Today I Cried a Sea of Tears in Church

Warm.  Salty.  Any guesses to what I am referring to?  If you guessed tears, you WIN!!! If you guessed anything else, you win, too, because it is SUNDAY, and EVERYBODY wins on Sunday!!!  Especially on a Sunday where the high is gonna be seventy three degrees!  But I digress.  Tears streamed down my face all through this morning’s service.  I decided to give the East Bay Church of Religious Science a try… I have been hearing about it through this person or that person, literally for years… But mostly I chose it today because they had an 8am service.  Actually meditation was from 7:45 to 8:15, and then service went till 9:45.  Wow, you mean I was in there for two hours?!?!?  It sure didn’t feel like it.  That’s the sign of a good church, eh?  Yeah, here are the top three ways to know you have found a stellar church~

#1~ you lose track of time

#2~ you can’t stop crying the whole time

#3~ you are invited to take full responsibility for your experience of life, while simultaneously                    letting go and letting God.

Yesterday I was once again caught in the cesspool of dissatisfaction with Mykael.  Jesus… I know, it seems endless, doesn’t it?  My heart was in despair and I was exhausted and missing E* some more.  Missing a partner who was my playmate.  Focusing on the lack, the seeming desert that sprawls inside me where freedom and play once stood, long, long ago.  Mykael told me that he was gonna shop at whole foods yesterday evening.  I told him I had been planning to do the same.  He asked if WE could go together!!!  I said yes.  Then later, after we’d been doing our separate stuff all day long, he told me that he was not really so into going to the store… But he would because he had to.  I am having such a hard time letting go of the joy and communion I used to feel about shopping when E* and I did it together.  He’d push me in the shopping cart, notice and celebrate the people around us and contribute to the rigorous decision making process of what to buy. (Praise the Lord!)

Hurt and anger.  They always seem to land in me at the same time… Word on the street is that hurt usually precedes anger… but inside me, it all happens so fast.  Suddenly they are both THERE, like inseparable lovers… So speaking from the voice of hurt and anger, I told him to forget it, I’d go to the store ALONE, because I’d rather be by myself than with a guy who doesn’t want to be there.  Which is true.  But I was furious and devastated that he did not gleefully embrace shopping with me.  With E*, shopping was always so ALIVE, engaging, playful, adventurous, co-creative.  So I walked and cried myself to Whole Foods alone as twilight struck, doing everything I could to transcend all the pain inside me and see the beauty in the plethora of lush gardens, the deepening into night sky, the waxing gibbous moon, who became more ostentatiously luminous with each exhale into twilight…  Or maybe more accurate, I was doing everything I could to hold on to the pain and resist the seduction of moonbeams and flowers and cool, spring air, replenishing my life with every single breath.

“The only mess I keep in my life is the mess I’m not willing to let go of.”  This is one of the many blazing arrows that Reverend Elouise shot at me this morning.  I cried even harder when I heard this.  Blame.  Victim.  Horrible traps to get stuck in.  And all it would take is to simply let go… but… My ego fights endlessly to convince me that it’s harder than this… in order to keep me at its glutinous mercy.  I invited Mykael to come to church and the farmer’s market with me this morning.  It was an early morning for him, so I expected him to decline… which then gave this grievance of mine more righteous evidence that he is not the right partner.  I left the house feeling so alone and so justified in my disappointment and sadness.  And I sat all the way through meditation, brooding, festering, refusing God’s peace and then realizing this and almost imperceptibly flogging myself for this.  God.  I just want to know God.  It breaks my heart, the arduous journey… when the only one in my way is ME.

I was disappointed to see that the church was in such a run down building, right on Telegraph Avenue.  I dig a place of worship that is aesthetically pleasing.  Remember, I break for ambiance.  Gimme a little stained glass.  Gimme fresh, stunning bouquets of flowers and artfully carved, though false, idols.  This sanctuary was the poster child of unpretentious.  But I soon realized that the potency of the spirit easily made up for the lack of aesthetic beauty.  The choir sang a song about how Something woke me up this morning… And I could feel many of the choir and congregation truly believing and celebrating this.  Resonance.  I felt such a sweet, comforting resonance as I sat, soaking up everything that I had begged God to show me as I bitterly drove to church.  Lemme tell you~ GOD DELIVERED.  This East Bay Church of Religious Science is not a fluffy service.  It is meat and bones and gristle of the Soul!

The fiery reverend kicked it off with the cracking dynamite declaration that if we only deal with what feels good, our consciousness don’t expand!!!  I thought, well phew, I am in the PERFECT place then, because I am sure not feeling good.  From there, Reverend Elouise kept firing the messages of personal responsibility as though she were shooting a Holy machine gun!  And I stood and opened myself to be obliterated by the holy onslaught of bullets.  I needed it, I asked for it, I received it and I cried a warm, salty sea.  After the music, they asked if there were any new people, and would we please stand up so we could be seen and welcomed.  Face wet with tears, I stood, feeling the stinging tickle of self consciousness.  All eyes burned through me.  I looked around to see if I was the ONLY one standing.  There were two others in the back.(and to my surprise the sanctuary was quite full for such an early service!)  I let my eyes touch the eyes of those who beheld me.  Listen up, because THIS IS THE SACREDEST PART~ A good few pairs of eyes were hurling welcoming, generous light right at me.  Man, I swear!  I felt so blessed and touched to receive their loving gazes!  I saw God.

If you come away with anything after reading this, I hope you come away remembering the profound potency of a simple loving, accepting, welcoming gaze.  You don’t need to be Religious or Spiritual to offer or receive this utterly human, sheerly Divine Gift.  Ya dig?

Some other off the hook reminders from the service that I take to heart are:

~What you put your attention on increases

~Attention is what nurtures seeds of intention

~I’m always at choice~ I can open my heart, or keep it shut. (eeeek… talk about responsibility)

~Relationships are for my BENEFIT, and the good ones should annoy the hell out of me… Meaning that when someone pushes my buttons it is so I can GROW, forgive and heal.

~NOTHING HAPPENS IN MY LIFE THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR ME

I walked out humbled and nourished.

That last sentence deserves to be its own paragraph… Let go.  That is the invitation.  They reminded me that the past is over and done with and holding on to it is only good for suffering and remaining closed to the blessings of THIS HOLY MOMEMT.  How do I let go of all my memories of E*, and all that I grieve no longer having in my daily experience of being alive?  Bless it all.  Bless my feelings of loss.  Bless the grace that it was to share all of that.  Bless my fixations and resistance to holding on… Bless E*.  Bless Mykael.  Bless me.  Bless you.  Bless this day!  I’m dumping all these bricks out of my hot air balloon and look out,  because I’m taking holy flight!!!

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