Engaging Our Spirituality: Taking Leaps Of Faith

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    Any adventure is always a leap of faith. Engaging our spirituality is our faith-filled adventure into life. With fullness and enthusiasm, we have an idea. The idea takes more form as a vision, and step-by-step our idea becomes manifest as a full-blown vision of our original intention.

    This whole process is so very special and so very important to me in making a personal impact on life. We have so severely underestimated our human potential. We have lived in a 5,000-year era dominated by fear and limitation. We are far greater than that and the whole world has taken hold of that idea and that "new" reality.

    Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox says we are in a Renaissance time. I agree with him. Even amidst the chaos and confusion, there is enthusiasm. There is hope. There is vitality. I got a postcard recently from friends in South Africa saying this very thing. My friends are abroad for a year helping others build schools and bringing hope and medicine to the South African people. Their postcard said, "The Republic’s new flag is ethnic in design and concept and heralds an era of optimism, progress and peace for all its varied race groups." Now that’s a vision worth celebrating.

    This is just one example in our changing world. There are so many others. There is the cover story of the young Rwandan woman holding to her faith and courage as she recovers from the brutality perpetrated on her family and her people as a nation.

    Anything we do that brings us out of our fear-based small mindedness is engaging our spirituality. Anything we do that brings us into a full-hearted joy, celebrating ourselves and others is engaging our spirituality. Each of us can do much each and every day. Each act of courage, no matter how seemingly small or large, changes our world for the better. Each conscious act helps dissolve the barriers, the hurt, the pain, the rage and hopelessness that so many of our worldwide sisters and brothers are feeling. Each act of courage brings the brightness and vitality of hope, courage, transformation and healing of soul and body. Every act counts. Your effort is needed and welcomed. Your acts of kindness will transform you and your world.

    The first step is taken when we realize what a difference we do make. We have a vision of hope, peace and profound interconnectedness. We take our first step when we care, and because we care. I can’t imagine being in this world and not caring about it. That would mean that I did not care about myself. That would mean I am profoundly disconnected from who and what I am. That is not how I live my life.

    I realize how profoundly special life is and how special I am, too. We all are! This is undeniable to me. I realize that some of us are profoundly disconnected from our specialness and we do outrageous things. That’s all the more reason to care about our world and to help all its people change for the better. That kind of courage and determination and vision is what keeps me going.

    There is so much emphasis put on the negative that it seems easy to miss the positive, but there is so much to celebrate. Most people are enormously generous. It just takes awareness and intention to see it, feel it and appreciate it. It takes a willingness to focus on the generosity of ourselves and others. As simple as this sounds, it is very important. If we feel powerless, we can entirely miss the generosity all around us and within us. We become more and more passive and withdrawn, then cynical, mean and hopeless. That vicious and hurtful cycle spirals downward and takes on a self-perpetuating life of its own. The individual and societal consequences are drastic.

    The ultimate leap of faith is to profoundly love anyone or anything. When we truly love, we are extending ourselves out beyond our personal boundaries in truly healthy ways.

    I attended a workshop on "Real Love" recently presented by Greg Baer, M.D. He made some statements that I certainly already know, and yet, the impact of his words really touched me. He spoke of the difference in how we respond to life when we are operating from a feeling of having a $20 million emotional bank account to draw upon because we have been sufficiently unconditionally loved by others, as opposed to when we feel someone has taken our last dollar. He spoke of the necessity of realizing that people are empty and afraid when they have not been given enough unconditional love. He spoke of the necessity of compassion. He spoke of our "protecting and getting" behaviors, based on what he calls imitation love, which is based on lying. He spoke of the necessity of being honest so we could really be known and loved for who we truly are. He spoke of real love as having the other person’s highest good as our prime objective in relationship, instead of worrying about what we are going to get in return.

    That’s the example of spiritual activism I want to emulate.

    Most of us are amazingly resilient. My question is, how much unconditional love is needed for us to grow up valuing ourselves and to grow up with a generous heart? I am mindful of Dr. Phil’s statement, "We cannot give what we do not have!" Some people were raised in the most miserable of circumstances, and yet somehow they make the decision to value themselves and value the lives of others – to be an agent for change and transformation. Others act out the line from King Lear – rather than "be sweetened by adversity, they were embittered by it." Therein lies the palpable paradox of our humanity.

    Our spirituality calls us out and into our lives. There seems to be no more important journey than engaging spirituality, with your very life, with all of your heart and soul.

    I have experienced the transformative blessing of a simple smile that can carry me for days. I have also experienced the hurtful words said at a vulnerable moment that seem to derail me for days. That is the microcosm in the macrocosm. I know how powerful we are. One person can make all the difference. Be the change you wish to see in our world. Peace, love, compassion, understanding, joy and healing begin with us. By our thoughts and actions, we create our world. Our thoughts and actions act like a magnet. What we send out comes back to us multiplied. Each act of faith is multiplied. Each act of hatred is multiplied. Imagine a world of peace. Work for peace. World peace and love are possible! Namaste to you, world changers!

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