Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Perceiving With New Eyes

In 2003 I wrote, "some things I want to think when interacting with another," and I took it to work with me to read when I needed reminding how I chose to see others (and myself!). This is it: 

This person before me now is my beloved brother/sister born of the same holy God/Source as myself. Like me they have chosen to forget the glorious perfection that they are to incarnate for the purpose of being able to experience, express and evolve. This choice is not always easy and is a gift of great love given to the whole, for we are all one body. 

As a human being in this world, this beloved person before me has forgotten Who They Really Are and lives in doubt of their incredible magnificience. She may have forgotten her beauty and feels ugly, forgotten his immeasurable value and feels worthless, forgotten her unlimited power and feels helpless, forgotten that his life is eternal and feels in danger of losing his life, forgotten her oneness with all that is and feels alone and isolated, forgotten his royal identity and feels like nobody special, forgotten her giftedness and feels incompetent, forgotten that his choices all lead Home and feels lost and afraid of failure, forgotten how totally loved and cherished she is and feels forgotten and unloved. 

I can understand, therefore, that, just like me, when this beloved person before me acts in ways that are not loving or kind it is only because they are in this state of forgetfulness. They believe they must compete to get the love and security they already have and work hard to become the worthy and valuable persons that they already are. They are suffering like a small child who has become immersed in a horror movie and believes the monsters are real and out to get him/her. Thus, when this beloved person before me attacks another or tries to make themselves invisible it is because they are afraid and believe they must defend themselves or be destroyed. They may try to appear bigger and better than another because they really feel small and helpless, or they may act small and helpless because they believe that going unnoticed is the only way to be safe. 

To be of service to this beloved person before me I will respect and care for their feelings. However, no matter how flawed they perceive themselves to be, I will choose to see their incredible beauty, their immeasurable value and worth, their unlimited power and strength, their unique giftedness, their God identity, their eternal connection with myself and all things, and their lovableness. 

God help me to not just know these things with my mind, but to truely perceive and experience them. Help me to see others as You see them and to love them as You love them that they might know again the wonder of Who They Really Are!

Later I added:

I make up all kinds of techniques, or games as I like to call them, to help me shift my perception from the “ordinary” way of looking at people (or anything else for that matter), to seeing them with “new eyes”. When I take the time to perceive others as holy extensions of the same Source as myself instead of as objects who may either satisfy or thwart my needs, I become more attentive, open and respectful. Instead of being critical and judgmental, I find myself listening with compassion and understanding. It feels really good!  Whoever said it is more fun to be loving than to be right, was right! Not only does it feel good to be the one extending love, but it feels good to the recipient. They may have expected annoyance, indifference, defensivness, anger, or counterattack, anything but being seen and heard and valued. This brings the relationship to a totally different level with unimagined possibilities for real communication and resolution of differences!

Loving people as I described earlier may sound like a real challenge, more an ideal than a reality, but I know that the better I get at it the more incredible my life becomes. I've had ecstatic kinds of experiences being what felt like a channel of pure love and once you get bitten by the bug there's no turning back. Being a source of love and healing becomes the "pearl of great price," the focus of desire. I used to think that the prayer of St. Francis of Asissi sounded like a difficult sacrifice (to be the source of comfort etc. rather than to be comforted). Now I see it as the most wonderfully selfish prayer I know. To be a giver there must be a reciever, and let me tell you it's a lot more FUN being in a place of wanting to give all than a place of needing to receive it (although the giving and receiving all becomes one thing anyway!).

This description/poem I wrote describes this feeling:

I celebrate your gentle presence with me here now. 
Like the steady glow of a candle flame, 
you warm the darkness with your soft touch. 
When I let myself be with you - 
when I let myself feel your loving gaze upon me - 
I want to laugh at all my funny fears. 
I want to dance with abandon to 
the intoxicating music of life that is you. 
Filled with your song, I have no desire 
other than to sing in harmony with your many voices. 
Oh that my presence in this world can be an open channel 
pouring forth your sweet and tender love on all. 
Oh what a privilege, oh what heavenly joy! 
You are the source, you are life. 
There is nothing more I could ask than to be your vessel. 
Let it be me, dear God, let it be me. 
Today and always, 
Thank-you, God, thank-you.

A Catalyst for my Journey

One of the catalysts that supported my healing experiences was reading the Conversation With God books.  They provided a new way of thinking about God that helped me to feel safe existing - safe to be free!  And for someone with DID, that is HUGE!  I lost all interest in reading novels or watching TV or anything that didn't feed my incredible hunger for learning more and more.  The spiritual path  became my "pearl of great price" and I loved it!  Eventually I joined a group formed by CWG called Humanity's Team and this is a letter I came across that I wrote trying to explain the "New Spirituality." I want add that I had started a group for studying the CWG books, but as I read more and more books I changed the name of the CWG group to the New Spirituality Group, but then as I continued to read the mystics and such I came to realize that these ideas and experiences were ancient and ended up calling it the Spiritual Exploration Group!

