Spiritual Containers for Creative Possibility

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

Yesterday I had the opportunity of being with a good friend of mine and his new wife. They just got married. They had called and asked me to perform the ceremony several weeks ago and I said sure, when? They said today! Unfortunately I couldn’t rearrange my schedule, so they got married without me and scheduled the celebration and honoring service for last night. I had the opportunity to acknowledge what a blessing it is to have a friend be happy—to have a friend who found somebody he knew was going to make him a better person for the rest of his life. I asked him to tell me a bit about why he married her so I could speak of that in the ceremony. He said there were things that he needed to bring into his world that became easier because she was with him. She made possible his full emergence. After I was done speaking, a number of the people in the room were teary-eyed, and Mark said, “You weren’t supposed to do that!” And I said, “You can’t talk about how love works, and the joy that comes, without having people’s hearts be moved.”

People are hungry to know something of the magic of what it is to be alive and to be in love and to be creating. All I did was say what was true. And it was true for all the people in that room. I was touching the hunger and the longing. I could see the fulfillment in people just because they could offer their love to these two people who were starting on this journey. So I’m pondering this morning that hunger, that place where human beings are longing to know the revelation of themselves.

We have a program here at Sunrise called Full Self Emergence. Full Self Emergence—this is what every human being is longing for, no matter what words they put on it. Happiness, companionship, creativity, peace… These are elements of the fullness of a self.

I received an e-mail from my friend Andrew Horwood, who lives in Australia. He shared with me some of the words that he used in a service. He called his transcript “To Love the Lord Thy God with All.” He spoke of his new understanding of that experience. “Loving the Lord thy God with all” meant finally accepting himself fully, and loving himself with every ounce of his being. He was concerned in the past that there would be no room for the people in his life. He realized that “loving God with all” resulted in loving the people in his world more fully. He spoke of the end of separation. “Loving the Lord thy God with all” results in communion.

There is an experience that comes with that declaration and there is something to do. In the movie The Secret, they speak a lot about intention. That is the part most people remember. I’ve discovered that the intention is part one. Part two is the work required to do what’s necessary to bring manifestation.

Most people don’t like that part. They think that’s the hard part. They think “If I just say every day, ‘O Universe, bring me a Mercedes Benz,’” they’ve done it. I think another thing to say is, “O Universe, give me a job so I can make some money and buy a Mercedes Benz.” This relates to the experience of full self emergence. People say, “I want to be spiritual; I want to be fully revealed.” And then when it comes to the work that’s necessary for that revelation—like an interaction with a person that gets difficult—they declare, “Well, that’s not what I had in mind!” There’s work involved. There are agreements that need to be kept; there are containers that need to be held. It is wonderful to find people who want to do that with you. You can assist each other in manifesting your intentions.

I feel this is where most of the power is. The power is right in your hands. By holding true to something and being accountable to what you have said you want to have in your life, you hold the power to change your world and fully emerge. Who is in your life that you actually can count on to hold an agreement with you? Find somebody who will hold something for a day; then find somebody who will hold something for a week, and a month; and then find somebody who says they’ll hold it forever. And then you’ve got something. Then ask yourself how many people can count on you.

If we are interested in “loving the Lord thy God with all” we should ask how much can the Lord count on me? If you have to love yourself to love God, how accountable can you be to love yourself all the time as a representation of what’s holy and full and blessed? I haven’t had a lot of experience of the Lord not being available. But I can tell you, there have been times when I certainly haven’t been, where I’ve been distracted and been about other things. It’s pretty easy to say I will be accountable and in love and give everything to the Lord, and then when it comes to the work part and the people who have to do that with you, there is pressure. It’s the “this is not what I had in mind” part of the picture! It’s also where creativity is and where the fun is. It’s where the Holy Spirit gets released and we get to do things and create things and see the myriad possibilities.

I wrote down a progression of words in my own thinking this morning. “If you love the Lord thy God with all, then you have communion with God. And if you have communion with God, you have communion with the people who also want to love the Lord thy God with all. And then the world of possibility has just opened wide up.”

We often don’t like to talk about the things that are required to hold containers, because nobody wants anybody telling them what to do. People think they hate it, but really we love it if we actually see it through. We love the absoluteness of knowing what keeps things safe, including us. I love the absoluteness of knowing I can stay, I can hold, I can be accountable. I can do that. I’m designed to do it, I love to do it, and I create best when I do it.

When I had a desire to create something new in my life, I knew there was work I could do to get there. I knew that I wasn’t left bereft of ideas or possibilities. There were people I could count on; there were things that I had been taught that always, always worked, so that I could be fully present for the purposes for which I came, which is all I ever wanted in my life.

People think they want a Mercedes Benz, but they are actually longing for the feeling they think they’ll have when they get it. They long for the feeling they think they’ll have when they fall in love. And, as you know, when you fall in love it is wonderful, but then there’s the life that follows that—the staying in love, the being in love, the holding a container for the safety of your love and the people involved.

I think the greatest thing we could share with someone is what it’s like to be loved and held safe. We get to do that in the containers we create and protect. Beauty thrives in that kind of container. We thrive in that kind of container. In that kind of container we have the opportunity for our full self to emerge and to assist others in doing the same. What a thrilling adventure!

Jane Anetrini
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