Search This Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Heart of Forgiveness Redux

This past Sunday, we were blessed to have Charles Holt as our guest speaker, singer and workshop presenter at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. During his lesson, Charles shared his compelling story about his strained relationship with his father and his process of forgiveness, which he details in his book, Between Me and Dad: A Journey through Forgiveness to Freedom, available on Amazon. Charles further shared about his process and offered guidance for the participants during his afternoon workshop.

I was intrigued by his story, and inspired to explore the topic of forgiveness more deeply for myself. I am now in the process of contemplation, meditation and deep inner listening, as well as reading what others have taught, to gain greater insight and understanding of the subject. Therefore, I don’t yet feel ready to share what I am discovering and realizing.

Forgiveness is a complex and multifaceted subject and one that I do not take lightly or wish to treat in a cavalier manner. My hope is that through thoughtful and prayerful consideration I will be prepared to share more clarity in my lesson, “The Heart of Forgiveness” this Sunday.

Rather than write a new post attempting to express my evolving perspective on forgiveness, I have chosen to repost some thoughts I shared on the topic in July 2014. More than three years later, I am still in alignment with what follows. And, as Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore famously said, “I reserve the right to change my mind.”


I have been studying and practicing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) since 2004. NVC, created by the late Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, is a process that helps one connect deeply with his or her feelings and needs and opens the space for connection with others.  When I consider the practice of NVC and its implication on forgiveness, I realize that forgiveness is more than a spiritual practice that we engage in for the purpose of freeing ourselves from the pain of holding on to the past. At the heart of true forgiveness is the freedom that we can attain through the practice of empathy and compassion.

Empathy is our capacity to connect deeply with feelings and what NVC refers to as “needs,” the things that we value and desire, whether our own or another’s. I prefer to think of what NVC calls “needs” as aspect of our Divine Nature that each of us longs to experience and have reflected to us from others and the world around us.
NVC teaches that everything we do or say is an attempt to meet a need. I reframe that to say that everything we do or say is an attempt to express or experience an aspect of our Divine Nature, such as love, connection, or well-being. Further, in keeping with NVC philosophy but stated in my own terms, that when our actions or the actions of others do not help us realize an aspect of our divinity, we experience feelings that we might term “negative,” feelings that we would rather not feel, such as anger, sadness or guilt. Conversely, when we do experience an aspect of our divinity as a result of our actions or another’s, we have feelings that we often call “positive,” those that we enjoy feeling, such as peace, joy and love.

When we operate with the understanding that we are all attempting to know and experience our Divine Nature through our actions and interactions, we can more clearly see that we all have the same “needs.” However, the ways we have learned to meet those needs may at times be contrary to our highest intention, and unfortunately may stimulate pain in others and ourselves.

Empathy is our path to the authentic connection that is required for true forgiveness to occur.

Compassion is our capacity to face our pain, and to meet another in his or her pain

The best definition I have heard for compassion is from Cindy Wigglesworth, author of SQ21, The Twenty-one Skills of Spiritual Intelligence. In her book, she defines compassion as the capacity and willingness to join another in his or her pain with the intention of helping to relieve suffering, while not contributing to or joining in the suffering, thus maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the circumstances.” I would add that compassion also includes our capacity and willingness to connect with our own pain, while not contributing to or exacerbating it. 

To achieve true forgiveness, we must be willing to engage in the practice of compassion for the one we are holding as guilty for stimulating our pain, whether ourselves or another. It is often, if not always, challenging to face our own pain. Most of us would rather do whatever is necessary to medicate and avoid it. Some engage in psychological denial and refuse to admit they have pain.

As the Buddhist proverb says, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” The experience of pain, emotional, physical and spiritual, is part of the human condition. We all have pain. Suffering, however, is the result of the story we tell about our pain. We suffer when we continue to relive, in our minds, the events that originally stimulated the pain, and continue to tell our story about what should or should not have happened. If you would like to learn about one way to end the suffering, please read my post from last week on The Work®.

