On acceptance…

*We must work with time and with patience if we want to make bread. There is no point in making it if we do not accept this. This is true of loving also.

Awareness…acceptance…patience. It takes everything we have to be able to live this way. It means that we finally take up what is ours to do and let go of what is beyond our abilities. Life corrects us if we do not learn this. … These lessons cannot be skipped. They are rigorous and yet ultimately kind.

Our natures have organic rules that are innate and God-given. To live by those rules is essential—a discipline, a necessity. Perhaps a better word is obedience. No one can tell us how to obey our natures except our natures. It takes self-control…a profound way of attending to our deepest truth.

Can we love each other this way?

Can we give each other time and awareness?

Can we help each other listen?

Can we help each other hear? 

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*Greatness of soul consists no so much in soaring high and in pressing forward, as in knowing how to adapt and limit oneself.  – Montaigne  pg 49

becoming bread

Becoming Bread – Embracing the Spiritual in the Everyday

By Gunilla Norris

who am i to judge?

There is no right or wrong path,
There is only the path that you choose.
Whatever you choose, there will be many opportunities
for you to grow and expand.
-Kuan Yin

Just as there is no right path or wrong path to God, there is no right or wrong path to walk in life – as long as either path does not go against the Divine and Universal Laws of love and light to all fellow creatures, human or not. Who am I to judge the women who choose to serve God in the form of the Goddess? Who am I to judge the people who serve Allah? Or Buddha? Or Jehovah? Or The Great Spirit? Or ????

There are more aspects of God that my simple mind can ever possibly be aware of. Just as I, who was created in God’s image, have more facets than even I am aware of, there are as many ways to serve God. I have never held with the notion of ‘if you don’t serve God as a Christian, you are doomed to hell’ and ‘if you are not born again in the blood of Jesus Christ, you are doomed to hell’. Who am I that I can make such a hefty judgment call? Especially when my day to day life isn’t always in service to God but in service to self?

Who am I to judge? Only God is remotely qualified to make that call. Only God is able to see into the heart of the matter, the heart of the believer. Only the God who created me, created all of the world, can decide if a path is of Him or of self. If I spent the same amount of time loving others as I do judging them, what a different person I would be!

If I am in no place to judge anyone for anything pertaining to God and their paths toward him, then why do I feel compelled to do it? Why must I compare my relationship with God to others in similar or even not so similar relationships with God? Why do I feel so superior to them? What makes me so special that I get to be God’s right-hand woman with the vast wisdom and knowledge to judge?

There is a delicate balance between feeling confident, yet not arrogant; secure in God but not complacent; knowing who I am in God and knowing who I am in the world. These are skills I am still learning. So I try and try and try not to judge others, especially those who serve God. The bigoted grooves in my brain get in the way at times and I have to manually push the needle onto the next track.

My only hope is to continue moving forward with an occasional step sideways or backwards, but always, ultimately, moving forward.

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conformity is the jailer of freedom

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
-John F. Kennedy

Conformity may be a jailer of freedom and an enemy of growth but in a society it can be necessary to survive. We must all conform to one degree or another. If you drive a car you must conform to the laws of your state and not run redlights, or someone maybe seriously injured or killed. To have a safe place in which to live we must conform to the ancient laws of “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s” anything. In dictatorships and fundamental regimes its citizens must conform to the ruling party so they might simply survive (or at least appear to conform).

But perhaps that isn’t what JFK was talking about. Maybe it is conforming to the norm that says boys and girls are bound to traditional roles in life. Maybe it is in going to the same church or other place of worship because that is where your family has always gone. Maybe it is in creating works of art that is “acceptable” to the masses. Maybe it is in not being different.

God didn’t create us to be the same – no matter how much despots want their people to be. The despot can force everyone to wear the same clothing, live in similar housing, eat the same food, read the same books and learn the same things. And yet, each person is different. Each person is a unique, one of a kind creation.

And, although the masses may conform outwardly and maybe even inwardly through brain-washing, there is still some spark of originality inside the soul that remains, buried though it may be.

But in every society there will always be someone who will refuse to conform, outwardly and inwardly. Even if the regime kills the person for standing up and out against conformity, another person will rise. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. I think that is apropos here. Total conformity is against the law of nature. Every zebra’s same black and white stripes are different. Every snowflake is different. Every cell – even if cloned by man – is different. When a government takes out rebels, they will appear somewhere else.

But to bring the thought back home, when I conform to societal standards that are against the nature of who I am, then I will be miserable, depressed and angry.

There is a balance between conforming and expressing my true self that I must seek in order to be at peace with myself, with society and with God. And I will go on seeking it for as long as it takes.

 

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