The Crystal Angel

Any spiritual teacher will tell you (and it's likely that you already realize) that people you come in contact with are mirrors for you. They reflect back to you exactly what you want to see in yourself. "How can that be, we ask? I did not ask for this [ insert horrible thing here ]! I would never have asked for such a thing!"

"How can I have asked for such a thing? Have I no compassion for myself?" you ask. And then you remember that no game is worth playing that doesn't provide a challenge. The game of Life on Planet Earth is an amazing and wonderful game, and as with all great games, is rife with challenges.

I want to take you on an imaginary journey so that you can see yourself, as a character within a play, how it's possible that we can choose and create even the most upsetting of scenarios.

The principle character in the following story is a woman. But even if you are a man, use your imagination and, for this brief journey, play along. Take a moment and pretend that you are playing a game of being a woman married to a wonderful man. This is a man you've known a long time, a man who means a lot to you, and who you know deep in your heart would never hurt you on purpose. Just imagine ..

Imagine that, in this story, your husband breaks a favorite piece of sculpture that you own. Suppose further that this is not the first thing of yours he’s ever broken. In fact, it seems like the more upset you get about him breaking things, the more things he breaks. It’s almost as if something inside him is deliberately breaking things just to piss you off! You can’t understand it, you don’t like it, and you’re so upset about this latest instance that if he does it again you just might hurt him. Badly.

Conventional psychology might call this "passive/aggressive" behavior, but for now, set aside any desire to label this in conventional terms. For now, you are simply frustrated and angry at his continual acts of carelessness that end up hurting so much.

What to do? Imagine yourself, your Self in Spirit, handing a beloved trinket to your husband and asking him to smash it into a thousand pieces.

Tell him you want to learn about not being so attached to 'things’ and you want him to help you get over it. "So here you go, husband of mine. Here is a piece of sculpture that I care more about than almost anything. I found it in a little shop in a precious little coastal town. It's one of a kind. It’s hand-made and irreplaceable. It’s my reminder of a time when things were grand and beautiful and peaceful."

"It’s going to hurt me a lot if it gets broken" you continue "but in that upset I just might see how things are not nearly as important as people. Please take it. Smash it into a thousand pieces so I can learn that which I have thus far been unable to learn. I may get angry with you. I may get really angry. Really really angry. Remember all those times previously when I asked you to smash things so that I could learn about unconditional love, but I didn’t learn it? I want to learn about unconditional love, I truly do. I’m getting desperate, and I think I need a really strong lesson here. I need to lose something that will really get my attention, really make me stop and look and think and feel. Something that will get me to look at my reactions. Please love me enough to do this for me, even knowing that I might hate you for it."

Imagine that this person in Spirit—the one who loves you more than life itself—looks at you, all the probabilities stacked against him, knowing that it’s more than likely that you’ll react as you did in the past, by getting hurt and getting angry, and he’s not so sure he can go through with it. But he knows that you are going to hurt even more if you don't eventually learn what it is you've said you want to learn.

He considers these different negative outcomes, but he also considers the one tiny but important potential that you might actually learn what you’ve asked to learn. He knows how long you’ve tried, how much this means to you. He also loves you so deeply that he’s willing to help you with this lesson, no matter what the cost to him. Even if it costs him his human relationship with you. He loves you that much.

Imagine now that you are back to your physical reality ...

So one day (just as you asked) your husband's human self mishandles your trinket and breaks it, right there in front of you. You yell. You scream. You cry. You throw a fit. You forget that you asked him to play the perpetrator of this crime. You are so upset you can’t think rationally. This was your favorite trinket! "HOW COULD YOU?!?!" you scream. "YOU MONSTER! I HATE YOU! I WISH I’D NEVER LAID EYES ON YOU!!"

On all levels of his being, all this gentle person wants to do is comfort you, to make it better, to sooth away the pain. But in the unseen part of his heart, the place where you aren't aware and neither is he, he knows that this is something you created for yourself, and that the only one who can solve it is you. If it’s even possible, he’s more upset than you are, because he knows how deeply hurt you are. But he leaves the room without so much as saying he’s sorry.

