Friday, May 16, 2014

More of Spirit within

Yesterday, I burned my log, which may not sound like a big deal, but, trust me, it was. The log, with hand-cut pages resembling what they represented and bound with green yarn, was filled with all of the the things I am burning off collected over six weeks. Purification is my word for this year. The list wasn't as long as I had expected and, when I read it to my spiritual director, who proposed this exercise, they really cycled down to two BIG ideas: limitation and paralysis.

Ouch, those words sting like anticeptic. The truth can hurt. I also planned to toss out my judgment meter, which I felt was external, but Mary suggested that I may have brought it inside. She's right. How incongruent. I have been using the world's exterior measure on my interior self. I can't think of a more hopeless and destructive combination. No wonder that, for years, I've felt beaten up. Indulging in one of my vices, horror, I watched an episode of the new Rosemary's Baby. A very pregnant Rosemary remarked that she felt like her baby was fighting her. I have felt similarly about my body. That's probably where the comparison ends. Father Thomas Keating writes, of course in one of this week's meditations, of dismantling the false self feeling "like interior warfare" and resistance mounting to "faith, determination and incessant prayer."

I wonder if limitation and paralysis were my ways of controlling the fibromyalgia, which made me feel completely out of control. Is it human nature to need to control? Perhaps it was the false self meddling.

Mary filled her ceramic burner with oil, asking me to hand her a napkin to wipe up spillage. We walked to the cavernous kithen, where she pulled out a stainless steel bowl in which to conduct our burning, then to the lovely terrace overlooking the Little Miami River. As I ripped off each page and fed it to the fire, Mary had me read my notations, then say I was releasing it. I was in a somewhat dreamlike state, but complied and understood the significance. Then we talked about how when we release one thing, something else takes it place. "What is that?" she asked. Hummmm ... "faith, trust, confidence, health, joy and Spirit," I said then. Mary nudged me to include hope. A good call. Now, I would like to add adundance, grace, peace and love. These remind me of the fruits of the Spirit.

As we neared the end of the sacrifice, I commented on the whiteness of the ashes, as if purified by the fire. The day before I'd worked with my shaman and experienced white lava flowing down from my third eye throughout my body. I believe the two are related.

After the last page burned, Mary asked me to notice how small all of these fears had been. "Just look at those small, little ashes. They're nothing compared to the power you thought they had." She'd said. They just crumbled to nothingness as I tossed them over the terrace and down to the river.

With these gone, I desire to be alert and present to noticing how my new tenants (faith, trust, confidence, joy, Spirit, hope, abundance, grace, peace and love) feel. I'm betting quite the opposite of limited and paralyzed. How about open, limitless, flexible and ready for Spirit?

• What in my life would I like to release?
• What is holding me captive?
• What would I choose as replacements?
• How can I burn these?
• How will that make more room for Spirit?

I've been blaming
the fibromyalgia,
giving it credit
and power

letting it
and my false
self dictate
and block

and, as I
the purification
process and
burn them

I clear room
for more of

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  1. I am happy that I found your post while searching for informative posts. It is really informative and quality of the content is extraordinary.

  2. I have found peace in Jesus. Before I received Him as my Lord and Savior I was restless and searching. Now that I have received Jesus into my heart I have peace and joy within that I never knew. May those who seek peace find the peace they desire. God Bless

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Mark. I am discovering much the same. Blessings on your journey!

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  4. Nice article, I love it. Especially the poem at the end.

    Thank you

    1. I really appreciate your reading and commenting. Blessings on your journey!
      -- Cathy