Before I start, I feel I have to thank Mari Lowder for her Christmas blog post. Not the only one to get scared when talking so publicly about religion. Sometimes you need to make a stand and state what you believe and I was inspired by her stand. The word "Stand" makes it sound more dramatic than the post was and than this will be but nonetheless, up to now, my life has been made up of so many smaller "stands" that this will just fit in nicely.
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So, Gilbert, you have a lot to answer for. You have made me want to visit Italy and take the time to indulge in a search for pleasure without a care for anything but my own well-being (not that I think this is the best course of action for me in my life right now). Now, you inspire me to find my spiritual center and evaluate my spiritual life. And, not just evaluate it, but elevate it. Wouldn't India for four months be perfect to do this?
There is this pressupposition in NLP training that says, "You are doing the best you can, but, you can do better." This could be the pressuposition that explains my current state of affairs. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of spending four months in India.
I recently read this quote from President Thomas S. Monson that I think helps me feel better about not being able to take off on my own four-month spiritual pilgrimage of my own.
"We need not visit the Holy Laand to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked.
In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality."
So, just as Gilbert found out in her ashram in India, it's not as easy as it sounds to just go and find your spiritual self, (in fact according to Monson, it doesn't matter where you do it at all) just as long as you make an effort. As Gilbert found it was hard to find her spiritual center until she found something that worked for her.
One thing she mentions in the book is three factors which indicate whether a soul has been blessed with the highest and most auspicious luck in the universe.
1) to have been born a human being capable of conscious inquiry.
2) To have been born with- or to have developed- a yearning to understand the nature of the universe.
3) To have found a living spiritual master.
Gilbert believed herself to be one of those blessed,auspisciously lucky souls. So do I.
I think it is the view that I am auspiciously lucky that has made me rethink a lot of my spiritual habits. Sometimes I feel that I should just be entitled to experiences and that things should fall into my lap. This has always been my experience and view that eventually things will happen for the best. "What's for you won't go past you" and all that. However, as my recent job search has shown me. you have to put forth a bit more effort. After a few painful months of searching and stressing I have finally found a job, which...despite my having to apply and interview for, came at the right time and feels like it just fell into my lap.
But now I have to focus a bit more on my spirituality, sit in the garden and let the mosquitoes bite, and take a step forward rather than just let things float as I am prone to do.
So what do I do?
1. Start being a bit more thankful for my Heavenly Father and my Saviour Jesus Christ.
2. Read and pray more than I do. As the presupposition goes "you're doing the best you can, but you can do better" right? 3. Try being more active in priesthood, rather than the sometimes cynical, arrogant and stand-offish Brit in the sea of Americans in my chorum. This doesn't help me make new friends and doesn't help me feel as part of the group as I sometimes want to be. 4.Share my testimony more. Because I do believe I am in the right place at the right time, despite one of my self-destructive alters. I am a Latter-day Saint. I know God lives and his son Jesus Christ and love them and am thankful for them. I know that if I do all I can I will return to them. I know Joseph smith saw them in person and were directed by them to start the church and to bring forth the Book of Mormon, a book that I love more than even Stephen Kings The Dark Tower:book 7. I know it is only through my Heavenly Father that I am where I am today and only through my Saviour that I will get where I need to go.
Thanks for reading. The third and final part of this mini-arc is coming sometime soon.