My car is 18 years old. It’s a 1995 Toyota corolla station wagon with 144K miles on it. The wheel panel is beginning to rust; it has many scratches, most of which I am responsible for. Its dingy gray interior is full of dog hair embedded in the carpet and upholstery. It gets me to and from work reliably and it costs me less than four thousand dollars a year to own—that’s insurance, gas and upkeep.
It is not at all glamorous, but it has its advantages. It is cheap, reliable, has served me and my dogs very well for years, and it probably has many more good years ahead of it.
Sometimes I wish I had a new car. Not necessarily a new car, but a new-to-me car. Reliable and cheap though it may be…my car is just…old…and not glamorous. You know how I like to be glamorous! (Those of you who don’t know me… I’m kidding.) Sometimes I look at cars on the road, dreaming, yearning, lusting; I just start noticing cars. I like sporty cars; RX-8s always turn my head. Recently the Subaru BRZ did also. The Volvo C-30 is one I like as well, unexpectedly.
And then I begin to think about applying prosperity principles to getting a new car.
There are basically two schools of spiritual thought about creating prosperity and abundance, about having all that you want and desire (like a new car). I have looked at my car from both of these schools of thought, and recently I was given a lesson in them.
The first school of thought goes something like this: “Your mind is a powerful creative tool. If you focus it correctly you can manifest money, objects, events, and people in your life. Using positive thinking and visualization trains your mind to attract what you desire.” The second school of thought goes something like this: “Your mind is a powerful creative tool because you are One with God and God’s desire for you is your own happiness, your own fulfillment in all things. Since God’s Will is your will, when you realize that Will in your own consciousness and when you align your thinking with the One Will all things are ‘added unto you’”. With the first school of thought, you choose what you want and go after it; the second, you allow God to provide you with “good things” and you simply (or not so simply) align your mind with God.
Generally, I practice the latter. I listen, I wait; I seek Divine Love’s expression through me and I strive to allow more Love and Light through, accepting material things and circumstances as they come without actively seeking them. But recently, during an “I want a new car” phase, I re-read a book that I have had for many years about creating prosperity. Going against my usual inclination to listen, wait, and allow God through, I decided, “Yeah, (dammit!) I am a kind, loving person who deserves a new car. I have worked hard and I want one. If I put my mind to it, and think loving, positive thoughts, I can manifest a new car in my life.”
So I started visualizing, affirming, and aligning my energy to attract the right car.
And then the lesson came.
As you know, from reading “My Messy Life” ( http://wp.me/p2saEd-cg ), my car requires occasional topping off of the oil. This happens often enough that I go through periods of time (mostly when the car is ready for an oil change) in which about once a week, I add oil to it. The lesson came shortly after one of these topping-off periods.
The mechanic who changed my oil (on Thursday) told me that my car needed anti-freeze. On Saturday, I was in no hurry, but I was headed to a lunch-date, I leisurely habitually opened the hood, got out my jug of anti-freeze, unscrewed the cap, and glug-glug-glugged the anti-freeze… into… the OIL.
No, I did not kick the fender, but I did have some choice words.
What was I thinking!? Apparently I wasn’t. I am not that stupid, but thoughtlessness goes a LONG way.
And then I saw it: The universe was saying to me, “So, you want a new car? I can get you a new car. We’ll just break this one beyond repair (yup, anti-freeze in the oil, freezing the pistons will do that). Do you really want a new car? Sure you can afford it…more or less…money will be really tight, but… you can afford it. Or rather, you will have to; maybe you could get a second job. Are you SUUUUURE you want a new car? Consequences? These are the consequences… You will not have a car for several days at least, you will have to figure out how to get to work until you get a new car or get this one fixed, and I’ll put you in a situation where you will have to decide to either get a new car (lots of money over a long period of time) or get this one fixed (lots of money now, to fix a car that probably is worth less than the cost of repair).” It’s amazing how quickly the universe can “talk”; I heard all of this in a flash.
It was true, and I knew it. I could have a new car but at what cost? I was in a panic.
Suddenly, I LOOOOOVED my car! I wasn’t thinking now, but it was due to anger and frustration and feeling incredulous that I was just SO thoughtless. I immediately called the friend who I knew would laugh at me, but not think me stupid and she said, “Get the plug out of the oil reservoir NOW.”
What? I was dressed to go to lunch… I was leisurely, but not that leisurely…. “NOW” she said. And I knew she was right. And so I did (and walked to my lunch date).
I left the oil reservoir draining all day. Then in the evening another friend came over with some oil and we ran that oil through, put the plug back in, filled it up with fresh, non-anti-freeze contaminated oil, and after going through the odds of whether or not the engine would seize immediately (we decided the odds were about 4:1 that everything would be fine), started up the car. It was fine. Thank God.
Prosperity, abundance, allowing good… these are ideas that I have been working on mastering for many, many years. Especially with this recent lesson, I am learning more and more deeply that prosperity is not about things. Prosperity is about allowing what is real and true to be real and true. It is about giving what is real and true—and that is Love, Light, and Life. Giving what is real and true is demonstrating that you already have it. We all have an infinite supply of Love, Light, and Life; when we give it we know it, and we know we have it.