Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, December 2, 2011

To feel safe

I was reading a book by Bennan Manning today, and in that book he shared an entry from his journal.  An entry which came on a day of amazing transformation in his life.

Those words struck me with amazing power!

“To feel safe”, he say, is to stop living in my head and sink down into my heart and feel liked and accepted.”


All of my life my greatest issue, has been my sense that people will not, if they really know me, like and accept me.  I don’t really know when this started, but somewhere along the line, perhaps when I was a skinny geeky little guy in Jr Hi a deep sense of “not enough” pervaded my soul.

And I have gone through life hiding, from others, from myself, and dealing with a profound fear that I would ultimately fail, and ultimately be rejected.

What Manning does is remind me that there is one person who will always love and accept me.  That person is God.  God loves me, as I am.  God may not like where I am, but he loves me as I am.  God is not shocked when I fail.  God is not surprised at my shortcomings. 

And what God wants, more than anything else, is for me to turn toward the divine love, when I am in that place when I am, honestly, not enough.  But instead I tend to run, and hid, like Adam in the garden.  It breaks God’s heart when I from from, instead of to, when I fail.  God loves love I really and truly am.

And my greatest enemy, when I am in that place of failure, is myself of self-rejection.  As Nowen suggests, “self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “beloved.” “

The solution?  Accept that I am accepted.  To stop counting up failures and successes.  Focusing on my capacity and my deficit, and let God love me.  As Thomas Merton once put it, “Quit keeping score… and surrender yourself to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only his child redeemed by Christ.”

I regret….all the times I have tried to earn my way into God’s love….all the times I have posed, and tried to convince God, and of course, other people, that I am OK and worthy…all the pretending and posing.

Am I done?  Of course not.
But I pray that with God’s love, God’s amazing and scandalous love,
I can get in touch with my true self
And who I truly am is a prodigal child, returned to God

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