I recently received an email about my high school’s fortieth high school reunion. “Huh?” I thought. “It can’t be. Forty years since high school? It’s time for my mom’s fortieth high school reunion—not mine.” But it is time for mine, and I don’t know where the time went.When I look back, I’ve been on a growing-journey my whole life. I tried to negotiate stepping off the spiritual path time and again, thinking, “Uh, could you hold on for a bit, Lord? I gotta go do something. I’ll be back; I swear.” I hunted for a soul mate with spiritual qualities, but didn’t find him because I didn’t stay ‘on the path’ myself. In spite of all my veering off course, or perhaps because of what I learned from the veering, I raised three wonderful children (my youngest is 17) and was also blessed to work in a profession I loved for 12 years.
Now here I am, four months short of forty years since high school graduation. Part of me feels like I haven’t enjoyed life enough, that I haven’t really lived enough. I’m sure that’s connected to my chronic illness and having been mostly in bed since 1997. But another part of me knows I wouldn’t have made the deep spiritual connection I have if I hadn’t had my rear end kicked into bed. Even though the world can tempt us away, making the most important connection of all is the reason we’re here. It doesn’t matter by what name we call out to God: Universe, Father, Allah, Great Mystery, Mother, Nature, Brother, Master, Lord or Lord of Light. What matters is that we know an invisible world of Love exists within us and all around us. We only need ask for a peek into the real world to be bowled over by this Truth: We are loved in an unconditional, immeasurable way. It doesn’t matter how many times I turned away from God; He/She never turned away from me.
I can’t get over this great irony in life: What we each want more than anything is to be accepted for who we really are and to be unconditionally loved in such a tender way that it feels like falling into a warm and soft mama’s arms, who holds us and rocks us in her chair until we are healed of all our hurts. But fear causes us to believe that God has a sword of wrath and man, are we gonna get it! Or, we’re certain there is no warm and soft mama to heal us. We think, ‘I’m not giving up control of my life to a Being I’m not even sure exists.’ Or, ‘I know God exists, but I’m not giving up control of my life to Him. I don’t want to turn the other cheek; in fact, I’m taking up martial arts.’ A common belief is, ‘If there was a God, bad things wouldn’t happen to me;’ or this variation: ‘Are you dead? Wake up! If I’m your kid, show me your powers!’
We are so confused. What we want more than anything else is ours only for the asking, but we reject it because we’re so caught up in the cosmic-theater of our lives. With those blinders on, we can’t see that our essence is God, that our essence is Loving Kindness. We already are what we believe we can’t be; we just have to take off the blinders to see it.