What Is The Difference Between Soul And God?

Chakra Pocket Stones

The difference between God and the Soul explained.

The Soul itself is God; even in the ignorant state, the Soul is the God. The difference lies only in the understanding. For example, when one is at home, people will say, ‘He is this woman’s husband.’ And when he goes to work, people say, ‘He is the boss/employee.’ And when he is with his children, people will say ‘He is a father.’ But he is the same person throughout.

Similarly, it is the same Soul that is in the ignorant state; in the interim state; and in the absolute state (God)! And each one has ascribed an adjective according to the work or the role one plays or performs. God is within each one of us in the form of a pure Soul, in an indivisible form. Since we have the ignorance of ‘Who am I’ and out of that ignorance, we believe ‘I am this body’, we are an ordinary living being; and as and when we realize that “I am not the body or the name given to my body; I am only a pure Soul” then you yourself are God.

SEE ALSO: Why We Must Overcome Our Fears Again And Again

From Soul to God

The Soul of every living being is perfect in every way and is completely independent of the inner thoughts or the outer actions of the living being within which it resides. Just as oil and water never mix, the Soul and the body it resides in, never mix. The reason why we are unaware of Its existence and cannot experience Its glorious properties is that it is covered by infinite veils of ignorance.

These infinite veils of ignorance can be broken only after Self-realization. This is the moment when you stop binding new karma and start finishing all your pending karma. When all this karma is exhausted, the pure Soul is completely uncovered. Such pure Soul without any veils or coverings is the Absolute God!

The Soul cannot be seen, felt or understood by any of our five senses, the Soul can only be experienced. It can be experienced through its inherent properties. The Soul has infinite properties and that is the very definition of what is God:

  • God is infinite Knowledge.
  • God is infinite Vision.
  • God is the ultimate Truth.
  • God is pure Love.
  • God is unaffected by any pain or pleasure.
  • God is infinite Bliss.

How to experience the marvel of the Soul?

The knowledge of the Self can only be attained through an enlightened teacher. The Enlightened One does not touch or disturb our worldly life at all. He only removes the root cause on which our worldly life is based i.e. the ignorance of Self; and enlightens us with the experiential knowledge of the Self, by giving us the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ Thereafter, we stop binding new karma and dissolve the pending past karmas.

To conclude: The Soul and God are one and the same and this is our real form. We will never experience the pure Soul until the false belief is destroyed. The only way to fracture this false belief of ‘I am this body and name’ is by acquiring the knowledge of our real Self i.e. the pure Soul. The more the knowledge of the Self is established, the greater is the continual experience of the pure Soul i.e. Godhood.

Chakra Pocket Stones are the seven chakra crystals that can help to harmonize, balance and stabilize the chakras, the body’s metaphysical energy centers. Excellent for all types of crystal healing such as chakra cleansing, Reiki healing, body layouts and grids.

Chakra Pocket Stones

What Is The Difference Between Soul And God?

Chakra Pocket Stones

The difference between God and the Soul explained.

The Soul itself is God; even in the ignorant state, the Soul is the God. The difference lies only in the understanding. For example, when one is at home, people will say, ‘He is this woman’s husband.’ And when he goes to work, people say, ‘He is the boss/employee.’ And when he is with his children, people will say ‘He is a father.’ But he is the same person throughout.

Similarly, it is the same Soul that is in the ignorant state; in the interim state; and in the absolute state (God)! And each one has ascribed an adjective according to the work or the role one plays or performs. God is within each one of us in the form of a pure Soul, in an indivisible form. Since we have the ignorance of ‘Who am I’ and out of that ignorance, we believe ‘I am this body’, we are an ordinary living being; and as and when we realize that “I am not the body or the name given to my body; I am only a pure Soul” then you yourself are God.

SEE ALSO: Why We Must Overcome Our Fears Again And Again

From Soul to God

The Soul of every living being is perfect in every way and is completely independent of the inner thoughts or the outer actions of the living being within which it resides. Just as oil and water never mix, the Soul and the body it resides in, never mix. The reason why we are unaware of Its existence and cannot experience Its glorious properties is that it is covered by infinite veils of ignorance.

