…photo by Grace
Look at it. Isn’t it just amazingly beautiful? This tree is so plump with life, it just busted wide open – offering its juice-filled contents to anyone (or no one) who might pass by. After spending a few moments this morning admiring Her gift, I realized something.
I want to bust wide, too.
There is a scripture I love so much, Galatians 5:22-23. The Message gives it life like no other translation:
“But what happens when we live God’s way? S/he brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
Just reading these words this morning makes my eyes fill with emotion. Let’s see if I can explain why. It may take a few posts to do that.
When I disappeared from Blogland, I was on a Mission. Frankly, I didn’t know who I was any more. I didn’t know what I believed in. And I didn’t know where I was going. That was a very scary place for me! My emotional life was on a downward spiral, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced for a long long time. My head was full of facts and speculations, static and stress. My heart was a pile of broken glass – grieving for something that never even existed in the first place. And – the scariest part – I was without an anchor spiritually. With all of my spiritual “seeking” and adventuring, I had somehow disconnected from the Source of all Life in such a way that I no longer felt I really knew It’s presence. I was truly lost – and I found myself flailing about and raging, swinging at demons and screaming silently about injustices, all the time begging – truly begging – for Someone or Something to show me my way Home. For Love.
Two distinct things happened to assist me on my way back Home. One, I unplugged from the Internet (both literally and figuratively) and tossed out all of my spiritual paraphanalia. And then, I hit my knees, and surrendered. Everything. To be perfectly honest, I was in such a state of confusion, I wasn’t exactly sure WHAT I was surrendering to. But I did it anyway, as an act of faith born out of desperation.
Now I see that I surrendered to Love.
I spent the next couple of weeks Seeking the Presence that is both within me, and around me. I cried great gulping sobs – pouring out my Heart to “Anyone” who might be listening. All of the pain and hurt. All of the feelings of powerlessness and broken dreams. All of the fear and aloneness. And then, when I was too exhausted to cry anymore, I slept. Rather than blogging, I wrote in my journal – learning to reconnect with my own Voice that sounds like God. And I read foraciously. When I picked up “The Gift of Change”, by Marianne Williamson, I was like a starving person handed a 3 course meal.
It was then that I came to realize that there is nothing I’ve ever pointed the finger about, that I hadn’t done myself to some degree or another, at some time or another, to one person or another. There is no “me” and “them”. There is only “Us”. My problems – and my answers – weren’t ‘out there’ at all. They were all inside of me. All of them – demons and Divine alike – that whole time.
Sometimes when the Light hits one of my personal Shadows, its painful at first. A real gutwrenching sort of painful. I felt temporarily blinded by the shear power of the Illumination It had brought, after walking in the Dark for so long. So I cried some more, this time with repentance, release and renewal. And where I could, I made amends – then hit my knees again. And surrendered again.
When I came up, I was a changed person. I had fallen in love again with God, and began to love my self. Peace ran like a river within me, and the joy of living in the Present Moment began to permeate my life. My outer world began to change in the most wonderful ways. And I felt hopeful and full of life. Which was a good thing.
Because just short while later, I would experience the worst act of betrayal in my entire life.