How to Connect with God

October 27th, 2015
How to Connect with God

 

If your definition of God is something close to "an underlying current of love and compassion made up of pure energy that permeates all of existence," this blog may be for you. If; however, your definition of God is an old white man in the sky sporting a beard and sandals, well, this still may be for you! Only you can say for sure. Perhaps the point made (and the path to it!) would be more relatable if you added, "As I understand that term to mean" after each mention of "God".  

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During a recent morning’s meditation, I set the same intention that I often do: to connect with God. He/She/It usually comes through, but rarely in the ways I expect! Apparently, God's crazy like that! 
;-)

So not long after I set the intention, in my mind’s eye I “saw” the face of a man I really don’t like.

This man is a rather well known public figure who promotes healthy living in a way that to me seems about as original and obvious as “Eat right and exercise.” He posts extremely banal quotes and images on his FB page with such zeal as if they’re the secret to the Universe. Sometimes he quotes others, and sometimes he posts other people's quotes and doesn’t bother to give that person the credit. And in either or all cases, he signs his name rather prominently so that the entire world can see what a wonderful guy he is. 

To make matters worse, my ex-girlfriend had a crush on him. When they finally met, she said, well, how could I put this… that he hasn’t gotten past an adolescent understanding of romantic relationships. Meaning, he sees women as objects to conquer rather than people to love. And it’s all cleverly cloaked under the guise of modern-day spiritual rhetoric so no one questions him.

I thought, “Why am I seeing THIS guy if my intention was to connect with God?!?!?”

The answer I heard back was: “To see him is to see me.”

Yeah, ultimately I do know this, but in that moment, all I could muster was an internally muttered “Huh?” while tilting my head like a confused cocker spaniel.

As my head straightened, I felt I was getting the “message” that to truly connect with God I should stop looking to do so solely while in meditation. Instead it’s better to be "God-like" to the best of my ability when “off the cushion.” And what better way to do so than to have compassion for even those I find distasteful!?!?!

Makes sense, right? But…

My ego would have none of this!  

It asked, “What? I have to love this guy who I really don’t like? That’s why he came to me in this way after setting that intention?

Um, er, yeah.  

So I tried.

Nothing.

I tried again.

Still nothing.

And finally I had to realize I just couldn’t do it. Or, maybe I just didn’t want to.

I’ve learned not to beat myself up when I’m in these situations. That only makes it worse. So I accepted where I was, and opened to someday getting beyond that. Could be tomorrow or next decade. I can’t argue with the ego and expect to win. It was time to accept the challenge!

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On the way home I stopped at Safeway. Why there and not Whole Foods? Simple. Because they carry the greatest pasta sauce ever! Gina Rispoli Arrabbiata. It has the most perfect blend of spice I’ve ever found out of a jar. And… they had a buy one get one free sale. I ordered six cases.

On the way out, the cashier began the usual mindless — um, I mean casual and typical — banter associated with West Coasters: “Hi, how are you? Fine. You? Nice weather we're having (or insert type of bad weather and comment as if you're sick of it).” This casual conversation seems to be the norm everywhere else, too, but I’m originally from  New York. NYers have a different set of rules. For everything. And one is, “Don’t talk to me, I’m in a rush.”

{Sidenote: It took my friend who was born and raised in Russia two years in NYC to get that “How are you?” really means ‘Hi. Now move along, nothing more to talk about here.”}

My NY brain couldn’t let go of “Don’t talk to me, I’m in a rush” but I challenged myself based on the aforementioned message: “To see him is to see me.” So I let go and sunk deeply into the moment. 

Next thing you know the cashier is telling me all about what it’s like to work there. About how the stockpersons only have 4 hours to restock everything between 1am and 5am. About how the couple of hours after the self check outs close, things get crazy with really long lines of people waiting to pay…

His body language softened, and he shared that because he’s been a Safeway employee for so long, he gets to choose his shift and doesn’t have to worry about those problems any more. And there was more. Some bits about his personal life, too.

It hit me that I was holding space like I do for my clients all time, but this time with a random stranger. Perhaps that is a typical moment in your life but not in mine. Old habits die young. To me, in most social situations my NY brain tells me that, “’How are you?’ means ‘‘Hi. Now move along, nothing more to talk about here.”

And then it occurred to me…

I’d just unexpectedly connected with God — this time in the form of a cashier at Safeway!

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Intentions do have power. And probably because I surrendered to what was true (that I wasn’t able to unconditionally love or even accept the person whose face came to me in the morning’s meditation), I think a space for a new way of being came through, the way of presence and love. The way of God. 

An even stronger love than I have for Gina Rispoli Arrabbiata, which, BTW, is an off-the-charts level of love.  

My conclusion: True connection with God happens in the real world, not just on the cushion. I need to love those I dislike because everyone — the Safeway cashier to the aforementioned most uninspiring motivational speaker I've ever had the displeasure of indirectly knowing — is God made manifest. My spiritual work isn't done, nor even close to done as long as I have anger in my heart and judgment in my mind. 

It's time to remember, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” ~Victor Hugo 

 

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The author of this article does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this article for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.

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