St. Patrick! I find the myth around the man intriguing and fun, but I read the words of Patrick and find him inspiring. Oh, not because I believe what he believed in the way he did. No, he’s inspiring to me because he knew his personal truth, lived in devotion to it, and was content with his work.
To the best of my knowledge, Patrick did not know all that would accrue to his name. As I read his Confessions, he didn’t need any of that to know his happiness. He was so convinced of his own truth that he didn’t need anyone else’s approval. In fact, he was blasted by his own church who wanted, for some odd reason, to disenfranchise him for things he had done thirty years previously, things that he had made fully known before his ordination as a deacon. It was all good, though.
In addition to that, he lived in a hostile world where Picts and Gaels looked to slaughter docile christians. He reamed them for that in a letter to the murdering army. He makes it clear that he trusts God and gives all credit to God and Jesus Christ for everything.
His everything was just going around preaching and encouraging and caring for souls. Yes, I think he limited himself through his own beliefs, but it does not detract from his own wholeness of the life he lived. He kept it tight around his personal truth, and in the 5th century of poverty and violence and superstition, he knew happiness in his Purpose. He chose it. He lived it.
He was keenly self-aware, and that is where it all starts. Beyond the strict boundaries and bonds of organized religion, it’s even more important. People are responsible for self, for knowing our own soul-mind-body complex comes with Ego as the default operating system; however, we need to awaken to that part of us that does not stop speaking to us: Heart. That is the second operating system we must choose, as Patrick chose christian beliefs (which in some ways was his Heart working).
That choice determines how we live out Spirit in the mortal body. Spirit gets imprinted with our whole being; in a way, instead of us inheriting Sprit, Spirit inherits us in the form we have taken on arrival in time and space. Spirit gets to experience physical life through us.
How do we live out Spirit? By knowing what this whole complex of 60 trillion or so cells holds as truth, what enthuses, moves, drives, delights, and makes us feel the reality that we are Spirit at core. This is our personal truth, and our response to that should be to live that truth, no matter what Ego says or objects to with fair-sounding rationalizations. Patrick knew the workings of Ego and what living his Heart truth meant. At one point, it made Ego-sense to go back to Britain: “I could wish to leave them (the Irish) to go to Britain…to visit my home country and my parents” (Confessions of Patrick). He knew his Heart and wouldn’t go. Ego lost.
Ego works so strongly that most people resign themselves, whether consciously or not, to despair — no hope of living their dreams, especially when faced with serious opposition. Sometimes those dreams themselves are Ego-generated. We must look deep into Self and see and hear Heart as we gaze into the mirror, know Our truth, and then be faithful to it. That’s Wholeness, when all this soul-mind-body and the two operating systems are in their proper place, when we wake up knowing our Purpose and diving into it, when we know happiness because we are being true to Self.
Wholeness, the whole Self, must include conscious connection with Heart, eternal Spirit within. Patrick would have understood the concept. He may not have agreed with it, but I didn’t get to have a conversation with him about it. I’m pretty sure he would have, though. He was a man of love.
Love of Self, others, and living Purpose marks those who know their own truth through their fellowship with their own Heart. It’s a good thought for today. Love and live that Love.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!