AN EXPERIENCE OF ONENESS
Let's start with a prayer: I rest in you, Spirit of Life. I place in you my feet, my legs, my torso, my arms, my shoulders, my head and allow you to support all that I am.
I rest in you, Spirit of Life, and give to you my worries, my fears, my doubts, my hopes, my joys, my pains, my anger, my love, my hate, and allow you to take in all that I am.
And as I give all that I am, I find the place of truth, stillness, still, eternal where you and I are one.
I breathe in, deep, deeply, down, up, all that we are, as I stand on my toe at the edge of the universe, in oneness.
And all that we are expands, until forever. Amen
"Reality, is not that you are weak, and dream of becoming strong. Poor, and dream of becoming rich. Alone, and dream of becoming connected. But that you are already strong, already rich, already connected. Yet, at times, dream that you are not."a
That is one of my favorites from Mike Dooley in Notes from the Universe, and I thought it would fit nicely with our discussion today. Oneness. An idea that we talk a lot about in Unity, but I think can be one of the most elusive in our daily lives. We will be talking about casting away darkness to bring forth the light of our Oneness.
There was a superhero movie. And at the end, there was a quote that really resonated with my soul: "They say that darkness is the absence of Light, but it isn't. Darkness is the conviction (a profound belief) that the light will never return, but the light always returns."
I thought about how powerful that statement is, and how we sometimes believe that the darkness we feel will stay forever, and we fear that the light will never return. But there is ONLY LIGHT. The LIGHT always returns to us, and us to it. We know this, right?! And yet, how many of us really feel connected, the majority of the time? It's sometimes really hard.
We come out of church after an amazing talk and Maxine and Cynthia's fabulous music and feel like we are walking on a cloud. Our connection is strong, and we feel like we can move mountains. And then, someone cuts us off in traffic. Or we get in an argument with a friend. Or we get scary news from our doctor, or our financial advisor. And separation is staring us right in the face again. And so, we live in this world of form, of separation, trying to remember who we are. And sometimes only getting moments.
So today, I want to delve deeper into the Truth about Oneness and look at our experiences in separation. Because right now, in our lives, in our society, in our world; there is a lot of that experience of separation.
But, back of us is the whole of life searching to express itself. This is known as the Divine Urge. It is that "I Am" in us always pushing us on and up. But it can only express for us as it flows through us.
This sounds so cut and dry, but if we let the One Power flow through us, we will see the expression, and the manifestation all around us, at all times. Done, and done...As we like to say, "Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy."
But that is not most of our experiences here on earth. So many times, it feels like we are taking one step forward, and two steps back. So, how do we connect with The One Power, and allow it to flow through us so that we can experience, more often, The I AM, Our Oneness with God?
We talk about and pray to a Higher Power, as if that Power is somewhere out there, far away from us. As if it is making decisions for us, or denying us, when it deems us unworthy. Many of us grew up in belief systems that taught that to us, as small children. Telling us that we are not good enough, that we are sinners, inherently broken. And we grow up believing in separation. Us versus them, good versus evil. That if only we could somehow attain perfection, that we were also told was impossible, then we would finally make it. We would finally be worthy. And sometimes we still live our entire lives from that belief.
Now in prayer, we recognize first, that there is only One Power, One Presence, One Mind, and that Power is Love, and is all there is. The second step is Unification. We bring those two ideas together and stand in a knowing that there we are made of God, we are One with that Power, and That Power, That Love, is the Divine essence of who we are, at all times. The Power that created the Big Bang, that created all of the universe, that created the Oceans and all Life forms that exist, that literally formed the mountains. That Power is within you, and within me. And is our nature and it has its being in us. It is all there is. And knowing that is true, what can be the other?
And we speak as if we know this...but there is knowing, and then there is Knowing. There is a beautiful saying in New Thought, "We are not Human Beings having a Spiritual Experience, we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience" But I want to take that one step further and tweak it just a bit. We are not human beings, having a spiritual experience, or Spiritual Beings have a human experience. We are a Powerful Spiritual Force of Divine Creative Energy and Love, having multiple life experiences simultaneously!
Because there is only One. And when we KNOW our connection to Source, to our Oneness, we are literally stepping into our Power. One. And when we step into who we are, what else is there to stand in the way? What is there to be afraid of?
Cerise Patron, formerly a Pentecostal paster and now a New Thought minister; shared this experience. She said: "I had a beautiful and eye-opening experience recently at a women's retreat. I haven't had a particularly easy life, I don't think anyone has, but there has been a great amount of healing I have had to do, especially around worthiness and belonging. And at this retreat, we did an exercise, where I closed my eyes and in a semi-meditative space, people whispered loving and beautiful things to me. Some of them were things like, "You are beautiful just the way you are", and "You are loved" and my subconscious accepted them. Didn't jump up and down screaming "YES!!" But I accepted them..."
"The next statement was "I am so grateful you were born. You are wanted and loved" And then, from somewhere, I didn't even know existed, a small voice welled up inside of me, and said (in my head) "Oh no. That isn't true, my parents didn't plan to have me, I was an accident, I wasn't supposed to be here, and no one in the world is grateful I was born." "
"And immediately I thought, what in the world are you doing in there? Where did you come from? How is it even possible that this belief exists anywhere inside of me? And I realized that, as a child, I categorized finding out I wasn't a planned pregnancy, into unworthiness of being on the planet. Creating the belief that all of my life is an accident, that every day on this earth, a fluke. And 17 years in New Thought teachings, and all of the meditations and affirmations I have done, I never even knew that belief was still deep down in there until that moment."
