Gracie Allen says to George Burns, “Oh, George, I had a crazy dream about heaven last night.”
George said, “And I suppose you are going to tell me about it, right?”
And Gracie said, “Of course, silly. Why else would I mention it? In my dream, Marilyn Monroe and three blondes (natural) died and found themselves standing before St. Peter. He told them that before they could enter the Kingdom, they had to tell him what Easter was.
The first blonde said, ‘Easter is a holiday where they have a big feast and we give thanks and eat turkey.’ St. Peter said, ‘Noooooo,’ and he banished her to hell.
The second blonde said, ‘Easter is when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and exchange gifts.’
St. Peter said, ‘Noooooo,’ and he banished her to hell.
The third blonde said she knew what Easter is, and St. Peter said,’ So, tell me.’
She said,’ Easter is a Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus was having Passover feast with His disciples when he was betrayed by Judas, and the Romans arrested him. The Romans hung Him on the cross and eventually He died. Then they buried Him in a tomb behind a very large boulder.
St. Peter said, ‘Verrrrrry good.’
Then the blonde continued, ‘Now every year the Jews roll away the boulder and Jesus comes out. If he sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of basketball.’
St. Peter gasped, almost choking.
Love and Prosperity
A little article by Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla, Unity ministers, and authors, on expressing love talks about the 1993 rampaging rivers in the Midwest that caused extensive flooding of farms, villages, and cities. The entire landscape along the river plains was changed. Abetted by torrential rains, the mighty Missouri and Mississippi rivers became even mightier, breaking through levees and dams to inundate parts of Kansas City, St. Louis, and other major cities along their paths. Nothing could stand in the way of the unrelenting power and persistence of the water.
Love can do the same in our lives: it can absolutely take over. It is the most powerful force in the universe. Nothing can stand in the way of love, and nothing can take the place of love.
Contrary to popular belief, love is not suddenly created when we find a person to love. Love is implanted deep inside us by our Creator and is always waiting to be released.
AS I mentioned the other week, I believe we are love, because we are Divine, made in the image and likeness of the Divine, and God is LOVE, then we don’t learn love, we BE it.
Expressing love is essential to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is unlike anything else. And why is it that whenever we humans express our love it feels so “right”? Because love is so basic to our nature that only when our love is allowed to express itself can we feel truly fulfilled.
Why, then, is it often so difficult for us to express the love that is in us? Could it be that part of the problem lies in our inability to accept love ourselves? We talked about that the other week too.
Just consider for a moment what our lives would be like if suddenly we decided to open ourselves fully to God’s love. Such a gushing torrent of love would fill us that it would flood into every part of our lives. No longer could we withhold love from others because we felt they were not worthy of love. No longer could we withhold love from ourselves because we felt we were unworthy. If we would allow such a rampaging river of God’s love to flow through us, the entire landscape of our souls would be transformed and we would be a continuous blessing for the world.
And that, my friends, would be PROSPERITY to the millionth degree.
Wayne Dyer said, “Abundance isn’t something we acquire, it’s something we tune into.”
Beloved, we cannot be separated from our good, so what thoughts or beliefs are blocking your flow?
Love is the great harmonizer. When called upon, it can adjust all misunderstandings and make our life and affairs healthy, happy, harmonious, and free. Love is the greatest worker and will accomplish amazing things in our lives. It expands our abundance exponentially.
Love in us enables us to practice the presence of God within, therefore “casting out” fears, which contribute to poverty, lack, ill health and adverse conditions. Love brings The Presence closer and closer in our everyday life. We see life as it is truly meant to be lived.
Doesn’t the Bible say it’s the Creators great pleasure to give us the kingdom? That kingdom is blessed with love as our birthright. And part of that birthright is abundance.
We must trust that the Universe is always conspiring for our good and our belief is the determining factor to what happens in our world.
So I ask again, so what thoughts or beliefs are blocking your flow?
Here is something that may be a factor in your flow.
This story is from a book entitled “Kabbalistic Astrology: And the Meaning of Our Lives” author Rav Berg.
Although the story uses some different languaging than Unity, the gist of what the author is saying is pretty in line with our thinking and very interesting.
Berg writes that before there was anything, there was only the Light. There was nothing but the Light, and the Light had only one urge – that was to give and to share of Itself.
But that begs a question, doesn’t it? If there is nothing but the Light, then to what or to whom will the Light give and share?
