Mojo Messages from Tama

Finding Faith When You're Freaking Out: You Couldn't Be More Loved

When it comes to creating the work you love, it's all about learning to cultivate faith. I'd say having faith in your journey is more important than brushing your teeth. Then again, I do much of my work on the phone. "But how do I have faith when things don't work out?" my clients ask. "Where does Spirit go, when I'm freaking out?" I have a gazillion answers. But this month I want to tell you about a miracle I had years ago. I'm hoping it will nourish you and help you become the unstoppable agent of love that you are meant to be.

Years ago, I facilitated a workshop at a women's retreat held at an eco-resort in the breathtaking Mayan Riviera, in Mexico. I remember the moment I arrived. I stared at this remote beach of glittering aqua blue water and untouched white sand. I began to cry. The beauty stung me. It rattled me and stilled me. My travel sweat evaporated. I felt naked and robed at the same time, emptied and filled. And most of all, I felt very, very loved. I felt loved in that moment, loved in the past, and loved for all time---because that’s the nature of real love.

Before arriving, I'd had a week that had challenged my confidence and faith ten ways till Sunday. I felt weary inside, tired of giving myself constant pep talks just to function. Surely, other people know how to get through a day without questioning their entire existence, and, on top of that, wondering what really could have been, if only they had caught that 48 hour sale at Macy’s.
But standing in that hypnotic, warm water, recognizing that my inner voice had brought me here, I remember feeling, "I am always cared for." It just suddenly seemed logical. And then it was global and universal, too. I could not be this loved in this moment and forgotten in the next. The nature of this love was all encompassing. I realized, then, a truth that changed my life: Sacred love is consistent.

See, the Universe isn't like a rotten boyfriend who loses interest in you if, say, you gain some extra pounds or chins. Spirit never forgets your birthday or any day in which you exist. The love of the Universe is not fickle, narcissistic or dependent on you counting the exact right number of mala beads.

Love does not ever suddenly turn away from us. But we turn away from this love.

When we face challenges and losses in our lives, we often can't see how a Higher Love would allow this to happen. We turn our lack of understanding into a loss of trust. We draw a line in the sand and give up on the life we want. We think we are protecting ourselves from getting hurt. But we are endangering ourselves. We are shutting down to what we really want, hardening ourselves by rejecting every possibility except an embittered one. The sun is still shining. But sunlight cannot get through brick. The only true safety is to continue to open to trust in a Higher Intelligence and Love.

There is a line in the wisdom tradition of A Course in Miracles that says, "God has not changed His Mind about you. You are His beloved child in whom He is well-pleased." The problem is that we change our mind about God, or about Spirit or Loving Energy or whatever you call the infinite, kind undercurrent in your life. We change our minds about the nature of life and what we will or will not experience.

At one of my retreats, I did an exercise with the group I called, "Forgiving the Universe or Forgiving God." I asked everyone to write down things that made them stop believing in a guiding, loving, intelligent energy in their lives. Together we explored our illnesses, accidents, deaths, bankruptcies, tragedies of all stripes, or muffled feelings of confusion. I suggested that we re-look at these situations to see if there was a place where we needed to forgive ourselves or let go of any unkind interpretation of our own worth or future. And then we looked at everything we had discovered because of this experience and how we might turn our pain into perspective, purpose or greater love for ourselves or others. We decided to grow instead of to degrade.

Many of us have believed that if there's a loving Universe, then everything goes our way. But it’s a rookie mistake, an unseasoned understanding of Transcendent Love. Transcendent Love is a presence that stretches us, grows us, dares us to be the most magnificent expression of ourselves that we can be, and deeply assists us all the while. Real love is bigger than our present understanding.
When I was 8 years old, I believed I would drink Hawaiian Punch for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine why I wouldn't. I worshipped that sweet red beverage with all my heart, and would never desire anything else. But as I got older, my tastes changed. There was orange Kool-Aid for example. And later, Black Russians. And today, there is bottled water. I'm glad I couldn't shape my life from that part of me that was absolutely convinced it knew what I wanted and what was best. A limited self will often choose a limited desire. Our Unlimited Self has a more expansive self-expression.

Of course I've faced more arduous transitions than the loss of Hawaiian Punch. I've trafficked with betrayal, loss of love, and shaky finances. And still my life evolved into a more amazing version of self-expression than I could ever imagine. That's why I believe that Great Love knows me better than I know myself. I only know my current self. But my soul knows all my capacities, my destiny and the entire span of my ultimate potential. I don't always get "my way” which is a blessing. Because I continue to grow. And as I do, my desires continue to grow, too. I used to only want a life that helped me stay safe. Now I want a life that helps me bask in magic. I no longer want a bunker. I want a ride.
Just try on the idea that sacred love is consistent. Think of a time when things worked out for you. The same loving, guiding intelligence is with you now. No matter what's going on, you are still safe. I frequently remind my coaching clients, "You’re on the bus, headed in the right direction. The scenery outside the window may change, but the bus driver hasn’t changed. Love is at the wheel." You are right on schedule.

We all go through periods of loss and emotional adjustment, but we will never lose the Source of all our Good. You can lose a job, but not the intelligence, creativity or other abilities that got you the job in the first place. You can lose a loved one, but you cannot lose the love they gave you or the love inside you that attracted them into your lives. A lamp in your home may break. But you still have electricity. The scenery may change, but the bus driver doesn't.  

On that same magical trip to Mexico, I decided to get a temporary henna tattoo inked onto my ankle. I’m a mild-mannered rebel after all. I picked a Chinese symbol that represented the word "Always." I smiled to myself with recognition. I wanted to remind myself that the same loving force that had helped me experience this women's retreat was the same loving force that blessed me always, even in times of strain.

Maybe it's pretty ironic that I got a temporary tattoo with the word "Always." But it's perfect too. Because that tattoo faded from sight, just as my comfort and trust has washed away about a trillion times since, maybe even a week later. But always is always. I am always loved, whether or not I see it or feel it. If I have ever been guided and loved once, that same force is with me now.  And it is with you.

Sacred love is consistent. Love has not changed its mind about you. It hasn’t dropped the ball. It hasn’t forgotten your name. It hasn’t gotten distracted checking Facebook or watching Real Housewives of New Jersey. I believe the Universe is not capable of diminishing its love because love is its nature and only communication. It doesn’t change its mind about us.  And these days, and for the rest of my life, I'm trying to not change my mind about myself either or about the glorious, ever-renewing, and luminous presence of a loving Spirit.

Would love to hear anything/everything from you, dear one, on the blog or Facebook.   
©2013 Tama Kieves. All rights reserved.

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TAMA: Honors graduate of Harvard Law School turned mojo career catalyst • Best-selling author of This Time I Dance! and also Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work!
August 2013
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