I am reminded today that our experience of life transforms when we remember and acknowledge that everything that happens is a gift from the Universe for our awakening. One incredible gift we’ve all been given is the gift of being able to release our fear, the gift of the possibility of a life without limits, a life where we have the freedom and the power to release and let go of the distorted thinking that no longer serves us.
In Living the Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes wrote:
The sun may be shining even while we persist in standing in a dark basement. The manna may be falling but we refuse to gather it. Now we must come out of our basement of despair into the sunshine of Truth, into the warmth and color of Divine recognition, the instantaneous awareness of the Allness of Good.
I have gone through my dark times, especially with what I’m meant to do as a minister. What’s mine to do? Am I using the unique gifts with which I’ve been blessed? Am I singing the song that only I can sing, making the difference that’s mine to make? I often grow discouraged when confronted with these questions. I currently serve as a staff minister at my Center, leading our Youth & Family Ministry. In connection with this role, I’ve often felt I’m in a dark basement. I wonder how man of us do, stuck in the darkness, complaining, maybe, or sad or discouraged or afraid, while outside the sun is shining with all its warmth and color and clarity. And it seems so real to us – our dark, fearful places, where people try to take advantage of us, where there’s not enough, where there’s illness and violence and fear. And it is real, but only as long as we stay there. The way up the stairs to the light is unlocked and ready, but it’s up to us to open the door and ascend the stairway.
Why are we so often afraid of letting go of what’s known? I’ve asked myself this question because the dark basement is all too familiar to me. Sometimes it seems we prefer the known to the unknown even if the known is wandering in the wilderness not knowing what we’re going to eat, or holding grudges, or blaming, or believing in lack. We overcome fear and accept freedom when we leave these things behind us, let them be buried in the waters of the Red Sea, as it were, when we leave the dark basement and go out into the light that’s been there all the time.
To live lives of meaning and passion and joy, we need to accept that there’s something else, that what we believe to be reality (the dark basement) is really only one small part of what’s there to be seen, and that we can leave it behind, releasing what no longer serves us, and by doing so, leave fear behind us as well.
Here’s one more thing I find I often need to remember: fear, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Fear is just the Universe’s way of letting us know there’s something we should pay attention to. Noticing what we’re afraid of is like the warning light on your dashboard coming on. This is not a bad thing – it’s a good thing, alerting you to the fact there’s a problem with your engine so you can do something about it. The solution isn’t to cover up the warning light with duct tape so it won’t stress you to see it. (Trust me, I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work.) No, the solution is to pay attention, to find out what’s going on. The warning light isn’t the problem; it’s alerting you to the underlying problem.
So, in our lives, if we’re feeling fearful in some area, this is just a signal alerting us to the fact that there’s an area in life where some serious work is needed. Are we afraid we won’t have enough money to pay our bills or meet our commitments? A warning light on the dashboard saying our abundance consciousness needs some work. Maybe we need to seek or do treatment, take a class, read a book (or write one!), write and use affirmations, do an experiment. Are you afraid you’ll never be in a place where you’re honored and accepted and where you can share your gifts? Nothing wrong, maybe just the gift of a warning light alerting you to an area that needs work. Does it sometimes seem you’re afraid of happiness, afraid to enter that Promised Land, afraid even to put your toes in the River Jordan? Ah – a wakeup call. Time for us to work on self-worth, self-care, self-love. This is an ongoing challenge for all of us. We need to recognize our gifts and be willing to shine.
So, let today be a day to consider the gift of freedom. This is available to all of us if we’re willing to give up our fears, if we’re willing to accept the good that’s spread before us like the abundant manna was for the wandering Israelites, and if we’re willing to enter, if even only occasionally, the Promised Land of happiness, bliss, and joy.
In this season of miracles and new beginnings, this season when we remember and celebrate the experience of coming forth from the dark confines of a cave into the light and love of a garden in full bloom, we celebrate transformation. As the man we know as Jesus brought sight to the blind, we open our eyes to the light, accepting new ways of seeing and experiencing life. We leave behind that which is inconsistent with the truth of who we are. We step forth into our power and our truth.
As children delight in the excitement of finding unexpected gifts (and colored eggs!) where they least expect them, we remember to keep looking, to continue seeking, to know, regardless of appearances, that wonders surround us, that there is a magnificent flower inside that small dot of a dark seed, a vibrant, colorful butterfly inside the confining chrysalis that appears at first glance to be only a dried husk, a God-self within each of us.
Today we know the truth. If we are in our “cave-time,” we celebrate that as well, welcoming a time for silence and going within. If we are in our bursting-out time, we joy in this.
We accept the gifts that surround us, knowing and accepting our Good. We show up in love, giving and receiving freely, knowing all is well.
And so it is and so we let it be.
Rev. Claire Summerhill