Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God Comes to Me Disguised as My Life ~ Welcoming the Unlikely Messengers

So how are we to respond, when we see something we dislike, and strongly react to, within another person...? How do we know what's them, what's us, and what how we are to respond?

I notice that we tend to project our own stuff "out there", because it's easier to see it when we detach from it. What we're blind to in ourselves, we see OH-SO-CLEARLY in another ... and if we know how to use this awareness, we'll see it for the profound *gift* that it is...!

Projecting is ignoring the log in our own eye, and hyper-focusing on the speck we see in the eye of the other. We only SEE the speck because we *possess* the log ... and yet the nature of the log is to blind us to seeing what it is that's blinding us.

Jesus was clear about what we were to do first -- tend to the log. The speck, in all reality, is none of our business. There's three kinds of businesses: my business, your business, and God's business. The only one of the three I'm to tend to is my business. Knowing what's what is a matter of maturity .. too often, when we are filled with "facts" and not the experience of wisdom, when we have an overabundance of self-promoting certaintude and zealous energy (typically found in our youth), that energy can be skewedly put into the trouncing of others. Of course, the tendency is to be blind to this when we're smack-dab in it ... and so we tend to be insufferable for a while, until we outgrow it. We can't see it until we have the wisdom of hindsight ... we have to get out of it before we can see it. God knows this, and we can know this too, and can thus love the one who's temporarily afflicted with it. To varying and diverse degrees, we all "know not what we are doing." We are all the bumbling-beloved of God -- and if we got a clue about how OK this all is with Him, and is even likely a source of hilarity for Him, we might just ease up on each other as well, and enjoy the journey ... free to encourage each other, rather than climbing that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and lobbing rotten fruit at each other ...!

I can't prove any of this to anyone... this level of awareness transcends "facts" (which are not as reliable as we've been led to believe, but again, we won't know that 'til we see it for ourselves). This comes from experience, and it takes time and long hard lessons learned the tough way ... though some, of course, manage to stubbornly hang on to their own skewed perspective to the very end ... and while it may seem like a "waste" from our limited perspective, they serve as examples/lessons/reminders to the rest of us for how *not* to think/believe/behave -- nothing is wasted in God's economy.

While reading "Practicing the Presence" this morning ... I was struck by what Joel Goldsmith wrote about seeing God in all others ... it requires some focused intentionality, particularly when the ego is loudly broadcasting, drowning out the God-glimpse within them.

He spoke of how those of us who see, who are walking the narrow path (the road less traveled), are called to see and to call forth the God-consciousness in the other ... which is a sort of "dying to self"... my ego-self wants to engage with their ego-self, to compete and to hopefully win ... and thus I'm meeting the problem with the same consciousness wherein the problem arises -- in the realm of the ego. When I do this, I merely exacerbate the problem ...

It is HARD, very much like a "dying" to choose to see the good, the God-essence, in the depth of the other ... hard to see past that which "hooks" me, and "triggers" my old unresolved stuff (pain not yet attended to, losses not yet grieved, assumptions not yet challenged) -- leading me to *react* from my ego rather than to *respond* from my spirit.

Dang, dang, dang, this is HARD...! But mostly, I believe, because of the unresolved things within me that *CAN* be hooked, and thus draw me in to the ego-scuffle. I believe, because I've experienced it in some areas of my soul, that when I attend to the inner-things (when I deal with the "log in my own eye"), then I am free from the "hook" ... then I cannot (in THAT area) be "triggered" again by the externals (whether in the form of a person, or a situation), and I AM then free to respond from my spirit -- from who I really am. (Note the subtle but powerful distinction between "reacting" and "responding"...!)

Then, I notice, I am able to deal with the splinter in the eye of the other, or else realize that it's no big deal, and not my business.

Perhaps the awareness of the splinter in the eye of the other is merely meant to show ME the log in my own ... and THAT is my business, THAT is my work -- the rest is only God showing up as messengers/angels in the people and circumstances of my life ... God comes to me disguised as my life ... my question for myself is: will I reject how God shows up, or will I embrace whatever form He chooses...?

While I can't say I have a "requirement" for how others must believe, I notice that if they are not open to accepting others who have different views, if they believe that everyone "should" believe a certain way, then relationship (of any meaningful measure) cannot thrive ... without mutual respect, mutual sharing, mutual hearing and receiving and acceptance, there is no ground for true relationship.

Words about how they "love" me, and thus must correct/reject me (because I believe differently) are empty and hollow to me ... I don't "feel the love" when others have to withdraw out of self-protection. What they love is their own concept, and the projection of what they think I "should" believe, how they think I "should" behave. They love their concept of me, which is in their own mind, rather than really loving me (who is in continual transformation ... and is that not the point to life?).

Of course, the "me" they reject is also a fabrication of their own mind ... they tell themselves a story about me, and they believe the story, and they aren't connecting with the real me ... aren't trying to hear me, to understand me, to accept me. Perhaps this stems from not really knowing the real them ... perhaps they don't know themselves as God knows them (and who else can truly define us, but the One who made us?). Perhaps they cannot yet love their neighbor as themself, because they do not yet love themself, because they don't yet know how God loves & accepts them...? (and perhaps this is just as true for me)

I also notice that if they withdraw from me, and do not share themselves with me, do not allow me to hear them, then I don't really know them either ... then I only have the story I tell myself about them.

But the glory is in how I have a CHOICE in the story I tell myself about them. I can choose to see them as "wrong" and thus judge them, and end up doing/being the way I'm judging them to do/be (judgment always does that, I notice).

I can choose, instead, to tell myself that who they really are is a child of God ... one of the bumbling-beloved, doing the best they can based on where they are in their own journey with them ... I can forgive what they do (they know not what they are doing), I can look past their projection-of-self to see the real Self ... I can intentionally look for God-in-them, and focus on that, letting the rest go as temporary ego-fluff. I can love my neighbor as myself, when I realize that we're all manifesting the same Self (a huge shift in awareness that makes all the difference ... I'm only beginning to taste the edges of this awareness, and I want more ... I expect to receive more).

I can receive them as divine messengers ... if I see something I do not like in them, I can be sure that I can only see it because I also possess it (something I never like to admit to, initially, LOL!). When I can allow myself to see that, to own that, to accept that, then I can receive that message as a gift -- if I resist it, then I miss the message, and miss the gift. My choice. But I can always learn.

I acknowledge that I resist and miss most of the messages that God is lavishly and generously offering me, because I (or my ego) do not like the packaging ... and so I "cut off my nose to spite my face" ... and for the time being, I remain "stuck" in my own warped perspective ... but such is the human experience, such is the purpose of life, to learn from who & what we encounter ... and I see that I can either learn the hard way, or the easy way ... thus far, my penchant, it seems, is to learn the hard way ...! Ah, the humanity!

But I believe in transformation, and I believe it's happening, and I believe that I'm learning ... albeit ever-so-slowly (according to my perspective, anyway) ... perhaps I need to treat myself with the same patience and graciousness that I sense the Spirit is inviting me to extend to others ... rather than demanding that I strive according to my own ego, I can instead allow myself to respond to the Spirit who is, indeed and always, leading me into all truth.

Maybe I can really trust that ... maybe it's really true.

Wow ... I needed to hear this!

Shalom, Dena

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