Category Archives: Creating Your Own Reality

Stop Trying

“You did not make a mistake when you were born that you need to correct.”

Image by Cher Odum

Is it just me or does it seem at times that there is a diminishing point of returns on effort?  I look back over my journals sometimes and am alternately embarrassed or appalled at how many pages have been filled with intentions, goals, prayers and pleas, statements of desire and determination to ‘self improve’ or ‘self develop’ or hit some new high in any or all of life’s arenas.

I look at the list of books on my Kindle and wonder how many gurus I’ve helped to feed or send on vacations only to keep filling up those journal pages with my statements of desire, intentions, goals, prayers and pleas . . .

I’m not knocking personal growth.  I’ve devoted a huge chunk of my life to it and have counted some hugely profound and pivotal shifts and transformations among the hours spent combing the pages of this or that personal development book or blog, journaling and otherwise contemplating my navel.

But every so often I stop and ask myself, “How much more of this will it take for me to feel like my self no longer needs improving?  When do I get to look in the mirror and just say, “Me likey.”  When do I get to stop trying to be better than I am?

How bout now?

We would suggest that there is no time like the present to stop trying.  Just stop.  Stop what you could legitimately call this insanity.  Because that truly is what this is—crazy making.

Stop—trying.

You have been trying so hard for so long that you don’t remember what it feels like not to try.  You’ve been trying to please.  Trying to understand.  Trying to ‘grow’. Trying to learn.  Trying to be ‘aware’.  Trying to be in this relationship or that.  Trying to succeed.  Trying to listen.  Trying to put yourself together in some way that resembles some image of you that you’re forming as you read or listen to everyone’s elses’ ideas about who or what or how you should be. 

Stop trying. 

Stop trying to be wise.  Stop trying to be aware.  Stop trying to be creative.  Stop trying to be worthy.  Because as long as you continue trying to be or do or have all these things you are really only succeeding in living the lack of these things as you perceive it. 

You don’t try to be what you already are.  You just BE it.  You don’t try to be loving—you just love.  You don’t try to be giving—you just give.  You don’t try to be worthy—you just ARE. 

You will never be able to try hard enough to do or be or have what you think you need to feel the joy or peace that you think you lack or are wanting to feel—wanting to feel it because you are trying to hard to have it and trying so hard to have it because you’ve forgotten you were never without it. 

Stop trying. 

There is no one to please.  No one to convince.  No one to persuade that you are loved or that you are worthy, except the one who is trying so hard to be lovable and worthy. 

You did not make a mistake when you were born that you need to correct.  You are not an error.  Nothing broke when you came forth that you need to find a way to repair.  Release this lie, that you must earn your keep in this Universe, that you have fallen short and must make up for what you did or for what you didn’t do or for what you don’t know. 

You look at you and see the Prodigal in the story so many of you know and like to re-tell . . .  see someone who somehow went astray.  You see a mistake, a wrong, a deficiency, a sin.  But your ‘Father’ or “Mother’ or Spirit or God or Goddess or Source or Universe or whatever you choose to call All That Is, sees you pausing—broken, tired, beaten down from all your trying—and literally runs to you with open arms and vast open heart, with everything you thought you’d lost and needed to win back or to earn or to learn and simply says ,”Welcome home my son . . .  my daughter . . . you are so loved.” 

Stop trying to deserve to go home.  Open your eyes—you’re already there.

Sometimes—often in fact—I stick my tongue back in my cheek after the Team responds to whatever I’ve lobbed into their court that day.  Among many other things, they’re good sports and they enjoy a good laugh as much as any of us.

But now and then all I can think of to say to them—all I can feel or offer in response to the way that they turn in my direction and truly ‘shower’ me with something I can only describe as love . . .  is the sincerest possible ‘Thank you’.

Parting aFLOWmation: What else is there to say?  “Stop trying.”

For more information about The Shower Channel blog please visit my home page. Previous posts are available in the Archives. Contact me if you have questions/topics you would like The Shower Channel to address–or to request a private reading/consultation.

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Making Peace With Where You Are (Still)

“What you must understand is . . . that peace is a choice you make.”

‘Wisdom’ and Other Words To Live By From a Wet-Behind-The Ears Oracle

One of my favorite quotes is from psychologist Carl Rogers, who said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.”

