Janine's Articles From the Soul From the Outside Poetry Corner Prisoner Letters

WHEN THINGS DON'T GO MY WAY
Issue 85

A lot of the time, I feel pretty good about my life, how things are going, and how I feel about everything.

Some of the time, I don’t.  And when things aren’t exactly “right”, at least according to my plans, opinions and judgment, this is when the “rubber meets the road”, isn’t it?  This is when my beliefs are put to the test.  This is when I find myself facing my Self.

And sometimes that face-off isn’t pretty.

I find excuses to explain why it’s okay, in this instance, to forget about my own perspective that things always happen for the best, always!  My thoughts seem to go like this, “I know the Universe is benevolent and works in my favor.  It always has in the past.  But surely, this time, this unpleasantness, this particular disappointment, difficulty, obstacle, or whatever it is, could not possibly be for my own good.  Not this time.  Not this thing.  So I need to take control and do what I believe is best to change whatever I don’t like about the situation.  After that, I’ll be able to relax and trust the Universe again”.

Does this sound vaguely familiar to any of you?

Letting go and trusting the Universe. Sounds easy enough but some days it feels almost impossible to do.  Why is that?  What is in me that believes I have to control situations even when I know, deep within me, that Spirit has a much better plan for me than anything I could ever think up.  And I do believe that.

So what fear lives within me, right alongside my most profound beliefs?  What keeps me from trusting all the time?

As I sit writing this I am faced with an interesting situation:  I’m asking myself that question knowing I have to find the answer right now since it is what will fill the rest of this very empty looking article.  There is no turning away from the answer, there is no possible distraction (and believe me, I’ve had a couple of good ones just since starting this latest paragraph!).  I have to answer the question.  I have to identify, right now, what fear is holding me back.

The answer is taking no time at all to come up.  And it’s a doozy!

What if my beliefs are a bunch of bull?  What if there is nothing spiritual about my life?  What if I’m here, in this life, in this place, with no purpose, no deeper meaning to anything?  What if I was born, live any which way I do, and then just die.  What would that change?

Isn’t it interesting that when I think like that, I get so very upset, I want to run in the back yard and just scream my head off?  But who would I be screaming at?

And is it important to have someone or something to scream my frustrations to?

What if none of my beliefs are true?  What difference would knowing that make? How, then, would I live my life?

This brings me to examine my beliefs and determine which are practical and which are more philosophical. And today, I want to put aside everything that is esoteric and concentrate on viewing only the beliefs I hold that I choose to use in my everyday life.

So how would I choose to live if I did not believe in the existence of Spirit?  One of the first things that comes to mind is very basic.  I choose to do what works and let go of anything that doesn’t.

So what works for me?

Loving my sons and their children works for me.  It works in a very big way.  And the way to love them that works best is to allow them to show up anyway they wish.  I still do the ‘mother’ thing and try to give advice when I feel it is warranted but, to feel good about my relationship with them,  I need to do so remembering that they all are living their lives to the best of their abilities and allow them to do so without interference.

Loving my friends the same way also works for me.  I don’t feel the need to give advice unless it is asked for, which I’m sure they are grateful for!!

Being responsible for the Prison Outreach Program of the Conversations with God Foundation also brings me joy.  As does writing this newsletter.

That’s all about love to me.   So, regardless of whether Spirit exists or not and whether I came to this life with a purpose or not, love is what feels good to me in my everyday life.


Janines' Articles

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For years now, I have held peace as a priority in my life.  This still holds true  for me, whether I believe in the existence of Spirit or not.  Peace just feels so very good to me, physically leaving me feeling warm and relaxed.

So what do I need to remember in order to stay in peace?  What works to keep me peaceful and what doesn’t work?

What doesn’t work is judgment.  Whenever I judge anyone or anything, my belly feels it first.  An unpleasant churning that says, “I’m right and that person is wrong”, “I know what’s best”, “This shouldn’t be happening?”   There is nothing peaceful about that feeling.

Another thing that really doesn’t work for me is worrying.  Whenever I think about the future and worry about anything at all, my belly twists in a knot.  And what’s interesting is that hardly anything I’ve ever worried about came to pass.  Still, I worry.  Not very smart of me, is it?  And not conducive to peace either.

What else do I need in order to keep my belly nice and quiet?  I like having plans although lately I’ve been able to soften my expectations quite a bit so my plans are flexible these days.  Having plans doesn’t affect me in any way that I consider negative.  Not in any way that keeps me from feeling at peace.

But not everything can be planned, even with flexibility.  Some things just happen, even in the middle of the most wonderful plan.  What to do then?

For instance, many times, I’ve tried to plan how to say something difficult that I felt needed to be said, wanting to be as kind and loving...and effective...as I possibly could.  Turns out I almost never say what I thought I would.  Things happen and I find myself  with the “right” words coming out of my mouth.  No amount of thinking and planning helped.  The moment brought the words.

It seems to me that my choice to be kind, loving and effective is what had a huge effect on how I behave in any particular situation.  I don’t need to believe in the existence of a spirit world to live a life of love and peace.  All I seem to need is the intent to view everything with love and peace in my heart.  My belly and my heart are very closely related and not just physically.  I believe my mind connects them in a much more powerful way.

Whether I have a connection to Source or not, whether I believe that connection is what my belly reacts to or not, I just realized that my choice of being conscious of my decisions doesn’t change at all.

Making choices that work for me is what works for me.  So my only responsibility it to be aware of what works and what doesn’t and behave accordingly.

Simple, isn’t it?  But easy?  Not quite!!!