Jesus – Perfected Spirit Man (Part 2)

Seeing Yeshua (Jesus) from a spiritual versus religious standpoint gives us a very different picture than the one organized religion paints. He embodied all of the Divine; Yeshua lived and breathed and moved within the Divine. Throughout the Bible we see the evidence of those who had met the Creator, the Divine, the Source, God, and moved within that knowledge. Yeshua and the stories of the New Testament are the culmination of the knowledge individuals had tapped into at various points in Biblical history.

I find it much more plausible and encouraging to see Yeshua as fully human, living out the human experience, while at the same time living from the fullness of the Divine. It was always difficult for me to understand how we were to be “like Jesus”, since by all accounts He was perfected man. How can any of us live as a perfected human subject to the imperfections of human life? We cannot, and so we wake up everyday knowing no matter how hard we try we will never measure up; the stick and the carrot become the promise of perfection in heaven. In the meantime, we live within the endless cycle of sin and forgiveness.

Living from the Divine spirit however, is possible, and Yeshua’s life as a human living the human experience demonstrated the possibilities. To view Jesus and the Bible from this perspective allows us the opportunity to learn and grow every day of our human lives, not having to wait until we are welcomed through the pearly gates. Instead of an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness, we are able to move forward in the process of learning to live from the spirit man. And isn’t that what life should be about? We are here to learn about ourselves, about others, and how we can live together within the Divine spirit of love.

For those who understood Yeshua, lives were transformed. The “prostitute” was able to forgive herself and leave the shackles of living out others opinions of her; the “woman with the issue of blood” understood that her belief, a shift in her concept of reality, brought healing to her infirm body, not Jesus; He had only shown her how when He said “daughter your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48 Good News Translation) Story after story is told within the pages of scripture of the human Jesus demonstrating living from the reality He created. There is nothing magical or mystical about it. Thoughts and words are powerful. Later in the book of James 3:5, it is said life and death are in the power of the tongue.

What we say matters, what we think about matters. All spoken words begin with thoughts. In modern day life we hear, “I can never get ahead”, “I am always broke”, “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop”, “My family has a history of cancer, so I will probably end up with cancer too”, or “My kids are always brats”. Those words come back to us and bring us exactly what we say. This is the Law of Attraction, and Yeshua’s life and death demonstrated this very concept. Later in Luke 8:52 Jairus’s daughter had died. When Yeshua walked into Jairus’s home Yeshua answered the comments regarding her death with “Don’t cry; the child is not dead—she is only sleeping!” (Good News Translation) Yeshua was laughed at, and that too, is an important point. Living from the spirit self puts us at odds with the world mindset. Those of us who choose a different path are like salmon swimming upstream in a downstream world; conformity is the name of the game, and conformity flies in the face of living from the spirit self.

Following the death of Yeshua, the disciples, men and women, went to the tomb site to prepare the body. Those of us with any church background are well versed in the story of the tomb found empty; only the burial cloths remained. Today, we have the Shroud of Turin with what many believe to be evidence of Yeshua’s resurrection; an image of a man with wounds like those Yeshua was said to have suffered, burned into the cloth. The Shroud is a hotly debated subject from time to time, staunch believers or unbelievers on either side. Whatever individual belief may be, it appears the image was created by a radiation blast of some kind. I find that to be perfectly plausible; we are energy wrapped in human flesh. Yeshua had said He would rise from the dead. If that is true and He did rise from the dead, an image would be left on the cloths. No absolute conclusive evidence exists to my knowledge; it is for each of us to decide. Spoken words with the stated outcome is all we have.

