Category Archives: Relationship with God

Responding to Spirit Attack: A Letter

Hi Jesus and Mary, I am wondering if you would be willing to have a conversation with me by phone or skype. Everything is really ramping up for me, I don’t know if I am on track, if I am being relentlessly attacked by spirits. I have focused on my relationship with God and feeling my endless addictions (I think anyway). I feel it would help me a lot.
Love E____ .

Hi E____,

I’m sorry to hear that you have been struggling with spirit attack lately.

Honestly, at the moment I am struggling with spirit attack myself. I know that it can be really hard, confusing and scary. Here are some things that I’ve noticed:

As I have gotten more connected with myself I have found that many of the things I thought I believed or felt in the past about myself or the world have actually been me agreeing with negative spirit messages to me. I have repeated their messages to me and to others in an attempt to avoid spirit attack.

As I work through things I have found that I actually have different feelings and beliefs and desires to what I was telling myself. I was just trying to be a different person with a different life in order to try and make spirits who I fear happy.

When I get or stay more connected to my true desires and feelings the spirit attack ramps up as they try to maintain or regain control of me.

So, I am not surprised that as you have started to follow your desires in harmony with love and truth (including going back to uni and doing more things that you love) that you have felt more under attack.

The key is to recognise that the problem is not what you are doing – you are actually doing better in your progress – but that these spirits are pulling out all the stops to try and get control back because they sense that soon they won’t have any at all.

Once you recognise this dynamic the real emotional work of freeing yourself from the influence and attack forever can begin.

This is where I still run into problems but Jesus so often helps me with encouragement and truth about these issues and I’ll do my best to share some of the key things he reminds me of below:

1. Allow yourself to feel the attack and how that makes you feel.

Rather than believing the messages the spirits are telling you let your self soften to feeling how terrible it feels that spirits would say and want to do such things to you. Let yourself feel how afraid you are of these spirits and what your beliefs are about what they can and will do to you.

Very often I find that I go rigid under attack, I try to ‘survive’ it rather than grieve it. This often means I shut down my emotions completely and start telling myself what they want me to believe. This includes things like “I’m a terrible person” or “Everything is hopeless” or “Feeling emotions doesn’t work anyway – look at how unhappy you are”. Once they have me in that place I will often then be more likely to do their bidding. I get attacking or really negative with others. I put myself down internally to myself or with others. This is me accepting their messages and often I’ve done this so much that I have ended up thinking that these messages came from me not outside me. This is dangerous because it allows the spirits to be ‘anonymous’ and invisible to us. I don’t sense the attack and instead I become their instruments to attack myself or others.

The key thing here is to know that the only reason I do all of that is in order to avoid how terrified I am of the spirits. Because I don’t want to feel fear I believe I have no other choice but to do and believe what dark spirits want me to. And if I have done that long enough and am avoiding fear enough I will end up wanting to not have any sense of the spirits at all.

So I very important step is to begin to recognise that attack and threats are coming from outside of yourself towards you. It sounds like you have begun to do this which is great.

All the negativity and self attack or attack towards others that I end up engaging are all ways that I avoid feeling my terror of spirits. I submit my will to what they want rather than maintaining my love of truth and acting in accordance with it. I believe that you have done this a lot in the past but now that you have grown in love you are less willing to do as much attack of others so of course you feel the attack from spirits more strongly. You need to be aware however of how much you are still willing to attack yourself. This is a way that they sap your energy and you still give up your desires out of fear of them.

From things you have told me in the past, you came from quite an emotionally violent family and so some of the fears that these spirits are triggering are to do with how violently you were treated when you desired to engage your will for yourself as a child. That is, there is terror in you of your parents and how they responded to you as a small child when you had desires and emotions that they didn’t approve of. These spirits are manipulating this unfelt emotion within you. When you release it they will have zero power over you. So let this process expose those fears.

2. Let yourself feel your specific fears.

Under attack from spirits let yourself feel what you really fear will happen. You need to let yourself be specific.

No fear is just general. For example the feeling is not just “I am really afraid of spirits” or “I am really afraid of the dark”

Our fears are specific and individual to us. While we might have many fears of many different things, each one is definite and often intricate in detail.

For example:
‘these spirits will be able to kill me unless I do what they want’, or
‘these spirits will be able to influence people to hate me’ or
‘people will laugh at me when I’m like this and unless everyone loves me I am worthless’ or
‘these spirits can kill my loved ones’ or ‘in the dark people will come and rape me and no-one will see and rescue me’

So let yourself feel and discover what you are really afraid will happen when these spirits are attacking and threatening you.

Below is an excerpt from an online chat I had with someone else which illustrates the process of getting more specific about fear:

Mary: So here is the thing about spirit influence. I know it is hard and I still struggle with it myself but this is what I have found to be true: spirits can only influence through our own negative feelings towards ourselves and through our fear/terror.

Friend: Oh, that makes sense.

Mary: For me, my resistance to feeling intense shame about certain events (abuse in first century) leads me to agree when spirits tell me I am worthless and also my resistance to experiencing my terror of being physically abused and tortured opens me up to believing or doing what they tell me. For example, I might take actions towards myself or others that are unloving in order to try to mitigate their projections or avoid the fear their threats to cause physical harm to me if I don’t comply.

The problem is (as you are experiencing) that by doing what these negative spirit people want or repeating their terrible messages towards us, we end up feeling worse and worse.

Friend: Do you have things you do that help?

Mary: I have found the key for me is to find their particular hooks into me (those emotions I talked about). It isn’t always easy but it really, really helps to get specific about what I am ashamed about or what I am afraid about.

Once I can connect to those emotions even a bit I find I am ‘on my own’ again … that is… they can’t influence me into those terrible negative compounding cycles that lead me to feelings of wanting to die etc

Friend: OK .I will start trying that…I have been working to go back too to the past where the terror started too.

Mary: Great, so for example to start with – when you say that seeing mum in the paper terrifies you… can you get more specific about what you are afraid of?

Friend: I am afraid they can commit me and destroy any chance of a good life for me because they have all the money, power and influence to do that and would if they could.

I feel like I have given up any chance of love and happiness already…and it’s not enough for them. And like they are winning…and I can’t do anything about it.

Mary: So – lets get even more specific. When you mention the fear of them committing you, does this relate to a fear of being physically overpowered and your freedom being taken away?

Or is it that they can convince others that you are wrong and therefore alienate you from acceptance in the world?

Friend: definitely the second one…

I’ll never understand how they can all be so happy when they know the truth…

Mary: OK – awesome.. so you know that one of your big fears is about them influencing other people’s opinion of you and being able to convince others that you are bad and worthless.

And if you think about it this is the exact fear that came up for you in your recent attraction with me and Jesus when you thought L____ would ‘poison’ us against you. This wasn’t the case but the fear was triggered in you and because you didn’t feel it, it clouded your perception and allowed a bunch of very negative spirits to manipulate that unfelt terror and convince you that you were really in danger of something terrible happening.

So you know that this is a big fear to work on that must have roots in your childhood.

