Most everyone wants to live their lives on an even keel.
Things may happen around us that are unexpected. We may have challenges to face. But the secret is to remain calm about them, and in that calmness comes the clear picture of what action to take.
The seed I plant today is either eaten by the bird who saw me planting it, or it blooms into the flower, tree or vegetable that I planted. Plant a radish, get a radish. Plant a carrot, get a carrot.
The same is true with each of us as individuals. What we think, say or do; the way we send out that energy inside of us is what we can expect in return. If I want friends, but always react with snarls and acidic remarks, I am like the stinging insect that people want to stay away from.
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Isn’t it easy to see how cause and effect plays out in other people’s lives? Not always quite so easy in our own.
It is fairly easy to respond amicably in easy times; the challenge, when the chaos begins, is to keep that sense of calm within the storm.
Sometimes we play the old tapes from our childhood. Mom or Dad always reacted rather that responded, so we do as well; or maybe you don’t do something because a parent always did it. I know for me, it is hard to admit that I sometimes need to visit the doctor. My mother was always sick and always going to the doctor, sometimes when I felt she didn’t really need to go. There was that idea planted in my subjective mind: “You don’t really need to go to the doctor.”
The Rev Dr. Jane Claypool in her book Wise Women Don’t Worry, Wise Women Don’t Sing the Blues, speaks of a time when she was at a conference by herself on a cold and miserable day. While walking and shivering, she happened to glance at the other side of the street, where the sun was shining. She crossed to the other side. It was much warmer, and her mood improved.
The same is true when we look at money worries. We can concentrate on how we hardly have enough money to pay our bills, or we can be thankful that we can pay our bills.
We can always choose to be free. If we don’t, it is as if we are choosing bondage. Think of the abused spouse who stays in the relationship, or someone who has an addictive habit never releasing it. Until we let go of the bondage, we will never know freedom. Be conscious of your choices.
Discord is for you, never against you. The things we go through prove we can come out on the other side, stronger and more resilient. Welcome it as a chance for healing and transformation. Freedom from discord is for you, because when you free yourself you are contributing to the freedom of those around you.
Literally see your powerful inner spirit growing stronger as you feed it with good books and classes and counseling sessions. Think of it as pouring clear water into muddy water. Keep practicing.
The Rev. Sandy Smith is pastor of Center for Spiritual Living in Kennewick and author of “Life’s Garden of Weekly Wisdom.” Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.