You, completely disconnected from Source, continue to lick your wounds. You have had this reaction before. Many times. In your heart of hearts, in the place you cannot see, you cry for both of you. You are hurt and so is he. The experiment didn’t work. You didn’t learn what you’d sought to learn.

On the spiritual level you contemplate this for a brief moment and then release it. You both did your best. You created a play and acted it out, and it didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. But there’s always tomorrow, another day, another stage, another scene. You don’t give up. This is something you dearly want to learn.

You know about the unconditional love of Spirit, it’s Who You Are. You want to bring that feeling into your human incarnation. You make a pact with yourself to try again. Not today, that would be too soon. You look at your past, about how you’ve learned before, and you know that eventually you figured things out. Eventually you saw patterns, saw the consequences of certain thoughts and actions, and eventually achieved that which you desired to learn.

Days go by. You live your life in physical reality, still carrying around in your humanness a great deal of resentment about this person and what they did. Truth be told, that was about the last straw. You don’t know if you can continue to live with such an insensitive human being. "Doesn’t he know how much he hurt you? In the past at least he said he was sorry, at least he tried to comfort you. This time he didn’t say a word. No gesture, no remorse, no admonitions not to do it again. Nothing!" All these thoughts are running through your mind.

You are seething just under the surface, ready to lambast him at any opportunity. His fault. His fault. The whole incident was his fault. For awhile you continue to stew in your juices. You’re angry. You’re disconnected. You don’t hear the call of Source, even though it is gently calling you. It always is.

Days turn into weeks. As you begin to cool off a little bit, you get a little tickle of insight. Or maybe better said, you allow that little insight to come into your awareness.

An image from the past appears in your mind. It’s from when you were a little girl. Your brother broke something that you loved. You realize how upset you were, back then, and how you’ve carried that upset around all your life. Sure, you and your brother are civil to each other. Your families get together. But there’s always been a kind of tension between you, and you’ve never been able to figure out why. You sent yourself that image from the past, you just don’t know that you did.

All of a sudden, you realize something that you decided way back then, when you were a child. You decided that your brother did it on purpose, just to hurt you. This you clearly remember. You know that you hated him for it. As you grew up you tried to forgive him, but you never could. In fact, as you think about it, you realize that that hurt has been incubating inside you for many many years.

Inside this recognition, you suddenly begin seeing the different times that someone carelessly or purposely broke something that belonged to you, something that you cared about. You see image after image of things that broke and people you rejected because of it. And suddenly, out of the blue, you realize how much love has been lost over these seemingly insignificant losses of material things. You wonder at yourself that you never saw this pattern before. And then you realize that you had seen it before, you just never realized the significance of it.

You never saw the significance of it because you were looking at it through your human eyes, and not through your eyes of Spirit. Today, you saw those experiences through the eyes of spirit, and realized that you did. The eyes of spirit belong to you, but they don’t necessarily see what human eyes see. When you look through the eyes of spirit, you see things the way they were meant to be seen, in all their beauty and magnificence, in all their meaning, and with compassion.

An amazing thing happens to you inside this new recognition. You realize, in your heart of hearts, how dearly you love this human guy who keeps breaking things that are important to you. When you stop to really look, you realize that each time the thing that got broken was more valuable than the last. You realize that this is a pattern, and you realize that the pattern is escalating. You think about what you’d decided about people who break things that matter to you.

You know about focus, about how what you focus on is what you bring into your reality. You realize that you’ve been creating many, if not all of these circumstances. You think about how you’ve been asking spirit to make you more loving and less critical of others. You think about how you have wanted to be more like your dog, that little guy who loves you no matter what, who comes and wags his tail and licks your face and looks lovingly into your eyes even after he’s been punished. You remember wishing that you could love like that, love someone no matter what, because loving someone feels so good and hating them hurts so much.

Next you remember reading that your Inner Being guides you through the expression of your emotions. You recall that when you feel good you’re strongly connected to Source, able to hear the call and answer it, and when you feel bad you’re not so connected to Source, not so capable hearing the call or answering it.

