This morning I was reading a bit of Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, which a friend recently gave me. I was reading a section on surrender and I came across a teaching on how to pray, how to ask for what we want. It really struck me. This is what she says: “Instead of, ‘Dear God, please let us fall in love, or please give me this job,’ we say ‘Dear God, my desire, my priority is inner peace. I want the experience of love. I don’t know what would bring that to me. I leave the results of this situation in your hands. I trust your will. May your will be done. Amen.’”
Do you feel the sense of surrender in such a prayer? It’s almost a relief. Instead of asking for this and that, which entails clinging to this or that, the “desire,” the “priority” is living in peace and love – period. How it happens is given to the Universe to work out.
What a great teaching to have in our mind when we have a choice to make. In anything that we do, we could ask the question: “Is what I’m about to do going to help faciliate living in peace and love?” Or is it just immediate gratification?
This morning I began looking through Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, which a friend of mine gave me the other day. In the introduction I think she has one of the best definitions of spirituality that I have seen:
“The spiritual journey is the relinquishment – or unlearning – of fear and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.” (p.xxii)
I think she gets to the heart of what it is to live a spiritual path. What immediately came to my mind when I read this sentence was a time in my life when I was really struggling. I felt trapped and saw no way out. All I saw was the downward spiral that I was in. One day I knelt and prayed that I would somehow be freed, and even as I prayed I had little faith that this darkness would pass. Soon after, however, I began to have more and more thoughts of what life would be like outside of this spiral. This is what I began concentrating on and soon after, I found myself moving beyond fear to freedom.
It was only when my thoughts of fear were replaced with exciting thoughts of a new life, that I began to move to a new place of freedom. Fear was replaced with possibility. This is such a good reminder to me when I find myself struggling with whatever issue. If I stay with thoughts of fear, I will remain trapped. But if I place before my eyes a vision of what can be, a Power greater than myself will begin to move me in that direction.
Perhaps today, instead of worrying, instead of fretting over something in our lives, we might replace those thoughts with a vision of freedom, keep our focus there and see what happens.