takes all of me, especially now that I live out here, to surrender to God and allow things to just happen. I am getting better. I can honestly say that I have evolved in this “knowing” that things will be whatever they are supposed to be. But, when one of my children does something that rattles everyone else in the household I have to stand back and truly realize there is little control of anything. It’s a reminder. It’s a constant reminder!
Children are not ours to own for the time they are with us. They are here to teach us so much about life and ourselves. Each one of mine has brought invaluable lessons to the table. They have molded me in ways that I don’t think anyone else could have impacted in my life. Through their disorders, disabilities, and strengths I have learned to love unconditionally. I am learning to just love others profoundly without judgments and criticisms.
Remembering this dream, now an hour after awakening, I understand that love is the only thing I am responsible for with anyone. I can be here to love, physically protect (up to a point) and pass down the lessons of experience. But, kids are funny that way…they don’t learn from our experiences. I know I have never acquired someone else’s experience as my very own. I don’t walk into a wall. I dive into it with the force of being thrown off the Empire State Building. I don’t know how to do anything in a minimal way but I am learning.
My children are gifts. I am learning with each one of them that when they do something “out of the ordinary” I need to step back, instead of getting angry, and acquire the lesson in that experience. It’s tough. It’s not a job for the lighthearted. Being a parent is the toughest job out there. I pray that love is enough to heal the wounds of this young man who spent the first four years of his life in an orphanage. I pray that love is all he needs to see that self-destructive behavior is not accepted here in this house but in another year he will be considered an adult and will pay the consequences. I pray that my heart opens wider and my love travels into his heart on that dragonfly and he feels it….forever.