The theme for Unity’s 23rd Annual World Day of Prayer was “Discover the Power In You: Unleash Your Divine Potential.” The theme touched my heart as it called to mind beloved Unity minister, and author of “Discover the Power Within You,” Rev. Eric Butterworth. In his book, Butterworth explores how Jesus came to know the Power in Him. He suggests that it was not his education that revealed this in Him. After all, at the age of twelve, Jesus was astounding the teachers in the temple. It seems unlikely they could have taught him to bring forth this inner Power. Instead, Butterworth proposes that one day, before the age of twelve, Jesus had an experience of great Oneness with God. It may have been during a time of prayer. It may have been while lying on the grass looking at clouds. And perhaps, this moment of oneness is something that happens to each of us. But Jesus “unleashed” it, spending the rest of his human experience living from this innate inner Power and teaching others to do the same.
When I think of the word “leash”, I automatically think of my dog. When I take him for a walk, city ordinances and my own sense of caution dictate that I keep him on a leash. I’ve had many dogs over the years. I’ve had big dogs, small dogs, jumpy dogs, calm dogs, smart dogs and not-so-smart dogs. I’ve trained most of them well. They’ve learned to sit, lie down, stay, come, and some even to roll over. But I’ve yet to properly train a dog to heel while on a leash. They all seem to be pulled by some invisible force that tugs desperately on the leash, dragging me with them on our excursion.
Could it be that we too are pulled by some invisible force? Are we continuously drawn to an awareness of the Power in us such as the experience that Jesus had? Is there a leash that keeps us from fully entering and living from this sense of Oneness? If so, what is the leash and who or what might be holding it?
The invisible force pulling us forward is a deep desire for oneness with our Source. But, like my dog, we sometimes get distracted by the outer circumstances of our lives. We may find ourselves searching for wholeness in outer conditions. ‘What can I gain?’ ‘What can I heal?’ ‘What can I protect?’ ‘Who can I be with?’ “Who can I avoid?’ What can I fix, change or control?’
Herein lies the “LEASH.” The leash is the belief that what we seek is outside of us. Discovering the Power within us, we find we are co-creators with God within us. We learn that we create our experiences by what we choose to think, feel and believe. This is wondrous. And this is a bit frightening too. What pulls back on the leash is fear. Individual fear and collective fear. It is fear. It is fear. It is fear.
If you have ever been on a roller coaster you know that feeling of anticipation as the car climbs the highest hill of the track. You’ve seen others raise their arms with great courage and fully experience the thrill of reaching the top and sliding back down again. You get to the top, you let go … and just as the thrill is about to begin you feel your whole body being lifted out of the car and you desperately grab for the safety bar. As we unleash the Divine Potential hidden deep within us, we reach amazing levels of knowing, exquisite feelings of oneness and then, suddenly, we find ourselves grabbing for the safety bar.
Being embodied in this physical experience is a gift, a grand experience of diversity and contrast. Through it we are offered a multitude of opportunities for spiritual growth, for discovering who we are and who we are not. We experience opposite poles and the glorious return to center. Joy is appreciated all the more having been contrasted with sadness or loss. Embodiment in the physical realm is a gift, and it is an addiction. To be in our physical bodies we must enter a lower frequency of energy than the infinite potential within us. The same ability to experience contrast also draws us into the false belief that we are separate and alone. This sense of separation is both a terror and a desire. The ego, born of this duality clings to separation, to more than, to better than, to me and mine. These constructs built on fear; me, mine, have to, this not that, good not bad, pull us from our Point of Power “leashing” our Divine Potential.
The Point of Power is within you. It is the proverbial mountaintop. It is the highest vibration of you. This vibration matches the frequency of your most joyous, faith-filled moments. It matches the feeling you have when you know that God IS. It matches the frequency vibrating as you when you know that you are one with the Power and Presence of God, that God is in you, all around you, working through you ALL of the time. And this is the ultimate purpose of prayer, to lift you into this realm of consciousness.
The purpose of prayer is not to change outer circumstances, though they often change when your frequency changes. The ultimate purpose of prayer is conscious communion with God. Prayer is the conduit through which we enter the highest peak of consciousness. It is the gateway to the inner temple, the silent realm that thunders so loudly that you cannot miss the Word that vibrates upon your heart. And the word is Love.
The Word, the first vibration of God through which all things come into being, is Love. Love so great that it continuously calls you higher in the midst of your lowest experiences. Love so great that it calls you to wholeness when you thought you were separate and alone. Love so great that it calls you to unleash your fears, to let go of the safety bar, to dismantle the fences of separation, and to unload the rocks of judgment, shame and powerlessness. It is a Love so great that it calls you to take responsibility for what you create. It is a Love so great that it calls you to a greater expression of the unfolding Truth in you and in the world. It is a Love so great that it unleashes your Divine Potential and all things are known as whole.
Pray unceasingly. Listen continuously. Love is calling you to be the perfect wholeness of you, to be the highest vibration of you. Love calls you to be the Power, to be Love and to forever unleash your Divine Potential.
© 2016. Reverend Eileen DeRosia Patra