David R. Moreno
Dec. 26, 2008
As we grow and evolve as humans – be it spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and or physically, there comes a point where we create change in our life in order to alter the current course. This change may be as simple as a conscious decision and it may be as complex as a sequence of events that may seem catastrophic, tragic or extreme causing what is to fall apart in order for what is next to take place.
Regardless of the manner in which we implement change in our lives, it is a natural and necessary component for self mastery and realization. Our ego detests change consequently we adopt a fear of change and as a result so many of us continue in the same old patterns over and over. The fear of change is a burden even to those who think they welcome change and often this fear is what leads us to create circumstances and conditions in our life that seem to sabotage the status quo bringing forth changes in a dramatic way. This is the most common method used to bring about change and the reason it is so popular is that it appeases both the ego as well as the higher self’s need to evolve. However, the part that appeals to the ego is based in the drama surrounding the change and if not kept in check or eliminated altogether, this drama will lead to negative and spiritually inhibiting situations such as nasty arguments, conflictive divorces, hurt feelings through thoughtless remarks, etc.
The fact is, change is the one constant that can be counted on in life and is the very vehicle that we need to reach our goal of self mastery and self realization. Ultimately, once the drama is peeled away, change boils down to one thing – choice. So, in order to bring about the change we need in life, be it thought patterns, habits, addictions, beliefs, relationships, living conditions, environment, profession, or anything else imaginable, in the end it is all brought about by one simple, heartfelt choice.
At this point it is important to note that there is no benefit in labeling our choices as good and bad, right or wrong because in the end the choices we make are exactly what we want or need at the time. While choices have the potential to evolve us or inhibit our evolution, that is not an area for judgment – not by ourselves or by others. This may seem to fly in the face of convention but bear with me. When we make a choice and we begin to live the consequential effects of that choice, we may think at the time that they are “good” or “bad” and we tend to judge our self based on a very limited and frankly ignorant frame of reference. As time goes by, we may see that the consequential effects of that choice played out perfectly in the grander scheme of things as is usually if not always the case.
Does this mean that we have no responsibility for our choices and they will all work out perfectly – of course not. It means that we will live the consequential effects of our choices regardless of how we process those effects. This places the responsibility of evaluating our choices nicely in our lap and that cannot be avoided. Will they work out perfectly in the end – YES, IF we again choose to see the positive side that exists in everything - including life’s more difficult lessons.
This illustrates why the approach of choices through drama is less desirable than a clear conscious choice. When we allow ourselves to implement change through sabotage of what is, or through drama, we are in a spiritually lower plane that is shared with our ego. The ego has never had a self realizing or mastering effect and in fact the ego’s job is exactly the opposite. Our ego is the entity that gives life and expression to our dark side (a subject for another time).
While we understand that conscious choice is preferable to passive change or a more subversive approach, the fact remains that change is alive and well and inevitable.
Throughout our life, we have all made choices that we feel were good ones and others that we regret or worse yet we judge as bad choices. The problem with labeling our choices in the past is several fold and until we learn to move beyond this tendency, we will find ourselves stuck in a very ugly pool of guilt and self punishment. And if we think all of our choices were “good” ones, happily speeding us along the flower laden path to righteousness, we probably think we urinate honey and defecate marshmallows as well. The fact is that reality just is, and every choice has as much potential for light as it does for dark and the determining factor is the intent behind what we choose.
For example: “I dedicate my life to Christ and to serve my fellow men” was the commitment and choice point of a gentleman many years ago that would seem to be a very “good” choice and yet in the name of Christ this man – a Spanish Inquisitor – tortured and killed hundreds of innocent people because they believed differently than he did. My point is that everything has potential for light as well as darkness so nobody can judge a choice – only live it based on the side we want to nurture.
As we move through life, we will find that it is much simpler when we get to the point where we make conscious, thought out choices rather than allowing the more passive self sabotage ego based option to push forth or worse yet to react to life only when life “happens” to us – which is where 90% of humanity blissfully resides. However, every choice we have ever made is what has made us who we are right this very moment. They have defined our situation in life, our job, our relationships, their quality, our possessions, our hobbies and everything about us as it is right now.
As humans we have a very compelling tendency or egoic need to judge, label and consequently mentally reward or punish ourselves for our choices in the past. This guilt we feel when we resurrect past scenarios that have played out as a result of past choices is pretty much a waste of emotion. If we can agree that the past is gone and therefore no longer exists, the future is not here yet so it doesn’t exist either and all that really matters is right now because it is the only thing that exists – then we will readily see that by beating our self up or judging our self for past choices is only doing one thing – robbing us of everything we have. Think about it, if nothing exists but the now, and we are spending our now beating our self up for something that no longer exists, we are sacrificing everything that is to be somewhere that is no longer. Does it really make sense to do that?
