I'm experiencing this on the physical plane (getting my art-biz going), and on the spiritual plane (opening myself up to more mind renewal ... thrilling to the Spirit, and threatening to the ego at the same time).
Yeah, a wee bit uncomfy right about now ...! :)
Seems like a very apropos time to delve into the concept of trust...
Check out, with me, the echos of the mystics on this topic:
"Trust shows the way." (Hildegarde of Bingen -- I've got to meet this gal!)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart ... Happy is she who trusts in the Lord ... He who trusts in the Lord will be enriched." (Psalms 3:5, 16:20, 28:25)
"Go your way. Your trust has healed you." (Jesus the Christ)
"You can never trust God too much. Why is it that some people do not bear fruit? It is because they have no trust either in God or in themselves." (Meister Eckhart -- I really like this dude!)
"What God does first and best and most is to trust his people with their moment in history. He trusts them to do what must be done for the sake of his whole community." (Walter Brueggemann - woah!)
"Often our trust is not full.
We are not certain that God hears us
Because we consider ourselves worthless and as nothing.
This is ridiculous
and the very cause of our weakness.
I have felt this way myself." (Julian of Norwich -- I would love to schmooze with this chick)
"Where there is fear, there is no religion." (Mahatma Gandhi)
"Fear is driven out by perfect love." (1 Jn 4:18)
When a religion has, as its starting point, the concept of original sin ... when religion is exclusively built around the concepts of sin and redemption ... such a religion does not teach trust.
No trust of existence, nor of the body, nor of society, nor of creativity, nor of the Universe. Instead, it teaches, both consciously and unconsciously, the necessity of FEAR. Fear of self, of others, of the universe, of thoughts, of feelings, of relationships, of concepts, of the unfamiliar, of punishment, of judgment, of condemnation and eternal damnation ...! Gandhi said, "What is gained through fear lasts only while the fear lasts." Think on that...! Any religion founded on fear *must* continue teaching and preaching fear in order to keep that religion going.
My own experience, and my observation on a large (even if subtle) scale, is that more and more are leaving religion in the West, precisely because they are growing, maturing and shedding the immature need for fear ... they are growing and maturing into trust ... and it becomes painfully and liberatingly obvious that religion is no longer adequate for their more developed needs.
There was a point in my life in which I needed my umbilical cord -- it was vital... for without it I would have perished. It served me well, and I am grateful for it. But, I notice that there came a time in which I no longer needed it ... and it even became a liability. If I had insisted upon retaining my umbilical cord, after its purpose was over, it would have rotted, and would've spread gangrenous poison into the rest of my body, threatening my very life. It was wisdom to discard it, to thank it for a job well done, but to acknowledge that it was no longer needed in my life. So too, with notions that once served me, but which now are preventing growth and life.
A two year old needs the fear of the hot stove to protect him from pain and damage. But if that person is still fearing stoves at age 20, that would be an obvious problem. Fear may be the beginning of wisdom, but wisdom itself is meant to mature, so that we are guided from within, and no longer needing the "training wheels" of rules and dogma to protect us ... at some point, those very rules and dogma "expire" ... and serve to cripple our growth. Perfect love casts out ALL fear -- including the immature fear of God.
At some point, trust must become our way of life ... the more I look at this creation, the more I see that God is utterly worthy of my trust ... and so is this creation. And I notice that God trusts me with it ... I keep turning things over to God, and I'm even sensing that He is turning things over to me ... wanting me to step out in trust, acting as if I *believe* that that HE is IN me, as the Spirit, leading and guiding me into all truth ... that life itself conspires to lead me in directions that will most bless me, and even bless all others, at the same time (no blessing-competition going on here, as IF there were only a certain amount of blessing, and we each had a limit, and if I get more than my fair share, someone else goes without ...! Ha! There's a super-ABUNDANCE of all that we need...! God, the universe, the creation, is LAVISH! Spread it around thickly! Roll in it! Throw it in the air! Fling it far and wide! Yee-HAW!).
I see that we have a powerful gift, and responsibility to USE the gift ... of seeing each other as we ARE, and not as we appear to be. If I treat a person as she appears to be, then I reinforce the illusion of that presenting-ego... IOW, I assist in "making" her worse than she IS. But if I treat her as she really IS, the deep-down base-potential of what she could be if only she saw herself as God does, then I assist in "making" her AS she truly IS! Do you see the awesome power of this? And how we all too often (unknowingly) use this power for harm...?
We are here, in this physical realm, to *expand* our gifts, and not -- out of fear! -- to bury them. Our possibilities for expansion have NO limit! For God is the very boundary of our limit ... and if your God has limitations, boundaries, or even a definition, then your god is too small ... and you need to fire that god and let the True Omnipotent/Omniscient/Omnipresent God rise up in your consciousness...!
Try this on for size: We are as big as we allow ourselves to be. woah. Julian of Norwich (my good friend!) says, "We are of God. That is what we are. I saw no difference between God and our Substance but as if it were all God."
Our passion has long been focused on defending status quo ... holding tightly to what we think is true ... protecting ourselves from growth itself! Instead, we would do well to invest our passion into growing and expanding ... and yes, change is a necessary part of that. And yes, pain is a necessary part of that. But, as this oft-pregnant mama has noticed and experienced: pain gives birth to joy. The pain of change is transformed into joyous liberation from the fear-shackles that stunt our growth.
If we base our understanding of the universe on nature's cycles, rather than on a mythological past state of "perfection" from which we "fell" ... then we learn to reverence change and process. We are either clinging to the false perfection-standard of the mythical past, or treading water while awaiting the "soon" (but endlessly futuristic) mythology of the coming perfection-utopia, OR, we are embracing the eternal-Now, inhabited by the I Am, who encourages us to follow the Spirit's leading into all truth ... shedding what no longer fits as we grow ... and it dawns upon us that we never fell from grace in the first place ... that we were always perfect and complete in the image of God.
Once the shock of seeming-heresy fades away, and we remember who we are (the very one that God knew before He knit us together in our mothers' wombs...!), then everything falls beautifully and peacefully into place. Fear evaporates, and trust grows roots. WE can even lose our fear of "death" ... for if we have God's life, and that life is, by its very nature, eternal, then we do not die ... we "merely sleep" as Jesus told folks. What we call "death" is then seen as merely the next of many transitions ... just like birth, just like all the many changes we experience between our entry and exit of this physical realm. Yes, the body may return to dust, but we are not our bodies ... who we are continues on. We can trust the death-process as much as we learn to trust every life-process ... for life and love and God (synonymous words) is all there IS. All is One.
Next, I'd like to explore how this leads to compassion ... and what a compassion-infused life looks like ...