A friend's friend wondered where God was. Actually, he denied His existence. And instead of writing an answer in small box, I opted for the bigger venue to answer. This is just my own experience. I don't expect anyone else to understand God the way I do, because we all come from such different backgrounds and have such different experiences. But I'll tell it how it is for me, and maybe someone will relate to it; maybe it might help someone in a small way, find his way back to God. This is my daily prayer, that people find their way back to God's love.
When I was young, my parents searched for a church that would meet their specific beliefs. I'm not too sure what they were, because this was the 70's—a lot of philosophical and theosophical beliefs, theories, and “brands” of Christianity circulated. We attended the Methodist, Episcopalian, Christian Science (I learned my Lord's Prayer there,) Seventh Day Adventist churches, and more. Sometimes we were invited to go to church with friends. This happened a few times with me, because I wasn't too sure of the message. My mother threw her hands up one day as we were sitting in the middle of the meadow. I was 7. “Look all around you, because this is God.” I remember looking at the Douglas Fur trees that towered behind her, the deep blue sky, the Manzanita bushes, the goats that were grazing nearby, the bugs. I was never one to believe what anyone said, until I tested it out for myself. But I listened to my mother. I didn't understand completely what she meant when she said, “If you ever need help, call out to God, and He will help you.” At 16, I was baptized by the nuns in Mexico, but it wasn't truly in my heart at that time.
At this point you probably think that I'm writing for some Christian recruiter magazine, which I am not. But the tone of this blog certainly has similar nuances. Please bear with me. This is where I take a sharp right turn, and exit. I am giving you some background information of my World view.
Over the years, I believed in God without any question, despite the difficult circumstances I endured. When I'd hear people say, “He's being punished by God—he has this or that disease...” I couldn't believe it. My God is friendly and loving, protective and guiding. At that time, though, I hadn't convinced myself exactly what God was for me. I hadn't begun to understand the infinite and creative possibilities in which God would present Himself in my life.
I was barely 18 when I got my driver's license. I started to see how God helped me while I was driving. Yes, I drove too fast then. But I saw how my thoughts could interfere with safe passage if I wasn't thinking nice thoughts about the drivers around me. After all, they are also receptive, living beings inside moving hunks of metal on wheels. Sometimes I think to people, “Please move to your right so that I can pass you.” And then, their turn signal is turned on for the right, and they move over. Sometimes, when a car is about to pull out in front of me, I say, “Please don't.” and then I'd see them put on their brakes and wait. It was then that I realized that this was God for me. This was God helping me and protecting me while I drive.
For a period of almost 10 years I disconnected from God. That was a very difficult time. I had allowed negative thoughts into my heart, and started believing the lies that were told to me, often taking the wrong advice before consulting with God. I had lost my friend. Even more difficulties and disease came. I lived in a spiritual wasteland. I was suffering the aftermath of different kinds of mistakes that I had made, because I didn't have the right spiritual guidance. I was alone, and my family was living on the other side of the country. And I didn't let my friends in on my grief, pain, and frustration. I pretended that I was fine. I had decided that I wanted nothing to do with God. And I blamed him for all of my problems. I also fired all of my spiritual helpers. In a sense, I thought that I was God, and you see—this is not the right kind of thinking that leads to a healthy life. No, I had depression, several different kinds of mental problems, and some major physical burdens.
When I finally hit the wall, and there was nowhere out, I searched desperately to find something to hold on to. In 2004, I started coming back to God. My mother-in-law was a very religious person, a devout Hindu, but she believed in all religions of the world. She sat for hours on end singing devotional songs about God. I loved to listen to her. And I knew that she was right, that God heals everything. I started talking to God again.
“Please God, give me something to live for.” I asked with my whole heart. I had been teetering on the edge of hopelessness for a long time, including thoughts of suicide, despite my marriage to a nice man. It was my own baggage, not his. The next day, someone dumped two tiny kittens into our yard, and I saved them by feeding them milk with an eye-dropper every two hours, cleaning them, and loving them. They were my salvation. I noticed this, that after my plea for help, the kittens came.
