STEP THIRTEEN CONTINUED: We follow the principle that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. The witness of our lives is the only message we need to carry to others.
Instruction: Rest in spiritual peace.
When we embrace certain religious beliefs, we find our lives become more complicated and less peaceful, more involved and less free. Many religions, because of their belief that their way is the best way and perhaps the only way, encourage their converts to share their path with friends, family members, and strangers. This can intimidate both the one that is sharing their path and also the ones they are trying to recruit, save, or convert. If we recognize that there are probably a multitude of paths to The Divine and one path might be just as good as another, then the urgency to share our religious beliefs is no longer a life or death endeavor. We no longer have to worry about what might happen to someone after they die. Our responsibility is not to save others but to be a Light to point the way, and Light is silent. It shines, but it has no need to speak. A lighthouse doesn’t tell you where to go; it simply shows you what is real and illuminates the darkness. It is up to us to decide which path we will take based on the Light that shines around us.
As our Light shines brighter, others will be attracted to us, and we can become instrumental in helping them to find their path — but it is still their path, and we are not imposing ours upon them. What a freeing sensation it becomes to know that we are not spiritually responsible for another person’s journey, even if that person is a close friend or family member. In many family situations, it is difficult to influence those we love because of our familial connection with them. They know our faults and our weaknesses, and so, at times, it becomes awkward, and, in some circumstances, implausible to them to accept our spiritual help. We might not be the spiritual teacher that is right for them, but when they are ready, the right teacher will appear. Step Thirteen brings a sigh of relief when it comes to the practice of religious pandering. We don’t have so many hours we are required to perform to meet a goal, and we don’t have a fixed number of souls that we must save.
Today’s message can be liberating for those who have been taught that they are responsible for “saving” someone else. Take a break today from this pressure and release the responsible for rescuing other souls. The only one we can change is ourselves. Concentrate on that and let the world run on its own.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.