To Be a Prophet

I’ve been told that I can be a prophet.

Prophet. The word looks regal and sizzles with purpose on the page. The word carries centuries of history with it. It sounds profound when spoken from one’s mouth. The dictionary and Google define “prophet” as “a person who speaks for God.” There are other definitions that share similar ideas of its meaning.

I am not a prophet. I do not speak for God. I am just one person. I am a person with many judgments, challenges, and human-willed ideas of how things should be. I interpret and therefore misinterpret what others think of me, what they say, and how they feel (both generally and how they feel about me).

I am a person with a stubborn mind and a fragile heart. My mind assumes the worst and over analyzes everything. My heart gets wounded easily and then broods in its woundedness. It licks its wounds like a cat and foolishly attempts to nurse itself back to an unfeeling state. My heart tries to erase what it naturally does. And this is how I trained myself to be a human-doing. I am not a prophet.

But what about my soul? My soul…my soul is the prophet.

When nurtured and carefully cared for my soul lives to tell stories, dance vigorously, and show up with all of its bright brilliant colors.

Although I tried to bury my soul. I tried to hide it and erase all my feelings. My soul is strong. Every day it rises from the dust of dirty self-destructive habits to remind me to breathe, love more, and to wake up. It reminds me of all the reasons why it’s important to stay awake. My soul reminds me why I want to stay sharp and why I must always pay attention. From all the destruction, some days my soul is only as bright as a small ember, but sometimes that’s enough in the moment.

My soul is the prophet. As it rises from the dust and glows warmly I am always surprised by how much wisdom and elegance it shares. I stand back with the rest of the crowd and with the rest of the world at what was just created. The crowd marvels at the glowing, brightly colored, well articulated creation that lays before them and I do too.

This creation was not designed by me, the person. It was crafted by Soul. It was loved into existence like a brand new baby. This work was then protected, held, and educated. Each phase of this creation brought in a new color until this precious creation was full of all it can be and all it will be. Then it was set free to humbly sparkle in front of the crowd and share messages with the world.

I take no credit. There is no ball in my court. I have no authority. I am only one human of many. I am as in awe as you. My soul is the prophet.

Photo credit: Ruby Ackermann

Building

Step one, step two. Piece by piece we put the pieces of our lives together. From the first step the pieces are set in motion. We need each step because each step brings in a new piece to the puzzle of our lives.

Step three, step four. Piece by piece we put the pieces of our lives together. Many of these steps will come with snags or set backs. Some steps may no longer work. So we must pivot to something else. This is why life cannot be easily put together like a puzzle. This is why we are always builders. We are always building our lives.

Life will always be under construction. We, ourselves, will always be under construction. You can try to quit this construction project, and claim that you and your life are perfect. You can say there’s nothing that needs to change. That’s fine. See how far that takes you.

You can even try to walk off the construction site before the job is done. I have tried this many times. I have yelled to the sky and declared I was done. I told my friends on site that I was tired of working to build something that never seemed to be interesting, become different, or more colorful. It just stayed shapeless, and boring. So I declared that I was done and useless.

I even went to my Boss, The Great Architect. I tried to convince her that I was not cut out for this job. I was hopeless and so was the job. This whole construction project called “life” was exhausting, lonely, and I felt I wasn’t needed for it.

“So, I’m walking off this construction site.” I said, “I quit. Forever.”

The Great Architect smiled at me, “Okay. You can go, if you feel you must. However, you will still be my beautiful, creative builder. Whether you are on this construction site or another. Your essence will not change, the work you do will still be work, and your friends will be left with broken hearts.”

This left me with a sinking feeling. I sat with it for a long time, but I still felt useless, hopeless, uninteresting, and very tired. Defiantly I stood in front of The Great Architect and I said, “I’m walking off this construction site! That’s all I’m good for and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Unless you want to make me into a different, more interesting builder?”

Again, She smiled at me and said, “Your essence cannot change. Nor would I want to change who you are.” She took my hands in Hers, “I created you from the deepest love. From that deep love nothing about you can be wrong or uninteresting.”

I looked at The Great Architect with great disappointment. This response felt silly, and flimsy. I felt stuck in my skin, in fear, and on this Earth, but it seemed I had things to do. I had things I wanted to do and things I needed to do. In great dissatisfaction I said, “Fine. I’ll try again.”

Step one, step two. Piece by piece we put the pieces of our lives together. Like Noah and his arc we must build and build. When the building is done we move to the next step of the project. Sometimes the next step will fall into place as we are working on the previous step. It’s all part of the process of construction. And when this construction project starts to feel too big for you, not worth it, or like you’re trudging through molasses remember who it’s for. It’s for you and The Great Architect. That’s it.

“Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days. Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move. At the impulse of Thy love.” (Christian Science Hymn, 324:1)

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing with myself, with the ingrained voices in my head, and with the world. Shadow boxing with my own shadow. My shadow jumps out at me and startles me.

“Hello?” I called in the dark, “Who’s there?”

My shadow smirked and chuckled, “You know who it is, you big dummy.”

I stood in the dark, shaking, “What do you want?”

“I want you.” My shadow said decisively, “Come on.”

“But…” I stammered, slowly putting up my fists, “I can’t fight you.”

