Daily InspirationToday, notice what you do to avoid painful feelings. Do you stay in your head instead of in your body? Do you keep your breath shallow? Do you get angry, withdrawn, judgmental? Do you use food, alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, gambling, work, TV? Today, compassionately embrace and learn from your feelings rather than avoiding them, and see how you end up feeling. By Dr. Margaret Paul
Connecting with Spirit: When God is There for Everyone But YouBy Phyllis Stein, Ph.D.
December 31, 2006
Do you believe in God but also believe that God is not here for you personally? Phyllis shows us how to overcome this.
I grew up in a family with a proud tradition of atheism dating back at least to all of my grandparents. The idea of God made me deeply uncomfortable, and I was brought up to look down on the ignorance and superstition of those who did believe. At the same time I was more than a little jealous of them. Part of me wished that something would happen that was so totally extraordinary that it would transform me into a believer. The God I didn't believe in was a guy with a long white robe and a beard.
My attitude began to shift many years later when I realized that some things cannot be scientifically verified, so believing or not believing became a choice. I saw that the three alternatives: the universe wants to help you, the universe doesn't care and worse yet, the universe is out to get you had a huge impact on how life is experienced. I opened to, at least the possibility that the universe was loving (I could not use the G-word). The net result of this decision was that when I heard of non-rational experiences and psychic phenomena, I was interested in them and began to read about them.
Fast forward to my first Inner Bonding weekend workshop where Margaret flatly stated that a spiritual connection was essential to the work. "Oh dear," I thought, "I guess I have to get a spiritual connection." Easier said than done! I had no trouble believing that people were connected to spirit. I saw it all the time at intensives and in my husband. I had no trouble believing that things were happening in a way that supported me. I even had a certifiably non-rational experience when, without touching me, the Reiki master had permanently changed me ("My hands, they're so hot!"). I did not even have trouble getting answers when I tuned into guidance, but filling up with God's love, or even, really, being able to say the word God, eluded me completely, and I could not figure out why. I tried to create and work with a spirit guide, and although my guide's eyes were filled with a deep and eternal love, it was not enough. I was totally stuck at "God exists for other people but not me."
Finally, I guess it was time. The first thing that happened was that my husband, in the early stages of the affair that eventually destroyed our marriage, became, for the first time, a safe person. He had found another person to take responsibility for his happiness, so he stopped blaming me and closing his heart. That gave me a chance to just be myself, and I faced, for the first time, the part of me where my heart was closed. I realized that I was, at that level, totally incapable of bringing love; all I could do was get it by connecting with him. I deeply wanted to change this.
The second thing that happened was that someone recommended Michael Newton's book "Destiny of Souls." I read it and was especially taken with the concept of a soul contract, the idea that we agree to do certain things in each lifetime, for ourselves and for the members of our soul family.
These two things were in my mind last Thanksgiving when, in a deeply meditative state, I asked the question "What keeps me from feeling divine love?" Here is what I discovered. I had the false belief that there is a test. The test I imagined was whether I could keep my heart open and continue to love in the face of childhood pain. I believed I had failed, especially when I thought of all of the people I had met at intensives who, despite horrific experiences, had kept their hearts open. Then, I reframed the whole thing. Rather than seeing myself as having failed, I suddenly saw myself as having undertaken a soul contract to do exactly what I did, close my heart. All of a sudden, I knew that I had undertaken this very difficult task out of the deepest devotion to God, and that who I really am is totally devoted to being a messenger of God's love. It was the most intense truth I had ever experienced! From there it was easy. I could say, "Okay, I love God that much, it makes sense that God would love me back. And so, I reached out to God, to the energy of pure love, with my heart and the circuit was complete. I filled up with love. My husband, who was there, told me that the energy of my body had changed completely.
I think a lot of us probably have this specific false belief, that there is a test and we have failed it. More important, though, is that the reason that we cannot feel God's love comes down to a false belief about ourselves or about God. As my experience shows, when the false belief is healed, the disconnection can be healed in a moment. I still can use that doorway to connect. I remember who I really am, how deeply devoted I am to serving God, and I am there. It is who you really are too.
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