Compassion invites us to connect with our pain, meet it face-to-face, and understand that our actions or the actions of another are not the cause of our pain. Our pain is caused, at the deepest level, by our unmet needs, or from my perspective, the unexpressed, unexperienced and unrealized aspects of our Divine Nature. We can compassionately connect with the pain, without engaging in suffering, and allow it to inform us of those beautiful aspects of Divine Nature that we are longing to connect with.

Empathy and compassion are not intellectual exercises; they are heart-centered practices.  They require that we engage with ourselves and others from a deep connection with our feelings and with our most precious heartfelt desire to experience our Divine Nature. When practiced authentically, empathy and compassion open our hearts and allow us to experience the outpouring of Love that is the foundation of the Divine expressing as us. They open us to the awareness of not only our shared humanity, but our shared Divinity, as well. 

With open hearts, we are able and willing to connect with each other beyond our stories of right and wrong, good and bad, victim and perpetrator. We are able to understand each other as spiritual beings who are living a human experience and doing our best to remember our Divinity, albeit sometimes through methods that are in diametric opposition to that intention.  Connecting in that understanding with empathy and compassion for ourselves and others is at the heart of the consciousness of true forgiveness.


Join on Sunday at 10:00 as I share from my heart some of what is bubbling up in me as I explore “The Heart of Forgiveness.”

Additionally, if you are blessed or inspired by these posts or my Sunday lessons, which are available on YouTube, I encourage you to make a donation  to support the ministry of Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Thank you!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Freedom From Suffering

In the mid to late 1990s, I attended a workshop presented at the church I attended at that time. The presenter was a woman named Byron Katie. Her workshop was about a process called The Work®. I found the topic and the process interesting, and left that day with a cursory understanding of it.

A couple of years later, I sought out a spiritual counselor. At my initial appointment with her, she asked me if I was familiar with The Work®. I told her I was, but that I had not incorporated its practice. She sent me home with instructions and copies of a worksheet. If memory serves me, I completed a couple of the worksheets, but did not pursue it further. I did not continue sessions with this counselor.

In 2001, a dear friend loaned me two cassette tapes that she insisted I listen to. They were, you guessed it, recordings of Byron Katie leading participants through the process of The Work®. As I listened, I heard the participants experience relief from deep emotional pain. For some of them, it was pain they had been carrying for years. I was hooked! I had to learn more.

In March of 2002, I attended The School for The Work® in Sedona, Arizona. The school is an intensive nine-day program that takes you into the process of listening to and questioning your thoughts. It is intended to foster an atmosphere in which The Work® comes alive for you and becomes a part of your daily spiritual practices.

I can honestly say that this was my experience. During the school and for a time following, The Work® became a valuable addition to my self-discovery toolbox. I regret that after a couple of years, I used the process less and less, until gradually it became another forgotten tool.

Fast forward to 2009, I was the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Arlington in Arlington, Texas. J and I moved to Arlington from Dallas in October 2009. Through a series of synchronistic events and personal connections, we were introduced to our neighbors, Michael and Karen, who lived directly across the street from us.

It just so happened that Karen had recently returned from attending, you guessed it, The School for the Work®. We recognized our soul connection and became fast friends. Karen conducted workshops on The Work® at Unity of Arlington, in 2011 and 2012. She soon became an integral part of the community there, heading up a fundraising event and helping to provide leadership for our welcoming team. Karen made her transition from this Earthly plane in 2015. I will always be grateful to her for reconnecting me with The Work®.

While I don’t complete a worksheet every day or formally engage the process, it has become a part of my consciousness. As Katie says, once you practice the process, you don’t work The Work®; The Work® works you.

The Work® requires no spiritual or intellectual preparation, no belief and no psychological acuteness – just a desire to know the truth about you.

The Work® is a simple process of four questions and a turn-around that helps bring clarity to an unquestioned mind. When approached with the intention to know the truth, this simple process provides us with a way to question the thoughts that often create stress, or cause pain and suffering. 

