Thursday, May 8, 2014

Journaling as a Spiritual Practice: The Light Gathers

It begins as a blank page when you have nothing to say. It creeps, line by line, into a journal entry on a sad morning.  

But here's what amazes me: how the light gathers. How a journal becomes a beacon.    

That's the beauty of journaling as a spiritual practice.

You don't think you have anything to say. You don't think there's anyone listening, anyway.

But when you go to the place of telling the truth, just telling the truth, to the highest force of Truth you know, there's always light. The light gathers. 

So many times we are caught up in telling ourselves things, pretending we feel what we don't, demanding we be who are not. This goes along with the trap of saying prayers we don't believe. 

Truth is better.

Being where you are is the only beginning.

When you touch the darkest, most honest, most frightening truth, you're pierced by a sliver of light. 

The Presence can't work with you if you're trying to impress yourself or your deity. The Presence has no use for ego-construction projects. The architecture of protection only hides what we need to see about ourselves.

So when you visit your journal today, don't worry about writing something spiritual or profound. Stop protecting yourself from what is.


 What is the most honest thing I can say to God right now?

And say it.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Honest to God

A fog of longing and disappointment is falling over me this morning.

I pretend not to feel it. Needy, lost.

This isn't how I want to be. This isn't how I want God to see me.

Then it comes to me: tell the truth.

I'd rather keep pretending for myself, others, and the Presence, that I am fabulously enlightened and so over-the-world.

It's only when I connect with what is real that I can begin to see. Tell the truth.

I ask myself: What's the most honest thing I can say to God right now?

It's the most powerful question I know. I let go pretending.

There's only me and the Truth - no one else's definition of who I am, or who I should be. And, no one else's definition of God.

What I notice this morning is how hard I'm trying to make myself acceptable.

Noising off in my head, and everywhere, about my efforts, my prayers, my dedication, my meditation.

Merely noise.

Because I don't feel it: accepted.

The most honest thing I can say to the Presence right now is - Hey. I am really messing up here. I'm clingy, chaotic, distracted, addicted.

I'm no good at making myself happy. I know better, and I'm afraid to show you who I am. 

Moody, selfish, erratic, and confused. 

A demanding and apathetic wife. An inconsistent, obsessive friend. A distant, unreliable mom.

Dear Presence: I want to be different. I remember Your beauty inside me. 

Right now I can't find it.