Years ago, after I left The Way and ended up at Yale Divinity School, I went on a quest to find "My Truth." It was a rather calamitous search because I forgot my flashlight. Instead I brought a pick ax and a saw, determined to unearth and dissect every morsel of reality I could find.
The problem was that after the brainwashing of the cult, I assumed reality must be a pretty grim business – you know, “nasty, brutish and short.” I didn’t dare to look for anything positive because, to my way of thinking, that would be a lie. In other words, if it was to be true, it had to be hard or bad or both.
One might attribute this attitude to my Jewish heritage (no disrespect intended.) I think this tendency to think negatively is all about control. If you’re negative and it comes true, then at least you predicted it – you think you’re in control. If you’re wrong and something good happens, then you don’t mind being out of control because it’s good.
Anyway, my error in “disqualifying the positive” was quite costly to me. I nearly lost my children, not to mention my mind. I was under the mistaken impression that for something to be Real, it had to be negative. Wrong! It’s taken me years to believe that I can be positive and still have both feet on the ground, that I won’t float away to some unseen Oz over the rainbow and be overtaken by the wicked witch. It’s taken me years to accept the good life has to offer. Years!
I could begrudge the time lost in the slough of despond, in my descent into hell. But that’s been very rich ground for my seeds of personal truth to grow. Today I count my seedlings, weeds and flowers and cherish them all. Good and bad. I don’t discount the beauty anymore because I’m no longer afraid that it will be snatched away from me. It’s not only around me. It’s inside of me. I’m positive about this and, finally, I’m not afraid to say it.