An Insight

I was touched the other day by an insight into the soul. I glanced across the supermarket car park and saw a woman with, I presumed, her family. They were loading shopping into the boot of their car. For a moment, she looked up and I saw that her face was disfigured. She must have had a cleft lip and an operation to correct it, when surgeons were perhaps less skilful then they are today. She was probably around forty years old.

For a moment I felt pity for this woman having to cope with disfigurement every day of her life: looks, pointed fingers, revulsion and embarrassment. How difficult to come to terms with people’s reactions! Inside she would be the same as you and me, but outside she would have to overcome the impact of her appearance, and force others to see the real person within and not the damaged exterior.

But then, I remembered that our souls choose our Earthly experiences. For whatever reason, this lady’s soul chose to experience disfigurement. I thought what a beautiful soul she must have to choose this life. What experiences must she have overcome? How powerful her soul must be to choose to find love in literally the face of disfigurement and disadvantage?

Each person, including myself in that moment, would be learning a lesson. A glimpse could produce an immediate effect as it did in me. I accept I felt revulsion and horror and the thought of living her life. That says a lot more about me that her.

I am thankful to say that I saw the beauty of her soul encased in her physical body. I wondered at the life she has led and the difficulties she has overcome. I presumed she must long ago have come to terms with her disfigurement, to find acceptance of herself, to become a whole person resilient against the looks and cruel thoughts of strangers.

Her soul shone brightly to me that morning. It touched my heart and taught me lessons on self-love. What a powerful soul! What an amazing gift!

Would I choose disfigurement for myself in another life? The thought scares me. I don’t feel brave enough. I am over-awed by this amazing woman and her beautiful soul and grateful for these insights.

Advertisement

Finding the Perfection Within

When we walk into a Spiritualist Church for the first time, it is difficult to know what to expect. We are doubtful but curious and hopefully entering with an open mind.

If we stay, we gradually become aware that there is something more than our physical existence. Mediums have knowledge that could not be gained by normal means. We find that mediums have a strong vocation and that most church mediums are unpaid or claim minimal expenses. They serve at churches out of love and a commitment to service. Many mediums are quiet and shy individuals, who have found themselves reluctantly on the platform.

As we learn about the Seven Principles, we become aware that everything is made of energy. We are made of that energy as much as everything else is made of energy: animals, insects, plants and trees, the soil and rocks, the air we breathe, our solar system and everything within our universe. All is energy. We begin to understand that energy is what we call God or Spirit. It is Spirit in motion. It can neither be created nor destroyed. It is as it is.

As we are made of energy, and all energy is God: we are God in a microcosm. As God is perfect, so we are perfect. There is no distinction, no separation.

So why do we see so much imperfection in our world? When we chose our physical lives, we accepted that our awareness of who we are, a microcosm of God, would be taken away from us. If we had retained our true awareness, we could not have fully experienced our physical lives, with all its range of emotions. We would not be able to experience love and joy without experiencing the opposites of fear and loathing. Ignorance was gift that we will only understand when we complete our physical journey.

We can see imperfection as we lack the awareness that we are perfection. We have free will and therefore we can act and experience anything we choose. We can make bad choices. We can hurt others and we can hurt ourselves. That is the nature of freedom. We also chose before starting this physical journey to experience different aspects of life. We may have chosen hardships in order to learn about love, compassion, tolerance and patience. Few of us have knowledge of the lessons we came to learn. Often we learn those lessons the hard way.

Spiritualism provides an understanding of what is happening in our lives and that can help us to deal with the challenges we face. None of us are here by chance. Although we have free will, there is guidance available if we ask for it. Guidance can come through the philosophy of Spiritualism, from messages from mediums or direct guidance appearing as intuition and signs in our day to day lives.

With the awareness through Spiritualism that we are indeed perfection, we can start to seek it in our lives. It can be a bad habit to focus on our own and the imperfections of others. It is very easy to pick faults, to spot errors, to emphasize failures. Our challenge is to seek our beauty and perfection, to find love and compassion within for both ourselves and others.

No-one needs to change, to iron out imperfections, to become better, to know more, to be more than they are. Each of us is perfection now. We just need to recognise it and live it out. Your hearts are beautiful. You have love and compassion in your hearts. Find it and use it and never let it go.