Along the same lines is rehashing or refusing to let go of things that have happened to us that we feel are unjust, unfair or evil. In the end, everything in the past is gone, it is over and done and no matter how much we complain, re-live it, judge it, justify it or condemn it, the only thing we gain is the buildup of bile and toxic substances as well as thoughts in our mind and body. NOTHING can come from a refusal to let go of the past regardless what that past may be because it is no longer there. What is the point of holding on to something that is no longer there? That is our ego in all its glory and nothing more.
At a young age, I was given many opportunities professionally and socially that included a great deal of responsibility and a certain status. I expounded on these starting new businesses, moving up the ranks of my religion etc. When the time came to choose differently, I held on to this past citing it, referring to it and clinging to it as part of my identity because I judged my position at the time against what it was and deemed it as less than what it had been before. This deep subconscious judgment had me clinging to an image of a time long gone by and very subtly looking down at where I was, based on a very limited scope of qualifiers or gauges. What a waste of time! And we all do it in one way or another. Past relationships, jobs, positions, etc. In my case, I saw the difference in terms of income and social status but conveniently overlooked the fact that I was a far kinder, gentler and more loving person. I was in a positive and uplifting relationship and I was moving towards what I really wanted many times faster than before. In the end, when I was finally able to let go of this false identity based in the void of the past, I discovered that who I am now is the sum of my choices and the experience of their natural consequences. If I want it to be different, all I have to do is choose differently and move onward. That choice point is in the now – not the past, not the future and if we are present when making our choices, we will be much happier with them than if we make them based in a time that doesn’t exist.
What about the lessons of the past? Don’t they have value? Shouldn’t we study the past to glean lessons so we can improve our future? The simple answer is NO. Before I lose you on this, let me explain – as we make choices, the consequences are inevitable and automatic, the lessons are EXPERIENCED as we live the consequences. Our life EXPERIENCE is not lost, it is imprinted in our very cells. Our analysis of things past is tainted by our very limited understanding of our own divine nature and until we understand that, we will tend to judge ourselves. By making our choices in the present and detached from the past, we have the benefit of untainted experience to draw from and a clear concept of where we are, where we want to be and how we will most effectively get there. This is because we are not burdened by a skewed perception of something unreal and nonexistent – in fact we are allowing the now, the experiential sum of our past to objectively proceed with choices that will bring powerful and beautiful consequences to our life that will be conducive to self realization.
Another aspect to this is the tendency we have to justify the past. This is usually the step that follows our judgment and is invariably as futile in terms of personal evolution.
Justification to our self or others of past choices or events is another waste of energy, emotion and the sacred now. Whatever took place in the past is over and done – it is what it is or better stated was what it was. We can dress a turd in silk but a turd it remains, we can bathe beauty in mud but beauty remains. Choices that we wish we had made differently cannot be undone by justifying them. In fact, the dark side of the choice is drawn out by justification and its dark effect poisons our life while we deaden the effect through the narcotic of the justification itself.
For example, many years ago, I felt a need to change the direction of my life and I knew it would be a dramatic change as it meant a change from a relationship that was not healthy and a religion that no longer served me. I lived with the turmoil of the less direct approach and opted for the longer more dramatic approach of sabotage. The effects of the consequences were of course more dramatic for my children and everyone else involved – especially myself. In the end, the changes came about and eventually things moved in the direction I foresaw as what I needed for my personal evolution. However, the drama associated with the circumstances leading up to the changes, excommunication, adultery, divorce, heartache, etc. could easily have been mitigated had I had the clarity and courage to just choose differently and proceed accordingly in a strait forward way. But I didn’t and the drama as I clung to it, drew me into it more and more invoking a judgment and in order to feel right with myself a justification – I would have committed suicide had I stayed, we were wrong for each other, everyone is better off this way, I was blinded by dogma, etc. And while these things may or may not be true, they are attachments to something that no longer exists and consequently don’t matter anymore. By justifying the past, I was clinging to it and giving power to the dark side of my choices. When I was able to release the past, the beauty of the light side of my choices (independent of the drama created in the moment at the time) was evident and the personally evolving aspects surged to the forefront changing my reality by being in and appreciating the now as merely the sum of the past but dependent entirely on my next choice which has the power to change it all.
That brings us to the next reason that judgment and justification of the past is a waste of energy and the now. Every choice we make has the potential to completely alter the effects of past choices and we don’t have the ability to know how or to what degree in the moment or through analysis no matter how clear we think we are. The important thing is to choose based on the now and hopefully on bringing more light to our life and we will inevitably enjoy the consequences and their effect in our life.