We fall out of our center each time we feel envy of those who seem to have it better than ourselves, or when we are angry or greedy, wanting more and more. In those times we lose our footing.
Peter must have felt something like this when he came to Jesus and asked what John was to do, rather than focusing on the tasks Jesus had given him.
Jesus answer to Peter has always hit me right in my heart:
“What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” John 21:22.
How often I have gotten off course, worrying about what is happening in the lives of others. I worry that I have been left out where others seem to be getting away with something that I can’t do or have. Then I grumble and feel resentful.
When others say unkind or untrue things about me I have a similar reaction.
Again Jesus’ words come to me. “What is that to you? Follow thou me.”
Then I inquire of myself, “Are you tending your own garden? Are you taking care of what you need to do, Billie? Better refocus.”
So I do my best, over and over, to bring myself back to what is mine to do. My job is not to run other’s lives or control their reactions. Darn.
My task is right here. How am I taking care of myself, attending to my real needs? And how am I being truly helpful to all the people in my life?
I don’t get to choose what happens. My task is how I respond. Will I be skillful or cause more suffering?
So the questions I continually ask myself are these:
Is this act loving? What is my motivation? Where is my mind? What am I feeling and thinking? I note this, and come back to awareness, my center.
I do this most effectively by bringing my awareness to my breath—really experiencing the breath as it enters and leaves my body. This takes intention.
This is a small act of surrender, letting go my insistent thoughts, and coming back to Spirit. Now I can focus on what really matters—following God—wherever God leads me.
As I willingly, with openness, with a feeling of letting go over and over, I come back home to my heart.
My home, my center, is a place in which no one else can live. It’s mine alone. Yet it leads to oneness with all, with the All.
I invite you to continue to notice, moment by moment, where your focus is. Where is your spiritual compass? This is what matters most—joining with God in your heart.
As Joshua said to his people, “Choose this day whom you will serve. For me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
This is a choice we make over and over. It’s never done. And it requires all our effort. There’s simply not enough energy left over to try to run someone else’s life, or to worry about his or her choices.
Will we serve love? For God is love. Love often requires difficult choices. What is the loving thing to do? What will bring honesty, truth, beauty and goodness into the present situation?
This requires deep questioning and even deeper listening.
I believe this is our task, and if we don’t do it, who will?
How will I relate to what arises in my life? Will I run away and distract myself by worrying about what someone else is doing? Or will I observe what my mind is thinking and how I am seeing?
Who do I need to speak to, and what is the best way to phrase my ideas?
Shall I spend my time watching TV dramas, worrying, or will I clean my own house and take care of my own garden?
Where is my home? Where do I receive the love that truly heals my soul?
It’s these kinds of questions that help clarify our soul tasks.
My deepest desire is to express the love of God that dwells within me and continually recreates me. How about you?
Whatever you decide, do it with all your heart. Put your passion into it and you will find it eventually will lead you home.
All paths lead to God. Some are just more interesting than others, perhaps, but please know that God is always calling you home – home to the heart. And God will never quit on you!