Last week in class, Amy, one of my writing students, said to a classmate, “Each day we have a choice: we can live with faith or we can live with fear. Though she didn’t know it, this was exactly what I needed to hear. I’d been having a rough couple of days, triggered by not having received recognition I felt I deserved. This set off an internal pity party hosted by my gremlins, who ransacked my guts and had me silently spewing self-doubt venom. I felt miserable, but wasn’t sure why. All I knew was that I was in “The Snarky Place” and couldn’t get out—until I heard Amy’s comment. Thank God for my classes—and my students, who teach me as much as I teach them.
It helps when I remember I have choices: I can choose to believe I’m not good enough or I can recognize and appreciate my gifts. I can think I’m alone in the world or realize I’m connected not only with every living thing, but also with the Source of all life. I can think I’m wasting my precious time here on earth or I’m doing exactly what I’ve come here to do. I can be compassionate or judgmental with others and myself. In every case the first thought listed in each set of choices makes me feel crumby while the second uplifts me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of feeling bad. I want to feel good—and contentment is well within my reach, something I can choose.
This is not a new thought. Eighteen-hundred-plus years ago Marcus Aurelius said, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” Thoughts create emotions, so it’s helpful to know what you’re thinking. It stagers me how often I’m oblivious. I “wake up” over and over again, not realizing I’d been “sleepwalking” through my life on automatic pilot. Feeling depressed, upset, or irritable is a sure sign I need to wake up and choose different thoughts. Again, this is not a new concept. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
I choose to think I can do what my Soul urges me to do. I choose to relax and move forward with confidence and grace knowing I am divinely guided, and that fulfilling my dreams is what Spirit wants for me.
When I was at USM studying spiritual psychology, I asked myself if what I was learning was true. But what is truth? There’s no objective truth. Truth is what I make of it. What I create. What I choose. Fear had led me into a pit; love was the rope pulling me out.
At the end of the day, I ask myself this question: Have I done what I’ve come here to do? If so, I know I’ve been blessed with the gift of choosing love and faith over fear.
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