Principle: Opening to receive grace can feel vulnerable and humbling, and it's worth the risk!
Practice: When you notice yourself questioning your judgment, move from your head into your heart.
Written Tuesday, 10/5/21
I’m back from vacation! I spent a couple days in Hagerstown, MD visiting friends – where Ida blew through and drowned the city my one full day there. Then a couple weeks with my 51-year friend near the Delaware beach resorts, hanging out by her pool and spending several days enjoying the beach. We also took a ferry to Tangier Island in the Virginia part of the Chesapeake Bay, where the people are isolated enough that they still speak with the Elizabethan accent of their ancestors who first settled the island!
I finished the East Coast leg of the trip with a few days in DC, where I got to go to the first live performance at the Kennedy Center since pre-Covid days and went to an in-person service at the MCC-DC church where I was a member and came out in the early to mid-90’s. Also visited with 3 old friends (separately) – one of whom I hadn’t seen in about 30 years.
Then home for one day to do laundry and repack, and driving up to Beaver Island where I spent five days in my heart place with my heart people - friends from my spiritual community. That involved the smallest plane I’ve ever been on – 7 seats on the way over, 5 on the way back (two different planes – not one plane that lost 2 seats!).
So it was a good trip, full of connection and fun, and I’m so grateful I got to do it! And for someone who has a strong introverting preference and is used to spending the great majority of her time alone, being with others essentially 24/7 for a month was extrovert overload! I collapsed in a heap when I got home, so grateful to settle back into my routine and to be alone much of the time! And now that I’ve been home a week, I’m “back in the saddle.”
And today, I want to focus on my growing curiosity about how I am often resistant to receiving the gifts and blessings that are being offered to me, whether from the Divine or from friends. It seems that I’m actually afraid to open my heart enough to truly receive, to allow myself to be nourished by whatever the offering might be. So I’m exploring what that’s about.
I had a really clear example come up in the last week. I called a holistic doctor in town last Friday to ask if they’re taking new patients – expecting there to be a months’ long wait list. But as “luck” would have it, I called shortly after they’d had a cancellation and got an appointment for this coming Friday.
And my response was to immediately start questioning my own motives - was I being impulsive or impetuous? Is it ok to want something different when I have excellent medical care through the University health system? I’d made the decision on my own, without consulting anyone else – was that ok? And then there’s the hassle of changing my health insurance completely as the prospective new doctor doesn’t take my current plan. What was I thinking? I went down that rabbit hole for about a day.
And then it hit me… getting that appointment so quickly was a blessing, a gift! I could have chosen to see as the Mother at work, inspiring me to call at just the right moment (when I hadn’t especially been planning to call that day). My self-doubt blinded me to the miracle, and I missed it in the moment.
As I reflected further, I saw that I was afraid to trust, afraid to open to receive the gift. All the questioning my judgment was a distraction so I didn’t have to feel the vulnerability of receiving grace. The self-doubt kept me in my head and distanced me from “the eye of my heart” which would have perceived the blessing in the moment.
And having seen that, I now have a new opportunity… when I notice myself questioning my judgment, I can inquire gently into what’s going on. I can drop from my head into my heart, recognize and welcome the blessing, and be grateful. This is my new practice.