These infinite veils of ignorance can be broken only after Self-realization. This is the moment when you stop binding new karma and start finishing all your pending karma. When all this karma is exhausted, the pure Soul is completely uncovered. Such pure Soul without any veils or coverings is the Absolute God!

The Soul cannot be seen, felt or understood by any of our five senses, the Soul can only be experienced. It can be experienced through its inherent properties. The Soul has infinite properties and that is the very definition of what is God:

  • God is infinite Knowledge.
  • God is infinite Vision.
  • God is the ultimate Truth.
  • God is pure Love.
  • God is unaffected by any pain or pleasure.
  • God is infinite Bliss.

How to experience the marvel of the Soul?

The knowledge of the Self can only be attained through an enlightened teacher. The Enlightened One does not touch or disturb our worldly life at all. He only removes the root cause on which our worldly life is based i.e. the ignorance of Self; and enlightens us with the experiential knowledge of the Self, by giving us the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’ Thereafter, we stop binding new karma and dissolve the pending past karmas.

To conclude: The Soul and God are one and the same and this is our real form. We will never experience the pure Soul until the false belief is destroyed. The only way to fracture this false belief of ‘I am this body and name’ is by acquiring the knowledge of our real Self i.e. the pure Soul. The more the knowledge of the Self is established, the greater is the continual experience of the pure Soul i.e. Godhood.

Chakra Pocket Stones are the seven chakra crystals that can help to harmonize, balance and stabilize the chakras, the body’s metaphysical energy centers. Excellent for all types of crystal healing such as chakra cleansing, Reiki healing, body layouts and grids.

Chakra Pocket Stones

Why You Need To Give Yourself Permission To Pause

Why You Need To Give Yourself Permission To Pause

This past month we changed the clocks, moving time ahead by one hour. This annual ritual always evokes a sensation of joy, as I love light and am immensely grateful for additional sun at the end of the day. Yes, sunrise is delayed. But that’s okay with me. I’ll gladly trade darker mornings for brighter evenings.

Yet, as we transition through the Spring Equinox, I wonder what would occur if instead of springing full steam ahead, we considered a more subtle forward motion. If we took a moment to refresh and renew ourselves, could we reawaken along with the trees and flowers? Might our own roots become stronger? And would we be more likely to bloom as the warmer weather arrives if we granted ourselves the gift to pause?

But wait, why should we pause now? For the past year, all we’ve done is isolate, cancel, postpone, and reschedule. Isn’t it time to spring?

SEE ALSO: How To Ground, Protect, And Cleanse Your Energy

The importance of the pause

There is no denying that this past year has been — if I may be blunt — pretty shitty. Families could not be together, people feared becoming sick, and businesses were forced to shut down. Many became ill or even died. Substance abused soared and children — many who needed the safety of the school environment — were required to learn from home.

Yet, we’ve learned a great deal during this time sequestered from our “normal lives.” People have embraced new hobbies, improved their cooking skills, and completed home project that had been on back burner. Each one of us has grown in visible and not so easy to identify ways. In the process, we’ve discovered quite a bit about ourselves. Perhaps we’ve identified a few triggers as well as uncovered some unknown joys. Despite so much sadness, we cannot deny the silver linings we experienced.

However, I believe that there is still more for us to learn. And now that things are starting to change — more sunlight each day, winter transitioning to spring, and our world reopening — let’s rejoice in all we’ve endured, celebrate our resilience, and appreciate the many ways we have grown.

But there is one more thing to consider. Could you allow yourself permission to pause — not because you have to — but because you choose to do so?

Choose to still pause

The past twelve months have been exhausting in so many ways. Whether our minds are weary from the Groundhog Day effect, our hearts are heavy with sadness, or our souls are scared, uncertain of what tomorrow may bring, now is the time to be gentle with our human selves. Let’s give our bodies the rest, nourishment, and love we require to step into our newly evolving world in a refreshed manner. Instead of instinctively springing into spring, let’s proceed slowly, taking our time to be aware and curious in this transition. Doing so will help free us from the hazy film that has been clouding so much of our vision this past year.