Obviously, this would not do; something had to be done. So the Light created a Vessel to receive everything it had to offer. Receiving was the Vessel’s one and only job. That’s all it was made to do, and that’s all it did.
So, the nature of the Light was to share Itself fully and completely and the nature of the Vessel was to receive everything the Light had to offer.
Berg writes that the Kabbalah teaches that the Light is the first cause. The Vessel is the first effect. Truth students – does that sound familiar?
The Vessel was filling up with the Light and, because time and space hadn’t even begun yet, the Vessel was filling endlessly. The Light kept giving and the Vessel kept receiving. It was perfect. In fact, it was paradise.
But let’s pause for a moment in the story of creation to emphasize something – because here’s where it gets interesting. What was the nature of the Light? What was the only thing the Light wanted to do?
It wanted to share of itself fully and completely with the Vessel. And that is what it did. Therefore, the Vessel received not only Light from the Source of Light, but the Vessel received from the Light the desire to share of Itself as well.
And this desire to share felt good, very good to the Vessel. In fact, the Vessel wanted to start doing some sharing on its own, to shed some Light of its own, so to speak!
But how could the Vessel express the Desire to Share if its whole nature was to receive? Sharing wasn’t part of its job. So the Vessel made a decision, its first decision, and a very important one.
As part of Its desire to express what It was, the Vessel pushed back the Light and said, “No more! I don’t want to receive any more.”
The moment the Vessel pushed back the Light and stopped simply being the receiver, the Light said, “Okay, I understand your need to evolve and express yourself.” Just as a loving parent who stands back to allow a toddler to take his or her first awkward steps, the Light withdrew. It gave the Vessel the space to learn about sharing and the opportunity to become a causative force in the creation process.
The ancient Kabbalists called the Vessel’s act of pushing back the Light, “the Restriction.” Science has another name for it …THE BIG BANG.
According to Kabbalah, once the Restriction or the Big Bang took place, the Vessel exploded into zillions of zillions of pieces. The pieces of the shattered Vessel became all the fragments of matter and energy that make up our entire universe – atoms, animals, people, planets, everything.
Everything in the universe is a portion of the original Vessel, which was made by the Light and of the Light.
“Kabbalistically, the Desire to Receive is the secret engine that drives everything in the universe and is, in fact, indispensable to the world’s functioning. It is when the simple Desire to Receive is changed into the Desire to Receive in Order to Share that we become most like the Light and we become the cause of our own fulfillment.”
According to the wisdom of the Kabbalah:
“…the unifying link between the spiritual and the physical worlds – the World Above and the World Below – is the Desire to Receive the Light of the Creator – and humankind is the highest embodiment of that desire.”
Isn’t that a fantastic creation story?!
Nothing is more naturally geared toward being receptive than a baby, and if the secret of staying young, vibrant and vital throughout life is to hang onto those precious characteristics we all have as children but which get drummed out of us – like having big dreams, being curious and believing in yourself – then one of those characteristics is being open to receiving, being hungry to receive, being ravenous to receive!
In fact, all of those things just mentioned — having big dreams and being curious and believing in ourselves – those are all aspects of being receptive, they’re all the same thing as being receptive.
Being open to receive is EVERYTHING!
Charles Fillmore said, “Loose all thoughts of lack and lay hold of thoughts of plenty. See the abundance of all good things, prepared for you and for all of us from the foundation of the world. We live in a very sea of inexhaustible substance, ready to come into manifestation when molded by our thought.”
Trusting in God, we have faith in Spirit as our resource, and that faith becomes a perpetual spiritual supply and support; but when we put our faith in the power of material riches, our trust in God weakens and we establish our trust in the transitory substance of sense living.
We feel rich everytime we delight in the bounty of our life. It is all around us. You touch it every day. You see it every day. And you feel it every day. Do NOT take this abundance for granted.
Wait! What are you taking for granted? There’s a good question.
This point of our abundance is not clearly understood by those who are hypnotized by the money idea. When the metaphysician affirms God to be their opulent supply and support and declares that they have money in abundance, the assumption is that they love money and depend upon it.
The man who blindly gives himself up to money getting acquires a love for it and finally becomes its slave.
It’s the love of money, not money itself, is the root of all kinds of evil.
The wise metaphysician deals with the money idea and masters it. They trust in the law of God.
