Sunday, August 09, 2009

Life is hard work. 08/09/09

Life is hard work. That is true for every living thing. Only dead things have it easy. If you are alive, your work is cut out for you. Some of us opt out of the work that living requires by dying before we are dead. It’s so much easier to be dead that it’s a wonder why any of us opt for life. What are we thinking? What does life have to offer that could possibly compensate us for the high cost of living? We have to be crazy to be alive. Sanity requires that we put ourselves into a stupor and do what someone else tells us to do, stepping in the black footprints all the way to the grave, dying way before we are dead. Anything else is inconceivable.

The smart thing to be is dead. The deader the better. You feel no pain that way. Have no conflicts. Encounter no obstacles. You just follow instructions and don’t worry about—don’t think about—a thing. It’s heaven on earth. No troubles. No woes. No responsibilities. Can’t beat it. Being alive, on the other hand, is nothing but trouble. It’s one thing after another. Judgment calls, decisions, choices, obligations, responsibilities, everywhere we look.

We want it to be as easy as praying, rubbing a rabbit’s foot, wearing crystals, reading horoscopes, eating yogurt, avoiding caffeine. Sigh. We want the solution, the answer, the remedy, the shortcut to an eternally happy, trouble-free life. We put off doing what needs to be done, hoping that Mama will do it for us. Hoping that someone will do for us what we must do for ourselves.

Where IS that handsome stranger, that fair maiden, who will deliver us from the hum-drum and worrisome and make life grand? Why is just us and what needs us? All of our happy fantasies have to do with deliverance, salvation, with someone doing for us what we must do for ourselves. We are what we seek. But, we do not want to hear that! The Divine Mother/Father is always coming to our rescue. We are helpless, befuddled, lost. Poor, poor us! Somebody save us! Anybody! Mama!

Life asks hard things of us. Life is the end of our happy fantasies about how life should be. How things are is not how we wish things were. Life is hard work. Remember learning to tie your shoe laces? Remember algebra? Remember spelling Minnesotta, no, Minnesoda? It's always been hard. It isn't going to get easier. It's always going to come down to us having to have what it takes to “get up and do what needs to be done.” Once you know everything the Guru's know, you still have to do the things that need to be done. All that knowledge and still, the dishes!

What we are about here is not handing out the secret to having our way, getting what we want, having life on a string, sitting on a rainbow. What we are about here is the simple realization that OUR life waits on us. And, OUR life is not what we have in mind. It is not the answer to our prayers, the realization of our dreams. It is anything but that. It is the opposite of what we have in mind for ourselves. But, it is OUR life. And it waits.

The adventure we get is not the adventure we have in mind. We're thinking Hollywood and we get a white rabbit. A mix-up, no doubt, in order processing! Do what is yours to do and see what happens. Live the life that is your life to live and see where it takes you. That's the adventure! But who wants that? And, even if we did want it, how would we ever find our way to it? Easy. Follow the white rabbit. Follow the Aha’s!

The Aha's put us in accord with our lives, with the adventure of living our lives. We do not whip our lives into submission, we align ourselves with our lives. OUR lives. Aha! Get it? It’s all about understanding that our ideas for our life is not the same as OUR life’s idea of itself—of our LIFE’s idea for us!

The fundamental realization, the ground of all spiritual truth, is “Thy will, not mine, be done.” The trick, of course, is understanding the “Thy” here. Think of the “Thy” as “The One Who Knows.” Think of the “Thy” as your Destiny. As that which you were born to serve, as the LIFE that is yours to live, as OUR life. Who knows what that is? Do you? You wish! But, there is That Which Knows! There is The One Who Knows. The One Who Knows is the “Thy” in “Thy will, not mine, be done.” Your place—our place—is to align yourself—to align ourselves—with the will of that “Thy”!

Ah, but. There be a problem. The problem is a conflict of interest. We are at odds with ourselves over the life we are to live. Who is in charge? Who says so? Your work is you and your life. My work is me and my life. We have to get ourselves together with our lives. Living in synch with, in harmony with, aligned with, ourselves so that who we are is expressed in our way with life is integrity and happiness. Our work is to synchronize, align, harmonize our being with our doing so that the two are one: BeingDoing. DoingBeing. Integrity in action. “Thy will, not mine, be done!”

We live our life, gradually waking up to what our life—what The One Who Knows—is asking of us. We want 10,000 things but what wants us—what needs us—is the question. Being on the beam and off the beam recognizes there is a beam. We cannot live any way we want to. There is a beam! Get on the beam! Get it? It takes a certain perspective to ferret out the beam, to align ourselves with our destiny. We don't have to, you know. Makes it interesting.

Something else makes it interesting, as well. We look for dramatic arrivals to transform our lives. Winning the lottery. Falling in love. What we get is a white rabbit. White rabbits don't rank with us. But, a white rabbit is the shortest distance, and quickest route, from where we are to where we need to be. Life lies so far from where we are living we can only get there by way of a white rabbit. Forget all the self-help books and directions to the life of your dreams. Practice recognizing a white rabbit when you see one. Follow it. The white rabbit leads you home. Whatever catches your eye leads you to you.

Everything is a threshold that leads you to you if you have the courage to look until you see, listen until you hear, ask until you understand. Everything has depth, is a threshold to the invisible world, a vehicle of transcendence. It only takes eyes to see to know that it is so.

All you have to know is what is important, what is meaningful, what matters, and do it. We have to give ourselves to what is meaningful whether it means anything to anyone else or not. If it isn't or doesn't really, you'll figure it out eventually. "Meaningful" changes over time. We have to be alert to the shifts. Life calls to us from new locations. The white rabbit is a wild ride.

What we are about here is the Hero’s Journey, and the Search for the Holy Grail. It is also called following the White Rabbit, not thoughts, ideas, catechisms, doctrines, beliefs. This is not about mottos and clich├ęs and truisms and positive thinking. It is about finding and living the life that is OUR life. We have to be working the program, engaged the process of finding and living OUR life. It's no intellectual exercise, not something to know.

This is about aligning our idea of our life up with our soul’s idea of our life. Our agenda isn't soul's agenda. Guess who has to adjust to whom. It takes a different mindset to shift from focusing on how we feel about our lives, and “just wanting to be happy,” to how we might live in the service of what needs to be. How we feel about our lives is influenced by 10,000 things. What we do with our lives is directed by what we value, intend, find meaningful.

To “have a life,” or, “to have life and have it abundantly,” is to live in the service of something that is bigger than we are, that calls us beyond ourselves and asks to do it regardless of how we feel, or what mood we are in, or whether we want to or not. If there is nothing in our life that needs to be done no matter what, we are in trouble. No meaningful work is not a good thing. Our task is to find what is meaningful and do it! “Thy will, not mine, be done!”

We find our own way to the life that is OURS to live. WE say so! We put it all on the table. We listen to all of the voices, inner and outer, mull things over and choose what we will do, and bear the pain. Bearing the pain of our choices is part of the fun of making choices. There is no one to blame but us for the life we choose to live. No one can tell US what to do, which is exactly how it must be. We take it all under advisement and act to do what WE say needs to be done. After all, it is OUR destiny!

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