A Spiritual Direction Question that Stopped Me in My Tracks
Are we so broken that we would aspire to anything less than a sacred world?
This is the question posed to me several weeks ago as I was reading Charles Eisenstein's Sacred Economics. And it has been rolling around in my mind, like a shiny cats-eye marble, drawing my attention, and inquiring.
Sometimes as it rolls across the slant of my mind, it tips the question a bit, and I hear, Are you so broken that you would aspire to anything less than your sacred self?
Other times, when I'm sitting with someone I care about very much, the marble drops right onto my tongue and I wonder, am I meant to pass it along?
Friends, that's what happened today when I was thinking of you. Consider the shape and depth and content of your recent aspirations . . . . To what do you aspire? For the day? In this week? In a relationship? In your work? In a lifetime? And do these aspirations mirror the dignity of your sacred self?
This kind of pondering can quickly become intimidating when our egos are evoked. Suddenly I worry if I am living up to my potential, or if I've disappointed God or my parents or my best friends. Uugh...who wants to go there?
But stay with me; that's not what I'm inviting here. What I'm asking is if our aspirations match the grandeur of our spirits? What I'm asking is, if having heard your own heart's deep desire, can you maintain a bond of fidelity to your truest self? What I'm asking is, are you willing to let old identities for yourself drop, so that a new name might be given? A name that ushers in new ways of being and doing.
What I'm asking is, can you trust that the deep desires implanted in you are worth mining? Can you trust that your deep desire for abundant life is God's desire planted in you from the very beginning?
As Nelson Mandela asserted, "Humans can't bear the burden of their own inherent greatness." I think this is probably true. But perhaps we could stay a bit with the holy discomfort this truth evokes in us. I know of no better model for how to do this than what the 13th century Catholic mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg offers in her prayer, "Lord, I Bring Thee My Treasure."
What's happening in you as you read this? What do you notice in your body? Has something softened and grown expansive? Or do you note some tightening, or constriction? Be present. Let it all teach you. And, if you'd like to share, I'd love to hear!
Friends, stay open and expect great things. Don't be too specific.