You have free will. Choose to see the beauty in others. Choose to see their qualities. Choose to see the beauty of the world around. Be a part of that beauty. The more you seek out beauty and harmony in your world, the more beautiful it will become.

If you see and give love and compassion, it will come back to you. It may not return in ways you will expect. You cannot transform others, but you can transform yourself. As you become a role model for love and compassion, that will have a ripple effect on those around you.

As you take each step in your life, know that you are a perfect soul, a microcosm of God. Your heart contains love and beauty. The more you bring out those qualities within yourself, the closer you will become to knowing your true self.

Bringing Spiritualism into your life is the first step.

Trust and Faith

Trust and faith: two small and important words. They should be easy to achieve but they can be so difficult.

Barriers to trust and faith are in our minds. There are no barriers at all; they are imaginary.

So why is it so difficult to have faith and trust?

The first step in overcoming these barriers is to just give faith and trust a go. Decide on one problem and entrust it to Spirit. Let go of worries and concerns and just allow things to unfold. Watch and observe. What is there to lose?

One step at a time, break down those barriers. Let go and let love.

The Written Word

You should not force writing. It just has to emerge from somewhere deep inside.

I learnt to write at university. It was often a hard slog: an essay to write within a deadline. Each paragraph was painfully drawn from me like letting blood. I would motivate myself with rewards. One paragraph might lead to a walk or something to eat or something pleasurable to do. I would break the essay into small chunks and force out each word, one by one.

Then at work there was more writing. The frivolity and laziness of student life could not be played out in a busy office. There was no option but to write; quickly but carefully. No rewards but the ticking of the clock counting down the minutes until I could make a reasonable exit.

I find it hard to believe that in those early years of work, there were no computers, just pen and paper. I’ve always loved a clean sheet of paper and even blank forms. I always wanted to write neatly to create art rather than the written word. I don’t think I ever achieved a completed page without an error, crossings out dirtying the page.

It was funny to be paid to write. I enjoy writing. It does come easily to me. I’ve written all sorts: computer manuals, letters of complaint, letters of apology. I’ve written works of fantasy, otherwise known as bid documents, exaggerating the company’s abilities and our plans to deliver exceptional services. The words can stream out of my fingertips through the keyboard onto the screen and pristine paper. With computers there are no crossings out and the layout can give the business document the beauty of a poem.

Now I write for pleasure, pure unadulterated pleasure. I don’t need to force the words. I can wait for inspiration to arise and then let the words flow once more. No more dreary subject matters, no more unnecessary hyperbole, no more half truths, no more pretence. Just words beautiful, wonderful words working together to produce my thoughts on paper for my pleasure.

Written words are different to spoken ones. Spoken words are instantly heard by others. Even when alone a spoken word has the potential to reach a hidden ear. Written words are secrets, magic spells as yet unleashed. They belong to me and me alone. I have the power to delete, to correct, to save for later. Only I decide what to release to the wider world and who my audience should be.

Words are powerful. They are open to interpretation. You will never know exactly what is the thought behind someone’s words. What is the intention? Words are a puzzle that you must attempt to solve. They creep inside your head and create visions without any intervention on your part. They can touch your heart and soul with their delicate reach. They can create a tear or a laugh or a scowl. When you read any words you take the risk and the opportunity of how they might affect you.

Words are gentle and loving or crisp and harsh. Words can melt your heart or ignite your anger. A world without words would be a dark and dreary place.

Words are a blessing. Use them wisely.

Strange Dream

Last night I had a strange dream. It was unpleasant and graphic. They say we dream in black and white, but I dream in technicolour.

There were two parts to my dream; the first part not as unpleasant as the second, more uncomfortable than anything.

In the first part of my dream I was at my Mum’s house, although of course it looked nothing like her real house. It was surrounded by a partly overgrown garden. The house was locked up and empty, which is true as my Mum is in a care home. There was a big house and garden next door. The neighbours were wealthy people who were holding an event and wanted us to open up my Mum’s house for bed and breakfast. We had three rooms we could make available. I didn’t want to do this, but was worried about upsetting the neighbours. It felt like hard work just thinking of doing it and I wanted to say no. I knew the lady at the house would be angry.

