Thursday, March 30, 2006

Me, Myself & I: Prodigals All

I'm not sure what started me thinking about this, but the theme of the Prodigal Son has been surfacing in my life a lot lately. Instead of thinking of the prodigal as different people in a story, however, I've been thinking about it as different aspects of myself. I have a "good son" part of me that always tries to do everything right--that feeds the cows and does what's good and true. And I also have an "adventurous and carefree" self that sometimes wants to go off and climb mountains and wander through rainforests. There's a part of me that is really good at creating fantasy (especially when I'm hurt or scared) and there's a part of me that is firmly plugged into reality and knows what it means to have deep roots of faith. I'm rational and irrational; I'm logical and emotional; I'm body and spirit.

But the aspects of myself that I call "good" are much more welcome in my world than the parts that don't do things "right." My prodigal self needs to be able to come home hungry, having tried the wrong road and found it wanting, and find the true, warm, embracing love of a forgiving, understanding self that is eager to welcome those messy aspects back into the fullness of life. But all too often I think I behave like the jealous "good" brother in the story, wanting to tell the prodigal self that it didn't earn it's happiness; it doesn't deserve a break; it didn't do the right thing when push came to shove.

I'm so glad that Jesus told that story. He was talking about grace, mercy, forgiveness. He was talking about what matters--life, all of it--good, bad, messy, wonderful, upside-down, inside-out life. What matters is wholeness, not hiding, truth. When we can welcome those hidden or distanced (or rejected) parts of ourselves back into the family, simply because they exist, we will find what it means--in that very moment--to live Heaven on Earth.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Remarkable Recovery

This morning I read an amazing article written by doctor and breast cancer survivor Mandi Caruso in Spirituality & Health magazine (February 2006). WOW. Talk about inspiring. This woman's story is remarkable, and her own sense of healthy personal power just pours off the page as you read. If you've never read an issue of Spirituality & Health before, now's the time to try it. The article is called "Alive with Passion." Here's the web site.Enjoy and be inspired!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Living Faith

This is a quote from an amazing book by Iyanla VanZant, entitled "One Day My Soul Just Opened Up." I find her writing powerful and full of truth--it affirms much of what I've been learning in my present life circumstances. I hope it blesses you, too!
    You are faith in the flesh. God has so much faith in you that you were entrusted with the gift of life and a unique mission to fulfill. Did you ever stop to think that you could have been a fruit tree. You could have berries or flowers sticking out of your ears! Instead you were given the right to make conscious choices, the ability to create through thought and deed, and dominion over every other creature. That is a demonstration of the faith the Divine has in your abilities and capabilities. Your task is to return faith with faith. You must live with the knowledge that everything you need, at any time you need it is being provided. Not will be provided. Is being provided! This is how we can each become an example of living faith: by knowing that your good is on the way. In every undertaking you must live with faith in the power of your thoughts, the efficacy of your words, and the purposefulness of your actions. When you are challenged by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, you must live with faith that the truth of your affirmations, your positive words, will manifest as tangible conditions. When you set a goal, you must proceed with living faith that there is a divine plan unfolding in your life and as your life, and that if the plan is supported by knowledge of spiritual laws, the benefits will be divine. This is how we must direct our thoughts and actions in order to become living faith."

Isn't she amazing? I love it that although Iyanla writes about the power of our thoughts, words, and deeds, she roots that idea in love of God and the desire to manifest God's highest good in our beautiful lives. God is truly at the center of her message as a powerful, empowering, animating, creative force.

Thanks, Iyanla, for sharing your learning, your wisdom, and your voice. :)