A question was posed by a client during one of our recent sessions. She’s been reading a lot lately because working with me has opened some significant doors to the spiritual world for her, so she’s trying to absorb as much knowledge and understanding as she can. The question she posed was essentially this:
How do I reconcile the teachings that tell me “you create your own life” with those that tell me to “surrender to Divine Will.”
Honestly, I’ve been asking this very same question in one for or another for a while. In that moment I couldn’t articulate an answer, but I love that she asked it. The difficult questions are the most fun, don’t you think? Have you ever asked yourself this one?
After the session I had time to reflect on this question and whether I’d gotten any further in finding the answer. And if not, hoping to tap into some of that Divine Guidance I’m always talking about. Here’s what I got from that Guidance:
“Defining yourself is a journey. You start life with no definition of self at all. As you become aware of the world around you, you start to recognize the name that others call you, so that becomes your definition of yourself.
As a small child you learn about other things that define you – your age and position in your family, for example. All of these defining characteristics are assigned to you based on others’ observations of you or your relationships with them. You live blissfully ignorant that it could be any other way, and collecting additional labels and definitions of yourself, developing a dependency on your outside world to define you.
Your journey of enlightenment begins in that first moment when you question the labels that have been put upon you. With this new self-awareness comes questions like Who am I really? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
This is milestone #1 in your journey: Recognizing that others do not define you. The first spiritual teachings that you encounter on your journey offer you this message. That’s what they mean when they say ‘You define who you are.’
You live into this new understanding for the next segment of your journey, however long or short that might be for you individually. This portion of your journey teaches you to dream by letting you imagine who you might become if you chose it for yourself. This is the segment in which you learn how to stretch the bounds of possibility.
Milestone #2 happens when you realize all the ways in which you are defining yourself. This includes the idea that you have unconscious thoughts and feelings that influence your behavior. It also includes the awareness that you exist on multiple levels of time and space. You’ve been creating yourself since before you were born; your name, your birthdate, your family, and other factors that make up who you are were actually chosen by you, on the soul level, before you were conceived into this physical realm.
You live in this segment exploring these ideas, becoming more aware of dimensions of time and space while frequently contemplating why your unborn self chose this life circumstance. You also search for your process(es) that will help you take hold of the unconscious aspects of yourself that make you who you are; you ‘do the work’ to shine light upon those influences and release their grasp on your life and your intentions for yourself.
As you master your unconscious influences and sweep away the debris, you reveal a bright light that shines forth from underneath. This is your Higher Self – your connection to Divine Love and Wisdom, and you have reached Milestone #3. Now you’re into the segment of your journey where you become consciously aware of your soul’s desire to walk this world in constant connection with God. The light within you shines bright enough to warm you from within, and you discover that this inner knowing has messages for you; with practice you can hear them more clearly, and they guide you in the direction of your soul’s desires.
By following this light and guidance from within, you return to the original definition of You that your soul created before you were born. You understand that defining yourself was not a solo effort as your mind might imagine, but a beautiful and effortless product of Divine Design, and that you are one of many pieces of a vast universe working together across time and space (and beyond both) to serve a Divine purpose.
In this segment of your journey, you learn through practice how it feels to let go of every definition that your mind has for you and give over to your Higher Self’s definition through this inner knowing. Through trial and error you learn about melding Divine Will with your own. Perhaps most importantly, you let go of any fears from the mind that say you’ll be deprived of something satisfying if you give over to Divine Will. Once you do surrender, even if only for an hour, you experience something far more satisfying than your conscious mind could ever concoct. You are content to let yourself be defined and guided by your Higher Self, God, and all the beings of Love and Light who see you from their higher perspective.”
There are more segments to the journey and more milestones to be reached. When you are ready to know them, the information will come. For now let this be your road map for redefining yourself.
Share a story about a time that you consciously decided to change who you are. What did you change, and how did you do it?