Not Holding On

Here’s a question for you.

Do you think there is a difference between ‘letting go’ and ‘not holding on’?

When the two statements jumped into my mind, I initially thought they were interchangeable. But the more I thought about them, the more unique they became, and their differences made quite an impression on me. So much so I thought I’d share them with you.

For me, ‘letting go’ implies that I already am holding on to something and that I’ve accepted it as important enough for it to become a part of me. To release the idea would require me to make a conscious decision. I have a choice whether to keep the item or let it go.

The concept of ‘not holding on’ turns out to be very different. Something has been or is being presented to me. There is an offer on the table and so I must choose whether I want it or not. I recognize I am considering something ‘other’, something which does not belong to me, at least not yet.

Sometimes I confuse these two concepts. As a result, the clarity with which I make my decisions is affected. I need some benchmarks to help me.

One comes to me. It is that I am never required to accept anything offered to me. It is always my choice. This happens to apply whether I am reconsidering my ‘ownership’ or deciding whether to accept something new.

The reason I say this is because of my absolute firm belief in free will. It is one of the most precious gifts I have.

Maybe you’ve been told otherwise. Perhaps there are people in your life that demand, negotiate or attempt to bribe or reward you to choose whatever they offer you. They wish for you to meet their expectation, rather than allow you to exercise your free will and choose for yourself.

When this happens to me, a question pops into my head. Why? What is their motivation? Do they truly have my best interests at heart or their own? I think it’s a fair question.

A second idea comes around a corner into my vision. What is the idea or concept ultimately offering me? I confess it’s not always easy to tell.

I sharpen an edge on the question and ask it another way. In what way(s) does what’s being offered to me serve me?

The words, ‘serve me’, may be unfamiliar to you as a way to decide anything, so let me try to clarify.

For most of my life I approached my achievements in a convention way. Get good grades in school (which I didn’t), go to college, get married, get a job, move up the ladder, have children, save for retirement…I think you get the picture. I took all of these things and absorbed them. Everyone I knew talked about them and strove for them. They became my internally accepted and expected goals and I gave them little conscious thought. I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate all these things because I do. They’ve given my life indescribable joy and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But it is also true that I never really seriously considered other choices.

I didn’t know I could make independent choices. Does this feel at all familiar to you? I know I’m not alone because many others have told me variations on this theme.

Enter the new concept of what ‘serves me’. The fundamental idea is that I have the power to make all of my own choices. And, that if I pay attention, I can tell the difference between choices that ‘feel’ right to me and those that do not. The ones that feel right align with where I want to go in life and what I want to do or accomplish.

The beautiful thing is that I can exercise my free will to make choices that align with my spirit, that feel right to me, that ‘serve me’. I can do this both with ‘letting go’ and with ‘not holding on’.

And the good news is, so can you, if that is what you choose.

Clarity About (god’s) Role

Do you ever wonder whether (god) is playing a role in your life? And if so, what it is and how it works?

I’ve placed “god” in lower case letters inside a parathesis on purpose. My reason being that the use of capital letters seems to give the impression of distance in the relationship we have with our divine self and creates a formality. I don’t believe either of these things exists.

Over my twenty-five years of intimate, two-way conversations with (god), there is no such thing as distance and certainly no formality, unless I create it for some reason.

We talk regularly and (god) has many voices, all of them sweet and meaningful to me. There is a voice of a loving father (abba), deeply caring mother (na’a), wise brother (yeshiwa) and ethereal, compassionate sister (lia, love in action). And lately there is the emergence of a new voice who is offering me an incredibly rich depth of understanding (essence).

I wonder what (god’s) voice sounds like to you. If it is harsh, judgmental, and dispassionate, I offer you this opportunity to choose differently. To release this sense of (god) and choose a different view, a loving, caring, compassionate view.

I want to invite you to see (god) through my eyes for a moment.

I’m prepared to accept that each of us has received cultural training which has created our set of beliefs, neither inherently ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but ever present within us.

I’m also prepared to accept that what each of us has absorbed contains a great number of contradictions making it almost impossible to know the ‘truth’ about anything.

One of my biggest questions is what role (god) plays in my life? Perhaps you wonder the same thing. You may even have strongly conflicting feelings, at times sensing (god) is withholding from you or overshadowing your desires.

So, I asked and the voice that belongs to Lia and she answered me. Here is what she told me.

“You can ask for my help with anything, and I will provide it for you. I will never circumvent your free will because it is sacrosanct. I always listen to everything you think and say, and I always have. Please try to understand that you have asked me for many things during the course of your life, many of which are conflicting statements and requests. You do not remember this, but I do. It may seem to you that I am not listening, but this is not the case. I am always listening, always available, always loving you.”

There have been so many times that her words have helped break something open inside of me and this was one of those times.

