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One of the most challenging things we can learn in our life is to turn the focus of our mind from what we don’t want and to focus on having that which we truly desire. At least that’s been the most challenging thing for me to actually DO. For many years, I started so many days praying and meditating to be a loving, peaceful presence in this world. And then I would spend the rest of the day judging myself and my loved ones and anyone else who crossed my path. At the end of the day, I would feel like a hopeless loser, anxious and afraid. At night, I’d dream of arguing with my loved ones and endlessly seeking and never finding.
One of my recurring dreams was that I had an opportunity to do something really wonderful, something that I really, really wanted and would enjoy – often it was something like tickets to a Rolling Stones concert, which was a teenage passion of mine – and for some reason or another, I could never get there.
In the dream, I would realize I didn’t have film for my camera (pre-digital camera times), and I would decide to make a quick run to a nearby store and then never make it back to the concert. No matter how hard I tried to get back to the concert, I’d be delayed and thwarted. The longer my distraction took, the more desperate and distressed I would become to get back to the concert. I’d feel panic because I was missing all the good parts! I would wake up in the distress of seeking, but not finding. I had that dream again and again. It was the story of my life.
I now have eyes to see and a heart to know that the dream simply represented my spiritual life. I was, every day, distracted in my spiritual walk. I could talk it, but I didn’t walk it with a real dedication. I was constantly distracted. I stopped having that dream when I made the commitment to live the teachings all day long.
Of course, each and every day, I am aware of the places where I fall short of the mark, but I am aware of my choices more than ever. I choose Love more than ever. I judge less and less and less. I’m firmly on the path and nothing can take me off it now.
In my learning, I felt like a toddler learning to walk who falls down many times a day. Falling down a lot was part of the learning. Being wobbly is part of the learning. It’s not that I’m doing something wrong when I fall down. I’m learning.
Because I was aware that I was learning something that was new to me, I decided to make the easier loving and have compassion for myself. Compassion is loving understanding. It became the foundation of my spiritual practice.
Love is the healer. I’ve learned true self-compassion through my experience of stumbling, falling, and picking myself up. Everyone sees me fall and stumble. Everyone also sees that I am dedicated to learning to walk this talk of Love. They see that I do not chastise myself or berate myself when I fall. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, but I always get up with more compassion than I had before I fell. And so, the Love grows in my heart, in my awareness, and I bless myself and everyone else, because I’m One with them.
And this is how I learn to walk my talk. The more I learn, the more I can give up learning and simply remember the truth that sets us all free. I am so grateful we walk together. Together we remember we are One and we bless the world!
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