It is our job to RECEIVE the Kingdom that Spirit is giving us.
Unity leader Eric Butterworth wrote:
“It is our inability to be a gracious receiver that is indicative of a spiritual problem that would no doubt answer the questions about many other problems of life such as “Why can’t I get ahead?” or “why do these troubles always come to me?” . . . If I were to refuse to accept the gift or even if I were to accept it grudgingly with a sense of personal obligation, with an attempt to immediately reciprocate, I cut off my good, and I cut off the other’s good too.”
Let your dominant intent be to feel good which means be playful, have fun, laugh often, look for reasons to appreciate and practice the art of appreciation. And as you practice it, the Universe, who has been watching you practice, will give you constant opportunities to express it. So that your life just gets better and better and better. —Abraham
One day an out of work mime is visiting the zoo and attempting to earn some money as a street performer. Unfortunately, as soon as he starts to draw a crowd, the zookeeper grabs him and drags him into his office.
The zookeeper explains to the mime that the zoo’s most popular attraction, a gorilla, has died suddenly. The keeper fears that attendance at the zoo will fall off. He offers the mime a job to dress up as the gorilla until they can get another one. The mime accepts.
So the next morning the mime puts on the gorilla suit and enters the cage before a crowd comes. He discovers that it’s a great job. He can sleep all he wants, play and make fun of people and he draws bigger crowds than he ever did as a mime. However, eventually the crowds tire of him and he gets bored just swinging on tires.
He begins to notice that the people are paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his. Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbs to the top of his cage, crawls across a partition, and dangles from the top to the lion’s cage. Of course, this makes the lion furious, but the crowd loves it.
At the end of the day the zookeeper comes and gives the mime a raise for being such a good attraction as a gorilla. Well, this goes on for some time, the mime keeps taunting the lion, the crowds grow larger, and his salary keeps going up.
Then one terrible day when he is dangling over the furious lion he slips and falls. The mime is terrified.
The lion gathers itself and prepares to pounce. The mime is so scared that he begins to run round and round the cage with the lion close behind.
Finally, the mime starts screaming and yelling, “Help, Help me!”, but the lion is quick and pounces.
The mime soon finds himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion and which point the lion says, “Shut up you idiot! You’re gonna get us both fired!”
Where does LENT come from? Does anyone know?
The word Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word for spring, from a Germanic root word for “long’, referring to the longer days.
Is there any reference to Lent in the Bible? NO. There are references to ‘preparation’.
What are we ‘preparing for?
Transformation! Have you noticed a recurrrance here? Didn’t we just have a transformative experience at Christmas? Yes we did.
Why do we have it again? If you look at the Hebrew Bible from a metaphorical and metaphysical point of view, it is a story of our Spiritual journey. And we have our starts and stops, don’t we?
Just as the Israelites found their One God and then left that same God for all kinds of other Gods, only to come back to their One True God, we do the same thing. We are ok and then we’re lacking faith, for whatever reason.
So, yes, as we were reminded last week, Michael Cunningham said “We are here to be transformed, and to be transformed again and again and again.”
The Lenten Season is a time for self-improvement. Its timing with spring brings about thoughts of renewal, creativity. We can direct our Divine discontent towards our need for growth just as the trees bud and the flowers sprout from the ground.
We just talked about self-love last week. This season is an opportunity to put that self-love into action through self-examination, self-discipline and self-commitment.
Lent is the perfect time to let go and reflect on what it means to be a child of God. As we begin this Lenten season, we search within our hearts for direction. We give thanks for the wisdom of Spirit that is continually guiding us on our paths in life.
There are two questions before us this Ash Wednesday:
In what way(s) is God inviting me to live my Divine Nature?
What limited ways of seeing myself am I ready to shed to make way for my greater experience of myself?
In Matthew 4:1-11, we have several themes to ponder for Ash Wednesday.
Here are some questions to ponder as I read the text:
How Jesus was invited to live his greatness rather than his limitations–to trust God rather than fear. How do I relate to these?
That is my relationship to the material world – prosperity? Do I fret and worry or do I rely on God as my Source?
What is the level of my self-esteem, my self-love, my self-valuing? Is who I am good enough to live fully in the world or do I have to wear an impressive mask?