I have come to believe that elaborate stories sprang up around the life of Yeshua to explain the events of His life. Stories that made Yeshua deity, and advocated worship and total dependence upon a God who sat in judgment of His creation, and set impossible standards of behavior, thought and word; a well conceived effort for the few to control the many. Yeshua was and is the ultimate example of living from the spirit self, living within the Divine spirit. Was He the Divine manifest in the flesh of humanity? I believe He was, and yet He lived as we live, subject to the imperfections of this human world. Therein is the challenge; to live from the Divine spirit, from the spirit of ultimate love in a world where few know Divine love. Yeshua showed us the way to live our lives within the Divine, not to devote our lives to religious doctrine and helplessness waiting for our home on the other side. Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing is impossible” (The Complete Jewish Bible) Said another way: To live from the spirit of the Divine, nothing will be impossible. We create our own reality with our thoughts and words. Living within the Divine we will always create a reality of love and peace that will ultimately bring peace in this world. We need not wait until the sweet by and by…..

Advertisements

Jesus – Perfected Spirit Man…..(Part 1)

Was Yeshua (Jesus) a spiritual teacher or a teacher of religion? The answer would appear obvious, but is it? Anyone who has the most basic knowledge and understanding of Jesus would likely agree that Jesus taught from the spirit, or spiritual concepts. But was Jesus religious? Religion defined simply means a belief system involved with the worship of God or gods. A quick read through the Gospels or an hour in any church across the U.S. would lead one to believe Jesus advocated the worship of God. But did He? The Gospels, although massaged by man’s continued attempt to control, still give us a glimpse of a Jesus who lived by the spirit, and the principles He taught are often metaphysical in nature; owing to a reality beyond our immediate perception. In my opinion, the study of metaphysics and spirituality do not stand in opposition to the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus). Sorting through what is likely man’s version versus the reality is the challenge.

I have come to believe that the filthiness of man, sin, in other words, and the need for cleansing in the “blood of the Lamb” is man’s creation. All civilizations have had their own versions of blood sacrifices to appease the gods, to garner God’s favor, and the like. Judaism and Christianity were no different. Christianity took the blood sacrifice of Judaism and sanitized and personalized it in the form of Yeshua; blood need only to be shed once and for all for all mankind. Discipline, too, is a creation of man. All civilizations through the centuries have disciplined others, often basing the need for discipline on some arbitrary set of rules decided upon by those chosen to be in charge. Granted, in order to prevent chaos and maintain civility of a given population there must be rules for the society. The question is who came up with those rules? Did God by divine intervention, or did man, then pass the credit to the Almighty to give weight to the rules? An oft debated subject in Christianity is capital punishment. Vague explanation and confusing and often contradictory references are given when the subject of capital punishment comes up which tells me punishment by death was likely man’s invention.

Years of organized religious indoctrination left me with questions and contradictory messages having no explanation except to resort to the tried and true which is to believe by faith, and God would explain on the other side. Many of these supposedly unexplained acts were said to be available to be performed by believers as well, yet I didn’t actually ever see the manifestation of any, with the exception of “speaking in other tongues” and “prophesying”, which in the cases I saw may have been more motivated by a form of religious hysteria rather than a true demonstration of living from the spirit.

To explain Jesus turning water into wine, walking on water and healing the sick, the authors of the books we know as the Bible, deified Jesus, giving Him supernatural powers; again very much like the mythical gods of literature. I’m not taking anything away from Jesus, here. I do believe He was the embodiment of the Divine in the flesh, and many of the gospels not included in the Bible allude to that, yet those transcripts paint a very different picture of Jesus, a more human version. Suffice it to say we have no one picture of Jesus more accurate than another; it is up to each of us to experience, or choose not to experience Him, in whatever way makes sense to us.

I choose to see Yeshua as fully man, fully human, possessing the spirit of the Divine in its totality. We are sparks from the Divine Flame; God, if you will. Yeshua was fully Divine clothed in flesh, experiencing the world as we experience it. The Divine lived as man subject to all the imperfections of man in an imperfect world. His presence as flesh gave man the opportunity to learn from Him, and He from us.

