Wednesday, 8 September, 2010 

It is amazing how many people are caught in the trap of being
deeply concerned with how things are looking to others. Keeping Up
Appearances has become, for some, an obsession. Many of us will even
give up our own happiness (or our chance at it) in order to keep
"looking good" in the eyes of others. This is beyond sad. It is tragic.

is tragic because all we have is the Time of Our Life. It is the
essential gift. It is the treasure of treasures. And it is not infinite,
but finite. Indeed, it could run out at any moment.

During this
Time of Our Life we should be having the time of our lives. Instead,
many of us are living lives of dulled acceptance-and some are even
living lives of quiet desperation. Waiting, waiting, for what, we know
not. Just something, anything, other than what is going on right now, or
at least richer, fuller, grander. Because there’s something missing,
and we dare not name it, or the name itself will do us in.

It is,
of course, love. We are lacking in love, and we are dying inside. We are
lacking in someone TO love, and we are lacking in someone loving us.
And who we are lacking in loving us is, in the supreme irony, ourselves.

finding it possible to love ourselves exactly as we are and exactly as
we would like to be "showing up" if we could do whatever we wanted, we
do, instead, whatever "others" want us to do, in order to acquire the
love for which we so desperately yearn. We pay utmost attention to how
we are looking.

I call this The Looking Trap. In it we are so
confined in our thinking, so caught up in our appearances, so imprisoned
in our outlook, that we have no outlook at all. We cannot look out for
our Selves. We cannot look out of our own self-made prison. We cannot
see over the walls of our own need for approval.

The Looking Trap
binds people to the rigidity of what others would choose for them. It
ties them down, limits their choices, dramatically alters their course,
and all in the name of pleasing others even as the self is never
pleased. Meanwhile, Time-that most precious of all life’s treasures-is
running out.

You will never see this day again. You will never
again see this week, this month, this year again. You will see this time
only during the moment you are living it. Be sure, then, that you ARE
"living it." Try very hard not to be killing it. There shall be time
enough after death to experiencing dying. It is time now to experience
living. It is time now to spring free of The Looking Trap.

Spring free, my soul! Spring free, spring free!

And give me back, right now, to me.

I shall not see the time I took

To fret and stress o’er how I look.

I shall not have these days again.

For this is Now, and that was Then.

What’s gone is past, yet all’s not lost.

I’ll seize this day, forget the cost.

I’ll seize this time, forget the price.

I’ll seize this Now, and throw the dice!

My gamble’s won before the toss,

For now I have become the boss!

My life’s my own, my choices, mine.

I’ll take a stand, I’ll draw the line.

No more! No more I’ll give to you

The power to influence what I do.

No more! No more I’ll keep from me

The very things that set me free!

This day I claim again my choice.

This day I give myself a voice.

And how I look to you is not

Of my concern, and so you’ve got

No more power to wield o’er me.

My God, it’s true! I’ve set me free!

© 2010 ReCreation Foundation – – Neale Donald
Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch
the world in profound ways. His With God series of books
has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.