Sunday 9-6-15 The Old Hag

cloudheartiam“There can be no loss so great in life as having the spark glittering in one’s heart and yet groping in the darkness through life.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Happy Sunday!
I have a young woman in my life who struck out on a journey.  It was a very tough bold course she chose so I wanted to be supportive.
I saw her undertaking as the ‘hero’s journey’ that Joseph Campbell so eloquently explained to us 50 years ago and, that seems to have only become part of the awareness of the masses in the last decade.  Last September I attended Oprah’s “The Life You Want” conference and one of the speakers there was Elizabeth Gilbert.  She spoke of the hero’s journey as researched and taught by Joseph Campbell and then added that in his time there was no record of women partaking in the ‘hero’s journey’.  Liz told the audience (of 90% women) that it is only in today’s world that women have the opportunity to venture out to be the hero of their own lives.  (In the past society put restrictions on women to be kept, protected, servile, or cloistered.)
So I thought of all this as I thought of my young friend and I sent the intention to be supportive.  There was something I knew from my own reading of Joseph Campbell and that was if my friend had answered ‘the call’ that the next stage would be the road of trials.  I sent her messages of support that included the things I had learned along my path about caring for myself.  I told her to stay present and don’t worry about all the things she thinks others might expect of her. I said for her to just do her best where she is at, to have faith that she will learn what she needs to know, and that she will be able to do better with each passing day. I tried to express that gratitude was the tool to find the good (and lesson) in all the trials that were to come.
I was driving to work one morning this week thinking over all of the stages of the ‘hero’s journey’ when a question came into my mind.  I asked, “What is my role in this?” I immediately laughed because I recognized I was the Old Hag. When Liz Gilbert spoke of the road of trials she said that there would be people that you meet that offer gifts.  She mentioned the Old Hag who offers wisdom or magic to be used during a future battle.
I am the Old Hag who offered a gift of wisdom of Self-care.
On Friday I learned that my young friend had turned around to return home from her journey.  It was a shock as I had created my own expectations.  I am proud of myself as I took the time to let the bit of unexpected news become accepted without my opening my mouth to spew nonsense and put up resistance to this new information.  I put things in perspective for myself by reminding me of my original intention to be supportive of her journey to find her-Self – it’s not my place to say what that journey will look like.
This morning I was thinking of my role of the Old Hag. I liked that role but was it a futile effort and all in vain as I didn’t get to see evidence of the use of my gift?  I returned my thoughts to the story line of the hero’s journey and realized the Old Hag gave away her gift selflessly with no expectation of appearing again in the story or of knowing the outcome for the hero.
Here is the lesson for me – to learn to give the gift with no expectation and no judgment.
A few years ago my journey had me learning from Caroline Myss.  I would listen to her lectures on her CMED Institute website.  Caroline asked a tough question.  She spoke to those aspiring to be healers stating that one day they will be given guidance to touch someone to heal them.  She asked if they could just do it selflessly, doing what was asked without ever getting recognition for the healing or knowing the outcome.
When I contemplated this question years ago I found it a difficult request, to leave the ego with no satisfaction of acknowledgment or credit.  I didn’t worry about my reaction to the question back then as I knew I was not ready to serve others.  I was still at the stage of learning to accept and love myself.
Now I know I am closer to my time of service so I appreciate the lesson of today.
How do I give my gifts selflessly?
My mind is pushing me to contemplate this question through the filter of ‘What would Jesus do?’
After the experiences of the last few weeks my beliefs now force me to change that question to ‘What does Jesus do?’
He gives, serves, answers, embraces, leads, calls, and waits.
He has shown me he loves me unconditionally.  And, he shows me the way to do the same for others on his behalf.
It’s very strange how comforted I feel just from this change of perception.  When I thought I would be on my own in service to other it felt like having to give of myself without return or replenishment (energy drawn away from me).  The new idea of service with Jesus feels like it will be rewarding (abundant energy).  It feels a more joyful offering to give without acknowledgement when it is in service of our Lord.  Even my ego feels satisfied in giving when asked to do so as my Lord will know I did so.
I ask myself, ‘why do I feel different now?’  I believed in God in all things – God in me, in the other, in the guidance that would come to ask me to serve.  Why then did I feel alone and afraid of giving too much away?
This was the impersonal God that I believed in – All That Is but somehow I was still separate.
Jesus has given me the personal connection – through the Sacred Heart.  When I am called to serve I will not be on my own.  I feel I will be much more able to surrender and let things happen because it will be a team effort.
This morning, as I lied in bed, the words of Joel Osteen came into my head.  “Lord Jesus, come into my heart I make you my Lord and …” Joel says savior.  I still stumble over that word.  I asked why and realized the word savior, meaning to be saved, represents for me something that is finished and requires no action on my part.  ‘He saved me’ feels like a finished story to me.  I decided on the word teacher.  He is alive teaching me as I choose to evolve.
Jesus Lives!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”  ~ John 15:16

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