Hi Dear Ones!
I have been on a bit of a writing hiatus… well I’ve been writing (an ebook, two PDFs, and lots of stuff….but haven’t posted to you lately and miss you!) I was away in CA for almost a month for conferences and consultations and friends and moving our website and lots of other work from there—then when I got back I crashed into a bit of a crisis of faith (faith in my ability to pull off the global movement that is calling me), followed by a crisis of body! Guess it works better for me to get out of the way of HOW and let it flow. More on that later….
For now, I’m back IN LOVE, thinking of you all with gratitude as I listen to hymns on my I-tunes while I type, after hosting a family-and-friend dinner at my house. I’ve always loved hymns, and I loved the intent behind what was being said in church, but the part about Jesus didn’t totally make sense to me—actually it was lovely when I was little and he was just a kind, safe figure who did wonderful loving things and there was no pressure involved at our church.
But I got confused when I ran into evangelism in Jr. High. I wanted so much to be able to ‘give my life to Jesus’ as others were so gleefully doing, but I just didn’t get it! I just couldn’t go kneel at that alter —clearly they were FEELING something that I just wasn’t feeling, and ‘GOT’ something I didn’t get! I kept wondering what was wrong with me. This Blog Post in two parts (on our new website–still under construction) is about what happened, a radical shift, and where I am now… including a new happy shift that gives me my own new understanding of Easter.
But it turns out I was regularly putting my life and my heart in another’s hands—I put it in the hands of other humans (which sometimes rolled over into food)—for much of my life. It’s called co-dependence and it TRULY failed to sustain me; it was a miserable excuse for a higher power–and it left me living my life as an absolute ‘candle in the wind.’
That life-practice brought enough emotional and physical pain that over time I returned full force to the spiritual journey. I began to get more and more pieces that fit for me as I got further away from my strong church upbringing, and I started to not feel so bad about not ‘getting it’ all those years. There was still so much that didn’t click for me, and while Buddhism and other ways of looking at it seemed to fit much better, I still wanted to reconcile what was going on around Jesus and his message, and still didn’t feel I had ‘gotten God’ for real–for myself. Then, I heard Byron Katie referring to ‘REALITY’ as God (which I have since also taken to calling LIFE or LOVE), since it rules and shows up so completely out of our hands and yet so completely perfect in ways we can’t predict or know.
With that interpretation, things FINALLY started to click, and I also became OK with not knowing. Suddenly everything Jesus, Buddha, Judaism, Hinduism, and non-duality were talking about from differing perspectives all seemed to be saying the same thing, and started making sense FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE as I became more and more able to wake myself up to the thinking that had been telling me reality should be X (something other than it is in any given moment). Finally I knew how to start with whatever hurts and from there turn it all over and let the thinking that had led to so much struggle re-wire itself. [It was no longer in the hands of something outside me; I saw that the whole story of existence had been created in my own mind so that was where I needed to look to ease the pain of living. I can’t find anything here but ‘the way, the truth, and the light’–as I ‘think’ Jesus was saying. We just can’t know our infinite SELF because we simply can’t wrap our finite, binary, accidentally-programmed-over-centuries-of-misconception monkey minds around it. They can’t go there. Getting them out of the way is the best we can do.]
Finally knowing how to turn around the pain of comparing the reality I had to the reality I thought I needed, I began to live in a radical kind of reality-based faith I had never known or even seen throughout my very Christian upbringing–faith that brought with it new-found healing and energy that had previously been poured into regret or worry–the past and future versions of LACK of faith. I started to fall into absolute trust that what I have is what I need (and when I DIDN’T know that, it was just my calling card to inquire into what I was believing to return me to a place where there was ever-more dependable peace and love.)
