Belonging

Reflections on Spiritual Pain

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about belonging. And if you’ve seen my puffy eyes, you also know I’ve had a lot of emotion about it too.

A few weeks ago I was told by a Catholic leader at Cloisters on the Platte (where I participated in a silent retreat), “your way of praying doesn’t align with how we do things here. Consequently, you would be best served looking elsewhere for a retreat experience that is more in keeping with your spiritual focus.” When asked to further clarify the judgment, she stated that my posture of humility, choosing to sit on the floor inside their chapel, during the retreat was a distraction to others. I am no longer welcome there.

As a young child, I laid in the darkness of my bedroom and received Light, a light that affirms my first belonging, a light that continues to point me to the vastness of the deepest kind of love. I celebrate that love today because it opens its arms to everyone without merit, favoritism, or intolerance.

Our world is actively attempting to convince us of our unworthiness and our mind often creates its own deceptions. An endless artillery of arrows fly toward us in hopes of creating harm and separation from the Divine Light. We must choose to shield ourselves with the armor of Truth. We must surround ourselves with people who genuinely affirm our being and not our doing. Those who can help us drown out the voices in our head and the competing perspectives of the world, and walk with us as we let go of what no longer serves our belovedness.

Thank you to the people and places that remind me that we all belong.

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