Life here over the past twelve years has been one of re-education for me.  I have had the freedom to explore various parts of myself, to own and accept them, and to uncover that which truly expresses my inner realm most clearly.  This process is teaching me authenticity and giving me the courage and skill to offer myself to the world.

It has been a revelation to realize that what I truly enjoy doing, do especially well, and feel satisfaction doing is my gift to the world!  My task has been to uncover the joy and satisfaction buried under the internalized messages from family and culture that tell me how I “should” live my life.  When I do so, I discover how I desire and need to live, in order to give to life all that I am and have.

Perhaps you too have found that until we take our need to de-program and re-educate ourselves seriously, we simply replay the same old patterns, no matter what new situations we try to create.  After all, we can’t put new wine into old wineskins!  The skins need to be new also.

One of my new discoveries in this re-education process has been a new understanding of SIN–“Suppressed Inner Nativity.”  In other words, sin is the suppression of our natural, Grace-filled inner birthing process, due to internal and/or external pressures to conform to some ideal, standard, or mindset.  For example, it is easy for me to get caught up in the spiraling demands of my own expectations, as well as those of our culture.  I seem to have to go through periods of darkness and inner chaos as old patterns are being challenged and progressively let go.  Chaos creates an unstable system but allows movement of energy which can break down old patterns.  As I have endured through chaos, new patterns have begun to emerge in my life, allowing me greater and greater freedom and expression of my authentic self.  Over and over again, I am called to let go, and experience another cycle of disintegration, expansion, and integration.  In this way, as I continue to grow, my deepest potentials for love are freed, and my unique gift-Self is liberated.

My original call was to “be still and know that I am God” and to “pay attention until the Morning Star rises in your heart.”  Following this call has led me into the heart of my wounded humanity where, as I learn to pay attention to all that I encounter, I experience the birthing of Christ/Christa in my heart!  My journey seems to be leading me through and around and back to where I started!  “Be still and know that I am God.”  And in the surrender of needing to know in my way, I come to truly know God.  For I cannot know God by my rational mind alone.  That too has to be let go of as the dominant way to know.  Knowledge alone does not produce love.  I painfully realize that I, of my own efforts, cannot embody what I have come to understand and know of God.  “And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains, and am without love, I am nothing.  Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned, if I am without love, it will do me no good whatsoever.

I believe now that “knowing” God, and having the empowerment to respond in love, comes through the grace of vulnerability, humility, surrender.  I believe knowing God means to let my mind and heart be open to being known by God.  To “be still” is to open to this grace.  It is to be willing to let go of my agendas, my thoughts, my feelings, and focus on the simple act of receiving life, breath, healing.  It is willingness to be empty, that I might be filled with something new.  It is trusting that there is a better way than what my mind is capable of comprehending in and of itself.  It is learning to live with my mind connected to my spiritual heart so that I don’t self-destruct.  It is learning to live love.

This living love has to do with living in the moment with honesty, mindfulness, gratitude, and trust.  It is learning to take each day as it is, living with a certain detachment which allows me to let go of expectations of myself, of others, and of outcomes.  This approach is leading me out of the despair I had been feeling over seeing myself and the world as it is in its wounded lovelessness.  It is teaching me how to receive the gift of life.  In it there is no applause, no accolades, no fame, no material riches, no earth-shaking accomplishments–just life as it is.  The more I receive this “isness,” the more I seem to be able to respond to it with honesty, mindfulness, gratitude, and trust.  Love grows,  Love is a gift I must receive if I am to give it.  And only as I open in vulnerability and humility to the moment can I receive it.  This is the source of real power, for there is no greater power than the power of love.  And without love, I am nothing.