I get a lot of email from people every day, and many postings as well on my two websites, and a great deal of that communication is from people who are not happy in their life. As I read their heartfelt outpourings, I become very clear that every day on the spiritual path offers an invitation and a challenge.
The invitation is to step up to the next level of self-exploration, self-creation and self-fulfillment, and the challenge is to `weather the storm' that is in front of us right now from which that invitation arises, and to keep coming back to the invitation itself, to continue to focus on the invitation, and embrace it.
That is not always easy. In fact, it rarely is. And so we can't help but wonder sometimes, "When will this be over? When will this `trial by fire' be done??? Why can't life be easy???"
Those are fair questions, and all of us have asked them. Some of us have had to ask them more than others.
There appear to be at least two schools of thought on that within the so-called New Age community. One thought is that life becomes easy when we stop resisting "what is." We are encouraged to simply stand in what's happening Right Here, Right Now without resistance, judgment or condemnation, knowing at some level that whatever is going on is Perfect for us in our evolutionary process or it wouldn't be happening. (This is, loosely, the Byron Katie/Loving What Is school of thought).
A second idea is that we need do nothing in any given moment but listen to our feelings about things, and if we feel good about what is going on, move toward that, and if we feel not so good about what is going on, move away from that. (This might be called, loosely, the Abraham/Esther & Jerry Hicks school of thought.)
None of us want life to be a constant struggle. Yet what makes it a struggle when it is one? That is the question. Is it our resistance to what is now going on? Or is it our failure to follow our feelings about what is going on? AND...are our feelings created by the resistance, or do they exist apart from that?
This is another way of saying, is it the exterior event that is affecting us so negatively, or is it what our Mind is doing with the exterior event?
Perhaps more to the point in this discussion...Does it even matter?
When you've just about "had enough," it may feel as though it doesn't matter. If I have a raging backache, I have a raging backache, and telling me that it's all the result of my thoughts doesn't make we want to endure the backache one bit longer than if I know it was caused by my having lifted something wrong. A backache is a backache, no matter what caused it.
There comes a time when the cause of something becomes unimportant. We just want it to stop. Analyzing why it began can often be only more aggravating...
One thing is sure about this thing called The Spiritual Path. It is infinitely more arduous than just bumping along --- "doop-de-doop-de-doo..." --- on the road of life without any thought of the "soul" and its "journey" or the "meaning and purpose" of our life or, for that matter, our very reason for being on the planet.
When we step off onto the Spiritual Path we confront obstacles almost immediately. If it seems as though there were fewer obstacles in life before, it's probably because there were...precisely because we were not on the path where the obstacles are found. There's no obstacle on the path that takes you nowhere...
Let me repeat that.
There's no obstacle on the path that takes you nowhere.
That still does not make it any easier to take The Road Less Traveled (which is, of course, the title of a marvelous book by M. Scott Peck on this same general topic). That still doesn't exactly make you want to jump up and get started, with a cheerful, "Hey, yeah, bring on those obstacles! Let's hear it for crappy days and difficult times!"
So what is the answer?
Well, I think the answer is two-fold. First, when you're tired, you're tired. When you can't run anymore, you can't run anymore. So I think the first thing you have to do is be good to yourself and acknowledge that. Then, take a break as soon as you can. Whatever that looks like in your life, take a break. Give yourself permission to do that.
If you can't do it right this minute (There could be a variety of reasons why this might be so: You're part of a plan that also involves someone else, people in another place or space are counting on you, etc., etc.), plan to do it very soon. Tell yourself you're going to "put up with" whatever is going on for just a tiny bit longer...but be sure that you can see, right now, the "light at the end of the tunnel" --- and make certain you don't go past that stopping point. Tell yourself, "that far, and no further."
Doing this will give you a sense that this IS going to stop, that there IS an "end in sight" --- and that can do a world of good.
Then, when you've had a break and you're emotionally rested, move back into the process (that's what this all is, by the way...it's a process) with a new perspective about what is going on, who is causing it, and why. Elevate your thought about the occurrences at hand. Think a new thought, a higher thought, a more positive and affirmative thought.
This is what Esther and Jerry always advise. The exterior situation of the moment may not change, but your idea about it can. Then, by changing your idea about it, you can often actually change the exterior situation. This is because the Interior affects the Exterior.
Above all, try not to throw the baby out with the bath water. That is, don't jettison everything and everyone in the space because the space hasn't felt good. Recognize the part you have played in the space not feeling good (don't "beat yourself up" about it, just recognize it) and then quietly and gently recommit to your continued growth, through movement along that Spiritual Path, with love and compassion for yourself and for all those who are equally struggling as they walk the path with you.
And ask for God's help. By all means, do that. Do not try to do all this without God. Ask God to be with you, to walk with you, to stand by you, especially through all the nearest upcoming moments as you shift back into meeting and facing the next obstacles that your path of choice will place before you.
And finally, know that it will --- yes, it really and truly will --- all get easier. That was a question I asked God, you may remember, in my conversations. "Will it ever get any easier?" I asked plaintively, and God answered, "Yes, oh, yes, my child. I promise you, it will get easier."
In the meantime, know that I love you --- and that you are loved also by God and by Life Itself. You are so admired for having taken this journey, for having committed to this path. All the angels in all the heavens are cheering for you now, rousing now to send you all of their best energies.
Love and Hugs,
(Latest Neale Donald Walsch release is "When Everything Changes, Change Everything")
© 2013 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.