October 10

A friend had gone to work for an employer with a reputation for dishonesty. Then he wondered, in the end, why that employer lied, conned, and screwed over him. Story’s not over. He ran into the employer years later and got mixed up with him again.

“I was trying to make him be honest with me. I was insisting that he treat me fairly this time.” We all know the ending. He got screwed over again.

Dancing with the devil is seductive—in work and in love. It’s an enticing challenge; we want to make somebody change, treat us right, and give us what we know we deserve. Not living up to our own values can be seductive too. “This situation is an exception,” we think. “This time, the values I believe in don’t really apply.”

It’s easy to look around at the world and think that the only ones who really make it are the people who lie, cheat, and steal. Or we see something we really want, and we believe we can’t get it honestly, so we set our values aside for a time.

Acknowledging other people’s lack of integrity usually hurts. At least it stings. By the time we see it, we may be in over our head. “I’ll just keep dealing with this person,” we think. “Try and recoup my losses so I don’t lose any more.”

I’m as prone to dancing with the devil as anyone else. We pay a price each time we do.

Challenge: The hardest part about living with values can be simple pride. It’s hard to admit that we got conned. It can be humiliating to admit that we can’t have what we want, or that we’ve not lived up to our values, or that we have a lesson to learn because we made a mistake. Here’s a hint: Learn to take your losses and run.

OCTOBER 9: The Scattered Pieces Will Come Together

Scattered pieces. Sometimes we look around, and that’s what we see. Scattered pieces of ourselves, our lives, a project, a season of our lives. Where is the connecting thread, we wonder? How can we ever pull this together into something that makes sense, something with purpose, something with meaning?

There are pieces to every whole; yet each piece is complete. Don’t worry about how they will come together. Work joyfully on the piece that’s before you, the piece that’s in your life today.

There are many pieces of you, many beautiful parts. The universe will help you bring all those parts alive. It will bring mirrors to you, people who will reflect those beautiful pieces back to you. Look in the mirror of your life. What pieces do you see reflected? Know it’s you you’re seeing. Then let that part of you come alive.

Pull in the parts of yourself, the many beautiful parts that have come alive. Beckon your warrior, your healer, your playful child. Bring together your professional self, your adult, the passionate part of you, the nurturing part. Let all the parts come together. Don’t send any of them away. You need them all. Each is a beautiful piece of the soul, the life, the person you are.

Trust. Trust the process. Joy is yours, available for the asking and the desiring—even in the developmental stages. Even before the puzzle has been put together. The scattered pieces will come together—the scattered pieces of yourself, your project, your life. The connecting thread is love.

The picture will be beautiful. Wait and see.

Learning to Wait: October 8

I’ve started to realize that waiting is an art, that waiting achieves things. Waiting can be very, very powerful. Time is a valuable thing. If you can wait two years, you can sometimes achieve something that you could not achieve today, however hard you worked, however much money you threw up in the air, however many times you banged your head against the wall….

—The Courage to Change by Dennis Wholey

The people who are most successful at living and loving are those who can learn to wait successfully. Not many people enjoy waiting or learning patience. Yet, waiting can be a powerful tool that will help us accomplish much good.

We cannot always have what we want when we want it. For different reasons, what we want to do, have, be, or accomplish is not available to us now. But there are things we could not do or have today, no matter what, that we can have in the future. Today, we would make ourselves crazy trying to accomplish what will come naturally and with ease later.

We can trust that all is on schedule. Waiting time is not wasted time. Something is being worked out—in us, in someone else, in the Universe.

We don’t have to put our life on hold while we wait. We can direct our attention elsewhere; we can practice acceptance and gratitude in the interim; we can trust that we do have a life to live while we are waiting—then we go about living it.

Deal with your frustration and impatience, but learn how to wait. The old saying, “You can’t always get what you want” isn’t entirely true. Often, in life, we can get what we want—especially the desires of our heart—if we can learn to wait.

Today, I am willing to learn the art of patience. If I am feeling powerless because I am waiting for something to happen and I am not in control of timing, I will focus on the power available to me by learning to wait.

October 7: Tell yourself how simple it is

Here’s another example about the power of simplification.

For years, I heard about hiking. It sounded so elusive, difficult, and mysterious. I didn’t do it, but I thought about hiking wistfully. One day, a friend asked me to go hiking with him. “Sure,” I said. As the day of our hike approached, I began thinking things through. I was getting a little nervous. What if I couldn’t do it well enough? What if I didn’t know how to do it at all?