Friend: yes…that is so true…and thank you for that…I will start to really examine this…

3. Don’t neglect truth

This is a beautiful thing that Jesus reminds me of and I watch him practice under spirit attack himself.

This means things like:

–  Read or watch things about God, love and truth

– Don’t avoid people who you know are loving and will be truthful with you and who you have found in the past to be trustworthy, seek them out instead

–  Remind yourself of the truth about your true nature, about progression and about God

– Keep speaking what you know to be truth and follow what you know are loving desires

– Remind yourself that you are getting more attacked because you are growing towards God and love and your real self – not because you deserve it or the spirits are right about you. In fact, anyone who attacks you cannot be delivering truth to you.

– Remember your loving motivations for doing what you are doing e.g. why you decided to follow your desires to go back to university, why you wanted to grow and heal etc.

Truth and love are such powerful forces – more powerful than the evil ones – but when we resist fear it is easy to loose sight of that fact.

So, don’t neglect sources of truth and love in your life. Seek out things that you know inspire you and remind you of truth and goodness. Dark spirits are hopeless themselves and they find it easy to manipulate a person who lives in negativity and hopelessness.

While we do need to surrender to and grieve any feelings of faithlessness or hopelessness that exist within us be careful not to live in those feelings. The path to God is to feel those feelings and continue to seek God’s Truth about everything that frightens us and that we feel hopeless about.

Anyway E____, I hope that some of that helps.

I read some motivational quote the other day that said that most people quit right before they begin to see results. While I think that the person was referring to health and fitness I find it fitting in relation to spirit influence, control and attack.

We feel the world’s resistance to our change the most when we are making definite moves towards personal change and growth. Before then we don’t notice it as much because we are in more agreement with it. As we begin to shift the level of opposition to love and truth that was always there around us just begins to be exposed. We just didn’t notice it that much before because we were stagnant on those issues ourselves. So, I hope I can encourage you to keep going and remind you that Jesus and I love you and we know that you can get through this.

Your sister,

Mary

*******

I wrote this letter some time ago and revised and slightly updated it for publication here today.

As I was rereading over what I had written I was reflecting ‘gee I really left out a glaringly obvious thing to do when under spirit attack’ – which is to pray.

I could claim that it was too obvious to mention – but the truth is that often, when under spirit attack myself, I find myself feeling that the most difficult thing to do is to simply pray.

But it is actually the most powerful thing you can do.

I see that many of us when under attack – myself included – have a tendency to give up, assume a figurative (or literal) fetal position, hang a ‘position vacant’ sign on ourselves and try to wait for it all to be over so that we can feel better again.

This never works.

The truth is that only way spirit attack lessens is when:

  1. We comply in some way with the unloving demands and projections of the attacking spirits.

    We might stop the loving action we were planning to take, we might treat ourselves or others with a lack of love or even begin to attack ourselves. In short, the attack lessens because we, in a small or large way, give up our will to what these spirits want and thus become their instruments. This is what they want and so they ‘back off’.

  2. The attacking spirit changes and decides through their own free will and desire to grow in love to stop attacking you.

  3. We respond proactively by becoming more humble and faithful.

    This means that we begin working through the emotions that the spirits are acting upon thus lessening the power of their dark messages to manipulate us.

A few important things I want to point out here:

Firstly, that option number 2 rarely happens unless you engage with option number 3 first yourself. There are various reasons for this that probably deserve a longer explanation but put simply; it is unlikely that an abuser will cease abusing another person and decide to become more loving before the person who is being abused decides that they don’t want to accept that abuse anymore.

Second thing I notice is, that people sometimes get confused, believing they are doing number 3 when really they are in reality engaged in option number 1.

That is because darker spirits are often comfortable with people they influence on earth living in certain addictions (and calling it ‘experiencing emotion’) if those addictive emotions reinforce the unloving viewpoints the spirits themselves have and make the person on earth more willing to do what they (the spirits) want.

The person on earth can gain the impression that experiencing a certain emotion is lessening the spirit attack and that must mean that they are working through their injuries. However unless the person on earth is willing and desirous to receive God’s Truth on issues then they can really just be experiencing a lessening of spirit attack because they are becoming more compliant with negative spirits and more in harmony with their darker soul condition.

Perhaps a good example of this is a woman who is working on herself and begins to feel that she would like to open her heart to her man. She begins to feel spirit attacked. Through her unhealed emotions spirits can then start to suggest to her that really her issue is that she has been abused by men and she just needs to ‘feel’ her rage and ‘forgive’ the man she is with for harming her in the past.

If the woman isn’t humble she can start to act out emotionally in blame of her partner, withdraw further from him than she was previously and try to ‘work on’ her rage. She may even cry angry tears and spend time bashing inanimate objects in the guise of working through her rage. Suddenly the spirit attack may lessen.In fact, she might feel lighter and have more energy in all of the other areas of her life – except with her male partner.

If this woman is blocked to receiving God’s Truths about matters she only has her own ideas and the spirit’s attack or lessening of attack to gauge her progress. Even if this woman has been harmed by men in the past, while blocked to true humility and to God’s Truth she will stagnate or even regress in her progress. She will not be able to accurately discern what she needs to forgive others for and what  she needs to repent for.

Which brings me back to the issue of prayer. Involving God in this process of dealing with attack (and life in general!) is way powerful. Immediately that we do this we aren’t reliant on our own injured self or the negative spirits around us to determine what is truth and what constitutes progress. If you really think about it, it is so illogical to exclude the most reliable source of Truth and Love from our quest for growth.

A lessons I have learned this year is that I often shut God out of my life because I want to hold onto false beliefs about myself and others. I do this because either:

  1. I believe that remaining in a state of error and untruth in my soul keeps me safer from violent attack (which is an issue of avoiding terror), or because,
  2. I don’t want to feel the overwhelming emotions that facing God’s Truth would trigger (which is an issue of avoiding immense grief).

When I don’t want to pray I remind myself that it is likely due to one of these two false beliefs and attitudes. I can work on those and I will need to deal with these global issues if I am to remain free of negative spirit influences for good.

I encourage you to find the reasons you stop wanting to pray when under spirit attack and to remind yourself that without seeking God’s Truth in our lives we are flying blind, with our injuries and errors clouding our judgement and assessments of things. Alternately, having a reliable external source of absolute truth is such a gift.

God’s Truth provides us with a compass and His Love gives a light to move towards.

***********

Jesus and I have spoken about spirit influence a lot in the past and I really recommend viewing the following videos if you would like more information:

Positively Responding To Spirit Influence S1P1 S1P2  S2P1 S2P2

Coping With Spirit Influence P1 P2

Spirit Influence S1 S2P1 S2P2

If anyone found any other Divine Truth video or written material helpful in responding to Spirit Attack then I’d love to hear from you via email and I can add your suggestion to this list.

Walking the Way: The 1-2-3 of Passion & Desires

On a recent visit to Kyabra, Eloisa reminding of a channeling I had received and shared with her back in 2011.

I had forgotten the channeling and lost my copy so she kindly sent it back to me.

