All of Queensland is covered in cloud and the rain hasn’t abated in a week.
AJ & I have spent the past few days visiting with dear friends, Raj and Sue, and Mike and Fi. It has been such a beautiful time filled with moments of tears and laughter, Truth and tea. Raj and Suz’s home is nestled amongst the clouds on a mountaintop surrounded by eucalypts and rather than feeling boxed in by all the rain we have found cosy spots for chats on the deck or alone time for individual processing.
All of the rain and conversation has only intensified my usual propensity for self-reflection at this time of year. This morning we were due to go home but our roads are flooded. I found myself with my journal on the deck contemplating the year that (almost) was and the one to come.
2010 has been a good year for me. I’ve begun to shift and change and embrace this Path more fully.
There is so much to be grateful for. I find myself quite overcome by all of the gifts that I have come to recognise were always there for me, and all of those that I have opened myself to receive. My journaling this morning gradually became a chronicle and catalogue of the things that have opened, challenged and inspired me this past 12 months. I thought I would share some of them with you.
Finding God, Finding Faith
The further I journey along this path the more I am filled with awe of the great Love that God has provided to us. This infinitely challenging, beautiful and rich journey of self-discovery, of development in love and growth in Truth, which He has designed as our journey back to Him, has begun to feel more and more like a gift.
In 2010 I feel that I regained a connection with God and words can’t really do justice to the emotion that this stirs in me. I spent 31 years in disconnection from the most Loving, the Wisest and most Nurturing Being I will ever know.
It wasn’t such an easy process, reconnecting with my Creator. I’ve had to work through many preconceptions and injuries about Her. My Dad is angry at religion and as a child I took on a lot of these beliefs and associated ‘God’ with ‘religion’. I was so angry about the hypocrisy, judgement and violence I saw in supposed ‘followers’ of religions that I associated God and religion with judgement, hypocrisy and violence.
I never wanted to mention God because I was afraid of other people’s opinions of me (remember I’m the girl who always wanted to ‘fit in’). I didn’t want to be labelled the names I had heard bandied around with derision by others in my childhood i.e. “God Botherer”, “Bible Basher”, etc.
I was also a little confused by my dalliances into ‘New Age’ circles that made me feel that God was not an entity to be known, but a ‘life-force’ or that simply She didn’t exist except as nature or as the great energy of love.
Gradually I have been working through my fears about how others would perceive me, and the need for my father’s approval (which had previously kept me very aligned with his views).
This helped to free me up to begin to feel what I felt about God. Unfortunately then I realised that, quite separate from religion, I was quite angry with God. I couldn’t see the love in what had happened in my life. I raged at God feeling that I didn’t have a choice about being Mary Magdalene and what that meant for my life. I swore and yelled, I refused to move forward, I believed there should be another way or some concession should be made for me since it was all so bloody difficult and overwhelming! I wanted to be just like other people, not perceived by others as some cuckoo re-incarnation nut.
The great thing is that God didn’t mind. He let me be angry. He waited for me to get it out. And after I did some of His Wisdom began to enter me. I began to see that God wants me to discover me for a loving reason, to become the best I can be, and to connect again with Him in this process. All my rage and fear and desire for approval had blocked the message God was trying to get through to me. He was waiting for me experience my real emotional state before He could communicate with me some of His Personality and Love. He wanted me to embrace my fear and darkness so that I could be free of it forever.
God desires to know me, and desires that I know and feel myself. He wants me to embrace who I am – even if in the beginning ‘who I am’ is angry, sad, fearful or ashamed. He knows that in doing so I can begin to connect again with my true self – the passionate, unique, desirous and loving being He created. This was such an important turning point for me this year – realising that I may want God but if I didn’t want me, how could He and I have a relationship.
The truth was; I didn’t want me. Especially I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that I am her, Mary Magdalene! I was OK if ‘me’ could just involve Mary Luck and all of her pain and shame, but to accept and embrace the real me? That seemed impossible.
I remember the moment when the realisation hit me – I can’t connect to God if I continue to run from who I am. I cried for a long, long time, because the fear of finding the real me, embracing her in her sorrow and shame, seemed excruciating – but – I really wanted God. It was this desire, to know and feel God that helped me push through the fear I had of being labelled a freak, through my fear of dying from the immense pain and loss inside of me. This was one of my greatest gifts in the year 2010 – connecting to my yearning for God. And in turn that passionate desire gave me the courage to step into the darkness and uncertainty of my emotions and life.
