We are all born magnificent, Divine grace in action.
And we all have a choice. No matter our beginnings. No matter the happenings that have drawn us into darkness and driven us away from the divine essence of our magnificence, we always have a choice. To act with grace. Or not.
In, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, Rabbi Shapiro writes, “I made the choice for heaven and, having done so, I went in search of tools for living it.”
Years ago, a family argument drove me into exploration of who I am, why I am, how I am the way I am. At the time, I wasn’t too happy about it. Angry recriminations and questions of How dare they? Why me? peppered my thoughts as I fought the gift of awakening that opened up before me.
I had a choice. To run and hide or face my demons and blame ‘them’ for my confusion and unhappiness, or to choose the gift of awakening. I chose to take the hero’s journey.
I am grateful.
Awakening has become a lifelong journey. It began with a deep dive into my psyche, ferreting out mountains of hidden hurts and pains, and frozen lakes of discord that were keeping me spinning out of control, continuously re-enacting limiting beliefs that did not serve me well on my journey but instead, drove me into the darkness of believing, I was not worthy.
In discovering lies I thought were truths, pains I thought were mine forever, I discovered Damocles’ proverbial sword was not hanging above me by a thread of someone else’s making. I was the one holding sword and thread above me. I was the one holding onto the past and in the process, killing my own joy. My own freedom. My own magnificence.
I had to make a choice. I could no longer live beneath the imminent danger of believing the sword was poised to fall upon me. I had to either decide to cut and run and hope the sword missed my head. Or, acknowledge the thread and sword were not real. They only existed within my mind.
To choose the first kept the past alive through the lie that I deserved to live a life of fear, of always believing something or someone was out to get me.
To choose the latter, to choose to face the lie of the thread and sword and imminent danger always waiting to cut me off, I could be free.
I chose freedom.
Every morning when I awaken, I choose freedom.
I choose kindness, not cruelty. To believe in abundance not scarcity. To trust in the universe and not give into distrust, resentment and self-fulfilling prophecies of doom parading as truth.
I choose grace over anger. Love over fear.
This morning, that choice lead me to these words by Franciscan sister and scientist, Ilia Delio:
“Heaven is earth transformed by love when earthly life is lived in love; the suffering of earth is transformed into a foretaste of heaven when one sees and hears from the inner center of love.”
And my heart beat wildly in recognition of truth shimmering in the quiet of this morning where darkness begins to retreat into the night and the days grow longer as light returns to the world. I breathe deeply into the truth.
Love is always the answer.
For today and everyday, may we all choose Love. May we all choose to let grace be the path we walk in peace. And on our path from one moment to the next, may our thoughts, words and actions transform the suffering of the world around us so that together, we use our power to choose peace, not war; joy, not bitterness; grace, not anger; Love, not fear.
This post is inspired by Richard Rohr’s morning meditation: Choosing Heaven