By Jenny Keating
My husband Ross is a book collector, I would say obsessive, though he would stoutly deny this. But it has its advantages – he has every book Francis Brabazon has ever mentioned as worth reading; he has also collected all the books he ever heard Eruch say he read and liked. This means I have easy access to edifying material for my nightly read before bed.
A book I picked out a few months back is He and I, a record of the conversations between the Catholic Mystic and layperson Gabrielle Bossis and the “Inner Voice” of Jesus Christ. This is a book Eruch loved and it is easy to see why; it is all about Love and developing an intimate relationship with the One who resides within us all: “Don’t get the idea you are speaking to a memory, a past ideal, a remote God. You are speaking to Me, fully alive in you…it’s like family life…what I’m always seeking in My people is this life of intimacy with Me.”
But the topic that caught my attention was on trust, and its link with love and happiness: “Fan the flame of your confidence…keep it burning in Me. I want you to be happy, so come back again and again to this feeling of trust until you are never without it. Trust is an aspect of love…Trust in Me with all your heart since I am your great Friend…My help never comes to an end, and I never cease to watch over you…”
On this same subject Beloved Baba has told us:
“… if we trust in God and let Him worry for us, we live contented and happy” (Lord Meher; Guruprasad, 1960); “Trust in Me completely and I will solve all difficulties;” and more tellingly, “Belief, trust and faith are all illusory phenomena if not based on conviction through personal experience” (1937; Lord Meher, p. 1883).
Perhaps it was this reference to the necessity for personal experience that set me thinking about my own journey in relation to trust and intimacy. For I certainly discovered through experience, that to trust Baba and go where He leads, when I feel strongly pulled in the opposite direction – by what I want, or think should happen – requires a leap of faith, a plunge into an unknown realm where nothing is certain.
One of my first experiences of taking the plunge into this unknown territory happened many, many years ago and was tied into my maturing relationship with Baba as separate from my parents; the beginnings of the individuation process Jung speaks of, when we are struggling to find our own path in life, and in particular our own relationship with the Divine.
This experience came out of a “crossroads” situation in my life: one way led in the direction of what I wanted and felt I needed, which my mind was desperately trying to justify; and in the other direction lay what I felt deep down Baba wanted. Of course initially I didn’t know what Baba wanted because my mind was so busy justifying why I should do what I wanted. But when the uneasiness inside me could no longer be ignored, I started to contemplate the awful truth: that what I wanted, was not what Baba wanted. But what Baba wanted felt like I was giving up so much. And the dilemma became, how to accept what He wanted? It seemed too difficult. But I remember to this day the moment when, after a long struggle, I finally let go, “took the plunge” and declared inwardly: “Ok, Baba, I give in, I’m going to take a chance on You, I’m going to trust You; trust that if I do what You want then it will all work out for the best.”
Unexpectedly, but not surprisingly, this “taking the plunge”; this trusting Baba, became the beginnings of a much more meaningful relationship with Him. I discovered He came into my life in a new way – intimately, lovingly, compassionately. I found that although trusting Baba meant giving up what I wanted, and felt I needed, and facing difficulties in the process, He filled the space left by unfulfilled desires with His Presence and turned what might have become bitter resignation into sweet surrender and even joy. And with time, to the sweetness was added deep gratitude and wonder, at how perfectly He works everything out: my deepest needs were met, and I felt saved from the inevitable “self-harm” that ensues when one ‘forces God’s Hand’ rather than surrendering to His Wish and Will.
But understanding how important it is to learn to trust Baba and have faith that what He wants will eventually bring happiness and contentment, has been a gradual process of trial and error. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to let go of what I want and trust that what He wants will work out for the best in the end. Sometimes I can’t resist going my own way. Sometimes the pull of what I want is too strong. And inevitably, I suffer the consequences. I’ve found I need in this “learning to trust” business, patience – a lot of patience. I often get impatient – change seems so slow. Sometimes I want Him to just quickly resolve things, but He always tells me inwardly: “It can’t happen just by asking; you have to go through the process. Real change is gradual. You have to learn to endure, to be patient, to trust I know what’s best for each one, and wait for what I want to unfold.”
But in the meantime, in the “waiting,” I have to do the “work” of taking the dilemma to heart, trying to be honest about my own motives and my own perspective; it requires me giving up worrying or even thinking about what the future holds. It requires the practice of silencing the voices of my own desires and going deep within to hear His voice. And sometimes it requires the hardest thing of all: doing nothing. But ultimately, when I have no idea of the outcome or how it could ever work out well, it requires me doing my very best and then completely letting go, and wholeheartedly trusting He will take care of everything and everyone, perfectly.
And, having “taken the plunge” in some difficult decisions over the years and finding just how perfectly He does work things out for the best – once I get out of the way – I’ve begun to trust Him more easily: in day-to-day situations I more readily relax mentally into His arms and leave whatever I can’t sort out, to Him. I can now see how, when I’m able to do this, it is possible despite difficulties in life, to “live contented and happy.”
I’ll leave you with a few more of Jesus’ words to Gabrielle on this subject which I’ve found helpful:
“Above all confidence! When you have an anxiety and you can do nothing about it, just think: ‘He will straighten that out for me’ – and go back into the peace within Me.”
“It’s not enough to know about this love; above all you must have faith in it. How much comfort people would find and what happiness even in the midst of trials, if they only believed that everything that happens to them comes from My desire to do them good and that all is fitted to the measure of each one…”.
“Keep going blindly. Take delight in knowing nothing about the future for the sole purpose of seizing an opportunity of abandoning it to Me. I know how to lead the blind by the best paths…”.