Don’t be ridiculous, I scolded myself. You’re making this much more complicated than it really is. Hiking is just walking, and you’ve been doing that since you were ten months old.

The next day, I arose at 6:00 a.m., and my friend and I left for our hike. I followed my friend as he began walking up the steep incline.

Just walk, I told myself after the first ten steps. Put one foot in front of another. Walk like you’ve done all your life.

I didn’t make it to the top of the mountain that day, but I made it almost halfway.

Is there something you’ve wanted to do but have put off because it sounds too difficult and complicated? Are you saying no to something in your life that you’d like to say yes to, but it seems elusive and out of your reach? Try reducing the task or activity to its simplest form.

I have a friend who hadn’t dated for years. One day, a girl he liked asked him to go to the movies. He was anxious and nervous.

“Going to a movie is just sitting down and staring at the screen, then getting up and going home when you’ve finished,” I said. “I think you can do that.”

“You’re right,” he said. He went and had a great time.

Sometimes, we can scare ourselves out of doing the easiest things in life. Yes, hiking involves more than walking. And going on a date with someone involves a little more than sitting and staring at a screen. But not that much more. Simplify things. Bring them down to their most manageable level. Instead of talking yourself out of living, learn to talk yourself into it.

God, give me the courage to fully live my life. Help me deliberately talk myself into doing things, instead of scaring myself away.

October 6

I was walking through my house stomping my feet and whining about a seemingly impossible problem I was facing. That’s when I remembered that stomping my feet, whining, and resisting will not solve the problem. It will not make it go away. Practicing my values will.

Gratitude Focus: This week, we can practice gratitude for the lesson we’re learning right now, whether or not we understand it yet. Sometimes the best teachers are tough circumstances. We can be grateful for those teachers too.

OCTOBER 5: Spiritual Growth Can Be Easier Now

For so long, you thought that spiritual growth, healing, life had to be hard. And it was—for many reasons.

That’s no longer the case. Do you see the rose struggling and straining to grow? Do you see a tree pushing and forcing its growth? Your growth can unfold as naturally, as inevitably, as beautifully as the tender shoots of a rose break through first with green, then a bud, then a fully opened flower. You have committed to life, you have committed to growth, you have committed to opening your heart and taking the journey. That is enough.

The rest will be revealed to you in time. The answers will become clear. The visions, the guidance, the leadings you are seeking will come. All you need to guide you through life will come—quiet spiritual awakenings, quiet revelations that profoundly change your life. Each awakening will take you to the next place. Each will lead you home.

Don’t worry about what you have to do to achieve
spiritual growth. Let yourself be. The growth will
happen, and it will happen naturally and easily.

Faith and Money: October 4

Sometimes, there is not enough money to make ends meet, much less afford any luxuries.

People may tell us to do a budget, and we chuckle. The expenses we need to pay for survival surpass the income.

We look at the situation, shake our heads, and say, “No way.”

Many of us have had to live through these situations. This is not the time to panic; this is not the time to despair.

Panic and desperation will lead to bad judgment and desperate moves. This is the time to substitute faith for fear. This is the time to trust God to meet our needs.

Take life one day and one need at a time. Use your survival skills positively. Know your possibilities are not limited by the past or by your present circumstances.

Examine any blocks that might be stopping the flow of money in your life. Do you have an attitude, an issue, a lesson that might be yours to change or learn?

Maybe the lesson is a simple one of faith. In Biblical times, it is said that Jesus walked on the water. It is said His followers could, too, but the moment they let fear take over, they sank.

During financial hard times, we can learn to “walk on water” with money issues. If we make out a budget, and there’s not enough money to survive and pay legitimate expenses, do your best, then let go. Trust your Source to supply your needs. If an emergency arises, and there is no cash to meet the need, look beyond your wallet. Look to your source. Claim a Divine supply, an unlimited supply, for all that you need.

Do your part. Strive for an attitude of financial responsibility in thought and action. Ask for Divine Wisdom. Listen to God’s leadings. Then let go of your fears and your need to control.

We know that money is a necessary part of being alive and living; so does our Higher Power.

God, bring any blocks and barriers within me concerning money to the surface. Help me take care of myself financially. If money is tight, I will dispel fear and learn to “walk on water” concerning finance issues. I will not use this attitude to justify irresponsibility. I will do my part, including letting go of fear and trusting you to do the rest.

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