Investigating (with slight irritation) Certain Spiritual Teachings

Teaching up for investigation: “It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.” ~A Course in Miracles

Upfront disclaimer: If you hear a charge in this post, you are right on. I’m irritated with certain spiritual teachings (I’ll get through it, but right now I am learning in a slightly painful way). I think some teachings are only useful in keeping us away from the real work, which in the long term is not useful. This one (above) for example has those markings. So, let’s investigate- if I believe in this teaching, that would mean I have no possibility of insight into my lessons. There is some being somewhere in charge of what I need to learn. It would also mean that I have a choice whether I learn through joy or through pain. I would agree, we have choice- and if I am using my strong will, I can will myself to choose to learn through joy, instead of pain. I mean who the hell really wants to learn through pain…..?

But, can we be honest? I can’t be the only one who has learned a lot of my lessons through intense amounts of pain. Pain, I was so immersed in I didn’t have the will power to choose joy, to even think that was an option. Does this then make me weak? Insufficient because I chose to suffer instead of jump to those lessons with glee?

To learn in joy is a certain kind of mastery I don’t believe I could even talk much about (I don’t like to talk about ideas without having personal experience). I’m not there. I think it’s possible for those who have worked diligently and intently on their path, and gone through lots of pain, but for most of us common folk, still ignorant to our True nature, this type of spiritual teaching might not be helpful. It keeps us in the superficial layer of our spiritual growth, where we think we can control how we feel by will alone. And where some of us who have gone a bit deeper than the superficial layers might feel bad because we aren’t choosing our lessons through joy. There were many times, as much as I was inspired by Wayne Dyer’s teachings, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t all happy, happy, joy, joy and maintaing my spiritual perspective through my shit, my hand on the trolley strap, so to speak.

To go back to this teaching that it is not up to us what we learn- this makes me feel disempowered. I know there is a soul, and I know contained within this soul are my lessons. I believe these lessons are universal, and we will all learn them as we are ready, which means we are the ones who choose to receive those lessons or to put them off. I also know we are given the extraordinary gift of insight, which can be used to look within and have knowledge into our lessons. I also trust, as we evolve into this soul, we will be able facilitate and consciously prepare and participate in those lessons. We may not know how those lessons will come to us, but we can know they are coming and will remain open and ready to receive. This may be the point in which there is joy- a sort of anticipatory joy, like YAY! Today I am going to be stretched and I can’t wait because I want to grow. But so many of us are unaware of this going on inside of us so how can we consciously participate, let alone joyously (therefore not knowing might be a more comfortable belief for those wanting to stay safe on the shore). This means the lessons that do come are probably going to hurt like hell because we don’t know what is going on or why and we are resisting them all the way.

Looking for the positive:

What this spiritual lesson does do is bring awareness that there are lessons we will learn and are learning. That is essential to know. It gives perspective. It also brings awareness to choice of joy or pain, but it doesn’t go deep or wide or guide enough to where many of us are right now in our evolution- not where we can choose joy in a pure authentic way while we grow (but we can pretend :-). Having only read bits and pieces of ACIM, maybe it does do this throughout the book. What I did read, the words inspired higher aspects, but it wasn’t very grounding for me. I am not content only with ideals. I want to be those ideals, and that is quite a process of unraveling and discovering. It’s work. Often painful- just being honest.

Lesson: The most helpful teaching/teacher for me inspires my true nature, while also holding the space of where I am with insight, guidance and compassion. 

>Questions I’m Answering


The other day I wrote a post on questions I feel aren’t asked, and certainly not answered.  Today, I am answering those questions based on my beliefs and experiences.

1.  Q>  When people say God spoke to me, what did the voice sound like? Was it someone else’s voice? Was it your own?  Did you hear it from inside or outside of yourself?

A>  I cannot say “God” has ever spoken to me. I cannot say this because I don’t know what’s God’s voice sounds like.  Many years ago, in the face of a spiritual “crisis,” I was falling apart- or at least a part of me was falling apart. While in this intense crisis of the soul, or it has been called, “the dark night of the soul,” there was a voice, which spoke to me.  It spoke in a gentle way.  A neutral tone. Speaking wisdom. Perspective. Giving guidance and support. And the voice was familiar. It was my own, but it could not have come from the space where I was, which was dark, hopeless and afraid.  It came from another space from inside.  I now call this voice, The Voice Inside. Still, it is my voice, but speaking to me from a deeper, higher place.  If this deeper, higher place is called God, which I am comfortable believing, then yes, God has spoken to me many, many times.  

