Part of my story was ritual abuse by my fathers religion. So it has been a slow and wondrous process to discover a loving and non-judgmental Higher Power who has no hidden agenda to change me so that I can be accepted. For me sweat lodge offers that non judgmental space and cuts at all the dogma so often associated with religions and gives me the ability to connect quickly to creator.
During the prayer round in a recent lodge I attended, one of the participants talked about wanting relief from the “devil” of addiction. There is a small First Nations boy who has been attending the Sweat Lodge regularly for a few years with his dad. He is just 8 years old. Suddenly and with much confidence, assuredness and compassion, his little voice could be heard in the darkness and the heat and the steam and the smells of sage and frankincense as the volcanic rocks glowed red in the earth fire pit.
He said, “The only devil is you!”
There was a humble moment of silence in the darkness of the lodge followed by sounds of acknowledgment and praise as his wisdom hit home!
It reminded me that all my coping mechanisms were just self chosen distractions to deflect me from feeling my feelings and that I truly did hold the key to my own freedom. I choose for so much of my life to bob around like a directionless cork in an ocean of other peoples decisions and directions for my own life.
To enter the kingdom within we need to have the beginner’s mind of a child.
That doesn’t mean we have to become childlike. What it means is we need to have the openness, the curiosity and the willingness that is so often inherent in young children and so often forgotten and suppressed in us adults.
It really doesn’t matter what faith, religion or belief systems we have and of course everyone’s individual beliefs and religions need to be respected.
For example, there are many different types of cell phones. There may be many different brands but they all use the same technology. All cell phones send and receive via radio waves. They all work by using the same Source.
All roads lead back to the same Source/Universe/Higher Power/God.
And just as light does not know darkness, Source cannot know “sin.” Source is pure unadulterated love and as such Source has no other function other than to love us completely regardless as to what we have done or not done.
“Evil” or the “Devil” is not some dark force that exists in parallel somewhere out in the Universe. Evil is simply the frustration and concealment of good. (Tweet-worthy!)
Evil is staying in the state of consciousness where we refuse to accept our Inner Divinity and where we instead frustrate our potential. Most of us humans frustrate our potential and we act out and hurt ourselves and others or from a religious perspective, we “sin” or we think the “devil” is influencing us. Understanding that I was not evil or wrong was the first step toward my journey home and it allowed me to get of my own cross of victim-hood.
The will of Source is the ceaseless urging for the “spirit” potential within us to completely manifest in us and through us.
It is our “will” and our choices that get in the way and stop Divine flow.
When we act out of alignment with self and Source we are not punished for our “sins” but by them. The result is that we become separated from Source/Universe/Higher Power/God and we experience lack, limitation and disharmony. I love this realization because it put the responsibility back in my own hands and took me out of the crippling cycle of guilt, shame, control and relapse.
Many of us refuse to give up our bargain with darkness. Many of us are familiar with the feelings of darkness and are unsure if goodness can offer the same power. We may also believe that suffering will bring us reward. Darkness in some strange way feels safe to us.
But suffering does not and never will equal a pay off. That’s just the shadow side of religion.
That sweet little boy was right. We create our own demons.
The good news is we can undo what we have created.
And that is ultimately Source/Universe/Higher Power/Gods will for us.
So would you be willing to embrace a beginner’s mind and approach life with openness, curiosity and willingness?
Are you ready to no longer frustrate your own potential and instead serve your greater good?
Could you embrace that suffering does not and never will equal a pay off and that you were designed to be abundant in all areas of your life?
Much Love & Welcome Home,