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August 8, 2013

Self-improvement: the End of the Road

I’m writing this from a light and airy second story apartment overlooking Puget Sound.

It’s a few minutes before 6:00am, and I was awakened a short time ago by the raucous calls of shorebirds wheeling through the air above the beach. It’s the sixth day of my seven day Three Principles Practitioner Training.

I’m a happy camper.

Happiness matters to me. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to please God and be happy. The relationship between those two things has often been dicey.

For instance, I recall the day that I realized that I’d always been afraid that God’s will was for me to be poor and a virgin. Given that those horses had both left the barn, I naturally felt that I was in a precarious spiritual position.

It’s an interesting thing about realizations like that. The moment I saw that my fear was simply a thought, it melted away in a mist of bemused affection for myself and all who experience the human condition.

Even after I realized that happiness and God were not mutually exclusive, both were fraught with some uncertainty. While I understood that God didn’t move, I was beset by fears that I could and did. It seemed to me, therefore, that happiness and closeness to God were conditioned on a commitment to working on myself. So long as I honored that commitment, I would know that at least I was on the right path.

I understood working on myself to be an endless project, and I was proud of my willingness to take it on. I looked for satisfaction in the belief that life is about the journey, not the destination.

I never expected to reach the end of the self-improvement road.

This week I reached the end of the road. I realized that everything I’ve been looking for is always and already available in each moment. The wisdom I need. The happiness I want. The experience of God.

In many respects none of this is news to me, and I’m guessing it may not be news to you. I’m imagining that you have had glimpses of or even sweeping encounters with a similar realization. My invitation to you this week is to simply appreciate what you have already seen. To know that you know, whether or not that knowing is always present or always expressed in your life.

The end of the road is not the end of the adventure. I can see infinite potential for unfolding insight and higher levels of consciousness. The difference is that at every point in this adventure we are already home.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

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