2.  Q>  When people say, I’m giving it to God where do they give it? What does that mean?

A>  I cannot say, where people give “it” to God, but I can share my experience. Most recently, I was overwhelmed by all my ideas, which come from that inspired place I spoke of above- the place of God.  Daily, I receive ideas, insights- and have difficulty giving voice to them all.  I envisioned myself giving it to God, as a way to surrender, which I suppose is what “giving it to God” can mean.  As I lifted up my “burdens”, immediately they were given back to me. This giving back said to me, these are yours and you can handle them.  And not only this, but because I had surrendered them to this Higher Place, they are now “blessed.”  They have been touched by God. But, it is clear God can do nothing with them. Only I can, if I choose.
3.  Q>  When people say, they are in heaven or in a better place when someone dies- where is heaven? How do you know it is a better place?  Is there more to the death story?  
A>  During my spiritual “crisis” I left my body, or so it seemed.  All that was left- was everything, but form. In this formless state was a complete feeling of freedom. I was in space. Without body, time, area in the world- just space and ME in a concentrated ball of consciousness.  I didn’t die (obviously), but when I returned to my body, I sensed this may be what happens. Now, beyond this initial euphoria, I have no idea. If I believe fully in reincarnation, then I sense pieces of me scatter until the point in which I return and they join together, filled with the desires and potentials of my new life. I also feel, just as we come from varying perceptions here on Earth, chances are when we exit, we will see what we believe we will see, what we need to see in order to transition. If we want to see our parents and grandparents, we probably do. If we believe there is a white light, like others have told us who have had near death experiences, than I would guess a white light awaits. All I do  know, is WHAT WE REALLY ARE, is no longer in the body when it can no longer be alive. What happens to what we really are: well sometimes, it is okay to say, I don’t know.

4.  Q>  When people say, they want to teach their children that there is a power that is greater than themselves outside of them, what does this mean? Where is this power? Does this mean there is not a “larger” power within? What do they hope the child learns from this teaching?

A>  I am in a place where it does not suit me well to believe ANYTHING is outside of me. I do not fear arrogance or ego in this statement either. I embrace power. Wisdom. Truth. To teach my children they have a force or an intelligence, known often as God, INSIDE of them is the most solid guidance I can offer.  This way, they are not looking outside. They are not feeling inferior.  They are not confused.  If I were to guess, without knowing each individual’s belief, to tell children to believe in a power outside is to let them know there absolutely IS something powerful, and to trust in it, because in life, it will serve them to believe so.  To understand this power is everywhere and in everyone- Well, wow that would sure make me feel like a pretty special kid.

5.  Q>  When people say, they will reap rewards for good deeds from the Lord, what are these rewards? And it’s opposite, how will God punish them for bad deeds?

A>  Karma.  Simple. We reap what we sow. We are responsible. Every action and thought has a consequence.  We never need interfere with anyone’s “good” deed or “bad” deed. It is written. Concreted for them.  I cannot believe there is a Lord or a God “up there,” who like an egotistical and insecure teacher, looks down upon her students, and says- “You bad.  F.  You good.  A.” However, to know I AM responsible is the most freeing, liberating deal there is, and further to understand- life is generous in its lessons for us to learn and grow through our karmic law. 

6.  Q>   I was reading some religious material. It said, “We can learn more about God’s personality from the Bible. For example, it tells us what God likes and doesn’t like, how he treats people, and how he reacts in different situations.” Yet, they say, “He is a higher form of life.” If he likes and dislikes, and reacts to situations, and has a personality- is this a higher form?  Does your God have a personality? If so, does he also have a face? A body? What does he look like? And where does he live?

A>  In thinking a lot about religion lately, here is what I believe. Some of us need rules. We need doctrine, which is black and white. That makes literal sense. That we believe we can follow. For me, even as a small child, sitting in church made me feel that something wasn’t right. When I read material, like what is said above, it makes me feel tight and restricted.  For me, most religious law and doctrine, at least the way it is often presented is too confining to me. It doesn’t allow growth. It just stays stuck.  We are alive beings. To stay stuck means death, maybe not physical death, but mental, emotional, spiritual death. We must grow.  And to believe my God has likes and dislikes and reacts to situations- well it almost makes me laugh. Why do I want to look “up” to or toward a being that isn’t any higher than myself?  I read an amazing verse from my beloved poet, Rumi: “God loves you is the ONLY statement.”  Simple. No rules. No personality. No separation of who “He” likes and doesn’t like. “God loves you is the ONLY statement.”  I don’t need God to have a body or a face or a personality.  I only need to know LOVE is all there is and to pay attention to my journey as I move within that SPACE OF LOVE.

