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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Doubt, Fear, Worry….

Faith is not without doubt, fear, disappointment and worry. I’ve come to learn that these feelings come to us as an opportunity to respond differently to whatever is happening to us. They are giving us the opportunity to pray and watch our faith grow. Faith is always with us and doubt, fear, disappointment  and worry are just signs that prayer is needed for whatever it is we are experiencing.

I don’t think you can have true, deep faith with out doubt. When we stop asking questions we start acting like puppets. Responding to life in ways we think we should instead of asking our questions, pondering our questions and then giving God a chance to respond and guide us.

Fear, disappointment and worry come from the ego. Now we can’t live without an ego. That is we need our egos to function in the world. To sit, walk, speak etc….we need our egos. Our egos serve us well however, when we are fearful, disappointed and worrisome it’s the ego trying to get the best of us. It’s our ego and the world view that is distorting what is really happening.

Over time as our faith grows, and we begin to understand that there is more to life than meets the eye, instead of falling in the trap of fear, disappointment and worry, we pray and then we have an opportunity to see things differently. That’s one of the mysteries of the spiritual life.

Now I have to admit that there times when it is very difficult for me to pray my way out of some emotions. I’ve come to realize that there are times when the feelings have to run their course….it hurts like hell….it even feels like hell… but having just come through a difficult time when all I could say was……”Will this really pass??? Instead of ….“This too will pass!!!” It seemed like all my praying did not help. But guess what it has passed and I’ve got my joy back and I’m in a better place because of it all.

Recently I made up my mind I was going to do everything in my power,(notice the operative words, my power), to change some character defects that were disturbing to me. I resolved to be more patient, kind, loving and gentle with everyone. Well everything got worse. I subscribe to Fr. Richard Rohr’s e-mail spiritual messages that come everyday. When I was so disappointed in my inability to change myself, truly in the depths of despair, I get an inspirational message from Fr. Richard reminding me of the 7th Step of the anonymous programs which says, “We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings.” Notice it says humbly. Humility was totally lost in thinking I could change myself. Oh my I’d forgotten that my power is worthless. It’s God’s power that changes me. I can not make anything happen on our own. I just plain forgot again…I forget, I’m reminded, and I forget again. And….life goes on.

I also came across a favorite Rumi Poem called, “A Guest House,” that helped me realize that I needed to be patient, kind, loving and gentle with myself…DUH…Here’s the poem:

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

 

— Jelaluddin Rumi,

translation by Coleman Barks

Oh I’m not changing as fast as I would like…..but I am reminded that everything happens in God’s timing and not mine. I’ve been here before and I’ll probably be here again…..but I like to look at my life like I’m climbing a circular staircase. It may look like I’m right back where I started when in actuality I’ve grown and moved up a step or two.

I have a couple of stories to share about the way God works in my life but I’ll save them for the next time I sit to write.

Until the next time…..May God continue to bless you and all that you do. I love each one of you, you are dear to me.

“Remember to Feed Your Soul”

 

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A few thoughts on “Faith!”

A few thoughts on faith!!! 

What is faith and where does it come from?

I’m going to answer the second question first because what most of us forget or don’t know is….. that like peace, love, and joy, faith is a gift that we are born with. These gifts are instilled deep within our hearts waiting to be opened. As we grow and change we discover them.

One by one the Holy Spirit reveals them more and more in our lives. Remember we are created in the image and likeness of God and God is peace, love and joy.

We are told in Hebrews 11:1 that,  “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

I also like from Mark 9:24:  “I believe Lord, help my unbelief.” 

The best way for me to describe faith is to give you examples of ways that we already use the faith we’ve been given.

As a baby you literally took your first step in faith.

Maybe a hand was held out to you but you had to move toward it and It took a lot of faith for you to take your first step.

Throughout our lives we unconsciously use our God given faith:

When we sit in a chair we have faith that it will hold us.

When we turn the key in our ignition we have faith that the motor will work.

When we mail a letter we have faith in the postal system to deliver it to where we are sending it.

All this we do without much thought, but faith is involved.

I’m sure that if you think about it a bit, you will find other areas where we unconsciously act in faith. This faith grew over time as we repeatedly sat in a chair, mailed a letter, started our cars. I think you get the idea.

