Welcome Back Dear Friends!
Part 10, with its inventories, might have proven to be the most difficult ones
you’ve had yet at Your Heart’s Desire.
I congratulate you if you got through all of the exercises as outlined.
you can only get out of this course
what you put in
and the more truthfully and earnestly you strive,
the more Your Heart’s Desire
will manifest in ways you seek.
If you really did the exercise
of reading your lists to someone you trust
you are probably feeling lighter
and freer than you have in a long time
That’s the goal.
So keep trekking.
This week is similar to Part 10,
so get those pencils, yellow legal pads,
and buddies ready.
Paragraph 16, by Emmet Fox
“When we are in a condition of fear, anger, or worry, our Divine Energy, instead of flowing in some positive, creative work, becomes damned up within ourselves, like the water in the garden hose, and produces all sorts of trouble in soul and body. Meanwhile, our true work in life is either missed altogether, or, starved of the supply of Life Force which it should receive, it languishes accordingly, and we get mediocrity, poverty, and failure.”
Commentary, Questions, and Exercises, by Joseph Anthony
You can see how these last two paragraphs are helping you move towards your Heart’s Desire. If you want to hear the whisperings of God you need a clear channel. And to clear the channel you need to be free of fear, anger, spiritual pride, criticisms of others, and so on. You can see, judging from the amount of failure, mediocrity, and poverty there is in the world, how most people live in this place. You can see in your own life that when you focus on past resentments and fears, regrets, and self pity, how easy it is to settle for mediocrity–it takes so much energy to live in fears or angers, real or imagined, that there is little left for real living.
The Big Book says that harboring feelings such as resentments “shut us off from the Sunlight of the Spirit.” We can easily see how this is the case. The Big Book also says that fear is “an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set into motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But didn’t we, ourselves, set the ball rolling?”
Obviously some of our fears we didn’t consciously set the ball rolling for. I seem to have been born with a fear of spiders—it’s just always been there. My fear of violence however, was inspired by violent things happening to me, but it was also inspired by the countless disgustingly violent movies I watched as a teen and young adult. I also used to fantasize for hours about either having violence done to me or me doing violence to others. That’s just the sad truth. In addition, I hungered for gloom and doom news. I constantly listened to radio programs and watched television shows that bemoaned the destruction of the environment. I was fascinated by headlines of violence and mayhem, and I slowed down to stare at car accidents and dead animals on the side of the road. There were lost, wasted days and nights when I sat looking at YouTube trying to find the most frightening and violent images I could find.
I share these personal facts about my past to illustrate what the Big Book says, namely, that many of our fears we set into motion, or at very least perpetuate, ourselves.
There was one other way I used to set the ball of fear rolling in my life—I used to live dishonestly. I was a thief, a liar, and a cheat. So I went around paranoid that the people I had stolen from were around every corner. Luckily I was able to live out the key to my Heart’s Desire (which we’ll find in Part 13) and thus have freed myself of this checkered, destructive, and painful past.
It is my hopes that by me sharing my story a little bit some of you will identify enough to dig deep into your minds to uncover your deepest fears and get them on paper.
Finally, as we clear out our resentments thoroughly and sincerely, the Big Book says we “straighten out mentally and physically.” Who among us hasn’t experienced a pain in their guts or back only to have it disappear after dealing with a deep seeded resentment or fear? Our bodies, souls, and minds are linked. When we do healing work in one area, the other two areas are positively affected.
1). How have you settled for mediocrity in your life as a result of living in past resentments and fears?
2). Have you ever blamed your own failures on other people or events that happened years or maybe decades ago?
1). Make a list like last week, but this time inventory your fears. Write as many as you can, being as honest and thorough as possible. Write down even the ones that sound silly. Get them all down. Try not to minimize your feelings in these inventories. All of your feelings are important here. When you’re finished, read this list to your trusted friend or counselor.
Name the person, place, idea, dream, or circumstance you are afraid of. No sentences-just name the fear.
Why are you afraid of this person, event, idea, or dream? What happened in as short a retelling as possible?
What part of you is threatened by this fear? Your pocket-book, self esteem, relationships, sex relations, social prestige, ambitions, or pride?
How did you, if at all, get the ball rolling?
2). If watching or listening to depressing, gloom and doom media stories makes you afraid or anxious, consider stopping listening and watching them. Remember–if it hurts—stop. If it makes you crazy—stop. Go on a media-free fast for the next few weeks just to help clear out the negative thoughts.
3). Make a list of your so-called failures, and inventory if they’ve taught you anything that has proven to be helpful. Has any aspects of past failures proven to be positive in any way?
Great work, friends. You are ever so close to living the spiritual practice that will enable you to begin listening to God’s voice—the whispers of Your Heart’s Desire. Next week, we have one last list to write and a little review, and then, in Part 14, we get the key to it all.
Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog