God, Love, Oneness

Memory Monday – Oneness

This passage I just read has me thinking back to some ideas that were percolating while sitting on a pier in Chicago while visit family this summer and loving the idea of our oneness with the Divine… 

 As a drop of water is one with the ocean (lake), a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being.

Mary Baker Eddy – Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures

Here is how that passage spoke to me in that moment on the pier… 

So I’m sitting on the break wall and the water is splashing my feet occasionally…

And I noticed a bright yellow leaf suspended in the water about a foot below the surface and it made me think of when we feel the presence of God/ Love all around us… submerged in it and having it just envelop us… but being a leaf we are not of the water …

Then I saw the water hit the break wall and splash… and droplets of water fly into the air and then hit the surface and become once again part of the lake… And that made me think about our oneness with God… as a droplet is one with the lake… so are we one with God/Good/Spirit/Love… as Mrs. Eddy states in the passage above.

And then I thought about sitting here on the break wall looking at the lake and wishing I were in it… and I jumped in…  =0)

We can all feel at one with the Divine at any moment… it is simply a matter of realizing that we always, already are… we can simply adjust our perspective and recognize the truth of this idea…

So, how are you jumping into experiencing your oneness with the Love, Spirit… the Divine …today?

God, grace, Love

The journey begins with lessons on love

I’m on a journey for a few months to take my healing practice on the road… it has felt like an inspired idea, but for a while I didn’t know the “why” of it all… but I realized just before leaving and embarking on this adventure that the “why” of this journey is simply the “why” of life in general… our entire purpose… to learn more about God / Love… to learn more about grace… to learn to express more love… to live love more abundantly, more generously, more selflessly… 

I’m currently in Virginia just outside of Washington DC, my former home for 13 years… after an awesome stop in Pittsburgh with a dear old friend… My favorite thing so far about this trip is hearing what is inspiring others and sharing ideas about the power of love to bring healing to our lives…

My sweet dog Tillie and I left a few days ago, departing St. Louis, MO at 5am… and we drove through IL, IN, OH, WV, PA, MD, VA and DC… we will be venturing to NJ, NY, MA in the coming weeks/months… 

And despite the past few absolutely incredible few days of reunions with friends, lots of times for reflection… incredible inspiration from art, nature and community…  despite all of that, I just had a moment, where I felt super lonely and alone.  

But it only lasted a brief moment… because I remembered something a good friend recently told me… we were talking a few weeks ago and I had left him a message that I was feeling on top of the world, so alive and filled with love because I was having fun sharing love with friends and community members … and then two hours later I was in a funk and reached out to him for help getting out of it.  He laughed and said – “What changed in 2 hours??  You literally left me a message 2 hours ago about all the good you’re doing and experiencing and all the love you’re sharing…. What changed in 2 hours?!” Well… nothing.  Nothing had changed… I laughed because I could see what he was saying.  He was not being insensitive… he was helping me see that I was and always had been the loved of Love… both the recipient and the expression of Love itself… and nothing had or could ever change that fact. Nothing can ever separate us for a moment from Divine Love.

So I recalled this conversation just now as I started feeling a bit low…and snapped out of it in a matter of seconds…   because 3 hours ago I was sharing with a friend with whom I was visiting that I’m so in my element on this divinely directed journey, sharing love and exploring ideas about healing and the power of Love with friends, sharing a meal… exploring a city I love and seeing the many, many diverse expressions of beauty and soul… from festivals on busy streets to drum circles and jams sessions and yoga classes in one of my favorite parks to people play chess listening to jazz and smiles of passers by…It was an incredible day filled with abundant good!!!

I realized that like my friend had pointed out in the first instance… that is how it is… call it evil, the devil, error, mortal thought…  whatever… it tempts us to feel down… suggests that we are not whole and complete, but rather lacking or missing someone or something… tempts us to compare ourselves with others on social media… or to where society says we “should” be…  but we don’t have to buy it…  and when we pause for a moment and instead fill our thought with gratitude for the good that is present… for the love that is present… for the generosity of spirit that is present… the seeming lack is minimized until it is nothing… when we realized that nothing has actually changed…that we are and always have been the loved of Love… and that it was merely a suggestion of a thought of lack which we can know t doesn’t need to cloud our thought … We can continue to basque in the goodness and the grace of unconditional, every present Love.

I’m so grateful for these moments of learning and growth and recognition of the abundant good and grace of the Divine.  That is what this journey is about… Learning about love… as my favorite author, Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. (page 494)

That is so true… Love is ever-present… we just get to tune into it! It will meet each and every need…

More on this journey and the inspiration and lessons to come…

Conquering fear, healing, joy

Complete freedom and joy!!

