26 October 2008

Letting God

Last night I was watching Tyler Perry’s Diary Of A Mad Black Woman. I noticed that my Tivo had recorded it, and even though I had seen the movie about thirty times, I couldn’t turn the tv off. So, instead of getting ready for bed, and even though it was recorded and I could have watched it the following weekend when I had nothing to do, I had to watch then, though I decided I would turn the tv off right after Charles McCarter realized that the only person he would count on was his wife, the woman he physically dragged out of their home like trash while her replacement, his new girlfriend and the mother of his two sons, stood by, watching, and waiting to take her place as the new queen of the mansion. Just before his divorce to his wife, later on in the movie, he was gunned down by the gangster that he failed to get acquitted. He ended up paralyzed from the neck down. His girlfriend dropped him like he was hot, and the only person who would help him was Helen, his wife, the person he treated the worst.

I love that movie because of the acting of Kimberly Elise, who plays the pivotal role of Helen McCarter, the suffering wife. I will watch anything she is in. I loved the movie also because since I was a child my mother had drilled in my brain the bible passage of reaping and sowing, and that’s what the movie was about, reaping and sowing. At least that’s what I had enjoyed about the movie in the past. I love the idea of watching an evil person on tv or in movies getting his or her comeuppance. This time though, I saw something else. It surprised me that I hadn’t seen it before. This time I felt Tyler Perry was telling me about the importance of letting go.

Helen was telling her brother in law, attorney Brian Simmons (played by Tyler Perry) that she thought that by her doing all she could to make her bad marriage work, that God would do the rest. Brian told her that “sometimes it takes a lot more than doing all you can, that sometimes we hold on to things that God Himself is trying to tear apart.” That sentence alone spoke to me. I had seen this movie many many times before. Why am I just hearing this message?

And what is the message I got from the movie? The importance of letting go. There’s a saying that goes like this; “Let go and let God.” To "let God" from the center of your being, from your heart, from your innermost self where God speaks if you wish to listen -- that is truly the ultimate aim. Before this highest, most blissful and secure state can exist, obstacles and dualistic confusions must always be removed.

Perhaps it was meant for me to see that movie last night, because after that point in the movie, I felt as if it had served it’s purpose, and that I had gotten what I needed to get out of the movie. Who knows, what message I will get, when I see the rest of the movie sometime this weekend?

25 October 2008

Start Anew

In the final episode of the show Trueblood, Tara had told that mysterious social worker that she probably lost her job, all of her friends and that her mother disowned her, and that she had failed to see ‘the opportunity’ and the social worker said something that really stuck out in my mind, ‘she said that maybe life has cleared out all the things that weren’t working for her.’
I don’t think it’s life that does that. I think it’s God. I know it’s God. I know it’s just a show on HBO about vampires trying to live amongst people and wanting the same rights humans have, but that statement reminds me of one of my daily meditations. It’s what I call my daily Prayer of Mathematics. It goes like this:

Dear Lord,
Please subtract from my life, people who either don’t mean me well, or will prevent me in some way, from being who You and I want me to be, and to please add to my life, people who mean me well, and who will help me to be who You and I want me to be.

It’s a prayer I made up a couple of years ago, and I recite that to myself daily. There have been people that have entered my life that have either helped me and have hurt me. Sometimes the helping and the hurting is not always obvious. Sometimes it’s subtle, or maybe it’s just I’m too close to the person to really see who they are. There have been those that have been like anchors, weighing me down, without my realizing so.

Since I started praying that prayer, I have found people either gradually or suddenly failing to return my calls, or text messages or emails. Because I’ve had a bad habit of initiating most communications with so-called friends, I’ve stopped, promising myself to only communicate in response to people. While I’m close to the situation, I tend to wonder why I haven’t heard from this person or that person, but when I step back and think about my prayer, especially the first part (Please subtract from my life, people who either don’t mean me well, or will prevent me in some way, from being who You and I want me to be), I realize that God is just answering my prayer. As the Bible says, I have become still (and still trying…I’m still a work in progress), knowing that He is God.

There have been people that I have known for half my life, that obviously means me well, and who has been helping me to be who God and myself wants me to be, like my best friend, Steve Demuth.

About 16 months ago, a Steve Phillips was added to my life, in the form of a job recruiter. Living in Milwaukee Wisconsin, I was at a miserable, dead-end job, desperately considering a new career choice since I didn’t have the seniority to even be considered for an underwriting position at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance ( though I more than met all the other job requirements and I was overqualified for the call center job I was doing at the time). I had no idea what to since I felt backed into a corner. In August of 2007 I was looking forward to going to Portland to stand up for a friend who was getting married. Out of the blue, Steve Phillips called me. He had seen my resume on Monster.com, and he called me about an underwriting position and asked how I felt about Portland. I told him, “ I’m going to be there in 4 days!” The phone interview went smoothly, the face-to face went smoothly, and they even flew me back a month later to meet the higher-ups in the department, and within a month, I was a resident of Oregon working as an underwriter again! 16 months later I am still happy.

I’m still waiting for God to add someone to my life whom will love me, but like the Bible says, Be still and know that I am God.