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

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The True Self

“You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in the drop.”
― Rumi

Lord I woke up this morning
far too aware of myself
as human


it is worse than that
an aging human
with gray (not graying any more, just gray) hair
wrinkled skin
a sagging body (I look like a marshmallow on toothpicks)

an aging human
with years of struggle
and failure
with untold numbers of bad decisions behind me

an aging human
not yet old
or so my “older” friends tell

but still
a person with much more behind, than lies ahead
with years and years of
that now, in my own mind
define me
and which, perhaps, define me in the eyes of others

and what occurred to me
were these questions

What defines me?
Who defines me?
Can I change the definition I carry of my self, and thus my path forward
However long, or short, that path might be?

If I can my definition, if I change what I see in the mirror
And begin to live out a different self
A transformed self
Would others believe in my newness
Would they accept
The transformation
Or would they continue to see me the way they have always seen me?

Would others let me change?
(we know change is hard, and sometimes vulnerable, and so we have trouble trusting it)

My thoughts about myself, then took me into my thoughts about others
To societies thoughts about others
To the thoughts people have
About people with mental illness
Or people who have made mistakes

Do we believe?
Do we believe,  really
In grace?
In transformation?
Do we believe that God can work in people’s lives and make them new?
Do we?

I am trying to believe (especially about myself, somehow it is easier to believe “for” others)
Lord help my unbelief

If we believe Christ, the Sacred, is in each person
Maybe not “realized”  “accepted”  “freed to work”
But present
We have to believe

We each are not a drop in the ocean
The fullness of God is in each of us
The fullness of God
The ocean is in the drop

No wonder it is so hard to believe!!!!

I read the writings of three people this morning
Mark Nepo
Richard Rohr
And Thomas Keating

All of them pointed,
As the key to living fully,
The discovery of our true self!

Our true self is not what others see, how others define us
Our true self is not what we see in the mirror
Our true self is our created to be self
Our true self is what God intended and empowers us to be

And we are called
To remember that the sacred is in us
To accept our acceptance by God
We need to go inside with centering prayer
With focused attention
And we remember who we are

The mighty ocean in a drop
A child of God
So that we can leave behind
Our old images
Our old definitions
Those others have created
Those we have created

So we can leave behind
The old
And embrace
The new

So simple
So difficult
So………   hopeful


If anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creation
The old has passed away
The new has come  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

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