Seeing Through the Glass, Darkly

Today I am thinking a lot about Spirituality.
These thoughts aren't too cohesive--so forgive me if this post is jumpy.

I am doing a lot of soul searching lately, as I am sure you all know, and one thing I've been struggling with is the whole church thing. I've been needing more God in my life, but not giving that the time and energy that it deserves. Church and religion often gets a bad rap--all too often you hear of people being rejected by a church body, and that is just sad. It is the oppostie of what a church really should be. I feel that everyone's spiritual belief are the most personal thing that we have. No one can tell you that what you feel or believe is wrong. We should try to love and be open and accepting to all people and religions--we are all in this big world together. For me, I find peace, hope and love in Christianity. I don't know if going to a church is what I am needing, but I am going to give it a shot. I've never lost my Faith; as I said before, watching Dad go was the most spiritual and Christian thing I've ever witnessed or been a part of. It's just that I am feeling pulled right now to explore and learn more and feel more. What that means in completely unknown, but I am trying to allow myself to be open and accepting to it. My cousin Adam has sent me some links to good sermons that he recommends and Melissa sent me a Beth Moore book that I am about to start reading (thanks, guys!) That is a great way to start.

In this book I've mentioned, Transcending Loss, the author talks about Spirituality and using it with your healing to find what you believe so that you can find peace in your loss and grief. Reading it last night, she quoted a prayer that helped one woman in her journey, and I added a little bit to it to work for me:

"Lord, help me grow into the person you created me to be, and give me the strength to be able to accept it."

I don't know what this means for me, what path my life will take, and that is scary. I am thinking more and more that maybe my life is not meant to be in the performing arts, and letting that go is hard--it is all I've ever done. I am trying to be receptive to this, and let that part of my life go if it needs to go. I just have to keep the Faith.

As I was reading last night at Elaine's acupuncture clinic, I saw a piece of paper on the floor. I picked it up to throw it away, and when I did, I noticed that it was the paper tab of a tea bag, and it said "The universe is the stage on which you dance, guided by your heart." How lovely. I picked it up and tucked it into my book.

Another thing that stuck out to me in the book last night is the following quote by Victor Frankl, "Everything can be taken away from a human being except the last freedom, the freedom to choose your attitude in response to the circumstances in your life." I believe this is true--that is one way that I've learned how to handle disappointment with things and guilt is to release the negative feelings. Let them go. I say that the only thing that makes you feel like a failure is thinking that you are a failure. I've really used this to take a lot of pressure off of myself and exist more in the moment. It is hard, but once you get it the hang of it, it is very freeing.

Finally, I want to say that last night I reread Footprints. Poor Footprints has sadly become such a cliche. I can't tell you the amount of times I've heard the phrase "that's when I was carrying you" used in a humorous or sarcastic manner. But to read it again, to really read it--I was moved to tears. It is a beautiful poem. There are many versions and people claiming authorship, but here is a lovely version that I invite you to read again.

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with my Lord,
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
one belonged to me, the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.
I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You,
You would walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times,
ther is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why in times when I need You most,
You would leave."
The Lord replied, "My precious child, I would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering.
When you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.

Beautiful. I know for me, I've certainly felt like I've been carried many many times. I can't imagine being in this world alone. I take great solice that there is a Heaven (Dad proved that to me) and knowing that one day I will be reunited with all my loved ones that have blessed me with their presence throughout my life.

I know my spiritual journey will never be complete--in many ways it is just beginning. Now I just have to allow myself to walk, even if I am blindfolded.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now
I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
--1 Corinthians 13:12