Loving the Dark-Stuff

Lent as a way of Releasing and Embracing

Living a Spirit-filled Life

Living a spiritual life is not easy. Though it often sounds like it, it is really not about sitting for a while daily chanting  some mantra hoping that all that is challenging or uncomfortable in our life will magically disappear. 

In our commitment to living a life with the Divine in it, we commit to change and to align ourselves with the ‘will’ of God. Though it sounds spooky, it actually means that we allow God/the Divine to guide us. We do not give up control over our choices in life, we just allow the inflow of Loving to move us to places that is dark and sometimes scary. These scary places need to be discovered so we can bring God’s unconditional Loving Light into it; so we can heal.

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In my experience as I meditate and invite God to walk with me, It starts showing me where I carry pain, anguish, anxiety, fear, hurt inside of me. The Divine wants me to Love me for the beautiful and unique creature I am. God wants me to see myself as Its seems me in Its infinite Loving. 

But I cannot.  The Dark Places, the unhealed places, inside of me prevents me from connecting to the Divine Loving. I sit and call upon God/the Divine, we connect, I feel Its gracious Love for me, then, suddenly, all I can feel is pain and anger. What has gone wrong? Nothing, God has just guided me into a place inside of myself where I store past huts, a sense of powerlessness and shame. I cannot tell you how uncomfortable and difficult it is to sit and look into the darkness and the pain!

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Release

Release and Letting go is a conscious inner action, a strong desire to reconnect with the Grace and the Loving of God. The deeper I moving into the Darkness, the more clarity I gain on what this darkness is about. With every bit of clarity I call upon the the Divine Presence and Release it. I say: ‘God, I release this pain and anguish and I am willing to let go of whatever caused it in the past.’

When memories start flowing from the past, I simply forgive them. Regardless of what happened, whether I was wronged or I wronged someone, I do not ponder over the event. I look at it and forgive it. I say: ‘I forgive myself for having generated this experience or I forgive myself for judging myself and others.’ Nothing else.

Then, I start listening into God’s caring whisper: ‘Love it all!’ With that, I start embracing parts of me who felt judged, unloved, uncared for, all that the darkness has covered up until now. I bring it all into the Light, offer it all up to God to be Loved. 

Divine Love

In my release, I create a vacuum, some space is freed up inside of my consciousness that is now available to be filled with Divine Love. This Love is not a fuzzy feeling but a new level of consciousness, a new way of seeing myself and my life. This Love makes me a happier person without any change in my physical environment. 

All it is an inner action, not an outer one. The Love the Divine has in store for us is immeasurable and incomparable to any human love.

40 Days from Release to Embrace

Release and Letting Go is rather appropriate as we are moving into the Lenten season starting on the 22 February, 2023. Till the 6th of April, I will walk the 40 days of Lent from Release to Embrace daily. I will share my journey in short posts daily offering something to contemplate on every day. Join me if you like! I would love to have some company!🙂 

By Ildiko Kudlik, ministerial student at Unity UK, DailyWord UK, and UUMS

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Let’s Walk this Journey Together

Join me by …

either reading the daily blogposts I create or joining the FACEBOOK GROUP where I am going to share my writings and daily contemplative questions. I will also post a short video/audio material on the daily posts. (click on the buttons below to join)

Featured Picture Source – oleg-illarionov-unsplash

40 Days of Lent

From Release to Embrace – An Introduction

What is it about? 

As I was looking for some material for contemplation for LENT this year, I decided to meditate and contemplate of some quotes from a book called ’40 Rules of Love’ by Elif Shafak. (Read more about the book below. )

Background 

At first, I thought that Shams Tabrizi wrote a book – which is very unlikely – and started to look for his ‘rulebook on Love’. Since he was a rather particular 13th century Sufi Mystic known for being the teacher of Rumi, I thought,  that he might have left some notes behind which served as a base for the book. Well, nothing like that. The book – 40 Rules of Love  – is a fictional story. It is a story of Love, on Shams and Rumi, but most importantly the book offers 40 so called ‘rules’ on how to live a Spirit-filled Life.

I have collected some information on Shams’ Life and his impact on Rumi’s Spiritual unfoldment that you can read HERE

As I was reading the book, I have fallen in love with both the story and the ‘rules.  I found them thoughtful and deep. Each one made me think. They reminded me how much we are attached to the phantasy of rom-coms that tell nothing about the Truth of Love. They do not make it real or even believable. But there is a kind of Love that is beyond the warm and fuzzy emotions and fantasies, a Love that Rumi and Shams wrote so beautifully about.  

We often spend countless hours trying to find love in another person or in the world but what we fail to see is that the Love we are so desperately searching for is right there within ourselves. It has always been there. We only need to discover it or uncover it, more like.

