Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

Have you ever wondered if people see things in the same way that you do? For instance, though it has gone on for decades, over-the-top white-collar crime in relatively recent times has been rampant. It would seem that having multi-millions isn’t enough for some, so they steal money from their own company, leaving their employees out in the cold. Now, couple this blatant criminal behavior with the following curious fact: many of these wildly successful executives admit they are haunted by a daily fear of failure. Now what seems obvious (to me)—and yet no one seems to see—is this: our present day definition of “success” makes no sense at all! With friends like insatiable greed and some kind of fear always prowling around in the back of one’s mind, what sane person would envy living in that kind of environment?

So, either our whole notion of what it means to succeed is mistaken or—as is the case—over time we have become identified with a wrong idea about what it means to be a “winner.” Here is the true meaning of a successful life, which we will then explain. Please read it at least twice so that something of its subtle nature has the chance to stir your mind:

Real success is a creative state of being that comes with living in conscious relationship with an Intelligence that never fears because it never fails to achieve its ends—in spite of changing conditions.

Now with this new idea fresh in mind, let’s examine the difference between the kind of “success” whose fruit is a fearful life and that fearless Life that is success itself. Then we’ll look at what we need to know to realize that greater estate of ourselves in which fear can’t dwell.

For most of us, the recipe for success remains much the same as it has been for generations before us. Pursue the dream. Pay the price. And then hope to possess those powers we imagine come with the package we just bought: a lasting sense of security, coupled with constant contentment.

In other words, go out into the world and take from it what we need in order to feel fearless in it. But here’s the “catch”—and why no one wins peace of mind with what they find at the end of these rainbows. This kind of success, both in terms of what we hope to win, as well as the “powers” it promises to grant us, is an illusion.

Yes, we can come to own the object we desire—yes, we can win the position we see as being the path to “power”—but here’s why we can never hope to possess ourselves through these achievements alone: our newly won sense of strength and security—its fearlessness—is as fleeting as are those conditions we are now dependent upon in order to sustain our imagined sense of self!

Experience proves this finding: our usual efforts to enrich ourselves do not grant us the independence we fight to win; instead we find ourselves increasingly dependent, captives of an ever-escalating struggle to keep our imagined security in place. We have not risen above what compromises us, we have unconsciously fueled it; and, in the end, we don’t so much find ourselves returned to a life with familiar fears running through it; we see we have never left it.

Let’s summarize our discoveries so far: the more we imagine a fearless life created by conditions outside of us, the more compelled we feel to try and control those same conditions. Our fear being that any change in them will return us back where we started: searching for a way to be fearless. Yet, the more we resist change, the more afraid we become of it. We find ourselves applying more and more pressure to life in order to escape the mounting pressure born of our own demands. And gradually, instead of being a vital human being—receptive and naturally responsive to any and all life-altering impressions, we become static and psychological “shut-ins”—captives of our own aversion to a fear we unconsciously create.

We do not have to remain the victims of this dark and downward trending circle of self. The truth is there is no real reason at all to resist the world as it turns. In fact, rather than fearing what cannot be foreseen, one day you will be grateful for it, and here’s why: we are not just created to go through constant change, our True Self is the changing ground of life itself. From out of its unfathomable depths pour the unseen forces that design, drive, and ultimately perfect the transformation of consciousness. Can we see how the realization of such a truth about our own higher Self would have to spell the end of fear? Good! Then let’s gather the light we’ll need to actualize that new freedom!

Three of the most powerful words in the English language are: I can learn. We are, of course, speaking in terms of our spiritual life, although the same truth applies across the board in all human endeavors. We can learn how to get what we want from this world. But, to the point of this study, we are created with the ability to do much more than just manifest the things we desire. Living within us is all the illumination we need to dismiss any dark fear created by our own unbridled desires.

As we are coming to see, within each of us dwells a Light—an awareness capable not only of observing the host of invisible forces that forge life itself, but whose conscious interaction with them changes them as it will. It is through this higher order of ourselves that we are empowered to learn the truth about ourselves. And here the word “truth” means not just intellectual self-knowledge, but a direct in-dwelling knowing of all that is for our further perfection, and all that stands against it. This beautiful understanding, once awakened within us, transforms the way we see life. There is no longer any reason to fear “how” things change because we’re beginning to understand the greatest secret on earth: our True Self is the stage, its actors, and the director of everything that changes anywhere!

Real power, real fearlessness, is knowing that there’s only one reason life changes as it does: it is to reveal the secret Goodness underlying those same changes.

Yes, we live in a world of changes; but within it, within us, exists something that—for its timeless nature—knows that the changes taking place are merely momentary reflections of a broader and unchanging life.

It is this understanding that helps us to let go of whatever we insist upon—with all the fear that attends such demands—and that allows us to wait on revelation by a Light that fears nothing because it is part of a celestial intelligence that never stops changing and that, in turn, never stops transforming any world within which its Light is present.

Practically speaking, as our fear diminishes, our confidence increases; we grow in patience; a true optimism about life pervades everything we do, even when we run into obstacles. For us it isn’t a question if things will work out in our favor; our only wonder is when that gift will present itself.

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