Topic: relationship to the Divine and humaness
I knew I was supposed to write today but did not have a topic that seemed evident. So much is happening lately in the energetic realm that its hard for me to decipher what I am supposed to write about. There are many changes that are taking place. Last year seems to have been about the tearing away of what we had previously known. This includes people, material items as well as ideas about ourselves and those around us. It was a rough years and a pivotal year for most of us. Now we have been living in this “inbetween” place, wondering what is going to happen next. Well, the new is taking shape. Many of us wondered if it would ever happen and it feels like April will usher in the seeds of the next phase for all of us. We worried that the tearing away phase would continue, and for some it has. This last month the last few pieces of the old have been challenged and we have been asked to let them go. We have been asked to surrender and trust in the Divine. To trust that if we are empty handed that then, we will finally move forward into a greater future for ourselves. As always this is our choice to make when we feel ready. This whole process has served a broader purpose as well. The whole process is a major step for us to deepen our relationship to the Divine.
This is what leads me to my topic. As we are each being lead to surrender control to that unseen force that connects us to everything, what does it mean for us? My own religous upbringing served as a barrier in my relationship to God/ the Universe. I was raised Catholic- with a God who was vengeful and did things that caused pain for seemingly no reason or worse to get even with humanity for not being perfect. I was told that painful things were God’s will, just a part of life that we have to put up with. To not try to make sense of it and just accept it as God’s will. I was supposed to be subservient to this God. Supposed to have no active role in my relationship beyond attending church and memorizing contructed prayers. I was to do as told by the “mouth pieces of God” ( following the belief that only a priest can communicate with God). This was a scary God, the one people hand out pamphlets on saying to fear. Underneath this message that my traditional upbringing gave me, somewhere in my quiet moments alone, I knew something different. There was this gentle force that was powerful within me. A force that had answers and wisdom I did not have in my day to day actions. If I quieted down and connected to that energy I could feel peace in the face of any amount of pain or sorrow. I could see the bigger picture and feel comforted. I could connect to infinite possibility for myself and for humanity as a whole. Eventually this feeling is what I came to know as the presence of God in my life.
It was not something I talked about because people who talk to God are crazy (I am not sure what that says about priests). It was not important to me to talk about it, or to let people know about it. It was mine and it was dear to me. It was a source of strength and comfort that I never wanted to lose. I continue to cherish that relationship above all others in my life. Even with a connection to that presence it has not been a smooth ride. There are times, many times that I lose the connection and feel lost, sometimes briefly sometimes for longer frightening periods of time. There are times I wonder if that presence will just leave my life and I panic. Even with years of being able to feel and rely on that connection, I fear being abandoned. I fear that its not real, even though it feels more real than anything I have ever felt. I fear that I will become distracted away from it, as I do so often, but that I will never come back to that connection. I fear mostly that I am not worthy of the connection and that eventually my unworthiness will be found out.
This is the part I am being lead to write more about. That last fear seems to be a common one. It is strong because it not only comes from within each of us- that piece of each of us that doubts, that piece that is sometimes so large we can see little else and other times is so small we fail to notice its there. It also comes from outside of us. This is the challenge for the next few weeks. We all have this tendency to be skeptical of not only ourselves but of eachother. We see someone who claims to have a connection to the Divine and then begin to look at all the ways that they are imperfect. Like somehow imperfection is proof that a person can not have a relationship with God. We are expecting ourselves and eachother to have to be without fault inorder to deserve a relationship with the Divine. This simply is not true.
The message this week is about accepting our own imperfections, accepting our “sins” so to speak. Not embracing them and excusing them but accepting them and seeing them as a part of our journey. It is because of these imperfections that we shoud seek to deepen our relationship to the Divine. It is the part that draws Divine energy to us, that loving energy that wants to help us to overcome and find joy, even in the face of deep sorrow. These “imperfections” are not the obstacles to that relationship, they are the vehicle for deepening it. When we look deeply at ourselves and acknowledge our imperfections, seeing them fully, we become aware of the purpose of the Divine in our lives- To assist us in removing these spots that lead us to our own misery. Mostly we cause our own suffering, most of the time unconsciously through these “imperfections”. The things that cause us to repeat patterns over and over that cause pain in our lives. By connecting to God/the Universe we are able to step back and see what it is that we bring to our suffering. To clearly see the ways we contribute and continue the cycle (most of the time unconsciously). It takes a great deal of surrender and it takes discomfort to see our role . That is why we need the infinite source of strength. We have this idea from somewhere that if we have something to work on, that we need to work on it and master it before trying to connect to the Divine. The Divine is there to act as the energy source to assist us in our journey- not to be a reward for having completed a journey.
This time of year always bring thoughts to mind of Jesus. Those of us raised in Christian faith and some who were not use Jesus as a measuring stick. With think of the closeness of his relationship to God and we think of the perfection that is portrayed in the stories of him. I know I have thought on more than one occasion about how impossible it would be to be that perfect, to resist temptations of material things as well as the temptation to give into emotions and thoughts that lead me off the path. It seems like an impossible goal, and can lead to thoughts of giving up on having a connection to God. ” I am not that perfect and can never be ,so forget this whole thing”. I think we all forget to be exactly where we are at in our journey. We can not compare ourselves to eachother or to figures in history. That is not the path we walk on. Each of our paths is unique and travels a slightly different direction. This was the key to Jesus’ greatness in fact. He knew this idea and cherished it deeply. It was shown in his every action. He knew the imperfections of the people around him. He was not blind to them but believed something greater about each person he met. This is where forgivness and true acceptance comes from. Knowing the truth, knowing what we have done that is less than saintly and still believing that we are worthy of a connection to the Divine. Jesus knew that the worst scoundrels of his time were also worthy of a connection to the Divine. He spread the message to the people who would seem the furthest away from God, that they are just as welcome to have a deep connection to God.
This is our challenge. To see the worthiness in ourselves and in everyone around us. To see that a relationship with God is not a goal, it is a given. We have a choice to accept that relationship, to see it even after we have done things we find hard to forgive. We have a choice to believe it about all people, even when they have done things we find hard to forgive. Opening up and trying to feel that connection daily is what is important, especially when we are feeling like we are not worthy. The action step for this week is to take a few minutes everyday to just quiet down and invite the Divine (in whatever form you feel connected to) to make itself know to you. It is this connection that brings us to greater personal growth inch by inch, in a way that we do not even see the changes it is making in our lives. We do not have to be saints to be in that relationship- it is through that relationship be slowly become more “saintly”. We are all headed in the direction of overcoming destructive tendencies. It is not a process that happens quickly. Many times it is a process that happens so slow it is impossible to detect until we reflect and see the enourmous gains we have made. Celebrate those gains during these weeks. Invite the Divine to be your partner in the continued growth you are making. We are all worthy and deserving of that source of strength and support, it is our birthright.
Celebrate the fact that the growth you have left to do is only a means of deeping your connection to the Divine!
With Love and Truth