“Sometimes you just need to reflect on what you know before you learn more.”

One of my students told me that today. She was telling me how much she appreciates the class periods when we just absorb the information, talk about it and apply it to real life. In my mind, it’s a ‘blow off” day; but in their 14 yo brains, it’s a chance to catch up on what they’ve been reading and to put it into practice. I was taken aback by her words.

What does it mean to reflect on what I know before I learn more? This is so “simplex”- simple yet complex at that same time. If I apply this philosophy to my life it looks something like this:

I know I am searching for a better, more improved, authentic, enhanced relationship with my Higher Power. Some people call this God, Yahweh, El Shaddai, Jehovah, The Light and others. Being raised in a strict Catholic home, my sense of spirituality and religion are really confused. I’ve taken the greater part of my sobriety wrestling with what I believe God/spirituality/religion mean to me. So, I’ll start with what do I know?

I know my HP is part of me sometimes. It is the force within me that pulls me to do right: help a friend, smile when I don’t want to, stick up for a coworker, hold the door for a stranger. It’s the calm flow of energy that I can feel gliding through my pulse; it’s the deep, cleansing breath that takes the negative gunk out of my mind and the toxic beliefs out of my inner self in order to make room for more tranquility, joy, and serenity. When I can feel my HP in me, I am moved to tears; it feels so good to be so calm, to KNOW that I really am in the care of something greater than I. It’s the peaceful wash of nothingness that bathes my body just before I nod off to sleep. Sometimes I am pulled to call someone, to make a turn in a store I wouldn’t normally take, to send an email or imessage to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while just out of the blue. I am learning to trust that as my HP; it’s the connection to myself and a different realm for the purpose of the greater good. When I write here, for instance, or in my journal, I let my fingers dance across the keyboard and keep breathing asking my HP to fill me. Some moments the tug is stronger than others.

However there is another part of me that believes my higher self is external. This happens when I see kindness in action: my boys playing well together and sharing a hearty laugh; my husband selflessly volunteering to help out another family member; my students thoughtfully processing something we’ve talked about and doing good for others. But I see my Higher Power in more than just other people: a glorious sunset, or a cleansing, torrential rain where the worms can find solace in a crack, or even in the open country sky where the stars glisten in the sky like a multitude of precious gems flickering in the sun’s glare.

Beyond nature though, I am learning my Higher Power sometimes just is. I don’t need another human, or animal or bit of nature to see Him. It’s this Almighty Presence that merely takes up space in order to comfort me but leaves me open and unsmothered in order to catch a breeze upon my cheek.

So this idea of absorbing what I know until I can learn more is really brilliant. I still have questions about who or what or how my power greater than myself can be or is or may evolve into. The beauty is I get to let it happen in its due time. I can enjoy, accept, and ponder all in the same moment. I don’t have to have any more questions; today, I get to just accept where I am and think about what I do know. There’s comfort in that and a lot less pressure.

Darn kids are so smart these days!



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