Saturday, May 19, 2012

"According to Him, I'm beautiful..."

"According to Him
I'm beautiful,
Incredible,
He can't get me out of his head.

According to him
I'm funny,
irresistible,
everything He ever wanted..."


This is a re-posting of a piece from 2010 that I can never be reminded of often enough. The mirror is a useful tool in making sure that you haven't left the house with the baby's pablum on the front of your shirt, or blusher on only one side of your face, but it isn't a measuring stick. It has no mind and can't tell you one truth about you. Only Mind can communicate the Truth of your identity...your beauty, symmetry, loveliness, and worth. I hope you have a beautiful day....as the beautiful you He sees you to be...

"According to Him..."

I know, I know..."According to Him" is one pretty poppy pop song by Orianthi (just don't underestimate her guitar riffs, there's nothing bubble gum about them...it's pure Stevie Vaughn-style rock!).  But that said, its "hook" perfectly illustrates this experience from two decades ago. 

Bottom-line, sometimes the messages we tell ourselves in the mirror are worse than our worst critics could ever come up with...but I am getting ahead of myself.

I was sitting in church one morning, feeling rather uninspired.  The words sounded like "just words," and nothing was penetrating the fog of self-dismissal that had been gathering since dawn. 

It wasn't a new feeling.  It was an "old, old story," and it was one that had lulled me into self-sympathy for years.  And even though it was a story I really
didn't love telling, or listening to...I couldn't kick it out.  It seemed like an endless loop of mental static playing in my head. "You are not worthy, you are small.  Anyone who thinks you are worth knowing...much less loving...is being fooled by your thin veneer of self-confidence.  If they really knew you, they would see that you weren't worth their time or attention."

Over and over it played.   

The Scriptural readings from the desk were beautiful words.  And I tried with all my heart to focus on
their message, rather than the one that was trying to force its way into the door of my thinking, and hijack my fragile hold on peace. 

I sat in one of the creaky, red boucle'-upholstered auditorium seats in our church sanctuary, straining to hear.  The Bible passages that opened the service were from Psalms:

"What is man, that thou art mindful of Him?"

Sigh...I knew this one so well.  Too well. 

I tried to let it sink in, but it was like pouring water on the parched, wind-hardened, and impenetrable surface of a sun-baked pasture on the Colorado high plains.  It rolls right off, or evaporates under the searing heat of a mile-high summer day, before it can even reach below the dust on the surface.

I sat back into my squeaky seat, trying to disappear, even more deeply, into the background of my own life.  Perhaps I could blend into the fibers of the upholstery and never have to propel this sad, sorry "me" through space
ever again. 

I know, it sounds like the ego was having a personal-drama field day...and it was.  But I didn't have a clue in those days about how the ego could, and would, take on the voice of false-humility, and coo its message of "You are unworthy..." just as easily as it would arrogantly assert, "You are the best..." if it thought it could get me to believe that I had a self-created (or destroyed) identity separate from God. 

It was a fickle whore who was more than willing to say whatever it thought would get me to believe that I was special, an originator, a creator, and thus undermine my sense of God as the All-in-all, the one and only all-powerful, loving Father-Mother...the only Cause and Creator in, and of, the universe.

But that was when God pushed Her way through the ego's over-confident space of "gotcha" and walked onto the platform in the form of an angel in a pink and aqua floral chiffon prom dress.  Really!

Our church hired students from the local university to sing an inspirational solo during each Sunday service.  Sometimes these students were familiar with the Bible and brought spiritual insight to their interpretation of a piece.  And sometimes, it seemed as if they were singing a Scriptural text with as much understanding as they would bring to an Italian opera, phonetically sounding out each syllable perfectly, but without contextual meaning. 

As she opened her black folder and the introductory notes poured from the organ, I was slipping further and further into the ego's grip. 

That was, until she sang,

     "What is man?  That Thou art Mind,  full of him."

Her freedom from a more "traditional" spacing and emphasis gave the passage a whole new meaning. And the text for this particular solo, was just a repeat of that line from Psalms...over and over again.  Rising, and rising...in pitch and volume...to a crescendo-ed message of divine promise and unfailing spiritual self-reference, then gently closing with an almost whispered, benediction of "thou art Mine."

I will never forget the feeling of awakening that poured through me like water penetrating dry ground.  I could almost feel the roots of new spiritual insights digging deeper into my being searching for the source of that refreshment.  I sensed the brittle outer covering of dormant seeds splitting and peeling away from the plump green endosperm of spiritual promise.

The next Bible verse read from the desk was like soft rain on the savanna after a drought.  Not a torrential downpour that would have eroded all the seeds awakened by those first drops of divine Love's "living waters," but a gentle wash of nourishing waters to slake the thirst of the soul.  It was a spoken repeat of the text from the solo:

"What is man, that thou art mindful of Him."

But after the solo, I knew I would never hear it, ever again, as anything but:

"What is man?  That Thou art Mind, full of him."

God wasn't something I filled my mind with, I was what God, as Mind, was filled with.  I was the beautiful images, the songs, the poetry, the stories and promises He was cherishing, nurturing, reflecting upon...all the time.  That was me!  That was my identity!  My thinking had nothing to do with creating "me." Only God's thinking mattered.  And the better I knew, and understood, His identity, His character, His name and nature, the more I would know the kind of thoughts He entertained...me.

I sat in that auditorium seat for a long time after the service was over.  I can still feel the texture of that red-boucle' upholstery fabric under my fingertips as I softly stroked cloth, while quietly pondering the emerging seeds of true identity that were springing into birth within me. 

I let the cool Colorado air...passing through the branches of the large pine trees just beyond the open windows next to me...waft across the fertile space of my heart and blow all the old, brittle, chrysalis-like seed coverings away so that something fresh and vital could grow into something...something that I didn't need to know the exact form or function of at the moment.  An aspen tree, a tomato plant, a peony bush, a blade of grass whose identity is maintained by Mind...or even a bean sprout, here today, in my sandwich tomorrow.  It didn't matter.  Whatever it was, it was good, it was of God, it was perfect...it was me.  And that was a good thing. 

Mary Baker Eddy states in
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

"Mind maintains all identities,
from a blade of grass, to a star,
as distinct and eternal."

"According to Him.."  That's enough self-knowledge for me.  Whatever He thinks...that's what I am!!

with Love,

Kate

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