Where does my sense of power and security come from? Do I need to exercise control over other people/conditions in order to feel safe and competent or do I work for self-mastery and self-responsibility in order to accomplish my God-given dreams?
READ the TEXT
Let me read those questions again?
Today we choose to release any sense of limitation. We are strong, positive, powerful, wise, loving, fearless and free spiritual beings. We give thanks to Spirit for the opportunity to embark on this rich and rewarding process of spiritual release and spiritual realization.
Our consciousness can be cluttered with thoughts of fear, lack, limitation and resentment accumulated through our life experiences and what we’ve been told by others. Since whatever we believe forms the basis for what we experience in life, these negative thoughts of lack and limitation create a poverty mentality and a sense of being a powerless victim.
These mistaken thoughts are the only impediment to a new awareness of God’s eternal, indwelling presence within us. As we replace them with positive thoughts of infinite love and abundance, and allow these new thoughts to express through us, we dissolve any feelings of victimization and begin to create an entirely new life experience.
Releasing and replacing our negative thoughts can seem overwhelming. But we aren’t alone: All the spiritual energy of the universe is rushing to help. In Charles Fillmore’s words, it is “as though we are gently brushing away cobwebs of negativity that have been dimming the glow of our spiritual light.”
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is so-called from the ceremonial of ashes. Ashes symbolize repentance. Repentance means denial; it is a relinquishment and should be made without too much vehemence.
Therefore, I deny out of consciousness old error thoughts, as if I were gently sweeping away cobwebs, and
I affirm positively and fearlessly that I am a child of God, and that my inheritance is from Spirit.
Traditionally, we have heard or been taught to “give up” something for Lent. Often is was something considered a sacrifice for us…like chocolate, or coffee for you coffee lovers. Maybe sweets or a favorite food.
I suggest if we are to give up something, make it something that is a concern for you, like anger, or jealousy, complaining. Give up the thought that you are lesser than any other.
Or, even better, take up something good like volunteering or prayer, journaling, or family night.
Maybe being more caring, compassionate or loving. Make an effort to always say something good. Watch your thoughts more closely.
Start a daily prayer or meditation practice.
“I CAN” instead of “I CAN’T.”
Let’s “Take up” the practice of higher-level thinking. Jesus raised his eyes to the heavens when praying or giving thanks, not looking for his “Father” but indicating Higher thoughts, our Higher Self.
I’d like to suggest a ritual where we write some habit or negative behavior we would like to “give up,” or, if you are choosing to add a positive action to you behaviors, list that on your paper and burn it as a contract to yourself and your Higher Power.
And let’s have a burning bowl for Ash Wednesday.
So, take your little paper and write down now, what you wish to burn in contract to your Higher Self and as you complete your contract, the Ushers will direct you to the Burning Bowl.
Let’s say together:
Today, we choose to release any sense of limitation. We are strong, positive, powerful, wise, loving, fearless and free spiritual beings. We give thanks for the opportunity to embark on this rich and rewarding process of spiritual release and spiritual realization.
THE AMISH & THE ELEVATOR
An Amish boy and his father were in a mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again.
The boy asked, “What is this, Father?” The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, “Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t know what it is.”
While the boy and his father were watching with amazement, a fat, old lady went up to the moving walls and pressed a button.
The walls opened and the lady went inside between them into a small room.
The walls closed and the boy and his father watched the small circular numbers above the walls light up sequentially.
They continued to watch until it reached the last number and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order.
Finally the walls opened up again and a gorgeous 24-year-old blonde stepped out.
The father said quietly to his son… “Go get your mother.”
The theme for this month is: Discover Love
And the Affirmation is: I am a center of divine love, attracting and radiating blessings.
Let’s say that together… I am a center of divine love, attracting and radiating blessings.
And that theme seems appropriate since love is in the air in February with Valentine’s Day is coming up. Are you ready? Have you prepared for an expression of affection to your loved one or ones? Well, I’m starting now.
You are my BELOVED. You hold a special place in my heart and you always will.
Let me explain a bit before I get into my lesson for today. One of my mentors and favorite Unity Ministers was Erica Tranthum. She came to Unity of Harrisburg at the beginning of my spiritual journey with Unity. And I was surprised one Sunday, early in her time with Unity of Harrisburg when she called those of us, there in the congregation, her BELOVED.
How could that be, I asked myself. She hardly knew us, as she was only there a week or two. But I can see now, how important and special one’s first ‘congregation’ can be to them.
