This could also be called, Seeing With New Eyes Took My Christian Experience Up a Thousand Notches.
All I really know is allowing my path to follow its inner voice left me with a faith transformed. Religion is not required, but it can be a sweet friend along the way if you're able to receive it without internalizing old baggage and tapes you're still carrying with you from the past.
The spiritual journey is dynamic, winding, and long. It offers many chances for rest along the way, but don't rest too long because there's prep to do if you want to go into the deep. The authentic spiritual experience and a real connection to the mystery -
...boils down to two things.
Touching the Holy and Surrender.
It's harder than it sounds.
We say we surrender, but do we really know how?
When facing a problem we can't solve, or want to take a deeper spiritual dive, we often find we're at a fork in the road. To go further, we're faced with a choice.
Although action will be required, we also try to control the outcomes and how we experience the journey. When you arrive at spiritual forks in the road, does surrender appear as an option?
If your answer is not often, that's normal. We wrestle with it. explain it. Try to understand it. We dig up a million reasons in the past and present for why we're there. And when we can't think of anything to relieve our anxiety or discomfort, we tell ourselves to let go.
Letting go usually means we shove it on a back shelf in our mind because we don't know what else to do with it. Kind of like a bill we can't pay. Letting go is usually the last thing that comes to mind.
It's fine - letting go is not surrender.
Surrender is a different animal altogether.
It's all encompassing. Reverent.
This jumping off point is found at higher levels of consciousness.
It is not avoidance.
It's the opposite.
The act of surrender relies on total trust to fulfill it - rather than denial. Letting go of something involves a level of trust, but it's situational. Such as letting go of someone's behavior that adversely effects your emotional state. Or letting go of a person you've been grieving for longer than is healthy. The kind of surrender I'm talking about is deeper and bigger.
We give ourselves to something we cannot possibly understand.
This simple and impossible to explain or teach action is the key to a deep spiritual life that deepens and grows continually. It is the yeast. The salt. The essence of being willing and open, able to receive the awakening that awaits you when prepared. But manage your expectations because there's no way to know when it will come.
We each have a knowing that lives in the deep of us - and most of us hope wisdom will one day explain it.
Some don't even recognize it, or if they do, might minimize the relevence it has to their lives. But it's still there. We sense it's connected to more, but not being religious folks, we don't ask. Or we do. We think we have to understand it, when the underlying question only asks of this knowing in the deep, "What is that?"
It's the undeniable, unexplainable, something somewhere with no name, form, or idea to define it. There since your beginning, yet you have not seen it. It lives beyond you, its source stretching far outside imagining. Carrying the wisdom of every Einstein, Shakespeare, Galileo, and Mozart. Secrets of time and floods and Buddha and Mormons. This knowing with no beginning or end, yet it's the stable ground of your being. This descendent of nothing, holds the world in its grasp. Resonating to ocean waves and a lion's roar, to rapid heartbeats and labor's scream. This something nothing without a name, fills every crack in every well, face, bell, sidewalk, glass, wall, desert, stone, tree, mind, soul, and window. It breathes fire and holy, laughter and ice, sleeps under bridges with trolls, and calls out to the darkest of nights.
It gives you no answers but itself, scribbled on an empty page. This something that lives in the deep of nothing asks for your trust placed on a blank canvas perfectly balanced upon its invisible heart. You know this something somewhere somehow hears the silent questions twirling in your head.
It knows answers but does not speak. Your heart alive with wonder, knows something somewhere holds answers you cannot know, and peace you cannot dream.
Something inside you believes this might really be something. Even though it feels like nothing, it is everything ever all at once
... And you have no idea what that means. Not really.
You hope like hell the something everyone talks about is really something. You pray that just believing it will make it so. You know that you don't know what you know.
This only makes it worse.
But in that moment, you have to decide something because doing nothing will only bring more of the same, so you decide to dare and wonder,
what if, on the other side of this inner leap, a beautiful mystery awaits?
*"What could you possibly have to lose?" you ask yourself quickly before your other foot leaves the symbolic diving board.
Myself? you wonder. But, truth is, you don't know what that means either. How can you possibly lose yourself?
Yourself is all you are, after all.
Did your other foot leave the diving board yet?
If it did, you chose full-on, undeniable, inexplicable trust.
At least momentarily.
You bet on the chance that something, somewhere might offer something you don't already have. Something that would make you more alive perhaps. Or that peace some friends talk about, or a new love for the people that always drain the life force right out of you.
Plus, everyone loves a good, long leap into nothingness. The adrenaline rush alone is worth the trip.
Until you realize you're still there. One foot on, one foot off that diving board that doesn't really exist.
