Challenges Raise the Bar

A spirit teacher shares timeless wisdom with me,                   but it seems to require never-ending intellectual,       emotional, and spiritual development. I obviously              don’t have what it takes to absorb what He seems                     to think I can. I struggle, as many others surely do,                  to live within constraints not entirely of my own        choosing.

Spirit claims that I do choose and am trying to avoid
accepting responsibility for choices I freely make.

But, how free are we to make choices when often
the choice I seem to need to make is the lesser of                   two or more unacceptable options?

Spirit is unimpressed with my whimpering. It                  doesn’t move Him. Constraints, He tells me, are          necessary to future progress in any discipline or                 area of human development, including spiritual,     intellectual, or physical, in that they provide                challenges to our present level of skill, as well as            serving to soften our ego’s otherwise smug sense                     of satisfaction in the moment of victory.

Challenges that we have struggled to face and            overcome, He claims, seem to whisper in our inner              ear, “Perhaps we should raise the bar”.

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Awareness is not an End in Itself

Spirit tells me, as if to console my aching heart,
that letting go was never easy
for anyone who ever felt they needed to be
connected to whatever or whomever, until
there didn’t seem to be an acceptable alternative.

The interconnecting energy relaxes on its own,
or will if we will let it.

It didn’t seem to need permission.

We need to learn to allow ourselves to feel
connected as long as it seems to make sense
to be so, and then, the bonds of relationship
relax, gently or otherwise, to facilitate
adaptation to newly developed awareness.

Close relationships will always be close,
unless …

Unless what?

Unless they seem …

To become more or less close?

Yes. Are you aware that you are aware of
a change in certain relationships?

Yes, and yet not as an observer of
outside events.

Yes. We can become increasing aware of
our inner feelings and rationalize
about them without denying them.

Yes, and self-awareness seems to be
non-judgmental.

Yes. It accepts that what is, is,
for whatever reason.

So, where do we go from here?

From where?

From accepting that we feel whatever
strength of whatever emotion about
whatever situation or relationship.

Then it’s time to think and rationalize
about where to go from here.

Feeling has served its purpose?

Yes. Now it’s time to choose
how to act on our awareness.

Then, awareness is not an end it itself?

Never. The price of awareness is responsibility
for whatever response we choose in whatever
situation.

Constraints as Challenging Bars

Spirit shares ageless wisdom with me, but
it seems to require never-ending development.

I obviously don’t have what it takes.
I struggle, as many others surely do,
to live within constraints not of my own
choosing.

Spirit claims that I do choose and am
trying to avoid accepting responsibility
for choices I freely make.

But, how free are we to make choices
when the choice I seem to need to make
is the lesser of two or more otherwise
unacceptable choices? Spirit is unimpressed
with my whimpering. It doesn’t move him.

Constraints, He tells me, are necessary to future
progress in any discipline or area of human
development, including spiritual, intellectual,
or material, in that they provide challenges to
our present level of skill, as well as serving to
soften our ego’s otherwise smug sense of
satisfaction in the moment of victory.

Challenges that we have faced and overcome
seem to whisper to our inner ear,
perhaps we should raise the bar.

There is no lasting structure

Spirit shares gems of wisdom.

Spirit tells me that everything I say or do should be for a reason
that I understand and can accept responsibility for.

He encourages me to live life here and now, day by day, and to create
a living and lived philosophy of life, and to become what I know I can
become; more and more what I really am, by living with purpose and
meaning.

That sounds beautiful but how do I set attainable goals.

These are attainable goals.

But, the horizon is too distant and unattainable for me. I need
structure.

Yes, and there is none, none that is lasting.

A powerful sense of responsibility

Spirit tells me that the purpose of His teaching is to encourage

The study and practice of an increasingly clearer understanding of

Our interconnectedness to all forms of life, human and otherwise,

And of our personal responsibility to care for and protect, not only

Our own unique individual life, but also that of the countless,

Equally unique life forms that we share our world with.

 

How?

 

By becoming intentionally aware of how we live and the negative

Affect that may have on others.

 

That would require a powerful sense of responsibility.

 

Not would; it does.

 

Is it possible?

 

Yes.

 

How?

 

One step at a time.

 

And the first step is intention?

 

Yes.

 

 

 

Pleasure and responsibility blend

Spirit tells me that, as I care for the plants (He seems to

Disapprove of my calling them my plants) on my patio or

In my little back garden, they also care for me, and,

 

Even during Winter, they, as I do, require care.

 

However, we each may require more care or a

Different type of care during different seasons of

Our lives, as do different people we know and

Care about, in a personal way.

 

These special plants and people (for they are special, if

Only to us) seem to need what we alone can give them,

Our love, unconditionally.

 

We share a personal, interdependent relationship;

A bonding of emotion and thought, of

Pleasure and responsibility.

 

We each have a duty to care

Spirit tells me that we each have a sacred duty to care for

The world we live in, the world that sustains us and

Makes it possible for us to experience physical

Existence within a material creation.

 

Each suggests a personal responsibility.

 

Yes.

 

How is it possible for individuals…

 

Are you speaking of individuals in general or of

Yourself, in particular?

 

Both.

 

The answer is the same.

 

My question is still, how can it be done?

 

It can only be done individually. We each must learn to

Care about and care for everyone and everything else.

 

We each may have a different understanding of

What it means to care about and for.

 

What is your understanding?

 

I do care about and for whom and what I can.

 

How much do you care about and for, and

How do you express this care?

 

Am I on a witness stand?

 

Everyone is on a witness stand.

 

 

Boundaries and Limitations

Spirit tells me that

Boundaries are around us and,

Limitations are within us, but

Neither boundaries nor limitations

Are static or rigid, unless

We choose to allow them

To be.

 

We can, If we will to, at least

To some extent, overcome

Personal boundaries and

Limitations.

 

We can, if we will to,

He tells me, push

Both our boundaries

And limitations,

To give ourselves

More flexibility and

More opportunities, if

We are willing to accept

The cost; responsibility.

The reward is increased

Satisfaction in creating

Our own life.