I was having a “why me?” moment the other night. Just revisiting my year so far, the grief, the loss, and the pain. I know there have been plenty of joys, too, but I was in a mood.
Then I heard, within, “What if your healing was just to connect deeper to Divine love?”
I wanted argue. My healing was about financial stability, achieving success, being healthy, thin, and strong. My healing was so I could experience joy and peace. Right?! Don't I create my reality? This is what I want. Like I said, I was in a mood.
“Is that what your ego wants or what your Divine self wants?”
Crap! I knew that was what my ego wanted. It wants to be successful, have money, be thin, strong......and all of the perfection it can imagine.
Now, let me say, the ego is NOT a negative aspect of ourselves or something that should be ignored. Well, you actually can't because the ego is our conscious mind. That's all it is. The self that experiences the singular self, alone, and disconnected. It's needed to help us function in this reality. Money, success, health, appearance, joy, fame, and anything else that the ego desires is not inherently bad. It is great to be grounded, create stability in your life, and have goals for growth. All these help support your experience here on earth. The issue arises when you think that's the goal.
Let's say you go to an amusement park. You ride several rides, eat yummy junk food, take pictures, and maybe see a show. If you thought the goal was to get food, you would have missed out on the rides. If you spent so much time hyper-focused on getting the perfect picture, you would miss the moments you were experiencing there. The outcome of the amusement park was tasting food, riding rides, experiencing joy, but none of those were the goal. The goal was to go experience the amusement park. One simple thing. Show up and immerse yourself in the experience of the amusement park. Now, you might have got kind of sick from the food or didn't like one of the rides or missed the show. Did you fail at experiencing the amusement park? Was it a waste of time? Well, if you thought the goal was just to see that show or ride that ride, then maybe it would feel that way. If your goal was to experience the park no matter what, then it wouldn't feel that way.
So, in this amusement park called life, where is your focus? When you look at your healing and growth, how do you measure it? Is it how well you have achieved a level of perfection in your mind of who you are? Is it the way your life, your body, or your house looks? Again, I ask, what if your healing was just to connect deeper to the Divine? Ego doesn't like that answer often. It feels like a useless focus. It sounds like you are going to go meditate on the mountain and detach from life. What this is really saying is detach from your expectation of the outcome and focus on the experience. Then when you are present in the experience, notice all the ways that the Divine is sending you a love note. It isn't grief and loss that brings the Divine closer, it's that those experiences bring us to surrender and make us present in the moment so we can experience what is already there. What we experience as struggle, pain, and life not working out the way we want is in fact us running from the present moment. It is us running from pain, from truth, and from love. When you accept a moment exactly as it is and allow yourself to be immersed in it, you see all the truth. It doesn't mean it will be pleasant. When I watched my mother have a heart attack or have a seizure, when I heard my cousin was murdered, and when I experienced some of the most excruciating physical pain ever, it was not pleasant, but I was present for each of those moments. When something intense and soul-shaking happens in your life, you can't help but be present. Your brain just stops. That state of shock opens you to everything that is happening without a judgment, just for a moment, and allows you to just be. On the flip side, so does great joy. The first time I held each of my children, presenting at a Faery Congress for the first time, going to concerts, making love, and being in the ocean in Hawaii, I felt these time-bending moments also. My life has been filled with times I stepped out of my head and felt connected to the Divine in love. Some would say I just experienced my Divine self as I am. Others would say I was experiencing the grace of the Holy Spirit. Or maybe I am embodying the Goddess. It does not matter what you want to label it, it is being aligned with Divine light within. It is detaching from what you expected and just being in that moment. Of course nobody is perfect and this will be a dance for us all. Reaching for an expectation and then releasing it. I leave with a poem. Hafiz was a Sufi poet in the 14th century. He speaks of the Divine love beautifully in most of his poems.
I Know The Way You Get
I know the way you can get
When you have not had a drink of Love:
Your face hardens,
Your sweet muscles cramp.
Children become concerned
About a strange look that appears in your eyes
Which even begins to worry your own mirror
Squirrels and birds sense your sadness
And call an important conference in a tall tree.
They decide which secret code to chant
To help your mind and soul.
Even angels fear that brand of madness
That arrays itself against the world
And throws sharp stones and spears into
And into one's self.
O I know the way you can get
If you have not been drinking Love:
You might rip apart
Every sentence your friends and teachers say,
Looking for hidden clauses.
You might weigh every word on a scale
Like a dead fish.
You might pull out a ruler to measure
From every angle in your darkness
The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once
I know the way you can get
If you have not had a drink from Love's
That is why all the Great Ones speak of
The vital need
To keep remembering God,
So you will come to know and see Him
As being so Playful
Just Wanting to help.
That is why Hafiz says:
Bring your cup near me.
For all I care about
Is quenching your thirst for freedom
All a Sane man can ever care about
Is giving Love!