From what we read of Yeshua’s life, the main principle He lived and breathed is a principle belief in the metaphysical, or spiritual world; through thought and word we create our own reality. If you think about it, the concept is solid. Like begets like. Our thoughts and words have creative power, as it were, so what we think and say most often becomes our reality. A steady diet of “I can’t”, “No one like me”, “I will never have” or my personal favorite, “I can’t afford that, I’m always broke” bear negative fruit in our lives. Is it easy to change our thoughts and words? For most of us the task is a challenge as thought patterns and words are deeply embedded in who we are, but it isn’t impossible. I am far too familiar with this process, but I have set my intention for success! Old dogs can learn new tricks! If we think about people we know and pay close attention to their overall attitude and words we will begin to see the evidence. Successful people think, believe and speak words of success; likewise those who think, believe and speak negatively bear negative fruit. Does it work 100% of the time? Does anything? While living our lives on terra firma we are subject to our humanity, so we all struggle from time to time. A close look at our patterns of thought and word however, reveal much about us and soon the picture that emerges will tell the overriding theme or story of our lives.

Everything about Yeshua’s life on earth started with thought and word; every act, every teaching, every encounter with others. From Biblical and historical references it seems He lived authentically, and often challenged the accepted religious mindset. Throughout the Gospels and beyond we see glimpses of the metaphysical Jesus. Organized religion has focused on the results of the reality Jesus created, missing the lesson of the how. Turning the water into wine, walking on water, raising people from the dead, healing, and reading people; “he didn’t need anyone to inform him about a person, because he knew what was in the person’s heart.” (John 2:25 The Complete Jewish Bible)

Jesus was spirit man perfected, not some mystical being endowed with supernatural powers. His purpose, I believe, more than bringing “salvation” to man was to demonstrate the ability to live from the spirit, having put aside interference from the ego. We can do as Jesus did through thought and word, creating reality and experiencing its results. Again, the thoughts and words we think and speak most often create our reality within the world; the universe listens and responds, positively or negatively, depending upon us to direct the response. This cause and effect are not mystical or supernatural. We are created from energy, energy fuels everything in our universe; thought and word are no different. When the majority of the energy we put out there is positive, positive returns to us, and the reverse is true. Jesus showed us the possibilities. Is it not said in the Bible, “Everything is possible to someone who has trust! (believes)” (Mark 9:23 The Complete Jewish Bible) The statement relates to a story about a father asking Yeshua to heal his son of seizures. I’m not on board with the Biblical explanation of “demons” causing seizures, or anything else for that matter, but that was not the point of the story. Yeshua spoke as He thought and believed; that the boy was free of seizures. No need to add creative flare to the encounter.

We believe as we think and speak. What patterns of thought, word and belief have created your reality…..?

 

Spirituality vs. Religion…..

I have been spending a lot of time researching, listening, and soul-searching the spiritual journey versus the journey by way of organized religion. Most of what I have learned about the spiritual journey I agree with, some is put on a back burner for now, and some information is just interesting to ponder. The belief is we are eternal beings with unique personalities  having a human experience, and in so doing the teachers, practitioners, and novices all have a bit different interpretation of their journey to share with others. Why? Because everyone’s journey is unique to them, plain and simple. Our journeys shouldn’t all look alike. We are all at different levels of spiritual awareness. Naturally, those seeking a higher awareness and deeper relationship with the Divine have greater insight than those beginning their journey. Some of us have no awareness at all and that is okay, too. We aren’t all ready for deeper and higher levels of truth, some will never be in this lifetime.

Organized religion looks at relationship with God differently, at least that has been my experience having been a part of several different denominations, and interacting with many different people over the years, all working their way toward heaven in one way or another. But is that the point? And, it has been my experience, the collective of organized religion expect us all to look and behave very much alike leaving little room for discussion, opinion, or just plain disagreement.

Let’s get real for a moment. Relationship with God, in the Christian paradigm, is centered around acknowledging “sin”, and asking forgiveness for every perceived or actual wrong done to others. Ultimately the belief is that we are committing the act or directing unkind words or deeds toward Jesus, Himself, driving one more nail into His already beaten and broken body. Not to mention we are bereft of any good whatsoever outside of a thorough washing in the blood of Jesus.  

