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What You Long For…

leaving

Following is my favorite poem, “The Invitation” by Oriah.  Hadn’t read it in awhile, then picked it back up this afternoon as certain phrases from kept ruminating in my busy head…

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dreams for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,”Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

– ORIAH

I’m alone with myself today – have been the past couple days, will be for a couple more.  I stole away to write.  It’s heavenly, and I can honestly say that even though I love people and connection, being alone with me is a constant heart’s longing.  I crave solitude almost more than anything else.  Solitude used to feel like loneliness, until I found what I love to do, and now I simply pine for opportunities to be in the company of my Self.

I love The Invitation because it speaks of the ultimate human desire: to feel free.  Soul-level, each of us wants to live intensely, with much love and much passion…We’re just waiting for someone to give us permission.

The permission must come from within, and above.  Not from this linear plane.  People around us – even those who love us – can’t answer the call of our hearts.  Only we can.

And only by the grace of God above can we even hear it.

No more labels and limits and judgments on the desires of our hearts, on what we really long for.  They just are what they are, and someday – somehow – each and every one of them will find expression.  It’s the way of the Creator we worship to give them a voice.

What we love and long for is directly tied into what we were born to do – how we’re going to help heal the planet – what our gifts are.     “Neglect not the gift that is in thee” (1 Timothy 4:14) might as well be translated, “Don’t put a lid on what you love and don’t stop nurturing your dreams because in those dreams lie the potential to express your highest gifts.”

See, THAT is why we needed a few women to write scriptures back then… 🙂  Lucky for us, we now get to expound on them

We all just want to feel free.  Our creativity and femininity are huge factors in this.  Today, as I sit in this hotel room in total solitude (minus the hundreds of people above and below me), I am reminded of the importance of honoring what lies in the deepest recesses of my heart.  The baby dreams that haven’t yet found their wings.

I’ll just try to be patient…allowing them be what they are…loving them onto a shelf until it’s the right season to take them down and let them fly.  To freedom.

BE

On New Years Day, which also happens to be my “Birthday Eve” I love to set goals.    My old way of setting goals was writing down everything I wanted to accomplish and all the steps to making it happen.  I thought this was an effective way of putting things in motion and setting forth change.

It usually wasn’t.  At least not for more than a month.

When I found out about the concept of Dream Boards (displaying visuals of your goals/wants in a place you can see everyday), I was all over it.  I absolutely believe that if you can see it, you can create it.

Many spiritual teachers claim the Universe is there, waiting to bring us what we want as long as we focus on it.  This is like claiming God is our servant, rather than the other way around.  Many followers of God buy into the dangerous practice of creating posters of dream homes and cars and vacations and bodies that they somehow deserve because they are focused and positive.  They attend seminars on how to “think rich” and pour over books written by those who have gotten or created everything they’ve dreamed about.   It can be fun to dream of those things, and it’s motivating to have something to work towards.  But what should our motivation really be, if not a beautiful home, a beautiful body and beautiful things?

The scriptures say the LOVE OF GOD should be our motivation for everything we do.  This life is an exercise in sacrifice and surrender; a continual process of putting our wants second.  God loves us and wants to bring us all the desires of our hearts, but He is a God of order and His Universe flows with unchanging, eternal laws.  We are not entitled to blessings simply because we are loved by God.  We are entitled to blessings because of our humility and obedience to Him.

So, on New Years Day 2010, I decided that instead of a Dream Board, I would create a “BE” Board.  A visual display of the innermost desires of my heart…what I want to BECOME…not HAVE.  This is what I created and it now hangs in my bedroom:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found a 16″X 20″ frame on sale, got some sheet metal at Home Depot, had my husband cut the sheet metal to fit the frame with metal snips, bought some fabric I loved, fit it over the sheet metal, hot glued the edges of the fabric to the sheet metal, and put it in the frame.  I’ve always loved scrapbooking and paper piecing, so it was fun to plow through my scraps and letters and tags and stickers and doo-dads.  I printed the images of my “dreams” from Google Images.  I stole the cute flower magnets from my fridge.    After my big New Years creative spurt — Voila…my Be Board.

As an explanation:

The Hannah’s Promise poster is remind me of my waiting son whom I have every confidence will come to me in my “old age”…just like Samuel came to Hannah in hers.  (My waiting daughter, too, but there was no poster of that).  Read my post on The Two Who Are Missing for the full scoop.  Oh, and Hannah’s poster is also to remind me that my true heroes are Women of Profound Faith.

The Ireland pic is to remind me of the ancestors I have from that land that I feel reaching out to me, supporting me in my issues and calling to me to help clear theirs.  We are spiritually and emotionally linked, even though I have no earthly record of them.  I would love to travel to my “homeland” and do some genealogical research (me maiden name is LYNCH…which half the blymied country’s last name ees, so t’weel bee a wee bit challengin’!).  That actual picture feels like home to me; like somewhere I’ve been before.

The Healthy Woman thing is about radiating a glow of health, not a perfect body.  In times past, I would have posted my goal weight or perfect wanna-be size so that I could see that “number” as a reminder.  This display felt much better with my spirit.  I’d rather be energetic and refined than depleted and skinny.

One of these is hard to see, but it’s Trip with Savannah.  I promised my daughter when she was about 9 (at the height of our belting-out-Broadway-tunes-in-the-car phase) that when she turned 12, I would take her to New York City – just the two of us – and we’d go to Broadway musical after Broadway musical after Broadway musical.  She turns 12 this year.  I am not sure how I am going to create it (those years came at me fast), but I will.  More than sitting in an audience watching the stage light up….I look forward to sitting next to my precious daughter and watching her eyes do so.

Women/Blog.  Kind of self-explanatory…  I knew I wanted to create a blog that would reach the hearts of women this year.  At the time I created this Be Board, I didn’t have any idea how to do it.  But about a month later, this generous and talented young man named Ofir Ramirez, whom the Lord placed across the street from us, offered to get my blog designed and out there pro-bono.  Notice that underneath the words Women and Blog there is a book.  That is ultimately what I would like to finish this year…that book I have been working on forever (sigh)…

My little sign that says Love All… well, it’s one of the phrases that keeps coming to me.  I know that without the pure love of Christ (or charity), I am absolutely nothing.  So even if I become healthy and wealthy and wise and bless the lives of all kinds of people the world over, if I am not a source of love and acceptance, it’s all in vain.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, andunderstand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing….And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”  (1 Cor. 13:1-3, 13)

This, I believe, is probably one of the most important scriptures there is.  Charity is even higher than faith 🙂  So, if I’m gonna create a BE Board, I have to include Love.  What am I, if I can’t Be love?  I have far to go in this department, but the deepest desire of my heart is to be a master at Pure Love.

Surrender…sweet surrender.  My buzzword the last couple of years.  It’s probably the concept I feel called to teach about most.  Relinquishing our will for His, letting go of what is wanted for what is best, soul recognition of our powerlessness, stillness in moments.  INTERESTINGLY, God allowed a barrage of life experiences…within TWO WEEKS of my creating this Be Board to help me understand and realize this spiritual concept more fully.   Read about that here.  Now, when I look at that word “Surrender” on my board, I am filled with gratitude for the perfect way He teaches.

And of course, the painting of the woman and Jesus, in a warm and friendly, relaxed exchange. At One.  This is my ultimate mortal goal.  I wish to Be One with my Savior.  THE way I master Pure Love is to become one with the Source who is.  I am learning all I can on this, and it is breathtaking.  Can’t wait to share.