MAKING THE CONNECTION
Welcome to March. Can you believe it is here already? Didn't this year just start the other day? While it may seem that way, we are already at another special and very sacred holiday - Easter. And in preparation for that beautiful Sunday at the end of this month, each week leading up to it, we are going to be called into a Sacred Connection, or, said another way, into a Connection with the Sacred.
I assume you have already purchased your Lenten Booklet from the bookstore and are following along with it every day. I mean, really, it's only one dollar for the booklet.
And today, we will begin to "Make the Connection," a connection with our Sacred Self, that beautiful, powerful, amazing self. And what we will discover as we begin to make this connection, as we deepen into knowing who we really are, as opposed to who we might think we are, we automatically make a sacred connection with the Divine. So, are you ready to experience a profound Sacred Connection? Good, then let's begin.
Here is something that I believe might be a fact (not a Truth, but a fact) of our human experience. Many of us have a fear of making a deep connection with ourselves because we are afraid of what we might find if we look deep inside. Yet in Truth—the deeper we look, the closer we get to making a connection with the Sacred.
In the early 2000's, Oriah Mountain Dreamer wrote a most amazing poem called "The Invitation." I want to share it with you this morning as we begin this month's work together. It goes like this:
"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
"I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
"It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
"It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow; if you have been opened by life's betrayals or if you have become shriveled and closed from further pain.
"I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
"I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own -- if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
"It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
"I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day and if you can source your own life from its presence.
"I want you to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the sliver of the full moon, 'Yes!'
"It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
"It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
"It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
"I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments."a
I want to know if you truly like the company you keep in those quiet moments -- and if you don't or aren't sure -- this month's invitation is for you to move to a "yes!" This month asks you to deepen your connection with your Sacred Self.
WE ARE ONE
Jesus once said: Love thy neighbor as thyself.b
The emphasis on that statement is often on the "love thy neighbor" part -- and it is important. But we miss a key message if we don't look at the last two words -- "as thyself." Jesus was making an assumption with that statement, wasn't he? The assumption is that we love ourselves!
In Talks on Truth, Charles Fillmore writes: "We cannot separate Jesus Christ from God, or tell where man leaves off and God begins in Him. To say that Jesus Christ was a man as we are men is not true, because He had dropped that personal consciousness by which we separate ourselves into men and women. He was consciously one with the absolute principle of Being. He had no consciousness separate from that Being, He was that Being to all intents and purposes. Yet He attained no more than is expected of every one of us. 'That they may be one, even as we are' was His prayer."c
Let me say that last line again: "'That they may be one, even as we are' was His prayer."
But, I find that while we may give lip service to this idea, that is not what we identify with. Oh no, we identify with our mistakes, our flaws, our fears, with our beliefs that we ARE INHERENTLY BAD, and every little thing that we do "wrong" is just proof that this is true. So we really avoid looking within because we are afraid of what we might find.
We say in New Thought that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We don't say: We are spiritual beings having a human experience ONLY when we are thinking, feeling and acting spiritually! We are ALWAYS spiritual beings, no matter what!
This month's call is to step into a spirituality that embraces and encompasses the fullness of our humanness -- all of it. Strengths, weaknesses and everything in between. Hear this: You are the perfection of God, living out that perfection now and again in imperfect ways.
And it could be no other way. In The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes writes: "To be real and free, individuality must be created in the image of Perfection and let alone to make the great discovery for itself."d
Sometimes in that discovery, we blow it! What I want to know about you is can you really, really "blow it" and still love yourself?! Can you laugh at your mistakes and learn from them? Can you rise up again and again and again?
Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player yet to come on the scene (yes?), once said: 'I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot...and I missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."e
And, the question is -- Can I "blow it" and still love myself?! Can I laugh at my mistakes and learn from them? Can I rise up again and again and again? If I can, then I, like Michael Jordan, will succeed! The other question is: Can you?
Hafiz, the great Sufi master, in his book The Gift, wrote a poem called The Vintage Man:
The difference between a good artist and a great one is:
The novice will often lay down his tool or brush,
Then pick up an invisible club on the mind's table
And helplessly smash the easels and Jade.
Whereas the vintage man no longer hurts himself or anyone,
And keeps on sculpting Light.f
In This Thing Called You, Holmes writes: "But it is only as you let go of the lesser that you can take hold of the greater, only as you drop confusion that you can entertain peace, only as you transcend doubt and fear that you can be lifted up to the hill tops of the inner Life."g
This "lesser" that I invite you to let go of this morning . . . the "confusion" that I invite you to drop today . . . is the idea that your human foibles make you any less Divine!
Here is your assignment for this week -- Find someone you trust. Someone you really trust, whom you know really loves you. Share with him/her a deep fear, a dark secret about yourself, something you have been hiding, something even you may be ashamed of. Something that says to you that you are inherently flawed or bad or stupid. Get my drift?
Tell them you want to do this so you can get it out in the open, which will in turn release the "hold" it has on you and so that you can see your Divinity right in the middle of it. Tell them their only job is to love you right through it -- not to try to fix it or even tell you "it's not so bad," but just love you. And if someone asks you to be that person for them, consider it a most sacred honor!
This Thing Called You: "Your search is after something great enough to lose your littleness in, something within you worthy of immortality and eternal expansion. The world has not looked for God where He may be found. Here is the great secret. There is only one God, one Divine Mind. This One is undivided, hence all of It is present everywhere. God is not only where you are, God is what you are. . . You need no longer go in search after Him. Rather live and think from the union which you already have."h
I invite you to say this silently to yourself:
There is That within me which knows.
I am not only one with this Power, this Power is actually flowing through me now.
I am not only unified with the Divine Presence around me, this Presence is my presence.
It is the presence of my real and true self.
I am forever one with Life.
So, this morning, make this Sacred Connection and know that when you do, you have connected with the Sacred.
aOriah Mountain Dreamer "The Invitation."
cTalks on Truth, Charles Fillmore pg. 169
dThe Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes p. 108
fHafiz, The Gift, The Vintage Man
gThis Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes p. 132
hThis Thing Called You, Ernest Holmes p. 85