I had a quick lesson in free will this morning that so concisely represents the human spiritual experience.
As I backed into the driveway from my garage en route to school on this rainy day, my daughter noticed that one of the cats had run out–he must’ve been in the garage and run out when he was frightened by the door and car. With a lot of coyotes around here, we try to keep him indoors when we’re not around to let him in quickly.
So, I parked the car and prepared to get the cat back inside. I immediately felt I should take my keys with me. I decided against it and continued my efforts to get out of the car [seatbelt, jacket, etc.]. Again I felt I should take my keys with me. It probably happened 3 times. So I took some time to figure out why I would need my keys — pro’s and con’s. All very reasonable and logical and sound. I decided against the keys, of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post!
Spoiler alert: That was my free will, deciding to leave the keys on account of reasoning. Listening to my intuition [or Spirit, more specifically] would’ve been following that unreasonable but persistent sense that I should take the keys.
I left the car running, got out and pursued the cat. Kissy sounds, sweet kitty calls, and all of it. He just kept walking further down our walk. Well, wouldn’t you know, he walked right up to the front door and waited for me. But could I let him in the front door? No I could not. And why not? Because I had left my keys in the car!
So I picked him up, and he was okay … until he heard the sound of the car, which of course, I had left running with the keys in it. He started freaking out, scratching me, scratching my coat [I was sure it would rip!]. It was quite the tussle from there to get him in the house.
I had been forewarned and I overrode it with free will.
This is a tiny, tightly packaged lesson in free will. Every single time that we exercise free will to turn away from a higher choice, it is because of fear.* Today, I chose to leave the keys because I was worried my youngest would freak out about the DVD player if I turned off the car. Yes, you read that correctly. It might seem ridiculously understandable, ridiculously ridiculous, or just plain funny, but so it is. That is what I did. And in so doing, I exercised free will to choose against Spirit’s guidance, and look where it got me!
We do this every day in big and small ways–exercise our free will to override the advice of Spirit. Spirit is always trying to help us lead our best lives. If only we would listen every time.
*I want to add a post-script about fear, because I do believe in the Gift of Fear. This is a good chance to parse all of that out: What is intuition / the voice of Spirit, what is fear / the voice of Spirit, and what is fear / blocking intuition? I am not an expert, but this is what I understand and is consistent with my experiences:
Both fear and intuition that are representative of the voice of Spirit tend to be inexplicable. You cannot reason your way into it, it just is. You just have a feeling, a thought that pops into your head, etc. You could read more on it in Gavin DeBecker’s The Gift of Fear, and I’ve heard Michael Neill talk about it on Hay House Radio. Cynthia Slon also has explained to me that all worry essentially comes from assumptions we make about the future.