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When I was a teenager I had a chores and responsibilities in my family. One time I forgot to do wash the kitchen floor and my Father said “But you remembered to call your friends, didn’t you? You remembered what was important to you.” He was right. My responsibilities in the family weren’t as important as my friends. To this day my Father’s words help me to remember what is important is not always the thing that I most enjoy doing and that I always prefer to make a conscious choice. If I choose from what I’m “wanting,” then I’m always left wanting and never having. I prefer to be highly intentional with each choice. I AM training my mind to always see and choose the most loving choice. This has helped me to develop a joyful attitude towards the things that support excellence in my life and in this way I deeply and truly honor my Father.
When I began a practice of daily prayer and meditation it felt like a chore. Very often I didn’t want to pray. My teachers said how much they loved to pray. I didn’t get it. For me it was a task, a burden. It was work to get myself to be still, to take the time. I wasn’t feeling the joy. I wasn’t really receiving the benefits. It was like when I was a teenager. Yes, I “wanted” a clean kitchen floor, a high consciousness, but I also wanted to put my attention elsewhere. If I had not been committed to seeing the higher choice for Love, I’d still be wanting, endlessly wanting.
I see this in so many spiritual seekers. They “want” to be more loving. And, again, wanting and having are two different things. The one who is wanting is not devoted to having and being. Wanting never ends. The one who awakens from the dream of separation is committed to seeking the Kingdom first. This becomes their joy, their devotion and their passion. Wanting is magical thinking. Wanting is thinking something is missing. Nothing’s missing. You must look where you can find it. And that requires devotion.
Think of this – if the love of your life was “missing” would you be devoted to finding them? Or would you simply “want” to find them? Look in your heart for the answer. That’s where the love of YOUR life is waiting for YOU!
Ramakrishna taught us, “Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone.” Over the years I’ve continued to pray, to meditate and, just like with my yoga practice, I’ve become stronger, more flexible. I’ve felt the cleansing effects of prayer and meditation. The healing has taken over my awareness. Now, I cannot imagine getting out of bed in the morning without praying. I cannot imagine not going back to prayer again and again throughout the day. My practice is the embrace of my Beloved, the One TRUE LOVE of my life. The One who never tires of me. The one who always loves me and offers me the very best without restriction.
Today I demonstrate what is important to me by my devotion, by my practice, by washing the kitchen floor, exercising, smiling, being kind and patient, keeping my appointment with my meditation chair, my prayer partner and my beloved. I show up! And in this way I honor my Father who brought me as well as the one who sent me. In countless small ways I devote myself to the daily practice of showing up with love and kindness. In this way I make a profound contribution to peace in the world, and I am grateful for every experience that brought me to this moment.
Today I’m so very grateful for my father, Danny Hadley. I’ve always felt his commitment to love, to being the best father he could be to me, to caring for me, protecting and providing for me. We’ve had very difficult times and we’ve had glorious times. We are having a journey of love together, and naturally it includes the worst and best.
I know that with every passing year we’re both more interested in sharing with each other the very best of ourselves. The very best is our loving hearts, our kindness, our patience, and generosity. We’re learning to be devoted to each other as father and daughter, to the best of our ability. This is cause for celebration.
Many, many times in the past it’s been so challenging, but it’s not challenging at all anymore and we’re grateful for that. My devotion to Love itself has been my healer. I’m grateful that my father was always willing to see the best of me, even when it wasn’t readily apparent to others and even if it took him a minute. That is the gift that we can all give to each other. It’s certainly the best gift a father could ever give a daughter. Today I celebrate my father and I give thanks for him.
I give thanks that my Dad never taught me anything about God and that I got to find that on my own. I’ve never had to undo any false beliefs about the Divine. I particularly give thanks that he taught me to be able to laugh and play, to love good food and great friends, to enjoy music and nature and so much of life. He also helped me learn, above all, that I intend to never miss an opportunity to love again! Thanks, Dad!