We're all looking for the magic answer in life that will solve our problems and lead to happiness.
Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps is not only a famous book it’s also a great joke, yet when it comes to taking control of our lives and knowing where we want to go and what we want to do, it isn’t only women who can’t read the map – most of us can’t even find it.
In popular spiritual thinking we all come here with a life’s purpose to fulfill and specific lessons we want to learn. That sounds very logical but where is the logic of forgetting that information part way down the birth canal? What is the point of having a specific purpose and not having the faintest clue what it is? Logically there is no point, which clearly undermines current spiritual thinking. Unless you wonder whether we’re taking everything too literally?
My answer to the questions “Who am I? Where am I? What is this place?” and “What on earth am I doing here?” is fairly straightforward. You are spirit. You live on a corporeal, material world but it is a spirit world. You’re here to do something, anything.
If you had a child who wanted to be a mathematician but was absolutely appalling at math, would you be upset if that child was a fantastic writer and ended up as a wealthy, famous journalist and author? Of course you wouldn’t, providing they were happy. Yet we come here with a forgotten purpose and spend years beating ourselves up because we can’t find our path or remember what we were going to do when we found it.
Whilst we’re whiling away our time wondering, pondering and worrying about what we should be doing we’re probably doing nothing, and what good does that do the world? No good whatsoever. Wouldn’t it be better to be doing something positive and helpful than spending our time agonising over a forgotten something?
Consider also where we do our wondering and agonising - either at home or at work while we’re trying to take our mind off a job we loathe. Whereas if we were to get out there and try to follow a path we believe in, any path, we would not just be achieving something positive we would be giving the spirit world a chance to guide us in the right direction. The spirit world can do a lot for us just by closing the wrong doors, but they can’t do a thing if you stay indoors.
Which brings me neatly to the next problem, our propensity for stubbornly staying on a path we hate because we don’t want to be quitters; or because we don’t know what else to do. I wonder how many spirit guides have sat with their etheric heads in their etheric hands despairing over a human being who is obviously completely miserable, but won’t even consider giving up what makes them unhappy because they don’t want people to laugh, point fingers, or call them rude names.
Think about it. How many people do you know who are in unhappy relationships yet won’t give up and walk away? How many people do you know who are in unfulfilling careers or careers that are slowly killing them, yet they have a dozen ‘reasons’ for not trying something else? How many ‘good’ reasons have you heard from how many people as to why they should stay exactly where they are doing precisely what they’ve been doing, no matter how much they moan, complain and whine? How many times have you come up with that same list of reasons?
What is it about human beings that we don’t seem to accept our right to be happy and fulfilled? What area of programming went so wrong that so many people live grey lives devoid of all pizzazz and sparkle? Why shouldn’t everyone fulfill his or her every dream? If you’ve seen The Secret you’ll know that there is no secret, the knowledge is out there and it’s been out there for centuries, hidden in plain view. Everyone can fulfill their dreams and live happy and positive lives if they want to, if they take action, if they do something.
Where do you begin? The answer is anywhere. Spirit will find it much easier to guide and help you if you get out of the house and try different things; meet new people; take up new hobbies. It isn’t always about aiming directly for a very spiritual path; it isn’t for everyone to be a medium, psychic, healer, counsellor or therapist. That is not the only spiritual work. Anything that enhances the lives of others, supports this planet, looks to the welfare of children, the elderly, animals, is spiritual work.
Planting trees is spiritual work. Digging wells to bring water to those in need of that very basic element of life is spiritual work. Helping children with AIDS in Africa is spiritual work. Working with the disadvantaged is spiritual work. Smiling at someone is spiritual work.
What if you get on the wrong path though, what will happen? Nothing will happen. Do you imagine that when you return to the spirit world they will stamp the word ‘failure’ on your forehead with a branding iron the moment you get through the portal? That would be hard to imagine. Like the people or animals or planet you have helped the spirit world will be grateful. All right so you might decide to come back again and try to do whatever it was that you’d forgotten you were going to do, but you won’t get drummed out of the spirit world for a memory lapse.
Even if you do find yourself doing the ‘wrong’ thing for the first five or six things you try it doesn’t matter. You might need to do something to meet a person who points you in the direction of another group where another person will tell you something that will lead you to a book that will lead you to a teacher who will have the knowledge to help you find your path. If, however, you don’t do or try anything there will be no person, direction, group, information, book or teacher to help you. You won’t find any of those things at home, in your armchair where you sit worrying about what you should be doing.
The answer can be as simple as hurting your back which in turn leads you to a chiropractor and you realise that you want to be a chiropractor and help people with back pain. As a chiropractor you meet a spiritual healer and decide to learn healing and there you are, a chiropractor who works on two levels healing the body and the energy field. What more could spirit ask? Read the book The Reconnection by Dr Eric Pearl if you want to see how an ‘ordinary’ chiropractor found his way onto a very unexpected spiritual path.
Don’t forget the importance of self-healing and self-discovery as part of your pathway. It isn’t always enough to launch yourself on an unsuspecting world and declare that you’re ready to save the planet and all its inhabitants. Sometimes you need to work on yourself in order to be the best example of positive living you can be, sometimes that self-improvement is the key tool to becoming everything you’ve forgotten you wanted to be. It’s no good trying to teach someone to aim for the stars if you can’t fly a rocket; it’s never going to work. Living by example is the best message.
So, don’t get yourself into a knot because you can’t find your path that way lays insanity or (shudder) giving up. If you believe, as I do, that you made a decision about why you wanted to come here then you also knew that part of the deal was to forget on the way over. Knowing that, you wouldn’t have made the task so specific and so exact that forgetting would ruin things altogether. You would have set a goal and criteria that could be reached in many ways via many paths. You would have known that leading any good life would get you to the right place and the important thing was to be aware of the messages when they arrive; to allow yourself to be guided onto the right path by the people you left behind to guide you.
There’s an old saying that every journey begins with a single step, and like most old sayings or clichés it’s a simple truth. If you want to begin a spiritual journey of discovery then take a step, any step. Be open to the power of the universe. Watch for coincidences. Meet as many new people as possible and listen to what they have to say. Go to the popular psychology or mind, body, spirit section of a bookshop and choose a book because the cover appeals to you or it’s a nice colour. Don’t try to direct yourself down a specific path, take a leap, be daring, try something different. Join a dance class; your future mentor might dance for a hobby. You find the most amazing people in the most unexpected places. The only amazing person you will find indoors is you, waiting to be amazing, so go out there and let yourself happen! The magic answer is you. Now there’s an empowering thought.
This article was originally published at Kindred Spirit Magazine Summer 2008. Reprinted with permission from the author.