Closing the Gap
In coaching and on our path of spiritual growth, one of the key illusions to address and undo is the notion that there exists a gap between who and where we are and who and where we want to be. There is no such gap. A gap implies that there is a lack, emptiness, need, or deprivation in the universe. It suggests that abundance is somehow missing where we stand; that something else needs to happen before we can be whole; that there is a bridge to cross before we can be home. Many seminars teach “How to get from where you are to want to be.” I have thought about teaching a seminar, “How to get from where you want to be to where you are.”
Buddha taught that the cause of human suffering is desire. This statement is often misinterpreted by people who say that we should not want things. As a human being it is unnatural and impossible not to want things. Try not wanting and you will become balled up, confused, dried up, and uninteresting. What I believe Buddha meant is that we get into psychic trouble when we believe there is something out there that we need to make us happy, and we can’t be happy until we get it. In other words, there is a gap we must fill.
Certainly we can want things and move in the direction of getting them, as long as the process itself is fun and rewarding and you remember your inner wholeness as you play the game of getting something on earth. The ego tells us that we win when we get the thing. The spirit tells us that we win when we keep our joy.
In Supercoach, Michael Neill identifies three different models of manifestation: (1) Acquisition, in which you believe a material object will make you happy and you take the logistical steps to get it; (2) Attraction, in which you believe something outside you will make you happy and you use metaphysical principles to draw it unto you; and (3) Creation, sourcing your good from within yourself, and allowing the universe to manifest material good as a natural result of you recognizing the spiritual treasures you already own. The first two principles, Michael notes, are based on your good being outside you. The last one, he suggests, is based on your good already being inside you.
I am not suggestion that you do not ask or tell “how to.” Indeed we need to know how to manipulate the physical universe to master our journey. I am suggesting that “how to” can often be a delaying tactic on the path to happiness. The shortest path to happiness is to claim it where you stand.
Further pondering how to close the gap that doesn’t exist, here are several common ways we make that gap seem real in our experience:
1. Asking “How do I?” implies that there is something you need to know that you don’t already know before you can have what you want or be whole.
2. Time. “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” We believe, “I do not have it now but I will have it then.” We wait for our soulmate to show up, the planets to line up favorably, or the economy to come around. On a spiritual level, you either have it now or you don’t. You always have it now, but you may not always realize it. At some future now moment you may choose to have what you want, but it will always be in the now moment that you choose it.
3. Controversy. Arguing over what the truth really is. A Course in Miracles tells us that all controversy is a delaying maneuver. The teacher of God has no interest in controversy, for it splits the mind and distances us from peace.
4. Comparison and competition. “Comparison is the death of joy.” Taking score of the difference between yourself and others, for better or worse in either direction. Regarding others as closer to truth, wisdom, or enlightenment than you are. Setting yourself or others up an external authority figure.
5. Debt or Owingness. Believing that you owe and must pay off your debt before you can be happy. Feeling indebted is less of a logistical situation and more of an offshoot of guilt. Regardless of what your credit card or mortgage statement says, you are always spiritually solvent. (Read the chapter in my book Enough Already, “God doesn’t Owe and Neither do You.”)
How do you close the gap that doesn’t exist? Two ways: First, begin to question its reality. Is something really missing in me? Will something out there really make me happy? Do I really need to import my good?
Second, notice how it feels to be separate from your good. The experience may seem normal, but it is not natural. It feels empty, lacking, yearning. That’s not fun. Then, by contrast, try on for size how it would feel if you were already whole, if the source of your good and creation were inside you. What if you didn’t need love or approval from a particular person to know that you are loveable? What if all the joy and fullness you anticipate in the future were available to you here and now? What if you are wealthy and you live in an abundant universe no matter what the newscasts day, what gossip is going around the office, and what your bank account says?
Practice reeling in the power you have given to external people and events, and you may notice that the space that seemed to separate you from love is no space at all.
1. Of the ways listed above by which we create or maintain a gap, which one(s) do you participate in?
Describe in detail the gap you perceive and what you think must happen before you can feel good or have what you want:
2. Now describe how you would be feeling or acting differently if you knew that the source of your good were already within you:
3. Identify a gap that one of your clients perceives between him/her and the good he/she seeks:
4. How might you encourage your client to recognize that he/she embodies the desired good or traits?
5. How can you help your client by knowing that the seeming gap does not exist?
All that I seek is with me and within me here and now.
I need not seek outside myself for love, wealth, or success.
I contain what I seek.
I am what I seek.