In the past two months, I’ve been traveling a lot, and currently I am leading events in England, Wales, Norway and Holland. In between my trips, I have returned to my home at Sunrise Ranch, a spiritual community in Loveland, Colorado, in the United States. As I think about my experience, it is like I have been shot into orbit, with return visits to my home planet. And upon my returns to Sunrise Ranch, I feel the wonder of being at home, ever more poignantly, as I see my family and friends, and my grandson, Xavier, who was just born less than a month ago.
For most of my life, I have been in the practice of attending a worship service once a week on Sunday morning. I grew up in a Unitarian Church. For years afterward, I attended services of Emissaries of Divine Light conducted by others, and for many years now I have led services myself weekly.
This past Sunday, I offered the sermon at the Anglican Church in North Reddish England, outside of Manchester. The vicar is Clive Larsen, a gifted man with the courage and creativity to re-imagine the experience of worship. He has brought surprising innovation and great vigor to the very loving group of people who gather with him. On Sunday, there was a time in the service for an exchange of greetings, and I felt such warmth and love, particularly from the elder women of the congregation. They gave me great hugs and spoke to me, “Peace be with you,” with the rich accent of the people of Manchester. And my friend, Tessa Maskell, and I had the glorious opportunity to offer a laying on of hands to people as part of the communion ceremony, as Clive served the wine and literally broke the bread he had made in his bread maker the day before.
The weekly cycle of worship on Sunday is another kind of coming home for me. That home may be housed in a church, or some other sacred site. The Dome at Sunrise Ranch is a beautiful structure, and the church in North Reddish evokes a sense of the sacred. But the sense of home I am speaking about is not dependent on those buildings. It is a coming home to what is most real in oneself and in all people.
My last service at Sunrise Ranch was on Mother’s Day. I can’t imagine the presence of real home without motherhood. And if we’re talking about spiritual home, we are talking about the presence of Mother God. I felt that reality in the Dome at Sunrise Ranch. I knew that we were together in the heart of the Mother that morning, and we could feel and sense and know that great heart as the morning progressed. We felt ourselves surrounded by Her love, which surrounds all living things.
Our life is lived in a circle. That circle is an orbit that has us experiencing creation, and all the wonder, excitement and challenge of creation. Our experience of creation as human beings includes the opportunity for our own growth, our own healing, our own learning and development. It is so essential that in that process we have the homing instinct, that we allow our own longing for home to be high in our heart, that we allow it to bring us home to the reality of who we are and home to the heart of the Great Mother.
Our whole life cycle is like that. But a week is like that too. A week can be our opportunity for a creative process in seven days. The celebration of the Sabbath is a celebration of our opportunity to come home and to keep returning home. In that experience, we are imbued with the reality of home and we have it to give into the creative process—to all people that we meet, to all the challenges that we face, to all growing things, we can bring that spirit of home. Being at home, the creative fire within us has a place where it is nourished and blessed. The reality of the Mother of all Being loves who we are at our core.
The job of a healthy human being is to truly come home, to keep coming home and, in doing so, to know these things about themselves. The truth is that you are loved. The truth is that the creative wisdom and power within you is loved. And you have that to give.
What I notice is that people look at the course of their lives—they look at what’s happened to them or they look at what they have done, and they have feelings about that, one way or another. Oftentimes, people have shame about having been treated badly by another person. That shame can come with the thought, however irrational, that they must have deserved it. Or a person may feel shame about something they themselves have done that in hindsight is not all of what it could be. Do you ever catch yourself in a moment and notice those feeling states entering into your experience?
Here is what I know about this kind of shame: it is very likely to be the cause of another negative experience, because if you are living in that reality, you will be acting out of that reality. You’ll be inflicting it upon yourself and on other people and upon your world. You may think that you feel shame because of your past experience, and that may be a factor. But shame can also be the cause of experience. It may have caused your past experience, and it could cause negative experiences in the future.
So if you are feeling shameful about yourself, let it go. It is not a virtue, and it is categorically not true of who you are. Shame creates another kind of orbit. Instead of an orbit between home and creation, shame creates an orbit between the feeling of shame and the experiences that confirm it. That orbit creates a descending cycle in your life.
The ascending cycle begins with coming home. It begins with knowing that the power and wisdom of love within you is good, and it is blessed. You are that, and you have that to give. And to give it is good for your world and for you. If you do give this gift that is within you, you may have to endure mistakes that you make; you may have to endure other people not liking you for whatever reason; you may have to endure learning how to do things better; and you may have to endure your own growing. But I can promise you that you will get back the confirmation of your own glory and the very glory of what life is. This is the path of fulfillment and life.
Shame is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But so is coming home. In coming home ourselves, we are inviting the whole world to come home. We are inviting all people to be themselves and to know that the truth of who they are is a blessing, that the Great Mother doesn’t care about your failings. She doesn’t care about your mistakes. That’s not the business She is in. She loves the truth of you.
We as humanity have the privilege and the honor of being the embodiment of that spirit, of being the embodiment of the Great Mother. As we are, the cosmic Father is present also. The cosmic Father is welcome here. The cosmic Father, which is the power of unconditional love within all people, is welcome here.
Do you think our world needs this? If you think of the people closest to you in your life, and then go on out as far as you want to go—to your community, your country and to the whole world—is there a need to know this experience? Is there evidence that people have lost their ability to come home? Can’t all the issues of humanity be traced back to this?
Some might say that this is a mushy issue, or a soft issue. I say this is the hardest issue facing humanity and that all other issues stem from this. From the largest geopolitical issue, to wars around the world, issues of the environment, issues of nations, communities and families, and personal lives near and far, it comes right down to this. And if we don’t fix this issue personally and assist other people to heal this in themselves, so that they come home and release their shame, all our other efforts may be in vain.
For many of us, we are about great projects in all kinds of ways—careers, families, organizations and creations of all sorts. In all of that, let’s do this. If you can assist the people near to you in your life to let go of their shame and find their way home, you will have done them a great favor. And in the process, you will have begun to invite the whole world home. You will have become the spirit of the Great Mother, embodied through a human being who has received Her love for themselves.