Strength in Weakness

Cultivating Heart

“The meaning of awe is to realize that life takes place under wide horizons, horizons that range beyond the span of an individual life or even the life of a nation, a generation, or an era. Awe enables usto perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.”        {Abraham Joshua Heschel}

At the end of our darkest moments we crawl with the last energy that straggles from our fibres, holding on to the hope of a new day that will be brighter and more peaceful than the last. We grapple for something small to hold onto, something that stays with us in that quiet space where we battle with our demons. Sometimes all we can remember is that there will be a day that won’t be painful anymore and every day is worth fighting for because some day we will reach that perfect day.

In recent physical health struggles where I’m bound to my bed, I’m reminded that this is for a reason. I’m reminded that all of our experiences we live through are so that we can understand. So that I can have compassion for others. So that I can wait in patience for the discomfort to subside. This time knowing that I’m not alone. In these bouts of physical weakness I know that I will be made strong. As the pain gradually fades, my spirit is brought back to its’ still, tranquil solitude where even more so than before I am grateful for every spin the earth makes on its’ axis and for every step I can take. At the end of this suffering I can feel more gratitude for my body that is able, for this human body I have that shimmers in the sunlight; I’m more grateful for the peace of mind, for the sights and the sounds, for the ability to express myself freely through words, and for the ways that I can try harder to love my family.

These times of difficulty when we feel weakened in heart, when we feel broken, when we wonder how we can go on, they change our souls. They turn us inside out, twist us around, and spit us out so that we can be more beautiful than we ever were before.

{ETHER 12:27 “then will I make weak things become strong.”} The Book of Mormon

Advertisements

God’s Spirit

IMG_0092

At times it can be difficult to see all of the blessings in our lives. It can feel as though we are only facing challenge after challenge. Just remember, brighter days will find you.

Today is my one year baptism anniversary into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So here is a poem I wrote on the 16/04/16.  Click here to find out more.

A Spirit I am, a Spirit I was, a Spirit I’ll be
Wandering fruitfully across earthern plaines
In two legged bodies of speckled flesh
Journey through darkness, pushed on through sadness
Tumbled into tornadoes of utter despair
Growing and building, developing and learning
Making choices, breaking promises, falling from grace
Into abyss of nothingness before rising again
Bolder, brighter, bountifully exalted
Worthy of singing ‘come, follow me’
Chasing the light like trails of fireflies
Diving and leaping through lake, river and sea
Head first into peaceful purification
Where woes of mind’s past sink between crabs
I dissolve into weightlessness taking flight in the clouds
Past angels breathing stardust into my palms
All truth is revealed in God’s gracious smile
With soft words dancing upon cooing doves
A Spirit you are, a Spirit you were, a Spirit you’ll be

Losing, searching for, and finding Home

For the things we truly love, we must make sacrifices. Sometimes we must forget the self that we think we are.

Sometimes we must have nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no one to be with.

This is how we find our way home.

Home. Home can be an empty word that has no meaning. Home and I never established a solid relationship, and so I was searching for this place where I could belong and where my heart could rest at peace and where I could be rooted to grow as a tiny sapling.

I had attempted to quit smoking many times before. Walking home at night in the rain I made oaths with myself to end the habit and I tried over and over to convince myself I did not need it. At work, every hour, I would step outside to drag for five minutes on this token of freedom from an uncomfortable social situation that pained me to stand amongst. A cigarette represented an escape. A way out of all of the voices going around inside my head while I didn’t know how to speak, how to be alive, how to be amongst other human beings. So I would think and think about the next opportunity to hold that rolled tobacco between my fingers and run from this world that made no sense to me so I could be alone in the open air and my thoughts could slump into numbed relaxation.

When my anxieties attacked at every angle within the depths of my soul, it was always there to lean upon like a dummy in the pocket of a baby long grown out of suckling years. I had no money, but always had enough to smoke. And perhaps if I hadn’t given myself away so easily to a destructive relationship it would have been only half the climb back up.

Never again will I allow myself to be submissive to something that does not understand me, respect me, or love me as I am.

Never again will I lose sense of my true self, or hide my self, or be afraid to express the love that I am.

My life was filled with people who hid their love behind closed doors or had been hurt so much they had forgotten how to love, maybe they never knew how to love. And I don’t mean love between a man and a woman I mean human love, spiritual love, love for all; love that transcends you because you love all people with their flaws and mistakes and sacrifice yourself just so you can show others a pure love and how to love themselves with words and actions and a new chain of thought that stops them from thinking they are ugly, or worthless, or inadequate, or alone.

You can start to view each person as a brother or a sister on this journey together, each needing a hand to hold and someone to show them the way.

Sometimes I get frustrated because the cats persist to excrete in the garden, odours of scattered rubbish waft along the street, the lounge is not homely enough to relax in, and I’ve had little money for food, no way of travelling anywhere except by foot, and feelings of despair. But I got out of all of those other places that sucked me down and teared me and grasped at me with a million hands. I do have a roof over my head, I have a bed, a hot shower, a stove, trees around the corner and a river down the road, and I have people who want to help me; people who genuinely care because they love all. There is no arguing in my house, no smoking, no drinking, no loud swearing, and I am safe from the outside world. This may sound terribly boring but in fact it is incredibly humbling to have so little of material value but instead live through having nothing and nowhere and no-one so you are able to feel the deepest gratitude for the most simple, peaceful blessings.

