Most of the time, I notice that other people are able to read their own experiences into what they hear and see. When I speak about my own experiences, others can translate what I say to what they have experienced. What’s more, they can extract the point or lesson from what they hear and apply it to their own experience. People are smart.
Thus, many of the ways that I have been trained to expect things to happen often happen that way only because I expect them to. When I can recognize them as what I expect and release that, they unfold more naturally and don’t necessarily unfold the way I expect them to or as I have been trained to expect them to.
I find that I can be free to speak about something I am an expert in – my own experience – without speaking about or into someone else’s experience. I don’t have to tell other people how they should feel or what they should learn or do (to make me happy). In fact, respecting other peoples’ views and focusing on what I have to learn about myself (or how I can experience myself) in each situation is extremely liberating.
I don’t have to go outside of myself to define or find myself, even though I am told that I do. If everything is connected – if everything shows the same God – I can find what I carry inside of myself by either looking around me or by looking within myself. As I find that the truth is the truth, my experience will inevitably broaden to include both how I experience myself and how I experience others.
This means that I will come to a felt experience of grace either way. I will recognize, for example, that when I mistreat others, it is only myself whom I mistreat. Beyond this, understanding how I mistreat myself can help me to better understand myself – who am I (or who must I be) to love myself in this way (for example)? In a real sense, it doesn’t matter which end I start from. However, what I carry with me is infinitely closer to me and I always have it with me. Thus, I choose to begin with my own experience of myself.
This calls for clarity and honesty about what I find within myself and about what I find around me. These things continue to unfold for me and I get better with them all the time. Each time that I notice there is something I have been less than honest about or something that I have allowed others to believe, etc., I have a new opportunity to be clear and honest.
Often, this honesty is with myself only, but sometimes it also includes other people. It represents a chance to grow and I notice that my ability to consciously attract and hold what I can be – including my ability to be rich, which in many ways is the least of it – grows with it. The More I am, the more I can be.
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