Seeing the Big Picture 2:4
…continued from Reaching Out
When I was a child I happily went to church and Sunday School every week, said my prayers nightly, and had many conversations with my friends about God as we tried to grasp the idea that God was not born, He just was; a concept I now define as beginningless beginning and endless end. Without coming to any conscious understanding, we all simply relied on faith that God was good and that He was looking after us all the time. Slowly, as I saw that the world didn’t conform to my idea of what was right and good, I began to distrust God. Eventually, I ditched God once and for all. I decided that He was unreliable and could not be counted on. I was not getting what I wanted, when I wanted it. I lived for many years thinking that I had no God in my life. Yet I would admit to having a guardian angel, since something was saving me from complete dissolution. I have since learned that while I may have ditched God, God had not ditched me. I was being cared for by something or someone outside myself.
When I again allowed myself to trust other people, I began to hear from many whom I most trusted and respected that a belief in God, or some greater being or power, was necessary to truly live in serenity. I was told that I could no longer rely only on myself and my ego. I wasn’t ready to return to the God of my childhood, and I wasn’t looking for complete serenity, which I thought sounded boring, but I also could not completely discount what I was hearing.
I could not risk returning to my previous way of life. So I began to consider the possibility that some power other than my own was in charge of my life. Just being open to this possibility created a shift inside me so dramatic that everything began to change. The internal meltdown that was sparked by this sliver of willingness was miraculous. The self- and other-awareness that bloomed from this openness was remarkable. I was initially unaware of this change until other people started pointing it out to me. It actually manifested itself outwardly. I became softer, less hard-edged, easier to be around. And at some point I was aware that the black ball of fear that dwelled in my heart was cracking and slowly evaporating. This convinced me that I was not working alone, that some other force was assisting me.
In the past, no matter how hard I tried to will away my fear and dissipate the despair lodged in my heart, nothing I did on my own worked.
Once we begin to admit to ourselves that we cannot live happily in isolation, once we begin to reach out to others, and once we open our hearts and minds to the possibility of God, then we can transform our lives, diminish our troubles, and increase our opportunities. The word God is used here to encompass all varieties of God, not just the traditional one; though if that is your idea of God then by all means use it. But some of us may need to look elsewhere. God can mean higher power or universal creator, collective unconscious or the universe itself, the underlying unity of all matter, or our higher self. What we want to get to is the belief that something bigger and more powerful is working in this world than each, separated, one of us. When we recognize this other power, our world just naturally becomes bigger and friendlier. When we open up to a force that’s greater than ourselves, we lose much of our fear. And when our fears subside, our inner voice becomes more accessible.
Write about your understanding of and your relationship with God, even if such a relationship does not yet exist. What do you expect from this relationship? Does this God have shape, color, meaning? How does it play in your life? What about it would you like to change? If you resist this whole concept, then write about that. Be willing to look at your fear. Above all, be honest with yourself. What is your equivalent of my black ball of fear? Write about that, your relationship to it, how it is serving your purpose right now, or where you’d like it to go. Take your time with this exercise, breathe as you go along, and trust that the truth will reveal itself if you make this effort.
To be continued…