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The Power of Choice

November 5, 2012 0 Comments

Over the past week, a message kept being sent to me through different people, situations, and even dreams.  I didn’t recognize the central theme at first, but looking back at my journal entries for the past few weeks, I can see that each of the forms in which the message was revealed to me were sent to me in order to help answer any remaining questions I had about how to stop allowing myself to get triggered by certain situations (in particular, toddlers that want to do the opposite of what their parents say :-)).  The answer centered on my own power of choice in each moment. 

My journal entries from 10/25-10/30 were mostly summaries of moments in which I noticed I was triggered and responded in a less-than-kind way (to put it nicely).  My entries in the past have not necessarily been focused on that, but that particular week I felt an overwhelming urge to get to the bottom of it and stop it.  While I had definitely shortened the time that I stay angry about something that upsets me, I still didn’t like the way I responded to my little ones not listening.  There were moments in which I totally lost it, and was embarrassed by my tone when I reflected on the situations after the fact.  Finally, I pleaded in my prayer/meditation time, “Help me to see this another way?..Help me to respond in love”  Well, I am so grateful that my plea was not only heard, but answered faster than I would have imagined.  It was the “little willingness” the Holy Spirit needed to show me another way. 

“Any way I’ve been unkind,

Please let it fade into my love for You.

Holy Spirit glowing strong,

within your arms I am forever. 

Any good that You got done,

is only You inside my willingness.”

~Rickie Byars Beckwith (From her song, Innocent Love)

I won’t run through each example of how messages were revealed to me, but I will share one.  The first one happened a few days after I brought home my new car.  I set my keys in the place where my husband and I always put them, and in the morning they were nowhere to be found.  While I do have “senior moments” in which I can’t remember things, this time I was absolutely sure I put them there.  My husband went out to the store the evening before and I was sure he must have picked them up by mistake.  My mind was racing to what could have happened (“did he drop them in the store?”…”did he drop them on the street”…etc.) and I was upset about losing the keys so soon after getting the car.  

When I got in the car to drop the boys off at school (using the only extra set of keys I had), my car’s Bluetooth audio system connected with my phone and automatically turned to a talk by Gary Renard (Secrets of the Immortal).  It’s normal for my audio system to automatically connect to my phone, but it normally connects to the last thing I was listening to.  This time, it connected to something I hadn’t listened to in at least a month.  Well, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Gary was saying things like, “we have the power to choose between the ego and the Holy Spirit in each moment…the source of your upset is not what happened, but it’s your reaction to what happened.” 

“I am never upset for the reason I think” ~A Course in Miracles

“I am not a victim of the world I see” ~A Course in Miracles

In short, in just a few minutes I had my power back.  I had given my power to the situation, and allowed the ego to lead me to frustration and anger.  I was reminded that what happens doesn’t matter one bit – all that matters is my response to it.  As I learned many years ago in Landmark Education, “The world is empty and meaningless”, or, as A Course in Miracles puts it, “Nothing in this [insert place or thing] means anything…I give everything all the meaning it has for me.”  I can allow situations to be perceived through the eyes of the ego which will see everything from the perspective of fear (anger, resentment, blame, judgement, hate, etc.) or I can see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit which will see with the eyes of Love (forgiveness, compassion, kindness, etc.) and behold the Truth about everyone and everything.  This lesson clicked in my mind in a way that it hadn’t in the past.  I felt like I was about to shed another layer of my ego-self. 

This shedding was confirmed by a vivid dream a had the next day.  It was a very graphic, violent dream and I woke up in a sweat.  The meaning of the dream was clear for me – some of the anger that had built up in my unconscious mind was being released.  Since I woke up from that dream, I have found myself in a state of pure joy.  I have felt so much more carefree and loving.  My mother was visiting over the weekend and even said, “You seem so happy…like your Spirit is in a good place.”  Indeed.  My interactions with my boys have been so much better over the last few days.  Not because anything changed in their actions, but because I chose to look at them through through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. 

“Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God?  You will accept only whom you invite.  You are free to determine who shall be your guest, and how long he shall remain with you.” ~A Course in Miracles

As I was observing the shift in my responses to my boys, I noticed that instead of immediately reacting to anything they did, I effortlessley paused and chose how I want to respond.  I had been practicing this, and it was working in most areas of my life, but it was all going out the window all too frequently when it came to my boys.  I am grateful to have taken my power back in this situation.  Now, I just have to keep practicing and remembering that I have the power. 

I know this is possible for everyone in any situation.  We are so much more powerful than we can imagine.  All it takes is a little willingness – the Holy Spirit will guide you through the rest.  Love is our natural state of being – we just have to remove all of the barriers we have placed in the way of it’s presence.  When we choose to be the Love that we are, it not only benefits us but all those around us (and everyone they interact with, and so on).  The prayer below by St. Francis of Assisi reminds me of the power of choice that we all have.  We can be taken in by the negativity that seems to surround us and respond in fear, or we can choose to respond in Love, remembering the Oneness from which we came. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

Keep shining!

~Kandace

P.S. The keys showed up the next day (my husband had gone down in the basement before he went to the store and the keys fell out down there).  I also apologized to my husband for my attitude right after I listened to the Gary Renard talk :-)

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Kandace Jones
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BLOG: http://kandacejones.wordpress.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/livinginthelightblog
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About the Author:

I used to live life shackled by fear, doubt, and worry. I put on a happy face while navigating my day-to-day duties, but I was emotionally drained, stressed, and unhappy. When I hit rock bottom, and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I was determined to live life differently. I knew there had to be another way. Out of that determination, and guidance from Spirit, the "Living in the Light" blog was born. It documents my spiritual journey out of the darkness and into the Light. After nine months of publicly sharing my journey, and consciously releasing my attachment to the ego, I experienced a powerful spiritual awakening. I went from living in fear, doubt, worry, and stress to complete inner peace. My greatest passion has become assisting others on their own journey to inner peace. My spiritual memoir, From Stress to Peace: An Intimate Journal on the Journey from Living in Darkness to Living in the Light, is available now on Amazon and BN.com. Click the tabs at the top of the page to learn more about the From Stress to Peace 21-Day Challenge, Living in the Light Retreats, 1:1 sessions, and the Living in the Light Community - all of which are designed to support your journey to inner peace. I appreciate you taking the time to visit the blog and look forward to supporting you in any way I can!