In truth, I have absolutely nothing against organized religion. Everyone should be allowed to journey with the Divine as a unique spirit, in the way that most resonates with them, and yet many within organized religion are quite critical of those who chose a different path of love. Church members pray and intercede on behalf of the “lost souls” who will not be welcomed into the pearly gates should they pass on without “asking Jesus into their hearts”. We need to ask ourselves, if God is love, is He so narrow-minded that His philosophy is “my way or the highway”?

Psychology and just plain observation of others tells us that those who need to vehemently defend their territory are in reality feeling threatened. Who is the defensive rhetoric directed toward? If I am comfortable with my journey and don’t feel the need to defend it I have no need to stir myself into a religious frenzy, but I have certainly seen and experienced exactly that from devout followers.

Humanity is expert at drawing the proverbial line in the sand daring any to believe differently lest the other suffer the consequences. I think we see that being played out everyday the world over. This group is opposed to that group, that race against this race, the list is endless, and in the end everyone suffers; no one wins. Organized religion, especially those in predominantly fundamental churches, practice a veiled form of “we are right, you are wrong”. Don’t believe me? Ever been handed a tract with stories of hell fire and brimstone, found a “Jesus loves you” fake dollar bill on the floor of the mall restroom, or been witness to a prayer vigil asking God to save a particular group of lost souls?

And so, here I am navigating unfamiliar, yet strangely familiar waters. I am at peace with my journey after so many years of struggling to sort out the questions, the contradictions, and make sense of the confusing messages. Not all spiritual teachers and seekers share the same mindset, yet are willing to accept what resonates with another, understanding all of our journeys look different.  Offense is not taken if one understands the Divine as God, while another the Source, and others still Universal Consciousness. There is acceptance for the nuggets of truth found along the path of love, self-discovery and deeper understanding. We are at peace. I have not found this to be true in the world of organized religion.

Many within the walls of church doctrine become agitated, some outright angry, others move on as if those who ask questions are a heavenly lost cause, all driven by perceived threat to their belief system. Salvation of the lost seems to be a joint effort between God and the devout. What if God really doesn’t need help in relationship with the created?

The spiritual journey focuses on change within. Yeshua (Jesus) taught that very principle however, many of those I have had contact with are focused on changing others. Didn’t Yeshua speak to that when He called the religious of His day whitewashed tombs; appearing clean on the outside yet rotting within? Spirit path focuses on change within self to bring about peace, which makes a lot more sense to me. If I am truly peaceful, resonating positive energy, loving others without judgment the attitude is obvious without a word being spoken. On the flip side if I am judging, listing all the things one must do and cannot do to be saved or otherwise acceptable, others will feel defeated, not empowered.

The more I study, read, listen and seek, the more I am convinced Yeshua was teaching as we are to live; from a spirit-centered base, living, breathing, and demonstrating full awareness of the power of the Creator residing in each of us. He lived the reality of a fully actualized  spirit, with a unique soul, living a human existence to show us we have access today to all He embodied. We don’t need to wait until the sweet-by-and-by….

Authenticity…..

Who are you really? Are you living life true to self? These questions can help us determine our level of self-awareness and put us face-to-face with the possibility of the need for change in our lives. Is it ever too late to change? Are you dead yet? If the answer to the last question is “no”, then the answer to the former question is “no” as well. Authentic living, or being true to self allows us the opportunity to live out our truth, the freedom to be who we are on the inside without the need for facades and labels we have donned and embraced.

