Learning to Love
Life is a continuous journey of awakening and healing. The final acknowledgement of each trial, tribulation and episode in our life is Love. Then we move on to the next issue. The process does not finish... it is ongoing and eternal. The paths in our lives are innumerable. Along each path, we have various moments of awakening and understanding and greater or lesser degrees of revelations and healing.
At moments when a penny drops, so to speak, and we sit for a moment in a greater understanding or at a moment of acknowledgement of healing, we sit in a moment of choice. We sit in a moment where there is a relative degree of clarity and certainty, if only about a single issue in our lives.
At these moments, we are tempted to make sweeping decisions and all-or-nothing judgements about the situations involved in the new understanding. In short, in our elation with our new understanding or level of healing, we make decisions to follow a new path with respect to the associated issues and to leave behind things in our lives that do not seem to fit the new understanding and the new direction.
Putting Conditions on the Universe
However, further down this new path that we chose, we begin to wonder why our lives have either not changed for the 'better' or we find ourselves in a situation blocked by a lack of resources... no money, relationships falling away, career flagging, work prospects drying up. In this state, our very inspiration and life-force can become extremely depleted. In short, we seem to come up against a brick wall and wonder why the Universe is not supporting us in our new found understandings and our subsequent new path. Have you been in this situation? I certainly have.
Our first impulse in this kind of situation is to shake our fist, so to speak, at the Universe for not supporting us on our journey. This is often followed by feelings of depression, inadequacy and low self-worth. We may then even begin to doubt the Truth of our previous revelations and understandings. This sets us out on another journey and so our learning and lessons go on.
Let's sit for a moment and look at this whole scenario and see if we can come up with an answer to the dilemma. Let me relate the details of my experience of this dilemma, again and again throughout my life...
A Personal Story
In my mid-twenties, I had reached quite a high point in my career as a popular violinist. I was playing many prestigious shows for many important occasions, I had several very successful albums on the market and I was commanding very high fees. In short, I was, to the outside view, on top of the world.
However, my inner life was, in my perception, languishing away. I felt I needed to find myself, to know a more 'true' part of me that I felt had been neglected or forgotten. This took me upon a spiritual path... I became part of an esoteric school of wisdom and spirituality. After a short time in this school, I had a huge awakening. I realised that 1) most of my life had been spent trying to please other people and that 2) because of this, my life was not my own. I felt that my career and success had been created, managed and maintained by others around me... parents, spouse, managers, agents, audiences, etc.
Certainly there was truth in this. It was an important revelation no doubt. However, in the elation of my new found understanding, I made the decision to gradually start 'phasing out' "Martin Lass - Pop Violinist" in favour of a more serious and 'spiritual' Martin Lass. In short, I pulled the plug on that part of my life because I felt that it did not fit into the 'new me' that I envisioned.
So what happened? Naturally, my career started dying and my income began falling, my appeal became less and less and my market diminished. When we do not love something, it dies or disappears from our lives. When we do not love a part of ourselves, it, too, begins to die. It is paramount to a kind of partial suicide.
Cutting Myself into Pieces
In the meantime, I was building my astrology career... another of my passions in life. There are benefits and blessings to every situation in our lives, no matter how difficult and no matter whether the situation is self-inflicted or not. So the astrology and healing seemed to be taking the place of the previous music career. The astrology journey for me was also a healing journey... I met Chiron, the planet of Healing. Chiron's message, although it took me a long time to hear it clearly, was:
"Love all parts of yourself... there is no part of you that is not worthy of love, from the darkest to the lightest... all parts of you and all parts of your life are serving you and others towards your highest possible spiritual purpose... no aspect of your life is superfluous, it is all serving you... healing is the journey of connecting all the parts and loving them equally... all the parts of you are One... all the parts of you are Love.."
As we mentioned above, anything that we do not love, dies or disappears from our lives. "Martin Lass - Pop Violinist" was dying and disappearing. Assured, though, "Martin Lass - Astrologer and Healer" was growing.
Now for the crunch... I was reaching a point in my life many years later when again I seemed to be up against a brick wall... the astrology business was stagnant and I was losing my inspiration for it. I was already in financial straits like I have never been in before. I lost everything. In this space, I tried to re-invent "Martin Lass - Violinist", but this time in the new age world... music designed for healing, meditation and relaxation... 'deep' music, as I portrayed it to myself and others.
This was received well in very small circles, but again I came up against the same brick wall... stagnation, loss of inspiration and material adversity. During this entire time, too, my relationships were going into crisis... my marriage was in danger and my social circles were becoming more limited and, paradoxically, more co-dependent.
What the hell was going on? I couldn't figure out why, if I had acted according to a revelation—an inspiration of a 'higher' level of consciousness—my life was falling apart around me. Again I put the questions out there into the Universe. At this time, I met my next teacher.
Putting the Pieces Back Together Again
To cut the story short, this next stage of my journey, with the help of my new teacher and with the help of Chiron and the other planets, I came to realise that in an effort to become 'more spiritual' and to 'find myself', I had effectively cut a part of myself off and was trying to run away from it.