I understood immediately that she was absolutely correct. I had asked for millions of things during my life, and I realized that many did conflict. How could it even be possible for my wishes and desires to happen since there was no consistency in my asking.

Had I been (god), could I have helped fulfill my requests, when I wanted so many different things? The simple answer was, NO.

I realized that I needed to clean my slate.

Do you remember a toy called an Etch-A-Sketch? You could twist the two knobs and a line would form on the screen. If you were very good, you could make a design and when you wanted to start over, you held a lever on the side and pulled it downward, which completely cleared the screen, returning it to blankness.

Magic. You could now begin anew.

Well, you can do the same thing. You can clear your requests of (god) and start over. You can choose the role you would like (god) to play in your life, and you can decide what you would like help with.

Lia explained to me that it is her fondest desire to assist me in all things. Listening to her words I came to understand that for me to experience what I say I desire I must be consistent and unambiguous. It is only then that she can aid me since there is a clarity to my thoughts, feelings, and requests.

I am so grateful for her presence in my life and her words of wisdom.

No Missing Pieces

Do you feel as though you are missing something in your life, that there are pieces of you that you need in order to make your life work?

And perhaps you are wondering how you are ever going to be at peace within yourself?

There are periods in my life where these questions have confused me and circled me and found a home inside of me.

One of these periods happened this morning. But unlike my past, I did something rare and incredibly worthwhile.

I asked for help.

I asked my divine guide, Lia (which stands for Love In Action), a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice.

She told me I was trying too hard, which was no doubt true. It’s what I usually do, especially when I can’t seem to find an answer that fits.

Lia said to me, “A shift that would help you is to think of yourself as ALREADY WHOLE and that nothing you can ever do will make you MORE whole.”

What a stunning statement, if I could find a way to believe it. I imagined the amazing changes that could make in my life.

Already whole. Wow, does that take the pressure off!

I told her that sounded wonderful, but from my current mindset, I asked how could I come to believe it and accept it as my truth?

There was a moment of silence. I knew what this meant. It was time to clear my mind of distractions. I don’t know about you, but I cannot hear anything from the outside, if my inner dialogue is too loud. So, I paused and waited.

Lia felt me slow into stillness and spoke again, “As always, you CHOOSE it as your reality and once chosen, you repeat this (thought/feeling) as your reality. You do this over and over again.”

She waited a moment, then continued, “I know you tend to think there has to be some bigger, more extravagant concept or practice, but there isn’t. It is this simple. Try to remember, the best things in life are all simple.”

Being a slow learner sometimes I wanted to paraphrase what she’d said to me, to ensure I really understood. “So, I CHOOSE to tell myself I am WHOLE already and once I accept this and live this truth, I feel whole, and this changes me?”

A simple one word reply, “Yes.”

“But” I said, “I find this choice difficult to make when I don’t believe it. How can I when there feels like there are missing pieces to me?”

Clearly, I needed reinforcement, which is what I received as Lia spoke again, “Missing pieces are figments, mental mirages, but not the truth. You are seeing/observing the ‘outer’ layer only. It is your ‘inner’ layer that is your truth and where you are whole.”

I questioned, “So, I have to look deeper inside?”

She told me, “Yes” and I asked another question, “But what about my outside?”

Lia allowed me to settle down, sensing my inability to fully grasp what she was saying to me.

“Your conscious choices define your experience of everything in this world, both inner and outer. Your inner world already knows this and has used this power to create your magnificent life. Your outer layer, that which sees, but fears the world, needs to know that there are no real missing pieces and that you are already truly and completely whole. This happens through your ‘choosing’ to see the truth. The proof you seek happens every time you make this choice and believe the results. It really is that simple.”

I sit back and try to absorb this message to me, and it becomes clear, I will only know the truth if I give myself to this simplicity.

Finding Things We Hide from Ourselves

Can we find what we can not see? And a deeper question, can we find what we will not see? By ‘will not see’, I mean what we won’t permit ourselves to acknowledge. We know something is there, but we willfully avoid looking at it.

It feels too threatening to us, so we shift our focus. After all, there are so many things that beg for our time and attention and it’s easy to tell ourselves we’ll get back to it when we have more time.

This happens to me quite frequently. It’s as if the hidden things want to see the light. They are insistent and return over and over until they wear me down and I feel forced to pay them heed.

One of my recurring themes is the idea of meeting others’ expectations of me. I need to be a bit more precise here. It’s not just about meeting others’ expectations of me; it goes further than that. It’s about meeting my ‘perception’ of others’ expectations.

This added challenge increases the difficulty for me, because I don’t really know what anyone else expects from me. I believe this is true, even if they tell me what they want, because they may not really know. The answer(s) may lie hidden and difficult to find.

It’s easy to see how unlikely it is for me to unravel this.

