Withholding Our Gifts

I had an interesting interaction yesterday with an organization whose materials I have recommended to my students, specifically as supplemental resources (for purchase) in the What’s Your Magic course that is part of my Magdalene Priestess Training.  Apparently, they are no longer willing to share these resources with those outside their institutional membership – even when they stand to benefit financially for in sharing these resources.  When I inquired further and explained why I appreciate their resources, why I recommend them to my students, why my student’s would not be candidates for membership in their organization and why I would like to continue to share these resources (which would be a financial benefit to their organization), their response was “Best wishes to you.”

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement – not because my students would suffer for lack of these resources (which they won’t), but because the institution in question is unwilling to see past their self-imposed separation to the larger world that is in need of their gifts. This institution has been divinely gifted with a wisdom-filled and comprehensive tool for supporting people in discerning their gifts and how they might be called to share these gifts in the world.  These are tools that could benefit all of humanity, not just the few that belong to their membership.  Instead of being willing and open to find a way to share these gifts with all who might need them, they are hoarding them for themselves.  This makes me sad and I believe this was not what the Divine had intended when imparting these gifts on the creative leaders of this institution.

Buy it NOW!

After dwelling for a moment in righteous anger over the divine injustice of this situation, I was brought back to Authentic Freedom. The above perfectly describes several of the compulsions described in both my book and my course Authentic Freedom, but for our purposes here I will focus on just one:

GREED – withholding the gifts that God has given us, specifically the gifts that we have been given, not only for our own benefit or fulfillment, but gifts we’ve been given that we are meant to share for the sake of the betterment of the world.

Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine love, compassion, providence, wisdom, knowledge, mercy, and the gifts we have been given are meant to be shared. As Jesus said:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  MT 5

The gifts we have been given are not meant to be withheld. Instead, they are meant to be generously shared with all who might be in need of these gifts and who might benefit from them.  Sometimes (often) those who might benefit from our gifts and those who are in need of our gifts do not fit into tight categories of membership.  If we are to truly be vessels of the Divine as we are so-called, we have to expand our view beyond what we currently know or beyond how we currently define ourselves.  We need to be open to stepping outside of our self-imposed boxes to seeing and hearing those who are in need of our gifts, and open to finding ways to make them available to those who need them.

When we generously share the gifts we’ve been given with others, these gifts come back to us a hundred-fold. This is the law of Divine nature and the results of sharing our gifts.

I am saddened by the institution who wants to keep themselves small in the withholding of their gifts, and I am grateful for the resources I have been given in the development of the Authentic Freedom protocol for supporting others in knowing the expansive freedom that God intended.

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Enlightenment Means Being Fully Human

Our Western culture has done a great disservice to the idea of enlightenment. As is often the case in Western culture, that which is meant to invite us deeper into the human experience has become a vehicle for escape.

Enlightenment is not about transcending the human experience so that one might always know peace and happiness, rejecting anything that might disturb that peace – especially that which might be emerging from within us. Instead, enlightenment is about being, and learning to be, fully human.

Enlightened people experience anger. Enlightened people grieve in the face of loss.  Enlightened people become resentful, frustrated, impatient, worried, anxious and afraid.  The difference is the way in which these emotions and experiences are expressed.  Those who are moving along the path of enlightenment have learned to recognize these feelings when they arise, honor them, and give themselves time and space for processing (either alone or with another).  Those who are not on this journey either reject or suppress these feelings within themselves, or they project these feelings onto another, in this, making themselves or the other the enemy.  Those on the path of enlightenment respond with loving compassion and presence.  Those, not on the path, react – typically in some negative or violent way.

Let’s use Jesus as an example: Jesus became angry when temple practices were financially benefitting the rich while taking from the poor.  Jesus became frustrated and impatient when Peter wanted to make him a king.  Jesus wept when he learned his friend Lazarus had died.  Jesus grieved when betrayed and abandoned by his closest friends. Jesus was terrified in the face of certain death.  He bargained with God, hoping to be spared his fate. He suffered pain. Jesus doubted and felt abandoned by God as he hung on the cross.

If Jesus felt all these things, then why should we expect anything different from ourselves? Enlightenment is not about escaping the human condition.  It is learning how to be fully human – to be fully present with it all and allowing it move through us.  As Jesus came to show us, it is in being fully human that we are truly free.

(A little aside…..be very suspicious of anyone who tells you they are enlightened. Humility is the true mark of enlightenment, and an enlightened person would never claim this for themselves for they know that enlightenment is not something to be attained.)