Now is the Time to Go Deeper

By: Candace Chellew-Hodge

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there. — Meister Eckhart

Now is the time to go deeper.

Not in the form of retreat. Not as a response to fear. Not as a way to put our head in the sand and hope it all goes away.

No, now is the time to go deeper within ourselves so that we may find the inner wisdom we all need to survive the coming darkness.

Now is the time to go deeper … within our own compassion.

Now is the time to go deeper … within our own mercy.

Now is the time to go deeper … within our own capacity to give and receive love.

Now is the time to go deeper … within our innate sense of justice and fairness.

Now is the time.

We have slept for so many years, resting on the laurels of our success, counting them as assured, protected, hard-won and lasting.

We see now the looming threat. The soldiers marshaling to roll back the tide, to replace justice with mercilessness, to replace fairness with favoritism, to replace equity with division, to replace love with fear.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover the true inner strength and light that abides within each of us. Now is the time to go to that place within, that true Divine Self that sees through the fearful illusions of this world and regards no man, woman or child as evil no matter what label our small ego self likes to attach to those around us.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover what role we’ve played in contributing to this mess. How we have refused to go deeper, instead playing the surface game of ego. Allowing others to take the field on our behalf. Allowing the corporate media to tell us what to believe. Allowing the Hollywood producers to lull us to sleep with facile stories of love and justice, twisted just enough to make us feel triumphant in the end. Allowing this world to make us believe it is real and that we are all separate, all distinct beings instead of part of one wave in a vast universal ocean of life.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that there is no separation between us and those we would call enemies, those we would call evil, those we would call heartless or callous. They are just as much me as the fingers who type these words. We are not separate. Not really. We are all just thoughts in the mind of God, manifestations of the Holy walking around in human suits.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover a deeper vision that allows us to see the innocence in everyone. But, to do that, we must first go deeper and discover our own innocence. That place where we no longer see ourselves as either evil or good, sinner or saint, blamed or blameless, worthless or special. Instead, we must deeply see ourselves as beloved, as innocent children of God, who have become lost on the journey back to unity. We grope in this darkness, hoping for some glimmer of light that would lead us home.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that we must bring this darkness, not just within ourselves, but the darkness of the world to the healing light of God. We cannot do that unless we are willing to go deeper, willing to see how we have contributed to the darkness through our own actions or inaction, through our own words or silence, through our own thoughts or thoughtlessness. We have all played a role in dimming the light of God in the world.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that soul force within that allows us to heal the wounds within so that we can look out onto the world with compassion and without judgment. We cannot ever change this world while we hold any thoughts of hatred, judgment or contempt for anyone, even those we may consider to be the most evil, or those we may blame for unleashing that evil.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that place within ourselves where unconditional love resides. It was only through this kind of love, this kind of soul force, that helped Gandhi prevail over the British Empire. It was this kind of love, this kind of soul force, that helped Martin Luther King Jr. lead the battle for civil rights. It was this kind of love, this kind of soul force, that led Nelson Mandela to peacefully remove a racist government from power. If the British, American or South African leaders had felt contempt or judgment from these men, they never would have succeeded. Instead, they felt loved, seen and heard, and they reacted by bringing their own darkness to the light. Freedom came.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that we are the Gandhi, the King, the Mandela that we’ve been waiting for. There is no one savior waiting behind the curtain to step forward and right the wrongs that we see before us. Gandhi, King, Mandela, they gave us the model. They showed us how to go deep and purge the demons of judgment, hatred and fear from our own souls.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover our own inner Gandhi, King and Mandela. We do not have to marshal a majority of people to bring forth their inner justice and peacemakers. Instead, we simply need enough of us to tap that inner resource of unconditional love and let it flow into the world. We need just enough people to stop whispering their love and begin shouting it from the rooftops. Too many people have been shouting angry, fearful words – dedicated to their cause. We must be willing to amplify the voice of love.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that voice of love – a voice that speaks with authority, but does not always speak in gentle, lilting tones. Sometimes love yells. Sometimes love overturns tables. Sometimes love marches in the streets. Sometimes love sets hard boundaries and dares fear and hatred to cross it. Sometimes love says, “No. Not this. Not now. Not ever.”

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that love’s true power is not personal or individual, not to be sought just for ourselves. Instead, we must discover that love that seeks to be set free in the world for the benefit of everyone – a love without condition, a love without malice, a love that expects nothing in return, but sees all the world flock to its side.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that this love is not sentimental. This love is not a pushover. This love is not a wimp. The love the world needs now is a strong, full-throated call for everyone cowering in the shadow of fear to go deeper, to touch that wellspring of Divine love that flows within us all. We must be that voice of love, crying in the wilderness, gathering the fearful to it side. No act of kindness is too small for this love to manifest. A smile, holding the door, yielding to others, outdoing one another in showing love. Any and all acts of love will be multiplied a million-fold and returned to us to be given again and again.

Now is the time to go deeper. A time to discover that our real source of power has no fear. We must go deeper and tap this reservoir of love, because when that spring begins to flow, it will overtake all hatred, all fear, all evil, and transform it into itself, into pure Divine Love.

Now is the time to go deeper.

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