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Clearing the Way

"Why can't I be like other people and just get a job?"

Hi Ayal,

I have come a long way since I wrote to you last. I did not want to do the step that required me to stop drinking then. But I have now been with Alcoholics Anonymous for three weeks and have been sober since and want to stay so. I am feeling the joy of a clearer mind and thinking and I feel more at ease with myself, I feel more love toward myself so that I don't have to beat myself up with my addiction to drugs and alcohol. A lot of other silly things also do not interest me anymore, eg. certain people and their games. I feel that a lot of good is to come, I just find it hard to look after myself in finding a job, I feel paralysed and not ready to work, but I have little money left to live on, and I have lost my home again. It all is really different from a sober point of view, but am I just fooling myself here, why can't I be like other people and just get a job, any job? What is so bad for me about going normal, about providing for myself?

There is a block and I don't know where to start, really it is quite overwhelming in a way to not take any substances anymore and having to deal with feelings, situations, and people. I know it's just early days and I am also not trying to push myself here as I have done over the years. Yes, somehow I am exhausted also; there is a lot of disillusionment when one sobers up from years of self abuse, it's a kind of running the blade at the moment but with a deep sense of connection to the divine also. I know that you wrote to me about trust, I am trying to be IT, to have it in my every cell. I am still thinking that I can manage my life, when my program (AA) says that I can't. Is what I need a total let go? If so what is keeping me from totally letting go, this old machine needs to stop grinding!!! Happy Christmas to you and lots of Love. I know I am on my way now, NO RETURN. Thanks for your support.


Hi - I am always glad to hear from you and find out how you are doing. Thanks for touching in. Well, Here's the thing. You've lived in a lot of pain and blockage for a long time, right? Healing that doesn't happen overnight. It's not a quick fix, as much as we all would like it to be. During certain phases of our development, it can take time to undo what was there for so long and create it anew. Just this morning my husband and I were discussing an issue that he has worked on quite a while, but that is still showing up and causing some difficulties. He, too, was impatient and disheartened for a bit, saying "But I've already worked on this so much!"

I've been there many, many times, myself. We all have. My reply to him was the same I am giving you. It takes time. If we try to heal something too fast, we can implode. There are levels of development to everything, and it's important to realize that there are important steps to take and insights to get along the way that then allow for the next level to unfold. We must build our foundation to stand on to support the changes we choose to make. If you've been in a dark room for days and all of a sudden someone turns on a light, it can be blinding and do damage. The light is wonderful, and we want to bring it in, but we must build up to receiving and holding it appropriately.

There is a story Yogananda, an enlightened Master and great teacher from India, tells about a man who came to learn from him. This man was an alcoholic and was not able to give it up just like that. Yogananda's other students and disciples were appalled that Yogananda would teach him while he continued to drink. What Yoganada did was give him Kriya beads and the Kriya meditation technique. Symbolically, Yogananda said, it was as if the man sat there saying his prayers with a wine glass in one hand and the Kriya beads in the other. What Yogananda told his disciples was that the more this man experienced the Kriya meditation and saw how great it made him feel, and experienced its deep spiritual benefits, little by little he would recognize that he felt so much better and got what he needed from that, that he would eventually be able to let go of the need to drink. And he did.

We have to give ourselves a foundation to stand on before we undertake a huge project. The I Ching has a hexagram that speaks of gradual progress. The image it uses is of a tree growing. It doesn't grow all at once. If it grew huge and tall before its roots had time to grow deep to hold it steady, it would fall over. All lasting things of value must develop slowly, according to its own timing. I think that this process gives us the chance to love ourselves. If we are impatient with ourselves, or berate ourselves for not doing it fast enough, or good enough, we have forgotten to love ourselves. Would you look at a young tree doing its utmost to grow through wind and storm and rain and berate it for not being bigger sooner? No. It's the same with us. It's an exercise in Loving ourselves, and this is what your journey is all about, yes? Being impatient with yourself or others, trying to make it be faster or different than it needs to be, is using power over someone or something. Power Over is not love. It comes from fear. When we go into fear, all we need to do is recognize that we are in fear, and remember that fear is not truth, but an illusion. Then we call on God or the angels or the masters or our own heart to help us return to Love again. It's a process.