So, you are my BELOVED. You are special and important and loved.
Feel it, know it, BE it! (AND in that air of the beloved, let’s do hugs and handshakes!)
And now, onto my topic for today: Not romantic love, but Self-Love.
Why Self-love you may ask? Well, when Valentine’s Day rolls around, most folks think of romantic love. And I will admit, I do too. Even though I do not have a romantic partner at this time, I still feel those feelings, longing for one in my life. I am a hopeless romantic! And so I reminisce about a partner from the past. Or dream of one in the future. It’s normal.
But I wondered a bit about what this topic, LOVE, really is about.
What is love? The dictionary says: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend, a person toward whom love is felt; a beloved person.
Why does it have to be for another person?
In Matthew 19:19 Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
And in Luke 6:31, he said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Well, how can we ‘love our neighbor as ourself” or “do unto others…” if we don’t love ourselves?
In fact, we have been told by many masters that we must love ourselves before we are able to truly love another.
Why do you think that is?
Do you love yourself? REALLY. Ask yourself that question. How will you answer it?
We sometimes, on this journey of self-discovery, find some not-so-wonderful things about ourselves. We look in the mirror of our soul for honesty and clarity and see things in our human self that may not be so pretty.
Maybe we did some things that were not very nice. Maybe we were told things that were not true but we believe them anyway, because we didn’t understand, didn’t know better. We see things in others and realize that those same things are in ourselves.
We have been confronted time and again with the damage of prejudices and yet, have we looked to see where those same prejudices lie in ourselves?
We see and hear of the hurt inflicted upon others, but have we looked at the hurt we have inflicted? And not just on others, but on ourselves?
And through all this, can we STILL love ourselves?
Of course we can….. and should! That is a major step to connecting with the ALL that IS.
Jan Phillips said, “If things are to change, it will be because we have dared to be true to ourselves. If every one of us woke up one morning and announced ourselves to the world, the planet would tremble with the force of that courage. Yes, we may be risking our lives, our families, our friends, our jobs — but what is served by our silence? How can we bear this absence of intimacy? How will things ever change if we do not change them?”
She is talking about coming out, but her words are really a benefit for us all.
C. Joybell said something we all should say to ourselves, “For the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and it’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.”
We all have great things about us. We just have to touch them, feel them, acknowledge them.
It’s time to give up the idea of who you think you’re supposed to be, and start loving who you really are.
Marianne Williamson spoke about our fear of success…yes! We ARE afraid of who we truly are. Who and what we can become.
One of my favorite writers, Mark Nepo, in The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have writes: “We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”
This book has many words of wisdom!
So, this is how we start to learn how to love ourselves. By NOT putting on a front; no false face. No pretensions. Dare, really dare to be who you are.
This is our ministry to ourselves…to be that expression of God that we each are. Each individually, but part of the larger whole, the ONE. The Divine Universe.
We are told in Genesis that we are made in the image and likeness of the Divine, yet, we question, even deny that very truth?
And the real kicker is, we have this inner drive to recognize and connect with that Oneness, yet we deny it at the very same time! What a paradox!
Yet we have no qualms about telling or even showing someone else how wonderful they are. We say we love them and tell them unceasingly how wonderful they are.
Why not direct that same enthusiasm to ourselves?
To love someone is to see all of their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.
We can do that to ourselves too.
Steve Aitehison said, “The amount of love you receive is directly proportional to how much you love yourself.”
How much do you love yourself?
Self-care is a Divine responsibility.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, “Enlightenment, joy, and peace can never be given to you by another. The well is inside you.”
SO, if the well is inside us, how do we learn to tap into it? How do we learn to love?
If you believe, as I do, that we are love, because we are Divine, made in the image and likeness of the Divine, and God is LOVE, then we don’t learn love, we BE it.
I have learned that love is a verb. It’s the action that shows the feeling that we can identify with. My email signature includes “Loving is the answer” to affirm that belief each and every time I send a message out.
So, if we are looking at self-love, how can we be loving to ourselves?
Here are a few things to do: Take care of ourselves by eating well, exercising, taking time for quiet connection, face our fears, challenge the ego, surround ourselves with good friends, REALLY good friends, don’t be afraid to delve into our domestication….in other words, to question everything.
Understand why you believe what you do. Maybe you really don’t believe it anymore.