7.  Q>  It seems the word “spiritual” is getting a “bad” name. Perhaps it is overused. A Christian woman said she considers it a criticism if someone calls her spiritual. What does spiritual mean to you? If you had to define it, how would you? 
A>  I’ve always considered myself spiritual. What do I mean by this? I mean, I am actively, dutifully focusing my spiritual eye inward.  I am moving through debris.  Space. Beliefs. Desires. All toward what I truly AM. My core. My essence. It’s a journey, and because I consciously open my life to this journey, I call that living the spiritual life.  

Today’s Soul Tip:

What are some questions you have about religion? Spirituality? God? Are there statements people make, where, as my aunt says, the bullshit meter goes off, yet you find yourself shaking your head in agreement just to be “nice.” To conform.  I offer you to challenge these statements. You don’t have to do so with the person speaking them. One thing I’ve learned is when people need to believe something, it is best to just stay silent, or speak your truth holding no expectation to change them.  So, when you feel that bullshit meter buzzing, and your authenticity is at stake, dig deeper. Go wider. Loosen the laws, and live your LIFE. Your truth.  


The Soul Reporter

>Questions I’m Asking


Maybe this is too much of a blanket of a statement, but sometimes these are needed to get our points across. There seems to be two kinds of people- those who think for themselves. Dig inside. Search their brains for answers. For us, external knowledge often interferes and overwhelms. We don’t just take what is said as truth. We question. Wonder. Ponder.  THINK. Then there are those who are good students. They do what they are told. They look up answers.  They celebrate facts.  They absorb information and (religious doctrine- because that is where I am going with this post) and make it their truth.

The purpose of this post is to air out questions, that don’t seem to get asked, let alone answered, at least that I am aware of. If I get answers than that’s the whip cream and the cherry on top.

Here I go:

First I have a question for those who like to get their answers from texts, books, facts, school, and all other exterior sources:  When you hear something, and find facts does it resonate with you before you accept it as truth? What’s the value for you to adopt a belief?

Okay, now here are the questions I have for the following “religious” statements:

1.  When people say God spoke to me, what did the voice sound like? Was it someone else’s voice? Was it your own?  Did you hear it from inside or outside of yourself?
2.  When people say, I’m giving it to God where do they give it? What does that mean?
3.  When people say, they are in heaven or in a better place when someone dies- where is heaven? How do you know it is a better place?  Is there more to the death story?  
4.  When people say, they want to teach their children that there is a power that is larger than themselves outside of them, what does this mean? Where is this power? Does this mean there is not a “larger” power within? What do they hope the child learns from this teaching?
5.  When people say, they will reap rewards for good deeds from the Lord, what are these rewards? And it’s opposite, how will God punish them for bad deeds?  
6.  I was reading some religious material. It said, “We can learn more about God’s personality from the Bible. For example, it tells us what God likes and doesn’t like, how he treats people, and how he reacts in different situations.” Yet, they say, “He is a higher form of life.” If he likes and dislikes, and reacts to situations, and has a personality- is this a higher form?  Does your God have a personality? If so, does he also have a face? A body? What does he look like? And where does he live?
7.  It seems the word “spiritual” is getting a “bad” name. Perhaps it is overused. A Christian woman said she considers it a criticism if someone calls her spiritual. What does spiritual mean to you? If you had to define it, how would you? 
If you feel a bit of judgment coming through your screen, you have a keen sense of awareness. I do write these questions with some irritation.  Of course, I have my own beliefs and for me, religion causes me to feel restricted and confined. To just accept certain ideas and socially acceptable remarks makes me frustrated.   However, what I also hope you hear, is curiosity.  These questions along with some of my other recent posts on this topic, is to help me understand the thinking of those I have judged.  I want to understand. And I also want to start the conversation about our beliefs. 
Religious beliefs have permeated every facet of our lives. There is no corner that has gone untouched by religious doctrine. It affects all of us. We have grown quite comfortable with saying certain things, such as, “God spoke to me.”  Or, “They are in a better place now.”  And, “God will take care of it.”  But, I want to go deeper.  I want to excavate and get clear about our relationship to God, or whatever we deem greater than ourselves, and why can’t we be the greater?  What is wrong with believing God is inside of us? That we have within us a higher self and the purpose here is to become one with this higher self?  But that’s just what I believe.  What about you?
Next Post: I will answer these questions with what I believe and have experienced.
Today’s Soul Tip:

Ask, and you shall receive. And let’s not be afraid to ask questions.  Which, I have to admit, I am a little afraid right now to press, “publish post,” but here I go… Hope to hear from you.

