#40 Grateful for Dangerous Questions

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Yesterday in church the most incredible thing happened.

I just want to add here that it’s the second time I’ve been to church in over 10 years. Also, I know no-one at this church, I just followed this faint voice inside, I listened if you like to a whisper that guided me there and boy, did yesterday prove that whisper was right (whispers from God are becoming louder and louder each day).

I didn’t plan to sit near the front, it just happened that way. I went with my mum and we were discussing the view (like we were at the cinema) and jumped seat to seat until we found ourselves a few seats from the front.

“This will do” she said. I was thinking, ‘holy wow this is way too close to the front! I don’t know if I’m comfortable here’. We stayed anyway.

As we stood to sing this incredible, unfathomable force reached someplace deep – if I had the words to describe I would but some experiences are beyond explanation. I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be an ‘easy’ service for me, the music was loud and beautiful and stirred up a bowl of uncomfortable emotions. All I can say is, holy spirit held my entire being and left me no place to escape. I panicked. I don’t like to feel confined, it’s the biggest trigger for my anxieties, the music was loud and LOTS of people surrounded me. Being so close to the front meant I couldn’t just slip away and having so many people behind me meant I couldn’t watch what people were doing. I guess this has been a control thing, watching people, thinking I know what they’re thinking by how they are behaving. I have felt like this has put me in the drivers seat, always thinking I’m one step ahead of everyone else. I am NEVER one step ahead, I know this now.

After the music stopped, we were asked to shake a persons hand we had never met before, this was easy for me as I’m new and know NO-ONE. The lady next to me turned and introduced herself. She’d been a member of the church community for 30 years and the first thing we spoke about was the music and how powerful it was. Then God gave me the permission I needed, she told me that spirit moves her most when she’s singing and is often moved to tears. The whole way through our short exchange of empowering words I could feel anxiety rise in me. Then as we listened to the readings, I truly believed I was about to pass out. I turned to my mum and said, “I’m going to faint”. She said we’d leave after the reading but as she said those words, something happened.

I heard God . He said, “No, you are here to heal, this is where it starts”.

To my mum I replied “I’m ok, we’ll stay”. Even though I wanted to run the hell outta there, I felt something greater holding my hand.

The pastor began to talk about the dangerous questions we often avoid asking ourselves, about our fears and how this limits the love of Jesus. I could feel every cell in my body resonate with these words. I have avoided searching deeply within, questioning the restrictions I bring about myself to prevent growth, to block from me the love of God – I have blocked out love and trust for such a long time. Always wanting to feel in control.

I wanted to faint, it was getting that difficult to process what I was feeling. I knew I had run from my faith for too long and now was the time to show up. I literally felt his presence behind me, ready to catch me should I fall.

Then I cried. The live band took to the stage, the music began and I cried like I’ve never cried in public before. My whole body trembled and tears streamed down my cheek. I felt His hand over my head, comforting and reassuring me this was exactly right, that I have all the permission in the world to feel, to feel the sorrowful pains I’ve felt as I’ve had my back turned for such a long time.

I cannot explain the release. The lady I had been speaking to handed me a tissue. No questions were asked as I could see others crying too. I could see that everyone in that church knew exactly what I was feeling as they’d been to that place too. I felt loved, I felt forgiven, I felt a lightness, like my heart was held in space beside the stars and the magic of creation. My heart was in the hands of God.

So, dangerous questions are not dangerous at all as they reveal so much about what we still hold onto to prevent unconditional love filling our hearts. Our anxieties and fears are revealed to us by God to show us where we’re holding back, where we’re not letting Him in. Where we don’t trust in his love. I have not trusted for such a long time and if I’m honest I’m scared shitless about happened. Surrendering to Jesus and God’s love is not something I had even contemplated before a few weeks ago. I now see that is the miracle, once we say “yes”, love flows more powerfully than ever experienced before and although my ego wants to question everything, my soul feels more alive and at home than ever before.

SURRENDER! (not so easy)

Ok, so I am held in the middle of confusion but I also know that I never want to turn my back on God again. I trust that all will be revealed, that God has always got my back.