The four questions are:

·       Is it true? 
·       Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
·       How do you react when you think that thought?
·       Who or what would you be without that thought?

The turn-around asks, “Could the opposite be just as true?”

As is often the case, when I recognize that I am creating inner turmoil or confusion and I’m willing to stop and connect, Spirit reminds me of just what I need to return to peace and sanity. This week was no exception. I was reminded to go to The Work® when I got caught up in thinking the thought, “I need to know what to do.” 

This seems an innocuous thought, but it stimulated suffering for me this week, so I will use it as an example.

When I asked the question, “Is it true that I need to know what to do?” my first response was “Yes, I need to know what to do. How else am I going to move forward?”

Then, I asked, “Can I absolutely know that I need to know what to do?” As I considered the question, I realized that while I would like to know what to do, I may not need to know what to do, at least not right now.

The third question asked me to honestly reflect on how I react when I believe the thought, “I need to know what to do.” When I breathed into that question and invited awareness, I felt tension in my chest and abdomen, and my jaw was tight. I was feeling concerned, nervous and afraid.

Lastly, I asked myself, “Who or what would you be without that thought?” Katie often says to consider who or what you would be if you could never think that thought again. When I imagined that possibility, it came to me that I would be the presence of peace, open and receptive to the guidance of Spirit in every moment.

Using the turn-around, I asked, “Could the opposite be just as true or truer?” Is it possible that, “I don’t need to know what to do” could be just as true? My answer was, “Yes, and when I think that thought, I feel much more open and free.”

It was through actively engaging in the process that I realized that I was stressing myself out thinking, “I need to know what to do.” When I was freed from the thought, I was more open to being present for the guidance of Spirit in the moment, trusting that each step along the way will reveal to me what I need to know next. I felt relief, peace and excitement. My body relaxed, and I was willing and able to do the next thing or nothing at all.

Granted, I have offered an example using a relatively low pain-inducing thought, but I have witnessed people who, through this process, have experienced freedom from pain and suffering stimulated by unquestioned thoughts and beliefs that they have carried for years, even decades.

When the mind is free and clear of the thoughts that create clouds of pain and confusion, the light of truth can shine through. Only when the mind is open and receptive can the inspiration of Spirit be clearly received and known, and then acted upon.

Katie says, “The work shows you that you are the only teacher you can believe. You, and only you, know your truth. You are the healer you have been seeking.”

I share all of this in this forum because I value and appreciate the efficacy of The Work®. The violence that we witness every day in the world around us is evidence of the pain and suffering we experience because of the unquestioned stories we believe. These four simple questions, when answered from the desire to know the truth, act as a laser that cuts through the illusion. They have the power to bring us to peace, one mind at a time.

Everything you need to practice The Work® is available free on the website. I encourage you to avail yourself of it. Try it. You may discover that it is a path to your freedom from suffering.


As always, I invite you to join us on Sunday at 10:00 at Unity Spiritual Center Denver. We welcome our special guest, Charles Holt. He will present the lesson entitled Beyond Forgiveness: A Call to the Divine "Yes." 

Charles will also present a workshop, Beyond Forgiveness: Living a Life of Letting Go, from 1:30 to 4:00 PM. You may register for the workshop here. To learn more about Charles and his work, please visit

Additionally, if you are blessed or inspired by these posts or my Sunday lessons, which are available on YouTube, I encourage you to make a donation  to support the ministry of Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Thank you!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Owning Our Story

Over the course of the past week, I have felt anger, sadness, dismay, fear, and a plethora of other emotions. The events in Charlottesville, VA last weekend were painful enough, but the rhetoric that has ensued from politicians, pundits, so-called leaders, and commentators has added insult to injury. I am pained, as I am sure many of us are.

