“Your ability to cocreate the next moment requires acceptance of the present.”
One day last week, I ventured out to my mom’s driveway, hopped into my car and pressed the button that magically converts it into a convertible. I noticed a man watching my every move from a car across the street, which I intuitively found a bit unnerving. As I tossed a couple of beach chairs that I was transporting home into the back, he approached, stating my first and last name with a questioning tone.
“Yes?” I replied, as if I wasn’t quite certain that’s who I was.
Without saying a word, he handed me a piece of paper and walked back to his car. Upon examination, I realized it was a court summons. I was to appear within 20 days of receiving the notice, if it was handed directly to me and within 30 days if not. I did not recognize the name of the plaintiffand since the form was all but written in a foreign language, it took a while to comprehend what it was for.
A few years ago, I began to work with a debt settlement company, a fear and scarcity-based decision of the times. It had seemed like a brilliant idea, allowing a company to negotiate deals on my behalf so I would only have to pay about 50% of what I owed. It felt better than bankruptcy, the only other choice I saw back then. My debt had become unmanageable and I was really only just beginning to understand that spending money had become an addiction from which I had to recover; stopping the bleeding sounded like a good enough place to start at the time.
On paper, it was a fabulous idea, and the company was able to negotiate a couple of great deals straight out of the gate. One bank inexplicably waived every penny I owed them. It seemed like I’d be able to dig myself out of the hole in no time, despite the fact that I hadn’t changed my spending habits and was still charging on the two cards I did not include in the program. I was only supposed to do so for “emergencies” but I defined that term very loosely. Attending concerts, dining out, traveling and shopping seemed urgent enough to me. It was virtually pointless to address my debt while I was still so busy collecting it, but it was a good way to delude myself into believing I was acting more responsibly.
A few months after settling my first couple of accounts, I began to break out in hives every time I entered the place I’d been employed for the previous six years. Friends joked that I was allergic to working and I laughed along until I was medically advised to quit. I would learn several months later that despite how obvious it had seemed, it was not whatever was unearthed by the building’s construction I’d been allergic to. That had just been life’s way of moving me along from a job I’d outgrown.
I continued to make payments to the debt settlement company, but since I no longer had a source of income, I paid only the minimum I owed them for services, nothing extra to settle the actual debts with. Once a month, the company contacted me to find out how much I had put aside to negotiate with; my answer never changed. When I began to make money again, I went straight back to spending it irresponsibly.
True, I did so with cash, a major step in the right direction, as I was not spending money I didn’t have. But I did not put so much as a penny of the money that poured in toward my debt. I figured I could get around to that later. Little did I know the flow of prosperity would slow to a trickle; truthfully, I couldn’t be more grateful today that it did. It’s doubtful I would have begun to heal my relationship with money had it gone down any other way.
When I developed enough spiritually to see it, I realized there is no such thing as settling a debt for less than one owes, at least not from a karmic standpoint. It was time to take responsibility for the money I’d borrowed and spent. I wanted to call my debt collectors and tell them I no longer wished to settle; I tried to picture their reactions when I stated I wanted to pay the full amounts owed. But I wasn’t making enough money at the time to contact them, so I didn’t. I simply ignored them, which was easy to do as I’d long ago sent them “cease and desist” letters, and they were unable to stalk me by phone.
I was fully intending to start paying them soon and had actually considered calling one of them earlier that week – ironically, the very company that decided to take my ass to court. Apparently, it was too late to make nice. I was done for.
The messenger sat in his car taking notes, presumably, I figured, about the beach chairs and convertible. It just didn’t look good. I cursed the fact that I’d been at my mom’s house that morning, the address they have listed for me, and that I was outside at the very moment this man pulled up. I never would have answered her door if I’d been inside and he’d rung the bell. The timing could not have seemed worse, but although my surface mind struggled with this, I did not entirely lose sight of the fact that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I couldn’t see said reason at that exact moment, but deep inside, I knew this had to be unfolding perfectly. Everything does.
My first reaction was 100% fear-based. I was screwed. They were going to take my car. The letter was dated in early June, which I hadn’t noticed until the messenger drove away. I was already past the 20-day mark. I was going to be arrested for not showing up in court!
I let my mind spin through its irrational fears for a bit before jumping in to counter them before I created any unwanted realties. I don’t own my car yet, so technically, no one can take it, especially not a company I owe much less than the worth of my car. Arrest was improbable, at least for the day. None of these companies have my real address. As for the timing, I realized how much better it was that I was there, and not my mom. If they had handed her that paper, which wasn’t even in an envelope, she would have freaked out at least 1000 times more than I had.
