In The Book of Awakening, the poet Mark Nepo writes: “In seeking what is essential, we become essential.”
This is true.
Seek a sacred life, you become spiritual.
Seek to live by faith, you become faithful.
Seek compassion, you become compassionate.
Seek kindness, you are kinder.
Seek joyfulness, you are happier.
Seek patience, you become long-suffering.
Seek peace, you become a peace-maker.
Seek mindfulness, you become more conscious.
Seek God, and you become…well…I almost said it…maybe I should say it. But, the fact is, some of you would be offended. You still think of yourself as separate from God, in spite of the fact that Jesus prayed you would become one with God just as he was (John 17). So, to avoid offending you, I’ll limit it to this: “Seek God and you become, at the least, God-like.”
You are that which you seek. I carry a list in my head of the traits, goals, ambitions, longings…that which I seek and the conditions, or environment, I wish to create in my innermost self, as well as the world around me. I know, as many of you know, too, that what’s going on around me is but a mere reflection of what’s going on inside of me. This is the point in the oft-quoted statement first made by Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What others mean when they say, “Change the way you see the world and the world you see changes.”
So, when the environment around me is chaotic or stressful or full of anger or drama or negativity or any environment I’d rather avoid, I pause and look within to check on the weather conditions within. Admittedly, there are things that happen that at first blush you did nothing to cause. But there is a mystery here that eludes everyone. It is the mystery that nothing happens that is ever completely random. No need to get all bent out of shape over such a statement. Just know that buried beneath the heap of randomness there is a treasure of self-discovery…a life lesson…a transcendent experience…a something so magnificent that, when it is known, your life will never be the same.
I recommend to you the following practice. Write down the five statements below or, better yet, write your own and carry them with you every day. When standing in line waiting to order a skinny latte, instead of texting incessantly, why not recite these statements?
Copy them to a “Notes” page on your smartphone if you’d prefer. But, whatever you do, practice repeating them. Over and over again. In time, you’ll not need the “Notes” prompt. You’ll just find yourself repeating them from memory.
Most importantly, however, you’ll find yourself becoming becoming like the very qualities, or “intentions,” as some call them, that you seek. You’ll discover that you, the seeker, as well as that which you seek, are becoming one-and-the-same.
Which is why I call these the five “I AM” statements “powerful,” or “transformative.” They are. They will change your life
Consider the following “I am” statements…
“I am one with God.”
“I am complete just as I am.”
“I am equal to everyone but superior to none.”
“I am at peace now and full of joy.”
“I am present, aware and conscious.”
Remember the “I am” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John? “I am the light of the world.” “I am the bread of life.” “I am the good shepherd.” “I am the resurrection and the life.”
There’s something here, my friend. Do not miss it.
It has the power to transform everything. To change you. Forever.
Again, I make you a promise. If you will write these down, or write your own, and repeat them several times each day for one week, the oneness you are with God, for example, will begin taking on a whole new meaning; the completeness you are already will actually feel that way inside. You will become more peaceful…more joyful…more present and aware…more connected with the Eternal Now. I promise.
If you’d like to know more of The Power of “I Am” statements, may I recommend to you Howard Falco’s book, I Am: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are? He’s written a wonderful book and a great place to start.
“Just mental gymnastics,” some will say.
Perhaps. But, I am creating my own gym and, just as I see changes in my physical life when I regularly exercise at the gym across town, when I practice creating the mental and spiritual environment wherein I wish to live, I see changes, too.
I have discovered that what the Dalai Lama said is true: “When you are discontent, for example, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.’ ”
Make this your practice, my friend, and the day will come when you find it no longer necessary to say, “I am one with God.”
“I am…” will be sufficient.
When you no longer have to ask “Why?” you’ll know.