What I love about this message is the way that Rachael and Tim touch on all of the basic principles of The Way – opening our hearts to God’s feelings for us, connecting to our emotional selves, engaging God in an active relationship. They also highlight how living in fear shuts down the natural process of exploring desire and finding our true selves.

Kyabra in Autumn

Personal Mediumship by Mary Luck

Kyabra Station – 27th September, 2011

Dearest sister, please make more time to sit and spend with us. You avoid yourself so constantly and don’t allow yourself to experience the joy of connecting with and discovering yourself. There is much passion, desire and creativity within you that is, as yet, untapped and undiscovered by yourself.

Focus on your passions and desires more consistently – challenge the fears you have about the judgement of others. In other words let yourself:

1. Identify and focus on things you love to do – i.e. to teach, create, explore, share.
2. Do them, and
3. let your fears and emotions be triggered in the process.

At present you begin at 3. i.e.– identifying your fears and grief and anger at the worlds’ possible response to you and your dreams, or your own potential failings

This limits 2. – i.e. it often stops you even beginning to do what you desire,

and then consequently;

1. Is never fully explored because you ‘begin at the end’ of the process.

You pre-empt any possible joy and creativity because you are so focussed on your fear of the third step of the process. Because you view yourself still as this flawed, first century girl, you believe all will end in failure and pain.

This is truly a state of self-reliance. You allow no space for God to help you grow in this process, and you ignore the provisions that God makes through His Loving Laws, in order to assist and protect those who embrace themselves and their desires most fully.

Trust God more in your day-to-day life.

Keep in mind and heart the process you are engaged in – which is to embrace yourself and to heal any injury which prevents the pure expression of self. This is not a passive process, nor is it one that you can be perfect in (or present yourself as perfect in) immediately.

You still believe that your imperfections are proof of your unworthiness and this is a self-defeating injury.

God’s beliefs are different to yours – you must be willing to open your heart to His Feelings for you. This is the fastest way to embrace this process and to trust its efficacy.

Do not believe dear sister that from your state of error you can accurately conceive the wonderful possibilities that are available to you and all of humanity. Be willing to shed your reliance on what you think you know, in favour of a spirit of trust and exploration. You can stay grounded, but let that be a grounding in the goodness that God does demonstrate – not in the hatefulness of mankind who have strayed so far from Him.

We wish you a day full of exploration and discovery.

We would be happy to return to you and discuss the principles of teaching and learning at a later time. With so much love and affection,

Your guides,

Rachael and Timothy.

{Notes On} Missing the Gifts

I know of a woman, who, after eagerly anticipating the birth of her first child, took one look at him after delivery and said “But he’s a blond.” She refused to wash, hold or nurse him for days after his birth. She had anticipated a cherub with brown hair and eyes, and couldn’t accept the blue eyed beauty who arrived.

This woman had no appreciation for the utter wonder of this small new being, a child of God, grown in her womb and birthed by her.  She was not awed by the miracle of birth, or the gift that God offered her in the privilege of becoming a parent – which is the opportunity to learn about love, and God’s very nature through our own lived, visceral, heart-tugging experience with another being, a child.

She wanted a brown haired baby, and this one was blond. So he was rejected.

I know of another woman who felt certain that her long-standing boyfriend was soon to propose to her. She collected jewellery catalogues pondering which ring she would love to wear. When she found one she liked she strategically left her chosen ring circled in the pages, lying around her apartment. She was hoping her man would take the hint.

Sure enough, the day arrived when after a long and beautiful date that the boyfriend had planned, (culminating on the deck of a yacht no less), he got down on one knee and produced a ring box. This was it – her long anticipated moment. He asked to spend the rest of his life with her.

And yet as he opened the ring box her face suddenly fell in disappointment. He had purchased another ring! Her ‘perfect moment’ was suddenly marred as she gazed into the ‘wrong’ glittering diamond arrangement.

It turned out that she had previously marked another ring in the catalogue and the diligent boyfriend has seen this and bought it, thinking it was what she wanted.

After accepting his proposal, she promptly insisted that he go back and exchange the ring for the correct selection.

This woman could overlook the huge gratification of having the man that she professed to love, actually loving her back. (No small gift in itself people).

She could forget that this same man loved her so much that he wanted to spend, not just the afternoon, but the rest of his life with her, and only her.

She wasn’t interested that he was attentive enough to even notice a jewellery catalogue in her home, and to look to at it in order to attempt to make her dreams come true.

Nope, she felt that he ‘ruined’ the moment by not getting it exactly right.

True story.

So why am I telling you all this?

I’m telling you because these are examples of people who, because of their own agendas, overlooked gifts that were offered to them. Their examples might sound extreme to you? But I didn’t use them so that you could shake your head and judge these women.

No, I’m telling you because as I look at my own life and I see that I have been showered with gifts, and I have rejected so many of them because they didn’t come in the package or way that I wanted or anticipated. A lot of times, it is only with hindsight that I even recognise that a gift was even being offered.

I’m telling you because often we see the absurdity and hurtfulness in other people’s actions, but at the same time overlook how we ourselves are acting in very similar ways.

gift

About five years ago, I had just returned from living overseas for an extended period. It had been a time of great personal change, new experiences and exposure to new ideas. I was at a point where I knew that I wanted to reassess what my life was all about.

I’d experimented with my career. I’d taken up more post-grad study. I’d recently broken up with a partner. While I thought I knew some things about what I wanted, there was a whole lot of stuff that just didn’t sit right about my future direction and life values. I sort of knew what I didn’t want, but internally I didn’t think I could get what I really dreamed of – because that stuff just doesn’t work in the ‘real world’, right?

Around this time my friend Jessica invited me to go out for dinner in Brisbane with her and some of her work colleagues and friends. After dinner we piled into a near-by night club called ‘Fridays’. Having lived in Brisbane for four years while I studied for my degree, being back in ‘Fridays’ brought back many memories of my uni days, not all of them were fun or flattering (smile). This night, I distinctly remember standing very soberly on the edge of a dance floor, surrounded by people of various ages and in varying degrees of inebriation and thinking “Here I am back in a familiar place, yet I feel so different. What is my life really all about anyway?”

I chose that moment to pray. Strange I know, but there it is.

Now, back then I wasn’t what you would call a formal ‘pray-er’. In fact I hadn’t explored my own feelings enough to decide what I really believed about God. But from what I now know about true prayer, I can tell you that I most definitely prayed at that moment.

Here’s what I prayed:

“God, please let me find the one man who is for me. I want the partner who will share my passions, and dreams, who will want to make a life together, a life that is about something meaningful and true. I want the ‘forever’ man who will be my friend and partner and who will want what I want for the world.”

It was a strong feeling, that I felt explode out of me like a shock wave. Then I just went back to making small talk with the journos I’d had dinner with.

You know what comes next in this story don’t you?

The next week AJ gave a talk at my parent’s home and he and Cornelius stayed overnight. It wasn’t a huge, harps playing, thunder clap kind of moment. I wish I could tell you that doves appeared in the sky and we gazed knowingly into each other’s eyes.

