When I was living as a Street Person, under the open sky and in the weather, I came to deeply understand, experientially, the nature of fear. I also learned how to overcome it. And today I fear very little. This leads to an interesting question: What came first, my loss of fear or the Good Life that I am enjoying? Did the Good Life produce my loss of fear, or did it my loss of fear produce the Good Life?
I am clear now as I look back on it that it was the latter and not the former. It was my loss of fear that produced the Good Life. Unfortunately, I went to great lengths in my own life to get rid of my fear. In my case, I had to literally lose everything already before I could get to a place where I was no longer afraid of what I would lose! I took myself to the very bottom, relinquished everything that I held dear, let go of all of my physical possessions, watched my dreams and life goals evaporate, and stood by as an amazed observer as I witnessed my body finding itself homeless.
Only when I reached the place where I had "nothing to lose" did I lose the one thing that I was trying to lose: my fear. Out there on the street, my thoughts turned to everything that I had to gain -- and so I quite naturally gained everything. Where your thoughts are, there will your future also be.
I do not recommend this process to others. I am certain there is an easier way to understand that, as Franklin Roosevelt said, we have "nothing to fear but fear itself." Many times earlier in my life I have tried to teach myself this lesson, to bring myself to a remembrance of this truth. Many times earlier in my life I had sustained losses which I was convinced would leave me unhappy forever, only to find that joy and happiness were not nearly as elusive as I had imagined they would be, and that I could, indeed, be happy without the thing that I thought I could never lose.
What I'm trying to say here is that my life has shown me over and over again that I can sustain enormous loss and still retain my inner peace and happiness. And now, after the Conversations with God experience, I am really very clear about this, because I have come to understand that the peace and the joy and happiness which I seek does not and cannot come to me from outside of myself.
It sounds so trite to me when I say something like that. Everyone says "joy must come from within." But it is true. Every time I have placed the source of my happiness outside of myself, I have been disappointed. Every time I place the source of my happiness inside of myself, I am fulfilled. Let me share with you a technique that I have used with wonderful effectiveness in my own life to realize that the truest happiness and the greatest joy lies within me. I experience this the moment that I bring happiness to others.
All I have to do to experience all the peace, all the serenity, all the wisdom, all the understanding, all the joy, and all the happiness that lies within me (and that is inherently part of my nature) is to decide to give these things away -- to be the source of these things for others. For in the moment that I give these things away, I experience that I have them.
The fastest way to experience that you have anything -- the fastest way to experience that you ARE anything -- is to give what you have and what you are in fullest measure to others. That is why it is been said by virtually every spiritual master who has walked on this planet: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
This is not because "giving" is a "nice thing to do," but because "giving" is the fastest pathway to the treasure chest that lies within each of us. It is the combination that opens the safe. It is the key that turns the lock. It is how we get into the space where our True Self resides.
Once we are in that space, we come from that space. And that is a great secret.
When I was younger a popular phrase that was thrown around by everyone was, "Where are you coming from?" Everyone was asking everyone else, "Where are you coming from with that?" When you're coming from the place where the True Self resides you quite naturally send outward -- you literally emit from yourself -- the Essential Energy that is found at the core of your being.
This energy is called, by some, Love. This is Who You Really Are. And there is no faster or more profound way to experience this than to allow this energy to flow through you to others.
The interesting thing about this is that in this choice not only do you find yourself, but you give others back to themselves. For what others see in you they begin to see in themselves. You stand as the great example and the great possibility for others.
And, of course, as you bring happiness and joy and peace to others, they experience themselves as more of Who They Really Are. They get back in touch with themselves. So two things occur at once: They see themselves in you, and they experience their True Self within themselves.
When you bring someone happiness, they become happy. When you bring someone joy, they become joyous. When you bring someone wisdom, they become wise. All you are doing is placing them in touch with what already exists within them. This is the insight of every great master. This is the understanding of every great teacher. This is the "aha!" that every student comes to. We are doing nothing here with our spiritual work but giving people back to themselves.
First, we start with ourselves. Then we move on to others. Ultimately, the whole of humanity is returned to Itself.
Can this happen? Can this really occur? Is transformation of an entire species possible? Of course it is. This is called growth. It is the means by which a species evolves.
We are moving now into a rapid phase in this process. The process itself is speeding up, exponentially. The question is not whether this is occurring, the question is, what part will you play in its occurring? Will it be something that is happening TO you, or something that is happening THROUGH you? That is the only question.
In order for it to be happening through us, we must release ourselves from our fears.
One of the greatest fears in life as I have observed it is the fear of being rejected. Certainly, I have experienced this fear in my life. I would have to believe that most of us have. I have found a powerful antidote to this fear. I simply do not reject anyone for any reason at all.
When I give others my total acceptance something quite remarkable happens. Two things, actually. First, when I give others my total acceptance I give myself total acceptance. Second, when I give others my total acceptance they give me their total acceptance. What goes around comes around. Life sends to us what we send to it. It is every bit as simple as that, and I know that I am preaching to the choir here, so please don't feel talked down to. The truth is, I'm really talking to myself. I'm reminding myself of what I already know.
All the things I fear, I amplify. All the things I love, I amplify as well. Conversations with God tells us that there are only two places from which to come as we move through our lives. We are either coming from Love or we are coming from Fear in everything that we think and say and do.
I have learned to check my inner sense of where I'm coming from with all of my important thoughts, words, and actions. And when I feel that I'm coming from Fear, I try to move closer to the core of my being, to the Essential Energy, to the True Self.
It sometimes feels dangerous for me to do this. It sometimes feels as though I am risking everything. Only when I continue to understand that I have nothing to lose do I find it easy to stand in my truth, to say what is so for me, to express myself authentically in every moment, and to remove the shield that I have been holding in front of me in the imagining that I must protect myself from you.
These days I am clear that you are not who I need to protect myself from. You are who I do not wish to separate myself from ever again. It is in the reality of our Oneness that I will find my true freedom from fear.
I wish you well on this day. I wish you Godspeed on your journey. I wish you peace and joy and love and happiness on your path. I promise to provide you with company along the way whenever and however I can. I choose never to feel separate from life again, in any of its manifest forms. I am free. Free from fear at last. In the Oneness I am free.
© 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.