We often embrace our humanity,” my spiritual life coach Chris said. “But how do we embrace our divinity?”
It was a good question. I’m too busy working on the human parts of me that need attention—like not losing my temper, not judging others, and trimming off the extra ten pounds I’ve gained—to think about my divinity.
“People get a little nervous when we talk about being divine. It sounds like we’re claiming to be God. But that’s not what divinity means,” Chris said.
He explained the fancy term divinization and why it’s the goal of our human lives.
Rooted in Ancient Wisdom
The fourth century bishop and theologian Athanasius wrote, “God became human in order that humans might become divine.”
His ancient words are echoed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“The Word became flesh to make us ‘partakers of the divine nature’.…‘The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 460).
“So, what’s stopping you from acknowledging your divinity?” Chris asked.
“I’m not sure.” I took a deep breath and released it slowly. “It’s hard to wrap my mind around being divine.”
The Core of Our Divine Nature
Chris used the image of an onion to help explain our divine essence.
At its very core, an onion has a shiny white pearl from which it is formed. We too have a white radiant pearl around which God shapes our souls. It’s the divine essence, which is always present within our hearts.
Over time, life’s struggles, people’s betrayals, and harsh words cause us to pull onion skins around the pearl of our hearts. Those skins become a protective layer so our psyche doesn’t get hurt.
When we over-identify with the layers we’ve surrounded around our inner pearl, we develop a false self. We forget our divine nature.
I’m a tough survivor, we might tell ourselves. I’m a victim, we proclaim. Or, we might say, I am a great athlete, or I am a model parent. We identify as our job title or by the roles we assume.
Our task is to peel back the onion skins so we can remember our divine nature—the essence of who we are—the Embodiment of God in human flesh.
The Breath as a Pathway to Our Divine Self
“How do we stop all the noise in and around us so we can remember our divine nature?” I asked.
“The breath is the pathway into our divine self,” Chris explained. “It’s how we quiet our scattered minds and shake off the noise and confusion of the outer world so we can remember who we are.”
I moved to the edge of my chair.
“The breath in Latin is called ‘Pneuma’ (Lat. spiritus). It means air in motion, something necessary to life. Pneuma is referred to as the ‘breath of life’ in Greek. In the New Testament, it’s called the Holy Spirit.”
“The breath unites the human and divine within you. It allows you to enter your heartspace where your soul lives and breathes in you. When you focus on your breath, your mind sinks into your heart so you can listen and hear the Divine Whispers of God. In your heart, God and you become One. Your human and divine natures dance as God reminds you of your divinity and guides you in making wise choices throughout the day.”
Chris suggested I focus my morning quiet times on the the air flowing in and out of my lungs, and allow myself to experience in my body what it feels like to be divine.
Over the next few days as I sat in the quiet and focused on my breath, I pondered the thought that if we’re made in the image and likeness of God—both human and divine—then our job is to allow those words to become flesh and bones in us, to embody the Divine within us. With God’s grace, I began to claim my divine nature. It’s a work in progress that’s reshaping my self image.
Remember Your Divinity
This week, breathe in the breath of God. Ask yourself, “What’s stopping you from acknowledging your divinity?” Allow yourself to embrace the human and divine parts of who you are. Notice how that changes your perspective.
Remember: you are both human and divine in God—and so is everyone else.
—brian j plachta
Enjoy this Guided Meditation and discover your true self—your human and divine natures—One in God.
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