In the second part, I was walking by a type of skate park. There was a new craze of adults using the park, possibly on skateboards. They didn’t wear helmets and there were a lot of accidents – fatal ones. As I walked by there were three adults on the ground having fallen. One was a pregnant woman, who had fallen and hit her head. There was a pool of brains and yellow goo on the ground next to her head. It was graphic like the horrible programmes we see these days on TV, which revel in blood and gore. The woman was clearly dead. There was nothing I could do. I was asking myself why they were so foolish as I walked by on the pathway.

Disturbed and disturbing thoughts.

I guess the first part is about staying strong and resisting being pressurised into doing something I don’t want to do. I’m not sure what that is..yet.

The second part is perhaps about accepting that there are some people I cannot help.

Any other interpretations are welcomed.

Discovery

I would like to discover a world that sits alongside our own, filled with dragons and unicorns and fairies. Perhaps there is one just outside of my glance, waiting for me to open my mind to see it and all its wonders.

Why do I find myself stuck in reality when a whole illusory world awaits me on the other side?
I can feel it willing me on to open up my heart and mind to everything greater than this reality.

What stops me? Fear? A fear of falling into another world, where beauty reigns.
What is there to fear? Why don’t I jump overboard? I know I am a strong swimmer. Why not swim to some far off forbidden shore and discover what my soul yearns for?

Why let my physical body restrict me? Why not travel outside this confined body to that world of magic?

I dream of a wonderland where all is love and peaceful. Nature blooms unrestricted by Man. All is as it should be awaiting me to make that leap of faith.

Re-reading My Blogs

Sometimes I read my old blogs and wonder if I really wrote them. Was that me who said those words? Where did the words come from?

I find that there is always an annoying spelling or grammatical mistake lurking somewhere within the blog. It has sat there patiently waiting for me to read it again with fresh eyes; a reviewer rather than writer’s eyes. I feel embarrassed by the error and quickly correct it hoping that it was overlooked, just as I overlooked it, but I fear it leapt out and betrayed me to the reader. It’s a lesson in humility and undermines my perfectionism. “Let it go” I think, still feeling irritated by my error.

The errors at least confirm that it was me who was responsible. It is so easy to find fault with ourselves. Perhaps it is better to find fault in ourselves than to be critical of others. It makes us more humble, more open and compassionate. But..I would rather others made mistakes than me. I can forgive them more than I can forgive myself. I am a cruel and uncompromising master to myself. Everyone else is entitled to make mistakes, but not me.

Why am I so hard on myself? Is it the superego, the inner parent, never satisfied? Were my parents so demanding? I don’t think they were. On reflection I think they were too caught up in their own lives to be so critical of my performance. Maybe my desire for perfection comes from my need to please my parents; an impossible task as they were preoccupied elsewhere; even perfection might not have been enough. They weren’t bad parents, just human beings struggling with their own relationships and desires, no different than anyone else. I can forgive them. I am magnanimous..but I struggle to forgive myself.

Today I will start to be kinder to myself. I say this wondering if I can do this. I have tried looking in the mirror and saying “I love you”, but both me and my reflection look uncomfortable and a bit shifty. “Try harder” that little voice says. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I don’t like to follow instructions, even from myself.

I do like my curmudgeonliness; that is one thing I do like. I don’t want to be defined. I don’t want to be what people expect. I want to surprise people. I like there to be a hidden element that no-one knows but me. I want to be the dark horse. I like to be secretive and mischievous. I like to catch people off guard. I like being known only to myself.

The irony is that it is impossible to know anyone but yourself. So who am I kidding? Is this secretiveness just a lack of self-confidence, a lack of self-awareness? I don’t know who I am myself, so I am definitely not going to bare my soul to others.

I do like my blogs. I am and can be “me” in my blogs as they are anonymous. I revel in anonymity. I can be fearless here. Maybe that’s why I wonder if I have written these blogs when I re-read them. I see a different version of me here. I actually quite like this person. She is not so bad, even if she does make the odd mistake.

Maybe I can become kinder to myself through writing and revealing my truth to me..and you, my anonymous friend.

