It is no wonder that you and I may be held in odd remembrances as we continue to see and feel our way through rugged territories of our new lives. What I have felt being revealed here, in this unusual time in history, as well as in our own evolution, is that you and I can release bitterness and retain anger.
“Accept your anger.”
Each of us begin our experiments in claiming with naïveté. You begin as an innocent. Inexperienced. Then you encounter people who have far more education and sophistication, who have greater prestige: legitimate power. When your more sensitive knowing is dismissed, you are hurt, then aggrieved. You might begin to shed your naïveté and grow to feel bitter about these circumstances. It may take a long while to admit to your resentment at the way others hold their intellectual knowing above your sensitive understanding. And you may, for a long while, disallow anger.
Yet accepting that we are angry is what releases our bitterness. “Bitterness is, to our hearts, what the ego is to our minds.” Anger has been denied. Denial releases nothing.
You might say bitterness is untended anger. Bitterness “retains” heartache and pain in a way that makes it piercing and unbearable. Then it can breed resentment and cynicism. Yet when you tend to the many causes of anger that were ignored, back peddled, hidden . . . you may remember your Self. Doing this tending creates a beguiling time, sweet and sharp.
You pause and then you begin again. The bitter winds flare up anew, harsh and piercing. The atmosphere feels wild, jagged, sharp, and dangerous. You retreat to any safe inlet of recovery.
But what do you feel?
Amidst a sorrow that is unthinkable, one that you can’t get your mind around, this unimaginable loss of strength ends with the moment in which you cannot breathe. The shock knocks the wind out of you. You are dismissed in such a way that you are annihilated by a noxious cloud of disbelief and self-doubt.
Now you mourn, and something in you may die if you do not lay claim to your right to be who you are. Suddenly, your inability to deny that you know in the way you do, brings the dawn of hope.
When you claim what you feel, you begin to notice the growth of hope.
“Bitterness and uncertainty are replaced by hope. Hope is the condition of the initiate, new to the realization of having a home within the embrace.”
With hope we sense a power made perfect through weakness. Can you imagine that now?
You cease to let a conspiracy of self-doubt contribute to your own undoing, even knowing that when you say, “Here I am,” those who would disabuse you of your worth will rise again. They remain to slay you, the dragon, with the sword of the hero.
We must move to metaphors that are big because the paper cuts of slights can seem insignificant against the fear that no matter how our own self-regard changes, an inner atmosphere of a used and abused person will be retained. You can ridicule yourself with the best of them. And you know that if you respond to the slights as the judgments they are—your self-defense will be deemed a fault. You fear your words will fail you.
There are so many calls to forgive without claiming the hurt of having your way of knowing dismissed. So many calls to be above it all. So many intimations of unhealthy anger or fear. So much is reduced with indignation: “My God, if you are not yet at peace!!! If you did not yet forgive and forget! If you are not yet perfect!”
In our dialogue, Mary supports us by saying, “You, and each one, are called to come back to love of self and confidence in your gifts. This is what disallows bitterness.” As love finds us, bitterness leaves, and confidence is not far behind.
You may discover as did I, that your former disregard for yourself has already become the radical self-regard called for, but without shielding you, as you thought it would, from the nay-sayers, especially those who are kind and “right” in their way. You still feel weak.
Is all of this happening by way of the manner of being made perfect through weakness? The idea of the virtue of weakness amid the power of God? What if it is perfect? Maybe, once, weakness was proper exclusively with God, for God alone to be the presence in which you tremble, the enveloping presence in which you quiver with the magnitude of being made perfect, for weakness being perfected in Love’s accepting sight.
But is God still alone if we are the manifestation of such Unity? Are our imperfections then . . . imperfections? Or are they calls to new creations, as who you and I truly are?
“Look deeply and you will see that what you would call your imperfections are as chosen and as dear to you as all the rest.”
Is it not only within the whole of who we are, that our calling finds us?
James Hillman said, “Recognize the call as a prime fact of human existence; (b) align life with it; (c) find the common sense to realize that accidents, including the heartache and the natural shocks the flesh is heir to, belong to the pattern of the image, are necessary to it, and help fulfill it. A calling may be postponed, avoided, intermittently missed. It may also possess you completely. Whatever; eventually it will out. It makes its claim.”
You have been claimed as beloved.
I have been claimed, and I have claimed my calling. And I will endeavor, along with all those who are claiming power in unity, to endlessly pursue our common, unfinished movement, even beyond time-bound evolution.
“How transformative would it be if we could embrace the idea that unfinished is our natural and permanent state? Is it possible for us to accept that there is no seamless fix for what ails us individually or as a community? Our path, if we’re lucky is evolution without end.”
 A Course of Love, Dialogues, Day 3.1
 A Course of Love T3:8.3
 A Course of Love C:20.36
 Mirari: The Way of the Marys, p.215
 A Course of Love, C:20.41
 James Hillman, The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling
 Susanna Schrobsdorff, “Amanda Gorman and the Art of Being Unfinished and Imperfect,” Time (on-line)
Image copyright SWPA.Photography