Posted in Healing, Inspiration

Longing to be Loved

The deepest longing of the human heart is to be loved – specifically to be loved, accepted and valued for who we are and for the unique gifts we offer this world. One would think that this would be the easiest thing to accomplish – especially considering that we have an unconditionally loving God and parents who love us – right?  (I’ll let you answer that one yourself!)

The degree to which we know ourselves as loved, accepted and valued for who we are and for the unique gifts we offer this world is directly proportional to the love we are shown in the early years of our life. For many, if not most, the love that we are shown in these formative years is limited at best.

For most, the first experience of love comes from our parents. While our parents are undoubtedly doing the best they can, they are only able to show love to the degree it was first shown to them. If they were abused as a child, criticized or condemned, or led in any way to believe they were anything less than love, the love they are able to show will be limited by these past experiences.  This is true unless before (or during) their experience of being a parent they acknowledge the ways in which they experienced the limitations of love and healed the resulting wounds, thereby freeing them to show even more loving acceptance of their children because they now love and accept themselves. Additionally, every person has their own love language and their own unique temperament and the combination of these embodied by our parents might not be the language we need to hear to know we are loved.  Finally, our parents are a product of their conditioning and what society said at the time was “good parenting.”  (ie:  it isn’t all our parents’ fault!)

The same is true of our “god.” If the religion in which we were raised preaches a god of infinite love and then crafts rituals and practices which reinforce that love, then we are golden!  Here we know of a god who is loving and kind, generous and merciful and the tribe to which we belong treats us as such.  For many, if not most, this has not been the case.  Instead, the talk of god has been confusing mix of love and punishment, mercy and retribution, praise and shame, etc.   This leaves us feeling anxious and confused and wondering where we sit with that which we call “God,” and the people who preach this “God.”

The same is true of our culture. We feel loved, supported and valued for who we are and for the unique gifts we bring to the world when we are raised in a culture that values diversity and then provides the necessary support in which the seeds of our gifts might mature and bear fruit.  For most, this has not been our cultural experience.  Instead, we are expected to conform to a culture that needs us to fit into tight little boxes where we can be controlled, all the while feeling rejected for who we truly are and the authentic gifts we have to bring to this world.

The same is true of our friends, co-workers, peers, etc. etc. etc. We will only experience the feeling of being loved, honored, supported and valued to the extent that they feel this love themselves.  Sigh!

With all of this collective woundedness, where does this leave us? This leaves us among the several billion human beings longing to know love.  This is the collective wound of the human experience – the gaping wound of emptiness and longing where love is meant to dwell. But, we need not remain in this place of wounded emptiness and longing.  Fortunately, there are those who have gone before us who have successfully found their way through the labyrinthine journey that leads to love.  By following their example and adhering to their guidance, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain….

Full content reserved for Plus, Premium and Premium-Plus Members. Click here to learn more on how you can become a member and enjoy the tools that have helped me in my own journey.  Find an example of what is available in the full content HERE.

Posted in church, Healing, Raised Catholic

Recovering Catholics – 42.7 Million Strong

The Second Largest Religious Denomination

A few years back, I learned that the second largest religious denomination in the United States (reported by PEW Research, second only to the Roman Catholic Church), is made up of non-practicing Catholics.  I sat down and did the math and the number of people who still call themselves Catholic, but who no longer attend mass on a regular basis is 42.7 million!  That is a HUGE number of people.  If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of those 42.7 million, or perhaps you were raised Catholic and no longer call yourself Catholic, so we can simply add you to this number and we might find that there are in fact 85.4 million Recovering Catholics in the United States. If that were the case, we would outnumber the active Roman Catholic population!!!

StMaryOshkoshaltar

Who Cares?

You might ask yourself, “Who cares?”  Why is this significant information?  What does this prove to anybody, if anything?  Well, it means something to me.  And here’s why:

1) There are a significant number of men and women in the United States that had a particular religious experience growing up which formed them (for better or worse) and which contributed to who they are today.

2) This unique religious experience of being raised Catholic probably continues to inform them (again, for better or worse).

3) This unique religious experience of being raised Catholic becomes part of the marrow, blood and bones of one raised in this tradition and cannot be exorcised no matter how your current religious experience has changed (if, indeed it has).

4) For those who are no longer practicing Catholics, there is a unique form of grief that comes with the separation from Catholicism (whatever the reason for that separation), and there is a unique form of longing that cannot be quenched.