As I searched for something to share about this in this forum, I ran across a post from July 2015. I wrote it in response to the Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality, as well as the tragic shootings that occurred in Charleston, SC the same week. Much of what I shared in that post reflects what I am thinking and how I am feeling in response to the recent events and what has transpired in the aftermath. What follows is an updated edited version of that post. You may read the original post here.

Living as a gay man I have experienced, first hand, fear that someone might discover the truth about me. I have feared for my jobs, and feared for my physical well-being. I have been rejected by the church, both the Baptist and Methodist, reviled by some family members, and endured the taunts and demeaning comments from others who judge me as unworthy of love and belonging because of my sexual orientation. It hurts to be discounted and denigrated as a human being because of prejudice about an aspect of my human nature. However, I understand that what demonstrates as hatred and violence against me and others originates in fear. I also know that fear is not innate, it must be taught. I have compassion for those, like me, who experience the effects of this fear, and also for those who live with the fear of prejudice, and allow it to guide their words and actions.

I grew up in the deep piney woods of central Georgia where racism was, and is still often enculturated. When I was a child and even a young adult, it was customary for my family members to use the word ‘nigger’ when referring to African-Americans. It was a source of pain for me then, and today I feel the pain of remorse for not always speaking out against this form of racism at the time.

As a child I felt confused and pained when I was told by my father that I could not be friends with Mosell, my first black friend at school. I easily imagine that those who participate in neo-Nazi and white supremacists groups grew up in a similar, presumably more severely racist cultures. They were not born with fear. They were taught to fear, and that fear eventually demonstrated as hate and violence.

While I can share and have deep empathy for them, I cannot fully fathom the pain and anger that so many African-Americans must feel. For centuries, they have suffered defamation and dehumanization, simply because of one aspect of their human nature – skin color. And, while progress has been made, we are far from living the values stated in the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

I was surprised to hear and see on the news that many cities across the country have removed or have plans to remove monuments that honor leaders of the Confederacy. I support their removal because I believe honoring leaders who fought for and defended a way of life that depended upon the enslavement of other human beings is not in keeping with the values I hold dear nor does it represent the values that America was founded upon.

However, I encourage us all not to equate the removal of Confederate memorials with putting the atrocities of slavery behind us. We must continue to tell the stories and listen to the stories of those who were and continue to be harmfully affected by the institutional enslavement of African people. As author and teacher Brené Brown stated recently in a video message in response to the events in Charlottesville, we must own our story. She says that if we do not own our story, no matter how painful it may be, our story owns us. This applies both individually and collectively. She further stated that when we own our story, we get to write the ending. It is vitally important that we own the American story of white privilege and slavery. Only by doing so can we decide how the story will unfold and ultimately how it will end. Please watch the video on her Facebook page here.

Yesterday, I watched a Vice News episode, Charlottesville: Race and Terror, which originally aired on HBO on August 14. It includes an interview with white nationalist, Christopher Cantwell. He and others who share his ideology assert that America is a nation that belongs to white people. I find that assertion incredulous. As I heard their words, I thought, “What about the people who were here before the white people arrived?”

The systematized genocide and exile of the Native American people is yet another aspect of the American story that we must no longer deny. Yes, it is a painful and terrible part of our history. Because we are ashamed of it, we shy away from owning that story. As a result, we continue to marginalize them. We blatantly disregard and disrespect the well-being, property and rights of Native people. They, along with African-Americans, face discrimination and bias at every level of society. I recommend watching A Conversation with Native Americans on Race posted on The New York Times website.

I think sometimes we lie behind a false belief that we recognize equality for all, and that the effects of racism are a thing of the past, but that is not in touch with reality. We may also think that everyone in America has equal opportunity to housing, employment and public resources. A truer observation is that this falls as a claim easily to white, mainstream Christian men. I, even as a gay man, include myself in that number. We are the privileged in our American society. Credible statistical data in the Huffington Post¹ reflects that racism is still alive and well in America. Current events bring this reality up close and personal. It magnifies the need now for us to champion love, equality and Oneness.