Weston-super-Mare Spiritualists Church

Our church is full of love

It attracts the young, the old, the middle agers
The happy, the sad, the curious, the doubters

Just come along and see

We welcome the oddbods, the lonely, the isolated, the troubled

We are a place of warmth for everyone

No belief or understanding is necessary

There is no commitment to stay or to return

We welcome you now in this moment

We will listen to your troubles and worries

Most of us have been there before

We are all equal on this magical mystery tour of life

We join together in a place of acceptance

Everyone is loved

We preach love, pure unconditional love

You don’t have to accept it or give it

We teach it anyway

We wish everyone well

We seek out happiness in the moment

Although there can be tears, there is much joy and laughter too

Do not be afraid to pop in

We are ordinary people just like you

We have found each other and a place of safety

Where all is good and accepted

There are no judgements, no expectations

We find peace in the moment together

Just drop by with an open mind

Everyone is welcome

https://www.westonsupermarespiritualistchurch.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/wsmspiritualistchurch/

Certainty for Doubters

Is anything certain? The sun will always rise in the East and set in the West…until one day when it doesn’t. Maybe the poles will flip – they say that is possible – or eventually our sun will die.

Nothing lasts forever. There is no certainty, so there must always be room for something else. Doubt allows for this. It permits an alternative ending: an unexpected ending.

Without doubt, there would be certainty. But wouldn’t that be boring? Knowing without doubt. There is a thrill in the opposite being possible.

It is enjoyable being the observer, the assessor, the judge. No commitment, just here, along for the ride. No-one can pin you down; like a tumbler toy that always pops back up.

You can never be wrong, if you sit on the fence. Why leap to the other side if the view is good from here?

Why does doubt bother some people? Doubt is power and control, not letting go. Doubt is probably arrogant, superior. The irony is that the doubter will always be wrong as they are unable to pick the right answer. They want to have their cake and eat it.

Is it a bitter pill to swallow, never being right, never knowing the answer? For the doubter, doubt is something to hang onto when all else fails. It is a security blanket. They are never left out in the cold as the doubter always has a foot in each door.

Doubters can be frustrating for those “in the know”. Is the doubter bothered? Does the doubter long for knowledge? The doubter enjoys the journey, enjoys analysing and investigating. The doubter enjoys weighing up all the options and rebalancing as new information comes along.

Where is the pressure to resolve doubt? It only comes from those who lack doubt. It doesn’t come from within. If it did, the doubt would have been resolved years ago.

Just like sleeping dogs, doubters should be left to their own devices, to lie in their bed of doubt. If they want to wake up they will, but in their own good time.

The ultimate irony is that the only certainty for doubters is doubt.

Understanding Others

How can we possibly know or understand anyone else, when we often don’t know ourselves?

Each person is unique. Their history is particular to them, and their culture is subject to when and where they were born, the make-up of their family, the experiences and the personalities of their parents, siblings and anyone else involved in their upbringing. Each event, major or minor, occuring in their life, even from conception, moulds the person that stands before you.

Even if you were able to watch a movie of their life from twinkle in a parent’s eye to this very moment, you would only get an impression of who this person is: what makes them tick, their inner thoughts and feelings. Your view can only ever be objective and, to a degree, cold and clinical. What raging storms exist within them? What wounds lie dormant ready to be ignited at the slightest touch? What lies within their hearts? What desires and longings remain?

We barely know ourselves. It can be hard to understand our own motivations and triggers, let alone someone else’s. We do not have the objectivity to see the impact of our own culture, background and relationships, to understand ourselves. Our reactions are often triggered by events in the past rather than the current moment.

So we are too subjective to understand ourselves and too objective to understand others. We have been set an impossible task. We are completing a jigsaw of a million pieces without an original picture to give us a clue. These jigsaw pieces have been mixed with pieces of another million jigsaws. It is all so complicated, so difficult.

The only truth lies deep within. The only certainty is that still small voice within that knows the truth, that hasn’t been swayed and corrupted by experience. That voice has remained unchanged since birth. It is true and honest and loving. It is the real you within.

Seek the voice and find your truth. If you find that truth, you need not worry about understanding others. All will be clear. All will be in balance. All will be well.