Paradox

Paradox is defined as “a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth” (dictionary.com).

I was taught from a very young age that it is important to live in such a way that I gain God’s approval and love. I was also taught that I am a child of God and that God is Love and loves unconditionally.  If the latter is true, why do I have to “gain God’s love?”  God needs me to be a certain way before loving me? That is absurd!

So, which is it? Am I loved because I exist or do I have to earn it? It can’t be both, right?

Years ago I read a quote (and must apologize because I do not recall the source):

The motivating force of the universe is love.

All that exists emanates from Divine Love, that which is perfect, unconditional, indefinable, eternal and all-encompassing.

In the ancient Judeo-Christian writings, Moses meets God in the burning bush and asks “Who are you?”  The answer, to my understanding, is unpronounceable in Hebrew and is considered too sacred to be spoken aloud anyway. In English bibles it is spelled “Yahweh” and sometimes “Jehovah.”  The closest we come to its meaning is “I Am That I am.”

Native American teachers have said that their languages have similar words that do not translate well into English. The closest meaning to their name for God is “All That Is.”

If what we call “God” is All That Is, the Great I am, and I exist, then I am intrinsically one with that which we call “God.” If God is love, I am love.

Sit with this. Feel it rather than over-thinking it. Once you recognize who you really are, there is nothing to prove or earn. When you remember the essence of your True Self, your life will unfold from that, from the Source of Love that you are. It isn’t about living in a way that gains God’s approval. It is about living in a way that allows Divine Love to manifest through you.

Perhaps it is time to stop trying so hard to be what you already are.

This is my blessing for you today:

You are eternally and unconditionally loved.

You are love manifested in the world.

You are love in form.

 

Perfection – Good Luck With That!

A book could be written about where this idea of being perfect originates but let’s just deal with what is in this moment. I have been involved in countless conversations over the past forty years about how to be a better person, how to meet some standard that has been set, how to please God, gain God’s favor, etc. I began looking into myself at a relatively young age. The Judeo-Christian standard set for me left me sad, frustrated and extremely good at judging myself. All of this self-flagellation brought little lasting change and an ongoing battle with low level depression. Ultimately, I became a bible teacher and was fortunate to receive solid training in how to study and interpret the bible. Seeing the importance of things like historical context and word studies began to set me free.

For example, an Old Testament verse commands that a man must not wear women’s clothing. When that was spoken and recorded, everyone wore the equivalent of a dress! This historical data makes it necessary to look further and interpret context as well as multiple references. There are no other such admonitions, by the way, so the verse is best considered metaphorically.

Word study absolutely began to set me free from this idea of perfection. The meaning of the word “perfection” as used in the New Testament of the Christian bible is quite far from what we mean by perfection today. Jesus said we were to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. OK, I’m done then because that will never happen if I am to meet today’s standard of perfection. When properly translated and understood, the biblical use of this word means to fulfill our purpose, to mature into the fullness of our true nature. For example, an apple tree produces fruit once it has matured. When it produces fruit, it is fulfilling its nature – which is to produce apples – and that is perfect. A healthy tree produces healthy fruit. An unhealthy tree produces unhealthy fruit or none at all.

Now hope arises in me! Being perfect as a human being means to mature, to grow up and live a healthy life! It means to find out who I am, to recognize my True Self and live from my true nature! The Dalai Lama says we are created for happiness so, as I mature, I learn what makes me happy or what brings inner contentment and joy and I do that all the time! This is beginning to sound like fun.

God is Love. God loves me. Divine Love brings me into being. I am Love manifested in human form. Perfection or maturity is recognizing and believing that. Relax, Catherine Ann, be what you are. There is nothing more perfect that that! Everything exists in the wholeness and oneness of the Divine.

In the Oneness of All That Is, I am Whole.

In the Wholeness of All That Is, I am One.