After a recent, and long overdue, meltdown the other day, I laid in my bed this morning and thought about The Secret and our "readiness" to receive the things that we strive for in this life. My good friend, Jeremiah, sent me The Secret on DVD, and I’ve watched it no fewer than four times now. Certainly, I have seen how unenlightened people have twisted the philosophies of The Secret around to ridiculousness, but I lean way in to its main themes. Why is that? I look around me. I see The Secret in practice every day. It's especially easy to see the principles of The Secret played out in the restaurant business. In fact, I've never seen the principles of The Secret displayed so prevalently in any other setting. The servers who come in with bad attitudes and negativity are seriously wasting their time. They complain about the tips, the customers, the people, the management, the kitchen staff. Everything. They walk out with less than $30 a shift. Conversely, I and a few others walk out with between $50-$60 on our very slowest, most worthless shifts. On our best days? Three digits, consistently. Whenever I get a bad tip, I just say, "Thank you, God, for your provision. I am grateful for everything You give me." Seriously. My coworkers think I'm nuts when I tell them that. Endearing, but nuts. But after figuring out, though, that I consistently make good money, I've got a few of them doing it. You know, just to try it out. Gratitude is key, remember. I think another key is Readiness.
Readiness is a popular concept in education. I remember the industry of education distinctly. It was my former life. People want their preschoolers to be "reading ready" so they read to their children every night without fail. People want their children to be "math ready" so they ask them questions like, "If I buy these five apples, and you eat two of them, how many apples do I have left?" We do this from the time our children are very small to instill in them a love for learning. We want them to be READY to receive and READY to take hold of the important things in life, so we coach them. We are EXACTLY like that, spiritually. And that's why God coaches us, asking us questions like, "If you see someone who is tired and hungry, what do you do?" or “Can you think of someone today who needs you to bring a lasagna over?” or “If a tourist is lost, walking down the streets of New York City, do you offer directions?” (For you, Scott.) I think somehow this concept of “readiness” ties into the Secret for me. I know that I know that I know that the Truth is the Truth, regardless of whether or not someone believes it and regardless of circumstances and regardless of a person’s readiness to receive the rewards for his strivings. The Secret agrees with that. But, right now, I'm actually pretty sick of always having to be in the "right frame of mind". And if I'm not in the right frame of mind, whose fault is it? Mine. I own it. Well, BLECH! Sometimes I just don't FEEL like being in the right frame of mind! I feel like THROWING SOMETHING! I'm tired of always being in check! It's exhausting. UGH! But I suspect that a person who masters his thinking also masters his life. So, I plug on. To be READY! I think I’m ready to receive simply because I’m sick of not having. That makes me ready in my opinion. I think God has a different set of criteria as to what makes a person ready to receive something from Him. And as I was peeing this morning, it hit me. (Lots of things hit me when I'm peeing. I think it has something to do with standing up and walking and getting the blood flowing.) Anyway, here's what hit me, midstream: Realms of believability. It is well within the realm of my personal believability to put between $50 and $150 in my pocket every shift at Red Robin. It doesn't matter if Grandma lays down a one or a five. It doesn't matter if I wait on assholes, saints, or anybody inbetween. It's done. In fact, it's already done before I ever walk in. That's the truth. The Secret says that is true. The Secret also says that I can imagine winning the lottery, simulate those feelings of euphoria at having done so, be grateful for my reward, and the Universe will step in and make it so. Trouble is, that's not REALLY within the realm of believability for me. So, really, if I "believe" and "confess" and am "grateful" for winning the lottery, I'm wasting my time. I can't convince the Universe of something I don't really believe myself. I think there are things that SHOULD be outside the realm of a person's believability. Swimming with sharks and thinking they won't eat you. Not ever dying. Running around naked without getting arrested. And, yes, maybe even winning the lottery. The Law of Attraction is a law, yes. But there are other laws as well. Gravity. The Gylcemic Index. Inevitable death and taxes. Some people try to use the Secret in contradiction with the other laws of the Universe, and it will never happen. These are the same people who want to live in Hawaii at the bottom of an active volcano and then wonder why they have lava in the living room--ode to George Carlin right there.
So, whatever. What does this have to do with me and where I am in life right now? I look at the realm of believability as circles that surround a person's life. As a person’s faith increases, so do those circles that surround him. I think my problem is, among other things, I'm not sure how big my circle is. Now, maybe that's a good thing? I don't know. I wouldn't want to limit myself. But our circles or realms of believability DO limit us. Isn't that why we're constantly trying to expand our circles? Isn't that why God works with us to expand our areas of influence? Not just so that we will be a blessing to an increasing number of people, but also that our own faith will increase? When He tells us He wants to give us life and that more abundant, doesn't He want to increase our realm or circle of believability?
As many people know, I have made a deliberate choice to venture out into unknown territory, abandoning what everyone else sees as “security”. OK, so I jumped out of my life. Although, I don’t believe that, in and of itself, it was a bad decision on my part (and close friends have commended me for living life courageously) I haven’t always made good decisions within that decision. Another law of the Universe says I will sleep in the bed I make. My realm of believability in myself has diminished as a result of some of my decisions, and I've not yet recovered. I think this is where I need to start asking God to restore me. I used to believe that I could do anything. I don't believe that anymore, or at least not at the moment. These are my confessions. I know I'm not in a place of readiness to receive. I can walk around "confessing" the Secret all damn day. My realm of believability has been compromised. And I'm talking about the core circle. I'm talking about the center of who I am. I thought the Secret could fix that. Another confession. Only God can fix me. So I give myself to Him again in complete surrender. Absolute surrender. I'm going to have to do this continually until I get my head back on straight. I just have to lay my whole life in front of Him again, because truly, I've backed myself into a corner: mentally, financially, emotionally. I'm not going to try to talk my way out of this one. There aren't enough positive thinking skills, workshops, Super Saturday trainings, and secrets to pull myself out of this place. I'm to the point that I really don't care what happens next. Ironically, that's typically been a pretty good place for me to be because it REALLY lends itself to complete abandon. If I'm ready for anything, it's that I'm finally ready to abandon my striving.
But here's what I know for sure: God has orchestrated every day of my life, a life that I have also co-created. I would bank on that before I'd bank on the sun coming up tomorrow. I have no such claims that there won’t be another meltdown in my life, and possibly soon. I don't know what I'm ready to receive or when I’ll be ready to receive it. I just know God needs to patch up this circle.
I’m ready to hear the opinions from every camp: those who believe that the power is all within myself--that I don’t need to seek anything outside of little ‘ol me (or should I say, “great, big me” for those individuals?) and those who believe that we can do absolutely nothing in and of ourselves.
I don’t believe either one. And... I believe both.
A final thought: I look back from the hell I’ve come, and I see where I’m at right now. I’ve already been given so much. So much I could blog forever. Surely, I am blessed and highly favored. I am truly my Beloved’s. And He is mine. Knowing that, I feel that I am absolutely, positively without excuse to do something remarkable, beyond anything I could ever think or imagine, with my life. I’m intrigued by the words from The Man Himself: “You will do even greater things than I have done.” Those are some of the most provocative words I’ve ever read, yet no one really wants to talk about it. I want to talk about it. I want to prove Him right, but everybody else seems to think that’s blasphemous somehow, even though HE’S the One Who threw it out there to begin with! So, here I sit on a Sunday morning, e-pouring out my confessions of insecurity to the whole planet, wanting more than anything for my destiny and my purpose to finally converge in spite of it all. I don’t JUST want to hear my Father say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” I want Him to come tearing after me as soon as He sees me coming, grab me by the shoulders, look right in my face and say, “Wow. You blew Me away.”