We are always at a moment of choice. Whether we choose to pay attention or we choose to be kind or we choose to be petty or we choose to be mean, we’re always choosing. It may not feel that way, but if we’re aware of our emotions, able to observe them, and not be at their mercy, then we recognize we’re always at a moment of choice.
That’s incredibly powerful! Most people we’re walking around with don’t understand that choice is their superpower. They don’t understand they can choose their actions and how they express themselves no matter what emotion is moving through them.
When we embrace that choice is our superpower very little can ruffle us. We simply know that no matter what is happening around us, no matter who is in our face, no matter what feelings are coursing through us, we’re in control. That’s a great way to go through life!
So, the next time you find yourself really angry or upset, remember that you get to choose how you react to that emotion roiling inside you. You have a superpower! And it’s that you are always at a moment of choice!
Do you keep a Sabbath (from shavat, “cease” or “desist”) day? Depending on your belief system among the Abrahamic religions this could be on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. But no matter the day of the week, it’s a day to rest and be with the Divine.
I was first challenged to create and keep a Sabbath (I personally love the Yiddish word Shabbos) day for myself by a Center for Spiritual Living minister many years ago. Rev Dr CC Coltrain recognized that my Sundays at our Center were becoming days of doing - running the childrens’ program, Practitioner duties, ministerial intern duties - and not a time of being. I wasn’t spending time with the Divine. I was spending time with schedules and curriculum and other people’s problems. So, she encouraged me to create and keep my own Sabbath day.
The Sabbath is a day to unplug from the world and plug into God. We’re never separated from God, of course, but the busyness of our lives can make it hard to connect with that sacred center we each carry with us. Sabbath day is a chance to do that.
What I love most about creating my own Sabbath is that it is never the same. It can be, of course, but since I design it each time Spirit really guides me. My Sabbath days tend to be very seasonal. Long hikes in the fall, spiritual readings by the fireplace in the winter, gardening in the spring and summer. And no technology! It takes planning, but my phone is turned off for my once a month Sabbath day. What a relief!
A Sabbath day is reenergizing. I’m more in tune with the Divine within and with the Divine that surrounds me as well. We get so ground down and exhausted by life we begin to miss the wonderful little ways in which God shows itself to us. A baby’s laugh, a rainbow, a dog at the park with the zoomies. We can miss those things if we don’t take the time to reconnect with Spirit.
So I encourage you too to pick a day, and make it your Sabbath day. Plan for it. Let God lead you in what you will do that day. Put away all your technology and plug back into your Divine center. We all need time to be with our truest and highest selves. Choose your Sabbath and keep it. You’ll be glad you did.
We all deserve liberation. When we leave our thoughts or our traumas unexamined and, therefore, unhealed we tell our bodies we don’t deserve freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all deserve liberation! Freedom is our birthright.
When I first began to examine my thoughts on race I struggled. I am white and was brought up in an upper middle class neighborhood. I had a lot of privileges and didn’t want to accept that hard work wasn’t always the answer. Then I went to a mostly minority college and got my eyes opened. I was one lucky kid, and I had a lot to think about.
Recently we marked Juneteenth in America. Juneteenth commemorates when the last African-Americans found out they had been emancipated from enslavement. Slavery is a generational trauma that every American carries, black folks especially, but I’ve come to understand that I carry it in a way too.
Being in that mostly minority college showed me that I had attitudes and thoughts that weren’t true about other people that looked different from me or that were raised differently than me. Everyday to this day, I have to examine my thoughts and attitudes about people that look different from me to see if I am acting from those untrue places. That’s called working to be antiracist, and it is a lifelong work for me. I know it is a generational trauma brought on by slavery among other things, and working through it everyday brings me closer to liberation. I want that, and I’m worth that.
Maybe you don’t feel like your work lies in race, but somewhere else. Wherever your work in consciousness lies I know you are worth the hard work it takes to get to liberation. We are all worth healing.
When we heal we become a more open conduit for God to come into this world. When we’re gummed up with trauma and unhealed thoughts God stays in the background. We all lose out when that happens. I urge you to be courageous and engage in your healing! We’re all worth it, and we all win when we heal.
I wish you liberation!
I live with a chronic illness. So, it’s very hard some days to think that my body is perfect just the way it is. Most days, though, I recognize that that statement is true. If nothing else, our bodies are never wrong. It’s Pride month, and there’s a popular saying among the LGBTQIA+ community: All bodies are good bodies. I agree with that.
Our bodies are the only way the Divine can come into this world of form. It is only through our hands, our eyes, our words, that God comes into the material world. Our bodies are that important! The form our bodies take doesn’t matter to God, it’s what we do with them that matters! Are we allowing ourselves to be Divine conduits? Or are we getting in the way of the flow of the Source of all things?
Even when we have health issues we have a responsibility to allow ourselves to be a Divine conduit to the Holy One to come into this earth. Our health issues are a chance to be gentle with ourselves and listen to the Divine within. We may not like the message we get when we stop to listen, but our bodies are much like our thoughts - changeable, malleable.
The chronic illness I live with affords me the opportunity to be gentle with myself everyday, sometimes moment by moment. It doesn’t stop me from allowing myself to be a conduit for the Divine to flow through me and come into this world of form. Some days are harder than others, yes, but I learn more about myself and about God on those hard days.
Our bodies are perfect exactly as they are. We are each a tool for the Divine to utilize to come into this world. What a wonderful responsibility!
God is Angry with the Wicked Everyday
Sunday at 9:30
That’s a church sign I saw while driving my mom to the doctor last week. It really gave me pause. I can’t imagine an angry God. I know the Bible is full of angry God stories, but I didn’t really grow up hearing those stories much. My great-grandmother read me other stories from the Bible. Tales of mother’s love, and animals going two by two. She never emphasized punishments or anger. I guess I was lucky that way.
We all feel anger of course. Sometimes it’s little things and we call it annoyance or irritation, sometimes it’s big things and we call it rage. Whatever the temperature, we all feel it. The question is, what do we do with it? Do we throw “lightning” and punish like the Old Testament God? Do we internalize it and let it eat us alive? Or do we face it head on and learn to observe it and let it cool so we can perhaps use its energy for good in our lives? It’s a question we each have to answer every time we get angry.
God comes to know itself better through our lives, that means through our emotional lives too. How we handle our anger is a window into how we keep the conduit open or closed to God. Are we constricting ourselves with an out of control emotional life? Or are we allowing ourselves to expand with a wide open line to God and a well observed emotional life? We get to make those choices everyday.
So, which would you rather? A constrained life or an expansive one? Which do you think you deserve? The joy is in having the power to answer those questions all the time. I wish you peace.