The part of me that was "Martin Lass - Pop Violinist" was the part of me that gave me the very tools by which I could express my greatest Gift. It was the interface between my Spirit and the outside world. Because I had cut this part of me off, I had cut off my main lifeline to the world. It is a two-way street. If I cannot Give, I cannot Receive. If I stop the flow of Spirit through me, I stop the flow of Spirit into me. Hence the current state of my life, inner and outer.
Through this stage of my life, I learned to love that part of me again and to heal it back into the whole of me. My life began to become more fulfilled again... my bankbook began to look better, my relationships were healed, my marriage saved, my career on the rise again.
As we heal and reconnect the parts of ourselves that we have been loving, our lives on the outside begin to manifest the abundance we deserve. Our lives begin to shape themselves on the outside, into vehicles that can better manifest the glory and beauty of the Gift of Spirit that lies within each one of us.
Not the End of It!
One would have thought that that would have been the end of the story... but, no. I guess I am as thick as anybody else and it takes just as long for the penny to drop. Recently, I have found myself in a similar plight.
Due to revelations and new understandings that I had, I decided to abandon various aspects of my life in favour of an enlightened vision of my Highest Purpose in this lifetime... in favour of dedicating all my energy to writing and performing my own original music. To this end, I decided to stop doing all astrology, all healing work for others, all orchestral and musical 'session' work, all writing of articles, poetry and books in favour of putting 100% into my music.
Can you guess what happened? Again, after a short time, I found myself in financial straits, work drying up and inspiration flagging. Again, I was shaking my fists at the Universe saying, "Why, if I have agreed to dedicate my life to my primary inspiration and love in life—writing and playing my original music—why are you not supporting me by giving me the means by which I can carry out that purpose?"
With the benefit of hindsight and the Gift of friends and teachers on similar paths, I looked back at the last year and asked myself, "What parts of me have I left behind this time? What parts of me have I stopped loving, appreciating, acknowledging and embracing?"
Learning to Love it All
The answer? All the parts of me that were giving me the resources to be able to carry out my primary purpose of writing and performing my original music. All the parts of me that were giving me 1) Inspiration 2) Healing 3) Lessons & Understanding 4) Relationship satisfaction and networking 5) Financial resources 6) Broader view of existence 7) Mental stimulation and challenges 8) Personal worth of helping others 9) Outlet for Spirit in ways that music alone cannot fully provide. The list goes on...
The Universe has given me all the resources necessary for me to carry out my primary purpose in life, but I threw them away in favour of the elation of pursuing a single-minded vision, not realising that all the parts that I was throwing away were the very things that the primary purpose is evolving out of. I threw the baby out with the water. Again, I had cut myself into parts... the parts that I embraced and loved and the parts that I rejected and did not love.
I realised that I had been trying to jump ahead of myself by becoming elated and infatuated with the Vision I had been given. My self-righteousness had said to me that I didn't need these other aspects of my life, that I could go straight to the pinnacle without climbing the mountain. As if the pinnacle could exist without the foundations of the rest of the mountain!
Life is a great teacher. I was brought to my knees once more. The Truth of this Vision of my life's Purpose had again become distorted and I needed to go back and pick up the pieces and learn to love the whole picture rather than just the parts.
So, with the tools I have been given for coming to a state of Unconditional Love about any issue in my life, I went back and embraced and loved these aspects of my life once more. I dissolved, once more, my illusions and charges against each of these aspects of myself and my life.
A Guiding Hand
I realise now, as planet Chiron has been trying to teach me for years, that every part of my life serves me... I realise that the perfection of my life needs no fixing or changing... I realise that there is truly a guiding hand showing me the way towards Unconditional Love.
The secret is to include all that I am in my understanding. The big picture is already there. I just need to uncover it and embrace it. The more I embrace all that I am, the more my life on the outside is a reflection of that abundance.
When we get 'successful', we have a tendency to forget the basics that got us where we are. By forgetting the basics, we undermine the foundations of what we are trying to build. Life then forces us, by our subsequent failures, to take stock and get back to basics. This applies to every area of life from business to relationships to spiritual pursuit.
When we think that we have received a divine revelation or understanding, we tend to abandon where we are and go off in search of a 'better' life.
In truth, there is no better life than the one we are currently living. We have everything that we need right here and now... all the resources, all the support, all the opportunities. Whether we see this or not... whether we embrace this or not determines the degree of gratitude and fulfilment we experience in our lives... and it determines the state of our external affairs—our state of 'success' or 'failure' of our given calling.
Whatever we do not love in ourselves and in our lives, runs our lives. The more we love ourselves just as we are and the more we love our lives just as they are, the more freedom we experience to express and manifest the Gift of Spirit that lies within us.
There is an old Zen saying:
"Before enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, carrying water."
I don't know about you, but I'm going back to chopping wood...