I Have To...

Mentors - Bennie Harris

At our Center for Spiritual Living here in Los Angeles, Rev. John McLean touched on “Get To” as opposed to “Have To”. This thought moved me like a “fresh breeze” blowing in off the Pacific Ocean here in California. As a young teen living on the Monterey Peninsula, I loved running along the beach with my dog Max, feeling the ocean breeze, smelling the salt air and listening to the wave’s crash ashore. It gave me considerable joy!


When Rev. John shared this thought, I “breathed” it in and allowed it to circulate in my mind as life-giving oxygen circulates through ones body and greater clarity began to work in me.

As children, we were at our fun loving best when we were totally immersed in the things that we enjoyed doing, the things that gave us joy. Always in those moments we were at our best and life flowed freely.

Then, there were those things that we begrudgingly did, because we “had to” do them. Those were the “Had To’s” that were required of us by our parents, teachers and other authority figures. For many of us, after our initial rebellion, we recognized that life again “flowed freely” when we acknowledged their request.

What about you and me as mature, loving, thinking men and women? Could we possibly, once again, get into the “free-flow” of life by transmuting our supposed “have to’s” into “I Get To”? What a transcendent thought! As opposed to “I Have To”, what if we gave our attention to, “I have the joy of…” or “I have the pleasure of…”? How would that make you feel?

Pause for a moment and consider this, instead of thinking; “I have to go to work today”, what about, “I have the joy of going to work today and participating in the free-flow of life” or “I have the pleasure of going in today to put my creative energy to work”?

Now, if one doesn’t have a job, as opposed to thinking, “I have to find a job” or “I have to search for a job”, consider this; “today, I’ll seek an opportunity and outlet for my creative expression, I know that my talent is wanted and needed”!

Now, is this creative thinking process any harder than the frustrating, uncreative thinking associated with, “I have to”? Not necessarily, knowing that all thought is creative, it requires that we pause and think, re-think and think again if we need to. Other than this, what are we giving our attention to?

If you’re having trouble getting up, getting started, making a breakthrough or succeeding in any area of your life, you may be struggling with your “Have To”! Pause, exhale and let it go!

How much more enjoyable it is to be in the creative, free-flow of life, experiencing the joy and pleasure of “Get To” as opposed to “Have To”!

It’s working for me!!! Thanks Rev. John.;

Bennie Harris

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