And do you know what? The truly the beautiful part of this process, the part that feels like a miracle (but is really just a reflection of the Coolness and Lovingness of God) is that God was there waiting for me. Her arms of Love were open and welcoming. And now, whenever I feel myself to be stagnate, or flagging, I remind myself of God’s Great Love and Her desire that I become whole again. God has made so many beautiful provisions for me – not the least of which is the Care and Love She provides to me when I am willing to step towards my fear, towards my true self and towards Her.
Words seem feeble to express my gratitude for my life at this very moment. I could not have reached this place that I am, closer to contentment than I have ever been before in this life, if I had not been humble to God’s Way of Love. I am so inspired about what the next year may bring. I am still afraid but I now know that God is Loving and if I continue to be humble, allowing God’s Laws to guide and assist me, I will be delivered into God’s Love and know true joy. I believe that this is the gift of Faith – something that many times I thought I would never feel again.
A Quick Run Down of a Few of My Favourite Things in 2010
- God; rediscovering the true nature of God, finding Faith.
- Yeshua a.k.a AJ Miller (my favourite person in the entire world, giver of Truth, wisdom, tenderness and honesty, thankyou for being in my world, you are so beautiful I can’t believe you are the other half of me).
- Deciding to find the real me, Mary Magdalene– I’m still so afraid of this decision!
“What if nobody likes me when I stop being the old me?”,
“What if I’m too passionate and ‘big’ for everyone to handle?”,
“What if I can’t cope with all the grief I’ve shut down for so long?”
But in the end I’m tired of being someone I’m not and I decided to face these fears rather than live in them. So far its working out!
- Prayer – my greatest tool and now hourly habit that helps me when it seems like my fears will swamp me and shut me down, I really learned the power of prayer in 2010.
- Time Alone – in our eco tent, no food, no internet, no distractions, just me and my feelings. I spent 31 years avoiding how I really felt about myself. Now all the low self worth and shame comes bubbling up when I’m alone, but allowing these things has also allowed me more connection to my joy, my creativity and to my soulmate.
- My Journal – the space where I have developed my self-reflection and found courage to face hard truths about myself.
- Letting Go Of Anger as my defence against fear and grief, as my major method of ‘control’, what a relief! All that anger was tiring and yuk and left me feeling unhappy with myself. I’m now saying a big ‘Hello’ to fear and terror which is full on, but every piece experienced and released brings so many rewards!
- The books of Alice Miller – I recommend these books to everyone, titles include: ‘The Drama of Being a Child’, ‘The Body Never Lies’, ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’, ‘Thou Shall Not Be Aware’ (thank-you Alice; may your journey in the spirit world be joyous and rewarding!).
- Opening to God Workshops – Oh the growth! I feel so honoured to have shared this workshop with so many people in the past year. I find your desire for Love and Truth beautiful. Of course, I often wish I could go back and give it all again, knowing what I know now and growing as I have done. I feel that I would reflect everything more perfectly! But truly the whole experience challenged me to go deeper, to find true humility and to start to embrace my passions again. I have so much gratitude for the experience. Thank-you Anna and Peter Patella for providing the venue and resources that enabled us to present the Truth so readily to others.
- Finding My Creativity Again – my passion for drawing, writing, digging in the earth all lay hidden under feelings of unworthiness and self loathing, as I let them go I am finding my creative, feminine self again.
- Rochelle Adams – body worker, kahuna masseuse, friend (thank-you sister for helping me take my first faltering steps towards experiencing my terror).
- Books, Movies & Media – that inspired my growth &/ or that I just love!
Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers – Karyl McBride
The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Susan Jeffers
Movies (a random selection)
Time Travellers Wife
Up In the Air
Battle Star Gallactica – (I’m as surprised as you are – I LOVED it!)
Modern Family – Helped me to remember how to laugh!
Glee – I love it and I’m not ashamed!
The Good Wife
- Those People Around Us that I see stepping towards their fear and pain in the faith that it will lead them closer to themselves and to God – you walk the road less travelled and inspire me so much.
If you dig gratitude and self-reflection you might also like Melanie’s beautiful Gratitude Diary.