Seeing Through Defeat and Discouragement

by Guy Finley – 

The more you know, the farther you can see, so take as long as you need with the following Higher Lesson and allow yourself to see something new about the true nature of discouragement. Then watch how a new and greater personal freedom dawns in your life.
The only purpose discouraged feelings serve is to keep your thoughts on what you can’t do. And with your attention fixed in this fashion on the impossible, there’s no room for discovering what is possible — for what you can do.
Let’s cover this important discovery one more time.
The only thing that discouraged feelings do is to keep you busy doing nothing except feeling sorry for yourself, which is the perfect guarantee that your sorry situation will remain hopelessly the same. Enough is enough! You don’t have to put up with one more discouraged day. That’s right.

There is another choice you can learn to make besides falling into those familiar feelings of failure. Use this next Higher Idea to help you start thinking about those old discouragements in a new way.

Whenever we suffer over what we aren’t able to do, have, win, grasp, or work through, our attention in these moments is always riveted on our own thoughts — thoughts that are busy telling us we’re somehow stuck. Maybe you can recognize some of these heavy-hearted inner voices?

They say in one way or another . . .

  • “I’ll never get out of this mess.” 
  • “I’m too stupid to learn these things.” 
  • “I must have done something terrible to deserve this!” 
  • “There’s no point in going any farther.” 
  • “This is definitely hopeless.”
Now on the surface of things, these all-too-familiar whispers of defeat — these voices that reach our inner ears, speaking to us with our own voice — seem to be genuinely concerned with our unfortunate condition. But a deeper look into their covert operation reveals something totally different. Follow the next four new ideas closely and see something that is both shocking and self-liberating.
1. The more these gloomy voices talk to us, the more discouraged we feel.
2. The more discouraged we feel, the more certain we are that we have no other choice but to feel that way.
3. And the more convinced we are that we have no choice, the less choice we have.
4. These unconscious inner dialogues actually produce the very dead-end we fear!

We end up being able to go no farther with our wish for broader personal horizons because, unbeknownst to ourselves, we now unconsciously believe that there’s no way to get past where it is we perceive ourselves to be limited or tied down.

The key idea in this part of our investigation lies within the word “perceive.”

For the purposes of this study, always remember that the word “perceive” rhymes with deceive. And that’s precisely what this faulty perception is: a self-deception. Here’s proof.
There are no dead ends in Real Life. That’s right. Now here’s why this is true.
There are no dead ends in Real Life because — in any given moment — there is always something Higher to do with your life besides suffering over what you think you can’t have or do or be. Here’s just one example of a Higher Action you can learn to take when faced with the presence of any discouraging inner state.
See that the size of the discouragement you feel is directly proportionate to the size of your insistence that life conform to your demands. Then, having verified this truth for yourself, dare to quietly drop that self-defeating demand.
Now watch in amazement as your discouraged feelings fade away, leaving you with fresh new energies that allow you to not only see a brand new way to proceed with your wish, but which also grant you the strength to begin that next new leg of your quest.
For instance, maybe you’ve felt discouraged because you wanted to learn something new — a higher skill or a difficult lesson — but felt sure that it was beyond your abilities. And so you just resigned yourself to feeling discouraged. While this kind of self-defeating behavior is commonly accepted as natural, it’s totally unnecessary. You can learn to do something Higher.

Instead of falling into those familiar feelings of futility over yourself, try dropping that unconscious demand that you have to be who you think you should be. And then, instead of dwelling in discouragement over who your own thoughts are telling you you’ll never be, get started working on who, and what, you are right now.

In other words, do what’s in your power and refuse to be discouraged about anything else. And keep repeating this new conscious action one step at a time, over and over again. It is in your power to learn whatever it takes — one lesson at a time — and make it all the way to your designated goal.
Here’s one last special thought to help summarize this important life-lesson in liberating ourselves from dark discouragements. Let it reveal a life free of all doubts and despondency:
Any conversation you permit yourself to have with discouraging thoughts guarantees you’ll wind up with a good reason for feeling discouraged. When it comes to any negative thought, the first word you have with it is the same as giving it the last word with you.
Practice these Higher Lessons in self-liberation until you’re free of all feelings of futility. You’ll soon see how this new action gives you the last laugh on discouragement.

