Realizing God's Will Is Oneness

Keeping My Eye on the Prize of Oneness

How does one walk in the world of form and yet keep focused on the world beyond, the world of Oneness?  I have found myself considering this question in a new way over the last few months.  I found that toward the end of 2005 I was exhausted and needed a little time away from my normal routine.  Some people might call this burn-out, but I preferred to believe that I just needed a little pause to refresh myself.  Instead of the slow down that I planned, what happened was a speed up.  All of a sudden, at the end of a busy year when I felt that I needed a break, my life became even busier.  At first I felt resentful at all the activity and people who seemed to invade the quiet space I longed for and felt I deserved after working so hard for a long time.  Everything seemed to be in the way of my walk toward expressing who I am with God.

The question of who I am with God became a burning call to me.  I thought I could find the answer best in solitude with meditation, quiet prayer and journaling, as I had before.  Yet, there came these unexpected new activites and opportunities, all requiring decisions.  Not everything can we say no to, nor do we want to, knowing in our heart that circumstances and events have appeared for good reason.  These new activities at first appeared to be those I considered outside of my ministry work, distractions to my growth which I thought took place best in calm days following extended early morning meditations.  I felt that my once normal routine had completely disappeared and I was in a gigantic waterfall that was sweeping me away downstream to a destination unknown.

Years ago, before being an ACIM student, my life followed a pattern of being guided by a sense of intuition that I didn’t always try to name.  I more or less followed my sense of knowing, which I often felt right down the center of my body - that “gut feeling” that everyone knows within themself, but can’t quite define.  When I followed it, my life went well.  When I didn’t follow it, well, let’s just say I chose some challenging lessons in learning to follow that “gut feeling.”  My only concern was trying to pay attention to that sense of knowing.  After studying the Course for several years, I identified this sense of knowing as the Voice of Holy Spirit.  However, I have just recently recognized that I didn’t stop with this simple identification.  I complicated the listening in my mind, and simple knowings were no longer good enough for me.  Now I had to have messages in words that came after lengthy meditations, and these words had to have a certain quality to them that seemed other-worldly.  My meditation and prayer time had increased to the point where it became the focal point of my life.  I spent much time in Course “work” and yet I was a little confused about life, and flustered with all the activity taking place in it.  My thoughts were a jumble.  I felt I had come to the point where I truly admitted I had no answers and they did not seem to be coming from further extending my meditation or journaling time.

As my life seemed to be in a flow of great activity that I seemingly had not planned for, I chose to just give myself over to it because it was there and things needed to be done.  For the last month or so, I have not been in very much formal meditation time, but rather just a few minutes here and there.  I found myself checking in with my inner or “gut” feelings, rather than my inner thoughts.  If it felt joyful or “right,” I went with it.  And if I didn’t, I asked for help, not only from Holy Spirit but also those around me.  I was honest that sometimes I did something because it was loving service to others, not necessarily because it was fun.  I owned my feelings and the direction they took me.  It didn’t seem as if the guidance came from outside me, but was rather my own.  As I listened to my own inner feelings and honored them, I felt connected to my Self in a powerful new way.

I found that my old definitions of myself seemed to be fading into the background of my mind and new ways of perceiving emerging.  I no longer felt so sure of who I was in the world.  Once I would have felt frightened of letting go of ways I became comfortable with, ways I concluded served me and the world well.  For some time I have looked to the Voice of Holy Spirit for guidance in certain forms that I became comfortable with.  But when my life schedule changed dramatically, these forms didn’t seem to work for me any more.  I had to struggle to try to make my former meditation time work, and even with all my struggling to make it work, it simply didn’t.  As I let go of trying so hard to make my old schedule work for me and just went with the flow of the activity and where the “isness” of my life was taking me, something miraculous happened.

I no longer felt the Voice of Holy Spirit was outside and apart from me.  It was not a Voice I had to look for to recognize and accept guidance or advice.  I did not have to find a certain time or place to listen.  I found that the Voice of Holy Spirit lives in me as me.  As I listened to my inner feelings and knowings that were a part of me, more or less all the time, not just at formally prescribed times, I found myself feeling whole and one with God.  I no longer felt there was a separate voice to turn to, but the Voice for God was me, within me, part of me.  It is a remembering to experience the feelings and thoughts of God as me, rather than listening for words of wisdom to tell me what to do.

I very often now have an experience that I am who I am with God.  Yes, I still think I am in a body, but I also feel as if I am experiencing being part of God exactly where I find myself.  At this moment it seems to be in a body.  At the next moment it might be without a body.  It makes no difference.  We are who we are no matter where we think we are.  We can keep out eyes on this prize and yet be patient with where we are and who we are with in the body world, not rushing through the experience because we think it is not as valuable as being in Spirit only.  As I went beyond my usual boundaries and definitions that I had of myself as being a certain kind of person with certain talents, and gave myself over to the unknown, I found a reservoir of strength which is in me.  Who I am with God began to come into my conscious awareness, not as I struggled to obtain this awareness in certain ways, but as I let it live in me as I went about my daily activities.  I felt one not only with myself, but with everyone and everything, as well.

Occasionally I close my eyes for a moment and focus on knowing who I am, and knowing all is well everywhere in my life.  I experience myself as being past this body life feeling exactly the same way, wherever or however that may be.  It really makes no difference if I think I am in a body or think I am without a body.  There is no reason to choose one over the other as being better or more valuable.  It is the state of mind of knowing I am one with God, a real part of God in everything I am or do that is important.  Then it seems I can truly relax in whatever situation or event I have made for myself to experience who I am and just experience myself as present in the moment.  I no longer feel as I have to push away the present and rush to a different moment to experience God, as if that moment or decision were better than what simply is already.

For the last year or so I found myself terribly frustrated with body life.  I judged it to be inferior to life in Spirit.  I wanted to be through with it and all the obstacles I had made to keep me away from greater awareness of God’s presence.  I found solace in the quiet life I had built for myself, away from the hustle-bustle of the world.  I thought this life was holier than a busy life filled with endless new activities and people.  What I found through my willingness to embrace a different way to be, was a recognition that I did not need so much quiet time to listen to Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit is in me, a part of me, and therefore I can always listen.  In fact, I cannot help but listen because it is my own deep feelings and awarenesses, which I own, that I am listening to.  Gone are fears that I may be listening incorrectly to ego shoutings.  Of course, they are mixed into the deep mind, but that’s just the way it is as we think we experience body life.  It truly is no sin to listen to heartfelt feelings and follow them - this is the stuff of our experience in the life we chose to make.  Keeping our eye on the prize is what is important, not any little missteps along the way.  As I keep more focused on oneness, I experience more oneness.  It is simply there to be counted on in every way.

As I live connected to more of all that I am, I find myself not making so many “big deals,” and not being so anxious about outcomes and consequences.  I am more able to relax and enjoy the experience I am having without having to define it as good or bad, happy or sad.  Life has become an experience, that’s all, just an experience.  It’s not reality.  My reality is who I am with God, and that is always with me regardless of the experience I have made.  I am finding that this is a happy way to live.  I always thought I would find this awareness through a life geared primarily to meditation.  But instead I found this awareness by going over the waterfall, by joining in the experience of life with my brother and sister in the Divine Plan of God as It is unfolding in each moment.  I found God by being a part of life as it is rather than apart from life as it is.  I am keeping my eye on the prize of oneness by being one with my experience as it is right now, and letting who I am with God be present.  As I do this, the prize of Oneness is mine already.  It is not something to struggle for.  It is something to accept as it already is because Oneness lives through me.  Now I truly know that I make the world a place of joy by remembering who I am.

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