Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Hub of Your Wheel

Our world today is so fixated on material wealth and possession, that in many ways it has become the new religion. I say this because in so many instances it is the driving force for one’s motivation, identity, self worth, and measure of success; it is perceived by many that money is the key to happiness. The drive for the almighty dollar has created a dog-eat-dog mentality awash in Machiavellian tendencies that have made even the noblest of humans consider choices and rationalizations that he or she would have never pondered under less dysfunctional circumstances or conditions. In the final analysis though, the quest for material wealth for wealth’s sake becomes a hollow pursuit. Don’t get me wrong. I like money as much as the next guy and I understand very poignantly how our society has established this man-made stimulus as the measure of a person’s worth and security. But after all of the toil, blood, sweat and tears pass, it does not lead to self-fulfillment or happiness; not really. It is merely a necessary evil that society has placed upon us humans as a means of creating hierarchical delineation and a functional plasma for the pulse of industry and commerce.

I mention this because so many of us seem to have lost our way and forgotten what is truly important in our lives. People have forgotten that true happiness and worth is not dictated by one’s wallet or bank account. What has also been forgotten is that our outer circumstances are created by us. As Soul we are endowed with unlimited creational and manifestational energy and potential. The question becomes what do we choose to have at the core of our being? A significant question because whatever emanates from this core will determine what manifests in your life. It is the hub of your wheel of existence; what you hold to with the greatest value; what you place your attention on the most that will determine what out-pictures in your day-to-day existence, and ultimately your life. This is all-important because whatever is at your core will determine your level of true happiness.

Many years ago, I was a drug treatment counselor at a methadone clinic. In this capacity, I worked with a large caseload of clients struggling with poly-substance abuse; that is, a primary addiction to heroin but with multiple addictions ranging from cocaine abuse and sexual addiction, to alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. These individuals were just like any other person, but got caught up in the cycle of addictive behavior due to outer circumstances they couldn’t cope with. Very often as I worked with these individuals, I would see how their behavior created a self-perpetuating cycle of pain, addiction, momentary recovery, and relapse. It was so frustrating for them to go through and me to witness, and I began to view this work as the Never Ending Story because the cycle would go on and on with the same clients coming back over and over again like a revolving door. It was so difficult to measure success. Over the course of my interaction with them, a pattern began to emerge that proved to be incredibly insightful to me in my own life quest for spiritual understanding. When probing deep into what motivated my clients to behave in the ways that they did, it became clear to me that they were all trying to fill a void in their lives. In filling this void, whatever was at the center of that person’s awareness and focus was what their life became about. In this case, drugs. This core of their concentrated awareness created the outward spokes of torment, danger, fear, guilt and constant anxiety about where the next fix would come from. This was the center of their being; this was what life was about for them.

It was not enough to tell them to stop and understand that what they were doing was horribly dangerous and life threatening (they weren’t stupid, they already knew). It became clear that the only way that this addictive behavior could be changed was by replacing it with another addiction; another hub for their wheel. The question was what would that new hub be? Ultimately I began to understand that they were actually looking for the same thing; they were all looking for escape from pain, and the source of love, protection, nurturing and guidance that we all seek. They were all looking for Divine Source, for God. They just didn’t know it consciously and used artificial stimuli to achieve temporary escape and succor. When our discussions would reveal this to them, making no value judgments on how they should exercise their personal belief, many of them began to understand and became deeply enmeshed again in their church, temple or synagogue. They ate this new addiction up with the same zeal as using. Over time, many of them felt the old pulls of addiction falling away. Though it was one day at a time, they were creating a new hub for their wheel, and out of this new center emanated a whole new way of life for them. It was and is a daily struggle, but some did make the connection and turned their life around.

Though we may or may not have a history of addiction in our own lives, the journey and choices are still much the same. When it comes to monetary wealth, many people whose lives are filled with financial abundance often find this satisfaction to be fleeting. It serves as their hub or center, but it is artificial in nature and fails to ultimately fulfill them. Things are out of balance. In my own life, I continue to do the things necessary to fulfill my obligations and society’s monetary requirements but I understand that this is not who and what I am, it is only what I do to take care of myself and my family. The center of my life is my recognition and understanding that I am from a Divine Source, that I am one with God; that I am Soul. This is my center. Everything else is just something to do to help me better understand myself and remember with greater awareness where I come from.

In these trying economic times, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep one’s attention on God while going about the daily struggle for financial well-being. But hopefully you begin to realize that making the attempt serves as the very means by which you attain abundance. By placing your attention on your Higher Power, you remember that you are never alone and that you are filled with unlimited creative energy. What you place your attention on will manifest. When done with the right attitude there is no limit to what you can create in your life, regardless of outer circumstances. It is ultimately your choice. You can remain the victim, or the center of your own creation. Where you place your center will determine what your life will be. Choose well. Be happy.

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