Monday, August 2, 2010

If, then

If, then…. If it doesn’t rain, I’ll have a good time at the beach. If I get the job, I’ll be able to pay the mortgage. If I marry person X (or perhaps, XXX), I’ll be happy. If we win the war in Afghanastan, then we’ll have peace and justice. If, then….

Is this proposition - if, then – an effective way to think and feel? It’s the way most of us do think and feel, but how well does it work for us? Are we getting what works best for us, what we want and need, a world that works for everyone? To me, it’s a loser’s script, a movie we write, direct and star in ourselves that gives our power away. We literally give our inner power to be happy, succesful, live meanigful lives contributing to a world that works for everyone, to conditions outside ourselves.

If XYZ happens, outside ourselves, then we’ll be happy, happiness being an inner, spiritual state. Can’t you be happy without XYZ happening? Of course you can! Sure, we want XYZ, think we ‘need’ XYZ, but do we need them to be happy? No, not really. “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be,” Lincoln said. What if we decided to be happy first and then, from that place of inner contentment and connection to our spiritual source, worked to have XYZ? Would that work better? It absolutely would. You’ve probably done it a few times, too.

I’d lose my edge, some people say. I need the external to motivate me, a goal to strive for. Yes and no; more no than yes. Giving your power away to externals with the if, then proposition is still an outside/in approach. It works, but it is so inefficient and painful. The inside/out approach of claiming the inner good you want first – the peace, joy, happiness, love - works much better. This is about taking responsibility and claiming your spiritual power.

“Projection makes perception,” the Course in Miracles says. It doesn’t start out there, it starts in here, inside us. We wrote the movie script, direct and star in it, not god, not your parents, bosses and friends, you and I, and if we want it to be different, we’ve got to re-write it, direct in differently and act differently. The world “is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward conditions. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause.”

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