Miracles News

July-September, 2021

The Heart of the Matter

by Rev. Mary Lenihan, Ordained Ministerial Counselor

I remember the words in my book, Pause for Inspiration in the midst of everyday life, “Where does your heart go to rest?” My heart has been busy lately, so I am not sure much resting has been going on. Our Pause nonprofit commitments and daily operations are a lot. I really miss writing so I am glad to be writing this now. I feel I need to simply reflect on how life has been going without having to think about what to write about; so, I thank you ahead of time for being with me in this. 

Ego — the divisiveness in me — makes sure that my heart doesn’t rest. Thankfully I take myself through The Pause Practice daily. However, I went through a period of time in which I received guidance but didn’t follow. Sound familiar? About two years ago I had been rushing around doing so much for so long that it was as if my heart finally said, “That’s it, we’re shutting her down!” This manifested one Sunday morning by way of a panic attack that occurred while in church; I literally thought I was dying. I had a near death experience in 2009 which I call a “Reunion in Heaven.” This one however, came on suddenly, intensely and scared the death out me! I used The Pause Practice and the panic left. My Nearest, Dearest and Truest Self was trying to get my attention because I had not been paying attention. This got my attention for a moment, but then my ego mind convinced me that I couldn’t stop, “There’s too much to do!” Keeping my ego mind schedule in place!

The result of this was that I had a second panic attack months later, multiple health scares and a couple of months after that I began having constant anxiety, trouble catching my breath, and crying spells on the kitchen floor out of nowhere. I began feeling very depressed and on a downward spiral. It was as if my Nearest, Dearest and Truest Self in me was wrestling me to the ground saying, “No more, let me help you.” Our True Self really does love us, but we can be so afraid of simply letting LOVE, love us. I must have been ready to receive LOVE; I must have been ready to let go of my plans or none of this would have happened. Why did I need to receive LOVE? Because I was feeling very alone but trying not to feel alone. The separation felt very real and I feared I would never feel whole again. Then, I realized that I was grieving.

I was grieving every loss I had ever experienced in my life, all at once, or so it seemed. The loss of connecting with friends who are all busy too, the loss of my marriage which was decades ago, the fear of the loss of health, the loss of my parents for whom I was a caregiver, the loss of not getting to have children or grandchildren and all that comes with those life events; so many losses in the past and fearing the inevitable losses of the future. So much ungrieved loss. I thought I had grieved all this stuff already!

I have always been one who releases emotions, journals, prays, meditates, share with others, feel my feelings, examine my thoughts, move my body, be of service – what more could I have done to grieve, throw myself into a grave? “No,” says my True Self, my Dear Friend, “Live.” In my gut I knew what that meant. It didn’t mean to deny my suffering by telling myself this is all ego. No. I knew that to not let myself go through this experience of grief, was an error in thinking. Even to “lose the ego” can be experienced as loss because it is a loss of who we thought we were — an entire false identity. Perhaps sometimes we can be too quick to push away experiences labeling them as ego and miss out on the opportunities available for healing.

During this time that I wandered in darkness, I learned a tremendous amount about how absolutely essential it is to not ignore inner Wisdom, but to trust and follow. I don’t fear suffering or push it away. I also don’t let myself suffer needlessly. I am not afraid of suffering because I know from experience how to suffer, with humility and gratitude for the grace present in suffering. Even in the greatest darkness, there is an even greater light. I let suffering lead me to the inner Christ.

On August 24, 2015 it was just my mother and I in a hospital room at St. Mary’s as she made her transition. Forty thousand angels packed every inch of that room; Jesus and the Whole Gang were there. I literally witnessed her resurrection. I was so elated I thought I had resurrected with her! I was forever changed. “It was in my mother’s ‘dying’ that I realized that I was not living.” For the LIFE I experienced in that room was a stark contrast to what I was calling life here on earth. And there was no reason I could not experience this LIFE here and now in this life.

At my birth, my mother gave me the gift of companioning me into this life, but in her passing she gave me an even greater gift — letting me companion her to the other side. My mom’s Wisdom teaching was that Christ is the call to truly live. A resounding gong in my gut took place. Beingness had shared Beingness and I knew my life, inner and outer, needed to change. Or, to be more precise, I needed to let my inner life, which I was keeping hidden for safekeeping, breathe into and “in-form” my outer life; my outer life needed to come into alignment with my inner life. When inner and outer are not in alignment for any length of time, one day a wake-up call will come knocking at your door and you can slam the door in the face of awakening multiple times, but one day you will have to let LOVE, love you for this is what it is to “awaken” — for in this LOVE is all there is.

Many years ago, I was hellbent on judging a few people for awhile and could not stop my judgments no matter what I tried and believe me I tried everything! Finally, I dropped in at a local monastery where my heart goes to rest now and then, sat in the chapel, prayed, listened, and the Holy Spirit responded with a bang. First, I was given a vision of the crucifixion, specifically Jesus’ face and the crown of thorns, through which I received the message to stop crucifying people with my judgments causing myself thorny pains. Second, the Holy Spirit responded, “You are judging these people because you are not following the way that I have provided for you.” Another gong in the gut! I was being called (as are all of us), to travel the path that LOVE was laying out within me (not imitate someone else’s path) and live the outer life that this inner life is breathing through me.

I am aware, based on decades of focus, devotion and commitment to this inner spiritual life, that the only correct way to go about meeting up with the True Self is to follow the way that LOVE is providing for me and no one knows what that way is except LOVE. Mine is the choice to pause, get out of my own way, listen within to LOVE, and follow. The Mentor Within shares, “The Holy Spirit knows you better than any human being on the planet. Listen, do you hear the sound of your own unfolding?”

Wow, it was really nice to write again. It seems I have opened some doors here so I will end with… to be continued. Bless.

Mary Lenihan, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in St. Louis, MO.
She is Co-founder and Co-creator of
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