"Honor the tradition but expand the understanding. That's what religions must do right now if they hope to be helpful to humans in the years ahead." Neale Donald Walsh - Tomorrow God
Whenever I come across a new book or material about spirituality, I feel that I'm in touch with something bigger than me because of the author's profound knowledge, dedication, and experience. Over the years, they've become my spiritual family by sharing their insights on love and compassion, and the power of prayer and meditation. Their wisdom accompanies me on my spiritual journey, one that is most meaningful to me. I am grateful because they teach and refresh something deep inside of me that most people around me cannot do. These spiritual relationships remind me of a certain scripture: in Luke, when Jesus is told by a crowd gathered to hear him speak, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." Jesus famously rejects them: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." (8:19-21).
Do you experience relationships or encounters with your family or friends who seem unpleasant at times when it comes to spirituality or religious matters, that might even close the door on you? Are they preoccupied, causing you a greater sense of loss and confusion? But most of us experience this feeling of loss or being alone, and this is your awakening. Just take a few breaths and know that within your heart, mind, and soul, you're making the right connection that'll guide you through this indifference. A few deep breaths will make your heart expand, creating a deeper understanding that nurtures your whole body-mind-spirit. Try to be aware of these conflicting emotions whenever they come up, and immediately take a few deep breaths for your own well-being, as well for that of the others in the situation. You can do this wherever you are. Be careful not to try to push your ideas or feelings onto anyone else to make yourself feel better. And try not to push them down or ignore them, either. Remember this, even if others around you do not understand your discomfort. Just breathe. You've already made the right connection within. Your well-being and changed awareness will not only bring you gracefully through these indifferences throughout your journey; your presence becomes a light for everyone involved. At the same time, other people are certain to show up in our lives to bring more hope, often with words that touch these deeper truths to comfort us more.
I would love to share this reflection below from Imprinted Wisdom that echoes our likeness.
Recognition of Each Other
Anyone who knows the word of God and has heard that voice inside them has been changed. Most people do not see or hear this change that has taken root after much weeding and planting, but those who do have also been similarly changed by God. And all of these changed individuals recognize this difference in one another, as it cannot be hidden or contained, for it is constantly expanding. It is forever moving us to a greater awareness of love's increasing presence. Nothing can stop it; it is stronger than anything in the universe. It heals, blesses, and prospers everything it sees and touches, and we are one with it. It is our choice to accept this Gift.
We are no longer blinded by the outer forms we see before us. We have Someone who is with us at all times, who guides us, who knows how special we are, who wants to give us more than we have ever known before, whose only concern is to see us follow our hearts' longings, and who knows our hearts, minds, and souls better than we know them ourselves. We have Someone inside us who knows how much every person means to us, who understands our mistakes, who forgives us, and who gives us countless chances to do it over until we get it right. He surrounds us with angels and guides us along, breathes the breath of life into us, and is the eternal presence of Love.
I used to ask myself, "Who am I to see and hear this?" And the answer came to me: you are seeing as those who are walking the same path as you, because you choose to see the holiness through His eyes that they see, too. You choose to hear holiness through His ears that they hear, too, and to hear the beating of the One heart that sustains us all. In thought then, we must be enlightened.
I wanted to share my excitement with a spirit-to-spirit connection, but found that no one, not even those closest to me, wanted to talk about these ideas. I learned to be quiet about my spiritual discoveries and connections, getting the distinct message that this was something not to be discussed with anyone else, and that I should keep my knowingness of the God within as something private and personal to be held in the depths of my soul.
But then things began to change, and I started hearing about people connecting to God in the news media, on television, and in books. It was exciting to find that others knew about this way of connecting with God...and were sharing it! I prayed to God to show me whether I should share what I knew with those closest to me or to keep silent. I see now that these people didn't understand that they were lost because only those who have gone through this transformation can recognize it in someone else. In my heart, I knew that if the right time came to share, it would be best to leave it up to God. Until then, I wait in the love and whispers in my heart, mind, and soul.
About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's
works graced locations from churches to public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures and inspirational books, including A Course in Miracles and the works of Marianne Williamson among many others. The mother of two children and a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom. http://www.amazon.com/Imprinted-Wisdom-Catherine-Nagle/dp/145256938X