Today my daughter shares her birthday with Easter Monday. Yesterday Easter was shared with April Fool’s Day. I went to church and am happy to report that the roof did not cave in. No fooling! The church that I attended offered worshippers a non-traditional service with a rousing round of Christian rock music that set the feet to tapping and the heart to pounding, but I missed the singing of traditional hymns. Hal-le-lu-jah, hal-le-lu-jah. No matter. I walked around throughout the day singing it to myself but I’d rather have heard it sung by a choir.
While I appreciate traditional Christianity, I often enjoy looking at it in a more metaphysical way. I have been a student of a number of different teachings on my spiritual journey, each of which has proven to be exceptionally valuable in its own time and in its own way. The result to date is that I have adopted what I consider to be a system of belief that is practical, believable, forgiving, and comforting. It comes from years of practice as a student of the spiritual teachings of Siddha Yoga, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), Unity Center of Christianity, meditation, and the experience of being a Reiki practitioner among other things along the way.
Like so many others on a similar journey, I often find that I lose purpose and inspiration from time to time, and find myself wandering in the wilderness trying to return to my path toward home. Such has been the case for the past several weeks. When that happens, I scramble to find my way back but have learned that in order to do so I must ask for help. Help comes in many forms, and most recently, it was through a reminder from a friend who had returned to her study of ACIM after many years. The simple act of picking up the book was all I needed. Once I actually opened it to a random page, my way back was right there waiting for me.
Easter weekend gave me more than ample opportunity to examine some of the ridiculous little grievances that I hold from time to time for no good or apparent reason. Try as I might to get to the bottom of whatever the heck it is that is bugging me about a person or situation or even about myself seems like mission impossible.
I was a little disappointed with myself last week, for example, because for the first time since I started blogging in mid-February, I failed in my goal to publish a blog twice a week. I went through the usual litany of excuses—I was away for the weekend, I devoted a lot of the week to writing the condo newsletter, I had to get ready for Easter company—lame excuses, perhaps but true nonetheless. But the underlying truth behind the fake excuses is that I was struggling (again) about what to write, what to say, and how to say it. If it’s such hard work, maybe I’m on the wrong track. Always second guessing myself. It shouldn’t be that hard, should it? Where’s the easy button?
So there I was on Good Friday, feeling hung out on a cross of my own construction, wearing a crown of thorns, crucified by self-judgment, self-criticism, and self-doubt. Is there anyone out there who does not experience that from time to time? While I was hanging there condemning myself for my miscellaneous assorted sins, I found myself mentally picking on perfectly nice people who just happened to be in the crosshairs of my grievances at the time.
Well hello? I need some practical, believable, forgiving, comforting help here, please. I don’t like who I am and what I’m thinking right now and I want to fix it.
So I whipped out my trusty journal and busied myself by writing my little heart out. What emerged was a dialogue about love and fear (always the bottom line in my world) and my choice about deciding which one to choose. It is a bit lengthy, but oh, so juicy, and oh so helpful. Maybe someday I’ll publish it as a blog.
Love is love and love is all there is, the only thing that is real. Anything else is fear, an umbrella term for ego, the saboteur par excellence that strives with all its might to stay alive in the face of love. It shows up in ugly forms such as I experienced in the past week or so, as anything, anything that threatens peace of mind. Anger, jealousy, slothfulness, hatred, criticism of self and others—it’s all right there, terrified that it will be recognized for what it is and annihilated by the forgiveness and healing that only love can provide.
I like to think that Jesus is a teacher of the love that joins us all as one, and that symbolically his death signals the death of the ego, the end of the treachery of the suffering that we all endure because of it.
I give thanks for Jesus the man, the teacher, the way shower, and for Jesus the Christ, the embodiment of love, the representative of All That Is. I give thanks for the triumph of the resurrection that leads us all away from fear and back to love.
Today, I choose a lily kind of day. Tomorrow, I will choose again, as I must choose each and every day for the rest of my life. Sometimes I need help, and help is ever present. All I need do is ask and await the miracle of healing and the return to sanity.
And so it is!
Happy birthday my dear daughter. Happy Easter Monday everyone.
Next up: Trust, willingness, and the healing of grievances. Not necessarily in that order. See you then. Meanwhile I send you lilies and blessings of love!
5 thoughts on “A Gift of Lilies or a Crown of Thorns?”
Love! How wonderful that the Holy Spirit helps us when we are too tired, stubborn, timid or hurt to love and forgive. Praise the Lord!
Yes indeed. Isn’t it wonderful?
Aunt Julia ~ Happy Birthday to your beloved daughter, my wonderful, wonderful cousin! Yes! We all get entangled in that wretched self-focus, preoccupation, self-sabatoge and more. Thank God, indeed, for new life in Christ! I love you, Connie
It is an easy default and thankful for the Spirit’s reminder that we are loved by God because of who he is…not for what we do!
Hi, Julia! Waiting for the next installment!