So, what do we do? How do we respond to the pain and suffering endured by many as the result of fear? Those are the questions I ask myself. Those are also the questions that the emerging church of the twenty-first century must ask. How do we soothe the fear and calm the tide of prejudice, racism, hate and violence?

The answer is always LOVE. We must take the Scripture below from 1 John 4: 7-21 to heart and announce it to the world. And we must do so as boisterously as those who proclaim the doctrine of hell and damnation or even racial purity and white supremacy.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love…No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love…Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
Jesus, our master way-shower, did not shrink from his commitment to radical acceptance and love, and neither should we. We must loudly and boldly proclaim that the message of the Bible is LOVE, not fear, for as the Scripture above says, “fear has to do with punishment.” We in Unity must unashamedly and unabashedly broadcast our message that the God of our understanding is not a God of judgment and retribution. We must emphatically assert that God is Love. We must take our message to the world and do all we can to promote the Gospel of Unity in God and Oneness with all humanity. We must do everything possible to counteract the message of separation that elicits fear of God and judgment of our fellows. We must take back the message of Jesus Christ from those who teach guilt and fear, and declare that the true message of the Christ is as Jesus stated, “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12: 30-31).

Only Love can release all from the bondage of a belief in a punitive God. In my last article, I gave examples and tools that we can use to be Love in every moment. It is titled, Return to Love. Only Love can free us from the bonds of our own prejudice. Only Love sets us free.

Join me in owning our story, transforming it to Love and being Love. I often close my posts with an invitation to join us at Unity Spiritual Center Denver where there is great Love for you. That has never been truer than now. Our service is at 10:00 a.m., and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Together we expand great Love to each other, our neighbors, our country and the world.

If you would like to learn about ways that you can take steps to express love in the world, I suggest taking a look at information on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. While I would prefer a title other than, Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide because I don’t suggest “fighting” against, but rather standing for, I found the information helpful.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Return to Love

In my post last week entitled Reveal Yourself (read it here) I shared about receiving guidance from a reading in the book, The Book of Light, Ask and Heaven Will Answer. This week, I am sharing about guidance I received from a telephone session with Rev. Aliza Bloom Robinson, a call with my prayer partner, Rev. Karen Romestan, and written words from three insightful women.

Aliza is a friend, Unity minister, soul guide and author of the newly released book, Falling Into Ease. I worked with her as my spiritual guide for a time several years ago. During a meditation last week, I was guided to call her and set up an appointment. So, I did.

I shared with her some of my recent internal dialog. I told her about my questioning around whether I am doing the “right” things, in the “right” place, or even in the “right” career. She listened intently to my mind chatter and extended her empathy and compassion. But, she did not let me stay stuck in those questions. She intuited that those might not be the questions that will serve me best.

Aliza gently guided me, through visualization and suggestion, to go beyond the mind, deeper into the sacred heart and listen for the question there. As I followed her direction, my awareness landed in a space of profound connection. Tears came as I heard – “What is my soul’s highest purpose?” And, “What do I need to do to live it?”

I knew in that moment that these are the questions that will lead me to the fulfillment I seek. While I would prefer a clear picture of at least the next few turns along my path, if not the entire journey and a roadmap to navigate it all, it was revealed to me that that is not the way it works. I am to live in the question and trust that each step will reveal itself as I stay open to my soul’s guidance and follow where it leads me.

My session with Aliza was last Friday. Since then, I have been allowing the questions to reverberate in my heart and mind.

On Tuesday, during my weekly call with my prayer partner, Rev. Karen Romestan, minister at Unity on Greenville in Dallas, TX, I shared with her some of my process. She said, “Can I ask you a question?” I responded, “Of course.” She asked if, when asking about my soul’s highest purpose, whether I receive one answer with varied themes or diverse answers.

As I briefly sat with her question, I became clear that I do, in fact, receive only one answer, but with variations on the theme. That answer is, “Your soul’s highest purpose is to be Love.” When I shared that with Karen, she gasped in delighted recognition. She shared that she receives the same answer, but she had wondered if she was simply not listening closely enough.

