Seems simple. Yes. But is it?
Some years back my ninety-four-year-old aunt was in a nursing home, and she developed a severe case of pneumonia. I really thought she was dying, and I really wanted to visit her, but having frequently gotten bronchitis for years I was dreadfully hesitant. Finally I talked to another aunt who said, "When you do something good, God protects you." That decided it for me. I went.
I comforted my sick aunt. I stroked her forehead as she gasped for breath. I tried to turn away when she hacked. I was very afraid, but I was hanging on to what my other aunt had said about Divine protection when doing something good.
To make a long story short. My sick aunt recovered. And I got the worst case of bronchitis (nearly needing hospitalization) I'd ever gotten.
So now, you might think, I've become a cynical atheist who relies on good old concrete reason and science. But I can't say that's the case.
See, I think the good stuff that comes into my life does come from a Higher Power. And I believe this selfsame Higher Power does protect me. It protects my health. It protects my soul.
Then how do I explain the bronchitis? Well, not very well obviously. As in all of life there are rarely any certain answers, but perhaps that situation with my aunt was a test for me. I say perhaps because I honestly don't know.
And there's stuff in me that I just can't deny. If I try to go against my nature, it's just such a waste of time. For instance, I'm a writer and I write what comes out of me. And what comes out of me is stories about people under duress, facing horribly difficult life situations. Now, what's hot in fiction these days are zombies, paranormal, "mommy porn," mysteries, thrillers. And I can sit down and try to write something like that, and like I said, it's just not in me.
Writing for me is a vehicle to learn about myself. Sure, I'd love for people to read me. I think they'd be changed, encouraged, moved if they did. But that's not necessary. But what is necessary is that I do the best of what's in me to deal with the situations life presents me with.
It would have been torture for me to stay away from that beloved sick aunt of mine. It was more me to go and face certain sickness than to leave her there alone. So I did what was in me.
Consider this from Terry Cole-Whittaker's What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business:
But we can learn to use our spirit effectively. To do so we must use our minds. We must raise our consciousness and become truly aware of those things that impede the implementation of our spirit. To gain self-reliance, we must give up our dependence on people, places, and things as the source of our good. We must become conscious of the absolute Universal Force embodied in our spirit and realize that our Higher Self is the source of our good.
That Universal Force as she says is within all of us, and as the source of our goodness it has to be good as well. Goodness is within all of us. It's just a matter of degree what level of it is allowed to come forth.
I was never a particularly nice person. I was selfish, egoistic, had a real superiority complex. But through the years, the good has come forth from me little by little to grow to the point where now I feel it truly outweighs the bad.
So for me to do good is natural. It's congruent. It's enough. Maybe for you too?