No doubt you know what’s best for you, but here are some of the things I plan on doing — sleeping a bit longer, allowing myself “to be” instead of always feeling the pressure “to do,” saying “no” when something feels out of alignment, spending more time in nature, and trusting my instinct instead of requiring certainty. In essence, I am committing to rest, regroup, and heal from the chaos of the past year.

When we give ourselves permission to pause, we can restore, rejuvenate, and recalibrate – necessary ingredients for becoming a higher version of ourselves. And, honoring this need to slow down and proceed deliberately not only benefits us, but it also improves the lives of those around us. For when we are rested, we are better able to respond, give from the heart, love unconditionally, and listen for understanding.

So, take a break, cash in that “get out of jail free” card, or maybe even call in sick. Do whatever you must to honor your wellbeing. Remember, you always have the power to just be. But you must allow it to happen.

How To Ground, Protect, And Cleanse Your Energy

Chakra Pocket Stones

She asked, “What in the actual f*%&?!” One of my girlfriends has been through more “challenging” experiences than I can even imagine. She means business this lifetime. She is taking on ALL THE CONTRAST! After the most recent…contrast, she shared on messenger, “It just sucked the life out of me.”

My response: “Sometimes when I clear dark energy, I am wiped for three days. Be sure you are meditating daily to bring your power and energy back. I am also conscious when I go to bed at night to connect to the Divine and bring in the light.”

Her response that next day: “I released so much sh*% last night, I could actually feel it pouring out of me.” (She is a powerful intuitive force.)

Because I’ve been doing energy work for so long, I sometimes forget what I habitually do to clear and protect my energy. I was used to sharing the basic techniques that I have taught for years because they had worked. In the past, I was able to get away with allowing never-ending Divine Energy to flow through me as a way to keep my personal energy, and I never felt too terribly tired. Occasionally, I would have to filter or shield my energy if it got to be a bit much, and maybe add a simple cleanse after a heavy encounter. And that’s what I have been sharing.

However, I have found that within the past few years, it has gotten a bit more intense. I now must consciously ground myself every day and do conscious cleansings, among other things. I learned that when I clear “the heavy stuff” I must consciously connect to the Divine before bed and allow the light to flow through me, clearing my vessel. I added this technique to my nightly routine and it has become second-nature.

After she shared her experience, I thought, I’m a horrible friend. I probably should have shared this technique a year ago! I am being reminded that the things that I do habitually could probably be pretty damn beneficial to a lot of you. I apologize for not sharing this sooner with you! I do not like to live in fear or worry. However, being proactive and conscious just makes sense. Everything is energy, from the food that we eat, to the bed that we lay in. DO NOT get caught up in worrying too much about bad or good energy (we tend to label our experiences to better understand them, but this may pull our energy further away from us, and fear of “bad” just feeds fear!) I have found it easier to view it as a frequency; everything vibrates at different frequencies and we want to do our best to not take on frequencies that do not feel good to us.

But how?

We can do this by grounding, protecting and cleansing our energy.

I want to remind you to do these three processes, nightly if possible, and you will experience a huge shift in your energy and ability to shine. I am always about ease and intention, so I will share a few techniques that I practice nightly and also that I enjoy! This may appear to be quite a bit to start out if you are not already doing techniques of your own, but after a while it will become second nature.

SEE ALSO: 3 Tips To Stop The Delusion About Soul Mates And Twin Flames

GROUNDING:

1. Visually see the light energy of you coming down from your root chakra or tailbone and wrapping around the center of the earth. Set the intention to anchor your energy.

2. Optional add on: Set the intention to see and feel Earth Energy coming up through your light energy and providing grounding support. Then see/feel Source Energy coming into your light energy through the top of your head and intermingling with the Earth Energy. Allow yourself to feel aligned within your body, connected to all.

PROTECTING:

1. See and feel never-ending Source Energy coming in through the top of your head and out your energy centers as needed so that no one is pulling YOUR energy, but they are benefiting from the “Light that is YOU.” This can be fun. Your energy will be missed when you are not around.

2. Optional add on: This specific technique came to me this month in a session. See yourself as millions of beautiful golden sparkles and if your energy feels pulled, visually see/feel these sparkles effortlessly connect and mirror back to the person/event pulling your energy.

