When have you felt totally connected, experienced a sense of wellbeing, felt whole, safe, united with yourself, the Divine, others, and all creation?
That sense of wholeness (or what St. Paul calls living “in the Spirit”) means being fully and deeply in the Present Moment in loving relationship to one’s self, others, Divinity, and all creation. That, St. Paul says, is how we were wired, how we were fashioned by God to be: connected. Connected to our self, to other people, God, and all creation. In other words, knowing we are an integral part of the Whole.
But many of us don’t often experience that deep sense of connection. Instead, we feel alone, separated, disconnected from God, from others, and the universe, even disconnected from our self from time-to-time. Fragmented.
Why? Why does that free-floating sense of anxiousness, that feeling of being disconnected, disrupt much of our waking hours?
Perhaps one of the reasons is we’ve told ourselves a lie, a falsehood that implies we’re bad, and as a result, we’ve believe we’ve been separated from the Source of our Being.
Take for example the story of Adam and Eve. Many of us were taught that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, so they disobeyed, ate the forbidden apple, realized they were naked, and hid. Then they were banished from the Garden because of their original sin.
This version of the story reinforces our sense of separateness. It suggests we’re naughty—lost—and have to find our way back to the garden of God’s love.
Yet, what if the story of Adam and Eve is not about being separated from God, rather it’s a reminder of our deep abiding connection with God, an affirmation that nothing can separate us from the Creator and his love?
From that perspective, the Adam and Eve story might be told and understood much differently:
God gifted Adam and Eve with conscious awareness, the ability to self-reflect, to know who we are and our purpose in life, which is to be the physical embodiment, the Real Presence of the Creator’s love in the world.
Adam and Eve soon realize, however, that this gift of self-awareness is easily distorted, misshaped by false perceptions, by the world, and its unholy idols. Yet, God continues to be present to Adam and Eve even after their self-deception causes them to lose their sense of self-worth and forget their true purpose.
In the midst of their wandering, their search to rediscover who they are, the Creator continues to love them and remind them that they are God’s Beloved. And to further reinforce the message of their inherent goodness and God’s enduring love, he tells them he’ll continue to reveal himself in the form of his human Son.
From this perspective, the story of Adam and Eve might not be about being banished, but rather about being loved. It’s a story of how we are the original blessing of God. And nothing, not even our own misconceptions, can separate us from Divine Love.
This shift of awareness shatters our illusions of separation, it becomes the voice of wisdom within and around us sustaining, nourishing, bringing us back home to the inward journey of knowing who we are: the Real Presence of God’s love in the world—joined, linked, and connected with God, others, and all of creation through and in our Soul.
And knowing we are connected—that we belong—we are One—is a Truth our hearts understand.
—brian j plachta
I never got that kiss with Teresa. But as I reflect on that long-ago night, I realize Sister Carmella shared two pieces of wisdom I’ll never forget: to leave room for Jesus and the healing power of a smile.