Marilyn Briant is the author of The Pax Principles, The Leopard and The Mouse, and Arms Out-Kiano Sees The World.
Making A Decision
I don’t dwell on it, but I am always in awe of the transformation that has taken place inside me. And I always feel blessed these days. It is such a different feeling from the way I felt for so many years.
It never ceases to amaze me that there was a purpose to all that pain I went through. That there was a gift hiding in it all. That when it finally became unbearable, the pain moved me towards spiritual transformation, towards change.
I had to reach that point. The fork in the road. The place where life simply was not worth living, if I couldn’t find any meaning, any real happiness or peace. Before finally, I reached out. Asked a God I didn’t really believe in, for help. “Please show me,” I begged, “that there’s something more than the way I’m living, some meaning in life.”
I so didn’t want to be there, in that angry, frustrating, and pain-filled place in which I lived for so long. I wanted to feel good, I wanted to have some peace and I wanted to know there was a different way to live. And even though I didn’t hear God’s booming voice responding to me, or even a whispered promise in my ear that day, the guidance began just a few days later.
Discovering Who You Are
It was as simple as someone giving me a Shirley MacLaine book, Dancing in the Light, or it could have been Out on a Limb. And as I read more and more books on personal power and spiritual awareness, I realized there was more to me than I knew. I had a soul, an energy, a wise person inside me. I began to connect with that part of me. To learn and absorb the concepts that would help me find what I was looking for.
It is easy to recall those early days in my search for answers and meaning. I remember realizing how unreal I had always felt, how sad I was inside. And then slowly I began understanding why.
At first I was upset when I observed my thoughts, recognized the negative feelings—those seeds in my mind—which I had never looked at or known were growing there. The feelings of anger, fear and hatred which had formed in my childhood and taken root. The negativity that had anchored itself way down inside me.
No wonder I was confused and unhappy! There, in the darkness of my mind, it was almost impossible for me to see a way out. Or maybe to see clearly at all.
But as awareness slowly crept in and I gratefully accepted the guidance I had asked for, I moved towards the light, started to actually feel God’s energy. An energy that seemed to have nothing to do with the religious God I had been taught about. This was different. I felt unconditional love, acceptance and encouragement. And as I got to know my spiritual self, different seeds began to grow. A transformation started to take place inside me.
Light reached deep into my heart, bringing with it understanding, joy and compassion. Edging out fear and hatred—leaving no room for anger or guilt—Love’s light guided me along the way to peace.
But it didn’t happen overnight. I remember my initial reluctance, my refusal to acknowledge my responsibility in needing to change. I wanted the seeds causing my pain to be taken away—wanted someone else to fix what was wrong with me—wanted someone else to solve my problems. I wanted to believe there was an easy way, a way that somehow didn’t involve the need to do it myself.
I wanted to feel better, but I held on to the belief that others needed to change first. It wasn’t up to me to change. I wasn’t responsible for helping myself.
And now I realize this is where so many of us get stuck or even stay. We gain understanding about what we need to do, but then we question whether we want to. We refuse to accept that it is up to us—that we have to do the work of healing and changing.
It took time for me to accept this. But this was time in which my awareness grew. Time in which I made so many small and big changes in how I thought about and behaved towards me. Time in which my growing understanding led to changing my negative thinking. Led to setting boundaries in my life, led to changing my beliefs. Time in which those close to me resented the changes I was making, but through staying strong I continued uprooting the seeds in my mind, and transformation was happening.
Like so much in everyday life, every step along my way involved choice. I had to make decisions on whether to stay with what I knew or change and move on. I had to accept that feeling better and having meaning in my life involved choosing to change my thoughts and behavior.
Now, as I reflect on what I chose, I understand that just realizing I could choose something else for myself ended up directing my choices. Love had shown me the damage those seeds in my mind—the anger I held on to, the pain I couldn’t let go of and the forgiveness I couldn’t offer—were doing to my ability to feel joy and peace.
And I was ready to choose to transform them. I was ready to accept the natural outcome of finding my true self. I was ready for spiritual transformation to happen.
Ultimately, I recognized that peace cannot grow, cannot exist without awareness and a willingness to change. Without putting into practice what I learned to be true, there would be no end to pain, no real joy or lasting peace. There was no point in saying, “I will try to be less angry, more forgiving, more loving to myself,” because spiritual transformation means actually doing it—letting go of anger, forgiving myself and others, and loving myself.
And that’s when it happened. When I allowed my soul-self to guide my thoughts and actions. When I started living from my heart and allowing Love’s light within me to shine, I replaced the seeds of anger, fear, frustration, jealousy and hatred, with those that created love, compassion, acceptance and joy. Spiritual transformation came, bringing with it peace, deep, lasting, inner peace.
Marilyn Briant (author) on December 06, 2020:
Yes, change is difficult, but the reward is just wonderful! Being kind to myself and others, being non-judgmental and living from my heart feels good. It feels 'right'. It is amazing to just recognize the guidance and follow a spiritual path towards deep inner peace.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 05, 2020:
I think making chnges is the difficult part but we can achieve it.