Recession Spirit – The Wrestler


The beauty of this ugly economy is, it’s the great leveler: we’re all going through it together. Some of us on a spiritual path have been wrestling with the change

since before it even happened, so we have experience to share, to help you get through.

And it’s all about doing whatever it takes—but doing it with honor.

Even Mickey Rourke’s ‘The Wrestler’ ended up with a few shining moments,

working behind a downscale NJ grocery deli counter. You’ve got to see ‘The Wrestler’. It’s extraordinary, and disturbing, and the product of real life—what happens when the star falls. It rings true, because, as Mickey Rourke told Barbara Walters, he went through it himself.

That’s the hallmark of experience, how you know who to trust: you can feel it in your bones. What they say rings true.

In the beginning, you tend to look on the job of your new life without work, as humiliation. But in the end, it brings the true meaning of humility—with humility defined as knowing who you truly are in the world, and honoring yourself.

That’s because the truth is, you make the job. The job doesn’t make you, no matter what you do. You make who you are in life, by how you respond. Life doesn’t make you; it sort of forges you, steel against the stone. Life builds character.

So it’s okay to hold your head up, get up, and do what you have to do.

Knowing this doesn’t make it hurt any less, the hit to your pride. But in this economy, there is no shame, like so many of use faced ‘back in the day’ just a few years ago, when we were unable to reach out for help—or if we did, we were regarded as bearing some kind of shameful secret. But we were forging the path for a more spiritualizing time in the world, a world where it’s not about the money—even if you live in the most material of worlds!

I’ll never forget the beautiful Hawaiian woman who dispensed a black pearl of wisdom—

‘Never do anything that makes you feel less-than.’ There-in lies the difference between humiliation, and humility—being who you are, with honor.

My very first outing with humility, after being summarily dumped from a pinnacle of broadcast news: I’d been on the air every day of my life, since I was 17, on the radio. Suddenly, I couldn’t get arrested. 9/11 came. I had seen it coming, but people didn’t want to hear. And I was lost, a Medium without a medium. So I studied, and trained, and volunteered and worked with everything interesting to me, music and energy and politics and kids and helping people talk to each other. Just as if I were still on the air.

And then one day, a wise friend, a big-time Producer saved me with his gift of perspective:

‘Therese: You’re a performer no matter what you do.’ Isn’t that the truth? All of life is a performance—being exactly who you are. Or as Shakespeare would say, ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women, merely players.’

Y’know what happens when you tune into who you are, stay true to yourself, and live by your principles? Something beautiful:

With work or without, I’ve always been taken care of—always had a roof over my head. The other day on ABC News Now, I heard that Eckhart Tolle, the spiritual guru, was homeless for seven years! That’s how he learned what he learned, about living in this moment. And that makes me feel very, very fortunate—to get to learn how to be okay in this moment. Without material security, you begin to tune into the magic of life: the money always comes from somewhere. And then you begin to be able to trust, and look on life as an adventure, where we are always safe and secure.

Gratitude goes a long way. The trick is, to be grateful for what you have, not to look at what you have lost—to focus on what you have, and all you have to give.

Years of living thru hard times in a changing world tend to make you rich –rich with experiences to help others, and an understanding of the human heart through tough times.

The game of life can be a real wrestling match—we all fall short at times. But getting up off the mat begins by respecting yourself, honoring yourself, and finding your own true humility. Like Mickey Rourke, the star, even behind the deli counter—but not when his dignity comes under attack by cruel people.

So, rule of thumb:

‘Never do anything that makes you feel less than.’

Your soul knows. Listen to the prompting of your spirit, that little voice that says

’Hey, what if you tried this job? It might even be fun!!!’ Because you never know, where this ‘little job thing’ might lead…but the moment your thumb goes into the slicer, your soul will know, it’s time to go. Save yourself. Be true to you.

And, another pearl of wisdom from my beautiful Hawaiian friend:

‘Surround yourself with people who love and respect you.’

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