- a marked change in form or appearance
- a metamorphosis
Yesterday, in many Protestant faith communities, a story was shared from the Gospel attributed to Matthew. Moses and Elijah, the two preeminent figures of Judaism, appear on a mountain with Jesus. Some supernatural stuff transpires, which Jesus tells his followers to not be scared of, but also not to tell people about.
This weekend, we went to see The Adjustment Bureau , a romantic fantasy thriller film. The film contrasts a life according to plan with a life animated by love. It fascinated me that the film was almost completely populated by men, with the exception of a female character who embodied transformation by love.
In this time where I have been ill, I have been frightened and heartened. Frightened by the anxiety that seems to pulse w/in me, a toxic combination of a need to control and the fear of supernatural stuff. Heartened by the love embodied by so many people and so many small actions.
Over the last 10 years, I have wrestled with a marked change in my life, one that I have made small progress on. I tried a massive transfiguration, shoved into a life ill suited to that level of change. It did not work out so well. There have been marked adjustments to "the plan", but I remain straddled between a corp life and a life I yearn for.
Why the straddle ? Well, transfiguration is complex. But when I am quiet and honest with myself, I think the straddle is built on fear. The kind of fear that Marianne Williamson wrote about in her book book A Return to Love:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I routinely make decisions that are NOT driven by manifesting God's glory within me. I perfer the predictable, but shrinking plan that I have in my head. I "play small", as Williamson writes - my depression is an illness of darkness, an outward & visible reminder of the plan I live by.
So what is the answer to this ? My sense is that the answer is "more love", as the Dixie Chicks have sung. When Jesus is on that mountaintop, G_d proclaims Jesus his "beloved" Later in the Jesus story, beloved becomes central to how Jesus interacts with those around him. The dance of love emboddied in the Jesus story comes back again and again to the truth that beloved isn't having to modify yourself. Its approximately being beloved for who you in reality are.