My dear friends...
Nothing has impressed me more, or impacted me more, in the entire body of work known as the With God books than the Three Core Concepts of Holistic Living given to us in CwG-Book 1:
God told me that if I lived my entire life with these concepts as my guidelines, all of the "dramas" of my life would be over. Now you must remember that when I was receiving the material in CwG, Book 1, that is where I was. I was in the midst of a great drama. I thought my life was over. I was 49, going on 50, and thought that I had nothing to show for my life, had achieved nothing, accomplished nothing, contributed nothing, acquired nothing (that I could seem to hold onto, at any rate), and, as far as I was concerned, that I WAS nothing.
Book 1 in the extraordinary CwG series was God's answer to my anxiety-ridden question, "What does it take to make life work?" What it "takes," God said, is awareness, honesty, and responsibility.
So let's look at this wonderful wisdom. Let's see what we can come to understand here.
First, God made it clear that for this formula to work, I had to apply it to my entire life. What is meant by "entire life?" Just that. Those words are clear. There is no compartment of my life that could be immune from the application of these concepts. They were to apply equally to my inner life and my outer life, to my personal life and my public life, to my work life and my social life. They were to be applied to my family relationships and to my romantic relationships and to my business relationships and to my personal friendships.
I could not get away with saying, "Oh, well, I can apply that here, but I'll just hold back on applying it there." Or, "that works in friendships, but it would never work in business," or anything like that. I had to be willing to apply it across the panoply of my life. God was inviting me to express that willingness.
Yet even after I inwardly did so, I outwardly resisted. It was too hard. At first, it was just too hard. It is still a challenge to this present day. Living a life guided by these Core Concepts is not easy. It is like a training. I sometimes feel like a Cadet in God's School of Higher Knowing, or something. I feel as though I should have been past the "cadet" stage long ago, and yet here I am, still dealing with what I am sure higher evolved beings find to be the Kindergarten of Consciousness.
Yet when I feel this way I have to take the first step into greater consciousness, which is to stop beating myself up for not being there yet. I work hard to accept myself exactly as I am, right where I am. The reason that this is such an important first step is that until I can accept myself in this way, I cannot accept anyone else in this way, and I will keep condemning other people for the "faults" I see in myself. Everything I see in me that I don't like, I will absolutely see in someone else. And I will condemn it there. I will make it wrong.
I have learned this by observing my own behavior. I very much hope that I have reversed this tendency, or at least turned down the volume on it, but I certainly know that I still have it.
So these days I have moved into a greater level of self-acceptance and comfort with who I am right now, and who I wish to be. I know that what I resist persists, and so I no longer resist the fact that I am not operating at a particularly high level of consciousness, and just accept and embrace myself for it.
Now let me discuss the Core Concepts themselves, and you will see how it can be a real training to try to implement them in your life. Yet it can also be immensely rewarding - like going on a strenuous diet. It takes work, it takes discipline, it takes dedication and commitment, but your life is incredibly enhanced because of it.
AWARENESS is the first Core Concept.
This simply means that we make ourselves aware of everything. We are awake. We are no longer "sleep-walking" through life. We open our eyes and see what is going on, exactly as it is, with no illusions about it, with no false thoughts or crazy ideas. We fight to get those out of our system and see things as they really are. We don't kid ourselves or delude ourselves or lie to ourselves or keep ourselves from looking at anything.
Awareness means that we "walk in awareness." That we ignore nothing. That we never pretend or claim that we "do not understand," or "could not have known," or "did not realize." It means that we own up to what it is reasonable to expect ourselves to understand, know and realize - and then raising the bar higher.
Awareness means that we look deep inside before and after every meaningful action and interaction, that we listen to ourselves tell ourselves about that, and that we close our ears to nothing that we are hearing from our Highest Self. It means having a conscience. It means being fully conscious, rather than walking around as if we were unconscious. It means knowing, and knowing that we know. It means knowing that we know that we know, and admitting that we know what we know.
It means stopping playing dumb, if we ever started. It means never again hiding behind the shield of ignorance. It means playing Life at a very high level, being sensitive to every nuance, noticing quickly every signal, seeing clearly every potential outcome.
It means knowing what hurts others, and knowing why it might hurt others, even though we are not technically responsible for the hurt that others may choose to feel. It means looking down the long road as well as the short, seeing distant effects as well as near-term, and choosing our thoughts, words, and actions with all of that in mind.
Awareness means looking deeply into every moment, noticing what the moment has to give to you, and seeing what the moment asks of you. It means being fully awake, not just partially awake. It means being fully present, not just partially present. It means being fully engaged, not just partially involved.
It means bringing all of your perceptions to This Moment Now, stretching them out to also cover as much of the Past and the Future as you can, and using those perceptions to recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are.
That is what Awareness is, and if you are Aware, then you are aware of what Awareness is, and need no further explanation.
HONESTY is the second Core Concept.
This simply means that we tell the truth at all times. We are truthful. That is, we are full of truth. It means that, first, we tell the truth to ourselves about ourselves. Next, we tell the truth to ourselves about others. Third, we tell the truth about ourselves to others. Then, we tell the truth about others to those others. Finally, we tell the truth to everyone about everything.
I have found that this is not easy to do. It's a real training. It requires a certain level of recklessness, a certain kind of abandon. What I have to abandon is my own safety - and my own need for safety.
Honesty means, simply, that we stop lying.
In a world full of lies, based on lies, run by lies, both large and small, this can be very difficult. People do not expect you to tell the truth anymore. In some cases they would rather have you lie.
Sometimes, a lie can be told without saying anything. Keeping quiet can be a lie. Honesty means saying everything that you know needs to be said in order for others - in order for someone else - to be holding the same number of cards that you have.
Honesty means telling the truth about that of which you are Aware. Awareness means being conscious about everything that you know and not pretending that you "don't know that" or "didn't know that."
RESPONSIBILITY is the third Core Concept.
This simply means that we take ownership for the part that we have played in Life - whatever that part may be. It means that when we do something spectacular that was nice, we don't say, "Oh, it was nothing." It means that when we do something horrible that was not nice, we don't say, "Oh, what does it matter?"
Responsibility means that we not simply lay claim to our deeds, but agree with ourselves to do something about the outcome of them, if we know in our hearts that something ought to be done. We will know this in our hearts if we are Aware. We will not deny this if we are Honest.
Responsibility means that we stand ready to fix what we have broken, repair what we have damaged, make right what we have made wrong, put back what we have taken away, correct what we have erred in, compensate where we have caused loss, and mend what we have torn that needs mending.
It means that we do not do a "New Age bypass" by claiming that we are not responsible for another person's actions and reactions, but lay claim to Who We Really Are by acknowledging that we are creating it all , and then do something about whatever part of what we have created does not represent the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are.
Awareness, honesty and responsibility are the only tools we will ever need to live wonderful, fulfilling and rewarding lives. I asked God, in the midst of my pain and darkness, "What does it take to make Life work?"
And God answered.
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.