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The eternal struggle has been known by many names: good versus evil, the will of the divine versus the will of men, the soul versus the ego, the ego versus the alter ego, and so on…By whatever name it is called, the perpetual struggle within each of us is the same.

On this first day of a new year, when all possibilities somehow seem feasible, when we look back over our successes and failures of the past year and resolve to do better in the coming one, let us turn our attention more toward the care of the divine spark within each of us, and less to the selfish pursuits of the ego.

So how do we know if our focus is divinely centered or self-centered? Here is a list to help us decide:

It is the province of the divine to create, and the province of men to consume.

It is the province of the divine to build up, and the province of men to tear down.

It is the province of the divine to sew peace, and the province of men to make war.

Gratitude is the province of the divine. Grasping that of men.

Humility is the province of the divine. Conceit a trait of men.

Love stems from the divine. Hate from the egos of men.

The divine forgives those who are unable to forgive others, men cling to their petty injuries and resentments.

The good of all is the care of the divine, men concern themselves with the care of themselves.

All that is sacred is under the dominion of the divine, and all evil and depravity stems from men.

So in this coming year let us resolve to focus more on compassion and understanding, and focus less on clinging to our feelings of blame and judgment of others. Let us strive for divine patience when we are at the end of our figurative ropes. Let us pray for a stronger back rather than a lessening of our burdens, and remember to be grateful for our blessings rather than immerse ourselves in our perceived curses.

Let us resolve to hold open a welcoming door for the divine so that it may take root and blossom within us.

May your life in this New Year be filled with more light and less darkness, more peace and less chaos, more abundance and less lack, and more running towards and less running away.

Happy 2014!