“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
For most of my childhood years, my Sundays mornings into afternoons were spent in church, dressed in uncomfortable frilly frocks, wearing even more uncomfortable ill-fitting shoes sent to us from “The States.” The lessons from the pulpit were, for the most part, lost on me. More interested in lunch, what was for dinner or the conversation with the children sitting next to me, the ‘fact’ that I was a sinner missed me in those early years.
It would be much later, in my teens, that it started to dawn on me that the pastors were talking about people like me – and so many of the others in my life. The Ten Commandments were broken every day where I lived and so my search for the others, as to my mind there must have been more, began in earnest.
The journey would take me across the world to Europe where I lived a “godless” life for seven years, bore two children – only one of who survived – and got married and divorced. Upon my return to “paradise,” my soul was still unsettled and no relationship, friendship, job or amount of money would quell the anxiety that often felt as if it would suffocate me.
One thing I knew for sure was that those preachers were not talking about me. I was no longer interested or buying into their crap. When I finally started attended another religious organization that had a different kind of teaching, my spiritual life opened up. That sanctuary, however, was just a door as most such places are. Many people tend to forget that or completely miss that fact. They sip then drink the glass of new thought spirituality kool-aid and get drunk on the hype.
“You Call Yourself Spiritual”
Read an interesting article recently by Ashima Gautam entitled “You Call Yourself Spiritual – But Are You Really?” and was struck by this statement:
“A spiritual person is a normal human being who prioritizes loving oneself and others as well. He is very kind being conscious of the fact that we are all One and regards this oneness. So you go to temple/church every Sunday with a thought of discriminations with no love for yourself and others on this earth. You meditate or practice yoga every day, but you are unable to calm your mind and body and you have not achieved the state of treating all as same with a peace of mind yet. You are a leader of a spiritual group and following the teachings too but you feel jealous of fellow members and let them down. All this uncovers the difference between faking to be spiritual and being spiritual in real terms. Spirituality can be perceived through your vibes; you don’t need to wear make-up to prove you spiritual because it is never meant to stay longer.”
Do you know anyone like that – the fake spiritual people? I most certainly do and quite frankly there was a time, in my early days at this sanctuary, when I was one. There are many spiritual leaders who fall into this category as well. You see them every day and everywhere. Fake spiritualists.
After much soul-searching, formal training in theology and spiritual counselling, and working full time as a chaplain, my way of living and being spiritual can only be described as fearless. Again quoting from that article, my living is my spirituality. Without getting caught up with her choice of gender language, Gautam hits the nail on its head with this:
“A spiritual person has the realization of being a soul having a body living temporarily on stage like earth to play his set roles time to time. He is wonderfully aware of the truth that this is not his real home as he has to return when all his roles are performed that’s why he is not attached to the changes in his life. He sees everything by spiritual angle and this awareness gives him the sense of fearlessness, detachment, strength, focus and enlightenment. He also tries to make others realise their original nature which they had been neglecting for years and makes efforts to transform their thoughts and actions.”
There comes a time when each of us arrives at the door of our spiritual connectedness. It is your choice whether to immediately enter or delay. Witnessing so many people’s approach to the door, their response to the call and, more interestingly, the responses of their friends, family members and influential circles in their lives, earlier this year I wrote and published the following post on my former blog. Do read the excerpts and share your thoughts with me.
Mother Teresa had a saying that “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Since becoming conscious about my be-ing and even more intentional about my doing, this has been a guiding principle for my living.
I read where people have these great relationships with parents and I am totally happy for them. I was not that fortunate. The lesson I learned from my own experiences is that I will do small things with great love for my child and now my grandchild.
Sometimes, it will be money or a gift of something they really need or just because. Most times it is a smile, spending time with my daughter doing girl stuff or just chatting s***. Other times, I am babysitting Mahalia and telling her stories about how she can be anything she wants to be, nobody’s permission needed. She looks at me and gives me a toothless smile, but her eyes hold mine and says,“Got it, crazy lady!”
I never wanted stuff from my parents or their families. I never got it anyway. The thing I wanted most was love – to be loved. I never got that either. Words were said, but the actions never matched it. The actions were always “give me something and I will love you back.”
Now, a few weeks from 50 years old (why am I not ashamed or embarrassed to publicize my age???) I am promising to do even more small things with great love, not because the recipient deserves it or can reward me but because it is who I have become. It is my calling.
As a believer in “like attracting like,” I have seen this actively operating in my life, I know that Love will grow not through hating on people, judging, comparing or discriminating. I give only what I am.
I have “lost” friends along the way, but I know there is no loss in this Universe. We all have our paths. Mine is Love. Words are not enough for me, I heard enough in my 50 years.
When I am being loving towards people, not necessarily or primarily in an intimate, outwardly demonstrative or giving them tangible things, I am my happiest. My giving and, therefore, my loving tend to be of myself – my care, concern, support, time and lastly money. That is exactly the order of priority.
Some find their calling easily, they were literally born knowing what it was. Then there are those who like me came to it after much confusion, stumbling and even struggle.
I looked for love, hoped for it, chased it and almost committed suicide because I thought I lost it. All the time it was standing there beckoning to me, quietly calling me to let it flow. Only when I did, my sharing became more meaningful and the rancour and bitterness disappeared. My calling is to tell stories, short and small stories and to do small things with and from love only.
Asked why I do what I do, why do I share so much and so publicly – well, it is my calling. I feel alive, time passes, the invisible dots connect and the words flow from me when I write. I arise each morning around 3:00, not necessarily getting up but knowing only in that moment what the day’s focus will be. Invariably and in more recent months, Love is clearly the undertone, the ink that make the connections.
The more I follow my calling, the more friends I have lost. I am not sure why but I am not overly bothered by it. That is the ‘price’ one pays when you deliberately do what you are called to do. Those with whom you no longer share the same dark pit because you have stepped into the light of your true name will be mad at you. They no longer recognize or are comfortable with your ‘differentness’.
It can get lonely, you miss the chitchat, however as you step further and deeper into your calling, new companions come along.
- Have you heard, felt, or have been led to your calling yet?
- Would you stay true to you and be who you are called to be?
- Have you heeded the call?
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Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. May you be fearless!
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