As I have discussed in previous Installments, part of “My Story” is learning about my own self. Sometimes learning about one’s self is not an easy task. In this Installment, I will share something from some prayers in October 2015.
On October 3, 2015 (Month 7 Day 19), I prayed. During that prayer, the Divine conveyed:
Now for this:
The tone is somewhat different than in other prayers, but the Divine was providing something for me to contemplate. The Divine continued:
a bumble bee buzzes. A horse trots. A snail, well, crawls.
A foundational thought, by stating truths about three different types of animal life. Why those specific three, I am uncertain. But it is the question posed that matters. The Divine continued:
Why the difference?
What is the difference? A bee does buzz. A horse does trot. A snail does move forward at a crawl. But each one also is doing its own movement. Consider that the Divine continued:
There is not, for each does what it’s designed to do.
No difference? Well, to me, there is a difference, a bumble bee is not a horse nor is a horse a snail.
But the Divine was not looking at the animal, but what the animal does. So when the animal does what it is designed to do, then it is no different from another animal.
A bumble bee cannot trot or crawl, it has to buzz. A horse cannot buzz or crawl, it has to trot. A snail cannot buzz or trot, it has to crawl. Each one does as it is designed, and that is how we know the animal, by its characteristics. The Divine continued:
But who are you? What design are you?
That was my major contemplation: who am I? what am I to do?
Look, candidly, learning me was not something I think I was prepared to do. When all of this started, especially back in April 2012, I knew who I was, I knew what I wanted, I knew where I was going, I knew I needed to get there.
Then as these things unfolded, I was compelled to consider myself, my situation, my wife, my kids, my family, my occupation, my aspirations, my personal dreams, my own expectations, amongst, properly, a myriad of other things, almost all intangible, but real issues in my heart and my life.
What does one do when one learns that the design they are being led to is not the design that they expected for themselves or the design that others expected from them? Well, consider how the Divine continued:
Do you care? Of course you care;
You bet I care. With every fiber in my body, I care. I still do. It matters to me how my life unfolds.
When I discussed things with those whom I consider spiritual help, I experienced all kinds of advice, from those who are believers but absolutely deny that the Divine would do such a thing, to those who are believers but told me to just accept what was happening and follow the leading.
Well, I am a believer, I did experience those things. After lots of personal reflection, consideration, and debate, I did come to believe that the leading was genuine, authentic and legitimate from the source of light. The Divine continued:
but why should you?
Why should I? Because the very thing I experienced would forever change me. I was slow to embrace the leading. That might not make sense to some, but it will make sense to others.
First, I am not one who is led by his heart, maybe when I was young, but lessons learned taught me that my heart gave me consequences that I did not want to experience.
So I learned to think before I acted, I learned to contemplate the potential outcome, I learned to plan my life like I would plan a business model or plan a business project, “counting the cost” and calculating the steps to get to where my life needed to be.
That is not heart. That is intellect. From my youth to my adulthood, intellect and the pursuit of proper thinking in order to consider the consequences and err on the side of caution were the things that I was to do.
To fail in that risked not only ridicule but also rejection. It took me a long time to count the cost – to determine that this change of direction is the proper course of action.
Is it from my heart? Now it is.
Is it from my intellect? As much as it is from my heart, it is from my intellect.
It is a course of action that many cannot fathom. Learning how to articulate the support for my course was not always easily accomplished. Others continue to look on in dismay, some disbelief. Yet, I move forward.
It, probably, was not until this year, that I came to appreciate the following, the Divine conveyed:
My point, my son is your heart is mine, your vision mine, your desire mine.
Like I said above, it was a slow process for me to confirm the accuracy of the leading I was given. Ultimately, and sadly, I found all the human advice given me either completely worthless or incapable of completely helping me understand the Divine.
In all of my experiences, that was perhaps the worst let down – to learn that my struggle with the Divine and my life was completely my own.
Why? I offer some thoughts, speculations, not certain if they are accurate. In part, I feel that that happened because people are too concerned about themselves. But it is just as possible that they are also fully incapable of completely understanding another person’s struggles. Yet, another aspect is just as plausible, the task to understand myself was completely my own, and thus no human advice would suffice.
What I learned though, is that some of the things I had been taught were wrong. I had to come to accept that. Then I had to come to accept that I would challenge some of the things that I had been taught. Then I had to come to accept that my very life would be unique.
After what the Divine conveyed above, the Divine added:
Since that is true, why complicate the matter? Follow me and follow through.
Did I complicate things? Maybe. But for me, since I was taught to “count the cost” I couldn’t help but spend months and years analyzing before I determined that it was spiritually actual and worth heeding.
While that was a slow process, and during that process I did interact with many people, including some ladies as a potentially additional person in my life, it was not until here in 2016 that I came to have a much better appreciation for what I experienced and what that all meant toward my life.
What matters now, is that I have committed myself to the Divine, and carrying through on my commitments.
I want to share a portion from my prayer from October 17, 2015 (Month 8 Day 3). I began: Father, I am here. The Divine, in part, conveyed:
Stop running from who you are and embrace yourself,
That is a difficult thing to do, when the one that you are supposed to embrace is not the one who you envisioned yourself to be.
Set aside who shapes and forms your own self image, it could be your self, your parents, your family, your friends, your coaches, your teachers, your culture, any of that, all of that, and more. The thing is you have an image of your self, and what you plan on doing with that image and self.
I did. I do. But that image changed because of the experiences that I have shared through “My Story”. That change of self image was difficult to embrace, but I did. Then the Divine added:
this is good – knowing who you are.
It is good to know who one is.
Look, there are lots of people who know who they are. I don’t know how they arrived at that conclusion, but at least they know who they are.
For believers, we believe that who we are as a person is sourced in the Divine, and that we are to learn from the Divine who we are supposed to be. That teaching is all fine and good, until learning who you are challenges not only your own image of who you are, but also challenges those around you and their picture of who you are, and sometimes challenges them in what they believe is possible, what they believe is doctrine, and what they believe is truth.
Setting aside that aspect, knowing who one is, is a good thing, and brings an aspect of balance to one’s life, which, will help one find a new success in life. Most likely that success is not going to look anything like what success would look like in one’s past self, but success can be found in accepting one’s self.
But the difficult challenge is letting go of one’s image of their past self, and beginning to see not only the image of one’s self, but seeing one’s self in a new way, seeing life and its potential in a fresh way.
Letting go of the past, one’s past self image, one’s past dreams, one’s past expectation to embrace the fullness of one’s self in order to embrace that fresh self image, to make new dreams, to achieve new expectations is not an easy task.
Yet, I know that in doing that I have found that a new life sets before me, totally unexpected, but accepted and embraced.
Blessings and Shalom