I know that there have been many times while driving that I snapped out of auto-pilot that was taking me one way when I really intended to go someplace else. When that flash moment zaps me, I wake up to having gone the wrong direction, so I self-correct by turning around or taking a different route. That is the moment of awareness.
Too much of my life has been spent in just going along for the ride oblivious that I had choices. But knowing there is a choice requires me to be present. My thoughts about the past can cloud my mind with shame, regret, frustration, and even anger at others as well as myself. I recall past events that bring joy and happiness, but most of the time even those moments do not stay in focus because they can be fleeting if I am unconscious of the goodness of my life. Likewise because my future is yet to unfold, worry and fear can dominate the perspective of what is yet to be. How often do I consider the amazing opportunities that await me?
And for each of the split seconds in the present do I appreciate what is happening now? That is when awareness is critical to finding peace and calm if that is what I desire or choose. I know that the present can slip into the past instantly and can also walk me into the future in the next breath. But I have the ability to stay in the moment with practice and be aware of how that feels.
Awareness is a choice. I can decide to enjoy the colorful leaves that were blown off the trees onto the lawn by the blustery winds or I can bemoan the fact that I now have a monumental task of raking and bagging all of the debris left by nature from last winter.
Now as I begin each day, will I choose to be irritated by the crowd of expectations or will I remember to be peaceful, loving, kind, and forgiving (yes, forgiving of myself also) to all people.
I get to choose. Being aware of what I choose will make my present moment one of anger or bring me moments of joy as I make the many clean sweeps across my lawn or as I plant new flowers. I have to be aware that it is not just happening to me, it is an opportunity to learn about myself. So I keep looking for the clues that will bring my attention to my awareness of life.
Thank you for listening and giving me guidance when I feel confused and lost.
With Love, Norma Jean
“How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way you go? Are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask then, your Friend to join with you, and give you certainty of where to go.” (T-23.II.22:6) ACIM