Monday, July 12, 2010

What's in Your Wallet?

Have you seen the credit card commercials that involve some imminent horribleness that is diverted at the last moment by whipping a particular company’s credit card out of a purse or wallet? Some of them are pretty funny. The commercials always end with the question, “What’s in YOUR wallet?” The message is that if you have that company’s credit card, then it will act as a shield against all sorts of catastrophic disasters.

So I got to wondering what’s in my wallet. My spiritual wallet, that is. What do I carry with me to ward off soul marauding Vikings?

Einstein said that “the single most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” There are variations on this quotation, but I like this one best because it emphasizes the role of decision.

When I was young and knew everything, I wrote a philosophy paper based on the premise that we participate in creating the reality we perceive. In the arrogance of youth, I thought I came up with that idea myself. Well, of course I didn’t. But somehow I knew that I had untapped potential to shape my world.

Sadly, the world I shaped for most of my life was not a kind one. It was a world of mischievous demons lurking in the shadows. Like the lookout in a western, I kept watch by the fire during the night, always on alert, always vigilant. And when bad things inevitably happened, I believed it was because my guard had dropped, because I had failed to maintain control.

Even as I write the words, I shake my head in disbelief that I lived that way for so long. If necessity is the mother of invention, then exhaustion is the mother of major life changes.

I live in a different universe now, a friendly one. I can’t prove that it is friendly. I simply choose to believe that it is. And that choice drives my perceptions and experiences. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So what’s in my wallet? A credit card of power. Not power over my circumstances, but power over how I interpret them and interact with them. The power of choice.

And guess what. That’s what’s in your wallet, too.

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