Prolific thinker and author Ernest Hemingway once said that his six-word story was one of the best pieces of writing he had ever penned: Ever read it? For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn. Brilliant: Opening act. Climax. Denouement. Curtain. In six words. And nobody left the theater wondering what happened.
Many have issues challenges to write a story in only six words–fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, romance, even autobiographies. The cutest one I’ve seen was the life story of an elderly dog: “Lost then found. Worked out great!”
As humans, we tend to complicate our lives, then we say that life is complicated. But we’re the ones unnecessarily creating challenges, and often making an even bigger mess when we try to resolve those challenges. Consider this: Life is not difficult; only a sadistic God would have made it so. Most things in life can be handled as simply as a six-word story, if we follow a few simple guidelines:
• Love yourself. Once you know who you are, you can’t help but love every bit of you. And when you understand that you are part of the One Presence in the Universe, everything changes.
• There is no spot where God is not. Consider the possibility that God is bigger and greater than a mythical male being who lives millions of miles away. If a spark of God is in every soul, everyone encountered is a Holy One. Is that how we treat them?
• We reap what we sow. If we reflected on everything we did or said to someone during this past week alone, would we be eager for our harvest–or regretful?
• Judge nothing, condemn no one, forgive everyone. It is reported that a loving Jew, who centuries later came to be known as Jesus, said: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) At the end of the day, we will not have to account for what others did to us–only for what we did to them.
We frequently excuse or justify our unChrist-like retaliatory behavior by pointing fingers at the other person, and repeating what he or she did–as if it’s our job to determine harvest time. All we’re really saying is that we don’t trust God to do God’s job. We use it as an excuse for not doing ours: Our job is to be the Light of the World. Our job is to remember that Light and Darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Our job is to see Invisible Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient Spirit that is God in everyone.
Let’s also remember that God must balance each situation on Earth through a physical channel. That channel might be you; but the only way you’ll know is if you ask for guidance, and remain open for direction, so that you can take the proper action.
There will be times when Spirit says, “Sit down, I got this.” Sit, trusting that the matter will be resolved in a most divine way, for the Highest Good of all concerned.
Other times, Spirit might say, “Listen, this is what I need you to do…” Do you know Spirit’s voice when you hear it? Don’t fool yourself or try to fool anyone else by saying that Spirit directed you to do something mean-spirited or self-righteous. If the solution is not simple or loving, it’s not God. You’re listening to your ego. You’re serving a false god. Be careful: It will compel you to make a withdrawal from your soul’s karmic bank account, and you might not have enough deposits to cover it.
Trust that everyone will get exactly what’s they deserve, in the manner and intensity that their behavior warrants. That’s the immutable law of the Universe. Unfortunately, our egos are so shortsighted that they want justice to show up a certain way, at a certain time. They don’t have enough insight to distinguish the mortal body from the immortal soul.
Egos have no idea that everything we do becomes part of our soul’s record. Some of the consequences meet us right way. Others don’t revisit until after our bodies fall away, throwing us off-guard, making us think that we’re victims.
If egos were eternal, they’d care more about that; but personalities die with bodies, and we’re left cleaning up the mess at some other juncture in our eternal lives. How do we get the upper hand?
Personally, I try to be very mindful of the consequences of every action. I ask frequently ask myself, “How would I want someone to treat me, if the situation was reversed?” I also pay close attention to the kinds of situations in which I find myself, always asking: “Why did I attract this situation or person? What lesson do I, as a soul, want to learn that this scenario or person came to teach me?”
I’ve discovered that certain dramas encore at a mind-numbing rate. The reason: I didn’t learn the lesson the previous times. I didn’t respond with love, rather than anger or revenge. I wasn’t patient with myself and others. I didn’t forgive. I didn’t let the Light lead. I didn’t choose peace. I didn’t trust God. If, as a soul, I have made a commitment to learn these lessons, I will voluntarily repeat these classes and call in tougher teachers until I pay attention and capitalize on these opportunities to practice responding to all situations in a more Christlike manner.
Life is not complicated when you seek higher consciousness. Actually, it’s so simple that you can write your memoir or epitaph in six words: “Asleep, then enlightened. Life became fun!” And nobody will leave your theater wondering what happened.