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Stop Looking for Good Reasons to Feel Bad!

Key Lesson: Of this . . . you may be certain: any time you go looking for a reason why you feel so sad, mad, or miserable, you can be sure you'll find what you're looking for!

Freedom From the Fear of Feeling Powerless

Real power isn't the ability to imagine and implement an endless series of new solutions to old problems, but to awaken the higher understanding that allows us to transcend the need we have to live with any painful problems at all. Which would you rather have: a big fire hose with a hydrant and a fire to put out every day, or a life without fires in them?

But what we have to examine here is the way we think! Most of us wouldn't know what to do if there wasn't something pressing us. Isn't it weird that we'll come up with a path, a solution, something that we're going to do, that once we do it we'll become whatever we've imagined? No more pressure, no more fear -- but then, the very thing that we set out to obtain, to make us fearless, to take the pressure out of our lives, becomes the source of a new fear and a new pressure! And then when that doesn't work, we do it again, and again, and again.

We have no idea of the power that we're created with. We are granted at birth the possibility of a freedom that has absolutely no contingencies whatsoever that can fall apart because the conditions in our lives do.

The kind of power I'm talking about is so simple. For instance, ordinarily we're trying to obtain things so that we can control or manipulate conditions, but we're not talking about that. Instead, how about the authority over our own negative reactions? That's a completely different kind of power, isn't it? To possess ourselves as opposed to trying to possess things or relationships through which we have a measure of security. The power to possess ourselves can't be granted by anyone or anything outside of us. It doesn't exist. No teacher, no book, nothing can grant us what it is that our heart of hearts actually longs for.

But something has gotten twisted up inside of us. We set out for life the minute we're born through family and tradition. We see our parents -- and every last person we meet -- striving for the power to achieve or protect. It never occurs to us that all we've seen and done in our lives has not produced what it is we're looking for. If we ever get far enough to even suspect the truth of that, then it turns the whole question on a dime.

What we then want to do is understand the nature of this illusion we have of being powerless in the first place! Because who seeks power? Who seeks power other than someone who feels powerless? That is the only reason that a person looks for power, whatever it may be. It is because something inside of us is afraid. So where did the whole notion come in this life that there is something that we're to live with that produces fear in us, and for the fear then sends us out for ways to find power to fulfill the end of our own fears?

The true powers put us in relationship with what grants us power instead of us looking for powers to control relationships as we presently do. There is a reversal that has to take place in our understanding. This reversal begins with the simple act of understanding what we've been talking about, which is: "I'm afraid of something... I'm going to go have dinner with someone in a few minutes," or "I have a meeting tomorrow," or "My health isn't what it should be..." What happens in the moment where the mind considers its own condition? It can't help but consider at the same time everything that it has collaborated with to make as perfect -- its expectations, "how things should be." The more it tries to keep what it wants, the more it refuses what it's been given. In other words, there are possibilities that are all the time being handed out to us that we simply push away because there is something in us that prefers the pain of trying to control problems -- while in reality they don't exist the way our mind imagines them.

Work to remember yourselves. Work to remember that at any given moment you don't have to be captured by anything that presently causes this compromise of your soul. Remember, there are always higher possibilities.

This article is excerpted from Seven Powers ("Freedom From the Fear of Feeling Powerless").

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