2005-02-21-Spiritual Challenges Bring Change Into Sharper Focus
Topic: Spiritual Challenges Bring Change Into Sharper Focus
Group: Marin TeaM
Dear Michael and Mother Spirit, We thank You for the insights You have been giving us, primarily because they are a gateway on how to contact You and to feel Your presence. Then also, because You know our hearts better than we ourselves, and You know how we want to love and help and share our lives with our fellows, we thank You for showing us how. Amen.
Good evening, My children. This is Michael.
Things are moving along well on the planet. This may be difficult for many people to credit because the first stages of spiritual contact and growth and expansion result in a polarizing of various aspects in your life. If you think about this, you can see this as a coming into focus of various elements that were before rather hazy or commingled in such a way as to render them too nebulous or vague or abstract for you to get a good hold on for practical use. But by these different aspects of your life coming into sharper focus, even though this may be troublesome at first - long delayed and put-off necessary activities for better health, or a clearer comprehension of the forces impinging upon you, and then clearer ideas of a creative nature – they are showing you the next few steps you need to take.
All of this requires an increasing clarity in your perceptions, both internal and external, and an augmentation of your spiritual creative powers, your ability to start something new in this ongoing realm of time and space. These are creations right within time and space, that even though they have precedents, there is something absolutely new beyond a mere recombination of older elements. As a personal being created by God, you have this potential. In fact, you are using it constantly, though often unconsciously. You are co-creating your own reality, moment by moment, and it helps to be aware of this so you can take responsibility for your creation. Otherwise you may often feel fatalistic as if you are being swept along by events beyond your control, unaware of how much you yourself are creating the events, and then the immediate post-event interpretation of what just happen to you, which is mainly what you remember.
So welcome this clarity. Welcome this spiritual challenge bringing things into sharper focus, separating one thing from another, though this sharp scalpel of spirit may seem at first like unnecessary surgery on the living tissue of your life. Still, welcome it, and do your best to understand it. Try not to blindly reject or deny new concepts and perceptions, even though they disturb some old, comfortable familiarity with everyday objects and persons and events.
When you feel yourself fully emerged in, and conscious of this constant creativity going on, not only without you but right within you, it can feel a bit queasy at first, as if you are opening your chest and laying your hand right on your own living, beating heart. This takes some getting used to. You have a righteous caution about this increasing power that you are capable of exercising, but this is the way to go. Do not be afraid of power as such. As your textbook introduced the concept, let Me repeat it: the joy that is possible for you when you know deep in your heart and soul, and you can say to our Father: It is my power - my will, that Your will be done - and mean it.
This is how the world will change, one person at a time, when each person perceives what they themselves are creating, however much it has always appeared that it is just happening to them. You call this, in psychological terms - projection. Your own unconscious creativity appears as if projected on a screen in front of you, and you do not recognize it as your own. And so you do not own the responsibility for it. People often react to others as if these others were initiating any number of threatening or improper behaviors, when it is just their own interpretation they are reacting to. And so the strife goes on.
There is also a collective component of combining these projections. This is what mankind is slowly emerging from - tribe against tribe, city state against city state, nation against nation, all along getting caught up in group projections. Call them racism, or sexism, or nationalism, or cultural-ism; all these are ways in which larger and larger groups of people can project their own fears onto others, and so, react as if these seeming realities were something outside of themselves to fear. Then you have what you call a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the fear of each group soon leads to aggressive behavior, and so creates a righteously fearful situation.
So how do you put an end to this except as each individual person achieves the ability to withdraw their projections by realizing their own heretofore unconscious creativity, and step into a gloriously conscious partnership with God - braving to take their life in their own hands, and proceed with all the glory and caution that is their human potential? Practically speaking, you have a kind of barrier of strangeness, of unfamiliarity, of newness, to get through. When you are used to a more or less static world of crystallized notions and relationships, it is quite a step into a living, organic one. Hopefully, just these words alone can pique your curiosity and your imagination.