The event passed for me without much conscious acknowledgement (although many emotions were stirred). AJ was famously tongue tied, and I spent most of the time telling Corni about my travels, interspersed with me directing some pointed questions towards AJ about the Course in Miracles or something or other.

I couldn’t see the gift.

In fact, as is by now well recorded, as I got to know AJ I vacillated between extremes of attraction towards him and intense rejection, anger and denial of any feeling toward him.

Quite simply, meeting AJ triggered every fear and deeply suppressed sense of loss inside of me. So extreme was my fear and its denial, that I didn’t see our relationship as a gift. In fact I hardly saw his true personality at all. I rejected my feelings, resented the truth, and did a great many things to harm him and the possibility of us being together.

With every gift that God gives us He desires that we come to know ourselves more fully. And that we may be drawn by our own desire to grow closer to Him. This often means confronting the errors and blocks we have to knowing God’s Nature, Love and to recognising the Wisdom inherent in His Design.

I feel now that my meeting AJ again was perhaps the best gift I have ever, ever received – even better than our very first meeting in the 1st century. Yet at the time not only did I reject this gift, I resented the sense of a loss of control and terror of attack, that our meeting triggered in me.

The creation of our soul mate is an immense gift. It is the gift that delivers the exact answer to my prayer made in the night-club five years ago. Even in our injured state, being in a relationship with our soul mate has immense power to help us grow and know ourselves. Even if both halves of the soul are injured or hurting, if they desire to know and heal themselves, they naturally and automatically become a support, inspiration and example for the other simply through their own self-expression and journey.

But I literally couldn’t see or receive these gifts until I developed humility to my own fear and pain. The resistance to my own self caused me to be blind to what gifts I had received and was being offered.

 *********

Our friend Josh always says that God’s Law of Attraction brings you Truth in a graded way – first as a feather, then as a brick, and then as a truck. Meaning that God is gently trying to bring us towards Truth all the time, and when we engage our soul’s desire to grow and yet keep overlooking the feather-weight Truths that nudge us, a stronger attraction is required to wake us up to our error, enter the brick. And if we still deny or resist he brings us a truck sized event, all in the effort to help us see how we err from Love and Truth.

Imagine if we could all wake-up to the feathers brushing up against us, designed to show us our errors. If we saw these nudges and worked in our hearts on releasing their causes, our awareness and appreciation of gifts would overwhelm us.

openheart

I know that it has become fashionable in recent years to keep a ‘Gratitude Diary’ as a way of counting blessings, and seeing gifts. The problem with this approach is that we aren’t already automatically seeing and feeling the gifts. Instead we are employing a technique to grow our awareness. In principle I’m not opposed to any non-violent practice that assists a person to grow their awareness. Awareness is the first step we take when healing a problem, or opening to a gift.

However the problem with simply keeping a journal and not pausing to reflect more deeply to ask ourselves why we weren’t already noticing these gifts and rejoicing in them in our daily life, is that the practice will require constant repetition in order to provide any sense of joy. The joy cannot be deep and lasting because we are already suppressing or avoiding the feelings that prevent the natural recognition of gifts.

In my own example, it didn’t matter how intellectually aware I was of the gifts of my soul mate’s love, support and acceptance of me. While I justified my fear and pain, I simply didn’t honour or feel them as gifts. Until I was willing to be humble to my true feelings I couldn’t see that God had answered my prayer; instead I believed that He had dealt me a poor hand in life.

In the experience of the first women above, the emotions triggered by the birth of a son whose appearance reminded her of something painful, marred her joy at motherhood. So intense was the experience, that she couldn’t manufacture gratitude. Her only solution would have been to explore her reaction emotionally in order to resolve it and open her heart to her child.

In the second example, the woman had closed her heart to love, and instead lived in the injuries of façade. She believed that love equated to providing her with material things, and fulfilling her every wish. She literally could not see the gift of her boyfriend’s love and fidelity because she was obsessed with appearance, fanfare, and tradition. She demanded the fulfillment of her obsessions, rather than seeing what of value was being offered.

Intellectually counting gifts in order to grow gratitude is only effective if we understand that in a truly humble place we would not need to count our gifts – they would already be blindingly apparent and abundant on a moment to moment basis. So if we are using an intellectual technique to notice our gifts, in order to grow we must be willing to take the next step which is to heal our injuries that prevent us seeing receiving these gifts without the need for technique.

Also, if we try for gratitude, we can quickly end up in a stuck and self-punishing state. We can use our mind to see or count gifts around us, and yet finding that our heart is dead to them, we can end up berating ourselves. For example, I spent many nights punishing myself, because I had vast evidence of my soul mate’s kindness, patience and generosity with me and others, and I could see that I was not feeling grateful for these things. In fact I was actively rejecting and criticizing them.

By trying to be grateful, trying to manufacture gratitude because we ’know it’s the right thing to be’, we can end up creating a hell of self-flagellation for ourselves.

The only way to truly notice and receive gifts is to open our hearts and heal the injury that blocks us to receiving in the first place. Our lives lived in suppression of emotion cause us to seek out addictive and damaging prizes, rather than notice and honour the true and nourishing gifts that God and others offer us. It’s like trying to suppress a deep hunger with sugary sweets, that don’t stay in our stomach long and rot our teeth. Our real hunger and thirst is to feel and know ourselves and God, but most of us feel that’s frightening and dangerous so we bail out and deny.

Yet when we close down the experience of one emotion, we close down the potential experience of others. If we shut down our pain and fear, we can’t feel love or gratitude. It’s as simple and difficult as that.

I can tell you from lived experience that once you begin to open your heart to whatever is in there, without self-punishment, and with a desire to love and heal, gratitude is a natural result.

Can I inspire you today friend? The benefits of opening to our pain are not just a stronger sense of self, greater potentials of a relationship with God and a more loving lifestyle and relationships. Undertaking the journey of healing ourselves literally makes life come alive with a knowledge and experience of the gifts that God has offered.

I feel some pain as I begin to feel how many gifts I have overlooked, rejected or simply let pass me by in life. But there is also the excitement of knowing that as I continue, and grieve and grow, the gifts begin to appear in technicolour all around me.

Do you remember the wonderful world of Walt Disney – full of colour and magic? I liken those images to how life comes alive as we grow. The gifts spring out at us, to be relished and received readily.

But in order to live this we must be willing to examine our expectations, our agendas, and our preconceptions in the light of what is loving and what honours Truth. Only when we are willing to allow the pain of past hurts and the discomfort of letting go of unloving expectations can we even begin to notice the gifts being offered. And this is the first step in coming to discover and embrace the beauty and fulfillment that God has planned for us.

I have been blind to the many blessings and opportunities offered to me until I at last found the courage to begin to open my heart to all that was within it.

I even received the exact thing that I prayed for within one week of my prayer. But I missed the gift because I didn’t expect or want his name to be Jesus.

Disney Alice in Wonderland

Truth, Hope & Change {The Great Experiment Series}

Firstly, thank-you to all of you who responded to my last post, requesting some feedback on whether my idea of posting simple “Jesus Quotes” regularly appealed to you. I had no idea there were so many of you out there reading! (just kidding)

Needless to say, I now plan to make “Jesus Quotes” a regular feature. Thanks to all of you for joining in and letting me know how you feel.

