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My longing for my Lord grows stronger. I hear the call. Again.
Silence. A complete immersion into inner joy. Where else do we find truth, if not by seeking the kingdom within?
I have sought joy in so many places, so many faces, so many experiences of life. Yet my joy in all that has been incomplete.
I have sought to complete myself with a man by being in relationship and I have loved and love now. Yet my joy has been incomplete.
And my longing for my Lord grows stronger. I hear the call. Again.
I will listen now.
I have lived the lives of many people and I have lived the experiences of the world. I have fallen in love and loved until the ache in my heart was all I could feel. I have been loved until the love was so big it threatened to suffocate me. And in all these lives, as all those people, through all those loves, true and lasting joy has escaped me. There is more to life than what we experience as humans and with others, and falling in love and being in love and being loved. It transcends our five senses.
I feel your pain, we are not separate. I know your pain, I'm in it with you. I feel your love, the life of my soul. I know your love, the essence of our oneness. We cannot be together, yet the separation hurts. We cannot be apart, yet the togetherness kills. After our love is transformed by God, we may not recognize it or each other. What matters is that we loved, and that when God called, we loved him more. For no love given or received is lost. Love is transformed, yet it is, and always will be, love.
The rain softly bathed the city as it awakened, the baby drops growing bigger and falling faster, reaching it's strongest just when I left the building. Hard rain danced into swirls, but I was ready with my boots, raincoat and umbrella.
My heart and mind were ready too. The rainy, dark day perfectly matching the cloud within as I mourn the love relationship that we had. I must trust the decision, even without knowing the final outcome, knowing not to hold to the desire or want. Letting go, I move forward into what's unseen, feeling called to God's way. Discernment.
New worlds open to me as I continue this spiritual journey started in my childhood. As a child I heard of the holy trinity but didn't understand and didn't know who to ask. I went to the Catholic church my parents sent us to (they didn't attend). The mass may have been in Latin, for I don't remember understanding a word. But, oh, how I loved the inside of the tall ceilinged, semidark, incensed church with candles flickering and the priest in his rich robes! It transported me to a world outside the harsh, cold world in which I lived.
It's the rips and tears in me from my past that can connect me to other souls who are still lost and don't believe, or have never even considered that their lives can be transformed. It's through my issues, the very ones that bring up deep, forgotten memories of pain, hurt, humiliation, and abuse that other pained souls can look away from their pain long enough to allow a seed of hope to be planted. I can shed God's light on mothers; divorced women; mistresses; teachers; educated women; minorities; gang members; codependents; sexual, physical and emotional abuse victims; and more.
I pray he's well. My hurt reflects his hurt. I had to put this love completely into God's hands, letting go and trusting only God's will. When we try to have what we think we want, we fail. Rather than live life from our minds, perhaps life is to be lived from our hearts.
Three of my closest friends are getting divorced. Another has been separated for years. One is steadily happy and just moved into a new home with her long-term partner. We celebrated and she asked me to do a house blessing. Good way to end the week.
Mother/Father/God, what would you have me do with the rest of my life? Is it already laid out, am I already living it, or is there more I should prepare for that I'm not fully aware of yet? A new beginning? An ending? I hear a call and it's getting louder. Sometimes it's frightening because it doesn't make sense. But I can't ignore it any longer. A minister? A monastic life? I don't see how, under the current circumstances of my life and given my past. Whatever your will for me, please give me clear signs of my next step.
I couldn't say good-bye, only cried. Never have I loved so, then had to part so abruptly in the middle of love. I love him and I believe this was God's will - to let him go. We may not understand for years. He thinks it's something one or both did or didn't do.
The sun rises, then sets, ending a gifted day in a beautiful way. Tomorrow a new sunrise and sunset.
Sometimes, like the sun, love has to set, completely out of sight, to be reborn tomorrow – completely new, yet of the same substance. Love is letting go.
Energy running low. Like a slow leak, it escapes and leaves me feeling weak, tired, not well. Rest calls. Or perhaps, ‘care of the soul', like the title of the book that came to me in a dream. Went to the bookstore and asked if there was such a book and they said yes. Bought it today. In it I'm sure lie some answers, or ideas and inspirations that will lead me to find answers along the way. But first I'm going to finish reading the book by the writer who spent four years visiting and living at various monasteries.
Not well some of today. Feeling ill, tired, sad. Home early. Slept. Read. Rested. Back into busy-ness. Reading again. ‘Care of the Soul'. Writing now. It calls to me. More to reveal. Much, much more. Eager to know, but "hearing" that there is no need to rush. Gently. Quietly. Slowly. Take care of the soul. Started reading the book. It speaks to me. Puts words to some of my latest thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences and revelations. Rather than remove what hurts us, we should move through it to the other side. I embrace life – it's pain, confusion, guilt, fear, love.
