Many of us are troubled by things that have happened to us. In some cases we hold deep secrets about these things, so awful that even our close loved ones are unaware of our pain.

Yet even while these are hidden in the recesses of our minds, we seek ways to release ourselves from the past.

As one who had a violent marriage to a heroin addict, I was such a person. I would have given everything I had to someone who could have helped me transcend my own trauma. But shedding it looked impossible to me. For a long time I could not count a single day when I was not terrified.

Being in that wilderness without an exit was the lowest point in my life.  As time passed I had good days when I forgot about it all. I had fewer bad days. I longed for, but wasn't quite able to find what I really wanted: my complete freedom.  

Then the way to freedom showed itself. Not in a blaze of light, but a small parting of a curtain. And as I persisted in finding out what was behind that curtain I found my own way.  

Sydney Banks, a great teacher of kindness wrote "The Missing Link" and in it he said:

There is no way to guarantee a trouble-free life.

Life is like any other contact sport. 
You may encounter hardships of one sort or another.

Wise people find happiness 
not in the absence of such hardships,
but in their ability to understand 
them when they occur.
The "ability to understand" is they key I was looking for.  I spent a lot of time rummaging in the drawers of the past looking for my answer, my freedom, but didn't find it until I found out something deeper about myself and my true nature. 

To me, Syd is suggesting we all allow our own deeper nature to show us the way forward through love and understanding.  He is inviting us to look away from the searing pain and toward the spiritual, formless side of life -- not to ignore what is happening now -- but to look behind it.  To look to something more.

During the time I looked for my answers, I read many spiritual books. Among them, "A Course In Miracles." I even worked helping to translate the Course in the very early years before any translations had yet been published. The Course has been in my life for 30 years now, off and on, and I must admit it has both comforted me and confounded me. 

I came across this on page 591 today:
You need no healing to be healed.

The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still.
I almost missed the great importance of this.  I wished I had really seen this those many years ago when I was struggling to let go of all the painful memories I carried with me.  

It comforts me to know that these messages of help are everywhere, although we may miss them or not understand them. But even more than this, what truly helps me today is to know that there is a spiritual, or formless life that is me, and remains unchanged regardless of what happens to me.

How can we turn to the remembrance of what we are, within the formless nature of life itself, and know that it is inviolate? 

How can we be in acknowledgement of the events and yet separate and untouched by their consequences?

It seems impossible. Yet, it is not.  That is all I know. For so it has been for me.  

More books that have helped me on my way.
Ever notice how people say they are in charge of their lives, but they then act like they are not?  

I might hear someone say "I always attract addicts!" as if they could control all the aspects and choices of other people. 

On the other side, I hear people say things like or "Why am I not drawing more money into my life?" as if that where a question for the universe rather than a question that relates to the personal choices one makes during each day.

It's quite a muddle all this. And it is important to see as clearly as we can.

I don't see the point of taking on more and more responsibility for the random things that happen to us while simultaneously abdicating responsibility for our choices.  So I've been reflecting on an important question lately:

Who's in charge? 
... and in charge of what?

I see people acting crazy, torn apart, suffering, because they have not considered this question deeply enough. If they could see the ways they take over-responsibility for others and under-responsibility for themselves, their lives would change radically for the better.

For example, everyone knows they are not in charge of the boss, the spouse, the kids or the economy.  Of course we hear people complaining and arguing about how unfair all these things are all the time.

But look more closely. Look at how they are blaming their own actions on these things. I heard someone recently saying that because the boss is a b*tch, their own bad attitude at work was totally justified. That comment passed unchallenged by anyone. Who "makes" you angry?  Who "upsets" you?  How do they do that?  How do they get inside you and do that?

Every breath of blame holds some excuse for our own behavior.  
No matter what other people do they cannot get inside us and make us see or do anything. 

Viktor Frankl proved that. 

Do you disagree? 

Many do. 

In fact many people are in prison right now because it made sense to them to shoot someone who showed "disrespect."  Do you think they had to kill a person because of a comment?  Probably not. But they do.  And I assure you, you and I all have areas of life where we are believe something similar and because it makes sense within the confines of our own mind we go blind to it.

Science was blind to it too. Now the latest brain science research is not only discovering the previously "impossible" plasticity of the brain, but it is throwing out the whole theory that environment determines behavior in any way. Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga said in his Gifford lectures that humans are responsible agents and responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains.

Of course, this information does not help us that much day to day.  It never will until we are willing to shine a light into our blind spots.  One of our big blind spots (and I know, because it's mine too) is in understanding ourselves and how the human machine works.

Internally every human on this planet is a powerful storyteller.  We are inventors of reasons and interpretations that we treat as facts and refer to as "reality."  This activity keeps our brains very busy and our mental lives very full. 

How much are you willing to see that the majority of the day is made up of moving in and out of the feeling states that are being created by your own thinking and not created by the outside world acting on you?

Most of the day we are entertained mentally. 

Have you ever caught yourself wandering off into a day-dream? 

You are not asleep; you are fully awake in your body, but your mind has literally meandered into a thought stream. Maybe you are thinking about the upcoming weekend hot date, plans to get to the airport on time, or the way you'll move your money around so you can pay for something you want.

If you really sit for a moment and consider this, it is quite amazing how you are your own 3-D special effects team.  Strings of random thoughts arrive flying by at such a speed as to make their arrival and shifting patterns completely unnoticeable and yet illuminated through you into full-sensory experiences.

A day-dream is a good example of how we can get completely lost in that experience.

What we forget is that all thoughts have this same effect.  We also forget the transitory nature of thought. There is no constant, permanent thought. 

If you know anyone who is consumed in worry, obsessed with the past, or has trouble listening to people or sitting still -- it is not that they must change their thought patterns, it is that they need to become aware that their internal cinema is entertaining them. And I guarantee you, they don't know that.  They will tell you it's because of something, someone or some event that either happened to them in the past or is happening now. They see themselves as Response.  So sometimes we recognize that we're in the inner-cinema and other times we don't. 

This is really where the idea of Who's In Charge? comes in. It's not that we need to control what we think. We can't change the inner-cinematic effect: this is how we work as humans. But we certainly can stop blaming others for what is happening in our own internal world.

In this sense, no one has the power to make you do anything and no one can have any kind of effect on you.  Only you do that.

This is radical, but freeing news.
I just love this video!  If you are not familiar with Byron Katie and how to do the work, drop me a line (info@elesecoit.com) or see Katie's site www.thework.com for all the information you need plus more videos.

If you are interested in money in particular, here is an entire page on it!

Club Fearless is a great place to find resources that will help you pack your bags and move out of that down in the dumps-victim mentality once and for all!

Here are some free audios from Steve Chandler, founder of the Club.

To learn more about Club Fearless go to www.clubfearless.net.  You can use my friend's discount (type in 'Elese' as the code) and try out the club for free for 30 days.  And by the way, I don't get paid for this, I just think it's really, really good.