Spiritual Freedom

Boxes for Cats and People

We have all placed ourselves in a little box that defines us by our gender, our age, our race, our family and the story we’ve learned to explain it all. Inside that box, we talk to ourselves constantly to remind ourselves where the edges of that box are. You see, that box isn’t real even if it feels solid. It’s a prison of words and limitations but it’s no more solid than the next thought, next judgment or next distraction. As ephemeral as this box is, it still manages to separate you from the Field of Grace. It doesn’t matter what faith you are or which ones you’ve left. It only matters that you are willing to step outside that box to experience a genuine, spiritual life.

It feels risky at first, this business of listening to the voice of the Divine. It seems odd to think that you’re a particle of Divinity, in constant communion with the field of the Divine all around you. It seems odd to think that there is nothing but God, that your life is God’s life. That the call to live a spiritual life is really a call to live an authentic life.

What’s really odd is you’ve put yourself into a box in the first place, just like one of those silly cats on the Internet. And just like those cats, you’ve squished yourself into a box that just doesn’t fit all of you. The cat is kind of cute when her tail and hind legs are stick out from the cardboard box, but when it’s your soul that’s half hanging outside your ego-box, it’s actually quite painful. It’s your box, dammit, and you’re going to sit in it.

The worst part, however, is you believe you are your box. You’ve mistaken yourself for the box and will do anything to keep it intact. You’re going to introduce yourself as that box and you’re going to grieve any attempt to change the box. You compare your box with other people’s boxes and may try to get other people to change their box to better match yours. But the box isn’t real.

How do I know the box isn’t real? Because it changes. The box is transitory and is going to change. Anything that can change isn’t real.

Only Spirit Lasts.

The spirit within the box never changes. Over the years that I've called myself Shari Falter, I have changed quite a bit but I’m still the same person inside. My soul at fifty is the same one I had at forty, thirty, twenty or even two years ago. The spiritual core at the center of my being hasn’t changed at all. You may hear people say they can be surprised by the man or woman they see in the mirror. “Holy crap! Who is that old dame (or dude)?” Then they chuckle and say, “Oh, I look like that now.” But they’ll tell you they don’t feel any different than they did at seventeen. No. They’re really not different.

The only authentic life is a spiritual life that exists outside the boxes and the definitions. It is the one who tells the stories, but not the one who lives the stories. The life in the box rarely feels sacred, yet all life is sacred. Allow this awareness to shape and enrich your life.

This workshop examines ancient ideas found in various faiths that might help you to become aware of your sacred self and awaken to the authentic spiritual life you are being called to experience.


Copyright © 2017 Shari Falter, Emerging Spirit Ministries, Contact Us at shari@emergingspirit.org

Emerging Spirit