Articles about Spirituality
Just as we need to keep an eye on the kinds of friends we keep around us, so must we also remain aware of the circle of "friends" we keep within us -- our own thoughts and feelings.
Not only does the largely unseen content of our mind and heart cause us to feel attracted to certain kinds of people and events, it also serves as an attracting agent for those who want to be around us. Personal experience proves the truth behind one of our most ancient axioms: The inner determines the outer.
It's likely that most of us haven't taken enough time to think through how the nature of our thoughts and feelings determines the kind of company we keep. But I assure you the truth behind this idea touches our lives in ways yet unimagined. Speaking of which, here's another timeless truth that underscores the importance of keeping good inner company: We resemble those with whom we assemble.
Simply put, this means that both our appearance and character change according to the kind of company we keep. In other words, never a moment passes in which we are not being acted upon by those relationships that we share with people and things in that same moment. What we are now, and the kind of life we will come to know, is very much determined by the "interior" company we keep.
The wise ones of all ages -- long called the "Friends of Truth" -- have understood that the more time we spend in the company of truly higher ideas, the more the life of these timeless truths becomes our own. Welcoming "friends" such as these into our lives grants us the power to "move mountains" because, with their guidance, we no longer make the mistake of building some "molehill" into an impassible barrier. These friends go before us to make the "crooked places straight" -- by lifting us above the level of mind that creates one dark corner after another with its unconscious demands.
How does one become a friend of Truth? The answer is surprisingly simple. We must be willing to see the truth of ourselves, starting with this somewhat shocking revelation: The things we put first in our life, our moment-to-moment choices in life, are a direct reflection of what we value most in that moment.
By consciously choosing higher awareness as our friend, we can't be compromised. This special kind of mindfulness -- a willingness to observe your "Self" and to be honest about the circle of "friends" within which it runs -- does two things for you at once. First, by putting the wish to see the truth of yourself before the act of trying to win what you want, you soon see that most of your desires and their demands are not the friends they pretend to be. Rather, they are a host of small powers into whose hands you've mistakenly entrusted the keys to your consciousness. Choosing to keep the company of Truth is the same as choosing to lose all the false "friends" that presently limit you.
(Excerpted from "The Courage to Be Free," by Guy Finley, Red Wheel/Weiser)
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of The Secret of Letting Go, The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, and more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization, including his brand new book The Secret of Your Immortal Self. Guy is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet and the Huffington Post. Click here to visit the Life of Learning Foundation website and sign up for free to receive Guy’s 8-hour eCourse "Seven Steps to Oneness" on 8 MP3 downloads.