CLEANSING:

1. See and feel the power of YOUR LIGHT (this can come from your root, your heart, or wherever it resonates with you) getting bigger and bigger. As it gets bigger, know that the lower frequencies dissipate in YOUR LIGHT.

2. When in bed, see and feel Source Energy flowing throughout your entire body as you allow the energy that does not serve you being released out of your extremities. Allow this process to continue while you sleep.

Try these, and try them again, add and adjust as you need, but build them into your nightly routine. Doing this has ensured that I am living at the frequency that I want and not being pulled into lower states.

Keep those vibrations sky high, and be the damn light! 

Chakra Pocket Stones are the seven chakra crystals that can help to harmonize, balance and stabilize the chakras, the body’s metaphysical energy centers. Excellent for all types of crystal healing such as chakra cleansing, Reiki healing, body layouts and grids.

Chakra Pocket Stones

Does Karma Really Exist?

Does Karma Really Exist?

Eastern philosophy believes each one of us continues to experience karma in every moment of our lives.

It is said whatever we are experiencing in our life today is nothing but the result of our past life karma. Someday, if the soup served to us happens to have extra salt in it, even that is because of our past karma; and if we’ve got some really delicious dishes to relish, that too is because of karma. Even a pickpocket is merely an instrument in the unfolding of our karma to get robbed off our money.

SEE ALSO: 6 Crucial Steps To Help You Control Negative Feelings

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, a spiritual teacher, explains the science

“It is because there are pending karmic accounts from the past; otherwise, no one can ever take anything of yours. No one has the power to take anything at all. Moreover, if someone were to take anything, then that would actually be because of some ongoing past karmic account. There is no such person born in the world who can possibly do anything to anyone [without a cause]. The world is in such precise regulation. The world is in so much regulation that, even if this big playing field were to be filled with snakes, not a single snake would touch you [without a cause]. That much this world is in regulation. This world is based on very precise karmic accounts”, says Dadashri.

Suppose there is a big crowd assembled in a ground. Suddenly, a snake comes and bites a person; he yells and falls down unconscious. If there are so many people, why did the snake come and bite this person only, and no one else? It’s because this person alone, in this moment, had a karmic account of snakebite that he paid off by suffering the bite. His past life karma got ready to give its fruit at this moment, which was not the case with the others who were present on the ground. Therefore, although the snake passed by so many people, so very closely; yet it did not do them any harm.

Just as the accounts in book-keeping are settled year after year, the accounts of karma are settled life after life. In life, we experience the results of the unfolding good and bad karma that were bound in past life. Therefore, sometimes, in court, even after having committed a murder, a person is acquitted due to his unfolding good karma coming into effect. And the other person, who may not have committed the crime, gets caught and has to go to jail because his bad karma is unfolding then.

Karma (cause) can be determined from the result (effect)

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan further explains, “All these are results, similar to the results received in test examinations. Say one receives ninety-five marks out of a hundred in mathematics, while in English, he receives twenty-five marks out of a hundred. Then, would you not know where the mistake lies? Based on the results, would you not be able to identify the reasons why the mistakes were made? All these circumstances that come together, they are all a result. Now, from the result, the cause (karma) behind that can be found out.

A thorn from an acacia tree remains upright on a road, where many people come and go every day. Several people walk on that road. Nevertheless, the thorn remains in that very same position. Now, you would never go anywhere without wearing any footwear. But on that day, you happen to be visiting someone and when, all of a sudden, someone shouts, “Thief! There is a thief! There is a thief here”, in a rush, you immediately leave barefoot and the thorn ends up pricking you. Now, that is your karmic account! In addition, it pricks you in such a manner that it goes right through (deep into your foot)! Now, who brings together all these circumstances? It is vyavasthit (the result of scientific circumstantial evidences) that brings this together.”

The laws of nature

Narrating yet another instance, Dadashri states:

“Suppose your gold-chained pocket-watch slipped and fell in the Mumbai Fort area. When you return home, you do not have any hope of it being returned. Nevertheless, two days later, you read a notice in the newspaper stating, ‘Whosoever’s watch this is, come and collect it from us; giving us the proof of ownership and the payment for the cost of printing this notice.’ Hence, nobody can take away from a person that which belongs to him (based on his karmic account). Whereas, if it does not belong to the person (according to his karmic account), then he is not going to get it. Nothing can be moved in any manner, not even to the slightest extent, that is how the world is in regulation.”

