Getting to understand who I am has been a by-product of practicing spiritual principles.
A journey through examining my selfishness, resentments, fancied and 'real'-- illusions. Mostly dishonesty, or, the stories and the 'stage character' I present to the world. The ego- which amounts to what I think you think of me. All this stems from fear- a soul sickness in it's own right.
My first real notion that I was getting in relationship with God, was in looking at my resentments. I always knew who I was mad at and why. Sometimes I could even admit I was somewhat at fault. But I have to report that I was sure you were more to 'blame'. It was in writing these resentments out that I discovered, first, that I had a lot more than my mind could see without putting pen to paper. Second, that this world and it's people really got to me. In this respect, the wrong doing of others, fancied or real, hand the power to block me from God. Having only been able to see what others had done,that caused me to have any degree of ill will toward them; I had to go deeper to see the real cause of these resentments. The answer, or the solution lay underneath my 'thinking mind'.
In each case I saw that one or more of my God given instincts was threatened to my way of thinking. Whether it was my relationships with others, or my financial, or sexual instinct, in each and every resentment at least one of these instincts was threatened- to my way of thinking. As a matter of fact- NO person can become angry without one of our primary instincts for sex, security, or society becoming effected.
My mastery of resentments came by uncovering the truth about me. That my dishonesty and selfishness and fear caused these resentments. Sometimes it was my self-seeking. Certainly it can all be attributed to fear; but I needed to see in stark relief and detail just what goes on in my mind while I get and keep a resentment. My motivation for doing this was the fact that I needed a closer relationship with God; who, I found underneath all the truth I discovered about how I actually thought and acted.
First, selfishness. What is it I wanted in each resentment. Of course this varied, but there was always an answer. Selfishness is concern for oneself. Example: I'm pist at "My work partner" because he shows up late a lot and it threatens my financial instinct. Now being angry because my work partner shows up late a lot is perfectly understandable. But the truth is, I have a resentment. Which means 2 years later, and having not seen him since, every time I see him or think of him I have this little bit of ill will... why? Well that's what I'm finding out here.
Anyways, where am I being selfish? I want him to always be on time. I also want to make money. First of all I now see that my concern is NOT for him; it is for me. Ok, next. Where am I being dishonest; or, what is the lie I am telling myself? "If he respected me, he would be on time. If he was on time my life would be easier- and so would his. He should always be on time because I need him to be" All these are lies I told myself, believing they were true. The lies are me playing God. Next, how am I self-seeking about it? I yell at him. I tell him if he ate better, and had more discipline he would be on time. I tell everyone who will listen about how inconsiderate this guy is. Self-pity. Finally, what is my fear? I won't have enough. What my boss thinks. What others think.
Selfishness, dishonesty, self-seeking, and fear cause me resentment.
I am the cause of all my resentments. This is the feeling of ill will toward another-- after the initial incident. Only honestly wanting to see the truth and asking God to show me the truth could I put it down in ink in front of me.
I was able to go back through my life and discover over 600 of these 'ill wills' toward people. Many were people I felt love for.
It was the beginning of my relationship with God and myself. There is another stage of this process that goes deeper that gets to why I have the fears I do, and the solution. I had tried to manage fear in my life and failed. I created more and caused others harm. Not only that I squandered time and ran away from what I should do, and could not just be. I presented you with a 'stage' character that I thought you wanted to see. In my heart I knew i didn't deserve the reputation I tried to present, which makes only for more fear and shame.
The solution was God- obviously, for the problem was lack of God.
Today I do not concern myself with the satisfaction of my God given instincts. I am in the world to play the role He has assigned. It is a simple contract I have with God. He inspires me and I respond. The direction I go in is clear, it always was, I was just blocked by my selfish fearful thinking mind. Helping others to Him is my real motivation. I can't do that if I'm preaching from the pulpit. I have to get down there into relationship with people, mindful of their needs, living by example. It is easy to consider what is attractive to myself in other people. I don't concern myself with how I appear to you; I consider what I SHOULD DO and let the chips fall where they may. Some people hang their hat a little too much on 'live and let live'. I get my hands dirty. I look out the window each day and see I have my work already cut out for me. God provides all my needs. To live with little is difficult. But the truth is that to live with much is impossible. When human beings finally see that selfishness is the real problem, and they have it too; maybe they'll seek to be rid of it, as much as it can be, and begin to help others to the same end. People don't understand for the most part. Many are intellectually self sufficient, and God is an intellectual Being they can think into their lives. They think they can bypass the quilt shame and remorse they carry over the harm they have caused others and themselves. Or give a simple confession of their feelings. Heartfelt as this can be, it is only when we truly understand how our minds have blocked us from God do we begin to have a relationship with Him and ourselves. It's difficult to have a relationship with someone when you don't know who's there. This means seeing your own faults as others do. This is humility, and it takes work.
I do not want to give any the idea that all I did to consciously contact God was what I described above. No, that was just part of what I did to experience God. I gave it as a way that YOU might find it useful in self examination-- and then who knows what.