Thy will be done…

Ok, this is the hard stuff.

I’ve been saying the Lord’s Prayer for years. We said it before each class in school (catholic) and it’s kinda ingrained. School was a long time ago and it’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. Lately I’ve incorporated the prayer into my morning sadhana. And when I wanna go deep with Jesus, we join hands over this prayer.

Because it’s become habitual it’s easy to skim over what you’re actually saying. The words become a rhythm and that’s wonderful to soothe and connect BUT I’m now realising… never underestimate the power of words and what you’re actually praying for!

In meditation the other day I was just about to say ‘God, give me the courage to surrender to your will’, but wait… YOUR WILL?? What if it’s not what I want or like? And that’s where the huge question of ‘what does faith actually mean for me? slipped furiously in.

That line ‘Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven’ has been kinda thrown away by me, for years. Heaven has always been depicted as ‘someplace’ perfect and bright and immaculate. So, of course I just visualised perfection on Earth.

Yet, scratch the surface of that and concepts of perfection and how EVERY individual has a different ideal… suddenly that picture begins to muddy and I see Heaven as a projection, not a place you go. A place you are. So, thy will be done, where you are, on earth.

And let’s be honest, another’s will upon us can be scary as anything. I think I may have used God. My will over the bigger picture.

‘God, please can you give me the strength…’

‘God, please can you help with….’

‘God, please help those….’

‘God, please allow whatever feelings I’m feeling to flow through me, without attachment…’

That’s a lot please can you prayers. And God answers! The LOVE is immense… But lately there’s been a shift.

‘God, please allow me to see your will…’ and BOOM. That’s not so easy. Gods will isn’t my will. It’s not what I want or think I need. It’s whats for me, not me for it. That’s a whole new walk of unknown, right? To open your arms and say ‘I’m here, FOR YOU to be led by YOU’. I’m getting scary chills even writing it!

So, what does faith actually mean? It’s evolving everyday. And in that evolution, it gets a little scarier and unknown and leaning in to God gets deeper and deeper… and trust becomes the only constant and that’s scary too. It’s like I fell into the arms of Jesus for safety and comfort but actually there’s no safety or comfort unless you really trust what’s for you, on a soul level. No swings and whistles, no temporary fixes or fixations that may distract for long enough to ease a craving. To trust the release of the root of our cravings and attachments, that takes guts. Faith is a courage walk. It’s saying yes to what doesn’t come easy, to what’s against our conditioning.

It’s a scary walk of fire. But fudging ‘ell, doesn’t it make life rich and beautiful! (Ok, maybe I’ll feel that tomorrow, today is more of a through-clenched-teeth day).

Life is never dull when you walk it with faith.

Thinking about… death, again! (with a hint of faith)

Yes, I’m thinking about death, again. 

How can I not, were in the middle of a pandemic and the ‘news’ headlines have this crafty way of getting to you, invited or not. I’ve never been so confronted with people dying before. Figures, every day, and these figures grow and numbers become so many I’m not sure what to do with that information. My empathy levels are lessening, and that scares a little bit of crap out of me! My nervous system is crying yet my body feels a little numb and emotionally, I feel like I’m totally coping yet the smallest thing makes me want punch a hole in the wall. I’m coping, yes, but coping is what us humans do, we don’t have to do it well. However, flowing and surrendering, that is another matter.

In my thinking of death, in my thinking of how transitory this living malarkey is and how seriously we take it yet it can go in a flash, the one thing that feels more important than ever is faith.

Faith is such a strange thing as I find it a tough one to put into words. I don’t think faith can be explained, which is why religions have a million and one interpretations. I was brought up a Christian but what does that mean? I believe in Christ? I didn’t, I went to church every Sunday because I didn’t get a choice, not because I loved Jesus. I got bored, I sat and kicked my feet against the pew in-front of me and I got a look from mum that said ‘keep doing that and you’re in serious trouble young lady’. I listened to that look, my brother not so much and would often crawl across the floor, mum not noticing until it was too late to grab a leg and slide him back. Basically, it was just a thing, being a Christian was a thing I was and church was what I did. 

‘It’s in the Bible!!’

That was the answer I got to most of my questions as I grew more aware of the contradictions. I did try and read the Bible but I still didn’t get answers – I was a kid and kids are more literal and Jesus walking on water didn’t make sense to my questions of why do bad things happen and where do we go when we die? Nobody could explain, because honestly, no one knows! Heaven forbid that adults didn’t actually understand the bible either.

It’s like Shakespeare. No-one totally ‘gets it’. We read it at school and most of us were ‘what the hell does this even mean?’ and to appear clever and witty, we’d nod during English and plagiarise something smart we read, offloading it like it was our own. Or was that just me?? I bet Shakespeare didn’t even know… it’s poetry, his way of making sense of something that, in the end, doesn’t really mean anything.

And that is faith, interpretation. 

Now, I believe in Christ but in such a different way to how I thought it should be. Actually, I don’t believe in Christ, I believe Christ when I hear what is spoken to me through prayer, or when I meditate and feel ALL that Love.

I don’t label myself a Christian as I don’t need to. I connect with Jesus and that is that. I don’t have to be in some ruled existence or contract to say if I don’t do or say certain things, I’m a sinner or ‘wrong’. Nope, that is not how Christ works for me. See, interpretation. 

And death is so much a part of faith. My faith is strengthening the more I contemplate death. I’m watching myself and my parents age, I can see they’re not able to do things with as much ease as they once did. I can feel my body change and my dreams float away like little clouds passing, once gone, I can’t see them anymore. I can’t even remember their shape or distance from me. I can’t ‘be’ the me I was 10 years ago, she’s gone, my imagining of her has to die, otherwise the way I live my life gets really warped and frustrations with my ever-ageing body will get deeper and deeper until I end up hating what is inevitable, an ever-changing physicality. And I’ve been there, that warped place, I still go there some days and it’s always as I remember it, pretty dark.

So death, she’s in my thoughts and she’s feeding my faith and some days fear wins and I’m shit scared of losing what I have. Yet, knowing death IS happening, somehow that keeps my faith alive and day by day, faith grows. I like to see faith as a tree and when the sun shines or the moon is bright, fear is the shade below her branches. The shade is forever moving yet the tree, she don’t move an inch.