Not long ago, I was having trouble with a sore on my lower lip that just didn't want to heal. My dermatologist said it was precancerous and prescribed a topical chemotherapy cream. She said things would look a bit ugly for awhile, but after a few weeks the cream would kill the cancer cells while leaving the healthy tissue unharmed.
That's exactly how it turned out. My lip is perfectly healed. It's kind of fun to run my tongue over it and feel the smooth, unblemished surface where once all kinds of minor distress was located.
Healing a sacred opportunity
Perhaps it's not the greatest analogy in the world. But I believe something like this -- a healing into wholeness and grace -- is the sacred opportunity that confronts us all in these days.
Yes, there's a lot of fear and distress and pain in the world, and in our own life, perhaps. And no one can possibly be happy about that. But if what is left standing, so to speak, at the end of the day is our own divine character -- the truth of who we are, already whole, already free -- why, that's a great thing, isn't it?
If you and I find ourselves emerging into a greater experience of genuine happiness and freedom and peace that nothing can shake -- a connection with our own victorious nature that nothing can shake -- that’s a miracle, isn’t it?
A conversation with Deepak Chopra
Here's an excerpt from the new book by Andrew Harvey that I mentioned last week, The Hope: a Guide to Sacred Activism, that speaks of this process in a much more elegant way than my little story about the sore on my lip. Harvey is recounting a conversation he had recently with Deepak Chopra.
"Deepak spoke to me at length of how the process of transformation in and through the 'dark night’ that we are now enduring could be compared to the different stages of a caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly.
"He described how the caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and dissolves inside the cocoon into a featureless gray grunge. This gray grunge Deepak compared to the chaos and confusion of the Dark Night, a chaos and confusion that is also pregnant with new possibilities. Pregnant in fact, as he said, with the birth of the butterfly, "the new divine human" which is a being as genetically and physically different from the caterpillar "as a bicycle is from a Lear jet."
A hard day in Denver
I hope you had a good day yesterday. A really good day. I have to say that as far as JoAnn and I were concerned, it was a hard day. I don't know why it was so hard -- but it was. I won't bore you with all the details. But we were in Denver, trying to find a home and a neighborhood that we liked. By the time we finally drove home, we were both utterly drained. It did not turn out to be a happy and victorious day that we had hoped it might be.
But that was yesterday. Today is today. And as I sit in my little office this morning finishing up this post -- because today is Thursday, and Thursday is when I publish a new post -- I do not feel drained.
Lifted up by stillness
I feel the stillness of my own being lifting me up and giving me strength.
I realize that my own victorious nature is quite untouched by the disappointments that I experienced yesterday.
Isn't this something quite marvelous? The truth that is back of you and the truth back of me doesn't change.
We change -- so as let more of our true selves shine through. And of course our circumstances change. Boy, do they ever change.
But in the midst of life's challenges and disappointments there is one thing upon which you and I can depend with absolute confidence -- the timeless, changeless truth at the core of all being.
The law of change
It takes a lot of change, of course -- never ending change --to let go of old habits and allow our own true character to be expressed ever more fully through us.
I know that I have changed since I left the spiritual community in British Columbia that had been my home for more than 35 years -- and found myself eventually in this wild, wonderful country called America, with its unique energy and opportunities.
Such a key message for this time.
But equally powerful, as far as I'm concerned, is Steven’s generous attitude and spirit to everyone he comes in contact with.
I want to express my deep thanks for the time he took to examine my blog and write me a very helpful and specific letter filled with great recommendations about how it could be improved and made more useful. He hardly knew me: but was willing to stretch out a helping hand.
It seems to me that this willingness to be a friend to others in this difficult time -- help them through the changes they need to make, if that is appropriate -- is a mark of true character and a very encouraging commentary on our race.
God’s promise to you
I know one thing. I promise that if you will stay true to your own victorious nature in these difficult and troubling days you will experience the magical transformation and happiness of which Deepak Chopra and other modern prophets speak so eloquently.
Lastly, my deep thanks to those who've written to express their interest in the notion of a "network of grace" envisioned in my post last week.
There is a “network of grace” -- more than one, surely -- just waiting for each of us. It is our divine birthright -- and as we play our part it will unfold naturally like a flower unfurling its petals in the spring.
I would love to hear from you if you have any further thoughts or comments.
Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wazari/2796637510/