It became possible to just check in with what I call “the great what’s happening” and turn myself over to whatever in life I found showing up–including the way my own and other’s behavior is unfolding (even now–I thought I would be done with this hours ago… it’s almost like I’m watching something carry me along and I finally get that I don’t know what’s coming next). While more accepting, I also became more–not less–proactive and at the same time: less ‘pushy’ (mostly–my x-husband may not agree), since I was trusting rather than arguing with the reality that is showing up, and from there can act more efficiently from a place of clarity and love, and far less fear. Suddenly it was (is) all OK. After all those years of striving to make sense of it, I now GOT, and naturally started to live, in ways Jesus talked about–turning my life over, not to Jesus, but to LIFE ITSELF:
Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on…. Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them…. And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto [a]the measure of his life?…. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
I also got better at simply noticing with compassion and acknowledging to others the ways that I couldn’t yet turn it all over and have faith–and the ways that created pain for others. My “heavenly father” started to be–to me–the grace of the presence of All That Is, exactly as it is, and started to become VERY dependable—I would just look and see what was happening, and trust that I could not know something better should be happening. I saw and began to want to teach others that this one thought—‘something different should be happening than what is happening now’–was at the basis of ALL emotional pain, and most physical pain.
Over time, as I began to undo more and more of the thinking that would tell me something was wrong, I also began to resonate with almost every version of religious interpretation. I could sit in any church and translate…. see the dogma as a well-meaning metaphor for simply holding onto something greater than our limited interpretation of what is happening here and what it means. I saw the innocence of each of us trying to make sense of it, and I even stopped hating the exclusivity that has become what I believe to be an erroneous Christian outgrowth of Jesus’s original intent. I saw that those believing that if you’re not Christin you are going to hell were like the rest of us—simply believing their thoughts in a survival-driven way.
I loved when I stopped asking ‘WHY?’ It simply had become so clear to me that we can’t know. What I relief. I also stopped asking “HOW?” (except last week when I was engaging in doubt about how to build this movement as big as it calls me to and how I would have the energy to do it), trusting that when I simply stay focused on what is unfolding and on doing what comes next to me to do–and on questioning the thinking that would tell me I needs it to be different–the HOW takes care of itself. I just hold the happy visions that come to me and notice what I’m doing and watch life support me on it’s own time and in it’s own serendipitous and awesome way that is so much better than anything my monkey mind could dream up!
And as I began to sum up the major change that had taken place in me (as a paradigm shift I like to call The Reliable Symmetry of Happiness) and teach others my own curriculum, “6 keys to Dependable Peace, Everyday Joy and Service, and Warm Connection to Self, Others, and Life,” something happened to me that was really big and still new and really more like what I think the meaning of Easter is about than anything I had experienced. I’ll write about that next time (well…. I already wrote it, but don’t want to overwhelm you).
SO full of love, I write this with no fear that someone will unsubscribe or tell me I wrote too much or that this is not the place to talk about politics and religion. I write it not for the internet, but for me—the me that is in you who can hear what I am saying and the you who can’t hear what I’m saying! Just love over here—you may not realize how much of a love affair one can have with a mailing list, but my heart could just burst right now (and of course that is really me having a love affair with my innocent self that just wants to tell this story out loud–esp. the next part when I get to the stuff about forgiveness and self-love!).
And oh My GOODNESS….. my favorite benediction, the one my mom used to have us sing in Jr Choir, came on in my I-Tune church hymns playlist just as I signed off. So I will write this benediction to you—with my wording changes. Because instead of asking for something ‘out there’ in a prayer from our mini-mind’s perception of what should happen, what we are really doing is asking for the grace to know that LOVE (worded “The Lord” in the original song) is already giving it to us.
LOVE blesses you and keeps you, (Even when it doesn’t look the way our minds tell us it should)
LOVE lifts her countenance upon you,
And Gives you Peace…
And Gives you Peace….
(When we are home to receive it.)
LOVE makes her face to shine upon you,
And is gracious unto you…
And is gracious unto you.
AMEN… AMEN…. AMEN….. AMEN….. AMEN…. AMEN…. AMEN…. Let it be.
May we be blessed enough to see beyond our thinking (except when we can’t, and that’s our perfect path, too!!)
And here, if you’d like to listen to this 1 minute 41 second benediction, is what we used to sing under my mom’s direction at the end of every service in our little tiny church choir. We didn’t sound quite like this (!), but it gave me goosebumps every time–still does–especially that spectacular 7-fold AMEN. There is nothing more sweet than the peace of AMEN…. The grace of Letting it be so…. xox