5) There is a unique set of needs residing within the hearts of Recovering Catholics, that for the most part, are not being met.  We cannot get these needs met in another religious institution.  We cannot go to the Catholic Church to get these needs met.  We cannot meet these needs on our own.

6) I am here to help the 42.7 million (or more) Recovering Catholics get those needs met.

 

Click on this image to register.

What are those needs?

I see the needs of Recovering Catholics as the following (and if you see more, please let me know what they are…..and I will see how I can help!):

1) Grief Support:  Catholics leave for a multitude of reasons, most boiling down to the fact that the truth God revealed to them is in conflict with the doctrine of the Church – teachings on contraception, homosexuality, vocations, divorce, remarriage, etc. etc.  Some leave because they have been directly harmed by a representative of the Church – sexually abused by a priest, physically or verbally abused by a teacher, counselor or lay minister, given incorrect information about Church teachings that made them feel unwelcome (like a certain family member who was told they were no longer welcome to come to communion simply because of a divorce).  No matter the reason, when we leave a community in which we were one time a member, even if the parting is our own decision (kind of), there is grief.  Recovering Catholics need support for the grief they experience in leaving the Institution behind, or in being asked to leave.

2) Resolution: Many Catholics (especially in the past), who left or were asked to leave, were asked to leave based on faulty information.  A representative of the Church misinterpreted the doctrine, or interpreted it to fit their own personal agenda.  For these people, the healing is helped when they learn the faulty nature of the information.  Yes, this will certainly stir anger, but for some, it opens the door to their return….something many are ultimately longing for.  Recovering Catholics might not seek this resolution from a priest, so I can be that bridge….if this is what they need.

3) Longing:  In my generation and the generations that follow, the number one reason I have heard for people leaving is because in the Catholic Church, their needs were not being met.  Specifically, the desire to:

Know themselves.

Know God.

Find Inner Peace.

Know their Gifts and how they are called to use them.

Find meaning and purpose in their lives.

The Catholic Church, most often, attempts to meet these needs through religious formation – the dissemination of doctrine, or doesn’t even go so far as that and simply stands in the belief that providing you with an opportunity to attend mass and receive the sacraments is enough.   Unfortunately, this is an intelligent and wise population of men and women who are looking for something more than to have their heads filled with rules and regulations, history and traditions.  And for many, the mass is not relevant (or the homily given at mass isn’t relevant).  They want DEPTH!  They want something that has meaning and relevance in their own lives and which allows them to know God personally, not just through someone else’s interpretation.  In short, what they are looking for, but don’t have the words for, is Spiritual Formation – something the Church has not done a good job of making available to the men and women in the pews. Spiritual Formation just happens to be one of my areas of expertise!

4) Validation: Recovering Catholics also desire validation….and they deserve it!  They have been formed to use the brain God gave them to reason, discern and exercise truth.  And, many, if not most, grew up in a culture that lost its trust in authority.  They/we have come to question authority and to not blindly follow simply because we were told.  Instead, authority has to be earned and our own reasoning minds need to be validated.  We need to be given credit for having a brain and an intelligent thought and the freedom to challenge and question what we are being told.  In the Institutional Church, questioning is often discouraged or outwardly condemned.  What the Institution has forgotten is that the most important stage in faith development is the questioning and searching stage.  If the Church really wants mature disciples, this stage needs to be honored.  If the Institution will not welcome these questions, I am happy to do so!  I’m excited to see how your questions will help you grow….and me as well!  🙂

If you are a recovering Catholic and looking for support, I am here for you.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@authenticfreedom.love to find out more. 

Click on this image to register.

 

Posted in Jesus

Following our Longing

In this second Sunday of Advent, we look to Jesus as one who followed his longing to its Source and there he found peace.  He then followed that longing back out into the world where he found meaning, purpose and fulfillment.  Jesus then taught us how to do the same.

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Listen to yesterday’s Sunday Empowerment Service HERE.

Music for the meditation that we shared HERE. 

Posted in codependency, Relationships

The Number One Reason Relationships Fail

In the twenty-plus years I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have identified the number one reason relationships fail:

Looking for the other person to complete us.