My shadow chuckled like a Disney villain as it confidently put up its fists. “Sure you can. You just need the right motivation. Just you wait. I’ll get you at some point.”

Then suddenly my shadow was gone and a bright light appeared as someone entered the room. I snapped into a robotic version of myself. I was not totally confident or masking my fear, but driven by the other person’s presence I ran on autopilot. I did as I was told. Like Ella Enchanted I had the “gift” of obedience and I could people please like a pro.

My shadow taunted me. It morphed into voices and took on the forms of loved ones.

“Why are you wearing those shoes?“ I would see my sister say. My sweet, innocent sister would startle me with her judging tone and defiant posture. I saw something in her that was not her. If only I could reach inside her and take my shadow out of her.

“Hey! Move faster! What are you doing? We’re all in the car waiting!” my brother said, “Geez, you’re so slow!” A sinking feeling overwhelmed me, as I watched my brother storm back to the car. A flicker, a shocking spark would light up under his feet that didn’t belong to his kind and tender nature. If only I could reach for his hand and remove my shadow from him. Sadly, I was not brave enough and too afraid. So I lived in fear of myself and my shadow. I lived in fear of the world and how to be.

Shadow boxing with my shadow at night. Always in the dark of the night. “I told you I’d get you. Do you feel motivated to fight now?”

My shadow let its fists go. Swing left. Swing right. Trembling I watch my fists fly through the dark. I dance my way through the night as a way to cope through the fight with my shadow.

By daybreak I snap back into autopilot and sweat my way through the day. I white knuckle my way through each moment. My shadow whispering in my ear. All day my shadow bullies and whispers insults in my ear.

By nightfall my shadow jumps up behind me and laughs at my girlish scream. Then it grabs me firmly by the shoulders and turns me around. “Fight me!”

“Why?“ I ask, pleading.

“Are you scared?” My shadow taunts “Come on. Hit me.”

I notice a kind of fear and sadness living behind my shadow’s fire lit eyes. I timidly reach out my hand. My fingertips inches from my shadow’s hand. “What if we just…” My fingertips link with the fingertips of my shadow and like a spider spinning its web my hand slowly blends with my shadow’s hand.

My shadow lets out a loud, fearful gasp. It quickly retracts its hand, as if it was burned. “No. What do you think you’re trying to pull?”

“Nothing. I’m not trying to pull anything. Really.” I tell my shadow, “I just thought…”

Chuckling lazily my shadow says, “No. You don’t get to do that. Who told you that load of garbage?” My shadow looks confident, possibly even a little regal, but it’s fearfully clutching the hand that was recently touched by mine. My shadow continues, “You just thought?” It laughs, “that’s just precious. Let me tell you something. You don’t get to think you can change me or have any sparkling ideas about our relationship. Ok? Do you hear me? You just stay in your lane. You got it, princess? You and I are in the ring for life. I’ll see you for another round, sweetheart.”

And just like that it’s daybreak. Cue the umpteenth round of white knuckling torture.

Oh, dear, sweet shadow! I will form a bond with you if it kills me. One day we will blend together and the fear in our eyes will fade. But, I guess, not today. I pray that “one day” comes soon.

When I Am Seen

When I am seen I become unleashed joy. When I am seen I feel freedom.

When I am seen my heart can fill up with emotion and unapologetically feel ALL of it. When I am seen I can let my heart authentically express all my feelings.

When I am seen my mind can diligently write out all of its ideas with gratitude and joy. When I am seen my mind can share freely the dissertation of thoughtful ideas it has written and stored over many long years. When I am seen my mind can take that dissertation it has stored and begin to build something beautiful out of it.

When I am seen my body can be unbound. When I am seen my body can connect to my heart and my mind. When I am seen I can move effortlessly and dance unencumbered.

When I am seen I can celebrate the space I take up. When I am seen I am in alignment with myself and in the world. When I am seen goodness can be created and life can be lived to the fullest.

Thank you, friends! Thank you, dear friends, for seeing me. Thank you for seeing me when I fall out of alignment. Thank you for loving me into alignment and bringing me back home to myself.

It is a rare and powerful gift to be truly seen by another breathing soul. When you honestly and humbly give this gift of seeing another then the heart can open wide, the mind can rest completely, and the body can connect gracefully with the heart and mind. Then that aligned person can authentically live. They have been given profound permission to feel, think, move, and be without hiding.

It’s unfortunate how intensely we all hide and suppress ourselves. We are not meant to lose ourselves that much. But when one brave soul takes the time to see us, to really see our soul, it is an invitation and a gift. When we are seen it’s a beautiful invitation to unapologetically open up!

So, dear friends, thank you for this lovely gift. Thank you for seeing me!

Fostering Creation Card Sale

Hi. Taking a second to promote the Fostering Creation Card Sale and Shop.

Buy handmade greeting cards made to order. Choose from various photos taken by Grace Foster and by me. Please see details here https://fosteringcreation.com/card-sale/

Also Fostering Creation has a Shop. Go to fosteringcreation.com and click “Shop” in the menu. Choose from various Fostering Creation photos and get them printed on your favorite products, such as phone cases, tote bags, towels, and more.