When something doesn’t go our way we feel gloomy. We lose hope, we feel discouraged. This often translates to a very physical feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. What we are feeling is dis-spirited… without spirit. We feel abandoned, we feel a sense of loneliness.
Contrast this with the the state of creativity. Creation is the outcome of inspiration. Being inspired is the feeling of being filled with something: breath, joy, newness, accomplishment. an idea, it could be anything. Inspired people affect change and influence outcomes. When inspired, we feel open, vast, expansive.
I know this. Everyone does. And yet, most people (including me) miss the word hidden in both these words – ‘spirit.’ Honestly, I never paid attention to this word nestled amidst dis-spirited and inspired. I never gave these words or the feeling they brought on much thought. Till I read this line in ACIM – “To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited, but to be inspired is to be in the spirit.” And now, I can’t stop thinking about what they really mean!
When I have been bogged down by worries or have felt beaten down in life, I have felt so lonely. These have been moments when ‘I” am trying to solve something and have been defeated, or ‘I’ have been trying to do something and have been unable to, or ‘when things have not gone according to ‘my plan’. The moments I have been dis-spirited are when my ego’s plan for me have failed. I have been unable to control what is happening in my life. It strikes me now, that at such moments I have truly been without God. I have stepped away from surrender, trust, faith. I have seen the event or experience as my failure or my loss because ‘I’ have been in charge.
But during the truly inspired moments of my life, there has always been this sense of something greater than me being in charge. Even years ago, when I didn’t have the desire for Truth or let’s simply say the awareness of God was lesser, I would sometimes feel that what I have written as a writer didn’t come from me. Or in moments of challenge, an ‘inspired’ solution to the situation would arrive without much strife. They were all moments when ‘I’ have not been in a mad attempt to control the outcomes. They were the moments when I seem to have allowed the higher intelligence to work through me, speak through me or express through me.
“Is it truly that simple?” I asked myself, as I read these lines in ACIM. Yes, it is possible to live an inspired life. It is possible to experience peace, ease and joy when you live ‘in-spirit,’ when you live with a deeper connection to God/Higher Truth/Consciousness. When we remember to live in this space, we find life is lived effortlessly. The best way to know this is to simply check – how much struggle are we experiencing in our life at this moment?
If we find any, we are opening ourselves to feeling dis-spirited. We are acting in ways that we know ‘don’t’ work for us. We are turning to default ways of behaving. It is at such moments that we have a choice. I know, it is difficult to accept that what is happening is happening because of our choice. And it is this acceptance that is difficult. But if we can simply open our minds enough to accept this, we arrive at the space of choice. Do I choose to struggle or can I invite God in?
The word ‘spirit’ is like a sign-post, a nudge to choose well. So check your life every now and then. How are you feeling? Dis-spirited or inspired? But be aware! Inviting God in does not mean you give up action and responsibility, it just means you are opening yourself up to being inspired or being in-spirit. You are opening yourself to a partnership with God. In that space, the outcomes may not always be what you expect. But you are always bound to feel more peace, joy and ease than if you were trying to do it yourself.
So have you made up your mind? What are you going to choose today?