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Co-Dependency

In the recovery world, co-dependency is limited to addictive/compulsive patterns of enabling.  Here, co-dependency is expanded to include any behaviors, attitudes and relationship dynamics which are rooted in the search for another person to complete us.  Co-dependency arises out of a deep inner longing that says, “I am not enough,” making us feel incomplete, fractured and fragmented.  In an effort to quell this longing, we look for “the other” who will complete us.  We find someone who we believe might complete us, and for a time (as long as we are in the infatuation stage of the relationship), they might.  Eventually, however, the longing returns (because we never healed the true source of the longing), the fantasies we have created about our partner fall and we begin to see them for who they really are – fractured and imperfect just like we are.  Resentment sets in and trouble begins.

If you recognize patterns of co-dependency in your relationship patterns, you are not alone.  99% of relationships have their origins in the search for completion.  For help in this area, check out our upcoming course, “Happily Ever After – from Co-Dependency to the Fulfillment of Love.”  Learn More HERE.

Search for the Other vs. Search for Ourselves

When we are searching outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, it is because we do not know ourselves.  The longing that drives this search for “the other” in reality, has nothing to do with “the other.” Instead, this longing is really the longing to know ourselves.  Until we know otherwise, or until the bottom falls out (whichever comes first), the longing to know ourselves disguises itself in the longing for another to complete us.  We are never fulfilled in our relationships, however, until we turn this longing for “the other” inward and start doing the work of coming to know ourselves.  In coming to know ourselves, we discover our own unique gifts, our passions, what gives us joy and makes us feel complete – WITHIN OURSELVES.  When we know ourselves, we no longer look for someone to complete us, instead, we wait for another complete person with whom we can enjoy the journey of life in a mutually supportive, interdependent relationship where both are honored as sacred and holy and where the two work together to support the needs of each other in service to the betterment of the world.

Sign up today for the “Happily Ever After” course and find support for your own journey of coming to know yourself. 

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Or call Lauri Lumby (920) 230-1313 to schedule a one-on-one private consultation.

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Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Divine Revelation, Freedom, God, Grace, Oneness with God

The Seed of Remembrance – Finding Our Way Home

Today – a parable.  When we made the choice to experience the human condition, the consequence was the perception of separation from our Divine origins, which then resulted in fear, suffering and pain.  Fortunately, our loving Divine parents planted within us the seed of remembrance so that one day, we would find our way home.

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Once upon a time, there were Divine loving parents, Father and Mother. They created a universe filled with their children, made in their own likeness. In the Presence of the Father and the Mother, these children knew nothing but love, happiness and bliss. Then one day, some of the children realized that in order to grow and mature, they would need to know what life would be like without the Presence of the Father and the Mother. So, these children asked their Divine parents for permission to move away from them – to go off by themselves and experience life without the Presence of their Divine Parents. Mother and Father knew exploration would cause their children great anguish, pain and suffering, but also knew that in order to grow, they needed this time of separation, so the Parents agreed. The children then went off on their own to explore the world separated from the Presence of their Divine and loving Parents. Father and Mother, however, did not send the children off completely alone. Instead, they planted within the heart of each of their children the seed of remembrance. Contained within this seed was the memory of their original home as one in love with their Divine Parents, sisters and brothers. Father and Mother hoped that one day, this seed of remembrance would awaken and lead their children home.

The children, then, went off to experience life as separate from their Divine origins. As was anticipated, this experience caused the Divine children much pain and suffering. The children felt as if they were lost, abandoned and alone. For the first time, they experience fear which then led to anger, resentment, jealousy, covetousness, lust for power, insecurity, loneliness and despair. The children of God, out of their fear, began to create separation from each other, making war, destroying the world Father and Mother had given them, condemning others as different and unacceptable. The world they created apart from their Father and Mother became a world of great darkness. As the years went by, the children grew more and more restless and more and more afraid.

All this while, the seed of remembrance rested within the hearts of the Divine children. In all of the Divine children, this seed felt to them like a thorn or a sliver trying to find its way out. This seed created within each of the Divine children, a deep longing – a longing that could not be named, but a longing nonetheless. Many ignored this longing or tried to silence its efforts through self-numbing behaviors – excessive food, drink, accumulation of possessions, power and control over others, etc. Others, heard this longing and punished themselves, falling deeper and deeper in despair. Others, felt this longing and instead of resisting it or succumbing to its darkness, decided to LISTEN. In this listening, the Divine children heard the voice of Father and Mother calling them home.

 

Find your way home through a provocative retelling of the Jesus story – Song of the Beloved.  Buy it now on Amazon.

