Devotion: Bringing the essence of every fiber of your being into this moment, presencing your energy into that which fuels the Divine Spark. In this place, I experience a nestled completeness among it all – a totality of being Grace. This is my current experience of Devotion.
Devotion has always been a challenging practice for me. Frankly as a child, I hated the idea of it. Devotion got me nowhere and nothing. Being at choice about who or what I was devoted to, well, there was no choice. Catholicism, my experience of it anyway, dictated devotion. I was supposed to be devoted to my parents, teachers, to my education, to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit; however none of this nourished my little soul.
I was told to love, honor and obey as part of a practice of devotion. I’ve never found I could love, honor or obey what or who I couldn’t trust. Not really. I couldn’t be devoted to what rang as an untruth.
I was told to trust. I learned how to warp my thinking so that I could trust even though I didn’t. I got sick, depressed, and suicidal because I taught myself not to listen or to trust my own knowing; only to trust others, regardless of their lack of honesty, integrity and lack of accountability. Listen to all grownups was the message.
When I married – the first time, though I wanted to experience devotion to my husband, that didn’t work either. In my second marriage, I was getting the hang of the practice of being devoted. I was getting out of my own way and wasn’t so fearful of letting go of fear, anger, control and manipulation. I practiced being vulnerable. It took time and attention to be present to all the ways I interfered with such a deep practice of love and then open to new ways. I feel I made progress, though, inevitably the marriage dissolved.
Only through the devotion to my children did I begin to receive the lessons taught through a practice of devotion. What is the quality of being devotion? It’s an expression of love, commitment, presencing. My whole being becomes one with this thing or being. Every waking breath serves to express the grace found in the practice of devotion.
As I’m writing, a thought arises: The practice of devotion led to the demise of my role as the primary caregiver of my children. My devotion led me to give custody of my children to their father, in service to their highest good. It was my devotion to my own truth that led me to find right livelihood and a home on the far reaches of the continent. It has been my devotion that continually leads me to be diligent and vigilant in the practice of releasing any and all unnecessary practices – actions and thinking, so I am free of all excess baggage that once I thought to be me.
I’m devoted to my clients, students and to my writing practice. It’s much the same experience as with my children. There is a thirst that is quenched, a meeting of hearts; a harmony and communion that is beyond words.
Currently I sit on my couch and come to explore a devotional practice to Oneness, Universal Source of all that is. I’m at the beginning just as I was as a young child. This time I get to choose for myself to what and to whom I bring devotion.
I believe that I lost my soul through my initial attempts at being devoted to the Church, parents, education and husbands. Because of my failings, the interpretations were that I was a sinner, that God ignored me and that I was a bad person, a bad student, and a bad daughter. Well, I understand now that devotion – true devotion — has no promises or guarantees attached. You don’t be devoted to get something in return. There’s no wining or failing.
Perhaps all of this was just rites of initiation – To experience what felt wrong and distrustful, then to undergo a process of unlearning in order to come back to the very knowing I had as a child.
I now experience the practice of devotion as a practice of being my essential self in relation to Self. It’s mindfully discovering aspects of self which are not aligned with my WHOLE, COMPLETE SELF. It’s being devoured and consumed in the Oneness, the totality of the experience.
Devoted to truth and trusting; that I can discern what is true for me better than anyone else. My devotion is to the fullest expression of my essential self through whatever I’m engaged in now. This practice of devotion is a practice of refining the facets of self that define me in all my forms. It has become a practice of only looking inward to find right-relationship with my Self, in relation to all aspects of the world.
As is inevitable, I come to this practice that is in complete juxtaposition to the practice I was taught as a child. Though saddened to have embarked on such a long and arduous journey that has it appear as if I was lost, alone and inadequate to cope with life, I am grateful for my arrival here, to this moment, as I found my way, and I found my Self.