Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Oh, I've been travelin' down this road too long..."

"...That part of me left yesterday
the heart of me is strong today
No regrets im blessed to say
the old me dead and gone away.

Ohhh, I've been travelin' on this road too long
Just trying to find my way back home
The old me is dead and gone, dead and gone..."

If you are familiar with this song and have issues with certain words used in the rap portion of this song, I apologize in advance.  But this song, quite literally, insinuated itself on the landscape of my heart today and begged to have its sobering, and yet encouraging message of reformation and redemption pondered more deeply. 

I am including the link to Justin Timerlake and T.I.'s Youtube video of
"Dead and Gone" for your thoughtful consideration.   It's provocative backstory is the context by which some of its questionable language begins to make sense.  It sets a scene...one in which the miracle of hope rises from cracked asphalt like a Phoenix leaving behind the ashes of hatred and discouragement. 

Walking by an urban convenience store/gas station this morning, waiting in line behind a young man...ipod blaring loudly enough for me to hear the music from his earbuds, and then again overhearing it drifting from a young couple's radio in the park...I couldn't help but smile each time the chorus resurfaced through the briskly delivered rap narrative.

I didn't need to know the rest of the song...this line, "The old me is dead and gone, dead and gone..." brought quick tears to my eyes.  Is it really possible to find that kind of freedom from the past?  Or more importantly, is it possible to walk away from a past view of ourselves, and the roles we think we have been handed in life?  You know the ones, those graphic character descriptions in the front of a tattered, dog-eared old "ego" script we've been carrying around with us for way too long, handing it out to everyone we meet and asking them to read lines with us.  Can we really drop the script and confidently tell that slimy "director" we aren't interested in being cast in that ridiculous role..."thanks, but no thanks, for that script to nowhere!"

There was a time when I may have only had the courage to whisper "yes" to others...patients, friends, loved ones. But today I say "yes" resoundingly, I laugh "yes", I sing "yes" at the top of my lungs while I dance my "yes" in the streets, with tears of joy streaming down my cheeks and a smile as wide as the Mississippi spread across my face.

It is never too late to find real freedom from a false view of ourselves, and the way that this false "ego" acts out its hideous, gargoyle-like part.  This false ego has never assimilated itself into the fabric of our real being.  It has never become one with the man, woman, or child "us" God knows, loves, preserves, and defends as our one and only true "I am," the consciousness of His presence in, and as, our only Life...our only Reality.  

There is a way.  There is a way of being in this world that is free of all the old stories we tell ourselves about victimization, broken dreams, self-promotion, and crippled potential.  We are NOT those stories...no matter how long we have been repeating them to ourselves as our truth...or our parents' truth or some badge of courage based on overcoming a "real" enemy...those perpetrators called mistakes, chance, misfortunate, or heredity.

There is a path towards lasting freedom, waymarks along the way, as well as wise and loving guides to help you stay the couse.  More on this in the future.  But for now, I think I'm going to go have a cup of tea, a piece of dark chocolate, and sit in the sunshine celebrating "new views of divine goodness and love"*...it's a pretty great day to be alive to my child self...no ego, no past, no ambition...just happy to be sharing the planet with each of you...

"...I turn my head to the east
I dont see nobody by my side
I turn my head to the west
still nobody in sight
So I turn my head to the north,
swallow that pill that they call pride
The old me is dead and gone,
the new me will be alright

Ohhh, I've been travelin' on this road to long
Just trying to find my way back home
The old me is dead and gone, dead and gone..."

I am so grateful...for "all things new"...

Kate Robertson, CS

*Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love." - Mary Baker Eddy

[Photo credit:  Meghan Laningham]


  1. Anonymous6:58 AM

    desperately needed to hear this today. a heart full of thanks. c

  2. Anonymous4:07 PM

    It’s hard to read your recent posts and not feel a bit jealous. I too want to feel like God is with me, that I'm loving the journey, that old selves are dead and gone. But right now that reality seems so distant. No matter how hard I try, I sometimes seem so far away from the me I want to be. However, I am appreciating your post’s reminder that each moment I can choose to reject whatever script is being thrown my way. I'm NOT going to give up. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Dear Anon...