Check your integrity.
Listen to your instincts, they are closer to Spirit than you can imagine.
Jim Morrison, yes THAT Jim Morrison, said, “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
He would probably like this quote I found, “When you truly don’t care what someone thinks of you, you have reached a dangerously awesome level of freedom.”
You do not have to be your mother or your father unless she or he is who you want to be. You do not have to be your mother’s mother, or your mother’s mother’s mother, or even your grandmother’s mother on your father’s side. Or you father’s father’s father. You may inherit their chins or their hips or their eyes or their lack of hair on your head, but you are not destined to become the person who came before you. You are not destined to live their lives. So if you inherit something, inherit their strength, their resilience. Because the only person you’re destined to become is the person you choose to be.
WHO DO YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
The truth to the secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most of every day. And to do that, sometimes that means answering the call, that urge to delve within and find the questions and then search for the answers. Notice I said find the questions first…you may need that before you know what answers you are looking for. (My friend Kath use to say, when she dies, she wants some answers…and I would say, but do you know the questions.”)
We can and should be content where we are, that gratitude is the start, but we also know, we have a glorious journey to look forward to.
Make no mistake, the journey to discover ourselves, to discover our own self-love, can be bumpy at times. But, the rewards are so worthwhile.
What matters most is how YOU see yourself. Perception is everything.
Michael Cunningham said “We are here to be transformed, and to be transformed again and again and again.”
From the Gospel of Thomas, 70:1 “If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you.”
Get it! It’s all within. We just need to uncover it, to bring it forth, layer by layer. Uncover the real you…the Christ within, that Buddha presence. Your hidden Goddess.
I leave you with this prayer for you:
That you have the wisdom to know you deserve goodness;
That you have the discernment to set boundaries of protection;
That you have the imagination to visualize your dreams;
That you have the power of intention to bring those dreams to life knowing the wisdom of your heart holds these gifts are of true self love.
Moving Into Fearlessness
Fear is rampant today. It’s all over the newspapers, magazines, movies and every main stream media outlet loves to sell fear to us. It’s generated by TV news, weather reports, the economy, Wall Street, whether the UFO’s will land or the Second Coming will happen first. And yet…and yet, if you put your mind and heart and soul into it, is there anything at all you can do about any of these?
When we are in pain or in fear, we assume the worst of God. We resist the divine timing of Grace and limit ourselves & the power of love in our lives.
When we live in fear, we live outside of trust – that circle of thinking we are being taken care of by a Loving Creator. We choose – through long conditioning – to step out of the Light into a dark place. Why? I think it’s because we think Life is safer there. In the dark, we cannot see the size of our fears monster. And if you believe in a higher power keeping score of every little old activity & thought, it surely feels safer in the dark where we seem invisible. We push out the Light in the world. We forget the kindness of strangers.
I read a line recently that said, “his fear felt like swallowed lightning.” Do you remember fear like that? I do. Since childhood, we may have done a lot of our formative living in a state of fear. Do you remember the first time you felt afraid?
There was Mom or Dad being lining up to yell at us about something, there was falling off the bike, there was Sister Anne Cecelia calling an algebra pop quiz first period, or the other schoolkids ganging up. Fear doesn’t lack for variety… there’s physical fear, mental fear, emotional fear, spiritual fear – take your pick. Or better yet, make the sane choice to not choose any of them!
Repeat this after me: I release the past with ease and trust the process of life.
Louise Hay says: “Fear happens inside when we don’t trust Life. We don’t have trust that we’re being cared for or taken care of on a higher level.” We try to take control of the events in our lives. The other side of control is, guess what? Fear of failure. And although there really are few things we can control, there are a number of choices we can make about feeling fear. One that could have some surprising results is simply choosing NOT to experience fear about our choices.
Trust is what we learn when we overcome our fears. Look again into your memory’s crystal ball – remember how many times you breathed deeply and took that leap of faith and connected yourself to universal Intelligence? You trust the air to be there when you breathe, no? The Power that supplies the air created the universe.
I cordially invite you to pinch yourself – do you trust that are you alive? Do you know what gives you life? There’s a really fine balance the body maintains in its chemistry, its cellular structures, its organ systems. All of these work without our knowing just exactly how. Do you trust your stomach to digest what you eat? Do you trust your ears to hear what I’m saying & relay it to your brain for processing? I trust the next cell forming in my body to know whether it’s an eyelash or a toenail. I’m not in charge of any of that, but I trust the process, and I trust that I can always improve the process.