Each of us consciously and subconsciously decides what will make us acceptable within the world and the microcosm of the world we live in; our family, our group of friends, the workplace and the community. The decisions we make about our acceptability often are a result of labels and the expectations others have for us. At different times throughout our lives we adopt new facades and accept labels others have attached to suit their expectations for us. The labels don’t always fit, yet we often let them define who we are. Facades are the masks we wear to fit in, to present ourselves acceptable in any group or situation, and often they change from group to group, situation to situation. But, do labels and facades represent who we really are on the inside, the spirit and soul who live in the earthly body? Most of us would probably answer a resounding “no”. In essence, we willingly exchanged who we are for who others have decided we are. Often, those whose labels and facades bear negative connotations find themselves at war with self, sadness sets in as they wish the true self was as acceptable to others as the labels and facades have become.

Various definitions exist for authentic living; it is up to each of us to decide what it means to live authentically. For me, sorting through who I am versus who others believe me to be is primary. Self-discovery, in other words. What do my values and beliefs say about me. Which are from what I have been told to value and believe and what I actually value and believe? What patterns of behavior am I repeating over and over that have not served me well? We need to find what resonates with us as individuals. Looking at the totality of our lives we often discover a theme we tend to gravitate toward, a passion where our souls and spirits find the most peace and satisfaction. Should we change careers? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps there is a way for a passion to become a career and that may take time to develop, but often if and until the passion becomes a career we can still find a way to include the passion in our lives.

When I took a look back at my life two overriding themes emerged: healer and teacher. In one capacity or another, in play as a child and in career as an adult, I found myself living out variations of healer and teacher. The career choices haven’t jibed with inward satisfaction, however. I have enjoyed being a nurse in various capacities, and it certainly encompasses both healer and teacher, yet the inward satisfaction was missing. Ignoring the nagging thought I wasn’t where I was most satisfied and peaceful, I decided it was a matter of finding my niche and then satisfaction and peace would follow. Recently, I studied energy healing and became a Reiki practitioner. In sessions with those seeking healing of the mind, body and spirit, my spirit is settled and at peace. Writing, and eventually speaking engagements, provide the same peace and satisfaction. It is to this place I am headed.

Authentic living is like coming home, and yet it has its drawbacks. It can be a lonely place until we regroup and find other like-minded people. People prefer to see us through the lens of their expectations and this is often antithetical to the true self who is taking center stage. Those we considered friends, and even family, may fall away not understanding our shift in beliefs, values or attitude. At some point however, the need to live from the spirit outweighs the need to be a part of the crowd.  Quite truthfully, I never have felt like part of the crowd.

Are you living life true to self? Do you feel like there is a more authentic self waiting to emerge? Are you beginning to see patterns in life that seem to repeat themselves over and over? These and others are the call of God to human spirit. Will you answer and live out your spirit truth…..?

 

A Spark From the Flame…..

Who are you? Who are we? Probably one of the best descriptions given to humanity I have heard so far is we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I like that, and it sums up the purpose of our existence in one sentence; short and sweet.

Too many of us get that statement turned around and then live our lives from a human standpoint while walking a spiritual journey. If we flip it around and view ourselves as spiritual beings first, our journey becomes primary and we begin to live life from the source of our existence, seeking truth and putting truth to work in our physical lives. The authentic self steps forward and the facades we have donned to meet the standards of the world are bagged up and tossed aside like ill-fitting clothing.

Living from the authentic self is scary and exciting all at the same time; kind of like putting on a swimsuit and going to the beach when we don’t match the Barbie doll body type we imagine romping the sand and sea, and then realizing most of the people on the beach look just like us. Authentic-self living means rising above the needs of the ego; to be right, recognized, and in control. Authentic-self living also means we march to the beat of the drum of our spirit; live the truth the Creator whispers to our spirits. We won’t all have the same journey, but the lessons are similar. We all need to learn to live from a center of love and acceptance of others, learn how to love self and exercise self-compassion when we screw up, deem ourselves unworthy or unacceptable, and along the way discover our individual life purpose.

As we settle into the awakening to our true self, or spirit self, transformation occurs. We begin to see others as sojourners on their own path, and do not feel the need to fashion another’s path into one that looks like ours. Church-life for me felt out of step, I didn’t see things the way others did, didn’t feel compelled to speak the same language, or mold myself into something I was not. Believe me, I tried, but it felt fake, hollow, not true to who I was on the inside. If church life speaks to you, fills you up to overflowing and resonates to the core of your being, by all means follow that path; it is meant for you!

