“If it be your will, if there is a choice, let the rivers fill, let the hills rejoice. Let your mercy spill on all these burning hearts in hell… if it be your will to make us well.” ~ Leonard Cohen
Realizations have been coming fast and furious lately. It was probably around a week ago when I looked at what I was doing, what I was writing, and knew that I have always been like this. I am exactly the same in spirit as when I was a child… whatever God is, I am in love with that.
“Let your mercy spill on all these burning hearts in hell” is a pretty heavy phrase isn’t it. It shows reverence, submission and trust, awareness of our condition, and compassion for all whose hearts burn with a desire to be free. He prays for wellness for all of us. Thank you, Mr. Cohen.
As a child I knew that I didn’t know who God was or where God was, but I had been taught that God was a ‘he’ and he was somewhere on the outside of myself, so that’s what I believed. Separation from God is hell, isn’t it? When we hear Leonard Cohen’s poetic prayer, it stirs up a longing within… to be connected to something greater than ourselves – so connected that we are unafraid of change, okay with not knowing the future, willing to be disapproved of, and willing to stand alone.
I can say that after all of my journeys and my searching, I’m comfortable in the knowledge of who God is not and where God is not, and am beginning experience a tiny portion of what God is.
All of life’s beat-ups on this journey have served me well. I didn’t know it, but the… wrong way, no love there, I shouldn’t have lied, I can’t do this, such remorse, so trapped, could have done that better, why am I so weak… type of experiences were in fact a slow process of evolution, and my spirit was there all along, guiding me and picking up information.
The most subtle stumbling block for me was the concept of God as a ‘he’. Just as ‘God is white’ was an effective anti-homing device for Black people, as a woman I was pretty much directed away from self by that concept. I didn’t realize the effect of it for years, and I am so thankful to wise teachers who pointed toward the divine feminine.
We don’t have to be in hell, separated from the divine… and most likely even your religion has told you so. The ancient Sanskrit word, Namaste, means “I bow to the God within you.” The Rastafarians seem to have no doubt as to the dwelling place – the ‘I in I’. The Buddha’s nirvana is within. The Qu’ran says that the divine promptings are closer to you than your jugular vein. The Bible states that the kingdom of God is within.
So, with that settled, how about a little more from Leonard Cohen?
“If it be your will that a voice be true, from this broken hill I will sing to you. From this broken hill all your praises they shall ring… if it be your will to let me sing.”
The title of this writing came to me a few weeks ago during a meditation. At the time I wondered about what ‘it’s your Christmas’ could mean. After the meditation I listened again to a reading done by Soren Dreier (described in the “Inspirations” blog) and was working up the courage to “prepare my buffet”, as Soren had advised.
I hadn’t done writing of this deeply personal nature since giving up a budding songwriting career more than 30 years ago. What had stopped me then, was my own spirit of truth. I realized that by writing songs, I was asking people to listen to what I had to say, and I had nothing of value to tell them… I knew nothing… I had no answers for them. I didn’t even have suggestions, and I wasn’t interested in pretending. So I pulled the plug, threw away all the tapes, and asked the universe for more information.
What you seek is seeking you. I read that somewhere and it sure does seem to be true. There’s a lot more experience under the belt now, a great deal more information, plus some incredible practices that are transformative.
Let’s look at two things with the ‘what is God’ question in mind. If we believe that God is truth, we can turn that around and say truth is God. Truth originates in us – we are the ones able to speak it. We know when we lie. We are the watchers of ourselves. Truth is energy, it’s a resonance, it’s a vibration, it’s a power. The lie crumbles in its presence. So if we practice truth in daily life, the resonance of it begins to dwell within.
Most of the time, when someone speaks of what God is, they will say that God is love. May we please turn that around and say love is God? Love can originate in us, the human being, if we desire it. I spoke in the beginning about being in love with ‘whatever God is’ as a child. The journey of life took me from loving a figure out somewhere in the universe, to loving the divine spirit within. I got to come home, and it’s my Christmas.
Why do I tell you these stories? I pray for us to be well, just like Mr. Cohen does. I start with me, and you start with you, and we’ll join forces one day.
Here’s the final verse: “And draw us near, and bind us tight, all your children here in their rags of light. In our rags of light, all dressed to kill… and end this night if it be your will.”
~ Ida Lawrence
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