“Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6, New American Standard Bible
This is one of my favorite Bible verses. If there is one quote from anywhere that could describe the foundation of my life, it is likely this one. Meditating on it surely changed me, changed my relationship to the Divine, and set me upon a path that led me to where I am now.
To me, this verse speaks to the concept of spiritual impeccability. When you look ‘impeccable’ up in the dictionary, you will find references to perfection and being without sin. However, as I have learned it, impeccable in the spiritual sense is about having your inside world and your outside world in alignment. Living your Truth. That alignment is certainly a type of perfection. It also makes me think of the book of Thomas: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” (v70)
As I work to align my inner and outer worlds, I grapple with and work to resolve certain conflicting pieces of my self. My reasoning is that, if the Divine wants me to be true to who I really am, then I have to know who that is! We are talking deep soul work, and that is not the kind of thing I was ever taught in Sunday school (more’s the pity, in my opinion!).
My experience of churches is that they often focus on separation, dualism, trying to internalize something that is inherantly external to me; The services I attended were almost all about recognizing and compensating for a barrier between humanity and God. God, as Other. We “come to God.” A person might accept Jesus into his or her heart, as though He isn’t already there. The “devil made me do it” is yet another way of expressing Other.
Other is not how I commune with the Divine.
Instead, I try to align my inner and outer selves, per the Psalm. This resonates with me as Truth. That resonance is the echo that confirms my path is the right one for me. This process of living out my truth led me to some conclusions that are less than popular with certain groups of people. As I learned to let my inner truth show through to my outer world, I came out as a lesbian, and my whole world changed. Vulnerable to the judgement of others, I was also open to the Divine as I am, without reservation. That was an amazingly powerful feeling. Sometimes, we don’t realize that we try to hide who we are from the Divine. Intellectually, we might believe that God knows everything about us. This doesn’t stop us from casting our own judgement on how worthy any trait might be to Divine eyes. I honestly believe that, unless we are willing to offer our entire self on the altar of our connection to Spirit, perceived flaws and all, we will never know the depth of emotion and soaring sense of connection that could be the foundation of our life.
I also felt led to a recognition that a deep and personal connection to nature is a mandatory part of my connection to Spirit. Nature, to me, is Divine manifestation, and deserves to be honored as such. This connection to the world I am in is part of the releasing of Other. I am not separate from the world. I never was and I never will be. I am one cell out of a whole. I have a role to fill, but so does that oak tree and the hawk that just flew overhead. Knowing this, and feeling its truth deep in my heart, gives me an amazing sense of peace.
Living my truth out loud is a fearless adventure, and I don’t always succeed. I am gettting better at it, though. Sometimes, it has me walking where others feel safe to cast judgement. I might wish it otherwise, but I am not going to change because of this. I don’t provoke their anger on purpose. I believe it happens because my path makes them nervous. It is OTHER. If I can walk this path, then more might try it. If a lot of people walk with their inner truth showing, then the structure around which these people have built their understanding of right, wrong and the laws of the universe might be called into question too. What then?
The world would change.
Personally, I’m ok with that.