“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” — Woody Allen
I believe each one of us has Spirit (God, Goddess, or Higher Power – whatever term works for you) on speed dial. By that I mean we have direct access to the divine wisdom we need to live our lives, unravel our problems, work on ourselves, and manifest our dreams. We simply need to ask. And we simply need to listen for the answer once we do. We also need to allow spirit to step in and “drive the car” or determine the direction of our lives, rather than (from our ego’s perspective) thinking we know best what is right for us. And none of this is particularly easy to do.
For years I resisted the idea that Spirit was, large and in-charge, so to speak. I wanted to wrest control from it, and, usually, drive 100 m.p.h. in the opposite direction. My aim was to drive the “car” (my life) from the back seat. I wanted to navigate my journey from the passenger seat and, of course, control the outcome. The result would come from my determination. I would make it happen. I would will it into being. Surely, I was a better judge of what direction I should take than Spirit was. The result of this attitude – which it took me years to get over – was predictably underwhelming (in terms of me actually getting anything I really wanted).
It turned out that resistance was like a disease that had only one cure: trust.
That said, I had been burned ten too many times. I found human beings to be very short on attributes that elicited my trust. I wanted proof that they might be worthy of my trust before I would ever give it. And, predictably, people lived up (or down as the case may be) to my low expectations. The universe continued to provide me with experiences with people who weren’t worth my time or trust. They, in turn, reinforced my sense that the world was unsafe, and that I would be screwed over if I opened my heart to anyone.
OK. So, that’s where I was at. And I have to say, it wasn’t a fun way to live. It provided me with plenty to complain about, but not much else. And it certainly didn’t help me locate the life I wanted to have: a job I enjoyed surrounded by people I respected; a good personal relationship; and solid connections with family and friends. There were a few (very few) people I trusted. But, for the most part, I lived with a whole lot of fear and distrust.
What ultimately changed my extreme bout of fear/distrust was a series of experiences that showed me that Spirit was a living presence in my life. I realized that even if I was betrayed or hurt by another person, I could handle that disappointment and move on. In other words, I trusted myself to survive.
One day in the spring of 2000, as I stood waiting for a bus on Sunset Boulevard, a homeless woman approached me. She was incoherent and filthy. Nothing she said made sense, and I was, to say the least, uncomfortable. People around me didn’t seem to notice her. She was just a part of the “scenery” of Los Angeles. The bus arrived and we lined up to board. Just as I was about to climb the stairs into the bus, the woman walked up to me clear-eyed and articulate. She whispered directly into my ear, “Do the thing you fear the most.” I had goosebumps. At that very moment, I was thinking I should quit my job. My misery was palpable, but I was terrified. Then the universe spoke to me. For the first time in my life, I listened.
I quit my job (which was sucking the marrow from my bones) and I started to build the life I have today. I put my trust in Spirit because I had to. I dove into the unknown because I had to. I knew that I could not continue with things as they were. I was starting to exhibit illness both physically and emotionally. My life did indeed depend on me trusting the guidance I was given.
Twelve years later, my life is in a completely different place. Not just literally, but spiritually, physically, emotionally. I let spirit “take the wheel” and my real adventure began. Along the way, I started teaching writing, fell in (and out of) love a few times, got my heart broken, bruised my ego, smacked myself upside the head more than once, but I kept going. Again and again, I saw that when I listened to guidance and followed it, the results were good.
I took my teaching job in Arizona because I told Spirit I would go wherever I was needed. I came to Phoenix sight unseen. I picked out my first apartment online. Moving here was a really difficult transition, but the results have been wonder-filled. I have learned to love this vast, arid place with its prehistoric flora and fauna, its Wild West mentality, its hard scrabble ways. I like to think I was sent here to shake things up a bit, and to learn about myself and life in a very deep way. And although I didn’t plan to live here, I can’t imagine another place that would have shaped me – as a woman, a teacher, and a writer – in such a profound way.
All this came from trusting that Spirit had my highest good in mind when I was sent here eight years ago. I guess I write all this because I feel in my bones more changes are afoot for me, and I am actually glad that I can give the reins over to Spirit. I trust Spirit (or “my team” as I call my spirit guides) implicitly. I know that when I “let go and let God,” things fall into place. I don’t need to force anything to happen. I don’t have to paddle madly or hold my breath or swim through a key hole. Spirit knows me, body and soul. It knows what my dreams are. It knows what I need, and it takes care of it.
These days, I trust that any person I encounter has been put on my path for a purpose. They are likely a “teacher” for me. I am likely a “teacher” for them. We have spiritual work to do together, or we would not cross paths.
I trust that I am safe. I know the universe has my back. There is nothing to worry about or fear.
It’s a good place to be.
© 2012 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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