Once upon a time… when everything was in shambles and I had no clue as to what to do next, God sent me “clues, hints, winks, and synchronicities” on my journey. At that time one of my majors in the University of Life was detaching and disengaging from being a “people pleaser”, not succumbing to the “need to please”, having the strength to say “No” and stick to it, and having the courage to do something that I knew would upset many people, many many many people. I had on my shoulders the weight of letting everyone down if I were to proceed down a certain path. Oh my Holy Word! What a time of great testing that was.
Anthony de Mello’s book “Walking on Water” was my lifeline and saving grace. In one section he spoke about us being addicted to the praise of others and it being the equivalent of a cocaine addiction (I think that is the drug he referred to). It is fed to us at a very early age and our psyche and sense of self-worth is deeply conditioned to it. It is the carrot and stick schtick of praise, disapproval, “the disapproving eye”, and/or the lavishing or withholding of love. Once we taste it, once we are conditioned to it, we crave it and we’ll do anything to keep getting it – love and adoration – at any cost to our deep inner sense. Before we even know what is going on, we are hooked subconsciously and unaware.
Rather than going within or to God for approval we look for the validation from others which is a very dangerous and precarious position to put ourselves in. We become slaves and at the mercy of another and another’s fickle and unConditional love, rather than God’s total acceptance of us and our own acceptance of us. At that time, I was, or rather, God was weaning me from this self-destructive and self-demeaning “drug”.
I had a major decision to make – I could either stay put or have “everyone/they” be upset with me and disappointed in me for taking a different path. I wouldn’t be just “rocking the boat”, I’d be turning it upside down, axing it to pieces, and then burning it.
- What to do?
- What to do?
- Oh Dear God! What do I do?
In the midst of this conundrum, one night I had a dream. In the dream the message was “if you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat”. It was a strong and deep dream, and upon waking, my whole Being was imbued with its message. I knew the direction that the dream was prophesying for me. I just did not know if I had the strength to see it through.
That day I happened to be flying out of town. While I was standing in the TSA security line, my gaze was directed toward the mesh end-pocket of a duffel bag that a gentleman in front of me had over his shoulder. To my astonishment and bewilderment the cover had a picture of a boat in the water and the title read, “If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”. I was in total AWE & WONDER. Was this for real? What are the odds! I couldn’t believe it and yet I did. I also couldn’t refrain from not saying anything. I told the gentleman with the book about my dream, and after a brief but intense Soul bearing conversation he offered the book to me, just like that. By the Grace of God, I was humble enough to say “Yes” and accept such a thoughtful and generous gift from a stranger.
I not only read the book, I devoured it. Every word spoke to me, nourished me, taught me, opened my mind, and encouraged me. I KNEW in the core of my being God was speaking to me through this book. I KNEW that God was building me up on the inside with His Living Word and Truth to go down the path of resistance. I KNEW I would be disappointing “them and they”, but I also KNEW I would make God really really proud of me for finally listening to God and being obedient.
In hindsight, this stranger might have very well been an angel, for they do come in all types of earthly guises. Sometimes you just get this feeling … Sometimes you just know when the Divine has set you up for success in Their Vision of your best life.
Yes. After much discernment, trepidation, angst, and a whole lotta prayer, by the Grace of God, I did get out of the boat, and, I lived to tell about it, despite all the resistance I received for doing so. Yes. The process had been melodramatic because no one was listening to me, which made me even more angry, and I felt it was the only way I could get my point across. No one was hurt physically, but emotionally Hearts and relationships were torn to bits and pieces.
In this “getting out of the boat and walking on water” journey of faith, as long as I had my eyes and i focused on Jesus, I was doing just fine, no mater what was going on around me. As soon as I took my Heart’s gaze off of Him and focused onto the circumstances, “the facts” and the repercussions, my Spirit began to sink into and become overwhelmed by despair. By the Grace of God, as soon as I realized I was sinking, I reached for Him and He always brought me up to the surface again. He is like that. He is always on call and always responds. It’s just that sometimes His Way and His response may be very different from what we expected. Be humble and open enough so that you can see and accept His help and love, always.
Recently, at the library bookstore, I happened upon the book, again. Hmmm… It reminded me again just how much we are all Divinely loved, supported, valued, encouraged, empowered, guided, and blessed on this earthen sojourn.
He loves you more than you know. He wants a life of joy, peace, love, health, safety, wisdom, grace, and prosperity for you. Ask. Ask. Ask. Then DO as He says. God does need your cooperation. Amen
Side Note: Anthony de Mello’s suggestion, which I think is wise, for raising strong and God-dependent children is to support them, AND also ask them how they feel about their accomplishments/projects (art, science, sport…)/progress. This helps to build them from the inside out rather than from the outside in.
Worship the Living God (Hebrews 9) and not dead idols, Irena As I Am and Mudryk, Divine Seaworthy Sailors July 12, 2018