“I have sent you my invitation,
the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living.
Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!”
Just stand up quietly and dance with me”
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer – The Dance ~
I had hoped to spend some time with you sooner, but I was unfortunately unable to do so. I woke up on Monday morning and was greeted by an eventful and demanding week, which included me celebrating RE-Birth Day – and what a wonderful day it was!
I am sure that you remember me sharing previously about the approach that I have towards my birthday, which is why I now look at it as RE-Birth Day: A day of RE-Newal, Re-Demption and RE- Investment. However, based on this last experience, I would like to add one more element to the list: RE-Connection. Indeed, it was a day of RE-Connection!
My time of quiet and pause had allowed for me to bring myself to a place where I was able to RE-Connect with myself; to be in touch with the man that I am…and the man that I strive to be. At this point, let me say that my time of introspection has reminded me that the man that I am striving to be, is the same as the man that I essentially am. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Allow me to take you down memory lane in order for me to explain.
During my time in seminary, I was once given an assignment that required that I talk about my interpretation of the concept of ’original sin’. Within the realm of Catholic doctrine (and possibly other Christian religious institutions) lies the teaching about Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, which (as Catholicism teaches) has resulted in the belief that all of us are born with original sin – hence the need for babies to be baptized. With my spirituality and my concept of the Divine being what it is, I tend to have a lot of unconventional thought concerning such teachings.
I do not believe in the traditional concepts of heaven and hell, and I won’t even go into the hymn “Amazing Grace,” because it makes the hair at the back of my neck stand on end. That hymn seriously riles me up! There have been times when loved ones have laughed at me during a service while this hymn was being sung, because of my refusal to sing it and because of the expression on my face. They would oftentimes look at me questioningly for not singing and I would respond by whispering out loud, “I am NOT a wretch!!!!”
Well, I am not!
In my assignment, I spoke about how I believe that original sin is the cause of most self confidence issues, and especially the cause of psychological disorders. And there is nothing mystical or spiritual about this either. The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instruction by eating the forbidden fruit, and that their disobedience led to them trying to hide away from “Him” afterwards. I do not believe that it was out of guilt or shame. I do, however, believe that it was out of fear. I also believe that this story is an expression of a reality that abides within each and every one of us, from the time that we take our first breath until the moment that we take our last.
We are afraid. And the most fundamental truth about this reality, in my opinion, is that we are afraid of ourselves.
I believe that we are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. With it comes responsibility, which is scary. But even scarier than this, is our fear of failure. “What if my impression about myself is wrong?” “What if I make a fool of myself?” And even scarier, “What if I am right? “What if it leads to there being even more demands and expectations being placed upon my shoulders?!”
I believe that these fears and internal messages then lead to us feeling disempowered. And in order for us to then have some level of feeling empowered and of being in control, the ego then steps in and tells us that we are right. We aren’t good enough. We won’t measure up. We will only be a disappointment. And we are more than happy to accept and reinforce these internal messages because they let us off the hook. The bad thing is that these messages are carried down from generation to generation, until we find ourselves living in the kind of world that we are in today; a psychologically ill and hurting society where we don’t really value and respect each other as much as we ought to, any more.
In the preface to her book ‘The Dance’, Oriah Mountain Dreamer asks a very pertinent question:
“What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be,
but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?”
Perhaps becoming who and what I truly am happens, not through striving and possibly even pretending to be what I perceive a better me looks like, but by be-ing and allowing myself to drift into who I already am in my sacred core – a gentle, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, loving and lovable being.
As I continue my journey through this life and head towards my next RE-Birth Day, I remind and embrace the following truths about who I believe I essentially am:
I believe that I am a child of light and of love.
I believe that I am a sacred, gifted and unrepeatable gift to the world.
But, above all else:
I just AM, and that is enough!
…and so are YOU!
What truths do you hold onto about yourself? Have you celebrated these truths today?
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you’ll discover will be wonderful.
What you’ll discover is yourself”
~ Alan Alda ~