Message at Unity Church in Albany (3/22/2020)
I am going to ask you to imagine something. I’d like you to imagine that ‘god’, by whatever name you are most comfortable using, wants to talk with you and imagine that you want to talk with ‘god’. And so, you both decide to have a two-way conversation about anything and everything. There is nothing you can’t discuss. Imagine being able to express all of your hopes and dreams, all of your frustrations and concerns and everything in between. Imagine you can talk anytime you desire and that everyone can do this and so it becomes normal and natural and you find that you can talk with others about your conversations and they understand. And if you want to, you can share what you’ve said and what you’ve heard.
What you’ve just imagined is the truth for me. I’ve been having conversations…dialogues with god for a long time now and I want to share one with you because it may offer you a new perspective or a way to shift and see things in a new light.
This particular conversation occurred May 28, 2019. I was feeling unsettled about a few things, one of which was that I had lost weight, but was having trouble maintaining it. I was tired of having to be so careful with what I ate and all of the restrictions and I was being very candid with Lia (one of my names for ‘god’ meaning, ‘love in action’, the spiritual ‘sister’ to me). And by ‘candid’, I mean expressing my frustrations.
The response I received from Lia was to ‘engage’ her in my process and to ask her for help.
This approach seemed ‘too simple’ to me and I said so. I asked, “are you expecting me to TRUST you, that you will answer me?”
“Yes, of course,” was her response, followed by, “interesting how difficult it is for you to trust anything ‘simple’”.
I confessed that that was true. My life experiences have taught me not to trust ‘simple’. In fact, many of them have taught me NOT to “trust’- period. My life experiences have taught me that I needed to be self-reliant and that ‘trusting’ hasn’t always worked out, so I was reluctant.
Lia offered this advice, “PRACTICE asking. Practice and watch for the benefits. I’m asking you to TEST me. Observe the RESULTS and form a TRUST in me.”
I admit that I was skeptical. Maybe you share my feelings. So, I asked about limits. Could I ask for anything I wanted or for everything I wanted?
I was assured, “Yes” and Lia reminded me, that god wants what I want OR something even better, so to go ahead and TRACK the RESULTS, allowing some time for observation, because the ‘something even better’ sometimes takes time to manifest.
I was momentarily reassured by this BUT soon wondered, was this ‘too perfect’ a system? I either got what I wanted and asked for OR I was going to get something better at some point in the future. I asked, “could this possibly be true?” I am always encouraged to be honest and so I expressed my doubts but in not too kind a tone of voice.
Did Lia become angry with me in return? NO, she was as loving as always and she told me that I cannot ‘hurt her feelings’ no matter what I say or how I say it and encouraged me to be true to my feelings and to honor them and be truthful. She told me that this was essential in order to have honest communication.
I was…I am extremely grateful for this.
Lia reiterated that I could ask for anything, so I asked for help with my eating plan. And, Lia did help me and that gave me the incentive and desire to ask for more things. I started a ‘list’. I asked for both small and large things, easy and difficult things and began using a small notebook to keep track of the results.
I admit to wondering whether all of my requests would be answered and there was some skepticism in me BUT there was also a belief deep inside of me and I really wanted to see how this would work out.
One important ‘ask’ happened early in this process when Maureen and I went to San Francisco and Hawaii for vacation. I brought along a book written by Michael Hyatt titled ‘Platform’. It’s about how to get your message out into the world. The word ‘platform’ simply means, your target audience, those who might want to know more about what you have to say. The book is 250 pages long and cram-packed with information and action steps. I’d spent over 11 hours of flying time digesting the whole book, highlighting all of the important parts and taking about 40 pages of notes, most of which would serve as my ‘action plan’. Well, the plane we were on from SF to Hawaii was huge and instead of the conventional ONE seatback pocket, it had TWO. And, YES, you may have guessed it, I left the book and my notes neatly concealed in the seat pocket I did NOT check when we deplaned. Later, we arrived at our hotel, about 30 minutes from the airport and I started unpacking. I put away all of my stuff and NO BOOK and NO NOTEBOOK! I checked again- NOTHING! And then it hit me, I’d left them on the plane and no doubt they’d either been thrown away or flown away. I was so frustrated that I actually stamped my foot, like a 4-year-old having a temper tantrum.
Creates quite the picture doesn’t it?
Once my tantrum was over, I considered my options, one of which was (DUH), asking Lia for help in getting them back. I remembered Lia encouraging me to TEST her, so I did and it became ITEM #5 on my list.
We were going back to the airport in a couple of days to pick-up a friend of ours who was staying with us for the weekend, so I decided to trust that they would still be there when we picked him up. The day finally arrived, we got to the airport and I went to the ticket counter to ask if my items had been found. The gate attendant called over another agent who took me to their Lost and Found department and opened the door for me. She walked me over to a really large container and told me to ‘take a look’. Sitting right there on top was my stuff.
The sign on the container said, ‘Lost and Found” which seemed to hold at least two meanings for me. It was not just my ‘stuff’ that was ‘lost & found’. That applied to me as well, for prior to my relationship with Lia (and all of the other names I have for ‘god’) I was ‘lost’, but that living inside my relationship with her, I was ‘found’.