    I do understand how you feel...

    do you remember that piece I wrote a while back about a time in my life (about 22 years ago) when I saw a young family - a man, his wife and their child - and initially old feeling of jealousy (why can't I have that kind of life..etc) flooded in and tried to take me down that road of sadness, envy and regret, then self-condemnation for the jealousy and for what a spiritual failure I was, and that maybe I didn't deserve all that goodness, and finally being so sick of those feelings that I plopped myself down on the steps of the Mother Church and refused to leave until God took those feelings away once and for all...and then, out of the blue, hearing His voice in my heart saying "if you are aware of how good that is, then it is a part of your consciousness and if it is a part of your consciousness it is already part of you...it is yours...appreciate it wherever you see it...appreciate that you appreciate it, and it will continue to appreciate...grow in value...in your experience...your consciousness of it will construct a better body of experience...in your own life.

    dear friend, never allow that false ego to convince you that because you feel something unsettling or uncomfortable... when you see something beautiful or good...that it is jealousy (because of a perceived "absence" of that very thing in your life)...it is not...that feeling is active spiritual vitality in seeds of hope and birth awakening in you...stirring up the soil as they sprout new tender roots...and push deeper and deeper into your being while sending strong shoots of life towards the sun.

    but over and over again we misinterpret that feeling and destroy the roots...because we don't understand those unsettling feelings. We either hate ourselves and dig around in the soil to destroy those feelings we don't understand, or we hate the feeling so much that we just tamp everything down into such a state of smoothness on the surface that the hardpacked soil lacks oxygen and the seed can neither breathe, find loose ground in which to send out its tender roots, orthe head room needed for bursting through the surface to reach for the sun...in order to produce the necessary chlorophyl for continued growth and giving birth to new strong stems, leaves and branches....and eventually a flowering, fruit- bearing tree. Let those unsettling feelings bring you great peace today...they are the presence of life-filled hope giving birth to itself.

    I love you,

  4. Anonymous3:09 PM

    I NEVER would have even dared to imagine when I commented yesterday that today I too would be able to confidently say, "the old me is dead and gone." Through pondering your post and comments I realized that for months I had tamped down great sadness and then when it exploded into an angry outburst I went into "hate and dig" mode. Yesterday with the help of your prayers and words something clicked for me. Today I indeed feel like I've walked off a stage or movie set leaving the character I'd been acting out behind,ready to be the happy, peaceful me God created. I am so grateful to you and God. Thank you!

  5. Dear Anon...I am so touched by your follow-up note...what a lovely sense of peace and joy it resonates...love you...Kate

  6. Anonymous5:26 PM

    I am a first timer to your beautiful and inspiring blog. Another fellow Christian Scientist told me aboutyour website and blog when we had lunch today. Banishing the false ego and letting go the past ("dead and gone") is exactly what we were discussing today. Your blog brought so much clarity and, of course, Reality. Thank you!! I will be a repeat user of your blog, for sure!

  7. Dear Nina...I am honored to have you read this blog and find it helpful...please extend my warmest wishes to your friend...I have so enjoyed meeting so many readers from around the world through this blog and my website...we are truly part of a global community of spiritual thinkers...from so many different backgrounds, cultures, and faith traditions..."God is All-in-all"...what an extraordinary gift this phrase was from a woman who truly loved humanity...with Love to you and to your friend...Kate

  8. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Hi Kate...

    Hello from Westport Ct and Sue Silverstein-Solomon who you so lovingly prayed for last summer. I am the friend Nina referred to above and our lunch brought me on a path back to your blog that was so inspiring and uplifting when I first reached out to you...lunch was about banishing the false ego, mine, and the journey I have taken over the past months...and continue. Going back over your past few blogs provided a gift, that understanding that I need to cherish the journey and time with God rather than be so focused on figuring out and resolving the challenges in career I am facing. With gratitude and joy for God's directing me back to you and your wonderful inspired thoughts...I am grateful...Sue

  9. hi Sue...so good to hear from you...yes, of course i remember you fondly. I'm heartened to know that these stories have touched your heart...they certainly are dear to mine - but isn't any experience that shows us our Father-Mother's presence in our lives...always with Love, Kate

  10. Anonymous12:36 PM

    hi I'm from saudi Arabia and I'd like to thank you very much