by Debbie Ford
Divine consciousness and human consciousness co-exist within each of us. Most of us are unaware that, although we are living a human experience, we have access to higher levels of consciousness at every moment of our lives. When we access these higher levels of consciousness, we open up to a divine experience that alters the way we see our lives and the trials and tribulations of our everyday human experience.
This was certainly true for Mark, a man in his late fifties who is now retired. In his youth, Mark was a hotshot Miami attorney – a force to be reckoned with. He was known for his genius and his ruthlessness. He was thought of as strong willed, bright, and in charge. He used his force and his wisdom to bully people. His knowledge of the law propelled him to the top of his field. When he wasn’t tending to his clients’ business, he was taking care of his own vendettas. His driving commitment was to get even with the people he felt had wronged him. Mark spent 25 years of his life making choices from his humanity, not knowing that these choices would ultimately rob him of his life force, disempower him, and take away his right to live a happy life. In fact, his attachment to his personal battles cost him his passion and fulfillment.
Then one day, at the conclusion of yet another battle, Mark broke down. He realized that it no longer mattered if he won or lost. At the end of any of his lawsuits, he was left feeling drained, tired, and unfulfilled. There was no glory, no real resolution, and no contentment to be found in these shallow pursuits. In this moment of grace, Mark woke up and realized that his victories were hollow and his losses devastating. He could no longer continue making choices from that place inside him that was interested only in getting even.
In a grand gesture, Mark closed his law practice and put away his law degree. Shamed by his obsessive behavior, Mark turned to a higher source for guidance. To his great surprise, the answers he sought came easily. He saw that there was a greater source of justice in the world than himself and that the divine path was the road to glory and the human path was the road to grief. He realized that when he stepped back from his grievances and took the high road, he served not only himself but his entire family and his community at large.
I asked Mark to make a list of what living from his humanity had brought him. His list looked like this:
– Financial security
– A great reputation
– Emotional turmoil
– Inner conflict
As he made the list, Mark could see that even though he was an outward success, he was an inner mess. He learned that if he accepted that there was a power greater, wiser, and more just than his own – and if he made his choices based in that power – he got rewards he had never imagined. I then asked Mark to list what he would have in his life if he chose from his divinity. His list looked like this:
– Peace of mind
– More time to spend on community projects
– More time with my family
– Time and energy to be creative and productive
– A more loving heart
– A greater appreciation for my time and energy
Mark began to take a wider view of his life and his options. He now lives each day with the understanding that as humans, we have so much potential to grow, expand, and contribute to the lives of those we come in contact with, and we have only a limited amount of time in which to do it. He learned the hard way that when we spend our time criticizing, blaming, judging, and making the world around us wrong, we are in fact choosing to live at a level of consciousness where grief resides and discontent breeds. He shared with me the wisdom that his experience gave him. He saw that when we are spending time on the little picture, we have no time left to devote to the big picture. The big picture includes not only ourselves but also the world around us. Mark understood that choosing to act from his highest self might mean that sometimes he has to turn the other cheek or give up his position.
Something magical happened once Mark committed to allowing his divine self to guide him. He began to view the world through a pure, loving lens. He woke up and looked for the evidence of the divine working in his life and was able to focus on what was happening in the moment rather than projecting into the future or dwelling in the past. He looked for opportunities to serve the greater whole and was willing to give up his righteous opinions and instead looked for the gifts in every situation.
When we are looking through divine eyes, we search for what’s right about our lives and are grateful that we are alive and in a body – that we have the precious ability to think, feel, love, and make a contribution. We know we are being guided by our divinity rather than our humanity when we stand in constant amazement at – and in awe of – our life and the universe. We feel connected and safe, and we trust that we will receive all that we need and all that we desire. We feel entitled to the help and support of the universe and watch in wonder as our heart’s desires are fulfilled spontaneously and effortlessly.