An excerpt from her journal dated June 21st, 2012:
I sat on the balcony for a while today and read “Journey to the East” by Hermann Hesse. About 3/4 of the way through the book, I started tearing up, becoming emotional and feeling very connected to spirit. When, out of nowhere (well, not really “nowhere”), a yellow finch landed on the railing two feet from my face. It just stood and stared at me. He bobbed his head around, but kept his eyes fixed on me. I grinned from ear to ear, started crying, and said “hello little yellow friend!” and after a few seconds he took off, darting through the air. I knew it was some sort of message, things like that don’t happen to me for no reason. After looking up what finches represent, it seemed to confirm much of my recent soul searching—seeking internal motivation to thrive in life, be content with all that is, and live joyfully.
So, after finishing the book and seeing the finch, I decided it was time for deep prayer with my Lord. During my “chat” I unloaded my heart in an attempt to figure out why I felt so fatigued and down so often. Part of what I realized, through talking out loud to myself and Baha’u’llah, is that for the first time in my life there is not a “person, place or thing” (commonly referred to as a noun) that I can point to and say “this is a huge part of my pain”; a common rumination of mine in the past. In fact, the opposite is quite true, the persons, places, and things in my life are quite spectacular and celebratory even (which, oddly, has made me feel worse for feeling poopie so often). Therefore, I realized the conflict solely resided within me (this was quite frightening to realize in that moment, that I, on my own, created the conflict). And I was able to transform it (of course with God’s grace).
After I felt and released the fear, I felt sort of empowered by the realization that this is solely about me this time around. It meant that this experience is a new level of a test, or maybe a new test all together, which means progress is taking place (woohoo!). After the moment of empowerment I asked the Divine, out loud, “how do I heal this when it has no origination or source outside of myself, nothing for me to look at or point to and try to “solve” as I have done in the past?” After I sat with my own question for a moment, I came back to the knowing (in my head) that a part of my problem is I felt like I needed to deserve God’s love in order to experience it. For whatever reason, it’s the logic I’ve lived with my whole life (even after reading as many writings of Divine origin as I’ve read that say this isn’t the case). I still felt I had to earn God’s love.
My next sentence, after a massive tearfest, was that I know (in head and heart) that this life is not about whether or not I deserve His love. I am an imperfect being, perfect in His eyes, not because I am flawless but because I am His—created noble. So the next question was “if I know that the paradigm my logic is based on is faulty, because I know my interpretation of my experiences based on said logic is out of alignment with my Faith’s writings; how do I correct this when reading the writings and striving to integrate them into my core is not yet the paradigm my logic is based on?” (heavy question, I know) After sitting with this question for a few minutes, the answer came that I must turn to where I know and worship God. As the short obligatory prayer says, I was created to know and worship God…so where do I know and worship Him? Where do I see and feel His names and attributes (love, compassion, truthfulness, wisdom) the clearest? And like a bolt of lightening it hit me…In nature.
Nature teaches me (while song teaches one person, poetry teaches another person, sports teach another, algebraic equations teach another, etc,) effortlessly and clearly God’s names and attributes. It was in nature that I first felt the existence of the Unknowable Essence, and it was through Baha’u’llah’s words that that deep knowing was reinforced, and as soon as I was honest with myself about that, that my “KNOWING” and “WORSHIPING” of God was initiated in the natural world, amongst the trees and the grass, the rocks and the streams, the birds and the toads, and has since then been reinforced by Baha’u’llah’s words, I realized (for the first time in my life) that the immediate way I KNOW God (in that intangible, spirit-lead, heart-centered, beyond syllables and sounds way) is through His creation, and it is through His words that His love is made tangible.
After all, His creation was created to proclaim His love for us. The trees, the stars, the atoms, the quarks, the supernovas, the beetles, the dinosaurs, the moons, the cats (even the ones that cause allergies), and the sea anemones are all created with a purpose of proclaiming His names and attributes; and it just so happens that whether or not I was designed this way, the path of least resistance for me to know and worship God is through standing in awe and wonder at those same trees and stars and atoms and quarks and supernovas and beetles and dinosaurs and moons and cats (even the ones that cause allergies) and sea anemones. And in the moment all this hit me (and it was a mere moment) I felt free, I felt inspired, I felt content, I felt loved…I felt loved because the language of the grass and the birds became my paradigm. Grass grows. Birds fly. They don’t do this with any thought, they just do…they just be…whether they deserve to grow or fly, or not, they are what they are, and they teach me who I am.
I believe that the Divine has given each heart a language to know Him through, and it is through the discovery of that language that we also discover our calling. When we figure out how we are “called” to our Lord, we discover how we are “called” to serve. I am called to our Lord through observing trees, rolling hills, waterfalls, flower petals, sunsets, and afternoon shadows, and it is my task to translate the language of how I am called to our Lord, into a language that others will understand. Maybe it’s through photography, ecopsychology and conflict transformation and maybe it’s also through pointing out the perfect hue of golden that saturates an evening as the sun sets, and smiling with delight (to myself) at the yellow finch that stops by for a visit.
In what ways do you feel “called” to that which is greater than yourself? Regardless of your belief system, we all believe in the power of Love, Compassion, Truth, Justice, and Mercy. How are you “called” to these truths? And how might this shed some light on your life’s purpose?
Previously posted on The Devo