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I’ve chosen this ‘Great Experiment Series’ because it’s an area that I’m personally giving focus to at present. The simple process of open-hearted longing and relating to God is at the core of everything we teach. Yet it’s something I feel needs much, much more of my personal attention.

As crucial as I know it to be, at times, to simply sit and engage with myself, in order to even begin to open up to God, can be quite a challenge. As the series goes on I plan to share more about the blocks to opening our hearts in sincere prayer that many of us encounter.

I’ve also chosen a number of Padgett Messages to inspire me in my quest. You can find the full list here. These messages relate the experiences of real people engaging the experiment of longing for God’s Love, and clearly highlight the benefits of doing so. For any of us feeling completely blocked towards God, and disheartened in our prayer life, these stories tell us exactly how and where to start.

The first message in our series was received by James Padgett, from his father John Padgett, on the 31st of December, 1914.

Below you will find:

– Some of my brief and recent written reflections on this message

– A video of Jesus and I discussing the message in its entirety

– A full transcript of the actual message

I think it’s apt that for our first message we find Mackey and Taggart in a stuck and disheartened place – a lot of us start right where they are at. Their expression in this message highlights some of the big hurdles and blocks that have prevented their growth so far, such as disillusionment with God due to teachings they learnt on earth (how many of us are still carrying these kinds of injuries in our soul, even though our intellect is now telling us different?), and their fears of hoping and trying for something that they aren’t sure will ever happen.

And yet by the end of the message we see that they are assisted, through Padgett’s sincere concern and his appeal to their logic, to develop some humility. They undertake to understand and attempt the experiment.

I was impressed by Padgett’s example in this and following messages and was very struck by the references that all of the spirits made as to the power of his individual prayers for them.

Some Specific Reflections:

As I reread this message in preparation for this post, a few things really stood out to me.

I was reminded of the power of Truth. As we see demonstrated in this and many other messages to Padgett, simply hearing a truth, or having contact with a person who demonstrates love and truth can be a crucial turning point in a person’s journey. Speaking and acting in support of truth can reach people even in the depths of their despair and hopelessness. It can begin to generate hope, curiosity, and a desire for positive change. And these qualities are all helpful in building faith.

Indeed we see that Padgett’s demonstration of love for his friends, his personal faith and prayers for them, and his delivery of Truth (even in spite of the protestations and arguments of his friends) – that these gifts planted seeds of hope and the possibility for change in the men in spirit.

In this message Mackay’s condition was described:

“he is not very hopeful of ever becoming very happy, as he sees nothing around him but darkness and depravity, and evil spirits who delight in trying to make everyone around them feel that there is no hope for any spirit; but that their lives must be spent in a condition of suffering and unhappiness,”

So not only was a lack of truth harming Mackay’s progress, but spirits were able to manipulate his ignorance and his despair for their own unloving ends. This can happen so easily to us on earth as well.

When we choose to ignore Truth and the evidence of God’s Love for us, we never challenge our hopelessness, or identify it as just a feeling (rather than Truth). This opens us to large amounts of spirit influence from spirits who are invested in us remaining the same, so that they may feed their addictions through us.

When we are without hope, and do not grieve it, dark spirits can tell us that the situation will never change, and that we are deserving of our state.

But we have the choice to challenge negative messages with Truths that we have already been made aware of. We have so many tools available to us that can remind us, and keep us taking steps towards love of ourselves and honour of God’s Truth.

When we focus on Truth, and are humble to our hopelessness (rather than becoming rigid, angry with others or punishing of ourselves – techniques which actually just distracts us from our fear and sadness), we open the door to change, and guidance from higher spirits. Faith grows. Mackay’s example demonstrates this process.

The second element to inspire me in this message was Padgett’s reassurance to Taggart regarding the true nature of loving prayer and its power for our planet:

“He says that he never thought of it in that way, but, if as you say the prayer should be that this love which you say would make men love not only God but one another, and make every man strive to make happy every other man, then if that prayer should be answered, the war would soon stop, and the nations as nations and as individuals would undoubtedly be happy and peace would reign over all the land.”

This vision of peace for the world is a dream of my own. And it inspires me to know that as we pray in sincerity to God for His Love, and receive it, the natural love we have for brothers and sisters is also refined.

So to conclude my reflections, even this simple message gifted to us from John, Mackay and Taggart, serves as an excellent tool through which to challenge our hopelessness with truth, and inspire us towards change.

It demonstrates the power of love, of sincere prayer and of the service we can give to each other, by reminding our sisters and brothers of the great truths we know, and the great hope for humanity that can be gained through each of us developing a personal relationship with God.

What stood out to you in this message?

Our Video Discussion:

The Message Transcript:

December 31, 1914

A Message from John H. Padgett to his son James Padgett

Mr. Padgett’s father tells of soulmate records.

I am here, your father:

I am very happy and am glad that you seem to be also.

Yes, because of your experience the other night in loving Helen and her loving you. You certainly were filled with love and you must be perfectly happy, to have had such a demonstration of love and the realization of the actual sensitive presence of your wife. for I tell you that she was with you and was so filled with her love for you, that we all wondered at her love. She is a spirit that seems to have no limit to her love for you, not many spirits seem to have such abundance of love as she has for you. So you must consider yourself a very blessed man to have such a wife and a soulmate.

Yes, as I told you many years ago, there is of record in the heavens a book of lives, as I might call it, which contains the names of those who are decreed by God to be one through all eternity: and when I want to know who is the soulmate of one who desires to know his or her soulmate, I consult that book, and there I find who the soulmate is. I am not permitted to give the name of the soulmate if he or she is on the earth life, for it might create discord or unhappiness to the living, but if the soulmate is not married then there is no restriction upon me, but if the soulmate is married then I must not tell the name, such is the law of God in this particular.

The reason is that I have that duty assigned to me, and as Helen has told you I have taught her to perform this duty and she is now engaged in it, and is most successful in the performance of her mission. She seems to have a wonderful ability, or you might call it, intuition for locating the soulmates in the spirit world as she never fails when she undertakes to find one. She also finds great happiness in doing this work and in seeing the happiness that comes to them who ask her to perform this task. I do not engage in it with so much enthusiasm as she does, but I do the best that I can, and I am rewarded also by seeing the happiness of those soulmates when they are brought together.

No, not if they are not assigned to do this work. It is one of the provisions of the spiritual world that each person has some work of a certain kind, or several kinds to do, and in that way are helped by the higher powers, or, as we believe, the love of God to perform. A spirit who is assigned to do a particular work, such as helping the spirit when it first enters the spirit world, will not attempt to engage in other work of a wholly different kind.

Yes, as to attempting to awaken a spirit to a conception of the love of God that is waiting for it, all spirits may do this, and when a spirit succeeds in causing a darkened or blinded spirit to feel or realize that God’s love is waiting for it, then the spirit who has caused that awakening is most happy.

