In my last blog entry I talked about the importance of asking for help from a higher power. In Jungian parlance, this is often referred to as the Self, the divine presence within all of us. Others imagine or conceptualize God in their own way. I think the key thing is having that connection open and vibrant in your life. Like other forms of communication, the most important part is being deeply receptive.
Deep listening to another means that we have to put our own agenda aside. So often when we pretend that we are listening to the other, we are just preparing what we are going to say next. We are more interested in putting our case forward, proving our argument, showing that we are right, the best, the smartest etc. It requires a sincere interest, selflessness and compassionate attention to be a good listener. Have you ever wondered why so many ‘talk therapies’ abound, and why people pay so much for therapy? I suspect that a lot of therapists would go out of business if more people were interested in really listening to each other. The truth is, it\t seems like a great luxury to be really heard by another human being.
We have so much static in our own minds we don’t have the psychic space to let in another person with his or her concerns. Never mind listening to the Self and what it may be trying to communicate to you. We have to be able to clear the mind of its busyness and noise in order to deeply listen for guidance.
It always amazes me that when you are struggling and puzzling over something and are in a state of confusion and uncertainty, it feels like it will never end. Clarity will never come. It feels like the unsolvable Gordian knot. Then one day, you simply know what you must do, and all hesitation and angst is gone. We can often only really recognize this transition in retrospect. Think back to situations where you agonized over a decision or some action you were contemplating. Did the clouds simply lift one day and your path became clear? Most of us can remember some time when that happened and it was a good thing to have waited. That was grace.
And most of us can think of times when we didn’t wait for that clarity, but took some action out of a state of confusion or emotional drama. Those were the times when we probably created more unpleasant karma for ourselves. The proverbial snowball effect. The bad situation just got worse, and then we had THAT to unravel.
Often when we are in the middle of a dilemma, it feels unbearable to not take action. The ego wants results! It is impatient and needs to be in control. It wants to manage the outcome. But the truth is that if you can hold the tension of the opposites and not take action, and pray and ask for guidance, and deeply listen for that guidance, you might be very surprised at the outcome. If the Self is not asked for help, we are often left to bumble along and make your mistakes and experience the rough and tumble we create for ourselves in our everyday life.
It is only when we turn to face the Self, and humbly ask for guidance that you might actually get the help you need. Life can turn itself around in the most surprising and unforeseen ways – in ways that we could never have orchestrated or managed on our own. But we have to let go of what we think that outcome should look like. You can’t say to God, please solve my problem, and please get rid of that jerk for me, and get me a new car while you are at it.
But you can ask for guidance. Sometimes help comes in the most unexpected ways. That is grace. Have faith and trust your life, and trust your inner truth. There is no emotional charge or drama when that realization emerges out of your deep inner core. There is simply a quiet knowing and acceptance of what is.
Rumi, a 13th century poet/mystic, who happens to be one of the most popular poets in North America, addressed all of his poetry to the One, whom he sometimes called the Friend, and sometimes the Beloved.
Coleman Barks, who is renowned as an authority on Rumi and a poet in his own right, has an extraordinary voice and feeling for Rumi’s poetry. Listen to him here. It is a gift from the One.