March 6th, 2014
by admin · Filed Under: Guidance · Inspiration · Love · Prayer · Spiritual Health · forgiveness · healing
When we talk about mending the hole in our holiness, we’re talking about recognizing our oneness with God, truly getting to know God’s presence within us. To know God’s presence within another person means getting to know the real of that person. And then we begin to mend that hole in our holiness, that leak which sometimes causes us to see ourselves and others as not whole.
“Holy” comes from the root word, “whole.” Whole and holy mean the same thing. So when we are feeling complete and whole, we are indeed holy. Our nature is wholeness, so our very nature is holiness. It’s only when we see ourselves as separate that we have that hole in our holiness. So we need to mend that hole today, and usually the greatest hole is caused by our relationships with other people.
We may often get frustrated by other people; we sometimes see them as obstacles to our feeling our oneness with God. So that frustration and concern grows in thinking that in order to be spiritual we have to be set apart, we have to be away from those people who bother us so much.
How can we be spiritual in the middle of the world? Remember Jesus said, “I am in the world but not of it.” We, too, can have a consciousness of God while we’re in the world. Then we’re able to recognize God’s presence within ourselves and within others at all times.
Holiness is found in relationship, not separate from it. That’s where our strength is, and it’s where our holiness comes into expression through us. God works through ordinary people. We find that everyone in the scriptures who began to demonstrate God’s presence did so in relationship with people. We also find that very often they were reluctant heroes.
Such a one was Gideon, in the book of Judges. He’s a young man, a farmer. The Israelites at that time were always being hounded by the Midianites and were afraid that they would always be stealing their food and so on. So here was Gideon. He was threshing the grain in the wine-press house rather than outside; he was hiding, looking around over his shoulder for the Midianites coming to steal his grain.
It says in the scripture that an angel of the Lord came to him and said to him, “Hail, Oh you mighty man of valor!” And here was this unlikely young farmer, hiding from the Midianites and threshing his grain.
There was a play about Gideon that was produced many years ago, and it was given a modern twist. As the angel of the Lord comes and says, “Hail, Oh you mighty man of valor!” the farmer turns around and straightens up, holding his back, and says “I? You cannot be serious!”
And that’s often how it is. God calls reluctant heroes; we get chosen in the midst of relationships and in surprising ways. God calls us to be something or do something that we’d rather not do.
I was talking to a man, a father, some time ago, and he was telling me about his spiritual practice and how he’d been getting up early to do his meditation. He’d taken time to read some scripture and have some meditation and then, he said, “I blew it today! I got up, I had my meditation, I was doing great. Then I came out of the room and tripped over the kids’ toys that they hadn’t put away . . . and I lost my temper . . . right after doing my meditation!”
It’s in the midst of relationships and in the midst of frustration, in the midst of all these happenings, that we are reminded of God’s presence. We are reminded not to “lose it”! We’re given many opportunities to become aware and to come back to our spirituality.
And we find God’s presence breaking through in many wonderful ways in our homes. Our homes are places of repair and sometimes we have the frustrations; but we also have the joys of realization.
Do you remember Brother Lawrence in the little book, Practicing the Presence? Brother Lawrence was a monk living in a monastery and working in the kitchen; he also found God in the kitchen. He said, “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”
Now that takes a lot of doing. But that was the joy found by him, that in the midst of things he could find God’s presence. And for people who say they have trouble recollecting their mind during prayer, he had this to say: “One way to recollect the mind in time of prayer is not to let it wander too far at other times.” That’s a beautiful and gentle reminder, not to let it wander too far at other times. Keep reminding yourself that God is present, present in the situation, present in you, present in the other person.
So where do we start in mending this hole in our holiness in the midst of relationships? We have to start with forgiveness, and forgiveness starts with ourselves; it starts with acceptance of ourselves as we are. We can only accept others as we begin to accept ourselves.
That’s often the problem, we’re at war within ourselves because we don’t accept ourselves, we don’t love ourselves, and we have not forgiven ourselves. So we project that same anger, that same fear, that same destructiveness out toward others and we make their lives a misery too.
So, for any of us to become compassionate toward others we have to first be accepting of ourselves. Then we are also able to be accepting of others.
Remember, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You can only love your neighbor as you love yourself, in the same way that you love yourself. So the more you’re able to accept yourself and love yourself, you are able to love your neighbor.
There are three destructive practices that we need to be aware of, which to overcome we must come into forgiveness:
The first one is blame. We tend to blame others or we blame ourselves for things that go wrong. Blaming is a really destructive practice; it diminishes the wholeness of someone. It diminishes our own wholeness, our own holiness, and it diminishes the wholeness or holiness of others. When we blame others, it ties us to that other person; the resentment that we have binds us to that other person.
Author Emmet Fox said, “When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a cosmic link, a real tough mental chain. You are tied by a cosmic tie to the thing that you hate; the one person, perhaps in the whole world, whom you most dislike is the very one to whom you are attaching yourself by a hook that is stronger then steel.”
When we blame, we are giving other people power and control over us, for as Emmet Fox says, we are tying ourselves to that other person with bonds stronger than steel. Say for yourself, “I am no longer going to give you control over the way I think or how I behave, or how I’ll behave in the future. I am taking total responsibility for my own life.” And that means being forgiving of yourself and forgiving of others.
The second destructive practice is revenge, the action that comes from blaming. The thoughts of blame that then move into revenge; we want to hurt that person who hurt us. But when we do it, it disappoints us. And when it’s all over, we feel mean. It’s not benefiting us at all, we still feel bad about ourselves.
You see, forgiveness is the only thing that can free. It can free us from that awful feeling of hate and of self-destructive attitudes that we sometimes carry with us.
The third destructive practice is judgment. We tend to judge others, then we get into blaming and then into revenge. Lack of judgment is forgiveness in action, when we accept others as they are rather than judging them from our point of view. Judgment really defines who we are, not who the other person is. It defines our own likes and dislikes. So we need to change from judgment to acceptance, and that is forgiveness in action.
Wayne Dyer tells a story about his sister-in-law who made a beautiful cushion for him and embroidered on there are the words, “I’m allowed.” It was a reminder to him that he is allowed to live his life as he wants it to be lived, and he’s allowed to make mistakes and allowed to learn from those mistakes.
Remind yourself of that. So many people live as though they are not allowed to do things, not allowed to make mistakes, and so they heap a pile of guilt upon themselves. Remember, the past is over; let it go. You’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re allowed to live your life as you see fit. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself, and love yourself in relationship because it’s in relationship that we really find and experience our holiness and our spirituality.
Start today with the realization, “I am enriching my inner journey through relationships; I am mending the hole in my holiness.”
Remember, God is Blessing You, Right Now!
Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham
Rev. Alan Rowbotham, a Unity minister for over forty years, invites you to enjoy more articles and/or subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, Spiritual Solutions, at www.spiritualsolutionsblog.com
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