I was about to head out the door one Saturday morning to set up my dealer table at a baseball card show. I looked up and there was my six-year-old daughter, who I thought was still sleeping, coming down the stairs in her nightgown to give me a hug goodbye. Her gesture was so sweet and thoughtful and she looked so angelic that the image of her standing on the third step is burned into my mind.
On my way to the show, I was happily visualizing Erin sitting on the couch watching cartoons and eating cereal, which she had said she was going to fixherself since her mom wasn’t up yet.
And then it happened. The thought that she might choke on her cereal popped into my mind and immediately consumed me. It was an irrational, obsessive thought that I couldn’t get out of my head. Her mom was still in bed and wouldn’t hear her! Oh, my God, why did I leave her alone? With my mind and my heart racing, I pulled into a gas station and called home. When Erin answered, the tension and anxiety instantly drained out of me. Thank you, God!
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve only experienced a handful of ridiculously absurd jolts of panic like that. Now that Erin will be thirty-one in a month, I thought such fears were behind me. I was wrong.
Last night, after briefly speaking to Erin, I got ready for bed and turned off the light. As I lay in bed, I remembered that Erin said she was about to fix a late dinner . . . and boom!, my mind was off to the races. What if she cooked some meat and didn’t chew a tough piece thoroughly enough? She’s all alone and there won’t be time to call 911! I tried to banish the thoughts to no avail. I finally got up, texted her and then called her. No answer. Trying to remain calm, I waited nearly ten minutes and tried again. Nothing.
Sleep was now an impossibility. At 10:30 I called Erin’s mom, who was only a few miles from her, and said, almost apologetically, “I’m having an irrational fear.” She could relate. She stayed calm and centered, but said that she would be happy to drive to Erin’s place to check on her.
I waited a few more minutes and called again . . . Erin answered! Hallelujah! She was okay! She was a tad annoyed but very understanding. I asked her to call her mom and tell her to turn the car around. I felt quite sheepish and foolish. After all, my kid is almost thirty-one years old! I think she knows how to chew safely by now.
Reflecting on the episode, I couldn’t help shaking my head . . . with equal parts disbelief and amusement. I trust in divine wisdom and try to live in alignment with spiritual principles. I firmly believe that life unfolds according to a greater plan and that it’s possible to maintain equanimity even in the most chaotic of moments. For the most part, I’m able to live like that pretty consistently.
But not when it comes to my kid’s safety. Then it all goes out the window. Obviously, I’ve got lots of inner work to do. All I can do is the best I can do, learn from my setbacks and keep moving.
The point is, don’t expect perfection from yourself. No matter how “spiritual” and high-minded you may think you are, we are all frail, flawed human beings. We all have our shortcomings. We all have our moments when we lose our bearings and do something regrettable. Go easy on yourself and leave the perfection to whatever force is governing this universe we call home.
Hmmm, just had a thought. I think I’ll buy Erin a blender!
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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• an overview of the book
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THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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