There is beauty in peace. Not beauty for the eyes, but beauty felt with the heart, beauty that caresses the soul allowing it to breathe gently. There is peace in this beauty that finds expression through the soul. Not peace that brings empty sleep, but the kind that from the emptiness calls forth the substance of faith. Peace that brings faith. A faith that believes everything, yet expects nothing. A faith that knows, yet makes no assumptions. A faith that says yes, with good judgment. A faith that rests in the turmoil that inevitably shows up to contrast the peace.
A full day. Mothering and caretaking, then exercising alone. Later, sharing with friends, over dinner and wine, good discussions and laughter.
But I make sure I tend to this, my 100.
Fear shows itself in many faces, words, gestures, ailments, challenges, problems, annoyances, grievances, complaints, pains, hurts, diseases, mistakes, and more. Our tendency, if and when we are aware, is to run away from it or distract ourselves, or we shroud ourselves in it and become the best martyr we know how. Perhaps next time fear shows up and I'm aware, I'll try staying with it - in the silence.
Sometimes life doesn't make sense.
Men don't understand women.
Married people don't understand divorced folks.
People without children don't understand single parents.
Parents with one child don't understand parents with two children.
Teenagers don't understand their parents.
Parents don't understand their teenagers.
Bosses don't understand employees.
One race doesn't understand another. One religion doesn't understand another.
Blah, blah, blah.
One big disconnected bunch of people striving to be understood and heard. So people sue, divorce, abuse, use, abandon, kill, insult, disrespect, or ignore each other. Or they distract themselves through drinking, drugging, sex, shopping.
We are more than this life.
Stress. Headache. Tense. Not enough time. Uptight. Want to do it all. Mother, work, and have a life. Be successful, happy, calm, unselfish, understanding, slim, healthy, strong and beautiful. Yeah, right. It happens over and over – as soon as I get one area or aspect worked out, another goes the wayside. If the house is clean, the car's a mess. If I've managed to make homecooked meals, I'm gaining five pounds a day and hating my body. If I manage to work out regularly, my kids have forgotten what it's like for me to be present.
This, too, shall pass.
Varied textures and rich colors of raw vegetables. Varying ingredients and spices being transformed and fused into wonderful, delectable, and delightful flavors, aromas, and textures. Staying present in the systematic cutting and chopping. Remaining open to possibilities as I scattered the ingredients in three separate pots and pans and went about creating different scenes in each. Each it's own story even though some shared characters. An experiment in artful or creative cooking. One-of-a-kind dishes that may be difficult to replicate. All for our nourishment, but not just physically. Nourishment for the heart, soul and spirit as well. Cooking with love.
As I saw myself as truly being of God, love filled me as a deep desire to experience God through knowing my true self.
I heard God in the tricking water and the soft rustling of the leaves.
I saw God in the familiar twinkling stars and the soft blues and pinks hosting the soft, quiet clouds.
I experienced God as an amber-gold light rising up through me and pouring forth like warm, flowing honey.
And I knew at once how grand we are and how our grandness is in us.
We are not alone, but rather all one.
What's left of this day after I've wrung out all that I could of it by multitasking and filling it with endless activity?
How I would like to fill my day with sweet silence and sacred stillness!
To revel in the purity of being, with no expectation but to commune with God.
To allow all our senses to explore the experience of hearing, seeing, touching, and sensing God within ourselves, with our whole being. Allowing love to sprout from the heartseed within, bathed in our undivided, complete presence, and we in it – pure, exquisite love.
All there is, is love.
Love beacons from within, from God. Love beacons me to move across chasms of fear disguised as insecurity, shyness, indifference, self-indulgence, busy-ness, worries. I stumble over my excuses and keep love at bay. Sometimes letting it shine warmly – but mostly from a distance. Oh, if I could open my heart to love's caress like the beach opens to the vast, immense endless sea! If I could trust that from where love comes, there is an unlimited source. I long for love to spill over into and from my very soul, to pour forth like the morning rays breaking through dawn.
Humility. Simplicity of Spirit. To know God without struggling, by being living prayer, a continual prayer. Acting on faith and guided by grace. Life lived meaningfully, prayerfully, humbly, in communion with God. We must become intimate spiritually to grow into God.
We are not separate beings but libs, roots and fruit of the One, and all being of the One, we are of the same substance. Your joy is my joy. My pain is your pain. My prayer is for you. Lord, may your prayer heal the imperfections in me that keep me from you, that keep me from LOVE.
