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Awake! Say ‘Goodbye’ to the Half-Developed Life

How does one claim power? She goes through the fire like it was meant for her, not to defeat her. She explores the routes to get out of that fire and she does not recoil. After finding her way, she does not look back at the fire like it was a disaster, though its real-life events may be emotionally draining and full of loss. She claims the fire as hers. It is now a source of strength.

One thing that is on my mind lately is the lip service we give to the concept of healing, without personally believing we are a part of the promise. I can only speak to western tradition, but I am sure that this self-denial of spiritual gains is common across the spectrum. In the Christian tradition, many talk about the healing power of Jesus, of the love that God bestows upon “his” children, and of the continual support and communion we have with the Holy Spirit. However, over and over again, and certainly in my own life, I see evidence of an outright rejection of the promise. No, I am not talking about the “Jesus saves” generic dialogue that many spout and have not truly thought about from what (though, I believe this is a symptom of the problem.) I mean the fact that we can believe whole-heartedly that God will sustain the wellbeing of our friends – even our “enemies” – but God will not provide for our own needs. Part of the problem is that we do not know what we actually need.

You might be reading this thinking, “Well she has no idea what I believe…” This is true. I will say that my own experience shows me that I was living a life of full on denial of the gift that was offered to me. How do I know? I can list a number of things: anxiety, dependency, doubt in my abilities, fear of being let down by others… Each of these point to a lack of awareness of my own truth, which comes from accepting the promised gift.

Without diving into some serious psychoanalysis (of which I am clueless), my assumption is that it is just easier for us to say, “no thank you” to the promise because it requires change in our lives.

Yes, of course, we are promised love. Yes, followers of Jesus also believe that “sin” has been eradicated by his death and resurrection (though, how this happens varies widely from person to person – and I think that is beautiful.) There is a certain level of acceptance in the change that we must take for ourselves. Otherwise, we continue to live in a half-developed life (no damage to the status of our “sins,” if that is a part of your belief system.) This half-developed life is not what Divine Love wishes for us, though it is by our own choice that we accept or reject fullness.

Here is the deal, though. To emerge out of a half-developed life, it requires more than a tepid endeavor into the life of the spirit. Personally, while I believe our relationships, careers, and life ventures are all things that are affected by this change, they are not the number one focus. Rather, the answer to a half-developed life is living an awake life.

How do we get there? This is the age-old “life is a journey” concept. One never simply arrives at an awake life because it is an every day choice to say, “hello” to your true self. It is the continual decision to confront your truth each morning when you wake up and when you go to bed. It is difficult. Sometimes it will require tough things like saying “no,” or – heaven forbid – saying “yes.” It will mean that you must say “goodbye” (sticking with the greetings refrain here a bit more) to the person you thought you were or to people who are not meant to continue on the journey with you. It will most certainly mean welcoming newness – new people, new situations, new personal roles, new ways of seeing the light in others who are close to you. But at the very center of everything is the gentleness you extend to yourself while simultaneously welcoming the fire. This is hard to balance. The fire will hold loss and difficulties that we feel we cannot bear. Finding the balance does not mean going alone. Rather, it means accepting the resources and love that surrounds us to help move us through the fire – to help us find the path.

One major question that might arise is: How do I know my truth? First, I absolutely love that phrase: “my truth.” There is nothing else like it.

Caution: This does not mean one can alter actual facts.
Truth is more like a mental/emotional state of being.

You can find your truth by spending time with yourself and getting to know who you are, aside from the people and things around you. Namely, through meditation or prayer, which can come in many different forms. By taking moments to sit in the midst of quiet, you start to hear the hum of your internal sound or vibration. Thoughts will come, but you learn to let them pass without judgment – whether they are good or bad thoughts. You learn that your mind will continue functioning without you to designate its trajectory, and that is O.K.! Sometimes that is terrifying, but remember that it will not harm you. You are not your thoughts. In fact, meditation is not maintaining a mind clear of thoughts. That is impossible. It is cultivating a mind that is aware. Here, you will find your truth.

I urge you, if you have ever thought of trying out meditation, please do so. It is transformative. Here are a few resources to start you on the path:

Meditation Oasis

Insight Timer (app)

The Chopra Center, “Learn to Meditate in 6 Easy Steps”

New York Times, Guides: Learn to Meditate

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Anne Hutchinson says

    Well this is a stunningly true piece! Would you mind if I put it in my weekly e-newsletter sometime — with a link for people to subscribe? You are offering truth in a refreshing and wholesome way. I totally love it!
    Blessings (or wishes for living into the promise),
    Barbara

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