Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sacrifice, Commitment, and Promises

What helps you with your commitments? The only way you can be successful at keeping a commitment or promise of any kind is through one thing, and that one thing is sacrifice. The dictionary defines sacrifice in this way: The act of giving up something that you would want to keep, especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.

When was the last time that you gave up something that you wanted to keep? It is a good idea to give away something that you like and care about because by doing this you can practice surrender, sacrifice, and letting go. When we cared for my mother, my husband and I sacrificed our privacy, we sacrificed living in our home alone, and we sacrificed being able to do anything we wanted to do whenever we felt like doing it.

Sacrifice is how we progress on the spiritual path; it is how we go to the next level and it is how we earn those next degrees of initiation within ourselves. All of those degrees and keys that are of a spiritual nature are between you and God. Somebody might be facilitating your journey or giving you a practice or a teaching, but then you have to do it. No one can do it for you.

The ancient people understood sacrifice, perhaps not so much on the mental planes as on the inner planes. It was understood that you have to give something up to be part of the Cycle of Grace. Sacrifices of food were made to the food gods for good crops. Sometimes animals that were important to the livelihood and the life of the community were offered as sacrifices.

If you garden and you want good organic food, you sacrifice ease because gardening requires a lot of time and effort. Tilling, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, preserving—it is a huge commitment. But what do you get back? You get back a relationship with the earth, you get back the mystery that God gave us every seed that we need for our lives, and when we plant that seed and watch it grow, it is a miracle. We get to eat the food that is part of that Cycle of Grace.

Sacrifice, commitment, and promises to yourself as a Soul are important, so reflect on how God is using you. It is so important to find that key because if you can find that purpose, and if you can say, “I am willing,” help and support will come to you in a natural way. If you say, “I do, I will, and I will continue to help,” you do not really have to worry about how it will all happen because it just will. You will be called upon, and when you are called upon, it will not always be easy, but you will do it because you are needed.

Sometimes I think things are supposed to be hard. Every time I try to attend a meditation group, it gets cancelled or no one is there. I recently went to a meditation before work, 20 miles away from my home. No one was there. When I contacted the leader, he said it would be held the next day. Again, I drove there before work and he wasn’t there. Things like that happen to me all the time, and I just don’t know which way to go.

I think you do know which way to go; you went twice and he wasn’t there. That’s pretty clear. We often do know which way to go, but we want it to be different, so we kind of hang out with it, hoping it will change. You would have liked him to have texted or called you to let you know that the meeting was off.

You really do want a meditation class, and you would like to go to a consistent one where you could have a good meditation and be in that energy. Why don’t you find a place, somewhere simple, where you could have a small meditation space, and then invite others? Go whether there are two persons or one or none, but go and become what you want. That is how you make yourself whole. Just keep the commitment and somehow put it out. This may not be the time for you, but just consider it. Maybe you are the one who is being called to put the sign up and the notice in the newspaper. It is important to see how your desire to do a group meditation keeps coming around in a certain way. Spirit is giving you this for a reason. So do something different.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Our Commitments Are Varied And They Matter

I have commitments to take good care of my pets; I have a commitment to my husband to be a beautiful partner and to uphold the Absolute with him as we go through life together. I do the best I can every day with these commitments. I feel so blessed that I was able to care for my mother Mary in my home at the end of her life.  I never felt that it was a burden because I knew I was fulfilling a contract to help. She had asked me a long time ago not to put her in a nursing home, and I told her, “I never will.” And believe me, there were times when I wanted her to go into a home and times when all she wanted to do was get out of here, somewhere else, anywhere else. But something greater kept us always coming back around. I kept surrendering, she kept surrendering, and my husband kept surrendering, into more and more beauty to fulfill the commitment.

Something happens inside of us when we fulfill a commitment; something gets stronger. Some hole gets filled in with more light, and our awareness of what we are really doing here is deepened.

When you fulfill your commitments, you give yourself the very thing you are looking for. But what you are looking for is never found through the easy or familiar route. Always take the harder way, “the road less traveled,” however life presents it. We give up the golden key, and we do not even know that we are giving it up when we take the comfortable route. It may be comfortable in the short run, but in the long run, on the level of the Soul, we miss something.

For instance, what if you have never, on some level, cared for someone who is dying? What if you have never been close to that or helped someone go through that portal? Death is something then that you haven’t worked with: What is death, what is life? Where do I go, what is going on here? We all face that same portal. By being close to birth, by being intimate in our relationships, and by being close to death, we stay whole.

Can you endure the cracking open of your heart when you let love in, so that you are completely exposed and all that light and love is experienced? Can you handle that? Because that is what people avoid even though that is what they are looking for. It is a paradox. People avoid the intimacy, they avoid the commitment, they avoid the hardship of relationship—any relationship—when relationship is actually what holds the essence.