Well just how do we grow in faith especially about the difficulties we face life. How do we learn to trust that God will take care of all our needs.

We surrender…….yes we surrender!!!

Now what do I mean by surrender: For me surrender is simply taking my mind off the challenges in my life and praying. One way I surrender is to pray with scripture. I especially like Proverbs 3:5

“Thrust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on our own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge God and God will direct your path.

Surrender for me is...the action that opens the gift of faith

With surrender every opportunity is filled with the possibility of experiencing the Grace of God. Miracles happen in this place of Grace.

Grace requires we take the risk of faith and surrender.

Surrender lifts us up above the appearances of our circumstances and brings us peace. For me peace is an answer to all prayers. When I have peace I know God has answered my prayers.

Unlike most gifts the more you use the gift of faith the more you’ll have available.

Faith doesn’t fade, become tarnished, wear out or get used up .

In fact the more you exercise your faith the more it grows and matures. The more you surrender the more your faith will grow.

Faith truly is the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving.

Ellen Grace O’Brian in her book Single Blade of Grass says this about “Faith.”

Once the journey of the soul recovery

is begun in earnest, Life itself

conspires to support us. It s up to

us to learn to cooperate with it.

For one who is surrendered to

God, a change in consciousness is

inevitable. It comes like the

approaching dawn. There is a long

time in the dark, then slowly,

barely perceptible changes occur

until finally the entire landscape of

our life is illumined.

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

#5 I wish I had let myself be happier!

September 1, 2011 – More thoughts (and quotes) about happiness…..

It seems like every book I’m reading these days has something to say about happiness. This happens to me quite often when what I’m exploring, pondering and wanting to write, seems to find it’s way to me in many different ways. I just have to stay open and be willing to stop, look, and listen.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. Each day I’ve been looking at my life and what is happening and asking….am I happy today? As you can imagine I’ve gone through and continue to go through a gamut of feelings, first walking with Bob as he went through heart surgery and now while he goes through recovery. Feeling, acknowledging and writing about my feelings helps me get to my core and be happy.

The following is an author’s quote with my edits, to make his thoughts Universal. What he writes is so good I don’t want to put it in my own words.

Remember I believe there is one God…..known by many names. A Universal Higher Power available to all. So here goes:

Author’s quotes are in italic, my comments are in parentheses.

“Once we are aware of our yearning for happiness and the world’s inability to satisfy it, the adventure of growth and change begins. Our yearning for happiness, is one way God invites us to join this adventure. God has a dream for you and me. God has a plan for your life and mine.” 

(My thoughts again: When I think about God’s plan and look back over my life I can see how that plan unfolded for me. Have you ever looked back from your birth to this day and tracked how one thing led to another and to another and to….???)

“God wants to deliver us from everything that stands in the way of us of becoming the best-version-of-ourselves.”

(My thoughts added here: Sometimes what God is delivering us from, causes us great pain. Not that God makes good and bad things happen. God does not!!! But God uses all of life to teach us and to deliver us from whatever is standing in the way of our becoming the best-version-of-ourselves.)

What does the author mean by the best-version-of-ourselves?

With this term…..”He is not suggesting a narcissistic, self-seeking approach to life. Rather he is inviting us to a dynamic collaboration with God. (We are to be co-creators of our life.)   It is in and through this collaboration that we become the best-version-of-ourselves, in which the loving nature of God is most present. It is in this consciously walking with God that brings us to the place of true happiness.”

He goes on to say, “Our hearts are filled with dreams and desires. The good dreams and desires that fill our hearts are placed there by God and stirred by the Holy Spirit.” (The Universal Spirit that resides in each one of us waiting for us to turn to and follow.)

(Some of you are probably already following your inner guidance, some of you are already becoming, the best-version-of-yourself. I say becoming because it is a life long process so, I send this as a reminder to you and I write it as a reminder to me. We all need reminders….we remember, we forget, we remember….That’s life!!!

Remember:

Keep it simple…..

Let go of expectations….

Willingness is a key….

Bloom where you are planted….

Many, many blessings to all of you.

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Uncategorized