I was thinking about God this morning. I do that every morning, in fact I do it pretty much 24/7, but what I was thinking specifically about this morning was language when it comes to God.
See, I’m a pretty literal sort of person: what I hear, I tend to take literally. And I hear a lot of God talk that simply doesn’t make much sense to me, given what I believe, what I know, what I’ve learned, and what all the evidence suggests (including what is written in the Bible).
What the evidence suggests is that God is not an outside entity. God is not separate from us, nor does God exist away from us somewhere, doing stuff.
What the evidence suggests is that God is very much a part of us. Yep, you and me and the guy down the street and that homeless person over there and that movie star on the screen and your next door neighbor and the dog and the cat and the trees and the sun and the moon and the sky.
So knowing this evidence, and experiencing it to be true in my life, I want to tackle some things I quite frequently hear about God, and suggest another way of viewing things. What gives me the authority to do this? Well, simply put, I have no authority. Or put another way, I have all authority. I also have a bit of training, and most importantly, I have a blog where I frequently take advantage of freedom of speech, and where I frequently attempt to pass on to you, dear reader, what I have learned. Because really, what I have learned has allowed me to live a life of peace and joy, and that’s what I think it’s all about, and that’s what I want for you. So in the interest of advancing peace and joy in everyone’s life, here we go.
1. “God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle.” Actually, God doesn’t do things. We do things. God simply is. It does not do. And substituting another word for God doesn’t change that. The Universe doesn’t do things either. What It does do is provide us with a source of strength, energy, inspiration, peace, love. What It does do is provide a way for us to behave with dignity and grace, no matter what, in all situations. Life happens. I’m not going to go into here about why life happens, although this is a huge part of what I do in my coaching work. My point here is that when life happens, God didn’t do it.
2. “It’s God’s will for me.” Actually, what God wants for you is what you want for you. Remember that God is a part of you. God’s will is about alignment with your own personal beliefs and values, not about what something outside of yourself wants.
3. “I’m mad at God.” Oh dear. I’m sorry. I empathize. But I think the anger is misplaced. You may want to look a little closer to home to see who you are angry at.
4. “How could God let this happen?” See #1.
Somehow does viewing God in this way allow me to live a life of peace and joy? Well, first of all, it empowers me. And after being a victim for the first 40 years of my life I can tell you that being empowered is freedom. And freedom leads to peace and joy. I’m empowered because I am now taking responsibility for my life, instead of leaving the stuff up to God. I’m empowered because I am able to make decisions for myself, instead of taking the word of someone else, even if that person is in a position of seeming authority. I am empowered because in using the ancient spiritual practice of introspection, I have come to know myself, and in knowing myself, I know God.
Secondly, viewing God in this way allows me to live a life of peace and joy because, in viewing God as a part of me, and me as a part of God, I embody the attributes of God: peace and joy being among them. Attributes of God are forgiveness, love, kindness, acceptance, compassion…the list goes on and on. What I know is that when I embody forgiveness instead of anger or blame, I feel better. What I know is that when I embody compassion instead of judgement, I feel better. What I know is that when I embody love instead of hate, I feel better.
So the next time you are feeling powerless, or perhaps like God is out to get you, or that life just doesn’t seem to ever work in your favor, try viewing God in a different way and see if that doesn’t help.
New Year’s Eve Playshop! Bring in your new year with a little bit of play and some wonderful experiential exercises designed to allow you to begin your year with positive power! December 31, 6-9 pm, at Center for Spiritual Living Lake Tahoe. Cost is $20.
New Class! Offered at both CSL Lake Tahoe and CSL Carson City. Tahoe class begins January 8, Carson class begins January 10, both 6-8 pm. Cost is $99 for the 8 week class and includes a workbook. Class is titled “What know to be true for me.” In knowing your truth, you are no longer subject to confusion, misdirected decisions or uncertainty. Come join us! For more information, call 530-906-9336