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I picked up a book off my bookshelf this morning, The Awakened Heart by Gerald May. I have had it a couple years now, it as traversed quite a variety of seasons of my heart with me and been a gift and companion along the journey. And so it remained to be for me this morning, as I continue on, as I am today.
I was so struck by the following words I knew I needed to share them with you all, as well. In this season of Advent, which Christians observe in preparation of Jesus’ birth celebrated at the end of the month, one is prompted to encounter, explore, and hopefully embrace the areas of darkness in one’s life. Perhaps this is uncertainty, confusion, feeling lost or distant, numbness, longing. All the while the encouragement is to let yourself be in this space and with the feelings and seek to receive expectant hope of the love, light, and provision that is coming.
May these words and their promptings stir the soil of your soul. May they unearth covered dreams, desires, and aspirations, and reawaken the germination process of that which may be yearning to be birthed from you.
“What divine power ever said we should adjust ourselves to the ways of our world? Is our society so perfect, so just, so loving that it is worth adapting ourselves to? Think of the great spiritual leaders of history, and think of the most loving people you have known; were they well adjusted? Were their hearts determined by what was practical and proper? To state the point positively, what is so wrong with wanting to fly?
“The natural human spirit is irrepressibly radical; it wants the unattainable, yearns for the impractical, is willing to risk the improper. But as we conform ourselves to the practicalities and proprieties of efficiency, we restrict the space between desire and control; we confine our intention to an ever-decreasing range of possibilities. The choices we make–and therefore the way we feel about ourselves–are determined less by what we long for and more by what is controllable and acceptable to the world around us. After enough of this, we lose our passion. We forget who we are.
“It is imperative, not just for our individual spiritual growth but for the hope of the world, that we begin to reverse this process. …As a start, try to recover some of your own impossible hopes… Might you not hope that suddenly, by some miracle, everyone on earth could have food and shelter? …Do you not long for complete love, beauty, and freedom in yourself and your relationships? …Try to sit with some of your hopes for a while; just be aware of them. See if you don’t begin to feel an expansion of space inside you, a certain enlarging, opening sense of possibility (46-47).”
“Intention, given the grace not to derail itself into superstitious control, becomes a willing, honest turning toward the source of love. In and through that love, all you need is already given. You do not need to learn another single thing. Only allow your spirit to fly (64).”