Most of humanity has noticed that life in the world is no longer making sense or feeling good like it used to.  Something has changed.  Our problems have gotten so extreme that it has become obvious that our usual attempts to solve them are no longer working .  Confused and frightened, many people cry out for a return to the “good ole days,” rejecting anything that smacks of “new” or different from the past.  There are some eager and willing to engage the issues, but they continue to see the problems as they were understood in the past, only bigger.  Though well meaning and courageous, these people seek to fix that which is no longer working with the same  solutions, only jacked up.  Unfortunately, it’s like driving a car that gets stuck in the mud.  Though it seems that giving it more gas will take it forward, it just gets mired deeper in the rut.   

On the other hand, there are those who admit that they don’t have all the answers, but realize the old ways no longer work.  These people hear that “still, small voice within” that whispers, “It doesn’t have to be this way, there’s something more, something better, something you haven’t quite yet grasped!”  They seem to sense this journey we’re on doesn’t stop here and that we’re just passing through.  Their curiosity, as well as their faith in the ultimate goodness of God/Life, lead them to courageously look outside the box labeled reality and play with new possibilities.  With an open mind they explore different ways of looking at God and life, reading books, listening to new ideas and examining their beliefs. They stay connected to the wisdom in their hearts while sorting through this sea of information to see what works - what takes them where they want to go, and what doesn’t.  Such people are willing to risk a little to have it all!

These people have recognized that the kind of life we create is dependent upon the choices we make and that the choices we make are dependent upon two things, what we desire to experience, and what we believe about life, its source and destination.  Desire and belief, this is the seed out of which grows the life we choose to experience.  If the fruit of the plant, therefore, is not to our liking then we must look to the seed.  This seed is our spirituality. It is our deepest desires for peace and love and joy and freedom because that is the essence of what we are.  (Even when we appear to desire worldly wealth and power etc. it is only because we think they will bring us these experiences.)  This seed of spirituality also holds within it the answers we have given to the questions we have about God - what is God, what does God want, where does God reside, who does God talk to, and how are we related.  These are the questions that our religions have traditionally sought to answer for us based on their interpretations of the Masters.

Once upon a time, these traditional responses fit who we thought we were, but life has outgrown the definitions we have dressed it in for so long .  Science has provided new ways of understanding ourselves and our environment.  Technology has given us new opportunities for experience and connected us in ways never thought possible. We’ve come to “know too much” to be content with seeing ourselves and the world as we did in the past.  A child who rides a bike with training wheels may be content to stay within sight of home, but an adolescent with a license to drive will not.  It wouldn’t be healthy if we did.  To grow and expand our horizons is a natural and necessary part of life.  Just as the sun’s reflection on snow sparkles only when we move, our lives bring us joy only when we grow. 

The New Spirituality is an invitation to see God and life with fresh eyes.  It is not a new religion and it is not anti-religion.  If anything, it looks at what the Masters taught in the light of greater understanding and takes those teachings to a new level of expression.  We have always been given messengers asking us to become Who We Really Are, but few in history have comprehended and chosen that path.  Now it is time for us all.  I can imagine Jesus telling a parable about this time in history and calling it,  “The autistic child finally notices.”  I say this because many are beginning to realize that our experience in the world has been like that of an autistic child. We’ve been totally absorbed in our own small make-believe worlds, not understanding how to get our needs met and pounding our heads against the wall in frustration.  How can we expect to get to where we want to go, when we continue to experience ourselves as lost and alone - as powerless?   The autistic child’s loving parents (like God/Universe) have always been present, longing to satisfy its every desire.  They’ve even spent hours sitting with the child rocking and trying to be a part of it’s world so they can communicate their love (as those sent to remind us of the same), but the child has been oblivious - until now.  Imagine the parent’s incredible joy when that child begins to notice and respond to them and it’s real environment! That would be a great day of celebration! 

This is the goal of the New Spirituality, to bring us all into that joyful state of awareness that shows us we are all one and not alone.  It reminds us that, “We are powerful spiritual beings having a human experience and not helpless human beings having an occasional spiritual experience!”  It recognizes that the Truth lies within each individual and that even though it may be temporarily blocked, it is there to be experienced.  It announces that “there is enough” for all, and that once we realize who we are, we will no longer be afraid to share and the idea of scarcity will be a thing of the past.  It proclaims that there is only One God Source who who has no need to judge or condemn.  That nobody’s path to that Source is better than another’s - and that no person is superior to another.  It embraces love that knows no condition, freedom as the essence of life, and joy as our natural state of being  Finally, the New Spirituality celebrates “Life” as our most sacred trust and highest value and seeks to create a world in which humans live in peace, harmony and happiness! 