And you wonder …"is it true? Is it really true that when I get so upset, so angry, so hurt, I cannot hear the call of Source, can’t see through the eyes of Source? Is it as simple as being stuck in a cycle of upset, and not being able to hear the call of Source? If it is true," you ponder, "what would happen if I stopped, right in the middle of that hurt, or upset, or anger, and listened, became cognizant of how I feel in that moment? Could I do that? Is it possible?" You determine to try.

Months pass. Life happens. Things come into your life and go out of your life. Then one day, out of the blue, when you are blissfully happy and thinking that nothing in the world could upset you on this day at this time … you hear a loud crash … and the tinkling of glass. Your heart leaps into your throat. You are struck with a feeling more than mere words .. "This cannot be good."

You begin to head to where the noise emanated from. But before you do, you feel a little niggling in your heart. You stop. You listen. You have this thought that says “He didn’t mean to. He really loves you. You really love him.” And you think “It’s true, he does, and I do.” This is followed by a whole series of thoughts, a conversation really, between you and you. The thought occurs to you to forgive him. Another thought occurs to you that you can’t. Another that you won’t. Another that you should. Another that nobody is going to tell you what to do. Another that you can’t possibly forgive someone who is breaking all the stuff you love. Not ever. More thoughts, more debate.

But an amazing thing is happening through all of this mental dialog, and the images and thoughts that pop into your mind, seemingly unbidden and in the twinkling of an eye. You haven’t blow up, even though you wanted to. You didn’t jump to the inevitable conclusion that someone was doing something to you. You didn’t rush off and spew venom helter skelter. Maybe you wanted to, maybe you still will. But you didn’t. You broke the chain.

Here’s a chain of thought and belief that has followed you for the greater portion of your life, and you broke it. Interrupted it just enough that, if you’re determined and if you’re willing, can be broken again and again. And some day, possibly soon - potentially even right now - anger might not be your first response. You feel calm in a way that you’ve never felt before in such a situation.

You head out to see what it is that broke this time. You are prepared. You might blow up, you might not. You might be calm, you might not. But you have a tool and you used it. You listened to the call of your heart.

Listened just long enough to interrupt the chain of habit, and that’s all that matters. That’s all that you need to do. Just interrupt the chain long enough to hear the call of Source, to see things through the eyes of Source. It’s a sweet call. It’s a beautiful way to see things. It’s a tool that is yours by birthright, and now you know how to use it. Once you’ve interrupted the chain you can do it over and over as often as necessary to create a new vantage point from which to view any situation.

Are you curious, in this very human story, what happened next? You might be surprised to know, or you might not, that the call of Source on this day, for this individual, was very strong. She proceeded to the front room where she saw her husband cleaning up what was left of one of her most prized possessions in all the world: a crystal angel given to her by her mother. It was her mother’s, and her mother’s mother’s before her. She had taken great care with it over the years. She intended one day to give it to her own daughter. When she saw what was left of it, her eyes welled up with tears. She couldn’t help it. First she felt sadness, then felt the anger beginning to rise.

And then she did a very difficult thing. She stopped, and she listened. Listened to her heart. What she heard in that moment will stay with her for the rest of her days, and beyond. What she heard was her mother’s voice, clearly, as if her mother were standing right beside her, though her mother had been dead for many years. She stood there, looking at the shattered pieces of a crystal angel and she heard her mother say “I love you.”

Overcome with emotion, tears streaming down her face, she turned to her husband. She saw the upset in his eyes, read the turmoil and the hurt that registered there. Knew that he was waiting for the inevitable tirade to rain down on him. In that moment, in that infinitesimally small flash of a moment, she understood in a way that no words could ever explain, what unconditional love is. She put her arms around her husband, held him tight and whispered “I love you.”

That was the last time she cried tears over anything that broke. In fact, for some reason that she couldn’t quite understand, broken things began to be really funny to her. She couldn’t help herself. Sometimes it angered others, when they would break something and she would laugh, but she couldn’t help herself. It just seemed like such a silly thing to get upset about, to throw away love over. Sometimes, when viewed through the eyes of Source, some things are just really really funny.

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