There is this wonderful booklet I read almost every day (sometimes I forget...) called The Daily Word. Although it's Christian-based (from the Unity Church), it is truly one of the most heart-opening publications around. I received a year's subscription as a gift from my Godmother shortly after my mom died ten years ago, and I've renewed my subscription every year since because it really helped me get through that first year after mom's death.
Every day there is an affirmation, a reading and a short biblical text based around a particular theme... and every day I never cease to be amazed at the wisdom and love it offers. It seems like, no matter how I am feeling, the words are always perfect.
Before I share with you what I read this morning, I must say I've been in a bit of a "dark night of the soul" the last few weeks - really diving into the deeper layers of self-doubt, loneliness and grief at what is happening on our planet and my part in it. For a while, I isolated myself and just "hunkered down." But last week, while some dear friends and family were visiting, I had the opportunity to open up and share what was going on for me. It was so helpful.
I mean, here I am - teaching the principles and practices of love, connection, community and support through my work with Café Gratitude and Get That You Matter, yet I was forgetting those very principles! I had forgotten how much love there is when I reach out and ask for support. …Oh, THAT!
Needless to say, I am so grateful for the opportunities to share, to be heard and to be loved unconditionally. It meant so much to just be held in the space of this deep grief and fear- to not be fixed, changed or "helped." All they did was listen and love… and commiserate. We had some wonderful conversations that brought us even closer together.
So... this morning, I opened my Daily Word and read the following: I accept God's gift of grace.
...The nature of God is love, and grace is an expression of divine love. It is the infinite support and benevolence of God given unconditionally. If I turn away from God's presence within me, it is the activity of grace that guides me home again.
A favorite Unity poem reads, "Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you. Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never waivers, because I know you, because I love you. Beloved, I am there."
After reading those words, a wave of joy and peace washed over me, and I found myself sitting there on my little porch at 5:30 in the morning feeling so grateful to experience the deep, profound connection with God that is always there. I just kept saying, "Thank you" over and over again.
Then, as soon as I opened my eyes and looked out across the barnyard (I live in a barn - it's so cool!), a beautiful doe came walking right past my field of vision. She must have been making her way down to the pond and seemed to have no idea that I was there. Tears streamed down my face as I realized yet again, how, when we pray, God listens.
I felt like this beautiful deer was sent as a sign to remind me that grace is filled with innocence (the medicine of deer). She was my reminder that, when we give up our story that we are alone and are humble enough to ask for help and give praise - to pray, that is when we are touching into the deep innocence that lives in each and every one of us, no matter what we have said or done. We are born innocent, in grace and from love.
I watched as this beautiful wild creature disappeared into the woods and felt so grateful to God for sending her to me in that very moment. I know there will be more times of forgetting in this life's journey, and am deeply grateful to know that there will always be wonderful reminders. Thank you, God, for all the ways you continue to teach me to Come Home.