    >Is it God or Is it Me?


    I wanted to go back to bed at 8:30 this morning, but instead I picked up my phone, got on my Facebook ap and saw a posting from the Oprah Winfrey Show Page about today’s show with Iyanla Vanzant.  I read through the comments, and I found one that got my heart-a-pumpin’ and there was no going back to bed.

    The commenter said, as a Christian she is suspect of people calling themselves spiritual. She went on to say she does not like Iyanla’s belief that her power comes through herself because she believes power only comes from God.

    Do you have awhile? Because this might be a long post.

    My relationship with “God” began before I got into the double digits.  I put God in quotes because during this time in my relationship with “God,”  God wasn’t mine. He was everyone else’s.  Others defined Him for me and it didn’t feel right. When my aunt took me to church, and I sat in the pew staring up at the people raising their hands up high, looking toward the sky, praising Him, I wondered what made these people act this way. Why were they raising their hands? Swaying their bodies, and whispering, sometimes yelling things like, “Praise Jesus.  God save me?” And who the heck are they looking up to?

    I didn’t like church. It made me uncomfortable. It felt wrong. Strange. False. Weird.

    Both my parents were raised Catholic.  My father, as a little boy, stayed up nights worried Satan was going to grab him and take him to the depths of Hell, and my mother got beat up because she was Catholic.  Needless to say, neither of my parents cared to take me through confirmation with the rest of my family.

    I didn’t mind.  I liked having the freedom to explore my own spirituality. To create my own religion.  Sometimes my mom thought I’d be damned, or my daughter would be when I decided not to baptize her in the church where my grandma, her, me and my oldest daughter were baptized, but I wasn’t scared.  Why would I be? I wasn’t raised to fear God or Satan.

    Yet, this didn’t stop the weird feeling I couldn’t shake for most of my adolescence and young adulthood that I was being watched, judged, controlled and punished by some big bearded man sitting on a cloud in the sky.  But because I had choice about religion in my family, I chose to create a movement toward what felt right- myself.  I became a sort of psychologist to myself. The more I dug into who I am and why I do what I do, the more uncomfortable having this big bad man breathing down my neck became.

    Working within the self, I discover there is nothing outside of me.  Nothing. And I realize this statement is controversial.  I remember having a conversation with a Christian friend. At the time I attended a Unity church. She asked me what their beliefs were.

    “They speak of the Christ within,” I said. “They believe we hold the Christ light within us.”  And further, “I believe my work is to become that light because I am that light.”  Her response: “We don’t believe God is in us. We believe in seeking God, and doing right by God’s will, but we could never become God.”

    Where do “they” seek God?  I mean, really. I want to understand this.  It is difficult for me to even fathom a concrete answer that would make sense to me other than God is everywhere, including within us. Tell me, if not within, then where is God?  Is God in the clouds?  And further, what do I have to do to be worthy of God?  What is His will for me?  What must I do to make Him love me? To save me?  What happens if I don’t do those things?  Spiritually and personally, I don’t worry about any of these questions or the answers, but I am very curious about the answers from others who believe God is “out there.”

    I had one such opportunity with my cousin, a born again Christian. She enlightened me on their beliefs about other spiritual teachers, like Buddha. She told me to follow anyone other than Jesus is a deception used by the devil.  So basically what she is saying, is Buddha is Satan in disguise.  I appreciated getting a window into the mindset, and I also appreciated not being frightened of Satan coming to get me because I have Buddha heads in my house.

    Fear is fear, whether cloaked in religious dogma or not. It is fear, and to use beliefs to instill fear, in my “spiritual” opinion is wrong.  Not helpful. Not useful to the health and growth of our human civilization. Either is any religion urging too much looking out and not enough looking in.

    Recently, my husband had some work done on his car. The man doing the work came to our house.  Before long, this man was asking my husband about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. “Do you believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?”  Oh, how I wanted to get in on this conversation, but I just listened and observed.  I noticed in this man’s car he had a pack of cigarettes. I also noticed he inhales paint fumes all day long not wearing a mask, yet he goes to church a few days a week.