Repeat after me: It is safe for me to live
without guarding and defending myself all the time.
When I feel afraid,
I open my heart and let the love dissolve the fear.
I was able to get over my biggest fear. My biggest fear wasn’t moving forward. It was remaining in the life I had created for myself. I didn’t want to live at the level of emotional survival. I wanted to just plain live, I wanted to experience moments of ineffable beauty, full-filling Joy, peer relationships & returned love.
If you knew me then and you asked me, I would have said my cup was half-full. But I know, now that I have more perspective, that my truth was sitting across the table from me scowling at the baldness of the lie and lighting another cigarette.
When I decided to take a do-over on my life, it took every resource on hand. It took a million lists & all the money I had in the world. It meant relying on a promise from the Social Security Administration that they’d really give me my retirement money. It took a new boss who came into the job with an attitude to sit on my head until she hatched out the administrative assistant she wanted. Unfortunately, that gal had left the building quite some time before.
It took every self-help book I’d skimmed over in the Unity bookstore, and every sermon I’d heard after five years of careful listening.
Here’s what happened: Fear had become for me the imposing curtain hiding the Wizard. I trembled at what might be behind it. That curtain was my Ego. It wasn’t until my soul, my trusty little Toto soul caught the edge of it on the run & whipped it away from Great Illusion that I was able to unveil my life, to let go of what I really didn’t even own. It wasn’t until the moment that the reality of my half-empty existence smacked me upside my head. I woke up.
I woke up to the knowledge that all my life had been a 50-50 – much like a PTA raffle. Living, dying, happy, sad – all of these were choices I made on a moment-by-moment basis. I’m so glad Toto wasn’t buying any of it! I’m so glad my soul got all up in my face and insisted I choose just how I planned to live for the rest of this life. Those bright-button eyes held a ton of trust. Who was I to disappoint?
Fear. False Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear: Face Everything & Run!
Fear: Face Everything & Rise!
Repeat after me: I live and move in a safe and secure world.
You know, we always have the opportunity to return to Love – re-turn to God as the Source of all love. Jesus called God Father; but in the Aramaic language He spoke, where one word can have up to 42 meanings, the words “father” and “mother” meant more than biology. Father and Mother both mean “BELOVED.” Think on that: Beloved. Who best to turn our fear over to than the One Who loves us unequivocally no matter what we do? And when we turn the fear around, Jesus is the one standing closest by to lend a hand.
Repeat after me: I am now willing to see only my magnificence.
Don’t let fear get comfortable around you. Start asking it some hard questions when it shows up:
What are YOU doing here?
What do YOU have to do with anything going on right now?
What’s your real deal?
Everything you’re afraid of is subject to that 50-50 rule. Few of us lead perfect lives. If Shakespeare was right & all the world’s a stage, I gotta tell you the footlights pick up every flaw. Society loves its little game of perfection. But we don’t get to have our lives airbrushed. Heck, half the time we don’t even get to go to the groomers once a month for a shampoo & a flea-dip. Each time we “do” fear; we lose light. And our only real purpose for being here is to bring light into being.
Speaking metaphysically, the word “fear” is used to denote reverence or respect for the law of God. It really means “Pay Attention!” As in “pay attention, you’re standing at the edge of a cliff.” Or “pay attention, you’re crossing Coastal Highway & there’s no crosswalk here.”
Every angel who ever showed wings to a person opened the conversation with two words, and what are those words? C’mon, you know them! FEAR NOT.
Repeat after me: I am willing to release my fears.
Did you know that the word human is two parts. “Hu” is ancient word for God. It is a word people anywhere can use to address the Originator of Life. To be Human then is to be God in Man. Not only does God have our back, God leads each of us every step along our way. It’s important to walk our talk: wherever God is, all is well. Wherever God is, fear cannot exist. Creation may be broken, but the Creator isn’t.
If you want to start with small steps, the 64 Ways in the Season for Nonviolence booklet are a great way to experience practicing some new strengths. Take your every step forward into new strength. Then look down, pay attention, and walk out of your fear. Every day is another chance to win the 50-50 – let your every forward move be a move into fearlessness.
Repeat after me: I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart.