Tapasya is walking through fire – it is God checking the winds and creating a planned burn to allow for new life. Everything worthwhile has been forged in the fire of life. You have worked for everything you have. Your blood, sweat and tears are mingled into this life you are building; the roof over your head, the place you occupy in the world and the community you serve. Life is nothing compared to what you expected it to be. How could it? We have such limited capacity to imagine what could be.
We don’t need to live up to OUR fullest (limited human) potential, we need to live up to GOD’S (limitless Divine) potential, but only if we allow ourselves to be forged in life’s fire and molded by His hand. Then life as we know it expands beyond our wildest dreams.
But the crisis is necessary. There is no success without the crisis. Every person has to go through their version of a dark night of the soul to emerge victorious on the other side. This shedding of the human layers is important to this process of being reborn.
When you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, ask yourself why this is happening FOR you rather than TO you.
Better yet, be like the twin boy in the story who got a room full of manure for his birthday and exclaimed joyously, “with so much manure, there’s got to be a horse somewhere,” rather than the twin who said “what’s all this shit? and where are all the toys I wanted?”
Don’t be the child who wonders why this is happening TO you.
Accept the fire as a gift from God.
If you were to reflect on your life – after every period of darkness, did light not follow more brightly?
Did life not improve?
Can you accept that the hurt, the trauma, the horrible experiences ARE why you are where you are today; standing tall and strong and better for it?
Can you release the hurt?
And if you are still in the fire right now, then trust in God, surrender to this completely, stop fighting and allow the experiences of this time to wash over you. Accept this as the price to pay to emerge victoriously into the light.
God never gives you more than you can handle.
You may not come out unscathed, but you will come out changed for life and richer for it.
My own story of a controlled burn is not unique. Overwhelming sense of guilt, disappointment and self-pity manifest a debilitating physical illness that no doctor could diagnose or treat. For 6 weeks I lay in bed, and all I could do was pray. I finally stopped fighting and surrendered completely.
“God, I quit.” I said. “I suck at this life. I don’t know how to do it better and how I am doing it is not working. It’s too hard. I give up. You take over.”
I stopped fighting. I stopped pushing and I started asking for His help. He held me in his arms, cocooned me in their warmth and strength and from this place He helped me rebuild my life.
There was no more relegating my God-time to the end of the busy day as another ‘to do list item.’ It became and still is my highest priority. When I made loving Him a priority, the rest of my life started to prioritize organically. People and situations unsuited to this life fell away without me having to lift a finger. Circumstances changed, jobs changed, and I found myself surrounded by people who lifted me up and who taught me to love myself. The people I loved suddenly became my true priority instead of all the ego-based priorities I had created for myself.
In loving and caring for myself, I truly started to love Him. I began to KNOW Him. And I began to show up as a better wife, mother and daughter.
You can’t love God if you don’t love yourself and you can’t love yourself if you don’t love God. After all you are His perfect creation.
I stopped looking outside myself for validation and answers and learned to trust my God voice; my Inner Guidance System. I now make decisions after reflection and inner inquiry instead of seeking advice from outside.
My self-worth skyrocketed, after all am I not wonderfully and fearfully made and loved by a kind God?
I developed strong boundaries in my outside world which created precious time and space for my inner world. I learned that I could tap into Universal Consciousness and access any answer I sought if only I created the space to receive it. The meaning of my life became clear. I am living this life as a spiritual being having human experiences, instead of what I had believed for the first 40 years of my life, that I was a human being trying to have spiritual experiences. In every human life form we take, we forget our God ways. We forget that we are Divine.
This life is for me to remember my divinity. To live in a way that pays homage to this perfect creation. This world, this planet, this people.
In my small corner of the world, if I can make a difference in the lives of people I touch, not through what I believe, but by simply being a conduit for God’s World and Word, then that is a life well lived.