Do You Have A Personal Spiritual Connection?
How are we doing as inhabitants of this beautiful planet? Sometimes we need to take stock of ourselves – personally, nationally and globally. On a personal level, do the majority of us see life as a sacred privilege or do we experience life as a burden or a sentence? As a society, are we healing our nation’s ills and addressing the critical issues of our time? As a planet, are we creating caring connections? And are these questions connected in a crucial way?
Judging from what I read in the news and from the thousands of individuals whose healing I have facilitated over the past many years, too many of us experience life as a burden instead of the privilege it is meant to be. There is a good reason for this: most people, even if they believe in a Higher Power/God, do not experience a direct, personal connection with a spiritual Source of love, power and wisdom. They may attend church or temple, they may pray or meditate, but a personal connection to a reliable Source of love and guidance eludes them. Without a deep, powerful, and personal connection to a Divine Source of love and guidance, we are left feeling like children crying in the night, desperate and alone. From this inner aloneness, resulting from the self-abandonment that often occurs when there is no solid spiritual connection, spring the problems of our society: anxiety, depression, illness, substance abuse and other forms of addiction (gambling, spending, sex, and so on), divorce, crime, and all forms of violence.
This internal disconnection extends outward and leads to collective disconnection on a massive, unconscionable scale. We are living in an emotionally challenged country where millions of Americans rely on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for internal stability. The intolerable trend toward violence, especially among youth, shows no sign of waning. To add to the country’s seemingly insidious disintegration, marriages are evaporating at an alarming rate.
It is time to become aware that each of us as individuals carries a responsibility for the collective whole. A disconnected planet is comprised of disconnected individuals, and while we may not be directly responsible for the external crimes and violence, each personal choice we make, and act we take, reverberates on the global web that connects us all. If we want to turn the tides and heal the planet, it is time for us as individuals to turn our attention within and commit to our inner work. It is through this inner attention that we can regain our souls, thereby affecting sustainable change for the collective whole.
This might sound good, but what does it really mean to turn our attention within and commit to our inner work? First and foremost, it means we need to commit to being aware, moment by moment, of the simple concept of intent – a concept capable of changing the existing unsuccessful paradigm and bringing about enormous change within our society.
As Inner Bonders, you know that our intent is our primary motivation – what is most important to us in any given moment, and that there are only two intents from which we can choose:
* The intent to protect ourselves through some form of control – over others, outcomes, or our own feelings – in order to get love, avoid pain, and attempt to feel safe in the external world.
* The intent to learn about what is loving to ourselves and others, thereby creating internal safety.
Our intent is the most powerful tool we have. It is the intent to learn about love – about what is in our own and others’ highest good – that opens the door to personal connection with your spiritual guidance. Unfortunately, most of us have learned – from our parents, peers, TV and movies – to operate from an intent to protect ourselves with anger, blame, withdrawal, resistance, violence, substance abuse and other addictions. The intent to protect is responsible for our disconnection from a spiritual Source. This results in unbearable inner aloneness and leads to many of the problems on our planet, including violence against others.
It is a vicious circle: we grow up learning to protect rather than learning about loving behavior; the intent to protect closes us off from experiencing Divine love and guidance, which leads to inner aloneness; our unbearable aloneness leads us to try to protect ourselves, in ways that are harmful, which further cuts us off from our own souls, leading to deep feelings of fear and anxiety, which lead to further protections, and so on and so on.
Intent is a simple concept – but with such profound impact. Our society has been protecting to try to feel safe for a long time; clearly, it is not working. We will not feel safe until we do not feel alone within, and we will continue to feel alone within until we develop a personal, ongoing spiritual connection.
Our intent to protect automatically shuts out the very love and guidance we so desperately need. On the other hand, the moment we choose the intent to learn about loving, the heart opens and Divine Love fills us. At that moment, with a spiritual source surrounding us and filling us, we know that life is a privilege through which we are given the opportunity to heal and grow. Life never ceases to present us with challenges, but the intent with which we meet these challenges will determine whether life is experienced as a constant burden or a learning adventure.
Our Creator gave us free will, which ultimately means the freedom to choose our intent. If each of us practiced Inner Bonding and changed our intent from protecting and controlling to learning and loving, this internal change could eventually change the world!
[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]