Monday, May 8, 2017

Do Not Make Yourself Comfortable

Most people hope to achieve comfort and security in this life. To be comfortable and to feel safe are considered desirable. People work hard to make money in order to try to secure a time when they can either take a vacation or, in later years, retire “comfortably.” It is assumed that comfort is a worthy goal.  

It is exactly the opposite for the spiritual warrior. The warrior knows that comfort and complacency are disguised demons that lure and seduce one away from the flow of love that is the energized momentum of the soul. This flow may or may not be comfortable. This flow does not designate one way over the other; it does not distinguish one way as better than another. The spiritual flow is realized by acceptance of everything. Comfort or discomfort are accepted equally. The key is for the soul to learn how to accept everything just as it is, without wanting anything in particular and without resisting any challenge that may arise.

When the personality chooses comfort and complacency as a fixed or desirable state of being, the flow is interrupted and stagnation sets in. This state looks like one thing, but it is really another. From the outer perspective, comfort looks so desirable and fulfilling. From the inner perspective, however, when anything becomes fixed, it becomes an obstacle that stops the flow of love from streaming forth. As soon as one wants to hold onto anything—comfort, money, position, etc.—the energy gets backed up and the flow ceases.

Money is a good example of this. People work hard to make money and then work hard to keep it. The truth is that money is simply an energy. It is one of the many, infinite resources that, if allowed to flow—with acceptance as it flows in, and with gratitude and letting go as it flows out—becomes a natural, stress-free cycle of grace. If one fixates on money too much, it festers and turns into greed. Greed is a feeling that says, This is all there is, or, Someone may take this away from me, so I have to hold onto as much of it as I can. It might also say, The more money I have, the more power and control I will have.

Each person chooses, according to his or her own karmic blueprint, which way to go. The paradox is that if you never want to be without, then let go and give without strings attached. If you want to be safe and secure, then take risks and live outside your comfort zone. The key to spiritual flow is exquisitely expressed in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
And where there is sadness joy.
Grant that I might not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in the giving that we receive,
It is in the pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.