The telephone rings and I answer it, “hello, this is Mark and there has been an accident. Amelia was dancing near water in which an electric line had dropped. She stepped into the water and was electrocuted. She is in the hospital and we don’t know what will happen next.” Amelia, my sweet granddaughter? I scream for John and tell him to call the airline for a ticket tonight to B and . . . then I stop my dream.
I tell myself, wait a minute, this is a dream, and Amelia is just fine. There has been no accident and my little girl has not been hurt. So why am dreaming this. I realize this dream isn’t about Amelia at all; it’s about ME and my very active ego-self that wants to be all important. My ego-self knows just how much I love my granddaughter and would do anything, and I mean anything, to protect her. So when my ego-self thinks I am at my weakest, ill with the flu, asleep and unaware, it formed this scary dream to plant a seed of self-importance. Instead of following the dream any further I begin to repeat my daily prayer, “I surrender, O Holy One, this moment, this now of my life, watch over me and guide me, I surrender.” The dream within a dream ends and I enter a deep, peaceful and restful sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I recognized the “wow” factor in my night’s dream. In my sleep I had carried on a conversation with myself that allowed me to recognize when my ego-self was trying to trick me and I stopped it. I actually offered a meditation, in my sleep, to bring me back to a sense of reality that I also recognized and left me calm and able to drift back into a deep sleep.
In the last 6 months I have been doing a lot of thinking about who I truly am, where I am going, and what I am being called to do. As a result I have spent a great deal of time in meditation and journaling. This deep going within is pulling out new insights from some very dark places within my spirit and where I have been recognizing just how much I have followed my ego-self rather than my true-self throughout my entire life. Somehow that is beginning to change and I am learning to put my ego-self in its proper place and allowing my true-self to step forward.
I do need my ego-self, it is an important part of who I am. It helps me make decisions and protects me when I am in danger (whatever that might be). But the ego-self shouldn’t have the prime spot in my life, following only the ego leads me down a very selfish, self centered pathway and doesn’t allow the true me to shine forth.
My true-self, on the other hand, is the part of me that listens with compassion, offers kindness and mercy, and acts for peace and justice, not for my benefit but for the good of the community around me. It is my true-self that I want to take the place of primacy in my life, for that is who I truly am, the child of, the partner of, God. My dream is an example of how desperate my ego-self is to regain control of me and I am finally resisting the temptation to follow that path.
I am in a discernment process to discover where God is calling me to ministry and I must admit I’ve heard that call, but, I am afraid. It is that fear that my ego-self is using to prevent me from following the path God, Herself, is laying before me. I know God never asks us to do anything we are incapable of doing, but, She does challenge us to the limit of our abilities. It is that challenge that is putting fear in my heart. I guess I haven’t fully surrendered yet and so I sit at a threshold facing the mystery of what is to come. Right now I am unable to move into that mystery, I am paralyzed by fear and I want to tell God, “no not me, can’t you find someone else to do this, I’m not brave enough, or good enough, to do this.” However, I keep hearing “It is you I want, don’t be afraid, I am here, won’t you take my hand and step onto my path.”
It has been my experience that if God wants me to do something, and I don’t want to, God will call and plead, begging for me to reconsider. If I don’t, God stands with me in my choice. When everything doesn’t come out just as I thought, God gently reaches out, puts her arms around me and says with a slight smile, “just how did that work out for you.” I hate it when God says “I told you so.” In the end I grow weary of my mediocre plans and “give in” to what God is calling me to. So this time I think I will choose to follow the path God has placed before me instead of going my own way. I know it will be hard, but it won’t be as hard or painful as it would be if God wasn’t there.
God, I will take your hand and step onto your path. I will accept the challenge even though I am terrified of what might happen. You have led me this far and I haven’t crashed and burned yet. I keep saying “I surrender” and I guess this means I am finally beginning to truly commit to that surrender. All that I ask is don’t leave me alone to face the darkness, and protect me in those places that are filled with traps. I have faith in what you are asking of me and therefore hold me tight and guide me forward.
Ruth Jewell, ©February 18, 2013