Emerging

I was feeling this way:

Dear Author

Rejection Slip

I want to be told
My writing is approved.
I have elevated you
And you
Above me
So my own assessment
Is suspect,
Thoroughly unreliable,
So my conclusion
That I have written well,
Put worthwhile thoughts
Into phrases and images
Creatively enough
To inspire reflection,
Perhaps renewal,
Is to be crumpled,
Contradicted,
Expunged,
Unless okayed,
Deemed of merit
By you
And you
And anyone else
Inhabiting the judgment seat
Of the moment,
And so I despair.

And so I prayed:

Dear parents, dear God, dear guides, dear angels, please help me to find my writing way. What is the way I can use writing to serve and also to find my wholeness, my serenity for the time in this life remaining to me? Please help me; please help me. If writing about books is the best way for me to help, what is the focus I should take? On what aspect of books should I focus? Is it on the lessons, the insights from each book. . . . Or perhaps I should combine that approach with inspired writing . . . and with poems, even if others don’t usually seem to know what to make of my poems. Please guide me. Thank you, dear ones and God. Please guide me to the answer, to the enduring way forward. . . .

I was given this answer:

We want to help you, and will help you if you are able to still your mind enough to listen, to hear. What is most important for you is your message, not the vehicle through which you express your message. Be clear about your beliefs, as we think you are. But to help you relax and move forward, write an in-depth piece setting out your gospel, as your understanding shows you now. Your understanding will continue to change and grow through ongoing conversion, continuing revelation, and so the pieces you write will reflect your spiritual evolution. But the principle holds: be thoroughly clear about what you want to say, and vehicles to express your understanding will open to you. You had things backwards, worrying about finding a grand vehicle for writing when all you need to move forward is to be immersed in your understanding. Namaste

Ocean

And so I have begun moving forward by expressing some of my central beliefs:

My Beliefs[1]

  1. Every person, without exception, has gifts to offer the world.
  2. Most individuals need encouragement from others, from us, to recognize and cultivate their gifts fully.
  3. To value others’ gifts above our own is to denigrate and obscure God’s gifts within us—leaving not only our lives but also the world itself poorer.
  4. We are each part of God and loved by God, regardless of our religious affiliation (or lack of affiliation).
  5. Every human being is equally valuable, to God and to the world. Gender, age, and infirmity do not change this fact.  (Note: Denying women the right to become priests is about power, not Christianity.)
  6. God is within all of creation.
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  7. A single consciousness links all creation, including every human mind, and that consciousness is of God.
  8. If we do not protect and love the Earth and all creation, we do not love God.
  9. Fear is a powerful producer of hurtful, harmful behavior.
  10. If we can understand how the world looks to another person, we can better understand her or his behavior.
  11. Success is wrongly defined as power and status over others.
  12. The essence of being a true Christian is being kind and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
  13. Without kindness and love, religious practices are meaningless and are a significant source of suffering, prejudice, hate, and violence.
  14. If we feel inferior to others and fear rejection and isolation, we may struggle to be kind and loving.
  15. Honoring life means respecting and protecting all of life, including the planet itself and nonhuman animals. Protecting some lives at the expense of others is not Christianity (or any other spirituality) in action.
  16. We must address the causes of suffering and harmful behavior, and not only respond to their symptoms.
  17. There is an afterlife, a heaven, and we will rejoin our loved ones there. Even as we continue in our earthly lives, we and our loved ones in heaven continue to be a part of each other’s existence.
  18. Heaven to at least some extent corresponds to our needs and desires. (“In my Father’s house are many mansions,” John 14:2.)
  19. Based on the evidence I have read, reincarnation exists, but I think that we have a choice about returning and that soul growth continues in heaven as well as during earthly life. Perhaps it is not that I, Winifred Hayek per se, will return but that a new personality that is another aspect of my soul may come to earth for a human life.  Maybe somewhat as Jesus is both an individual human and God, our own souls experience human lives but are at the same time more than those individual lives.
  20. Religious and political leaders who preach division and who seek to control through fear and feigned superiority are false prophets.
  21. Lived examples are more persuasive than words. At the same time, we must speak up against injustice and on behalf of others.
  22. Our individual thoughts and words help to create the world in which we live.
  23. Rituals are valuable if they help us to feel nearer to God and closer to all the souls across the planet and throughout time. On the other hand, if we think that our traditions and precepts serve to show our superiority to outsiders, our theology is among the causes of misunderstanding, bigotry, hatred, poverty, violence, and war.
  24. No one can know the entire truth of who and what God is and how creation came to be. Over the course of our lives, we have the responsibility to use our own ongoing seeking to accept or refute, expand, mold, and clarify the religious teachings we have encountered.
  25. Because there is that of God in each of us, we have the capacity to listen to and learn from the best within ourselves, and personal experiences can be powerful teachers.
  26. The idea that good people (i.e., those practicing our religion) will live charmed lives and that other people (those who haven’t joined our church) will suffer is false and pernicious. Jesus was not only good but was also God, and he suffered.  His mother, Mary, suffered.  Suffering is an inevitable part of being human and helps to temper and teach our souls.  As Franciscan Richard Rohr writes, “We must all carry the cross of our own reality until God transforms us through it. These are the wounded healers of the world, and healers who have fully faced their wounds are the only ones who heal anyone else.”[2]
  27. I don’t think God cares about my church membership unless it helps me to become more loving and kind and to see that all people are one within God.
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  28. Hell does not exist. Some souls in the afterlife are far from the Light of God, but these souls have the opportunity to grow closer to the Light.
  29. The arts and humanities have as much to teach the human race and are as vital as the sciences.
  30. God never gives up on us, and neither should we give up on ourselves or others.

[1] Subject to modification!

[2] Richard Rohr, “Transforming Pain,” 17 October 2018.

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