Now, when such a world becomes real to the fullest extent right inside you and all around, when there is less and less familiar, how do you proceed?
We are your guides, My children. This movement from a static, familiar world into a living one is a spiritual journey. Remember: the personal presence of your Mother Spirit, Myself, the Fragment of our Father who lives in your mind, all the enormous host of celestial personalities surrounding you - is with the help of all of Us that you effect this change within yourself. And so, step by step, you lose an old, hardened, calloused relation to things as the new, living, more spontaneous and creative one takes its place. There is truly nothing here to fear. In one way, you will just be becoming conscious of an underlying evolution which has always been here. This is the river of life, My children, in which you have been unconsciously swimming all your life. It is something you can soon become comfortable with. Here We are making a distinction between being comfortable with a creative power - both within you and without - that supersedes and replaces what you now think you need as familiarity.
The secret to this process is, as We have teased you with a bit, a relaxing and trusting this new life which is struggling to come forth like a little plant breaking through concrete. This new life that is possible for you is struggling to get to you as well. Let it happen. Relax into it. Feel this huge river, this cosmos-wide river, this growing, evolving body of the Supreme Being of which you are a part. Feel this. Breathe it in. Let it inspire you, however wild and impractical it may seem at first. Take note of what it suggests. These will be not only new concepts and perceptions, but new ideals – creative spiritual signposts . Ideals: something to strive for, something always a little out of reach but showing you the way.
You have to act on them to realize them. You yourself have to taste this water of life to know how cool and refreshing it is. But then this is how you know what works and what doesn ’ t. Trust yourself. Trust your hearts, My children. Trust that you really want to do the right thing. Trust that the right thing is the most joyous, fun, exciting, and rewarding. There are so many strange notions floating around that somehow the right thing is boring or uninteresting, but that only means that these individuals have not yet encountered it.
This is food for thought, My children. I encourage you to read and reread My words over and over to inspire your imagination. We of your celestial family do not tell you what to do only because this is your responsibility. This creative power you have as a personal being created by God is what We want, most of all, for you to exercise. There are no blinds here. Nothing is being withheld from you. On the contrary, We say: More power to you! The greatest evil in the world is done by those who feel powerless and fearful inside. The saints of history, those men and women who lived their lives for their fellows, these were the truly powerful people. These were the people in touch with the planetary, even cosmic trend of spiritual evolution, and so helped those of their day along one more step. This is the adventure that can be yours. It is not just waiting for you, it is your own future potential self trying to emerge. Day by day, as often as you can, just relax what you are doing, check in with Us, and allow that struggling little flower of your soul to break free. Then the world will see a blossoming like no other before. It will be happening within you and all around you just as soon as you can let it. We are here, My children, calling to you. Come join Us.
If you have any questions or comments this evening, I would welcome them.
Student: Father Michael, you ’ ve answered some of the questions I had, although once again there ’ s a basic one, that is, something is holding me back and I don ’ t know what it is. I don ’ t know how to access it to get rid of it. I perceive I ’ m slowly growing spiritually, but I don ’ t get involved with stillness. I don ’ t contact my teacher. I would like to be involved in the Akashic Construct, and I would simply like to grow spiritually and access that power potential for whatever use You would care to make of me. But something holds me back from all that and I don ’ t do anything. One more week has passed and I ’ ve done very little - and I have the time. If it ’ s fear, I don ’ t know how to overcome the fear. If it ’ s something else, I don ’ t know what it is. I would appreciate any input You can give me on this subject.
Michael: Yes, My son, I think you are confronting a supreme irony of this psychological projection I mentioned: there is literally nothing – there - holding you back! There is nothing wrong with you. Let that soak in a while. There is nothing wrong! (Long pause) That seems an impossibility, doesn ’ t it, with what you just told me?
Student: Yes, it does. But hearing it come from You puts a whole different perspective on the, " there ’ s nothing wrong with me. " I can tell myself that but it doesn ’ t seem to stick.
