I had a different topic in mind for this week’s homily. Then I was abruptly awakened and given a new one. It was almost 3 o’clock this morning. That’s when my phone rang.
It was my daughter, Maiysha. She was in the Amsterdam airport, en route to South Africa, and she was in tears.
“It appears that my wallet is missing,” she said calmly, but I could hear the tears in her voice.
There have been many moments during her young life that Maiysha has made me immensely proud. The moment she spoke those words ranked among my favorites: Why? She’d told me that it appeared that her wallet, debit card and all her cash were missing.
Whoo hoo! Maiysha not only had heard the Loud Mouth’s rants, she’d internalized them. How many times had I told her that what happens on planet Earth is a physical appearance–only a shadow of what’s really happening in the world of Spirit, the Source of all Life? How many times had I said that when we believe that the physical plane is real and the spiritual plane is not, we’re more likely to live in fear, a state that prevents us from thinking clearly and responding appropriately when challenges arise?
Those concepts are tough to embrace because, like most of us, Maiysha spends practically every waking moment with people who believe that physical life is Life Itself.
“Remember to breathe,” I said, reminding her of the email message from “Loving Each Day” that I’d forwarded hours earlier. (If you’re ready to think rather than blindly accept others’ beliefs, treat yourself to a free subscription of these daily thought-provoking emails.) Yesterday’s message was:
“When you find yourself in a tense situation, for example, you may notice that you are holding your breath. Putting your attention on your breathing can help you relax and immediately be in the here and now. This practice, found in many spiritual traditions, is often referred to as mindfulness, being present, or living in the now.
“You may ask, since we’re breathing all the time, why do we need to practice it? What we’re practicing is conscious awareness of the breath. Then breathing becomes a concentration exercise that not only focuses the mind but brings many healing benefits as well.”
– John-Roger with Paul Kaye
(From: Momentum, Letting Love Lead – Simple Practices for Spiritual Living, p. 61)
“I am trying to breathe, Mom,” Maiysha said. “Actually, it’s helping me stay calm.”
True, she wasn’t flipping out, despite the disappointment of retracing her steps, speaking with empathetic but unhelpful airport personnel, and coming up empty. Plus, her flight to Capetown left in less than an hour. Luckily, she had her passport and boarding pass. A limousine was picking her up at the airport, and her hotel was paid. But she had no money–and no access to any. As much as she hated to wake me, she needed her Mom by her side at that moment.
As I “stood” in line with her at the customer service counter, a more helpful airline employee took one look at my child’s tear-filled eyes and offered to check the cabin of the plane, just in case she’d left it onboard. It was a long-shot, but the wallet hadn’t turned up anywhere else. What if she’d been pick-pocketed?
I started to get dressed so that I could dash around the corner to her bank, and withdraw her daily cash limit with the duplicate debit card that had her bank had issued me. Afterward, we’d cancel both cards and I’d wire the cash to a location near her Capetown hotel.
That resolved her problem on the physical plane; but we knew there was more. We began to look deeper, pondering the questions I always ask in situations such as this: “Why did I create this predicament? How does it serve me: What learning opportunities does it present? How does it help me grow spiritually?”
When we see exclusively with our physical eyes, we miss the information, answers and blessings from Spirit that are so close to us. Seeking the opportunities for growth in every situation brings us closer to the “I am always with you” Christ Spirit that lives within us. It allows us breathe peacefully, not panic.
Sure, it was possible that thieves might have made a hefty withdrawal from their karmic accounts by trying to steal money from Maiysha’s bank account; but we trusted that God would bring perfect balance to both sides. Trusting that, we also realized what a divine blessing it was that she was compelled to buy a gift for her Dad at an airport shop; otherwise, she would have been in Capetown before discovering that her wallet was missing. Finally, we trusted that the situation would resolve itself for everyone’s Highest Good.
It certainly was good for me to witness Maiysha moving through this dilemma fearlessly and peacefully. She was prepared to accept the outcome of the search of the plane, no matter what. She merely hoped that she’d discover the outcome before time to board her next flight.
Finally, she spotted the agent approaching her. Before I could ask, I heard her say, “They found it!”
We breathed more deeply. What an opportunity had been presented to us. We could mouth the words, “I trust God,” and we can say we trust in a perfect outcome. But until we demonstrate that trust to ourselves, they are empty words.
What was the “perfect” outcome here: having Maiysha’s wallet returned intact? No, although it was. Remember “thy will be done?” That’s what it means: trusting and acquiescing to the will of your Higher Self. “Perfect” was whatever her soul wanted the outcome to be, even if it meant that the body surrounding the soul went to Capetown penniless. Physical life is just a shadow.
Wow, you’re not going to believe this: The phone just rang again. It was the doorman. It appears that I left my wallet in a chair downstairs a couple of hours ago. I hadn’t even missed it. As I rode the elevator down to the lobby, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. It’s as if it happened so that the story angle I’d been given came full circle.
Yes, every card and every penny in the wallet were there. But I would have been as peaceful, even if they hadn’t been.
Trust me: You can do this. You can enjoy the peace that comes from trusting the divine God within you, no matter what appears to go awry on planet Earth.
Will you be in the Chicago area March 26-28? The Loud Mouth in the Balcony is conducting a workshop at the Women’s Leadership Conference. For more information on this event and the other dynamic presenters, visit my website: www.dramaqueenworkshops.com