Monday, August 20, 2012

Detours, Part III

Thank you all for the supportive comments on my last post - it once again shows me that when we share our challenges, we find out that we are so NOT ALONE.

I believe that there are "no coincidences" - that coincidences are anonymous divine intervention. Not everyone believes that, I know. But here's an example that happened for me during the time in Nova Scotia when I was struggling to figure things out.

The Gerzon book (Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety - see previous post) says that we drive ourselves nuts with anxious thoughts because we are worried that things won't turn out the way we want them to and because we want to know the future and we can't. Since we can't, our minds work overtime, conjuring up the worst possible scenarios! Gerzon says that what we need to do is stay present, to keep our thoughts in the present and to LET GO of trying to know the future. To turn it over to a higher power and trust that it will work out to our benefit.

When we are in our familiar setting and the routines of our life, we are under the illusion that we know what the future looks like. But it really is an illusion, because our lives can take unexpected turns on any day. Just ask my friend who drove up the mountain to take her Monday morning hike, and had a car accident that has changed her life.

When we are in unfamiliar territory, groping to find our way forward, we become all too aware that our illusory comfort zone about the future has totally disappeared. Not knowing what the future looks like was a huge issue for me during those first weeks in Nova Scotia. I tried to focus on "letting go," which we all know isn't as easy as just saying, "Oh, good, I've LET GO. Glad that's done!" It takes some time. It takes some mental reprogramming. As I worked on letting go, I'd catch myself mentally singing the Beatles song, Let it Be. Every once in a while I'd tap into my thoughts, and discover that this song was playing in my head behind the scenes.

Down the road from our campground was a small Anglican church. I grew up Episcopalian, and Anglican is pretty close to that. In times of trouble, I always find comfort in churches - any kind of church really. Comfort in the quiet surroundings and in the familiar rituals. So, I decided to go to a Sunday service at the little Anglican church.

Well, it was just the funkiest little church you ever met. The first week I went, the message of the service was "fun." They did a funny little skit and the sermon was about allowing more fun into our lives - about how God really does want us to have fun and not take everything so seriously. The timing of that message was perfect for me.

The second week I went, it was the celebration of Mary Magdalene. And wouldn't you know it? Among the songs listed on the program for the service that morning was the Beatles' Let it Be. Two guitarists joined the organist and we all sang Let it Be in church. I've never sung Let it Be in church before. Ever. Coincidence?

Not everyone believes there is a higher power of some kind out there helping us, but I do. There have been too many times when I've gotten just the help I need at just the time I needed it, and in just the way I needed it delivered, to believe that's it's "only coincidence." So I share that for what it's worth. Any time we feel alone and are struggling, help is out there. Ask for divine help, whatever your definition of "divine" is, and most likely it will show up very soon, usually delivered by other human beings.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, Melissa, I so believe in a higher power of some kind and I am turning to it more and more these days. Thank you so much for your willingness to share this spiritual part of your adventure with us. You are most definitely not alone.
    Karen

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  2. I most definitely believe that there's no such thing as coincidence. There's a purpose to all things, no matter how small. It's up to us to either find out what that is, or have faith that things will work out and move on.

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  3. Definitely no such thing as coincidence - so many little things have happened to me that can't be explained, and also to other people I know. There is a reason you had that song in your head, you were meant to go to that church! I can't explain it but it's a wonderful feeling knowing the universe, or god, or whatever it is, is always there to help :)

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    1. It's very comforting, isn't it?

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  4. Dear Melissa, I've been away from blogging for about ten days and so today I read all three of your "Detour" postings. What a journey--inward and outward--you have been on. And what a learning experience this has all been. For many years I've been endeavoring to live in the present and in Presence. Seldom can I let go enough to do that for more than a few minutes. But I try to be gracious to myself and remember "that a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step." Like you, I believe that mystery surrounds us. They mystery of seeming coincidence and of the gift other humans give us with their actions and words and the mystery of our own growth in the human spirit.

    Thank you for sharing your journey--both the literal and the figurative one--with us. Your thoughts have prompted mine so that I renew my belief that presence and present is all in all. Peace.

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    1. Dee, thank you so much, as always for your thoughtful words. It is hard to explain that I have had both a wonderful time and a very hard time on this journey. Staying present really is key to contentment and peace, I think, but it is VERY hard to do. Certain circumstances can trigger fear so quickly and it's easy to fall back into lifelong patterns. I'm doing better with it than I ever have, but it's a constant vigil.

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  5. I am in the minority here. I do not believe in a higher power. Which, if anything, makes it even more important for me to try (so very hard) to live in the moment and to tread lightly on this beautiful planet.
    Thank you so much for your detours series. I have loved each and every one of them.

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    1. I actually think that the higher power is IN us ... not hovering out there somewhere. I love the different perspectives. As you say, no matter what we believe, it's important to be right here, right now. xo

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