In the past (even fairly recently), when I was forcing myself to believe we only have one life on this earth, I found myself getting impatient, even desperate, when the events of my life were not unfolding the way I wished. I feared running out of time to reach my goals.
Now, for the most part, I’m able to relax as I keep putting one foot in front of the other; I’m able to trust that I’m moving in the right direction and that my goals – especially spiritual progress toward union with God – are happening at the correct pace according to the current development of my soul.
There’s no longer any need for me to rush or to worry. I know the goals that really matter will definitely be reached, if not in this life, then in a future life. This is not a cause for laziness or procrastination (at least not for me, although I can see how it could be for some people). I’m the kind of person who needs to slow down (“throttle back!” as John tells me), calm down and give up all fear and anxiety.
As a Catholic, I used to obsess over my sins and worry that I wasn’t progressing quickly enough in gaining virtues. Death is very frightening when we know we haven’t rooted out our sins. I don’t think God intends us to live in such fear and anxiety about death, purgatory and hell.
God, in His wisdom, has set in motion the law of karma which operates for all beings. We cannot escape it. Therefore, we strive to do good and avoid evil. We do the best we can without worrying that we aren’t good enough.
If we have a sense we’re making progress, then we’re making progress. We know. Our soul KNOWS when we’re moving in the right direction and when we aren’t. We can then trust our journey will continue in future lives – until our soul is finally fully cleansed of all karmas and all desires other than God, and perfected for eternal union with God.