We agreed that mastering being love with every thought, word and action is a great enough assignment for any lifetime. Together, we made the commitment to begin each morning with the prayer, “How can I be Love today?”

As happens quite often, once I ask a question, my mind takes off to find the answer. Unfortunately, the mind can lead me away from the path to love rather than lead me to it. I have discovered through my own efforts and struggles that Love must first be experienced in the heart. The heart can then inspire the mind with thoughts, words and actions that are imbued with Love.

I have also found that writing about ‘Love’ and speaking about ‘Love’ can be challenging. What is this thing called ‘Love?’ When I asked the question, I was reminded of the words of some insightful authors.

My friend, spiritual teacher, author, and Unity minister, Diadra Price, writes in her book Grace Awakening Essence,

In its stirrings, we can feel [Love], accept it, testify to it, but it can’t be measured, or proved by any means of the world…You activate this benevolent movement through faith and trust, total peace, and fearlessness of heart. You feel it in the stillness of the soul, even in a world of turmoil and chaos…Love reveals and heals, it enlightens and teaches. Love draws forth its own and transforms all into its image and likeness…Love brings to mind, from Mind itself, all ideas to serve God’s world.

In a conversation during our new member class this past Saturday, I was reminded of the book that started me on my conscious spiritual quest, Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson, which is her interpretation of the principle teachings of A Course in Miracles. I have long ago misplaced or given away my copy of the book, so I downloaded the Kindle version. In the introduction, Williamson says,

Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the relinquishing – or unlearning – of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts. It is our ultimate existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.

Life coach, consultant, and author, Deborah Jane Wells offers keen insight. In her book, Choose Your Energy, Change YourLife, Deborah offers a comprehensive practical guide to relinquishing fear and allowing love to be your primary energy. Her book is a heart-centered handbook to loving yourself, which is the first step in living love and beginning to truly embody  love. In talking about love and fear, she says,

I concluded there are two fundamental types of core energy: love and fear. When I examined the primary energy underneath any thought, feeling, word, or deed, I found love or fear, or some combination of the two.

Love is constructive and moves you forward. Fear is destructive and holds you back. Love is the author of truth and reality. Fear is the author of lies and illusion.

As I breathe into my heart and consider the wisdom offered by these amazing women, I realize more profoundly than ever that living my soul’s highest purpose, “to be love,” begins with a deep heart connection. I choose to begin each day consciously attuning to my heart through prayer and meditation, aligning with the energy of Love, the unconditional Love that is the “benevolent movement,” as Diadra says, of God/Source/Universe/Life. It is the “benevolent movement” as me. It is the “benevolent movement” as all others and all creation. It is the “benevolent movement” in which we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Further, I ask my heart, “How can I be Love today?” I have faith and trust that it will be revealed to me in every moment that I am willing and able to keep my heart and mind open to receive the answer.

Additionally, I commit to self-connection practice. I take every opportunity to place my hand over my heart, take a deep breath, and feel the energy of Love radiating there. I ask my heart, “How do I live Love in this moment?” And, I listen in the peaceful silence of my deep inner connection.

With “fearlessness of heart” I take the inspired action, and speak the love-imbued word.

It is clear to me that living Love is a moment-by-moment choice. It requires us to set a clear intention to “be Love;” consciously surrender to Love; connect deeply with self and others; follow our heart’s guidance; and speak and act fearlessly in service to Love.

It is my prayer that I will allow Love to transform me at depth so that Love becomes my way of life. My sincere hope is that you will join me.

Join us on Sunday at 10:00 at Unity Spiritual Center Denver, as together we explore what it may look like to commit to living Love and extending Love to yourself.