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Growing a Peaceful Soul

by Guy Finley – 

Key Lesson: Learning to step back and to examine your own heart — before you give someone a piece of your mind — is the only way to grow peace in your soul.
Step Out of Yourself and Into the Whole of Life

Real hope for the world begins with discovering what it takes to become a new human being, because when you are no longer who you were but rather the new person that you have been meant to be all of your life, then all of those things that were connected with who and what you once were, cease to be the whole of you. Which means that every single one of your relationships has changed, even if the people in those relationships don’t know that change took place.
No gulf exists between your life and God’s life, except for your awareness of yourself. 
No time, no space exists between you and God’s life — only the level of awareness from which you live determines whether you understand this unity or not. 
That means the task is not to try to change things in time and space but to bring yourself back into the moment where the possibility of this relationship already exists, and where your realization of it changes everything and everyone involved.
For example, imagine you start to get angry at somebody; of course, the reason your anger grows is because you feel you have the right to be angry. In your mind, the other person did something, and you think you see all the reasons why. But in a flash, something new occurs to you: it’s clear that if you go forward with what you are about to do — even though you think you must in order to change the other person so that you don’t have to go through this again — you can “see” that such an (angry) action changes nothing at all. 
In that same moment, you become aware of the whole of yourself… a wholeness that shows you that this anger you say the other person produced “then,” is hurting you now. You see the anger isn’t good for you. You know it isn’t good for the other person. It’s more than evident: this negative state is good for nothing. 
To see the truth of this ends the question of what to do with the person and the problem of the pain being blamed on the other person. The choice to set down this suffering is made for you by the same state of self-wholeness that made your suffering evident to you.
Awareness of the whole of yourself changes the whole of yourself in the instant of that awareness. 
In that moment, all that you were and ever will be with any other relationship, has found a new path. You don’t know what will happen to you if you don’t express the negative state. 
You don’t know what will happen to you if, for the first time in your life, you let go of caring how others might see you if you don’t have the last word. Instead, you’re going to go ahead with what you know is true instead of trying to protect what you sense is false. 
You’ve come to that point in the path where you cannot see beyond the unfolding moment but where you are aware that you can no longer be the kind of human being who acts from what is unkind towards anyone at all. Knowing what you can no longer be, you step into the whole of something because you have stepped out of yourself.
It is there you will find that everything is good. 
It is there you find out nothing can happen to you that isn’t for you, and nothing can happen to you in such an action that isn’t for everyone else, because you have given your life up for the sake of what is whole. 
It’s clear to you. Then, it doesn’t matter where you go, it doesn’t matter what you have to do, the things that weigh don’t matter — all of that simply changes, because now you’re not sitting outside of life trying to figure out who you should be and what you have to do to keep your life in place. You have grown up spiritually. You have decided on the life of the whole, that God wants to give you.
Excerpt from: The Genesis of Love (“Unlocking the Universe of Your True Self”)

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True Self-Liberation

Being Yourself Often Begins With Daring to Displease Others: 

by Guy Finley – 
Key Lesson: Trying to change ourselves in order to please others — so that we can feel temporarily whole for having won their approval — is like cutting a flower into pieces so that it will fit into a vase.
Stop Believing in Your Own Weakness
It is our fear of being alone and in doubt, of wanting to feel certain that what we are doing is right, that compels us to seek the approval of others. So this tells us that the chief cause of why our lives so often wind up in the hands of others is not that they are superior or that the world is too strong for us, but that we don’t want to face the uncertainty and aloneness we think we are too weak to bear. This is the real cause of all of our wrong relationships in life. We have been betrayed by a belief in our own weakness.
The conscious refusal to go along with what our weakness wants us to do to escape its uncertainty is what invokes and finally delivers real inner confidence.
This new kind of strength gradually becomes the cornerstone of a true individual existence — the life we’ve always wanted. The stakes are actually eternal — but self-victory is as certain as the fact that light always triumphs over darkness.
Use the following ten key lessons to help strengthen your understanding of these vital ideas. Think about them; welcome their healing insights as “lights along the way” to true self-liberation.
Special Study for Lasting Self-Possession
  • When you don’t know what to do with yourself, someone will always be happy to tell you.

  • Why seek the approval of someone who doesn’t even approve of himself?

  • Fawning before an angry person is like asking a rabid wolf for its approval.

  • The more approval you get, the more you have to have.

  • Keeping any person or circumstance in your life that demands you surrender your right to be a whole and happy human being is wrong for everyone involved.

