Tag Archive | Salvation

The Orchids of the World

“Most people are dandelions; they’ll come out okay under almost any circumstances.  Others are orchids; they’re not just more sensitive to negative outcomes but more sensitive to everything.  They won’t flourish in the dirt by the side of the road like a dandelion would.  But when they’re well tended in a nice greenhouse, their beauty will put the dandelions to shame”

-Eric Barker, ‘Barking up the Wrong Tree:  The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know about Success is (Mostly) Wrong

Beauty is subjective.

The point here is not to label ourselves more beautiful or less beautiful.  The point is for the orchids of the world, myself included, to recognize we have any beauty at all.

What do humans do but label and categorize ourselves until we whittle our best qualities down to piles of useless dust.

I have lived life frightened of my own beauty.  I’m still scared I will lose all I have longed for and love, but I can no longer deny the spirit self that resides within me waiting to be expressed.

As an orchid, I have realized the intense nurturing I seek may not be available to me in the form of other people.  The nurturing I seek is within me.  To access it, I have to be so honest that my heart breaks again and again until all that remains is love.

This love is beyond what is found in the world.

A happy by-product of this love, once recognized, it makes the world around you appear more loving and accepting of who-you-really-are.

How is this possible if you haven’t changed at all?

It’s simple really.

You don’t need to change, you only have to change your mind.

Choose love.

Don’t mess with perfection.

I see it in you.

Have the courage to embrace it.

See how your world changes.

The Stages of the Path

A spiritual path is not chosen.  It is given to everyone.  Every single one of us has the chance to journey inward to our highest self, or remain trapped in the machinations of the seemingly unfixable external world.  Honestly, I’m not comfortable with either, but the inward path, while currently quite painful, makes more sense to me than anything that unfolds in the world.

The first stage is recognizing that we are more than our bodies.  That part is easy.  Once our self-identified egos realize that we are open to the Truth beyond our personal selves, this is where it becomes treacherous.  Most of us abandon the path at the first sign of trouble.  That is okay.  Whatever you do or don’t do aligns perfectly with however the eventual awakening of the planet happens.  Do not worry one bit if going inward hurts too much because believe me, it does.  Maybe some day you will be ready, maybe some day you won’t, you are perfect right where you are at.  As much as I’ve tried to avoid going beyond the self, it hurts me more not to.  So, I keep going, one painful step at a time.  On to the next stage…

This is where you understand that there are two thought systems in your mind.  One that is full of judgment, blame, guilt, fear, comparison, lack…these all are personal self-ways to stay mired in the story of life.  The other thought system is LOVE.  This isn’t love in the traditional sense (as related to a personal self or selves).  This love doesn’t transform the outer world, this is the love that transcends it.  Very different.  This is the love that accepts the world exactly as it is because it is beyond the world.  This probably doesn’t make a lot a sense, that’s the trap built into it.  It seems to make no sense to keep the personal self denying the Truth. Even slightly entertaining the thought of something beyond the self might make you angry, upset or spark a myriad of malaise and maladies.  If it seems like too much trouble, then it is.  Let it go and if being a self in the world works for you, then keep going as you are.  Nothing to change, nothing to do, all is well.  However, if something inside you is recognizing even a tiny speck of the truth beyond the veil of the world, then you might make it your life’s work to consciously discern from the two thought systems in your mind.  If you do this, it is the hardest work you will ever do.  Your personal self will fight you tooth and nail.  It will be subtle, sneaky, overt, mean, seductive, and whatever else it can throw at you to keep you engaged in its story.  The personal self knows if you are outwardly focused on making the story of your life different, better, shinier… then you don’t have to do the work of letting it all go.

The next stage is the letting go part.  I’m not there yet so all I can write about is what I imagine this to look like.  This is where the thought system of love wins all the time.  There is no need or desire to change the self, the world or anyone or anything all.  This is where we are liberated from thinking we need to change anything about ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with us.  The only idea that is wrong is that we believe something that isn’t true.  We are more than our bodies.  Believing we aren’t is the source of all our pain, separation and angst.  However, I will say this again, if you are at peace with the story of your life and the world as is, it is okay to stick with it.  On the other hand, if something feels off or like you will never quite belong here, maybe consider the inward path.

I used to think that it was all up to me.  It’s not.  It is inevitable.  We all awaken in our own time and at our own pace.  This I know for sure.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

The Floating Heart

The tiny girl sat on the step.