Michael: It ’ s as if, however, you are waiting for some signal from outside yourself. Yet if you are truly growing spiritually, if you are becoming more and more free, if you are becoming less and less determined by what you can conceive of as other-than-you, you have intimations of this - as you say, more free time. Think about this. If you are more and more free, you yourself will have to initiate more and more what happens to you. Do you remember a few weeks ago we talked about a very subtle challenge of freedom? - as contrasted to folks who spend a great part of their days and evenings and nights just getting food and shelter and even some very small entertainment or companionship with their fellows? They are not free in the same way. They are being determined by the economic necessities of life. But if you are not, if you have enormous freedom of time and resources by comparison, you are not being driven to do this or that today.
Student: Yes, I see that now.
Michael: We mentioned this challenge within economic freedom, but there is also mental freedom. You are in a culture and society with literally tens of thousands of points of view available – magazines, newspapers, television, the internet. You are awash in a sea of different ideas and opinions and ideals. So with all this economic and mental freedom, what do you do with your free time once you have it? What do you do with your extra wealth? In this sense there is nothing wrong, there is nothing there holding you back or determining what you will do. What do you want to do? The ball, as you say, is now in your court. You are standing there holding it. This is exactly where you have worked so hard – economically and mentally – to get to. With this success, the game becomes so much larger. In a very unavoidable way, you are doing what you want to. Is it making you happy? Is it fulfilling? If not, you will have to reach out with your imagination. Again, this is that realm wherein We cannot tell you what to do because it deals with you confronting your fear of unfamiliar larger possibility . We can just sympathize with your ironic plight. These are very subtle and seemingly strange considerations, My son, so you do not have to answer Me now. Just think about and reread these notes over and over many times, and let them soak in.
Student: I will do that. Thank you, Father. You ’ ve already relieved my mind of quite a bit. It somehow makes a lot more sense now than it did before. I thank You very much for it - Your guidance.
Michael: You ’ re very welcome, My son. You are encountering some of that strangeness I mentioned right at first, for the freedom that success brings can be its own puzzle: you can get lost in it. Don ’ t forget My peace. It is always here for you. Soak yourself in it. Let everything go. Let everything! - come … to … a … complete …… stop. (Very long pause [very large Presence] then, gently … ) This is what you are forgetting, My son.
Student: Yes … (Very faint)
Michael: You just have to want it – this … stillness.
Student: Yes! – I do want it …
Michael: The we will meet again – here.
Student: Thank You, Father.
Michael: Stay in My peace.
Student: Yes, Father Michael, Bother Jesus, I wish I had some of (Student ’ s) ironic plight. (Group laughs) I need a vacation. Somewhere far away and warm. Anyway. Last Wednesday started off beautifully, doing my gardening work, listening to all the birds, all the life that was around me, and really enjoying it. And then as the day moved on I picked up my daughter and took her to where she ’ s staying with my mother. When we got there I could feel my mother was not in a very good mood. She had me take a look at something my daughter's boyfriend had supposedly done. Then for some reason my mother went berserk because the boyfriend had put a tool away wrong, even though she had said he could put it there. She started spewing out all these abuses and obscenities at my daughter and me - we don ’ t appreciate her, we do nothing for her, and so forth. In a moment of being reactionary myself, I told her she had double standards – something just like that. My daughter started to clean up – apparently some paint had spilled and made a mess – though my mother had been throwing things around and making it worse. So I couldn ’ t leave my daughter there while my mother was in this attitude, making my daughter clean up this mess. I went and helped, and in the process allowed my reactionary mind to be taken over by Mother Spirit ’ s peace, and Yours too. Then I said my daughter had to leave soon, and to let her boyfriend finish cleaning up. My mother said OK.
