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from the horse's mouth

Sometimes I wish I had realized earlier in my life how important it is to do what we came here for. But earlier in my life, I didn’t know that my soul came here for a purpose, or even that there was a soul of me that was bigger than this mortal personality of me. I look back and wish I had realized how valuable our time here is, how profoundly important it is to follow your dream, and each new dream as it comes. Now I know, the dream is your soul speaking to you. What your heart desires is what your soul intends.

Life will be easy or hard, regardless of what we do. It will have both times of challenge and moments of amazing grace when we receive more than we have asked for, and much more than we thought we were worthy of. In the meantime, every moment of this lifetime we are learning about who and what we truly are: the embodied spirit and offspring of God/ the conscious universe.

If we are spiritually awake, we will often recognize what we are learning along this path. If we are not, we will learn anyway, by making the same mistakes in different scenarios over and over until we do learn. All of us have had that experience, whether or not we recognized it at the time. But once we recognize it, we have begun to complete that lesson.

On more than one occasion, Spirit, which I’ve come to call my Inner Counselor, has told me “You cannot make a mistake.” At first I was surprised and confused by that, because in my opinion, I had obviously made plenty of them. But the meaning proved to be deeper than I understood. The meaning had to do with the process of human life and the evolution of mind and spirit. “Mistakes” are really only exercises for learning and growing. What we call successes and what we call failures are both equally valuable ways for our spirit to grow.

I’m grateful for every mistake, and I’m glad for every brave and foolish thing I ever did, win or lose. Those brave moments and earnest hopeful days opened up the doors of my life and urged me through. There were a some crazy dreams people said I should not even try, because they were impossible. But I was drawn to them with my whole heart. Those were the things I worked for, crazy or not. I held them in my secret heart, and wished for them on every wishing-star rising in the first dark of evening. Most of those “impossible” things, though they were hard, ultimately were not impossible, after all.

The very first time I achieved one of those impossible things, it was a gift, and I knew it. I felt the most deep and strong and peaceful kind of joy that just filled me up completely. It was not the sort of feeling you get from winning a race – not pride or glory – but gratitude and a kind of awe. That feeling was like being given some extraordinary gift not because you deserved it, or even because you worked so hard for it, but because you just wanted it so much. And so, God/Life brought you to it and it to you.

Jesus said “Nothing shall be impossible to you, if you have faith.” The hardest work is not the physical seeking itself, though that may be difficult and strenuous and long. The hardest and the most important work is keeping the faith that the gift you seek will somehow be given to you, regardless of the odds.

Sometimes, the seeking will lead not to the expected goal, but to another seeking. A door opens that turns out to be the way to another door. Take all the ones your heart beckons you to, and refuse the ones where your gut-reaction really doesn’t want to go. There’s a saying about “a path with heart.” Make as many decisions as you dare to, not with your logical mind, and never with your emotions, but with the quiet wisdom of your heart. And then follow them, using your logical-working-mind to help with the details. Be willing to make some detours and course-corrections, and remind yourself from time to time to enjoy the passing scenery and the unfolding story of you.

Every path will travel through some dark places, and lots of unknown territory. But know that your path is sure and true and is always there for you, just like the stars are always there, even on the darkest nights or hidden behind an overcast sky for a while.

We all came here for a reason, not for nothing. Deepak Chopra said “Your assignment in the world is two things only: to discover your true self, and to express that true self in the world."

We are all doing some of that, whether we realize it or not. The work of youth is to play, like the work of puppies and all young things. We learn about life by doing whatever comes, not realizing yet that we have choices, that we are always making choices either knowingly or unknowingly, and that our choices are creating our life and our world. The work of maturity is the conscious use of these truths and our choices, to do something that feels meaningful and useful and good.

I made some mistakes when I was young; I am undoubtedly making some now; and as long as I live my life with honesty and courage, I know I will make some more. Yes, there are some things I regret, but they have also made me wiser and kinder now. Looking back, I can see it all making sense, in some odd and uniquely personal way. I know now that there was a reason for all of it, and all of it was a gift to me.

Let the past, pass. Take what was valuable and bring it with you, and leave the rest behind; you don’t need it. Carry no grudge, and no guilt with you, for today in this moment you are creating tomorrow. Do the work of forgiving yourself first, and forgiving everybody else gets easier. All of it is a worthwhile part of your learning and your life’s adventure.

Give thanks for all the colors of your days, and the indigo darks of your nights. Be glad for every brave and foolish thing you have ever done, for that path has brought you here. Start now to be courageously who you are, and become all you shall be.

Darkhorse Press