When we have finally reached the level where God’s will and our will are indistinguishable in all our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of the day, our Thought Adjuster becomes eternally one with us. Unfortunately this process involves much more than simply praying for God’s will to be ours. The rub of the process is that we have to attune our will with God’s, and this involves decisions, decisions and more decisions accompanied by disappointment, disappointment and more disappointment as we do a post hoc analysis of our failures in achieving our heart’s desire.
What makes this attuning our will to God’s will so difficult? I suggest two reasons:
- The fact that life is simply not a process of two wills impinging on our being but countless wills, for example, the will of those we love dearly and could not contemplate hurting; the will of our insecurities where others are concerned which negate our even attempting an action which would meet with their disapproval; the will of our firmly held convictions about what we are or should be; our misconceptions about what life is, who others are in relation to us, and who we are.
These other-than-God’s will exert, millisecond by millisecond, their pervasive directional power over us and our major challenge is identify each and every obstacle in our task of eradicating all other than God’s will in our daily thoughts, feelings and actions. And change is difficult, painful, and requires determined and concentrated effort on our part.
However, we can change our behaviour if:
- we believe in what we need and want to change towards – that is we believe that it is worthwhile
- we are aware of what the necessary skills are – what they look and sound like
- we have support in applying those skills to the area of application which, when we are striving to attune our will to God’s will, is beyond question. Indeed, we will have the support of the universe in our endeavours
- we make the effort required to change
One commonly shared cultural attitude which blocks most of us from acknowledging the family connection of every person we meet is that of greeting a stranger as the postal employee, baker or plumber. We are prone to interact with them on the basis of the role they play in society, and ignore the reality that they are a brother or sister. Consequently, we are neither fulfilling one of the criteria for admission to the “kingdom”, nor are we doing as Jesus demands “learning to understand and love them.”
If we acknowledge this as a problem in our life we have reached level two of the ‘behavioural change process’ (level one being: unconscious ineffectiveness where we are totally unaware or are denying this as an attitude which is inappropriate for a God child.
At level 2 – that of conscious ineffectiveness – our thoughts and will are challenged by experience (‘I’ve just got to handle this differently; it can’t go on like this.’) or information (we read about a different approach, or see it.) For example, we go into the post office, the employee says “yes please!” We rummage in our wallet for money and say “four $1 stamps, please!” Money is exchanged for stamps, and the employee looks over our shoulder and says “Next, please!” We have made no personal contact, and we have not acknowledged their existence in our world other than as a supplier of stamps.
So we wish to change, and now advance to level 3 – connecting the skill – which is a process of approximating known to actual. We start practising new approaches, and our preferred is to advance on the “Next please” call, and greet the employee with some comment on the day’s weather conditions, or the fact that they look busy. And here is the rub of change, for its one thing to practise the skill privately, but it’s another to practise it in the post office. All of our greeting rehearsal may be responded to with a grunt of impatience! Disillusioned, we may label the employee as rude (another attitude to be addressed after recognition of family relationship becomes an automatic skill).
We feel hurt, unappreciated but must not give up. Have a post mortem after the failure, develop strategies to cope with the grunt, maybe it is better to say “four $1 dollar stamps, please” and look the employee in the eye as money is exchanged, making a sincere “Have a lovely day” comment, or say “thank you” and mean “thank you.” The main thing is to stay with it. If we start a change process and merely give up because it’s too hard to remember to say this, or do that, or act this way, the problem can hardly be said to be the skill area itself. Rather it is our lack of determination to grow, to change.
Effort, exercise of will and practice will see improvement (not perfection). If we ‘fail’, we will learn from that failure, and with renewed zeal and a more finely tuned approach, plus increased determination on the rightness of our need to change, we will improve the next time.
So, with practise, disappointment at “failure”, and development of more strategies to aid in our ‘higher attitude’ acquirement, we finally reach level 4 – conscious effectiveness – where we can now consciously tune in and redirect our strategies to achieve our goal of acknowledging the existence of a brother or sister in the postal employee.
And after approximately 150 consecutive successful attempts we will reach the level of success – unconscious effectiveness – where we don’t have to think, all the time “am I doing it right? What should I say now?” Broadly speaking the skill has become second nature, and in this facet of our desire to attune our will to God’s will we have ‘arrived.’