Additionally, if you are blessed or inspired by these posts or my Sunday lessons, which are available on YouTube, I encourage you to make a donation  to support the ministry of Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Thank you!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Reveal Yourself

Several years ago, my friend and founder of Dallas Meditation Center, Brother ChiSing, who made his transition from this Earthly plane last year, introduced me to the book, The Book of Light, Ask and Heaven Will Answer, by Alexandra Solnado. I keep it within arm’s reach on a table beside my meditation cushion. The book is collection of messages from Jesus received by the author. When I feel the inner urge to do so, I use the book for guidance.

While I tell myself that I “should” be accustomed to the way Spirit consistently reveals Itself to me when I am open to receive, I am still often amazed and delighted when I open the book and read the perfect message that supports me wherever I am in the moment. I have such experiences with this book quite often. I would like to share one of them with you.

For some time, I have been feeling a level of discontent and dissatisfaction with how things are progressing in my life, at the church, and in my own conscious evolutionary process. I have been questioning whether I am doing the “right” things, wondering if I am in the “right” place, or even the “right” career. One of my first spiritual teachers, Reverend Kay Hunter, used to refer to this as “divine discontent.” Speaking from my personal perspective, and my guess is that I am not alone in this, when in the midst of it, it doesn’t feel very divine.

On Monday, I was in the depth of my angst. I did my best to stay busy and focused on other things so I would not have to be with my feelings. Of course, that did not work for very long. Sometimes, knowing too much about spiritual growth can be a hindrance to avoidance. I say that with tongue in cheek. While being in the discontent is not comfortable, I know that it is always a powerful opportunity for growth.

When I was finally ready to stop attempting to avoid, I sat on my meditation cushion and connected with the indwelling Spirit. I was inspired to select a reading from The Book of Light. When I opened to the page, I was immediately overcome with “God bumps,” laughter and tears. The title of the message was “Revealing Yourself.” The reading begins,

Reveal yourself. Reveal yourself. Reveal yourself.
            That is all I can say to you.
            I can and must tell you to reveal yourself, to reveal what you came here to do, to open your heart and soul.
            If people do not understand, then they simply do not understand.
            But that is not an excuse for not being who you are and revealing it to the world.

WOW! That hit home. It was the perfect message for me in that moment. I realized that I have been looking for something or someone outside of myself to give me the assurance that I am in the “right” place, doing the “right” things, and in the “right” career. Jesus reminded me, through this message, that as is always the case, it is an inside job. Nothing or no one outside myself can provide the reassurance I have been seeking. It is up to me.

The message could not have been more appropriate or any clearer. All I must do is be who I have come here to be and do what I have come here to do. It does not serve the world, nor does it serve the God in me to try to be something I am not. It serves no one for me to attempt to do what pleases others or what conforms to others’ ideas about who I should be. While it was my message on Monday, it is a message for all of us.

Each of us comes into the world with a unique imprint for what is ours to share with the world. There is something that only we can contribute. We may not be able to see the big picture or know what the ultimate gift is. However, we can consciously ask and be open to the revelation of what is ours to share in every moment.

We sometimes get so caught up in daily activities that we forget to stop and listen. I encourage us to recommit ourselves to slowing down; allowing ourselves time to breathe, to go within and listen for the still small voice for God that is constantly and consistently directing us toward what is ours to do in every moment.

I am making that commitment to myself and to the God of my being. I hope you will join me. Let’s not avoid our “divine discontent,” but allow it to be a motivation for deeper connection to the Divine within. May prayer for you is that you, too, will make the choice to "Reveal Yourself."

Join us on Sunday, August 6, at 10:00 for our service. We will be sharing a special story about discovering who you are and being true to yourself. The story, written by Anne Moutray-Arndt, is entitled Land of Who. It is about a little girl named Violet who learns an important life lesson with the help of her friend and guide, Fluff. Come and bring your children. They will enjoy the story, too.

Additionally, if you are blessed or inspired by these posts or my Sunday lessons, which are available on YouTube, I encourage you to make a donation to support the ministry of Unity Spiritual Center Denver. Thank you!