If you don’t realize that we’re living in what are overtly challenging times, then you’re probably not paying attention. In the micro sense, it seems everybody I know is going through something on a personal level. In the macro sense, these personal journeys are being exacerbated by threats of nuclear attacks, political breakdowns, financial crises, racial tension, mass shootings, devastating earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, merciless wildfires, storm-of-the-century hurricanes, and more. It is indeed a sign of the times…but I’m not playing the game, and I invite you to do the same.
To enter into any relationship, you’d have to agree that the first step is to have the desire to be in a relationship. If your heart is not in the relationship, it’s not going to work because by their very nature, relationships are heart centered. To have a successful relationship, you’d want to be clear on what you want in that relationship, as well as who you are willing to be or become—after all, a relationship is a partnership. It’s a two-way street. In addition, you must believe you are worthy of the relationship you seek, and you must be willing to put in the time and attention to create and nurture it. For example, you can’t have a relationship with somebody for one day and expect them to be there for you all the time. You have to be willing to invest time and energy into creating a loving and trusting bond. To have a relationship with the Divine is no different.
Two of our most unique capacities as human beings are that we possess the facilities of self-reflection and freewill. This means we have the ability to look at where we are, where we’ve been, and decide where we want to go.
Even thus by the great sages 'tis confessed
The phoenix dies, and then is born again,
When it approaches its five-hundredth year;
When Grant Achatz was a young boy, one if his uncles often played pranks on him, and Grant could never tell if he was being serious or not. One day, his uncle wrapped French fries around a pickle and popped it in his mouth. Grant wasn’t sure if it was a prank or not, but he decided to try the concoction—and it was delicious. Grant’s young mind couldn’t understand why it tasted good because it sounded gross. That’s when his uncle walked him through why it tasted good; starch, fat, acid, salt, and everything in between that balanced it out. It was in that moment that Grant fell in love with cooking.