A wisp of wind blew her golden strands across her face,

Matted to her tears, she moved them aside with her hand.

She watched herself doing this but not from where she sat,

The tiny girl was somewhere else.

 

Her heart floated away when it became too heavy for her small body to carry.

This is how she coped when life broke her.

She had learned no one outside her had any answers.

Often, other people were more broken than she was,

The difference is she knew she was and she owned it.

She didn’t deflect her suffering onto others,

She held it in her small body until it was too much, and then,… she was gone.

 

She rested in Love while everything crumbled.

 

Her prayers were only for the realization that none of us are separate.

We are all branches expressing the deepest roots of Love.

 

When the tiny girl returned to her body, the suffering had not subsided, at least not today, maybe not tomorrow and maybe it never would.

 

This seemed to matter to her but somewhere beyond herself she knew that it didn’t.

Suffering seems to define a body’s experience but instead, it strengthens the soul.

 

When our suffering is so deep, so true, so beyond ourselves, this is when we begin our

journey Home.

The tiny girl’s ancient journey had started before she began.

She couldn’t alter the path even if she had wanted to.

It made her feel so alone until she understood it was teaching her True Connection.

 

But for now, all she had was the step she sat upon, the tears that would not cease and an unbearably heavy heart…

 

And in that instant, she floated away once more…

 

Take Me to the River

I was strolling by myself in the woods one day when I happened upon a river.  Since I felt uncomfortably alone in the spot where I stood, I made my way out into the open air towards the gushing water.  The constancy and surging strength of the current comforted me.  It made me feel less alone.

You see my journey thus far had been harrowing.  It had felt like the faster I walked through the forest, the less progress I made.  It made no sense.  I made no sense.

But here, right next to this bubbling cadence of soul-cleansing water, I stopped my journey completely.

It was time to change my plan of action.  The new action plan required that I stop taking any action.

I only needed to be still.

The banks were rocky and appeared to be jutting and jagged in a way that was anything but inviting.  Since I could no longer take action, I was forced to sit. Once I sat down I noticed that the rocks were actually quite smooth.  They felt good against my crossed-legs and backside.  Given I was no longer making progress, I was happy that at least I was comfortable.

I sat in stillness for a long while.

The river called to me.

How does a river call you may wonder?  Not by words but by example.  A river is a river.  It never once in the whole dawn of its existence was anything other than a river.  That’s not to say it didn’t evolve over time. Sometimes it was massive in its force, other times it was slow and meandering. Still, it was always a river.

The river’s call was my invitation.  It was inviting me to join in its authenticity.

I liked that idea very much but I was afraid.

While I had been sitting in stillness, a crowd of people had gathered behind me on the banks of the river. These were the people I had been trying to find this whole time!  My journey was over…or so it seemed.

Somehow, the pull of the river was more powerful than belonging.

I made a choice.

I chose the river and simply waved goodbye to all the people I had so desperately wanted to see.

Of course I still wanted to be with the people.  That’s where it’s at, right?  We are taught other people are the ticket to loving ourselves.  It’s through their acceptance that we are able to have the courage to love ourselves.

But, I didn’t see it quite that way anymore.  Maybe the wisdom of the river was on to something.  Maybe if I could at least stick my toes in the water, I would no longer care about fitting in with anyone or anywhere.  I would let the strength of the river sustain me.

I knew this would be enough.

I quickly slipped off my hiking boots and peeled off my socks.  I admit there was still fear within my soul as I endeavored to place my toes into that rushing surface.  What if it’s too cold?  What if who-I-really-am is not enough?

I did it anyway.

Turns out, the river was everything I never knew I needed and more.  Turns out, I was already everything I never knew I needed and more.  The river and I were one.

I was emboldened by the joy that flowed through my body simply by connecting with this powerful source of authentic love.

I submerged both my feet.

I may have been alone but I felt more alive than ever before.

I was free.

I knew from that point on I was going to do whatever it took to express whatever was in my heart exactly in the moment that it would arise.  The approval of others and the search for belonging were over.

I was home.

As I continued to bask in the river’s love, something caught my attention.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed another brave soul had joined me.  They said, “Seeing you in the river has given me the courage to put my toes in, too.  Are you sure it’s safe?”

