“My heart was split and a flower appeared; and grace sprang up; and it bore fruit for my God.

You split me, tore my heart open, filled me with love.

You poured your spirit into me; I knew you as I know myself.

Blessed are the men and women who are planted on your earth, in your garden, who grow as your trees and flowers grow, who transform their darkness to light.

Their roots plunge into darkness; their faces turn toward the light.

All those who love you are beautiful; they overflow with your presence so that they can do nothing but good.

There is infinite space in your garden; all men, all women are welcome here;

All they need do is enter.”

(The Odes of Solomon, Ode 11)

Maybe our hearts have to split over and over again until we choose to have the flower appear and grace spring up. The ego’s false kingdom has to start crumbling before we can choose against it.

More than a decade ago, my heart had split, yet again, and out of pure desperation, exhausted by my perpetual war with myself, and deflated by my arrogant attempts to command life to bend the way I wanted it to, I silently waved the white flag by declaring that “there has to be more to life than this.” That echoing thought was the invitation for the Holy Spirit, hidden all along in the sane part of my mind, to finally enter the chaos of the person I thought I was and slowly and patiently lead me back to the light that I’ve always been.

Since that day, my life has been a pilgrimage toward only that which is true, eternal and beautiful. Which is not to say the journey has been without hardship, human drama, sadness, confusion, anger and judgment. My heart has split many times since then but it has split more open so that flowers can continue to appear and so that grace can keep springing up. It turns out that a simple shift made a profound difference: 

Whatever pulls me back into the abyss of the ego, where I identify as the separated little me, at effect of the cruel and uncaring world, is just fertilizer for more flowers to grow as long as I step back and let Him lead the way, as A Course in Miracles teaches me. I replace ego with the Holy Spirit as my teacher, my guide, my parent, my best friend, and I’m never disappointed because I’m never left without the love that I had craved my whole life and had never found through the countless and vain attempts to walk myself home.

My heart and my life are devoted to God, which means that they are devoted to YOU, because the only goal I find worth pursuing is to see you as the perfect light that you are, no matter what the world seems to think of you and no matter what you think of you and, most of all, no matter what I, as the person, thInk of you. 

“Because all those who love you are beautiful,” as this Ode of Solomon so beautifully expresses. Once we turn our faces to the light, the light reciprocates.

We keep trying to meet in the jungle of the world; the fragmented parts attempting to come together but insisting on keeping our cherished fragmented selves. But when we meet in His garden, which is infinite, we see that there is no you and me, or us and them, but just light meeting itself in eternal blossoming of the One.

I choose God’s garden.

All are welcome here, and the happy fact is, all are already here. 

All we need to do is enter.