That statement has always had a sort of zen quality to me.  Lately it’s also become a recurring question in my mind relating to things I hear or read, especially in spiritual literature, about making peace with where I am.    In fact a friend wrote to me recently after a blog post, and he was wondering if I really buy into this business about the best way to improve a bad situation being to let go of needing things to be different in order to feel better

I’m a sucker for a good paradox, so I asked the Shower Team, “How are we supposed to make peace with where we are when where we are sucks?”  (Note to self:  Reduce usage of word “suck” in future blog posts) . . . .

Making peace with where you are doesn’t mean what you tend to assume that it means.  You hear that and you interpret it to mean that you’re just supposed to be resigned to whatever fate you feel is being thrust upon you or you are just supposed to grin like an idiot and babble affirmations no matter how miserable you are.  A much better way to say it is, “Make peace with YOU—wherever you are.”  Because the point is, that YOU are truly fine . . .  truly okay . . . truly blessed . . .  truly loved and supported . . . no matter where you are.  No matter what you’ve created.  No matter what kind of mess you feel you’ve made.  No matter how long or hard you’ve been struggling.  No matter how beaten up or abandoned you feel.  No matter how worthless or stupid or inept or foolish you feel—or believe others feel that you are. 

Too often what most of you try to do is to improve how you feel from the outside in.  You observe the conditions or circumstances that you are experiencing and your knee jerk reaction is to say, “I’ll feel better when that’s different.”  Or “I’ll feel better when this is no longer the case.”  So you change your hair style or your wardrobe. You go on a diet. You buy a new house.  You quit your job. You leave your mate. You move to another neighborhood or city or state or country.  Some of you would head for another planet if you could—always trusting in the same illusion:  that it’s where you are that makes the difference.  “If I can just be over there, not here—everything will be fine.  I’LL be fine as soon as I’m over there.” 

It is very hard for you to hear us say, “It doesn’t matter where you are” and understand it much less believe it.  You hear words like “wherever you go, there are you are,” and you laugh and you recognize some truth in it but then you go right back to shopping for your new clothes or your new partner or your new career . . .    What we want so much for you to understand is that, while these externals may distract you from how bad you feel or in some cases, even allow you to take the much longer route to feeling better about yourself—there is a much simpler, swifter way for you to get your bearings and to feel the power that you always have to feel better no matter what’s going on in your life. 

YOU are never a mess.  YOU never need a makeover.  YOU never need to be anything other than who YOU really are.  And until you allow yourself to be at peace with YOU—apart from any circumstance or condition or situation . . .  until you understand that YOU are blessed and adored and supported and perfect as YOU are,  then you will be constantly striving for some other way to be.  You will be constantly trying to remodel your life based on the mistaken belief that how your house looks to passers by has anything to do with how it feels as a home.  You can create a showplace that anyone looking at from the outside in will admire and applaud.  And it will still feel like an empty, hollow, cold, lonely space until you understand that YOU are the life in it.  You are the warmth in it.  You are the spirit that inhabits your life and makes it livable.

What you must understand is that YOU are your home, that peace is a choice you make . . . . . it is a recognition that what matters is how you feel in your skin and in your heart . . .  and that everything you really want is right there where you are.  

When you understand that you don’t need anything to change in order to be at peace, that there are no renovations needed, no permits to apply for, no sins to confess and atone for, no sentences to serve or fines to pay, then you are free to change anything you want, simply because you enjoy the changing of it.  It becomes a game you’re free to play because it’s fun to play it . . . not an act of desperation or a deception that anything going on around you in any way determines who you really are or a driving need to match your life to something you’ve seen in a catalog or a movie or an infomercial or a sacred text or a self-help book–or for that matter, a blog.  Make peace with YOU, wherever you are because if you don’t, you’ll have no real peace, no matter where you are. 

Wonder if that blog crack was intended for anyone in particular . . .  I’ve certainly learned the long and hard way that I can’t move far enough away from anything that’s holding me back from feeling the way I want to feel about my life.  I’m still not sure how much happiness money might buy—it’s a theory I wouldn’t mind having the opportunity to test somewhere down the road.   In the meantime, it seems worth the effort to see how much I can like the me in the middle of whatever it is I’m not liking.  And that leaves Me/Us, for the moment, paradoxically complete.

Parting aFLOWmation: “You dropped your peace–pick it up.”

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