  • When you are out standing in a storm, don’t blame the weather.

  • Real strength always follows uncovering one of the roots of weakness.

  • Don’t seek yourself. Dare to be yourself.

  • If you were really doing the right thing with your life, you wouldn’t need anyone to tell you that you were.

  • Permitting your life to be taken over by another person is like letting the waiter eat your dinner. (Vernon Howard)

No human being has any authority over you. Your life belongs to you and to you alone. No scowling face or irritated manner, no challenging posture or threatening tone, has any power to make you feel nervous or anxious, frightened or angry. Your true nature answers to no one. This is a fact, and anyone who is tired of letting someone else tell them how to feel can use this self-liberating principle to win true and lasting independence.
This article is excerpted from The Secret of Letting Go (pages 156-162).
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Be Yourself, Be Complete, Be Free

When we find ourselves looking for something outside ourselves — anything — to complete us, to make us feel whole and happy, what is the nature of this force within us? What kind of power compels us to move heaven and earth to find a way to fulfill ourselves in this way? The answer is surprising! 
We are driven on by our sense of being incomplete.
None of us would feel this compulsion to complete ourselves, let alone be deceived into destructively compromising ourselves, unless deep within, however subtly or explosively, we were living with a very powerful and misplaced sense of somehow being incomplete in the center of ourselves.
The major challenge before us is that our lives are shaped by the “will of what is incomplete” in more ways than we dream, but we hide this fact from ourselves by providing ourselves with rationales and explanations. We must come to understand the will of what is incomplete, and to do this we must learn to witness its stealthy operation within us.
The essence of temptation is that we are trying to fulfill an empty sense of our self with whatever this same needful self says will do the “trick.” Struggling, striving to complete ourselves, is really a nice way of saying that we are feeling terribly insufficient in ourselves about ourselves; that we fear we will remain this way for the rest of our lives unless we can figure out what to do — something, anything — to rid ourselves of this insatiable feeling of being incomplete.
What is behind this incessantly dissatisfied sense of self? 
First we must see that this dissatisfied nature that drives us to complete ourselves through whatever source it names, resides within us. Further, we must recognize that not only is there a part of our self in “cahoots” with this will of what is incomplete, but that these same parts of us actually seem eager to swallow the empty promises this unseen nature makes. It is vital in our search for this new order of self-victory that we see the truth of our inner situation. 
We must not resist or deny what is.
For instance, don’t all of us do things that we either struggle with while we’re doing them — often hating ourselves for our “weakness” — or that later on we despise ourselves for because we see that we were powerless and could not have done any differently than we did? 
If we are honest, we have to admit it: These unwanted events happen to us, within us, every day — even if it’s as simple as eating those last few bites of some food when we know that we are already stuffed full. Or how about going over in our minds — for perhaps the umpteenth time — something that someone said to us that we didn’t feel was deserved? Make your own list! 

