Pale pink blossoms on branches reaching up for the sky. White or pink petals on arms gracefully arching right or left. Like ballerinas the flowering trees express a longing for sun and beauty and space. They shine brilliantly for a week or two or three, then the blossoms fall like snow to the ground, becoming leaves or berries or fruit. These trees remind me of the process by which we humans become God-centered.
I have thought for so many years that we had to let go of many things until we were finally empty enough to experience the Holy Spirit within, the divine spark, our fully created selves, our souls—however you might label that part of us that has the capacity to participate in the divine, to carry on a two-way dialogue with God, to realize God’s presence in the world, and to become a co-creator with God.
But I am beginning to realize that I have misunderstood what has to happen. It’s not about letting go of the ego and false self as much as softening our egoic/false selves in order to allow the emergence of the divine within. Like the flowering trees we must reach and stretch beyond the evident, the known, to the deeper self where we can meet God. Softening consists of doing two things: accepting that we are what we are, human beings who make mistakes, and acknowledging that we have the capacity to stretch for perfection and for an always deepening connection to God.
To embrace both is to seek a balance within ourselves that accepts and acknowledges this dichotomy within and then seeks to identify more and more with the Divine. This is where a surrendered life comes into being. We stretch for God through the divine capacity within, dedicating our lives to exploring this part of our nature in partnership with God who wants to lead us to be the people we were created to be.
It sounds complicated as I write this piece, but I think it’s rather simple: one ego/false self allowing room for the divine self which depends on the Holy Spirit equals one whole person. Then we, like the Dogwood and other flowering trees, are known for our relationship with the Source of all things.