Many years ago, I saw a poster which began: “With all your heart, say out loud, I want to live a happy life. Listen to what you just said.” I read each subsequent phrase to the end, which said: “Take chances. Be real.” Then, I cried.
In that moment, I knew. Those colorfully designed phrases arranged by artist Julie Evans heralded the end of an old life. My heart was calling me to something else, including the journey to follow something called Rules for Life.
I know many people bristle at the word rules. They’re frightening because they might constrain us. Yet, they’re also liberating. Consider the expression: “When we know the rules, we’re free to live within them.”
When we know our own Rules for Life – the kind Jesus and all other spiritual masters and mystics lived by – we’re free to be our authentic, divine selves. These rules are usually counter-cultural, because they put us and our relationship with God before anything else. Ideally, they help us travel a continuously expansive, rich, joyful, fulfilling faith journey. They invite us to go deep, as Jesus and all mystical masters have done before us. So, we remember our divinity and our true calling.
Our rules keep us from chasing other people’s dreams, living by unattainable standards, saying things we don’t mean or believe, and buying things we don’t want. Our rules inspire our authenticity, so we don’t live a lie.
That’s why I believe it’s important to remember that resurrection isn’t a one-time event. And why some of us travel the faith-filled journey called Eastertide, the 50 days which led from Jesus’s resurrection to Pentecost, when his disciples and followers went forth — deeply grounded in spiritual power — to live their sacred calls.
This part of the journey invites us to choose which rules truly support us in growing more emotionally healthy and spiritually mature. Slowly, step by step, we can do the inner work which nurtures the divinity we are. So we live and express the truth of our being.
The process for determining which rules are ours is powerful — and sometimes painful. As we journey, we discover that we have some flaws, just as the silkiest tapestries, finest crystals and rarest diamonds do.
Sometimes, the flaws show. So, establishing our own rules requires tremendous faith and courage. It also means we stop wasting our precious personal power pretending to fit in or make do with a life which saps our energy and stifles our creativity. As the saying goes, We “get real!”
In Part 2, some practical steps we can take to be real and establish our own rules for life.
© 2016 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.