I Take My Place among the Shepherds of God

Like the girl with amnesia in the movie, 50 First Dates, I awake today and press “play” on the videotape in my mind reminding me that I’ve had an accident – I thought I was separate from God – and that I choose today to remember who I am. And I will rewind and play that videotape over and over in my mind, however many times needed, until I awaken from the dream of this world to see that I’ve always been held in the arms of God.

Today I express gratitude for the Christ, this Community and this gift of awakening through A Course in Miracles. The recent 9-day devotional here at the Center gave me yet another glimpse of how deep the rabbit hole goes and how gentle it can be when we take the hands of Jesus and our brothers. Tears of pain, release, gratitude and joy flowed ever so freely during the devotional. Connecting so deeply with with my brothers in the miracle. That’s all I want now. Open, honest, real communication; transparency; laughter; love. It’s a sense of aliveness I must choose in every moment and when I choose something else I quickly feel that pang of pain letting me know that something’s amiss. It’s a blessing from God to have such a powerful barometer – our emotions – to let us know whether we’ve chosen Heaven or Hell. So today, in this moment, I choose the peace of God. Rewind and play, rewind and play.

I feel the windshield of my mind being washed clearer and clearer. It rains a lot here on the Big Island, and what I’ve noticed is that the rain doesn’t leave spots on the cars like in Utah. It’s a constant washing, like what’s going on with the mind here. All the rain gets collected on the roofs and flows into a big water tank on the property for drinking, cooking and showers. Jason says this place, the Extension Center, has been a hotbed for healing specialness. I can say that’s been the case for me, and how fortunate I am to be moving through what the Course calls the last big hurdle before reaching the Gates of Heaven. While it’s intense to undergo healing while sitting atop a volcano, it also burns up swiftly and leaves in its wake a delicious warmth in the heart, a cool island breeze, the sweetest tropical fruit, exotic singing birds and croaking lullaby frogs at night.

I’m grateful for this gift of the Island, because undoing specialness seems to be my main assignment right now. Back in July when the depth of healing felt unbearable in the mind, I impulsively booked a flight to Hawaii to revive a relationship that Spirit said was maximized. I felt that I could direct the plan for my salvation and, having a will as powerful as God’s, I was allowed to play that out fully. I had experience yet again what it feels like to decide which relationships I think will make me happy lest the thoughts continue to churn in the mind that I’d somehow left something better than God’s plan for me. So I experienced in a relatively short period of time – one month – how pleasure quickly turns to pain, how a selfish decision for specialness stops the flow of miracles and how humbling it is to have to admit yet again, “I was wrong,” and to choose again.

How grateful I am to have had these realizations in Hawaii so I could still choose the embrace of this community and only be met with love and acceptance. I want to yield fully into this experience now. To choose to join instead of isolate when the thoughts of separation and specialness start clouding the mind. Press “play” on the videotape again: I am innocent. I am loved. I never did anything wrong.

In the Illusion and the Reality of Love section of the Course, we’re reminded of the depths of our addiction to specialness and told that its undoing is the last step in our readiness for God. It’s the ego’s most boasted gift. It seems worshipped everywhere in the world but here. I’ve been given precious assignments here in Hawaii with others wanting to undo special relationships in their lives, some relatively short and some lasting decades, it’s all the same addiction, which gives me the opportunity to teach what I would learn and to strengthen the resolve in my own mind. I get to see the quick reflection in others when I feel the fog of specialness seeping in to cloud my mind. The constant reminder is that its the one mind that’s healing, we’re not in charge or even “doing” anything, and it’s in the joining with our brothers that allows it to happen quantumly (if that’s even a word 🙂 )

I had the experience Sunday of being in full-on function here at the Center, losing my little “s” self, being fully present in the now and letting Spirt take the wheel. At end of the day the ego reared it’s ugly head, “Where was YOUR time today, Laverne? You got cheated out of YOUR Sunday. You’ve been duped.” I awoke the next morning in such an ego haze I forgot to put the videotape in and spent the day half asleep, slipping in and out of specialness thoughts, never fully present. Ego backlash for spending a whole day, Sunday no less, in the vitality of extending. I’m grateful for having had the contrast experience of feeling the aliveness and energy of being fully in function one day and then feeling the addiction to specialness thoughts weighing down the mind the next. Is there even a choice in that? Actually, yes, and every moment the decision for God instead of the Ego gets easier and easier. Rewind and press play.

So today I choose again to take my place among the teachers of God; a shepherd in training under the gentle guidance of the one Shepherd leading us all home. I’m grateful to be joined with Andy as a shepherd (instead of co-stewards) here at the Extension Center, to fully immerse in our communication functions here as we are directed by He Who Knows the Way. I’m glad Holy Spirit makes it obvious that this is exactly where I need to be. I need only look to my last name “Sheppard.” Can it be any more obvious than that? So today, in this moment, I step into my birthright with the might of Heaven behind it: I am among the Lord’s Shepherds, I am among His flock and I am going home in Love.

Love always and forever,