Holy ground

Eleanor perched on top of our new blanket (she thinks that she owns the place...and she is right)

Eleanor perched on top of our new couch blanket (she thinks that she owns the place…and she is right)

A few years ago, I ran into a man who began a very intense discussion with me (more like a monologue) about debt. At the time, I had no idea why he seemed to launch into this diatribe, but the more he talked about the sins of credit card debt and the idea that it is “wrong” to borrow or lend, the more uncomfortable I became. I could feel myself squirming inside with guilt and shame since at that time, I had a fair amount of debt (credit card and other).

As I drove away from this interaction I thought, “I hope that I never see him again. He is so self-righteous!” But later on, I realized that he was simply showing me the part of my own mind that I didn’t want to acknowledge. I felt bad about debt. I felt like I had done something wrong (that I was myself wrong) to be in debt, and that good people didn’t have debt. I hated my debt and had to admit that I hated myself for getting into it.

As I began to awaken, I could see that the harshness I felt toward myself was also the concept that I had been raised with, and believed to be true, about God.

Personified, it would look like a strict, tight-lipped 18th century headmaster who never slept, but walks the halls constantly, large ruler in hand, delighting in finding the smallest transgression, labeling everything as good or bad, right or wrong. Its cold, searching eyes never happy until the culprit (i.e. me) was found and duly punished. Try as I might, I would never be good enough in its eyes.

Once I had this revelation, I knew that the only solution to this apparent problem was to bless it (and myself) but I found this to be a huge challenge. How could I bless something that was wrong or bad, and if I blessed it and myself, wouldn’t I just keep charging or spending what I didn’t have?

But I did begin to bless it. I actually took my credit card statements, looked at each purchase, whether it was food, clothing or anything else, and I brought up the item in my mind, and thanked God for the benefit that I received from each one. I held my credit cards in my hands, blessed them, and gave thanks for them too. It took a while to actually feel different about these blessings (which I formerly called “debt”) but as I persisted, and as the lines of good and bad softened, I began to see all of it as simply a part of my life. Not good or bad, right or wrong, just life experience with lessons that were for my growth and expansion.

We label so many things as bad and then feel bad about them. If we aren’t feeling good, how many times do we say, “I have a bad cold, or a bad back?” If we feel we’ve done something wrong; if we’ve had an accident, uncomfortable incident, or just been in a low mental state, we call it a bad mood, a bad day, or even bad weather.

What would it feel like to assume that the next step you take, you are taking on holy ground? What if we looked at our lives as good, expanding and perfect? Bless this day and everything in it. Start with yourself. Today is a new day, a good day.

On meeting people and talking to them, bless them in their health, their work, their joy, their relationship to the universe, themselves and others. Bless them in their abundance and their finances, bless them in every conceivable way, for such blessings not only sow seeds of healing but one day will spring forth as flowers in the waste places of your own life.” From, The Gentle Art of Blessing, by Pierre Pradervand

15 thoughts on “Holy ground

  1. Dear Mary, I love this concept of blessing everything, especially ourselves. If we have a choice (and of course we do) as to how we want to view our lives….ourselves….blessings bring not only good feelings, happiness and inner relief, but they spread like a beautiful sunrise. Thank you for this reminder this morning. I really needed to hear this!

  2. I was brought up in an evangelistic, born-again environment, not allowed to do anything that all of my friends did. I’m now 63 and still trying to not see myself as “bad”. I was emotionally abused I believe and the scars are very deep. So the word “bad” stirs things up for me and, thank goodness, I’m going to therapy today.

    • I’m sending thoughts of blessings, like beautiful spiritual scented flowers, to you and your therapy session today, Becky.

  3. Words and how we use and think about them are integral to who we are and are becoming. I like the idea of really thinking about the word BAD which I use frequently. I will open my heart and mind today and be cognizant of the words I use and think. Thank you for your words and blessings!

  4. Like many others, I have a difficult relationship with money because of the way I grew up. Spending it in any amount makes me anxious and unable to enjoy what I buy. The line, “what would it feel like . . .” got completed in my mind as: . . . if I looked at each thing in the market basket I just brought home with thankfulness and happy anticipation of enjoying it! It was one of those lightbulb moments. Thank you, Mary.

  5. I’ll be re-reading this post numerous times throughout this day. A very powerful and power-filled message that rocked my morning—in a GOOD way! Blessings abound on holy ground.

  6. One of my favorite parts of church services I attended years ago was the benediction, quite simply translated, “good saying”. No matter the subject of the sermon, one could always go away feeling like the best was saved for last, the blessing, the ‘good saying’. Likewise, we wish each other goodness when we part – “good bye” – I found this looking up its origins:

    goodbye is derived from the phrase “God be with you.” To understand this, it is helpful to see earlier forms of the expression, such as God be wy you, god b’w’y, godbwye, god buy’ ye, and good-b’wy. The first word of the expression is now good and not God, for good replaced God by analogy with such expressions as good day, perhaps after people no longer had a clear idea of the original sense of the expression.

    And for this 31st day of the month, here is the 31st verse of Genesis 1. (found this googling too)

    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day.

    Goodness and blessings abound.

  7. Mary – So often I feel as if your posts are speaking directly to me and my life but the past few days have been especially meaningful. You have so eloquently put into words some issues I’ve been mulling over in my mind. I’m rereading these messages to keep “on track”. I love this idea of blessing myself, the day and all it brings. And bless you for writing these posts and sharing your wisdom!

  8. Boy, today’s post struck quite the chord in me ~ I tend to label my bad behavior (see, I just did it again) as BAD. No, I’m not speaking about drinking, smoking, drugs…I’m speaking about my relationship with food. Being a type 1 diabetic, food is always the issue because of how it effects my blood sugar.
    I love your message today and will remember it…I will bless this day and everything in it…good and not so good!
    I am presently half way through reading “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and embracing the idea of being thankful – a practical guide to living a life of joy..
    love to all, Marian

  9. I’ve learned from you how unkind we are being to ourselves, and just attracting more of the same when we say things like “I have a bad…”, or “I hate it when…” How powerful those negative thoughts/statements are and what negative emotions they evoke and generate…equally as (negatively) powerful as the (positively) powerful affirmations we say… I love your suggestion to assume that the next step we take, we are taking on Holy ground…Wow! Certainly makes me pause and then smile…

  10. I think of conflicting throughts today, Mary, in response to your post. I think of the fact that I never questioned religion at all growing up. I never thought to question anything; in fact, in my day and age, we were taught to accept, not question. We were also taught that to think much of ourselves would lead to being self-absorbed and it wasn’t allowed either. But, Like Kathye has expressed here as well about how unkind we often are to ourselves in being self-less, it feels good to be reminded of how we treat others better than ourselves. Marion, I’m reading the last of two books by Jan Karon and how Rev. Timothy is having such a struggle with his diabetes and I feel for you. It is I gather such a delicate balance and a controlling one as well.
    SandyP in blustery Ontario, Canada

    • Sandy, I assumed you were in the throes of conflicting thoughts. Ergo, “throughts”. If it’s not a word, it should be!

      • Thank you, Jill, for a wonderful chuckle over my misspelling. Just as yesterday instead of writing “same old, same old” I wrote: “sane old, same old”. I wonder where my brain leads me some days and if indeed it it not my subconscious creating new words and ‘throughts’.
        SandyP

  11. Hi Mary, I can bless all that I am so lucky to have,including myself each day. But I have a hard time blessing all these medical bills that keep arriving. Jon K. did a piece on not being afraid of the mail and I’m trying this too!
    Thank-you God for everything. I really am a very grateful soul!
    Cindy 🙂

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