Freedom in Paradox

I’m an honest person, but I have told a million little (and not so little) lies in my life. I have faith but doubt nearly all that I know continually. I’m quite confident in who I am as an individual yet make decisions constantly based on how others will view me. These seeming contradictions are no cause of dismay for me. Now more than ever before I have become comfortable in my humanness, brokenness, or “sin”, as it is often referred to. Without it I could not enjoy grace.

                People are foundationally creatures of paradox. We are mortal flesh surrounding a center that is quite literally the life of God.  Too often we struggle with our paradoxical nature as though it were something to correct or change; as if perfection were something we understand, could hope for, or would even enjoy if we attained it. The goal of spiritual practice has little to do with cleaning up our act (moralism) but finds its ultimate purpose in the unveiling of the part of us that is “hidden with Christ in God.” Though we experience fear there is a part of us that hopes and though we may be resentful and wounded there is, within us all, a Voice of mercy, peace and love. The spiritual journey is one of discovering and living in harmony with that Voice that is already speaking within you.

                 Begin to yield to leanings of Love. In silence and contemplation discover that part of yourself that is bent toward kindness, peace and contentment. The other part of you, the part that feels discouraged or doubtful will not go away immediately (or maybe ever) but you don’t need to resent yourself or others for being less than the “ideal”. We can all relax a little and offer grace to others because even a moment of honest introspection reveals that we are not very different from (and definitely not better than) any other person we meet.

                In discovering this Voice (and simultaneously our true self) we find that our discouragement can yield to a higher reality, hope. And that our fear can be expelled by succumbing to Love and realizing that on the deepest level, Love is who you actually are. As far as I can tell, teachings of Jesus seem to reveal and point to a single message: God is Love. Love indwells you. So now, be Love.