And so this happens with all of us. We must be vigilant with everything in our lives. It is important to know what we want to ask for, so that we know what comes. Take notice of how we ask for things, and how things are given to us. This is the surprising thing to me: if I ask nicely for something these days, it arrives in the most interesting way. This is God. God is the father who provides you with all of the care and nurture that you need. God provides you with everything that you need for your lives. “Don't demand, attain,” my friend tells me. If you demand things, you may not notice any kind of progress.
You see, this is school. We are in these bodies for a schooling, my friend. If we don't learn the lesson, we will be presented with the same lesson over and over, and over again. I know this from my own personal experience. I wasn't smart enough to learn it the first time, and had to bump my head two and three times more before I absorbed the lesson, or the spiritual medicine. It's the same with getting to know God—in my experience.
If we get quiet enough, and give away the head chatter (“This bill needs to be paid, We need to buy some food. This laundry needs washing. That person is staring at me. What do you want, lady?”) we may have a few moments of peace. Let us sit in a beautiful park, or a place with Nature (because Nature is God) and absorb this nature—the power of nature—into our bodies. Just imagine doing this, and you will take it in. But it must be done without words, in complete silence. Notice what happens to your body. Notice what happens to your mood. Notice how you interact with your family members afterwards.
When you reconnect this way with Nature, how can you tell me there is no God? My scientist husband marvels at the life of a single cell. How everything can be contained so perfectly, that it can also change or mutate to the cell it needs to become, at its innate intelligence. And when we provide a healthy environment for these cells, they are happy: good thoughts, nature, relaxation, laughter, quiet contemplation, a regular spiritual (or religious) practice by taking in God's healing power.
Turn off the television programming, because it is just that: programming. “Buy this; dress like this; Believe this, even if it is a lie; Live like this; Live beyond your budget; Think small;” God power is so beyond the imagination of today's humans. God power is everywhere at any time. You don't have to fly to India to find it in a Guru. You don't have to make a pilgrimage to Spain to find God's true power. It's not in a special ritual, in lighting the right colored candle at the right hour. Everything that you need for your life is inside of you. Right here, right now. And it's free. Just absorb it in peace. Set your intentions that God will help you absorb it.
Sit down and get quiet. Listen to yourself. You yammer on and on about this and that, and the other, and the neighbor who has slighted you in some way. I know this, because this is the battle for the Good that you are fighting. It's the battle to release the negativity so that this God power can flow once again on the inside of your body, your soul, and every aspect of your life.
My friend tells me “to observe my body every hour, every minute, every second,” so that I may observe the changes. Sometimes the changes are so very subtle. But when we know that there's been a change, then it means that God has brought us a gift. And be grateful for each gift. Have the right thoughts about even a small gift.
And then larger gifts may come. You may notice that a burden that you've had for a long time goes away. This is possible. God's power heals so many things. I have had this experience, that I no longer have some of the mental burdens, or physical burdens. This is God's love. And it grows the way you grow to love a child. The more you convince yourself of God's power, the more help and deeper the relationship grows. It's really very simple.
God makes contact with us through animals, through people, directly, through thoughts, dreams, voices, visions, or through reading sacred text. And this I am happy about, because sometimes it could be through a person you don't even know telling you something lovely—or vice-versa. Someone that you don't even know receives a message through your kind words. Their face brightens into a warm smile—the lines of stress leave, and for a moment you can see their face light up like a lantern. They pat your hand and call you an angel. Life is about the way we relate to each other and our environment. And the sooner we recognize that we have a symbiotic relationship with everything, including our almighty power, the better this world will be. God is everywhere and everything, including nothing. And I haven't even begun to define what God means to me. I'm just warming up, my friend!
In : The Spiritual Life
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