I'm more awake to my true self and more aware of my false self. They've become more distinguishable. They blur where emotions run deepest or strongest. But I'm aware now that there is a different way of relating in love and friendship. Though I don't know that way yet, I trust that God's good judgment expresses through my judgment and I act accordingly. There is only one true source in our lives – God. Like the sunflower following the sunlight to life – sunlight – we are transformed as we continually repent when we sin – miss the mark – and continue seeking God, relentlessly.
What do I know today?
That there is immediate peace and joy in each moment that we're present to whatever it is we're doing unless what we're doing isn't authentic, because then we're living a lie.
That the richness of life isn't experienced through, or limited to, expensive, beautiful things and exotic places, but rather extends from a place within from which we approach life with an open heart allowing the simplicity of the caress of a gentle wind or a shallow ocean wave on the beach bathing the soles of our feet birth experiences of a rich beautiful life.
Peace, be still. Joy is found everywhere, but mostly in this moment. Love is the substance that makes joy and peace real. It's what holds things together. It's what heals pains of the heart and soul. It's what's left when all else is gone.
Peace, joy, love. Beyond dis-ease of flesh and bone. Beyond struggles of mind and emotion. Beyond the limitations we imagine into our perceptions. There lies the substance from which we can call forth peace, joy and love, and that substance is faith.
"…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen". Hebrews 11:1.
Simplicity isn't about giving up knowledge, experience or even things. It's not about a way to act, talk or be. It's not about how you live or what you do. It's not about making life plain.
Simplicity comes through intention. It comes about as we're transformed from the inside into who we truly are. It's born of the seed of faith that in the silence sprouts into fruits as blessings in every aspect of our lives seemingly effortlessly.
"These and greater things you shall do". But we can't even begin to fantasize that when living from our limited false self.
Loving oneself doesn't come easily for some of us. It's a problem of limitation. It's a problem of time. It's a problem of not knowing ourselves fully and rejecting parts of ourselves in ourselves as well as in others.
When we're aware of inner turmoil, God seems far away and I feel so small and insignificant. Like a tiny ant that can be squashed in a split second. But it's just our perception that we're separate. God is present even in the turmoil. His communion with us is continuous and eternal.
Communion with God isn't necessarily about being at peace.
I, too, can behave unlovingly and selfishly. I, too, can react out of anger, fear, and insecurity. I, too, am capable of saying or thinking demeaning words. And I still find myself choosing these behaviors even though it hurts so deeply. I believe I've transformed some of those behaviors or perhaps the degree to which they manifest. But I have a long way to go. This is my path now – to bring up from inside the origin or root of such behaviors of the false self, releasing them to be transformed into right action and beliefs through my true self.
"By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that was is seen was made out of things which do not appear." Hebrews 11:3
To have faith is to believe in something. In order to believe we have to make up our mind about something and make a choice. When we make a choice it means there was more than one option. If there was more than one option, then it must mean reality isn't set in stone; and thus reality, perhaps, is what we make of it – through faith. "By faith we understand…"
"By faith…he went out, not knowing where he was to go". Hebrews 11:8
When is it faith and when is it wishful thinking? When is it truth we hear and when is it our ego trying to be in control? Fear rears its head in so many disguises. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. And yet something continues to call me to step out from behind the fear. I cannot be stronger than it alone, because I'm not separate. I'm part of something greater and it's a part of the One through which all things are possible.
The feelings of loss and isolation continue. There's no obvious or apparent reason. It's just there. A battle within myself to find myself, to find my true voice. To let myself be present. I'm in here somewhere, whole and beautiful. I know ‘cause I see glimpses. Others see it, too. But then I seem to lose contact. I seem to lose my way. Then I'm not who I am anymore and yet knowing it, I still allow the pain and fear to isolate me.
Faith, where are you now? Just beyond the mist. How do I keep the fog away?
There's no one or no thing that can give me what I'm missing because nothing's really missing. It's like a grief that doesn't go away, but instead stays when my heart feels closed.
It doesn't feel safe to love. When I believed, I was hurt. When others believed, I hurt them. Now I neither believe nor allow others to believe.
I know this is all wrong. I know that it's all an illusion based on my wrong thinking, my "missing the mark".
Again, I turn to God.
God, clear the mists that block my vision. Open my heart to love.
Often too tired to write these days. Not enough quiet space and time in my day. It's my own doing. It's as it is and as it needs to be. And yet I struggle.
Work has been slow. Makes me uneasy in this economy.
Lord, I trust you.
Group centering prayer was wonderful. Each time it's different. A slightly different group, but a few who always come. Today we were three. Nice and cozy. Good discussions. Good company.
Feelings stirring, but I'm not going to allow my emotions to run me – especially not mechanically.
I release them, turning to God.
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