D is for Destiny

I woke up this morning wondering whether to reflect on destiny or devotion as they both resonated with my spirit for different reasons. However, the more I reflected on the word destiny, the more it drew me in and made me realize I was destined to write about destiny on the day I celebrate the 11 year anniversary of the woman I was destined to share my life with. Talking about destiny is not as easy as it seems. One of the challenges I found was in how to define it. The definitions I found in dictionaries often times used destiny interchangeably with fate, as if they are the same thing. Fate is about all that was decided before we are incarnated. Destiny is about our participation in our life and how we respond to what arises in our life. Do we make the best of our lives regardless of what situations we encounter?
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The ties that bind

Last night, students, faculty, staff, and members of the administration of SUNY Brockport gathered in in the Seymour Union Ballroom for a time of remembrance of an 18 year old, Alexandra Kogut, who was murdered by her boyfriend this past Saturday. The room quickly filled with students and the sea of students continued to flow in until there was not a seat, a spot to stand, or floor space on which to sit. What was also present last night were spiritual values, which bring communities together and are not always present in situations of domestic violence. All too often, I hear stories of how people who were in abusive situations received no support from their churches or faith communities. Recently, I heard of a woman who had been assaulted and stabbed by her abusive husband. As she recovered from her injuries, she turned to her church, expecting pastoral care and support. She was not then employed because her husband would not allow her to work.
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If God is love, then _____

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. One of the things I learned growing up in the temple was that God’s ways are not our ways and God’s understandings are not our understandings. Lately, I have been wondering if we put God in a box because it is what we have been taught to think about God. I guess what brought me to this place was the scripture from 1 John 4:8 that says God is love. ok, so what is love and how does it shape how I think about God. A while back I wrote a piece called Mastering Love. One of the things I wrote about there was that love has no obligations. As I have learned to embody love without obligations in my life, I have come to realize that what I do or do not do is out of my free will; it is because I want to do whatever I have done or said. When I have felt pressured or obligated to do something for someone, it has come from a sense of fear of what might happen or what others might think if I do not do X. In thinking about this in terms of God who is love, I have come to the understanding that God is not obligated to do anything for any of us. If God does anything for us in our lives, it is because God wants to, not because God has to. What I do in my life for God is because I want to, not because I have to.
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Staying Conscious

The other day, someone said “this spiritual evolution stuff is hard work. Sometimes I just want to go back to the way I was, it was so much easier.” I had to giggle because I totally agreed with her. It is so easy to just go through life and not think about what we say or do or why. I remember the days when I did not worry about what I did or said and didn’t think about what I really meant by that or the message I was giving off. Or the days when I was not thinking about what emotion was ruling my response? Or whether I was responding or reacting? But then I stop and think about how unhappy I was, how messed up my life appeared to be, how I felt as if I were on an emotional roller coaster. There were times I felt as if I was trapped on one of those revolving doors. No matter how much I said things were going to be different, I found myself doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results. Oh wait, isn’t that what Einstein called insanityJ. Evolving spiritually means that we cannot zone out through life. We cannot hit the snooze alarm on our lives. We have to remain awake and conscious. When we are conscious, we can listen to our intuition.
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