The process of charging of new karma, accumulating, ripening and giving the fruits of karma is all governed by the laws of karma. When the rains fall, the crop ripens, here too the laws of karma are operating. Therefore, it happens that while so many people maybe screaming, “Our cotton plantations have been burnt”, a small-scale farmer’s family in the neighborhood claims, “We did very well this time!” When an earthquake happens, even there Nature catches hold of those whose karma is due, not anyone else. No matter where you go, the law of karma is in operation everywhere.

Never has anything happened outside the realm of justice of the law of karma

If someone hurts us, it is because of our own karma, as there is no such law which allows one to hurt another just like that. There has to be a cause behind it. Whatever we have given in past is exactly what we are receiving today. Therefore, we should quietly accept it, without having any hard feelings whatsoever for that person. This is the best way to settle our karma. One who wants to become free from the bondage of karma will not scream and shout at all, because he is well aware that whatever I have received today is a result of my own bad deeds (karma) of past.

And, “May no one be hurt through my thoughts, words or actions”, should be our inner intent, pure and constant; because when we hurt someone we bind lot of bad karma, which in future shall bring us enormous suffering and pain in life.

Depending on the kind of inner intent we bind new karma

The intent we have at the time when our past karma is getting discharged, accordingly new karma, good or bad, get charged from moment to moment. These charged karmas get accumulated throughout our life, and when one dies, they get carried forward into the next life, in a subtle form of karmic seeds. Thereafter, when the karmic seeds get ready to give fruit, all circumstances get together naturally so that the charged karma can discharge.

When the karma is discharging, we experience its effect. If it’s the good karma that was charged, it brings forth good and pleasant effect at the time of discharge, which we like. But if it were a bad karma charged, at the time of discharge, it results in bringing about a bad effect in the form of pain and suffering, which we detest. Thus, while experiencing the karmas, our intent of attachment towards good effects and that of hatred towards bad effects becomes the cause of new karma.

The root cause of karma is our wrong belief of doership!

Karma exists because the belief of doership exists in us. When we believe, “I did this, I did that…” we become the doer. This belief becomes a support for karma. But if we stop being the doer, the karma has no basis or support, so it falls away. We are really a Pure Soul. Once we come into the nature of the Self i.e. the Soul, whose nature is to only see and know without any attachment or abhorrence), no new karma will bind. This can happen only when Gnani Purush, the Enlightened One, makes us aware of our Pure Self – this is called Self-Realization!!! After that, new karmas do not bind and old karmas continue to discharge. When all the karmas have discharged, we attain final liberation.

Chakra Pocket Stones are the seven chakra crystals that can help to harmonize, balance and stabilize the chakras, the body’s metaphysical energy centers. Excellent for all types of crystal healing such as chakra cleansing, Reiki healing, body layouts and grids.

Chakra Pocket Stones

Defining Spiritual Direction: An Interview with Dr. Melissa Hofstetter

Defining Spiritual Direction: An Interview with Dr. Melissa Hofstetter

What exactly is spiritual direction? Shepherd Heart Ministry Consulting’s Executive Director Dr. Melissa Hofstetter sat down to interview me about that very question — because the term “spiritual direction” needs to be fully understood.

Generally, spiritual direction means meeting every few weeks with a spiritual director, or spiritual companion. Since there’s a form of it in just about any religion (it comes up a lot in the Catholic faith), directors go by many names. What all of these forms share is the act of meeting with someone to talk about where we’ve seen the divine in our daily lives, or how we’re not able to see the divine where we thought we would.

It’s not therapy, even if it’s therapeutic. This is a spiritual exercise that helps focus our minds on figuring out where God is in our lives, on deciphering the signs in our own lives to understand where it is we’re being called. We directors like to say: “It’s a long, loving look at the real,” which comes from Jesuit Theologian Walter J. Burkhardt.

