What does it mean to give something over to the Holy Spirit? To surrender to the Holy Spirit? It is not like baking a cake and handing it to a passing pilgrim. It is, rather, a kind of seeing – a raising to light of that which is hidden.
The quiet light in which the Holy Spirit dwells within you is merely perfect openness, in which nothing is hidden and therefore nothing is fearful. Attack will always yield to love if it brought to love, not hidden from it (T-14.VI.2:1-2).
It’s an old saying I used to hear in church basements that reeked of bad coffee: we are sick as our secrets. And it is profoundly true. We are not scared of anything but what we keep hidden – and what we keep hidden is frightening not because it is inherently frightening but because it is hidden.
When we refuse to cherish secrets, we will be healed. As we raise them to the light of acceptance and understanding, we are healed.
In practical terms, this requires patience and space. The patience helps us to sit with the bad or fearful feelings: I am jealous, say, and I don’t like that emotion so I stay away from it. But healing requires that I look at it – that I not flee from it. Can I sit with the jealousy? Can I look closely at it and see what it’s doing? Where it comes from, what it asks of me, what purpose it serves?
This is hard to do – and that is why it requires space. It is good to carve out some moments in the day – and even a special physical place – where we can do this work. Often for me it comes while walking in the forest – or early in the morning before I begin writing.
We have to understand that we want obscurity – we like our secrets, the fear and guilt that they produce. Those corrosive emotions – buried deep – act as witnesses to our victimization. We are right to be scared and defensive because life is tough and unfair and God hates us and our parents were abusive and our kids ungrateful and the neighbors are too loud . . .
What is hidden is what bids us to continue looking at what is external and find the fault in it. So long as are focused on improving what is external, we are not doing the real work.
So we have to make the space and find the patience to stop with the external witch hunt and begin to gently and surely raise the interior veils which seem to shroud our most shameful and guilt-ridden secrets.
Without protection of obscurity only the light of love remains, for only this has meaning and can live in light. Everything else must disappear (T-14.VI.4:7-8).
Willingness is the key. We must devote ourselves to this practice: of looking at that which obscures our awareness of love, understanding that to look at it is to give it to the Holy Spirit, who will gently shine it away.
Therefore, keep no source of interference from His sight, for He will not attack your sentinels. But bring them to Him and let His gentleness teach you that, in the light, they are not fearful, and cannot serve to guard the dark doors behind which is nothing at all is carefully concealed. We must open all doors and let the light come streaming through (T-14.VI.8:3-5).
Are we ready to do that? To give our attention to the closed doors of what is internal? We must if we awaken to Truth.
There are no hidden chambers in God’s temple. Its gates are open wide to greet His Son (T-14.VI.8:6-7).
It is only by doing it – by willfully sharing our darknesses with the Holy Spirit, which is our healed mind – that we learn the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. The sooner we begin, the lighter we become, and the lighter we become, the more we have to offer one another. Delay – as always – serves nobody and nothing.