Of course, it is only the spirit who has had that awakening himself, who can cause or lead another spirit to that desire for spiritual enlightenment, that will finally cause it to get this love to his full and complete happiness. I am not yet in a condition to be fully able to do this with much success, but your grandmother and mother are very powerful in this particular, and they are the cause of many spirits becoming reconciled to God and His salvation.

So you see, the one great thing to obtain, either while on earth, or after you come here, is this great awakening and love of God in your own heart. It is of all things necessary, the greatest. I know to a considerable degree what it means and the happiness that comes from it; but I am not satisfied and am striving to obtain more of this love, and to rise higher in the Kingdom of God. So you must try also, for you need not wait until you come over.

She has it to a degree that almost enables her to go with your mother, and I think that in a very short time she will leave us and rise to the higher sphere, and we will miss her very much.

Yes, he (Mr. Riddle) is becoming more in condition to receive this love and believe in what your mother tells him. She is the one that is trying to show him the way, more than anyone else. He seems to have great confidence in her and in her love.

He is also progressing very fast, and I expect that he will soon be with me in this sphere. So you see we all are doing well in the way of progressing and your prayers help us very much.

I have seen him (Taggart) very recently and he is in the same condition as when I wrote you first about him. He does not seem to realize that he needs any assistance to help him to become happier or to progress to a better condition and it is difficult to convince him. I tried several times, but he said that I was mistaken in what I told him, and that he knew that he was just where it was intended that he should be, so I have not tried lately.

No, I do not, but I can find him (Mackey) if you desire that I shall, He might want to say something to you, but only through me, as you must not get into rapport with these strangers to our band, for it will do harm, and we must not run the risk.

We are here. Mr. Mackey and Mr. Taggart. They say that they are very glad that you have given them the opportunity to say a word.

He (Mackey) says that he is much happier than when he first came over. as he has commenced to see the things that are necessary to make him happier. He says, that he wants you to tell him of your experience with some of the other spirits, with whom you have come in contact; as he says, he has recently learned from earth sources that you have had considerable experience with spirits who have been in a condition of unrest and spiritual blindness, and have helped them some.

He says that he is in the earth plane, and that when he came over it was a very dark and dreadful road that he traveled, that he was all blind and left alone after he first entered the spirit world, and that only recently has he commenced to see a ray of light, that his condition now is not one in which he receives much happiness, and he is not very hopeful of ever becoming very happy, as he sees nothing around him but darkness and depravity, and evil spirits who delight in trying to make everyone around them feel that there is no hope for any spirit; but that their lives must be spent in a condition of suffering and unhappiness, in other words, that they are in hell and have no hope of getting away from it.

He says that he has gotten some little light from a spirit who has been telling him, that there is hope and a better place if he will only believe it to be so, and let his soul open up to the better influences; but that he cannot believe that there is any God or any Saviour or any better place for him. He says that if there is a better place or any reason to believe that there is a God or Saviour he wants to know it, and if you can help him any, to please do so.

He says that he has not seen Mr. Riddle and did not know that he is in the Spirit World. He says that he will try to find him, and may be he can get some help.

He says that I am much more beautiful than Mr. Taggart, and more happy looking. He further says, that I am not so very different, as he sees it, to cause him to ask that question, but as you request it, he will do so. He has asked me and I told him that my appearance and happiness was caused by my having gotten the love of God in my soul, and the realization that God is my Father, and loves me so very much that he wants me to be his child and become one in thought with Him.

He says that that may be true, but he does not understand it, and that if it is the cause, he would like to know the Way, for he certainly wants to be rid of the awful darkness and despair that is with him almost continuously. Because, as he says, that you are his friend and that he will try to do as you suggested; but he says that he cannot yet believe that there is a God who can help him to get out of his awful condition. He says that he will try to pray and try to believe and that if there is anything in what you say, and you really believe what you say, that you must pray for him also.

He says that for the sake of what you say, that if any of these spirits that you speak of, should come to him, he will listen to them, even though he may not believe – that he cannot promise to believe.

He says that he will come to you tonight and try to pray as you say, but he doubts that it will do any good, but he does not think that it can do any harm. He is willing to pray and will try to believe, you must not feel bad, if when he does so, he tells you that he don’t believe in prayer or God.

He says that he is not willing to run the risk of having his conscience lash him or of his suffering any more than he is now. He does not believe that he can do so and live.

He says, that what you say sounds as if there might be some truth in it, and he will think about it, that is, if his happiness or future state depends upon his will, he will very soon determine that question, for if what you say is true, then he will be a big fool to remain where he is, when by the mere exercise of his will he can get into places of happiness and light. So he says, he will think of what you say.

He says that what you say may be all true, but the difficulty is that he can’t understand, and, therefore, can’t believe.

He says that he can say what you have just said and mean it, and he is ready to do so now. “If there be a God, and if that God has a love for me, and is ready to fill my soul with that love and make me happy and full of light, and whether I receive that love or not depends upon my will, then if this is all true, I will that God give me this love with all my strength and desire.”

He says that he is feeling some strong sensation now, and that he will repeat this and pray to God and ask for faith; and will continue to repeat it, as you have taught him, and he hopes that he may receive this love and light. He says that you have shown him that there may be some such thing as this love of God, and that he is willing to pray, and if his receiving it depends upon his will, he is willing it with all his heart. He says that as you seem to have such faith in this love and in prayer, that you do not forget to pray for him.

Yes, Mr. Taggart has heard it all and he says, that you certainly did put it up to Mackey to try the experiment, but that he is very doubtful if you will see any good results flow from it. He says that he will wait and see what effect it has on Mackey, and then he may be willing to consider the matter. He does not believe that prayer is anything more than a mere wish that emanates in and goes no higher than mind; and that, consequently, there is no God to answer, for if there was the prayers of all the people of the warring nations, would bring about such conflicting answers that confusion would be worse confused.

He says that he never thought of it in that way, but, if as you say the prayer should be that this love which you say would make men love not only God but one another, and make every man strive to make happy every other man, then if that prayer should be answered, the war would soon stop, and the nations as nations and as individuals would undoubtedly be happy and peace would reign over all the land. And if this is the love that you are trying to tell us about, then I am not so certain that it is worth striving for.

You are a very ingenious reasoner, and I commence to see that there may be some logic in what you say, but how am I to attempt to do that in which I have no faith? I know that I ordinarily, when on earth required everything to be proved, and unless things were proved I was not willing to accept conclusions, and I have not changed in that particular since I have come to the spirit world and I find it hard to change; but, as you say, I should be reasonable enough to let my mind be open to a conviction, if such conviction can possibly be brought about by any means, whether they arise from the knowledge that I gained when on earth, or whether they arise from things connected with this spiritual world of which I have very little knowledge.

So after all I guess Mackey is not such a big fool to try the experiment; and having confidence in you as a friend that has at heart my welfare, I will do the same as Mackey has promised to do. So you can pray for me too, and I will pray also – but of course I will not be able to have any belief that my prayers will be answered. So you see I am not only hard headed, but hard hearted also.