People come to us for a few different reasons. One is a greater awareness of God, maybe to reconnect or find a connection they didn’t have before. People also come to spiritual directors to reflect on an experience in their life to find meaning in it. The last reason is discernment, when we want to explore a life decision in depth before moving forward.

Though a lot of spiritual direction involves one-on-one interaction, it can also be useful for couples, families, and professional teams that want to take time with situations and decisions in a way that aligns with their values. Spiritual direction asks us to pause, individually or as a group, and really consider what’s going on in our lives.

A good director is trained to listen deeply, intently, so they can ask the right questions and get their directee to open up a little more. Through that work — again, maybe just once a month — spiritual direction can help us find a spiritual exercise like meditation, chanting, prayer, or reading, that gets us in touch with God on a daily basis, or simply enables us to connect with that divine voice within.


Dr. Melissa Hofstetter is Founder and Executive Director of Shepherd Heart Ministry Consulting, ministry that provides spiritual direction for congregations and clergy. Learn more about them on their website.

Want to learn more about spiritual direction? I have a book Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance by Apocryphile Press that addresses many aspects of this practice. It’s available on Amazon.

Also, you may reach me at teresa@teresablythe.net or via my website www.teresablythe.net.

Defining Spiritual Direction: An Interview with Dr. Melissa Hofstetter

Defining Spiritual Direction: An Interview with Dr. Melissa Hofstetter

What exactly is spiritual direction? Shepherd Heart Ministry Consulting’s Executive Director Dr. Melissa Hofstetter sat down to interview me about that very question — because the term “spiritual direction” needs to be fully understood.

Generally, spiritual direction means meeting every few weeks with a spiritual director, or spiritual companion. Since there’s a form of it in just about any religion (it comes up a lot in the Catholic faith), directors go by many names. What all of these forms share is the act of meeting with someone to talk about where we’ve seen the divine in our daily lives, or how we’re not able to see the divine where we thought we would.

It’s not therapy, even if it’s therapeutic. This is a spiritual exercise that helps focus our minds on figuring out where God is in our lives, on deciphering the signs in our own lives to understand where it is we’re being called. We directors like to say: “It’s a long, loving look at the real,” which comes from Jesuit Theologian Walter J. Burkhardt.

People come to us for a few different reasons. One is a greater awareness of God, maybe to reconnect or find a connection they didn’t have before. People also come to spiritual directors to reflect on an experience in their life to find meaning in it. The last reason is discernment, when we want to explore a life decision in depth before moving forward.

Though a lot of spiritual direction involves one-on-one interaction, it can also be useful for couples, families, and professional teams that want to take time with situations and decisions in a way that aligns with their values. Spiritual direction asks us to pause, individually or as a group, and really consider what’s going on in our lives.

A good director is trained to listen deeply, intently, so they can ask the right questions and get their directee to open up a little more. Through that work — again, maybe just once a month — spiritual direction can help us find a spiritual exercise like meditation, chanting, prayer, or reading, that gets us in touch with God on a daily basis, or simply enables us to connect with that divine voice within.


Dr. Melissa Hofstetter is Founder and Executive Director of Shepherd Heart Ministry Consulting, ministry that provides spiritual direction for congregations and clergy. Learn more about them on their website.

Want to learn more about spiritual direction? I have a book Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance by Apocryphile Press that addresses many aspects of this practice. It’s available on Amazon.

Also, you may reach me at teresa@teresablythe.net or via my website www.teresablythe.net.

3 Tips To Stop The Delusion About Soul Mates And Twin Flames

3 Tips To Stop The Delusion About Soul Mates And Twin Flames

There is a delusional belief that a Twin Flame connection requires one to stay in an abusive relationship. This is Not a Twin Flame connection! This is a Karmic Relationship but, handled with self- care can become a personal growth relationship.

SEE ALSO: Understanding Devotion And Life’s Purpose

Do you know yourself?

The relationship with our self is extremely important, without a strong psychological and emotional foundation our lives crumble before us. We are living in a time where we have the outer freedom to acquire inner wisdom.

“And you?  When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”- Rumi

Our psychological unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, defense mechanisms, compulsions, and the shadow must be overcome before one is blessed to be with their deepest most profound eternal love…better known as the Twin Flame.