Currently, my TEST list contains 106 answered requests. I keep adding to the list all of the time and there are 7 (seven) items still being ‘TESTED’. My ‘asks’ span quite a spectrum. Here’s a small sampling: lots of them relate to my physical health issues. During many of them I have learned to release my ‘resistance’ and then discovered that I was often able to breathe my way with and through the pain until it receded.
Other requests have raised issues in me so that I could learn from my anger, fear and impatience finding ways to shift my feelings into compassion, hope, balance and love.
Still others have provided me opportunities to create beautiful relationships and overcome biases. (PUT ON NYG HAT-TELL CONGREGATION) As a lifelong New York Giants football fan, I even came to love and adore a family of Dallas Cowboy fans while on that same Hawaiian vacation.
I’ve also received insights and revelations that have markedly changed my life and given me permission to speak ‘my truth’, like I’m doing right now.
I’ve found this to be an extremely rewarding process and I’ve discovered many other things for myself, three of which feel really important to me and I’d like to share them with you.
First, as I mentioned before, it’s so helpful for me to remember Lia’s statement to me, that ‘she wants what I want OR something even better’. It’s also helpful for me to know that I am not doing any of this by myself and that Lia’s fondest desire is to do everything WITH me, not FOR me and to know we have a beautiful relationship where we are working together for OUR greatest good. My take away from all of this is that when we at Unity talk about the universe guiding and supporting us in all ways- it’s just another way of saying that we are loved and that we can rely on being cared for.
I try to keep this in mind, but sometimes concerns do pop up. One concern for me is, what if I ask for something and it doesn’t happen?
So, I asked Lia about this. Her response was, ‘that part of me is worried that she (Lia) will fail me and won’t deliver on her promise…because we, as humans, fail each other, so I worry that she will do the same. I tell her that the part of the statement, “OR something even better” sometimes feels like a ‘disclaimer’ of sorts, a way of her always being ‘right’ because she can say that when I didn’t get what I asked for, that it is coming ‘later’. And some of the things I’ve asked for are the relief of my pain, discomfort and suffering. And, of course, I want to feel better ‘immediately’. She points out to me that when I have only ONE acceptable result in mind, that it leaves no room for my ‘GREATER GOOD’ to arrive and that part of this process is ‘having faith’ that she loves me and always wants the best for me. I’ve come to realize that I have to be open and accepting and that while I view life from a very limited perspective, Lia sees and knows everything, including what will serve me best. So, I try to keep this in mind.
Second, I recognize that it is essential for me to live inside the process of conceiving, believing and taking action, so that when I ask for anything, that I do so with an expectation that I will receive what I’ve requested. I’ve asked Lia, the creative force in the universe, to provide me with the object of my request and she’s promised to give that to me OR that which will serve me better. I find that my ‘expectation of fulfillment’ adds power to my belief.
Once I asked Lia, “would it be helpful for me to visualize the outcome I am requesting?” Lia responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” She told me this is how you live a life of intention and it’s how you unleash all of your innate creativity and how you breathe life into your dreams, thereby making them real. Lia is alive in the process, she is the energy that sparks everything and the source of transition from asking to receiving. She works through our passions and desires, helping them to take shape. This process is enhanced each time we live with the expectation that our requests will be received and when we carry the feelings and ideas of them in our hearts.
And third, I’ve discovered what was previously a missing ingredient in the process for me and that is, to express my gratitude IN ADVANCE. Now, as soon as I ask for anything, I offer my thanks IN ADVANCE for the receipt of my request. I’m convinced that this is the key and that it completes a sacred circle of belief. I believe what is said in Luke 11:9-10, where my brother Yeshiwa (Jesus) is speaking to a host of listeners stating, FIRST, “I say to you also, ASK and it shall be given to you, SEEK and you shall find, KNOCK and it shall be opened to you.” And then he said, “For everyone who asks, receives and all those who seek, find and all who knock, it is opened to them.” These beautifully reassuring statements tell us what Yeshiwa, another part of god, another part of Lia, says is the truth. I’ve come to realize that every time I accept what the world teaches me, I live in fear and doubt, but when I shift and believe what Lia (god) tells me, I know I am loved and that together, we have unlimited power and that we can do anything and everything.
With Lia I have the opportunity to choose my direction and take the path that feels right to me. I can, of course move forward with the path that my HEAD chooses and continue listening to the world or I can follow my HEART and choose the path of freedom and remember that no matter what I choose, I am always loved and every door is always open to me.
Originally, my message was going to end here, but given all that is happening in the world right now, I wanted to add one more thing.
I wonder if there is anyone who doesn’t feel somewhat off-balance right now? And is there anyone who is not concerned about their health or the health of those they love? It can be extremely challenging to believe that ‘all will be well’, especially if you are prone to listening or watching the constant stream of scary news. Perhaps everyone wonders what to do next. I can’t answer for you, but I can share with you what I chose to do. I asked Lia for guidance and help.
And here’s what she said, “Remember, it’s important for you to feel ALL of your feelings. It’s okay to scream and cry and be angry and afraid and to express your worries. And once you’ve done this, it’s okay to let them go and release all of their energy and power, then come to me and rest and ASK for whatever you want or need, knowing it is my fondest desire to live in and through you.
And so, I encourage you to ASK for all things with the EXPECTATION that you will be answered and to offer your thanks and gratitude IN ADVANCE. Remember that, at times, the answer that serves you best may take a while to appear, but to live in trust knowing that one will always arrive, because you are loved.