While my mother can criticize everything I do and everyone I know, I cannot offer anything at all; and this was what I meant about her double standard. So today is Monday and I haven ’ t heard from her since. I left a message in her machine saying I hope she ’ s well and I love her - but nothing came back. I have a gift for her but she ’ s too mad at me. Of course I want things to work out, but I have so much to do all the time (Long list followed: work, girlfriend, three children, etc.) I do have an understanding of what my mother ’ s going through, but it seems like she ’ s become mean-spirited and hard to be around. And this is weighing heavily on my soul.
Michael: Well, D, I think you ’ ve just encountered, with your mother, what it is like to be on the other side of someone else ’ s projections. This double standard you mentioned is one way of your realizing this, and trying to express to her that there is a different way of seeing things. She found this mess and, from your standpoint, over-reacted to it. But the nitty-gritty – as you call it – is: what do you do in this situation? What do you do when you are attacked by someone who apparently is not seeing you clearly, but is seeing you through a haze or distorting lens of her own creation?
Several things can help. One is to go to the source of this agitation and this misperception. Sometimes you can realize what it was in a person ’ s life that triggered this. I sure you understand this immediately when, say, you know someone who ’ s undergone a tragic loss of someone they love, or been attacked, and so projects this tragedy or fear all about them. Other times it is a mystery. You don ’ t immediately understand why this person is reacting the way they are. Often you have to try to get on their side, for what usually doesn ’ t work at all is confrontation, because you then fulfill and justify their attitude. If they fear you or feel you have offended them, getting in their face, as you say, becomes a way of simply proving they are right - as far as they are concerned. A more subtle judo is required here. Sometimes it helps to just – physically - go and stand close beside them and see the situation – here, the mess in the shed – from there. Then it ’ s harder to identify you or your daughter or her boyfriend with the mess. You ’ re clearly right beside her. From this standpoint you have to be open to different heart-felt techniques which will not work if they ’ re used in any kind of mechanical or cynical way, but will if they ’ re genuine. Perhaps tease her out of her mood? You may have to provide the connecting link to companionship yourself – if her creative power at the moment is powerless or wrapped up in vindictiveness; you have to provide the connecting link of humor, say, by offering the question: does she think your daughter ’ s boyfriend did this on purpose? Does she think this was intentional? Give her a reason within herself to relax her own sense of outraged justice. Do you see what I mean by alleviating her aloneness, her sense of being overwhelmed and put-upon by the injustices of the world all around her? All these feelings isolate people and make them fearful, and so they go to extremes just to be noticed and get some response from all that other world out there. Do these examples help you understand the situation and possible ways of dealing with it?
Student: I know my mother was the one who created the mess – all my daughter ’ s boyfriend did was put this machine in the shed, so what I ’ ve seen is that my mother, on one level, is losing control of her life, her security, or what keeps her secure. So this does not make things easier for everyone, including herself. There ’ s a lot of irrationality here. For example she complains she cooks for my kids all the time, yet she won ’ t allow them to cook in the kitchen. So my daughter asks her, what are we supposed to do? - and my mother just sits there and shrugs her shoulders. She puts them in no-win situations. One moment she says she ’ s glad they ’ re there, the next moment she wants them gone. So that puts pressure on me. Additionally she says I ’ m letting her down by not taking care of her, yet she wants to be independent. So there ’ s a lot of mixed messages, a lot of irrationality. If I try to use my humor, that just doesn ’ t cut it; in fact that makes it worse for her – she feels like I ’ m not listening or being empathetic to what she ’ s going through. There ’ s always been an unspoken rule in my family that my parents can criticize me, but we - my sister and I - can never criticize or say how we feel to them. If we do then it ’ s like hell to pay, unfortunately. So I can never be totally true with myself to them.
Michael: Well, My son, you have a good understanding of the situation. This should alleviate any sense of guilt, but you still have the situation to deal with.
Student; Yeah, right now its like - I just know it ’ s there but I ’ m not ready to confront her on it, or to communicate with her about it. I ’ ll pray and do what I can on that level.
