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Friday's Inspiration Weekly 
The Escape Hatch

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Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.
What are you pretending not to know?
Why is it easier to pretend there is no problem than it is to acknowledge a problem and work toward a solution?

Entrée:  An excerpt from The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
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You are led
through your lifetime
by the inner learning creature,
the playful spiritual being
that is your real self.
Don't turn away
from possible futures
before you're certain you don't have
anything to learn from them.
You're always free
to change your mind and
choose a different future, or
a different past.

About the author:

To read more of Illusions by this author, go to

Main Course: An Impractical Deception
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Illusions can be innocent and fun, but they can be deceptive, too. It is a good thing to be creative, and to find ways to imagine better, nobler ways to live and enjoy life. But if creativity become a means of escaping reality in unhealthy ways, I may miss taking notice of the important parts of reality that do matter. In other words, it's rarely a good thing to fantasize a difficult reality into something that it is not.

When that escape hatch opens, shadowy self-deception beckons from within.

Maintaining illusions opens the possibility that they can be easily, if not severely, shattered. Hanging on to things-as-they-are-not will only compound the pain I feel when the sand shifts and the faulty structure collapses. The greater the illusion, the greater the impact of its failure. There is a price to be paid for hanging on to an unhealthy illusion, and that price can be exacted in the coin of emotional pain, or even physical illness.

The worst sort of illusions are those I have had in my relationships. Relationships work best when both parties are strictly honest with one another, but more importantly with their own self. Relationships often fail when one party recognizes a problem, and the other party either ignores or vehemently denies the problem. Pretending that nothing is wrong doesn't solve a problem. Difficulties in relationships don't go away if the issues are ignored, belittled or dismissed. They get worse. Reality generally wins the battle, and the inviting escape hatch becomes a dead-end trap.

What you resist, persists, according to Neale Donald Walsch in his book Conversations With God. He suggests (or should I say, God suggests...) that when you open your [spiritual] eyes, illusions disappear. "If you look at something - truly look at it - you will see right through it, and right through any illusion it holds for you, leaving nothing but ultimate reality in your sight.... You see the truth of it, and the truth sets you free."

The way to deal with illusions is to recognize them for what they are - creative escapism, a fabrication, fictional - not real. One can have some fun with illusions. Dress them up, paint their faces and make them so outrageously ridiculous that they cannot possibly pull off masquerading as reality. Share them with friends and loved ones. Exposure to the light is the best way to get a good look at things, is it not?

Getting comfortable with destructive illusions might lead to an addiction to the drama of being buried in their rubble. See illusions for what they are not, and when the veil of a so-called "comforting" illusion is lifted, there won't be any big surprises!

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

Second Helping: Larry, the Stick Pony, and Me by Vicki Woodyard
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Have you ever fallen through a hole in your imagination and landed face down in reality? I do it all the time. I think that I am twenty years younger and forty years wiser. Actually, I am wider but not wiser.  However I may slice it, I am full of bologna. Just ask my spirit guide, which happens to be down on his luck.

His name is Larry and he rides a stick pony. Every now and then he does a cameo on Jack Hannah’s Animal Adventures. You can always spot him; he is the one with the mullet hairdo. He used to have a “fro,” but it became “too.” It had to go.

Anyway... Larry sez to me, “Vicki, hon, you gotta be more current.... you know, more hip. This nonduality thang is gettin’ some wear on it. Perhaps you should tout your talent for reading pig lips or something.” With Larry, it’s always something but never anything that amounts to much. He parks his stick pony in strange places but never gets a ticket.

Larry and I sometimes meet for coffee at Dunkin Donuts. He is partial to coconut cake and I favor double chocolate cake. He never pays for mine and says it is because I owe him. “Whoa, Larry - and I am not talking to your stick pony - when was the last time you did anything for me?”

Larry could use some dental work and the donuts are not helping his appearance any. His gums are as glazed as his eyes.  He thinks and thinks and finally comes up with this: “I rescued you from reality when it was almost becoming too true.”

“What in the heck does that mean?” I said.

“You were on the brink of becoming real and I brought you back to Egoland. Just think... had it not been for me, you would be writing a book called Enlightenment, The Fast Track to Now. As it is, you are still here and full of your bee-you-ti-ful self.”

“You got that right,” I said. I looked in the mirror there in Dunkin Donuts and saw what looked like a log in Larry’s eye. I would have plucked it out, but it looked sorta cute on him.

About the author:

Vicki Woodyard is a spiritual writer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Since her husband Bob’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma in 2000, they have been active participants in The Wellness Community there. Speaking and writing about their daily experiences with cancer and the lessons that they are learning is healing, says Vicki. "I hope that people will visit our website and read for a while. They will see that the gift in cancer is growth. Grace surrounds us, enfolds us, even in our darkest hours. Receiving the unwanted gift is an act of courage that is always rewarded." Visit to learn more about this remarkable spiritual couple, and to understand what it is like to Nurture the Now. Stay updated on the latest news for Bob and Vicki HERE.

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
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Laura wrote, "I was sorry to hear that you are experiencing the pain of shingles.  I do not know if you have received medical care for this, but if not, I would suggest that you do asap! My father has it and the Dr. told him that he was lucky that he got medical care as soon as he did... evidently it can increase and become much worse.  My prayers are with you."

It seems to be a rather mild case, just in one area (not convenient to scratch, thankfully) on the left side of my back, with a few spots around under the arm and across the left side of my chest. As I said last week, it has more to do with an immune system that is weakened because of stress and diet, both of which I am dealing with. Medications work if taken soon enough. I didn't know what all the pain and skin sensitivity was about until the dang red bumps showed up. By then, I just had to go along for the ride. The stuff is clearing up now, not nearly as painful or itchy, thank goodness.

Here's the main reason why they are clearing up.... reduced stress! I got another job, started Wednesday of this week. I was only out of work for three weeks, as it turns out. See what the power of friends praying for friends is all about????? Thank you for your part in helping me heal from this!

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