By Diane Donovan-Vaughn: Sermon 9.2.2017

Micah 6:8 ESV /
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Yesterday, right after listening to an hour story in therapy of how a woman was victimized for years on end, I left work, took my therapy dog in training puppy, Ellis home and then decided to go by a Costco I almost never visit. Before I was half way through the store, a very innocent looking woman with an accent asked me for help reading a bottle. While she distracted me, her friend stole my wallet, a discovery I made slowly as time unfolded. My first clue was when I could not check out at the register because I had no wallet.

Yes, I am sensing a theme here. Practicing surrender and humility does not mean allowing yourself to be victimized for years on end and it does not mean you can walk around in a cloud like I often do. In fact, being loving, giving, humble and compassionate is often mistakenly interpreted to justify being taken advantage of or not wanting to hurt people’s feelings. Control is another approach. Carry a gun. Hold your purse at all times and be totally unapproachable, while living in the illusion of control of fear but incorrectly believing you are safe and that no one can hurt you. All the while, the brain is creating realities of control and victimization. I wonder if I had done those more controlling behaviors if I still would have offered assistance anyway because I have been a consummate rescuer and codependent in this life? My lesson is always to wake up and quit tolerating behaviors that are draining my life force. Just because I can help does not mean I should. Remember that recovery is progress, not perfection. I am in no way close to perfect.

When I got home, I had canceled my credit cards and told my children about the event. They were concerned. Weirdly for me, I had not eaten since 11:00 and now it was now about 7:00. I said to my son, “I feel weak.” He said, “Well you were victimized and your blood sugar has to be low.” He went into the kitchen and made me something to eat and brought me a glass of champagne while I continued to work on the computer to block my credit, and replace a driver’s license, Medicare card and medical card all of which were simple to do in this great day of technology. It is miraculous that by the time I left the store, Chase bank was sending me alerts that it denied charges for over $3000 to the Apple store. They confirmed to me via that text that I did not just drop my wallet but in fact that it had been stolen. I knew it already because the feeling reminded me of a day long ago when my husband went outside to leave for work and his car was gone. The brain does a funny double take of disbelief. I walked Costco at least twice looking for my wallet in vain. I said a little prayer and the scene of the two ladies I encountered earlier opened up in my mind like a vision. These two people are masterful thieves and feign helpless energy as if it is real and maybe so if you are lost in the reality of perpetrator.

Finding balance means sometimes you can fall. If you are attempting to surrender to the oneness, to be humble, to be kind, to practice compassion for all beings, then you will stumble in your attempts. Someone may take advantage of you. Weirdly, I am not angry. I am sad. I was sad on the way over to Costco and did not know why. I am sad for a suffering world that has so much need in it that helps to create perpetrator and victim realities. I am crying for the world, but enough of that for now because today we are praying and sending love, light, healing and compassion to the world. See the world healed. Look at the angels around you. When this event happened to me, I encountered angel after angel helping me. They enter my consciousness like a warm blanket. Let your attention be swayed to see the angels all around you. Move your focus to love.

Wake up! Always, wake up and surrender to the Oneness or as Peace Troubadour James Twyman keeps saying, “Embody the I Am consciousness” of knowing that you are part of something greater than your mind and greater than what happens to you.

Look around and give thanks. Look around and give love to those in so much need that they can use helplessness to rob from you. Think about the Christian prayer for peace. “Pray for those that abuse you.” However, move aside and do not allow anyone to continue abusing you because then you are enabling the abuse and become an abuser to yourself. The help a person may need is simply to be apprehended and no longer allowed to hurt others.

Pope John Paul visited the man who shot him and forgave him but he did not let him out of prison right away. He eventually arranged for a pardon and a deportation from Italy. Remember that we create our prisons with our beliefs. Your view of your prison is your own creation. You are in charge of your focus. Why not surrender to a reality of peace, love, compassion and humility?

When you look in the mirror and say, “I am the love of my life” do it with humility. You are not greater than the whole. You are a beloved part of the Beloved who deserves to be treated with love, respect, kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Enjoy your life and let go of each moment, good and bad flowing with what is.

The Compassion Lesson for today is Chapter Ten in A year of Living with more Compassion – 52 Quotes and Weekly Compassion Practices (Edited by Richard Fields) pp.36-38. This selection reminds us that our own inner shame may be the very block to our healing. Look deeply at your shame. Forgive it and then look into the mirror again saying, “I am the love of my life.”

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and wake up to the Oneness, the I Am consciousness of love.