By Alan Cohen –
While traveling in Europe to attend an André Rieu concert, my laptop wouldn’t boot. If you ever had this happen, you know it can be, well, disconcerting. I Googled computer repair technicians in the small Holland city where I was staying, and found two technicians with good reviews. One of them seemed really attractive, with lots of great comments. I decided he was the guy for me, and phoned him. It was Saturday, and although Google said his shop was open, it wasn’t.
I didn’t have much choice but to phone the second tech, fingers crossed. Harry answered immediately and came to my hotel to pick up the laptop. In a foreign country, I had to really trust to let the machine go. Yet to my happy surprise, Harry returned a few hours later, the hard drive perfectly restored. In spite of my misgivings, he was the perfect guy for the job.
Often what I often believe is my true guidance, isn’t. It’s quite humbling not to know it all. A Course in Miracles underscores our inability to make healthy decisions when we depend on our intellect only. A Course Workbook lesson asks us to remember, “I do not perceive my own best interests. The Text bluntly advises us, “Resign as your own teacher.” The Course explains, “You cannot be your own guide to miracles because it was you who made them necessary.”
The way we have been taught to make decisions, through intellect and emotion, is ultimately not our answer. If we can’t trust our thoughts and feelings, then, what can we trust? Are we bereft of guidance, impotent to know what is right for us?
To the contrary, we have impeccable guidance. We have an inner teacher to whom we can turn with perfect confidence. Call this teacher Higher Power, Holy Spirit, Divine Guidance, or whatever you like, there is a voice of deep knowing within us that will show us exactly what to do.
We must turn challenging situations over to this Higher Power. Say, “I do not know what to do here. I am not seeing clearly. I now release my attempts to figure this out, and I place this situation in the hands of Greater Wisdom. I ask and trust that right action be revealed to me, and this situation be resolved in the best interests of everyone concerned.”
Now that’s a prayer that will work—if you pray it sincerely.
In the case of my laptop repair, I didn’t see my true guidance because I had made up my mind about how events should go. But when I turned it over and trusted the process, everything worked out perfectly.
The Course advises us to ask at the beginning of each day, “What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?” Instead of depending on ego, the mode from which we usually operate, we are asking for guidance from Spirit.
Many of us make up our mind about an answer before we ask the question. We decide that someone is our soulmate, or a particular job or house should be ours, and then we ask for guidance. Real asking is open-ended. “Send me the right partner, job, or house,” allows that the partner, job, or house may be the one you think it should be, or another. End all prayers with “this or better.”
Einstein explained that you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. The problem is moving, you to rise to a higher level of consciousness so you can see the issue from a broader dimension and resolve it from the Big Picture. Don’t be so sure you know what to do. If you think you know what to do, head in that direction. Then watch for signs. Is your solution flowing and attracting people and events that foster resolution? Or are you hitting walls, having conflicts, and getting frustrated? If it’s the latter, try another approach. The walls you are hitting are redirecting you to move in another direction. Great Spirit is very generous with signs as to whether or not we are on the right track. But we must be keen to observe and act on those signs.
The spiritual path is not about gaining sophistication. It is about gaining simplicity. We must become like a little child and be open to be shown. Don Marquis summed it up: “The most pleasant and useful persons are those who leave some of the problems of the universe for God to worry about.”
Alan Cohen is the author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy; mastering the Journey from Fear to Love. For more information about this program, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com.