Affirmations come to those who wait - and I'm not so good with waiting. That said, this weekend has been a bit of a test and I've found myself wrestling with demons that I thought were long dead and buried. Or at least on extended vacation. The details of what triggered this inner debacle are less significant than the inner fears and doubts they exposed. Imagine my surprise this morning to read this from Fr. Richard Rohr:
Before a unitive encounter with God or creation, almost all people will substitute the part for the whole and take their little part far too seriously—both in its greatness and in its badness. But after any true God experience, you know that you are a part of a much bigger whole. Life is not about you; you are about life. You are an instance of a universal and even eternal pattern. Life is living itself in you. It is an earthquake in the brain, a hurricane in the heart, a Copernican revolution of the mind, and a monumental shift in consciousness. Frankly, most do not seem interested.
Understanding that your life is not about you is the connection point with everything else. It lowers the mountains and fills in the valleys that we have created, as we gradually recognize that the myriad forms of life in the universe, including ourselves, are operative parts of the One Life that most of us call God. After such a discovery, I am grateful to be a part—and only a part! I do not have to figure it all out, straighten it all out, or even do it perfectly by myself. I do not have to be God. It is an enormous weight off my back. All I have to do is participate! My holiness is first of all and really only God’s, and that’s why it is certain and secure—and always holy. It is a participation, a mutual indwelling, not an achievement or performance on my part.
After this epiphany, things like praise, gratitude, and compassion come naturally—like breath and air. True spirituality is not taught; it is caught once our sails have been unfurled to the Spirit. Henceforth, our very motivation and momentum for the journey toward holiness and wholeness is just immense gratitude—for already having it!
And just to make sure I was listening, later in the day I received a hand-written letter of compassion and gratitude from one of my dearest friends. It, too, helped soothe my angst by reminding me that when I rest and trust, I am connected to life - a living part of life - but not the whole of it because life is NOT about me. Later, when we walked in the quiet woods, I had the chance to listen to my favorite sound in all creation: a soft flowing forest stream. Di tells me that's one of the differences between us: she chooses to walk beside the lake and I opt for the quiet woods with the stream.
In an odd way I am grateful for being so rattled these past few days: it put a few things into perspective and gave me some clues about more prayers for healing. God works in mysterious ways...