What If?

After we get past striving and we move into our post-ambition phase, what is there?  We’ve already determined that there is nothing to do.  Do we hang out and wait?  What happens for me when I hang out and wait, on those days when I say, ‘I dedicate today to You, Your will be done,’ is that I open myself to partnership.  I wait for a response.  I wait and I listen.
I think we all have that sense of needing connection with something larger than ourselves.  Most of us acknowledge that space within us that longs.  Maybe we can’t pinpoint the object of the longing but something in us knows that there is more.  What is behind addiction and substance abuse if not a frustrated longing for something to fulfill us?
So after we have searched outside ourselves, collected things, money, degrees, prestige, and that longing still lives and tugs at our attention in those moments when nothing much distracts us, what are we to do? 
We already know the answer. 
Nothing. 
Except that this is the biggest, most complicated simple ‘nothing’ that exists.  To be and to be available.  Available to what, you ask?  I was hoping I wouldn’t have to spell it out but here it is: to God.  Not religion, not dogma, not anything external, not anyone’s idea of God.  Just your own personal experience of the deepest spiritual core of your being.  You don’t need any instruction about what to do to be in relationship to God.  The first question is, Are you available?  Will you acknowledge and open and be present to that which already resides in you?  You don’t have to do a thing.  You don’t even have to understand or articulate your experience.  All it requires is getting out of the way.  Move your mind over to the side, forget your plans, stay in this moment. 
And don’t do anything. 
Couldn’t be simpler.  Or more challenging.  Just be present to yourself.  What could be a better gift? Wouldn’t you love to have someone say to you, ‘Please tell me what it’s like to be you this moment.  I will give you my full undivided attention.  I want to know every detail of how you feel.’  Wouldn’t you feel special and valued and cherished?  And that is what God is offering us every second.  ‘Be still and know that I am here.’  So, the choice is ours: a moment of stillness and availability or the compulsive busyness designed to avoid ourselves and God who waits.
 I love this personal relationship with God because it isn’t about achieving or earning worth or proving myself.  Have you seen the bumper sticker–Look busy, God is coming?  That’s the impression I had about God when I was growing up.  That God was as controlling and intellectual and judging as my childhood impression of authorities.  Our relationships with others mature as we mature and, hopefully, so does our relationship with God.  It’s like knowing our friends and seeing their dark sides.  God sees our dark sides better than we ever will and She still loves us.  We don’t treat ourselves that well.  We push ourselves to be perfect, to do more, to lose weight, to acquire this and that.  No acceptance from inside. 
And my theory is that receiving God’s acceptance is not what we really want, either.  Knowing that we are loved is a burden.  What do we have to do?  Will we lose that love?  Will it be held against us at some point?  Sometimes it seems more comfortable to be working to earn a goal than to already have it to enjoy. 
What if today were about enjoying how much God loves me?  About receiving the beautiful gifts, requested or not, and truly taking them in and saying, ‘Thank you.’  What if today were about noticing the hostile thoughts I maintain and saying, ‘That doesn’t look so loving, thank you for pointing that out to me?’  What if today were about looking at how I am a jerk and owning my jerk-ness and saying, ‘Thank you for showing me what I didn’t want to see.’  What about when I am treated badly, responding with, ‘Thank you.  That is me.  I have done that and still do at times and in my mind I react.  Thank you for showing me the limits of my acceptance.’  What if today were about seeing the immaturity in my heart, about how I want to be coddled but not known?  Or what if today is an opportunity to view my self-aggrandizing fantasies for what they really are–bolsters to a shaky self esteem I haven’t healed because I haven’t let myself feel my feelings?  What if today I were shown how I push God away by pushing my pain away, how I say, ‘Leave me alone, God, I don’t want to feel and I don’t want you disrupting my schemes.’  What if today I am shown that I am not who I want to think I am?  Would I say ‘Thank you, I will be more aware,’ or will I withdraw and close my heart?          
Being in relationship to God is not for wimps or for those who pity themselves or for Victims.  It is not for Controllers who have all the answers or for Doers who won’t stop.  Being in relationship with God won’t work for you if you need to think of yourself in a certain way or if you have an image you want to maintain.  Being in relationship to God implies that sometimes you won’t be respectable or composed or treated well. 
Actually, now that we mention it, being in relationship to God is not something to be undertaken lightly.  Is there an alternative?  Yes, distractions suffice for a while.  But that still small voice within always comes through.  It waits while you are off slaying dragons but when you stop, it is there.  God is there. 
The only question is, Are you?


 

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