Truth Is What?

Truth is what you perceive it to be in any given moment and, because perceptions can change, your truth can also change.

Does that make you uncomfortable? If you have never explored the connection between perception and what you believe, it most likely does make you uncomfortable.  This type of discomfort can become a valuable tool in the journey into enlightenment. It can turn you within and invite you to experience further enlightenment and deeper joy. After all, enlightenment brings joy and who doesn’t want more and more of that?!

For many years I was a respected bible teacher and I am grateful for all that I experienced during those years. I was trained by extremely gifted people and humbled by those who trusted me to teach them. When my marriage was ending, I experienced some  judgement and condemnation, as in the case of a letter written by a former pastor who knew me better than most. He had been my mentor and our families were very close friends. The essence of his lengthy letter was that I was in sin and the only solution was to ask forgiveness and return to my husband. I also experienced love and compassion, as was demonstrated when another former pastor called me upon receiving my change of address card. He wanted to know just one thing: Was I in a strong enough place spiritually to go through this process and know that God loved me unconditionally. “And if you aren’t, I will come and conduct a private retreat with you.” These opposing responses were based on “the truth” as perceived by people who believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. One perceived a God who would judge  and probably punish me; the other perceived a God who would love and support me.

It is important to understand that every person who spoke to me during that time loved me. I knew them and I knew they cared for me. The difference was not about them loving me; it was about their truth. And their truth was defined by their perception of God. Fortunately I was very clear at the time about my own perception of God, my own truth. I was also just as clear about why that relationship had ended and that people would have many different perceptions and opinions. In the end all that mattered was whether or not I was trusting that still quiet Voice within and making the best decisions I knew how to make at the time.

Truth is what you perceive it to be in any given moment and, because your perception can change, your truth can also change. Peace be with you all ways.

Afraid of Being Afraid

The divorce became final just six weeks short of my 25th wedding anniversary.  The actual process began with separation about five months before. The journey was intense and filled with disappointment, grief, and fear. I was disappointed in life and in our mutual inability to figure out how to move forward together. I grieved for my children who, as young adults, were losing their family and all the traditions we had built throughout their lives. I grieved for the dreams of what our senior years would have held for us. I feared my own future and my ability to build a life for myself, by myself.

My first response to that fear was to jump into another relationship. It felt so good to be wanted at that point that I was not able to step back and evaluate the experience for what it was. As a result, I took that which was meant to be transitionary and tried to force it into something permanent. Almost four years later, I extricated myself from that relationship and followed my heart and my dreams as I returned to Nevada, to tall mountains and wide open spaces, to family and new opportunities. Most of all, I went to be with my father following my mother’s death. My heart longed to be with him in his initial years of grief and I had no desire to make that journey alone either. We were good for each other and our own relationship was nurtured and deepened in the process.

In the course of those years between the divorce and my return to my beloved West, I was confronted by fear time and again. I was practicing yoga and meditation daily and spent hours walking the countryside with my sweet Springer Spaniel, Basquo. During one meditation I had a vision of a dark figure wearing a cowl with the hood falling forward over its face. Fear came up and I whispered “Who are you?” The figure slowly removed the hood and I saw an ancient face, deeply lined with eyes that lovingly sought my very Soul. Tears welled in my eyes as I felt a depth of love and compassion that flooded every level of my awareness and being. The figure spoke:

I Am Fear and I come as a Master Teacher. My child, you cannot release fear until you release your fear of being afraid. Yes, the energy of fear is intense but it can save your life, elicit courage, and clear your mind. Always when fear begins to rise, resist it not. Rather, stop, soften your body and breathe deeply and slowly. Remember me and say this:  Welcome Master Teacher Fear. What have you come to show me today? Then return to your quiet breath and let the answer come to your heart, to your True Self.

I began this practice that very moment and it is a part of me now. Master Fear has shown me many times that there is no need to be afraid of being afraid. When fear arises, my awareness heightens and I am open to my Truth in that moment. Now fear turns me within to True Self, to the Source of All That I Am. As I am shown what is needed, my body calms down and peace returns.

The core of what I have learned from this practice is that fear arises when I am interpreting an experience apart from True Self. If I am conscious in the moment, abiding in the innate Oneness that I Am, the only fear that arises is that which tells me to take some kind of action to protect myself from physical or emotional harm, e.g. driving defensively when a nearby car skids out of control. The fear that comes up causes the adrenaline/cortisol rush that I need to have rapid reflexes and an astoundingly clear mind. Thank you my friend fear!! In other situations, True Self leads me into the Wisdom Mind for guidance in gathering information, making wise choices, and living from a place of love and compassion.

The process has taken years and it is worth every moment and every ounce of practice that I expended because it has brought me to where I live today. May your journey be clearer and unfold more quickly than mine did. May your heart and mind be open to the Master Teacher we call Fear. May your journey lead you deeply into the peace of your Soul.