I live in a house, yet it is not my home. A search for my home began too long ago to tell. I was looking for something that could not be found. The earth is my home. The whole of the earth. Wherever I may go, I am home.

 

Faith

Faith is going on a journey not knowing where you’re going but with firm knowledge that you are going somewhere. It is this faith that allows you to keep moving; faith that by pushing forward you will know more, you will do better, and there will be a positive outcome. Faith comes when you are ready, slowly building from the beginning like foundations of a grand castle. Starting in the cool dampness of the earth’s mud yet crumbling under harsh blowing winds. It starts again, it builds again. Again and again each time with determination yet uncertainty that perhaps it will collapse by influences of harsh conditions. But as it reaches higher and higher you see that completion is attainable, you see that security, stability, and dreams will be possible. Each time the bricks of the castle fall into ruin you gain more strength and more faith that burns in the core of your spirit. Until finally you reach completion, journeying from the ground to the turrets up winding staircases to stand with your head high in the clouds and the stars shining upon your face.

A meeting with Missionaries

A couple of months ago I passed two Mormon missionaries in the street. As they allowed me to pass they greeted me and a conversation followed about the meaning of life, this eternal searching, journey for truth and the warm feeling we feel in our hearts. I gave them my phone number intrigued to investigate their beliefs, that in a brief encounter resonated with my own. Weeks passed by entwined with long text messages between us before we met, between trees huddling around a stretching river bed holding rusted fishing boats we sat upon an old wall as one of the missionaries told me his stories of revelation and God’s beautiful plan. Sitting with them, my heart glowed and my mind ceased to think so that I could barely interact with conversation. I was on a natural high lifted by the words these young men spoke. We met again on a few occasions as they taught me the views and ideals of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and every word they said I questioned and analysed and tore apart to prove wrong yet they answered all interrogations immediately from the heart because this book they lived by was their only truth.

These two missionaries had left their homes behind for two years to share their gospel, to spread this feeling that they had felt, to welcome those who were mis-guided and had lost their way on this earth that is surrounded by suffering and cruelty. In all of the darkness they lived to spread light and they lived to help others find the light. Some people wonder why we are here; why we are alive; what we are all doing on this planet. We question and we search for truth to find us because we know there is more to life than just living, through our thoughts that take us to other places, other worlds that only we know exist.

If we believe something with our entire being it will be true. I met the two Mormon missionaries at their church one Sunday morning and was greeted by kind women and men who later shared testimonies on how they knew that their beliefs were true. Week after week I grew to understand each procedure, how to read the bible, and why these people were here. On that Sunday every week was a place of peace, a place of reflection on how they acted during the week and how to better themselves, a place where there was always a friend, a place where everyone listened and everyone accepted, a place to ask for help for those in need, a place to thank God that they were alive and a place to learn all the small self improvements to make the world a positive place. The Mormons were not perfect and they admitted this; but what really mattered was that they were trying their utmost best to live sacredly and lovingly for God, for Jesus Christ and for their children. Each of them had hurdles and each of them were tested and tested and struggled through their challenges but God always showed up.

I could not commit myself to have faith in their ways, to study the bible and the Book of Mormon and cut off all other external inspiration. For a short duration I delved into their books and I prayed and sang and spoke to God like a friend. Our relationship seemed too forced, I became too reliant on God rather than looking to myself for answers as if I was allowing God to take control over my own direction rather than taking control myself. Before I met the missionaries I had already quit caffeine, drugs, alcohol, smoking, worthless relationships, and self-disrespect and all of their beliefs appeared to coincide with my own. I felt that deep inner peace, I didn’t have to think when I spoke to the Mormons because the words simply flowed straight from my heart. It wasn’t necessary for my brain to intervene with our conversations. As I prayed I pleaded with God to tell me if these books I held in my palms were true. My hands began to tingle and the warm glow blossomed from my ribcage but still I am not convinced. Still I fall guilty of contemplating whether or not this is my mind playing tricks on me, deceiving me into this belief for my own comfort. I have faith in God, I have faith in myself, but the Book of Mormon and the Bible I am not so sure. Dedicating my time to teachings already inscribed constricted my own exploration and my personal endeavours in solving mysteries of the human condition and expressing my deepest creativity.

Fundamentally love is the purpose. Love is the reason for this religion and all religions and that is the most important part to be realised. How can we commit ourselves to values and beliefs we trust in and remain undivided from the rest of humanity and from all other religions that also live to preach love? In religions we are divided, outside of religions we are divided, but the key to our success is to become one, united race. United in understanding, self-awareness, positivity, freedom from manipulation, desire for peace, and loving one another as family. In an ideal world we would all care, but for now I will continue to love, continue to care and continue to work as much as possible to change that which is already in motion. Revolution is on the horizon.