    Observing this, I realized there is too much focus on dogma. On beliefs and getting others to believe. On pleasing God. Jesus. And with this, a neglect of the self. Who we are. What is within us. What moves us. What represses us. Liberates us. Frees us.  Limits us. Where is the interest of our own soul?  Our destructive habits? The health of our bodies?  When we look for our power and our answers on the outside, what hope do we have for change? For resurrection?  For truth?

    I was at a workshop recently and I overheard someone say, “It’s in God’s hands. I will wait to see what God wants.”  I thought to myself, you’ll be waiting. God, when all else fails becomes our crutch. What we lean against when we don’t want to get down and dirty with our own shit, our own dreams, our own life, our pain.  And it is socially acceptable. Everyone gives everything to God and we just nod our heads in agreement. We even find it noble. Which might be fine, but I am not convinced many of us have truly taken the time to understand what this idea of “God” is and if this idea is healthy for us and if it supports our evolution.

    So does this make me an atheist? If it were up to the commenter on the Oprah page, yes.  She said she’d rather people who say they are spiritual call themselves atheists.  I am not an atheist. I believe in God, but I refrain from using the word God right now.  To say God makes me feel scattered and powerless, and I choose to feel whole and powerful.

    The inner work I have done has shown me I am 100% responsible for my life.  This means I create my life.  My beliefs. My thoughts. My desires, create my life.  To look to anything outside of me right now is detrimental to my growth. To my evolution. I am on a Soul Guiding Journey, and I believe I hold everything within my Soul, and that is where everything emanates.

    Some may say I’m crazy. Arrogant. Just bought a quick one-way ticket to hell.  But I know how I feel. I am liberated from foreign forces that have bound and gagged me. I feel free and I don’t care if you are a Christian, a Buddhist, or an Atheist- we all have the capacity and desire for freedom, which means we are free to believe what we trust brings us to freedom.

    I am returning to the knowing I had as a young girl, before the beliefs of others penetrated my soul. I am special.  I belong to SomeThing Special.  I understand it to be an Intelligence, or what was called the Force in Star Wars.  I am a part of it. It is in me and I am in it.  Nothing is separate from me. Nothing. No person. No God. No force. No tree. No plant or animal. Nothing. As I have heard it said, we are all a concentrated universe. Everything is contained within us. We are all here together composed of the same matter and material and God spark. And we are all in different spaces within this reality. For me, this feels right. I feel enlightened by it. And it motivates me to expand deeper into “knowing thyself.”

    I dream of a world we can dialogue of these things and come from an understanding of solidarity and a respect of where we are within this sanctified whole. Which is why I would love to start having a conversation about this taboo topic of God and religion and spirituality. To literally get our head out of the clouds and not just nod our heads in the name of God,  but really examine it for ourselves.

    And a moment on the word spirituality. Recently someone said it was overused.  The commenter said she is offended when someone say she is “spiritual.”  Is the word getting a bad name?  Do we really know what it means?  The dictionary says spiritual means, of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. 

    For me, spirituality is the movement toward truth.  And truth is inside of me.

    No Soul Tip Today- Just Questions:

    In my attempt to dialogue and expose our beliefs: What are your thoughts? How many of you feel watched by a man upstairs?  Is this comfortable for you?  How would you describe your relationship with God?  How would you define the word spiritual or spirituality? 

    Namaste, which by the way for those who don’t know is a greeting which means the divine in me honors the divine in you. I shared this with my cousin. When I told her what it meant, I never heard from her again.  Through these conversations, I expand in trust, knowing we are all where we need to be in our evolution.

    The Soul Reporter


    A cousin came into town and gave me a call. Two years ago her mother died unexpectedly, so she comes to visit her father who is here in MN.  I vented to her about my situation and my mother and she told me I might be interested in a business opportunity and asked if she could come over to tell me about it. I knew right away it was some network marketing opportunity because I have been approached enough to know what their schpeel (not sure if that is a real word and if that is how you spell it) sounds like, but I remained open.  

