God is the only goal I have today.
“And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way. We have no goal except to hear Your Voice, and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us” (ACIM Lesson 256 2:1-2).
I was recently asked one of the best questions. It was regarding my recent pilgrimage where I walked 125 miles, alone, for peace. Through the kindness of others, I camped in backyards and campgrounds. There was also the occasional motel stay when there was nothing else available. The insightful question I am referring to arose as someone relayed a past story when a woman was questioned for wanting to walk home by herself, stating that she was being watched over by her angels. She was leaving from seeing her daughter who had been raped. The police mockingly replied to her desire to walk with the statement, “Where will your angels be when you get raped?” Or something to that effect. I am telling this second-hand from someone who was a witness to this many years ago. As I listened to the history of this story, it came around to the question, “Did I feel fear or did I feel I was completely protected like this woman in the story?” Both. This question is so beautiful that it has had me pondering even deeper about fear and forgiveness.
Of course, as we journey throughout our lives, we need to be sensible. It is helpful to tune within and follow inner guidance on where we need to be and places where we do not. There are places that are harmful to our energy and as beings of choice, we do not have to be there. Yet, there are times when things do come up in our lives where we cannot escape our circumstances. What do we do then?
First of all, such cases we can rarely plan for. Often what catches us in life are those moments that were not anticipated but yet arise screaming for our attention. They are the “game-stoppers” and “game-changers” in our lives. They are points of opportunity and encourage us to stop and reflect, so as to become more aware on our journey. They are teaching moments. Think about it this way, can you determine if you will break a bone next Tuesday? No, but one thing that can be guaranteed is that it holds great purpose in that it will become one of your teachers. And sure, you can drink milk and take calcium supplements to ensure strong bones, but you still cannot escape the potential.
As I walked on my journey, I was well aware of what could “potentially” happen around me. But all that was, was a potential. Mostly, the fear I had was born from a thought in my mind, the “What if?” scenarios that run through a busy brain. The “What happens if?” theater that can run a gambit of scenarios in a mind that is searching for peace. It was as though I was walking towards God when a small thread of my clothing got caught on a nail, holding me back. This thread being thoughts of fear or judgement, hindering me from the Voice I longed to hear. The ego, with the help of fear, will do anything so that you do not find your way to peace. And that is what I had to learn to walk with, sleep with, breathe with, and eventually love. I had to learn to love ALL potentials in the game of life.
Yes, something could have happened to me. But something could also happen to me in the “safety” of my home. What comes to mind is the quote by essayist and memoirist, Anais Nin,
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
In my experience, her wise words sum up the choice we have with fear and forgiveness. As we progress on our spiritual journey we reach a point of no return where the risk to go back is far greater than it is to walk through the potential uncomfortableness of forgiveness and fear. We reach a point where we can no longer look away. Sight has been given and we must walk hand in hand with what might seem scary. This does mean forgiving that which seems ludicrous to forgive. It means doing something for all the right reasons, such as peace, when the world will tell you that it is ripe for anything but that.
“The way to God is through forgiveness here. There is no other way” (ACIM Lesson 256 1:1-2).
If we are pure in our intention to walk with God, we must be willing to see how we hold onto fear and judgment in lieu of Her. This means we must look with a keen eye at fear and forgiveness. We must walk with it: dance with it: sleep with it: breathe with it. Yet, albeit with kindness and respect so as to have a conversation with fear and forgiveness, in order to ask it about its purpose. To thank it for its part in the Divine Plan. To part one another on the best of terms because it has been a part of our sacred journey, along with the other beings that helped trigger this exploration. This step on the holy journey cannot be missed.
I heard a wonderful term recently called “Spiritual Bypass.” It is the idea that we will lightly peruse over certain lessons and not explore them deeply enough. Think of it like a heart bypass, where blood gets rerouted to the heart with the use of other veins in the body so as to skip over the blockages of the heart. In the physical body this is a wonderful discovery. However, on a spiritual journey, we cannot skip over any lessons that lead to the One Heart. We can skirt around it if we are not willing and ready, however that day will eventually come. It has to. It is part of the Divine Plan. Whether we do it now or later is all up to us. But one way or another, we are all going Home eventually, and forgiveness is the means to do so.
“Here we can but dream. But we can dream we have forgiven him in whom all sin remains impossible, and it is this we choose to dream today. God is our goal; forgiveness is the means by which our minds return to Him at last” (ACIM Lesson 256 1:7-9).
It takes the same amount of energy to choose fear as it does to see peace. It takes the same energy to choose forgiveness as it does to hold a grudge. However, abiding in fear and judgement are much weightier experiences than the breath of light that comes with love and peace. The point being, the effort in choice is the same while the living experience can create density and depletion or pure freedom.
If this life is a play that we use to witness our divinity, isn’t it time to do so? Isn’t it time to walk with God always and not just in certain circumstances? Where in our daily lives is a small thread holding us back from falling into God’s grace?
We are all on the same journey; the expressed means are just different. I may be called to literally walk in peace. You may be called to write or sing or teach peace. The manner does not matter, all that matters is that we show up when we are called and that we do not let fear or judgement hold us back from our goal, unity with God and Her Will. At some point, the pain of staying small will become too overwhelming that you will only have one choice left, to exercise the one choice for love, and to forgive.
I am ever grateful for those who ask me questions and who invite me to look more closely at fear and forgiveness. These are the beings that help me walk closer with God. These are the beings that help me see the Light. Namaste.