The bottom line is this: We are dragged along by something with its own designs and all such involuntary, compulsive behavior, whatever nature it assumes, constitutes a subtle form of addiction because we are unable to walk away from its demand.
What is important to recognize at this juncture in our inner journey is that most of these painful moments wherein we end up finding ourselves compromised have their beginning with simple thoughts like, “Oh, I’ll just think about my grandchildren for a few minutes” or perhaps you mentally relive that deal that “almost” brought you fame and fortune. The next thing you know you’re wallowing in painful sentiments, being prodded inwardly to plot your next scheme, or you find yourself out and about somewhere, spending money that you know you should not.
Clearly enough there is dwelling within us a will that belongs to something that is, by its nature, incomplete
This unconscious nature either drives us on or drags us along in its compulsive pursuit of the relief it promises will be ours once we get our hands on what it has named as being the missing component in our contentment.
Under the influence of this pain that rises up in feeling ourselves incomplete we are made to believe that we have no choice in the affair. We are sure we must obtain what we hope will free us from this dark and too real sense of self-dissatisfaction. Unconsciously, but nevertheless with great certainty and urgency, we pursue what we believe will free us from this pain that now occupies us. And it is this state of self — our too-real sense of our being incomplete — that is the driving force behind our search to complete ourselves; that keeps us searching outside of ourselves to obtain what we have been tricked into believing will bring an end to our sense of being incomplete.
What we must understand — if we are to awaken ourselves and shake ourselves free from this circle of addictive behavior (along with all of the codependent relationships that attend these self-compromising states) — may be summarized as follows: 
This dark will in us — whose activity both dominates our decision-making process as well as our power to discern — that searches high and low for something to end its sense of emptiness — belongs to a nature within us that is incompleteness itself. This “never-enough” nature cannot find the peace it seeks any more than one end of a burning stick can hope to extinguish the fire on its other side.
There is no substitute for seeing the truth of our actual spiritual situation. 
Only this order of true self-seeing can supply us with the strength we need to abandon this incomplete sense of self once and for all. But we must enter this interior “battle” if we wish to know this new kind of power, as this gift of grace comes to us in proportion to our willingness to see into the whole of ourselves.
Instead of surrendering your attention to that familiar need pressing in on you to fulfill yourself, recover what is rightfully yours: Take your attention back! Come wide-awake to yourself, shake off whatever sensation has stolen into you, and consciously reclaim your attention. If you will make this deliberate act of independence you will see something astonishing, something unseen by billions of compromised human beings: Up until this moment where you took back your attention, it had belonged to — was literally riveted by — what you had taken as being your incompleteness. 
Now the stage is set for a kind of real spiritual magic.
While remaining wide awake to what your redirected attention has revealed to you, deliberately shift your attention and consciously remember within yourself what your Heart of hearts knows is true: Who you really are is already complete. Yes, that’s right. And do keep in mind that what has had you jumping through flaming hoops isn’t about to just fall over and fade away the first time you choose to bring this truth to bear. But be encouraged to know that once you get this far with your self-discoveries, what happens next is up to you.
Give your attention to what you know is already whole and complete and that cannot fall prey to empty promises of some happiness to come. 
This conscious act places you in the right place to receive the power you need to break free. Your attention is no longer on that feeling of being incomplete because now you understand that as long as it sits foremost in your mind, directing your choices, nothing that it directs you to choose can end the cycle of feeling yourself insufficient.
Once we remember what is whole and bring this awareness of God, the Light or a Great Truth into our mind, we have set the inner stage for the next and best step in our work to be free. 
As soon as we are centered in this healing remembrance — even if we do not yet feel the Good we would call upon come into us — we surrender our self to this Goodness that we would know. We relinquish our will to it. We give our self completely to what is already complete within us — even if this act of giving is just to our hope for a wholeness yet to be known.

(Excerpted from Breaking Dependency by Guy Finley)

–Guy Finley 
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Turning Barriers into Bridges

Only the person who never gives up in life, who persists with his wish to find and fulfill the promise of himself makes this truly self-liberating discovery: those places that he once mistook as being impassible barriers to his happiness become as bridges to the same but only if he learns to welcome them as part of his journey.
Your Secret Power of Self-Disconnect
When you hear someone say, “I’m sick and tired of it,” what he is really saying without realizing it is that he’s sick and tired of suffering from his own lack of understanding. 
This all becomes clear once we understand that unhappiness does not come at us, it comes from us. For instance, impatience with our level of understanding is the very level of understanding we are impatient with. The understanding of this spiritual principle allows us to disconnect ourselves from our impatience. Life becomes instantly better. For one thing, the frustration fades. In its place, learning flowers. And the more we inwardly grow, the easier our whole life flows.
This new and higher idea of disconnecting ourselves from whatever we think has us blocked — leads to true self-liberation because we have never been trapped by anything outside of our own lack of understanding. This is why even the attempt to disconnect ourselves from our present life-level already belongs to a higher level of understanding.
This new, intelligent action we are calling “self-disconnect” works for you by gradually breaking down the painful circle-of-self that is repeatedly formed by asking the problem for the solution. 
Barriers begin to crumble and disappear, because you have stopped creating them. 
In the truest meaning of the words, you are getting out of your own way! Practice self-disconnect as often as you can. The more you work at this special kind of letting go, the freer your days will flow and the higher your life will go.
Persistence is everything in your personal work. 
You must persist even if it is only with your wish to be persistent. You must persist in spite of all forces that seem to be against your wish to break through to a New You. Believe me, there are no real obstacles to keep you from making it all the way to a Brand New World. Remember this. With any true inner-growth, the hardest step is always the one you have never taken before. The greater the doubt you will step across, the greater the possibility for walking beyond yourself, because doubt and fear form the perimeter of all self-limiting barriers. Risk only comes into account in the self-limited view of seeing life as a win/lose scenario.
When self-discovery becomes more important than winning, then every situation in life presents you with an opportunity to win in a new way. 
Every time you step past yourself, you win a little more freedom. . . freedom to take another and yet another step into the great unknown where eventually, with persistence, fear turns into fearlessness because you have disconnected yourself from yourself.
–Guy Finley
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Secret of Limitless Living