The psychology of attachment

There is also the delusion of a Runner and Chaser as an indication of this profound connection. This is not an indication of a Twin Flame. There is a Runner and Chaser in All relationships. The goal is to become the Secure. This is the Attachment Psychology in all relationships. Journeying into yourself is not the most popular understanding, but that is why these esoteric connections were not for mainstream society. There is also a misunderstanding about completion. In Soul Mate/Twin Flame relationships, you complete each other. When this happens within and not before, we will reunite with our soul’s counterpart-our twin flame.

Complete each other at the level of the soul?

An extraordinary soul encounter makes one feel as if they have just arrived at a temple. You have been given access to the Divine. As you enter the room where the holy of holies resides, you can feel the spark of the Almighty deep within them. Eternity shines through time in the presence of each other. It is in this state of being that you are one with them. The connection is from the world of spirit, you are brought together by the transcendent force of the universe. In terms of Soul Mates, you are entangled with your soul’s passion. In Terms of Twin Flames, you are entangled with your soul’s purpose.

Bringing us closer to the Divine

“The greatest thing a man can do for a woman is lead her closer to God than himself.” – Chili from the group TLC.

That is what Soul Mates and Twin Flames are meant to do. They bring us closer to our soul and the Transcendent Divine force of the universe.

Abusive relationships move us away from the Divine

Being and staying in abusive relationships both physically and mentally, is not bringing you closer to your soul and the transcendent. It is moving you away, creating more karma for your soul.

Here are 3 tips to stop the delusion:

  1. You are responsible for the health of your mind and behaviors. Abusive tendencies lead us away from our soul and another’s soul, creating karma along the way.
  2. The Runner and Chaser called by other names: Seeker and Sought, Anxious and Avoidant. Whatever name you call it, these are different ways on how people relate and has its roots, in the attachment to our early relationships with our caretakers. It’s not an indication of a Twin Flame connection.
  3. True oneness is when two people recognize the soul in another and become one at their spiritual essence but, remain two separate autonomous people.

Back To School Pandemic: Choosing Without Obvious Choices

Parents are making the ultimate decision during the COVID-19 pandemic: Whether to send children back to school and risk their health and that of others in the household, or keep them home and take on the burden of home education and supervision, risking financial issues.

Parents are making the ultimate decision during the COVID-19 pandemic: Whether to send children back to school and risk their health and that of others in the household, or keep them home and take on the burden of home education and supervision, risking financial issues.Parents of school-aged children are currently facing the hardest discernment situation one can face: making a choice when there is no good choice. If children are forced back to school in person, there is the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus — which, if contracted, can hurt children. It can also make them a vector, someone who carries the virus with no symptoms and infects others. If children are not allowed to go back to school, they must learn in an isolated situation with parents needing to stay home to supervise.

For some parents, the school district will make the choice and they will have little say in the matter. Others may be offered a choice, or a hybrid of online and in-person learning.

For those offered a choice, how does a parent decide which risk is the greatest for their children: isolation or infection?

Some parents know what their choices are and others are waiting for word from governmental and school district officials on that. Those waiting may have the hardest time — knowing they have a difficult choice to make but not knowing when they will be called upon to make it.

To complicate things further, some parents live in households with immune-compromised individuals. How do they choose what is best for everyone involved?

My job as a discernment coach is to help people navigate and process the choices in front of them. If they have come to me — a spiritual director — they usually are hoping to make a faithful choice. Many times, when people are discerning a life choice, it’s a choice between two or more “pretty good” options. This job, or that one? Which step toward healing is right for me? That sort of choice.

But, as Rev. Melanie Harrell Delaney, a Cleveland, Ohio mother of three school-aged children puts it, “There is no good choice here. I’m faced with making a decision that I don’t feel great about either way. I’m praying I find the ‘OK-est’ choice and that I can live with that.” She continues:

“Our need as parents really is to be freed from guilt and fear around making terrible choices for our kids (and selves) during this time. Being so directly responsible for other small people’s safety and well-being, on top of the complexity of caring for our own selves, is crushing.”

