Finding the balance between holding my own counsel vs. with-holding my truth, I seek to use words that create opening and understanding. This wasn’t always the case, I was consumed with the need to express myself, at times risking alienation and misunderstanding, until I discovered the language of the heart.
In the same way, I struggle with bodies of faith that focus on the intellect as a means to understand and seek/find their way to God through their brain. Nor do I embrace dogma since it tends to emphasize a belief in ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, pushing folks into a container that defines how they should conceive of and approach God.
In days gone by I was fairly arrogant in my beliefs (you know, thinking I was ‘right’ because I was more inclusive in my understanding). Now I know my arrogance created separation, not to mention being narrow-minded in my own way. Thank God for growing up/old.
I am grateful for the heart of Quakerism – knowing that there is that bit of God in every human, and that it doesn’t matter what we call God, just that we know we are connected with Him/Her/It/Spirit/Light, etc. So I pray for humility to be inclusive, to have Wisdom to allow others the Sovereignty of their own journey — and Love to support them as they follow the Light Within.
The older I get, the more radical I perceive the path that early Quakers (Friends, Members of the Religious Society of Friends) followed. I have a deeper appreciation for their struggle, the danger they faced. THey were often imprisoned, persecuted, and killed as heretics and blasphemers, all for their commitment to the Light. Truly they embodied Spirit/Christ’s teaching and example, affirming that EVERYONE has the potential to receive direct revelation and divine inspiration; that this IS the sacrament, freely given and available regardless of religion, faith or creed!