Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Stress: Part 2: (Relearning Who God Is)

I love that what struck me on FB yesterday was from Aha Parenting and essentially all about being in the present moment with your kids (not the shiny presents from Toys R Us)  It was fantastic advice.  And today, Father Rohr says what I have been coming to learn over the last 5 years - consciousness leads to God being right in front of me or rather God in me, in the present moment.

This is Father Rohr's meditation from today.  What I really like is bolded.

God Is Here and 
Thus Everywhere
Thursday, December 11, 2014

The last words Jesus spoke to his apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane were “Stay awake”; in fact he says it twice (Matthew 26:39-41). I believe the work of religion is, more than anything else, to keep you awake, alert, alive, conscious. Consciousness comes from a wholehearted surrender to the moment. If you’re conscious, you will experience God. I can’t prove God to you. But people who are present will experience the Presence. It’s largely a matter of letting go of our resistance to what the moment offers us.

To be here now is the simplest thing in the world and the hardest thing to teach. In many ways it is the very foundation of all religion and all spirituality. You cannot get there by any kind of worthiness contest whatsoever. You cannot get there; you can only be there. I am convinced that the purest form of spirituality is the ability to accept the “sacrament of the present moment” (as Jean-Pierre de Caussade called it) and to find God in what is right in front of me. At that level, there is almost nothing to argue about. In fact, argumentative religion proceeds from not being present.

It seems we all start out thinking of God as “out there.” Yet we also need to believe, even spatially, that God is “in here.” We must know that deeply before we can take the Now seriously. The reason we can trust the Now so much is because of the Incarnation and because of the Divine Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Christians have been given the promise that the Word has become flesh, that God has entered into the human, and the human soul is the temple of God. This is Paul’s discovery (1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and it is repeated through various metaphors by every Christian mystic.

Father Rohr's teachings are a balm to my soul.  My idea of God was so battered that I cringe when I hear the word Christian.  My idea of a Christian for several years now has been that of one of a right wing fanatic with whom I disagree on about everything.  So I've had to step away from anyone who talks about Jesus too much.  I've had to step away from the Bible.  When the word, Jesus, pops up too many times it feels like propaganda.

I am relearning God.

This truth of being in the here and now, I understand.

It's Christmas and there is way too much to do. Christmas stress kicked in two days ago.  I thought I was going to keep the anxiety at bay but my old friend came back.  In years past, it came in late November, so the fact that it didn't kick in until December 9, is pro-gress!!  I have moments where my thoughts are all about the future - presents, cards, tasks, errands, events that need to be attended or attended to.  

But God (or higher power or divine presence)  is in the moment.

It's okay to get off track and my stomach will turn and my thoughts will spin.  I am human.  I find that if I am able to get quiet, the fears dissolve.  I also say, "All will be well, even if it's not."  It has taken several years of a very conscious mind shift to employ these techniques.  I don't want to live in fear and anxiety like I did for the first 40 years.  I needed this shift.   This is the second half of life.   I am so grateful for this shift of consciousness.

Happy Holidays!

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