Last year, while serving at a summer camp I had a wonderful experience overcoming the fear of heights on a zip-line.  (You can read about it in an article in the Christian Science Monitor here) Before publishing an article about this demonstration, the editor had asked if I thought this was a complete healing of my fear of heights, or if we should just leave it with this particular incident. At the time, I felt more comfortable just leaving it about that particular situation, but this left me feeling a a bit sheepish.  And part of me felt like maybe I needed to test it out to know whether or not I was truly completely healed.  I knew this wasn’t exactly how healing works, but I dismissed the thought a moved on.  

When the article was about to be published, I was asked to do an audio recording of the article.  In doing so, I reread the article several times to practice.  I was struck by the power of the truths that I had worked with at the time about the ever-presence of God, Love and how that love eliminates all fear.  It made me realize that I never needed to be afraid of being separate from Love or outside of Love’s care.  Could I ever be too high up for God to reach me?  That seemed ridiculous.  

At the time I recorded the audio piece, I was actually in Japan and the next day I had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Skytree with my friend and her kids.  One of the landings was 350 meters high and there were places were you could lean out on an angle and look down at the sprawling city below, as well as a part of the floor that was made of glass so that you could walk over it and see the buildings underneath.  The kids and I did both of these things and I didn’t ever feel a twinge of fear.  I thought about the ideas that I had worked with on that zip-line and knew that they were true for me then and there as well!  We also ventured to the top platform at 450 meters, which give us an even more expansive view of the city, which was a beautiful sight. 

Then a this summer, I had the opportunity to go zip-lining in Costa Rica with a group of high school students on a service trip.  This zip-line was much longer and higher than the one the previous summer, and consisted of 12-15 lines that passed across a valley, over a river and through a rainforest canopy.  I was overjoyed at the freedom and sheer child-like joy I was able to experience and express in doing this activity.  I was even able to share ideas with a couple of kids that were a bit nervous about it and they too had a great time.  I was completely free from fear and embraced every moment of the experience. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to feel the presence and power of Divine Love that truly “casts out fear” as the Bible states in 1 John (4:18).

Also, as a fun side note – I watched the entire Free Solo movie, mentioned in the article – and really, really enjoyed it!!!

humility

A lesson in humility

I recently attended an interfaith dialogue meeting and it was my first time joining this particular group.  During the discussion, a gentleman who had an unwelcoming experience at a Christian church in his youth had found another faith, but it seemed the experience left him a bit embittered.  He pointed out a story in the Bible about Jesus, that in this man’s telling of it, made Jesus seem like not a very nice guy.  However, the man only told part of the story and seemed to leave out the most important part about healing that comes at the end.  This is the story depicted in the book of Matthew, Chapter 15. Jesus was approached by a Canaanite woman requesting that he heal her daughter who was mentally ill.  At first Jesus didn’t respond and the disciples asked him to send her away.  After the woman pleads with him, he does respond to say “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”  This is where this man in the meeting I was attending ended the story to demonstrate his point that Jesus was not the compassionate, merciful savior that Christians believe him to be.  

However, I was grateful that another attendee pointed out, that this is not where the story ends. Jesus does ultimately heal the daughter. And yet another attendee stated, that the woman corrected Jesus and he took the correction and then healed her. This gave me a lot to ponder.   

First of all, I found myself taking offence at this gentleman’s telling of the story.  But then when I thought about it more later, I recognized, that actually this story had always bothered me too.  I knew Jesus healed the woman’s daughter, but I was always bothered that he spoke to her the way he had, because it seemed very … well, un-Jesus-like or un-Christ-like.  However, I really appreciated hearing the perspective that Jesus took the correction and changed his approach.  It got me thinking.  What humility that must have taken to stand corrected, and not only that but in that very same moment to turn around and express that much mercy, compassion and love as to heal.  I know humility can actually be one of the greatest qualities of a true leader and I know Jesus to be a humble servant of God, but this was a new form of humility I had not recognized in him before.  

I started to think, am I that humble?  When someone corrects me, do I take the correction?  And even more, do I take it and then turn around and change my behavior and respond with mercy, compassion and love in that very moment?  Or do I stew on it for a while – hours, weeks, months – starting with self-justification for why I said or did what I said or did, and then moving on to perhaps realizing I was wrong and then feeling embarrassed, ashamed or guilty, or do I then worry about what the other person must think of me and rehearse the situation and think of all the ways I could have responded better and start berating myself for being so foolish or mean or whatever it seemed I was in that moment.  

So thinking about how I might normally deal with being corrected, I began to be in awe of Jesus’ capacity for humility, grace and compassion.  I also love that not only did he take the correction, but was then able to bring healing to the entire situation in that very moment.  I am so grateful for this lesson in humility.  

I learned a few other lessons with this situation in this meeting… about making sure we get the whole story before we pass judgment, about loving our neighbor as ourself, and about forgiveness… check out future blogs for those lessons.