These are some of the “new” thoughts or concepts of the New Spirituality.  Unfortunately, many seekers stop right there - in their head.  They talk about the new concepts they’ve explored and quote the latest authors, but their way of being in the world does not reflect the ideas expressed. The idiom, “actions speak louder than words,” suggests that how we show up in life is the better indicator for what we truly believe and desire.  While expressing beliefs is important, unless they are embraced at levels deeper than the mind, they will not become the kind of beliefs that translate into action.  The power to create real change in the world depends not only on those ideas we profess, but whether we have integrated them into our lives where they influence our daily choices.  In the end, how we choose to show up announces what we truly believe and is what inspires others to follow our example - or not.  Mahatma Gandhi summed it up when he said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”  

This process of translating our intellectual ideas into heart felt beliefs that manifest as a way of being in the world, usually takes time.  It involves living our lives day to day and interacting with the world as consciously as we can.  We must observe our thoughts, feelings and actions and ask ourselves if they are taking us where we say we want to go, given what we believe.  It takes practice and it takes gentle patience.  Change, no matter how much we desire it, can at times be very confusing and uncomfortable.  We are attempting to shift our perception of that which is most fundamental to our existence - our identity.  Who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where are we going and what do we want?  This is no small matter!  Support from people of like mind is extremely helpful and that is where Humanity’s Team comes in!

Humanity’s Team is made up of people like you and me who, as I described earlier, have heard that “still, small voice within” whispering, “It doesn’t have to be this way, there’s something more, something better, something you haven’t quite yet grasped!”  They are the ones whose curiosity, as well as their faith in the ultimate goodness of God/Life, have led them to courageously look outside the box labeled reality and play with new possibilities.  They are not “know it alls” who look down on other people that see things differently.  They know that creation (and we are all creators and co-creators in the process of creating) depends on the wonder of diversity.  They also realize that diversity is “safe” because it is held together by the common bond of Life;  We are all one thing, one body, experiencing, expressing and evolving together like a changing jigsaw puzzle with many pieces whose separating lines are merely illusory.  

At this transitional time in history, the people of Humanity’s Team have come together seeking to become trained as conscious midwives able to assist this body that we are to give birth to a new experience and expression of life.   It is a time that brings us all the opportunity to choose and experience the peace, love, joy and freedom we have long desired, and to make “earth as it is in heaven”.  Humanity’s Team are those who have chosen nothing less than to “Be the Hope of Humanity!”  As God says on the final page of The New Revelations by Neale Donald Walsch, “Remember that the greatest tool you will ever have with which to create not only a new spirituality, but a whole new world, is your own life, lived.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Having Compassion for the Fearful and Resistant in Us

The Value of Spiritual Growth and the Courage Necessary for the Journey

Imagine being a blind person sitting on the couch in your livingroom.  How would you feel about the placement of the things in your house.  Would you feel comfortable having someone come in and move around the furniture or shift the location of the doorways?  Probably not.  My guess is that it would be very important to you for everything to stay in the same place that it had always been.  Any changes would probably leave you feeling lost and unsafe.

Now imagine being that same person on the couch, but that your sight has slowly begun to return!  Now how would you feel about the placement of those things in your house?  My guess is that the better your vision became, the more willing you would be to let your surroundings be altered.  You might even want to experiment yourself with more efficient or beautiful arrangements that enhanced your home. With sight, your sense of safety comes from within, and you no longer depend on the way things were placed in your external world. No longer afraid, you would be free to play with the possibilities!

This is a metaphor that describes the value of spiritual growth and development. The blind man represents the stage in our development  when we depend totally on our external rules and rituals to provide us with a sense of meaning and identity (not just religious ones…). We depend on the way things are “arranged” in our small world to make us feel safe and in control. If someone challenges our way of understanding life, we get angry and argumentative, self-righteous and intolerant. We desperately need to make the other wrong. And when we have to be (need to be) right, truth is really not the issue - fear is, the fear that our sense of reality, our truth, could collapse.  

Imagine such a personality to be built like a pyramid of coffee cups from the person’s unique beliefs and perceptions.  When confronted with different beliefs and ways of perceiving, it may feel as if one or more of the cups in the foundation of that pyramid is being jiggled, threatened.  This can be very scarey  because it feels as if the whole structure could topple, and with it, the person's sense of reality. That’s a very scary place to be in!!  In extreme cases, differences become such a threat to the person’s existence that they feel they must destroy the other (like the terrorists…). Of course, most of us don’t engage in physically destroying others…  but, we might attack ever so subtly at the mental or emotional level. And we’ve all been there at some time or another.