Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Human Condition

Learning our way around in a human body is puzzling, complex, and rewarding, most of the time. I crept, and sometimes ran, through life, and though I became aware of more and more possibilities, it took time for me to fully understand the power of my mind. In college I learned William Glasser’s Reality Therapy and Choice Therapy. I was excited to know about choices. I studied positive mind psychology and went to positive thinking rallies, but it was only when I was in a relationship that tested my reality and my sanity that these theories came into play.

I was in relationship with a man who lied about almost everything. It was more than just a relationship; I am embarrassed to say we were married. That’s another story, but, in my defense, as if I need one, it was a rebound relationship. He convinced my mind, this charismatic con man, of all kinds of things, but always my gut knew better. I wanted to believe him, but my body and my unrelenting anxiety knew that his truths were peppered with fraudulent claims. He was devoted and loving to me. He helped me with so many life tasks: ran errands, took care of the lawn. I couldn’t imagine life without him. Life was too daunting to face alone, but his help and love came with a price tag – my sanity. My reality teetered as I stood on the side of a perpetual black hole. I felt irrational, anxious, and fearful. We were financially entangled, and money was my Achilles heel. Unbeknownst to me, he ran up my credit cards, sought expensive medical care we could not afford, and depleted my savings. I remember riding down the road in my grey Chevrolet and, as I reached for my radio, something clicked in. I no longer had to be at the effect of his lies. I was not yet brave enough to divorce him, but I had the courage and power to think and act a different way. It was as if the low point in my life assembled everything I read and studied and gave them back to me as a superpower – the power to choose.

Eventually I divorced him, thank God, but the lesson of choice never left. I rejoiced. I now had the key to the Universe; I could choose my reaction to life and even influence outcomes. What a relief, this magic of choice, but if choice was the key, why was my life not getting better? I might be steadier, but I still faced mountains I had never imagined. I climbed each one, looking for the key to fix what was wrong with me and my life, but as soon as I propped up one area of my life, another fell apart. Eventually I began to find the real magic. There was no key; life is to be faced one moment at a time, and if I would dwell in the source of who I was, and stay radically present, insurmountable problems became stepping-stones to greater states of peace and power.

I understood why great teachers answer a question with a question. Students want to know the how to’s of life, but the true teacher knows that hunting for answers to life’s dilemmas is a detour. Trying to solve problems is not the answer. The answer lies in a space that recognizes that, at the deepest level, problems do not exist. In looking back, I could see that those grave moments of despair drove me deeper into myself and gave me the courage to surrender to the unknown.

Learning not to look for the key to life’s problems gives us a tremendous freedom. It frees up our energy. Figuring things out, making sure we are not being taken advantage of, trying to be important, not looking like a fool, all this requires searching, answers, and protection. It is all a burden we were never meant to carry. Life is simpler. The only thing we need to cover is the now moment. Our egoic mind loves our burdens. They give us an identity and can even make us seem special. Martyrs are respected and admired for what they came through, but we do not need a dilemma to shine in the glory of who we are. A Course in Miracles states that simplicity is difficult for twisted minds, and, while life is complex, there is always a simple or simpler road we can follow through our complexity. My deceased sister informed me, when I was young, that self-realization can occur in anyone. We do not have to be important, learned, or even wise; we just need to be present for our life. I did not believe her then. But now, years later, I know what she tried to tell me. Life is not what we think it to be; it is what it is, and that is okay. The power to choose is but a road sign pointing us to wholeness. My favorite thought these days is, “Drop it. Drop it. Drop it.” I do not always succeed, but I find that when I drop the need to see life as a problem to be solved, stop hunting for a fix, and follow my drop it suggestion, that everything in my life becomes EZier and EZier.

