“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes
it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
I’ve had a difficult time writing this week’s post. There is so much acrimony in the air over the government shutdown. I live in an area that is deeply affected and many of my friends and acquaintances are understandably fearful, angry and full of resentment about what’s happening. I sympathize with them. The world is changing rapidly and it’s hard to keep ones equilibrium. I think we’re at a turning point. Events all over the globe indicate to me that humanity is changing. Thousands, maybe even millions, of people are standing up and saying “I’m not going to take this any more,” while others are pushing back trying to keep the status quo. But, change is here. We can’t stop it, so we might as well embrace it.
When my friends say, “I’m so angry, I can’t see straight.” or, “I’m afraid of what’s going to happen,” I understand why they say that. All they see is our physical world. They don’t see what lies behind it. It’s times like this that I rejoice. Because, it’s when things fall apart that something new can be born out of the ashes, like the Phoenix.
You may say I’m crazy, but I think we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to get rid of old patterns and structures and build a new kind of world. A more authentic world. One where people are valued and honored above money, power and prestige. Creating this new world isn’t going to happen over night. It’s going to take commitment. It’s going to take a willingness to look deep within ourselves at our values, traumas, darkness and light and to do some healing. I can speak from experience, doing healing work is worth it.
My conscious spiritual journey began in the mid-80s. Barry and I were recent college graduates, but our life didn’t look at all the way we’d dreamed. Our jobs were unfulfilling and the familiar comforts of our church community no longer fit who we were. We longed for the stimulating atmosphere we’d loved about our college community. The more we talked about how we felt, the more confused we became. We needed someone impartial to help us find the way.
One day we saw a flyer for psychic readings with Neale Donald Walsch. We made the appointment feeling apprehensive. We’d never done anything so daring. Neale was welcoming and put us at our ease. During the session, we got the answers we needed. It was time to leave the church and live a bigger spiritual life. Wow! How scary to leave the familiar cocoon of the church. Of course, we faced what writer Steven Pressfield calls, resistance. Resistance happens when we have an opportunity to take a big evolutionary step. When that happens, we’re faced with two choices. 1) We can step into the unknown and trust the process, or 2) we can shy away and close ourselves off. Neither Barry nor I wanted to continue being miserable, so the decision was clear. I’m not saying it was easy informing our family. But, when we made the break, we were so much happier.
As Barry and I started a new spiritual practice of study, meditation and talking with other friends who’d also left, our life was better. But something Neale had said in our session was nagging at the back of my mind. “Contemplate these words.” he said, “Nothing matters, and you think it does.” What on earth could he be talking about? Of course everything matters. People are dying, starving, being oppressed, abused and disrespected. How could that not matter? The idea that nothing mattered was like sand in an oyster. I couldn’t let that idea go, so I contemplated those words in my journal, meditations and prayers for years until just before my fortieth birthday.
I was visiting my Naturopathic Doctor for a spinal adjustment. He was telling me about the skiing trip his best friend had gifted him for his fortieth birthday just a few months before mine. From the outside, the ski trip looked like a disaster. Their old equipment malfunctioned and broke and they were unable to ski. Then he laughed and said, “But it didn’t matter. We had such a great time being together on the snow covered mountain looking out at the gorgeous vistas. It’s a birthday I’ll never forget.”
When he said that something snapped in my head and heart. “That’s it!” I said.
He was startled. “What!”
I told him what Neale had asked me to think about years before, and said. “I understand now what he meant by nothing matters. It’s our response to what’s going on that matters. It’s our willingness to accept and trust. But more than that, all this,” and I patted the table I was on, “All this is illusion. It’s like we’re all in a play that God wrote and there’s some larger purpose to the events than we can understand.”
He squinched up his face and then relaxed it and said, “Oh, yeah. I see that too.”
“Thanks for helping me figure that out.” I said, “I’ve been trying to understand what Neale was getting at for years now.”
“You’re welcome. And thanks for sharing that with me. I wouldn’t have understood it either until you explained it to me.”
Since that day, no matter what disaster happens, there’s a part of me that trusts that Divine Oneness is in control and there’s a deeper purpose for events than my little human brain can comprehend. My job is to try to grasp the lesson, to move forward, to overcome resistance, and to commit to growing into a more open, loving person. That’s only possible when I let go of attachment to a particular outcome. What Neale saw in me was the need to know how things were going to turn out before I’d be willing to take the first step. I wanted to take God’s place and be in control of the final outcome. That’s just not possible.
We’re living in a scary time. Lots of people are fearful. We’re facing a great unknown. The only way we’re going to get through it, is to look inside ourselves and see where we’re being led and allow Divine Oneness to take care of the rest. It’s okay to feel the fear and anger. It’s okay to be uncertain about our future, as long as we also continue to seek guidance for our next step.
© Lucinda Sage-Midgorden, 2013