Jack Kornfield has this great analogy in his taped series of classes called The Inner Art of Meditation. In it he talks about how difficult it can be to discipline the mind. He says training the mind is like trying to training a puppy to pee on the newspaper. You put the newspaper down and you say to the puppy: "Stay. Stay." Does the puppy stay? Not a chance. It bounces all around the room. So, do you get angry and beat the puppy up? No. You gently put it back on the newspaper and say: "Stay. Stay." Does it stay? Not a chance. But you gently and firmly continue the process until finally one day the puppy gets it.

So, be gentle with yourself and continue to love, appreciate, and discipline yourself gently. Continue to surround yourself with the great support you are getting in AA. I think that was a very important and brave thing to do. See what is is that you ARE doing, and focus on that.

In answer to your question about what you see as a discrepancy between what they teach in AA, and the approach of creating your own reality - there really isn't one. In AA, you have set your goal to manifest what you choose - in this case sobriety and support. Then you turn it over to God to help you. I guess one could say that the approach used in Clearing the Way is actually the same, in that first you need to admit what you are doing - admitting that you have the problem, or issue, or belief pattern. Then, in order to change that belief pattern, you must turn to the heart, or the feeling side of our nature. It is only when we use the energy of the heart, our God Self, that we create new patterns or new energy. The heart is where all creation comes from. It is emotion (E-motion, or energy put into motion) that moves thought into manifestation. When we feel something strongly, that is when we create.

So, I would say that the approach used in Clearing the Way is that first we identify the thought, and recognize the emotion behind the thought. Then we choose what we would rather create, and what we would rather feel. Which is what you are doing in AA. You'd rather be sober. We set the goal, or what we are choosing to manifest, how we are choosing to be in this life, but then we turn the details of how it will manifest over to Spirit. We can't see the entirety of the big picture as the God Force does - how all the puzzle pieces have to come into alignment to have it all work out in the best way for all. That's too much for us in our individualized little God bodies. So, we must turn it over to Spirit to work that all out - we have to let go and trust. In that way, Clearing the Way is very much an approach that calls for trust and surrendering to the power of the Divine, or Creative Force of the Universe, as AA emphasizes.

Thinking that you are different from everybody else - not as normal as, or worse than, or more dysfunctional than others is a mistaken belief. It comes from fear, correct? You are no different from anyone else. When you can see this, you develop greater compassion, both for yourself, and for others, without judgment. The first lesson of life found in the first chakra, when we incarnate into a tribe or family, our own particular family as well as the larger tribe or family of humanity, is that All is One. Then, at the end of our journey, when we have reached a more developed state of higher awareness, at the 7th chakra, the lesson is the same: One is All. Yes, your journey is your own and is unique and special and wonderful, as each snowflake is different from others, but we're all snowflakes falling from the sky and making this same journey, right? I invite you to see whether or not you have this strong belief that you are so different from, in a negative way, everyone else, and if you do, to play around with transmuting it using the core belief formula in the Laws of the Universe. How can you succeed and hold a job or believe you deserve a home if you have a belief that you are a pariah in some way? Of course then, you would continue to create experiences that match that belief. Is that a belief you choose to continue to have?

Everything that presents itself as a challenge or difficulty in our lives is actually our greatest teacher. It presents itself in order to get you to where you are going. In the book Conversations with God, it states that because we are in this world of duality, we have to have, initially, one side of the coin, so to speak, in order to experience the other. In other words, we have to have the experience of falling down in order to feel what it's like to get up. Use and recognize your challenges as the teachers they are. If one experiences self loathing, what is that spurring you on to experience? Love. It isn't a curse then, but a teacher. Seeing it this way frees you from judgment, which is not Love. It helps you see the bigger picture of what's going on, and what you came here to learn.

Many blessings, Ayal

next 172. "I haven't gotten my menstruation since last september and I'm very worried"

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