Making the Divine Mind, Mine: Reaching for Unknown Heavens
by Sister Nariel, Contemplative Order of Anam Cara
The running is over, the decorations are stored away for another year and for many of us, the cold days of winter are beginning to take their toll. Post-holiday blues tug at our heart strings and drive us towards the left over cookies that we swore on New Year’s to avoid. We’re at the threshold of opportunity. So why does it feel like we’ve been drop kicked through the goal posts?
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the past and move towards the future. The past somehow seems so very comfy to us. It’s not that the past didn’t have its share of difficulty, trial and pain, but we got through it didn’t we? We paddled that creek, climbed that mountain and walked that path. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow.
Yes, it’s true that we have our share of scars to show for it, too. Perhaps we are a bit more cynical then we once were. We cut our eye teeth on adversity and learned how to make ‘Helper’ when the hamburger was too expensive to buy. We were hurt by the carelessness of others or became victim to our own deflated valuation of ourselves. We learned not to trust our own voice. We silenced it and hid it away until we could no longer find it anymore.
Yet, still… here we are, aren’t we? We’re at the brilliant yet baffling doorway between today and tomorrow. Even when we want to make the changes that we are certain we need to make, we tend to stick with our old behaviors. They are those “old friends” that tell us: “I’m a nobody. I’ll always be a nobody.” “ I’m no good. I’ll never be any good.” “I can’t do it. I don’t know how.” “I won’t succeed. I always fail.” These “old friends” are comfortably enmeshed in our fabric of being. They keep us from being truly alone, from trying and failing—because they remind us in their niggling way, that we will indeed, fail. Epic failure. Huge.
Remarkably this very threshold offers an opportunity for us to relinquish our known hell and to take hold of our unknown heaven.
It can be scary to close our eyes and imagine what our heaven might look like. A better job? A healthier relationship? Perhaps that unknown heaven is a trip we’ve longed to take or an art or talent we have wished to try or develop. Maybe it’s going back to school to pursue our degree or making amends with the person that we had the falling out with. That’s the brilliant thing about our unknown heaven — it is unknown. We can’t possibly see or fathom how wonderful it might be!
Marianne Williamson once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are Reaching continued from page 12 powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
The only thing that holds us in a known hell is our inability to see and take hold of an unknown heaven. We are terrified of falling flat on our faces with everyone looking on. We are horrified by the possibility of failure. Our “old friends” mock us with our own excuses and self-deprecating mantras.
Behind the door of your present, there is indeed an unknown heaven. You alone hold the key to that door. It is your choice if you will turn the lock, cross the threshold and take hold of your heaven. Peace to you and peace to your sense of possibility. Peace to your past and peace to your present. Peace to your future, because it will come — ready or not. Believe in yourself as I believe in you. You are amazing! You are nothing less than beautiful.
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