I’m humble enough to admit I have no clue exactly what happens when our bodies die.
I am fairly certain, however, that there is no heaven that is a replica of the best version of life on Earth, and no hell that is a replica of the worst version of life.
Our human brains are amazing, but we can’t truly fathom all that is and all that will be.
I also know that we are creators, and we can create our own heaven and hell. We are in heaven when we remember the spirit that is “I Am” that flows in all of us. When we are present. When we are grateful. When we are choosing to be happy. When we trust life—that’s the good news.
The bad news is that we can create our own hell as well—in our minds. When we shame ourselves over the past, can’t stop worrying about the future, or when things are out of our control.
While this may reflect my competitive nature, when I’m shaming myself or overthinking, and in my own version of hell, it helps me to get out of it when I think, “I don’t want the devil to win.”
Why does the devil win when we are in our heads and creating our own hell? Here are five examples of that:
1. We aren’t creating
In The Traveler’s Gift, Andy Andrews has a chapter in which he describes a warehouse where everything that almost existed is stored—the cure, the new invention, the new relationship, the new job—but people gave up right before these things were created.
The devil wins when we stop the flow of energy coming into us. When we stop being creative. When we give up hope. Turn your light back on. Don’t let the devil turn it off. You’ll never know what could be, what is right around the corner if you stay in your hell.
2. We aren’t loving and receiving love
The devil also wins when we stop shining our light. When we are shaming ourselves and, in our heads, it’s like we are in a dark tunnel and we don’t see everything around us. When all of us are like that, it is like we are all stumbling around in the dark.
Imagine yourself with a light on your head that enables you to see and helps others to see. Send your light and love to others. And you will get light and love back.
3. We are carrying more than we have to
Have you ever felt as though you knew best about how something or someone should be? The devil is winning again. The irony of the world is that we are all equally magnificent and worthy. When we start letting our ego run the show, we are carrying more weight than we need to because we think we know what is best for everyone and everything.
It isn’t up to us to figure out how everything will turn out. Put that weight down. You don’t have to carry it. Trust life.
4. We are missing out on the happiness right in front of us
The devil wants us to miss out on everyday moments of happiness by living in expectation of the perfect future, the typical “I’ll be happy when” thoughts—don’t fall for it.
I like to think of it as a maze with no escape where we keep looking for the next thing to make us happy. But the maze is only knee-high, and we can step out of it any moment we choose. And everyday happiness has been there all along, just waiting for us to find it.
5. We let being perfect hold us back
The devil is in the details. We’ve all heard that. While there may be different interpretations of this adage, it is important to remember that we shouldn’t let the details (and the devil) hold us back from our dreams. It is the same as letting fear of not having it all figured out or having to be perfect hold us back. We don’t have to have it all figured out. Sometimes, we just need to know what our next step will be.
Don’t worry about the whole game. Just focus on what your next swing, or throw, or pass will be. Then, when that is complete, you can take the next.
None of us can know with absolute certainty what this magical, mystical journey is all about. But we can make the journey one that is heavenly or hellish. It’s up to us. We have the power.
When we are shaming or overthinking, we can pause and remind ourselves we have a choice about what we create and in which of the two places we are living. We can say no to the fear and darkness that traps us in our heads and shame. We can remind ourselves it’s just a trick to keep us from seeing the light that is there all around us.
Don’t let the devil win.