Personally, I think it is important to find the True meaning behind the word ‘LOVE’,  understand it and experience it as a Spiritual Quality inherently within us. 

I am going to walk this 40-day Lenten journey contemplating on the True meaning of Love, Divine Love, Spiritual Love for me by experimenting with the 40 rules and quotes from the Lent Booklet. Every day,, between the 22nd of February and the 6th of April, I will post a ‘rule’ from the book ’40 rules of Love’ and an a release idea from the book ’40 days of Letting go – Lent 2023′ by Unity.org. Then, we will contemplate on it and share about it in this  Facebook Group.

Let’s walk this journey together!

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Connection vs Separation

“When I accept my humanity I can claim my divinity.” There is a very popular saying in Unity, “I am a spiritual being having human experiences.” It is the perfect reminder that I am not ‘only human’; I am of Spirit as well. Yet, living in such a fast-paced world, many feel isolated, alone, frightened; …”

Rev Kimerie Mapletoft – Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK

As I was reading Rev Kimerie’s thoughts – see above – I felt reminded of the ‘ separation’  we generate by not being aligned with our ‘greater self’, the living-loving spirit with in us, that is of the Divine or God (chose your word of preference).

I started to wonder what it is that I can all do to feel closer to the Divine not only in myself but also in others.

 

Rev Kimerie continues …

Yet the good news is that as we begin to accept our humanity, our foibles, mistakes and errors for what they are, our experience as human beings, learning and growing in a human body, we can move beyond identifying with these errors and claim our divinity. We will be able to say with joy that I am, and you are, a beautiful, creative, inspiring being; a blessing in the world.

The invitation, in all of this, is for every single one of us to accept our differences, our human mistakes and experiences, to help us see through and beyond them to Spirit that shines brightly within, whenever we open the door to this experience. As we accept our humanity, we can claim our divinity.

Rev Kimerie Mapletoft -Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK

How true! By honestly looking at my mistakes and flaws, I become aware of them. This awareness helps me embrace and love ALL OF ME: the silly-me, the hurry-scurry part of me, the arrogant-me, the scared-me, the fat-me, … And as I do that they start dissipating, kind of being removed from obscuring my connection with the Divine. As a result, not only do I become aware of the Greater-part of Me, but I am also enabled to see the Divine in others. 

The separation that was created inside of me by looking for our differences and judging them in fear, disappears. I become free and let others to be free in themselves, too. 

Read THOUGHT OF THE WEEK blogpost on UNITY UK website here (CLICK)

Picture sources:

Photo by Josh Marshall on Unsplash

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

 

Weekly Contemplations W10

Rule 10
The quest for love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without.

This week I will be contemplating on the the POWER OF LOVE. How I have matured as a result of my quest for finding LOVE. Not the idealized posture of Love between humans but the Love that …

“… Love that overthrows empires. Love that binds two hearts together come hellfire and brimstone.” Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.                 1 Corinthians 13/1-4

LOVE that Rumi sang so beautifully about, LOVE between the Lover and the Beloved.

Weekly Contemplations W9

Rule 9
East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll visit the whole full World and beyond.

Weekly Contemplations W8

Rule 8
Patience does not mean to endure passively. It means to look at the end of a process. What does tolerance mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night, and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as not to be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Week 7

Rule 7
Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be grateful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

I really loved RULE7. It is really hard for me to remember that the way something appears is not the way it actually is. I easily despair and drift off. When my life or an aspect of my life appears to be off-course, I easily decide that God has forgotten about me and deserted me and now I am struggling and failing alone.

It takes me some time to sit and observe and REALIZE how wrong I am. What I perceive to be lonely is often just ‘disconnectedness’. I lose sight of God’s ever flowing good and loving. As a result, I feel alone and disconnected. This is when I take out my Gratitude Art Journal and draw away. I jot down everything, even those events or mishaps when I felt lost.

Weekly Contemplations W7

Rule 7
Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be grateful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

This week we will be contemplating on GRATEFULNESS. Recently, I ran a 30-Day GRATERUFLNESS ART-JOURNALING Challenge. Here are some of the drawings created below.

I suggest that you take out some paper and pens (pencil, crayons, paint, etc.) and create Gratitude Journaling Entries. Make a note of all the different things that you are grateful for. Pay special attention to that ‘you feel that you have been so far denied’ and still express your gratitude towards them.

I would love to know what you have come to realize!

Weekly Contemplations W6

Rule 6
Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Isolation is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually, it is best to find a person who will be your mirror. Remember only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the Presence of God within you.

This week we will look at how we isolate ourselves so not to feel lonely. We will also look at ourselves in the mirror of our loved-one or loved-ones.

Let me know what you you have found in your mirror.