I replied, “It’s 100% safe.  You are going to be your truest self when you are in the river.  It is the most sustained joy you can experience while being on earth.”

I could tell this was extremely tempting to them.  They asked more questions.  “But what if my friends and family don’t understand my truest self?  What if they leave me?”

In their eyes was the same fear I had experienced a few short moments before.  Instead of comforting them, I gave the truth.  “Your friends and family may not understand your truest self.  They may make fun of you, say hurtful things or when all is said and done, they may walk right out of your life forever.”

At hearing this, the near river adventurer became frozen with doubt.

Even though I knew they did not want to hear more of the truth, I continued. “I didn’t tell you that to stop you in any way.  All I can offer you is my example.  Here I am.  I am standing with both my feet fully submerged in the river.  I am free here.  I would love to have my family and friends join me, but now I know without hesitation that it’s okay if they don’t.  I have a feeling the ones that matter the most to me are going to honor my river journey.  In fact, the bravest ones may even join me.  All I can do is be me, be free and let them be.”

With that, I took my first giant step towards the other side of the river bank.

I didn’t look back.

Not even once.

The Holiest of Moments


Every moment of your life is Holy.  If used for Truth, each moment contains direction Home.  Even a seemingly mundane interaction can hold a wealth of knowledge about where you are on your path.

Are you anxious?  Are you relaxed?  Are you kind?  Are you cranky?

When a moment angrily pushes us towards our quiet center, then we know we have struck gold.

The moments that unfurl seamlessly with love are also showing us the way.  These moments mean we are aligning our compass with Truth.

I am learning the moments that are my darkest are truly a treasure trove of Light.  How else would I realize that I’m holding so much judgment in my heart?  I wouldn’t.  I would keep on my merry way.  I would continue to erroneously believe the whole world except me was responsible for how awful I feel sometimes.  It never is about the other person, situation, or circumstance.  It’s only me and what I bring to it.  Am I bringing fear?  Then I have unexamined fear in my heart.  Am I bringing negative judgment?  Then I have a pit of despair in my soul that I have yet to dissect.

The bad moments are sometime our most glorious.

Are you up for looking within?

Most days I’m not.  The world has other ideas.  It is on a continuous loop of good and bad.

The key to growth is to graciously acknowledge with a loving heart what you judge as good, and to question unabashedly anything you deem as bad.  Good means the personal self is aligning with the Holy Self.  This is preparing you for your eventual realization that you are always Home.  Bad means that you have distorted stories of separation from Source stockpiled within your soul.  Looking directly at these stories is hard work.  It is soul-crushing sometimes.  But that’s the point.  Your soul has to be crushed before it can reconfigure to permanent alignment with Source.

One moment, one day, one story at a time.

All of it Holy.

IMG_0245.JPG

I Trust The God in You

Years ago there was a boy at my school.  He was different.  He didn’t have friends and he was lonely and sad.  I was only five at the time but I could feel his sadness.  I wore it like a cloak and my small shoulders collapsed under its weight.  I couldn’t tell the difference between his sadness and mine.  Our hearts felt the same to me.

“To empathize does not mean to join in suffering, for that is what you must refuse to understand.  That is the ego’s interpretation of empathy, and is always used to form a special relationship in which suffering is shared.”  (T-16.I.1-2)

-A Course in Miracles 

When you feel the pain of others, it is only a distraction from Who-You-Really-Are.  As if your own pain and suffering weren’t distraction enough, you now have this mistaken belief that you must save others from their pain.  This is wholly impossible.

If you try to ‘save’ somebody you are usurping the power of God.  As a tiny self, you can’t know what is needed to show up in the external world to move others towards salvation.  Your only role is to GET OUT OF THEIR WAY.

For the longest time I believed my extreme sense of intuitive empathy was somehow my ‘gift’.  I erroneously believed that if I sensed another’s despair it was MY responsibility to fix it.

Exactly who did I think I was?  Why did I believe that I knew what was in the best interest of someone else?  Over time this belief has worn me down.  It is a tremendous responsibility to believe that others are yours to save.

I can only save myself.

Others belong to God.

I trust in God so completely that I see clearly that you can save yourself.

You are that amazing.

You already have everything you need inside you.

I can walk with you, but I can never carry you again.

I can let you go because you don’t walk alone.

You have God.

I’m no expert but that seems like a better deal than any guidance my tiny little self could ever give you.