Authentic living has its downside, however. As we speak from the heart others may become uncomfortable because it becomes obvious pretty quickly our focus is different, our interpretation of the world is not consistent with mainstream thinking, the accepted norm. The language of love is too harsh for some, and too soft for others, and positive thinking in the midst of turmoil looks like a denial of the facts.

Allowing the authentic self to take the driver’s seat helps us to see patterns in our lives that have brought us to the place we are today instead of a collection of haphazard events. When we are open to the leading of the Universal Intelligence, to God, we are able to see patterns of behavior and thinking, both good and bad. We begin to understand what and who has influenced the totality of our lives, and the experiences of life take the shape of our calling, our life purpose. I realized that in one capacity or another I have spent my life teaching and healing, having taught in academic, medical, and church settings, and listening to the wide variety of people who have come with heavy hearts, confusion, indecision, trauma, or questions seeking answers, compassion, understanding or direction. My life has been a journey to discover my niche, where I belong, knowing that my calling is teaching and healing. Becoming a Reiki practitioner has led down an interesting road of healing and teaching I hadn’t anticipated, but now I see it as part of the calling. Writing and public speaking is another aspect of that calling unfolding before me.

We are the sparks from the Universal Light, from God, the Father of Lights. Yeshua said it another way; “I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing.” (John 15:5 The Complete Jewish Bible) From a metaphysical standpoint that is almost a “Captain Obvious” statement because sparks apart from the flame die out pretty quickly, yet His point is well taken. Yeshua was speaking a foundational spiritual truth; we are an extension of the Universal Light, and to the Universal Light we will return when our physical bodies wear out. Recognizing the source and living from it empowers us, the energy of the Creator flows through us as we create our lives through thought, word and deed.

Individual sparks can illuminate a speck of space; collectively many sparks can light a room, and many, many more a world. As a world community this is our calling. As more and more awaken and walk a journey of discovery, love, wisdom and authentic-self living, our world will become a reflection of the Father of Lights……

 

The Universal Flame…..

Who is God? How do you picture the Creator of the universe and all that is within it? I have thought a great deal about this lately. Is He a bearded guy sitting on a throne waiting for us to screw up so He can punish? Does He keep a record book of everything we say, think or do in life? When we die will He judge us and send us to heaven or hell depending upon the severity of our sins? Images like these may sound childlike, but many people hold similar images of God in their heads.  

Man has created God in his image instead of the other way around. In a way our vision of God is human-like, endowed with the characteristics of man, both good and bad. God is known by many descriptive names: Healer, Emmanuel, Jehovah Rapha, Our Provider, Father, to name a few. Christians believe these to be facets of His overall personality, if you will, but in reality we are only privy to a speck of the total picture because of our limited understanding. God has always existed, and that in itself is a very difficult concept for finite man to grasp; God is energy, love energy, as it were, and energy cannot be destroyed, lending to His eternal nature.

Creating God in our image has resulted in a false and limited view of the Divine. The ‘gods’ of mythology were created in man’s image and yet we are aware that God, the Universal Source, and the ‘gods’ of mythology are radically different; one being real and the others the stuff of lore. As humans we have to put concepts in terms we can wrap our heads around; the images we create serve us for a time, but we need to grow and move beyond the one or two dimensional characters we fashion in our heads to a greater depth of understanding. We need to think outside the box.