Thank you for dangerous questions and the strength and courage to answer them as truthfully as I can. I am always learning and I trust the path will unravel, all I have to do is show up in love.

#30 Grateful for The Practice of Surrender

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When i first read about the act of surrender I couldn’t get my head around it.  Say if I’m having an argument and I surrender, surly I am giving my power away to the other person by saying ‘sure, you go ahead and do or say whatever it is you want to say or do and I’ll just surrender to whatever you want as I have read this to be a healthy thing to do’.

Firstly, I got the analogy totally wrong as I was lost in the meaning. I was still thinking about myself in relation to other people, thinking about my reaction to them and how my behaviour makes others behave. Letting reaction lead rather than personal action, it’s been a common misplacement of power my whole life and when I first began to understand the concept of ‘waking up’ or living life more consciously I realised just how much I have let the opinions of others guide personal steps.

Now surrender means something entirely different. It means to allow, to relax into the moment and not fight rising sensations. This has been one of the most valuable tools for healing. I have spent a very long time fighting myself. Getting frustrated at the present moment as I’d wanted things to be different. Always different. Like the moment was not quite as I’d wanted it to be. Of course, I now see that everything is exactly as it should be, I had manifested my thoughts perfectly as inside I was fighting. Fight within and without gives you more to fight about. It’s plain and simple, think something and you get more of it. Complain and you get more to moan about. Be dissatisfied and satisfaction doesn’t get a look in, no matter what comes your way, dissatisfaction will take centre stage

“Nope, this is not what I wanted!”

“What did you want?”

“I don’t know, but not this!”

It’s a vicious conversation but one that played over in my head like a badly scripted drama. However it’s never just in the head is it? Every thought, every visual, every feeling is a part of our whole self. Therefore, with each conflicting thought I was having a fist fight under the surface and some part of my body was feeling the brunt. Like I was turning my reality into a boxing match with no end to decide on a winner. Bash, here you go kidneys or thump, take that lower back. You catch my drift.

Surrender eases all this. It releases attachment and that is the medicine right there, letting go. Attachment is illusionary. There really is nothing outside of our being that can satisfy us more than all we are within. Even opinions are formed, usually from words spoken by others. Opinions can feel definite but more often than not opinions will change, they will morph over time and what you once thought to be the absolute truth can eventually feel like a lie. Attachments can be made to a new ideas until a ‘better’ one comes along, one that makes more sense in that moment, until another and then another. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions, I know me too well to know I will continue to have opinions, plenty I’m sure. It’s the attachment that causes the conflict, that you’re right and others are wrong. That is what I am looking out for, the certainty and righteousness that attachment can bring.

To me, surrender is like the balm that moistens the skin before attachment buries into my pores. It has allowed me to observe myself in the moment rather than hold onto feelings and continue the story of ‘My entire being is this feeling I am feeling right now’. That was a crappy story and only had crappy endings. If a feeling arises, my best bet is to surrender to it. I don’t need to fight it as I know it won’t last. It doesn’t need a huge amount of energy invested as it is just that, energy – so therefore I’d be fighting my energy with my energy, investing a whole load of me into the destruction of me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a freaking hard practice. One that I am far from mastering but just making the decision to surrender has been soothing. “Oh yummy, I don’t need to fight anymore”.

Surrendering is not a loss of power. We gain as are able to process in a more calm and centred way, without letting conflict drain our life force (and it drains by the gallon!). To witness the process of being human rather than getting swept up in the drama and stories and confusion is precious. Even if I can only manage a few minutes a day, it’s a gift to myself. To remove tensions and limiting beliefs about who I am, this is what I know to be the best healing tonic. Today I feel incredibly grateful that I am able to practice surrender, to be able to let go of thoughts and habits that no longer serve me. I doubt they ever served me well in the first place. I am grateful for the peace surrender brings.

Most of all I am grateful for the journey, as I do feel like each minute is a journey back to me and it never gets boring as there are new discoveries, always.