As we all know, there are trying times when states of discouragement literally dog us—following us around as if they’re waiting for us to fall down, never to rise again. On these days, our own lackluster emotions are hounded by thoughts barking at us that nothing is right with our lives. Sound familiar? On these same days, even our smallest wish to part ways with these painful states gets pushed under by waves of doubt so that our resolve to not sink into a malaise feels like a futile struggle against the inevitable!
When falling into deeper and deeper states of feeling discouraged, we can almost hear these unspoken words within, “What’s the point? Why bother?” Then, as though we have heard from the Fates themselves, we accept the dreariness of some can’t do negative state as our guide. Is this how it must be? Must we identify ourselves with what discourages us? The answer to these questions is decidedly no! But to free ourselves from the spell that discouragement casts over our consciousness requires that we uncover the ways that this negative state steals our will and turns us into will-less toadstools! So, let’s begin our journey with a great truth: All discouraging feelings are a lie.
Now perhaps you are already wondering how something with the power to wreck a human life can be unreal. Please make the mental note that this initial truth doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the weight of bleak moments; and neither does it mean that many of us don’t fall beneath their spell and become trampled under their powerful illusion.
No, discouraging states of self can land upon us with the force of a thousand regrets. They sneak in and steal our vitality, infusing the very atmosphere around us with misgivings about our lives. Clearly, just contending with such an adversary is a task, let alone overcoming its negative influences and coming out on top. But that is exactly what we are going to do, beginning with this surprising insight: it makes no difference why we feel the presence of some discouraging darkness within us. When it comes to our eventual conquest of our feelings of discouragement them, the actual cause of them is of no consequence. Let me explain this revelation.
Sometimes we feel discouraged because our past efforts to meaningfully change our lives have not prevailed over what challenges us. We think, why bother to try now? Perhaps we are disheartened because one of our main hopes for happiness suddenly proves hopeless. Maybe we get downcast some days because our body, or our mind, is no longer capable of doing what it once could in our younger years and all we see on the horizon are more limitations.
When it comes to these dispiriting states, the point is it makes no difference what they would have us believe is to blame for their bitterness. The truth is that these dark states don’t need to find a reason outside of us to wreck us. They draw upon all the cause they need to exist within us from the content of our own past experience! What does this mean?.
Negative states, all dark energies that enervate us, only succeed at draining us because they are capable of making us see mentally and emotionally charged images of past defeats. These images, drawn from the storehouse of our memories, seem so real that they validate the existence of our negative conclusions, which brings us to a key lesson deserving of our special attention. The only power dark, discouraging states hold over us is that they get us to identify with feelings of being powerless. And when such strong feelings of futility are accompanied by what is seen, in our own mind’s eye, as being valid because we are given over to unconsciously recall the considerations that make them so, then boom! The trap is sprung. We become the unwitting captives of our own negative imagination! Had enough of feeling like you are never enough? Good! Let the following truths do their healing work.
When we feel discouraged it is just that: we are without the courage we need to attempt whatever it is before usFeeling emotionally drained and mentally depleted, we seem to have nothing to call upon to overcome life’s challenges. We never feel so alone as when we are in the company of dark, discouraging thoughts and feelings, but this dreaded sense of isolation is actually a secret part of its punishing plan. All such hopeless thoughts and feelings want us to feel alone.
Here is a quick glimpse of an amazing insight to help us defeat this darkness at work within us: discouraged states of self can only breed themselves in a specialized sense of isolation, in a dark medium that is able to effect in us the illusion that we have been cut off from the endless resources of Real Life. In other words, the reason why discouraging states hold us captive as they do is that they convince us that the limited darkness of their reality is all there is for us to live within! But such small states only have this last word about the world we live in as long as we agree with what they tell us is true about our possibilities. We can do better than consent to live like this, and here are the steps that ensure our freedom:.
First, we must know in our hearts that our True Nature is not created to live as a captive of any dark condition. If you have never heard this before, then hear it now: no power on earth can restrain the soul that seeks its liberation in the uncontainable truth.
Next we realize, to whatever depth we can conceive, that our own awareness is a living and intelligent feature of the ever-present Now within which it dwells—and that this same timeless Now is omnipresent. It dwells everywhere already, knowing no boundaries. And here we catch a glimpse of another timeless truth: nothing in the universe can capture our awareness any more than a cloud has the power to envelop the sky.
What these last few discoveries teach us is that our awareness of discouragement, or any negative state for that matter, transcends its boundary and already dwells beyond the limits of its confining darkness.
This brings us to this discouragement-busting truth: whenever we will lend our attention to the inner task of working to transcend some dark state at work within us, then in that same moment, even if we don’t see the immediate fruits of our effort, we will have already begun to release ourselves from its restrictions. For our effort to be conscious of our condition instead of remaining its captive, fresh energies flood over and through us, lifting us into the new understanding that who we really are can never be held back! Our willingness to bring that dark, discouraged state into our awareness of it, instead of allowing it to define what we are aware of, has changed our very relationship with life!.
Now the upward path ahead, which was closed off to us only a moment before, opens wide its narrow gate as we open ourselves to the endless resources of a Living Truth. The Now nature newly active within us cannot be walled in by anything, which means that the limitations of former restrictions no longer exist for us. The darkness that once dominated us is literally dismissed because we have chosen the Living Light itself to be our advocate.
So now we know: the Way is already made for us to live in perfect contentment; we need never again suffer for no reason. More than this, we may take great comfort in knowing that nothing in the universe can stop us from realizing this victorious order of our own being, because the Divine has already seen to the truth of it. We need only agree to pay the cost of this higher consciousness, and we will find that the coins we need are already right there in our pocket.
(Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now, Red Wheel Weiser).
About Guy Finley
Best-selling “Letting Go” author Guy Finley’s encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues – relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom – and lead the way to a higher life.
Guy is the acclaimed author of The Secret of Letting Go and more than 37 other books and audio programs that have sold over a million copies in 16 languages worldwide.