“I Say Yes To You!”
Dear Sanctuary NYC Friends,
I have been thinking a lot about relationships these days. When I was growing up we didn’t have words like codependence. That idea came out of the recovery movement which really flourished in the 1980’s. When I was little, we just felt “smothered” or “abandoned” or “mad” or “happy”. Then we began to realize, as the concepts of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung began to filter into the general populace, that we are maybe more complex than we had previously thought. We began to look for “inferiority and superiority” complexes, and to describe our relationships with words like “boundaries” and “enmeshment”. God was in heaven, and was kind of like Santa Claus “makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice, gonna find out who’s naught or nice”, the devil was in hell, or a Halloween costume, girls wore dresses and boys wore pants and there were only “my mother’s hairdresser, Mr. Hans, who is very dramatic”, or “that lady who lives with her lady friend”. It is almost impossible to imagine how much we have all ‘come out’ in half a century!!
The New Thought Movement of the early 20th Century was also a part of this evolutionary dawning of new consciousness. The transcendentalists, like Emerson and Thoreau, combined their insights with students of wisdom teachings and practical healing techniques like “Mesmerism” (which we now call hypnosis), along with Hindu concepts and depth psychology and the bible, and we began to see a different kind of possibility for ourselves. We began to have a language to describe God as Universal Principle, and we learned that by working with our thoughts and our subconscious mind, we could influence our world and our sense of well being. We realized that heaven and hell are states we pretty much choose by how we habitually think and feel. We began to work with Spiritual Mind Treatments instead of prayers, and to learn the art of affirmative prayer.
The motor of the LGBTQ liberation movement emerged at Stonewall, and women began to make sculpture out of pantyhose instead of wearing them. James Brown rocked the world and a generation by exclaiming “I’m Black and I’m proud!!” and the children of the quietly conformist 50’s and early 60’s welcomed the newer generations of “tranny queens, and dykes on bikes” and “Cultural creatives” to the full mix of our formerly black and white TV world. How beautiful this creativity and diversity is!!
But in the midst of all of this wonderful opening of every flower in the bouquet of humankind, I wonder if we have become so “identity” oriented, that we have lost the art of relationship a little. While I LOVE knowing that God is within, and is a Principle, a Law if you will, like gravity, I also love the idea of “talking ” to god or God, somewhere in heaven that isn’t only inside of me and having a feeling that whatever that God is, it loves me. I KNOW that it IS love. But sometimes I just want to know that it loves ME too!! Don’t you?
I think that maybe we can bring some of our new sophistication and understanding of human psychology and of relationships to our conversation about God. Codependence is basically defined as being more focused on controlling others than on doing our own inner work. It is said that “when a codependent person dies, someone else’s life flashes before their eyes” (joke). But the opposite extreme of that is total self pre-occupation, “It’s all about me”, and that isn’t a relationship..that is narcissism. Whoops, there’s another one of those post Freudian words!
The word INTER dependent says it better I think. It means that we are an integral part of the conversation, that both God and we need the dialogue, and that when we open ourselves to relationship, we are BOTH changed. And, as with my grandmother’s unwavering love of me and mine for her, I KNOW that this is how the thing really works. We do live in a friendly Universe, we ARE CO-Creators, through relationship, with G-d, rather than Codependent controllers of G-d. And God/Source loves us and knows our innermost longings. Those longings were CREATED by this Divine Intelligence..and it is in the return to relationship with that creative spark which breathes us into being that we become the full expression of our true selves. And this is then, I think, how we can love one another better too.
There is one more “C” word, Commitment- which I think completes the equation. We need one another. Relationships with minimal commitment are shallow, transitory, and do not challenge or support us at the deepest level. It is critical to know to what, to whom, and how we are committed in order to truly mature. The thing I think many of us grapple with is that when we choose FOR something, we necessarily choose to eliminate something else. Commitment is a first step to discovering the inner door to the secret chamber of the Most High…but once you decide! the Universe rushes in to support your “Yes”.
I can tell you today that I KNOW that there is a magnificent Principle at work which wants only my good. And I can also tell you that I have a relationship with that power…one which I hope for each of you. The way to get there is like any relationship…meditation, prayer, twirling, singing, mindfulness…chopping wood, carrying water…practice, practice, practice. (Excuse me sir, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, practice, practice”)
Hope to see you soon at Sanctuary NYC on Sundays at 2 pm!!!!!!! or this Sunday evening at the Duplex for the Rev. Yolanda Gospel Hour, or walking with us in Pride on June 24th, or at the Course in Miracles class on Wednesday, or at Nancy Napier’s new class on ‘Your Optimal Future Self’ or at my new class on “The Yogi’s Way- Autobiography of a Yogi, and Your Awakening”.
Stay tuned! Stay connected! Or as my friend Cari says “Love somebody like you’ve never been hurt!
Love to you…for real…