As life pours itself out in the stream of passing time, and we run into challenges seemingly greater than our ability to answer — each of these encounters “asks” this question of us:
“Are you willing to change (who you have been) in order to realize a higher possibility of yourself?” And though moments like these trouble us because of their uncertainty, here’s why we should be very grateful for their continuing appearance in our lives: this unwanted experience of realizing our limitations is the only way life can ask us if we wish to go beyond them. So this unknown moment of not understanding (what is to be) is actually the beautiful seed of a new order of our being, providing we’re willing to see it as such.
Unfortunately, most of us automatically resist the unknown. Whenever we can’t understand the nature of some unwanted situation we fall, by default, into the hands of a nature whose answer to this ache is always the same: get negative and then try to protect ourselves from anything that can’t be otherwise controlled. The rest takes place in us on automatic pilot: in the wink of an eye, we begin to see the “way out” of our situation: blame him, fix that, fight or flee. But here’s what we don’t see: in that moment, our guiding light is a dark reaction dedicated, in one way or another, to avoiding what that moment came to give us. This false nature takes what was a celestially planned event — for the purpose of our further spiritual perfection — and turns it into a dead end.
We have all heard about people receiving messages, instructions from God. What you probably don’t realize is that “communications of a celestial kind” are literally raining down on us every waking moment. In fact, each impression we receive — wanted or not — is just that: the Divine Life speaking to us, asking, “Would you like entrance into a larger world, one without fear and hatred? Do you wish to be more patient, loving, and kind? Are you interested in developing a relationship with a living Light that never goes out, and whose peace passes all understanding?” But before we can hope to affirm our answer, we must first see “how” these questions are being put before us.
Life repeatedly brings us moments that introduce us to some unseen limitation in our present level of self. For example, when conditions get too stressful, we can keep neither our patience nor our temper under control. Too often, though we know better, cruel words spring from our mouth as our way of answering cutting remarks from someone else. Perhaps we see how the fear of being betrayed (again) colors all our relationships, limiting our ability to give ourselves freely to those we would love.
The point should be clear: time and time again interior trials such as these return to help us see one thing: we can’t get past them as long as we remain who and what we have been — because who and what we have been is what we are meeting in these same moments! Another way of stating this same insight is startling: resisting what life shows us — not wanting those moments wherein we’re invited to see the truth about our present level of self — ensures they will return again! This is the interior meaning of reincarnation: the re-creation of self through resistance to the negative effects of its own manifestations. It doesn’t have to be this way. We are meant to rise above creation, not repeat our life through it in ever-descending cycles.
There’s only one way for us to transcend the limitations of our present nature. First, we must see this one great fact: these limitations don’t belong to us any more than the clumsy body of the caterpillar belongs to the butterfly liberated from its husk. Then, we must act on this new understanding by daring to let go of any part of us that wants us to embrace its limited view of life as our own.
True freedom is not an achievement; it is our awakened relationship and participation with the genesis of real life. We cannot create a life without limits by trying to overcome what we think stands in our way. Real limitless living is the fruit of this higher understanding: what is in our way is part of the Way. To know this is to know that all of creation has been made for you, just as surely as you have been made for everything that happens to you within it.