Where do I start & what do I say to even begin to introduce myself and my desire to simply live constantly in the presence of Divine Love?
And how on earth do I describe to you my spiritual path?
I was born & raised – until 15 in what I would call a fundamentalist family. I would almost go so far to say that the rules of the mission that my parents served with was almost a cult. I was terrified of not being a Christian – with a “faith” founded on fear, rather than on faith! I “hoped” I was saved, rather than having any security in my actions, thoughts & beliefs!
At 17 years old, when I finally had a say in my beliefs, my choice was simply to leave anything to do with God & salvation & faith. And I walked away. Throwing away, if you wish, the baby with the bath water.
Accepting MY role & responsibility
At 21, my roommate lent me a book: Louise Hay “You can Heal your life”. I read it.
And as part of my healing process, I took the time to forgive and release – all of those involved – and especially myself! And I came to point of accepting all the “blame” that I had put on “God” – when the reality of the situation was that everything that had been done, was done by “humans” purporting to act on God’s behalf. Claiming that they somehow had an exclusive ear and mandate.
But they were simply human.
And they made mistakes. Mistakes that many others paid for.
At that time, I chose to accept a simple premise: “I still believe in God” but I choose not to believe in religion or man. And I maintained that I wanted nothing to do with religion or “the Church”.
But – from then on, I had a clear understanding that I was fully responsible for my choices and my decisions. I could no longer put the blame or responsibility on others. I could always choose how I wished to respond to situations in life!
Perhaps there might be a God
Roll forward some 15 years, to 35 years old… and I was all into Self-Development. Busy reading Covey, Maxwell, Rohn and many other authors that have written about personal development. And I found a common thread throughout – sacred Wisdom, gleaned from personal faith.
That year, I went back to Proverbs. Searching for Wisdom. And I found Her.
And I read Proverbs 12 times that year: there are 31 Chapters of Proverbs – so one chapter a day. And in the shorter months I would choose when to double-up and read more.
That began a new spiritual journey for me, which I have been on for more than 10 years now. A journey to discover, for myself, what I believe.
- What do I believe about “God”?
- What do I believe about humans, animals & creation?
- What do I believe is the relationship between mankind and God?
I am even hesitant to use the word “God” in my writing – because the definitions used by men & women as they write and speak about “God” do not necessarily reflect my beliefs and what I hold to be true. And they most certainly do not necessarily reflect the relationships that I have discovered in practising presence in my life over the past decade and even before.
In my blog, you will find that I often use the Bible – I quote it and I use verses regularly.
But you will also find other quotes and sources – because I believe that we all have seen a face of God… much like you see the cut surface of a diamond. The diamond is not only the surface/face that you see – it is so much more than that. And yet, we mistakenly believe that because we have seen one face of God, we have seen God.
We know so little.
Other learnings & paths
So, today, you will find that I call myself a “Practical Christian”, who has been studying with Unity.
I am very clear that God is I AM THAT I AM, but that’s as big a definition as I am willing to put on God. I don’t believe that God is a “man” sitting upon a throne in the sky – but at some stage I’ll get my thoughts in sufficient order to write on that and explain why I don’t agree with that limiting definition of God. I believe God has been so diminished by that perspective – as man tries to make God in man’s own image.
I intend to continue my studies with Unity until finishing my SEE courses, and then apply to study at One Spirit. Yes. An interfaith seminary. One in which I can learn deeply & richly about my Christian faith & heritage, and yet learn also about other visions & views of God and relating to God.
Additionally I am a Ho’oponopono practitioner – because while the Bible tells you to forgive, I never learnt how to forgive through the Church. I am finally discovering the path of forgiving 70 X 7 times… and it’s perhaps not the path that my parents expected.
If you want to call this New Age and write it off – that’s fine. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
As I have learned to say “I love you” – I have learned to connect with the love of the Divine – to be a vessel through which Divine Love can flow. I have learned to be open to being loved. And I hope & pray that I am learning to love my neighbour as myself.
As I have learned to say “I’m sorry” – I have learned to see “there but for the grace of God go I”. I am that person… having a different life experience and a different path. But I am no better than them. I am just as responsible for pain and suffering in their world as they are. Every time I have seen pain & suffering, and done nothing, I am just as responsible as those that caused it. Every time I have told “a little white lie” – I am a liar. Every time I acted in self-interest – I have been greedy. I can no longer justify myself by the “size” and “scope” of my actions – because behind them all is the same intent.
As I have learned to say “Please forgive me” – I have learned that I am forgiven & cleansed and made whole! I have learned that there is Divine healing & wholeness – when I am open to receiving it. I have learned that not only must I seek forgiveness from the Divine, but also learn to forgive myself! And most importantly, that I can only regain my own trust when I change my ways. Forgiveness is not simply a free pass!
And as I have learned to finish with “thank you” – I am humbled to know that there is hope and grace. Healing & wholeness is possible and it is our job to share this with the world.
So, this blog is me – holding out the light as I have seen it. Not hiding it under a bushel.
If I have one hope, it is this: that I might become a dazzling & radiant creature – full of light – as described by C.S. Lewis:
The command Be ye perfect [Matt. 5:48] is not idealistic gas.
Nor is it a command to do the impossible.
He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.
He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and he is going to make good His words.
If we let Him – for we can prevent Him, if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.
The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what he said.Author: C. S. Lewis, Source: Mere Christianity, p. 160
I hope that you are blessed by reading my thoughts & learnings as I progress on my journey. I hope that you are challenged to practice the presence of Divine Love in your life – as something you experience every moment of every day, rather than something you “do” on Sundays.
If you are interested in some of my other writing and seeing more of my work, you can also follow me:
- BlackAnt blog – a blog about “faith, growth, changes and life”.
- PanUtopia – my blog about life in Panama and what Utopia would look like here. Sometimes a little more sarcastic.
- BethGray.Coach – my stepping out into the world helping real people with real problems – to provide real solutions and a better way of showing up in the world.
And if you are interested in connecting with me, as I reach out & help others:
- On Facebook – Beth Gray
- Practicing the Power of Eight – small group creation – to set aside time with 7-9 others – to focus all of our Divine Love and intention on each other, for healing & health & wholeness! Inspired by the book “The Power of Eight” by Lynne McTaggart
- Inspiring Women – thrive beyond your comfort zone Maybe your comfort zone is really just uncomfortable, but “better the devil you know”. But, it’s time to step outside and reach for the stars! This is a place for everyone to share their secrets of how they are inspired to thrive outside of their comfort zones.
- NOURISH – This is a safe community of people who are improving our own lives by changing our relationships with food, nutrition, exercise and holistic health. We are here to support each other in achieving the nutrition and health goals that take us to the next level physically, mentally & emotionally.
- I am a founder and Company Secretary of DiscoverYourPathU, LLC where we believe that every life can teach and everyone can grow! We envision a world where authentic connection and kindness are creatively expressed in communal practice.