Archive for mysticism

Gifting Yourself

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2021 by thecrossingchicago

I once had a spiritual director who asked me how I felt about being complimented.  I told him that it felt yucky and that I would quickly shrug them off as the other person “just being nice” or my imposter syndrome telling me that they would soon discover that I wasn’t so great. 

He then asked me, “What if, when someone compliments you, you were to say, ‘Thank you.  I’m grateful for that gift as well?’”

Now that was different.  It not only helped me to finally put my imposter syndrome to rest, but it helped me realize that using my gifts and being grateful for them didn’t amount to hubris.

My ancestors have been healers.  My grandfather was a Mormon bishop who healed my sister at the age of four when the doctor had given her a death sentence from spinal meningitis.  His grandfather was also a healer and a mystic.  He was considered a prophet in the church and performed “miracles” that are even marked by a monument in the town that was named for him: Byron, Wyoming.

Then there is me.  I have healed and I would certainly consider myself a mystic.  I have used this healing ability on others with a heavy dose of skepticism and very little gratitude.  Even talking about it still seems a little strange like I am being too esoteric. Now, I am grateful for this gift.  Some have reminded me that it is important to embrace the numinous and to use what we have been gifted with grateful abundance – even amidst our skepticism.

One area I have not used healing (or Reiki or any other title you might want to call it) is on myself.  Perhaps I thought I wasn’t worthy of healing.  Maybe I was just too skeptical to bother.  But I have been recently reminded that this is a gift for myself, too. 

Ultimately, my call is to gift myself; to be a gift to others while I receive them for myself as well.  There is no reason to leave something that God, the Universe, the Cosmos has somehow decided to use through me to lie fallow.  

When I write, I too am blessed.  When I heal, I feel the gladness of wellness.  When I teach or preach or coach or just be a listening presence for someone, I too reap the benefits of a heart that is lightened.  

I am grateful for these gifts as well.

What about you?  What is it that you should be doing that you are just leaving there to remain dormant?  What do you need to be doing for yourself?  What gift are your grateful for?

Use it and use it well.  And don’t forget to use it on yourself, too, because you are beautifully and wonderfully made and more than worth it. 

Trouble the Waters

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2019 by thecrossingchicago

I can relate to whoever said, “I wonder as I wander.”  These words that originated in Appalachia resound with me because I tend to do a lot of both and usually at the same time.  At any given moment, my mind is awash with musings and questions and in a place like this (Roslyn Retreat Center Richmond, VA), one can get rather contemplative.

I wonder if Meister Eckhart, Therese of Liseux, Thomas Merton and the like had sudden blazes of revelation – breakthroughs that stayed with them for the duration of their lives.  There are stories of ecstatic visions, but most are balanced with accounts of traveling aimlessly through the dark night of the soul – their hands outstretched in front of them to feel their way along in the shadows lest they injure themselves on a rock or tree.  This seems to be where most of us find ourselves at one time or another.

My guess is that these mystics existed in a place somewhere in between these extremes, much like the place where we tend to exist.  To have a constant view of the sacred would be overwhelming.  It’s less about these mystics being especially chosen to receive the light as it is about their ability to wait.  In the waiting and watching they developed eyes to see that which was always there.  The long periods of contemplation gave them occasional glimpses of the Divine that would fade, but serve as a constant reminder that there really was something holding us together.

Most of us don’t have the luxury or the mindset to remain in a state of introspection for long periods of time.  Instead, we seem to be constantly wading through troubled waters trying to get to some place that we don’t even know.

Maybe this is a blessing.  Surely we don’t see it this way.  But who can really bear to look upon something so beautiful for any period of time without going blind?

During our retreat today, we sang the old spiritual, Wade in the Water.  As the melody washed over me and the words crossed my lips, it served as a timely reminder.  It was a prompting that we don’t have to be ashamed when we feel like we are a wreck.  We don’t have to be afraid just because we don’t know what’s on the other side of the river.

Come to your own river with wonder and hope.

Stand there on the muddy shore.  Let the wet loamy sand rise between your toes as you sink into it.  Lift your foot and take that step into the cold water as it swirls around your legs.  Don’t worry, you’ll keep your balance.  You won’t get swept away.

The place where you step stirs up the silt at the bottom and clouds form above your feet.  Wait.  Watch.  What’s left when the cloud dissipates and the silt settles?  Your One and Truest Self.

Nothing is born from the water unless it is troubled first.  And so it is with you and with me.  Amen.