Saturday, June 24, 2006
Mary's Message To Me
This is me with my friend, Mary. We've been friends for about 4 years. In some circles, she is known as the Mother of God, The Blessed Virgin, and Our Lady of Peace. I believe she is known by 462 other names. For me, she has simply been Mary.
We first found each other at, of all places, Our Lady of Fleas one sunny Sunday morning. Being non-Catholic, I surprised myself by stopping to admire her amid the chipped enamelware and stained doillies. She was beautiful. I suddenly had to have her. And for a mere 7 bucks, the Queen of Heaven came home with me.
From that Sunday on, Mary has made herself a part of my life. I now have a wall in my home covered with her images, each one altered to varying degrees of possible blasphemy. I have few worries, though, of frying in hell for taking creative license with this icon of Christianity. Mary, it turns out, has a dry sense of humor. She confided in me one day that her favorite dessert is cherry tarts. At first, I didn't know how to respond to that confession and I felt myself blushing. But Mary's eyes twinkled and soon we were doubled over in laughter. To reassure me further, she led me to a book that quoted her as saying, "Whatever anyone has needed me to be, I have become". I have needed more laughter in my life, and she has become my jovial muse.
But humor is only a small part of her message to me. I've known there is something bigger, something deeper, something more life altering up Mary's blue sleeve. For 4 years, there has been a message I have been unable to hear, unwilling to hear and likely, unprepared to hear.
Mary's message is surprisingly simple: the human heart is sacred. It is the gateway to everything. Love, peace, money, enlightenment. Mary has been working overtime lately to get the point across to me. Because it's time in my development to up the ante. It's time to more consciously embrace the gifts of this heavenly planet. This can only be accomplished by seeing, feeling and breathing with the heart. Mary thinks I'm ready for this. My gut says she's right.
First on the list of heart-opening exercises: stop judging myself at every turn. Stop finding fault with my body. Stop putting the needs of everyone around me in front of my own. Mary says to be more self-supportingly selfish. Miraculously, the needs of all others in my life will be met if I first and foremost take care of my own needs. Mary says to let others take responsibility for what is rightfully theirs, and I will take responsibility for what is rightfully mine. The heart is meant to be open, not burdened.
I feel blessed to have Mary in my life. She is one of my secret weapons to happiness. She knows what I need, when I need it. Luckily, she exists beyond the confines of religion and chooses to befriend anyone with a sincere calling to live a life of heightened joy and heightened love. She has willingly taken on the role of Feminine Archetype of Love. I have willingly pinned a thousand heart-shaped milagros to her blue dress.