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/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
More often than most of us
care to tell, we run into un-
wanted moments that seem to
challenge the very fabric of our
being. Almost anything can be
the proverbial straw that breaks
us: a friend's betrayal, loss of
health or a loved one, unex-
pected financial strain.
Even a shattered dream can
throw us into a dark nightmare.
Certainly, no one gets out of his
or her bed in the morning think-
ing, "Today I hope to encounter
impossible circumstances!"
It is well known that storm-
tossed waves often expose new
treasures along the shoreline;
there is unexpected wealth to
be collected by those who know
the secret value of rough seas.
And yet, even though most of us
have little tolerance for anything
that "rocks our boat," the truth of
the matter is self-evident:
Unwanted moments intro-
duce us to parts of ourselves
that would otherwise never get
healed were it not for the dif-
ficulties that first reveal them,
and that lead us to release their
The problem is that, when
things go "badly," we tend to do
battle! Hoping to put right what's
perceived as having gone wrong,
we work to rebuild our former
sense of self by struggling to re-
store what life has washed away.
But each time we resist life in
this way, we miss uncovering a
new and fearless understand-
ing that is the greatest treasure
of all:
The only reason life changes
as it does is to reveal the secret
goodness underlying those same
When things go "badly" for
us, we're not intended to "re-
turn" to who and what we have
been. To see the good in this
idea, we must be willing to see
that the pain in unwanted mo-
ments can either be a rock into
which we crash time and time
again -- a tempest without ter-
mination -- or that same suffer-
ing can be used as an inflection
point, a place of real change that
exists only when all seems lost.
Let's look at a simple illustration
to illuminate this idea.
When the right two stones
are struck together, a spark will
appear; there is a flash of light.
This same principle holds true
whenever we "collide" with life.
In that instant parts of us that
we've never seen before are
illuminated. For instance, who
hasn't crashed into that dreaded
moment when we realize that
someone we love has had a
change of heart towards us?
Suddenly we see, perhaps for
the first time, how painfully de-
pendent we had become upon
his or her company or approval
and -- connected to that same
fearful neediness -- our willing-
ness to compromise ourselves,
to do whatever it takes to keep
that relationship in place.
It's this "spark" -- the light of
this new and higher self-aware-
ness -- that is our real friend in
unwanted moments. It reveals
what is concealed within us,
releasing us from the psychic
bondage of serving what had
been secretly limiting our right
to live without fear.
If we will fan this spark of
inner light, embrace instead of
resist what it reveals about us, it
becomes a kind of spiritual fire
-- a higher level of awareness
that will always help us to see
the secret goodness in seemingly
"bad" moments.
In this way we discover be-
hind every bitter disappointment
lives the presence of a sweet
light whose power can turn any
unwanted event into a new kind
of victory not yet imagined.
Let me share three ideas with
you about this strange and won-
derful kind of spiritual goodness
that seems to arrive in a pack-
age marked: "Caution! Contents
under pressure!" Welcome their
light into your life and you will
learn to exchange resistance to
unwanted moments for being
receptive to the lessons they
bring with them. Soon you will
know, without taking thought,
the greatest secret in the uni-
All things good come to
those for whom the Good is all
1. Even though we may feel
bad when we lose whatever we
hold near and dear to ourselves,
it is good to see that nothing
in this world -- or that we can
imagine -- is permanent. Learn-
ing to welcome events fostering
this understanding helps liber-
ate us from painful attachments
to relationships, possessions,
and of course, our own bodies.
What follows is freedom from
all forms of false dependency
and their attending fears.
2. Even though we may feel
bad when our sense of self-worth
is shaken by events, it is good
to see in these experiences that
any sense of self derived through
images, social powers, acclaim,
or peer approval is not who we
really are. Learning to welcome
events revealing this truth helps
free us from the impossible task
of trying to be all things to all
people and strengthens our in-
tention to realize our unshakable
original Self.
3. Even though we may feel
bad when we run into a limi-
tation of some kind, it is good
to see that, apart from the cer-
tainty behind our own pressing
demands on life, nothing else
stands in our way. Learning to
welcome events that illuminate
this new understanding reveals
two key lessons about limitless
The more we resist seeing
our own limitations, the greater
they become! When we realize
this truth, we see limitations are
illusions: they exist only for as
long as we resist going through
what we must to prove them
There is an old proverb that
goes something like this: "God
never takes anything from us
without giving us something
greater in return." The task for
those of us who seek the life
divine -- those who seek to live
from their original fearless Self
-- is to prove the trust of this
timeless idea. Through it, we are
set free.
(Excerpted from The Courage to
Be Free, Weiser Books, 2010)
Guy Finley is the best-selling au-
thor of more than 40 books and audio
albums on self-realization. he is the
founder and director of Life of Learn-
ing Foundation, a nonprofit center for
self-study located in southern Oregon
where he gives talks four times each
week. For more information visit
www., and sign up to receive
a free helpful newsletter emailed to
your desktop once each week.
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Guy Finley is the best-selling
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