Yes I am, if it depends on my will I am more than willing, not only that, but if there be a God and the love that you speak of, I will forever thank that God for taking me away from this condition of blindness and unhappiness.

Yes, I am willing to pray to God to help me to believe, and if that will bring relief, then there will be no difficulty, for I will make such a prayer with all my heart.

You are the most persistent man that I have ever met in these spiritual matters and if what you say happens, I will certainly thank you with all my heart and soul, for I can conceive of nothing more desirable than to have the great blessings and possessions that you tell me about. So I will keep faith with you as I said when nest you give me the opportunity to write, I will frankly tell you what the result of my experiment is.

Yes, and I appreciate what you have done and I say to you that this violation of your law, which the band you speak of has prescribed, has caused me to think more deeply of your interest in me and what you said, than I can express.

So good bye for the present, the next time I come I will try to observe your law, and write through your father, if he will permit me to.

Yes, you certainly did give the gentleman a struggle to get away from what you said to them, and I believe that you have impressed them to such a degree that they will be lead to learn the truth. You are tired and must stop.

Your father,

JOHN H. PADGETT

Sincerity or Hypocrisy?

In England we talked about sincerity in spiritual growth, and how quietly and easily hypocrisy can slide into our lives, creating facade, eroding our good deeds and causing stagnation. 
As we wake from the numb slumber of addiction and avoidance, its tempting to soothe the restless soul with ‘spiritual’ words and thoughts that we think spell progress.

As facade cracks, pain and loneliness so long covered over, begin to seep forth, we grapple for ‘control’, to understand, to feel we know and we can cope. 

And in doing so we can end up spending time talking, instead of growing, we loose sight of truth and open the way for hypocrisy.

But true joy is to be found in the other choice
The choice of faith in the process God has designed, to trust that His Ways will have us cope the best. 
True progress requires this choice, this trust. 
Our group was small and intimate, which made for great discussion!
The measure of our sincerity is how often we choose love and humility in our day-to-day lives. And these choices will germinate into actions, since they can do nothing else.

When we take action in sincerity:

1. We will confront all issues of love and untruth in our lives meaning that change is certain
2. Error will begin to leave us which means that pain is certain
3. We open ourselves to God and to our true selves so that joy is certain

Sincerity about spiritual growth leads to action and change in our lives automatically.

For me, this talk, this visit was good soul food. Stuff to sustain me, stuff to inspire me.

It was also great to stay with and catch up with dear people. Thank-you Mike, Fi, Luca, Angela & Peter.

The Eternal Blessings of a Relationship With God

1. I learn about love from the source of all Love.
God loves perfectly so by receiving His Love I learn about the true qualities of love.
I experience the bliss of being loved and nurtured by One who is without addiction, who honours and knows me.

As I receive more of God’s Love I will become more loving towards myself and all of Gods creations.

2. I have a constant and reliable method to determine truth.
I have a way to discern what is moral, ethical and loving in every situation.
Eventually all of the Secrets of the Universe will be revealed to me.
3. I will grow and expand eternally.
4. I will come to know myself.
I will become the beautiful pristine soul that God created me to be. 
In this way I will also automatically serve the world and others since, in our pristine state our unique personality and nature adds love and creativity to God’s Universe.

5. I will attract my soulmate – my perfect partner, created for me by God.
6. I become healthier – emotionally, physically and spiritually.
7. Many other gifts will be added to me e.g. gifts of mediumship, healing, excellence in natural talents like singing etc.
8. I will attract things (events, relationships, gifts) that will cause my growth and ultimately lead to joy and lasting happiness.
9. I will be less and less dependent on my environment and earthly relationships for my happiness and more reliant on my relationship with God to lead me towards greater states of love for myself and others.
This heightens my capacity to give, rather than take from my environment and people in my life.
10. I come to understand the design of my soul and God’s purpose for our existence.
I learn about the power of my will and desire.
I learn how to use my will in harmony with love.
I learn how to create lasting creations, lovingly and powerfully.
11. I begin to teach about God’s Love and God’s Truth simply through the way I live my life.
Through my spirit, words and actions, I automatically confront error and unlovingness whenever I come into contact with them. I don’t have to try or plan, it just happens.
12. I come to live in my soul.
I become more of a ‘feeling being’. My emotions are heightened. I become more sensitive to my own emotional experience as well as being able to sense that of those around me.
13. I learn the power of humility, the importance of Truth and willingly acknowledge and receive the gift of God’s Love.
I respect Gods authority and see His Laws as products of His Love for me.
14. I come to embrace my childlike nature again which opens me to learning freely and with enjoyment. 
This allows me to receive more and more of Gods Truth. 
I am able to learn Truth by observing any part of God’s Creation.

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There are so many other benefits to add to the list but this is where my brainstorm ended.
I hope you had fun if you chose to write your own list. 

AJ’s discussion didn’t cover our whole list so I’m sure there will be a series of talks on this topic.

Thanks to everyone who sent their feedback on the idea of sharing new content here on the blog. I’ll do my best and try out a few new things soon. 

Something Fun?

It’s a beautiful rainy morning here in Bathurst. AJ is speaking today about “The Eternal Benefits of a Relationship with God” (also totally beautiful I think).

Once we decided on this topic, AJ was still busy working on setting up a computer system, so I sat down alone to brainstorm about the outline. This turned out to be an exercise I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact it was quite emotional, and even motivational. My heart swelled anew at how much I really want this relationship with God.
So I had an idea – to give you guys the opportunity to have your own brainstorm. You could share your reflections in the comments or keep them to yourself. In a few days I’ll post my initial brainstorm list, and once the full PDF outline (far enriched by AJ’s wisdom) is posted to our site I’ll copy you the link.
My rationale for presenting this idea to you is about giving more people the opportunity to engage with the teaching as it is happening no matter where we (or you) are, and in a practical way.
I learn best when:
  • I have already pondered, wondered or asked questions about what is being presented to me i.e. if I have opened up to the topic (which, if you think about how well you received Secrets of the Universe, I’m betting its because you had already spent a long time asking the questions AJ answered in that talk)
  • I am engaged with what is being presented. Either by the material sparking my curiosity, and questions, or that I can see the practical applications of the information I am hearing and learning (remember I’m a pragmatist).
Put simply, I must be involved with my own growth in order for it to occur. (And obviously, I don’t think I’m alone here).
So I’m thinking about adding new content here at the blog – namely sharing practical examples of my (attempts) to live the teachings, as well sharing ways I try to engage my own growth, learning and emotions. If you think this would interest you, send me an email or leave a comment.
I’d also love to hear from you if you feel that publishing written snippets of the talks here, before they reach youtube, enhances or detracts from your experience watching them.
So if you are game, your task today, should you choose to accept it is, to write a list of benefits – ‘The Eternal Benefits of a Relationship with God’. And in the coming days I’ll post my list which I promise I won’t edit from my initial 20 minute brainstorm.
Sending love to you wherever you are,
Mary 

Even As I Am Fully Known

So often I still catch myself believing that love is something that comes after I do a thing.
“I’ll deserve love once I’m wise
When I’m good enough everyone will love me
Only when I’ve proved myself can I be worthy
When I’m pretty, when I’m strong, when I’m humble, once I… when I… then I will be loved”
These messages run yet in my head and heart.
I fail to see love as something that is there for me before I am perfect, I don’t believe I’ll have it while I grow.
The Truth, the beautiful, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing Truth is that God’s Love is there for us no matter what we do. We are Loved – full stop.
He shows us we are worthy through this Gift.
And those on earth, who truly love us, do so before, during and after. They accept and love us just as we are. They place no demands on us nor expect a thing.
I have come to see that there is no such thing as conditional love.
True love, real love, is alwaysunconditional.
And such a gift has the power to change and heal every one of us, if we would only let it in. 

