The Myth of Perfection

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…

Divine Love

It is said that love covers a multitude of sins. There are many ways to look at what this means.

For me, a few immediate meanings come to mind. One is that, when I love someone, I recognize and accept the way they move through life. It may not be my way, it may appear difficult or unreasonable to me but I love the person and I accept them as they are.

The much deeper meaning, for me, is that I love myself enough to recognize that I often fall short of being the human being I would like to be (to fall short of a goal is the actual meaning of the word “sin”). When I am not yet as whole, loving, and compassionate as I desire to be, Divine Love steps in and loves me and others.

Divine Love transcends my humanity, my circumstances, my frailties. Divine Love covers it all and finds Its own expression in and through me, in spite of it all. Oh yeah 🕊🙏🏻📿💖

Stop For A Moment

Stop for a moment today and look at the sky. Take a deep slow breath and listen. What do you hear around you? Are you living in the moment? Are you  aware of what you are thinking, feeling, and  experiencing in that moment?

Why? Because this moment is all you really have.

May you be blessed with the Presence of the Divine; may you know the Truth of Who You Are.

I Can Fly

It all began about a year and a half ago when my granddaughter was about 18 months old. She would launch herself into the air and, when she landed, hurt herself. Alone with her one day, I caught her before she could do that and asked her if she thought she could fly.  She smiled broadly and looked into my eyes and said, “Gama! I can fly!”  I pulled her gently onto my lap facing me and looked into her eyes. I told her that, when I was a very little girl, I also thought I could fly.  Then I explained to her that, when we come into these physical bodies, our ability to fly is limited. I also told her that there are master teachers who might be able to train her to fly but they were not easy to find in this world. Then I gently said, “Remember? Every time you try to fly, you hurt yourself, don’t you?” She nodded then leaned into my chest. I pulled her gently to myself and whispered in her ear, “For now, sweetheart, please stop trying to fly. I don’t want you to hurt yourself anymore.”  She didn’t say anything; she just snuggled more closely to me and we sat for a few moments. She has not tried to fly since.

She is almost 3 now and beginning to experience intense emotions like frustration and anger. Her strong, loving parents are working with her with deep compassion to teach her how to process these strong emotions and still be true to the sweet,  tender soul that she is. In walking meditation last week I remembered a song that I loved and that touched my heart and mind in a very powerful way during a difficult time of my life. I decided I would share it with her on our next alone time together and begin to teach her  that one of the ways we can fly free is in our meditation times.  When I meditate, I fly free of ego, desire, and resistance to life in this world as it is in the moment.

The next day she came over for time with me. I told her that we could use our imagination while we’re being very quiet and fly! We sat on my bed with our legs extended and her sitting between mine, our hearts facing outward. I took her hands and arms into my hands and began to softly sing the parts of the song that I could remember. I invited her to imagine that we were flying through the sky like birds. Then she wanted to get down and sing the song some more while we held our arms out and softly swayed around the room pretending we could fly. The game extended into having stuffed animals fly with us and she laughed and twirled and felt the freedom I wanted her to feel.

Yesterday when she came over I realized I could download the song and she could hear the whole thing with me. The song is “I believe I Can Fly,” recorded by R. Kelly. Oh, we had a glorious time!

Later, as I looked back over the morning with her and remember the joy of that time, I realized how powerful that song is and felt deeply grateful that I had downloaded it. This morning, aware of the inauguration and the conflicting emotions among my brothers and sisters in this country, I decided I would offer those I have contact with a suggestion:

Please go to iTunes and down download (less than $2) R. Kelly’s recording of “I Believe I Can Fly.”  Listen to it today…maybe more than once…and keep it handy to listen to often.

For those feeling anxious and worried, may this soothe your mind and heart and bring up the lightness of the love and peace of your Soul. May you understand that today does not change the Truth of Who You Are.

For those of you feeling elated and sure you have won, may this inspire you to come from a place of compassion and to seek common ground with those who see things differently than you do.

May we all remember that we are Divinely Loved and that true unity and wholeness requires diversity along with compassion and respect for one another.

 

It Is What It Is

From “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann:

 As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

There are times when I reach out to another from a place of sensitivity and compassion only to be met with defensiveness and resentment. In the first moments of this response, I am wounded and begin to wonder how I have wounded this person, often a loved one. I know my intention was clear as I sought to share love so did I express myself that poorly?

Then this quote comes to mind and heart. I keep a wall hanging in my home of “Desiderata” because for fifty years its wisdom has taught me, guided me, and soothed my heart and soul. My truth is that my intention was one of love and I know that I can only be who I am in any given moment. The response probably had absolutely nothing to do with me.

So, I take another line from Max Ehrmann:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, & remember what peace there may be in silence.

I enter into the silence within, remembering that I can only be at peace with another person if they allow it. When that doesn’t happen, I turn into the peace of my Soul and know that it is what it is. I surrender to the moment and choose healing and peace over woundedness. In these moments of silence and surrender, I find the ability, the love for myself, that allows me to “go placidly amid the noise and haste” produced by the turmoil of another’s heart and mind.

Yes, there is some sadness and I embrace that as part of this oh-so-human experience. In the silence even the sadness feels different and soon dissipates. Life is what it is and each person’s path is unique and sacred. I honor my own path and, in surrendering any need to teach, help, or fix, I honor the paths of others.

Be blessed today for you are Divinely, eternally, unconditionally loved. Namaste.