Chapter 4: A Fulfilling Life
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Many people have trouble letting go of the idea that they cannot control the actions of loved ones and, generally speaking, the actions of other people. By letting go, you gift your brothers and sisters with the opportunity to let them experience their journey in the best way they know how. I know that for some people this is a difficult concept to put into practice, so I offer you the following five steps to help you put into practice the idea of letting go:
- If asked, offer advice but don’t be attached to an outcome.
- Respect how a person chooses to live his or her life.
- Never judge yourself or others for the choices you or they make.
- If you so wish, pray or meditate for clarity.
- Trust that God has the perfect scenario in place, so that the individual can learn his or her lesson in the most fruitful way possible.
First, if you are asked for advice, by all means offer it, but do not be attached to any specific outcome, or to your brother or sister following your advice. My friend, you will save yourself and others years of stress, anger, disappointment and resentment if you allow your brothers and sisters to follow their own hearts. If your brothers and sisters know that they can come to you for advice without criticism and judgment attached to it, you will forever be their sounding board. They, in turn, will forever respect and most importantly, listen to what you have to say. If you are attached to your brothers and sisters following your advice, you will end up judging and criticizing their efforts and decisions. They, in turn, will put up walls every time you question or try to advise them.
Second, respect an individual’s choice and respect how a person chooses to live his or her life. I believe that people, regardless of what they are or aren’t doing, are where they need to be at that point in time. We all have lessons to learn in life, and no one other than God knows for sure what those lessons are. Most of the time, we are not consciously aware of what lessons we are in the process of remembering until after the fact. So if we don’t know what we are learning at that moment in time, how could any other human know what we are to learn and go through? If we have no clue what a person is in the process of learning, then we should try not to make judgments on how they personally choose to proceed. You will have great difficulty achieving peace of mind and joy unless you respect how others choose to live their lives. That means respecting everyone’s choices: the drug dealer on the street, the Pope, a homeless person, the president of the United States. To respect how someone lives his or her life is to be able to look at people without judgment. For example, you can choose to respect a stripper for the human being that he or she is and, at the same time, decide not to support his or her activity financially. To be at a place where you are able to not judge someone’s life requires understanding. You need to understand that you don’t really know how a person’s actions are going to affect him or her or everyone and everything around him or her. You can’t judge him or her, because you really don’t know for sure what lessons that person needs to learn at that point in time. Thus, because we truly don’t understand absolutely everything about the situation, we should not attempt to judge the situation.
The third step toward letting go is to never judge yourself or others for the choices you or they make. You know when you have made the right choice, because you feel peace in your heart. If you make a decision and do not have peace about it, you probably did not make the best choice. Choosing with love brings about a peaceful state; a lack of peace is brought about by choosing without love. But again, something very important must be added here: because you have chosen without love does not mean that God judges you for choosing that way, because He knows that, in the end, you will choose with love. Choosing without love simply allows you an opportunity to know how it feels, and offers you the understanding that your choice brought you a lack of peace. You will therefore put yourself in a similar situation again in order to learn to choose with love. A similar situation will occur and you will have another opportunity to choose with love and receive peace. If you again choose without love, you will experience a little more pain. But this greater pain simply helps you better understand that these are not the kind of choices that are natural to you. The same kind of situation will occur over and over until you learn to choose with love.
The fourth step encourages prayer or meditation in order to receive clarity with regard to your situation. My friend, if you knew how ready the universe is to support you, you would never again question whether your situation is too petty to bring up. You don’t ask God for too much, you ask Him for too little. Clarity is eternally available, and your intent to receive it is all that is needed. If your teachers have told you that no question is too stupid to ask, wouldn’t you think that the universe is at least as wise? My brother and sister, no question is too petty or small for you to bring up. Trust me when I tell you that the universe literally smiles when, through your questions, you align with it.
The fifth step is to trust that God has the perfect scenario in place, so that anyone can learn his or her lesson in the most fruitful way possible. How many times have you planned something, but it didn’t happen and you became upset? In its place, something else happened, and you enjoyed it more or learned more from it than you would have probably learned from your first choice. Someone once said, “If you want to make God laugh, then tell Him the plan you have for your life.” God has the perfect plan for your life, yet something very important must be added here: God’s greatest gift to humans is free will. Free will means that you must make your own choices. My friend, if God offers your brother and sister free will, don’t you think aligning yourself with God makes sense? God, being all-knowing, already knows how your life is going to turn out, and the lessons that you will learn. Yet you still make the choice of how and when you will learn your lessons. So you, along with your spiritual guides, set up opportunities and situations that will give you the best chance to learn the lessons you need to learn. God, and only God, already knows what you are going to choose, but it is still your choice to make. Even your spiritual guides don’t know what you will choose to do; their job is simply to guide you toward making the most loving choice.
I’m not someone who believes in coincidences or accidents. I believe with all my heart that everything happens for a reason. I believe with all my heart that everything that happens, no matter how you choose to perceive it, happens for your own good, so that you might learn something from it. I believe with all my heart that when you meet someone, be it a homeless person, a person at a party, or an individual through the Internet, there is a reason for your meeting. There is something to be learned through the experience. The relationship could last a minute or a lifetime, but it has been offered to you as a gift to assist you on your journey toward becoming a more caring human being, toward understanding your fellow man or woman better, toward becoming more Godlike.
When I meet another human, I try to see the gift that has been placed before me. I look for the opportunity to remember the perfection in my brother or sister. I know that if I can see it in a so-called stranger, I can see it in myself. For, in my heart, I believe that we are all one, that we are all a perfect part of God. From your homeless brother on the street to Jesus himself, we are all a perfect part of God, no one is greater or less than the other. And it is in seeing and experiencing this that I remember that I am also a perfect part of God. I forget this sometimes but I know that forgetting is simply a way of remembering better. So when the gift of the presence of other brothers and sisters is offered to me, the gift I receive is the opportunity to remember my perfection by allowing them to choose their own way; and the gift I offer them is to make their time here, be it a moment or a lifetime, a little gentler, kinder and more loving.
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