 

 

Posted in Relationships

Seeking Soul Mates, Twin Flames, The Beloved One

This is for all those men and women I know who have known the call of the Beloved – compelled to seek soul mates, twin flames, the True One, The One…..whatever your name for that, and struggling with the longing and the knowledge of an amazing kind of love.

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Where You Once Were

Torn and tangled shreds of my heart

From where you once were –

when we were still one.

Tree-branch hands

Brittle and twisted

Thrashing in the wind

Reaching into the void

Beyond myself and all I’ve tried to be.

Crying out in anguish

Longing for your return.

No matter how hard I try –

Pretending courage and strength

Independence and self-sufficiency –

In your absence,

I’m always less than one.

Knowing and feeling you as

the missing parts of my soul.

And no matter where I am grasping,

My hands returning empty…

Like the place in my heart

Where you once were.

Posted in Being Human, God, Mystics

Relentless Longing

This week, the topic of longing came up.  Why are we, as humans, always longing for SOMETHING MORE?  What is this longing about?  Why won’t this longing cease?  Why are we never content with WHAT WE HAVE?  The answer, in short is God, which makes this longing a mystery and beyond the scope of narrative or prose.  Poetry, it seems, is all we have to give voice to the human curse of relentless longing.

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Made of Longing

Forever longing until we rest in God.

Prayerful glimpses of bliss

Sublime heights of ecstatic love.

Yet even in the greatest of mystics – these moments only fleeting.

In longing we seek the human experience.

In longing we find our return.

Seeking the most out of the human experience

While hurrying back to God.

Going out…coming in.

Reaching…Returning

Searching…Resting

Striving…Allowing

The constant push and pull of love,

Content within itself, yet always wanting more.

It is of this longing that we are made.

 

Posted in church, Healing, Raised Catholic

Recovering Catholics – 42.7 Million Strong

The Second Largest Religious Denomination

A few years back, I learned that the second largest religious denomination in the United States (reported by PEW Research, second only to the Roman Catholic Church), is made up of non-practicing Catholics.  I sat down and did the math and the number of people who still call themselves Catholic, but who no longer attend mass on a regular basis is 42.7 million!  That is a HUGE number of people.  If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of those 42.7 million, or perhaps you were raised Catholic and no longer call yourself Catholic, so we can simply add you to this number and we might find that there are in fact 85.4 million Recovering Catholics in the United States. If that were the case, we would outnumber the active Roman Catholic population!!!

StMaryOshkoshaltar

Who Cares?

You might ask yourself, “Who cares?”  Why is this significant information?  What does this prove to anybody, if anything?  Well, it means something to me.  And here’s why:

1) There are a significant number of men and women in the United States that had a particular religious experience growing up which formed them (for better or worse) and which contributed to who they are today.

2) This unique religious experience of being raised Catholic probably continues to inform them (again, for better or worse).

3) This unique religious experience of being raised Catholic becomes part of the marrow, blood and bones of one raised in this tradition and cannot be exorcised no matter how your current religious experience has changed (if, indeed it has).

4) For those who are no longer practicing Catholics, there is a unique form of grief that comes with the separation from Catholicism (whatever the reason for that separation), and there is a unique form of longing that cannot be quenched.

5) There is a unique set of needs residing within the hearts of Recovering Catholics, that for the most part, are not being met.  We cannot get these needs met in another religious institution.  We cannot go to the Catholic Church to get these needs met.  We cannot meet these needs on our own.

6) I am here to help the 42.7 million (or more) Recovering Catholics get those needs met.

 

Click on this image to register.

What are those needs?

I see the needs of Recovering Catholics as the following (and if you see more, please let me know what they are…..and I will see how I can help!):

1) Grief Support:  Catholics leave for a multitude of reasons, most boiling down to the fact that the truth God revealed to them is in conflict with the doctrine of the Church – teachings on contraception, homosexuality, vocations, divorce, remarriage, etc. etc.  Some leave because they have been directly harmed by a representative of the Church – sexually abused by a priest, physically or verbally abused by a teacher, counselor or lay minister, given incorrect information about Church teachings that made them feel unwelcome (like a certain family member who was told they were no longer welcome to come to communion simply because of a divorce).  No matter the reason, when we leave a community in which we were one time a member, even if the parting is our own decision (kind of), there is grief.  Recovering Catholics need support for the grief they experience in leaving the Institution behind, or in being asked to leave.