A careful walk through the books known collectively as The Bible will reveal the human characteristics we have given to Universal Wisdom. God told Moses His name was “I AM”, which, if you think about it, is quite descriptive. The problem is that man added his own adjectives to the name “I AM” and created a god with human characteristics. We use terms like, “vengeful”, “forgiving”, “merciful”, “angry”, “jealous” and many others. Each is an adjective that describes the many characteristics of man. The Bible does say in several places that God is love, and truthfully, that is as far as we need to go in any description of God. Within love there is mercy, understanding, compassion, tenderness, and acceptance. Man adding adjectives has assigned God human characteristics. What purpose do the adjectives serve? The purpose benefits man alone; to those who seek to control others on their spiritual journey. The focus of the additional adjectives turns the table on us: “I need to be forgiven”, I made God mad”, I need to be pleasing to God”, keeping man beholden to man in search of absolution for “sins”. We spend effort and time seeking forgiveness and mercy instead of traveling our journey to reach higher levels of spiritual awareness and understanding. The reality is that God unequivocally knows we will make mistakes, we are here to learn and the learning process requires mistakes. Karma, what goes around comes around, what we sow we will reap, will answer to “bad” things we have done requiring correction. God doesn’t punish, He has no need to punish; God is love, plain and simple and He loves His creation unconditionally.

We were created in the image of God, in the image of the Universal Energy which means we are capable of the same unconditional love. Bound by this earthly plane and our finite understanding we cannot attain the level of unconditional love that characterizes God, but we can learn the lessons along the way teaching us the way of love, the need for awakening to the higher spiritual self and viewing self and others differently through the eyes of love and compassionate understanding. I have heard us described as sparks from the Universal Energy Source; I like that, and believe it quite descriptive and accurate. A spark is an image of the original fire, is it not?

Looking outside the box of organized and traditional religion, we are able to imagine God in a different way, and for me, this has resulted in  the feeling of having arrived home. The image of God as pure energy, pure love, pure wisdom, has awakened me to a higher understanding, resonated truth throughout my entire being as never before. I see people differently, I am far less judging, far more compassionate, and find myself more at peace with life as it unfolds. The vision of God as a brilliant light radiating love and sharing the wisdom of the universe is freeing. Within the radiant love of the Father of Lights there is acceptance for who I am, flaws and all, mercy for the times I fall, compassion for the days I feel the weight of the world and experience the wounds man inflicts. I am energized to pick myself up again and walk forward and upward toward deeper understanding. I am bathed in peace, the peace that passes all understanding, the kind of peace Yeshua (Jesus) referred to.

I’m not going to lie, I battled fear for a moment; fear that I was stepping off into the demonic abyss. The indoctrinated fears of organized religion run deep, and it is no small task to overcome years of conditioned belief. At first the journey was a daily task to put aside former belief and open my mind to truth new to me, to the wisdom of the universe.

Who is God? In the end the question is personal, and no one can answer that question for us. The journey is personal. The wisdom and knowledge we accumulate along the way is meant to encourage us toward a higher level of understanding self, others, and God, the Universal Energy that flows through each of us. Collectively, the knowledge and wisdom we learn is meant to create the bigger picture; the picture of pure love…..

Do Unto Others; A Lesson in Self-Compassion…..

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We typically think of the Golden Rule as an outward action and yet it is important to treat ourselves gently, too. Being kind to self is known as “self-compassion”.

To better understand what kind of a friend we are to self begins with listening to our “self-talk; all those thoughts that trip across our brain cells all day long every day. Most of us are hard on ourselves, even cruel, at times. Where does self-talk originate?

Coming into this world our spirit-self has left the Eternal Flame, the Father of Lights, God, to experience life on earth. We are born a unique personality into a human body possessing an eternal spirit. Our purpose is to experience life and hopefully learn from our experiences and about ourselves. We live in a world of duality. Everything has an opposite; light and dark, love and hate, winner and loser, up and down, happy and sad, and the list goes on. The information we receive into our conscious and subconscious mind are full of these dual messages. What we do with some of the dual messages is up to us.

Depending upon our upbringing, our individual personalities, and our life experiences we will subconsciously embrace these messages. Within a short period of time these messages become our self-talk. As we embrace and subsequently use these messages the self-talk reveals a lot about what we think and feel toward self. Most of us have an overriding theme to our self-talk, either positive or negative. Realizing this explanation is a simplistic view of a complex issue, we get the idea, right?

