“What I do know is that each of us is an eternal being. And that our natural expression is love. Any other expression we find ourselves in is just a warp of our true identity.” — Margaret Wheatley IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Tomorrow is my birthday. All throughout my childhood, the February 25th square on our kitchen calendar was bathed in an ethereal glow. I regarded this as a fact, a fact of my life, a fact of every child’s life. It was something only the birthday child could see, and only on our birthday. It was God’s way of letting us know we were special, we were loved.
I was seriously shocked to discover others did not share my birth date vista. Most folks don’t believe they could be — or should be — celebrated by God on their birthday. it’s OK, right, good, to gather with family and friends, share a meal and open a few gifts, but not OK to envision ourselves as special in the eyes of God — even for one day. It’s easier to believe in a God of retribution than a God of unconditional love. It’s easier to believe that even if we do the work, the spiritual intimacy our hearts craves will evade us because God couldn’t possibly love us.
Believing ourselves worthy of Divine Love involves trusting what we cannot see — in ourselves and in the Universe. It’s not just hellfire and brimstone that keeps us bound. Our human relationships — and the way we view those relationships — also shape our conception and our relationship with God. It takes courage to sift through our stories, especially the stories of our wounding and mistakes. It takes courage to risk opening our hearts. But when we do this difficult work, we begin to see with new eyes, to think in bigger, grander ways about our difficult experiences and relationships. It is then we can begin to envision a God who can light up any or all of our days.
My friend Suze lights a candle for each of her friends every year on their birthday. She thinks of them, prays for them, sends them light and love for as long as their candle burns. Imagine if we did this for each other, just this one little thing! Maybe more of us would see our birth dates glow on the calendars in our kitchen. Maybe more of us would know how deeply we are loved by God.