One of the primary premises not only of magic but also of spirituality itself is words are power. In Catholicism, for instance, the words of a priest have the power to condemn or to provide absolution for confessed sins. In Craft, we learn that our words, spoken, written, or in thought, create form. Our words can thrust us forward into a life filled with joy, magic, and pleasure or they can imprison us in a self-made cage.
When I counsel people as a life coach, a common expression is, “I just want to be happy.” They view happiness as the reward for being a good person or for working hard and achieving success. Their happiness requires experiences and rewards to come together in a precise configuration to create what they want with the accountability for that happiness externalized to another source. Of course, if you depend on something else to “make” you happy, your happiness is never secure because what makes you happy can go away just as easily.
To even the most joyful, enlightened souls, life happens. We cannot control everything in our environment nor should we seek to. People die. Jobs are lost. Cars break down. Relationships fail. Sometimes, all of this happens in the same awful week. We will be down on the Wheel of Life and later, we are up again and then we are under the Wheel in the mud. Even in life’s ups and downs, we are responsible for our own happiness and behavior. No person or situation “makes” us behave a certain way. On a primal level, we choose. That is not just psychobabble, but a true statement of accountability. Our choices and reactions to circumstances create our life experiences and define our integrity. The genesis of that lies in the words we use.
Too often, we hold our own happiness ransom until. We cannot be truly happy, successful, or satisfied until…
…we lose weight.
….we find the right romantic partner.
…we make a particular amount of money.
…another person changes their behavior.
…we live in a particular style of house.
…we have children.
Why must we wait until… to be happy and fulfilled? Why do we keep our happiness and success pending?
Do you have a list of five or six things which in absence, postpones the experience of full and complete happiness? Do you know people who actively blame others for their life circumstances and live an unhappy life poxed with resentment? If we hold our joy hostage until the Universe delivers x, y, or z to us, we have only ourselves to blame for our lack of joy and pleasure in life.
Don’t we all want to be the person who is joyful, confident, and happy every day, regardless of what comes into our life or does not? We cannot become that person until we accept full accountability for what we experience and conversely, accept the right and ability to change what does not work for us. Accountability gives us power and ends the victim mentality that leaves us paralyzed and unable to progress. When we stop blaming others, fate, luck, and The Universe for what happens in our lives, we embrace the power to change what we want to change.
A gigantic five letter word lent the turning point to the above paragraph and it is not written in Sanskrit, Ogham, Theban, Hebrew, or Latin, but in our own Anglo-Saxon King’s English. “We cannot become that person until we accept full accountability…” One of the most powerful words in the English language is “until” and it is the same word we used above to hold happiness at bay. One modifier is the philosopher’s stone that transforms the lead of “until” as a obstacle that postpones happiness into the gold of a profound turning point. Add “now” to it and suddenly, you have defined a conscious shift in your life. “Until now…” creates a delineating point of change that draws a line in the sand. “Until now, I did this and now I do this.” “Until now, I WAS this and now I AM this.” “Until now…” acknowledges where you were and creates what you become.
Decide what to be different in your life a week, a month, or a year from now. Write it out in as much detail as you can imagine. Work through any feelings of resistance that crop up. Resistance sounds like, “But obviously that can’t happen” or “I am just not positioned to…” or “If I do this, then I will disappoint or inconvenience…” or “*sigh* You really don’t understand. It’s just not that easy…” Excuses keep us safely mired in the same deeply worn tracks and demand no effort from us to create change. Excuses, disguised as “reasons,” are a safe place to hide from accomplishment.
I can feel some of you doing it now, wriggling in discomfort, hiding beyond the list of “reasons,” and rejecting the idea of proactive change outright before you even get started.
Take the leap. See it in your mind, imagine how you will feel when your goal is accomplished, and write it out. In magic, we create the place we are going to first, then work with The Universe to chart a route to get there. Once you clearly envision how you want your life to be and hold that thought firmly in your Higher Self, your actions and *magic* will start rearranging your life to achieve that image. Your job is to create the destination, then throw out the doubts, quiet the resistance, and take action.
Early on in his public career, Dr. Phil McGraw gave excellent advice to his readers in a life-changing book called Life Strategies. Before the TV show, before the bright lights and skeevy edge, he was a psychologist who shared good, basic strategies for managing life. One of the many that stuck with me is: Life rewards action. When is the right time? Right now.
How often do we busy ourselves with the magical management of situations around us and fail to manage ourselves? How long should we struggle with a life that is not rewarding and fulfilling? My suggestion is: until now.