When you were born into the world, you just had to take whatever you got. You didn't have any choice or awareness yet. All you knew was: I am here now, and this is what life is. Everything you saw and heard and experienced next, you assumed that it was true.
Pretty soon you grow a bigger body and a bigger mind, and soon an awareness of other. You discover things, and you want them. You begin to learn that you don't always have to just take what you get; sometimes, circumstances were negotiable. Words began to collect in your head, and you notice they are useful. Now you can ask for things, instead of just crying. This is a great turning-point. With words, you are much more likely to get things you want. But sometimes not.
So now you’re a little kid learning how to work your world. Next comes the discovery of demanding, (or as my granny called it, throwing a hissy-fit.) You cry and scream and get down on the floor in the grocery store aisle kicking and yelling like bloody murder in order to get that candy bar your parent has said No to. This is another critical turning point, and there is a life-lesson in it. If this way of getting what you want works too well for you, your life probably will not.
Your parents, or primary caregivers, are your first and most powerful teachers. Whatever they give you, that’s what you learn to expect life to give you. If they give you to much, that's not good for you, because you will learn to expect to get your way, and especially if you get it by demanding, life will frequently, adamantly, refuse to match your expectations. Every time you don't get what you want, you will still see yourself as entitled to it, no matter what, and you’ll carry a subconscious righteous-resentment against people and life and authority of any kind, possibly for all your life.
But if your parents give you too little, or too many No’s to your asking, you will learn to see yourself as undeserving of the things you want. Pleading, and even tantrums will fail, and you will learn to believe that you’re supposed to accept less than enough and suffer in silence. Later when life and circumstances teach you the concept of more-than vs. less-than (which actually is only an abstract, never a fact, and not true) you will find yourself swimming in a river of truth and lies all mixed together, and a whole collection of subconscious disconnected beliefs, always trying to find a truth to hold on to.
Things get even more complicated when you enter the turbulent teens, where everything you’ve learned so far becomes open to question and rebellion, along with layers of sadness and rage and uncertainty. These questions inform your growing consciousness, and begin to establish within it an image/belief about Who You Are in relation to others– your identity. Now you are painfully super-aware, acutely unsure of your worth and value to others/peers, and everything out there in the wider world. You don’t realize that everybody else is feeling the same way, and even the homecoming queen sometimes gets a pimple and has deep hidden uncertainties about herself, just like you do..
After high school, comes the Rest Of Life. And life, no matter what circumstances occur, is about applying and testing what you believe, the things your life so far has taught you. The real task now becomes a continuously evolving cycle of growing inwardly– not mind as dictator, judge & jury, and law enforcer, but Mind as connection to the life-source/Spirit/God/The Force, or whatever name you choose to call that Great Consciousness that runs the universe and perhaps much more. The Dharma of adulthood then is the learning of the Truth. Not just small truth and facts (i.e. girls are just as good as boys and maybe even better) but the greater truth of Who and What We really are, as creations and manifestations of God expressing on earth.
This turns out to be, at minimum, a lifelong task, and possibly more. This is the Truth that your very soul within you always is seeking; it's that Truth Jesus said would make you free. What He said is true; it does. The trouble is, the only way we know to see what God is, is either some unknown personage like our parent/guardian/childhood caregiver, but much bigger, or else we imagine God in some image we learn in church-school, tinted with the parent-image of how we ought to be, how we ought to be treated. What if God were not like that? What if we made it up– our notion and understanding of God? Patched it together as best we could with what we have learned so far?
Suddenly in a quick flash of enlightenment you think– Wait a minute – Oh– it doesn't say "set you free," it says "make you free," like that freedom-option was there, all along. When we’re born, our consciousness is newborn too. OUr Higher Consciousness, the Christ-mind of us, is the key to all the doors, all the goals and desires of human life, and it is already there. We are born perfect and complete, in Spirit even if sometimes not in body.
In order to have the power and wisdom and love of God, you must first recognize that you have it. That you have choices. No matter what happens or how it seems, you are greater than any circumstances or false beliefs you carry, unknowing. But in this life, what we believe is what we receive, and so you must therefore take full responsibility for the life you have now, if you want to change it. This is the crucial step that gives you the power to live consciously, in the present, with intention, instead of just however. You begin to create your own life intentionally, instead of just "letting it happen" accidentally.
What you believe, will be what you receive. The life you have now, is the one you have created, either knowingly or unknowingly, by the action of universal law which you yourself, knowing or unknowing, have set in motion. This is how things work here.
You become an adult in Spirit and in Truth when you realize (“make real for yourself) and recognize this master-truth. But everyday life and the evening news seem to prove otherwise. It looks more like we are all helpless pawns in some cosmic chess-game, being played rather carelessly by cosmic forces, or a giant spirit-God somewhere out there to whom we are not very important. (Please don’t welcome this belief into your heart and mind. It’s not true, but if you believe it, you will create your life in a way that matches what you believe.) Everybody does. Again, as we said above, that’s how things work here.
We do, in truth, control our own life with our consciousness. We are making choices every moment, whether we are aware of them or not. Our actions and events and circumstances have happened in response to what we were believing, and thus what we were habitually thinking and feeling, i.e. rage attracts to it more rage, and love attracts more love. Feelings or beliefs of helplessness will create actual helplessness.
When you recognize this truth, and become consciously aware of the power that you already have, and have always had, you can make choices that shape your life consciously, in a different way. You have chosen and created the life you have now, and you can choose the life you want, and create that, in the same way. Every choice has creative power, and the Catch-22 is this: Life holds us accountable for the choices we make, whether we make them knowingly or unaware.
The present moment is the portal to all that will ever be. It's not anything outside of you that is holding you back, it is only the untruths you have chosen to believe up to now, and they are still shaping your life.
The Real God, the one we are all blindly and earnestly seeking, is the one that is inside of you, in every cell and molecule of you, already. We have all been born with our full share of God already. It’s there, its who you are, it’s God being God as you.
God, as a bearded grandfather in the sky, scowling down at us, rewarding some and being unfair to others– that’s no kind of God that God would create. And nothing could be more boring. That’s a God you made up, or inherited, or accepted secondhand, the one you were told to believe in and bow down to. Maybe it's working for you, or maybe it's not. Maybe it’s somebody else’s God, but not yours? Your God knows you, and trusts you, and yes, actually loves you by its own nature, no reason, just because.
God has a marvelous sense of humor. (If you ever doubt this, just get naked sometime and look at yourself in a full-length mirror.) God actually loves and appreciates that body. God has quirks, God loves to make you happy, like your grandma did, no reason, just because. There is a God-ness in you is the portion of you that actually IS God, the God you have been looking for. God loves to travel, and so, came here as you, to have adventures and figure out things, and see what it’s like to be you. To experience everything: sorrow, joy, courage, and most of all, company.
All religions start out as loving and good ideas, but human beings, with our emotional minds, get things screwed up and some beliefs that started out good, get warped and twisted. That’s not God’s fault, (though I admit, I used to get angry at him and blame him for that). There’s a lot of that kind of blaming going on in the world, but you don’t have to choose it for yourself and bring it home to your kids.)
Give God a break. Give yourself credit, realize what a marvelous creation you really are; all of us are, for this is the truth. When you know it, you are already free. God/life/universe has already said Yes. All the good stuff is still available. Your stuff is put aside just for you, your happiness, your abundance, and there is enough so you don’t have to be ashamed to claim what you really want. You don’t have to keep telling yourself you don’t deserve it; it’s already yours. You have the power and the right to go for it.
You stand right now at the door. Open it.