1 Corinthians 13   

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 
Bible Verse: New International Version (emphasis added)
Do you catch yourself trying to earn Love rather than just receive it?

Heligfjall.

Our days at Helgfjall are spent exploring the property which has its very own bakery, sauna, barn, cellar, lakehouse and cabins apart from the main house where Eva and Per stay and the 100 year old cottage that AJ & I sleep in. 

We spend hours discussing this idea of ‘Learning Centre’ and gradually without us realising it, it seems that the Centre shifts from an idea to a living thing. 
Per, AJ & Rita – the bakery in the background
By the stream

Per, AJ & Anna dig to the cellar

We gather with the others to make a meal and talk for hours about what it means to live our lives in testament to the Truths we already know, and how we may teach though living example.

Late one afternoon (just before dusk at 3pm) AJ & I don snow shoes and walk out into the woods where huge birch trees reach up tall to the sky while heavy snow tugs their branches earthward.
into the woods…
We still ourselves and let the silence envelop us. Eva & Per call this place a ‘church’ and I feel their meaning.
There are already many messages for me this trip but so far the reoccurring tug on my soul is about how seldom I make space in my life to deeply long for God, to let Him Love me. In the quiet, pre-dawn hours where jet-lag finds me alert and alone I quake at the potential of this connection with Him. I am surprised to find how much I still fear His Love. And here again in the snow subdued woods, at the place named ‘holy’, I know again that God is always there – between the moments, in the space, His presence, His Love, like the hulking calm and peace that immediately surrounds us in the snow subdued woods…. He waits – a quiet immense presence ready to envelop us in Love the moment we invite Him into our hearts. 

Mine these days is a trembling heart, awake to possibility, enlivened by the passion in those we meet, awed by the Infinite Care I feel guiding my life. It is a heart that feels so humbled by the Love that I must breathe deeply here in the forest. I must breathe to stay present and not run and hide like the small, unworthy child  I believe myself to be.

Humility – Like Learning to Breathe

In this life I never learnt to breathe. I learnt to please and all the pleasing crushed the air out of me instead of letting it in. I had bronchitis and asthma often as a child and still there are many days when a stifling lack of breath, a wheeze, has me reaching for an inhaler.
I understand it now, this not having learnt breath. It’s about the moments I couldn’t bear. I could never stop to be in the moments of my life. I was always scurrying to the next one, I was always afraid to stop moving, to stop pleasing and appeasing. My joyous instants were fraught with the fear of the one that may follow it. I never grew up learning to just inhale, exhale through the painful times, the scary instants and as I grew I learnt to chase them down with booze or anger or running away into the next ‘adventure’.
Humility, to me, feels like learning to breathe. It is finding space to feel, to allow the entire me to be present. And in this allowing me, it suddenly seems like there is room to breathe, to breathe into the moments that hurt. This new breathing makes space for me, in spite of the pressures to conform to others. It is breathing in and out through the put- downs and the push-arounds that once made me shrink myself. And as I do this there is a growing softness that feels like the rigidity is gradually draining out of me through a slow leak in my shoe.
God knows how hard this place has been for me to find. Like a caged animal I have fought myself, fought to keep running, to keep from feeling. I have screamed a silent scream of anguish caused only by my rebellion. How could I have known that this space, this living humbly, is the most precious and expansive awakening? I could not have guessed that it feels so gently nurturing and beautifully consuming.
Humility to me is not bashing a pillow, or sobbing my heart out. It is a state, a way of living, that I may embody.

Humility commences with my willingness to feel and results in me embracing everything and somewhere in the vital space in between there comes a birthing of true love and compassion.

This new filling of my lungs has also expanded how I see myself, how I see others. God has shown me our brokenness and our beauty simultaneously. There is new space in my heart; the dust covers are being tossed off disused and neglected furnishings, such as patience, giving and kindness.

I find myself surrounded suddenly by brothers and sisters, not strangers or friends. I feel a tender (and still tentative) unfurling of innocent desire towards my mate. I catch myself crying at the bright blue sky bursting with pure white cotton ball clouds. I find joy in the little things and am overwhelmed by gratitude for the great gifts God showers on my every day. I know now that humility is the soil in which our connection to all others must germinate. It is the fertile ground to which God may come and cultivate a place in our hearts.

And while I know I am still so imperfectly proud so often, this yielding to humility is like a new trend in my heart that I never want to go out of fashion.

In my stutters and starts, in this learning to breathe, I have glimpsed God. And I find myself laughing, because He’s been here all along. He’s there at every breath – it’s only me that kept running, running, running from myself, the labour of it crushing my chest and stifling every gasp for air. I left no space to know Him, to let Him fill me up, to have Him patch up all those gaping wounds I smothered and stifled and suffocated, denying them air to breathe.

All that trying to live in the ‘now’ was wasted while I, myself, stifled the very intake of air that would ground me in it. And all the old meditation, the reframing, the “its all good”s seem cheap in the face of what I feel now. The minutes are longer and richer. I am present for the first time in so long. My gratitude grows not through making the best of things, or minimising the pains of my life. It springs forth as I begin to welcome all emotions, resting in the knowledge that they help me remember my own story, my own self once squashed and discarded. My heart swells in thankfulness as I see that God is teaching me Truth and Love again. How can I not be grateful to a God who has designed laws that engineer every experience, so that I may have an opportunity in each moment to grow towards Him, to become whole again? How can I not appreciate a universe designed to teach me everything about Love once I submit to the simplest thing – my fully feeling self something so vital and simple that once I stop fighting it seems just like breathing.
As I learn again to breathe and I make space for God to fill my lungs, to enter deep into me. And often now, as I exhale, a sweet new scent, that whispers something of love, liberation and contentment, wafts under my nostrils. Possibility and promise smell like nectar from an exotic fruit.
I give thanks for all things; I give thanks for every God gifted breath.

A Note to Those Reading:

I still have so much to learn and I know that sometime soon, I will realise that where I am now, this new type of breath, is only a glimmer of the humility I will need to truly know my Father.  This offering stems only from my desire to share with you the deeper peace I am finding through staying with my emotions, through desiring to know myself and see myself, not through the eyes of the world, but through the eyes of the One who loves the most. He loves me, its true, and in the light of His Grace I am so humbled by how much I still have to learn and grow. Thank-you today for reading my simple words. I am blessed to share this journey with you.