This morning, I was drawn to an entry that I wrote last year, called “Devotion.” I was drawn to the feeling that my conversation with God is always a heartfelt experience of peace. That feels like the sweetest of promises to me and in this moment, it is such a welcome treasure. When I choose God’s will for me in any moment, I instantly open to an answer that is peace and an everlasting love that stretches beyond the bounds of my imagination.
Love and our capacity to choose however we experience, is at the forefront of my mind today. The fact that our existence on this earth is temporary and we never know when our time here is up, offers me perspective on how I can be. Using my precious days wisely as if they were my last ones. Sinking deeply into each gifted moment and really relishing the treasure of my life. Cherishing each divine soul that I encounter on my spiritual path, seeing myself mirrored back in countless ways. Blessing and acknowledging the power of this reflected gaze. Feeling the sweet and sometimes fierce grace that the Creator offers and knowing that every aspect is here to serve and bring me closer to home. Every second of “now” serves me with an unspoken gift to bring me home.
An excerpt from Adyashanti’s book “The End of Your World: uncensored straight talk on the nature of enlightenement,” comes to mind. It is beautiful, direct and simple in its message:
“It is very important to know that life itself is often our greatest teacher. Life is full of grace – sometimes it’s wonderful grace, beautiful grace, moments of bliss and happiness and joy, and sometimes it’s fierce grace, like illness, losing a job, losing someone we love, or a divorce. Some people make the greatest leaps in their consciousness when addiction has them on their knees, for example, and they find themselves reaching out for a different way of being. Life itself has a tremendous capacity to show us truth, to wake us up. And yet, many of us avoid this thing called life, even as it is attempting to wake us up.
The divine itself is life in motion. The divine is using the situations of our lives to accomplish its own awakening, and many times it takes the difficult situations to wake us up.
The irony is that most human beings spend their lives avoiding painful situations. Not that we are successful, but we are always trying to avoid pain. We have an unconscious belief that our greatest growth in consciousness and awareness comes through beautiful moments. We may, indeed, make great leaps in consciousness through beautiful moments, but I’d say that most people make their greatest leaps in consciousness in the difficult times.
This is something a lot of people don’t want to acknowledge – that our greatest difficulties, suffering, and pain are a form of fierce grace. They are potent and important components of our awakening, if we’re ready for them. If we’re ready to turn and face them, we can see and receive the gifts that they have to offer – even if the gifts sometimes feel like they are being forced upon us. Whether the circumstance is illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, addiction, problems at work – it’s important to face our life situations in order to see the inherent gifts that are available.”
This week, our family received an unexpected curve ball from the Universe. No dodging or way to outrun what is before us. For me, there really is only one obvious choice these days, when life stands before you. Meet its gaze. Dive right in and experience fully what life has presented. Struggling and resistance prolong the inevitability of what is to be. No matter how things may seem, somewhere buried inside, there is value. Even the fierce grace is to be allowed and appreciated. In the lesson before us, there is the distant and beckoning glimmer of truth, freedom, sincerity and the courage to be real.
This is “Devotion” that I posted May 2008 on Gaia:
“The last couple of days, I have felt this soft, full feeling inside. It fills me up and surrounds me with peace. I was reading from two books recently, where authors Marianne Williamson and Anne Rice were talking about God. This feeling just washed over me as I was reading, so totally connected and resonating with what they were saying. I had the same feeling last year when I was on a silent retreat and Adyashanti was speaking about devotion.
There was an instant inner recognition that this is what I want most of all – to live my life in a constant state of prayer, appreciation, gratitude and prayerful devotion to the Divine. There is a sweetness to it that brings tears to my eyes.
I prayed this morning for God’s grace to bring me back to awareness, especially at those times when I forget and slip into unconsciousness.
From Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata, “Our prayer is for our hearts to stretch to the point of total openness, to radical acceptance and love of others. The path of the pilgrim is the path to a heart that expands and does not constrict.”
She goes on, “Prayer is something we do. To say a prayer is more than just to think about God. A prayerful attitude is powerful, but the actual utterance of a prayer, silently or aloud, increases the subconscious power of communion with God. In this sense, prayer is God’s greatest gift to us, for it is the key to His house.”
“The purpose of prayer is to bring Heaven and earth together… Prayer work is a constant and consistent conversation with Him. God listens, and He answers. His answer is the experience of peace.”
This feels like such a lovely gift today. Thank you for leading me to these words, this feeling and this desire to know you more deeply every day.”