That's when it occurs to you that this unprecedented, courage filled, nonsensical, and totally insane thinking is causing a sense of aliveness you haven't felt in a long while. With an extreme adventurer within, or perhaps your alter ego, you can't help but wonder what going for the whole shebang might feel like.
That's when a whisper says - Trust. I have to trust. I have to trust that in the nothingness beyond my understanding lies a mystery. And, sure, this mystery might only be a romantic word for running away from reality, or asking for more of the same -
but what if it's not?
What if it's a magic carpet ride? The kind with Turkish threads, blazing color, wild highs and lovely, slow lows that make the bottom feel like its coming out and warns you it's time to surge upward again into the blue beautiful where all you know is love.
Stop. This is stupid. That's not the mystery. That's a 60's video.
And right then, suddenly - you remember.
Actually, you know.
At least you think you do.
The small voice speaks again - the voice that's not really a voice, says,
This is the moment and the place where you place the trust that's bigger than anything you know and risk everything that is holding you together on it, and -
you lift the symbolic foot still on the diving board and,
take a flying inner leap headed straight into all that is.
You've put the deep knowing and trust that's far beyond your ability to comprehend it into this solitary jump that taken the dare and leaps straight out of your innermost place of being and...
you give yourself to it...completely
because somehow in this space of somewhere lies what is.
All that is.
The all that is beyond you, even in the nothingness, and, yet, holds the whole world within its grasp.
You know this is where you want to be.
This is surrender.
Surrender knows it doesn't know. Anything.
Surrender lives in the
trusting, knowing, living,
breathing, loving, laughing,
beating, pulsing, crying,
feeling deep of you.
Surrender is the unquestionable security you created with your thinking - unleashed and obliterated.
Offering it up to the something in a gesture that says yes. You give your control, worldviews, skewed assumptions, and ideas to what, in that moment, you decide to call God.
even though there's not really any name to call this indescribable nothingness that is all that is and holds the whole world within its grasp --
and you want to release your illusionary ideas that only clutter up the mindwaves, and trade it in for an authentic, clear, uncluttered, sacred experience of you.
At the very same time you're aware of this, you feel it.
It comes like a wave in your deep - a surge, as you feel the old slip out - to a woman, the old feels like that indescribable thing you felt escaping your body along with your child as he made his appearance. The two energies swirling around each other like last Sunday's gravy, separating in that plastic cup, threatening to blend, but lean into staying apart - going where it's kind is headed.
You sense something moving into you as you give yourself to this sacred something - that doesn't yet feel like anything. It's accompanied by a vibrant chaperone of undeniable suspense, powered excitement, and tentative anticipation about this new.... emptiness.
This is the holy you. The you that knows who it is - and what that something somewhere is too. Even if you don't yet have a name for it.
You know it is filled with life. and wonder. and love. and peace. and joy. and struggle. and loss. and grief. and beautiful, accepting, authentic, everything.
It moves, as if on the dance floor, with the pulse of life itself, deep inside it's own laws and design - its collaborators. Imagery floods your consciousness without words, reminding you where you've met before, and how much more you don't yet understand.
It's an ice speckled stream on the highest peak being gently massaged by it's midwife, the sun, as it is reborn in spring.
It's the cry of the newborn gasping for air as a cold stranger's hand slaps his paper thin skin with love.
The warm tears flowing down the deep creases of a woman's cheeks whose mother just died in her arms.
It's the agony of defeat as a middle aged woman sits in her vomit after drinking one too many vodkas while her husband is out on the town.
The quiet scream that waits at the back of a young boy's throat as his father, once again, tells him he's stupid.
It's the paced breathing of two lovers in sync as their hands desperately reach for the other in the safety of their crisp, new, linen sheets.
It is morning flakes of frost gently landing in the crevices of crackling leaves bidding farewell.
The evergreen's soft whisper, " It is time to sleep now" to the tired old bear that waits at winters door.
It's the motion that powers the earth in all its life, death, growth, and renewal...with a hum so loud that no one can hear its roar.
This internal movement connecting everything to itself drives the surrender and trust that comes with knowing all is well with its soul. And you know, suddenly, this truth is also yours.
Recognizing reality is so far beyond what you can dream, and each small step into the blue takes you further into this deep dream of burgeoning trust. It is a becoming of continual awakening that hears the whole, sees the real, and indisputably knows the something with no name. This state of being with no walls now discovers....
turning into something new,
This new, yet barely recognizable, experience in the deep looks like something you've met before - a long time ago.
Like faith, perhaps, but not.
It's bigger and truer and realer...than any one word can express - this thing that cannot live in a word...
Offers you a whole new pallette with which to paint wonder ...
upon another blank canvas that waits.
You have entered into this ongoing journey of emptying and renewal.
# # # # #
Touching the Holy, to be continued...