Do you find yourself using words like never or always to describe experiences or situations in your life? For example, do you say things like: “Oh, I NEVER win anything” or “He ALWAYS forgets my birthday?”
The tribe I currently run with say that our thoughts, the way we perceive our reality, and the way we speak of it all contribute to whatever it is we are currently experiencing in life. In other words, when I say “it always rains when I wash my car,” sets me up to experience an inevitable thunderstorm on the day I wash my car; not because the Universe or G-D has colluded against me, but because my subconscious mind is living a self-limiting belief that directs my conscious mind to deliver. Subconsciously, I hold this belief to be true—and so it is. We human beings are way more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.
Trust me, we ALL hold self-limiting beliefs that we have developed early on and we have to intentionally engage them in order to be liberated from who we may believe we are into who we really are. Y’all, we really are divine reflections of GOD. Let’s look at a case in point from the Scriptures.
In the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is teaching the crowd on the lake of Gennesaret from a fishing boat. After speaking he tells Simon Peter, one of the fisherman, to put out his net into deeper water for a catch. The first thing Peter says is, “well we’ve been doing this all night and have caught nothing.” You can just hear the self-limiting belief that is driving his lived reality. Sometimes you catch fish, sometimes you don’t. But what if life is not as arbitrary as that? What if you can “catch” all of the time?
A new belief…that fish can be caught if he does something differently…works. This new belief was acted upon based on Jesus’ suggestion that Peter should go into deep waters and then verse nine says that the disciples were amazed at the number of fish they caught. It was actually an overabundance.
We can never do what we have always done and get a different result; we all know what that way of thinking is called. So what would happen, I wonder, if we began to think about the issues we are faced with in our lives like the great political divide in our nation or the murders in our city differently? What if we began to ask a different kind of question in order to receive a different kind of answer? Is it possible that we, like Peter, are fishing for answers in our “usual” way when new questions need to be asked instead?
Back to never and always. What if we let go of the extreme ways we speak and show up in the world in order to take on more life-giving and liberating realities? I know it is hard; I am working on it too. But, if there is ONE thing I believe about the resurrection and life in the Risen Christ, it is that the old ways of being must be retired in order for a new way to take hold and grow.
“Going deep” may mean different things to different people, yet at its core it means reconsidering who we are and how our humanity has been supra-naturally changed to make room for more peace and joy in life. I meditate, some of you garden, run, or wash the car. Whatever gets us to an inner stillness to connect with our souls, and to hear the small voice within will do the trick . Ask the Spirit for help. She is always good for that!
On Wednesday, the Office of Government Relations of the Episcopal Church reaffirmed our denomination’s commitment to “equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health,” calling this access “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.” Since 1967, the Episcopal Church has maintained its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions (about the termination of pregnancy) and to act upon them.” **
Lay and ordained leaders throughout The Episcopal Church counsel women, men, and families who must make decisions relating to pregnancy and childbirth, adoption, family planning, and infertility, walking alongside individuals in the midst of this intimate and challenging dimension of human life. Informed by this ministry, the Church addresses the topic of abortion from a position of lived experience of both laity and clergy, recognizing the moral, legal, personal, and societal complexity of the issue. The diversity of views within the Church reflects this complexity, as well as our commitment to be a meeting ground of mutual respect and dignity. While the Church opposes abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, or sex selection, it fully supports a woman’s right to make informed decisions on her own health and to act accordingly.
The Church further believes that “legislating abortions will not address the root of the problem,” and expresses the “conviction that any proposed legislation on the part of national or state governments regarding abortions must take special care to see that the individual conscience is respected, and that the responsibility of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter is acknowledged and honored as the position of this Church.” The Office of Government Relations will continue to advocate at the federal level to protect reproductive rights.
If you would like the opportunity to talk and listen in community about the events of this week, Rebecca+ and the clergy team will be offering a time to reflect on the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion and the Episcopal Church’s stance on abortion and reproductive justice and health care after the 10 am service on Sunday. We will gather in the south transept.
** All quotations are taken from episcopalchurch.org