"Until your knees finally hit the floor, you're just playing at life." Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.
I've been a student of A Course in Miracles for quite some time now (though I've been taking my dear sweet time, a student nonetheless). For those of you not familiar, the Course is a metaphysical text that shares simple, yet profound message and is accompanied by a year's worth of daily meditations and lessons for students. While I say the Course is "simple," it's also pretty intense. As a student, studying the course has taken me so long because I must read slowly and intently (often re-reading) to fully understand the significance of the lesson. Marianne Williamson is perhaps the most well-known teacher of the Course. Her best selling book, A Return to Love (which you can purchase on Amazon in multiple formats), contains her reflections on the practical love-centered lessons in the Course. Because the Course has taken me so long to get through, it has been helpful to have teachers like Marianne who summarize and reflect on the work. I set the intention to, someday, be one of those teachers as well.
I've listened to the audiobook version of A Return to Love at least three times, each time taking a way something new and profound. In this post, I'd like to share my reflections on one of my favorite quotes from the book: "Until your knees finally hit the floor, you're really just playing at life."
While the quote is clearly about prayer; ultimately, it is about surrender. In context, the quote is part of a larger story where Marianne describes the moment she surrendered her problems and invited God in to intervene. As someone who has had a regular (yet amateur, as I am now learning) prayer practice for years, this quote struck a cord. Don't worry, I'm not beating myself up for my lack of understanding of the purpose or process of prayer. You see, while I was praying every night, I was missing an important step: inviting God in and truly releasing my problems to Him.
To be truthful, this is a concept I've struggled with for some time. I've mentioned my spiritual development in other posts and will write about my journey and understanding at greater length in the future. The abbreviated version is, my ego has long convinced me that I am strong and capable of conquering life's obstacles on my own. Asking for help is weakness, especially if I already "knew" how I wanted to situation to be resolved or what outcome would bring me peace. So, for years, instead of truly surrendering a problem, desire or issue through prayer, I'd offer up some suggestions to God..."God, help me to (achieve this, have that)" or prayers of the sort. As though God really needed my input to make an educated decision on how something should be resolved. How could I fully surrender something if I didn't know what God's plan for dealing with it was? It seemed like going in for a haircut and telling the stylist she could just pick your haircut for you.
What I didn't recognize or truly believe during all of those, "Hey God, here's how you can help me" prayers was that I was only slowing down the process with my interference. I was actually resisting help and preventing infinite guidance, wisdom and abundance from coming through. The miracle occurs when there is a shift in perception; a shift in consciousness...a willingness to see things differently. I know now that surrender is the epitome of having faith; faith that there is a plan out there far better than your own. A plan that is working with regard to your best interests at all time; a plan in which you must relinquish control and humbly ask for (and accept) help. However, to be clear, this does not mean you sit back and do nothing. You must still do the work (a concept which Marianne also explains very beautifully). Inevitably, the solution will come to you in a way you would never have imagined yourself...you just have to let your knees hit the floor.
To see more of my favorite quotes, check out my Instagram profile, or read other pieces in this Instagram Quotes series.