My child, in the life ahead of you, keep your capacity for faith and belief, but let your judgment watch what you believe. Keep your love of life, but throw away your fear of death. Life must be loved or it is lost. . . . Keep your wonder at great and noble things, like sunlight and thunder, the rain and the stars, and the greatness of heroes. Keep your heart hungry for new knowledge. Keep your hatred of a lie, and keep your power of indignation. . . . I am ashamed to leave you in an uncomfortable world, but someday it will be better. And when that day comes, you will thank God for the greatest blessing man can receive: living in peace.
-- Letter from a Yugoslav soldier
in World War II to his unborn child
(the man was later executed)
We all want to leave our children a better world than the one we found. The greatest legacy you can bestow is joy, which is a choice you can make right now. If you wait until the world changes to let your light shine, your dream will wither and die. Make your joy conditional on nothing outside you and on everything inside you. Then your children will have a role model of self-generated happiness.
Life is a game of focusing your attention. Everything you can imagine is out there. You'll never eliminate all the things you don't like or wish would go away, and resistance only creates more of what you fight against. To claim the life you desire, devote your mind, heart, and energy to everything you love, and let the rest be. Life is too precious to waste on what you don't want, but it's fully worth focusing on everything you do want.
Wonder and appreciation lift us up beyond the mundane. Do whatever it takes to find and create magic in your life. Bathe in the light of the full moon; gaze into a star-jeweled night; let yourself be lulled to sleep by the rhythm of waves. Life is seeking to love you. Are you letting it?
Your soul has its own song. Your unique energy and purpose are expressed through your talents, passions, and visions. When you're in touch with your joy and act upon it, your heart feels full and your life is rewarding. When you're disconnected from your passion, you feel empty, your life is frustrating, and you wonder what you're doing here.
Yet even when you're distracted by the fears and troubles of the world, your song still lives inside you. Its tune is etched upon your soul more deeply than any experience could be. As you move through difficulties, detours, or setbacks, your spirit guides you from within, urging you to carry on and emerge shining. In the face of a great challenge, your inner knowing comes forth in unprecedented power. All of your life lessons help you get back in touch with the music of your soul.
Others may try to influence you to sing their song rather than yours. If you do, you'll become resentful and lose your voice. To regain it, get back in touch with your truth and act on it. Never deny your expression for another's. You can harmonize and support someone else, but don't do it at the expense of your own happiness.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
You best serve others by reminding them of their song. Judgment, punishment, and power plays don't correct; they only drive human beings further from their joy and aggravate pain and self-defeating behavior. When someone is in distress or conflict, help them remember who they really are, and they'll have no need to hurt others.
Authentic self-expression brings healing, release, and relief. Remember your song, and you'll become magnetic and compelling . . . you'll also find peace within yourself.
The Truth about You
Dear God, please help me to recognize the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is.
Fearful minds have taught you that the truth about yourself is so horrid that you couldn't handle what you'd find if you dared to look. Yet, in reality, your truth is so magnificent that if you did look upon it, you'd find validation and inspiration to be all that you have the potential to be.
Most of what you think about yourself is learned from outside opinions. You've adopted dark self-images that have been projected onto you by others who don't know or love themselves. You began to believe that you were deficient or evil, to the point that whenever attention was drawn to your inner self, you cringed in fear of being exposed. But the best thing that could ever happen to your true self would be to expose it, for it's sparkling and wonderful in every way. It's really who God created you to be.
If you fear looking at your true self, you'll find many ways to distract yourself from it. Busyness, drama, and addictions are ways of avoiding facing yourself. To find the peace you seek, stop running and just be. Get to know who you really are. Remember the wholeness you felt before you joined the rush to nowhere. Then you'll recognize yourself through the eyes of love, and everything will be different.
This article is excerpted from:
Wisdom of the Heart: Inspiration for a Life Worth Living
by Alan Cohen.
About The Author
Alan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker in Hawaii, December 1-6, for an extraordinary retreat, “A Course in Miracles: the Easy Path.” For more information about this program, Alan’s Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 1, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com