Key Lesson: Real limitless living is the fruit of this higher understanding: What is in our way is part of the Way. To know this is to know that all of creation has been made for you, just as surely as you have been made for everything that happens to you within it.
Why You Should Feel Encouraged: The wish itself — to be a higher person — comes to you from a higher place and is received in its inner equivalent within you. This means there’s already an existing connection between the you that you want to be and the you that you presently are; between the new destiny you would have, and the fortunes you’ve known. All you have to do is stay on the royal road that has brought you up to this very point, for it leads directly to that higher destiny you seek. And now you’re about to begin another leg of your appointed journey.
There’s so much just ahead of you that’s new and exciting. But you must remember that the best views are always the higher ones, whose new heights take personal effort to achieve. To ensure you’ll make steady progress along this higher way, allow me to instruct and encourage you in two special ways.
First, as you proceed with these new life lessons about winning the higher life, you may come to certain moments where you have a disquieting feeling that you don’t understand what you’re doing or, for that matter, even why you’re doing it! But each time you get ready to throw your hands up in the air or toss in the towel, do your best to remember the following. For as strange as this may seem to you as you stand there, feeling oh-so uncertain, here’s the true perspective to be embraced: These are the good times, not the bad ones! In fact, all along you’ve been working toward just these moments.
How can this be possible? Your confusion indicates that you’ve reached a real inner threshold; you stand before the possibility of entering into something genuinely new to you. And this unthinkable place is the same as the doorway to a new destiny. So take heart!
Second, if you’ll simply persist with your journey, you’ll pass right through these times of trial. I guarantee it. Nothing can stop your sincere inquiry, including those thoughts and feelings telling you that you can’t go any further because you don’t understand how to take the next step. Take that step anyway. Then you’ll understand.
The light from one small moment of honest self-inquiry is more powerful than the accumulated darkness of a million years of doubt. So dare to proceed . . . and succeed!

–Guy Finley 
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In and Between Two Worlds

The Great Balancing Act:

I receive many questions concerning how to achieve a proper balance between physical and spiritual longings; how much time should be spent working on one’s higher, interior life, versus running around and doing what life demands as a result of being in this world. For those of you who want to learn a little more from a different perspective on this question, here are some thoughts to ponder.

Life, in the broadest sense of it, both spiritually and materially, is an expression of an eternal descending and ascending set of forces: “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”–the principle of expansion and contraction, light and darkness, ascending and descending archetype ideas then brought into physical creation. The descending forces are what give rise to creation as it “falls” from one level into another, constantly dividing. This is the force of manifestation, and it moves from within to without.

It is what essentially “does” in the man, with him just identifying with its movement and–in a matter speaking–choosing what this energy will manifest itself into through whatever his immediate environment and conditioning dictate.

 This force (in conjunction with unconscious imagination) promises completion through whatever is subjectively created. Of course such “completion” is impossible because the force itself is a divisive one, providing only temporary satisfaction, at best.

What this means is that, as a rule, sleeping man is always identified with this exteriorized sense of himself and has virtually no awareness of his interior life and accordingly, the ascending force within it. (Think of the prodigal son as an expression of these two forces acting within and upon one being.)

The task of the individual who would awaken is to be present to both of these forces at once; he needs to be aware of his interior life and its native longing to ascend, to return home; as Whitman would say, “the central urge of every atom to return to its source.”

In order to be present in this way — to this eternal presence that expresses itself through these twin forces — one’s attention must be properly divided between the world of a descending will that always wants to go–do–pursue, manifest in some way — and the world within him that is capable of being aware of this movement and that remains present to itself within itself rather than becoming caught up in the sensation of being identified with some new creation.

So you see it’s not a question of doing or not doing, but of placing one’s attention and awareness within that presence that doesn’t “try” to balance one’s life according to some idealized spiritual state; it (this presence) is perfect creative balance itself.

One must work. We are created to create; but when we create for the sake of producing any sense of self-formulated identity, we create in vain and suffer the inevitable consequences of seeing the truth of it.