A rather big shift of awareness happened the other day: I finally invited divine love, with all its unruly magnitude, to come crashing in. Not only did it arrive on cue—it stayed, taking up residence within me. As me—kind of. But not yet 100%. Nowhere near. So now it seems, in effect, that I’m living with a very large celestial roommate. For lack of a more accurate description.
This was no sudden incident out of the blue. It was precipitated by a month-long series of more or less daily shifts and realizations, occurring along two parallel themes:
1. Everything I’ve ever depended on for happiness has been a self-created lie.
2. Divine love is surprisingly, unexpectedly delicious in all possible ways—and I genuinely want to go around seeing and being only that. (Because, yes, everything else sucks by comparison. See theme #1.)
I am inspired to speak openly about this particular shift, because there are aspects of it that might be helpful to others who are walking their own paths home to love.
There’s a very good reason I haven’t spoken about any of the other shifts, even though each has been deeply worthy in its own way. These pedal-to-the-metal stages of the letting go process are messy, you see. They don’t have to be, theoretically at least. Spiritual teachers always hasten to assure us of that.
But let’s be real: As long as the small self is in charge—and it will always be in charge until the letting go process is virtually complete—you can expect a mess.
Besides which, these are messy times we’re living in. High-strung instability is the new normal. The unstable times bring with them a huge opportunity for transformation, yes…but it isn’t likely to be comfortable.
Think of the times we’re in as a rising tide that, potentially at least, can lift all boats to far greater heights than our civilization has ever known. But the water is choppy, and the effects on one’s own dinghy are unforeseen at best.
But hey: If not now, when?
So I, intrepid spiritual explorer, have knowingly and repeatedly steered my vessel onto the rocks. Inviting boat breakage so I can find my own freedom, and maybe also help clear the way for other sailors to follow in my wake.
And that strategy does pay off, a thousandfold. Eventually. When speaking of it in the abstract. But here’s how it goes in realistic day-to-day terms:
When I least expect it, some part of my boat suddenly sideswipes a rock and falls to bits. I cry out with shock and pain. The shock and pain prompts a sudden realization or shift of great depth and loveliness. As a result, I spend 24 hours bathed in joy and peace. And then the next 2 days after that are spent frantically trying to scotch tape the waterlogged boat bits back together, because it’s so deeply uncomfortable to be partially boatless.
And so it goes.
So that’s why I haven’t spoken to you about any of these prior shifts. I was too busy alternately smashing up, and then fruitlessly patching my sad little boat back together.
Like I said: Messy.
But here’s the thing about this most recent shift, and it’s important: I discovered there’s nothing to fear, in the loss of your boat. It was a crappy little craft anyway.
• • • • •
I always get symbolic visuals in my communications with the divine. This welcoming in of divine love occurred because I finally surrendered all my habitual attempts to manage it, or contain it or squeeze it down in any way to fit into parameters I might feel more comfortable with.
Divine love will not be contained. It will arrive as itself, fearlessly free, or not at all.
So the symbolic visual I was given was of the Johnstown Flood, a catastrophic dam failure that occurred in the late 1800s. The dam collapsed, the water roared through the town and swept nearly everything away. The small self, not unreasonably, would have found this a frightening image.
But here’s the thing.
This heavenly flood was incredibly peaceful. There was no fear in it. And that’s because the small self wasn’t the one doing the looking.
As soon as I surrendered and caught sight of that sparkling water rising up over the wall, my perception shifted and I was now seeing from the divine perspective of the water itself, not from the interpretations offered by the small self. In fact, the small self was nowhere to be found.
The rushing water was lovely, pure and clear. And I was actually glad, relieved, to watch as it swept through all the rickety-ass structures I’ve built in my lifelong futile quest to feel happy or safe in this unhappy, unsafe world. I marveled that I could watch this process so peacefully and entirely without fear. My safety wasn’t even slightly in doubt.
And I heard: It’s impossible to drown when you know yourself as the water.
And then I was wordlessly given to understand that, in fact, not everything would be swept away. Some people, some objects would still be left standing after the floodwaters receded. But my relationship to each of these, my own perceptions of each of them would be washed clean, and made new.
And that’s good to know, that some things and some people will accompany me forward. But I couldn’t bank on that beforehand. It was only because I was ready to allow absolutely everything to be swept away, that I could issue the no-strings-attached invitation to let love in. As long as I hung onto anything out of fear of losing it, fear itself was the thing that blocked love’s entry.
And that’s how we usually tend to do it. We hang on to the bitter end, kicking and screaming, clutching our various small treasures, afraid to let them be removed and replaced with something infinitely better. Until we eventually figure out the hard way how worthless those trinkets really are. And only then do we consent to let them go.
But I see now that it really doesn’t have to be that hard.
So here is my advice: Be incredibly bold. Chart a fearless new course—the rockier the better—and do your best to be excited each time your pathetic little boat springs another leak.
Because when you’re finally ready to take that plunge and surrender everything—(how bleak and juiceless that glorious choice seems beforehand!)—you will instantly be shown how unspeakably wonderful it actually is.
But of course you won’t get to see any of that until after you surrender. Because that’s the way it works.
I know. Bummer, right?
But that, my friend, is why they call it faith.