Posted by: Marie | July 26, 2011

(570) Finding comfort in his voice – Part 1 of 4

Post #570
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 12, 2011]

Today was therapy session day . . . finally! Four weeks is a long time to go without face time with Edward!

After our usual greeting, Edward mentioned my email and asked if I wanted to elaborate on what I wrote. I told him that the way I usually tackle a deep, thought-provoking book is to first read it relatively quickly, cover to cover, then to go back and really dig into the material. The first run through the book allows me to create a contextual framework into which to place the material I gather during the second run.

I told Edward that I have read the first volume of the Conversations with God book but that I have not gone back to read it more slowly the second time through. However, many of the ideas presented in the book have caused a significant number of light bulb moments, even in the first time through.

I shared what I had read – and my interpretation of it – concerning some of the light bulb moments: First, God has no expectations of me; he doesn’t care how many lifetimes it takes me to become “enlightened”. That takes a huge load off my shoulders. When I start getting stressed about being “good enough” or “doing enough”, I can relax and know I’m already doing enough and I’m already good enough – at least in God’s eyes. With that assurance, is it necessary to care if I measure up in other people’s eyes? (No.) So, I can relax. This book teaches we have all the time in the world to get it right and we are assured of a “right” outcome, regardless how long it takes us to get there. God is not in a hurry.

Photo by Martin Chen

Second was the idea that I have no obligations to other people. Any relationship I enter into is an opportunity to co-create. Relationships are about opportunity only, not about obligation.

A couple of weekends ago, I was stressing over the fact I had not yet sent out the weekly emails to my piano lesson clients concerning their upcoming lesson schedule and the status of their payment credit. I was tired and I had things I needed to do for myself (like sleep). I was thinking I needed to skip the stuff I needed to do for myself and instead do the status emails because otherwise I was being a bad business person.

Then, I took a step back and realized I have no obligation to do those weekly emails. And, I have no obligation to take care of myself. In that moment, what I did have was an opportunity to create what I choose to create. God would not strike me with lightening for making a “bad” choice. Not sending the weekly emails that week did not make me a bad person or a bad teacher or even a bad business owner. So, I didn’t send the emails and I went to bed to catch up on my sleep. Then, I ate healthy food, and I took a shower.

Then, the next weekend, I sent out the emails as planned. By then, I was able to see that the emails allowed me to handle the administrative details of the relationships in a way that would facilitate a clear, less chaotic space in which the lessons could occur – and that creates harmony and calm within my teaching space.

From that perspective, I could create a sense of fun and lightness around my teaching and around doing the emails. I had a sense of choosing and creating rather than a heavy sense of obligation and procrastination. That felt very good to my soul.

I told Edward that I am really enjoying the book and I’m glad he recommended it . . . I am finding that about 95% of the ideas in the book resonate with me, which is a higher percentage than I usually find in these type of books. For example, the “Science of Mind” books teach similar ideas, but there is still a message in them that says we have an obligation to “do it right”. This Conversations with God book teaches there is no obligation; it is simply about making choices that reflect our preferences – and interestingly enough, our preferences shift away from self-centeredness as our worldview expands.

Edward responded with . . .

————————————-

Edward: I’m pleased to hear the book has provided value to you. I suspected it would, which is why I recommended it to you.

Me: The book presents a way of thinking that would not sit well with the majority of the people with whom I am close. So, there aren’t too many with whom I could have this conversation. I appreciate the fact that I can have it with you.

Edward: Do you feel more validated by the fact there are many people in this world who believe much of what is presented in the book?

Me: Hmmm . . . I suppose there is some value to that. However, for whatever reason, I’m not greatly influenced by the agreement of the multitude. For most of my life, I’ve been at odds with the choices, values, preferences and beliefs of those around me. If I followed the majority of the people around me, I’d still be a devout Christian.

Edward: Or a Hindu.

Me: Yes . . . or a Hindu.

(I paused to try to figure out what he meant . . . I didn’t know, really, so I just moved on . . . )

I was raised to believe that, if I dared question the doctrine of our church, I would be committing blasphemy – which is the one and only unforgivable sin – according to the doctrine of our church. I was taught that I must always be on guard . . . that I must never let even one thought into my mind that was contrary to our church’s interpretation of the Bible because that one thought would cause me to be damned to hell forever and ever . . . just that one passing thought could (or would?) cost me my eternal salvation.

So, to read in this book the idea that the Bible is not the ultimate authority on God and on spiritual matters . . . and to find myself agreeing with that idea . . . well, it took a lot for me to get to the point where I dared to do that. For the first ten years after I set aside the Christian faith and started searching for my own “truth”, there was NO ONE to offer support. I knew no one who would encourage such behavior.

It took tremendous courage on my part to dare to start down that path. And, after the first ten years, I finally did find people who shared my dissonance with the Christian faith – and that was a blessing. I finally dared to speak aloud what I had been silently thinking for a decade . . .

————————————-

We sat in thoughtful silence for a few moments. It seemed to me that Edward was waiting to see where I would next take things . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Responses

  1. I love this: ” . . . realized I have no obligation to do those weekly emails. And, I have no obligation to take care of myself. In that moment, what I did have was an opportunity to create what I choose to create.” Thank you.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I do, too . . . it is such a practical way to ease up on myself when I get to pushing myself too hard . . . it is a whole new way of thinking!

      – Marie


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