When I was a teenager, my dad had a radio show called “This is Life.” He was a preacher and used the radio to share his version of the gospel, a fairly generous take on God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. I don’t really remember much about the show, only that I had a crush on Charlie, the cute announcer guy with an amazing voice. But I always liked the title and have repeated it to myself often over the years. When something doesn’t go as planned or an unexpected hiccup knocks me off course, I try to remind myself that “Well, this is life.”
But for a long time, I also struggled with life, resisting my current experience in hope and pursuit of something better. My family’s focus was on “getting it right” in this gloomy life to ensure that we’d get our reward in the next one. In fact, the more we suffered, the more we believed God loved us, because “Whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Heb. 12:6) To “chasten” means to “correct by punishment or suffering,” so the whole point of life was to endure and even welcome the current misery in order to finally receive the heavenly reward. The entire atmosphere of my childhood was “Be good and get ready, because Jesus will come at any moment.”
At some point, a hitch developed in that plan, for I had two conflicting desires: Go to heaven as soon as possible (so I could finally be happy) AND grow up and get married (because... sex!). A firm believer in the power of prayer, I often begged Jesus to hold off on his glorious return until I was no longer a virgin. (Apparently, he listened… ha!) But basically, the whole point of life was longsuffering endurance in hope of the ultimate escape.
From today’s perspective, I can see it was just another iteration of the human tendency to resist or ignore what is in lieu of what we hope (or fear) will someday be. And sometimes I feel sad to see a lot of us still doing that! Frustrated with the struggles of life, we look to Adamus, Tobias or even our own Master self to make life better, to fix or rescue us from the current difficulties. Because “When life is finally going well, that’s how we’ll know we’re a Master,” right? Actually. I’m of the opinion that until we fully accept life as it is, it’s NOT going to get better. The irony is that even a Master still has miserable days, as Geoff so clearly explained in his article this month, but it makes one no less of a Master than when everything is rosy. Being a Master is about what’s inside, not what’s happening around me.
Of course, total acceptance seems counter intuitive. If I’m in a miserable situation, going through another round of human purgatory, won’t acceptance mean I’ll be stuck in it forever? Shouldn’t I try to fix the situation or at least make it better? There’s nothing inherently wrong with trying to change my life, but when all the effort is spent on trying to alter life “out there,” it becomes a tedious process that rarely turns out as desired, because I’m focused on the reflection rather than the source.
When I’m waiting for life to get better, my energy isn’t present here and now where everything is perfect. But wait! What if the present moment isn’t perfect? What if my body hurts, my bills aren’t getting paid, my relationships are crumbling, and depression is all I can feel? Clearly none of that is perfect!
Actually, Master knows that it IS perfect. Look at it this way: either all is well in all of creation, and we’re in the process of remembering our creatorship; or it isn’t and we’re not.
On this journey of rediscovery, it doesn’t work to remember I’m the creator but then pretend I’m not when I don’t like the creation. Whether my life is ideal or awful, the first and most important step toward full sovereignty is accepting that I already am sovereign and always have been. The perfection of my current creation cannot be seen until it is fully accepted and embraced, exactly as it is. THIS is life, not some hopefully-better future moment. THIS messy, unhappy, clumsy, difficult moment IS LIFE. Can I embrace it completely? Doing so affirms that yes, I did create this entire situation for myself, no matter what it is, which means I can begin understanding how it works. Rejecting any part of my creation exactly as it is only rejects myself as its creator, and I’m right back at square one, wondering why life sucks and nothing ever works out.
I had a very vivid dream the morning of this writing, one that felt important. As often happens in my dreams, I was working as support staff at a Crimson Circle event, but this time I took a few moments to pay attention to what was going on. Soon after I sat down, Adamus called me up to the front. I felt unkempt and dirty, having just come in from working outside, but he insisted. As the experience unfolded and he spoke to me, I knew the only thing to do was stand there exactly as I was – messy hair, dirty clothes, reluctant but present – and be a Master anyway. As I accepted it all, I felt my posture change. My smallness evaporated and a full, grand presence began to emanate from my being. Then, filling up with something I could not hold back, I declared for all to hear, “I Am that I Am – and you can be too!” There was no doubt, no hesitance, nothing but certainty, and I realized could only come with the total acceptance of my life and messy self as it was.
I hear from a lot of Shaumbra around the world and have noticed we often tend to be in one of two phases or stages: One is slogging through the endless muck of releasing, over and over and over, trying to make sense of life and hoping it’ll finally get better once we get realized. The other is total acceptance of life as it is, whether due to resignation or contentment. I’m not sure it makes a difference if someone just gives up on trying to fix life or they actually start seeing its perfection, but the outcome is similar: When they finally accept life as it is, rather than wish it was different, ironically things actually begin to change.
For example, sometime last year I completely stopped wishing and looking for a relationship, deciding that my own loving companionship was far superior to the hassle of yet another round of frustration, misunderstanding and disappointment. Believe it or not, that contentment, acceptance, love, and joy unexpectedly appeared in my outer world, reflected in the presence of a very special being. But until I embraced the fact that this is life, there was no way for it to change. Again and again, I remind myself to be here, in THIS moment, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Sure, there are still unseen patterns and forgotten beliefs that get dredged to the surface (thank you Dragon), but when I accept that this is life and stay present with what is, somehow it changes all on its own. It’s not easy to stay with it when shame or frustration or discomfort or some other challenge is growling through me. But the more I can observe and experience the moment without judgment, the faster it changes and the freer I feel. And it’s not because I’ve psychoanalyzed myself or created new beliefs to overcome the old ones or made some other effort of will. The real changes happen when I totally accept that “This is what I’m feeling and it’s okay. This is my experience, so I’ll let it fill me. This is my life right now and it’s perfect. It will change, it always does, but there’s nothing to fix, only to experience.”
In that acceptance, I begin to see the absolute perfection of life exactly as it is, even when it sucks. Sometimes I even find myself tempted to feel guilty for having life so easy while others are suffering and struggling. I want to shout, “It’s so easy to have a perfect life; just see how it already is!” But instead of trying to help everybody, maybe all there is for me to do is stand up in my radiance and declare “I Am that I Am – and you can be too.” This is life, and it really is this easy.
Yes, even when it’s not.