Michael: This is where Mother offered an insight of how to slowly evolve an archtypical relationship of parent-to-child into one of being equal friends. It seems your mother is unwilling to do this. She wants to maintain that position of power and authority she once had. Do you think she is capable of understanding this very thing?? Is she open to any kind of psychological feedback on the situation? This is what I meant by providing the links of understanding to where you wish to tell her that: Mother, I ’ m no longer a small child – I want to be your friend, and be your equal friend, and I want us to transform and evolve this into a true friendship. She may not be capable of this but it is something to try, to offer her insights very much as We offer them to you: plant seeds. Find a way to do this as gently, as lovingly, as lightly and delicately and creatively as possible. Any kind of overt power or pressure is just going to make her feel the need to be that much more defensive .
Student: I feel … I hesitate to say she won ’ t go for that, but I ’ m not saying I won ’ t try in the manner You ’ ve expressed to me. I don ’ t think she really sees me or appreciates who I am. She desires me to be something else – more materially successful. She doesn ’ t trust my decision-making. With her being my mother – that is hard to swallow, and feel her bitterness. A month or so ago when I was in her place, she turned around to touch me and I reacted by jumping backwards and refusing her touch. That kind-of sums up our relationship, unfortunately. I mean there ‘ s love there, and I care about her as a human being, but there ’ s an agenda to her love, and expectations are given. I have a hard time with that.
Michael: Well, give it a try! See if you can find a way to offer her this feedback because she seems to feel she is isolated. Sometimes just say: Mother, I love you very much, and I am on your side. I want to be your friend. I feel you are isolating yourself. You are cutting yourself off from those of us who love you. We want to have a real friendship here, where we can get over these judgements and things. Tell her: I ’ m very happy in my life. I ’ m doing all kinds of good work and have been for years. I have friends and children and a full life. You ’ re not a failure as a mother because I am not a failure as a person – your son.
But the initiative on staying fresh and new is very much with you. She may not be capable of staying in the now, but is being overwhelmed with the past, and not even a true past, but more or less just sentimentality or recriminations. You may have to provide these connections, these ways out of the bad situations. This is just the way it is. This is your challenge. This is how you can try your best to love your mother. Refuse to be her enemy! (Group chuckles) Maybe tell her that: Mother, I refuse to be your enemy! I ’ m going to love you and just keep loving you.
Student: I may need time on this one … I will need time.
Michael: Now you are dealing with your own reactions. You expressed that - what you are doing now – instinctively – perhaps at those rare times she reaches out just to touch her son. This is what I mean by your staying very, very … very present, and recognizing those moments when she is able to overcome all her own reactions and reach out to you. It is so precious for you to recognize these moments.
Student: Yeah … I know I was so shocked when that happened, when my body just recoiled back. I was really shocked
Michael: But your openness to, first of all, accept that that just happened, and then seek to understand it and let that soak in, is commendable.
Student: Yeah. And even how I feel right now is quite unsettling - today, when she didn ’ t want to come in to my place to accept her gift … I know there ’ s lessons to be learned here. If I ’ m to be a source of goodness and hope in this world, these are the challenges I have to meet head on, no matter how taxing and tiresome they may seem to be.
Michael: This, My son, is what all loving children have done for their parents throughout time. Just as parents have raised the youngsters and nurtured them, so too this is an aspect of caring for your mother in her older age when she is not so capable as you.
Well, there is much to think about, My children. And this is good. This is the business of living. Even more, this is the business of caring. This is the real work in our life for our fellows - truly caring what we do. I offered this evening the tool of how to realize what it is we are doing - to accept the responsibility that we are co-creating a large part of what we perceive to be The Other. Then this example of what happens when we encounter another ’ s projections that we feel do not apply to us, or to the situation at all. What do we do then? How do we defuse the situation and reach across that enormous gulf to another person who might even feel we are attacking them? If, underneath it all, there is this essential caring, this intent to love, and this is real; this is finally – you can believe and have faith, My children – this is what finally carries the day. This is the truer reality of spirit that creates the way forward.
Carry on! You are all growing. And be in My peace.
Students: Thank You, Michael; Good evening.