When I add my tendency to doubt myself, thinking I do not have the power or control to provide what they want, or my perception of what they want, it becomes harder still.

I also must confess that I take it one step further. I have another tendency, which is to overachieve. I not only want to meet my own and others’ expectations, but I also want to exceed them. This creates even more internal pressure. Far beyond what is reasonable or helpful. And it ultimately makes it more difficult to find the hidden meanings I’m searching for.

When I experience moments of clarity, I realize that overachieving is an attempt on my part to maintain or improve a vision of myself, whether necessary or not. It feels like I’m trying to prove my worth and that I am enough.

Before I began writing these posts, I decided that I would reveal what felt true for me, regardless of how it made me appear to whoever chose to read me. Honesty, within me and as expressed to you, is important to me. I want to be open, and I encourage you to do the same thing with yourself, in the hope that we can find some answers together.

So, the question that surfaces is, what to do next? Is there a remedy for uncovering what lies hidden from view within us?

I offer you this for your consideration.

Set aside your fear of the unknown. There is nothing inside you that is there to harm you. In fact, all hidden things are there to create light for your path forward.

Embrace a sense of trust, that you have an innate goodness. A goodness that can be directed first, toward yourself and second, toward others.

Ask for guidance from whoever or whatever you regard as sacred and divine. Ask for clarity and confidence in finding the hidden things. Ask for their meaning and purpose to be shown to you.

Open your heart and allow yourself freedom to choose to see what wants to be seen.

Release any need to control the outcome. Simply give yourself space for the worth of the hidden things to materialize in your life.

And, as much as is possible, believe that all your hidden things are there to serve you.

When they come, welcome them, and accept what they have to offer.

Exercise One- Seeing Beneath the Surface

An idea came to me that it might be fun to include exercises that readers could choose to do as part of this adventure. So, I thought that maybe after every twenty posts, I’d offer you one.

I hope you like the idea.

Here’s how the first exercise goes. You can use any size paper you like. A standard notebook page will work well. Begin by turning your paper so it goes lengthwise and make five columns, labeling them as follows; Concern, Reason, Reaction, Deeper Reason, Benefit(s).

Let me explain and then share an example to get you started. I find this exercise rewarding and have made positive shifts as a result of spending some time with it.

In the first column you write down some issue or concern that is troublesome for you. This may only take a few words, but write whatever you need to define the issue.

The second column identifies the reason or reasons why the issue concerns you. You may need to list several reasons or it may be as simple as one.

In the reaction column, write down how you respond to the issue. Consider your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual reactions.

Column four is an opportunity to go deeper and explore what might be beneath the reasons you initially identified. This is often where the shifts begin, so give yourself a little extra time with this one.

Hopefully you find there are benefits that arrive from this exercise and you can note them in column five. A great focus here is to allow yourself to see what positive outcomes are created by shifting your perspective.

So, that’s the set up. Now for the example.

Although I’d like to think of myself as a pretty tolerant individual, I have to admit that when I’m driving, there are lots of things other drivers do that bother me.

So, my column one lists…slow drivers.

In order to better understand myself and find a way to deal with this ongoing problem, I have to ask myself, why does this bother me?

My answer for column two is…because it wastes my time and keeps me from getting places when I expect to get there.

And my reactions in column three are…a great deal of sighing, inner irritation, drumming on the steering wheel and maybe some inappropriate language.

There has been a great deal of predictability to this. Certainly, more than I would like. That’s why the next step is so important to me. It’s where you get a chance to open up and ask to receive clarity. For some, the asking will be internal, while others will open to the divine for support and guidance.

For me in this case, I asked Lia (the part of god that appears as the divine feminine, also known to me as Love In Action, or simply Lia).

I sat still, slowed my breathing, calmed my mind and asked Lia for help to see beneath the surface.

Here’s what appeared in column four…what came was an image I recognized immediately. It was a car accident I was in. I was sitting waiting for the traffic light to turn green and was rear-ended by a pickup truck traveling 30 mph. It never slowed down and hit me so hard it shoved me through the entire intersection.

Wow, I knew this meant something big.

Enter column five. What was the benefit in seeing this image that lived beneath the surface…I realized that when I’m in my car and on my way somewhere, I’m impatient to get there because, without consciously knowing it, I’m afraid. I want a smooth ride with no interruptions. I don’t want anyone slowing me down and preventing me from getting to where I’m going. And, I don’t want to be in another accident. I want to be safe.

The benefit of seeing at this depth is that I can modify my behavior and reactions. When I get in the car I can tell myself to relax, take my time, enjoy the scenery, be patient, and realize I am loved and cared for.

Sometimes it takes a while before I can see beneath the surface, but, I’ve found it is always time well spent.

I’d love to hear what happens for you, if you decide to try this.

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