Good Morning Beloved! Let me look at you….I missed you.
On the first day at the new seniors complex the manager addressed all the new
residents, pointing out some of the rules:
“The female sleeping quarters will be out-of-bounds for all males, and the male dormitory for the females. Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time.” He continued, “Anybody caught breaking this rule the second time will be fined $60. Being caught a third time will get you a fine of$180. Are there any questions?”
At this point an older gentleman stood up in the crowd and inquired: “How much for a season pass?”
It’s All Good!
When I mentioned to one of our members that I wanted to do a Lesson titled Gay is Good, I received a skeptical look. Not a good idea, I asked. A bit too strong was the response.
So, I changed it to “It’s All Good.”
Better…., though I will still be saying Gay is Good too.
What brought this on. Not sure. Sometimes things just come to me and I say, yeah, I could make that into a lesson…I think.
Of course many of you may be thinking, how could everything be good? I mean, there’s all kinds of things going on in the world today, and at least some of it is not good.
But see, there’s part of the issue. We make a judgment about what is good and what is not good.
Good to me is probably a lot different than good to you. We all have our likes and dislikes. Just look at the different sport teams there are…I follow the Phillies and the Eagles. What teams do you follow?
See, likes and dislikes. My teams are good to me, but not to you…. well…if you are a true fan you stick with them through thick and thin….right?
And how about tastes in food? Another biggie. You coffee drinkers consider it a very big GOOD, while I insist that it taste terrible.
SO, see how judgment comes into play; ‘good’ implies a judgment of desirability and moral righteousness.
Plato defined ‘good’ as something metaphysical: ‘good’ is life, it is a higher power, it is the universe. And if it is the universe, then everything is good because everything is in the universe and the universe is in everything.
We apply meaning to whatever happens in our lives. We add a story to fit what it means to us.
When I said earlier the Gay is good, some of you may think NO. How can being gay be good when many of us have suffered through discrimination from all parts of our lives, some even have experienced violence and death.
Yet I can look at the process of discovering that I am gay as a great learning experience. Oh yes, I felt pain and unexceptence. My Father even made me leave the home that I was a part of for 21 years.
But I also experienced the first steps in my learning about who I truly was. I learned to accept myself after trying and trying to be the daughter he wished me to be. I learned to be me, to be strong, to do what I felt I needed to do. Accept who I was or die inside being something I was not.
And so I went on to teach and coach and made a life for myself away from my family of blood.
Eventually, Dad came around, a little. But I was never accepted completely in my family, and I have learned to accept that too.
You learn to find a family of choice. You learn to look at the good, the lessons learned.
We all have events in our lives. Things that happen and we can either look at them with ‘old eyes’, as we always have and maybe fall into the role of a victim.
Or we can bring ‘new eyes’ to the situation. Buddhist refer to this as adopting the practice of “beginner’s mind”, knowing that wherever we are on our spiritual path, whatever is going in our lives, we can bring “new eyes”, a fresh perspective to things and see a deeper meaning, the lesson, the gift, the opportunity that is before us.
Fr. Richard Rohr talks about contemplation as a means to see with new eyes. He says, “In contemplation, we become aware of God’s movement and surrender to it. We begin with “yes,” ready to receive reality just as it is and ready to let it teach us. Contemplation teaches us how to say “yes”–yes to the moment, yes to the event, yes to the relationship. It is what it is before you analyze it, compare it to something else, or prefer it to something else. It takes much of your life to learn how to always begin with yes. I warn you that if you begin with no–which culture by and large trains us to do because the ego prefers the negative–it’s very hard to get back to yes.
Saying “yes” to the moment allows space for the real question, which is “What does this have to say to me?” Come to every experience and ask not whether you like it, but what does it have to teach you. “What’s the message or gift in this for me? How is God in this event? Where is Divine Spirit in this suffering? What is Spirit calling me to do?”
Romans 8:28 tells us, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”.
We are spiritual beings in human form, here by divine appointment to accomplish a spiritual purpose: to be the channels through which the Power of God creates the new consciousness that Jesus describes as “the kingdom of heaven.” So long as we remain focused on that spiritual purpose, then all the many aspects of our lives will “work together for good.”
Having trouble finding the good? Remember, the ego prefers the negative. If it’s the will of God to be “working together for good” in our lives, either we are failing to see the good that is present, or we have allowed ourselves to become distracted from our spiritual purpose, to show up as God through me, through you.
There is always a choice, and it is always the same choice, no matter what situation or growth opportunity we may face. Do we stand by our integrity? Do we live off our card?
The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom. 12:2). Jesus said it this way, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Mt. 4:17). Repent, from the Latin, literally means “to think again.”
To ‘see with new eyes.’
SO what do we do when things seemingly go wrong? We focus on making them right ourselves rather than looking to others to do it.
How can I fix this? Or if it’s not possible to fix the situation, ask yourself How can I move on? Admit that we learn the most from our most painful experiences. We grow the most from them because we’re forced to re-examine the world and ourselves. We’re forced to question all that we’ve been taught, believe, need, want, and have done.
If we have been hurt by someone else’s actions, it’s OK to acknowledge it as long as it’s true. We’re allowed to say something sucks. This is not negativity; it’s validation. But once we’ve validated that something sucks, we can settle down to feeling the flow of the Universe again. To pack up the camper and move through the Valley of the Shadow and back into the Light. It may feel like it’s slow as molasses or it’s in fits and starts, but that has more to do with our expectations and wishes than with what’s really happening.
And remember, they’re just events. The Universe is neutral. The Universe flows but we can control whether it flows easily or with difficulty based on our choices.
Our very first Principle states that God is the One Power and Presence in the universe, that God is all good. God is in all making everything Divine, good.
So, it’s All God and All Good.