Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A lesson in alchemy...

I used to spend more time praying for things to go “my way.” I prayed for abundance. I prayed for promotions. I prayed for things to appear, to happen, and to go away.

Maybe it stemmed from my early “ask-and-ye-shall-receive” delusions I got from watching “I Dream of Jeanie” to where a scantily clad beauty could simply blink and nod away the undesired or perhaps conjure up the coveted object. Where was my babe in a bottle?

At times I used to believe prayer made me lazy. I felt if I “whined” enough, or perhaps asked and then did not receive, I could “blame” my circumstances on something or someone and just casually go back to what I was doing, professing that “it just wasn’t in the cards for me” then. The opposite of what I asked for being more of a punishment–penance.

So then I tried achievement, accomplishment, and aggressive grasping at that which I sought. Maybe if it were to be mine, I had to go get it. I saw a goal, went for it, and expected it to eventually happen. Many times it did, when it didn’t, I would blurt out a few token prayers, situations would change, and I would be back to the same empty hand–the cards in my hand worthy of nothing but folding.

Many times, and I mean many times I fell short of a desired goal. Many times “Santa” did not bring what I wanted for Christmas. Many opportunities fell short of my expectation and many times did I resort to feeling cheated, victimized, hated, forsaken, violated, and bitter. Life became cruel

Oh yes I would receive some things–just not what I asked for! The nerve...

In awakening to the principle of life’s lesson in alchemy, my experiences started to transform.

Many have heard of the sought after ability to transform lead into gold – the perceived power of the early alchemists. I believe that this is more of a metaphorical skill that one can possess with the right training. How often have we been presented with the raw material we needed to transform our lives into one of blessed abundance? How many times have we tossed it aside as if useless?

I see how alchemy is the ability to transform.

It is the ability to shift our perception of a potentially negative situation and position it as one of value. What are we to learn? What are we to gain? To whom are we to share this with? To whom are we to serve?

In retrospect, whenever I see a point when I decided to change from the position of one of loss to the receiver, I begin to see how the once declared “disaster” in front of me is simply a lump of “lead”–the raw material needed to use the alchemists craft to forge precious gold.

It is easier for me to see the blessing knowing that I at least have the ingredients for that I wish to create in my hands; I just need to start working out the recipe. Like the fledgling chef preparing a new dish for his loved ones, when the intention behind the application of skill is a gesture of love and providing for the greater good of those I serve, I rarely have my deeds fall upon unappreciative receivers. They can feast even though more skill is needed.

The beauty of alchemy is simply the ability to reframe our perspective. We are able to shift our vision to be able to see the presence of that which we ask we currently have–simply in it’s not yet altered form.

As an alchemist, if I am able to take a less-than-desirable event that has happened to me, and save another from treading down the same path or at least from treading on it as long, I have started the transformation.

If I am able to see the strength, wisdom, fortitude, and courage I have gained in spite of the adversary, I am that much more prepared for future conflict. Forethought in the ability to avoid repeating danger is gold in and of itself.

If I am able to simply get cut to the point where the “scar tissue” is a reminder to avoid the same situation again at all costs, and to help others abstain as well, I have validated the incident.

So when life hands you heavy lumps of dull gray lead matter, worthless in appearance and burdensome to carry the load–remember this:

Alchemy is learning. Alchemy is growing. Alchemy is mysterious and transformative. Alchemy can be the initiative of gratitude, and when shared with others–alchemy is love, and love is golden.

Will you practice this skill?

1 comment:

Dante's Voice said...

thanks for that blog, its certainly made me think