2) Resolution: Many Catholics (especially in the past), who left or were asked to leave, were asked to leave based on faulty information.  A representative of the Church misinterpreted the doctrine, or interpreted it to fit their own personal agenda.  For these people, the healing is helped when they learn the faulty nature of the information.  Yes, this will certainly stir anger, but for some, it opens the door to their return….something many are ultimately longing for.  Recovering Catholics might not seek this resolution from a priest, so I can be that bridge….if this is what they need.

3) Longing:  In my generation and the generations that follow, the number one reason I have heard for people leaving is because in the Catholic Church, their needs were not being met.  Specifically, the desire to:

Know themselves.

Know God.

Find Inner Peace.

Know their Gifts and how they are called to use them.

Find meaning and purpose in their lives.

The Catholic Church, most often, attempts to meet these needs through religious formation – the dissemination of doctrine, or doesn’t even go so far as that and simply stands in the belief that providing you with an opportunity to attend mass and receive the sacraments is enough.   Unfortunately, this is an intelligent and wise population of men and women who are looking for something more than to have their heads filled with rules and regulations, history and traditions.  And for many, the mass is not relevant (or the homily given at mass isn’t relevant).  They want DEPTH!  They want something that has meaning and relevance in their own lives and which allows them to know God personally, not just through someone else’s interpretation.  In short, what they are looking for, but don’t have the words for, is Spiritual Formation – something the Church has not done a good job of making available to the men and women in the pews. Spiritual Formation just happens to be one of my areas of expertise!

4) Validation: Recovering Catholics also desire validation….and they deserve it!  They have been formed to use the brain God gave them to reason, discern and exercise truth.  And, many, if not most, grew up in a culture that lost its trust in authority.  They/we have come to question authority and to not blindly follow simply because we were told.  Instead, authority has to be earned and our own reasoning minds need to be validated.  We need to be given credit for having a brain and an intelligent thought and the freedom to challenge and question what we are being told.  In the Institutional Church, questioning is often discouraged or outwardly condemned.  What the Institution has forgotten is that the most important stage in faith development is the questioning and searching stage.  If the Church really wants mature disciples, this stage needs to be honored.  If the Institution will not welcome these questions, I am happy to do so!  I’m excited to see how your questions will help you grow….and me as well!  🙂

If you are a recovering Catholic and looking for support, I am here for you.  Call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@authenticfreedom.love to find out more. 

Click on this image to register.

 

Posted in Being Human, God, Midlife Journey, Relationships, Spiritual Practices

Love – the Unanswerable Question

As a facilitator of programs which help to support self-actualization in individuals, I teach a wide variety of practices and techniques for transcending fear, managing anxiety, discerning, cultivating and embracing truth.  Soul is what I hope to help people birth – the uniquely creative way in which they have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in their lives and through which they are called to serve the betterment of the world.    With all of these programs, practices and techniques, however, I am unable to respond to one of the deepest longings of the human heart- the longing for loving, intimate, partnership.  When challenged with the question, “What good is it doing all this work if I cannot satisfy the deepest longing of my heart, which is for partnership?”  I find I have no response.  When I look into the faces of the amazing women and men I know who are healthy, whole, magnificent and complete within themselves, intimately connected with the God (of their understanding), experiencing meaning, purpose and fulfillment through their unique giftedness: and see that behind that fulfillment remains the unfulfilled longing for love, I have no answer. These programs should help us be content no matter what our relationship status – right?  Apparently NOT!  Why is it that healthy, inwardly fulfilled, amazingly gifted men and women still find themselves alone and wanting because of it?

Millions of books have been written that promise the perfect formula for finding your one true love, your soulmate, your twinflame….” Professional matchmakers hang their shingle to the tune of $5000.00 with the promise of finding your true love.  Are these amazing men and women alone because they haven’t perfected the magic formula or paid someone enough money to find love for them?  I have a hard time believing any of this to be the cause.  I cannot believe that these men and women are alone because they haven’t taken action by following the guidelines of all the world’s “dating experts.”  Neither is it because they have been thinking the wrong thoughts or because they have failed to “call in the one.”  I don’t believe there is some magical formula for finding love, neither do I believe there is some dark magic that holds love at bay.  It just makes no sense to me – amazingly beautiful (inside and out), eligible men and women who have been unable to find an equally amazing partner to share their life with, but even more troubling is the longing that remains, in spite of the person’s contentment and wholeness within themselves. What is the cause and purpose of this longing?

