Posted in Authentic Freedom, detachment, Lessons

Freedom in Not Knowing

Many moons ago, I thought I knew. I thought I knew and understood the workings of the world.  I believed in God.  Jesus was my teacher.  I wasn’t really sure about the whole thing about hell, but I definitely believed in heaven.  I thought there was a distinct line between right and wrong and that life functioned in absolutes (kind of but not really….which is why I kept getting in trouble with the priests.) I believed that Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead.  I even believed that the “fullness of redemption” was in the Catholic Church (how silly of me!).

As I grew and began to explore my beliefs, my theology, my spirituality, myself, my beliefs began to change.  I no longer believed in a place called hell. I still believed in heaven, but longed for something more in this life. (Why did we have to die to meet God face to face?) While my beliefs were changing, I continued to cling to the idea that what I believed was absolutely true – at least for me.  At this stage in my journey I was ok with others believing differently, but I still thought it was my job to convince some of my beliefs (especially the Institution of the Catholic Church), and that in some (many) cases there were some things that were just inherently wrong and that I knew what was right. (Again, how silly of me!)

Then, life taught me otherwise. Now, at the ripe young age of 54, I KNOW NOTHING.  I don’t know a thing about (that which we call) God.  I don’t truly know anything about Jesus – he sounds like he could have been a cool dude, but what evidence do we have that he was even real (so says the scientist in me)? I don’t know if there is a heaven – or a hell for that matter.  I don’t even know if I’m real or if this is all just a dream!

I don’t know…..and I’m totally ok with that! I don’t need to know, because if there is one thing I have learned in this life, NOTHING is certain.  Nothing. Not even my own discernment, sense of right and wrong, or my “calling” to serve the cause of love.  I don’t even know if my own beliefs are true as it is quite possible that everything I think I know I simply made up to make myself feel better.  And, I’m totally ok with that too.

Why? Because it does not matter. I no longer care what is real or not, what is truth or not because I am no longer clinging to the need to know in a world that is anything but predictable or even definable. I know nothing.  And that’s ok.  I’m also totally ok with whatever you want to believe and I have no need to convince you otherwise.

There is freedom in not knowing. I no longer need to convince.  I no longer need to change things.  I no longer need to stand on my soapbox waiting for “the other” to agree with my ideas, philosophies, or beliefs.  I am ok with being me and I’m ok with you being you.  And if you need to be “right” – that is ok too.  It is a natural human desire to want to KNOW – to be able to define, explain, make sense of the human condition and to be sure that our own knowledge is right.  Knowing gives us a perceived sense of safety and surety in a world that is everything but.  Knowing that at any minute Jupiter might tumble out of its orbit, pummel to earth and destroy us all makes us seek after something to hang on to – our beliefs, our philosophies, our theologies.  We need what we think we know to be right because it makes us feel “safe” in an otherwise unsafe world.

But knowledge is an illusion. At the most basic core of who we are – WE DO NOT KNOW.  We don’t know a single thing!  When we understand this about life – realizing that life is uncertain and then become content in that uncertainty – we find peace.  When we are no longer seeking after truth or clinging to our need to be right, we are free.  We can let go and stop worrying about everyone else and what they do or do not believe.  We are free to be ourselves. At the end of the day, this is (my belief) what we are here for…..or not.  The choice is up to you!

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Posted in creativity, Discernment, Empowerment, Holy Spirit, Inspiration

What’s Your Magic? Part 5

In all the excitement of launching the virtual church, I have not forgotten the discussion on charisms.  Charisms are your own personal magic, rather God’s magic working through you.  Charisms are the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and through which you will find fulfillment in contributing to the betterment of our world.  Read Part 4 on the “forgotten charism” HERE.  Read Part 3 on faith, giving and healing HERE.  Read Part 2 on discernment, encouragement and evangelism HERE.  And read Part 1 HERE, and introduction into charisms. Today, we will explore the charisms of helps, hospitality, intercessory prayer and knowledge.

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The Charism of Helps

Those who possess the charism of helps are usually hanging out in the wings or content to be in the background as their call is to be a source of support in empowering the success of one particular individual.  They are the person who is content to be unknown (in a sense) because they truly, and enthusiastically, live for the sake of another’s success.  We all know men and women empowered with this charism.  I think of some mothers I know who are authentically called and are enlivened by the things they do for the sake of their children.  They are content to be stay-at-home moms and love every minute of it.  I also think of many of the church secretaries I have worked with who are truly content in the way in which they are able to make (usually) the priest successful.  I think of an administrator I know who says, “My job is to make him look good.”  The difference between unhealthy enabling and helps is that the person helping is enlivened and fulfilled in the work they are doing toward another’s success.  Those who are enablers are drained by the work they are doing and often resentful.

The Charism of Hospitality

The charism of hospitality is a communal charism, meaning that it is centered on making others feel welcome.  Hospitality, in this light, is specifically directed toward providing food, shelter and friendship.  Those with the charism of hospitality are especially sensitive to the presence of strangers or newcomers and their needs and are compelled to work toward the fulfillment of those needs.  They are energized and enlivened by the presence of guests and joyfully welcome those unexpected.  At their table, there is always room for one (or 10) more.

The Charism of Intercessory Prayer

In speaking of this charism, I can’t help but think of my sister, Dana Lumby.  Dana is magic in her employment of intercessory prayer and through the time and attention she gives to praying for the needs of others, miraculous things have come to pass.  This is the mark of one gifted with the charism of intercessory prayer – not only are they (seemingly) irresistibly drawn to the desire to pray for others, their prayers effect miraculous change.

The Chrism of Knowledge

The charism of knowledge could just as well be called the passion to learn.  Those gifted with this charism possess an unmatched passion for seeking and acquiring intellectual knowledge, but not knowledge for its own sake, but knowledge and learning to be shared.  As such, those empowered with this gift are usually given other charisms to help them share their knowledge with others: teaching, writing, prophecy, encouragement and/or leadership.  The marks of this charism is an insatiable desire to learn and the equally insatiable desire to share this knowledge ( in helpful ways) with others.