Letting Go of the Outcome
August 4, 2002-
Letting go of control is probably the most difficult of spiritual challenges. Living by faith–not simply believing that something will happen because you prayed for it, but allowing the power of faith to take you where you need to go, is most difficult. Too often, we pray with childlike innocence, believing that we have some extra power that makes our dreams come true. If we get what we wanted, we believe that prayer works. If we don’t get what was desired, we believe that prayer failed. That level of faith, a faith of innocence, is not a mature faith, and often, the sad result is that the believer becomes disillusioned when the prayer didn’t “work”.
Too often, it is tempting either as spiritual leaders, or followers, to want to interpret spirituality as simply getting one’s own wishes. Some interpret the concept of abundance as getting the riches wanted. Others may interpret abundance as their excuse for feeling entitled to take from others in order to gain for themselves. Excess and spirituality are incompatible. Whether in the use of money, sex, alcohol, or power, when the desire is out of balance with the need, the result is greed.
Greed is in an opposing position from need. Greed is responsible for the pain of thousands who trusted corporate leadership. Greed in the form of power leads to dictatorships. Greed can lead to inappropriate sexual conduct, or abuse. It is one’s duty on the spiritual path to pray for the will of one’s spirit to be compatible with the will of God or the Universe. In spirituality, we pray to let go of the desires of the ego for the greater good, or the desire to serve.
This, however, can also be misrepresented, and has. Sometimes those in power lead others to believe that if they give up their own needs or personal power, they are being religious. This is another spiritual misconception. Spiritual power is what fills one to capacity within one’s spirit. Spiritual power leads those who will follow. However, spiritual power is an “inside job.” Those who give over their own sense of spiritual power and allow themselves to be taken advantage of are practicing an immature spirituality. Their motives may be appropriate, but refusing responsibility for one’s own spirituality is not.
As adults we need to rely upon our own inner resources. They are there if we 1.) surrender our ego, 2). are willing to follow what we know. That sense of Knowing is our own inner truth. It can be accessed by devout desire to serve. It can be misinterpreted by our own fear, or our own desire. Therefore, when we surrender, and have a sense of Knowing, we must “check it out” against the reality of our own fears, and our own desires. In other words, we must be able to look at all information objectively.
Faith is power. Living one’s life by faith opens many doors, but it also closes others. Looking to live one’s life as rich, famous, and adored by the masses is not likely to occur. What is likely is that one’s challenges are used for the good of humanity. In other words, when one suffers with chronic and debilitating illnesses or wounds, one may not have that taken away. What one may have is the “opportunity” to love God, Love, Life, Universe, Allah, or by whatever name one feels comfortable, through the affliction. Examples of great leadership have come from small children who accepted their infirmity and lived life to its fullest–regardless of the length of that life.
Faith is not a weak power to be called upon in crisis and ignored during comfort. Although crisis is often the catalyst for change, the faith of the spiritual sojourner is persistent and pervasive.
Do not allow others to take you off your path. Do not allow others to dissuade you of what you Know. Do not hold back truth so that others can live in the comfort of their own self-deceit. Evil in the form of discrimination, abuse, torture, greed, and power excesses is alive and well. It will need to be put on trial–the trial of truth. When we ignore even the smallest of hurts to another living being, we allow the process of evil to continue. This does not mean that we should be caught up in the power of revenge. It does mean that we must get caught up in truth-telling.
Faith does not mean that we will get what we want. Faith means that through all the acts that can happen to us, we are never alone. Faith means that when we act in accordance with our own sense of Knowing, that Spirit, by whatever name we are comfortable, goes before us and prepares the way.
Faith is stronger than fear. Faith is knowing that what we need (not want) will be provided when we follow our spiritual path. Therefore, live with joy, compassion, caring, and truth, knowing that you are never alone.
Please join us in Prayer/Meditation on Sunday, August 4, 2002 from any place and at any time. The International Peace Meditation has been celebrated on the first Sunday of every month since January 1995.
To learn more about the Institute,
please see: www.humanempowerment.org
Sue Kidd Shipe, President
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
P. O. Box 3920
Albany, New York 12203 USA