Within minutes, I was breathing deeply and determined to put this out of my mind. I had plans which I was very much looking forward to, and I was not going to allow this incident to ruin my mood. Also, I had just recently begun to allow prosperity again. I know enough about the law of attraction to understand there is no quicker way to stop the flow then to allow your mind to take another spin on the fear and scarcity track. There was a solution for this and I would find it, but not until I was feeling good enough about the situation to allow for it. That morning, the best I could do was put it out of my mind.
A few hours later, an endlessly inspirational friend, who fortunately for me happens to be an incredible coach, produced a printed version of an email he’d sent me about acceptance earlier that week, which I hadn’t yet read thoroughly.
“It is often our resistance to a situation which creates more distress than what is actually happening. Our fears about the future compound the pain that arises from a change in the present. Our fear of how change impacts our self-image disturbs our peace and prevents us from embracing the message and meaning of the experience…”
As I read these timely words, my friend informed me they were written by David Simon, co-founder of the (Deepak) Chopra Center, while recovering from brain cancer. That put my challenge into some serious perspective. I thanked my friend for presenting exactly what I’d needed to read at that moment, and shared about my court summons. The words surprised me upon expression, as I hadn’t planned to tell a soul; now here I am writing about it. Before long, I was laughing about a topic which had seemed so catastrophic a few hours ago; my fear just completely evaporated.
The next day, I felt brave enough to call the company that sent the letter. Before doing so, I aligned my energy and pictured hanging up the phone, feeling utterly relieved. Once connected to the woman in charge of my account, I calmly told her my story, from the beginning. I explained that I understood how it looked, but that I really did want to pay my debt, and had only been avoiding them so as not to repeat affirmations of lack. I talked to her at great length about the law of attraction.
Not only did she tell me I did not have to appear in court, but she also provided a settlement offer, about 30% less than I owed. I declined, explaining that I wanted to pay my debt in full. She repeated the offer. I repeated my intention.
I am sending her a check this week, in good faith, to show her I am serious. It will only be for a fraction of what I owe, but it’s something. And I will be calling the other companies as well, not the debt settlement company itself, which I have paid handsomely to cut corners for me, but the debt collectors that represent my remaining banks. I will be calling to let them know I have no intention of settling with them. They will have to accept my payment in full.
Today’s Prosperity Process:
Simply read the rest of David Simon’s brilliant words, and apply to any situation which you are currently resisting:
It’s easy to accept what is unfolding in our lives when we are experiencing peace, harmony, laughter, love, and abundance. It is more challenging to be in a mode of acceptance when we are experiencing pain, loss, and frustration. Yet it is often our resistance to a situation which creates more distress than what is actually happening. Our fears about the future compound the pain that arises from a change in the present. Our fear of how change impacts our self-image disturbs our peace and prevents us from embracing the message and meaning of the experience.
The human mind, inherently impatient, activates emotional reactions when our ideas about how things should be collide with how things are. Time plays a role in all things human. Our ability to embrace and integrate the ever-present moment and the ever-transforming relative reality is the essence of acceptance. These two phrases embody the paradox we seek to resolve:
“I embrace the present moment as it is.”
“This too shall pass.”
When you are dealing with something that is challenging your ability to accept, close your eyes, feel your body, and notice where you are holding tension. Bring your awareness into the place of constriction and breathe into it with the intention of surrendering. Then silently, like a mantra, repeat the two phrases above, until you feel some letting go of your resistance. These two apparently contradictory truths find resolution in acceptance. Acceptance provides the basis for healing and transformation.
A Vedic Tale
I recently heard an insightful story about Brahma (god of creation), Vishnu (god of protection), and Shiva (god of dissolution). Brahma had convinced one of Shiva’s devotees to switch allegiances, which infuriated Shiva. Shiva became so threatening that Brahma ran to the domain of Vishnu for safety. When the two quarrelling deities approached the meditating Vishnu, they felt such peace that they forgot why they were fighting. After a few moments, Vishnu opened his eyes at which point, Brahma and Shiva resumed their argument. Vishnu listened compassionately and then informed them that the few minutes they had spent in his domain was equivalent to tens of thousands of years in human time. Therefore, the devotee over whom they were fighting had long died, as had his children, grandchildren, and several generations of heirs. Their peace was disturbed by something that had no real or lasting existence.
Remember this story the next time you are struggling to accept something that is happening to you. Accept this moment, know that change is inevitable, and become clear on what you would like to see manifest. Your ability to co-create the next moment requires acceptance of the present.