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Question: My concerns for my future and making a decent living seem to prevent me from pursuing a spiritual life. The fear of not having enough drives my life. I am so confused about what my true purpose should be, and I long to strike a balance between worldly concerns and spiritual growth.
Answer: The only real confusion we face at any time is over what our purpose is here on this earth. Please don’t think this an oversimplification of the problem. Whenever we are unsure about what this life is for, we invent images to supply this missing certainty. One of these images, and a more common one these days, may be to picture ourselves as “successful” businesspeople, or experts who are looked up to and held in high esteem by others. Living from this purpose, our sense of self is all wrapped up in making our enterprises succeed, for we believe our security — in fact, in some ways our very “life” — depends upon keeping the picture intact. So, our time and energies, physically and psychologically, are absorbed by this image and its intended goal. Unfortunately, this goal to “win” is powerless to produce what it promises, and actually serves to divide us — a state that prohibits spiritual success.
Our efforts to do good, sound business do not have to be, as our false nature would have us believe, at the cost of being awake and enjoying the natural fruits of spiritual goodness. Let us each resolve, as many times as needed, to redefine what we really want from this life, and in the light of our renewed, higher purpose, place our attention to those areas of our inner life which this new purpose demands. When we live in this way, with Truth as our intention and truthfulness as our guide, there is no more conflict.
As far as what to do about those fears of not having enough to live the way you want to, ask yourself the following question: Can anything I am afraid to live without ever be the source of my fearlessness? The answer is obviously a resounding “No!” But what does this discovery teach us? What good is anything we may have if all it can do for us is make us frightened that one day we may not have enough of “it” . . . whatever that “it” may be — money, approval, family, friends, etc.? We must get tired of being frightened that one day we may not have enough of what it is in our lives that has failed and is powerless to make us fearless human beings. Then, as it grows clear to us that our problem is fear itself, we will know exactly what to do each time we start to feel afraid. We will become consciously fearless. We will be aware of the fear, but no longer buy into what it wants us to do about it. Here begins the truly fearless life.