In the book of Matthew, chapter 5, there is a verse that says
Therefore, you are to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
Deeply committed Christians have used this verse form generations to judge themselves and one another. I was a bible teacher for many years and studied this verse at great length, plumbing the depths of its meaning. What I discovered liberated me and shocked my students into being set free themselves.
The word “perfect” was used in the earliest translations of the originals texts and does not convey the deepest, and most spiritual, meanings of the original word. A truer translation would be “come into fruitful maturity.” A simple example is a fruit tree. Fruit trees have to mature before they can produce, sweet, nourishing, edible fruit. And not all trees produce the same fruit.
Therefore, dear hearts, think on this idea:
Grow up into the Truth of who you are – a spiritual being learning to be human. Mature spiritually, emotionally, and mentally so that your purpose is fulfilled…so that you produce the fruit of your True Self, your Divine Essence: love, compassion, peace…
Like Life, Enlightenment is a journey rather than the destination.
Do I consider myself an enlightened being? Yes….in certain areas and ways of life, I get it…I have experienced true enlightenment. In other areas, I still don’t quite get it…my journey of enlightenment is not complete. If it were, I would definitely handle some things way better than I do after all of these years.
So I journey on, staying open and receptive to higher learning, higher understanding, deeper wisdom, love, and compassion. I am learning to let the journey be its own fulfillment. To think I have “arrived” is to set myself up for disappointment and a sense of futility. That does not sound like fun to me!
May your journey, and mine, be gentle today. Peace.
As I begin this new day I cannot help but realize how out of sync I felt with myself yesterday. I began the day tired rather than refreshed and still had quite a good morning. By mid-day, however, I was edgy and easily annoyed. When the sun finally set, I counted the last few hours until I could go to bed!
This morning I am reminded of that phrase from the first Star Wars movie: I sense a disturbance in the Force.
Yep, there is a disturbance in the force field of my life, several big ones in fact. My only sibling, my older brother, died unexpectedly recently. Though unexpected, it really wasn’t sudden and he suffered terribly in the process. Since I was born into his world, I have never known the world apart from his presence. And his presence was powerful; his energy easily absorbed the room and everyone in it. I knew energy would shift and I would be making adjustments on every level of my being. I had no idea and still am not fully tuned into what that feels like.
I returned from family services to learn the neighbors are doing a major expansion on their home and the deconstruction started a few days ago. The energy of my home and daily life has changed and will continue to mutate for months to come.
Yesterday, I not only sensed a disturbance in the force, I must have been caught in the whirlpool it created! Knowledge/Awareness is Power so today I hope to ride the waves of transition more competently. As I typed that sentence I had a visual image of my son surfing and then seeing the absolute joy on his face as he emerged from the water carrying his board.
I wonder if the waves of change in my life could be that much fun? Time will tell.
Namaste, dear hearts. Be blessed today. And be a blessing as well.
From The Twisted Root by Anne Perry, a murder mystery set in Victorian England:
Anger at injustice has righted more wrongs than most other things, and it is one of the great creative forces in a civilized society. But in order not to replace one enemy with another, albeit innocently intended, you must use your intelligence. (Advice given by the character, Henry Rathbone, to his son, Oliver, who is preparing for an almost hopeless court case with a high moral issue at stake. Page 245)
In my words:
Use your anger to motivate moral action. Relegate emotion to its proper place and purpose; use intelligence to take the highest road possible in attaining your goals.
This passage struck me deeply this morning because I considered participating in a survey yesterday that came to my attention via Facebook. The writer encouraging people to voice their opinion provided red state zip codes for Californians to use because their responses would not be values otherwise. When I read that part, I exited FB and went for a walk. Isn’t that fraud? Is that who I am? Is that what will allow my voice to be heard? I refuse to believe that or participate in it. I cannot make everyone who questions or disagrees with what I believe and want my enemy.
Intelligence won out, thank goodness. I am grateful for those who have consistently taught me to seek truth in all things.
May each of you do the same.
Please offer this blessing to yourself.
May my mind and heart be open.
May I be here now.
May I know the wholeness of all that is.
May I continue to unfold into the Truth of who I am, finding my peace within.
Some extremes are necessary. For example, being a conscientious objector is extreme and yet it is an expression of profound dedication to the principle “Do No Harm.”
I played it safe most of my life because I did not want to hurt the people that I loved so I did what I was told even if it denied my personality and what I believed. I did not have the courage to go to the extreme and live my Truth. I chose a novel at random the other day at the library. Never heard of the book or the author and it s blowing my mind! What I read this morning is causing me to rethink the meaning of “extreme.”
The book is The Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. I would like to quote a character, Mr. Kaplan, science teacher in a private school in the year 2012:
“Difference is the essence of extremity. To be extreme, you must assert yourself. No matter how much pressure you feel to obey. Because, I assure you, the pressure is everywhere.” p. 42
In making this statement to his high school students, Mr. Kaplan is reminding them of micro-organisms that cannot thrive except in the extreme pressure of the deepest ocean depths.
I am now filled with deeper gratitude for the experiences of my life that forced me inward to the Truth of Who I Am…because I have and am thriving because of the pressure.
Love and Peace all ways.