As we grow and evolve, we work our way around a wheel of development that begins with the acting out of our negativity. Cue the dragons. After this, we move to holding back, which leads, of course, to repression. The next step after repressing is to make our hurts conscious, but to not act them out.
Along the way, we will do battle using rationalizations and justifications, until we reach the point where we take responsibility for the consequences of our own negativity. Eventually, we must begin to see the way we inflict pain on others, as well as on ourselves. For even when we don’t carry through with cruel or unkind actions, our thoughts and intentions are often lethal.
In the end, no matter what we blame as being the cause of our unhappy and unsatisfying lives, it’s really our own fatalistic feelings and mean intentions that put us in such a state. And if we want to change our lot in life, we’re going to have to take the next step in seeing how we make the world responsible for our misery.
We fail to connect how our misery is actually connected with our own negative attitudes. We may know that we harbor dark attitudes, but we don’t connect the dots between this and the misery we experience, the less-than-satisfying or frustrating life experiences we face, and the feeling that life is chugging past us without offering us much in the way of fulfillment.
We get lost in the illusion of seeing ourselves not as we are, but as we want to appear.
The way out is to start to pay attention to our own hidden motivations for everything we do. We have to learn to listen with finely calibrated ears. And we have to bring all the goodwill we can muster to this venture.
The next step for getting off the awful-wheel-of-life is to marshal some sincere good intention to give. We have to make a decision: are we willing to open up to life and give of ourselves? For in truth, giving and receiving are really the same thing. We’ll need to start to trust that this world is not all bad. But here’s the good part: it’s only when we decide that it’s worth it to risk giving that we find out we are one with the universe.
The upshot of this abstract-sounding concept is that when we give to the universe, we give to ourselves. If we withhold ourselves—and recall, we all do in the beginning of this process—it’s not possible to receive from life.
It’s easy to get lost here in the haze of our good intentions, where we meant to give, or we had hoped we would love, or were planning to be open and kind. But in the storm of such good intentions, we tend to overlook our negative side, where the winds of destructiveness still wail and waves of meanness still rage. We have conveniently split our consciousness off from this part of ourselves. Head, meet sand.
Plus, we tend to get sucked into the vortex created by our own tremendously energized powerhouse of negativity that swirls inside us and that we can easily become lost in. We stay in it and we indulge it, because now we have tapped into an exciting energy source that we had lost when we were busy denying that evil lurks inside us.
So be warned, when we first rediscover this fountainhead of evil, it will be like finding a source of fuel we didn’t know we even had. What we need to learn to do is to express this energy in a way that doesn’t hurt others. We need to learn to take responsibility for our own inner dragons, without letting them act out.
Divine power can and will express itself through us, if we choose to come into harmony with the universe. But neither divine power nor harmony stand a chance of manifesting through us—of giving to us—if we can’t open ourselves up so they can come through.
So our growth must proceed through these steps on the wheel, moving from the inner center—where the fire-breather lives—out into the world. Growth isn’t something we bolt onto ourselves from the outside, as the immature parts of ourselves might like to think. It can only unfold from within. For inside us, exists everything. The whole universe is waiting to be freed from within.
What all this means is that the difficulties and frictions we inevitably come up against in life are here to show us where our work lies. They come specifically to help teach us our lessons. By seeing obstacles for what they are—opportunities to see what’s really living inside us—we can begin to clean house. Even if we can’t yet overcome them, our inner evil can’t continue to hide as long as we stop pretending it doesn’t exist.
By becoming willing to express our hate without justifying it or explaining it away—by naming it and moving it responsibly and not by unloading it on someone else—we also express our love. For that’s in there too. When we express our withholding, we also express our giving. For that exists too. When we express our lies, we are already more in truth.
By venting what needs to be aired, we can become still. Then we can discover that deep inside us is the spark of God that will speak to us, if we will listen. It can help to say the following words into ourselves: “It’s time to let go. Let go of the whirling mind with its hardened ideas and ingrained negativity. Let go of old habits of judging, criticizing and condemning. It’s time to let God. Let in new perspectives and new ways of being.”
What we will hear in response may be new for the conscious mind. For we will hear the inner voice that quietly speaks: “Be still and know I am God.” This voice lives in each and every one of us. We can trust the spirit of this voice. If we seek it honestly, we will come to know our truth.
—The Guide’s Wisdom, Jill Loree’s Words