Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
First let me express thanks to God for continuing revelation and abiding faithfulness! I have never known anyone or anything so sweet and good!
Over the past several years I have been led very distinctly to keep my hair a certain way. The discernment surrounding this has been long and painful at times but has sweetly brought me closer to God. It is not a way that I would like to keep my hair. In fact I do not like it. I do love and trust God though and try following where I am led.
This past week has been especially trying though in this regard. My ego has been screaming at the top of it's lungs for me to go back to where I came from and cut my hair the way I used to have it. Oh, it has pulled out every way it can to try and get me to the barber! The justifications and excuses it uses are very good, cunning even and very believable.
I am thankful though for the Spirit revealing itself deeper over this matter though. I have been taken several times in the past week, in my mind's eye, to the movie 'The Wizard of Oz'. Like a puzzle over the week I have had to put the pieces together as the Spirit gave them to me but now I see how it all fits together, am finding wording for it and want to share it with you.
There is a scene in the movie where Dorothy is being visited by the Wicked Witch of the West for the first time, on the heels of just realizing that she is wearing the ruby slippers. The Wicked Witch is trying rascal her way into them (the slippers), when Glenda steps in and tells Dorothy to keep them and NOT give them to her. She further explains that if the ruby slippers weren't so powerful and important the Wicked Witch would not want them so badly. Then she tells the Wicked Witch to leave bc she has no power there and at another point tells Dorothy to not take the ruby slippers off for even one moment or she will be at the mercy of the Wicked Witch.
Oh my soul breaks open with joy as I understand what the Spirit is teaching me. I love how the Fruits of the Spirit are Joy, Love, Faithfulness, etc... Such a sharp contrast to the fruits of ego: want, confusion, restlessness, attachment... which is what I have been feeling about the hair and how I know it is Ego. When God is involved it is Simple and quite the opposite of all that the ego presents..... Even if you give the Ego what it wants and you feel the instant gratification that comes from that, it is fleeting, hollow, and counterfeit to the REAL happiness that comes from faithfully abiding in the Spirit, but back to the main point.....
Do you see the correlation between my story and Dorothy's? Keeping my hair the way I am led has great power or my ego would not be fighting it so badly. In keeping my hair the way I am led it is starving the ego out and the power in it lies there: changing old egoic patterns and forcing my ego into alignment with the Spirit. Those old patterns don't really give me what I want (the fruits of the Spirit), they actually keep me from them, but the ego would have me think just the opposite-that only through giving into its demands will I find peace, happiness, rest, hope, etc....
Just as Gleda told her that the moment she took the shoes off for a moment she would be at the Mercy of the Wicked Witch, so too the second I give my ego an inch it takes a mile and it can take me a long time to get that mile back. I can lose that mile in a second and it can take months, years to get that back.... It is slick, so slick. Glenda told the Wicked Witch she needed to leave and she had no power there. That was because she was not given a foothold, she was not in those slippers, and so the reason my ego has been screaming at me this week is because is has no power and it is desperate to get that inch, for me to listen to its plea and believe its lie.
My yoga teacher has taught me to look into the face of this and call it out! The Buddha did (and so did Jesus in the Desert). The Buddha looked into the face of all of this as it screamed at him in meditation and said: "I know you, Maya!" I too know this voice and declare to it now, "I know you ego! You have no power here. Go! Take your lies and manipulation and go. I know you, and I know your voice. I know you are counterfeit and hollow. Leave me."
Praise be to God for this realization and for remaining faithful to me through all of the times (and years) that I gave into ego and confused its voice for one of Truth.
Dearest God, faithful lover of my soul, thank you! Thank you. Thank you. I trust in you for the strength to be faithful to the ways in which you lead me.
I sink down into that space within where I need not ask for anything bc all I need is there-You-which is the REAL ME.
In this space, I abide in you, you abide in me and we are one together and with all that is, even though we appear as many. In that space where I am not only my brother's keeper, I am my brother.