GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#64 — August 1, 2017

Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.

— William James

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

Some of you may know that, in addition to serving as an Interfaith Minister, I am a professional speaker, trainer and coach in the world of service excellence and leadership development. In that role, I also serve, helping individuals and organizations to link people, passion and possibilities as my website,, shares. And so, much of my time and energy is focused on learning. Recently, however, it has become apparent, that, oftentimes, we need to un-learn more than we need to learn. And, oftentimes, that is more difficult, especially in the spiritual realm.

Peruse social media, look over the bookshelves in the market place, turn on the TV or open your snail mail and you will find messages and titles imploring you to learn with the intention of attaining something - a higher level of consciousness, a deeper understanding of faith or, my favorite, enlightenment. While I believe in learning and development, I want to suggest something a little controversial - that we do not always need to be learning. Sometimes, we would be better off un-learning that which time and education have taught. And instead, we should focus on being more aware. Awareness is the issue, rather than more information.

As spiritual beings, are we not living in the Presence of the Divine always? Are we not enveloped by the Holy Spirit and wrapped in the love of the Creator always? So why are we constantly being told that we must seek the Presence? I offer: the Presence is here; our awareness is limited.

We spend far too much time sleep-walking. We move through our crazy days unaware of so much, missing the miracles, missing the love. All great Spiritual Leaders have encouraged us to open ourselves up, to pay attention, to see deeply. Isn't that the real purpose of ritual? Jesus said, "Be awake." The very meaning of the name Buddha in Sanskrit is "I am awake." With constant reminders and insistent encouragement from many holy writings, we still miss the mark.

Being awake in the deepest sense is not something we do; it is a way of life, as natural as breathing and yet as elusive as the breath. But in those fleeting moments of wakefulness, we feel the joy of God's love, we sense the Presence of Spirit and the freedom she brings. In this time, in this space, in this holy moment, we understand love. And love is the definition of God - however else we might define Him/Her. It is love that wants to live through us and, by doing so, that we live through love.

So perhaps now is the time to un-learn all of those well-intentioned rules and regulations, all of those control mechanisms that have diminished our capacity to love, to be aware and to live in Spirit's Presence. Hmmm … maybe the biggest lesson is the un-learning. Let's wake up to the love that a new story will bring to us and to the world.

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I live fully awake and in the Presence of Perfect Love.

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington supports people of all traditions in their quest for spiritual development. She can be reached at 215 260 1611 or at