At Mass when I was a kid we said, "I am not worthy. I am not worthy. I am not worthy." Without realizing it, I learned shame and self-hate. I maintained a low level depression throughout much of my youth. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Even today at my lowest moments I hear the words, "I am sorry I’m not good enough."
Immediately, I catch myself and yell "Stop!" I cannot afford to deny myself. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to God. When I deny myself I deny God. God needs me. This all powerful omniscient being needs me in order to express on earth. What a kick that is!
I had thought that my life was about pleasing God (or at least trying to earn her approval) but that basically She was ill-tempered and irascible. I thought I was meant to work and strive and suffer until I could squeeze a blessing from her. I used my brain to devise beneficial deeds that would justify a spot in her good graces.
Now I see that thinking and creating worthwhile projects and doing good works is another way to deny God. When I rely upon my head and make decisions based upon my thoughts, I make my brain God. Whatever is the basis for our decisions is our God.
When I want to know God and hear from God, I maintain silence and I wait. I imagine that God lives inside me in my very center as a tiny flame. I can breathe into that center space and pay attention and listen and, thus, I allow God. God is. When I pay attention I experience God. That experience is momentary. I don’t know in advance what I will find. I say, "I am available" and then I wait and I pay attention and I allow.
God moves in me and through me. God is a verb. In the first part of my life God was a judge and a critic. Now God is creativity and passion and involvement. God moves and I don’t know why or how or when. My job is to pay attention and try to keep up. I follow as I’m led. I sit in the back seat and appreciate the perfection of each moment. I’m not driving the car and I don’t know where I’m going. And isn’t that exciting?!
My spiritual life is an adventure. No one has ever lived my life and no one else ever will. There isn’t a right way to be me. Now, in the second half of life, I allow God to peek through and speak through me. I remember that wherever I am, God is. And I allow.