No man can serve, follow two masters

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Have you ever had times in your life when things weren't going right? Days, weeks, months, years when no matter what you did, it was like pushing boulders uphill? Let's face it, life can be difficult. For those of you who are still having problems, I have some ideas for you to consider.

First of all, when you are going through a tough time, take a deep breath and relax. See clearly what you need to change in yourself. What are the inner demands, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions that you feel in yourself that are causing you so much turmoil? The most difficult thing for us to learn is that life is lived from the inside out. That means that you experience the world around you through your senses. Thus, if the world you're experiencing is difficult and painful, it is your thinking that must change. You can never change the world or those around you, no matter how hard you try. The attempts that you make to force life to fit your mental and emotional expectations are by far the biggest cause of any difficulty or unhappiness you may be experiencing. If you have burning anger or resentment inside you, everything you touch will burn. Only you can deprive yourself of anything.

You seem to have two parts to yourself. There is the real you, and the false ego you. The real you is in constant communication with your God or Spirit, the source of your life. When you tune into this part of you, you feel peace and love. The false you, the ego you, is the part that is always afraid you're not good enough, that you won't succeed, that you don't measure up to others, that you are too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too anything. Most of the time, we seem to walk a balance between listening and following our inner knowing or acting in response to our outer fears and terrors.

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus told us, "No man can follow two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." (Matthew 7:24) Therein lies the source of our difficulties. We are often trying to serve two masters, God and ego. I can say without any hesitation that God or Spirit is never the source of any problem in your life. Problems result from living in the ego, holding resentments, essentially, from not letting go and letting God.

Now, have you ever noticed that the same problem often repeats itself? The face changes, the details change: but, the core of the problem is often still the same. You may change cities, jobs, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends - yet, you find yourself in the same situation, over and over again. That is because something or someone else isn't the problem - you are, and wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

Problems will come to you as long as you are alive on planet Earth. And, if your body should die, before you change, guess what? The problems will continue in your next lifetime, until you learn the lesson that the problems bring with them.

So what should you do?

First, you need to get quiet in order to hear the soft voice of God or Spirit. Then you need to use denials and affirmations. Denials are saying or denying what you don't want in your life. Affirmations are saying what you do want. Then you say you are whole, healthy and well. You give yourself the greatest gift of all, you let go and let God, and so it is. Answers don't always come overnight; but, they do come. With practice, this works. Try it yourself and see.

Barbara Eckhardt is a practicing New Thought minister, ordained by the Universal Life Church. She is the spiritual leader of Unity Church of Peace. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312 or by e-mail at catherinehicks@wwub.com..

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