Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

Whoever we are, regardless of our respective circumstances, the Best in us is our individual capacity to outgrow not just the limiting aspects of our own character, but to grow beyond even the best parts of ourselves already once transformed. In other words, the Best in us is a secret part of us with an unlimited potential to transcend itself.

Where does the Best of us, dwell? This fearless nature has its home within the invisible ground of our being, yet this interior ground is not a static quality. It is more like a kind of invisible foundry — a spiritually timeless place where who we are to be is forever being forged between the make-up of our present understanding and the ever-unfolding nature of the present moment that this understanding encounters. It is the choices we make in these moments that decide our individual destiny and that determine whether we grow into the Best in us or not, for within each such moment one of two very distinct natures may appear in us and preside over us. Which brings us to a tale of two natures in one.

There exists one nature in us that knows itself only by what it has been. It defines what is possible for it to do in the present only by consulting what it has done in the past. This self is the essence of mediocrity. It always has multiple reasons why its best can never be good enough, so that by its logic there is but one conclusion and that is, “Why bother to try?”

And then — there is another, higher nature within us that does not define itself by anything apart from its wish to explore and realize its own infinite possibilities. This nature is the Best in us. Our task, if we would live without limits, is its awakening.

Before we look into what it will take for us to awaken to what is the Best in us, we need to better understand the parts of ourselves that run into one limit after another, as well as why we habitually accept this unwanted sense of self-restriction that attends their presence in our consciousness. Let’s see what we can discover.

When we see something looming ahead of us that looks too hard to handle, what is it at work within us that feels like it has reached the “end” of what it is capable of doing? What is it that reaches this closed-in conclusion? Here is the surprising answer: The limit of this captive self is the length of the leash of what it knows. This means, the boundary of its reality is the extent of what it has been through, so that the active circumference of its level of consciousness is restricted to the content of its past experience. And this explains why any condition that beckons it to go beyond this psychological point is viewed as either being unattainable or even as a danger.

For this nature it could be as simple as wanting to, but being unable to, say (to another) what one wishes to say for fear of being misunderstood, as once occurred (painfully) in an earlier relationship. Maybe we wish to study some new discipline, but won’t attempt it because “stupid” people — as we may have been called in days gone by — cannot possibly succeed at such tasks.

These findings should allow us to see that at least one of the pillars at the base of our limitations — if not the whole foundation itself — is some form of fear. Which brings us to this important note: We never meet a fear itself. Our fears themselves always remain invisible to us. Instead we meet fear’s proxy, its representative on earth! And what is the nature of this proxy? Anything that we name as being our limitation in life. And we should be able to easily recognize these stand-ins, especially since they are always telling us: “Danger ahead. Stop here! Don’t go any farther. You can’t possibly succeed at that!”
In other words, just before the gate of what could be the realization of a whole new Greatness — right when we have the opportunity to team up with the Best in us — we run into some sort of barrier — what we commonly accept as our “limit.” But what exactly are these limits? What is their real nature? Once we apprehend this fact, we are on our way to real self-freedom.

First, these limitations that we run into in our lives are little other than temporary boundary lines established in our consciousness — psychological lines that feel like permanent barriers to us because of the fear that washes through us should we even consider attempting to cross them.

Second (and equally important), is that in these same moments — when we are certain of our inability to go any farther — our halted experience is not due to any exterior condition we may see before us, regardless of how real it may seem. What holds us here is that we have been made captives of our own fearful feelings . . . and nothing else!

Our hopes rest in our ability to understand the secret nature of this fear, because as we awaken to its actual make-up, we learn at the same time how to walk through our limitations. Here is what we know so far: Fear makes its unwanted appearance in us whenever life asks us for an answer that we don’t have, or that we don’t think we can find. In other words, when we don’t know what we need (and want) to know in the moment of challenge, our fearful perception of the moment before us tells us that we are not up to the task and will, most likely, find ourselves overcome by it.

But what is it, really, that we see before us in such testing moments? That barrier we see before us, regardless of how real and sensible it seems to be, is a limit set by a lower order of self within us. All such limits are the natural expression of an unconscious, thought-based nature that cannot see beyond the content of its own stored experiences. For this level of self there is nothing beyond its own set of conditioned thoughts by which it is defined — and through which it defines (for us!) what is possible in life and what is not!

Of itself, by itself, this level of our nature will not enter, cannot travel, beyond what is unfamiliar and unknown to it because it unconsciously realizes that it cannot exist as it has been in any place where it has never been before.

What then is the purpose of awakening the Best part of ourselves? It is to help us realize that once we understand how to call upon this Presence within us to show us the Way, there exists no time or place beyond which we cannot go. How do we come to this new and liberating understanding?

In the face of any limitation, standing before what frightens us, we must come awake and remember the Best in us by recollecting and then embracing the will of this Living Light. Then, from within this higher awareness, we must choose what we know is the fearless Truth of ourselves as opposed to allowing the little will of the fear-filled self to tell us what is true about the moment and ourselves.

Here is what such conscious actions make possible: The Best in us knows that when we will act as though it is impossible to fail, it will be.
This does not mean that we will not feel fear. Do not make this mistake. It means that standing there, in these moments, we understand that these fears and doubts coursing through us — that darken the way ahead — do not belong to us. These negative and limiting psychological forces are the vestigial visions of a self that we must no longer mistake as being our own.

There are two kinds of people in this world whose quality of life, as it is for all of us, is determined by their outlook. There are those who feel chained to life by their own unrelenting doubts, and then there are those who doubt that such chains exist at all. The first group of people are held hopeless captives of vague fears that they may lose something of value should they strive for freedom and fail, while the second group know that the only antidote to such clinging doubts is through conscious deeds!

If we would but dare to attempt those things that frighten us, and persist upon this course for only a short while, we would soon discover that our efforts themselves have cleansed and cured us of our fear.

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