Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

Question: Why do some people seem to exude peace of mind while I struggle to be calm. What is the source of composure, and how can I work to develop it within myself?

Answer: For better or worse, the quality and content of your life experience is determined by what you are connected to.

The next time you feel yourself becoming agitated, simply notice to what idea you are connected. See how simple this is, if you’ll do it…

Here you are driving down the street and you start to notice that you’re feeling depressed. Or maybe you’re feeling anxious. That’s the first step: to see yourself, to be awake to what’s going on within you. Ordinarily, the nature that feels negative, the self that embraces that stressed state, looks to itself to explain to itself why it feels like that, which does nothing but forward the process. Now you have some new information. The reason that you’re in the condition you’re in is because you’re connected to what you’re connected to. Period. And what you’re connected to in that moment is nothing but some self-limiting idea you have of yourself — an idea that’s telling you who you are, defining you based upon its incomplete perception of life. For instance, in unheard whispers it claims: “Unless so and so approves of my actions they’re worthless, which means I am too.” Or, “If I lose that account, or relationship, all will be lost”… mistaken ideas delivering wrong conclusions, unconscious conclusions which become your tragedies.

Your spiritual work, step, by step, by step, is to begin the deliberate process of bringing into these present ideas you have of yourself those new ideas that actually show you the limitations and suffering inherent in that self-same idea you’re unconsciously living from.

You don’t have to look to anyone else for your sense of “I, ” nor in the world’s opinion of you, nor in any other place you’ve ever mistakenly looked for it. In fact, you need to start realizing the need to stop looking for what is your self in the world, and in others, and in changing conditions. Why? Because when you’re connected to that “I,” to that idea, you hurt!

The first objective is to work at waking up to what you are connected to; and then from within your newly awakened awareness to see that any painful idea defining you is an illusion, a shadow of yourself cast from yet other conspiring mistaken ideas.

I urge you to take time, at least twice a day, preferably as many times as you can possibly do it, to simply, deliberately become aware of what you are connected to, and then drop it in favor of your wish to have God’s Life.

Repeatedly bring yourself back to yourself and then, from within this present self-awareness, realize that instead of being connected to that “you” which is always struggling to get something, hoping to become someone, trying to resolve things — surrender yourself to the understanding that the whole issue of who you are is already resolved. Let go and know that Life is complete, timeless, and so are you. Do not go into imagination. The self you imagine will be a secret extension of the self you wish to escape. Everything you need to wake up, to be new, to realize peace of mind is right there with you without having to “create” it. But our ideas don’t report that to us. Our ideas report that we have to do something to “get there.” The illumined author Vernon Howard stressed to his students the new idea that to succeed spiritually, “there’s nothing to do, only something to see.” This is the truth. So see in those moments that the way you perceive life is what is punishing you… and then let what you start seeing change the ideas you have about yourself.

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