Each of the following quotations is central to my understanding of the yearning I have for God Herself. And that is what I have, a yearning. Yes, a seeking. Yes, a deepening. But a longing and yearning, the attraction and pull to a lover by the beloved.
When I talk about “spiritual seeking,” sometimes I think I’m sanitizing my experience and the experiences of those who work with me. It’s not just seeking. It’s not only going on a journey, though that is certainly part of the process.
It’s about longing, and not even knowing what I’m longing for.
Maybe you don’t call it God, or God Herself, or the Sacred, or Spirit—all words that are comfortable for me. Maybe you don’t even call it your Deepest, Wisest Self—language I also use.
I don’t care.
I don’t care what language you use. I don’t care whether you believe in One or Many, Male-Female-Both-Neither-All. I don’t care. I only know that burn, I long, I yearn, and I think that you do too, somewhere inside you.
The Song of Songs
We begin with the passionate love of the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible: “Kiss me with the kisses of Your mouth.” – The Song of Songs, Tanakh
I don’t care what you call it. All I know is that when I am paying attention, It/Her/Them/Him are inside me radiating out like romantic love. Radiating out in a gentle, ember-burning, feather-light kindness and gentleness. And sometimes in a fierce, love, a compassion that says “No!” when there is wrongness and injustice in the world, which there is all over.
The Burning Bush
“And the Bush burned and was not consumed…surely I must turn aside and see this wonder, Moses said….and the Lord said, ‘Take off your sandals for you are standing on holy ground.’”
The Bush burned and was not consumed!! Dig that! We have the opportunity to burn with delight and glory and destiny and love and simple kindness and the very Flame of the Divine and not. be. consumed. Not burned up.
Not, as Goethe writes in “The Holy Longing” (which I do also love), “You, moth, / will be burnt to a cinder!” (The word there for “moth” is usually translated “butterfly,” but I don’t know butterflies who fly into candle flames.)
This Bush is not the moth. It is not consumed. and yet it burns so brightly that Moses must turn aside to see the wonder of it.
I know that What/Who I long for is already inside me, like the flame of the Burning Bush. “Moses, Moses…you will bring My people to freedom…” The flame in the Bush is the Angel, is the God, is the holy ground, and is Moses’ heart itself. The Flame is everything. And the Flame in the Bush, the God, the angel of the Lord, told Moses a story, gave Moses a destiny, told Moses that he would be an instrument of liberation.
Liberation. Yes. Liberation.
The Divine Is within and Beyond
“Know that your seeking and yearning will not avail you unless you know that greatest of the Mysteries: That if that which you seek you find not within yourself, you shall surely never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of all desire.” Charge of the Star Goddess, after Doreen Valiente
Just as the Burning Bush and the Lord’s Word is in my own heart, so my heart contains the glory and the whispering joy of the Goddess. And when I come again to the beginning of my life and pass through the Darkened Door, I will come into her arms with no desire, only acceptance and love.
The Sacred has been with us since the inception of the Universe. Since the Beginning. I am made of stardust. The water I am drinking has hydrogen in it that was present at what we know as The Beginning. The water I am drinking came from the atmosphere and the life-giving primal seas.
I am made of stardust!
And so are you.
The elements—whether we’re talking Air, Fire, Water Earth or the Periodic Table—are the elements of Earth and Starry Heaven, of my Great Parents and of yours.
Knowing for the First Time
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot
And yet, my life has always been marked by exploration for Spirit. When I found the words of the Goddess, I knew that some part of me had come home, had come to where I started when I used to gaze up at the giant crucifix in Our Lady of Victory church.
I arrived where I started, and so for a while I sought the deepening of my Spirit, my God-Soul, with an order of Roman Catholic religious sisters. And while I did not stay with them, they gave me many gifts for which I am grateful. I offer them a deep bow and many thoughts and prayers.
What I found there, most profoundly was that the One and Many, Male-Female-Both-Neither, are indeed the Lover. I am indeed the Beloved. And so are you, Beloved, so are you.
Who am I?
“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” Marianne Williamson
And here is a familiar quotation. Here is a quotation that we, many of us, see all over the place. But, like clichés, it is everywhere because it is powerfully true in some way. Who am I not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? I am all these things. No, for real!
I am fat and bumpy and I make mistakes, and sometimes I bump into hurting people, and sometimes I do not use my powers for good (thank you Jonathan White). And I am brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous, nonetheless. And those things come from my seeking and yearning, my longing and lovemaking with the Sacred.
A dear friend said to me recently about the occasion of their ordination, “When I thought of someone who could bring the Holy into that space, I thought of you.” I was humbled and joyful. And I knew they were right, that it is part of my work to do these things.
My Work Given for You
This is my work—to bring the Holy, the awareness of the Holy, the deepening sense of the Holy. In ones and twos. In classes and retreats. In coaching and preaching and praying. This is my work.
This is my work—to celebrate the sacredness of the seasons, to honor the ancestors and descendants, to know and help others to know the sacredness of our own bodies and minds. This is my work.
This is my work—to pray alone and in company; to offer to others what has been given to me; to find those who long to “Kiss the Limitless,” as the title of one of T. Thorn Coyle’s books says, and to help those people come closer to those kisses. This is my work.
I long for the passionate kiss of the Divine, or the brush of lips on my brow.
I long for the featherlight touch of Mystery or the blast of the flame that burns but does not consume.
This is who I am. If you need me, you can find me. If you are curious, you can ask me questions. If you yearn and you’re not even sure for what, let us talk.
I love you more than I can possibly say.