"Of course, I had a conversation with the little girl, and I will tell you what I told her. Because it is absolutely true for you as well, and maybe someone else needs to hear it. I told her:
""That is absolutely not True, in fact the exact opposite of that is true. No matter what plans your parents had, or their parents had for them, or the world around them had, or their bosses or friends had...The Universe needed you here right now and moved everything to make sure that you got here. No matter how you came to be on this planet, no matter the circumstances, or tribulations involved. The Universe needs you here, Now. And heaven and earth were moved to make sure you got here."
"And this amazing thing happened, when the exercise was over, and we went back to our rooms to process the experience. I saw my life flash before my eyes. I saw how I "accidentally" found the book Conversations With God, after my best friend's death. "
"I saw how I "accidentally" started working across the street from a New Thought center."
"I saw how I "accidentally" lost my job, and suddenly had Sunday mornings free to go to church. "
"Then I "accidentally" stumbled into that New Thought center, also on a Sunday when Renee Morgan Brooks was singing, and the choir was having their very first choir rehearsal. "
"I "accidentally" started writing music, and performing, and on and on and on. "
"And I realized how little "accidents" had anything to do with where I am standing right now. And I felt a wall start crumbling down. And a flood of LOVE came pouring in at me. "
"As if an Ocean of love had been crashing toward me for years, and because I had built this wall, it couldn't get to me. It was as if, the wall had been built on top of this foundational brick of belief that was holding it back...and when that brick was taken out, the wall could no longer stand. You see, our experience of separation comes from these foundational bricks of belief, building a wall we don't even realize is there. "
"And in New Thought, our teachings help us take out some of those bricks and toss them away. "We are born Sinners", Nope, that one no longer works. Pull that brick out and toss it. "
"Love is hard to find", nope that one doesn't work either. Throw it away. "
"And in fact, all of our affirmations and prayers are working to remove those bricks and have a more complete connection to the One. "
"And I realized that the foundational bricks, when we can get to them, and remove them, take the whole wall with it. And after this experience, I thought it was like the whole Tsunami of Love and Power was pouring to me...and it was able to get to me for the first time. What I realized later, is that the wall coming down, let my Light OUT...all of that power and abundance, Love, and God stuff was trapped in me, behind my wall...and tearing down the wall let that out to complete the connection."b
You see, God in you is yearning to be released, to spread, to grow, and to light the Universe. We must release it. The Truth is, there is only One Power in this Universe, and that Power is Love. It is everything that is, ever has been, and ever will be. There is only One. And if we are experiencing anything unlike God, any disconnection, in any moment. It is because of a wall. We do not always have to know the exact brick, but only give our light permission to shine brighter. To call it forth in a bigger way, and we can release those beliefs.
From that women's retreat Cerice came away with this affirmation: "Spirit within me, Spirit that is me, speak me, sing me, love me, live me. Every wall that I have ever built to hold You back, I now tear down, and set You free."
Would you like to say it with me? "Spirit within me, . . . Spirit that is me, . . . speak me, . . . sing me, . . . love me, . . . live me. . . . Every wall that I have ever built to hold You back, . . . I now tear down, . . . and set You free."
Today we are tearing down those walls, we are stepping into our Power, and we are connecting to the Energy and Oneness that is our nature, our Truth. And we are letting that light within us shine brightly to connect with all that is.
There is a quote by Rumi, that sums this up beautifully: "Why struggle to open a door between us when the whole wall is an illusion?"c
What we often forget to remember is that starting with stardust and explosions, moving through evolution of life on this planet, through millions of years of growth on this earth, and every life of our ancestors survived, and through every experience our great grandparents had, everything our grandparents lived through, and everything our parents did...Through every experience we have ever had in our lives, every seemingly chance encounter, every "accident" and every joy, every tear. Through it all, One Energy and all-knowing Power was literally moving Heaven and Earth, to bring each and every one of us to this moment in time.
For you, a magnificent Spiritual Force of energy, having multiple earthly experiences - to be right here, to realize your Purpose, to Live your Passion, to feel your Oneness with all things and finally to step into your POWER!
The world needs you, needs us, not hiding behind walls of fear and separation, but to finally shine the Light of God that we are, and Tear those Walls Down. Today the walls come down, Yes?!?!
Let us pray. We go down beneath all that we think we are, down below everything we have experienced in this lifetime, and everything we have been told by others we must be. Down to the deepest part of our soul, to where there is only light. And in that One power, one energy, one voice, one Life, we know that we have a direct connection at all times to the Fullness of God. As we take our personal connection to the next level it fills and heals our physical bodies and eases our fears and worries. We can feel that power rising up and Love overflowing pouring into the person next to us. As this room fills with Love it flows out into the streets and fills up each person there, flows into homes, into businesses and restaurants into the whole City, and flows from there to fill the state, the country, the seas, the planet, and the Universe. There is enough Love, right here, to heal all, to Light all darkness. We are connected with that power now, and always. There is only unspeakable gratitude for this Truth, and the Powerful ability to feel it right here, and right now. And on this truth, gratitude, and Love, We stand, and let it be done, releasing the illusion and stepping into the Knowing. Spirit within me, Spirit that is me Breathe me, speak me, Move me, Live me Every wall I have ever built to hold you back I now tear down, and set you free. I set you free. And so it is. Amen
aMike Dooley in Notes from the Universe
bCerise Patron, formerly a Pentecostal paster and now a New Thought minister