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thirdleaf

As part of my slow journey to apply Permaculture skills in my own yard, I started seeds indoors a few weeks ago.  They’ve come up well now, several in each little pot.  A number of shoots are  just starting a third ‘true’ leaf.

In my ‘black thumb’ days I didn’t know that the first two leaves to appear are not ‘true’ leaves.  They don’t reveal the nature of the seed from which they came – they don’t have the shape and texture that all the other leaves will show, and by which the plant can be identified.  Their only purpose is to get chlorophyl production underway so the plant can grow, becoming what it was meant to be. Starting with the third leaf.

As my 40th birthday fast approaches and my spiritual journey evolves, this is of interest to me.  My ‘first lifetime’ as I like to call it, consisted of my own growth, marriage and raising children (they will all have graduated in three years).  From very early on it was also the beginning of my spiritual walk.  But the first 40 have only really been the first two leaves, and the third leaf is yet to fully emerge.

These thoughts have been supported by reading some of David Benner’s books, particularly “The Gift of Being Yourself“.  He says that as created beings, a self (or identity) that is not grounded in a true and experiential relationship with the Creator cannot be a true self – the self he created me to truly be.  But false selves abound even for those who do enjoy fellowship with God.  At least, they do for me.

There are many images of myself that I have held in my mind, and tried to project to others.  I have worked to create these images over the years through masks and sometimes herculean effort, attempting to be who I wanted to be, or who I thought I should be, instead of who I was made to be.  It was exhausting.

Many years ago I made a huge leap in discovering my true self by letting go of co-dependency. But even now, with a fair degree of spiritual maturity under my belt,  it is surprising how many there are yet to lay down.

Now of course my false selves masquerade under a spiritual guise, making them harder to identify.  The good news is that as I spend more time in the company of my Creator, getting to know both him and myself better, my ‘third leaf’ begins to emerge.  I can compare it to these false self images and recognise them for what they are.  They do not have the shape and texture that the true leaf has.

I have been attached to some of these spiritualised false selves, and it can be hard to even acknowledge that they are false.  But do I really want to keep pouring energy into anything that’s not the real thing?  Life is short!  When I have the courage to crucify the false selves, it brings such peace to my true being.  It also frees many resources for what I am discovering truly fulfills me.

Like the little pots of seedlings on my window sill, the third leaf will emerge, grow, and bear fruit.  The not-true leaves will fall away.  It just requires patience, adequate Living Water, and spending lots of time in the Light.

 

 

 

 

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