"Oh I've got to get a new view
the only way I know to.
Oh I've got to keep my eyes wide open
keep my eyes wide open..."
- Sara Groves
The story was feeling stale in my heart. I felt like I was on a hamster treadmill, living in my own version of the movie "Groundhog Day." In this film, the main character wakes up in a small town, only to repeat the same day over, and over again, until he starts to take notice, reason differently, and change his responses to the people, circumstances, conversations, and events around him.
In my case, it seemed as if I'd been down the same street, greeting the same people, and getting mud-splattered...hundreds of times in the past. But, like Bill Murray's character, I'd always responded through the lens of my own historic, socio-economic, religious, and cultural paradigms.
What I thought was right, was right...right? Based on that premise, I had every right to defend, react, rebuke what I was seeing or experiencing however I deemed appropriate, because I was right...right? And because another's choices, decisions, take on things, didn't line up with my inspiration, wisdom, experience, he/she was wrong...right? How was that working for me? It wasn't...at all.
And because of this false sense of judgment about things, I'd ceased to experience this particular story with "Eyes Wide Open."
By that I mean, that I had forgotten, as Mary Baker Eddy says in Miscellaneous Writings 1883 - 1896, that:
"We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, - determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God."
But unfortunately, I had lost sight of this wisdom. I was seeing things "my way" only. I had forgotten, that my "take" on something, was only the version of reality that I had decided...based on my own human history, culture, exposure to a narrow field of inspirational texts...was unconditionally right or wrong. And this stale version of my story was getting old. It had falsely informed, and colored, the tack I chose to take in navigating the situation, and it wasn't going well...at all, Something had to change.
Thank goodness for bracing wake up calls that open our eyes. Through a series of experiences, I had begun to learn that if my "certainties" are based on human reasoning, and my human reasoning is based in a limited sense of God...that He is anything less than All-in-all, then I am limiting the depth and breadth of my own expanding understanding of Truth. I am saying that my current thinking, is the only definitive version of being. And as self-indulgent and self-satisfying as this might be at the time, it only limits my openness to divine mystery and awakening.
Eddy further states, elsewhere in The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany that:
"Christian Scientists are practically non-resistants..."
I believe...and I repeat here, I believe...that by this, she doesn't mean that we are "almost" non-resistant, but that we practice -- apply in practical, consistent, scientific ways -- non-resistence.
What is there to resist, when God is All-in-all. What is there to battle, outside of our own false beliefs about anything. These false beliefs and perceptions...the ones we carry around, and project on our view of ourselves, our neighbors, and the world, are always, and only ever, an offense against our sense of Deity, our understanding of the nature and character of God. Therefore, if I truly trust that God's wisdom is All, in all, I know that I can't possibly have the only version of good, the only accurate, enlightened take on spiritual being. Eddy counsels:
"Love [God] is impartial and universal
in its adaptation and bestowals."
For me, this means that there is, no language, culture, teaching, socio-economic community, where His voice is not heard...or understood...and practiced. The only thing that ever needs changing...or adjusting...is my view of things. In other words, I must keep my eyes wide open to the presence and power of a God that is always there -- right in front of me, is always good....and is always in all. The ego-self would have me believe that I am an isolated, solitary being with a uniquely enlightened point of view. Silly ego.
I am more than willing to destroy this ridiculous ego-self...to dismantle its argument...in pursuit of this glorious Truth of Love's all-inclusive spiritual being. And, oh what a glorious truth it is...
Eddy assures us that:
"Nothing short of our own errors should offend us...it is a question in my mind, whether there is enough of a flatterer, a fool, or a liar, to offend a whole-souled woman. "
I can't think of a better thing to be, than a whole-souled woman.
Kate Robertson, CS