    She drove up to our driveway and got out of her truck wearing her red Mary Kay blazer and I was surprised this was the business she was promoting.  Surprised because it is hard to believe these beauty consultants can still make money off of Mary Kay. It has been around forever, and maybe that is why they still do well.  I knew I wouldn’t be interested in selling Mary Kay, but it sure felt nice to have someone touch my face and give me a facial.  
    As the night went on, we, meaning her, my husband and I began on the subject of religion. My cousin seems to be very religious.  She talks a lot about the lord, her bible studies and so on. I usually cringe, but again I remained open.  Because of my openness I can usually relate, at least through my non-religious filters, to what Christians  say. I take it and bring it to a metaphysical, spiritual context and can appreciate it.  However, when she began to speak on how the world is coming to an end and the Lord is going to come down to save those who are ready, this is where I move out of openness and into defensiveness.  
    Honestly some of these ideas make me want to laugh because of how literally they are taken. However what I do admire about these believers is their belief and faith in God.  This relative of mine has lost her brother, her mother, soon her grandmother who is ill and her uncle just lost a leg.  She seems to remain calm and sees God in it all, knowing that one day they will all be together in Heaven with their Lord, except for those relatives who aren’t going to be there, like maybe her sick grandmother who is a non-believer.  She tells her grandmother that all she needs to do, even if it is her last breath, is ask for forgiveness and for the Lord to take her home. But if she doesn’t do this, then she will be on the other side and those who are in heaven will never remember those in hell but those in hell will see them rejoicing in heaven, yet she tells me God is a loving and forgiving God.  
    Then she tells me God is a jealous God after seeing the ‘false idols’ around my house. Yes, it is true I have Buddha statues, and one of a monk and a beautiful Hindu woman praying.  I even have Buddha on my blog, which she saw when we onto to When she saw it I could feel the energy of pity upon me and her wanting to save me from my false idol worship because God only wants me to worship Him.  Excuse me but could not Mary Kay and all the pins she was wearing on her jacket be considered a false idol? Who is determining who or what is a false idol? And why is God wasting his time with me and my statues?  How can God be so expansive, so loving yet be jealous and apparently petty?  All questions I am sure the believers can’t answer.  
    Again though, there is that faith. She tells me that I keep feeling burdened because God is waiting for me to give it to Him. He loves me, she says, and he wants to take care of me, just like a good father would. This brings tears.  I have been feeling burdened. I do want to be taking care of- or at least held. I don’t want to hold the burdens anymore. I want to give it to Him, but because of my spirituality and my upbringing I tend to believe this life and its future is my responsibility.  How is it being responsible giving my life over to someone else, even if it is God?  However I know the power in surrendering.  Because of both these beliefs I tend to do this dance with God where I give him my life and then after thinking about it, and getting into an old mind set I say to hell with it and take it back.   
    My cousin helps a bit with this dance by telling me I am still responsible because it is up to me to take the steps where God leads.  I make a promise to myself for the next week I will give it up to God, look for the signs and steps and follow them, and for the most part I have.  In fact, here is what has happened since this promise.
    A few weeks ago, when I was separated from my husband I received an envelope in the mail from St. Matthew’s Church.  Inside the envelope was a letter, a prayer rug with a picture of Jesus on it and an envelope.  The letter had very specific instructions.  First I was to look into the eyes of Jesus on the prayer rug, which was really a piece of paper which looked like a rug, and watch his eyes open.  Then once they opened, which surprisingly they did, I was told to kneel on the rug and pray.  This was a challenge because since I have been a young girl I have found such devotion to Jesus to be uncomfortable, but got on my knees I did and prayed.  Then I was to fill out the form they sent with my prayer requests, put in in the envelope along with the prayer rug and sleep with it under my pillow that night and send it in the morning.  
    Yesterday in the mail I received another envelope from St. Matthew’s. This time the envelope held a large gold cross, which on the back reads faith and grace.  I immediately put it in my pocket.  It held a sealed envelope that I am not to open until tonight at sunset, and a purple bookmark which is blessed and should be placed by my bed at night.  This morning around 6 am I awoke knowing The Secret- it is giving.  I realized it is time to give. During this challenging time in my life I have become very small, at least in some ways.  My aspirations for myself are small, the challenges I have been worrying about are small, and in all this smallness I have been self-absorbed and unable to give much.  
    There has been much talk about The Secret- the Law of Attraction and so forth, and the biggest piece that is missing from all of this ‘New Age’ talk is giving. If we give little, we get little. Period.  The beautiful moment for me this morning was realizing there is no shame in my not giving much, only a reckoning that I have been in a very tight place for some time now, and I just haven’t been able to get out of it long enough to breathe let alone give what I believe I don’t have.  
    This awakening moment began when my cousin came over and told me to surrender my burdens to God and I made a promise to do that. Then by the Voice Inside was told to be curious and wonder what is The Way through this tight place, and I received a cross which reads grace and faith and a message to give.  In the meantime, I am watching for signs and trusting the steps. Knowing as a quote I just read says, no answer is also an answer.
    “When we release up to the Lord what our hands control, he then releases back to us what his hand controls.”  St. Luke 6:38