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I used to hold an impression of Dr. Wayne Dyer as a hopeless egomaniac who was tireless in his self-promotion. As I finished reading I Can See Clearly Now, his autobiography, I was filled with mixed emotions. He and I had many parallels in our lives. I was given a far less difficult early childhood. If I want to look for excuses for why he was able to do so much more with his life than I have with mine, I could say he had the springboard of severe early challenges to harden his resolve. That would be one excuse. He was also willing to do whatever he thought necessary to realize his vision.
Instead of concentrating on how to get ahead, Dyer says we should remain focused on the question “How may I reach out and serve?” He was proud to identify himself as a teacher. Hmm. I served like crazy in my life, expending my energies teaching school and raising a family. Like Dyer, I studied and wrote and taught and did whatever I thought might be useful.
Dyer tells his readers, “Sharpen your insight and be willing to trust that what you are feeling inside is what you should be doing… You must follow your bliss—your excitement–…in a collaborative arrangement with fate.” Okay. What if you’ve beaten yourself into such a pulp that you no longer know what you’re feeling? You feel like fate left the station and forgot you.
Dyer suggests you look at your life and examine your thoughts that were judgmental, critical, or condemnatory toward any person—including yourself. Such negative thoughts cut you off from your guidance. Oops. This seems to be the big enchilada. I don’t know about you, but I majored in negative thoughts.
Dyer says, “…when you think and behave in ways that match Divine love, that is when you are able to attract the guidance from this realm to assist you in steering your life… You have to refuse to …ignore that which stirs passion and excitement within you.” He advises that you examine your past, looking for turning points and teachers who were placed in your path, so you can begin to become aware of the assistance that has always been available to you.
Dyer had at least two attributes that are sorely lacking in me: he believed without question in himself and his “mission,” and he was willing to be a fierce lifelong learner, dramatically evolving with his philosophies. He wasn’t afraid to take a position that didn’t entirely match any one spiritual tradition. I let the naysayers discourage me. I was willing to feel overwhelmed and defeated. I didn’t have the spiritual perspectives that fueled Dyer’s progress.
I Can See Clearly Now is the last book Dyer wrote about his insights before he died—a fact which lends the words on those pages great weight for me. When you’re on the last mile of life, you share the lessons you hope will be your legacy. I embraced the advice in his Afterword. He intended to empower everyone he touched. I don’t know if his final words will change my last mile, but they might.