Contemplate These Words: Nothing Matters
I can hear the uproar from some of you as you read the title of this article. “What do you mean nothing matters! Of course it matters! The world is in chaos! We have to do something to fix it!”
If you’ll calm down for just a minute, I’ll tell you how I came to understand that ultimately, nothing matters.
In 1988 or ’89 my husband and I were in a spiritual crisis. We wanted more out of our lives on all levels. The church we’d grown up in no longer fit who we were, we were struggling to find meaning as artists, while at the same time earning a living. You probably have your own version of what I’ve just described.
At the time we had a standing date with a couple who had become sacred clowns with my husband. They used their talents in worship services and at retreats. Anyway, the wife cleaned the hot tubs at Common Ground and was given free passes as part of her payment. This was in Portland, Oregon where we lived at the time. A couple of Friday night’s a month we’d meet our friends and sit nude in the tubs. We’d chat with our friends and anyone else who was there. It was a wonderful way to relax and recharge.
One night as we were dressing, I saw a hand written card on the bulletin board where flyers and business cards of the members of Common Ground posted advertisements for classes and the services they offered. The card read something like this: “Come visit the best psychic in Portland, Neale Donald Walsch.” And it gave his office address and phone number. I pointed it out to Barry, or maybe he pointed it out to me. We looked at each other without saying a word and knew that it was no coincidence we’d seen the card just when we were seeking guidance.
When we arrived at our appointment, we were feeling a little bit nervous. We’d never done anything like that before. But Neale welcomed us warmly, invited us to sit. He told us that normally he didn’t take two people at a time because there was just too much energy, but after checking in, he felt that we were supposed to have a joint reading.
He gave us many amazing messages that I remember to this day. But there was one thing he said that has had a huge impact on my life. As we were leaving he looked me in the eye and said, “Contemplate these words: Nothing matters and you think it does.”
I can tell you I had an almost violent reaction to that statement. “What does he mean nothing matters? Of course it does!” And then my little voice, the one that I always rely on for counsel, told me to listen and do as Neale said. So, I told him I would.
And I did contemplate those words without much success until 1993. It was right before my 40th birthday. I was getting a back adjustment from my Naturopathic doctor. He had just celebrated his 40th birthday and was telling me about the skiing trip his friend had given him as a present. He recounted how he and his friend had old equipment and one thing and another kept breaking. They didn’t get much skiing done. “But,” he said, “we had a great time!”
Something snapped in my head and I knew exactly what Neale had been trying to get me to understand. “That’s it!” I said. And then I had to explain to my doctor the revelation I’d just experienced.
“Ah, yes. There is nothing like getting a new perspective. I get it too.”
“Yes, we are the ones that give meaning to everything that happens.”
From then on I have seen world events, and even personal events from a new perspective. The world we live in is like a play. As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” While we’re on the stage, the events of the play and the characters we interact with are important. That’s one level. But once the play is finished and we go home, we enter the real reality. The play we were living has a purpose, but while we’re on the stage we’re not conscious of that fact. We can’t see the entire picture. We agree to play our part in the performance, and while we do that we learn things along the way that add to some ultimate objective. We just don’t know what that ultimate objective is.
There is a theological theory that explains what I’m trying to express. It’s Process Theology. The main tenant states that God, or Divine Oneness as I call Her/Him, learns. I haven’t studied it extensively, but I love the idea that Divine Oneness expands and grows through our experiences as incarnated beings.
I guess what I’m trying to express is that if we take every headline, or situation in our lives too seriously, or negatively, we don’t help ourselves or the divine process expand, or achieve Its goal as quickly as It could. Or maybe we do, but I think it’s much more pleasant to assume that all is well, rather than see the world as falling apart.
I know it’s difficult not to get upset, especially in chaotic times like these. I see the headlines, or hear a news story and I start to get tied up into knots. Then I remember, oh, yeah, nothing matters. What’s happening, happens for our good. And we can choose to help it along, or suffer greatly trying to stop the tide. It’s our choice. It’s all a matter of trusting that Divine Oneness has an ultimate plan and we have an important part to play in it.
So, I pass on what Neale Donald Walsch said to me for your consideration, “Contemplate these words, nothing matters,” and see if you get a change in perspective too
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