Saturday, March 19, 2016
Many years ago when I was a beginning social work student one of our professors told us that, as a group, we were good at advocating for other people but not ourselves. I realized he was right, took that as a challenge and decided that I would use that two year period to learn to advocate for myself and other disabled people. Without going into details, over that period I learned to quietly, politely and forcefully push for changes that made the school more handicapped friendly. I also met with considerable resistance and found out later that I had been given the nickname "the bitcher". I then realized advocating for self was not always popular with everyone and that was one reason it was not practiced. Recently I wrote and published a book not out of any sense of grandiosity or arrogance, but simply to be of service. I now find that, though many people appreciate the effort, some people are reacting negatively, reminding me of the past. In each case, I learn & grow - and will continue.
Friday, March 18, 2016
My experience of the spirit or God is a very strong and unconditional love, which was generally spoken of by Jesus as "compassion". As Jesus said "Be compassionate as God is compassionate." and then as Borg comments "whereas purity divides and excludes, compassion unites and includes.", a message that certainly encompasses the many disenfranchised groups of today.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Love is eternal, once begun it spreads and grows, an overwhelming and beautiful thing to be a part of. Fear-based attitudes die out and are relatively short lived while love is not. In the words of Shepherd Hoodwin "Love has a quality you can learn to discern. It 'feels right'. It is truthful and inclusive. There is no objective measurement to confirm that you are experiencing love. You can only trust your intuition and do your best. If you do, your capacity to discern love will grow. We are all learning this skill." As I commented yesterday getting through the hard times helps me to grow in love, empathy and compassion.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Today, during my recovery meeting I commented that I had been "privileged" to experience difficult times during my own recovery process. The fact is that my growth has been largely due to the support and guidance I have received in order to get through the numerous difficulties I have encountered. This process reflects what I often refer to as the "empty fullness" of life. When I am in the midst of hard times, I tend to view life as empty, meaningless or even tragic. Frequently, after I get through the hard times, I realize that I have grown in love, empathy and compassion.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
I like the approach to God or Jesus expressed by Borg when he commented that "Finally, the image of Jesus as a spirit person has implications for how we think of the Christian life. It shifts the focus of the Christian life from believing in Jesus or believing in God to being in relationship to the same spirit that Jesus knew." I know God or love. I feel the presence and have incorporated that presence into my life, giving my life a very strong feeling of joy and fulfillment.
Monday, March 14, 2016
In preparation for the coming retreat, I have been reflecting on the importance of my connection with all things and people. On the one hand, I find a great deal of depth and fulfilment because of those connections. I also recall a time when I was totally focused on the task at hand with no messy or complicated emotional or spiritual connections. At that point my life seemed simple, logical and straight forward. However, I also knew something was missing from my life, I just had no clue that it was love and connection.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
For the last days I have been thinking a lot about the question that I ended my last entry with, basically, what to do with the information I have received. I have had numerous miraculous, numinous, sacred, God-shot experiences and am quite familiar with the Christian perspective to those experiences. I have experienced and explored several aspects of the Native American approach to the sacred and I also have some familiarity with the approach of other indigenous people. Through my prayer and meditation I have come to know the Buddhist perspective expressed by Jack Kornfield and Nisargadata Maharaj. I also have some familiarity with the more scientific but approaching the spiritual approach of quantum physics. I am also quite aware that they are all talking about the same thing, using different words. I am aware that all of these approaches support each other. At the present time I do a great deal of prayer, meditation and contemplation to sort all of this out. That seems to be working.