tall grass

There is no right or wrong within creation but there are stages of growth and change. Humankind is now passing through a tremendous stage of growth and change. Are you ready? T3:12.11

I awoke this morning with the words “surrender” and “growth” ringing within me. There was a little more to it than that. The “more” left me as I came fully awake but I felt as if I’d had an image of pockets, as if visualizing surrender in one pocket and growth in another and it being sort of like when I carry change in one pocket and lip balm in another: separate things with separate functions. Then as I mosey in from the cabin and see the Sunday newspaper on the kitchen table, I catch a glimpse of the title of the column written by our friendly neighborhood columnist: “It takes a lot of work to go on vacation.” I kind of chuckled at that, knowing full well the truth of it, and how such simple words given to a common but not often spoken of truth, will grab you as those did me, as if they separated themselves from the clutter of the surrounding headlines to catch my eye.

For a moment I wondered if “It takes a lot of work to surrender” might be an appropriate theme for the day, but no, that wasn’t it. I knew these waking words were suggesting a connection that didn’t come naturally to me. I’d probably never thought of surrender and growth together before. Surrender and change? Yes. Surrender and transformation? Yes. Surrender and “growth?” No. So I wondered why this was, and if growth felt slightly more “achieved” than words like change or transformation. As if change “just” happens. And transformation “happens to you,” and “growth” had a connotation that felt more . . . achieved. Whatever the reason, it set me off on an expedition through A Course of Love to see the connection between these two words. This one popped out at me right away:

Change is not negative and growth does not imply lack. (T2:4.14)ACOL 4x6

Doesn’t that sound a bit like one of those ordinary revelations, the kind that say, “Vacations are hard work?”

Well, of course I know change is not negative. We know this. Change often feels negative simply because it’s uncomfortable, or challenging, or new.  I’m used to accepting those feelings without thinking change is bad. But the other one, the association of growth and lack? That took me a minute. Made me think of sayings like “You need to grow up,” or “You’ll grow into it,” and also of ideas such as “personal growth,” which speak to me more of trying to achieve something rather than of surrendering.

Growth and surrender. Hmmm.

Then I found this:

P1070703It is your belief that change and growth are indicative of all that can be accomplished rather than of what is already accomplished that needs adjustment now. As a tree exists fully accomplished within its seed and yet grows and changes, you exist fully accomplished within the seed that is the Christ in you even while you continue to grow and change. Physical form and action of all kinds are but expressions of what already exist within the seed of the already accomplished. T2:6.8

That’s a big one: Change and growth being indicative of all that already exists within. And of course, it only takes a minute to see the truth of it. Yeap. Even those parent-like things we hear or say, “You’ll come into your own,” are about this—you’ll grow into what’s already there.

In Day 23 of The Dialogues, I found growth and surrender in the same paragraph:

The clouds of illusion, even those that have gently surrounded our time together on the mountain top must now be surrendered, much as a woman surrenders her body to the growth of a child within. This is a willing but not an active surrender. It is a surrender to the forces that move inside of you. It is a knowing surrender to the unknown. It is a willingness to carry the unknown into the known and the known to the unknown. Surrendering to the forces that move inside of you is surrendering to your own will. It requires full acknowledgment that you hold within yourself a will to know and to make known. This will is divine will, your will, Christ-consciousness. It is alive within you. All that is required is that you carry it with awareness, honor, willingness. From this will the new be birthed. 23.4-5

Surrendering to “your own will.” That’s an adjustment, isn’t it? To see our will and divine will as one? To see divine will being alive within us? Asking us to give it birth into the world? There are so many birthing metaphors in ACOL! Yet this is a crucial one I had forgotten. I invite you to remember it along with me.

[T]o accept where you are is not the same as accepting who you are. Accepting where you are, as if it is a static place at which you have arrived, is not the goal that has been set. Accepting who you are includes acceptance of creation. The acceptance of creation is the acceptance of change and growth but neither of these are concepts that you understand truly. Change is not negative and growth does not imply lack. T2:4.14

At the end of this month I’ll spend a day exploring A Course of Love with reader/receivers in and around Santa Fe. If you’re interested, you can find out more about it here:

Please see the attached flyer, http://spibr.org/Mari_at_Unity_Santa_Fe_Aug_27_2016.pdf).