Sunday, March 06, 2005

Alan Cohen

This morning I am learning from the words of Alan Cohen. I am amazed and in wonderment of how life brings the words I need to hear, the message I need to learn, at precisely the moment I need them (my work is in the remaining open...).

Alan Cohen writes about the movie Billy Elliot (I watched that movie on a plane returning from a trip to Ireland) and tells of what he learned in the process. Now isn't it wonderful I am learning from a writing about what Mr. Cohen learned from a movie I saw a long time ago. This is what Cohen writes:

It is easy to be seduced by the idea that how things turn out is more important than what happens in the process. Manifestations, as desirable as they are, are by-products of the soul qualities that are developed in quest of the goal. The real question is not "How did it turn out?" The question is, "What happened to your spirit as you journeyed?" I studied with a healer who told me two of his most profound healings occurred with people who passed on soon afterward. "How could that be?" I asked him. He explained, "These people experienced a spiritual healing; their souls came to peace before they passed. Yes, it is important to try to heal the body, but it is more important to heal the spirit." In my seminars I often work with people who are struggling with having been divorced. Many talk about the "failure" of their marriage. I asked one fellow, "How long were you married?" He answered, "Twenty years." "And were you happy most of that time?" I asked. "Yes, we had a good marriage for many of those years. It was just during the last few years that our relationship unraveled." "Then why discount the gifts of those good years just because it didn't last forever?" I asked him. Just because a marriage (or anything) ends, doesn't mean it failed. Ideally, of course, we would like a marriage to last for a lifetime. But when it doesn't, we we dishonor the relationship by casting an aura of failure over all of it. If you loved, learned, and grew during the time you were together, there was real success. The relaionship is a failure only if you learned nothing and you go on to repeat the same mistakes. And even if you do, all of your experience is contributing to ultimate learning, so it is all part of your soul's growth.

Alan Cohen, M.A., is the author of 20 popular inspirational books and tapes, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore and the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life. He is a contributing writer for the New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul. Alan's syndicated column, From the Heart, appears in new thought magazines internationally.

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