My Permission Slip

By Terry Shea

August 12, 2016

Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock

Posted In: Spiritual Wellness, White Rock


If you go back far enough into your history you will find people who were not consumers; you will find people who made things. You will find people who made anything and everything they needed and who would do without if they couldn’t figure out how to make it themselves or get it made.
You and I and everyone we know are descended from tens of thousands of people who were makers of things. Decorators, tinkers, cobblers, storytellers, dancers, explorers, fiddlers, drummers, builders, growers, problem solvers – these are our common ancestors. We are all here to make something, and most importantly, we are here to make a life, a life unlike any that has ever been seen before.
The very act of living is a creative act, and like every creative act and expression, it is the fruit of our awareness and conscious intention. Just as fear was what blocked us last week when we discussed giving in to the enchantment of what is possible for us, anxiety is in the way of inspiration.
Ernest Holmes says on p. of 247 SOM. “… there can be no uneasiness, no anxiety about any outcome, if we know whether waking or sleeping that every step of the way God goes with us.”
The life that we are building must be our authentic life if we are to be happy. In a conversation with a friend recently, she asked me what is “my stand” that one thing that I would never compromise. I answered unequivocally, authenticity. I’d like to say I have never compromised in this arena, but that would be far from the truth. It is in fact because I sacrificed my authentic self so thoroughly for so many years that authenticity is such a driving need for me now.
I remember an incident from my monastery days where I was unjustly accused of gluttonous behaviour when I took two sticks of maple syrup taffy, one for myself and one for the brother I was working beside. Monastic custom, and the rule of silence, required that I refrain from any communication with Br. Benoit and ignore his needs/wants. Working on that assumption, the brother who accused me, himself a very saintly man, assumed the worst of me. I was selfish and a glutton! I was forbidden to say anything in my own defense.
I walked away from that incident feeling ashamed. I have walked away from many perceived judgments since, likewise ashamed, but also feeling misunderstood, invalidated and angry. The choice to live authentically will pit us against other’s perceptions of us, and ultimately against ourselves as we try to understand what is driving us; what unmet needs are making themselves felt so keenly; what creative impulse is at the root of our choices.
In my work with the Volken Academy students I have witnessed the creative impulse to be authentic, to be free of intrusive feelings or unworthiness, brokenness and “not enoughness” spiral into out-of-control addictions that have lead to ever worse and worse outcomes. And still, it is the same Creative Process in the Individual seeking to create an authentic life, seeking to create a greater degree of livingness.
The secret Ernest Holmes stated above, never lose sight of the fact that “God” is walking with us, in us and as us! Ernie is implying we have a “permission slip” from the highest authority there is.
Join my beloved teacher, Rev. Marilyn this week as she fills in for me. We sat down together early this week and reflected on this topic and specifically how getting permission to be us has played out in our lives.