The Christian spiritual practice of discernment has a few principles that may help people sort through those “rock and a hard place” choices. Such as:

  • The Quaker principle of silent waiting. For Rev. Harrell Delaney, “centering prayer, even 5 minutes a day, has been saving my soul this summer.”
  • Ignatius of Loyola taught that God’s desire is that people who already have the odds against them be given top consideration. Asking yourself, how does each option affect the “least of these” among us?
  • Notice which choice disturbs your spirit less. Which choice gives you at least a modicum of peace? Listening to your deepest, truest self can help you come to a decision you can live with.
  • Project your thoughts 20 or 30 years into the future. Although we don’t know what the future holds, we can ponder which choice is best in the long run. Imagine we are long past the pandemic. Which choice has longevity? Which choice seems to work toward the greater good?

Nothing will make this choice easy. Each choice has its own consequences. All we are asked to do in discernment is our best; surround our choices with prayer, take in as much data and facts as possible, listen to our heart, ask for God’s desire to be fulfilled, and then choose.

Some of us reading this are (like myself) not parents. But we still have a voice. As we pray our way through the pandemic, caring for others as ourselves, we may feel compelled to take a stand and work for what we believe is best for our community. We can help parents with our prayers, our support and our social action.

My prayer:

God, we ask your guidance for everyone who must make a choice when there is no good and perfect choice. We especially ask that the fullness of your Spirit comfort and sustain all parents, grandparents, school children, college students and teachers. And that those in positions with the power to force choices upon people be moved by your love and guided by your wisdom. Amen.


Want to learn more about spiritual direction? I have a book Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance by Apocryphile Press that addresses many aspects of this practice. It’s available on Amazon.

Also, I enjoy sharing emails with people who have questions about spiritual direction. I may be reached at teresa@teresablythe.net or via my website www.teresablythe.net.

Heart Work is Hard Work – The Spiritual Direction Workout

Spiritual direction involves something we can call heart work, which is rewarding but also takes some serious work. We deconstruct and reconstruct ourselves.

Spiritual direction involves something we can call heart work, which is rewarding but also takes some serious work. We deconstruct and reconstruct ourselves.

 

It’s not uncommon to hear a client say, “I’m exhausted at the end of the spiritual direction session.” Spiritual directors also can feel wiped out after a series of sessions in one day. That’s because heart work is hard work.

The same thing can happen in therapy or pastoral care. Taking a long look at your inner life with someone trained in helping you do that is a deeply personal and soul-searching kind of work, probably much different than what you do as your livelihood. It’s also different than attending a worship service or doing your spiritual practice at home alone.

In the best spiritual direction sessions, you consider your life over the past month and notice when you felt close to God and when you felt far away. It’s that second aspect — the far away — that is what Ignatius of Loyola calls desolation and frankly, pondering desolation takes emotional energy.

In most spiritual direction sessions, the director will pick up on something you shared and ask you a few important open-ended questions to help you unearth the wisdom within. Questions like:

  • How was that experience for you?
  • What do you desire most in this situation?
  • How do you know that is true?

Open-ended questions in which there is no right or expected answer require concentration. They unearth memories and put us in contact with God, but also with our shadow — those parts of ourselves we’d rather not look at. Awareness of God requires this struggling with the shadow. Like Jacob with the angel, it requires wrestling but it also comes with a gift.i The gift is wisdom and discernment, which is life-giving. But the wrestling can leave us weak.

Much like physical exercise, we may be sore for awhile after and we may feel exhausted, but it’s a good exhaustion. So, although heart work is hard work, it’s also good, necessary and meaningful work. Yes, you may feel like you’ve been through the ringer after some spiritual direction sessions (not all, I hope!) but the reward comes in the time between sessions where you continue to process and integrate the work.


Want to learn more about spiritual direction? I have a new book Spiritual Direction 101: The Basics of Spiritual Guidance by Apocryphile Press that addresses many aspects of this practice. It’s available on Amazon.

Also, I enjoy sharing emails with people who have questions about spiritual direction. I may be reached at teresa@teresablythe.net or via my website www.teresablythe.net.

i The story of Jacob wrestling the angel is found in Genesis 32:22–32.