yearningandreaching

Is it simply the biological drive for partnership that causes this longing?  Is it really about our longing for God?  Is the journey to self-actualization not yet complete because this longing remains?  Are these people alone  because of their decision to embrace their inner growth?  Have they simply outgrown the potential field of prospects?  Abraham Maslow suggested that only 1% of the population is self-actualized.  Is it then a simple matter of statistics?  (for the record, I believe that more than 1% of the population is self-actualized and that this figure is growing as we continue to evolve). Or is it something else?  Again, the most difficult aspect to this quandary is the longing that remains.  Even in the healthiest, most self-actualized people, the longing for love remains.  And those who are alone can protest all they want, “I’m fine living alone.  I’m content being single.  Apparently God wants me to be celibate for now,” the truth is that we protesteth too much and the higher self knows otherwise.  I think I’ve come to understand that the human longing for love is part of who we are and a force that cannot be contained.  And until that longing is fulfilled, the longing remains.

As I further ponder this question about love and longing, two distinctly different spiritual voices emerge:

1) The Voice from the Zen Den:  This voice says something like, “Longing is about wishing for something other than what one has right now.  Longing leads to suffering, therefore, one must detach from one’s longing by returning to one’s mindfulness practice, bringing one’s self back to the present moment, the only place where we find peace.”

2) The Voice of the Artist:  “Longing is my muse.  It is in longing that I find my inspiration.  Longing compels me to create and through my creativity to inspire others.”

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As I sit with these voices, I realize that both of them speak truth.  Longing can certainly distract us from our peace and plunge us headfirst down the road of anticipatory thoughts.  As such, at times, we may find the remedy to our longing by returning to our mindfulness practice.  At the same time, I have also come to recognize longing as the creative voice of the Divine trying to find its expression through us.  Longing causes us to seek, to explore, to discover and to grow.  Longing provides fuel for our creative endeavors.  The Vikings would never have discovered America if they hadn’t had a longing to know more of the world.  Alexander Graham Bell would not have invented the telephone without longing for the sound of a human voice.  And with respect to love, how would God’s love ever be known in the world if it were not for the longing that compels us to seek this love?  So perhaps the answer to this quandary resides within the tension of these seemingly opposite poles.  Perhaps there are times when we might retreat to our inner room in search of the quiet that will still our longing, and perhaps there are times when we need to be with our longing and let it speak to us, telling us where we need to look and how we are called to give it expression in our lives.

Ultimately, I believe that this insatiable longing that we feel (even after we’ve found our “happily ever after lover”) is God trying to find expression in our world – through our own uniquely creative giftedness and in the many ways we are called to be love for one another.

Posted in Being Human, God, Lessons, Surrender

Spiritual Exile

When we have sought and not found, pursued and come up empty, asked and been denied, we begin to question our hopes and our dreams, inner longings and desires.  And we wonder, what is the remedy to this feeling of being exiled from our vision, exiled from our very self?  What is the antidote to spiritual exile?

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Spiritual Exile

Grey stone walls encircle me

As high as the eye can see

Splatters of blood, sometimes dripping from hitting my head against the wall.

The heels of my fists scraped and bruised from pounding for release.

My voice silenced from screaming to be heard.

Head aching from thinking…planning…doing…and trying…

To find my out, beyond the walls

to my hopes and dreams.

I’ve sought and have not found.

I’ve knocked and not been heard.

I’ve asked and not been given.

Success as a writer

Prosperity in service

Recognition for my gifts

Affirmation of my beauty

A love I can call my own.

No reward for the striving

No comfort in the effort

No fruit in the doing

Instead, only disappointment and frustration

Forever discontent in this excruciating longing.

But….this is not just another dark night of the soul

For God is here, all around me, holding me fast

I acutely feel his presence, he’s just not responding.

Instead, he’s waiting in silence for me to

Cease this relentless striving which has imprisoned me in an exile of my own making.

With nothing left to give,

Absent energy or motivation for the striving

Exhausted from the pursuit

I collapse to the floor in prayer, pleading…

“What do you want from me?”

Imprisoned in my tower

Exiled from my dreams

God’s one-word answer whispers:

“Surrender”

And here at last, I find peace.