Every now and then I discover a book that immediately captures my attention. Not since I haphazardly picked up "Facing Co-Dependence" by Pia Melody 5 years ago this month, have I felt so certain I was intended to find a book.
"Conversations with God" has profoundly altered my mindset. Finally my nagging questions about why I haven't been comfortable "wanting" money & success have been answered.
Though part of me fears that sharing just this tiny piece of the material presented in this book may minimize it's impact, I have faith that if you're truly interested you will make your way to a library or used book store, find a copy and read it yourself.
So, I'll begin by sharing that part of why I'm sharing this story has to do with the random nature of this book's appearance in my life, and the uncanny timing.
I've made a mental note that this is not the first time I've received messages from my God through books. I encourage you to consider that your God may be speaking to you in uncanny ways, too.
As I completed my Saturday volunteer tasks at Trash 2 Treasure Creative Reuse Center, I gathered up 4 boxes of books to scan, record and send off to Betterworld Books for distribution. In the first box, the title "Conversations with God", laying at the top, caught my eye. As I picked it up, my thoughts wandered immediately to "Do I really need to read another spiritually based self-help book?" … yet, I considered I might at least open it before I packaged it up.
It had been a very long week. A series of small, but poignant challenges had really derailed me, and I was tired. Really, really tired. I was teetering very close to that "I just can't do this anymore" place in my head that comes right after fear tells me "This is just too hard."
Maybe "God" could explain, "Why Me?".
I began 2011 with a true belief that this would be a significant year for my business growth. I'd set some big goals and I was working a big plan for the Wise Well Women Community and 12 Baby Steps Coaching. But these first three months had been tough, and I found myself struggling more than ever before. I had convinced myself that it was my old "money story" getting in the way, that somehow I lacked drive or ambition, or I simply hadn't set my goals high enough. I was sure I must not want success badly enough!
So I'd set out to "fix" my money story, by creating vision boards full of images of $1,000,000 bills, expensive cars and jewelry I'd never wear. I recited affirmations about "desiring to make money". I studied definitions of success and theories of motivation and methods of instilling discipline. At each new level of seeking, something just didn't feel right about trying to condition myself to "want" money. It was de-motivating, rather than energizing. At my core, I could feel it wasn't working, and I kept asking myself, "What is holding you back?"
Frankly, the last thing I had envisioned doing when I got home Saturday night was opening yet another book, and especially not one with the word "God" on the cover. But as I got out of the car, I was compelled to turn back to pick the book out of the bin and carry it in the house.
My Inner Wisdom was speaking, and thankfully, after years of practice, I listen sometimes without consciousness.
This was one of those times.
I stopped in the kitchen and poured a glass of cool water, sat down and opened the book. Years ago, I began opening a new book naturally, letting the pages fall where they may. I did that as usual.
And from that place I read:
"Does that mean I cannot ask for anything I want? Are You saying that praying for something actually pushes it away from us?
And God replied:
This is a question which has been asked through the Ages – and has been answered whenever it has been asked. Yet you have not heard the answer, or will not believe it.
The question is answered again, in today's terms, and today's language, thusly:
You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience– wanting– in your reality.
The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.
And in that moment, reading just those few words, I experienced a sense of powerful knowing, a deep understanding of the source of my recent anxiety.
In this single paragraph was the key to the answer I'd been subconsciously seeking for weeks, and really, for years.
Somehow I'd known that forcing myself to "want" symbols of success was not my solution. Setting goals defined by "wanting" a particular thing or amount of money, and asking for it, had clearly created a self-perpetuating sense of inadequacy and lack for me. Somehow I knew that pushing to achieve milestones based on that "wanting" was actually causing greater hurdles to appear along my path.
It was so clear to me, now. Intuitively, I must have known I'd been right to reject "wanting"!
I was struck with a wave of relief.
And here, on page 11, of "Conversations with God- an uncommon dialogue", was the wisdom that I will carry with me forever. It was the simple affirmation that read:
When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there… in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.
Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate. "
And I know now that when my ego-mind asks as the author did:
"But how then can I be truly grateful for something I know is not there?
God has replied:
Faith. If you have but the faith of a mustard seed, you shall move mountains. You come to know, it is there because I said it is there; because I said that, even before you ask, I shall have answered."
The process of prayer becomes much easier when, rather than having to believe that God will always say "yes" to every request, one understands intuitively that the request itself is not necessary. Then the prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is not a request at all, but a statement of gratitude for what is so."
I will close, with the writing of author, Neale Donald Walsch, in the opening paragraph of this book:
In the spring of 1992 – it was around Easter as I recall– an extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. God began talking with you. Through me.
So here we are – the day past Easter 2011. This is my journey. I share it with the hope that someone hurting might find strength in knowing he or she is not alone in the quest for understanding. I reference "God" in a way that works for me. Change the language to suit your belief, or not. In the 12 Step world we say "take what you need, and leave the rest". Allow your Inner Wisdom to be your guide.
In the spirit of wisdom, well-being and wealth-
I wish you well-
P.S. This is just one of the many "ah-hah" moments I'm sure I will have as I continue reading "Conversations with God". I'd love to share in the wisdom of your experience, too. Add your comments below if you'd like.