A gentle warning to readers who are triggered by religion and religious references. This post contains a boatload of both, so take care of yourself and stop reading unless you can comfort yourself enough to get through this post. In Peace and Love~ Kathryn
The past few months have been especially difficult for me personally. The result has been an incredible firestorm of angst, worry, fear, suffering. Well heck, the past two years have been hard but the last two months? Over-the-top difficult. Being under-employed or unemployed has not been a picnic. I’m not sharing this to elicit sympathy (although I won’t turn down offers of prayer on my behalf), but to illustrate just how surprised I have been to learn some of the most meaningful lessons in my life.
Previously, I *thought* I trusted God and that I was loved and supported by a Power greater than myself. Not that I thought I deserved it, mind you, but that my Higher Power was real and actively interested in my life. I could haul out a list of Coincidences/Divine Interventions to prove to myself and others that God had my back. But when, despite every effort on my part (really massive quantities of effort!), jobs fell through and work completely dried up, the panic started to set in and my Faith in God took a back seat to my Faith in a Disastrous Outcome…..resulting in ever-increasing amounts of fear. Have you ever been really afraid for any extended period of time? It’s exhausting. In desperation I finally forced my brain to just shut up for a few brief moments using any and every meditation trick I knew. In the very brief moment of quiet I managed to wrangle, an amazing thing happened. Under all the racket was this soft, quiet Presence telling me to release my fears and surrender. I’m going to be frank. My first thought was “WTF? HOW is this situation going to improve if I don’t keep putting in massive, anxiety-fueled effort every day?” The answer was that I was supposed to keep on working toward a solution, but to let go of trying to control the results. After all, I can’t force someone to hire me, can I? Logically, it makes sense. Emotionally, I was an Epic Fail. I could not even come close to letting go of the results and so the chaos continued to churn.
More prayers and more mediation and more frantic efforts with no results followed. In the brief moments of quiet I kept hearing that the solution was Love. After all, Love is the opposite of Fear, and I had Fear in spades. But Love the Fear? Love the problem? Love my life? HOW in the world could I love a situation I have been desperately, frantically trying to eliminate? It seemed impossible, unreasonable. More churn and a LOT more stress.
And then the other day while I was literally sobbing from the stress, I “saw” myself, or rather saw a small child sobbing in fear. At the same time I “knew” that the scared child wasn’t the Real Me, but rather the sum of all my beliefs about the world that came as luggage with me into my adulthood. Meanwhile the Real Me was gently observing with compassion and love. The part I assigned the name “Real Me” is that part of me that is the spark from the Divine and is one with the Spirit. As God is complete Love, so is the Divine Spark inside that holds my soul. As God is Gentle Compassion, so is the Divine Spark inside me that gives me life. As God is Power and Grace, so the Divine Spark within me that holds my soul is infused with the Spirit’s Power and Grace. I was not the scared child, not the fear, not the pain, but rather I was and am this steady warming Light directly animated by the Source of Life. This “vision” helped me to love the scared and shattered part of myself completely while at the same time knowing that the Holy Spirit residing inside of me had all the Power, Grace and Love necessary to create the positive changes I had been so desperately seeking. As I just compassionately allowed myself to sob- without judging myself in the slightest- the awful racket that had been chewing through my brain quieted effortlessly and an overwhelming peace poured into and through me.
I would like to say that I was offered a job immediately and that everything was magically better. The reality was that I needed to cry a whole lot more to honor the part of me that always felt too small and too scared. The real blessing was I was finally able to face my life unafraid, and that is no small accomplishment. So what is the takeaway for YOU? After all, if you’ve read this far, you deserve some kind of reward, right?
1. It is completely okay to have ALL the feelings you have. Every. single. one. The corollary is that although your feelings seem real, they are phantoms of past beliefs appearing real. They are NOT real. The part of you that is Real is unchanging and eternal and filled with Love, Power and Grace.
2. You don’t have to do it perfectly; in fact, there is no such thing as “perfect”. When it comes to learning the really important lessons, all that matters is that we finally learn them. Meanwhile, quit judging yourself. You are doing the best you can and that’s enough. Reserve passing judgment on yourself until enough time has passed you can gain some perspective. After all, sometimes the wrong decisions can bring us to the right places.
3. Ask for help. Ask for help from the Universe. Ask for help from your family and friends. Yes, it can be scary if you have always been the strong one. After all, what if others walk away when you are weak and vulnerable? I completely understand because that was exactly what worried me. But guess what? I found out who really were my friends and who were only using my strength for themselves but weren’t willing to reciprocate. This can hurt but ultimately, it makes it so much easier to “clean house” with a clear conscience.
4. You are not alone. Even though you may feel like you are alone, you are surrounded by angels whispering comfort and solutions in your ear. The trick to hearing them is to quiet the mind. If my experience is unrelatable or unhelpful, please refer to my post on meditation for dependable quieting techniques. (http://theverdanthome.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/the-greatest-gift/) God is found in the quiet spaces. Silence the inner chatter so you can encounter direct comfort from the Divine.
Whatever trials YOU are walking through, know you absolutely will get through them. You are Divinely loved and supported. Peace be with you right now right where you are. Namaste.