When life is difficult what messages go through our brains? “This is your fault. If you weren’t such a mess and a loser this wouldn’t have happened” Or maybe we hear, “I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough”. When life goes our way do we hear, “I don’t deserve this”, or “Life is going too well; I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”? Self-critical messages like these are harmful to our well being leading to poor self-esteem, poor self-worth and depression, and prevent us from the reality of being the unique brilliant spirit we are. Trust me on this one – I am a graduate of the university of life and experience! Alas, we have the capacity to learn, grow, and change our thoughts, our lives, and our realities. When any negative thought trips across our brain cells in response to a situation or a negative comment from another, we can stop the negative thought in its tracks and replace it with a positive thought. Many of us fall into the trap of internalizing a negative situation or comment adopting it as part of our self-talk as if it is our reality instead of what it truly is; a negative situation or comment outside of our control. The process is neither easy, nor quick, especially since many of us have deeply embedded negative self-talk messages going through our brains daily.

Emerging from the mire of negative self-talk is a process that goes hand-in-hand with practicing self-compassion. The realization we are not subject to the opinions of others will help us rewrite the story our negative thoughts have written. Many of those opinions have shaped the stories of our lives, much like a self-fulfilling prophecy; we believe something about ourselves and in turn our behavior reflects the belief. Recognizing there is a pattern to our beliefs about self and subsequent behavior allows us to intervene, to interrupt the erroneous belief and replace it with a truth, and then we behave according to the new truth. We needn’t start a complete overhaul of negative thinking, however. Replacing negative self-talk with positive messages is a journey; a journey of discovery and healing, a rewrite of one page at a time.

Enter self-compassion. We are taught in church we need to forgive others so that God can forgive us. I agree forgiveness toward others is a healthier response than allowing anger and bitterness to build and consume us, yet the one person to whom we rarely extend forgiveness is self. We are our worst critic; we use words far more harsh with ourselves than others would toss our way. Not only that, but we cannot leave it alone, repeatedly berating and beating ourselves up for minor transgressions leading to the poor self-esteem, poor self-worth, and depression. One of the definitions for depression is anger turned inward, and we know how destructive and life-robbing depression can be. At the end of the day all of us are fallible human beings; we make mistakes, wrong decisions, say mean things to others in the heat of the moment, and judge others based upon very little information.

I part ways with the Christian belief that we are sinful beings in need of forgiveness requiring us to come before God and humbly apologize for everything we have ever done in our lives, begging His forgiveness for transgressions we may or may not even remember from the time of our birth. For many of us that is our first introduction to being “saved”; we crawl to the altar having been told we are flawed, filthy rags bereft of hope outside of salvation and a thorough cleansing in the blood of the Lamb. We repeat a few words and walk away “saved” because we have “confessed” our unworthiness to a Holy God. Truthfully, I never really understood that line of thinking, and I am one of those people who cannot just wholeheartedly swallow something I don’t understand, or at least makes sense on some level.

The reality is we are spirit beings having a human experience and within the experiences of living through our humanness we will make mistakes, wrong decisions and intentionally or unintentionally hurt others. In the process the goal is to learn from the mistakes, recognize the wrong decisions, and when possible, right the wrongs done to others. We are not our thoughts and actions; we are a spark from the Universal Consciousness many of us know as God. God is pure love, and it is from this love source we came and will return.

Fortunately, I finally did come to the conclusion I can have a relationship with Yeshua, the Divine Energy, and forego man’s attempt to control the relationship through organized religion. In the process I am learning the value of self-compassion. I choose to see myself through the Divine; a spark from the flame of pure love and to rise above the dual messages of the world and live from the spirit-self core whose essence is love. Loving others begins with loving self and accepting the flaws, and forgiving ourselves for the mistakes and missteps of our humanity. They are nothing more than the learning experiences along the journey of life…..