The Prime Minister of Possibilities


We live in a culture that sentences us to linear thinking. It’s not due to a conspiracy; it’s due to the sanctification and hybridization of the rational, mechanical, and the material. Somewhere, back in the days of deep discovery, we discarded something valuable, in favor of what we reasoned was undesirable. We placed our new discoveries at the top and center of our value systems and left behind the heart and foundation of our souls.

That’s why we have to wake up. We must wake up the sleeping parts of who we are and somehow bring the rational and material along for the ride. The rational, the mechanistic, and the material can no longer be the train; they must become the cargo. We are in times when we can conduct double-blind studies and learn to listen to the bees and the trees, and its vital that we do both. The scientist needs to meditate and to heed perennial wisdom, and the meditator must adopt essential practicality and act when needed. The businesswoman must open her heart and the spiritual activist must learn to leverage social media. We can no longer stay in the box of our choosing, if we expect to plumb the potency of our being.

The Prime Minister of a country is the leader of the government and is ultimately responsible for its policy and decisions. But imagine a prime minister of internal affairs, a personal prime minister, an overseer who has authority to open the doors to a higher way of being.

That prime minister (PM) does exist within us, and the PM can marry the profound and the practical and free us in a way that exposes limitless possibilities. We live in exciting times; we are on the edge of untold possibilities and unmitigated enthusiasm for a higher good. While the media might show us the limits of the world picture, and it’s something we want to know, there is an emerging tide of fortune, that brings with it a freshness that ultimately can’t be ignored. When our good nips at our heels indefinitely, when a higher way of being exposes itself at every turn, even our most cynical parts take note.

What catalyst awakens that which sleeps in us? It is simple. When we begin to feel good, we see things in a different light. We open to possibilities, because when we feel good, we don’t need to spend our energies protecting and defending our ideologies, positions, and imagined weaknesses.

We have to let go of many of our ingrained habits before we begin to feel good. What would our inner prime minister have us do to awaken to the pleasures of life? How can we prime the realms of expanded intelligence?

  • Quit making material success sacred. This quest runs us ragged and leaves little time to enjoy life. Success should never be a goal; it should be the byproduct of living on purpose.
  • Stop rescuing people and taking care of others, especially when it leaves us little or no time for ourselves. We can’t make others the central theme of our lives. While service to others opens us to miracles, codependency shuts them down. Discover the difference between altruism and martyrdom.
  • Join with others.Some animals are solitary, but humans are not. Social inclusion and interaction are necessary for our survival. This becomes evident when we become socially isolated, starting with depression and often culminating in disease.
  • Be in touch with our bodies. When we are in touch with our bodies, we know that bodies like sweet sounds, enticing aromas, and movement. The body loves sexual pleasures and healthy, good-tasting foods. The body loves to be held and hugged.
  • Be informed. Keep up with what’s happening in the world, and fuel our minds with joyful thoughts and fun times. If we keep all the news out of our lives, we spark denial, but when we keep the pleasure of living at bay, we become cynics. If we blend the state of the world with optimistic possibility thinking, the world presents opportunities rather than burdens.

Feeling good alone is not the panacea to solving the world’s problems, just as priming to pump only brings water to us. We can’t quench our thirst unless we drink the water. Learning to incorporate pleasure and feeling good into our lives is the prime for the pump of our good. It opens us to more intelligent choices. Can you imagine people who feel good about their lives stopping their party and saying, “Let’s go to war.”? Feeling good, experiencing joy, zeal, and zest, create a vibration that allows the treasures of pleasures to flow into our lives. Think of the inner Prime Minister as our higher self. It is a part of us that has answers that our rational mind bypasses. It is an all-inclusive part of ourselves that we can call on to solve problems, to open us to adventure, and to fuel a renaissance of being. It can manage and direct inspiring inner dialogue. The PM serves us in both practical and mystical ways. It brings science and sentience together. I heard a woman say, “I talk with my Higher Power. If you see me talking to myself, I’m just having a cabinet meeting.” Let’s call on our PM, and have a cabinet meeting, because when we do, life is EZier and EZier.