“Who’s your Girl Crush?”
It took about thirty seconds. Then I knew.
“Detective Olivia Benson, from Law and Order SVU,” I replied.
Later, I pondered my response. Do I really have a Girl Crush on Detective Olivia Benson? If so, will that complicate my life?
I don’t want to “do” Detective Olivia. I want to “be” her. She’s sassy. She’s strong. She’s kind and honorable. That’s who I want to be in the coming year.
Who Will You Be in 2016?
It’s helpful to discern what qualities of Spirit currently call you home. What wonderful attributes – God qualities we call them – seek expression by means of you? A New Year is the perfect time to re-evaluate and choose anew.
How do you discern what quality calls you? How do you choose?
It may be helpful to ask yourself as Jennifer asked me, “Who’s your Girl Crush?” But if that doesn’t work for you, there’s Rev. Dr. Gary Simmons. He offers a process called “Who Have I Come Here to Be?” We use it in some of the classes we teach at our Church.
- Write a list of 3-7 names of people you admire.
- For each name list three qualities in that person that inspire you – qualities such as joy, peace, courage, integrity, etc.
- Look for predominant qualities, themes that emerge in your mix.
- Circle one to three themes and recognize them as “treasures longing to be known.”
- Acknowledge ways in which you already express these qualities.
- Make a conscious choice to expand in your expression.
- Write an affirmation to assist in your expansion: I am here to be Peace. I am here to be Courage. I am here to be Love.
- And then… brace yourself… or rather open your heart …and get ready to be changed.
Here’s a warning.
Sometimes a quality calls us. It seems like a lovely quality. We select it in joyous anticipation of the obvious good that will pour into our lives because of our heartfelt intention to be the presence of love or joy or peace in the world.…
Then reality sets in. The COMPLETE OPPOSITE of our chosen quality lurks around every corner ready to mock our high-minded intentions.
Last year, I determined I would express All-Sufficiency. “This is the year of All-Sufficiency in our Church,” I declared from the pulpit.
The year brought many blessings – a long over-due paint job for our building, a generous congregation, inspiring Guest Speakers and Musicians, and an expanded outreach program that blessed the world. There were many demonstrations of All-Sufficiency, both small and large.
But at times, these All-Sufficiencies paled in comparison to leering Insufficiencies that swooped in like a cloud of angry buzzards. We experienced loss. Big fat stinking loss. Several key leaders and beloved congregants moved away – great opportunities for them, but hello, what about me?? Other congregants rudely died before I was ready to let go. And this just seemed wrong. And overwhelming. And it was the exact opposite of what the year was supposed to be, the year of All-Sufficiency I had planned so deliberately, with God’s alleged endorsement.
When the insufficiencies arrived, I clasped my hands and said, “God, remind me to NEVER pray for All-Sufficiency again.”
Then something shifted.
Perhaps my inner Detective Olivia Benson leapt up in courage and integrity. She kicked in the door of doubt and fear and took those perpetrators out. She drew her weapons – hope and faith. And I remembered the lessons inherent in the world of opposites.
When we affirm or pray for a certain quality, the annoying opposite of that quality often lumbers in. If we pray for All-sufficiency, insufficiency is liable to show up to be seen, heard, held, and healed.
Healing requires us to let go and stop trying to manipulate worldly conditions. It asks us to move from half-ness to wholeness.
Wholeness commands us to be in love, in a state of love, with the things we don’t love.
We cultivate the ability to see an All-Sufficiency in every insufficiency; we see an All-ness in every Ill-ness. (Eric Butterworth).
We enter into All-Sufficiency while it is still Insufficiency (Lao-tzu).
We trust God in the darkness as the darkness. We trust God in the light as the light.
Our embrace of both darkness and light connects us with the unspeakable magnificence that holds all things – not just the things that please us, but the things that stretch us into greater love.
In other words, Spirit always seeks expansion. If you pray you will be stretched beyond your comfort zone.
The good news is, you can do this.
In fact you were made for this – you were made to express and expand in the non-dual embrace of all things.
Another piece of good news: if you long for a certain quality in your life, consider that this quality longs for you. This is simply how life works. Something wonderful wants to express through you, today.
And a third piece of good news is this: if you are confused, if you don’t know how to “express and expand in the non-dual embrace of all things”, you’re not alone. No one is fully equipped. And this is perfect too because it inspires and requires us to ask for help – from God, from our Church, from a trusted friend. We ask “Help me to see the truth in this. Help me to find the gift. Help me to be the blessing I long to be. And so it is.”
I love you and support you on your journey. Happy New Year!