Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it! This phrase has been going around in my thoughts for weeks now. It has been echoed by Mick Jagger’s voice, singing:
“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”
The other night, I dreamt of flying over the Valley of Death, a dark landscape of half-exposed corpses stuck in a black bog, thousands of them rotting away in the stagnant scene below me. From my perspective I did not perceive the rotting corpses as horrifying or nightmarish, but as a natural consequence of being human. At one time I might have startled awake, shaking in fright, but this time I calmly noted: “Yes, our bodies will become like that, corpses rotting in a bog when we no longer need them. They are carcasses that will one day reside in the black Valley of Death, but our spirits will live on.” Indeed, as I thought this my dreaming spirit heard a voice that said: “Go toward the light, turn always toward the light.”
I know that once the body’s work is done, we must leave it behind and, without attachment, go into new life.
The Buddhists and the Shamans alike suggest that we create our own reality. If we focus only on negativity, in thought alone, we keep ourselves stuck in negativity. Negativity and negative entities will attach to us, as we become feeding grounds where they know they will find sustenance. We actually compound the situation, bringing more on ourselves, one bad event leading to another as we energetically attach to crisis upon crisis. If we constantly bemoan our state of affairs, crying that our lives are terrible, that nothing goes right for us, that only bad comes to us, then that is what we will get.
I have experienced this myself. In fact, I once believed that I had to accept everything that came to me. “I can handle anything, good or bad,” I said to the universe, feeling powerful, “bring it on!” But one day I got fed up. “I’m sick of bad,” I said, “I only want good now!” And with that simple though hard-earned declaration things began to change significantly for the better. My whole outlook on life began to change too as a result of a new, more positive attitude.
As good began to arrive in my life, the negative slunk away. I learned in the process how to accept goodness from the universe, from others, and, most significantly, from myself. I softened and began to learn how to love myself. I learned the lessons of the Buddhists and Shamans: that I am largely responsible for the world I live in, in fact, that I create it.
In asking for good, I also had to confront what that meant. I got what I needed to propel me forward as I reconnected with my spirit and listened to the truths it told me. I had to leave a lot of my old life behind, leave it to rot in the Valley of Death, without regret and resentment. Those were some very challenging times, but they were also the most transformative times of my life as well.
The biggest challenge of that transformative period, during which I did my recapitulation, was learning how to face myself and my life lived without fixating on having been bad. I learned what it meant to be without judgment. I learned that everything that had happened in my life was necessary. I had to get to the point where I could view everything from a different perspective, as I did in my dream the other night, and clearly see how everything fit together, how everything was meaningful and significant and absolutely necessary for me to get where I am now.
As I turned away from the Valley of Death in my dream and looked into the light all around me, I knew that our spirits always seek the light. They seek what lies beyond the negative, nightmarish outlook we tend to attach to with fear. In the light there is no fear.
If we shift our focus, as the Buddhists and Shamans suggest, to focus on the light, the darkness will shrink away from us. If we change our thoughts to thoughts of joy and peace, love and kindness, as we reject the entities that seek to siphon our energy, we will begin to understand the necessity of their presence in the first place. Shifting our perspective begins with closely and honestly looking at our fears. Rather than focus on them as frightening, and on the Valley of Death as a horrible outcome, we must question the meaning of such symbols in our lives. Where are they leading us? What are they showing us? What are they trying to tell us? Eventually, as we face the darkness within ourselves with curiosity rather than fear, the darkness without will sense our disinterest. It will loosen its hold on us, and our attachment to it will diminish as well.
We may not be able to control how our lives unfold, but we can certainly control how we react. We create our world with our thoughts and what we choose to attach to, but there will come a time when our spirit will ask us to shift our perspective and it will be up to us alone to accept responsibility for doing so.
Accepting responsibility for our lives is perhaps one of our biggest challenges. We may spend a lot of time blaming others, blaming our circumstances, the raw deal we got, the universe colluding against us from the moment of birth. But living life that way, steeped in victimhood, gets pretty stale after a while. Eventually, we learn that our life will not change if we do not make a move on our own behalf.
Today, I wish that joy and peace may be yours, that goodness may come your way, that your thoughts may turn positive, that you may turn toward the light, and that self-nurturing healing and transformation may always be yours,